Assistance only for those over 55 years old


Jim Chalmers

It is expected that in the new budget next week, a decision will be made to increase benefits for people looking for work, the popular Jobseeker, but only for those over 55 years old.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers said unemployed women over the age of 55 were the most vulnerable group in Australian society and the government wanted to introduce special measures to help them.

On that occasion, he did not rule out changes to the budget, but said the details would be confirmed next week.

– Without intending to prejudge what will happen and what will not, in the May budget, the payment for jobseekers already makes a significant difference for people who are closer to old-age payments – stressed Treasurer Chalmers, and added that this is the government’s recognition, that in the end working age, it is more difficult to find a new job.

According to him, the group most likely to be long-term unemployed are people over 55 years old, and that group is dominated by women.

– No government can comply with all calls for higher spending in the budget, not even people and groups whose views we respect – the treasurer pointed out.

At the same time, he emphasized that the budget will include “responsible” relief for the cost of living, with measures aimed at the most vulnerable individuals, with the fact that not all measures will be limited in years.

Namely, it is planned that the monetary amount of 50 dollars a day, for people looking for work, will initially be increased only for people 55 years and older, with a wider increase being reviewed in later budgets.

Only a partial increase in jobseeker’s benefit over 55s is thought to be planned, as there will be a range of poverty reduction measures, including raising the child benefit age for lone parents to 14, as well as possible changes to housing benefit.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton refused to assess whether social assistance for jobseekers should be increased. Instead, he said the government should prioritize raising labor force participation.

– We will wait for the budget next week. We need a budget to ensure increased labor force participation in our country, not to reduce it. That’s why we want incentives for people to work, if they have the capacity to work – emphasized Dutton.

The Anti-Poverty Center warned that if the reports are true, limiting the increase in benefits to the over-55s would leave out more than 680,000 people on jobseekers.

– Renting houses is not cheaper for people under 55 years old. Groceries are not cheaper for people under 55. Electricity, phone bill, fuel, clothes, none of the basic things cost us less based on age. Instead of taking care of everyone who needs support, politicians cynically calculated that helping people over 55 years of age will bring them more votes – the Center’s press release states.

The federal government has faced intense pressure from within its own ranks to raise jobseeker benefits, which have not received a permanent increase above regular indexation for years.

A review of jobseeker and other state benefits, commissioned by Chalmers, found that the sums were insufficient and recommended that the rate of benefit be raised as a first priority.

The review recommended a rise to about 90 percent of the age pension, which would amount to about $875 a fortnight.

Increased aid for 220,000 people

More than 220,000 people over the age of 55 would benefit from the increase in cash benefits for jobseekers. However, more than 680,000 other recipients of this aid and youth would be excluded from the increase.

Meanwhile, people aged 60 or over with more than nine months of job searching already qualified for a higher cash benefit rate of $745 a fortnight, compared to $693 for a single childless person under the age of 60 years.

Source: Vesti online by

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