There was hardly a beat in between the suggestion and the response.
Following the request to up the Newstart payment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated:
‘If I thought I had the money to do that, I reckon I’d be doing it for pensioners first’.
Well said, ScoMo.
Back in September, just two weeks after taking the PM title, Morrison dissed the plans to raise the pension age from 67 to 70.
While it looked like an unexpected turnaround, having advocated for the change just three months earlier, we see it as Morrison becoming more aware of the facts.
The elderly don’t have it easy
Right now, aged pensioners receive $834.40 per fortnight, which equates to less than $60 a day. That’s barely enough to go out once a week for some smashed avo on toast and a coffee, especially when you think of current petrol prices, medical expenses, and even mortgage repayments.
The elderly certainly don’t have it easy. And that’s after they’ve done 50-plus years of the hard yards.
And you’re not in much of a better position if you’ve managed to stay with your partner all this time. Aged pensioner couples living together are given just $629.00 each. So Grandma and Grandpa are actually penalised for staying together.
Sure, that’s still better than the current unemployment benefit from Newstart, which averages to just $39 a day. That’s hardly enough for the car trip to the brunch place.
But that’s the point of it.
Helping pensioners could help create more jobs
If the dole payment was enough to live comfortably, why would anyone go back to work? What good would it achieve for our economy?
So says wise man Morrison:
‘Now when a young person gets a job…that changes their life, it changes their family, they don’t live a life on welfare, they have choices, they look at the world differently, they look at Australia differently.’
You have to be cruel to be kind. So rather than increasing the Newstart rate by $75, it’s better to hold off and have the receivers look for a way to earn that extra $75 through hard work.
And when you think about it, helping the pensioners could make this search easier. There’s all this talk about it being hard to find jobs, high unemployment rates, blah blah blah.
Perhaps if we looked after those who have done their time in the workforce, they can leave their occupations earlier and free up positions for those seeking a ‘new start’.
Labor is just for welfare
Labor are pushing for this Newstart increase. But they’re also looking to can the Work-for-the-dole program.
Putting two and two together, you have a political party with no intention of getting people back into the workforce.
‘Labor is just for welfare,’ says Morrison. He’s been hitting many nails on the head with this issue.
Morrison also pointed out:
‘More than 100,000 young people got a job in the same year we’ve just had the final budget outcome for.
‘That is the strongest year of youth employment growth in Australia’s recorded economic history.’
And to top it off, Morrison argued that any expansion to Newstart is a ‘very expensive undertaking’ and ‘there is not the room in the budget at this point to do that’.
We’ve checked the figures, he isn’t wrong. Social security and welfare currently represents 35% of the Australian government’s expenses. That’s over a third of the federal budget going towards those who can’t earn their own keep.
And it’s expected that over $191.8 billion will be spent on this sector in 2019–20, so that’s already a $2 billion surplus to now.
So if Labor want the increase, they have to commit to a further $3.3 billion out of the federal pocket.
Something tells me that will put a halt in their tracks.
PS: The tax burden on Australians has grown by leaps and bounds in our lifetime, and shows little sign of reversing. But if you think you know who’s responsible, you may be surprised by the information in our new free report, ‘What you could do to stop Australia’s Tax Freedom Day from blowing out even further in 2018’. Click here for more.