Deloitte calls for increase in Newstart
Deloitte Access Economics' latest Budget Monitor fronted by Chris Richardson, leading economist, calls for an increase in Newstart as a priority.
'...there’s one thing that we’d heartily applaud – a lift in unemployment benefits. Newstart hasn’t kept up with national living standards for more than a quarter of a century, shrinking sharply as a share of average and minimum wages, and relative to the age pension. And it’s set to shrink even further, as it is indexed to prices rather than wages. That’s why the Henry Review specifically called out the collapsing ratio between Newstart and the age pension.
We should add $50 a week to these payments, and immediately index them to wages. That would be $3 billion well spent. As you know, we are huge fans of Budget repair. And we remain so. But Budgets aren’t just about debts and deficits: how well we tax is vital to our prosperity, while the quality of the spending we make is vital to fairness.
On that latter front, if we had to nominate the single standout fairness failure in Australia in 2018, it is undoubtedly our embarrassingly inadequate unemployment benefits.'
As a nation, we can and should do better. History will judge us harshly if we don’t.'