Essential poll finds majority agree Newstart should be increased

Katharine Murphy, The Guardian's political editor reports on the latest essential poll: 

'Voters were also asked a number of questions this fortnight about the Newstart payment. At budget time there was a push to increase the unemployment benefit – a campaign the government rebuffed. Labor is also not locked in to boosting the payment, promising a review if it wins the next federal election.

Half the sample were aware the payment was less than $300 a week. Half the sample thought the current level of the payment was too low, with only 9% saying it was too high, 26% believing it was about right and 15% undecided.

People most likely to think it was too low were Labor voters (63%), Greens voters (59%) and workers on incomes under $1,000 per week (62%). Coalition voters and higher-income earners were more likely to think the payment was too high.

A clear majority of the sample (68%) agreed Newstart should be increased and 70% agreed with the statement, “a fair government would raise the rate of Newstart, youth allowance and related payments to ensure everybody has enough to live on while they look for paid work”.'

Read the Essential report or The Guardian essential poll report