More than 10 Coalition MPs support cutting the JobSeeker supplement in the new year as new research shows increasing unemployment benefits by $200 a fortnight would cost $7 billion a year, but most do not think it should return to its pre-pandemic level of $40 a day.
The Morrison government is expected to reveal plans for the dole at the mid-year budget update in December, ahead of the scheduled end to the $250-a-fortnight coronavirus supplement currently being paid to about 1.4 million people, after analysing data on the jobs market and the economy. The supplement is also paid to those on other benefits, such as Austudy, parenting payments and Youth Allowance.
The temporary supplement was introduced at the height of the pandemic at a higher rate of $550-a-fortnight, in addition to the base rate worth $565.70 for singles ($1115.70 total), to help soften the blow of major restrictions and disruption.
A group of Coalition MPs and senators across the country interviewed by The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age said the current payment was a disincentive to look for a job, however most did not believe the dole should drop to its pre-pandemic level.