Extra $80 a week for the Dole

The Australian Institute has floated the idea to increase the Dole (Unemployment Benefit) by $80 per week.

They say it will help with the Financial Crisis, but giving this money to those who will spend it in the right areas, rather than the first ways where most people just saved it rather than spending it.

I agree with that part, especially as many of the unemployed would not have received the $900 stimulus payments that the majority of us did get recently.

However, a permanent $80 per week increase for doing nothing will not be popular, unless you are unemployed, of course.

I’ve just watched the discussion on the TV, and I was surprised NOT to hear a suggestion that was the first thing to come into my mind…

Those unemployed who do the “Work for the Dole Option” currently get an extra $20.80 per fortnight ( $10.40 per week)… Think about it…

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Common sense tells me that not many would be attracted by that $10.40 !

But…. make it $90… and remember, it only goes to those who are prepared to do something for the community, and it becomes more worthwhile.

It also fulfills the Australian Institutes objective to place money in areas that it is needed to assist with the current financial crisis.

It seems a simple solution to me….


Australian Institute Media release 21st September 2009

Stimulus needed to prevent underclass

Despite Australia avoiding a recession, thanks largely to the Government’s stimulus packages, there remains a real risk of entrenching an underclass of unemployed, according to The Australia Institute.

In its submission to the Senate Economics References Committee, the Institute highlights how unemployed adults not only missed out on the $900 stimulus cash hand-outs, but again over the weekend when the age pension and disability support payments were boosted.

Newstart Allowance has been steadily declining relative to average incomes and the age pension for some time. This has resulted in a growing divide between the deserving and the ??undeserving’ poor in the Australian social security system. It is neither efficient nor equitable for the Rudd Government to continue to overlook the needs of Australia’s poorest families, ? said Executive Director Dr Richard Denniss.

While the economy may have averted an economic crisis, a robust recovery is still a way off given there are an additional 180,000 people now unemployed compared to 12 months ago.
It is premature for some to be talking about winding back the stimulus when there are hundreds of thousands of people trying to live on $228 per week. ?

The Institute recommends increasing the Newstart Allowance by $80 per week for singles and $74 for couples to bring their payments in line with the base rate for age and disability pensions.

The inadequacy of the Newstart Allowance causes a disastrous knock-on effect, whereby people have to spend their savings, sell assets or borrow money to make ends meet. All of these strategies make it harder for people to recover. In keeping benefits so low we run a
real risk of entrenching an underclass of unemployed, ? concluded Dr Denniss.

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