Cash boost for millions of Aussies
A permanent boost to the fortnightly dole payment will be at the centre of a federal government razor gang committee meeting on Friday.
Pressure has been mounting on the government to raise the rate of JobSeeker when the $150 coronavirus supplement ends in late March.
More than 1.2 million unemployed Aussies are relying on the payment, which welfare advocates warn will plunge recipients back into poverty if they are again forced to live on $40 a day.
The Australian reports that the government's expenditure review committee is set to make a decision about a welfare-reform package on Friday - and a permanent increase could be legislated as early as next week.
Proposed overhauls to the dole have included making a single payment for all jobless Australians that would scrap multiple supplements and subsidies.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg remained tight-lipped ahead of the meeting, saying he was not going to pre-empt those discussions.
"I have said previously that the government is considering the rate of JobSeeker once this elevated level ends in March," Mr Frydenberg told ABC AM.
"We want all Australians to live with dignity.
"But also we want all Australians who are on the JobSeeker payment to eventually move into the workforce and as quickly as possible."
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles on Thursday said living on $40 a day was impossible and called on the government to act.
"We need to hear from the government right now about what is their plan in relation to JobSeeker," Mr Marles said.
"What is going to be the permanent level going forward? There needs to be an increase."
The national jobless rate fell 0.2 points in January to 6.4 per cent with almost 30,000 full-time jobs created.
Originally published as Cash boost for millions of Aussies