Young Australians have slammed a plan by the Albanese Government to ease cost of living pressures … for only those over 55.
A major change to welfare payments was revealed on Monday night that means the JobSeeker rate will be bumped up from its current rate of just under $50 a day.
The move, first reported by Seven News, will be welcomed by the 200,000-odd long-term unemployed over the age of 55. But it means more than 680,000 other jobseekers get nothing. At least not yet.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers is expected to announce a commitment to consider further, wider-ranging increases to welfare payments in Tuesday’s budget.
He has been under pressure to increase the rate of payments for all jobseekers to 90 per cent of the aged pension.
Young Aussies are furious at a plan to raise jobseeker rates for over 55s only. Picture: NCA NewsWire/David Geraghty
He has already ruled out such an increase.
The news on Monday was met with disappointment by young Aussies who feel their needs are not being met.
“No one left behind … so long as they are over 55,” wrote contributing editor at The Monthly, Rachel Withers.
The Guardian’s Amy Remeikis wrote: “If it’s too low for some, it’s too low for all.
“Over-55s need more to live on. So do under-55s. Life isn’t cheaper if you’re younger; 1.4 million on low income support – this leaves most behind.”
Crikey’s Cameron Wilson suggested young Australians could “start to crack”.
“You gotta wonder at what point young Australians really start to crack: An obscene housing market, a tax system geared towards the old and the rich, higher levels of education debt, lethargic climate action, and, increasingly, less support for the vulnerable,” he wrote.
No one left behind*
*so long as they are over 55 https://t.co/bWxKyOXpN8
— Rachel Withers (@rachelrwithers) May 1, 2023
Refugee advocate Shane Bazzi was among those who expressed their frustration at the plan.
“So cynical and cruel,” he wrote on Twitter.
“If it’s too low for some, it’s too low for all. Rent, groceries, bills and petrol are not cheaper for people under 55. Don’t buy into ‘deserving poor’ narrative pitting the vulnerable against one another. All welfare payments should be raised above poverty line.”
Greens Senator David Shoebridge wrote: “Young people are being betrayed by Labor.”
His colleague, fellow Greens Senator Nick McKim, went a step further.
“Young people can just get f***ed ’ey,” he wrote sarcastically while sharing the Seven News report.
News.com.au contributor Tarric Brooker wrote that the policy summed up modern Australia.
“So the poor get divided by age demographic and potentially battle amongst themselves, while the wealthy getting big ticket tax concessions and handouts go all the way to the bank.”
Editor at The Conversation, Patrick Lenton, wrote: “This is astonishing … who is suffering the most as a demographic from soaring rents and insane cost of living?”
One young woman on social media wrote that her heart was “breaking” at the news.
“My feed (at the moment) is full of those disabled ‘younger counterparts’ who can see no way out of this,” she wrote.
Cost of living pressures are hurting long-term unemployed the most. Picture: NCA NewsWire/David Geraghty
“They’re also long-term unemployed, and should be on (disability support pension).
“They are suicidal. Because they cannot live on [these] below poverty line payments.
“This country is broken.”
Relief from cost of living pressures will be at the top of the agenda when the Albanese Government delivers its budget.
It was top of mind for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese when he spoke with reporters earlier on Monday in Darwin.
14 million jobs to vanish in five yearsMum’s challenge to Albo on JobSeeker
“You’ll see a range of other measures in the budget in eight days’ time, which arise from the understanding that we have that people are doing it tough,” he said.
“We’ve had global inflation. So, we need to make sure we keep on top of inflation. But at the same time, we’re doing what we can to provide that relief for people.”
Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseCost Of LivingEmployment