RBA boss wants dole payment increase

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe remains adamant the dole payment should not return to its pre-pandemic level when the coronavirus crisis is over.

JobSeeker, formerly known as Newstart, paid $40 a day prior to the pandemic and hasn’t risen in more than 25 years.

The unemployment benefit has been boosted to a maximum $1100 per fortnight through to September and then $800 until the end of the year.

Dr Lowe said there was broad consensus the payment needed to be permanently increased.

“I would join that consensus,” he told a parliamentary committee on Friday.

“I note the prime minister has said on a number of occasions the government is leaning in very heavily towards some further extension. I think that makes sense.”

Dr Lowe also said he didn’t have a problem with profitable companies using JobKeeper wage subsidies and passing on dividends to shareholders.

The prime minister disagrees.

“We obviously want the income support we have been providing to companies to be there for the benefit of the workers,” Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

“It is called JobKeeper for a reason, to keep people in jobs.

“Our purpose about it was very clear and I think that should be the shared purpose.”

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