Unemployed bracing for $300 JobSeeker cut

More than one million unemployed Australians are about to take a $300 cut to their JobSeeker payments.

The Morrison government is slashing the coronavirus supplement to $250 a fortnight on Friday.

Single people with no dependents will be left with about $815 a fortnight or $58 a day.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is keen to point out the dole will still be more than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has signalled it will remain that way beyond December, when the reduced supplement is set to be scrapped altogether.

“At the end of the year we’ll revisit the rate for the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement and we’re leaning in to provide continued support,” Mr Frydenberg said on Thursday.

“We recognise that people are doing it tough. This money is really important to them. But we also know the best thing we can do to help people who are on JobSeeker is to get them into a job.”

The treasurer said his October 6 federal budget would be squarely focused on getting people back to work.

“There will be no shortage of initiatives in the budget to help people to get off the JobSeeker payment and into a job,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Labor argues now is not the right time to cut JobSeeker payments, saying boosting the dole had seen unemployed people living with some dignity for the first time.

“Now that money is going to be reduced dramatically at the end of this week,” opposition frontbencher Linda Burney said.

“It will mean people will go without food. It will mean the people will not be able to look after their children and get them to school as they’d like to. 

“And quite often, the decision is between medication and eating.”

Ms Burney also rejected claims from hotels associations that people are refusing work because the dole is too generous.

In places like Sydney and Melbourne, there are 12 people unemployed for every available job.

“I don’t know anyone that’s unemployed that does not want a job or doesn’t want more hours in the work that’s available,” she said.

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