Majority of Australians Want Coronavirus Boost to Newstart

New research from The Australia Institute has found that a majority of Australians (52%) want to see Newstart boosted to the rate of the Age Pension for the course of the Coronavirus crisis, while one in three Australians (34%) oppose the idea.

Key findings:

–          The maximum single rate of Newstart is currently $559 per fortnight, which is $291 less than the maximum single rate of the Age Pension of $850.40.

–          A majority of Australians (52%) want to see Newstart boosted to the rate of the Age Pension for the course of the Coronavirus crisis

–          The age group most likely to support the proposal were those between 18 and 34 years old. The group second most likely to support the proposal were those aged over 65.

“Our research shows Australians want to see Newstart increased in light of the Coronavirus crisis,” says Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute.

“Boosting the Newstart payment is smart fiscal and social policy. It would provide an immediate stimulus to the flagging economy while also helping to support those Australians who will struggle to make ends meet.

“We have already seen mass lay-offs in this crisis and finding a job will become extremely difficult as the situation worsens in the coming months.

“To borrow the language of the Prime Minister, it is surely un-Australian to force millions of people to live below the poverty line through no fault of their own.

“Many industries, from airlines, tourism, the arts and hospitality, are on their knees. The need to for economic stimulus is great and the majority of Australians believe it should be delivered in a way that supports those of us who are unlucky enough to be out of work.”

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