Older recipients on Centrelink’s JobSeeker payment will be seeing more cash in the bank after next week’s budget.
Around 227,000 Aussies who are 55 or older who are looking for work are set to benefit from the higher payments, according to 7 News.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers has previously ruled out a broad lift to the JobSeeker rate but had hinted support would come for the “most vulnerable” Australians.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher earlier committed to a “significant improvement” to the bottom line in the budget.
Asked if the rate of JobSeeker would be lifted, Gallagher said the budget would contain “ongoing” investments to help people with cost-of-living pressures.
“This budget will have a significant cost-of-living package and that cost-of-living package will be targeted to the most vulnerable Australians,” she said on Sunday.
What will the new JobSeeker payment be?
The change is likely to be modest, according to reports, though the exact amount is not known.
Pressure had been mounting for the government to lift income-support payments above $49.50 a day for singles on JobSeeker and $40.20 a day for Youth Allowance.
Advocates have been seeking a rise of $100 per week, but it’s expected to come in well under that amount.
Around 227,000 JobSeeker recipients are 55 and over - the highest number of any age group - and are the group most likely to be unemployed for five years or more.
The majority of the group, and those who benefit the most, are also women.
The move comes after the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
ACOSS said failure to lift the JobSeeker payment would result in “increased deprivation”.
“We all want the security of knowing that we’ll be supported during tough times. But right now, the rate of income support is so low that people are being forced to choose between paying their rent or buying enough food and medicine,” the letter reads.