Labor Says 'Bells Are Ringing' For Newstart Payment Raise
Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has hammered home calls for a rise in the Newstart allowance.
"The bells are ringing for an increase in Newstart," he told reporters in Perth on Tuesday, as loud bells tolled nearby.
A rare alliance of economists, welfare and business groups have issued fresh calls for an increase to the unemployment payment, after the Morrison government offered pensioners more financial support.
"I want to see the rate increase -- that's a fact -- but it's up to the government to change that," Albanese said.
"I've put my position very clear. The government needs to examine it and we'll continue to argue the case."
But people on the dole shouldn't expect a boost any time soon.
The Coalition is refusing to budge, repeatedly trumpeting its mantra that the "best form of welfare is a job".
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said people in capital cities should look to regional areas for employment.
"Newstart is there for people as a stop-gap measure in between work to actually find a job," he told reporters on the Gold Coast.
"There are good jobs in regional Australia -- good jobs and well paid jobs."
Albanese said the first priority for people on Newstart was to get a job, but there was no reason for them to suffer while hunting employment.
"There's no reason why at the same time people should be forced to live in conditions which make it difficult to survive," he said.
Labor promised to review Newstart if the party won the election, but stopped short of guaranteeing a rise.
Featured image: AAP