PM rules out latest push for Newstart increase

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has categorically ruled out increasing the Newstart allowance in this term of Parliament.

Pressure has been growing on the Government to provide a boost to the dole, which hasn’t been increased in real terms since 1996.

The Greens will introduce legislation for a $75 a week increase.


Labor supports increasing the dole but won’t say by how much and will not support the Greens’ legislation.

The Opposition instead wants an independent review to determine what any increase should be.

But Mr Morrison says it’s not on the agenda.

“I’m not going to lead people on about this. You ask me ‘are we increasing Newstart’, well the answer is no we are not,” Mr Morrison told Seven.

The PM says Australians support his position.

“They believe the best form of welfare is a job and they believe that our welfare system should work as much for taxpayers as it does for those who benefit from it.”

Mr Morrison has also dismissed Labor’s calls for an independent review.

“If the Labor Party thinks it should be increased well tell us how much and how you are going to pay for it and what you are going to change. Just be honest with people. I am.”

Seniors groups have expressed their disappointment and say they will campaign on the issue all the way to the next election.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke is urging the Prime Minister to rethink the government’s position.

“We say to the Prime Minister, his no start on Newstart is not smart.

“He’s ruling out even looking at reviewing Newstart.”