The Business Council of Australia has lodged a submission to the inquiry into the adequacy of allowances for jobseekers and others, being undertaken by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee. The submission makes the following key points:
- The rate of the Newstart Allowance for jobseekers no longer meets a reasonable community standard of adequacy and may now be so low as to represent a barrier to employment.
- Reforming Newstart should be part of a more comprehensive review to ensure that the interaction between Australia’s welfare and taxation systems provides incentives for people to participate where they can in the workforce, while ensuring that income support is adequate and targeted to those in greatest need.
- As well as improving the adequacy of Newstart payments, employment assistance programs must also be reformed to support the successful transition to work of the most disadvantaged jobseekers.