Stimulus package: Unemployed people miss out

14 October 2008

ACOSS welcomes the Government’s measures to assist pensioners, carers and families while also reducing the risk of a serious economic downturn. Groups such as disability support pensioners and sole parents, who have previously missed out on benefits like the Utilities Allowance, will be financially better off.

However, unemployed people, who will be most affected in the event of an economic downturn, have missed out on financial assistance.

Lin Hatfield-Dodds, President, ACOSS: “Australians on unemployment benefits have been left out and they are already experiencing severe hardship. A single person on unemployment benefits struggles to live on just $219 per week, which is $50 less than the single pension. In an economic downturn it is unemployed people who will be most affected.”

“Extending assistance to unemployed people would assist those in greatest need and boost the economy in the areas that would need it most.”

Gregor Macfie, Acting CEO, ACOSS: “ACOSS supports the Government’s moves to bring forward infrastructure spending as these projects take a year or more to come on line. Given the rental crisis, priorities for investment should include a major boost to the construction of public and community housing as well as investment in public transport infrastructure.”

In the event of an economic downturn, other measures to assist long term unemployed people would be needed, including paid work experience on projects of benefit to the community and to the unemployed person. Like the infrastructure projects these programs should be planned well in advance.

Included in the Rudd Government’s $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy is a $4.8 billion package for Australia’s pensioners, carers, seniors and veterans.

A lump sum payment of $1,400 to singles and $2,100 to couples will be paid to:

  • Age Pensioners
  • Disability Support Pensioners
  • Carer Payment recipients
  • Wife and widow B pensioners; partner, widow and bereavement allowees
  • Veterans Affairs Service Pensioners
  • Veterans Income Support Supplement recipients
  • Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders eligible for Seniors Concession Allowance
  • Those of age pension age who receive Parenting Payment, Special Benefit, or Austudy and Eligible Self Funded retirees holding a Commonwealth Senior Health Card
  • Lump sum payments are also being extended to include Disability Support Pensioners.

People who are receiving Carer Allowance will also receive $1,000 for each eligible person being cared for.

Payments will be made automatically through Centrelink and the Department of Veterans Affairs from 8 December 2008.

Family Payments – the Government will give a one-off payment to families of $1,000 for each eligible child in their care. Those who will receive the payments include:

  • Families who receive Family Tax Benefit (A); and
  • Families with dependent children who receive Youth Allowance, Abstudy or a benefit from the Veterans’ Children’s Education Scheme payment.
    First Home Buyers – First home buyers will be eligible for grants of up to $21,000.

Jobs and Training – $187 million to create an additional 56,000 training places this financial year.

Included in the Rudd Government’s $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy is a $4.8 billion package for Australia’s pensioners, carers, seniors and veterans.

A lump sum payment of $1,400 to singles and $2,100 to couples will be paid to:

  • Age Pensioners
  • Disability Support Pensioners
  • Carer Payment recipients
  • Wife and widow B pensioners; partner, widow and bereavement allowees
  • Veterans Affairs Service Pensioners
  • Veterans Income Support Supplement recipients
  • Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders eligible for Seniors Concession Allowance
  • Those of age pension age who receive Parenting Payment, Special Benefit, or Austudy and
  • Eligible Self Funded retirees holding a Commonwealth Senior Health Card

Lump sum payments are also being extended to include Disability Support Pensioners.

People who are receiving Carer Allowance will also receive $1,000 for each eligible person being cared for.

Payments will be made automatically through Centrelink and the Department of Veterans Affairs from 8 December 2008.

Family Payments – the Government will give a one-off payment to families of $1,000 for each eligible child in their care. Those who will receive the payments include:

  • Families who receive Family Tax Benefit (A); and
  • Families with dependent children who receive Youth Allowance, Abstudy or a benefit from the Veterans’ Children’s Education Scheme payment.

First Home Buyers – First home buyers will be eligible for grants of up to $21,000.

Jobs and Training – $187 million to create an additional 56,000 training places this financial year.

Nation Building – accelerate the implementation of the Government’s three nation building funds: Education and Research; Health and Hospitals; Transport and Communications.

 Media Contact: Clare Cameron – 0419 626 155