With improvements to JobSeeker from April, people on unemployment insurance will receive an additional $25 a week, but will receive less total cash due to the removal of the coronavirus supplement.
And recipients would need more from the government, including more job searches each month and face-to-face jobs services appointments.
The increase will take the JobSeeker payment to $307 a week, above the forward projections, which will cost an estimated $9 billion.
The increase was characterized by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “appropriate” as Australia recovers from the pandemic and returns to a “more normal” climate.
“We are now moving… back to a normal safety net arrangement as part of that normalising process, but we’re ensuring that it is set at a base we believe is appropriate going forward,” he said.
He said the payout was now at 41% of the minimum wage, the same amount as it had been during the Howard administration.
Over the past two decades, the JobSeeker allowance has dropped further below relative poverty lines, including rapidly during a period under John Howard and Kevin Rudd, prime ministers.