The prime minister has given the strongest indication to date the JobSeeker allowance, formerly known as Newstart, will be reduced after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dashed hopes of the jobless allowance remaining at double its usual rate after the coronavirus crisis subsides.
On Thursday, Mr Morrison said 587,686 people have signed up to the JobSeeker unemployment benefit during the pandemic.
The payment is usually $40 a day but has been doubled for the next six months.
Mr Morrison indicated he was not interested in extending the timeframe despite the fact many sacked employees will still be struggling to find work.
“We put a COVID supplement in place for the period of the pandemic and that’s what we’ve budgeted for and that’s what our policy is,” he said.
I am gobsmacked that the PM is thinking it is ok to return the #Jobseeker payment to $40 a day in 6 months, condemning what is likely to be over a million people to living in poverty.
How can it be Gov policy for people to live below the poverty line? #COVID19#RetaintheRate
Rachel Siewert (@SenatorSiewert) April 23, 2020
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said she was “gobsmacked” by the thought of reducing the JobSeeker rate, arguing it would condemn more than a million people to a life of poverty.
“In six months people are still going to need access to our social safety net because the economy is going to take longer than that to recover and many people will be unable to find work,” she said in a statement.
“How can it be government policy for people to live below the poverty line?
“An increase to the JobSeeker payment must be long term and permanent.”
Appearing with the prime minister, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said 6.8 million people have received a $750 cash payment that was part of the first economic stimulus package, totalling $5.1 billion.
He said that 456,000 Australians had applied for early access to their superannuation, equating to $3.8 billion in withdrawals.
Australians have been allowed to access up to $10,000 from their superannuation this financial year and up to another $10,000 next financial year.
But fund Future Super is concerned, saying the government is forcing people to choose between putting food on the table or a liveable future.
“Superannuation was never intended to be a national relief fund,” managing director Kirstin Hunter said.
“Allowing Aussies to withdraw super early represents a short-term fix that will cause long-term issues.”
The treasurer also said 275,000 businesses have applied for the $1,500 JobKeeper wage subsidy payment, around half of who are sole traders.
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