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Australia Minister defends welfare payment exclusion

10:13  29 july  2021
10:13  29 july  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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The minister responsible for emergency payments has boldly declared she would rather be on welfare in Australia than anywhere else in the world.

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Bridget McKenzie has defended the exclusion of unemployed welfare recipients from disaster payments. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS Bridget McKenzie has defended the exclusion of unemployed welfare recipients from disaster payments.

State and federal governments have ramped up support for individuals and businesses affected by Greater Sydney's extended lockdown.

People who usually work 20 hours or more will get $750 per week and those who work less will get $450.

Welfare recipients who have lost eight hours of work a week or more will get a $200 top-up on their regular payments.

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But there are 350,000 people on welfare in Greater Sydney lockdown areas who won't get any extra support.

They can't look for work because they're in lockdown and will not be offered coronavirus supplements that were given out last year.


Video: The 'only real difference' between JobKeeper and JobSaver is workers get paid directly (Sky News Australia)

Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie defended the exclusion of unemployed welfare recipients from disaster payments.

Senator McKenzie said the scheme was designed to supplement the incomes of working people and argued everyone left out could access to a "strong and supportive" welfare system instead.

"When you look globally at the economic impacts on individuals we can be very, very glad we actually live in a country like Australia where we have such a strong social network of welfare payments," she told ABC radio.

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"I would rather be on welfare here in Australia than anywhere else in the world going through this global pandemic."

Welfare advocates have been quick to point out Australia has the least generous unemployment payments in the developed world.

Australia also has one of the highest rates of poverty among people on age pensions.

University union official Damien Cahill described the minister's comments as disgraceful, disrespectful and completely out of touch.

"If any coalition minister tried to maintain their privileged lifestyle whilst subsisting on Australia's meagre unemployment assistance programs, they'd blow the lot in a hour and starve for the rest of the week," he said.

Churches, religious groups received millions of dollars in JobKeeper while staying in the black, accounts show .
Dozens of Australia's biggest churches and other religious institutions pocketed millions of dollars in JobKeeper payments while remaining in the black during 2020, research shows.An ABC investigation into the financial records of more than 100 religious organisations has found many qualified for the emergency wage subsidy despite seeing little financial impact from last year's COVID-19 economic shock.

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This is interesting!