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Jim Chalmers (ABC News/Nicholas Haggarty)

Next week’s federal Budget will see an increase in welfare payments, Treasurer Jim Chalmers has revealed. Source: ABC News.

Dr Chalmers said yesterday there “will be additional steps in the Budget” to adopt some of the recommendations of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee.

That committee, which was established in 2022 to provide annual pre-Budget advice on the adequacy of welfare payments, last month called for a $17-a-day increase to the JobSeeker unemployment payment and related payments.

An expert panel tasked with advising the federal Government on income supports says the JobSeeker unemployment payment must be increased by about $17 a day as a “first priority” in next month’s Budget, arguing any move would have a “negligible” inflationary impact.

The committee also called for an increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance – a fortnightly supplement of up to $250 for welfare recipients who rent – and for more generous indexation of welfare payments.

Dr Chalmers did not indicate which of these the Government would pursue in the Budget, but said the committee’s work was “important, well-regarded [and] well-informed”. He ruled out adopting the committee’s recommendations in full.

The Government increased JobSeeker and related payments by $40 a fortnight in its last Budget and also increased Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

It has also extended the eligibility for the Parenting Payment Single to those with a youngest child aged 13 instead of 8, covering an additional 75,000 single parents.

On Sunday, Finance Minister Katy Gallagher hinted the Government might focus on Commonwealth Rent Assistance, which she said was important for the economic security of women.

On Monday, Dr Chalmers said the Budget would be “inflation-busting” in the short term, but would also include spending to ease cost-of-living pressures and support economic growth.


Treasurer flags welfare increases in next week’s Budget (By Tom Crowley, ABC News)