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ATA calls for JobSeeker increase

September 3, 2020

In its 2020-21 budget submission, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has recommended that the base rate of the JobSeeker payment be increased by at least $100 per week, while it opposes the superannuation guarantee increase planned for 1 July 2021.

The ATA says its budget submission highlights the importance of expanding support for business investment.

“Increasing the superannuation guarantee would come at the cost of lower wages growth for workers, as the Reserve Bank and the independent Grattan Institute have recently pointed out,” ATA Chair David Smith said.

“COVID-19 is not a one-off economic hit – the impact will continue for years to come. The need to assist business and economic growth will continue beyond the end of 2020.

“The Government’s July economic update, before the increase in COVID-19 cases and restrictions in Victoria, forecast non-mining business investment to fall by 19½ per cent.

“The Government should support businesses by extending the $150,000 instant asset write off to 30 June 2021 and introducing a long-term investment allowance to support investment in new assets, including trucks and trailers.

“The existing measures were decided prior to the second wave of COVID cases and restrictions in Victoria. Business investment needs more support to ensure a stronger economic recovery.”

The ATA has also warned about the potential knock-on effect of the current base rate of the JobSeeker payment.

“The base rate of JobSeeker is well below the poverty line and is so low that people receiving the allowance can’t afford to search for jobs effectively,” Mr Smith said.

“Increasing JobSeeker would also boost household spending and the economy.

“With a $100 per week increase, JobSeeker would still be only around half of the full-time minimum wage, maintaining the incentive for unemployed people to move into full-time work.”