9 October 2019

The Raise the Rate campaign has been pushing for a $75-a-week increase in the rate of Newstart, and has persuaded a broad range of people and organisations — from Sally McManus to John Howard; from ACOSS to the Business Council. But a new report from KPMG suggests $75 is not enough — Newstart should be raised to 50% of the minimum wage, which equates to a raise of over $90 per week. The KPMG bean counters argued in a submission to a Senate inquiry: “There is an optimal level for Newstart which involves balancing meeting material and psychological needs and providing incentives for work. That balance is not being met. An inadequate Newstart tears at our inclusive social contract, given our society does not guarantee work and thus should ensure that there is an adequate living standard for those that cannot obtain work.”