Morrison government defends Newstart amid criticism it is among lowest welfare payments in OECD

Government says it intends to focus on ‘reducing debt’ once the budget returns to surplus

The Morrison government has defended Newstart allowance as affordable and well targeted as it faces criticism sparked by research showing it is one of the lowest unemployment benefits in the developed world.

Facing calls for a $75 a week increase, which would cost $3.3bn a year, the Department of Social Services said the Australian social security was a “safety net” that “differs markedly from the social insurance approaches of most OECD countries”.

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Read More Morrison government defends Newstart amid criticism it is among lowest welfare payments in OECD

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