Chief economist for the independent think tank The Australia Institute, Dr Richard Denniss, has labelled cuts to the JobSeeker payment “absolutely crazy”, warning it will see an extra 190,000 people living in poverty.
Speaking with On the Job with Francis Leach & Sally Rugg, the prominent economist and author explained, “From an economic point of view, putting money into the pockets of very low-income earners, and encouraging them to go and spend it, is a great way to stimulate the economy.
“It’s a great way to help the people literally at the pointy end of the recession, and it’s a great way to redistribute income to people who need it the most.
“It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the individual and I personally think it’s just fair’.
Always a straight talker, Denniss was quick to dismiss the Morrison Government’s rhetoric behind the cuts, asking, “If we are worried we’re spending too much money, why on earth am I getting a big tax cut?
“If you’re really worried about the size of this year’s budget deficit, or the size of next year’s budget deficit, it’s simple – cancel my tax cuts.
“Spend the money on unemployed people who are the lowest income earners in Australia, who will do a better job of stimulating the economy than I will, because they’ll spend every cent”.
Denniss is equally critical of claims the JobSeeker payment is a disincentive to finding work.
“The reason there’s unemployment in Australia at the moment is there are far more people looking then there are jobs, and making all those people poor and stressed, doesn’t create more jobs for them to look for”, he said.
“Unemployment is not caused by an outbreak of a reluctance to look, it’s caused by the fact that the whole global economy has shrunk 8%, there are less jobs.
“We can worry about the dole bludger if we want to, but I’m far more worried about the millions of people who are just broke and stressed and desperately trying to find a job”.
Listen to the full interview with Dr Richard Denniss and make your working life better by subscribing to the new podcast On the Job with Francis Leach & Sally Rugg.