Former National Party senator John Williams is backing calls by seniors groups to have the Newstart allowance increased for older unemployed people. Mature-age workers now make up the majority of the unemployed, with those over 55 being the biggest single age cohort on Newstart. Williams says it is harder for older people to get another job, while Ian Henschke from National Seniors Australia says it is absurd that an unemployed person aged 65 is expected to live on $15,000 a year, while they get $24,000 a year when they turn 66 and qualify for the pension. From The New Daily:
The “grey pay” plan to boost the $555-a-fortnight allowance was backed on Monday night by former Nationals Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams, who said the dole should be paid on a sliding scale.
Mr Williams told The New Daily older unemployed workers deserved a better deal as the age of qualification for the pension increased to 66.
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