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Calls for Newstart to be lifted by $100

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There are calls for the Newstart rate to be raised by $100, bringing the unemployment benefit to half of the minimum wage.

Accounting giant KPMG said the raise to $370 a week would be at least 80 per cent of the combined Age Pension plus Pension Supplement.

Currently, the payment is $277.85 a week for a single person with no children.

KPMG Australia chief economist Dr Brendan Rynne tells Deborah Knight the overall cost will be up to $3.5 billion every year.

“It will reduce the budget surplus.

“What you have to do is try to balance paying people enough money on Newstart so that they can live an effective life and be able to contribute to society and go through that job search process but also not too high that it actually encourages people not to enter the Labor force.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Deborah also spoke with Rita Panahi for her thoughts on raising Newstart.

Click PLAY below to hear Rita’s thoughts