The prime minister is adamant Australia’s unemployment allowance will be cut in half once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
More than 800,000 people have signed up for JobSeeker since the global pandemic began.
The payment has been temporarily doubled to $1100 a fortnight to help sacked workers survive the outbreak.
Scott Morrison insists the dole will return to normal at the end of September.
“This was an emergency response measure,” he told reporters in Canberra on April 29.
“This was not a change in the government’s view about the broader role of the social safety net in Australia.”
Australia’s unemployment rate is expected to soar past 10 per cent in coming months and the prime minister is bracing for more bad economic news.
As well as doubling the JobSeeker rate, the government is also giving millions of Centrelink recipients two lump-sum cash payments and has introduced the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.
“These emergency measures come at a great cost and clearly that level of cost is not sustainable beyond what we have flagged,” Morrison said.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott, who famously hacked and slashed an assortment of welfare payments, has advocated for the double-dole to remain intact.
The Greens have argued it would be unconscionable to take JobSeeker back to its original level once the pandemic has passed.
By Daniel McCulloch