“Just cut the crap and raise the rate,” the Australian Unemployed Workers Union’s (AUWU) said in response to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spruiking a 6% rise to the student allowance on January 1.
The PM tweeted he had “increased payments to support students by more than 6%”. But the allowance was raised by 6.5% as part of regular indexation.
Albanese criticised former PM Scott Morrison for taking credit for indexation 10 months prior. Then, he said it was “spin” and that the rise “will not keep up with the cost of living”.
Albanese also spruiked changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), in which non-concessional patients now save $12.50 on PBS medicines.
He was, however, far quieter about the indexation for the price of medication for Health Care Card holders, whereby the cost for students, pensioners and the unemployed rose by 6.5% from $6.80 to $7.30 each script.
The AUWU said it is “time for DJ Albo to stop spinning and start acting on the anti-poverty rhetoric he conveniently spouted from opposition”.
“After years of lies and deception from the Morrison government, Australians expect better from our new PM. A clear majority … want the government to raise the rate of welfare payments, and are losing patience for these cynical political games,” the AUWU said.