'Too low': Call for dole to be doubled
THE dole should be doubled. That's according to a group of jobless people who say it is forcing them to live under the poverty line.
Members of the Anti-Poverty Network fired off their first missive to the federal government today with a 500-strong petition handed in a Queensland local government meeting.
Spokesman for the group Andrew Beitzel said the federal government had not increased the allowance since 1994.
Mr Beitzel said most people on the allowance were not eligible to receive the full amount of $545.80 a fortnight.
"We just want what's fair," he said. "With the little amount that the government gives, it is impossible to actively seek and find a job while also paying rent and other bills."
Mr Beitzel said he received $390 a week - as did most recipients and he wanted the government to double that amount.
Logan City councillor Jon Raven, who tabled the petition at today's full Logan City Council meeting, said most single people could get about $545.80 every two weeks but the amount depended on employment status, personal circumstances and savings.
"Newstart is too low. It's so low it's stopping people from getting jobs," he said.
"There needs to be to a root-and-branch review of Newstart and related payments and supports."
Cr Raven, a member of the Labor Party, said the federal government had tried to cut Newstart by scrapping the energy supplement for new recipients.
Forde MP Bert van Manen was contacted for comment.