A Senate inquiry into the adequacy of unemployment benefits has decided not to recommend an increase, despite general agreement that the payment is too low to live on.
At just $245 a week the Newstart allowance is well below the official poverty line and has been criticised by unions, charities and leading business groups.
The two Labor MP’s on the committee did push for a rise, as did the Greens, but they were out voted by Coalition members.
The Saint Vincent De Paul Society has bitterly attacked the outcome saying it humiliates the unemployed.
Chief Executive Dr John Falzon spoke with 2ser’s Mark Robinson.