No Netflix: Voters’ message to JobSeeker recipients
Mobile phone bills, car rego, and home internet are in, while Netflix, ciggies, and restaurant meals are out.
That's the verdict of Australian voters, polled by the Menzies Research Centre in its, "Attitudes to JobSeeker" survey, who think that government money should only be used for necessities and tools that might help the unemployed find a job.
According to the poll, voters also believe that dole payments should be kept at a level where basics are affordable, but frills such as dining out or getting takeaway, buying booze, and premium label supermarket food are off the table.
Televisions, laptops, mortgages, and childcare also all passed muster with voters, while an annual holiday, elective medical procedures, and movie tickets were all given the thumbs down.
The figures also found that voters believe government payments should be closely linked to recipients' willingness to work.
Almost 84 per cent of respondents agreed that "the amount of the JobSeeker payment a person receives should be dependent on their ability and willingness to work", while 79 per cent agreed that "work for the dole measures should be more strictly enforced".
Around two-thirds of voters said that relocation grants should be available to those on the dole to help them move to areas where they might have better luck finding a job.
But there was a strong partisan split in the results. While only about 30 per cent of self-identified Liberal voters agreed that welfare payments in general were "too low", nearly 50 per cent of Labor voters and nearly 53 per cent of Greens said they were not generous enough.
Not surprisingly, only 23 per cent of voters in full-time work said payments were too low, while 70 per cent said they should be increased.
The figures come in the wake of the Morrison government's move to raise the JobSeeker rate by $50 a fortnight while increasing the number of jobs those receiving the payment will have to apply for from eight to 15 per month.
The government is also implementing a hotline for bosses to dob in those who turn down work for which they are qualified.
"The numbers show that people have got a more realistic attitude to unemployment benefit levels than some of the advocates from the social services industry," Nick Cater, executive director of the Menzies Research Centre, said.
"Australians want to support people who are down on their luck, but not give them an incentive to take up welfare as a career."
"They are very supportive of any benefit that will help people get a job - professional clothes, a mobile phone - but what they don't want is to pay for luxuries."
Originally published as No Netflix: Voters' message to JobSeeker recipients