Older Australians are likely to be the worst hit as unemployment benefits are scaled back by $100 a fortnight for more than 1.3 million people. 

JobSeeker recipients have been receiving a $250 coronavirus supplement on top of their welfare payments every two weeks since September 25. 

Though the Federal Government shaved the supplement down to $150 on Friday with the scheme flagged to end on March 31. 

The Department of Social Services released new figures showing how many people from each age group relied on welfare payments in October and November. 

Fewer people aged 55-years and older were shown to have come off welfare compared to their younger counterparts, indicating they were more dependent on the scheme.  

Older Australians are likely to be the worst hit as unemployment benefits are scaled back by $100 a fortnight for more than 1.3 million people (stock image)

Older Australians are likely to be the worst hit as unemployment benefits are scaled back by $100 a fortnight for more than 1.3 million people (stock image)

Older Australians are likely to be the worst hit as unemployment benefits are scaled back by $100 a fortnight for more than 1.3 million people (stock image)

JobSeeker recipients have been receiving a $250 coronavirus supplement on top of their welfare every two weeks since September 25 (pictured, long queues seen outside a Gold Coast Centrelink)

JobSeeker recipients have been receiving a $250 coronavirus supplement on top of their welfare every two weeks since September 25 (pictured, long queues seen outside a Gold Coast Centrelink)

JobSeeker recipients have been receiving a $250 coronavirus supplement on top of their welfare every two weeks since September 25 (pictured, long queues seen outside a Gold Coast Centrelink)

Around 12,800 people aged between 25 and 34 came off welfare – a 3.8 per cent dip.

Meanwhile, only 5,000 Australians aged 55 and over left – only a 0.8 per cent drop.  

Financial Counselling Australia’s chief executive officer Fiona Guthrie told Daily Telegraph it was ‘cruel’ to curb the payments. 

‘People don’t have enough money to live on, it’s impossible,’ she said.

‘This is almost the worst time to be trying to manage on less money because you have Christmas bills coming in and children going back to school.’

Small Business Australia founder Amanda Rose admitted it was more difficult for older people to get a job.

She said she had known many older workers who had a ‘better work ethic’ but aren’t landing any interviews. 

National Seniors Australia’s spokesman Ian Henschke claimed the industry had become ‘ageist’. 

Across the board, the figures for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance dropped from 1.498 million in October to 1.454 million in November.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston took it as a positive sign more recipients were finding work.

‘It is pleasing that we are seeing Australians moving off of social security payments and back into the workforce as economic confidence builds and the labour market outlook improves.’ 

JobSeeker recipients used to receive a $550 a fortnight coronavirus supplement from April 27 to September 24 before it was reduced to $250. 

Fewer people aged 55-years and older were shown to have come off welfare compared to their younger counterparts, indicating they were more reliant on the scheme

Fewer people aged 55-years and older were shown to have come off welfare compared to their younger counterparts, indicating they were more reliant on the scheme

Fewer people aged 55-years and older were shown to have come off welfare compared to their younger counterparts, indicating they were more reliant on the scheme

Across the board, the figures for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance dropped from 1.498 million in October to 1.454 million in November

Across the board, the figures for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance dropped from 1.498 million in October to 1.454 million in November

Across the board, the figures for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance dropped from 1.498 million in October to 1.454 million in November 

JobKeeper wage subsidies are also falling in the New Year, with the fortnightly benefit dropping to $1,000 a fortnight from $1,200, starting on January 4 for those who work 20 or more hours a week.

Part-time workers putting in fewer hours will see their subsidies drop to $650 every two weeks from $750 a fortnight. 

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten said the end of JobKeeper in March 2021 would coincide with more businesses closing, particularly in regional areas.

‘We’re going to see more insolvencies next year in 2021,’ he said.

‘For the young people living out of home, maybe their family live in the country, and they’re in the city trying to make a living, these cuts are just too tough so I think the government should reconsider it because we’re not out of the woods yet with this pandemic.’ 

Australian welfare at a glance

In November 2020, 1,309,776 received JobSeeker unemployment benefits, Department of Social Services data showed

This also included Youth Allowance, bereavement benefit and parenting payment recipients

JobSeeker recipients received a $550 a fortnight coronavirus supplement from April 27 to September 24 before it was reduced to $250

This was diluted to $150 on January 1, 2021 

In November, 942,100 people were officially unemployed in the Australian Bureau of Statistics data 

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Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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