A Labor MP has backed calls for an increase to Newstart.
A Labor MP has backed calls for an increase to Newstart. Kyle Zenchyson

Increase Newstart to $400 week: Labor MP

NEWSTART should be increased by more than $100 a week to stop people being pushed into poverty, a federal Labor MP has argued.

Western Sydney Labor MP Mike Freelander is urging colleagues to "show a bit of guts" and campaign for the significant increase to $400 a week, up from $275.

Dr Freelander says the Morrison government is consigning people to the far outreaches of society with little prospect of improving their lives.

"I have discussed it with some of the welfare groups in my electorate and if they (people on Newstart) are going to be able to rent a room in a boarding house and provide for food and transport costs, that is the figure that we need to be looking at," he told The Guardian on Wednesday.

Another Labor MP, Nick Champion, told the publication a $75 a week boost is necessary, mirroring the rate advocated by the Australian Council of Social Service.

The government's changes to the pension income test has revived calls for an increase to its unemployment support.

But the coalition has flatly rejected the suggestion, repeating its long-held argument that the best form of welfare is a job.


‘We had everything against us’: Costo concedes Whitsunday

Premium Content ‘We had everything against us’: Costo concedes Whitsunday

The former Whitsunday MP says he was supposed to be ‘politically dead’ last year.

Frontrunner charges ahead as Burdekin votes are counted

Premium Content Frontrunner charges ahead as Burdekin votes are counted

Incumbent MP Dale Last has edged in front of his seven competitors

Buyers float plans for resort development in Airlie Beach

Premium Content Buyers float plans for resort development in Airlie Beach

The land was previously approved for a 210 apartments with a restaurant and resort...