House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Income Support Payments

2:08 pm

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services. Can the minister confirm that the cost to a single person of the half-year waiting period for a payment like JobSeeker can be up to $10,600? Can the minister confirm that super withdrawn early is counted as a liquid asset, which can trigger a half-year waiting period when they don't have a job?

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for her question. I can only assume the member is speaking in her question with respect to the liquid asset waiting period. She should note my previous answer where I mentioned that 95 to 97 per cent of people will not be subject to it. All liquid assets, regardless of their source, form part of the liquid asset waiting period. On average right now, with the 13-week liquid asset period, an individual Australian has $74,000 in liquid assets. That's what the average is right now, noting that those liquid assets also exclude a house or a car. As we move from 13 weeks to 26 weeks, which is the bill in front of the House, the liquid assets waiting period will impact only those who have greater capacity to support themselves, based on those numbers.