Australia
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Newstart payments an embarrassment: ACOSS

The Australian Council of Social Service has urged the government to immediately raise payments following the release of a new report.

A study into welfare payments from accounting giant Deloitte, commissioned by ACOSS, has found lifting allowances by $75 per week would lead to a boost for the Australian economy and to regional communities.

ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie is demanding action.

"What we'd like to see from both major parties is a commitment to immediately increase the Newstart payment by $75 per week," Ms Goldie told reporters on Monday.

"What we're talking about is a group of people who have been deeply affected by the refusal of successive governments to index allowances in the same way we've been indexing the aged pension."

Labor's position is to review Newstart if it forms government, but Ms Goldie says that "it's not good enough".

"We welcome Labor's acknowledgement that it's too low, we welcome a commitment to do a review but the review should be about how we never end up this situation again," she said.

Labor MPs Jim Chalmers and Terri Butler told reporters on Monday they were looking forward to a review of payments.

"What we want to do is go about it in a very responsible and considered, measured way in government with full resources," Mr Chalmers said.

"Tapping some of the best minds in this area to work out all the various interactions of Newstart and other government payments and see if anything can be done about it."

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