The 2019-20 budget continues to be unusual. What should have been an easy sell for the government yesterday was dogged by two minor matters: extending cash handouts to Newstart recipients and the NDIS underspend.
The Newstart bungle is trivial for the budget (an extra $80 million in spending having to be tacked on to the deficit this year on the night of the budget itself) but not so trivial for recipients, whom the government simply forgot about. It said much for the mentality of the Coalition toward the unemployed. Probably understandable when you endlessly claim the best form of welfare is a job and have no interest in increasing an unemployment benefit that the governing class -- from the Business Council to ACOSS -- are unanimous in declaring needs to be raised.