Prime Minister Scott Morrison is worried Australians are choosing not to work because their unemployment benefits are too generous.
"What we have to be worried about now is that we can't allow the Jobseeker payment to become an impediment to people going out and doing work, getting extra shifts," he told 2GB radio on Monday.
He continued: "We are getting a lot of anecdotal feedback from small businesses, even large businesses. Some of them are finding it hard to get people to come and take the shifts because they're on these higher levels of payment."
In March, the federal government announced a Coronavirus Supplement of $550 a fortnight ($275 a week) for six months, ending in September, effectively doubling the JobSeeker Payment, previously known as Newstart.
There have increasingly been calls for JobSeeker to be permanently increased after the supplement ends. In 2019, with JobSeeker at its usual rate of $40 a day, Morrison refused to consider increasing the payment, even amid calls from within his own party.
At the time, the prime minister told parliament he wanted "to commend all those Australians who are on Newstart and looking for a job" and repeated a favourite line of his, that "the best form of welfare is a job".
The thing is, ScoMo, right now there are no jobs.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported in May there were 129,100 job vacancies, a decrease of 43.2 per cent from February 2020. At that same point, there were 927,600 people unemployed.
On Wednesday, the Australian Unemployed Workers' Union (AUWU) shared stats that found for every 18 Australians currently unemployed, there is only one job available: There are more than 1.6 million people unemployed, and just under 92,000 jobs advertised on Seek.