ALMOST three-quarters of Australians believe the dole should be increased to cover basic living costs, according to a new poll.
Commissioned by welfare advocate the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the polling showed most respondents held concerns about the tax cuts in the federal budget.
The poll of about 1000 respondents, conducted by Essential Research earlier this month, found 72 per cent agreed Newstart should be increased to cover basic living costs and to help people search for jobs.
"The evidence is in and, as this polling confirms to today, there's widespread support for Newstart to be increased," ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said in a statement on Sunday.
"A new federal government should urgently deliver an absolute minimum of $75 per week to the single rate of allowances plus indexation to wages."
Business groups, the union movement, leading economists and local governments have all previously supported a Newstart increase from $40 a day for a single person.
On tax cuts, two-thirds of respondents thought it is not fair to give a $200 weekly tax cut to people earning $200,000 a year, under the Coalition's plan.
A similar amount (67 per cent) agreed middle income earners would be better off with secure funding for services such as health, education, and aged care, than with a $20 weekly tax cut.
"Now is not the time for tax cuts," Dr Goldie said.
"People are facing out-of-pocket expenses and wait lists for essential services."
Australian Associated Press