The federal budget fails to give older jobless Australians certainty for the future, welfare groups say.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's blueprint for getting Australia through the coronavirus recession includes a JobMaker 'hiring credit' which pays businesses for employing young Australians.
The payment is $200 a week for employees aged 16 to 29, and $100 a week for people aged 30 to 35.
Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie said the scheme should be urgently extended to people of all ages who have been unemployed for at least a year.
"People without paid work will see no benefit from the income tax cuts brought forward in the budget, which mainly go to people who are lucky enough to have jobs," she said.
"The government will need to do more to ensure that we are all in the recovery together."
The budget made no mention of what the government intends to do with the Jobseeker dole payment.
Its boosted level is due to end in December, with many concerned it could return to its previous level of $40 a day.
Anglicare Australia's Kasy Chambers said with 1.6 million people out of work and the downturn to last for years, some simple solutions could have been announced.
"Raise the rate of JobSeeker for good and invest in social housing," she said.
Council on the Ageing's Ian Yates said it was disappointing not to see an increase in the "inadequate" Commonwealth rent assistance maximum rate, and that older unemployed people will still have their savings "plundered" by the liquid assets test.
He welcomed the "huge range and depth" of economic stimulus measures.
"But we are disappointed there is no parallel support to keep older Australians in work."
Young Australians will also benefit from a temporary change to eligibility criteria for Youth Allowance and Abstudy.
From the start of 2021 all applicants will be deemed to have worked over the six months from March 25 to September 24.
This will go towards meeting the workforce participation criteria for the payments, which is 30 hours of work a week for at least 18 months within a two-year block.
The budget confirms $7.6 million in bereavement payments for parents of stillborn children.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.