Welfare recipients will begin getting less money a fortnight as the JobSeeker coronavirus boost winds down.
The unemployment support payment was increased by $550 a fortnight at the start of the pandemic but from Friday that reduces to $250.
The overall payment will be about $800.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has defended the timing of the cut, saying the government’s changes allow people on the payment to earn more if they also have a job.
Job seekers can now earn $300 a fortnight without payments being affected.
“So, people won’t lose their JobSeeker payment but can now earn more,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters.
“We have many initiatives and many more that will be in place following the budget in just under two weeks’ time to boost aggregate demand, to put money into the economy, to increase spending and economic activity and create jobs.”
The government has also reintroduced liquid asset waiting periods, which means people are expected to draw down on their savings before accessing JobSeeker payments.
Singles with as little as $5500 in cash will need to wait at least a week before accessing JobSeeker, while those with $11,500 or more will be forced to wait 13 weeks.
The fund thresholds are doubled for people with partners or dependents.
The reinstated waiting periods will not apply to people already receiving the dole.
The JobKeeper wage subsidy also faces changes from Monday, when it will be extended at reduced rates for six months.
Payments for full-time staff are being cut from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight, while people who usually worked less than 20 hours a week before the coronavirus pandemic will receive just $750.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the cuts will take money out of the economy.
“JobSeeker will be cut today. JobKeeper will be cut on Monday. And that means billions of dollars less circulating in the shops and small businesses and local economies of this country,” he told the ABC.