ACOSS asks all political leaders and candidates: could you live on $46 a day?

13 April 2022

ACOSS today calls on all candidates and parties to commit to raising the rate of JobSeeker to $70 a day and urges them to realise what a crucial policy issue this must be for any future government.

On any given day, there are 1.5 million people living in poverty, struggling to get by on JobSeeker. ACOSS polling in November showed there is broad support amongst voters to increase JobSeeker, so that it is enough to cover the basics.

ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“The 1.5 million people struggling to survive on JobSeeker and other income support need hope that their lives matter, and clarity from the major parties and candidates that their incomes will be lifted.

“JobSeeker is just $46 a day, and completely inadequate to cover basic costs. And yet, neither the ALP nor the Coalition have committed to increasing these payments.

“People on JobSeeker must not be treated as a political football. It’s unacceptable they appear to be caught up in a scare campaign on budget deficits.

“How can anyone claim to care about the cost of living without addressing the inadequacy of JobSeeker, which is not enough to cover the cost of food, rent and essential medication?

And how can the major parties commit to spending $16 billion a year on the stage three tax cuts, most of which goes to people on higher incomes, while condemning millions with least to facing hunger and homelessness?

“We urge the ALP and the Coalition to commit to lifting JobSeeker and other income support to at least $70 a day and establish supplementary payments for people with disability and single parents so everyone can cover the basics.