Government must act on No. 1 recommendation from expert Committee and lift JobSeeker

26 April 2024

The Federal Government must heed its Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee’s top recommendation and substantially lift Jobseeker and Youth Allowance in the upcoming budget.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie AO said:

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promised his government would not leave anyone behind. But more than one million people in Australia relying on JobSeeker and related payments are barely surviving on deeply inadequate income support. 

“People receiving these payments are eating one meal a day, skipping essential medication and foregoing cooling or heating in a desperate bid to keep a roof over their heads.

“The Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee’s report shows these people are being left behind, and the social and economic cost of inaction will only grow the longer the government waits.

“We urge the government to heed the top recommendation of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee and substantially lift Jobseeker and Youth Allowance so that people can live with dignity. 

The Committee found that lifting JobSeeker and related payments to 90% of the pension rate ($72 per day) would improve their adequacy and help people afford the essentials. 

“Importantly, the Committee also calls for urgent action to stop automated payment suspensions in employment services. The Committee finds that the current employment services and compliance system is causing harm, and calls on the government to adopt the recommendations made in the House of Representatives Select Committee on Employment Services (The Hill report).”