People on JobSeeker need financial security, not cuts, to rebuild from crisis

24 September 2020

More than two million people across Australia tomorrow face a $300-per-fortnight cut to their already low incomes, impacting one million children.

The Australian Council of Social Service is urging the Federal Government to reverse its decision to cut the Coronavirus Supplement (received by people on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and parenting payments), which it is able to do immediately outside of Parliamentary sitting.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said:

“Instead of these devastating cuts, people need confidence that they will be able to cover the very basics until they can find paid work, with just one job available for every 12 people looking, and over twice that number of people for every job in regional Australia.

“To get through this crisis and rebuild their lives, people need to know that the government has their backs – that they will be able to keep a roof over their head and three meals on the table, into next year.

“The cuts and uncertainty about what will happen come December are deeply distressing for people and will no doubt be affecting people’s mental health.

“There are a lot of things that are not in our control in this pandemic but one thing that the Government does have control over is ensuring that everyone has enough to cover the basics of life, including a safe place to live.

“Not only is this the right thing to do, it’s one of the best things we can do to support business recovery and job creation, with Deloitte recently finding the Government’s cuts to the Coronavirus Supplement would cost the national economy $31.3 billion and 145,000 jobs over the next two years.

“We urge the Government to immediately extend the current rate, which it has the power to do outside of a Parliamentary sitting, and to announce a permanent, adequate rate of JobSeeker in the October budget,” Dr Goldie said.