Poll shows majority support permanent JobSeeker fix

5 May 2020

The majority of the community (57%) believes the JobSeeker payment should not be cut back down to the old Newstart rate, shows the national Essential Poll today, with 15% of respondents undecided.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“Just as there was wide community agreement that the old low rate of Newstart was unlivable, there’s strong community agreement that there should not be big cuts to the JobSeeker payment that people can’t afford.

“It’s clear we need a permanent fix to our social safety net. Our income support system was cruel before this crisis began.

“We can never go back to the brutality of trying to survive on $40 a day. We need a secure safety net that protects us all from poverty.

“The ongoing JobSeeker payment must ensure everyone can keep a roof overhead, food on the table, and the lights on.

“Our social security system must protect people from poverty. People must to be able to meet their basic needs including housing, food, utilities, and medical costs, and families must have enough to care for their children.

“Not only is this the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. It means people will be able to make the most of job opportunities as the economy rebuilds, and targets cash assistance to those who will definitely spend it in the real economy.

“Cutting the incomes of people who need it the most would only stall any recovery.

“We need a decent social security safety net in place that works at all times,” Dr Goldie said.