ACOSS calls on Government to do the right and smart thing on JobSeeker, ahead of expected decision

ACOSS is calling on the Morrison Government to make the right and smart decision on JobSeeker.

At the National Press Club today, the Prime Minister indicated that the Government would be making a decision on JobSeeker before the Coronavirus Supplement is due to end at the end of March.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit our shores last year, the Government did the right thing by doubling the old Newstart rate.

“The increased rate meant that people, including families were able to afford their rent and still have enough left over for fresh fruit and vegetables, to visit the dentist or catch up on bills.

“But since then the Government has cut back the rate multiple times. It’s undoing the good work it did last year. And with only 1 job for every 9 people searching, the insecurity is wreaking havoc on people’s mental health and leaving them to face the heart-breaking decision of whether they’ll be able to afford to continue living in their home.

“As we rebuild from the crisis, we can’t turn our back on those who are at risk of being left behind. That’s why we’re calling for a permanent and adequate increase to the rate of JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and other income support payments, of at least $25 a day more than the old Newstart rate.

“This is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do – we know from Deloitte analysis that going back to the old rate would cost the economy $31.3 billion and 145,000 full-time jobs over the next two years,” Dr Goldie said.