Indexation does nothing to lift people on income support out of poverty

Routine indexation of Jobseeker Payment to the Consumer Price Index comes into effect from today. It will lift JobSeeker from $46 to $48 a day, leaving it well below the poverty line and just 42% of the minimum wage.

Acting ACOSS CEO, Edwina MacDonald, said:

“Routine indexation is vital and, anything helps when you’re getting by on so little. But an extra $1.80 on an already grossly inadequate income won’t cover the costs of winter energy bills, high fuel prices, medicines, groceries or rent.

“People on youth allowance or Austudy won’t get any indexation increases until January, so they’re still stuck on $38 a day.

“We speak regularly to people who cannot eat three meals a day, who cannot afford essential medication and who are in debt with their utility provider because they cannot cover the cost of energy.

“Today’s rise to JobSeeker reflects the CPI increases from December to June 2022. It does not deliver a real increase – an increase above inflation – and that is what people on JobSeeker and other payments need to keep a roof over their head and put food on the table.

“The Federal Government cannot rely on indexation alone. They must act by urgently increasing Jobseeker, Youth Allowance, and related payments in the October budget to address the acute crisis facing people on the lowest incomes. JobSeeker and related payments must be at least $73 a day so that everyone can cover the basics.”