JobSeeker rise of $1.80 a day won’t even cover the cost of a loaf of bread

JobSeeker Payment will increase $1.80 per day on 20 September, lifting the daily rate from $46 to $48. This leaves it well below the poverty line and takes it to just 42% of the minimum wage.

Acting ACOSS CEO, Edwina MacDonald, said:

“We regularly speak 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.

“While an extra $1.80 a day will help, JobSeeker Payment remains grossly inadequate to cover essentials.

“Youth Allowance, the unemployment and student payment for young people, is just $38 a day and won’t be indexed until January. Young people will somehow have to cope with skyrocketing cost of living on a payment that doesn’t cover average rents let alone everything else.

“Indexation of JobSeeker happens twice per year in line with the Consumer Price Index. The 20 September rise 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 must urgently increase 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 $70 a day so that everyone can cover the basics.”