Raise the Rate Open Letter

March 2024


The Letter

Dear Prime Minister,

There are more than one million people receiving income support payments that are so low that they force people to choose between paying their rent or buying enough food.  

Unfortunately, the number of people in this position is set to rise. The Reserve Bank expects 120,000 more people to be out of paid work by next year.  

The job market is already extremely competitive for people on income support. In December 2023, Anglicare found that there were 26 people on Jobseeker competing for each entry-level job.  

The longer people remain on income support, the harder it is to transition into paid work. Right now, 80% of people receive the Jobseeker payment for 12 months or more.  

To protect people from being left behind, we urge you to adopt the priority recommendation of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee and substantially lift income support so everyone can cover the basics. 

Lifting Jobseeker is not only the right thing to do for people; it would soften the effects of a downturn and help stabilise the economy. 

At $55 a day, the current rate of Jobseeker is not enough to cover the essentials like food and medicine let alone get a haircut or buy a new shirt for a job interview.  

While the $20 a week increase announced at the May Budget was welcome, it was not enough to prevent widespread distress and deprivation. 

In September 2023, ACOSS research found that three quarters of people receiving income support ate less or skipped meals and 6 in 10 had difficulty affording the medical care they needed.  

We cannot leave people with the least behind. We call on the Federal Government to substantially increase Jobseeker, Youth Allowance, and related income support payments to ensure everyone has the support they need during tough times. 


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David Pocock, Independent Senator for the ACT

Jacqui Lambie, Independent Senator for Tasmania

Lidia Thorpe, Independent Senator for VIC

Kate Chaney, Independent MP Federal Member for Curtin  

Zoe Daniel, Independent MP Federal Member for Goldstein  

Helen Haines, Independent MP Federal Member for Indi  

Monique Ryan, Independent MP Federal Member for Kooyong  

Allegra Spender, Independent MP Federal Member for Wentworth  

Zali Steggall, Independent MP Federal Member for Warringah  

Kylea Tink, Independent MP Federal Member for North Sydney  

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP Federal Member for Clark 

Bridget Archer, Liberal MP Federal Member for Bass

Cathy McGowan, MD and Former Federal Member for Indi 

Robert Tickner, Former Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Affairs 

Penny Allman-Payne, Australian Greens Senator for QLD

Adam Bandt, Australian Greens Leader and Federal Member for Melbourne  

Stephen Bates, Australian Greens Federal Member for Brisbane

Max Chandler-Mather, Australian Greens Federal Member for Griffith

Dorinda Cox, Australian Greens Senator for WA

Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Australian Greens Deputy Leader & Senator for NSW

Sarah Hanson-Young, Australian Greens Senator

Nick McKim, Australian Greens Senator

Barbara Pocock, Australian Greens Senator for SA

Jordon Steele-John, Australian Greens Senator

Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Leader in the Senate

Elizabeth Watson-Brown, Australian Greens Federal Member for Ryan

Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania 

Mark Taylor, Australian Services Union, National Conference Delegate

Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary

Kate Allingham, Economic Justice Australia CEO  

Eileen Baldry AO, UNSW Sydney Professor Emerita Criminology  

Julia Baron, Victorian Student Representative Council CEO  

Josephine Barraket AM, University of Melbourne Professor and Director, Melbourne Social Equity Institute

Jade Blakkarly, WIRE CEO

Jeff Borland, University of Melbourne

Katherine Boyle, Welfare Rights Centre NSW CEO

Geoffrey Buchanan, The Australian National University Research Fellow

Zena Burgess, Australian Psychological Society CEO

Jennie Burns, MercyCare Executive Director

Stu Cameron, Wesley Mission CEO and Superintendent

Carolyn Cartwright, MoneyMob Talkabout Managing Director

Brianna Casey, Foodbank Australia CEO

Kasy Chambers, Anglicare Australia Executive Director

Kate Colvin, Homelessness Australia CEO

Bryanna Connell, Barwon Community Legal Service CEO

Kay Cook, Swinburne University of Technology Associate Dean Research

Carmel Crouch, STEPS Group Managing Director

Jodie Darge, Project Youth CEO

Christina DiPierdomenico, DIVRS

Kendal Drew, Strategic Career Management Director

Bernarda Abbeiiy Edoway, Bunanii Nation Religion Director

Julie Edwards, Jesuit Social Services CEO

John Falzon, ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance Visiting Fellow

Jana Favero, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Acting CEO

Joanne Flavel, University of Adelaide Research Fellow

Kate Fox, The South Australian Financial Counsellors Association (includes NT) Executive Officer

Emeline Gaske, Australian Services Union Assistant National Secretary 

Rebecca Glenn, Centre for Women’s Economic Safety Ltd CEO 

John Gobeil, AIVL CEO 

Beth Goldblatt, Faculty of Law University of Technology Sydney Professor 

Cassandra Goldie AO, ACOSS CEO 

James Goth, OzHarvest CEO 

Jennie Gray, Women’s Legal Service WA CEO 

Alan Gray, Earth Garden Foundation Ltd Managing Director 

Caroline Hunt, The Australian Clinical Psychology Association President 

Angela Jackson, Impact Economics and Policy Lead Economist 

Tom Johnson, Council to Homeless Persons Deputy CEO 

Bev Jowle, Consumer Credit Legal Service CEO 

Rebecca Jury, Waratah Support Centre CEO 

Michael Karadjis, University of Western Sydney Lecturer

Kon Karapanagiotidis, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre CEO 

Dr Desirée Kozlowski, Southern Cross University Associate Professor 

Sally Stevenson, Illawarra Women’s Health Centre Executive Director

Josh Fergeus, City of Monash Councillor

Tim Leach, Community Legal Centres Australia CEO 

Renee Leon, Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor 

Meron Lewis, The University of Queensland Research Fellow 

Sawsan Madina, Former Head of SBS Television 

Donna McAuliffe, Griffith University Professor of Social Work 

Philip Mendes, Monash University Department of Social Work Professor 

Domenique Meyrick, Financial Counselling Australia co-CEO 

Carol Mitchell, JEDO: Justice, Ecology and Development Office, Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, WA Director of JEDO 

David Morawetz, Social Justice Fund Founder and Director 

Melissa Morgan, Australian Federation of Disability Organisation Project coordinator  

Nerida Nettelbeck, MoneyMob Talkabout Chairperson 

Penny Newson, Central Coast Community Council Inc CEO 

Kris Newton, Mountains Community Resource Network (MCRN) Manager 

Stephanie Oatley, Platform Youth Services CEO 

Kate O’Hara, Foodbank WA Chief Executive Officer 

Kelly O’Shanassy, Australian Conservation Foundation CEO 

Bryce Pace, Bryce Pace – Autism Advocate Founder 

Peter Perry, Blue Mountains Food Services GM 

Anthony Pietropiccolo, Centrecare Inc. Director 

Andrew Podger, Australian National University  

Gaby Ramia, The University of Sydney Professor of Policy and Society 

Dr Harry Randhawa, Uniting Country Housing Ltd Chief Executive 

Sarah Reed, QuIVAA Chair 

Chris Richardson, RichInsight 

Sandra Robinson, Flinders University Senior Lecturer, Course Coordinator, Social Impact 

Violet Roumeliotis, Settlement Services International CEO 

Mel Rowe, Orana House General Manager 

Robyn Sampson, Baptist Care Australia CEO 

Marie Segrave, University of Melbourne Professor, School of Social and Political Sciences 

Nicky Sloan, Community Industry Group CEO 

Fiona Stanley, UWA & Uni Melb Patron & Research Professor 

David Stuart, Colormaker Industries Australia Managing Director 

Imogen Sturni, ASU Victorian Private Sector Branch Secretary 

Stacey Thomas, The Wyatt Trust CEO 

Carla Treloar, UNSW Sydney Scientia Professor 

Deborah Tsorbaris, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare CEO 

Karen van Woudenberg, Blue Mountains Family Support Services t/a Thrive Services CEO 

Hang Vo, Sacred Heart Mission Chief Executive Officer 

Karyn Walsh, Micah Projects CEO 

Kate Wheller, Community Information & Support Victoria Executive Officer 

Sebastian Zagarella, People With Disability Australia CEO 

Paul Zahra, Australian Retailers Association CEO

Karletta Abianac 

Amirah Aboutaleb 

Brian Ahern 

Tonje Akerholt 

Sarah Aldred 

Brad Aldred 

Jane Allison 

Christine Allsopp 

Jenni Anderson 

Monika Anderson 

Nicholas Anderson 

Chris Anderson 

Nardu Anderson

Judy Andrews

David Aslat

Peter Baines 

Lynda Baker 

Olivia Ball 

Kate Bamford 

Sussan Bardsley 

Cassandra Barford 

Isobel Barker 

Laura Barnes 

Genevieve Barr 

David Barwick 

Lyndsay Bassett 

Carmen Beauchamp 

Janelle Beecham 

Daniel Berg 

Claire Bettington 

Lyn Bevington 

Iman Biady 

John Blackmore 

Elizabeth Blair 

Bea Bleile 

Michele Blommestein 

Tamara Blyth

Jette Bollerup 

Giulio Bortolozzo 

Jamie Bosanko 

Karyn Bosomworth 

Liz Bower 

Sean Bowes 

G Bradbry 

Michelle Bradshaw 

Jessica Brauer 

Taree Brearley 

Elizabeth Brooks 

Michelle Brown 

Pauline Brown 

Adam Brown 

Marree Bruce 

Robert Bruce 

James Brus 

Emma Bruty 

Laura Buck 

Emma Buhse 

Imogen Bunting 

Margaret Burns 

Katherine Burrows 

Brad Byquar 

Lisa Byrnes 

Andrew Byrnes 

Sam Caarels 

Santino Caporarello 

Fiona Carberry 

Claire Carlin 

Thomas Carroll 

Justine Cathcart 

Fred Chaney 

Beth Charleston 

Jennifer Cheesman 

Helene Christensen 

Helene Christensen 

Helene Clark

Denise Clarke 

Marion Clarke 

Lauren Clarke 

Peter Clemson

Marie-Pierre Cleret

Michael Clifford 

Julia Close

Judith Cluley 

Patricia Coghlan 

Caitlin Coleman 

Lesley Conway 

Kevin Conway 

Hilary Cook 

Karen Cook 

Bernadette Cooper Ellis 

Sophie Corbett 

Donna Corbin 

Chantel Corless 

Eva Cox

Nicole Cross 

Jennifer Crossan 

Kate Croucher

Sarah Cruickshank

James Cruz 

Lynne Csorba 

Chezarne Cuffe 

Mark Cullen 

Harley Dale 

Helen Dalley-Fisher 

Harriet Daly 

Frances D’Ambra 

Lee Daniels 

Raewyn Darlington 

Brendan David 

Paula Davies

Hugh de Beer

Tomas de Bhaldraithe

Giancarlo de Vera

Debra Delaine

Jodi Denehy

Liz Depers

Clare Dempsey

Ghislaine Dijkstra

Julian Disney

Flinn Donovan

Amatus Douw

Danielle Duffield-Sorell

Jan Dunn

Sue Eldridge 

Dan Endicott 

Phaedra Engel-Harrison 

Jeanette Evans 

Maxine Eyles 

Alan Fairhead 

Karen Famlonga 

Mairead Farrell 

Samantha Fenn 

Patrick Fensham 

Andrew Finegan 

Paul Ford 

Julie Foreman 

Ric Forsyth 

Nina Franceschi 

Cliff Fraser 

Andrew Frazer 

Toby Freeman 

Barry French 

Cathy Fry 

Paul Fuller 

Ryan Gallaty 

Joseph Gallo 

Warren Gardiner 

Kerrie Gardner

Timothy Gaut 

Jenny Gay 

David Gillett 

Brendan Gleeson 

Michael Gliksman 

Jane Glover 

Maria Teresa Gomez 

Veronica Goodman 

Carolyn Goodman 

Alison Goodwin 

Ruth Gordon 

Jane Gorrie 

Jepke Goudsmit 

Pauline Gowing 

Karen Grainger 

Elizabeth Gray 

Vivienne Grayling 

Sam Grebert 

Carmel Green 

Kate Green 

Gabriella Gresz 

Pam Gritten 

Rich Guerin 

Pauline Haas 

Evan Hadkins 

Linda Hahn 

David Haidon 

Elly-may Hamilton 

Maria Harper 

Robyn Harris 

Saffron Harris 

Katie Harris 

Kim Hawksley 

Louise Hayes 

Sian Henderon 

Clifford Hickey 

Lesley Holden 

Kerry Holder 

Karen Holt 

Don Houston 

Nigel Howard 

Vanessa Howe 

Don Hutton

Violet Ifans-McDonald

Grace Impala 

Margaret Jack 

Nerida Jackson 

Michelle Jackson 

Gordon Jacob 

Carmelina Jacob 

Colin James 

Eleonore Johansson 

Owen Jones 

Mia Jones 

Fiona Jones 

Jennifer Jordan 

Bill Joyce 

Rik Jurcevic 

Vida Jurys 

Michael Kallidis 

Shellie Kavanagh 

Paulette Kay 

Meredith Kefford 

Liz Kelly 

Rowan Kelly 

Erin Kelly

Olivia Kate Killeen 

Vikki King 

Harry Knowles 

Ivan Kotzur 

Yvonne Kwan 

Selvin Kwong 

Marissa Kyriakopoulos

Julie La Barba 

Julie Lamonby

Clare Langworthy

James Larkin 

Kathryn Lawrence 

Ann Lawrence 

Joudy Lazkany 

Stephen Leago 

Gabrielle Leago 

Sylvie Leber 

Penny Leemhuis 

Eithne Leita 

Jordan Leovic 

Tracey Leupen 

Samantha Levey 

Dallas Lewis 

Naomi Lewis 

Stuart Lightman 

Cherie Livotto 

Jennifer London 

Fernando Longo 

Michelle Lotarski 

Victoria Lourdaise 

Armin Lunsmann 

Jeff Maas 

Stephen Macready 

Kath Madgwick 

Melanie Maher 

Anne Maloney 

Philippa Mansor 

Stephanie Marsh 

Daryl Marshman 

Patrick Martin 

Michael Martin 

Annette Maurer 

River Mazurkiewicz 

Giuseppe Mazzarella 

Jackie McArthur 

Sue McBride 

Lily McCallum 

Alison McClelland 

Catherine McCorkindale 

Sarah McFadden 

Catherine McIntyre 

Kerrie-anne Mckay 

Elizabeth McKay 

Andrea McKew 

Lisa McLachlan

Dawn McLougglin

Genevieve McMahon

Caitlin McMillan-Hawley 

Siobhan Meerman 

Storm Meiying Liu 

Kieran Merritt 

Shane Miles 

Jennifer Miller 

Nyssa Millington 

Linda Mina 

Geoffrey Mitchell 

Gary Moore 

Melissa Morgan 

Nathan Morris 

Ingrid Mulder

Anita Mullaly 

Robyn Muller 

Janet Munro 

Lee Murray 

Helen Murti 

Sukanya Nath

Greg Natt

Peta Newbound

Leonard Newman

Jennifer Nicholls

Michelle Nicholson

Peter Nisbet

Marilyn Nixon

Susan Nolan

Mary Anne Noone

Christine Norris


Elizabeth O’Brien

Georgina Ogilvie

Anne O’Grady

Gregory Olsen

Philip O’Neill

Jaqueline Outram

Josh Page 

Nicola Parin 

Yvonne Parker 

Cassandra Parkinson 

Kaaren Pennings 

Karen Perkins 

Fiona Pettiford 

Lorraine Phelan 

Samuel Phillpott 

Angela Pierce-Jones 

Lynette Pitt 

Otis Platt 

A R Polack 

Helen Post 

Bradley Powe 

Skye Predavec 

Michelle Preston 

Andrew Priest 

Cass Purdon 

Renee Pyers 

Victoria Quade 

Mary Quinn 

Katherine Quinn 

David Quinn 

Sarah Quinton 

Robert Ramsden 

Barbara Rankmore 

Michael Raper 

Marilyn Raven 

Patricia Reeves 

Chris Reilly 

Morwenna Richardson 

Raff Righetti 

Melissa Riley

Karen Rinke

Freya Rivers

Marea Roberts

Patricia Roberts

Tom Rubin 

Alice Russell

Jan Ryan

Michael Sadler

Kylie Salisbury

Kim Salisbury

Marselino Samkakai

Peggy Sanders

Judith Sanderson

Maryann Sarah

Alison Sayer-Jones

Lachlan Sboro

Kim Scanlon 

Amanda Sceney 

Lyn Schofield 

Margaret Schofield 

Paula Schulz

Ann Scott

Jacqui Scott

Marguerite Scott 

Daniel Scoullar

James Scurrah

Lizabeth Seedy

Peta Severn

Michelle Shackleton

Deborah Sharp

Marie Sheedy

Jean Shelley

Charlie Sheridan

Cindy Sheridan

Robyn Shields

Andrea Simmons

Margaret Sinclair

Meagan Skehill

Monica Skinner

Angela Smith

Ann Smith

Elizabeth Smith

Jeffrey Smith

Lynette Smith

Sari Smith

Tara Smith

William (Gus) Smith

Emma Softly

Victor Sojo

Lauren Sotiropoulos

Susan Stablum 

Kerryn Stanford

Jane Stanley

Helen Stein

Linda Sterling-Levis

Darani Stocker

Caitlyn Stocker

Heather Stonehouse

Charles Stott

Thomas Studans

Laura Summerfield

Cath Sweeney

Teresa Szunejko

Stacey Tabert 

Frances Tafra 

Dave Taylor 

Sue Taylor 

Peta Terry 

Gerard Thomas

Carolyn Thomson

Sarah Thorne

Jack Thornton

Mary Tinneyh 

Leonie Tiss

Karen Tomlinson 

Murray Torney

Tatjana Tosovic

Felicity Townsend

Natacha Tracy 

My Trinh 

Zhanna Trofimova 

Lucinda Tucker 

Damon Turnbull 

Vicki Turner

Amber Van Dam

Helen van Gemert

Manon van Kouswijk

Campbell Vearing

Joanne Villani

Crina Virgona

Alison Von der Borch

Konrad Von Herren

Jules Vovos

Jalquin Waidelich

Chris Walker

Gillian Walsh

Brenda Wand

David Ward

Margot Waring

Wendy Watson

Brad Webb

Leanne Weber

Elisha West

Emma Whiting

Margaret Wicks

Andy Wiechnik

Stephen Wigney

Janneia Wilde

Melody Williams

Morag Williams

Tanya Williams

Catherine Wilson

Michael Windsor

Tammy Wolffs

Loong Wong

Robyn Wood

Tracy Wright

Bree Wyeth

Diana Yallop

Jaime Yallup Farrant

Anna Ziersch

Eman Zohdy