JobSeeker payment will be permanently raised by $50 a fortnight when the coronavirus supplement is scrapped at the end of March. This represents an meagre increase of $3.57 a day, and comes alongside a tightening of strict mutual obligation requirements.

The increased rate of Jobseeker will see vulnerable people in our community plunged back into poverty, forced to live on just $44 dollars a day. Like many community service organizations, we believe that this is a completely inadequate response to the ongoing economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and worsening levels of poverty and inequality in our community.

We are deeply concerned about vulnerable members of our community being forced to choose between paying for rent, food, bills, medicine and healthcare, with devastating impacts on mental health and wellbeing.

Housing, food and health care are basic human rights that every member of our community must have access to. The costs of failing to address growing rates of poverty, unemployment and disadvantage in our community will be felt in our justice and health systems, with more people likely to find themselves at risk of homelessness, declining mental health, and legal trouble as they struggle to meet their basic needs.

We will continue to support calls for a fairer and more adequate increase to Jobseeker and Youth Allowance payments. To add your voice to this campaign, visit the Raise the Rate website below.

Community and media enquiries: Acting Chief Executive Officer, Annika Kearton