Anglicare Tasmania responds to JobSeeker announcement
Anglicare Tasmania anticipates a rise in people seeking financial counselling and housing assistance in the wake of a Federal Government decision to keep JobSeeker at a distressingly low level.
Today the Federal Government announced changes to the JobSeeker payment to coincide with the end of the coronavirus supplement.
The coronavirus supplement temporarily lifted people out of poverty. When Australians out of work were receiving the full coronavirus supplement last year, they were no longer forced to choose between essentials like housing, food, electricity and medications. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this decision allowed people to live with dignity.
Community services nation-wide are now bracing for a surge of people needing help in the months ahead.
“It’s likely we will see more people requiring help from services like ours as those on JobSeeker struggle to live on the equivalent of less than half the minimum wage,” said Anglicare Tasmania CEO Chris Jones.
“The Federal Government has failed to take the opportunity to deliver a pathway out of poverty for Australians looking for work. $44 a day is not enough to cover the essentials.”
The low rate of JobSeeker will remain a barrier to employment, as people struggle to afford the costs of searching for a job – such as transport, clothing and communication.
More than a decade ago, the Ken Henry Review recommended a $50 a week increase which was never delivered. Today’s announcement is not enough to prevent a return to poverty for the more than one million Australians out of work.