Statement on Federal Government temporary COVID disaster payment

Published

June 3, 2021

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Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to provide a temporary COVID disaster payment to eligible Victorians from next week but said it could have been provided as soon as the recent lockdown was announced.

“This payment will provide much needed relief to those most vulnerable Victorians. However, this is our eighth day in lockdown already – it shouldn’t have taken this long,” Ms Pike said.

“The Federal Government regularly provides support and financial assistance to people after floods, bushfires and other disasters and COVID is no different. Vulnerable people have been suffering through no fault of their own and they deserve help from all levels of government.

“We believe the real and underlying issue here is casual and insecure work. There are hundreds of thousands of ‘working poor’ around Victoria, people who live paycheque to paycheque, who work multiple jobs just so they can make ends meet.

“For months now we’ve argued the Federal Government ended the Jobseeker COVID supplement too early. This supplement provided a crucial lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Victorians, especially during the long lockdowns last year.

“These payments are not about a handout, it’s about allowing people to have a basic standard of living, a lifeline so they don’t slip further into poverty. A lifeline until things are back on track and they’re able to resume their work.

“We continue to support and stand by vulnerable Victorians who require support during this time by providing emergency relief such as food parcels, cooked meals and other assistance people may need.”

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