Statement on Jobseeker Payment increase by Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike

Published

February 23, 2021

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Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike has said today’s announcement of a $50 a fortnight rise to the Jobseeker payment combined with the end of Jobkeeper next month won’t prevent millions of Australians slipping further into poverty.

“It (the payment increase) just doesn’t go far enough – it’s a missed opportunity.”

“Today’s announcement by the Government is a long overdue acknowledgement $40 a day is nowhere near enough for people to live on, but this token increase will do very little to ease the suffering.

“What the Government has announced is just under $3.60 increase per day, less than a cup of coffee. How is this supposed to help people put food on the table or with the cost of putting petrol in the car to go to a job interview.

“We’re still extremely concerned millions of people will fall deeper into poverty from which many will struggle to escape. Families are under enormous stress and we’ve seen huge increases in demand for support for everything from food parcels to help paying the rent or bills and people really struggling with their mental health.

“The Jobseeker payment is not a handout, it’s about decency and giving people a basic standard of living. Nobody should have to make a choice between paying the electricity bill or school fees and buying necessities like food or medicine.

“We’re also disappointed the Government has yet to deliver a proper jobs plan outlining how it will help businesses create jobs and give hope to the millions of Australians who are either unemployed or underemployed.”

“We joined the Raise the Rate campaign to ensure the Jobseeker COVID supplement of $150 a fortnight was maintained and we firmly believe this is the minimum level of support people need to help rebuild their lives, get a job and get back on track.”

Media enquiries: Cameron Tait – 0407 801 231 – [email protected]

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