Tomorrow will see the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement reduced significantly. Like many others working with people at the margins of our society, we at Uniting are deeply concerned about the effect this reduction will have. We are already seeing vastly increased numbers of people coming to us for help simply to put food on their tables. As this reduction comes into effect, we are preparing for even more demand at our emergency relief services.
In this most difficult of years, one bright spot was the recognition by the government at the beginning of the pandemic that JobSeeker was not enough. The coronavirus supplement was a welcome relief to many. And all the money invested in supporting people without jobs flowed back into the economy, as they spent it on the basics.
We are all hoping for more from 2021. I call on the government to reverse this decision and provide a safety net that actually keeps people out of poverty, rather than condemning them to it for longer.