Anglicare Australia renewed its call to raise the rate of JobSeeker and other Centrelink payments in the next Budget. The call follows recommendations from a key Government advisory body.
“JobSeeker has been stuck below the poverty line for decades. It’s so low that it’s trapping people in hardship and forcing parents to raise their children in poverty,” said Anglicare Australia’s Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“An Anglicare Australia survey found that two thirds of people on Centrelink payments were skipping meals, and one in three were left to live on $7 a day after the paying the rent.
“Worse still, one in ten people we surveyed had been couchsurfing because they couldn’t afford rent at all.
“This is not how anybody should have to live. And with over a million children living in homes that rely on these payments, it is no way to raise the next generation.
“We’re calling on the Government to take action and lift hundreds of thousands of Australians out of poverty in its next Budget.”
Ms Chambers said it was time for an independent process to set the rate of payments.
“The political process has been failing people out of work for years.
“Government after government has ignored the calls of business leaders, the community sector, economists, the general public, and people trying to live on the payment. Now this expert advisory committee has become the latest to add its voice.
“It’s clear that governments can’t be trusted when it comes to people in the greatest need. “If they won’t listen to their own citizens, experts, and inquiries then it’s time to hand the power over to someone who will.”