Urgent reform recognised for next month’s Budget

Anglicare Australia has welcomed recognition of the urgent need for a drastic increase to Jobseeker and other working aged payments.

“Just this week our Rental Affordability Snapshot showed us that only 3 out of 45,155 rental properties in Australia are affordable for a single person on Jobseeker, and they were all rooms in sharehouses” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Every day people are being failed by Australia’s social security system, but this doesn’t have to continue.”

The recommendations of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee 2024 report released today include:

  • Substantially increasing JobSeeker and related working age payments and improving the indexation arrangements for those payments.
  • Creating a new employment services system.

“An immediate increase is the first step in providing relief to the thousands of Australians who have been suffering for far too long. However, much broader change needs to happen to stop this from happening again.

“An increase to Jobseeker to 90 percent of the Age Pension would still be $95 below the Henderson Poverty Line each week. Our analysis shows that on its own, the proposed increase would have only made 36 additional rental properties affordable for a person on Jobseeker.

“The income support system works to exclude individuals from the community in so many ways. To improve economic inclusion and wellbeing in real terms, every part of the system needs to change and we are delighted to see the committee’s report’s recommendations include changes to the employment services system. Anglicare Australia has long called for an overhaul of Australia’s employment system. Our research shows that people are being churned through the system without getting the help they need. They are running a gauntlet of interviews, reporting, and training courses that aren’t leading to work. Private providers are being paid millions of dollars to run this system without delivering results.

Ms Chambers said that the Government must take action in the upcoming Budget.

“We need to see these payments indexed to real terms to prevent future erosion. We need the Government to fund more social housing. And we need a social security system that is fit for purpose. 

“The Government now has a Framework and pathway forward that would improve outcomes for all Australians, they also have an opportunity to use it.”