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Wage subsidies are only the start

Mar 31, 2020, 11:38 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia says the government’s wage subsidy is a good start – but more must be done to support those in need.

“Countless Australians work in industries that have been hit by this crisis. We must make sure they don’t miss out on the wage subsidies announced by the government,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
 
“Millions of people across the country are in casual work – but many will be left out of these subsidies. Only those who have been in their job for a year or more will qualify. Others might be left out if their employer doesn’t opt-in, or find that the amount is too low.

“This announcement is a great start. Now we need to make sure that everyone who loses work gets the same, strong assistance from government.”

Ms Chambers said that every Australian should be guaranteed relief during this health crisis.

“At this time of crisis, we must stop people from falling into poverty traps. That means supporting every worker, and making sure everyone on government payments can make ends meet.

“The doubling of Newstart will give badly needed relief to those who need it most. But pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, and migrants have all been left out of payment increases. We hope the government will correct this as soon as it can.”
 
Ms Chambers said these changes showed the need for a safety net that works for everyone, all the time.

“People will be recovering from this pandemic for months and years to come. It’s shown us that we need a safety net that works all the time, and payments that support people whenever times get tough. 

“That’s why we’ll keep pushing for a permanent raise to the rate of Newstart, a stronger wage subsidy, and a system that treats people with respect at all times.”