Senate report shows we must raise the rate of Jobseeker for good
Anglicare Australia has renewed its call to raise the rate of Jobseeker (formerly Newstart) and related payments for good. The calls comes as a key senate committee has found the old rates were too low.
“The political process has been failing people out of work for years. Countless reports have shown the need to raise the rate of these payments. This one is just the latest,” said Anglicare Australia’s Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“The Government has raised the rate in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but only for six months. That's not good enough.
“Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot, released just this morning, found that even with the payments doubled almost 99% of rental listings are not affordable for someone on Jobseeker. If the payments are halved in six months, 0% will be affordable.
“With record numbers of Australians losing their jobs, hundreds of thousands more people will be relying on Jobseeker. Without action, thousands would be pushed into rental stress or homelessness.”
Ms Chambers thanked Senator Rachel Siewert and the Community Affairs References Committee for their work on this Inquiry. She said that future rates should be set an independent commission, to make sure they are raised permanently and do not fall behind again.
“Government after Government has ignored the calls of business leaders, the community sector, economists, the general public, and unemployed people themselves. Even this Government’s own MPs have been unable to make it listen.
“Our sector has been calling for an independent income support commission for years – and the public agrees. 61% of Australians polled by Anglicare Australia want these rates to be set independently of Government.
“If the Government won’t listen to inquiries, experts, or its own MPs – and if it won’t respect the evidence – then it’s time to hand the power over to someone who will.”