Anglicare Australia is calling on the government to raise the rate of JobSeeker payments for good. The call follows the release of a landmark survey of Anglicare Australia clients.
Released as part of the National Day of Action on JobSeeker, the survey of over 2,000 clients was conducted across Australia before rates were increased. It found that:
- 2 out of 3 people (58 percent) who came to us for help were out of work
- 1 in 2 people (46 percent) needed help to get basic essentials, such as food or medicine
- 1 in 3 people (33 percent) needed help to manage a low income, such as dealing with a sudden large bill
- 1 in 2 people (44 percent) have been coming to our services for a year or more
- 40 percent of those who came to us for help were supporting children.
Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said the survey shows cutting JobSeeker would create a national crisis.
“Under the old rate of JobSeeker, people were forced to turn to charity just to get by. Our survey shows that two in three people who came to us for help were out of work.
“With record numbers of Australians losing their jobs, cutting JobSeeker could force huge numbers of people to turn to agencies like ours for basics – like food, rent, or medicine for themselves and their children.
“The survey also shows the devastating impact that a cut would have on families. Almost 40 percent of those coming to us for help are supporting children.
“One million children now have a parent who relies on JobSeeker. Cutting their payments in September will plunge these families back into poverty.”
Ms Chambers said the survey shows that charity isn’t a long-term fix for poverty.
“Our survey shows that people feel better once they’ve had help from our network – but it also shows that it isn’t a long-term answer. Almost one in two people were coming to us for over a year. What they really need is a decent income.
“It’s time for to the Government to raise the rate for good and end the poverty trap, instead of leaving people behind.”