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Report shows that JobSeeker increase is urgent

Sep 2, 2020, 12:22 PM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia says the Inequality in Australia report, released by the Australian Council of Social Service today, shows that cutting JobSeeker would worsen inequality. Anglicare Australia is a partner in the report.

“This report should shock all Australians. We are a rich country, yet the wealth gap is getting bigger and bigger,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Worse still, people on the lowest incomes have almost no savings or assets to weather a crisis.  With no savings to draw on, and with JobSeeker set to be cut in September, they are now facing that crisis. 

“Just yesterday, Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Update showed that many of these Australians will be pushed into poverty and rental stress once their payments are cut. That is no way to plan a recovery.

“A permanent increase to JobSeeker is the best way to help them bounce back.”

Ms Chambers said that without action, the pandemic and downturn will make inequality even worse.

“1.6 million Australians are now out of work. Many more are at risk of their losing jobs, and some will never go back to full-time hours. 

“They will be recovering from this pandemic for months and years to come. They need certainty. That means a permanent increase to JobSeeker – not a delayed cut-off. 

“A permanent increase will help people stay in secure housing, build a buffer for a rainy day, and make their lives better.

“That would be the best way to tackle inequality – and make Australia fairer.”