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Dramatic new poll shows JobSeeker increase is urgent

Feb 15, 2021, 06:00 AM by Maiy Azize

A dramatic new poll shows financial counselling and emergency relief services across Australia are worried about cuts to JobSeeker. The poll of services across the Anglicare Australia Network, released today, shows universal agreement (100%) that cuts will see many more people in need of help.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said the poll shows cutting JobSeeker would create a national crisis.

“The old rate of JobSeeker was frozen for decades, leaving hundreds of thousands of people trapped in poverty. When the government raised the rate last year, it righted that wrong.

“People were lifted out of poverty overnight. Our clients told us they could finally feed their families, pay the rent, and plan for their future without making devastating trade-offs.

“Cuts will undo all of that work. The unprecedented and dramatic results of this poll show that our agencies are worried that more cuts will lead to a huge surge in clients who need help.

“With wage subsidies coming to an end, more people will be surviving on JobSeeker. A cut in March will plunge them into poverty – at a time when they should be planning their recovery.”

Ms Chambers said the Government is failing in its responsibility to help its own citizens.

“The Government says it doesn’t want to lock in more spending on JobSeeker. The truth is they are shifting those costs onto others – onto families, communities, and services like ours. It is the rest of us who will bear the cost.

“This poll is the tip of the iceberg. Services across Australia will be bracing themselves for these cuts.

“It’s not too late to stop this crisis. The Government can still choose to give people a pathway out of poverty, and stop people from being trapped in years hardship.

“It’s time for to the Government to raise the rate for good and end the poverty trap, instead of choosing to leave people behind,” Ms Chambers said.

The Government is expected to make a decision about the future of the JobSeeker payment this week.

For media enquiries, please contact Maiy Azize on 0434 200 794.