Anglicare Australia has responded to reports of further cuts to JobSeeker, urging the Government to reconsider.
“This new cut will cause anguish and real hardship for Australians out of work. It will push them into poverty – instead of helping them stay on their feet,” Anglicare Australia’s Deputy Executive Director Imogen Ebsworth said.
“Everyone understands that there are nowhere near enough jobs for the people who need them.
“These cuts will plunge hundreds of thousands of Australians – and over a million children – into poverty.”
Ms Ebsworth called on the Government to keep the JobSeeker rate above the poverty line permanently.
“People will be recovering from this pandemic for months and years to come. They need certainty. That means a permanent increase, not more cuts. We should be supporting everyone to recover from this crisis.
“Instead of helping people plan for their future, these changes will simply ‘phase-in’ poverty.”
Ms Ebsworth said there was still time to avoid the mistakes of the past.
“The old rate of JobSeeker was frozen for almost three decades. It became a poverty trap, locking people out of work and forcing them to turn to agencies like ours just to get by.
“When Prime Minister Morrison lifted JobSeeker, he righted that wrong. People out of work were finally given a path out of poverty. These cuts will take that hope away – and build a new trap.
“The Government can still choose to give people a pathway out of poverty, and stop children from being trapped in years of hardship.
“It’s time for to the Government to raise the rate for good, instead of leaving people behind,” Ms Ebsworth said.