ADEQUATE INCOME SUPPORT FOR JOBSEEKERS

 

GPA/GPV/KCV* believes that everyone has the right to a life free from poverty. We are concerned about the inadequacy of the Jobseeker (formerly Newstart) Payment and how this inadequacy affects many informal kinship carers.

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee report on the ‘Adequacy of Newstart and related payments found that ‘the income support system is not meeting its objective of ensuring a minimum standard of living for working-age jobseekers, as too many are living in poverty’.

The current rate of the JobSeeker Payment (prior to the coronavirus supplement – see below), has not been increased in real terms in 26 years. As a result, more than half of all households receiving Jobseeker or Youth Allowance as their main source of income, including many with children, are living in poverty. Our safety net is failing to catch those most in need.

The far-reaching impacts of persistently inadequate payment rates are now exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. Federal parliament recognised this and passed legislation to provide a coronavirus supplement of $275 per week on top of existing payments including Jobseeker Payment, Parenting Payment and others from 27 April for a period of six months

*Grandparents Australia, Kinship Carers Victoria & Grandparents Victoria

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