$3.57 daily Jobseeker raise slap in face of unemployed, young and old

Article published 23 February 2021

$3.57 daily Jobseeker raise slap in face of unemployed, young and old

“The Australian Government would embarrass itself if it went ahead with a $50 a fortnight raise in Jobseeker. More importantly, it would be utterly demoralising for 877,600 people currently unemployed, including 300,000 people over 55, the largest cohort on Jobseeker, who are the least likely to find a job”, said CPSA Policy Manager Paul Versteege, responding to a report in The Australian today.

“$50 more a fortnight means $3.57 daily extra for Jobseeker recipients. It is a disgraceful proposal. It is beyond inadequate.

“A $50 Jobseeker increase would mean singles, who are now 40 per cent below the poverty line, would be 35 per cent below the poverty line. Couples, who are currently 31 per cent below the poverty line, would be 24 per cent below the poverty line. Technically it is an improvement, morally it is a disgrace.

“Former Treasury head Ken Henry called for a $50 increase thirteen years ago, and it wasn’t a fortnightly increase but a weekly one, he wanted.

“CPSA calls on the Australian Government to explain how people living in deep and entrenched poverty are meant to house, feed and clothe themselves and pay for transport to get them to job interviews.

“CPSA calls for Jobseeker to be raised to a level that at least matches poverty line income.”

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