Pensioners show solidarity: increase JobSeeker for all regardless of age
“CPSA welcomes reports that next week’s federal Budget is going to increase the JobSeeker Payment for long-term unemployed people over 55 but is disappointed that people younger than 55 would not receive an increase,” said CPSA Policy Manager Paul Versteege.
“The single JobSeeker rate of $693 and $631 for partnered people a fortnight is simply inadequate to live on, and people young and old, single and partnered, parents with kids, have to go to great lengths to simply subsist. Poverty is poverty regardless of age.
“CPSA calls on the Government to right a long-term wrong and increase the JobSeeker rate to the level recommended by the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee it appointed”, said Versteege.
The Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee advised the Government to raise the rate of unemployment payments to 90 per cent of the Age Pension.
Singles aged 60 or over with more than nine months on JobSeeker already qualify for a higher rate of $745 a fortnight, compared with $693 for the under-sixties.
It is as yet unclear by how much the JobSeeker Payment for long-term unemployed over-55s will be increased.
It’s possible that next week’s Budget will simply lower by five years the age at which people qualify for the higher JobSeeker rate and extend it to partnered people.
Reports say this measure would benefit 220,000 people, mainly women. On 31 December last year, there were 226,665 JobSeeker recipients 55-and-older. Of those, 40,210 were over-65 and presumably many of those over-65s were already on the higher JobSeeker rate.