Raise the Rate for Good

Yesterday’s news that the Federal Government will cut the JobSeeker supplement payment by a further $100 a fortnight from December was disappointing. Although the supplement will be extended at the new, lower rate of $150/fortnight until March, people then face the grim prospect of returning to live on only $40 a day.

Many of you will have seen firsthand the woeful inadequacy of the old JobSeeker rate (then called Newstart). You will have seen how it forced people to choose between essentials such as a roof over their heads or a meal on the table, between paying the bills or buying much-needed medicine.

Can you let your MP know how important it is that we never return to the old rate?

Following the introduction of the coronavirus supplement in March, many people who were locked out of work, and for whom each day was a struggle, were able to live once again with dignity and hope.

But as the supplement is cut, more and more people will need help. And if the rate returns to $40/day, the number of calls for assistance will soar.

We need a permanent and adequate increase to JobSeeker and related payments so that everyone can afford the basics. People also need certainty so they can look beyond one day at a time towards rebuilding their lives.

To add your voice the many thousands calling for permanent and adequate income support payments, call your Federal MP on their Parliament Office number, send a Raise the Rate Holiday Card, or use ACOSS’s online tool.

The more people who contact their MPs, the more likely it is that the Federal Government will feel compelled to take action. Particularly powerful is if you can share a story about your own experience, or the experiences of the people you know, about what life was like on the old rate of Newstart, and the difference the increase has made.

With record-high unemployment rates, and only one job vacancy for every 12 people without work, it is now more important than every before that the Government steps in to prevent people from being trapped in poverty.

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