Settlement Services International is disappointed that the federal government is to cut the Coronavirus Supplement received by people on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and parenting payments while extending it from January 1 to March 28.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said with 1.8 million people forecast to be receiving JobSeeker at the end of the year the cuts would throw many into poverty.
“People struggling to find paid work are facing a deeply uncertain future, wreaking havoc on their mental health as they decide if they can afford to live in their homes next year.”
She said a permanent increase to the base rate of JobSeeker would mean people could cover the basics – housing, food, bills and transport.
“We can’t turn our back on those who are at risk of being left behind,” she said.
“We need to ‘Raise the Rate for Good’ so that everyone has enough to cover the basics of life, like a roof over their head and food on the table.
“Rather than cutting payments at Christmas time, the government should consider putting in place a permanent, adequate rate of income support that would give people the security to rebuild their lives from this crisis.”