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The decision by the Australian Federal Government to increase the Jobseeker payment by $25 a week as of April 1st 2021, does not go far enough. This increase sees a rise of $3.75 a day. This does not even cover a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk.
The base rate for the Jobseeker supplement will be $44 a day. $44 to cover essentials like food and toiletries, basic utilities, rent which continues to rise and costs for searching for a job.
It is not realistic to think that people can live on $44 a day. This amount is 41% less than the minimum wage and sits below the poverty line.
Once the Coronavirus Supplement ceases and the new Jobseeker payments commence, people on unemployment benefits will be receiving far less than is acceptable to be able to keep a roof over their heads. This result will see an increase in individuals and families reaching out for our services.
Quantum Chief Executive Natalie McDonald comments that “Since the pandemic began Quantum has seen an increase in our services, we aren’t out of it as yet and there are still so many affected by job loss. The decision to adjust the rate by $25 per week while welcomed just does not go far enough. It will put more pressure on a system that is already highly utilised by those at most disadvantage”.