March indexation increases for income support recipients are not enough to help people cope with the cost-of-living crisis and do nothing to fix the inadequacy of the income support system.
‘Regular indexation of income support payments is of course welcome – but it is not a genuine increase and does nothing to deliver ‘cost-of-living relief’ as trumpeted by the Government,’ National President Mark Gaetani said.
‘JobSeeker is cruel and traps recipients in poverty and cycles of ever-increasing despair.
‘The Society calls on the Albanese Government to deliver an increase to JobSeeker and other income support payments in the upcoming Federal Budget. ‘We need a real increase in base rate payments to help Australians on income support payments to cope with the cost-of-living crisis and lift them out of poverty,’ Mr Gaetani said.
The Society is witnessing unprecedented demand for support as more Australians struggle to survive the cost-of-living crisis.
‘Along with other charities, we are seeing a huge spike in demand for support across the country— more than 20 per cent in NSW, for example—from Australians slipping further into disadvantage,’ Mr Gaetani said.
‘The Society believes that a fair Australia is one in which everyone can live with dignity.
‘Income support payments were designed to provide a safety net to allow Australians to live with dignity and to contribute to their families and the community.
‘Today, Australia’s social safety net is in tatters.
‘More and more Australians on income support payments are forced to live in poverty and despair,’ Mr Gaetani said.
‘This is having lifelong consequences for children,’ Mr Gaetani said.
The Society has urged the Government to adopt a range of simple, affordable changes to the tax and super system to free up funding to fix Australia’s broken income support system and housing crisis.
‘A Fairer Tax and Welfare System in Australia, commissioned by the Society, models three different options that would lift up to one million people out of poverty by increasing working age payments and Commonwealth Rent Assistance,’ Mr Gaetani said.
All three options require the Stage 3 tax cuts to be discontinued.
‘These funds would be better spent supporting people out of poverty,’ Mr Gaetani said.
‘Poverty in Australia is a policy choice.
‘Australia can afford a safety net and a secure home for those in need.
‘We urge the Albanese Government to drop the Stage 3 tax cuts, the cost of which has blown out to over a quarter of a trillion dollars, and to work with the Society and other welfare organisations towards a fairer and more equal Australia,’ Mr Gaetani said.