The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia reaffirms its view that the current level of JobSeeker is cruel and traps people below the poverty line in disadvantage and despair. It must be increased for all.
‘We welcome media reports that the Albanese Government will increase JobSeeker for people over 55 years of age and those who are long-term unemployed,’ National President Mark Gaetani said.
‘But such a decision would leave more than 684,000 Australians trapped below the poverty line— unable to afford food, essential medication or to keep a roof over their heads.
‘While older Australians and the long-term unemployed face particular challenges, all JobSeeker recipients are struggling to survive and deserve to be able to afford to live with dignity.
‘A Federal Government that prides itself on leaving no-one behind should not be in the business of pitting Australians against each other or choosing categories of disadvantage deserving of support,’ Mr Gaetani said.
The Society in Australia has called for a substantial increase to JobSeeker for many years. We recently released the A Fairer Tax and Welfare System in Australia report prepared by the Australian National University that modelled three options for increasing working age payments that are budget neutral.
‘The St Vincent de Paul Society has supported Australian in need for more than 170 years, providing emergency relief, housing, and other support services,’ Mr Gaetani said.
‘We know that Australians are struggling right now – demand for our support has increased more than 20 per cent in the last year as the cost-of-living crisis has impacted more and more Australians.
‘Food, utilities, accommodation and the many other essential costs of life are not cheaper for younger Australians.
‘We call on the Albanese Government to accept the recommendation of its Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee to substantially increase income support payments for all recipients.
‘Younger Australians should not be left behind,’ Mr Gaetani said.
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