Cuts to Job Seeker will force more Australians into poverty

31 December 2020

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is concerned as more people face a greater struggle with poverty when Job Seeker payments are reduced from tomorrow.

“Permanently increasing Job Seeker, so that it keeps people above the poverty line, is something the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW strongly advocates for,” Acting St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Yolanda Saiz, said.

“The second of three cuts to the coronavirus supplement, that saw Job Seeker temporarily increased, happens tomorrow.

“The supplement will be reduced from $250 to $150 from 1 January and then removed entirely come the end of March.

“The supplement was welcome but it was only ever meant to be temporary and Job Seeker needs to be permanently increased.

“Not just for people who’ve found themselves unemployed due to the pandemic but also people who were already on Job Seeker and struggling to make ends meet.

“Cutting Job Seeker back to its previous point is not conducive to helping people find work.

“It actually makes it very difficult for people to obtain the essentials like food and a home.

“Many people on Job Seeker rely on services from the Society just to get by.

“The timing of the cut is also poor – even though the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery, we are a long way off a return to pre-COVID levels of employment.

“Poverty makes everything more difficult for people who are affected by it.

“Job Seeker should be raised above the poverty level on a permanent basis and now is a particularly poor time to be reducing it,” Ms Saiz said.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones  | 0417 446 430