St Vincent de Paul Society NSW: Jobseeker increases are always welcome but more is needed

5 September 2022

It’s always good to see an increase to Government payments but it’s important to recognise this is a routine indexation and they start from a very low base, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW cautions.

“The increase to Jobseeker and other government payments may be the largest in 30 years but this is only because pressures on the cost of living are so high,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“It’s important to remember this is a routine indexation for Jobseeker, the Disability Support Pension, the Age Pension, and other government payments.

“Jobseeker is paid at levels below the two most common measures of the poverty line.

“The most recent Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot found 0% of private rentals were affordable for a single person receiving Jobseeker.

“Despite the increase we’re seeing today, this is not going to change much for the day-to-day realities for people receiving government payments.

“The top line inflation rate may be 6.1% but the inflation measure for the cost of housing is 9%.

“This means today’s increase to government payments will still be forcing people into positions where they must choose between paying rent and eating,” Mr de Groot said.

“More than a third of the people who come to the Society for assistance in NSW receive Jobseeker as their primary income,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State Council President, Paul Burton, said.

“Another third receive the Disability Support Pension as their primary income.

“The fact that people receiving government payments are so over-represented among the people who ask for assistance is damning.

“These payments are made at below poverty levels and this locks people into a cycle of disadvantage.

“Our members are helping people every day to try and rise above it but the punitive low rates of Jobseeker and associated payments do their best to keep people down,” Mr Burton said.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones  |  0417 446 430