St Vincent de Paul Society NSW deeply disappointed with JobSeeker pittance

23 February 2021

An increase to JobSeeker of $50 a fortnight or less than $4 a day is massive disappointment for people who depend on it and groups like Vinnies who help them.

“This works out to be $3.57 a day, it’s a tiny increase and will not solve the underlying problem people on JobSeeker experience – being trapped in poverty.

“On top of this, the Government is working to make JobSeeker more punitive.

“The new standards for mutual obligations are exploitative and this hotline to dob in people receiving JobSeeker is entirely mean-spirited.

“They are sacrificing people’s dignity at the altar of a tyrannical level of bean counting,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“The increase to JobSeeker is less than the price of a three-litre bottle of milk or a loaf of bread – it is a pittance.

“When we say people on JobSeeker can’t afford the basics like rent and food, this is what we mean.

“St Vincent de Paul NSW has been campaigning to raise the rate above poverty levels and this is a huge disappointment for us.

“It means people will have little choice but to  seek our help  – around a third of the people who come to us for support are on JobSeeker.

“People on unemployment benefits should not be driven to charity because they are left in poverty.

“Such a small increase to JobSeeker is against the advice of experts, even the Reserve Bank.

“With its sustained low JobSeeker rate, the Government is choosing to enforce poverty on people,” Mr de Groot said.

“Charities like the St Vincent de Paul Society saw the positive difference that the coronavirus supplement made for so many of the people we assist.

“The Federal Government's decision will mean that many of these vulnerable people will once again be struggling to make ends meet,” Brooke Simmons, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Vice President (Social Justice), said.

Media contact:      Lachlan Jones  |  lachlan.jones@vinnies.org.au  | 0417 446 430