Vinnies report shows how JobSeeker creates dependency on charities

Vinnies report shows how JobSeeker creates dependency on charities

March 2021

In a new report, Vinnies NSW is continuing its call for JobSeeker to be raised above the poverty line by highlighting how it forces recipients to turn to charity.

“The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW maintains that the Federal Government’s measly increase is too low and JobSeeker needs to be raised above the poverty line.

“You cannot afford to look for a job if you don’t have enough money to pay for food, accommodation, and other basics,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“Our new report shows that one in three people who ask the Society for help have JobSeeker as their primary source of income.

“The most common thing this group needs from the Society is food.

“The proportion of people receiving JobSeeker – or its predecessor Newstart – who seek assistance from Vinnies in NSW has been increasing over the past five years.

“Approximately one in 10 people in NSW receiving JobSeeker sought assistance from the Society.

“In the April to June quarter of 2020, there was a 75% drop in calls for assistance from people receiving JobSeeker compared to the same time the previous year.

“This corresponded with the immediate aftermath of the introduction of the full COVID supplement.

“It was a significant enough payment to break the cycle of reliance on charities that JobSeeker usually creates.

“The Government’s increase, at $3.57 a day, is a pittance and is not enough to have anywhere near the same effect.

“As the supplement been reduced, we have gradually seen demand for Vinnies’ assistance climb back up and we are worried what will happen when it is removed entirely at the end of March,” Mr de Groot said.

“We need to keep up pressure from the community to make sure that JobSeeker is increased to a level where people can afford the basics.

“If JobSeeker truly is aimed at helping people get back into the workforce, it needs to provide them with resources enough to cover the basics first,” Brooke Simmons, St Vincent de Paul Vice President – Social Justice, said.

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