The Government has used the last sitting day of the year to condemn millions of Australians to live even further below the poverty line by cutting the Coronavirus supplement by a further $100 a fortnight.
Mr Morrison is the Grinch who is stealing Christmas from so many Australians and the opportunity to live with dignity while we go through a global pandemic and recession.
The Government has rushed to claim that the recession is over to justify the withdrawal of economic support measures when in fact the winding back of support measures is premature and will set back our economic recovery.
This is callous and cruel, January is already the peak for emergency relief and financial counselling services and it is an expensive time of year for families preparing for the school year.
The coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight allowed people on Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment to be able to afford nutritious food, three meals a day, children’s school activities, essential medications, housing costs, new clothing and shoes, and heating and cooling.
While the rate of $550 a fortnight lifted people out of poverty, the first cut to the coronavirus supplement of $300 a fortnight dropped people back below the poverty line.
The Greens call on the government to stop using anecdotal claims about higher income support payments acting as a disincentive for people to look for work as a justification for cutting the coronavirus supplement.
No one should need to live in fear and anxiety about how they will afford to buy healthy food or keep a roof over their heads, especially going into Christmas.
Short-term measures and cuts in the middle of a recession and a pandemic leave people in limbo, increasing their anxiety and stress and affecting their capacity to plan for the future.
The Government needs to permanently increase the Jobseeker and Youth Allowance payments and ensure that people aren’t living in poverty.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180