The Greens are calling on the Government to drop their plans to reintroduce the liquid assets tests saying it is unfair, will cause significant hardship and discriminates against the newly unemployed.
The reintroduction of the liquid assets test in September will see many people who have just lost their jobs having to wear down their savings before they can access a weekly income.
“If you make people spend all of their hard-earned savings in order to receive the Jobseeker payment they are left in a precarious position with little to no back up”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Communit Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“This assets test system entrenches poverty and disadvantage where you can only have $5,500 of “liquid assets” if you are a single person to get Jobseeker.
“I am very concerned about what this will mean for those who are only just managing to pay their rent or mortgages.
“The only way that many people can survive on JobSeeker is by supplementing that income with what little savings they have this will be even more the case when the Government’s reducesd Jobseeker payment kicks in at the end of September.
"This could be the difference between hanging on with the mortgage or rent until they find more work – or losing their home.
“If people don’t have back up, if they live in poverty long term, they end up in emergency departments, at food banks, open to exploitation and in precarious living situations.
“We will see thousands retire into poverty because the government has made them wear down their savings in a job market with very limited opportunities.
“What about young people who before the pandemic had been saving their income, for a house deposit, for study, for their own future financial stability? All that effort and their hopes for the future will be affected.
“Many have just entered the workforce and started getting ahead, others may not even get that opportunity for years to come. Young people deserve better than this, their futures are so uncertain.
“Taking that safety net away at a time like this is not only unfair, but also irresponsible and it will have a chilling effect on the wider economy.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180