The Greens have circulated a second reading amendment in the Senate to the Government’s Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 seeking the support of the Senate to continue the current rate of the $550 coronavirus supplement.
It is untenable to cut the Jobseeker payment by $300 in September, taking it below the poverty line.
There are 1.8 million people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance and we are looking at a 13% effective unemployment rate by Christmas.
There is very clear evidence that the coronavirus supplement has kept 2.2 million Australians out of poverty and almost eliminated it amongst Jobseeker recipients, with poverty rates down from pre-pandemic levels of 67% amongst recipients to less than 7% now.
The cruelty of low income support rates has been laid bare by this pandemic.
What kind of Government wants to go back to an income support system that condemns people to poverty?
I ask the Senate to show their support for our community and support the Greens amendments calling on the Government to keep the Jobseeker above the poverty line.
Second reading amendment to be moved by Senator Siewert on behalf of the Australian Greens reads:
(a) end its plans to reduce the coronavirus supplement by $300 a fortnight which will cause millions of Australians to fall below the poverty line;
(b) continue to provide the current $550 coronavirus supplement throughout the pandemic to ensure unemployed Australians receive adequate support;
(c) commit to a permanent and adequate increase to Jobseeker Payment that allows unemployed Australians to live above the poverty line.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180