The Greens say reintroducing the assets test and liquid asset test is mean spirited and unfair in the midst of a recession and have called on the Government to continue to waive these tests until the employment market has more jobs and we are through this crisis.
"The reintroduction of the assets tests will mean those that lost work at the beginning of the pandemic and are on Jobseeker could lose income support in September", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“The reintroduction of the liquid asset test at the end of September will mean that people who become unemployed by coming off Jobkeeper if the business they are working in is no longer financially viable will be subject to the liquid assets test further threatening their future.
“Of course we need a social safety net that targets those that need it most but it is irresponsible to make people wear down almost all of their savings before they can access weekly income support at this time of crisis with an uncertain future.
“How does it make economic sense to kick people off support payments into financial stress?
“By design this system is forcing people into precarious situations where they have no savings or back up and will be left living on a payment that is now below the poverty line.
“This system is particularly risky for older workers who have lost work due to the pandemic and who will have to use their retirement savings.
"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 and where they are subject to age discrimination.
“This was a clear issue before the pandemic which has been exacerbated by the influx of people accessing the system.
"We need to incentivise spending to assist economic recovery which means we need to put more money in the hands of people, not take it away!
“I’m yet to see any mention of how the Government plans to manage the mortgage and rental stress that is coming now that Jobseeker is back below the poverty line.
“We cannot talk about the mental health stressors of the pandemic without mentioning the clear link between financial stress and a deterioration in mental health.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180