Chesters Calls for Extension of Coronavirus Supplement and Announcement of JobSeeker Base Rate

Federal Labor has moved amendments to extend the Coronavirus Supplement until March, in line with JobKeeper – and require the Government to announce a permanent increase in JobSeeker Payment.

 Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters says the Government must provide some certainty for anxious JobSeeker recipients.

“Now is the worst time for the Government to be cutting support for people who have lost their jobs and are strugging to find work,” Chesters said.

“It is just 7 weeks until Christmas and people relying on the Coronavirus Supplement need certainty – not a cruel cut.

“The Coronavirus Supplement has been proof that a higher rate can help JobSeeker recipients live with dignity and in turn, become more job ready.

“Many recipients are anxious knowing that supplement of an extra $250 per fortnight will disappear in December when the rate snaps back to around $565 a fortnight.

As of September, 10,053 people in the Bendigo electorate are on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payments, compared to 5,921 in February (pre-covid).

Chesters is calling for the Coronavirus Supplement to be extended until March, lining up with the extension of JobKeeper payments.

“Restrictions are only just easing in Victoria, now is not the time to be pulling money away from the economy.

“It is also time for the Government to do the right thing and increase the base rate of JobSeeker payment.

“If it bounces back to the old NewStart rate in December, Central Victorians trying to survive on this payment will be forced into poverty,” Chesters said.