Macedon support agency, Cobaw Community Health are calling for a rise in the JobSeeker rate after seeing the positive impact of the $550 Coronavirus Supplement.
Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has supported their call.
“Concerns are growing, with the rate set to snap back to around $40 a day, or $567.70 a fortnight, in just 69 days," Chesters said.
In the electorate of Bendigo, the Prime Minister’s plan to snap back the Coronavirus Supplement will rip $5.65 million a fortnight from the local economy – the same and 2,249 local jobs*.
This is despite there being 13 people receiving unemployment benefits for every one vacancy.
“Over the past few months I’ve heard a number of stories from organisations and individuals about how the boost in the JobSeeker rate is allowing people to get out of poverty and live with dignity,” Chesters said.
In the Bendigo electorate, there are 10,279 people currently replying on JobSeeker payments.
“Come September, JobSeeker will be in higher demand than ever because JobKeeper payments are also set to end, despite the continuing pandemic.
“It deﬁes reality that Scott Morrison believes that he can snap-back JobSeeker when there are nowhere near enough jobs for the people who need them.
“Simply ‘snapping-back’ to the base rate would push people into poverty, make it harder to find work, and risk derailing the economic recovery.
“The base rate is so low it’s a barrier to finding work, with many people unable to afford essentials, transport, clothing, training and tools they need to find work.” Chesters said.
“The Government must raise the base JobSeeker rate.” Chesters said.
Margaret McDonald from Cobaw Community Health said less housing clients have needed emergency relief because of the extra payment.
“The need for an increase in the Jobseeker rate is critical to give people the opportunity for them to lead a dignified life and meet the fundamental requirements of housing, food, medicines and utilities,” McDonald said.
“This is not possible on the old rate.
“We predict that there will be a massive influx of help requests from September when the old rate returns.”