JobSeeker Supplement Cut: 22,000 South Australians Put into Poverty, Including 3,000 Children

New analysis from The Australia Institute shows the Government’s decision to cut the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement by $150 per week in September will push 22,000 South Australians into poverty, including 3,000 children.

The economic modelling undertaken after last week’s announcement also shows that, nationwide, the cut will push 370,000 Australians, including 80,000 children, into poverty.

Key Findings:

  • The introduction of the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement in April lifted 42,000 South Australians out of poverty.
  • The Federal Government last week announced that, from September, it intends to cut the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement by $150 per week, which will push 22,000 South Australians, including 3,000 children, into poverty.
  • Nationwide, when the coronavirus supplement is reduced in September, 370,000 Australians, including 80,000 children, will be pushed into poverty.
  • Poverty in childhood can have crippling lifelong effects on the child’s cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural development as well as a range of adverse health outcomes.

“The Coronavirus Supplement has been an essential part of Australia’s economic and social response to this recession, including here in South Australia,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, South Australian Director at The Australia Institute.

“When it was introduced, the supplement lifted 42,000 South Australians out of poverty overnight. Never before in our country’s history have so many people been lifted out of poverty so quickly.

“The decision to cut the JobSeeker supplement by $150 per week will push more than 22,000 South Australians, including 3,000 children, into poverty. This will not only have serious negative social consequences for decades to come, but it also makes for terrible economic policy by effectively withdrawing much needed stimulus.

“As unemployment has increased over recent months, the JobSeeker supplement has been the only thing standing between many recently jobless South Australians and poverty.

“Cutting the JobSeeker supplement will impact homelessness and put pressure on the banking system, potentially having a knock-on effect for house prices and residential property investors.”

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