Still more than a million people on paltry income support payments

20 May 2021

There are still hundreds of thousands more people struggling to get by on income support payments, which are well below the poverty line, than there were pre-pandemic, says ACOSS in response to the latest unemployment figures released today.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“We’re certainly not out of the woods – there are still 1.38 million people on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance – 400,000 more than pre-pandemic – and many people are grappling with under-employment.

“We must remember that the headline employment figures include people who do not have enough paid work. We know there is only job available for every seven people looking for a job or more hours.

“It’s impossible for people to cover the basics of life and to job search while trying to get by on the JobSeeker rate of just $44 a day, well below the poverty line.

“To ensure people are not left behind as the economy recovers and to reduce unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment, we need to lift social security payments above the poverty line and provide effective employment services that help people find paid work rather than punishing and humiliating them,” Dr Goldie said.

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