Higher JobSeeker Rate Must Be Permanent: Anglicare Australia

Anglicare Australia makes the case in a new report that renting is unaffordable amid the CCP virus pandemic for people who earn a low income or receive various forms of welfare payments, and pushes for the higher rates to become permanent.

With the current higher rate of government support costing billions of dollars per month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it cannot go on forever.

“I think Australians understand that. They know that a current scheme that is burning cash, their cash, taxpayers cash to the tune of some $11 billion a month cannot go on forever. Australians understand that,” Morrison said.

Anglicare claims that, contrary to the opinion of commentators, Australia is not currently experiencing a renters market.

Instead, it suggests that for those receiving welfare support payments at the current temporarily elevated rate only one percent rental properties listed were affordable.

Some of those federal government support payments are set to reduce, such as JobKeeper, JobSeeker, and the Coronavirus Supplement—an amount provided in addition to regular payments—which decreases from $550 a fortnight to $250 a fortnight starting from Sept. 24.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
People wait in line to enter Centrelink in Melbourne, Australia, on March 24, 2020. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“Renters have found themselves on the frontlines of the economic collapse wrought by the Coronavirus. They are much more likely to be in low-paid or insecure work, and many now face an impossible situation: Not only losing income, but at risk of losing their homes,” stated the report (pdf), released on Aug. 31.

The survey also observed that only 625 properties are affordable for a person who is currently on the aged pension, and 192 properties were affordable for someone on the disability support pension.

Anglicare is calling on the government to keep the increased rate for JobSeeker permanently. They are also calling for it to be extended to those with disabilities and age pensioners, declaring that this will help keep people housed, stop poverty, and keep them from making bad life choices.

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