The St Vincent de Paul Society has urged the Albanese Government to act on all recommendations proposed by the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee, including a large increase to the JobSeeker payment.
“We have been calling for increases to JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance for years. They are woefully inadequate and nothing will change unless we prioritise these areas,” the society’s national president Mark Gaetani said.
“The society provides over $50 million a year in emergency relief. Right now, we’re seeing month on month increases in requests for assistance, with more and more people seeking our help for the first time.
“The Australian community expects action from the Government to alleviate these pressures. Ordinary Australians are doing it tough, but those on income support are doing it tougher.
“We appreciate the need for ‘fiscal repair’ and ‘budget restraint’, but surely we’re mature enough to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Mr Gaetani said.
The society called for a way forward, an implementation plan from the Government that maps out how these recommendations will be implemented.
“This means having robust debate. It means being open-minded about the possibilities and prioritising the social wellbeing of our citizens. It means not shying away from critics who harp on about deviating from your mandate,” Mr Gaetani said.
“The time for action is now – we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by removing barriers to employment and giving those who need a hand up a fair go.”
Vinnies supports Economic Inclusion Recommendations (St Vincent de Paul Society)