Intense pressure remains on the Australian Government to raise the rate of JobSeeker in the imminent May Budget, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declaring he understands “people are under real pressure”. Source: Canberra Times.
Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Catholic Social Services Australia executive director Monique Earsman, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand CEO Stella Avramopoulos, Jesuit Social Services chief Julie Edwards, Sacred Heart Mission CEO Hang Vo and St Vincent de Paul Society chief Toby oConnor were among more than 340 signatories to an open letter written by Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie calling on Mr Albanese to raise JobSeeker by about $20 a day.
Four federal Labor MPs – Alicia Payne, Louise Miller-Frost, Michelle Ananda-Rajah and Kate Thwaites – were also signatories.
The letter to the Prime Minister describes Australia’s income support system as a “structural injustice” that was “long past” being addressed. It also described people as being forced to choose between paying their rent or buying enough food and medicine.
Mr Albanese said he is listening.
“I understand that people are under real pressure. I certainly understand that,” he said in Sydney yesterday.
“I know what it is like to grow up in a household reliant upon a pension, in my case, an invalid pensioner of my mother. And I know the pressure that can place people under.
“It is unsurprising that people in the Labor party want to do more as all of us do, but what we will be doing in the Budget is balancing up the need to provide cost-of-living relief for people with making sure that we show restraint as well so we don’t add to inflationary pressure in the Budget.”
Last week, the Government’s Economic Inclusion Advisory committee declared the payments were “inadequate” compared with the minimum wage and recommended a substantial increase to the JobSeeker payment and related working-age payments as a top priority.
‘People are under real pressure,’ Albanese Government leaves door open on welfare payments in May Budget (By Karen Barlow, Canberra Times)
Politicians, advocates and prominent Australians call for JobSeeker increase in Federal Budget (ACOSS)