Planned cuts to payments ‘cruel and damaging’

Cassandra Goldie (ACOSS)

Welfare groups have warned a Senate committee that the Morrison Government’s plans to cut the level of some welfare supports from January next year are “cruel and damaging”. Source: SBS News.

The Australian Council of Social Services, Anglicare Australia and the Council on the Ageing yesterday appeared before senators reviewing a Government bill to extend the temporary coronavirus supplement.

The Government this month announced it would wind back the fortnightly payment from January 1 – to a rate of $150 per fortnight

JobSeeker, some student payments and some parenting payments were initially boosted by a coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight. This supplement was reduced to $250 per fortnight in September, and will be further reduced to $150 per fortnight from 1 January.

ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said the slow winding back of payments was having a “corrosive effect” on the mental health of welfare recipients. She told the hearing the bill would “deliver a cruel and damaging cut” to the unemployed.

The Government has said it is still considering a permanent increase to the JobSeeker rate - but is holding off on making a decision until there is more certainty around the current economic environment.

ACOSS and Anglicare Australia have both opposed the bill.

The Council of the Ageing supports it, but has raised concerns over the level of welfare support set to be delivered. Deputy chief executive Cory Irlam said it was a flawed position to not lock-in a permanent JobSeeker increase.

FULL STORY

Welfare groups say cuts to coronavirus supplements are having ‘corrosive’ impact on mental health (By Tom Stayner, SBS News)

RELATED COVERAGE

‘No evidence’ doubled JobSeeker was a disincentive to work: Academics (Sydney Morning Herald)

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