JobSeeker is lifting thousands of people out of poverty. Over 120,000 Tasmanians are just getting by on inadequate incomes. The new rate of JobSeeker (including the Coronavirus Supplement) has allowed families to meet basic household needs and relieve financial stress.
The Coronavirus Supplement adds $550 per fortnight onto the base rate, which has allowed families to pay rent, access nutritious food and decrease demand for emergency relief services. The Coronavirus Supplement is due to cease in September 2020, at which time the base rate will drop back down to $40 a day, plunging thousands of Tasmanians into poverty.
Federal Government modelling shows that up to 1.7 million people are expected to receive JobSeeker by September 2020. Treasury estimates 10% unemployment rate by then. Tasmania expects to see more than 27,000 job losses by the end of June 2020 and an unemployment rate of 12.25%.
People receiving JobSeeker spend almost all their income locally on essentials like food, rent, utilities, transport and education. Permanently increasing the incomes of people with the least means they will spend it in their communities. This is why increasing these payments permanently is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, especially as our economy recovers from the pandemic.