The current rate of JobSeeker (including the Coronavirus Supplement) is lifting thousands of Tasmanians out of poverty and has allowed families to meet basic household needs and relieve financial stress. Tasmanians are spending the higher payment on essentials like fresh fruit and vegetables, paying their utility bills, heating their houses and buying warm clothes for their children.
The Coronavirus Supplement adds $550 per fortnight onto the base rate of JobSeeker, which has allowed families to pay rent, access nutritious food and decrease demand for emergency relief services.
The Coronavirus Supplement is available at the existing rate until 24 September 2020. Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be reduced to $250 per fortnight through to 31 December 2020. In addition, means testing will be reintroduced including asset testing for all payments.
As a result of a $300 reduction in the Coronavirus Supplement rate from 25 September 2020, 39,500 Tasmanians who are presently on JobSeeker will be plunged back into poverty.
Tasmanians receiving JobSeeker spend almost all their income locally on essentials like food, rent, utilities, transport and education. Permanently increasing the incomes of these Tasmanians means they will spend it more 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, as it will provide an economic stimulus as we recover from the pandemic.