Today the Morrison Government cuts the coronavirus supplement to JobSeeker, which means recipients will be forced to live on $44 a day.

The meagre $50 per fortnight increase in the rate takes Australia from the lowest unemployment payment in the OECD to the second lowest ahead of Greece.

Between 1.2 and 1.4 million are expected to be JobSeeker recipients based on current trends and the Government’s own estimates have 150,000 JobKeeper recipients likely to lose their jobs as that program ends.

Parenting payments and youth allowance will also be affected by the reduced rate.

A survey on Youth Allowance recipients found that 9 in 10 skip meals and 1 in 3 have withdrawn from their studies due to a lack of funds.

The ACTU supports JobSeeker being increased to the rate of the combined JobSeeker allowance and the original Coronavirus supplement a liveable $80 a day.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil,

“This cut will force huge numbers of Australian workers into poverty and financial hardship. We call on the Morrison Government to increase JobSeeker to the liveable rate paid as the Coronavirus hit in 2020. Profits increased 8.9 per cent last year but working people in and out of work are being forced to make do with less.

“The pandemic isn’t over and cutting JobSeeker isn’t only cruel, its economically flawed, what we need now is people with the capability to spend and the time to find a job.

“These cruel cuts punish the unemployed and place downward pressure on wages for everyone else.

“By cutting JobSeeker payments the government is forcing Australians still recovering from a pandemic and recession to live on $44 a day.

“Culling the coronavirus supplement also cuts parenting payments and will disproportionately affect women and single parents.”