With 1.4 million people reliant on the JobSeeker payment for support the Morrison Government has announced that from January 1 the JobSeeker rate will be cut by $100 per fortnight leaving people on $51.20 per day.

The changes also mean that the millions of working people who are receiving JobSeeker or JobKeeper face the same uncertainty, with both payments currently scheduled to end at the end of March.

The Prime Minister also used a press conference today to brag about the tens of thousands of Australians who have been cut off from unemployment payments entirely due to onerous mutual obligation requirements.

At a time when Australia needs money in the hands of working people and real support for people who are looking for work, the Morrison Government is ripping money from the most vulnerable members of our society.  

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Cutting JobSeeker will lead to greater financial hardship for the hundreds of thousands of working people who are currently out of work due to the pandemic and recession.

“Rather than supporting working people through the worst economic downturn in a century the Government has reverted to ideological attacks on the unemployed – arguing that payments which allowed unemployed people to afford food and rent were somehow “holding them back”.

“We need to create secure jobs for working people and support unemployed people so that they can find a job. Poverty rates for the unemployed only makes losing a job more traumatic. It does nothing to help people find work.

“People who have lost their job in the midst of a pandemic need certainty and ongoing support – cutting this payment and only extending it until the end of March gives them neither.

“We call on the Morrison Government to return the JobSeeker payment to the original coronavirus supplement rate.”