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Federal Government has chance to lock in poverty gains

The Federal Government has an historic opportunity to lock in the gains made to reduce poverty by granting a permanent increase in critical income support payments before the Coronavirus Supplement ceases on 31 March.

Nationally more than 2 million people are receiving the Coronavirus Supplement (plus ~1 million children), including almost 1.5m people receiving unemployment payments JobSeeker or Youth Allowance Other.  APW estimates 55 percent of those receiving CVS are women and ACOSS estimates more than half a million people receiving JobSeeker & Youth Allowance Other (549,000) live in regional Australia.

Increasing JobSeeker permanently is a matter of “fairness” according to the Reserve Bank Governor.  As Shane Wright argued in Nine newspapers on 3/2/12:

“While many in the business, economic and welfare sector have long argued for JobSeeker to be permanently increased on economic grounds, the nation’s chief numbers man went to that most Australian of values – fairness.

“It’s not a macroeconomic management issue, it is a fairness issue,” he told the National Press Club.  “As a society, what level of support do we want to provide to people who don’t have a job? And different people legitimately have different views on the level of support stopping, [but] my own view is that some increase is justifiable.”

See our latest Briefing on Coronavirus Supplement and Poverty.  See other media coverage this week

SMH and Age, Bernie Fraser hits back at MPs criticising RBA boss’ call to raise JobSeeker4/12/21

7.30 Report on challenges for the PM and Government,  1/2/21