During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to support those in the Australian community who are struggling the most. The health and economic impact of COVID-19 is hitting marginalised people and communities the hardest. We know that for many people being sick can make your poor and being poor often makes you sick.
During the 2020 lockdowns, around 3 million Australians, 1 million of them children, were protected from poverty when the Federal Government did the right thing and doubled working age payments. Payments are now as low as $44 (JobSeeker) and $36 (Youth Allowance) per day – well below the poverty line. The poorest adults and children living under pandemic lockdowns in 2021 are being excluded from the COVID Disaster Payment. ANU modelling shows a 20% increase in working age payments like JobSeeker would reduce their poverty rates by as much as 75%.
Anti-Poverty Week supports the Raise the Rate for Good campaign to bring all payments above the poverty line.
See these APW briefings specific to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- APW letter to Treasurer, 28 July 2021 and APW letter to Minister Ruston, 22 July 2021 re need to extend support to individuals, families and children receiving DSS payments
- Working Age Payments by Federal Electorate , June 2021, including APW estimates of the number of Children with a parent receiving Working Age payments and numbers receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance (sourced from DSS Demographics June 2021)
- APW Briefing on JobSeeker and Poverty, 5 May 2021 and APW Analysis of Coronavirus Supplement, 5 May 2021
- Number of children by State & Territory and End of Coronavirus Supplement social media tiles on our Promotions page, 1 April 2021
- APW Briefing on Poverty, JobSeeker and Working Age Payments, 11 March 2021
- APW Briefing Poverty, Health and COVID-19
- APW Talking about COVID-19
Those in lower socioeconomic groups are at a greater risk of poor health, have higher rates of illness, disability, and death compared to those from a higher socioeconomic background. The Federal Government has stated some people at most risk of serious infection from COVID-19 include:
- older people – people over the age of 70 (over 65 for people who have pre-existing medical conditions, or over 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have pre-existing medical conditions)
- people with weakened immune systems
- people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart and lung conditions, kidney disease and diabetes)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have higher rates of chronic illness.
If you would like to stay up to date on Anti-Poverty Week news and have access to helpful COVID-19 resources you can sign up to our eNews.