For a very long time the sector and business groups had been calling for at least a $75-a-week increase. Before Covid-19 hit our shores, the Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) said $95 a week was the ‘absolute minimum’ people without work needed.
That’s why we need an Independent Social Security Commission whose job it would be to set payments to keep up with the cost of living and changes in Australia’s economic circumstances.
The economy hasn’t bounced back in many sectors. We need more than a token $25-a-week rise, and we need to keep jobkeeper going in vulnerable industries such as tourism, hospitality and travel.
While I am pleased that the government has increased the threshold of monies that can be earned before Centrelink payments are cut, the increase of the base rate to $307 a week for single person remains woefully inadequate.
In my regional electorate you cannot rent a single property, not even a two-bedroom flat, for $280 a week.
To take people back to $307 a week, as winter is approaching, is deeply concerning. Even with rent assistance, we will see more single people and more families relying on charities for emergency assistance to make ends meet.”