The Federal Government is moving to change the JobSeeker payment from $550 to $250 a fortnight. This supplement should not be cut back.
Before this supplement, the payment for a single, unemployed person with no dependents was $565.70 per fortnight – far below the poverty line.
It’s not enough to live on and we saw this reflected in health outcomes for folk living on unemployment payments.
Research shows that people who received unemployment payments were more likely than waged workers to have poor health outcomes, and to live with multiple health conditions and mental health conditions. To cut the payment back now will add to the mental distress people are already feeling.
Out of pocket costs for health care can be significant. People on low incomes often put off essential health care, dental and mental health support because they can’t afford it.
Socio-economic disadvantage leads to poor health outcomes.
The increase in basic payments is welcome and needed and needs to be supported at an appropriate level, especially when work is so hard to find. We've even seen some good outcomes. Private rental affordability has gotten better for some people virtually overnight as a result.
It’s invigorating to think about what changes in health outcomes might we see with a sustained increase.
Indeed, private rental affordability has gotten better for some people virtually overnight as a result.References:
ACOSS, Poverty and Inequality Make us Sick. https://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ACOSS_Cohealth_health-inequality-infographic.pdf
ACOSS and UNSW Sydney, Poverty in Australia 2020 http://povertyandinequality.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Poverty-in-Australia-2020_Part-1_Overview.pdf
Anglicare, Rental Affordability Snapshot April 2020. https://www.anglicare.asn.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/rental-affordability-snapshot-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=4
Monash Public Health and Preventative Medicine, The Health of Disability Support Pension and Newstart Allowance Recipients. https://627b9291-a7ae-4a54-9b36-d84a9fefd931.filesusr.com/ugd/016fda_1180161e913042a3bb7ab33e3ebe06c2.pdf