Despite the fact that the entire city of Melbourne is still effectively shut, the Morrison government has slashed the coronavirus supplement for JobSeeker recipients by $300 per fortnight.
More than a million Australians are currently depending on JobSeeker payments as the pandemic and subsequent recession have wreaked havoc on life as we know it. But from Friday, the coronavirus supplement (which has been a literal lifeline for most people out of work at the moment) will be slashed to just $250 per fortnight.
As a single person without children, JobSeeker recipients will now be left with approximately $815 per fortnight. That’s $58 per day BEFORE you deduct your non-negotiable costs like rent.
Assuming someone on the JobSeeker payment pays $470 per fortnight on rent (according to Domain), that leaves you with just $345 per fortnight to cover every other expense you may incur. For those of you without a calculator handy, that’s less than $25 per day to cover food, bills, transport, medical costs and whatever other expenses you encounter on a daily basis.
As you’d expect, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is keen to shout about how the payment is still higher than the already-fucked Newstart payment people were trying to survive on before coronavirus.
But to make it even worse, Frydenberg’s reason for scrapping the doubled payment was because he didn’t want people to be discouraged from applying for jobs.
“There will be no shortage of initiatives in the budget to help people to get off the JobSeeker payment and into a job,” Mr Frydenberg said.
However, this doesn’t really make sense when the AAP is reporting that there are 12 people for every available job in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne. So actually, it seems like there is a shortage of jobs.
If that wasn’t enough of a reason to keep the supplement, a recent analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service found that slashing the supplement would actually be *bad* for the economy.
The Deloitte analysis showed that a drop in consumer spending as a result of the cut would cost the economy a whopping $31.3 billion and 145,000 over the next two years. By the looks of the report, the extra funding for welfare recipients would not only save people from struggling to pay their bills, but it would also be a good thing for the economy.
I’m no economist, but that sounds like a win-win to me.
But logic aside, the payments *have* been cut this week, which will mean thousands of Australians will struggle to put food on the table as the recession continues to set in.
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Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.Image: Getty Images