In completely cool and normal news, a new report has predicted that homelessness in Australia will skyrocket by 9% when the coronavirus supplement for JobSeeker is slashed on January 1. So, uhh, happy new year, I guess?

The report comes just days after the Senate inquiry into COVID-19 recommended that the JobSeeker amount be permanently raised in the wake of the pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic, the supplement sat at $550/fortnight, which was an absolute godsend for anyone who relies on welfare payments. As it currently stands, the supplement is at $250/fortnight but will be slashed to just $150 from January 1 next year.

From the start of 2021, single, childless JobSeekers will receive a maximum of $357.85 per week, which will be further cut down to just $282.50 per week from March 31 when the supplement is axed for good.

That is just $40 per day *including* rent, which quite literally leaves you up shit creek without a paddle, especially if you live in an expensive capital city.

But if you thought that meant everyone would still be fine until the end of March, think again because even the January 1 amount puts you well below the poverty line.

According to the Australian Council of Social Service, the national poverty line for a single adult is $457 per week, which means that Australians on JobSeeker right now are just a few cents (literally) away from poverty *with* the supplement.

So, as you’d expect, this means that we’ll probably see a significant spike in homelessness come January 1 as our government pushes thousands of Australians well below the poverty line.

A new study by the analytics firm Equity Economics has found that the JobSeeker cuts, combined with the 7% unemployment rate will see an additional 7,500 people become homeless.

If we’re talking in percentages, that’s a 19.1% spike in NSW and a 13.1% spike in Victoria.

Without being too blunt about it, it’s *really* fucked.

“The combination of a decline in welfare payments and a long tail of unemployment is going to have a devastating effect on already vulnerable Australians,” Everybody’s Home spokeswoman Kate Colvin told NCA NewsWire.

“We were alarmed to see the federal parliament (last week) approve the proposed cuts to the coronavirus supplement coming in December because a lot of new families will be facing homelessness.

The news comes after a recent Deloitte analysis found that the drop in spending as a result of the JobSeeker cuts could actually have detrimental effects to our economy, which could cost us up to $31.3 billion in the next two years alone.

So there you have it, folks. Even after the absolute hellish year we’ve all been through, the Federal Government would rather make another 7,500 Australians sleep on the streets than actually raise the JobSeeker amount to something that we can actually survive on.

Financial stress can have an impact on your mental health, but please know help is available.

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