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The NSW Council of Social Service is urging the Australian Government to permanently raise the rate of the JobSeeker payment.

The call comes as part of a National Day of Action today to demonstrate why JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and other income support payments must not be reduced to their pre-COVID rates.

NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said Prime Minister Scott Morrison could support those Australians who are out of work and stimulate the economy by ensuring these payments were permanently boosted.

“No Australian who is out of work should be trying to live on the old Newstart rate of $40 a day,” Ms Quilty said.

“Prime Minister Morrison has the opportunity to stimulate the economy by providing all Australians with enough to live on.

“As we face a recession and a public health crisis, the reality is that more people than ever before will struggle to find paid work.

“There is currently only one job vacancy available for every 13 people on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance. We cannot allow these people to be thrown back onto the old $40 a day Newstart rate.

“We also know for many people in our community on low incomes, cost of living pressures in NSW have forced them to make extremely difficult decisions.

“Even before the most recent shock people have been resorting to desperate measures like not heating their homes, pawning possessions and going without food to make ends meet.

“The new payments have meant those looking for work can better support themselves and pay for essentials.

“If we really are all in this together - as we rebuild, we cannot turn our back on those who are at risk of being left behind.

“We need to raise the rate for good so that everyone has enough to cover the basics of life, like a roof over one’s head and food on the table,” Ms Quilty said.

Media contact: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138

Download the media release (pdf)