Make sure Parliament hears your voice
26 February 2021
The Government just announced a permanent increase in JobSeeker payments. The new rate is a measly $3.57 a day more than the old Newstart rate - just $44 a day to cover life essentials.
With the coronavirus supplement coming to an end, households will be $150 a fortnight worse off.
The Government's JobSeeker bill was stalled and referred to a Senate inquiry that will report on March 12. This is an opportunity to share just how inadequate the Government’s increase really is.
The Senate is seeking submissions from people who will be directly affected by the JobSeeker decision.
If you are an individual on Jobseeker and want to share your story, please visit the Raise the Rate for Good website for resources and an individual submission template.
Submissions are due on 5th March 2021
Calling your Member of Parliament - as an organisation
Step 1. Plan what you want to say
Politicians need to hear from local services about the effect of the government’s decision to double income support payments, and how this was the right thing to do.
Make sure to mention:
- That you’re a local service provider in their electorate
- The effect of the Coronavirus Supplement on the people you support
- The effect of the Supplement on your services ability to do what you do best (eg., did higher income support improve the effectiveness of the services you provide)?
Here’s a sample script - but remember it’s just a guide. Feel free to make it your own!
Hi there – my name is [insert name], and I run/work at [service name]. I’m calling because I’m concerned that the government hasn’t yet committed to a permanent adequate increase to income support when the Coronavirus Supplement ends in March.
We saw first-hand the positive effects of higher income support on our community. People we work with were able to cover basic costs. Now that the Supplement is being reduced, we’re seeing people in need again, unable to cover food, housing and other essentials.
I believe that everyone should be able to cover the cost of healthcare, put food on the table, and keep a secure roof over their head. I know that the government hasn’t ruled out going back to the brutal old Newstart rate of $40 a day. I’m calling to say that I hope that [insert MP name], will support a permanent increase so that everyone can afford the basics and rebuild their lives.
Millions of people need these payments as a lifeline. I urge you to not leave them behind, especially when there is just one job available for every nine people looking for one or more hours.
A note about what is an ‘adequate’ increase:
We strongly encourage you to ask your MP to support the amount that you would like to see JobSeeker rate increased by. ACOSS is calling for the base rate of JobSeeker ($40 a day) to be raised by at least $25 a day. For more detail on ACOSS’s position, please see here: https://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Social-security-next-steps-JUL-UPDATED-2-9_.pdf
Step 2. Find your MP’s information
Find your MP’s phone number on the Australian Parliament House website.
If you’re unsure of who your local MP is, you can find out on the Australian Electoral Commission website using your postcode or locality.
Step 3. Make the call
If you call the office of a MP out of blue, you’ll likely speak with out of their members of staff. This is still worthwhile doing, as they will pass on your message.
It is also worthwhile to seek a meeting with your MP (ideally with someone who uses your service who can speak to their experience of being on JobSeeker).
Step 4. Let us know how it went!
Let us know who you called and how it went here: https://raisetherate.org.au/tell-us-about-your-campaign-actions/