JobSeeker increase a start, but not enough to address disadvantage in our community, according to the Salvos

JobSeeker increase a start, but not enough to address disadvantage in our community, according to the Salvos

The Salvation Army appreciates the federal government’s acknowledgment that the current
JobSeeker allowance is inadequate for a person to live with dignity by increasing the payment in the 2023 Budget.

While increases to JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments are welcome, substantially more is needed to pull people out of poverty and hardship, noting that the budget increase translates to just $2.86 a day.

This amount is not enough to afford a return trip on public transport in almost any capital city in Australia and it is not enough to purchase a dozen eggs, two litres of fresh milk or a packet of paracetamol.

The decision to leave JobSeeker and Youth Allowance at inadequate levels means hundreds of
thousands of Australians will continue to make the heart-breaking decisions the Salvation Army sees daily, such as:

  • Parents choosing between feeding their children and looking after their own health
  • Students forfeiting study to work and pay rent
  • Victim survivors of family violence staying in danger or escaping only to face
    homelessness.

Jennifer Kirkaldy, General Manager of Policy and Advocacy at The Salvation Army, says adequate income support is the foundation and without it, tackling poverty and hardship is that much harder.

“We appreciate the many measures announced in the 2023 Budget to address disadvantage,
especially the modest increases to income support and Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and the goodwill that shows,” Ms Kirkaldy says. “However, the issue remains that these measures will not be as effective as they would be if income support payments were adequate.

“Since 1994, when JobSeeker was last close to adequate, The Salvation Army has had to step in over 30 million times to help people who are struggling. Between now and the next federal budget, there will be another two million added to that total.

“The need for a substantial increase is very real and is felt in our community every day.”

Captain Stuart Glover, Secretary for Mission at The Salvation Army says: “The Salvation Army
helps someone in need every 17 seconds. Leaving JobSeeker and Youth Allowance at an
inadequate rate will only increase demand on our services as the costs of living continue to rise.

“We are seeing more people than ever before and for many, the Salvos are their last line of
defence. Despite the challenges, we will always be there to give them a hand, whatever their
circumstances, to ensure that nobody struggles alone.”

BACKGROUND

Each year, through The Salvation Army’s nationwide network of services, the Salvos provide: *

  • Assistance to one person every 17 seconds
  • More than 1.86 million sessions of care to people in need
  • Over 1 million bed nights to those who need accommodation
  • More than 1.52 million meals to people who accessed our homelessness services

The Salvation Army Australia Annual Report 2021-22

To donate to The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal, please donate online here. If you need support from the Salvos, visit salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58). You can also donate at any Salvos Store.

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