In response to reports that the Federal Government is considering reducing the Coronavirus Supplement, which is received by people on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and parenting payments, to a lower rate at the end of the year to March 28 2021, Mission Australia CEO James Toomey said:

“Unemployment has surged this year and 2020 has been incredibly challenging for many people and families on the lowest incomes. The financial support that the Coronavirus Supplement has given people this year has made a huge difference in enabling them to pay for essential costs including housing, education and healthcare.

We are perplexed that the Federal Government is considering further cuts to income support payments in early 2021.

“We urge the Government to refrain from making any cuts to financial support for people on the lowest incomes. Now is the time to provide certainty beyond March and lock in a new, permanent and adequate rate of income support to restore dignity and so that everyone is included in the recovery ahead.

“In a country that believes in a ‘fair go’, reductions to income support would have the effect of returning people perilously close to the punitive Newstart rates which were too low and left people unable to meet their basic needs.

“The relentless pressures that people have faced over the past year and continue to face have been on all of our hearts and minds. Mission Australia is one of many voices calling for the Federal Government to prioritise a permanent increase to income support payments so people can regain control of their finances, access transport, and other resources to look for work and be job ready.”

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