Mission Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to create a new independent, legislated Economic Inclusion Advisory panel as a very promising step towards adequately increasing income support, addressing poverty and ending homelessness.

Led by the Treasurer and Social Services Minister, the Economic Inclusion Advisory Panel will comprise experts, advocacy groups and peak bodies. 

The news is welcome as skyrocketing cost-of-living pressures and rents continue to hurt people and families on the lowest incomes most.

Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said: “This Panel is a great step towards ensuring the Government can take heed of direct, expert advice on the links between inadequate income support and poverty and homelessness in Australia.

“Drawing together a range of experts to advise on this important issue will improve the decision-making process and I congratulate the Albanese Government and Senator Pocock on this outcome. It’s important the experts chosen include people with lived experience of poverty, homelessness and income support.

“We anticipate the Panel will highlight the struggle of many people and families who rely on JobSeeker and other payments to pay for life’s essentials.

“JobSeeker is currently just $48 a day. As people grapple with rising cost of living and rents going through the roof, no one can survive or get back into work on this meagre rate. We know through our work with people receiving JobSeeker that many simply can’t afford stable housing, regular meals, bills, transport to interviews and appropriate clothing. They are often left with no other choice but to turn to charities like ours for emergency relief to make ends meet.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to form this Panel so they can receive evidence-based recommendations ahead of next year’s Budget.

“We urge the Government to act swiftly on the Panel’s recommendations, which we hope will focus on increasing income support to a rate that keeps people out of poverty and homelessness.”

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