In this week’s video update, QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh talks about the upcoming changes to the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement and JobKeeper scheme. We also welcomed an announcement on targeted bill relief from the Queensland Government.
To find out more about the announcement of a further $50 credit to energy bills in Queensland, click here.
With one job available for every 15 Queenslanders looking for work, the Federal Government must ensure people affected by the downturn are not left behind during the coming months.
This week the Federal Government confirmed the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will be extended – but it’ll be reduced from $550 per fortnight to $250 from September, with no commitment to permanently raise the rate.
As you know, QCOSS and the COSS network have been advocating very strongly for certainty and a permanent increase to income supports as a key pillar in recovery from COVID-19.
Decreasing the coronavirus supplement will force almost 400,000 Queenslanders and their families to choose which basic services they’re going to go without.
While the JobKeeper wage subsidy has also been extended through to next year, it too will be tapered off in two stages, and a lower payment rate will be introduced for people working fewer than 20 hours per week.
As it stands, these are pretty disappointing decisions that will only subject vulnerable Queenslanders to more stress and anxiety when unemployment is at an eighteen-year high.
A permanent and adequate increase to income support is good for families, it’s good for our community, and it’s good for our economy – and we’ll be maintaining our calls to Raise the Rate for Good.
In crisis, government must stand up.
Our seven-point plan for recovery includes measures to create jobs, deal with social issues and ensure people experiencing financial distress are supported.
As part of our plan, we asked the Queensland Government to provide additional bill relief to Queenslanders, and this week we’ve had a win with their announcement that an additional $50 credit to energy bills is on the way from the first of September.
I’d really like to congratulate the Queensland Government on the announcement – it shows they’re listening to our sector.
Until next week, take care.