QCOSS was invited to provide a submission to the Committee reviewing the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021 (‘the Bill’).
In summary, QCOSS does not support the inadequate increase to the base rate of working age social security payments by $50 per fortnight, which only amounts to an increase of $3.57 per day.
This cut will weaken, rather than strengthen income support payments. It will have serious implications for families dependent on income support and will further entrench poverty and disadvantage for the most vulnerable people in Queensland.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that providing adequate income support to people does work. It lifts people out of poverty and supports economic growth by stimulating consumption.
QCOSS research on living affordability shows that in 2020, increased income support during COVID-19 improved the basic standard of living for low income families who were able to afford essentials like food, groceries and medicines. Further, QCOSS member organisations reported changing pressures on services. Members reported that households were more able to support themselves and needed less help accessing the basics needed to survive, such as food.
Returning income support to close to pre-COVID levels will be detrimental to families who are dependent on these payments.