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Most voters believe JobSeeker rate should be lifted

  • May 17 2022
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Most voters believe JobSeeker rate should be lifted

By Jon Bragg
May 17 2022

Nearly half of Aussies said they would likely vote for a candidate who promised to lift the JobSeeker payment above the poverty line.

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Most voters believe JobSeeker rate should be lifted

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  • May 17 2022
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Nearly half of Aussies said they would likely vote for a candidate who promised to lift the JobSeeker payment above the poverty line.

Centrelink

The current JobSeeker rate of $46 a day is unable to sustain most Aussies and many believe the payment should be increased to help lift people out of poverty.

The findings from a survey commissioned by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) put pressure on the next government to potentially raise the JobSeeker rate.

Around 46 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a politician whose party committed to increasing the rate above the poverty line of $70 a day in order to cover the cost of basics.

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“For too long, politicians have tried to justify their inaction on political grounds, but this poll shows they are not justified in that reasoning, the public want to see an increase in the rate of JobSeeker,” said ACOSS acting CEO Edwina MacDonald.

“This poll sends the next Federal Government a very clear message from the public, the current rate of JobSeeker is too low - it’s time to change course and support people doing it tough.”

In contrast, only 11 per cent of voters indicated they would be less likely to support a candidate who promised to lift the rate.

More than 76 per cent of Aussies said they would not be able to live on JobSeeker and 68 per cent said they agreed the rate should be increased to more than $70 a day.

Additionally, 38 per cent of respondents either somewhat or strongly disagreed that the federal government was doing enough to financially support people living on JobSeeker.

“People in Australia are fair minded. They want to see their community get the support they need during tough times. Since the pandemic, more people know what it’s like to have recently lost paid work. Many had a brush with fate during the pandemic, either losing a job or seeing it happen to someone they care about,” said Ms MacDonald.

"Poverty is not a natural occurrence in society, it’s a policy choice. The federal government could, with the stroke of a pen, lift millions of people out of poverty and they would have strong support from the public in doing so.”

In March, the government announced that recipients of JobSeeker and other social security payments would begin receiving an extra 2.1 per cent as a result of rising inflation.

As part of this year’s budget, JobSeeker recipients were also among the six million Australians to receive a one-off cost of living payment of $250.

Most voters believe JobSeeker rate should be lifted
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