Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) welcomes reported moves to permanently increase the JobSeeker Payment, once the current scheme ends in September.
There are news reports today that the Federal Government is considering an increase to the payment of $75 a week, representing an additional $10 a day.
“Financial counsellors urge the Federal Government to introduce a permanent increase to the JobSeeker Payment,” said the CEO of Financial Counselling Australia, Fiona Guthrie.
“However, an extra $10 a day will not be enough to keep people from falling into financial hardship,” Ms Guthrie said.
It is vital that the current JobSeeker Payment is extended beyond September 2020.
The Newstart Allowance was renamed JobSeeker and was lifted from a base rate of $565.70 a fortnight to $1,115.70 as part of a temporary measure which expires in September.
“The new rate, which was introduced to help people cope with the economic effects of COVID-19, is a more reasonable amount of money for people to live off.”
“If the Government ends the current arrangement, people will not be able to pay their debts and bills and will find themselves living at or near the poverty line. That is not the sort of Australia we want,” Ms Guthrie said.
Financial counsellors are skilled professionals who provide FREE, independent and confidential advice for people in financial hardship. They are not planners or advisers. They don’t provide investment advice, and nor do they earn commissions.
“We urge anyone in financial stress to contact a financial counsellor. They can speak with one by calling the National Debt Helpline (NDH) on 1800 007 007,” Ms Guthrie said.
Counsellors on the NDH can provide immediate advice to those in need and may also refer them on to other free services.