Changes to income support payments are tinkering around the edges of a broken system


Today the new rates of income support payments that were announced at the federal budget come into effect.

The government’s increase will be supplemented by an additional rate rise due to indexation.

These combined increases still leave people in poverty in a cost of living crisis.

The eligibility of the single parenting payment also expands today, to allow more parents to access the payment, but those with children aged 14 years or older have still been left with nothing.

Lines attributable to Senator Janet Rice, Greens spokesperson for Social and Government Services:

“Even when Labor’s base rate increase is paired with the automatic rate rise due to indexation, the changes coming into effect today don’t bring Jobseeker, student and youth allowance payments close to the poverty line, let alone make them enough to live on.

“People on Jobseeker will still struggle to afford food as well as their medicine. More and more students will abandon their studies because they can’t afford to study and pay the rent.

“Labor’s increase to Jobseeker is less than even the Liberals did under Scott Morrison.

“While in opposition, Labor slammed the Morrison Government for its paltry increase and now in government, Labor is doing even less to help welfare recipients than the conservative party.

“We are in a cost of living crisis, and this government is choosing to leave people without heating or food as they struggle to pay the rent.

“Poverty is a political choice. Labor must scrap their stage 3 tax cuts for billionaires and the ultra-wealthy and lift all income support rates above the poverty line.

Lines attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Spokesperson for Women:

“We were pleased to see Labor partially reverse the Gillard government’s decision to cut off Parenting Payment Single when kids turn 8, but single parenting doesn’t stop when a child turns 14.

“Now that the government has the final Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce report, they should revisit their decision to only partially reinstate Parenting Payment Single. Parents of kids who are 14, 15 and 16 deserve the same level of support.

“Our calls requesting the immediate implementation of changes to the Parenting Payment Single urgent support for parents were ignored by Labor, forcing 8,145 single parents – mostly single mums – onto JobSeeker if their child happened to turn 8 before 20 September.

“Labor is choosing to keep women and children in poverty, while they fund tax cuts for billionaires and nuclear submarines.”