Greens call for National Cabinet to extend Pandemic Leave Payments


Greens social services spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, has urged the Federal Government to extend Pandemic Leave Payments beyond September at tomorrow’s national cabinet meeting. 

Senator Rice said:

“As much as we all wish it wasn’t, the pandemic is still with us, and national cabinet still has COVID isolation requirements in place.

“The state and territory premiers have called for pandemic leave payments to continue, and so we know that if national cabinet doesn’t grant this necessary extension, it’s Anthony Albanese who’s the blocker.

“If Albanese is happy to give $244b in tax cuts for the rich, he has no excuse to claim the federal government can’t hold up their end of the 50/50 bargain with the states to make sure that people who need to isolate or quarantine are financially supported.

“Amid the cost of living crisis, a pandemic that is still with us, and the fuel excise due to end this month too, people need support. 

“The government can’t ask people to follow public health advice and then completely undermine that message by taking away the financial help they need to isolate, like the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and the Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency. 

“If national cabinet does not agree to the extension tomorrow, I will be moving an urgent disallowance in the next sitting of Parliament, to ensure that the crisis payment remains in place for people on income support who are forced to isolate or quarantine.”