The federal government’s decision to end Covid-19 Disaster payments after states reach the 80% vaccination target will cause real harm, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT (AMWU) says.
Many of the more than one million people who have received the Covid-19 Disaster Payment in NSW will have no option but to apply for JobSeeker payments. At only $320 a week, this payment keeps people trapped in poverty.
This week is Anti-Poverty Week, and the AMWU is calling on the government to raise the rate of Jobseeker to at least $600 per week and keep the Disaster Payment in place until restrictions have fully eased and businesses are operating at full capacity. We need to give people time to look for work and make sure there are options available for those most vulnerable.
Quotes attributable to Cory Wright – State Secretary AMWU NSW & ACT
“We have no way of knowing if businesses will be hiring at pre-lockdown levels, what we do know is that many people are struggling and that won’t magically stop once 80% of the state is fully vaccinated.
“The people of Western and South-West Sydney have been disproportionately impacted by this lockdown. And now many will be expected to carry on without support even though we know businesses in those areas were hit harder than in other parts of the city.
“The federal government needs to start treating unemployed workers and others receiving income support with dignity. JobSeeker must be raised to a liveable rate of at least $80 a day.”