ACTCOSS made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Extension of Coronavirus Support) Bill 2020. We recommended that the rate of JobSeeker and other income support payments be increased permanently and adequately.
The introduction of the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight in April 2020 saw the rate of JobSeeker rise above the poverty line. Its reduction in September 2020 saw payments return below the poverty line and poverty rates across ACT regions increase above pre-COVID levels. Further reducing the supplement from January 2021 will widen and deepen poverty.