Campaign to reverse JobSeeker cut to be launched

Contributed by Joe Montero

Pretending to offer a small increase in JobSeeker, the Morrison government is really handing out a massive cut on 29 March. During the lockdown last year, it was universally recognised that $550 is the minimum needed to provide a basic frugal standard of living. This has not changed in 2021.

GetUp, the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU), and Living Incomes for Everyone (LIFE), have come together and launched a campaign to raise opposition to the government’s direction. A week of action will take place on 15-19 March under the banner break the Poverty Machine, and calling for $80 a day, which is around $550 week.

This is a significant development, and a first step in what promises to grow into something much bigger in the months ahead.

Break the Poverty Machine has been adopted because it draws attention to the core problem. Poverty is being manufactured to serve an economic and social policy to pull down wages by creating a source of cheap forced labour. This is closely tied to increasing proportion of casualised and underpaid work, at the expense of traditional full time and secure jobs.

Photo from Sky News

How much the unemployed are paid through JobSeeker affects those with jobs. The present policy is that by redistributing the nations income upwards, investment will increase, and the economy grow. The fact that this has failed in the past and this shows it will continue to fail in the future is being ignored.

There is good reason why everyone should support the coming week of action. Below is the current calendar of events. Note that more actions are likely to emerge and those interested are encouraged, to turn to the participating organisations for further information.

Monday 15 March (8:00 am 6:00 pm): Not Safe for Unemployed Workers – protest job agency abuse (online)

Tuesday 16 March (11:15 am 12:45 pm): Protest against poverty (Canberra and online) – Parliament House and online (map)

Wednesday 17 March: Physical presence at corporate offices and JobNetwork providers and Centrelink.

Friday 19 March: (12:00 pm 1:30 pm) Melbourne rally to demand a living wage for all   Commonwealth Offices Building (map):  (2:30 pm 3:30 pm) Adelaide rally to demand a living wage for all -Parliament House Steps (map)

4 Comments on "Campaign to reverse JobSeeker cut to be launched"

  1. Steve Smith | 4 March 2021 at 9:51 am | Reply

    Let’s all work together and not keep mindlessly supporting our oligarchy with this kind of nonsense

  2. Unemployed people need to eat, pay bills and rent/mortgages too.

    $80 per day is not a big ask; it’s not even half of the minimum wage per day!

    The government can end poverty. That was proven last year with the Covid supplement.

    The government must choose to end poverty for good in this country now!

    What if it was THEIR children growing up in poverty stricken households?

    THINK ABOUT THAT.

    RAISE THE RATE TO $80 PER DAY!

  3. Perhaps the aged pension should be re-visited also. At least most of the Aged Pension recipients have paid taxes most of their working lives so they deserve higher fortnightly pensions to manage the increasing cost of living.

  4. Pensions set at the poverty line or below are an insult to the workers of today, much more so an insult, a scourge to beat the retirees of today and intimidate the workers.

    This LNP attitude to our RIGHT TO A DECENT PENSION, as intended by the Social security Act 1947, is tantamount to THEFT FROM THE ELDERLY by the government. It s the basic plan of the LNP.

    WE HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE IN A DECENT MANNER IN OUR OLD AGE, to have a basic COMFORTABLE LIVING INCOME AFTER ALL THOSE YEARS OF EXPLOITATION!!

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