The Australian Greens have slammed the government’s changes to support measures for the NSW lockdown, saying that the paltry concessions are a wasted opportunity that will leave people in poverty and risk further evictions.
Despite acknowledging that existing support levels are too low, the additional scraps announced this afternoon are too narrow, and too miserly to protect people.
The announced supports leave approximately 350,000 jobseekers in poverty on just $43 a day, fail to ensure workers will maintain a relationship with their employer, and do little to stop rental debt.
Importantly, the rise in the COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Payment has not changed eligibility for people who are out of work - meaning people currently claiming income support are still unable to access it.
Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:
“Having lived through this in Victoria, it looks like New South Wales may be entering a long, dark winter lockdown, and the blame for this rests mainly on Scott Morrison,” Mr Bandt said.
“JobKeeper supports and JobSeeker above the poverty line were needed to get through the last big lockdowns and they’re needed now as well, but this announcement falls well short.
“Many casual and part-time workers will find themselves in poverty.
“Instead of making sure that everyone can keep a roof over their heads, feed their families and heat their homes, Scott Morrison is forcing people to endure lockdown in poverty.
“We urgently need JobKeeper 2.0 and JobSeeker back at $1,100 a fortnight.”
Lines from Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Senator for NSW:
"Communities across Greater Sydney have been struggling through weeks of lockdown, waiting for more support from the government. Today's announcement simply doesn't cut it.
"You can't simultaneously order people to stay home, while refusing to provide them with enough resources to stay healthy and economically secure.
"Without sufficient support, millions get left behind and the most marginalised in our community are put at risk of further poverty and debt.
"We urgently need JobSeeker above the poverty line, JobKeeper 2.0, and support for renters."
The Greens calls for support for people in NSW:
- JobSeeker raised to $80 a day, above the poverty line
- JobKeeper 2.0 introduced to ensure workers remain connected with employers
- Immediate $3,000 relief payments for those out of work