Jobless could determine federal election

Daniel McCulloch
(Australian Associated Press)


Welfare advocates have warned federal politicians that unemployed people living in marginal seats could determine the next election.

As parliament prepares to vote on the ongoing rate of income support, social policy researchers at the University of NSW have produced data on the people it will affect.

The researchers have found more than 50 electorates could be decided by people affected by the abolition of the coronavirus supplement at the end of March.

They found 52 seats held by margins less than the number of people on pandemic top-up payments.

Cassandra Goldie from the Australian Council of Social Service said replacing the supplement with a “paltry” permanent increase of $3.57 per day was nowhere near good enough.

Dr Goldie said jobless Australians could not be expected to survive on just $44 per day.

“Parliamentarians preparing to vote for this bill need to be aware of the reality in their electorates, and that this is the single most important issue in the lives of people directly affected,” she said.

“The parliament must not turn its back on the millions of people who right now don’t know if they can pay their rent, put food on the table or pay the next electricity bill.”

Labor has questioned the adequacy of the proposed JobSeeker rate but will not stand in the way of the legislated increase, guaranteeing its passage through parliament.


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