Good Shepherd, Australia’s oldest charity supporting women, girls, and their families, is urging the Federal Government to raise JobSeeker to at least $76 a day in the May 2023 Budget to support women’s safety and economic security.
According to Good Shepherd’s recently published report, our clients are having to take on unaffordable Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) debts to pay for basics such as groceries and utilities in the absence of adequate social security payments.
The report also found that some women were forced to use BNPL products to flee abusive relationships which is consistent with national data that shows that economic insecurity is linked with an increased risk of intimate partner violence.
Director, Research, Advocacy and System Impact, Dr Ros Russell said that as a major provider of family violence services, Good Shepherd sees firsthand the economic barriers to women’s successful separation from violent partners and their long-term recovery.
“Given the current cost of living pressures, we must urgently raise the JobSeeker payment in order to build women’s safety and economic security,” Dr Russell said.
“Women are often expected to rely on JobSeeker at all life stages, as parents and carers, as women outside the paid workforce due to disability, and as mid- and older-aged women ineligible for the Age Pension who are unable to find paid work.
“We are calling for an uplift of $175 per week for the single person rate of JobSeeker, to bring the weekly payment to $513. The JobSeeker payment should then be increased twice per year in line with wage growth or inflation, to reflect relative standards of living and associated costs.”
Today marks the National Day of Action to Raise the Rate for Good, an initiative of the Australian Council of Social Service.
About Good Shepherd
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand challenges the critical and ongoing issues facing women, girls, and their families, by providing crisis services, housing, financial wellbeing and access to safe and affordable credit. Our programs and services ensure women, girls and their families are safe, well, strong and connected.
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