From 18-24 September the groups endorsing our demands are holding actions around the country.
The Prime Minister will be the target of Sydney protests at his electorate office on 18 September.
At the Elizabeth Centrelink Office, Adelaide there will be a vigil on 24 September for those who died while being pursued over punitive ‘Mutual Obligations’.
Gatherings will be held outside the offices of Indue, the cashless welfare card contractor, in Toowong, Brisbane and Chatswood, Sydney.
Canberra supporters are coordinating social distancing silent protests on 17 and 18 September.
* Tomorrow Movement Virtual March for Good Jobs and a Safe Climate.
* Unfiltered: Voices from the CDC Trial Regions organised by No Cashless Welfare Debit Card Australia
The hash tag for the week of action is #NoExcuseForPoverty. Hampered by coronavirus restrictions, the week will include several small covid safe gatherings, and online events. Full details of each event are available at our Facebook events listing.
Why this week of action
People affected by the reduction of the coronavirus supplement from 25 September are demanding that the government keep the payment at $550 a fortnight.
From 24 September, people on allowances such as JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy and Parenting Payment will have their incomes cut by $300 a fortnight, in the case of JobSeeker to $815.70. The government’s current plan is to cut that further by $250 a fortnight from 1 January 2021. JobKeeper is being reduced and is scheduled to end on 31 March 2021. At the same time other supports are being wound back, including state government measures to protect tenants and bank deferrals of mortgage repayments.
Around 8 million people are receiving either JobSeeker/coronavirus supplement or the JobKeeper payment of $1500 a fortnight. Over a quarter of them already say that the income support is not enough to meet their expenses. ANU research finds that the current number of people whose incomes meet a definition of poverty is 1.1 million, and this could rise to over 1.8 million if the government cuts to income support go ahead.
The Living Incomes For Everyone (LIFE) campaign is a growing coalition of groups backing demands to keep the coronavirus supplement at $550 per fortnight, which lifts JobSeeker from $565.70 a fortnight to $1115.70 per fortnight. LIFE is also calling for the aged pension, which has had only cost of living increases for many years, be raised to the same level as JobSeeker.
Low income workers and their supporters are expressing their demands for incomes that enable dignified living during and after the pandemic, as well as support for Service Australia workers placed under stress by the government’s unreal expectations on them and benefit recipients.