Coronavirus pandemic to poverty pandemic
YFS is bracing for the impacts of the reduction in Jobseeker and Parenting payments with the ending of coronavirus supplement payments on 1 April.
ABC journalist Jessica Stewart interviewed Logan man Michael Morris, who has been working with our Spark employment mentor, about what the cut would mean to him. The ABC also talked to YFS CEO Cath Bartolo, who said the supplement raised people on benefits above the poverty line so they could get by.
“When the supplement was introduced, the number of people seeking help and emergency relief or struggling, declined by 62 per cent, because it was the first time people had a decent income.”
“As it [coronavirus supplement] started to incrementally drop, the increase for emergency relief started coming back and we anticipate. From [today] that will definitely increase further,” Ms Bartolo said.
Ms Bartolo said people who were unemployed could not even afford to apply for work, which included travelling to interviews, not having any work clothes or money for childcare.
“We’ve gone from the coronavirus pandemic into a poverty pandemic,” Ms Bartolo said.
“There are some people who come here [to YFS] who are just desperate to get work, but just need all the support we can give them — like helping them get a licence, buying them some clothes for an interview, travel vouchers to get there.
“Until they can get employment, they’re not going to be able to get out of poverty.”
YFS is currently seeking community support for the Spark employment program: We need your support to help jobseekers find work – YFS