The Prime Minister’s decision to cut the rate of the Coronavirus Supplement will rip $10,290,600 million a fortnight from the Ipswich, Somerset Region and Karana Downs local economy.
This is the equivalent of 3,944 local jobs, based on average weekly earnings.
After the start of the pandemic the Government introduced a $550 per fortnight Coronavirus Supplement for 34,302 locals receiving various social security payments*. But from 25 September, this will be reduced by $300 – at the same time as JobKeeper support for local businesses will be cut.
The Coronavirus Supplement is scheduled to continue at the rate of $250 per fortnight until 31 December, when it is set to cut out completely.
People who rely on social security payments are more likely to spend and support local jobs and businesses.
Ending this support too early will cost local jobs and hurt those who have recently found themselves unemployed.
Heading into the Christmas period, many people are increasingly anxious about what the future holds.
With the economy still reeling, it’s premature to cut this support.
The reality is that the number of people receiving unemployment payments has doubled since the start of the pandemic – and now stands at 1.6 million nationally.
The Government itself estimates another 400,000 people will be unemployed by the end of the year.
Across the electorate of Blair, the number of local people relying on unemployment payments has increased from 8,719 in December 2019 to 15,156 in August 2020.
That is an increase of 174 per cent or 6,437 people.
Across the country, there are 13 people receiving unemployment payments for every one job vacancy.
In the regions, getting a job is more than twice as hard with 28 people receiving unemployment payments for every one vacancy.
It’s too early for the Prime Minister to end support for local families, jobs and businesses – it will only make the recession longer and deeper.
*The Coronavirus Supplement is paid to people receiving JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Partner Allowance, and Special Benefit.