Working people forced to foreclose on their futures to keep the rich rich

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 20 August 2020

Working people will be forced to foreclose their futures to keep the rich rich with proposed amendments to the Jobseeker waiting period.

RAHU strongly denounces the Federal Government’s proposed amendments to the Social Security Act 1991, which will see Jobseekers waiting 26 weeks for payments if they have $11,500 in the bank.

The average weekly rent in Australia is $436, meaning rental expenses alone in a 26 week period would total $11,336. We challenge the Prime Minister to feed his family for six months with the remaining $164.

With this decision, in combination with the impending cuts to Jobseeker, Scott Morrison and his team have made the unconscionable decision to plunge hundreds of thousands of people further into poverty.

With the underutilisation rate at 18.7%, and 13 jobseekers for every job vacancy, the Government must extend immediate support to all affected people or risk a tsunami of evictions, rent defaults and the associated social consequences.

Quotes and attributions

“When unemployment is at an all time high, the government has chosen to exacerbate insecurity. This continued war on the poor will leave thousands more without a secure home.” – Eirene, RAHU secretary

“The government expects us to have nothing before they’ll support us with less. 560,000 people have completely emptied their superannuation, and now they’re expected to empty their savings too. How are we supposed to recover from this?” – Paddy, RAHU organiser & researcher

“My industry is collapsing around me and my contract is up in September. I tried to save and prepare as much as I could, and now with this waiting period I’m going to be punished for it. All the sacrifices and hard work I’ve done in the last decade to save for my future will be for nothing after this.” – Jess, RAHU member

Media contact: Paddy: 0407 712 579 or email [email protected]

The Renters And Housing Union (VIC) is a newly formed, member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing. We organise collectively to fight for the right to safe and secure housing through self-advocacy, education, and frontline eviction defence.

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