“They can’t eat, they can’t pay their rent, they are living in fear, they feel ashamed and they are telling us this same story overtime,” said Vivienne Moore from the Welfare Alliance at a #ZombieMarch in the Addison Road Community Centre on March 13.
The event was part of a national week of action, organised by the Australian Unemployed Workers Union and others, to pressure the federal government not to cut income support.
The march was a “satirical comment” on the Scott Morrison government’s decision to cut the JobSeeker unemployment payment down to $308 a week from March 31.
The Zombie March was organised to demand the JobSeeker rate be raised to $550 a week.
Janet Burstall from Living Incomes For Everyone said that the government was slashing JobSeeker to force workers to accept lower wages, especially in the hospitality and agricultural sectors which have been “relying on ultra-cheap labour”.
On March 17, the government and Labor voted against a Green’s amendment, seconded by Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, to lift JobSeeker above the poverty line. “Again it’s left to the crossbench to hold the govt to account, while the ALP continue trying to walk both sides of the tracks,” Wilkie said.