Centrelink

The government intends to remove the pandemic supplement at the end of March as Jobseekers struggle to meet their basic needs, reports Kerry Smith

The recession, we're told, is over. But, as Graham Matthews details, Australia’s unemployed and underemployed are about to face more pain as the COVID-19 subsidies are withdrawn.

Newcastle unionists and anti-poverty activists protested federal cuts to JobSeeker at a snap action outside Centrelink, reports Steve O'Brien.

Single mother of three Juanita McLaren lodged a complaint in the United Nations in March against the Australian government over its discrimination against single mothers.

McLaren is being supported by the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children which wants the parenting payments’ scheme and the newly-introduced ParentsNext program to be held up to greater scrutiny.

The disaster caused by the federal government’s policy of privatising Centrelink call centres work has been underlined by the results of a survey of Department of Human Services (DHS) staff.

The Newstart Allowance received by Australia’s jobless (if they are lucky enough to get it) stands at $273 a week. The last time it was raised, relative to the Consumer Price Index, was in 1994. Last year, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research calculated the poverty line for a single adult was at around $510 a week (including housing costs). That corresponds to a present figure of about $521. This means Newstart is now $248 a week below that miserably low poverty line.

Ever tried to book a flight online, made a mistake and then found that either there was no one available to help you fix it or that it was just going to cost you more anyway? I have, while experiencing the fury that everyone feels at the helplessness and injustice of it all.

I would consider myself to be relatively computer and internet literate. However this era of new technology and electronic media excludes vast numbers of people and disadvantages them terribly.

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield, in Adelaide's northern suburbs, made history on August 8 when it became the first local government in Australia to publicly advocate for the Newstart Allowance to be raised.

The motion, calling on Port Adelaide Enfield Council to lobby the federal government to raise Newstart, as well as produce a report into how council can assist local unemployed residents who are struggling, was sponsored by Councillor Michelle Hogan, and seconded by Councillor Peter Jamieson. It was passed by 11 votes to 2.

On April 19, the first anniversary of the tragic death of Josh Park-Fing at his Work for the Dole site in Toowoomba, the Australian Unemployed Workers' Union held rallies in Sydney and Melbourne to demand Justice For Josh and that the dangerous, discriminatory and exploitative Work for the Dole and Community Development Program be shut down. 

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the federal Department of Human Services (DHS) have launched six days of rolling industrial action over the stalled enterprise bargaining process and the Centrelink robo-debt crisis.

Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support workers will strike and take other forms of industrial action over February 13 to 24.

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