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2 million Aussies cop $100 pay cut

Lucy Dean
·3-min read
a male taking money out of the valet.
a male taking money out of the valet.

Around 2 million Australians receiving JobSeeker support have had their payments cut by $100 a fortnight, in a move blasted as “callous and heartbreaking” by unions.

The Coronavirus Supplement has fallen from $250 a fortnight to $150 as of 1 January, taking the total JobSeeker and Coronavirus Supplement payment to $715.70 a fortnight for a single person with no children.

That’s around $51 a day, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said on Friday.

“For many Australians, the JobKeeper coronavirus supplement meant that for the first time, they were able to eat three meals a day, or purchase much needed medications. To take that away from them now as this difficult year draws to a close is both callous and heartbreaking,” ACTU secretary Scott Connolly said.

“With COVID-19 resurging in NSW and the national economic crisis far from over, cutting economic support to millions of struggling Australians is also an extremely irresponsible act.”

The Australian Council of Social Services CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie also warned the move will push families into poverty.

“Millions are facing agonising decisions like whether they will be able to afford to stay in their homes after the New Year, and which essential items – like food, bills or medicine, they will have to cut back on even further,” Goldie said.

“This is not the way to restore economic confidence in order for the country to recover from recession. Both people and the economy need security in order to be able to rebuild.”

Announcing the cuts in November, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they were necessary to kickstart the economy.

“It’s about continually going forward, not taking steps back,” he said.

“(It) will see more and more Australians, will see more and more businesses, graduate from the economic supports that were so essential over these many months.”

How much JobSeeker do I get now?

Your situation

Your maximum fortnightly payment until 31 December 2020

Your maximum fortnightly payment from 1 January 2021 until 31 March 2021

Single, no children

$815.70 includes:

$715.70 includes:

Single, with a dependent child or children

$862.00 includes:

$762.00 includes:

Single, 60 or older, after 9 continuous months on payment

$862.00 includes:

$762.00 includes:


$760.80 each includes:

$660.80 each includes:

Single principal carer granted an exemption from mutual obligation requirements for any of the following:

$1,043.10 includes:

$943.10 includes:

JobSeeker recipients will receive the $250 supplement with their regular payment when they report on or before 13 January. For all reporting dates after 14 January, JobSeeker recipients will receive the smaller $150 payment.

That’s set to continue until 31 March, with payments to return to the previous JobSeeker payment from 1 April.

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