Now is the time for support for workers, not cuts

UnionsACT welcomes the announcement that JobSeeker and JobKeeper will be extended beyond September, but now is the time for support, not cuts.  

The extension of JobKeeper is critical for working people during this pandemic, but there are still gaps in the program. UnionsACT is calling on the Morrison government to extend this program to all workers that are affected by the pandemic.

UnionsACT sees no reason for cutting payments to workers currently receiving JobKeeper. These workers are often low paid and these cuts could lead to significant financial hardship for swathes of workers in Canberra and across the country.

Cuts to JobSeeker are unwarranted. We know that there are 13 applicants for every job, more in some sectors, so it is offensive to simply say that unemployed workers should be trying harder to find a job.  

“After campaigning by union members in Canberra and around the country, UnionsACT welcomes the extension of JobKeeper and JobSeeker. However now is the time for more support, not cuts. JobKeeper and JobSeeker must be extended to those in our community that have been excluded like short term casuals, university staff and those in the entertainment industry.” said Maddy Northam, President of UnionsACT.

“Reducing the amount recipients of JobKeeper and JobSeeker receive will inevitably lead to financial hardship for Canberrans and local businesses. This may lead to more working Canberrans losing hours and jobs. On top of this, it is concerning that there has been a reintroduction of mutual obligations for recipients of JobSeeker. This punitive approach, demonising job seekers, has no place in our community, particularly during this crisis.

“While this extension has delayed an economic catastrophe, we need significant investment from the government to create jobs. These jobs would create a path out of recession and towards rebuilding the economy.”

UnionsACT acknowledges that it works on the land of the Ngunnawal people, and we pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. 

Authorised M Harrison for UnionsACT, 11 London Circuit, Canberra.

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