Local Federal Labor MPs are today calling on the Morrison Government to fix the rate of unemployed benefit for our region’s 37,000 job seekers.

The Guardian has revealed that over 37,000 jobseekers will be bounced back to just $40 a day next month unless the Morrison Government fixes the rate of support.

Early on in the pandemic the Government accepted Labor’s proposition to increase the JobSeeker rate via the Coronavirus supplement, providing unemployed Australians with an additional $550 a fortnight.

But despite the on-going recession, the Government since then has done nothing but cut the Coronavirus supplement.

It was slashed in September by $300.

It was cut by another $150 on January 1st.

And it will be terminated in March, forcing Australians back under the poverty line.

Slashing the unemployment benefit back to $40 a day will also hurt our local economy as local businesses try to climb out of the worst recession in a generation.

An estimated $5.5 million will be withdrawn from the local economy every fortnight if Scott Morrison’s JobSeeker cuts go ahead.

There are 37,000 job seekers across the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and the South Coast, who rely on JobSeeker and the supplement to survive.

Forcing them back into poverty just won’t cut it.

The Reserve Bank Governor, the Business Council of Australia, and the Australian Council of Social Services all agree that returning to the poverty rate of $40 a day is untenable.

It’s time for the Prime Minister to do the right thing.