Over60

Money & Banking

Financial strife as coronavirus supplement comes to end

Financial strife as coronavirus supplement comes to end

Thousands of people have been left in panic, and risk falling below the poverty line as the coronavirus supplement ends on Wednesday.

Left-leaning Australia Institute has conducted research that revealed scrapping the coronavirus supplement and replacing it with a $50 per fortnight increase in the JobSeeker base rate on April 1, is not the right move.

The change will mean a $100 per fortnight cut for those currently on the dole.

The institute has estimated that 155,000 will be pushed into poverty due to the scheme ending.

The institute's senior economist Matt Grudnoff says that changing the government policy measure had the biggest impact on 470,000 Australians who were lifted out of poverty.

However, things changed where at the end of September 2020, the supplement was reduced to $250 per fortnight.

I’m December it was cut again to $150 per fortnight.

"If instead of cutting the coronavirus supplement, the government had instead chosen to restore the full $550 supplement, then half a million Australians would be lifted out of poverty, including 90,000 children," Mr Grudnoff says.

He went on to say that the government can choose between sentencing more than a million Australians to living in poverty or choose the more compassionate option.

"Or it can make the same choice they made last year and show that Australia is a compassionate country and spare these people that fate," he said.

The end of the coronavirus supplement followed just days after the JobKeeper wage subsidy came to an end.

The program successfully steered the economy through last year's recession.