Raise the Rate for Good
Today has been named a national day of action on Newstart. Newstart is the Australian unemployment benefit. A single person on Newstart gets $40 a day. It’s hard to find anyone who thinks it is possible to live well on that. The rate has effectively been frozen since 1994.
As part of its Covid-19 support package, the Government temporarily doubled Newstart and renamed it JobSeeker. The question now is, what will happen to the Newstart rate when the temporary support measures are phased out. The ‘Change the Rate for Good’ campaign aims to make the JobSeeker rate permanent, or at least to secure a substantial permanent increase to Newstart.
So why the focus on canned food in the campaign? Because it’s very difficult to eat nutritious, healthy meals on Newstart, and canned food, while it may not be very healthy, is cheap.
When I went to the pantry to find cans to photograph, I realised we actually don't have many. But then, we don’t have to manage on $40 a day.