Man ‘raising family of 8 on JobSeeker’
A hospitality worker who lost his job because of the coronavirus pandemic has revealed what it is like to support his family of eight on a single JobSeeker payment.
Currently those on JobSeeker with dependent children are eligible for a $1,162 fortnightly payment, $550 of which is a coronavirus supplement.
RELATED: JobSeeker payments to be slashed
In a video posted on Twitter by Labor Leader Anthony Albanese the man, known only by his first name JP, explained how he had come to be financially responsible for seven others.
"I currently care for my oldest nephew and a friend's child as well," he said.
"At the start of COVID-19 my sister-in-law had some serious mental health issues, I've had to take on her four children as well now."
Visibly emotional, JP sais he hadn't qualified for JobKeeper as he hadn't been at his current employer long enough and had been forced into unemployment as a result.
"I wasn't eligible for JobKeeper because of the fact that I, like most hospitality workers, have moved around and I moved back to a former employer," he said.
"I'm currently still without a job."
I spoke to JP the other day. Everyone needs to hear his story.— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) July 21, 2020
He's caring for six kids. He was stood down during the pandemic – and like so many casuals, he was excluded from wage subsidies.
Now he's raising his family of eight on JobSeeker and he's scared about the future. pic.twitter.com/odzB9MLnBv
JP said he was now supporting six children and his sister-in-law, saying the situation had left him feeling "upset" and "stressed".
"I'm now at the point where I'm trying to raise a family of eight on JobSeeker and as you can probably tell I'm just getting a little bit stressed and a little bit upset by it all," he said.
"People like JP deserve a government that is as kind-hearted as he is," Mr Albanese tweeted in response.
"Because when Australians fall on hard times, we don't let them fall between the cracks - we help them get back on their feet."
Others agreed, tweeting that JP was a "good human" who deserved more help.
Hoping he gets more support and help as needed.— Tania Dalton (@taniadalts) July 21, 2020
What a good human. How can we help??— 💦Pearlygaits (@CottonPru) July 21, 2020
How can we help this man?— Daughter of Job. (@job_daughter) July 21, 2020
There have been repeated calls not to cut the JobSeeker payments, with nearly two million Australians forced to rely on them due to government-ordered shutdowns.
Announcing the JobSeeker changes on Tuesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the extension of the coronavirus supplement would cost $3.8 billion to December.
The eligibility tests for qualifying for unemployment payments will also be tightened, after a Treasury report found that the generosity of the current increased dole payments could act as a disincentive for the jobless to take on extra work.
The number of Australians on the JobSeeker payment doubled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to 1.7 million workers.
Originally published as Man 'raising family of 8 on JobSeeker'