"As the pandemic swept the globe in 2020, Australia stood out as a model for
how to contain the virus and support its citizens.
A year later, Australia is struggling with vaccination and has abandoned the
measures it put in place in 2020 to support the most vulnerable.
The A$750 per week COVID disaster payment to Australians in jobs is as big as
the biggest of last year’s JobKeeper payments. It has been extended to the
casual workers employed for less than a year and visa holders who missed out
And it’s being delivered direct to the recipients rather than via employers,
some of whom appeared to have pocketed the money last time. So far, so good.
For the newly unemployed and people on parenting payments there’s an extra $200
per week — but only if they’ve lost more than eight hours’ per week work.
What’s missing is last year’s effective doubling of JobSeeker and related
benefits for people who were already out of work: the $550 per fortnight add-on
that lifted the payment up towards the poverty line.
An estimated 540,000 of the 720,000 adults locked down on such payments don’t
get the $200 per week because they didn’t have paid work ahead of the lockdown.
They are unable to find it during the lockdown and have to live on $44 a day —
well below the poverty line."
More strong evidence in favour of Universal Basic Income.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics