JobKeeper: Victorian workers forced to survive on $6 a day

A worker in Victoria confined to her home and forced to survive on JobKeeper says she will be forced to feed herself for less than $6 a day when the PM slashes the wage subsidy. The Prime Minister has adopted a “wait and see” approach to providing more assistance to Victorian workers until the state government details its own rescue plan for millions of workers hit by the extended lockdown.
Government sources have confirmed there’s little appetite in the Morrison Government to provide a Victorian-only top up for the scheme.
Despite the extended lockdown until the end of October, the Prime Minister is sticking to the plan of reducing JobKeeper payments from $1500 a fortnight to $1200 from September 27.
One of the workers will lose $300 a fortnight under the proposal, 26-year-old Sarah Marshall, told news.com.au that will leave her with a food budget of $40 a week.
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“The JobKeeper payment was a lifesaver for me, but it’s a dramatic drop from what my full-time salary was,” she said.
“The drop again means I won’t be able to afford my food for the week after paying my rent and my car loan, and I’ve got barely any savings after moving away from home at 19 and living in Sydney, now Melbourne.
“The cut of JobKeeper only adds on more stress to an already difficult situation.”
Ms Marshall works for a hospitality group in the city and looking after events and reservations.
“My rent is $1150 a month or around $270 a week. After the tax on that new JobKeeper payment it’s about $540 a week. I’ve got a car loan that’s about $370 a month and insurance which is $100 a month,” she said.
“I take out money to pay for electricity, gas, based on that I will be left with $40 a week to pay for food.
“Apart from that I am basically going to have to ask my parents for money. I am trying not to go into a huge slump and it’s tough to get out of the bed in the morning.
“I can’t see my family as they are in WA, and I can’t see my friends due to the restrictions and I don’t have an intimate partner.”
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The Victorian Premier confirmed on Tuesday he was in talks with the Morrison Government over the plans to reduce the JobKeeper wage subsidy from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight.
Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said it made no sense for Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg to be withdrawing support while Australia is in the deepest recession for almost a century and unemployment is rising.
“It’s beggars belief that the Treasurer, a Victorian, is prepared to stand by and see more suffering all because he is committed to withdrawing support just as things are getting worse in his home state, not better,” he said.
“Victorians are hanging out for a jobs plan, but all the Liberals have to offer are cuts to JobKeeper, cuts to JobSeeker, cuts to the Superannuation Guarantee, cuts to wages, and a pension freeze.”