JobSeeker payments will increase by $25 a week at the start of April, but the COVID-19 supplement of $75 a week will conclude at the end of March.
Horsham's Christian Emergency Food Centre's client assessment manager, Bev Miatke said although it's good to see an increase in the payment for people looking for work, it won't be enough.
"What people were living on before certainly wasn't enough, it was time the government looked at it."
"It is a balance between encouraging people to look for work and not rely on the payment but also making it possible for people to live.
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"Whether it's going to be quite enough? I'm not sure," she said.
The Federal Government will raise the baseline Job Seeker rate by $25 a week. People receiving the payment are required to apply for 20 jobs a month.
Originally NewStart, it was renamed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. NewStart had not received a substantial increase since the year 2000.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, $100 worth of groceries in 2000 would cost $162 in 2020.
Ms Miatke said last year, during the height of the pandemic and when Job Seeker included the COVID-19 supplement, the food centre was quiet.
"We were expecting that to change once the supplement was taken away. It's been building up. It's definitely been busier, and we expect it will get busier.
"The increase will help a little bit but probably not enough.
"It's not a huge amount extra, so people will still struggle. We are here if that is the case," she said.
Ms Miatke said it's hard to get a sense of how people in the community are coping as they can only contact via phone rather than face to face interviews.
"We don't quite get that same connection, but at least we are still here," she said.
"We're hoping to get back to face-to-face as soon as possible and we can get into the nitty gritty problems people are facing."
Job Seeker recipeints will receive just over $600 a fortnight; however, Job Seeker payments are subject to tax.
People aged between 22 and Age Pension age and are seeking work are eligible for JobSeeker.
Uniting Vic. Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike said the payment doesn't go far enough and that it's a "missed opportunity."
"Tuesday's announcement by the Government is a long overdue acknowledgement $40 a day is nowhere near enough for people to live on, but this token increase will do very little to ease the suffering," she said.
"What the Government has announced is just under $3.60 increase per day, less than a cup of coffee. How is this supposed to help people put food on the table or with the cost of putting petrol in the car to go to a job interview."
Ms Pike said there are larger concerns than dollars.
"We're still extremely concerned millions of people will fall deeper into poverty from which many will struggle to escape. Families are under enormous stress and we've seen huge increases in demand for support for everything from food parcels to help paying the rent or bills and people really struggling with their mental health," she said.
"The Jobseeker payment is not a handout, it's about decency and giving people a basic standard of living.Nobody should have to make a choice between paying the electricity bill or school fees and buying necessities like food or medicine."
The Australian government also passed a hotline to call when JobSeeker was offered a job and not taken it.
Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, said these measures enhance Australia's social security network.
"These changes strike the right balance between providing support for people while providing incentives to work," she said.
"Welfare is a safety net, not a wage supplement, which is why it's important to get this balance right.
"The actions we have taken this year successfully cushioned us against the impact of the pandemic and mean we no longer need to rely on the emergency support payments which have sustained us over the past 12 months."
In December, the JobSeeker payment was supporting almost 10,000 people in Mallee. The JobKeeper payment, at its peak, was supporting nearly 5000 businesses across Mallee.
The Australian Government has committed $9 billion over four years to the increase in payments.
The COVID-19 supplement of $150 a fortnight will end on March 31, 2021, and the JobSeeker payment increase will begin on April 1, 2021.
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