Suggestions for writing to your MP


Here are some suggestions you may want to mention in your email or letter to your local Member of Parliament (MP), but remember to try to put your own spin on things. It is best if e-mails and letters are unique, not carbon copies of each other!

**Remember to include your full name, address, and contact details, especially if you are seeking a meeting with your local MP**

Sharing Your Story
You might like to share your own experiences of being on JobSeeker Payment: How did your life change when you started receiving JobSeeker? What things did/do you have to go without? What was/is it like looking for paid work? How has the new JobSeeker Payment (which has been doubled) helped you?

It is a good idea to spell out why this issue is important to you and why you want your local MP to take action.

If you do not have personal experience of trying to get by on JobSeeker Payment or another allowance, you should say why you are concerned about this issue.

Some Key Points
– JobSeeker Payment, excluding the temporary Coronavirus Supplement, is only $40 a day, or $287 a week. That is less than $15K a year. It has not been permanently raised, in real terms, for 26 years. Youth Allowance is even less, at $33 a day. Before the introduction of the temporary Coronavirus Supplement, Australia had one of the lowest unemployment payments in the OECD.

– Huge numbers of people on JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance have struggled with the cost of housing, have had to skip multiple meals per week, and have had found it difficult to cover the cost of bills, health costs, and other essential expenses.

– What is the experience of people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance? ACOSS’ survey of almost 500 people trying to get buy on the old rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance found:

*84 percent skip meals to save money

*44 percent skip more than 5 meals a week

*66 percent do not use heating in winter

*68 percent only buy second-hand clothes

*More than half have less than $100 left per week after housing costs

– ACOSS’ survey of almost 900 young people trying to get by on the old rate of Youth Allowance ($32.50 a day) found:

*Over 60 percent of respondents have less than $14 a day left after paying their rent

*Over half have couched-surfed or used other unstable forms of accommodation
*More than 9 in 10 skip meals

*More than 1 in 3 have withdrawn from their studies because of a lack of funds

– Pre-Coronavirus, more than 40 percent of people on JobSeeker had a partial capacity to work because of illness or disability, and over half of people on the payment

– Anglicare Australia found in a 2020 report that of 69,000 rental properties surveyed, just 9 properties Australia-wide were affordable for a single person on JobSeeker, or virtually 0 percent. When the new rate with the temporary Coronavirus Supplement is included, 1,040 properties are affordable, or 1.5 percent of all rental properties Australia-wide.

For more information about JobSeeker and Youth Allowance, visit the resources page of the Raise The Rate website:

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