One of Australia’s leading social services groups has welcomed the decision by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to restore the $750 pandemic isolation payment, acknowledging the urgent need to address Australia’s ballooning number of COVID cases and hospitalisations.
It is understood that the Premiers will also push to have the Federal Government continue funding free rapid antigen tests for concession-card holders at tomorrow’s (Saturday) National cabinet, which has been brought forward by two days.
Francis Sullivan, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, said the move to reverse the Government’s previous decision to stop the isolation payment is the right one that will go some way to ensuring the vulnerable are protected.
“Shutting off the payment was always going to be a difficult decision to maintain throughout the dangerous winter months.
“The Prime Minister must be congratulated for reversing a decision that was never going to be in the nation’s best interests and those most at risk.
“Closing the payment scheme sends the wrong message and puts low-income and disadvantaged groups at risk as we face warnings of millions of new infections before winter is finished,” Mr Sullivan said.
The $750 payment is available for casuals and others without access to sick pay. Australia has recorded 43,488 new Covid cases over the past 24 hours and another 90 hospitalisations, taking that current total to 4,602 people.
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