The Morrison government announcement today that it will withdraw emergency COVID 19 financial support to the states and territories a fortnight after they reach an 80 per cent double vaccination rate is a blow to struggling families and could worsen the nation’s mental health pandemic.
Francis Sullivan, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, said that while the payments could not go on forever the Federal Government needs to ensure that in the event of future COVID lockdowns or outbreaks it is able to reinstate the payments quickly.
“The Federal Government was very slow to provide assistance to people who had lost work at the start of both last year’s and this year’s shutdowns,” Mr Sullivan said.
“This meant that for weeks, sometimes months, people were effectively living off welfare services and placed under huge amounts of pressure.
“Sadly the Federal government seems to be late in providing assistance to struggling families and fast in cutting off the support.
“This is only going to place greater pressure on low-income families, people living with a disability and those who have been worst hit by the lockdowns.
“The financial uncertainly that this decision will bring will only exacerbate the mental health issues that thousands of people around Australia are now suffering,” Mr Sullivan said.
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