The federal government’s JobKeeper scheme ended on March 28. And by its own estimates, between 100,000 and 150,000 JobKeeper recipients will lose their jobs in coming weeks.
In the Greater Sydney area alone, that translates to 22,000 – 33,000 people.
That’s a large number of individuals facing “the JobKeeper cliff” – and for many forced into unemployment, falling off a cliff may well be what it feels like.
Nationally, the end of the wage subsidy scheme is set to cause the biggest economic shock since the pandemic itself. Sectors hit hardest by job losses will be those still dealing with pandemic disruptions including tourism, hospitality, and arts and entertainment.
Those who lose their jobs should be able to shift to JobSeeker – but this has been reduced from its peak of $1,115.70 to $620.80 a fortnight.
Last year, the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre in Marrickville expanded its humanitarian programs in response to the pressure the pandemic was placing on people’s lives, and the extra calls for help it was receiving.
It had already been running House to Home to support victims of domestic violence and asylum seekers. Based on that experience, it launched HomeKeeper to provide free or heavily subsidised household items for people doing it tough through the loss of their job, income or other hardship.
When bushfires devastated the South Coast in the summer of 2019-20, and residents lost their homes and everything they owned, the Bower was there to help out, delivering emergency supplies, including tents, tarps and sleeping bags. It continues to help families in these areas as they rebuild their homes through the provision of furniture and other items.
Closer to home, the Bower assists locals. One example of this was when it distributed clothing and essentials to help members of the homeless community who’d established a “tent city” and communal kitchen in Martin Place in response to a lack of housing options and government support.
With JobKeeper ending, the Bower needs your donation to ensure its HomeKeeper program can continue to support those experiencing hardship.
Whether people need a fridge, a washing machine, a wardrobe, crockery or a bike for transport they can choose what they need on the strength of your generosity.
To donate see https://bit.ly/3mj8L89