The government has circulated amendments in a Senate meeting tonight to the Coronavirus Supplement announced yesterday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The new amendments will regulate to include those currently on Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy payments.
From the 27th of April, eligible students will receive $550 per fortnight in addition to their regular support payments for a period of six months.
The decision has come as a result of pressure from the National Union of Students (NUS) to also allow full-time students and those training in apprenticeships, who were notably missing in the announced program, to access increased welfare payments.
“The government’s announcement was an awesome, necessary, and politically significant victory for the NUS National Union of Students and the student movement more broadly. This will help many survive the coming months of hardship, and should also demonstrate, to students and the public, what we can achieve through political action, even under such challenging circumstances,” SRC President Liam Donohoe commented.
“We hope that students across the country are inspired by the collective action and continue to fight just as hard for fixes to eligibility requirements, improvements to the DSP and NDIS, and reductions in mutual obligations. Alongside an escalation in our broader demands, students should focus this momentum into housing protection and mutual aid initiatives, which are emerging across the country.”
While this decision comes as a great benefit to financially struggling students in the current coronavirus crisis, there remains some vulnerable parties who are yet to be included in the Supplement. Particularly, those on disability and carer support will not be able to access the additional payments.
More to come.