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Mass cuts to support services for people seeking asylum expected in coming weeks

In a recent media release Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS) reported that the Australian federal government has informed civil society organisations that it will cut over a thousand people seeking asylum off vital support services provided through the Status Resolution Support Program (SRSS) from the end of July. These individuals will lose all income support (worth 89% of the lowest Newstart Allowance rate) on 25 July 2018 and will be cut off from all other support services on 1 August 2018, giving them approximately 30 days to find employment.
A further 5,500 people, including single mothers and families with very young children, will be assessed for ‘work readiness’ in the next few months on the basis of the Department of Home Affairs criteria that is not publicly available. Those who remain on SRSS support will again be reassessed by the department in the coming months, presumably to ascertain if those with previously identified barriers can also be cut off from support.
JRS Australia remains gravely concerned about the prospect of a humanitarian crisis in our cities and towns if the government pushes ahead with these cuts without a clear plan to support people into employment or prevent homelessness.
JRS Australia strongly opposes these cuts and calls on the Federal Government to restore SRSS payments and support to all people seeking asylum in need of it. 
Read the media release here.

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