Cutting the rate of JobSeeker will create a national crisis with a significant increase of people thrown into poverty and in need of assistance, Anglicare Australia says.
A survey of financial counselling and emergency relief services conducted by Anglicare and released on Monday shows 100 per cent of the respondents strongly agreed a cut to JobSeeker would leave many more of their clients in need of help.
The federal government was expected to make a decision about the future of JobSeeker this week.
If the COVID-19 supplement, which had been steadily reduced, was removed entirely it would leave the rate at $282.85 per week.
Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said the old rate of JobSeeker ensured hundreds of thousands of people were trapped in poverty until the supplement "righted that wrong".
"People were lifted out of poverty overnight. Our clients told us they could finally feed their families, pay the rent and plan for their future without making devastating trade-offs," she said.
"Cuts will undo all of that work.
"The government says it doesn't want to lock in more spending on JobSeeker.
"The truth is they are shifting those costs onto others - onto families, communities and services like ours. It is the rest of us who will bear the cost.
"It's time for to the government to raise the rate for good and end the poverty trap, instead of choosing to leave people behind."