St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has described the federal government's increase to the JobSeeker payment as a "pittance" and "deeply disappointing".
The unemployment benefit will increase by $50 a fortnight on April 1, from $565.70 a fortnight to $620.80.
"This works out to be $3.57 a day, it's a tiny increase and will not solve the underlying problem people on JobSeeker experience - being trapped in poverty," said St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO Jack de Groot.
The government has increased the number of jobs people must apply for in order to receive the payment, and is encouraging bosses to dob in workers who are offered jobs but don't accept them.
Job seekers will be required to search for a minimum of 15 jobs a month from early April, increasing to 20 jobs per month from July 1.
"The new standards for mutual obligations are exploitative and this hotline to dob in people receiving JobSeeker is entirely mean-spirited," said Mr de Groot.
"They are sacrificing people's dignity at the altar of a tyrannical level of bean counting.
"The increase to JobSeeker is less than the price of a three-litre bottle of milk or a loaf of bread - it is a pittance."
Mr de Groot said that people on JobSeeker "can't afford the basics like rent and food".
"St Vincent de Paul NSW has been campaigning to raise the rate above poverty levels and this is a huge disappointment for us.
"It means people will have little choice but to seek our help."
About a third of people who come to Vinnies for support are on JobSeeker.
"People on unemployment benefits should not be driven to charity because they are left in poverty," said Mr de Groot.
"Such a small increase to JobSeeker is against the advice of experts, even the Reserve Bank.
"With its sustained low JobSeeker rate, the government is choosing to enforce poverty on people."
Vinnies NSW vice president Brooke Simmons said that "charities ... saw the positive difference that the coronavirus supplement made for so many of the people we assist".
"The federal government's decision will mean that many of these vulnerable people will once again be struggling to make ends meet," she said.
Employment minister Michaelia Cash said a small minority "are actively trying to game the system" and that "the new employer reporting line will ... help ensure those doing the wrong thing are identified".
Job seekers who have been unemployed for six months will be required to participate in an activity, such as a short training course.
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