Exactly what will $3.57 buy you these days? Not much at all, really. A loaf of bread perhaps but certainly not a coffee - not that anyone relying on JobSeeker would ever contemplate buying a coffee. Put it away each day for a fortnight and it adds to up to the $50 per fortnight increase to the JobSeeker allowance announced this week by the Morrison government.
Added to that small increase - small because JobSeeker before COVID provided recipients only $40 a day to exist on - is the ability to earn up to $150 a fortnight without it affecting their allowance.
Even so, in the scheme of ever rising costs, especially in the regions, the increase is too little and too late and will plunge the million odd Australians who rely on the allowance back into the grinding pre-COVID poverty they'd suffered.
The COVID supplement introduced during the pandemic and progressively wound back until it ends at the end of March allowed JobSeeker recipients to experience a glimpse of a more dignified life, only to have it snatched away again.
The idea behind this mean-spirited approach is to encourage people on JobSeeker to actively seek out employment. We know there have been shortages of labour in the hospitality and agricultural sectors, that many regional businesses have been struggling to find staff.
However, with the JobSeeker allowance so pitifully low, the cost of finding work, for many, will not be met by the tiny permanent increase. Being well presented at an interview requires clean, fresh clothes, a hair cut, a means of getting to the interview. These all cost money.
The government says JobSeeker should not be a replacement wage but, rather, a safety net. That is an entirely acceptable proposition.
The problem is that the safety net is set too low, making it even harder for the unemployed to get out and find work.