Centrelink payments to increase for 4.7 million ‘vulnerable’ Aussies as cost of living pressures continue to soar
More than 4.7 million Australians will benefit from a scheduled Centrelink indexation increase on Monday that will see support payments rise in line with soaring living costs.
Recipients of Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payments can expect an increase of $37.50 a fortnight for singles and $56.40 a fortnight for couples combined.
The maximum fortnightly rate of the aged pension will also increase to $1064 for singles and $1604 for couples, including the Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.
Aussies relying on JobSeeker or ABSTUDY payments will see their payments rise from Monday, with the full benefit set to hit $701.90 per fortnight, reflecting a $24.70 increase.
Each member of a couple in receipt of JobSeeker Payment and ABSTUDY will receive an additional $22.50 per fortnight, with the fortnightly rate increasing to $639.10 including the Energy Supplement.
Labor minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, said the government is doing what they can to support Australians in need.
“Australia’s social security system exists to support our most vulnerable citizens, and we know they are feeling the pinch,” Ms Rishworth said in a statement.
“Indexation is a pillar of our social security system and we want more money in the pockets of everyday Australians so they can better afford essentials.
“The increase is an important part of the system and helps those doing it toughest,” she said.
Single parents receiving the Parenting Payment will further benefit from an additional $33.90 a fortnight.
The payment will increase to $967.90 per fortnight when including the Pension Supplement, Pharmaceutical Allowance, and Energy Supplement.
Single recipients of maximum rate Commonwealth Rent Assistance without children can expect to see a slight $5.60 increase to $157.20 per fortnight.
Rent Assistance recipients with one or two children will see an increase of $6.58 to $184.94 per fortnight.
Meanwhile, maximum rate recipients with three or more children will see an increase of $7.42 to $208.74 per fortnight.
Social security payment rates are indexed on a regular basis to maintain their value over time.
Measures for indexing social welfare payments were introduced by the Hawke government in the 1991 Social Security Act and revised in the Howard government’s A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act in 1999.
Although indexation is a welcome relief for many social welfare recipients, the measures may also impact income and assets limits and potentially change the eligibility of some recipients.
The new payment amounts are automatically linked to specific price indices, such as the Consumer Price Index, and will next be indexed in September.