Cash surprise for millions of Aussie

Cash surprise for millions of Aussie

Millions of Australians receiving government support will have their payments lifted by as much as $50 a fortnight as a small relief in the cost of living crisis.

More than 5.5 million people receiving income support or a pension will have their payments increased when indexation takes effect on September 20.

The increase is in addition to the government’s cost of living package announced in its May budget, aimed at boosting income support.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the federal government recognised Australians were continuing to grapple with cost of living pressures.

“Indexation is a vital mechanism to safeguard the purchasing power of social security payments, ensuring they keep pace with the cost of living,” Ms Rishworth said.

“Higher inflation is being felt most within the homes of those on low fixed incomes and these payments are a lifeline for many Australians who are doing it tough.”

Indexation involves increasing of payments or wages in order to maintain “purchasing power” amid inflation, which in June sat at six per cent.

The indexation will affect of a range of government payment programs, including Jobseeker, age and disability support pensions, and single parents.

Those on single Jobseeker payments are among the biggest winners of the indexation package, with base payments rising by $56.10 to $749.20 per fortnight.

The increase is the largest nominal increase to the main adult unemployment benefit in Australia, with adult ABSTUDY recipients also set to receive a boost.

Those on single parent payments will now get a base payment rate of $942.40, reflecting a $20.30 increase, with those also receiving Jobseeker receiving a larger increase.

Those on an age, disability or carer support payment will also receive an increase of between $32.70 and $49.50 per fortnight for singles and couples respectively.

Single veterans on a service pension will receive an additional $32.70, while those with a disability will get an additional $53 per fortnight under the indexation.

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Matt Keogh said the community expected veterans and their families would be looked after following time in Australia’s armed forces.

“Not only will the indexation of these payments help veteran families with the cost of living, certain fortnightly education allowances will also increase,” he said.

Mr Keogh said the increases would ensure “veteran families are better supported” as cost of living pressures mount.

Income support recipients who are renting will also receive an increase to the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

For single recipients without children, the maximum rate will increase by $27.60, while families with one to two children with get $32.34 more.

Income limits for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card recipients will be indexed, as will a range of supplementary payments and allowances.

Youth and study programs such as Austudy and the “Special Benefit (under 22)” will also receive a boost under the government’s package.