Welfare payments to rise in biggest indexation increase in decades

W

Millions of Australians will receive a boost to their hip-pocket when welfare payments receive their largest increase in decades.

Aged pensioners, disability support pensioners, and people on a carer payment can expect a rise of $38.90 a fortnight for singles and $58.80 a fortnight for couples.

The boost – of almost 4 per cent – is the largest for allowances and pensions in 30 years and 12 years, respectively, and kicks in on September 20.

The increase is part of the six-monthly recalibration to keep up with changes to the consumer price index, which has soared to an eye-watering 6.1 per cent in the year to the June quarter.

Allowances, including JobSeeker, parenting payment, ABSTUDY and Rent Assistance will also increase.

For singles, the JobSeeker and Parenting Payment will increase by $25.70 a fortnight and $35.20 a fortnight respectively.

Couples on the allowances will receive a $23.70 increase.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the boost will ensure nobody is held back amid the cost of living crisis.

“We want to ensure Australia has a strong social security safety net to protect our most disadvantaged,” she said.

The indexation comes after the federal government last week announced age pensioners could earn an extra $4000 this financial year without losing any payment.

Meanwhile, the cost of living is expected to increase further at the end of the month, with the Treasurer Jim Chalmers ruling out an extension to the fuel tax excise cut.

The 44-cent excise tax on fuel was slashed to 22 cents in a pre-election sweetener by the former Morrison government in the March budget.

But the Treasurer has long argued against its extension, citing its $3bn cost.

“It would be too expensive to continue that petrol price relief indefinitely,” he said.

“I think Australians understand that we’ve inherited a budget which is heaving with a trillion dollars in Liberal Party debt and that means some difficult decisions including this one.”

The Treasurer has written to competition watchdog the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), asking that it intensify monitoring of fuel prices with the reintroduction of the full excise.

Originally published as Welfare payments to rise in biggest indexation increase in decades


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