Pensioners offered financial lifeline amidst rising cost of living crisis

Sep 20, 2022
Pensioners receive biggest increase in social security payments in 12 years. Source: Getty

Pensioners are set to receive the largest pay increase in over a decade from today, September 20, as Age Pension payments get a boost to keep up with the rising cost of living.

The Age Pension will increase by $38.90 for singles and $58.80 for couples, per fortnight, making the maximum fortnightly pension rate $1026.50 for singles and $1574.60 for couples (or $773.80 for each person in a couple).

The Disability Support Pension and Carer Payments will see the same increase.

More than 4.7 million Australians will benefit from this indexation rise, as the JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, ABSTUDY and Rent Assistance will also see an increase.

Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, said income and asset limits will change in response to the rise to “ensure people are not disadvantaged”.

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

“Our guiding principles as a Government are ensuring no one is left behind and no one is held back and this indexation increase will help those on Government payments keep up with the cost of living.”

With the price of food, fuel, and other essential items skyrocketing, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Labor government is committed to bringing in “measures that alleviate” financial pressures.

“We understand the pressures that people are under, and we wanted to undertake measures that alleviate cost of living pressures,” Albanese said.

“We’ll be introducing legislation this fortnight on cost of living measures, including for cheaper medicines and cheaper childcare.

“That’s why we ensured that the pension increases and increases for those in social security have occurred this month.”

Earlier this year, in June 2022, Treasurer Jim Chalmers warned Australians to brace themselves as the cost of living is expected to get worse and rise “through the roof”.

The Treasurer said “patience, persistence, and collaboration” is what will get Australia through the current financial state.

“The expectation across the board is that inflation will get worse before it gets better, and that interest rates will get higher as well,” he said.

“This is making life very difficult for Australians already, and for Australian industry, as the prices for goods and services and supplies go through the roof.

“We’ve got a lot going for us in this country and in our economy, but we can’t just pretend away these big challenges that we confront in the next six or twelve months in particular.

“It’s possible to be optimistic about the future of our economy and the future of our country, while also recognising that we have to navigate together a really tricky, really difficult, combination of circumstances.

“What’s necessary here is some patience, some persistence, a lot of collaboration, and working together.”

The increase comes as Australia is experiencing record rates of inflation, sitting at 6.1 per cent, currently the highest rate it’s been since 1990.

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