The date for the federal budget’s $250 cash boost for pensioners has been announced after the recent release of the Federal Budget included measures to offer relief to the cost of living for Australians.
The one-off cost of living payment is set to hit bank accounts on April 28. Services Australia has said the payment is automatically deposited to eligible recipients and there is no need to apply for the payment.
Holders of the Pension Concession and Commonwealth Seniors Health cards will be eligible for the tax-free instalment.
The $25o bonus was announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as a way to help provide relief from the rising costs of living while also trying to avoid the rise of inflation and interest rates.
I also announce a new one-off $250 Cost of Living Payment, delivered within weeks to 6 million Australians.
Pensioners, carers, veterans, job seekers, eligible self-funded retirees and concession card holders will benefit. #Budget22 pic.twitter.com/2YNiOYwhzX
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) March 29, 2022
Frydenberg announced the scheme on Thursday, March 24, along with other measures to combat the rising cost of petrol and groceries.
“Obviously, it’s been a very trying time for Australians with the pandemic of course and that’s put pressure on the Budget,” Frydenberg said.
“But this Budget is all about easing the cost of living for families now.”
The Treasurer said the payment is only meant to offer “temporary” relief.
Australian seniors were recently on the receiving end of the largest Centrelink payment increase, with recipients of the Age Pension along with those receiving the Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment receiving an extra $20.10 a fortnight for singles to $987.60 and $30.20 a fortnight for couples combined to $1,488.80.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the increase was “the largest increase since 2013.”
“Pensioners will see a 2.1 per cent increase to their payments,” she said.
“This is putting money in the pockets of all Australians who rely on our social security system and, in particular, older Australians.”
Senator Ruston said the increases had taken into account “the actual expenses of senior Australians.”
“It gives us a higher weighting to fuel and transport costs in recognition of their significance to pensioners, which helps ensure the rate of the age pension maintains senior Australians’ purchasing power in the economy,” she said.
However, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese slammed the increase, telling reporters “the rise in the pension will not keep up with the costs of living.”
“This government is so out of touch that they’re prepared to spin out there saying how well pensioners are going to be off,” he said.
“When they get to the supermarket to buy products they find that everything‘s gone up.
“Pensioners are doing it really tough at the moment.”