Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced pensioners have not been left out of the upcoming Federal Budget, as pension payments are set to receive a boost to keep up with the “skyrocketing” cost of living.
An extra $33 billion will be divided amongst pensioners and other social security payments recipients over the next four years.
Watch @InsidersABC and @abcnews to see my interview with @andrewprobyn – we discuss the @AlboMP Government’s first Budget which I’ll hand down on Tuesday night #OctBudget2022 #auspol #ausecon pic.twitter.com/a3DDniLth6
— Jim Chalmers MP (@JEChalmers) October 22, 2022
Speaking with the ABC, Chalmers said one-third of the $33 billion will be given to pensioners, one-third to JobSeeker payments and the remainder distributed among family assistance and carers and disability payments.
“One of the pressures on the budget is making sure we can find room for that indexation so that people who are on pensions and payments, get a little bit of help twice a year to try and keep up with the skyrocketing costs of living,” Chalmers said.
With inflation expected to hit 7.75 per cent by the end of the year, Chalmers said the budget has been tailored to reflect the current economic climate.
“Inflation is the primary influence on this budget. It guides our approach to cost-of-living relief. It guides our approach to targeted investments in a stronger, more resilient economy,” the Treasurer said.
“This will be a family-friendly budget which recognises that our pressures on the economy come from around the world, but they’re felt around the kitchen table.
“It will be a responsible budget. It will be solid, sensible and suited to the times because when you’ve got all of this uncertainty around the world, the best possible response is a responsible budget at home and that’s what this will be.”
The Treasurer said the Government has been delicate in allocating money for the budget to ensure inflation does not get worse.
“Our responsibility when we’ve got lots of inflation is not to spray money around in an indiscriminate or untargeted way because that would make our inflation problem worse,” he said.
“There are lots of things that we would like to do in this budget that we can’t afford to do. When you’ve got all of this global uncertainty and all of this inflation you need to put a premium on what’s solid and sensible and suited to the times.”
The global uncertainty Chalmers references include the current war in Ukraine and the recent flooding disasters along south-east Australia, which the Treasurer said will likely cause grocery prices to soar.
These expected changes in the cost of living are sure to be felt by senior Australians, as recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicated that older Australians are already suffering the most from the rising cost of living with pensioners experiencing an annual household living cost of 4.9 per cent.