As the country continues to do it tough amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, there was some slight relief for those in receipt of welfare payments this week as the government announced the latest indexation rate increases.
Millions of older Australians who rely on the Age Pension to get by will now receive a boosted pay packet each fortnight, along with those who receive the Newstart Allowance, as well as Widow, Partner and Sickness Allowance.
Every March and September, payment rates for pensions and allowances are adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index. And the new figures were put into effect yesterday by the Department of Human Services.
For single pensioners who receive the full rate, their payments will now rise from $933.40 to $944.30. This is a total increase of $10.90, and includes a slight boost to the supplement payment and energy supplement. While couples who receive the maximum pension amount will see their fortnightly payments rise by a total of $8.30 – including the supplement and energy supplement – from $703.50 to $711.80 each.
The pension supplement has also gone up as a result of indexation. The basic amount, which is paid to pensioners overseas, has risen by 30 cents to $24.90 for singles and couples who are separated, while the amount for couples now sits at $19.90 each.
The pension supplement minimum – received by those who are paid a pension under the transitional rules – has also changed. Singles and separated couples will now get $37.40, while couples will receive $28.20 each.
The slight boost to pension payments comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a one-off payment of $750 for all pensioners, in a bid to prop up the Australian economy which has been hit hard by the outbreak and spread of Covid-19.
The PM unveiled the cash sum last week as part of the Coalition’s $17.629 billion economic stimulus package, and it will begin to flow into the accounts of the 6.5 million eligible Australians from March 31. Those eligible for the payment do not need to do anything to qualify.
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