Payment boost to support Wide Bay pensioners

More than 47,000 people in Wide Bay will benefit from a boost to their social security payments from 20 March to assist with changes in the cost of living, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment rates will increase by $20.10 a fortnight for singles to a total fortnightly payment of $987.60 and by $30.20 a fortnight for couples combined to a total fortnightly payment of $1,488.80.

In addition, asset test limits have been increased which will allow more senior Australians to access a part pension. For example, the asset limit for a single homeowner has been boosted by $6,750 to $599,750 and for a homeowner couple by $10,000 to $901,500.

“Since the Liberals and Nationals Government was elected in 2013, the Age Pension rate for single pensioners has increased by $179.20 a fortnight, and the rate for pensioner couples combined has increased by $270 a fortnight,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We understand the financial pressures faced by the elderly and families in Wide Bay, and it’s important to manage the Budget responsibly to take into account the current economic situation and provide these increases to help pensioners and allowance recipients with the rising cost of living.”

Mr O’Brien said pensioners in Wide Bay will see a 2.1 per cent increase to their payments – the largest increase since 2013.

The basic rate of Jobseeker Payment will increase by $13.20 to $629.50 for singles without children while Parenting Payment Single will increase by $18.10 to $874.10 including Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.

“Since March 2013, the basic rate of Jobseeker Payment (formerly Newstart) for a single person without children has increased by $145.70 per fortnight, which is supporting 8,237 JobSeekers in Wide Bay.”

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said indexation was an integral part of our social security safety net and ensured pensioners and jobseekers maintained their purchasing power within the economy.

The fortnightly maximum rate of Rent Assistance will also increase to $145.80 for single recipients with no children, $171.50 for families with up to two children and $193.62 for families with three or more children.

More than 5 million pensioners and other payment recipients also received an additional $2000 in Economic Support Payments throughout the pandemic.

Full details of new rates and thresholds are available at www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/benefits-payments/previous-indexation-rates