Nearly five million Australians will benefit from the biggest boost to their social security payments in almost nine years as the federal government seeks to help beneficiaries keep pace with rising living costs.
With average gasoline prices rising to $ 2.20 per liter in some capitals, a flow-on inflationary effect is expected to cause prices of other key commodities to rise.
The 2.1 percent increase in pension payments as well as increased rates for other welfare recipients will help millions of people keep up with rising costs.
Recipients of old-age pension, disability pension and care benefits will from next Monday receive an additional $ 20.10 every fortnight for singles to $ 987.60, while couples rates will increase by $ 30.20 every fortnight to $ 1488.80.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the 2.1 percent increase for pension payments was the largest since 2013.
“This puts money in the pocket of all Australians who depend on our social security system and especially older Australians.”
Senator Ruston said specific calculations had been made that took into account the actual expenses of senior Australians.
“It gives us a higher weighting of fuel and transport costs in recognition of their importance to retirees, which helps ensure that the retirement pension rate maintains senior Australians’ purchasing power in the economy,” she said.
Active test limits have also been increased to give more senior Australians access to a partial pension. The asset limit for a single homeowner has been increased by $ 6750 to $ 599,750, and for a couple it has been increased by $ 10,000 to $ 901,500.
Meanwhile, childless single job-seeking recipients will benefit from an increase of $ 13.20 to $ 629.50, while recipients of Parenting Payment Singles will receive an additional $ 18.20 to $ 874.10.
Maximum rent assistance every 14 days will increase to $ 145.80 for singles and up to $ 193.62 for families.