Millions of Australians receiving government payments will have their benefits increase in the coming weeks, as the nation deals with a mounting cost-of-living crisis.
The rise is part of the twice-yearly indexation of welfare payments, designed to keep payments in line with the rising cost of living.
From September 20, welfare recipients are in line for a $40-a-fortnight boost.
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Australians on JobSeeker who don’t have any children will see their payments rise to about $749 a fortnight, up from just over $693.
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The top-up is made up of a $40-per-fortnight increase previously revealed in the federal budget, plus an extra $16 increase as part of regular indexation.
The base rates of working-age and student payments, including Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Disability Support Pension (Youth), and Special Benefit, will increase by $40 per fortnight.
You can read more on the increases in the table below.
The rate for older Australians on JobSeeker will increase to $802.50 per fortnight.
For those on Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Disability Support Pension (Youth) and the Special Benefit, their payments will also increase by $40 per fortnight.
Single parents with children aged eight and above will be eligible for the higher Parenting Payment Single rate, which will add $177 each fortnight until their youngest child turns 14.
Aussies receiving payments don’t need to do anything to get the new rates, as they will automatically be applied.
Welfare recipients will get a boost to their payments from September 20. Credit: AAP
There have been calls for the rise to be higher, as the nation deals with a mounting cost-of-living crisis.
The Greens pushed to increase the income support rate to $88 a day — or $1232 a fortnight — which would bring it above the poverty line and help struggling Australians deal with the cost-of-living and housing crisis.
But the push was rejected by the government and opposition.
Greens senator Janet Rice said it was disappointing the higher rate wasn’t supported because the one which was passed by parliament condemned vulnerable people to poverty.
“Which is absolutely bad for their wellbeing, their health and their ability to get a job — if you’ve got people living in poverty, you’re not in a position to be able to get a job,” Rice told the Senate.
“It is absolutely shameful.”
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the increases would ease cost-of-living pressures for about two million Australians.
Labor assistant minister Tim Ayres said the safety net bill marked a “very substantial improvement” in welfare that would make a real difference.
Ayres said he respected arguments for higher welfare payments, but the government was dealing with significant pressures on the budget and increasing the rate further would cost “billions and billions of dollars”.
He said other cost-of-living measures had been introduced to work alongside the increase.
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