Centrelink boost: JobSeeker, pensions, Youth Allowance increase
Millions of Australians are in line for some much needed cost-of-living relief with Centrelink payments to be increased tomorrow.
The boost is worth billions of dollars and will help Aussies who rely on payments such as Austudy, the pension and JobSeeker.
The increase will be a result of indexation, which occurs twice every year in March and September, and ensures payments keep up with inflation.
Single parents will no longer be cut off from government assistance after their youngest child turns eight, with the sole parenting payment to now continue until that child is 14.
This will benefit around 57,000 families by an extra $176.90 a fortnight and is part of the largest set of permanent increases (outside the Covid pandemic) in 14 years.
The single pension rate will increase by $32.70 to $1,096.70 a fortnight, and the rate for couples combined will increase by $49.40 to $1653.40.
Jobseeker payments will increase by $56.10 a fortnight to $749.20 for single people aged 22 or more with no children, and by $57.30 a fortnight for those with children to $802.50.
In a measure included in May’s federal budget, single people aged 55 or over will also have payments increased to $802.50 after nine months of unemployment.
Those on a partnered rate of JobSeeker and Parenting Payment will be on a payment rate of $686 from September 20 – a $54.80 increase.
There are also increases for younger people, with the Youth allowance and Austudy payments will increase by $40.
With rent continuing to rise across the country, rent assistance for singles will have maximum payments increase to $184.80 a fortnight, while partnered people will see theirs increase to $174.
While the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicates inflation is moderating – up 4.9 per cent in the year to July but down from 5.4 per cent the month prior – Treasurer Jim Chalmers said people across the country were ‘under the pump’.
Speaking earlier this month, Dr Chalmers said the measures – which will cost the government $4.7billion – were ‘what people need, when they need it most’, and would not add to inflation.
‘Whether it’s cheaper medicines, more support to pay the bills or a bit of help to pay the rent, these policies and programs are targeted to take the pressure off while times are toughest,’ he said.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said Labor was delivering on its commitment to ‘build a strong social security safety net’ for those who needed it.
‘We will always work to provide a strong safety net for Australians when they need it most,’ she said.
But the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) said the payment increases do not go far enough.
It said almost three quarters of people on income support were eating less or skipping meals due to the cost of living increases in recent years.
Half of those responding to the ACOSS survey said the increases would not help at all.
The welfare lobby group has called for income support to at least match the pension rate.
CENTRELINK PAYMENTS BOOST
- Single JobSeeker Payment recipients will receive a base payment of $749.20 per fortnight, reflecting a $56.10 increase.
- Parenting Payment Single recipients will receive a base payment rate of $942.40, reflecting a $20.30 increase. Single parents transferring to this payment as a result of the Government’s change in the Budget to extend eligibility until their youngest child turns 14 (up from aged eight), will receive an extra $227.50 per fortnight.
- Those on a partnered rate of JobSeeker and Parenting Payment will receive a base payment rate of $686.00, reflecting a $54.80 increase.
- Recipients of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will also receive an increase to their payments.
- The single pension rate will increase by $32.70 to $1096.70, and the rate for couples combined will increase by $49.40 to $1653.40.
- Single veterans on a service pension will receive an additional $32.70, bringing their service pension to $1096.70 a fortnight.
- Veterans on the Disability Compensation Payment (Special Rate) will receive an additional $53.00 a fortnight, increasing their payment to $1729.20.
- Income support recipients who are renting will also receive an increase to the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance. For single recipients without children, the maximum rate will increase by $27.60 to $184.80 per fortnight. For family payment recipients who have one or two children, the maximum rate will increase by $32.34 to $217.28 per fortnight.
- Income limits for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card recipients will also be indexed, increasing by $5,400 to $95,400 per annum for singles and by $8,640 to $152,640 per annum for couples combined.
- Other supplementary payments including Telephone Allowance and Utilities Allowance are also being indexed.