p style=”text-align: justify”>Pensioners in Ballarat and region will receive a boost to their household budgets this month with an increase in the pension and the start of the new Clean Energy Supplement.
Pensioners in Ballarat and region will receive a boost to their household budgets this month with an increase in the pension and the start of the new Clean Energy Supplement.
Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said single pensioners on the maximum rate will receive an extra $35.80 a fortnight. Pensioner couples on the maximum rate will receive an increase of $54.00 a fortnight combined.
This increase applies to people receiving the Age Pension, Disability Pension and Carer Payment, as well as veterans’ income support recipients.
With the increase, total pension payments for people on the maximum rate will be:
• $808.40 a fortnight for singles, and
• $1,218.80 a fortnight for couples combined.
“The Gillard Government is delivering for Australia’s pensioners, because we know pensioners have limited room to move in their budgets,” Ms King said.
“That’s why we have delivered the biggest boost to the pension in more than a century, improved the indexation system and have provided another pension increase with the new Clean Energy Supplement – part of the Household Assistance Package.
“In contrast, the Liberals have promised to claw back the $1 billion a year support Labor is delivering pensioners under that Household Assistance Package.
“This means every single pensioner in Australia would lose more than $350 a year and every pensioner couple would lose more than $530 a year under an Abbott Government,” Ms King said.
The new Clean Energy Supplement, which is part of the Household Assistance Package, will be paid fortnightly along with the pension from 20 March, at a rate of $13.50 per fortnight for singles and $20.40 a fortnight for couples combined.
Labor’s historic pension reforms in 2009 and its new Clean Energy Supplement mean the maximum rate of the pension has increased by $207 a fortnight for singles and $236 a fortnight for couples combined over the last 3.5 years.
The pension reforms mean payments are increased twice a year to keep pace with the cost of living. Increases reflect growth in either the Consumer Price Index or the pensioner living cost index, whichever is higher. The rate is also benchmarked to Male Total Average Weekly Earnings. The pension increase in March is driven by higher wages growth.
From 20 March, the Government is also reducing the deeming rates to better reflect returns available to pensioners from their financial investments, benefitting more than 740,000 part-rate pensioners.
Other income support payments, such as Newstart Allowance and Parenting Payment are also indexed and recipients will receive an increase to their payments from 20 March. They will also receive the new Clean Energy Supplement. Full details of all rates and thresholds to be indexed on 20 March can be found at: Indexation Rates March 2013.