From September 20, the Age Pension, Veteran Payment, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will receive an increase due to indexation but some experts are saying it’s not enough.
This follows new data from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACSS) that suggests almost three-quarters of people receiving income support are eating less or skipping meals due to the low rate of payments and rising cost of living. The data found the upcoming increase to payment rates will not be enough to prevent “widespread distress”.
National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said while older people will welcome the Age Pension increase, the current system pensioners are still behind, especially with high inflation rates.
“More can be done to support older people doing it tough,” Mr Henschke said.
Recent National Seniors research showed a greater proportion of people with low incomes and those who are renting are suffering from cost-of-living pressures with 39% of older renters claiming they were experiencing severe cost-of-living impacts compared to only 11% of older homeowners.
Mr Henschke has again called for the Government to stop penalising older people who need or want to work.
“In our Employment White Paper Submission we have called on the Government to simplify the tax and transfer system to boost workforce participation, and with it income and savings,” he said.
“This could be achieved by reducing the taper rate from 50c to 32.5c in the dollar to align with the tax system. It’s simple, fair, will help solve critical workforce shortage, and boost the budget bottom line.”
In March, single and disability pension recipients received an extra $37.50 per fortnight from to match inflation as part of bi-yearly indexation.
Carers also received an additional $37.50 per fortnight, while pensioner couples received an extra $56.40.