Centrelink Retirement, JobSeeker, Parents’ Benefits set to rise as ACOSS calls for measures to raise cost of living
More than 4.7 million Australians will get a boost in support payments from Monday as part of the federal government’s semi-annual indexation of payments.
The Government says it is supporting vulnerable Australians who are “feeling the need”, but a leading charity firmly believes that when payments for JobSeekers are still well below the poverty line amid a cost-of-living crisis, routine indexing is simply not enough remain.
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Australians receiving JobSeeker will increase their payments by $24.70 every two weeks – $1.77 per day – bringing the fortnightly payment to $701.90 for singles over 22 with no children.
Single retirement and disability beneficiaries and carers receive an increment of $37.50 every two weeks, and couples together $56.40.
Support payments increase every two weeks by $5.60 for singles without children, $6.58 for maximum-rate recipients with one or two children, and $7.42 for those with three or more children.
Single parents get a $33.90 increment every two weeks, bringing the payment up to $967.90.
Social Services Secretary Amanda Rishworth said the government is supporting Australians in need who are “feeling the need”.
“Indexing is a pillar of our social security system and we want more money in Australians’ pockets so they can better afford basic necessities,” she said previously.
“The increase is an important part of the system and helps those who are doing it the hardest.”
However, the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) is urging the government to do more to help the millions of Australians living in poverty.
Further action required
ACOSS wants a “real” increase in income support payments, saying indexation in line with the consumer price index does not meet the needs of those receiving income support.
In its budget submissions to the federal government this week, the organization called for unemployment benefits to be raised to at least $76 from the current $48.
ACOSS chief Cassandra Goldie said it was a shame that despite Australia being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, unemployment payments were still the lowest among comparable OECD countries.
“With more than three million people living in poverty in Australia, this budget must reduce the cost of living for those who need it most and help shape a more inclusive society,” she said Thursday.
Goldie said that with the pressure on the cost of living mounting, many Australians are already struggling to make ends meet.
“This is not about the price of a cup of coffee, this is about the essence of life,” she said.
ACOSS regularly hears from people using JobSeeker and related payments forgoing groceries and essential medicines or health care even before the cost-of-living crisis swept Australia.
The JobSeeker increment cuts down to just $1.77 a day, putting the pay 57 percent below minimum wage and 34 percent below pension.
Even with the increase, recipients will still live well below the poverty line, ACOSS says.
Goldie said it was the right time for the government to step in and address the adequacy of key social protections.
“The government has the means to build a more equal Australia,” she said.
– With AAP
https://7news.com.au/business/finance/more-than-47-million-aussies-to-receive-centrelink-cash-boost-c-10071726 Centrelink Retirement, JobSeeker, Parents’ Benefits set to rise as ACOSS calls for measures to raise cost of living