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Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Pensions CPI increases

Minister for Family and Community Services, Amanda Vanstone, said today that full indexation was being provided to pensioners and allowees.

“Two percent of the March 20, 2001 CPI increase was provided IN ADVANCE, from July 1, 2000 to coincide with tax reform,” Senator Vanstone said. This is acknowledged by the nine groups in their joint statement.

“The advance of the 2% is NOT being withdrawn. The remainder of the CPI adjustment – another 2% – will be added from tomorrow, when pensions are normally indexed to inflation.

“In addition, as also acknowledged by the nine groups, pensioners received a 2% real increase from July 1 last year. This means pensions will remain 2% above where they would otherwise have been.

“Under Labor, pensions were indexed but there was no guarantee of further increases to keep pensions at 25% of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings [MTAWE]. Under that system and without tax reform, a single pension would be rising tomorrow to only $379.39.

“Under this Government, with indexation plus the legislated requirement that we introduced to maintain pensions at at least 25% of MTAWE, plus the 2% real increase from July 1, 2000, a single pension will rise to $402.00 from tomorrow.”