Emerald pensioners get more in their pockets
More than 18,000 pensioners in La Trobe are getting more support to make ends meet with another pension boost from the Federal Government.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin today joined Member for La Trobe, Laura Smyth and local residents at the University of the Third Age in Emerald to discuss the Federal Government’s continued financial support for older Australians.
“Balancing the household budget can be tricky when you’re on a fixed income – and we certainly understand that many local pensioners face pressures with the cost of living,” Ms Macklin said.
“We’ve heard from locals today that this latest pension increase is a very welcome boost for pensioners who are feeling the pinch.
“In local communities like Emerald, a bit of extra help for pensioners can also help support the local economy.
“This increase will help make sure pensioners in Emerald can keep on top of things when the bills arrive.”
Single pensioners on the maximum rate are now receiving an extra $35.80 per fortnight, and pensioner couples on the maximum rate are receiving an extra $54.00 per fortnight combined.
The increased total pension payment for people on the maximum rate is now:
- $808.40 a fortnight for singles, and
- $1,218.80 a fortnight for couples combined.
Ms Smyth said the increase includes Labor’s new Clean Energy Supplement, which is part of the Household Assistance package and worth $13.50 per fortnight for singles and $20.40 a fortnight for couples combined.
“This Labor Government has delivered the single biggest pension increase in more than 100 years, we’ve improved the indexation system, and now we’re providing another important boost with the new Clean Energy Supplement,” Ms Smyth said.
“Emerald pensioners on the maximum single rate now have an extra $207 in their pockets each fortnight than they did just a few years ago.
“We know the extra support this Government is delivering for local pensioners is making a real difference.”
Ms Macklin said local pensioners faced a pension cut if Tony Abbott was elected Prime Minister.
“Local pensioners are certainly very worried about what an Abbott Government would mean for them,” Ms Macklin said.
“Tony Abbott and the Liberals have promised to claw back every cent of the support Labor is delivering pensioners under the Household Assistance Package.
“This means every single pensioner in La Trobe – more than 18,000 residents – would lose hundreds of dollars a year under an Abbott Government.”
Ms Smyth said the Liberal candidate for La Trobe, Jason Wood, needed to be upfront about what the Liberals’ promised cuts would mean for local pensioners.
“Tony Abbott will claw back more than $350 year from single pensioners and more than $530 a year from pensioner couples in our community,” Ms Smyth said.
“Taking away this pension increase – which is what Jason Wood is standing for – will take away more than $5.8 million from our local economy every year.
“Pensioners in Emerald can’t afford to lose this money, and our local businesses can’t afford it either.”
The pension increase applies to people receiving the Age Pension, the maximum rate Disability Pension, and Carer Payment, as well as veterans’ income support recipients.
Full details of all new rates and thresholds can be found at: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/about-fahcsia/benefits-payments/indexation-rates-march-2013.