Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

NSW public housing pensioners lose out under state budget

Around 68,000 New South Wales pensioners living in public housing will be disadvantaged by the NSW Government’s decision to discontinue the quarantining of the pension rise and increase public housing rents.

The NSW Government’s decision, announced in last week’s state budget, means that pensioners in NSW will now have more of their pension diverted to paying rent.

The NSW Government’s decision is very disappointing. When we increased the pension in 2009, we asked the states and territories to quarantine this amount from rent calculations.

We want to see the pension increases in the pockets of pensioners, not going into increased public housing rents.

Over the last two years the Australian Government’s historic pension reforms have delivered increases to the maximum pension of about $148 per fortnight for singles and $146 per fortnight for couples combined effective from 20 September 2011.

The Australian Government’s pension reforms were the most significant reforms to the pension since it was introduced 100 years ago and have provided substantial increases to the pension and long-lasting improvements to the indexation system.