Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

One-off payment for 3.8 million pensioners

The Turnbull Government will today introduce legislation to provide 3.8 million people a one-off payment to help meet the cost of living.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Energy Assistance Payment and Pensioner Concession Cards) Bill 2017 provides the one-off payment for people receiving the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment Single and Veterans and their partners paid the Service Pension, the Income Support Supplement and relevant compensation payments.

The payment of $75 for singles and $125.00 for couples will be automatically paid to eligible people before the end of the 2016-17 financial year. People eligible are those residing in Australia and receiving one of the qualifying payments on 20 June 2017.

“This one-off payment was part of a sensible and reasonable package to secure significant reform through the Senate to reduce company tax rates to businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million,” Minister Porter said.

“In securing the passage of the company tax cuts, which help more than 3.2 million small and medium sized businesses employing 6.5 million people, invest more, employ extra staff and pay higher wages, the Government also committed to one-off payments totalling $269 million to be provided to:

  • 2.5 million Age Pension recipients
  • 770,000 Disability Support Pension recipients
  • 260,000 Parenting Payment Single recipients, and
  • 235,000 recipients of veteran payments.

The Minister said the same Bill would reinstate the Pensioner Concession Card to 92,300 former part-pension recipients who lost the card at the start of this year a consequence of our reforms to the assets test to make the pension system more sustainable for the future.

“We have recognised that those part-pensioners who had their pension cancelled have, as a consequence of losing the Pensioner Concession Card, lost access to Commonwealth hearing services as well as a range of private business and state and local government concessions,” Minister Porter, said.

“Although most of those concessions are not provided by the Commonwealth, we are restoring the Pension Concession Card to these pensioners so they can continue to access these benefits.”

Subject to the passage of the Bill, the Pensioner Concession Card will automatically be reissued to those affected as soon as possible after the passage of this legislation. The move, announced in the last Budget, will cost $3.1 million to deliver.