3.9 million Australians to receive increased payments
More than 3.9 million Australians will receive increased pensions, allowances and supplementary payments, following the 0.8 per cent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 6 months to December 2006.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, and the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Joe Hockey, today announced the newly adjusted rates, which come into effect on 20 March.
"Every six months on 20 March and 20 September, rates of various adult pensions, allowances and some supplementary payments are indexed in line with the most recent six-monthly CPI increase," Mr Brough said.
"Further increases in pensions have occurred as a result of increases in Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE) benefiting all pensioners.
"The Coalition Government legislated to link pension rates to MTAWE in 1998, guaranteeing that maximum pension rates would be at least 25 per cent of MTAWE. As a result, single pensioners on full pension are $66.20 better off per fortnight than they would otherwise have been and full rate partnered pensioners are $55.70 a fortnight better off.
"From March 20, 2007, the maximum single pension rate will rise from $512.10 to $525.10 a fortnight and the maximum partnered pension rate will increase from $427.70 to $438.50 a fortnight.
"The maximum single rate of allowance (single over 21, with no dependent children) will rise by $3.40 to $424.30 a fortnight.
"Over two million people receiving payments such as Age Pension, Carer Payment, Special Benefit, Maternity Payment, Maternity Immunisation Allowance and Utilities Allowance will receive an increase in their payments," Mr Brough said.
"A further 1.9 million people receiving entitlements such as Disability Support Pension, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment and Partner Allowance will also receive an increase," Mr Hockey said.
"Generally, the income cut-out points for the increasing rates will also rise, as these are a function of both the maximum payment rate and the income-free area. Income limits for Low Income Health Care Card entitlement will also rise."