Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

People with disability big winners from Economic Security Strategy

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

For the first time, lump sum payments are being extended to include more than 700,000 Disability Support Pensioners.

The Rudd Government will deliver a $4.8 billion down payment on long term pension reform to Australia’s four million pensioners, carers, seniors and veterans.

Many of these people are under financial pressure from rising living costs and more recently the impact of the global financial crisis.

These payments are a first step. The Government knows that pensioners are doing it tough so we are giving them support now in the lead up to pension reforms that will be delivered in the Budget context

We are delivering this financial assistance while we get on with the job of reforming the pension system for the long-term.

The lump sum payment of $1,400 to single pensioners and $2,100 to pensioner couples will benefit some of Australia’s most vulnerable groups, including:

  • Age Pensioners;
  • Disability Support Pensioners;
  • Carer Payment recipients;
  • Wife and Widow B Pensioners; Partner, Widow and Bereavement Allowances;
  • Veterans’ Affairs Service Pensioners;
  • Veterans’ Income Support Supplement recipients;
  • Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders eligible for Seniors Concession Allowance;
  • Those of age pension age who receive Parenting Payment, Special Benefit, or Austudy; and
  • Eligible Self Funded Retirees holding a Commonwealth Senior Health Card (CSHC)

The 470,000 people who are receiving Carer Allowance will receive $1,000 for each eligible person in their care.

All payments will be made automatically through Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in the fortnight beginning 8 December 2008 and are intended to provide additional support in the nine months between now and when long-term reforms are introduced from the beginning of the next financial year.