Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Carer Allowees, Youths and Students to get Payment and Allowance Rises

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Andrews, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
  • The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training

About 760,000 students, youths, carers and people with a disability are set to get allowance and payment increases ranging from $28.60 to $270.40 a year from January 1.

The rises in allowances and payments, linked to increases in the Consumer Price Index, were jointly announced today by the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, and the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews.

Senator Patterson said that while she had policy responsibility for the management of the Social Security Act, under recent machinery of government changes three departments have been allocated individual responsibility for the different payments and allowances being increased.

‘Recent changes to Departmental responsibilities mean that the Department of Education, Science and Training is now responsible for payment of Austudy and Youth Allowance for students.

‘Portfolio responsibility for payment of Youth Allowance for the unemployed and Youth Disability Support Pension has been transferred to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

‘Included in the payments my Department retains responsibility for is Carer Allowance and it also has administrative responsibility for indexation provisions in the Social Security Act,’ Senator Patterson said.

‘More than 320,000 people with caring responsibilities will receive a $2.30 increase a fortnight in their Carer Allowance, lifting the basic rate to $92.40 a fortnight. The Carer Allowance reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to the many Australians providing care for people with disabilities or medical conditions and the frail aged.’

Dr Nelson said he was pleased to announce an increase for students receiving Austudy and Youth Allowance.

‘More than 290,000 students receiving Youth Allowance will get increases of between $4.40 and $10.40 a fortnight, depending on their family and living arrangements, while more than 32,000 students will get an Austudy increase ranging between $8 and $10.40 a fortnight,’ Dr Nelson said.

‘By lifting payment rates to keep pace with the costs of living, the Australian Government is ensuring that students can continue to maximise their potential through further education.’

Minister Andrews said people receiving Youth Allowance and Youth Disability Support Pension would also receive an increase in their payments.

‘More than 75,000 unemployed Youth Allowance recipients will receive increases of between $4.40 and $10.40 per fortnight and more than 39,000 single people aged under 21 will receive increases of between $6.70 and $10.30 a fortnight in their Disability Support Pension.

‘The Australian Government is pleased to be able to grant some additional support to unemployed and disabled youths and to help them maximise their potential,’ he said.