Continued support of pensioners in Isaacs

Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs, today welcomed the Federal Government's announcement that local pensioners will soon receive an increase in their payments to help them balance the household budget.

Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs, today welcomed the Federal Government's announcement that local pensioners will soon receive an increase in their payments to help them balance the household budget.

From 20 September this year single people receiving the maximum rate of age, disability and carer pensions, as well as veterans' income support recipients, will receive an extra $19.50 a fortnight. Pensioner couples combined on the maximum rate will receive an extra $29.60 a fortnight.

Mr Dreyfus said there are more than 23,900 pensioners in Isaacs who will be among 3.4 million across the country who will benefit from the increases.

"As part of historic pension reforms, the Australian Government delivered an improved indexation system to ensure the pension keeps up with the cost of living."

Pensions are now indexed twice a year to the higher increase of two measures: the Consumer Price Index or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index. Pensions are then compared to the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings benchmark and are increased if necessary to meet the wages benchmark.

"Over the last two years, two of the four pension increases have been driven by the pensioner living cost index, and this will happen again this September.

"We know that local pensioners on a fixed income have the least room to move in their budgets and that's why it's so important that when their cost of living goes up, their pension payment matches it."

In the six months to June 2011 the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index rose by 2.7 per cent, compared to a 2.5 per cent rise in the Consumer Price Index and a wages benchmark increase of 2.1 per cent.

Following these increases, total pension payments for people on the maximum rate, including the base rate and pension supplement, will be:

• $748.80 a fortnight for singles, and
• $1,129.00 a fortnight for couples combined.

Over the last two years the pension reforms have delivered increases to the maximum pension of about $148 per fortnight for singles and $146 per fortnight for couples combined.

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