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Five million Aussies earn a welcome $40 welfare payment boost

More than five million Australians on welfare have had their payments boosted.

Sep 20, 2023, updated Sep 20, 2023
Here's cheers: Five million Aussies have just earned a $40 per week welfare pay rise.

Here's cheers: Five million Aussies have just earned a $40 per week welfare pay rise.

People on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY and the Youth Disability Support Pension will receive an extra $40 per fortnight in addition to the $16 increase from indexation from Wednesday.

The changes were announced in the federal government’s May budget as part of its $14.6 billion package to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said it offered practical assistance to Australian households.

“It means more money in the pockets of those doing it toughest, and that will make a difference,” Ms Rishworth said in a statement.

“We know that many people are doing it tough right now and they expect us to assist where we can to help with the cost of living, particularly for those on the lowest incomes. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Singles on JobSeeker will collect an extra $56.10, which brings their fortnightly payments to $749.20.

Renters on income support will receive an extra $27.60 per fortnight after the government expanded Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 15 per cent on top of indexation, making it the largest increase to the payment in more than three decades.

This is expected to provide relief to about 1.1 million households around the country.

Meanwhile, veterans on a service pension will receive an extra $32.70 with those on the Disability Compensation Payment receiving an additional $53 a fortnight.

A range of other support recipients including those on the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment are set to receive a $32.70 increase for singles, or $49.40 extra for couples combined due to the 2.2 per cent indexation rate.

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As well, income limits for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card recipients will be indexed, increasing by $5400 to $95,400 a year for singles and by $8640 to $152,640 a year for couples combined.

Greens senator Janet Rice said the income increases only tinkered around the edges of a broken system and the combined increases still left people in poverty.

“The changes coming into effect today don’t bring Jobseeker, student and youth allowance payments close to the poverty line, let alone make them enough to live on,” she said.

“People on Jobseeker will still struggle to afford food as well as their medicine, more and more students will abandon their studies because they can’t afford to study and pay the rent.”

Her Senate colleague Larissa Waters also called on the government to increase the single parenting payment age limit, with welfare cutting off when a child turns 14.

“Parents of kids who are 14, 15 and 16 deserve the same level of support,” she said.

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