From today and over the coming weeks 3.2 million Australian pensioners will receive more money in their bank accounts to help them make ends meet.
Across Australia a total of about $707 million in household assistance will be going out to pensioners before the carbon price starts on 1 July.
Full and part pensioners will receive upfront household assistance payments of $250 for singles or $380 for couples combined. These payments will be paid straight into pensioners’ bank accounts over the coming few weeks.
From March next year pensioners will receive ongoing annual household assistance that will increase to keep up with the cost of living.
The Government knows that pensioners have the least room to move in their budgets, which is why they will get the most help, with many pensioners coming out ahead.
About 2.1 million pensioners who are on the maximum rate of the pension will be better off by $134 a year for singles and $201 a year for couples on average – a buffer of more than 65 per cent against the expected impact of the carbon price.
And 93 per cent of pensioner households will be at least 20 per cent better off thanks to these new payments.
The Gillard Government is providing household assistance payments to millions of Australians. More than 1.6 million families have already received or will soon receive household assistance of up to $110 for each child in families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A and up to $69 for families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part B.
Self-funded retirees, veterans, students and other eligible payment recipients are set to receive increases in their payments before the end of June.
And in July Australian workers will benefit from new tax cuts.
This new pension payment is on top of the historic pension rise and improved indexation arrangements this Labor Government delivered in September 2009. Since then the pension has increased by $154 per fortnight for singles and $156 per fortnight for couples combined.
Pensioners can find out more by visiting australia.gov.au/householdassistance or by calling 132 300.