Millions of Aussies will be getting extra cash in their pockets every week as the cost of living rises amid rising petrol prices.
Nearly five million Australians will benefit from the biggest increase in their social security payments in nearly nine years as the government seeks to help recipients cope with the rising cost of living.
With average gasoline prices hitting $2.20 a liter in some capitals, an inflationary effect is expected to drive prices of other key commodities soaring.
The 2.1% increase in payments to retirees, along with higher rates for other welfare recipients, will help millions of people cope with rising costs.
Recipients of old age pension, disability pension and carer payments will from next Monday receive an additional $20.10 per fortnight for singles to $987.60, while rates for couples will rise from $30.20 per fortnight to $1488.80.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the 2.1% increase in pension payments was the biggest since 2013.
“It puts money in the pockets of all Australians who depend on our social security system and, in particular, older Australians.”
Senator Ruston said specific calculations had been made taking into account the actual expenses of Australian seniors.
“This gives us a higher weighting for fuel and transport costs in recognition of their importance to pensioners, helping to ensure that the old age pension rate maintains the purchasing power of Australian seniors in the economy,” she said.
Asset test limits have also been increased to allow older Australians access to a partial pension. The asset limit for a single owner has been increased by $6,750 to $599,750 and for a couple it has increased by $10,000 to $901,500.
Meanwhile, recipients of Childless Single Job Seekers will get an increase of $13.20 to $629.50, while recipients of Parenting Payment Singles will get an additional $18.20 to $874.10. $.
The maximum rental assistance per fortnight will increase to $145.80 for singles and up to $193.62 for families.