Pensions to increase

Federal Labor Candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, said this month’s increase in pensions would help many people in Central Victoria and the Macedon Ranges to keep up with the cost of living.

“Federal Labor has delivered for Australia’s pensioners and we’ll keep delivering to make sure they get the fair go they deserve.”

“Ensuring that pensioners have the means to support themselves is core Labor business and we have the history to prove it. In the first decade of Federation, Labor was the first Federal Government to expand and increase the old age pension. Today, Labor continues to be the party that really cares for pensioners.”

Ms Chesters said that from Thursday 20 September, single people receiving the maximum rate of Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, as well as veterans’ income support recipients, would receive an extra $17.10 per fortnight.

Pensioner couples on the maximum rate will receive an increase of $25.80 per fortnight combined.

“In 2009 Labor delivered historic reforms to pensions, including an initial increase in the pension rate, a new pension supplement, an improved indexation system and a new and improved seniors’ work bonus,” Ms Chesters said.

“In the last three years the maximum rate of the pension has increased by $172 a fortnight for singles and $182 for couples combined.”

“This month’s increase to the pension is due to the improved indexation system we delivered three years ago and reflects higher wages growth in the six months to May 2012.”

“Labor understands that pensioners have limited room to move in their budgets. That’s why our improved indexation system is so important - it ensures that when pensioners’ costs of living go up, the pension goes up to match it, and it allows pension recipients to share in the nation’s prosperity.”

Ms Chesters also welcomed increases in other income support payments from 20
September, including the Parenting Payment, Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, 
Partner Allowance and the Sickness Allowance. Rates of Rent Assistance will also
increase.