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Centrelink boost for 5 million Aussies

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Australian currency and the Centrelink logo on the exterior of a building.
Around 5 million Australians will see a boost to their Centrelink payments. (Source: Getty)

Some Centrelink recipients will see a boost to their payments as the Federal Government seeks to cover the cost of rising inflation.

Pensioners will see a $20-per-fortnight boost to their payments from now as the Government raises the welfare payment.

Australia's aged and disability support pensions, along with carer's payments, will rise from 20 March.

The boost means a $20.10 fortnightly increase for individuals to $987.60 and a $30.20 increase for couples combined at $1,488.80.

Asset-test limits will also be stretched to allow more people to access a part pension, with the cap rising by $6,750 to $599,750 for single homeowners.

Homeowner couples will see a $10,000 rise to the asset cap to $901,500.

Almost 5 million Australians will benefit from the three rising payments.

Cost of living rises

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the boost was much needed to allow those on the payments to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“Pensioners will see a 2.1 per cent increase to their payments – the largest increase since 2013,” Ruston said.

“This is putting money in the pockets of all Australians who rely on our social security system and, in particular, older Australians.”

During 2021, Australia’s inflation rate picked up sharply.

From 2017 through to the start of 2021, the annual rate of inflation averaged just 1.5 per cent, which was one of the longest periods of low inflation in Australia’s history.

However, in the June quarter of 2021, inflation spiked to 3.8 per cent and it ended 2021 at 3.5 per cent.

There have been calls to raise the disability support pension by $100 per fortnight to improve living stands, with the soon-to-be $987.60 payment still well below the national minimum wage of $1,545 per fortnight.

Rent assist payments will also rise next week by $3 per fortnight to $145.80 for singles, $3.50 to $171.50 for families with up to two children and $3.92 to $193.62 for families with three kids or more.

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