Pensioners and JobSeekers will likely need to wait until March 2021 to see their bank balances boosted, as the aged pension will not be increased this September, the Department of Social Services has revealed.
That’s because inflation actually decreased in July this year, DSS deputy secretary Nathan Williamson told a parliamentary committee.
"Based on the calculation for indexation, if it's negative, we don't reduce the pension but we also don't increase it," Williamson said.
Welfare payments are reviewed every six months, but the only payment set to get a boost is the single parenting payment, which will rise by $3 per fortnight on 20 September.
The next review for payments is in March next year, but Williamson did not confirm whether or not the payment would be likely to rise then.
"I'm not in a position to say that because we have to wait to see the broader economic outcomes,” he said.
Australians have taken to Twitter to air their frustrations, saying the pension, which is $860.60 for a single person and $1,297.40 for couples per fortnight, is already $10 below the poverty line.
This, coupled with the early release of super scheme, spells bad news for retirees.
“The country is sick,” one said.
“This is appalling! So all on payments will be sinking further into poverty while Parliamentarians still get wage increases! Outrageous!” Another added.
The JobSeeker rate - which is being boosted by the coronavirus supplement - is due to reduce to $815.70 per fortnight from September.
The annual inflation rate dropped to -0.3 per cent for the year to June 2020, and is just the third time it has been negative.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics put the negative rate down to free childcare, a significant drop in the price of fuel and a fall in pre-school and primary education.
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