Centrelink beneficiaries will receive a major cash boost
Another $33bn will go to pensions and other social benefits, with cost of living ‘skyrocketing’ should drive up payments.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government needed to find billions of dollars in additional funding because social benefits were indexed to inflation.
“One of the pressures on the budget is to make sure that we can find room for this indexation so that people who receive pensions and payments get a little help twice a year to try to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living,” Chalmers told ABC News.
He said about a third of the additional $33 billion would go to superannuation and another third to JobSeeker payments.
When will the boost come?
Twice a year, social benefits are reviewed to ensure they keep up with the cost of living – once in March and again in September.
Payments were increased in Septemberwhere welfare recipients have seen the biggest increase in payment indexation in more than 30 years for benefits and 12 years for pensions.
Payments will be reviewed again in March 2023 but, with the Treasurer ensuring that additional funds are ready, it is expected that payments will increase again.
Centrelink payments not high enough
The report interviewed job seekers and revealed the harsh reality of how hard it is to live on payment as the cost of living continues to rise.
The report found that those receiving jobseeker payments were struggling to pay rent96% spending more than 30% of their income on rent, meaning they were experiencing housing stress.
The report also found that rising grocery prices are forcing people on income assistance to compromise their nutrition.