Welfare recipients on JobSeeker and pensions will receive the biggest indexation increase in 30 years on September 20 but it’s so small it won’t change anything for five million vulnerable Australians.
The indexation increase is a routine adjustment to keep the payments up to date with changes in inflation, the same way wages go up a little every financial year.
Payments for those receiving age pensions and disability support pension will rise by $38.90 a fortnight for singles to a maximum payment of $1026.50 and $58.80 a fortnight for couples to a maximum of $773.80 for each member of the couple or $1547.60 per couple.
JobSeeker payments for childless singles will increase $25.70 a fortnight to $677.20. It will increase $35.20 a fortnight to $927.40 for single parents. For partnered parents it will increase $23.40 a fortnight to $616.60.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on Sunday the indexation increase was bigger than usual because inflation is so high rn.
“It’s really important that our payments keep up with inflation. That’s why they’re indexed twice a year and every little bit helps. This indexation will be particularly big this month because inflation is particularly challenging,” he said.
“We know that it won’t solve every problem for everybody but it’s important that we try and make sure that those payments keep up. That’s what the indexation is about. It will be welcome even as we acknowledge that times will still be tough for a lot of people.”
But with the immense cost of living, the fuel excise due to expire in a few weeks and interest rates rising, things will only get tougher.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also confirmed once again the government would not be raising the JobSeeker payment in this quarter’s budget.
Albanese implied on ABC RN on Monday morning that raising JobSeeker wasn’t a financially responsible move for the government to make.
“I would always like to provide as much support as is financially responsible for people who are doing tough and I recognise that people on JobSeeker are doing it tough,” he said.
“There was a rise during the last term of government and one of the things that I’ve said I’ve said in opposition, I say it again in government is a Labor government will always look at payments each and every budget to see what is affordable and just see what we can do to take pressure off.”
This comes the same week the government said it wouldn’t commit to increasing paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks.
“We have something called a budget and if you in the budget did everything that you wanted to do that was a good idea then there’d be an interview that we would hold the next morning which wouldn’t be about any specific measures. It would be about the enormous increase in our expenditure,” he told the ABC.
Mm, ok but the government can however afford to give an unnecessary giant tax cut to high-income earners?
The stage three tax cuts which will mostly benefit Australians earning more than to $180,000 a year will cost the government $243 billion when they come in effect in July 2024.
The top 1 per cent of the country will save $1.4 billion on their tax bill, which is equivalent to the benefit given to the lowest-earning 65 per cent combined.
Yes the Morrison government introduced these cuts, but the current government is responsible for keeping them in place, which is has promised to do ahead of helping those who actually need it.
Labor voted for Morrison’s stage three tax cuts in 2019. You did not inherit them @AlboMP , you voted for them as did @JacquiLambie. Only @Greens voted against them. Now everyone is pretending otherwise. #auspol
— Christine Milne AO (@ChristineMilne) August 29, 2022
$243 billion is a fkn lot for a government that keeps going on about how it inherited a country in economic strife and a “$1 trillion debt” from the Morrison government.
So people with steady high incomes, like Albanese, will get to pay lower taxes but nothing will change for people on lower incomes or on JobSeeker.
Don’t we just love a progressive government.