PENSIONERS will be better off after an increase in their payments starting yesterday.
The increase, which is in line with indexation to higher wages growth, will see single pensioners on the maximum rate receive an extra $35.80 a fortnight.
Pensioner couples on the maximum rate will receive an increase of $54 a fortnight combined.
Pensioners will also receive a Clean Energy Supplement fortnightly, at a rate of $13.50 for singles and $20.40 for couples combined.
The latest increase means singles pensioners will receive $808.40 fortnightly and couples will receive a combined payment of $1218.80 a fortnight.
Wendouree pensioner Barbara Melican welcomed the increase, saying every little bit of money helped.
“Everything is going up, which makes things difficult,” Ms Melican said.
“People should be adequately provided for in their old age.”
The 87-year-old said, with the cost of utilities going up, pensioners needed more help.
“I don’t lead a lavish life,” she said.
“I am accustomed to living within my means.
“(But) it is not just the extras. You need money for basic needs.”
Increases are in line with the Consumer Price Index or the pensioner living cost index, whichever is higher. The rate is also benchmarked to Male Total Average Weekly Earnings. The pension increase reflects the higher wages growth.
A spokesman for Member for Ballarat Catherine King said people on certain support incomes also received an income support bonus today.
“Singles will receive $105 and people who are partnered will receive $87.50,” he said.
“This is a tax-free payment made twice a year to help people on certain support incomes to prepare for unexpected living costs.”
Veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers will also receive an increase as part of the bi-annual indexation process, to keep pace with the cost of living.
Other income support payments, such as Newstart Allowance and Parenting Payment are also indexed and recipients will receive an increase to their payments from today. They will also receive the new Clean Energy Supplement, which is a regular payment under the Household Assistance Package to help meet costs associated with the carbon price.