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Pension payment increase labelled "inadequate"

Pension payment increase labelled "inadequate"

Over five million Australians are expected to receive an increase in their social security payments from March 20.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the increases, in line with indexation arrangements, would help recipients keep up with changes in living costs.

The rates for 2.6 million Age Pensioners as well as 750,000 people on the Disability Support Pension and 295,000 Carer Payment recipients will increase by $8.40 a fortnight to $952.70 for singles.

For couples, the pension will increase by $12.60 a fortnight to $1,436.20 combined.

Both rates include the Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.

Ruston explained indexation was one of the “regular mechanisms” built into the social security safety net “to make sure rates reflect the prices payment recipients see at the supermarket and at the bowser”.

The JobSeeker payment will also be increasing for those aged 22 and over without children.

Singles will be receiving an extra $5.10 a fortnight, and couples will be receiving $4.60 extra each including the Energy Supplement.

The Australian Council of Social Service believes the rate is still inadequate and is urging senators to make changes to a bill before parliament to be more generous.