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Government increases pensions and benefits.

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Media Release

Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family and Community Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women


Tuesday, 7 September 1999






Minister for Family and Community Se rvices, Senator Jocelyn Newman today announced an increase in pensions and other adult benefit rates to take effect from September 20.


This increase will benefit over 3.5 million pensioners and beneficiaries throughout Australia.


The maximum single rate of pension will rise by $5.10 to $366.50 a fortnight. The maximum-partnered pension will increase by $4.30 to $305.90 a fortnight for each member of a couple.


The rate will change on 20 September 1999 and pensioners and beneficiaries will see increases from their first payday after that date.


“This increase in pensions is a direct result of changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the increase in Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE),” Senator Newman said.


Pension rates are increased in line with the CPI and benchmarked to MTAWE. Adult benefit rates such as Newstart are linked to the CPI.


“The Howard Government’s initiative to legislate for the first time to set pensions at 25 per cent of MTAWE has ensured that all pensions are maintained relative to those who are in the workforce,” Senator Newman said.


“This increase highlights the significance of the commitment by the Howard Government to protecting the living standards and financial security of older Australians.”


The following pension rates and disqualifying limits that are a function of the rate of pension will rise: Age, Disability Support, Mature Age Allowance (paid before July 1, 1996), Carer, Wife, Parenting Payment Single, Widow B, and Bereavement.


The payments indexed to the CPI are: Newstart, Sickness, Widow Allowance and Special Benefit rates for those aged over 21, or under 21 with children, Mature Age Allowance granted after July 1 1996, Maternity Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered, Partner Allowance, Rent Assistance rates and thresholds, Employment Entry Payment thresholds, Health Care Card income limits.


Media contacts:  Richard Wilson (02) 6277 7560 or 0419 693 092

Simon Bush (02) 6277 7560 or 0407 780 509



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