“Full rate pensioners across the country can expect an increase to their pensions of $9.35 per week for singles and $14 per week for couples in the next bi-annual pension increase coming into effect on 20 September,” said Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association Senior Policy Advisor, Amelia Christie.
“By comparison, Newstart is increasing by just $2 per week for singles and $3.60 for couples. Newstart continues to fall behind the pension, leaving its recipients struggling to survive.
“Pensioners struggle to pay for essentials on the meagre payment they receive and the single Newstart payment is now $163.05 less than the single pension per week. This coupled with the fact that the eligibility criteria are more stringent for Newstart means that recipients are forced into poverty.
“In his budget reply in May, Mr Abbott stated that he has plans to scrap the Supplementary Allowance that Newstart recipients receive. CPSA’s message to the Abbott Government is that people on Newstart need more support, not less.
“CPSA calls on the new Government to increase Newstart by $50 per week. This needs to be coupled with a reform of the way Newstart is indexed so that this payment keeps in line with the pension at a bare minimum. The upcoming pension increase is based on increases to Male Total Average Weekly Earnings; Newstart indexing only takes into account CPI increases.
“Without a reform to the way Newstart is indexed, it will continue to fall below the pension at an alarming rate,” said Ms Christie.
CPSA represents pensioners of all ages, superannuants and low-income retirees. CPSA has over 125 Branches and Affiliated Organisations, with a combined membership of over 30,000 people.