Old-age pension, disability support and carer payments will increase as part of social protection increase

Nearly 5 million Australians will receive an increase in their social security payments amid soaring inflation and rising costs of living.

The federal government has announced the biggest increase in pension indexation in 12 years, while other social benefits will see the biggest increase in more than three decades.

From September 20, old age pension, disability pension and carer’s payment will increase by $38.90 per fortnight for singles and $58.80 for couples.

The increase – of nearly 4% – will bring the maximum pension rate to $1,026.50 for singles and $1,547.60 for couples.

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The ABSTUDY and JobSeeker rate for single people without children will increase by $25.70 per fortnight, while the payment for single parents will increase by $35.20.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the Albanian government wanted to ensure “a strong social safety net to protect the most disadvantaged” as cost of living pressures mount.

“Our guiding principles as government ensure that no one is left behind and no one is held back and this increase in indexation will help those receiving government payments to keep up with the cost of living,” said Minister Rishworth.

The increase, as part of the standard half-yearly indexation, comes as inflation is expected to hit 7.75% in the December quarter.

The Reserve Bank is expected to raise the cash rate by 2.35% and further rate hikes are announced in the coming months.

Amid runaway inflation, gasoline prices are expected to soar by the end of the month when the fuel excise of 44.2 cents is reinstated.

The excise, which was halved to 22.1 cents per liter in the March budget, will be reintroduced on September 29.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has instructed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to step up the monitoring of fuel prices to ensure oil companies do not take advantage of consumers when the fuel excise expires.

“Refiners, importers, wholesalers and retailers should stay informed – the ACCC is monitoring fuel prices very closely across the country to ensure any increases are justifiable,” Dr Chalmers said in a press release on Monday.

“There should be no doubt that if there is evidence of misleading or anti-competitive behavior by fuel retailers, the ACCC will take action.”

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