Government announces cash splash for pensioners

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UPDATE: Pensioners are to receive a one-off cash payment as part of the government’s stimulus package.

About 2.5 million pensioners,  680,000 JobSeeker – or Newstart – recipients and all those receiving a Carer’s Allowance will receive $750 as the government attempts to kickstart the economy in the face of the coronavirus, which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The payments will start to  flow from 31 March. 

The $17.6 billion stimulus package has wiped out the budget surplus, finance minister Mathias Cormann announced this morning.

The bulk of the package is directed at supporting more than 700,000 small to medium business nationwide and keeping about 120,000 apprentices and trainees in work.

The one-off payment to pensioners is in addition to the Age Pension increases revealed by YourLifeChoices yesterday. The fortnightly increases, including supplements, amounted to an extra $10.90 per fortnight for singles and $8.30 per fortnight for each member of a couple.

A move to reconsider deeming rates after last week’s Reserve Bank cut to official cash rates – to a record low of 0.5 per cent – is also being considered by the government.

Meanwhile, health minister Greg Hunt says that over-70s, cancer patients and pregnant women will be offered bulk-billed medical consultations via phone, video link or WhatsApp, to help contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Details of the government’s $2.4 billion health plan to tackle the worldwide COVID-19 crisis were announced on Wednesday.

“This package is about preventing and treating coronavirus in the coming weeks,” Mr Morrison said.

“Australia isn’t immune, but with this $2.4 billion boost we’re as well prepared as any country in the world.

“Our medical experts have been preparing for an event like this for years and this is the next step up in Australia’s plan.”

The new Medicare payments for at-home care for coronavirus sufferers and vulnerable patients are set to take effect on Friday and will be fully bulk-billed. They will allow medical, nursing and mental health medical staff to deliver services over the phone via video conference, including via FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp.

Those eligible include:

  • people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner
  • those who meet the national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with national or state hotlines, registered medical or nursing practitioners or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
  • people aged over 70
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
  • patients with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
  • parents with new babies
  • pregnant women.

 

Do you believe the government is doing enough to both support the economy and deal with the coronavirus?

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Written by Janelle Ward

108 Comments

Total Comments: 108
  1. 0
    0

    Won’t change my life, but may give me a little boost. Especially if the price of goods increases as it my do

    • 0
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      Of course, it won’t change no one’s life. This is an admission by our Government that the poor are always in need and suffer the most during hard times. NSA should have been increased a long time ago. I pity the unemployed and it looks like this pandemic will not just literally destroy lives but will cause much hardship for the majority of Australians. China should be compensating the world for this.

    • 0
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      the reason they have given it to those who will be in receipt is because they are hoping they WILL spend it. Give to others who dont need it they won’t.

  2. 0
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    I have read about 2 differing amounts. $700 & $500 from different news services. Which one is correct.

    • 0
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      I have read everywhere $500, we will know in the next 1/2 hour or so. I will take any amount thank you.

    • 0
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      nine news 11.00 am says $750 for pensioners etc

    • 0
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      $750- you are right! just announced

    • 0
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      Stimulus payments to households to support growth
      $750 stimulus payment to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners.
      The payment will be tax free and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments.
      There will be one payment per eligible recipient. If a person qualifies for the one off payment in multiple ways, they will only receive one payment.
      Payments will be from 31 March 2020 on a progressive basis, with over 90 per cent of payments expected to be made by mid-April.
      The payments totalling $4.8billion will be begin on 31 March and will be transferred automatically through the tax system.

      I don’t get it. How can it be transferred through the tax system when most full pension payment pensioners stopped reporting annual income tax assessments a year after qualifying for the full age pension and the tax system does not have the pensioner’s details of bank account numbers ?????

      And, I don’t understand what in hell this means: “. If a person qualifies for the one off payment in multiple ways, they will only receive one payment”…WHAT MULTIPLE WAYS???….Will pensioners have to apply independently???

      Does this also mean that the tax system will check how many pensioners owe the Tax and or Robo-Debt dept money and not pay them but credit the tax or social service debts????

      This government really needs to come clean with their stimulus package.

    • 0
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      “It’s not for us to tell those Australians how to spend their money, but what we do know from experience is that they will spend that money and that money will encourage economic activity,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

      What about those on Cashless Welfare Card, aren’t you telling them how and where they can spend their welfare? Hypocrite!

  3. 0
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    We need to wait for the official announcement for the official amount for pensioners.

  4. 0
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    We need to wait for the official announcement for the official amount for pensioners.

  5. 0
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    A one off $500 is nice but it will not make any long term difference. Newstart in particular needs a permanent increase.

  6. 0
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    they need to lower the deeming rates substantially to match the cash rates, if they don’t I won’t be spending the $500 or whatever the amount is to stimulate this bloody government.

    • 0
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      Not spending the $750 will not affect the Government. Heard the phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face”?

      You could for example use the money to do a day trip somewhere – oh I don’t know say to a bushfire area, have lunch, buy a small gift in a local store and all of that would help support tose businesses and the local economy whilst costing you nothing. And you would even have some left over for bills.

      But seems you would rather let your churlishness get in the way of boosting someone else.

    • 0
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      And as a great deal of pensioners are living hand to mouth I doubt they will be spending it on slap up lunches/dinners, gifts,trips, etc, but instead paying off bills, on essentials and with winter approaching keeping plenty so they can turn the heater on this year!

  7. 0
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    So Welfare recients will all get $750 (including those receiving the age pension and carer payments) as will those with the Commonwealth health card. Plus deeming rates will be reduced by 0.5%.

    But no doubt a simple thank you will still be out of the question.

  8. 0
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    Has anyone heard if it is $750 per person or less for a couple?

  9. 0
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    Should be of great assistance for many pensioners. The PM’s office has released the following: “$4.8 billion to provide a one-off $750 stimulus payment to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners. The payment will be tax free and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments. There will be one payment per eligible recipient.”

    That means $1,500 for a pensioner couple. I don’t know about you, but it will certainly help us out. Much better than the expected $500 for a couple.

  10. 0
    0

    They stated yesterday about $500-00 It is now $750-00 and will start from the end of March….

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