Pensioners to get two more support payments, at reduced rate

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When there was no indexed increase to the Age Pension last month, the first time indexation had not been applied in 25 years, the government promised there would be some support in the Budget. The promise was kept with two $250 economic support payments announced on Tuesday night.

The first of the two $250 economic support payments will be made in December and the second in March 2021.

The payments will be made to all Age Pension recipients as well as those who receive the Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment and Carer Allowance (if they are not in receipt of a primary income support payment).

The economic support payments are also available to pensioner concession card holders who are not in receipt of a primary income support payment, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders and eligible Veterans Affairs payment recipients and concession card holders.

The payments are exempt from taxation and will not count as income support for the purpose of any income support payment.

The government provided two previous economic support payments of $750 earlier this year and these new measures are well short of that rate, despite little change in the economic situation from earlier in the year.

The Council on the Ageing (COTA) had called on the government to provide one additional $750 stimulus payment before the next indexation announcement in March, but these two payments still fall $250 short of that mark.

Despite this, COTA chief Ian Yates said the payments would be welcome but criticised the lack of action on rent assistance.

“Pensioners will be very pleased about additional pension supplements of $250 in December and $250 in March, a positive response by government to our strong lobbying for additional help to pensioners at a time that the indexation formula did not deliver an increase in the pension rate,” Mr Yates said.

“However, we are disappointed that there is no increase in the inadequate Commonwealth Rent Assistance maximum rate, and that older unemployed people will still have their savings plundered by the Liquid Assets Test at the very time they should have retirement savings protected.”

For older Australians still in the workforce, the biggest boost from the Federal Budget will come in the form of tax cuts.

The government plans to bring forward stage two of its personal income tax plan and backdate it to 1 July this year.

If the legislation is passed, it will mean the low income tax offset will increase from $445 to $700, the top threshold of the 19 per cent tax bracket will increase from $37,000 to $45,000 and the top threshold of the 32.5 per cent tax bracket will increase from $90,000 to $120,000.

The government also announced that low and middle-income earners will receive a one-off additional benefit of up to $1080 from the low and middle income tax offset (LMITO), which was scheduled to be removed as part of the stage two tax relief package.

“Bringing forward stage two and providing the additional LMITO means more than 11 million Australian taxpayers will get a tax cut, with effect from 1 July this year, providing them with more money to spend on what matters to them,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

“More than seven million individuals are expected to receive tax relief of $2000 or more for the 2020-21 income year compared with 2017-18 tax settings.”

What do you think of the economic support payments? Are they enough? Were you expecting more?

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Written by Ben

70 Comments

Total Comments: 70
  1. 0
    0

    Where buy I do appreciate the two payments of $250 to pensioners in December and March, I must admit I think it could have been a little more, in these tough times. I do think the dispersal of funds to all Australians could have been handled with a little more prudence. Unfortunately due to medical conditions and just general ageing, a lot of older pensioners, such as myself, are unable to pursue part time employment (if it can be found) to boost our pensions with the view to a better lifestyle. Never mind, we do live in Australia so that’s something to be positive about, at this point in time, at least. Regards Jacka.

    • 0
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      Totally agree. Should be at least another 2 x $750. Unemployed got $550 per fortnight for 6mths. That is 12 fortnightly at $550 extra which is $6,600. Pensioners only got 2 x $750 = $1,500.

    • 1
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      Holy gooberoos, you REALLY think living in Australia is a positive thing ???

    • 2
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      Fearlessfly, I think you’ll find the majority of people born in Australia won life’s lottery.

    • 0
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      Ah, I think you’d find most people born in New Zealand think Aussies are idiots ! Just look at the dorks they elected to lead the country !

    • 0
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      You can keep the dorks NZers elected to lead New Zealand. Not many Aussies migrate to NZ but a lot of Kiwis come over here. If you do not like it here get over there when the borders open. Bye-bye!

    • 0
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      $250 every 4 months but only twice, that’s it, $250 is equal to $2 a day, what do you buy with that? I mean $1.80 because of the GST, probably a loaf of cheap bread that’s all folks, but if you noticed the supermarkets has already raised the product prices at 50%, so those $250 really help? I doubt it. Do yours math’s.

  2. 0
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    For we ‘Pensioners’, who don’t have much, sometimes through no fault of theirs. I think that $250 is NOT near enough. Pensioners wear & use the same “Goods & Chattels”, as the one’s who receive $1,250 per fortnight. Although usually, we have to buy cheaper. We pay rent & rates, the same as the ‘lucky ones’ do !! I think that amounts to discrimination. A lot of us can’t go out & work, like they can. (Bad knee’s, backs & joints.). My landlady put up our rent, right in the middle of the whole thing. (July). She owns all the units where we abide. She lives in a huge house on the beach. Wonder she didn’t do it at Xmas.

    • 0
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      careful boof,you will be torn to pieces by the self funded mob.

    • 0
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      I love Life Choices. I love the way people can express their feelings, say what they like, use the words that they want, how they are much freer than on other media platforms. But, I must say that if I see ‘For we pensioners’ again, I will explode and you’ll have to clean up all the bits. On whose authority was this expression deemed correct? Who said that we have to say ‘we’ and not ‘us’ in these circumstances? You would say ‘it is for us’, not ‘it is for we’, why does the word ‘pensioners’, or any word, after this make any difference?

  3. 0
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    Do you still get the $250 payments. I went overseas on compassion grounds on 31 August and I am not due back in Oz until July 2021?

    • 0
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      If you are on an age pension you will lose any extra payments except the basic pension if you are overseas for longer than 6 weeks!

      And given the money is being given with the expectation it will be spent in Australia, why do you think you should receive it if you are not in Australia?

    • 0
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      KSS totally agree with wh a t u said. Definitely correct. So NO. Unless u have explained and documented why your overseas then after 6weeks the PENSION stops altogether until you get back.

    • 1
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      so just because you are overseas for more than 6 weeks you think all your living costs in Australia cease? If you are entitled to a pension then you should get the $250, KSS and mean joy Anne have no idea where or how the money will be spent. Your pension will be paid indefinately while overseas, supplement and energy supplement will cease

    • 0
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      KSS is correct, even after 6 weeks you get the pension, you will lose the pension card re-instated after your return; no good in other places anyway! I just a bit of the supplementary benefits. Things do change if you stay away for more than 13 weeks or 26 weeks where your residency qualifications count: 35 years full pension, any year less deduct one thirty 5th of the total. Born Aussies normally do not even have to bother.

    • 0
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      Joy Anne, NO the pension does not stop all together if you go overseas for longer than 6 weeks. ALL the extra’s that are added to the pension stops [pension & energy supplements] but you still get the basic $860 regardless of being in the country or not!

    • 0
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      why so bloody minded? manchild is coming back to Australia, but that’s not the issue. Many who receive the payment will spend it on bills, elec, gas which does nothing to boost the economy anyway.

  4. 0
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    Whatever would have been offered, its never enough for some people. Ignoring the fact that together with the previous payments totaling $1500 this latest handout makes an additional $2000 pensioners and others have had that in a normal year they would not.

    A little recognition that they have received money from the Government they would not otherwise have been given and a show of a little gratitude instead of complaining they want more, would not go amiss.

    • 0
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      KSS and whose pocket do you piss in ? Lose yourself please .

    • 0
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      NO ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PEOPLE ON DOLE AND NOT JUST THE ONES THAT LOSS THEIR JOBS BUT THE OTHERS BEEN ON THE DOLE FOR YEARS GOT $6,600 EXTRA FOR 6 MTHS.

    • 0
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      Interesting isn’t it? The $2,000 in total supplements equates to an 8.14% increase for single pensioners and 10.80% for each of a couple on the annual rate of pension.

    • 0
      0

      I can’t see what the Covid pandemic has cost the pensioner.
      Where has their extra costs been?
      The so called had outs, are for people who have lost income..
      All this extra money is to stimulate the economy.
      From what I’ve seen, pensioners, squirrel away there money and don’t spend it..

    • 0
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      Tomi, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good whinge.

    • 0
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      KSS, $2,000 in stimulus from March 2020 to March 2021 represents the equivalent of an increase in the fortnightly full age pension for single pensioners of $76.92 pf.

      When one compares the total payments from March 2020 including the stimulus of single age pension to Newstart, aka Jobseeker, the Jobseeker is $528.10 ahead in accumulative total on the age pensioner up to end of December 2020. It’s really not that much to whinge about.

    • 0
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      KSS – if you want whingers come to this site after a handout because it will never be enough. Must admit I do not necessarily need the newest $250 I shall take it and use it the way I feel like. More filet steak and less mince meat, more better prepared seafood and less home brand. And I feel easier about the increase in my private health fund. Take it people, but at least be grateful for it as your kids one day will have to pay it back.

    • 0
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      I wonder if respondents that envied the Jobseeker payments over recent months would exchange their permanent aged pension $944/fortnight for jobseeker $565.70/fortnight plus temporary covid allowance? Pensioners got more in 2019/20 and will get more in 2020/21 and still they gripe that others received a hand up. Would they be happier if the Jobseeker recipients were not paid the covid allowance? Think of the allowance as targeted stimulus … it will be more calming.

      Personally I see little reason to differentiate between the various social security allowances. The only difference for pensioners should be no search obligations and access to age and disability related support services.

  5. 0
    0

    What a joke typical capitalist pigs handing over $2,300 PA tax cuts to the rich over $180,000 and giving a pensioner $250.00 twice off .
    Why the fcuck does anyone vote for these hypocritical pieces of dog shite.

    • 1
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      Probably because they are waiting for you to provide a credible alternative party to vote for.

    • 0
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      the reasons people voted for the government should be patently obvious – they feel the government will govern in their interests. I don’t think the gov is concerned at not receiving votes from tobymyers and his ilk.

  6. 1
    0

    $250 each time and we have to wait till December then March ??? [Rolls around on the floor laughing his head off]. What a grand life it is in this circus act called Australia !!

    • 0
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      So an extra $2,000 in a 12 month period is worth rolling around on the floor laughing? Yep, seem legit

    • 0
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      Bet you get at least twice that in Vietnam, Russia, China, New Zealand or maybe Sweden??
      You should have gotten nothing and nobody would be bitching – give a pensioner a hand and he’ll rip your arm off. Are we really that bad?

    • 1
      0

      Fearlessfly, you are a strange beast. The New Zealand Government provided $12.1B to support people and the economy in response to COVID-19. I feel the measures were better managed than Australia, but NZ doesn’t have the federated States to contend with and has leaders who are more respected than the clowns we have here in Australia. Other than better managing COVID-19 the major differences were a 20% pay cut for politicians and public service staff and zero tolerance on thwarting the lock-down.

      NZ provided an employer wage subsidy to help keep businesses going and not lay off staff or reduce staff hours because of COVID-19. Unlike ours, this was a lump sum payment for the employer to pass on to employees and covered 12 weeks per employee. It applied yo full and part time workers, including people working on NZ work visas and people whose temporary or student visas allow them to work in NZ. Unlike Australia, the NZ COVID-19 wage subsidy was paid at a two flat rates (a full-time rate of $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week and a part-time rate of $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week.

      The NZ Government also imposed a rent freeze and prohibition on tenancy terminations for residential rents and imposed these as laws, which is easy to do when you are a country and not a bunch of squabbling States. The laws increased a tenant’s security for an initial period of six months. The Government was to evaluate whether they needed to be extended, but I’m not sure they were.

      The NZ Government also forced New Zealand’s retail banks (actually Australian Banks) to defer repayments for all residential mortgages for up to 6 months for customers financially affected by COVID-19. Just like Australia, individual Banks took different approaches and like here, some people got better deals.

      The NZ Government also launched a Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, The Government, in partnership with approved banks, to provide targeted new loans (including increases to existing limits) to eligible businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy. The loans were underwritten by the Government, but were to stimulate business and the economy and provided around $6.25B in loans to NZ businesses, with the Government guaranteeing 80% of the risk and the banks covering the other 20%.

      NZ Has a universal pension which means every NZer can get the pension when they turn 65. The reason it didn’t need to do anything special for pensioners was because the NZ OAP was already providing a livable pension. In raw dollars it is not much different to our, but it has way better buying power. NZ pensioners can work, but are taxed on additional income. All NZers (including pensioners) put in an annual tax return and the IRD (our ATO) taxes incomes above certain tax-free thresholds. NZ is big on taxing the wealthy and big companies. They monitor bank accounts and are quick to tax unreported income. The NZ OAP is indexed annually and not on a BS measure, but based on the public service rate increases, just like our politicians are.

      Many Kiwis live here and the Australian Government has a OAP deal between the two countries.

  7. 0
    0

    Not for me i am one of those stupid self funded Retirees but i am glad the pensioners got the two extra payments they really need it.

    • 0
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      Yes, but not all. There are some quite well off part Pensioners, and maybe if they missed out this time, more could have gone to full Pensioners who really need it

    • 0
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      I am an Age pensioner, floss, but many of my friends are self-funded Retirees, so I am acutely aware of how difficult it is for many. Once again, the Gov’t misses an opportunity to spread some help around fairly.

    • 0
      0

      I am sure some pensioners really need the extra, Floss, but I don’t know any pensioners who aren’t very well off – far better off than I am as an SFR. $1.5 mil houses, two late model cars, expensive caravan, boat, savings, and getting a full pension as well!

    • 0
      0

      Youngagain, I know a few pensioners who are not well off but they are marginal men mostly, form guide at the ready, beer always at elbow in the pub and also a trip to the pokies every so often. Most others are doing quite well, have their houses and units and the perks a concession card brings. I treasure my pension card although I am only on a part pension but I feel I am better off than some SFRs I meet. Some people are more proud than I am obviously and do not want to be called “pensioner”. At my age I could not care less, can pay my bills and have some money left over.

  8. 1
    0

    WOW – what a huge sum that is – am sure they had to dig really deep into our Birth Certificate Trust Accounts to dish out that measly amount from accounts that we know are worth millions at the very least – TRuly this so called government should be ashamed of themselves –

  9. 1
    0

    I just want back the money the LNP stole from my part pension with the 2017 changes to the Pensioner Assets Test.
    No other demographic has been doing any heavy lifting for the budget emergency.

  10. 0
    0

    Well fearlessfly, on behalf of myself and the vast majority of readers of this column, I have to say, you know where the door is, catch a plane, catch a boat, swim away with your family shackled to you. Don’t rubbish Australia. If you don’t like Australia get out, no one’s keeping you here, unless of course your a New Zealander and incarcerated. Send me a postcard Jacka.

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