Bonus payments for pensioners

It’s official. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his government will pay those who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, or are Veterans Gold Card holders eligible for Seniors Concession Allowance, a one-off payment in December. Single pensioners will receive a payment of $1400 and couples will receive $2100Those people who are receiving a Carer Allowance will also receive $1000 for each eligible person in their care.

The cost of these initiatives is calculated to be $8.7 billion dollars. These payments are part of an initiative to kickstart the Australian economy in the wake of the market turmoil over recent weeks.

Whilst AboutSeniors website applauds any extra assistance to those who are struggling on a single or couples’ pension, we believe that this is not in itself sufficient to address the fact that most Australians on a full Age Pension are struggling to survive, let alone thrive, on an income way below the poverty line. One-off discretionary payments will never address the fact that the rate of the pension is too low, and needs to be reviewed and increased in the near future – not the end of next year or the year after.

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