Catholic Social Services Australia says the passage of legislation to raise a number of welfare payments will provide targeted cost-of-living relief to about two million Australians that need it most.
CSSA has welcomed the passage through federal Parliament yesterday of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Safety Net) Act 2023.
“This is very good news for Australians trapped in a cycle of disadvantage; we hope it relieves some of the pressure they are facing,” CSSA executive director Monique Earsman said.
From September 20 , the base rates for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partner), Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Disability Support Pension (Youth), and Special Benefit will increase by $40 per fortnight.
Additionally, indexation will be applied to some payments that were not previously indexed, including the JobSeeker Payment, which will be increased by a further $16 per fortnight, taking it to an additional $56 per fortnight from September 20.
The Commonwealth Rent Assistance maximum rates will also increase by 15 per cent, with about 1.1 million households better off by, on average, $24 per fortnight.
CSSA and other key advocates have long highlighted the inadequacy of social security payments and the urgent need to raise these payments to at least $76 a day, which would meet the poverty line.
“We call upon the Government to continually review their response, listen to the experts and work towards a providing a payment that helps people escape poverty,” Ms Earsman said.