The Department of Social Services has confirmed Australia’s pensioners will not receive an automatic indexation increase this September, because inflation has gone backwards. But note: It will NOT go down either!
The Labor opposition Social Services spokeswoman Linda Burney said: “Scott Morrison needs to explain why he is allowing pensions to stagnate in the middle of the Coronavirus crisis.” and “Cutting the pension is in the Liberal-National DNA“.
The legislation that decides how much a pension will rise, or will not rise, was set by the Labor government’s 2009-10 Budget, following the Harmer pension review.
So, under the current provisions, introduced by Labor, the system is working the way it is intended.
And Labor has criticised the current government for following the Labor policy…
The Labor party created the Legislation that, by law; freezes any Pension increases in September 2020, and they now criticize this legislation.
The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has pointed out his government was not expecting this to happen and “will work through” the issues.
Very little can be done immediately to change this, as the old Labor legislation would need to be changed, and these things take time.
How Much are Aged Pensioners losing by the Pension Freeze?.
In September 2019, a single aged pensioner would have received an extra $6.80 per fortnight, or $187.20 for the half year.
A married couple would have received $10.80 between them, or $280.80 for the half year.
An easy fix would be to pay another ‘Coronavirus supplement’. Aged Pensioners have already received $1,500 to help during this period. Another $200 per person, would compensate for the $140.40 or $187.20 shortfall in expected increase, per person, in September 2020.
In March 2021, the aged pension will, presumably, rise again in relation to the increase based on the current lower cost of living index. That might even be a larger than average rise in March 2021.
March 2019 gave the single aged pensioner an extra $9.30 per fortnight, while the married aged pensioners received $7.40 each.