The Australian Government has announced a significant increase to pension and allowance rates, largely driven by the highest inflation rates in decades. The increased payments will take effect from 20 September.The Age Pension, Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Carer payments have been indexed by four per cent and will rise by $38.90 a fortnight for singles and $54.40 a fortnight for couples. The pension supplement will increase by $2.90 a fortnight for singles and $4.40 for couples.The maximum rate of pension will increase to $936.80 a fortnight for singles and $706.20 for each member of a pensioner couple or $1412.40 per couple (not including the pension supplement).JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, ABSTUDY and Rent Assistance will also increase as will income and asset limits.Following the recent Jobs and Skills Summit, the Australian Government has announced a one-off change to the Pensioner income credit arrangements.Â Age pensioners will be able to earn up to $4,000 more during the 2022-23 financial year (ie up to $11,800 p.a. without having their pension payments reduced.Disappointingly, the Government has only extended the pensioner income credit arrangements to employees and jobseekers with disability who are in receipt of the DSP and over Age Pension age. Of the 119,294 DSP recipients aged 65 plus as at 30 June 2022, NDS estimates that only a small proportion would still be working.NDS agrees with the call by Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott that the pensioner income credit should also be extended to people with disability on DSP who are in or seeking work.
We strongly recommend that the Government address this clear disincentive to work for people with disability, to ensure that the goals of the Governmentâs own disability employment strategies are achieved.