Increase to Working Age Payments
From 20 September 2023
The government has announced it will provide additional funding to increase support for people receiving working age payments including the JobSeeker Payment.
Specifically, the government has announced it will:
• increase the base rate of working age and student payments by $40 per fortnight. This increase applies to the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Austudy, ABSTUDY, Disability Support Pension (Youth), and Special Benefit.
• extend eligibility for the existing higher single JobSeeker Payment rate for recipients aged 60 years and over to recipients aged 55 years and over who are on the payment for 9 or more continuous months.
The government says that around 52,000 eligible recipients will receive an increase in their base rate of payment of $92.10 per fortnight.
The increased support for recipients aged 55 years and over, the majority of whom are women, acknowledges the additional challenges older Australians face in re-entering the workforce, such as age discrimination or poor health.
Increased access to Parenting Payment (Single)
From September 2023
The government announced it will increase the eligibility age of the youngest child for single principal carers receiving Parenting Payment, from 8 to 14 years of age.
This change will allow single principal carers to remain on Parenting Payment for up to 6 additional years until their youngest child reaches age 14.
Under current rules, once the youngest child reaches age 8 the single principal carer is moved to another income support payment such as JobSeeker Payment which has a lower maximum rate of payment. The current base rate of JobSeeker Payment is $745.20 per fortnight whereas the base rate of Parenting Payment (Single) is $922.10 per fortnight.
In addition, the Government will abolish ParentsNext from 1 July 2024 and develop a replacement voluntary program, to provide high-quality pre-employment support. This will end the risk of losing payments and take away unnecessary stress and anxiety from participants, who are mostly women and single parents.
Increased support for Commonwealth Rent Assistance recipients
From 20 September 2023
The government will provide additional funding to increase the maximum rates of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) allowances by 15 per cent to help address rental affordability challenges for CRA recipients.
This represents the largest increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance in over 30 years applying to both singles and couples. For single people, the maximum rate of rent assistance increases from $157.20pf to $180.80pf.
Temporary changes to the work bonus to incentivise pensioners into the workforce extended
The government will extend the measure to provide age pensioners and veteran pensioners, a once-off credit of $4,000 to their Work Bonus income bank and temporarily increase the maximum income bank until 31 December 2023.
Under this measure, pensioners can earn up to $11,800 before their pension is reduced, supporting pensioners who want to work, or work more hours, to do so without losing their pension.
Cheaper childcare commences in July
Legislated measure to take effect from July 2023
The government has re-announced their commitment to a previously legislated measure3 aimed at providing more affordable childcare. The measure, which was legislated in November 2022, will commence from July 2023.
The government says around 1.2 million families will begin to benefit from cheaper childcare. Child Care Subsidy rates will increase up to 90 per cent for eligible families and up to 95 per cent for any additional children in care aged 5 years and under.
Disclaimer and Warning
The information above is of a general nature only. It should not be used as a source to make financial decisions. It’s also important to note that the legislation and figures related to this topic tend to change regularly and therefore the information above may not reflect the current status. We recommend that if you are looking for advice on this matter, you should contact us.
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