Extra cash for thousands of local pensioners

Thousands of local pensioners are set to get extra support to help them make ends meet, with $11.7 million worth of new cash payments hitting local households from today.

Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, said more than 53,000 pensioners in the region would receive a cash payment over the coming weeks, ahead of the introduction of the carbon price on 1 July.

“All full and part pensioners in the Illawarra will receive a lump sum payment of $250 for singles and $380 for couples combined,” Ms Macklin said.

“This extra cash will go straight into pensioners’ bank accounts to help them keep on top of the bills.

“We know local pensioners can find it pretty tough to keep up. They have the least room to move when costs go up, and this new support from the Gillard Government should give pensioners a bit of extra breathing space.”

Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, said local pensioners will get another boost next year, with an ongoing increase to their fortnightly payments from March.

“In total, local pensioners will get about $338 extra a year for singles and $510 extra a year for couples combined,” Mr Jones said.

“As part of our Household Assistance Package, we’re taking extra care to make sure pensioners have the support they need to keep up with the cost of living.

“In fact, many pensioners will end up coming out ahead after the carbon price starts on 1 July.

“About 93 per cent of all pensioner households will be at least 20 per cent better off because of these new payments.”

Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said the cash payments to pensioners were on top of the extra money that had already gone to thousands of local families.

“Over the past few weeks, about 21,000 families in the Illawarra have received a lump sum payment in their bank account to help them with the cost of living.

“We’re also delivering extra support to self-funded retirees, veterans, students and other eligible households next month.

“And in July we’ll deliver a tax cut for about 90,000 local workers.”

Ms Macklin said the Labor Government would keep delivering for pensioners.

“We get how tough it is for pensioners. It’s why we’ve already delivered historic increases to the pension, and it’s why we are delivering this extra boost right now.

“While Tony Abbott and the Liberals keep promising to claw back all this extra support, we’ll keep working hard to make sure local pensioners are coming out on top.”

Pensioners can find out more by visiting australia.gov.au/householdassistance or calling 132 300.

ELECTORATE BREAKDOWN OF PENSIONERS RECEIVING HOUSEHOLD ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS FROM 28 MAY 2012

Electorate Pensioners Total of payments (rounded)

Throsby 28,800 $6.3 million

Cunningham 24,700 $5.4 million

TOTAL 53,500 $11.7 million