From this week, Australia’s three million age, disability and carer pensioners, and veterans’ income support recipients, will receive higher pensions payments to help meet increases in the cost of living.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot said that more than 27,300 pensioners in the Richmond electorate will benefit from an increase in their pension payments.

Pension payments will increase by $29.20 a fortnight for singles on the maximum rate, and $44 a fortnight for couples combined on the maximum rate. 

These increases are regular indexation increases, and are in addition to the Budget pension rise paid last year.

Following these increases, total pension payments for those on the maximum rate, including the base rate and pension supplement, will be:

$701.10 a fortnight for singles, and

$1057.00 a fortnight for couples combined.

“These pension rises deliver on the Rudd Government’s commitment to improve support to older Australians,” Mrs Elliot said.

“These rises will make a real and immediate difference for pensioners in our community.”

Single pensioners on the maximum rate now receive $100 more a fortnight than they received before the Rudd Government improved the pension in September last year, Mrs Elliot said.

“After years of neglect, the Government has overhauled the pension system to make it adequate and sustainable for the millions of age and disability pensioners, carers and veterans who depend on it,” she said.

“New analysis shows that Australian pensioners have benefited from significant pension increases over the last year from the Budget pension rise and improved indexation arrangements.”

Per fortnight equivalent includes Pharmaceutical Allowance, and pro rata Utilities and Telephone Allowances (paid quarterly before 20 September 2009). All of these allowances are now paid fortnightly as part of the new pension supplement. Today’s figures include the base pension and pension supplement.

A further one million Australians will also benefit from increases to income support payments such as Newstart and Parenting Payment. Rent Assistance will also increase.

The increased payments are calculated from Saturday March 20, and pensioners will be paid on their regular pension pay day in the next fortnight.