Thursday, June 20, 2024

Budget delivers trifecta for older Australians

National Seniors Australia says the Federal Government has delivered a “trifecta” for older Australians with three key cost-of-living measures announced in the 2024 budget overnight.

These include a $300 energy bill relief payment, a 10% increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance and a freeze on deeming rates for a further 12 months.

National Seniors Australia Chief Executive Officer, Chris Grice said the peak consumer body was pleased to see the government has listened to the needs of older Australians, especially those experiencing hardship, as expressed in its Pre-Budget Submission 2024.

“NSA continually hears from older Australians struggling to pay necessities including utilities, petrol, transport, groceries, and rent. Tonight’s budget will help to make paying the power, paying the rent, and managing the budget just that little bit easier,” Mr Grice said.

“Providing cost-of-living relief through household energy bills is a practical way to help older people meet daily living costs.”

The increase in the Commonwealth Rent Assistance will help 534,000 people aged 50+ receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance. A single renter receiving the maximum payment will receive an extra $18.82 per fortnight, almost $500 in a year.

“Part-pensioners and other income support payment recipients will welcome the freeze on deeming rates for a further 12 months until 30 June 2025. We hope the government uses this time to create a fair and transparent way to set rates in the future.”

“Overall, NSA congratulates the government on delivering a budget that goes some way to provide cost-of-living relief for both older and younger Australians.

“We also acknowledge the government’s continued commitment to keep ageing Australians in their homes as long as they are able through the delivery of 24,100 home care packages in 2024-25.

“We will continue to advocate for measures to improve the lives of older Australians, including a targeted exemption from the Age Pension Income Test for care sector workers to help boost workforce participation. As well as changes to the private health system to make it more affordable,” Mr Grice said.

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