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Centrelink Boosts Payments to Help Aussies with Cost of Living

What’s Happening?

More than 936,000 Australians will receive an increase in their Centrelink payments starting January 1, 2024. This is part of the government’s regular indexation, which ensures that payments keep up with the rising cost of living. Youth, student, and carer support recipients will see a 6.0% boost to their payments at the beginning of the new year.

Who Will Benefit?

If you receive Youth Allowance, Austudy, or Carer Allowance, you can expect an increase in your fortnightly payments. The exact amount depends on the type of payment you receive. For example, Youth Allowance payments will increase by $22.40 to $45.60 per fortnight, while Austudy payments will increase by $36.20 to $45.60 per fortnight. People on the Disability Support Pension aged under 21 will see increases of $31.10 to $44.90 per fortnight, and the Carer Allowance will increase by $8.70 to $153.50 per fortnight.

Why is This Happening?

The government wants to make sure that Australians receiving support can handle the increasing cost of living. By adjusting the payments to match the changes in the cost of living, they aim to maintain the purchasing power of these payments.

What Else Should I Know?

In addition to these increases, there was a $40-per-fortnight increase to the base rates of working-age and student payments announced in the federal budget. This included JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Austudy, ABSTUDY living allowance, Disability Support Pension (Youth), and Special Benefit. The increase took effect on September 20.

However, some organizations, like the Australian Council of Social Services, have criticized these new rates as being “grossly inadequate.” They pointed out that the new higher JobSeeker rate is still less than half the minimum wage.

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