Cost of living pressures are very real and very difficult for older people on low and fixed incomes whose only option to balance a budget is to cut spending — and often on critical things like energy, food, healthcare and staying in touch with friends and family.
It is therefore welcome news that pensions will increase by 3.7% this month, which, in real terms, means single age and disability pension recipients and carers will receive an additional $37.50 per fortnight, and couples a combined $56.40 per fortnight.
COTA SA’s Acting Chief Executive, Miranda Starke spoke on FIVEaa following the announcement on Monday 6 March.
“We know that cost of living is the number one issue for older people in South Australia at the moment and has been for some time.
“It’s not going to fix everything but it will certainly help them to have a better chance of keeping up.”
COTA Australia, which has long advocated for an increase to the aged pension, stated that this is, “A welcome relief for older Australians, but falls short of properly addressing the financial pressures that older people are facing”.
While the increase will help, COTA Australia’s CEO, Pat Sparrow says, “The age pension is designed to ensure that no older Australian lives in poverty and with things like rent skyrocketing over and above CPI, small increases to the pension simply aren’t enough for many people”.