The rising cost of living is a major concern for older Australians, especially those on fixed incomes. To cope with budget constraints, they often have to cut back on necessities like food, healthcare, and energy. However, recent news of a 3.7% increase in pensions is welcome relief.
The increase means that single age and disability pension recipients, as well as carers, will receive an additional $37.50 per fortnight, while couples will receive a combined $56.40 per fortnight.
According to Miranda Starke, the Acting Chief Executive of COTA SA, “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.”Miranda Starke
While the increase is a welcome relief, COTA Australia’s CEO, Pat Sparrow, believes that more needs to be done to address the financial pressures faced by older Australians. “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,” she said.
As an organization that has long advocated for an increase to the aged pension, COTA Australia hopes that this is just the beginning of broader efforts to improve the financial wellbeing of older Australians.