The Government will provide a one-off payment of up to $75 to 3.8 million people, following the passage of legislation today in the Senate.
The Energy Assistance Payment will be provided to people who currently live in Australia and receive the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Parenting Payment Single as well as veterans on the Service Pension, Income Support Supplement, and relevant compensation payments.
Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said the one-off payment was part of a sensible and reasonable package to secure significant reform through the Senate to reduce company tax rates to businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million.
“In securing the passage of the company tax cuts, which help more than 3.2 million small and medium-sized businesses employing 6.5 million people to invest more, employ extra staff and pay higher wages, the Government also committed to these one-off payments,” the Minister said.
Of the 3.8 million people who will be provided with the one-off payment:
- 2.5 million receive the Age Pension
- 770,000 receive the Disability Support Pension
- 260,000 receive Parenting Payment Single
- 235,000 recipients of DVA payments.
The one-off payment of $75 for singles and $62.50 for each pensioner in a couple would be paid automatically over the next two weeks.
“These payments, at a total cost of $269 million, recognise that many welfare recipients have a limited ability to earn additional income to help them meet living costs,” Minister Tudge said.
“This is just one of many measures the Government is implementing to help with cost-of-living pressures.”
Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said the same Bill also reinstated the Pensioner Concession Card to about 90,000 former part-pension recipients, who lost access to the card in January as a consequence of reforms to the assets test to make the pension system more sustainable for the future.
“The Government recognises that the small number of people who had their part-pension cancelled have, as a consequence of losing the Pensioner Concession Card, lost access to a range of private and state and local government concessions,” Minister Porter said.
“Although most of those concessions are not provided by the Commonwealth, we are restoring the Pensioner Concession Card so they can continue to access these benefits.”
The Department of Human Services will automatically reissue the card to affected recipients in October.