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UnitingCare Australia welcomes Pension Review but says entire system needs re-examining
August 12, 2008
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the Pension Review Background Paper released yesterday, but says more needs to be done to protect the rights of those who are marginalised and vulnerable.
The paper details the economic and social context of the pension system and other entitlements for Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment recipients. At present, a single pensioner receives $277 per week. A single unemployed adult receives just $219 and a sole parent with two school age children receives $433.
“The ever increasing cost of living is hitting those most affected by this review - pensioners, single parents, people with a disability and those who are unemployed. The low level of payments received by social security recipients is worrying to say the least. Utilities Allowance increases have helped, but simply do not provide enough relief,” said UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds.
“Our agencies across the country are experiencing unprecedented levels of demand for emergency relief and crisis services as people struggle and fail to make ends meet.”
“The Federal Government’s decision last month to protect the incomes of those on Disability Support Pensions who actively seek employment was a clear signalling of it’s commitment to help those who are vulnerable, as does this review. But we need to overhaul the system as a whole before we will see the necessary changes to improve the quality of life for those on social security payments.”