South Australian pensioners and low-income earners will receive a boost to their bank accounts, as the state government announces it will double the cost of living concession.
- The state government will double the cost of living concession in the next financial year
- The money is paid to eligible low income and concession card holders
- The government says about 185,000 South Australians currently receive the payment
Today’s announcement comes ahead of the state budget being handed down on Thursday, Labor’s first since being elected in March.
The roughly 185,000 South Australians eligible for the one-off payment will receive up to $449 in the next financial year, an increase of up to $231.80 on the current payment.
Labor said the boost will cost taxpayers $39.3 million.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said doubling the concession would provide “a little bit of extra breathing space” to those on low and fixed incomes.
“The rising cost of living is hitting everybody’s budgets, but it is disproportionately hurting those on low and fixed incomes,” he said.
“While the government can’t click its fingers and make the cost of everyday items cheaper, what we can do is provide targeted relief to those who need it most.”
The South Australian Council of Social Services has welcomed the move but says rental affordability also needs to be addressed.
Under the scheme, eligible home owners will receive $449 while tenants will receive $224.
South Australian Council of Social Services chief executive officer Ross Womersley said the extra funds will provide some relief as rental affordability worsens.
“So we need the state government to be working really hard to ensure that there is a plan in place that will help build more public housing and therefore help take the pressure off the rental market as it exists today,” he said.
Pensioner Wendy Noll said the concession “was not going to go very far at all”, especially in the face of rising fuel and food costs.
“I don’t have much left after all my bills are paid,” she said.
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