AUSTRALIA - The minister for families, community services and indigenous affairs, Mal Brough, said the federal government would look at improving the single age pension as it was "incredibly challenging to live on".
When asked by a National Seniors speaker’s forum member if the single age pension would be increased, Brough said: “I’m considering the matter very clearly”.
Brough said he acknowledged that the cost of living alone was much more than half of a couple’s living expenses. If one person died, there were still many of the same living costs as when they were part of a couple, he said.
Brough said about 45% of pensioners were single and the government’s economic success had allowed them to consider increasing payments.
Michael O’Neill, chief executive at National Seniors said: “Living on the single age pension is tough. The A$537.70 a fortnight doesn’t go far when you’ve got $250 a week for private rentals in many capital cities. While the recent pension asset test changes are welcomed, we feel there is room for more improvement.”
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