One-off energy payment promise

Federal Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher has announced, shortly before the 2019 Federal Election, a one-off “Energy Assistance Payment” to some social security payment recipients.


The payment of $75 for singles and $125 for eligible couples is to be exempt from income tax and will be paid automatically before the end of the current financial year, subject to the passage of legislation.


The payment will be given to:

  • 2.4 million Australians receiving the Age Pension
  • 744,000 recipients of the Disability Support Pension
  • 280,000 carers receiving the Carer Payment
  • 242,000 Parenting Payment Single recipients
  • 225,000 veterans and their dependants receiving eligible payments from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Not specified -  Newstart recipients. The Government has changed its embarrassing position and will now make the payment available to Newstart recipients.


“The Morrison Government is ignoring the people who are doing it the hardest,” ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said.


The announcement cost is now more than $285 million, while the Government has already legislated $11 billion in tax cuts for people on the top 20% of incomes.


“It means that people on modest incomes will receive a once-only payment of $75, while people earning more than $200,000 a year are set to be $200 better off a week, every week.


“It’s grossly unfair to give high income earners tax-cut handouts week after week, while those on modest incomes get a fraction of this as a one off payment, and people on the lowest incomes miss out altogether.


“To support those struggling to cover the basics, like food, housing and energy bills, while they look for paid work in today’s competitive job market, we must increase Newstart by $75 per week. Doing so would cost far less than the income tax cuts the government has already put in place.


“To immediately support people doing it toughest to cover energy bills and other basics, like food and housing, we must urgently increase Newstart by $75 a week, after 25 years without a real increase,” Dr Goldie said.


1 April 2019.