Changes to deeming rates are set to have benefits for thousands of people on the Fraser Coast.
Changes to deeming rates are set to have benefits for thousands of people on the Fraser Coast.

RATES CHANGE: Thousands on Fraser Coast to get cash boost

THOUSANDS of Fraser Coast people are set to benefit from the Federal Government's decision to cut deeming rates, which will mean a multi-million dollar boost over the next four years.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt welcomed the decision, which he says means more money in the pockets of older Australians.

The government pushed deeming rates down to 1 per cent from 1.75 per cent for savings up to $51,800 for singles and $86,200 for couples.

Above those levels, the deeming rate has been cut from 3.25 per cent to 3 per cent.

More than 10,000 people in Mr Pitt's electorate are set to benefit from the lower deeming rate, while in the Wide Bay electorate, more than 9000 people will be better off.

"Under the new rates age pensioners whose income is assessed using deeming will receive up to $40.50 additional a fortnight for couples and up to $31 a fortnight for singles," Mr Pitt said.

Those were increases of $1053 a year and $804 a year respectively.

"This is an issue which has been raised with my office by constituents on a regular basis and yesterday's announcement is a step in the right direction but there is still more work to do," he said.

"The system in its current form is not without problems and it's a good opportunity to review how it's working."

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien also endorsed the change, saying the decision to cut deeming rates showed the government had listened to the "reasonable concerns expressed by older Australians who receive a part pension, and taken action to remedy the situation".

"This has been an important issue for the one in four aged pensioners who are affected by deeming, and I am pleased to see this sensible approach to supporting our older people who have finely balanced finances," he said.

"While 75 per cent of aged pensioners are not affected by deeming this decision recognises that it is an important issue for those who are.

"The changes to the deeming rate will also help people who receive other income tested payments including the Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, and income support allowances and supplements such as the Parenting Payment and Newstart."



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