10 February 2010
Disadvantaged Australians will have better access to Centrelink payments with legislation introduced to Parliament today by the Minister for Families and Community Services, Jenny Macklin, giving people the option to change the frequency of payments.
“ACOSS welcomes this move by the Government which will help severely disadvantaged people access their payments on a weekly, rather than fortnightly, basis,” said Clare Martin, CEO, ACOSS.
“Homeless people in particular can struggle to maintain a budget and often operate on a day-to-day basis rather than in fortnightly cycles. Giving people a choice to receive payments weekly will empower them to take control of their finances, minimise hardship and prevent people from slipping into homelessness.”
“The government is delivering on a promise made in its homelessness strategy, The Road Home, to make weekly payments available to reduce the need for urgent payments and help people budget.”
Vulnerable clients identified by Centrelink as having difficulties budgeting their payments over the fortnight will be able to choose to have their income support payments paid weekly instead of fortnightly.
Weekly payments, along with other voluntary budgetary tools, such as Centrepay, are more effective and empowering alternatives to help people manage their finances than a compulsory income management scheme.
Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155