Welfare is going up a dollar a day from March 20

Well, 96 cents if you’re on Jobseeker. Personally my pension indexation is $1.05 a day. That certainly won’t make any impact whatsoever when it starts getting indexed from Thursday (March 20).

Allowances Family Situation Previous Amount 20 Mar 2024 Increase Single, 22 or over, no children $749.20 $762.70 $13.50 pf Single, 22 or over, with children $802.50 $816.90 $14.40 pf Single, 55 or over, after 9 months $802.50 $816.90 $14.40 pf Partnered (each) $686.00 $698.30 $12.30 pf Single, principal carer of child, exempt from activity test* $970.20 $987.70 $17.50 pf

And don’t worry, Rent Assistance will only be going up about $1.50/week so it won’t help at all with this year’s rent increases.

We saw news articles last week where people are suddenly realising that people who are retiring to the aged pension and don’t own a house are fucked. No real acknowledgement though that that’s already the reality for people on DSP and Jobseeker, and that we’re not really adding to our Superannuation in any significant way to help with those costs if we live til 67.

Personally, my Super has been hovering around $150k since I stopped being a speech pathologist, fluctuation with markets. See how much it devalues over then next 25 years hey, and see what opportunities I have to add to it.

In personal news, I’ve moved sides of the living room. Bruce’s son is moving in this week, so we’re rejigging a bunch of things ahead of that. It means I’m under my hue lights now and have a nice solid wall behind me rather than open room/tv. Now to phona-fy the rest of the corner.

Grannies Targeted – Supermarket Pricing, Write-offs and what lands on my Kitchen Table

I love granny smith apples. Always have. Would only eat them as a kid, refusing anything red, occasionally trying a golden delicious. Too tart for many, they’re so crunchy and perfect for this lemon lover. This is why allegations that Coles has been marking up their Granny Smiths more than other apples troubled me, but also made sense, given how many I’ve gotten free from foodbanks the past few weeks.

If they’re more expensive, why would you be getting them free, Fiona? Well, the food that comes to our local foodbanks, via Foodbank, OzHarvest or the local old fella collecting baked goods directly form out the back depends on what is not being sold. This may just be because they over-estimated the amount of while bread what would be bought that day, or they have a shelf of cross-promotional products like Vegemite Brownies or Zopper Dooper milks that were a novelty that weren’t really cared for. Other stuff might be a bit externally roughed up, short dated, or there might be new labels coming in. Happy to receive most of these things and give them a go for free or cheap but it does feel a bit meh to always have things that have been rejected for some reason.

So, my theory on the granny smith glut this month is they’re good apples, but perhaps the over-pricing has turned way too many people off buying them in the supermarket, so they’re being left on the shelves. So Coles has to pass on things that aren’t moving, and Ozharvest are getting them all. Coles, of course, gets to claim credit (financial and moral) for donating these overpriced but otherwise great apples. I get to have daily fruit but the supermarket shopper is priced out of being able to buy the apples they want, despite them being in good supply.

In other news, the welfare rate indexation from March 20 officially came out Monday, and JobSeekers will be getting less than a dollar a day extra, I’ll be getting $1.05/day extra on my DSP. Definitely not enough to buy my own overpriced apples in store.Allowances
Family Situation Previous Amount 20 Mar 2024 Increase
Single, 22 or over, no children $749.20 $762.70 $13.50 pf
Single, 22 or over, with children $802.50 $816.90 $14.40 pf
Single, 55 or over, after 9 months $802.50 $816.90 $14.40 pf
Partnered (each) $686.00 $698.30 $12.30 pf
Single, principal carer of child, exempt from activity test* $970.20 $987.70 $17.50 pf

Pensions
Adult Pension Rates
Single* Previous Amount 20 Mar 2024 Increase
Base $1,002.50 $1,020.60 $18.10 pf
Supplement $80.10 $81.60 $1.50 pf
Energy Supplement $14.10 $14.10 - pf
Total $1,096.70 $1,116.30 $19.60 pf
Partnered (each)
Base $755.70 $769.30 $13.60 pf
Supplement $60.40 $61.50 $1.10 pf
Energy Supplement $10.60 $10.60 - pf
Total $826.70 $841.40 $14.70 pf

Rent assistance indexation comes in around $3/fn for most. The press release reminds us that it went up 15% last time ($13) so we should be grateful and stuff.

Rent Assistance - for payments under the Social Security Act
Maximum Payment
Family Situation Previous Amount 20 Mar 2024 Increase
Single $184.80 $188.20 $3.40 pf
Single, sharer $123.20 $125.47 $2.27 pf
Couple $174.00 $177.20 $3.20 pf
Partnered, illness-separated $184.80 $188.20 $3.40 pf
Partnered, temporarily separated $174.00 $177.20 $3.20 pf

So, I’ll munch on my grannie smith for morning tea and wonder how it’s okay for people to not be able to afford the basics while supermarkets continue to increase their profits and we’re reminded how little tax fossil fuel companies are paying.