The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston
Minister for Families and Social Services
Minister for Women’s Safety
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Monday 2 May 2022
COST OF LIVING HELP FOR OLDER AUSTRALIANS
An extra 50,000 older Australians will have access to more affordable health care and medications to help ease cost of living pressures under changes to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
A re-elected Morrison Government will increase the singles income test threshold from $57,761 to around $90,000 from July 1 this year, to give more senior Australians access to the concession card. The couple’s threshold will also increase from $92,416 to $144,000.
At the Commonwealth level, all card holders are eligible for cheaper medications and health care, and they may also be eligible for state, territory and local government savings such as discounted rates, electricity and gas bills, ambulance, dental, eye care, recreation and public transport.
The Prime Minister said the Coalition would invest more than $70 million over four years to expand eligibility, helping an extra 50,000 senior Australians this year.
“Our economic plan is delivering affordable, practical cost of living relief for senior Australians and this is the dividend of running a strong economy,” the Prime Minister said.
“This means more senior Australians could save hundreds of dollars, including up to $428 a year for access to a monthly script for vital medicines and a refund for medical costs if you reach the Medicare Safety Net.
“This is the first major change, outside of indexation, to the income threshold of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card in over 20 years. The Coalition can deliver this because of our strong economic management.
“Every dollar counts, especially for older Australians who are no longer working. Senior Australians have worked hard to make Australia all that it is today, and it’s important that the country takes care of them in return.
“There is a clear choice at this election. Australians can vote for the Coalition with a plan for a strong economy and a stronger future that delivers cost of living relief, or a weak economy under Labor, which has no economic plan.”
Currently, more than 436,000 Australians aged over 67 years who are not already receiving a pension or benefit have a Seniors Health Card. The income threshold change will mean more than 486,000 would be eligible, an 11 per cent increase.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the commitment would build on the Coalition’s $525 million investment in the Budget to reduce the safety net threshold for PBS medications to help concession card holders who need multiple medicines a year.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting older Australians to have affordable access to the medicines and care they need so they can enjoy a happy and healthy retirement,” Minister Ruston said.
“The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides self-funded retirees with benefits including cheaper medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
“Senior Australians know the risks of Labor. When they were last in Government, Labor’s poor economic management left them unable to list vital medicines on the PBS.”
This plan builds on the Coalition’s immediate cost of living relief, and plans for a stronger economic future. The Coalition is cutting the fuel excise in half, meaning a family with two cars would save $700 over six months. We are delivering a one-off $420 tax offset to eligible low and middle-income earners. We are also providing a $250 payment to eligible pensioners, welfare recipients, veterans and eligible concession card holders to help with cost of living. In addition, we have announced that a re-elected Morrison Government will cut the price of medications listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme by $10 per script from January 1 next year.
Only the Morrison Government has a plan to responsibly relieve cost of living pressures, create more jobs, guarantee the essential services Australians rely on and keep Australians safe.
Prime Minister’s office: Press Office, Rosa Stathis, 0417 669 223
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Sydney
Press Office of the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister, Canberra
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