The LNP has promised 900,000 social security recipients in Australia will benefit from a two-year government-deeming rate freeze on how their financial assets are viewed.
The government claims that, if re-elected, people will have more certainty over their fortnightly social security payment.
In a statement on Wednesday, Scott Morrison said the effect of freezing the rate used to determine the income earned from financial assets would mean more certainty for about 450,000 age pensioners and 440,000 other social security recipients.
“This is another shield to help protect Australians from the cost of living pressures people could feel from an increase in interest rates,” Morrison said.
“In addition to our indexation of social security payments, we will guarantee the rate of income for people who could otherwise see their social security income drop because of the increase in interest rates.”
The Coalition says it will freeze the lower deeming rate at 0.25% for financial investments of up to $53,600 for single pensioners and $89,000 for pensioner couples. It will keep the upper deeming rate at 2.25% on investment assets over the amount of $53,600 or $89,000.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the election announcement was a ‘temporary, targeted and responsible cost of living measure’. The investment was only possible, he added, because the Coalition had delivered a budget bottom line with the largest improvement in more than 70 years.
“This guarantee comes on top of our $250 cost of living payments, halving fuel excise, expanding access to the commonwealth senior’s healthcare card and cutting the price of government-subsidised medications,” Frydenberg said, noting international geopolitics and supply chain pressures had driven household costs higher.
According to families and social services minister Anne Ruson, the changes would help social security recipients who also earned money from financial investments such as savings accounts, term deposits, managed investments, listed shares and securities and some income streams.
“We are absolutely committed to backing up our older Australians to enjoy a happy and healthy retirement,” Ruston said.
Morrison made another election promise on Wednesday, announcing a $77 million commitment to establishing a world-leading research, education and clinical cancer centre in South Australia.
The Bragg Comprehensive Cancer Centre (BCCC) will be completed by 2025 as part of a proposal made by the Adelaide Health Innovation Partnership. The centre will follow the model of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, which will be joined by NSW and Western Australia to create the collaborative National Comprehensive Cancer Network.