Families and seniors to get cash

Pensioners Dorothy and Leo Burns feel the federal government could do more for them.
Pensioners Dorothy and Leo Burns feel the federal government could do more for them. John Gass

TWEED families and pensioners will soon have extra cash in their bank accounts to help them keep up with the cost of living, according to local MP Justine Elliot.

But some beneficiaries of the incentive aren't convinced that it will help their lives on a long-term basis.

"Local people would start receiving extra assistance this week and payments will continue over May and June," Mrs Elliot said.

"The Federal Labor Government is delivering extra cash to families, pensioners and other local people to help them make ends meet."

Over the next seven weeks, more than 12,300 eligible families and more than 30,400 pensioners will receive an upfront lump sum payment in their bank accounts.

Families on Family Tax Benefit Part A will receive up to $110 per child and families on Family Tax Benefit Part B will get up to an extra $69.

Single pensioners will receive about $250 and pensioner couples will receive about $380 combined.

Other households, including students, carers, job seekers and eligible retirees will also receive extra cash.

"This extra money will go straight into bank accounts and will help you keep up with the cost of living now and over the coming months," Mrs Elliot said.

Tweed pensioners Leo and Dorothy Burns said they don't feel the government is doing enough for them.

"Our bills have sky-rocketed," Mrs Burns said.

"Rates, petrol and power bills are the main worries.

"We own our home.

"I can't imagine how hard it must be for pensioners paying rent or a mortgage."

Mr Burns said he would rather see a permanent pension increase.

"One-off payments are great, but bills come all year around and an increase in pension payments would be more useful to us."

Cabarita father of four, Ray Norton said he was grateful for the payments.

"Every little bit helps," he said.

"I'm certainly not about to look the gift horse in the mouth."

Next year, the regular payments that eligible families, pensioners and other households receive will go up for good, according to Mrs Elliot.

In another boost for households, more than 43,000 locals will also receive a tax cut in July, with most people receiving about $300 extra a year in their pay packet.

"We know with bills to pay it can be tough to keep up, so we're making sure thousands of local workers can take home more money in their fortnightly pay cheque," Mrs Elliot said.

"We're tripling the tax free threshold so that many casual and part-time workers won't have to pay any tax at all."

Mrs Elliot said the government would continue to look out for local households.

"As Labor builds a strong, clean economy for all Australians, it's important that local families and pensioners are getting that extra bit of help," she said.

"I'm committed to making sure local people keep getting the support they need to help them make ends meet."

Topics:  cost of living families justine elliot pensioners seniors welfare

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