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To: Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services
Change Centrelink rent assistance rates for fairness and equity.
Dear Minister, please change the way Centrelink Rent Assistance rates are calculated.
Why is this important?
This is an important matter of equity in payment rates for Centrelink beneficiaries. The way rent assistance is currently calculated means that the amount of assistance given for rent is not in proportion with how much rent a person is actually paying in comparison to a person paying a different amount, and on their accommodation circumstances. Eg. Sharing, not sharing, single, couple, children, no children. Here is a case senario that illustrates this inequity: A single person with no children is living alone ie. not sharing accommodation, paying $270 per fortnight rent. They are entitled to the maximum rate of rent assistance for their circumstances, which is $120.20 per fortnight. Another single person with no children IS sharing accommodation (it does not matter with how many other people, it only matters that they are actually sharing accommodation), also paying $270 per fortnight rent. They are also entitled to the maximum rate of rent assistance for their circumstances, which is $80.13 per fortnight. This example shows that it is hard for a low income recipient to get ahead, and defeats the purpose of sharing rent to make finances less strained.