BETTER support measures and cost of living relief for more Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and veterans have been approved by the federal Government.
Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) veterans will receive a $1000 increase to the rate of their TPI Payment from January 1 next year.
Federal Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the changes delivered on key election commitments from Labor that he announced as the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel.
“It was an absolute disgrace that former government completely ignored the needs of TPI veterans, who are some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” he said.
“However, we listened and we committed to boost support for our 27,000 TPI veterans, many of whom can’t work because of injuries sustained in service to their country.
“We’re delivering a $1000 increase to the Special Rate of Disability Pension, an increase of $38.46 per fortnight, so TPI veterans and their families are better off financially, helping keep up with cost of living pressures,” he said.
On top of the increase in the TPI pension, the government is expanding the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme to improve access to home ownership for eligible defence personnel earlier in their careers.
The changes will also allow veterans who served on or after July 1, 2008, to access the scheme at any stage after they have left the service.
Boosting the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme delivers on Labor’s election commitment to improve housing affordability for more ADF members and veterans as an important Defence recruitment and retention tool.
From January 1 the eligibility criteria for the scheme for each subsidy tier will be expanded by:
- Halving the minimum service required for access by current ADF members from four to two years for permanent service, and from eight to four years for Reserve service
- Removing the access cap altogether for veterans who have left the service (previously five years).
The changes also reduce the minimum service thresholds for each subsidy tier.
Mr Neumann said Labor created the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme and now the new Labor Government was expanding it for more ADF members and veterans during a time of increasing cost of living pressures.
“This $46.2 million investment helps our ADF members and veterans with cost-of-living pressures that make it increasingly difficult to achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership.”