6466.0 - Information Paper: Introduction of the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Australia, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2009   
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June 25, 2009
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)

ABS introduces new Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index

The ABS has released an information paper outlining the new Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI).

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) provides a general measure of changes in prices of consumer goods and services purchased by Australian households and is used for a variety of purposes, such as in the development and analysis of government economic policy, the adjustment of some government benefits, and individual contracts.

The Pension Review Report completed in February 2009 concluded that an alternative measure of price change more fully responsive to changes in pensioners' purchasing power would be appropriate.

The government has funded the ABS to produce a new index that more specifically reflects changes in the living costs of pensioners and other households receiving income support from the government. In the 2009–10 Budget, the government has indicated that it will use this PBLCI to index base pension rates where it is higher than the CPI. The ABS will publish the PBLCI quarterly commencing on 24 August 2009.

The ABS will progressively improve the index to better reflect the price changes experienced by pensioners and beneficiaries.

This Information Paper provides an overview of the new index including how it is calculated and its relationship to the CPI.

Further information is available in the Information Paper: Introduction of the Pensioner Cost Living Index (PBLCI) (cat. no 6466.0.0)

Media Note:
    • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.