Feb 9, 2012

Opposition confirms cuts from pensioners

The Federal Opposition has shown its true colours and confirmed an Abbott Government would rip away vital support for the 20-thousand pensioners in our local area.

After Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey admitted to plans to implement savage cuts that will hurt local pensioners, Liberal MP Jamie Briggs labelled vital support for pensioners and vulnerable people ‘the dead hand of Government.’

What the Opposition calls a ‘dead hand’, I call a helping hand.  It’s vital support for local pensioners. It helps put food on the table, pay the bills and pay the rent.

This is vital support that the Opposition is happy to rip away.

The Opposition had made it clear they would cut $70 billion from Australia’s support system, and claw back the extra payments for pensioners the Government is delivering as part of its carbon assistance package, including:

  • A payment increase for single pensioners of about $338 per year, and;
  • A payment increase for couple pensioners of about $510 per year combined.

Pensioners in the Inner West deserve a fair go. And after a lifetime of work, they deserve better than Tony Abbott’s savage cuts. It’s time for Tony Abbott to come clean and tell local pensioners just how much he plans to rip away.

The Gillard Labor Government has delivered the most significant reforms to the pension system, including the biggest increase to the pension rate in its 100 year history.

Since September 2009, the Government’s reforms have meant pensioners on the maximum single rate now have an extra $148 a fortnight in their pockets, and couples have an extra $146 a fortnight combined.

The Government has also introduced a new seniors work bonus so that age pensioners keep more of the money they earn from work.

It’s become pretty clear that a Coalition Government means Tony Abbott’s hands in the pockets of local pensioners. It took a Labor Government to fix the pension system, and only a Labor Government can protect it.