Over 200 pensioners across Illawarra and Southern Highlands have today joined the Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, Jenny Macklin, Member for Whitlam, Stephen Jones, and Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, to discuss the Turnbull Government’s changes to the Age Pension.
The message from Whitlam and Cunningham pensioners was loud and clear: they are fed up with the Turnbull Government’s cuts to older Australians.
Almost 4,000 pensioners across Whitlam and Cunningham have seen an average cut to their pension of $130 a fortnight.
A further 1,500 local pensioners have lost their pension entirely, leaving them on average worse off by around $180 a fortnight.
The legislation to change the pension assets test and cut the Age Pension passed the Parliament in June 2015 as a result of a backroom deal between the Liberals and the Greens.
Just last week in the Parliament the Liberals voted to scrap the Energy Supplement for pensioners.
If the Liberals get their way the Energy Supplement will be scrapped for new pensioners from September this year.
That will mean a cut of $14.10 per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year.
Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off.
The Liberal Government’s track record on the Age Pension is nothing short of atrocious.
Before the 2013 election the Liberals promised “no cuts to pensions”.
Then in every single Budget the Liberals have tried to cut the pension.
In the 2014 Budget they tried to cut pension indexation – a cut that would have meant pensioners would be forced to live on $80 a week less within ten years.
Then the Liberals did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to around 330,000 Australian pensioners by changing the assets test.
The Liberals still want to increase the pension age to 70 – meaning Australia would have the oldest pension age in the developed world.
Cutting the pension shows just how out of touch the Liberals and Malcolm Turnbull really are.
They are ripping away the pension from older Australians and at the same time they trying to give a $50 billion handout to big business and the banks.
Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals should explain why she thinks it’s fair for Australian pensioners to have their pension cut while some massive multinational companies pay little or no tax.
Only Labor will stand up for pensioners across the Illawarra and Southern Highlands.