This week in the Federal Parliament National Party members voted to cut age pensions, disability support pensions, veterans’ pensions and carer payments. The National Party also voted to increase petrol prices with their unfair petrol tax. As your local Labor MP I voted against all of these cruel measures.
Labor will stand against this unfair budget that hurts pensioners, families and students. The fact is Tony Abbott and his National Party collaborators are cutting pensioner and senior payments. This is well explained in a parliamentary library review of the Abbott budget authored by Michael Klapdor.
This paper established that Tony Abbott is cutting funding or restricting eligibility for a range of programs that provide assistance to pensioners and self-funded retirees. This includes: increasing the age pension age to 70; terminating the National Partnership Agreement on certain concessions for pensioner concession card and seniors card holders and abolishing the seniors supplement.
The states and territories are yet to issue a long-term response to the slashing of the National Partnership Agreement by Tony Abbott but it is likely that, without this financial assistance, many concessions currently available will be withdrawn or reduced. This will raise the cost of living for pensioners and retirees, particularly in terms of energy bills and transport costs.
Abolishing the seniors supplement, a payment worth $876.20 a year for singles or $660.40 a year for a member of a couple and paid to Commonwealth Senior Health Card holders and eligible Veterans’ Gold Card holders, will see the loss of such payments affecting more than 280,000 card holders.
Combine this with Tony Abbott and the National Party’s unfair Doctor Tax and Petrol Tax and it is clear that the National Party is directly attacking the pensioners and senior citizens of our nation. As your local MP I will keep fighting and voting in Parliament against the National Party’s unfair budget.
Justine Elliot, Member for Richmond