Speeches

Freezing the Aged Pension

September 01, 2020

For the first time in more than 20 years, age pensioners are not going to receive a regular pension increase this month, but this government just doesn't care. Usually in September and March there's a small rise in the pension, based on a formula around wage increases and inflation. That increase might be small, but it makes a huge difference to pensioners' ability to pay bills. Right now, in the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains, many are facing rising rates notices. They have their winter power bills to pay, and groceries during COVID are not getting any cheaper. Pensioners who earn a little bit from modest savings are getting next to nothing with low interest rates. This is a hit they don't deserve. The freezing of the pension applies to other benefits too, such as the carer payment and the disability support pension. This is the worst possible time to be squeezing the household budgets of seniors and the most vulnerable, but it fits with what the Liberals do. This government has tried to cut the pension or increase the pension age to 70 in every single budget. It was this Prime Minister who, as social services minister, showed he didn't care about pensioners when he did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to 370,000 people by changing the assets test. The Prime Minister could fix this. The Prime Minister should fix this. But so far he is not lifting a finger to fix it, because this is a Prime Minister who only pretends to care.

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