$10.80 not enough

By MADELEINE DOHERTY

TWEED pensioners will get a rise of up to $10.80 a fortnight in pension rates from March 20.

Minister for Families and Community Services Mal Brough said yesterday the maximum single rate of pension would rise by $10.80 to $499.70 a fortnight.

Tweed age pensioner Maureeann Riley said while she welcomed the extra money, it really did not improve her quality of life.

"Mrs Riley, who has been a widow for about six years, said living on a pension was hard.

"There's nothing in the fridge a few days before pension day ? I usually just eat bread and Vegemite, and I'm not alone. I've seen other old pensioners in the supermarket buying dog food and they don't have any animals. I'm 100 per cent sure they are eating it," she said.

"I don't think the government understands that when you get old you need certain things ? like panties to help with incontinence."

Mrs Riley said that for pensioners who had no investments or lost their money through no fault of their own, it was tough.

The maximum a partnered pension will increase by $9.00 to $417.20 a fortnight for each member of the couple.

"This means a single-age pensioner will receive up to $280.80 extra a year, while partnered pensioners will have up to $234.00 extra a year," Mr Bough said.



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