Pensioner advocate Don Morgan.
Pensioner advocate Don Morgan.

Pensioners split on budget

PENSIONERS have greeted news that the Federal Government will boost the aged pension with mixed feelings.

Australian Labour Party member Bob Dennison thinks that the additional $32.49 per week for single aged pensioners and $10.14 per week for couples is "a kick in the teeth" for the elderly, while seniors’ advocate Don Morgan has welcomed the extra cash.

"Pensioners should not be complaining," said Mr Morgan from his Tweed Heads South home.

"The Government promised single pensioners an extra $30 per week and they have given them more than that.

"The $10.14 for couples per week is not a lot but is similar to the amounts put forward in Don’s Law by the Nationals in the Senate last year."

The increased payments to aged pensioners included in last night’s budget have been rejected by Cabarita Beach ALP branch member Bob Dennison, because they are inequitable and don’t go far enough to cover increasing costs.

"It’s absolutely disgusting that they think this little extra will go anyway to making up for the extra costs we pay for, like food and petrol," the Banora Point retiree said.

"I know single pensioner struggle the most, but where is the extra money for all the other pensioners?

"The Government completed a review of all pensions, the Harmer Report, but they haven’t released it yet, probably because it suggests that all pensioners deserve to get paid more just to cover the increased costs of living.

"I mean an extra $5 a week each for me and my wife is not going to pay for much really.

"I said last time that I would quite the ALP if they didn’t give us the increase, but I think I should stay on just to make sure there is someone on the ground saying more needs to be done."

Both Mr Dennison and Mr Morgan welcomed an additional one-off $600 payment to carers included in the Budget, and welcomed the change were quarterly utility payments of $125 would now be paid as part of fortnightly payments.

* For more local budget coverage see tomorrow's Tweed Daily News.



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