D-DAY FOR PENSIONERS: TURNBULL’S PENSION CUTS LEAVE 330,000 PENSIONERS WORSE OFF

3 Jan 2017

Malcolm Turnbull’s changes to the pension assets test start from today – a change that will leave around 330,000 Australian pensioners worse off.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES


D-DAY FOR PENSIONERS: TURNBULL’S PENSION CUTS LEAVE 330,000 PENSIONERS WORSE OFF

Malcolm Turnbull’s changes to the pension assets test start from today – a change that will leave around 330,000 Australian pensioners worse off.   

Pensioners from right across the country will be worse off from today because of these changes made by the Turnbull Government.

Cutting the pension shows just how out of touch Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals really are. They are taking money off pensioners during the festive season while giving a $50 billion handout to big business and the banks.

Pensioners right across the country are going to have their household budgets cut.

Mr Turnbull should explain why he thinks it’s fair for Australian pensioners to have their pension cut while some massive multinational companies pay little or no tax.

It’s clear that the pension means test is now a complete mess.

The system is too complex, pensioners are waiting record times to have their applications processed, and they are waiting for hours on the phone to get through to Centrelink – it’s not good enough.

The legislation to change the pension assets test and cut the Age Pension passed the Parliament in June 2015 under a backroom deal between the Liberals and the Greens.

Labor opposed these changes when they were in the Parliament. We said these changes will impose disincentives for people to save for their retirement.

The Liberal Government’s track record on the Age Pension is nothing short of terrible.

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 part-pensioners by changing the assets test from today. 

The Liberals still want to increase the pension age to 70 – meaning Australia would have the oldest pension age in the developed world.

The Liberals still want to abolish the Energy Supplement to pensioners – 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.

On top of all that around 190,000 pensioners will have their pension cut as a result of Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to limit overseas travel for Australian pensioners.

Malcolm Turnbull should make a New Year’s resolution not to make any more cuts to the pension, Australian pensioners have had enough.

SUNDAY, 1 JANUARY 2017