PETA MURPHY MP
MEMBER FOR DUNKLEY
MORRISON GOVERNMENT MUST END PENSION FREEZE
In March and September each year, pensioners would ordinarily expect an increase to their payments – adjusted to meet increases in costs and living expenses.
But this September, for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, pensions will not be indexed.
It’s wrong for the Prime Minister to snatch money out of the pockets of pensioners when the country is in recession – the Government should be supporting local jobs, businesses and pensioners.
The pension freeze will hurt 23,413 local pensioners, including 16,318 Age Pensioners, 1,618 people relying on Carer Payment and 5,477 people receiving the Disability Support Pension.
It will now be a whole year – at the very least – without pensioners seeing their payments indexed.
The Government will say this is because of the way the pension indexation is calculated – both the Consumer Price Index and Pension Costs Index were negative.
This explanation however, will be of little comfort to pensioners who have seen costs and uncertainty increase, while returns on their savings stagnate.
These aren’t ordinary times.
Pensioners have been facing rising health, dental, energy and grocery bills for years. Average GP out-of-pocket costs alone have gone up by $11 under this Government.
And the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables has increased by over 5 per cent in the last six months.
Interest rates are also at record lows. Pensioners with modest savings face a double whammy.
Labor is calling on the Government to immediately end its freeze of the pension – to help pensioners balance their budgets and support jobs and local businesses.
DATE: 25 SEPTEMBER 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: DYLAN STEED 0400 615 862
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.