NO MATTER WHO LEADS THE LIBERALS, PENSION CUTS ARE IN THEIR DNA

NO MATTER WHO LEADS THE LIBERALS, PENSION CUTS ARE IN THEIR DNA
  
Pensioners won’t be fooled.                                         
 
For 834 days, the Turnbull Government has tried to cut the pension for over 1.5 million Australians, by scrapping the energy supplement for new pensioners. [Budget Paper No. 2, 2016, p.143]  
 
Malcolm Turnbull’s back-down today is only about saving his job. And pensioners are still facing one of the highest pension ages in the developed world.
 
Scott Morrison tried to gloss-over the pain these cuts would have inflicted on pensioners.
 
“No pensioner was ever having a payment they were currently receiving being taken away.”
[Scott Morrison, Press Conference, 22 August 2018]
 
This is wrong.
 
The Turnbull Government’s legislation makes it clear that anyone who has come onto a pension or allowance since September 2016 would have seen their payment cut.
 
The Government’s own figures show this would have left over 563,000 Australians who are currently receiving a pension or allowance worse-off. Over 10 years, in excess of 1.5 million pensioners would be worse off.
 
Cutting the pension is in the Liberals’ DNA.
 
They have tried to cut the pension in every budget:
 
•    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. This unfair cut would have ripped $23 billion from the pockets of every single pensioner in Australia.
 
•    In the 2014 Budget they cut $1 billion from pensioner concessions – support designed to help pensioners with the cost of living.
 
•    In the 2014 Budget they axed the $900 seniors supplement to self-funded retirees receiving the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
 
•    In the 2014 Budget the Liberals tried to reset deeming rates thresholds – a cut that would have seen 500,000 part-pensioners made worse off.
 
•    In 2015, the Liberals did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to around 370,000 pensioners by as much as $12,000 a year by changing the pension assets test.
 
•    In the 2016 Budget they tried to cut the pension to around 190,000 pensioners as part of a plan to limit overseas travel for pensioners to six weeks.
 
•    They still wants to make pensioners born overseas wait longer to before qualifying for the Age Pension by increasing the residency requirements from 10 to 15 years.
 
•    The Liberals want to completely take away the pension supplement from pensioners who go overseas for more than six weeks, this will see around $120 million ripped from the pockets of pensioners.
 
•    And they still refuse to adjust deeming rates for pensioners.
 
On top of this, the Prime Minister still wants to increase the pension age to 70.
 
Labor has fought these cuts tooth and nail. This is the only reason the Turnbull Government has flip-flopped today.
 
But one simple fact remains.
 
No matter who the leader is, cutting the pension is in the Liberals’ DNA.
 
WEDNESDAY, 22 AUGUST 2018