Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten MP and Labor Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, today joined local pensioners to discuss the impact of Tony Abbott’s broken promise.
"Before the election, Tony Abbott made a promise to pensioners. He said there would be ‘no changes to pensions’," said Mr Shorten.
"The pensioners I have spoken to in Bendigo are now incredibly worried about what May’s budget has in store for them."
"Pensioners in Bendigo do not deserve to be treated this way by Tony Abbott."
29,300 pensioners in Bendigo include 19,200 of full rate pensioners who rely on the $20,000 a year pension to make ends meet.
"The Prime Minister promised ‘no changes to pensions’ and he can’t talk his way around that, try as he might," said Ms Chesters.
"Any change to the pension in May’s budget will be a clear indication that the Prime Minister simply cannot be trusted." "This is a clear betrayal of the 29,300 pensioners across the Bendigo region who took Tony Abbott at his word".
"Even those approaching retirement are concerned the Government may change the pension age."
In Bendigo almost 40 per cent of workers will be particularly affected by such a change because they work in physically demanding, blue collar jobs.
"And to add insult to injury, at the same time Mr Abbott remains determined to introduce his unfair and unaffordable paid parental leave scheme."
"While pensioners are trying to make ends meet on $19 – 20,000 a year, Tony Abbott will give wealthy women paid $75,000 to have a baby," Ms Chesters said.
Bill Shorten said it was clear the Abbott Government had the wrong priorities.
"If the Prime Minister is so desperate to cut, he should leave pensioners in Bendigo alone and start with his exorbitant paid parental leave scheme."
"This is set to be a Budget of broken promises and twisted priorities. It certainly isn’t the government they said they would be."