Pensioners Must Not Get Left Behind

Central Victorian pensioners are being warned they will not receive their usual payment increase this month.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is in Canberra for Parliament this week and will be calling on the Morrison Government to make sure pensioners are not left behind throughout the continuing pandemic.

“Our older residents are already dealing with the rising cost of living, social isolation and general anxieties around the pandemic.

“The fact that they won’t get a small rise in their payment like they normally do each September is disheartening” Chesters said.

The Age Pension is indexed twice each year - in March and September. The federal government has put this month’s indexation on hold due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Thousands of pensioners across Bendigo will be left disappointed this month when their rate does not increase as usual - the Liberal Government has the power to change that.

 “The pension was designed to be a living wage for our older Australians. This continues to be completely unrealistic under the current Government,” Chesters said.

Pensioners receive a maximum of $944.30 for singles a fortnight or $1423.60 for couples.

“The failure to commit to a rise in the pension is another attack by the Liberals on local pensioners,” Chesters said.

“These are the people who helped build Bendigo into the vibrant community it is today.

“It’s also an issue of fairness and ensuring no one is left behind.

“At a time when the Government is supporting some businesses and workers with the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs, it’s just unfair our pensioners should have to take a financial hit.

“I’m calling on Prime Minister, Scott Morrison to have the decency to give our pensioners greater financial security, dignity and respect, and announce a rise in the pension rate,” Chesters said.

Quotes from local pensioners:

Clif Edwards 

“The government is not acknowledging that the cost of living is going up for pensioners, particularly with food. One example, Cat food has gone up by 10% in the last week because of the pressure on abattoirs”

“The town on Maldon’s average age is 23 years older than the state average, a lot of people rely on pension or part pension here.”

Lynette Bausch

“The fact the government will not give us pensioners one bit extra it is a disgrace.

“I would like to see them live on the lousy bit of money I have left after paying all the bills.

 “Now they still don't give us enough money to live on. I never go out, never buy new clothes and only have enough for op shop clothes.”

1 SEPTEMBER 2020