Labor Candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has slammed the state Liberal Government's cruel decision to rip money away from Bendigo pensioners living in public housing and has called on the Liberal candidate, Greg Bickley, to condemn this decision made by his own party.
From August, Premier Napthine will use Federal Labor’s recent Household Assistance Package payments as an excuse to increase public housing rents, taking money straight out of the pockets of public and community housing tenants in the Bendigo electorate.
“This is a cruel and cynical cash grab from a Premier who cares more about lining his own pockets than looking out for our pensioners.
"Mr Bickely must come clean and declare if he does or does not support this cash grab by his own party," said Ms Chesters.
“Federal Labor is delivering this boost to help local pensioners make ends meet, but now the State Liberals have decided to just take a slice for themselves."
“It’s greedy, it’s grubby and it’s wrong.”
In March, all pensioners living in Bendigo started receiving an increase in their fortnightly pension payments as part of the Federal Labor Government’s Household Assistance Package. Single pensioners are now receiving an extra $350 a year and pensioner couples are receiving an extra $530 a year to help them with the modest impacts of the carbon price.
Pensioners in public housing in Victoria pay 25 per cent of their pension in rent. The Victorian Liberal Government’s decision to include this money in rent calculations means a single pensioner will now have to pay an extra $87.50 a year in rent.
Ms Chesters said that Bendigo pensioners and housing tenants would be furious with the State Liberal Government’s decision.
“Denis Napthine and his Liberal mates need to explain why they think they deserve this
money more than public housing residents."
“This extra money is for pensioners. It’s not for Denis Napthine and the Liberals.”