Government attacks on pensioners are hurting Central Victoria

Recent Liberal Government cuts to the pension are pushing at risk older Central Victorians even further into a cycle of poverty and hardship, Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP said today.

“At a time of year where it’s getting colder and the temperature here drops below zero, Mr Turnbull’s cuts quite literally leave pensioners in the cold,” said Ms Chesters.

Labor estimates that 36,085 Central Victorians will be affected by the Liberal Government’s decision to cut pensions via scrapping the Energy Supplement.

The move will see single pensioners $14.10 per fortnight worse off. That’s around $365 a year worse off.

Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off. That’s about $550 a year worse off.

“$14 dollars a fortnight isn’t much to some people, but to pensioners this could mean one less hot meal, one less catch up with friends, one less trip out of the house.

“The pension was designed to be a living wage for our older Australians and this continues to become completely unrealistic under the current Government.

“Not only are the Liberal Government cutting the pension, they want to make sure that people wait until they’re 70 to get it.”

Under Malcolm Turnbull Australians born after 1 July 1958 will have to wait longer before they can get the pension.

In the first four years alone 375,000 Australians will have to work longer because of Mr Turnbull.

“I disagree with the Liberal Government’s push to increase the pension age to 70. How can Malcolm Turnbull expect nurses, farmers and builders to work until they’re 70?

“Older Australians deserve to be treated better and with respect. Australians should not be made to work until they’re 70 before receiving the Age Pension.

“This is another outrageous attack by the Liberals on local pensioners. These are the people who helped build Bendigo into the vibrant community it is today.”

Ms Chesters is meeting with concerned pensioners today at her office to talk about the impact this is having on local households.