Only a few days until we all go to the polls to elect a party or person to represent the current age pensioners of Australia. Time for one last look at the policies on offer by both major parties which are favourable to current age pensioners.
LNP – NIL
ALP – NIL
Surely this must be a mistake, for are we not the generation that has seen this country through some of the biggest industrial changes; technological advances, medical breakthroughs and changes to safety and workplace standards to name but a few.
Did we not bring up children who have never had to fear war or third world poverty? Did we do so without welfare benefits, other than a general family allowance? No baby bonus, no childcare, no nanny care, no child minding facilities , no single parent allowances, the list goes on and I’m sure you can all think of a few more. Did we not manage on what we had, on our own, in our own way, and as a family? One parent, normally the mother, stayed at home, and was there for the children when they came home. Crimes were less and respect was the norm. For those buying a family home, the interest rates reached 21.5%. but they managed.
We paid our taxes, many for over fifty years, supplying government revenue to make all the advances of a modern society available to today’s generation. We relied on the government of the day to ‘do the right thing’, budget our money and the books of the country, accurately and effectively. We felt safe, we had the knowledge and understanding in black and white that part of our taxes went to our future age pension to ensure that we could all retire – not all rich, but all with dignity.
In any population base there will be those who have much, those who have little and those in-between. That’s a fact of life and not an argument to be used regarding age pensioners. Set some limits and expectations, that’s fine, but the base age pension should be just that. For those who have no other money to fall back on, this should still enable them to have a decent worry free retirement. Remember, a country can be judge how it supports and looks after it elder generation, and Australia is not doing very well. There should not be an aged pensioner who cannot afford to have a decent hot meal, keep warm in winter, cool in summer and know what tomorrow may bring.
The age pension is not welfare and those on full or part age pension are not receiving welfare. They should not be locked in with other welfare recipients, to do so is to insult Australians who have worked hard all their life asked for nothing and requesting only what they are entitled to.
The age pension needs an immediate and substantial increase to bring it in line with average weekly earnings and a method to ensure it is maintained at that level. Free travel should be included, together with an assurance that all medical services will be bulk billed. Power bills and communications should be capped, allowing aged pensioners to be sure of their budgets as age takes over.
Current age pensioners make up about 27% of the voting population and could change the result of an election, as it has in other countries. It would be sagacious for political parties to secure their vote to achieve their own ambitions but current politics seem to favour middle income welfare whether it is required or warranted, coupled with incentives for business.
Why is there no policy for current age pensioners on the table? The truth is that the contrary exists and Political Parties are the same when it comes to Age Pensioners, they seek to reduce the buying power of the age pension and/or increase auxiliary payments and they are limiting wealth ability by reducing threshold limits?
Many will with good reason call politician names and criticise their pension arrangements, that is anger vented by current age pensioners and who can blame them. Current aged pensioners cannot supplement their age pension any further, and have to rely on the government to ensure the age pension is kept at a level relevant to the the living standards of today.
How do current aged pensioners have their voice heard? Why have Politicians dumped age pensioners? Do you feel betrayed? What would you like to see happening?