Election promises mean pensioners will be made to pay for things they don’t even want

As we reported recently, the Coalition nor the Opposition have talked about their promises to improve the lives of pensioners.

As we reported recently, the Coalition nor the Opposition have talked about their promises to improve the lives of pensioners. But what they have done behind the scenes is allocate funds that would benefit the older generation to miscellaneous projects. Does this mean our government or potential government value fixing picnic tables over giving pensioners a fair go?

According to documents obtained by Fairfax, the Coalition promises to install picnic tables, boardwalks, fire trails, skate parks, car parks, netball courts, tennis courts, disabled toilets and lighting for sports ovals.

So far only a handle of politicians – not Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten – have talked about what they would do for aged pensioners if elected. One person who wants to see the minimum increase includes Senator Glenn Lazarus, who will be running for his own party the Glenn Lazarus Team. He said his party will look to increase the aged pension and implement a national concession scheme to reduce the cost of living.

“As a country we should be ashamed of the way we treat our older Australians,” Mr Lazarus said in a statement.

“They have worked, paid taxes, raised families, volunteered and contributed much to our nation and we should be doing more to support them.”

His proposed policy includes raising the pension by 20 per cent from July 2017, introducing a national concession policy and 20 per cent discounts on rates and utilities and free public transport, reports SMH.

As for the Labor and Liberal parties, they’ve been keeping mum on their plans to have pensions increase, if at all. Instead, as has been consistent with previous election campaigns, they have actually left pensioners and the unemployed worse off. Energy prices have risen, and so has the cost of living. But it’s been years since the Gillard government increased the aged pension by a substantial amount, and even then it was just $4 a week.

Fairfax reports that removing the clean energy supplement will mean the most disadvantaged in our communities will be $3.60 per week worse off, according to a calculation by a former department of social security analyst provided to the Australian National University.

This means Australia’s poorest are funding election “giveaways” i.e. the little things governments promise to sweeten the deal – but it’s not right. Pensioners and people in pre-retirement are begging the two parties to tell them what to expect when they vote, but with just two days to go and no answer in sight, it is quite upsetting.

And this all comes after the Coalition announced yesterday they are cracking down on welfare payments – $2.3 billion to be exact.

“We are not weakening the system, we are strengthening it, so those entitled to the payment and support which are important get that support, but ensuring that the system doesn’t have the leakage and the waste and the overpayments or the abuse of the system which at the end of the day cost Australian taxpayers,” Scott Morrison said.

Tell us: do you think it’s very disappointing that the major parties haven’t addressed pensions and instead are using welfare money to fund other projects?


  1. Keith Schadel  

    As old age pensioner, have been subjected to 2 audits by Centrelink looking for some huge amount l have hidden, kept asking if they found it would they tell me where so l could use some of it.

    • When my husband applied for the DSP I also applied for the carers pension. After a couple of months I got an invoice for an over payment of the pension as they reckon I had been working in England and claiming the UK pension from 1967 until 2003.Yes I am from England but I came here in 1967 when I was 11 years old. I supplied all the immigration papers even the vaccination papers and they still insisted that I had been working in England and claiming a pension from UK. After many months of too-ing and fro-ing I finally spoke to someone from Centrelink who had some brains in his head and not his rear end who dug a bit deeper and found that the customer service operator put in a wrong code. I didn’t have to pay back the $3500.00 after all. No apology.

    • Ihave a part Age Pension, a few years ago I was contacted by Centrelink and asked to ring them. I rang and was asked why I had not advised them of a property I owned. Turns out that they had found my name somewhere on on some paperwork. The property turned out to be a time share, unable to sell, and already noted on my asset list. It turns out that they already knew it was a time share, so why the investigation? I offered to sell it to the person from Centrelink at rock bottom price, but funnily enough, she wasn’t interested.

  2. Pardon me, but are there many aged pensions that play netball? Boardwalks, picnic tables and the like? Please! The next thing they will cut will be the PBS for medication. If they cut the pension I guess I can say good bye to my husbands Parkinson’s medication. It costs us $5.20 but who knows what will happen. The pharmacy pays $5000 a month for it. This whole election is really giving me the irrits. I’ve cast my vote already. Its just a matter of wait and see. They all promise you the world and give you nothing anyway.

  3. Joy Anne Bourke  


    • Wendy Pooley  

      Hear Hear, Well said Has anyone seen the movie “Hunt for the Red October”? there is a line in it spoken by a pollie which goes like “Look I’m a politician which means I’m a cheat and a liar when I not kissing babies I’m stealing their lollypops” just about sums it up with our politicians

    • Hans  

      It seem you had your ‘Caps lock’ button on when typing your comment. It is the third button from the bottom on the left.

  4. Irene  

    If it’s true the clean energy supplement will be removed that will be a real backward step for pensioners as when our pension rise comes through its not even that amount of money – two pension rises a year and they and more are eaten up with rent rises, electricity, car rego and licence fees – can only asked when this government both state and federal will wake up to the facts Australians are suffering not only pensioners but young families and even our middle income earners – please wake up before we are all standing on street corners begging because the only ones with enough money to but in our bins will be the pollies – that’s if the rest of us can afford to pay taxes!!

  5. Neta Williams  

    Why wait until 2017 to increase pension when we are already doing it tough. I want these pollies to come and live with me for a fortnight to see with their own eyes how badly they are treating us.

    • Wiso  

      And you have a right to that because…???
      If you had worked as hard as most politicians do, and contributed to compulsory superannuation as they do, you would want to get your pension when you left too !!! Don’t let the green-eyed monster take over Neta, just because someone else has more than you.
      Just be careful what you wish for. If you take away decent pay and conditions for politicians, can you imagine the dud lot you would get in Parliament ?? They are bad enough now, but if you reduce the conditions and pay peanuts you will only get a rabble of monkeys !!

      • Why should pollies have access to anything more than their superannuation which is already an enormous sum compared to most people? They should not be able to have free flights and all the other paraphernalia that they receive when they exit parliament. I think a lot of politicians are feathering their own nests. They do very little when in government; fly from one country to the next on expeditions which they could have easily investigated back home and have allowances which are exorbitant. They seem to agree on very little and need to get back to the basics of putting more funds toward health, education, jobs and share some of the money around that they hand out for childcare. Those who are pensioners never received the help with their families that the government now offers to those with children and it seems that the government still doesn’t have any interest in helping us today. It seems that we are fighting a losing battle.

  6. Wiso  

    I love the idea of having a National system of concessions. It is a real hotch-potch now with every State and Territory being different.
    Hopefully they would make a National system available to self-funded retirees too, as they get nothing now. Not all self-funded retirees are rich. Some are just outside the Centrelink thresholds and that’s all, and with falling interest rates their income keeps falling and it is only their assets that stop them from claiming an Age Pension.

  7. PK  


    1. Older people have an equal right to participate in social, economic and political aspects of life and to maintain control over their independence.
    2. The skills and life experience of older people benefit the whole community and the economy.
    3. All older Australians are entitled to a liveable income and appropriate concessions.
    4. The federal government must play a central role in the provision, regulation and support of aged care services.
    5. Older Australians, their carers and their families should have the right to choose appropriate and affordable care services that meet their needs and maintain their dignity, independence and quality of life.
    6. Access to high quality, appropriate health and aged care services should be on the basis of need and not the ability to pay or the place of residence.
    7. A lifelong approach to active ageing should form the basis of national policy, based on World Health Organisation (WHO) Active Ageing principles focusing on wellness, age-friendly environments, availability and accessibility of effective health care, and active participation in all aspects of community life.
    8. Australia’s diverse community calls for a range of ways to support older people to age in line with their beliefs, culture, language, sexuality, gender identity and their chosen support network.


    1. The federal government to introduce a mechanism to address systemic age discrimination.
    2. Income support for all older people, equivalent to or better than the minimum wage.
    3. A range of affordable, appropriate and secure accommodation options, including public and social housing, to be available for older people, including those in regional and rural Australia.
    4. A high quality aged care system characterised by quality support, nursing and personal care, with safe and comfortable surroundings for older people whether in residential, home or hospital care.
    5. Fair and reasonable arrangements for aged care accommodation bonds and service costs.
    6. Appropriate aged care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTI people, and other people from socially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
    7. Appropriate support services for older people who choose to remain in their own homes, including community care programs and home modification.
    8. Adequate support for carers of older people, including respite services, access to information, income support and tax benefits.
    7. Increased funding to enhance the numbers, skills and salaries of staff in the aged care sector.
    8. The needs of older people included in urban planning and design, ranging from universal design standards for adaptable housing to accessible transport and community facilities.
    9. The expansion of community based education for older people and improved mechanisms that support older workers to take up skilling and educational opportunities.
    10. Improved employment outcomes for older Australians, through:
    a. flexible work arrangements;
    b. skills development;
    c. development and implementation of older worker employment strategies;
    d. embedding of age diversity within workforces; and
    e. modelling best practice on attracting, developing, and retaining older workers.
    11. State and territory governments to amend workers’ compensation regimes, including incapacity payments, to ensure older workers are not disadvantaged.
    12. Availability and affordability of insurance for older Australians, including insurance for volunteers and travel insurance.
    13. Investment in leading research and practice to minimise the impacts of dementia on older people, their families and their communities.
    14.Investment in facilitating older people to plan their financial and health future, including confirming enduring guardians, enduring financial managers and advanced care directives.
    15. A focus on early intervention and preventive health to help older Australians maintain their mobility, well-being and participation, and reduce demand for health services.

    Who… the Greens…


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