Malcolm Turnbull’s $50 million promise to Australian seniors

It’s week 9 in the election campaign and still, neither candidate has discussed their plans for the aged pension, and

It’s week 9 in the election campaign and still, neither candidate has discussed their plans for the aged pension, and in fact much to do with the aged population at all.

But Malcolm Turnbull has made a promise to the seniors of Australia, by way of a $50 million investment into their technical skills. That’s right, the PM wants you to learn how to use a smartphone.

Only around 20 per cent of senior Australians own a smartphone, and senior Australians often say a lack of confidence and knowledge is one of the main reasons for not participating online.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wants to see a digital revolution in the country’s libraries, CWA halls and retirement villages.

He said technology is not just about convenience, but giving older citizens a way to stay connected with their family and friends.

On Turnbull’s website, it says the Turnbull Coalition Government is committed to ensuring senior Australians have the digital skills and knowledge to take advantage of new technology and stay connected with loved ones online.

“The Turnbull Coalition is committed to bridging this digital divide”, it says.

They also have pledged to start an online safety strategy for senior Australians.

“The digital literacy strategy will complement existing programmes and draw on the expertise and knowledge of the community sector to develop an appropriate package of support to improve the digital literacy and safety of seniors online”.

Part of the strategy may include smart device training, delivered in partnership with existing organisations, small technology grants for libraries, aged care facilities, retirement villages and community centres.

“The Turnbull Coalition is committed to supporting senior Australians and ensuring they have the skills to participate in our modern digital economy”.

The PM launched his re-election campaign yesterday, and the above promise was just one of the many that were pledged.

He also said the Coalition would spend:

  • $73.6 billion over the next four years for all Australian schools. 
  • An additional $48 million for scholarships under the Smith Family’s Learning for Life program
  • $31 million in programs to encourage more girls and women to study and work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • $50 million Coalition strategy to assist seniors who want to improve their digital literacy skills
  • $192 million more in front line mental health services
  • $64 million commitment to crack down on the trafficking of illegal firearms 

Tell us, do you think the plan to give seniors better digital literacy is a good idea? Or should the money go elsewhere?

  1. Bob BEVERIDGE  

    Does this mean as we all get OLDER, we will be able to VOTE online ? Instead of taking our wheelchairs out for a spin. LOL ! Don,t forget to vote for big MAL, next Sat 02/07.

    • Joy Brown  

      One of our ladies failed to receive her postal voting papers, and when she rang as told hat as she was over 90 she didn’t have to vote if she didn’t want to.

  2. Neil g Dyas  

    How the hell do we get the money to buy and pay connection costs of smart phone ,and you cant eat them or live in them ,travel in them so what use is that waste of money ,raise the pension thats what will get our Vote you donkeys.

    • Elsbeth Hanson  

      Iagree 100 percent just another example of Turnbull being out of touch with the ordinary people of Australia

    • Rhonda De Stefano  

      You are so right! I have a smart phone, know how to use it, but I refuse to use it for data because it is just too expensive! It is just another policy in isolation – the big picture has not been seen!

  3. J Costello  

    I have just found out one of my prescription meds are going to cost me $60 a month I would rather the money go towards that.

    • Maggie  

      I don’t have any expensive prescriptions but think that is better use of money. No good teaching us to use a smart phone if we can’t afford one.

  4. Maureen Grantham  

    I don’t have a smart phone because I can;t hear them ring. Being deaf and with a cochlear implant and hearing aid in the other ear I need to be able to choose a smart phone that has the technology that enables me to hear. I would rather have an allowance to help cover my prescriptions.

  5. I’ve been using PC’s since 1982, had my first laptop in 1987, 1st iPad 4 years ago..
    I’m 71 and rely heavily on the pension. I don’t need his help.

    He needs to address the need for public housing, decent aged and healthcare before this thought bubble. What about the excesses of M.P.s ridiculous pensions, that would easily save millions of $.

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      I agree with what you are saying. We don’t need that unnecessary expense by the Govt. This would be better increasing the pensioners money as electricity is going up from 1/7, also a lot of other things, how are we going to keep warm and people who rent, as rents keep increasing as well. We need this money spent on public housing, healthcare. I have been saying for ages that Pollies should not get those huge pensions considering they are not there more then 10 years and no other companies give a pension scheme, why should they, they should only get what pensioners get and that is if they are entitled to it and do not have another full time job. Pensioners can only earn $160 f/n before they start losing pensions. Liberal have always forgotten about the little people and Turnbull’s motto is ” The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” Poverty

    • Chris  

      I totally agree with what you have said, Harold.

    • Glenys Scott  

      Right on the money totally agree with you

    • Susan Baker  


  6. Janine jackett  

    Because they intend to sell your home on you shove you into retirement living and family can’t come n stay with you I your home…cheap bastardised after 180 years liberals lose the jackett vote..well done you back stabbed….shariah banking take that to you grave with you, you sneaky scum bags

    • Bewildered  

      ” sell your home on you and shove you into retirement living…….” where the hell did that come from? Did Bill tell you that?

  7. Neta Williams  

    What a dreadful waste of money. It would be better to take the money from non working pollies and give an increase to pensioners. I can just picture my blind old mother saying what the hell do I do with thing. No brains when considering his plan. Not all pensioners can see or hear to be able to use his smart phone. His brains must be in his bum or he has not met or talked to many of our elderly Aussies.

    • Jeanette Barbour  

      I agree I am 84, I have one,which confuses me,can never hear it . He has just lost my vote.They should be thinking about helping young couples get into their first home . like giving them an interest free deposit.

  8. I can’t see 50 million senior’s in Australia so if he just give’s us all a million dollar’s each he would save the government money as well as bolster the senior’s pension problem’s as well as allow them the choice of buying a smartphone and paying some one to teach them like their grand kid’s, this has to be a joke do they think we are stupid quick every one run out and vote for Liberal’s “fool’s”

    • Shauna  

      Your math is wrong… ifthere were 50 million pensioners …and he had 50 milliondollars he would either give 50 pensioners 1 Million each… of 50 million pensioners $1.00 each

  9. So we really need a smart phone, what a rediculous statement. Food, warmth and health care would appear to be of the least importance. Who thinks up these idea ideas.

    • Bob T  

      Maybe a Liberal Party supporter has sold him the idea and the supporter wants to get paid to … the usual.

  10. Sandra smith  

    That’s how out of touch the politicians are Bill is too busy with Medicare and can’t think about anything else and Mal now wants to spend up big on mobile phones for seniors These people who want to run this country and want our votes are out of luck as far as my vote goes .If pensioners pulled together they could do a better job they know about budgeting.

    • Gwen Fisher  

      Absolutely! We’ve had to learn to live within our budget and not throw money around wildly nilly to make ‘friends’.

  11. Maree Donavan  

    When the costs of health care have risen, when the costs of medication have skyrocketed, when $57b has been taken out of hospitals, when Aged Care Servicescare set to lose $60 per day I don’t think this ridiculous sop will help. I DO NOT trust the Liberal Party to keep it’s promises anyway

    • Valerie Kirby  

      We paid an extra 7% income tax for our pensions and should be paid that amount. Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, took that money into general revenue to balance the budget but continued to make us pay the extra 7%. We may be paying it still!! The money was so that aged pensions would not be welfare but a right with no means testing. The Liberal Government have been demonising seniors and there are more reductions to come. You know when Malcolm Turnbull is lying. His mouth moves. The Liberals are not to be trusted. We do not need to learn technology. Those that can use it, have it and families are happy to help if it is needed. Give us the money and we will chose what to do with it. We do not need someone babying us at our age. They forget that we are educated and know what is going on. Be warned all politicians. Don’t cry wolf. The politicians in the UK pleaded poverty and brought it austerity so that ordinary folk could not live so Europe was blamed. Now we find out that all was well and the money should have been used to help their own people. Stay away from conservative governments unless you are very rich.

  12. John Rolfe  

    i have all the tech gear I need and like to use it I learn buy trail and error that’s the old way. I don’t need the tax payer to fork out for me. Put the money into affordable housing this would help me and others a lot more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *