Dear Mr Turnbull
I am writing to you because I have some questions I hope you will answer but I am not a celebrity, I am not famous and to this country I am insignificant in the scheme of things. I am a single female aged 63. Through no fault of my own I have almost no super, no savings and as of 27 March this year I will have nowhere to live. I am on a Disability Pension. I have some questions and gripes for you as do I am sure many of the over sixty population which is the fastest growing population with over three million people, in this country.
As I have stated I am on a pension. When I started work at fifteen, I worked whatever jobs were available and for as many hours as I was asked. Full Time? Part Time? Casual? There were no labels. When I married I stopped working outside the home as did most women back then to bring up our children. It was what was expected of us. Of course I worked longer hours in the home. When my husband worked on farms I helped. It was hard work and I never stopped doing what I had to for my children. There was no complaining, you just did what you had to. When I could later in my life I went back to outside work and once again I worked 38 hours and over every week. This is just my scenario but I am sure it is the same for many women over sixty in today’s world and men over sixty worked just as hard and gave everything to make this country what it is today. This is why I am going to use the word “entitled”. I believe we, as over sixties, are entitled to ask you some questions, entitled to expect you to listen, entitled to expect that you will actually see this letter yourself and not be “too busy” and entitled to expect that you will do better in solving our plight, that of being forgotten, than you are doing right now. My questions are listed below and I could add to the list.
Question 1: Why are we constantly made to look as though we are expecting handouts from the government? My understanding of our taxes way back then was to build an account to use for us in our senior years. Simplistic? Maybe but you get the point.
Question 2: Why when you are trying to cut the deficit do you target pensions while we constantly see the ‘entitlements’ government officials get? Have you ever truly followed the life of a single or a married couple on a pension for a few weeks?
Question 3: Do you and your ministers really understand that due to life, some of us have no choice but to live on a pension?
Question 4: Do you understand the toll it takes on a man’s body who has done physical work all his life? How do you expect him to keep working past 65?
Question 5: Do you know what it is like to be out of work and nobody but an inept Centrelink department to turn to?
Question 6: Have you ever gone without food to feed your children?
Question 7: As a single female I would like to know do you understand that women over sixty face different hardships than men and married couples if you only have a pension to rely on.
Question 8: What are you going to do for those of us who don’t own our own home and find that rent is taking over half our income?
Question 9: What are you going to do to make sure as pensioners we get a fair go? Not in the future but now!!
Question 10: When are you going to sit opposite me and people like me and give us the time to have these talks with you, to try and make you understand that we are still part of this community, we are older but not necessarily old or nearly dead?
Question 11: When will you realize that appointing sometime to be Minister for the Aged who really has no idea what we go through won’t ever work?
Question 12: When will you stop putting us in the “too hard basket”?
They are my questions Mr Turnbull. There are many more which I am sure we could cover if you would just make the time to meet me, to meet us and discuss, really discuss these matters. If you really care, take a look at sites like Starts At Sixty which has hundreds of thousands of members over sixty. See what they say. Don’t just read the words, but really see what you are reading.
Thank you for your time.
Do you agree with what Fran is putting forward to the Prime Minister? What would your letter to the PM say? Let us know in the comments down below.
To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.