A letter to the Prime Minister

Fran has some things she would like to ask Malcolm Turnbull, so she has written him a letter.

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.

Fran Spears

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.

 
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  1. Ray Hosken  

    Great letter…… So many truths…….

    • Jeanette  

      Excellent letter! Congratulations! It is disappointing that most politicians have no idea of how hard it is for a large portion of people on pensions. I am also aware that we were paying some of our taxes towards a pension if neede in the future! Where has that $$ gone?

    • Carryn Zed  

      OMG, Fran, that could have been direct from me..(except that I didn’t work on a farm(lol). I am a fellow struggler through a few ill-advised decisions, so I whole heartedly agree100% When is the government going to realise that single, older women still can have an imput in society & have well earned the right to live comfortably in their senior years, but seem to be penalised for contributing most of their working life to support miscreants & liars who just want handouts!!!! Rant over… for a while…..

    • Pat Middle  

      I am very impressed with this lady’s questions and comments to Malcolm Turnbull.I have always said How can a man who has been a success all his life and be as wealthy as he is, ever understand the common man? I am sure he has worked hard for his success, nevertheless, he needs to be in tune a lot more with the older generation in Australia who have helped put Malcolm in the place he is now. Well done Fran.

    • John Otten  

      Pension payments made prior to 1961 went in to the Pension Funds however Menzies without any permission of the ” shareholders” put this fund money into consolidated revenue,thus ending the ” entitlement” Menzies made many errors of judgement such as a dual 2 line highway between Melbourne and Brisbane.A large shale oil project in Queensland was refused permission by Menzies with his comment being ” Oil will never be more then 5 pounds a barrel” Actually this shall oil ( light oil) together with oil of the coast of Victoria and together mixed and refined would have saved us billions. I bet wet behind the ears turncoat would not even know this,then again he is not an interested in Australia only in himself.
      Vision is not what ANY of these so called politicians have a clue about.
      Best they think again what Jonathan Swift said” Vision is seeing the Invisable ”
      Unless they possibly read it as ” Vision is seeing the Inviable “.
      As an aside just saw another labor nut claiming that the NDIS money was in gillard’s budget , Well it was on paper but the cash was borrowed money. So live with it clowns and idiots everywhere and no vision. Democracy gone when Mr NIX can block in the Senate a budget needed to stop borrowing more then we should and loose the AAA rating . So voters have to take responsibility too ,if not you will get the next bundle of clowns.

      • Diana  

        Unfortunately, we only have clowns to choose from come election time.

  2. Chris  

    Gran, I do so agree with you. We were all told our taxes were for our old age. Where did that go?
    Good on you. Hope you get an answe

    • Angela perkins  

      Well said. But I really don’t believe Malcolm Turnbull really gives a rats a—

  3. ………………GOOD ON YOU but he wont give us the time of day we are beneath him but i’m sure if we were muslim he’d find the time .We pensioners who have contributed all our lives to this country worked our asses off will continue to get the brush off .muslims,refugees ,overseas aid ,etc seem more important .

    • Be Potter  

      Well no Christine, muslims and refugees actually dont get treated that well either, but the rest of us oldies are as someone else said… in the too hard basket. The priveleged, white males of this country really have no idea

  4. Brian bonser  

    That is one of the best written letters I have ever read ,I just hope that the prime minister reads it himself not one of his minnions because they will just put it in the to hard basket good luck .

  5. Pamela Bretherton  

    Totally agree, especially that we are made to feel like bludgers, another question I would ask is does any politician realize how many voluntary hours we are clocking up for various charities, for people like me that are not able to receive the age pension yet, but Newstart, meaning we have to work at least 15 hours a week. We are saving the Government thousands of dollars, and still made to feel guilty.

    • Diana  

      All towns and their community groups are funded by volunteers, who are pretty much all white haired. Most disabled and elderly people have carers who may have given up their opportunities of earning good money because there was no way they could leave their relative. These people are saving the government literally BILLIONS and yet they are the first punished by withdrawal of money and services. How about looking after Australia first before millions are sent to overseas countries? Just for fun, not because we really need it (sarcasm).

  6. Dorothy Colby  

    Well said Fran. I retired almost two years ago for health reasons & lived off my super until May last year when I turned 65 & was able to claim an aged pension. As a result I have almost none of my tiny amount of Super left. We are fortunate enough to own our own home but will probably have to sell & downsize to a smaller, cheaper home as rates & insurances etc consume almost half of our pensions. I would like to see politicians forced to live on nothing but a pension for six months. Only then might they have an idea the struggle we as pensioners have.

    • noddy  

      won’t ever happen…we in NZ have a pollie try it for a month….quit after 1 week citing health reasons…..HELLO…pensioners DON’T get sick….another tried…lasted 1 week…personal problems was the reason she gave for quitting….pensioners DON’T have problems….bottom line is they can’t do it but expect us to while they give themselves another pay rise, entitlement, etc. I could live really well on $2000 per week

  7. mitsi45  

    I agree with you whole heartedly and would to see him answering it

    • Diana  

      He won’t read it and he won’t answer it. A minion will scan the letter and throw it into the waste paper basket as being unimportant. I heartily agree with EVERYTHING in the letter.

  8. Jane Wagstaff  

    He wouldn’t have read further than the first sentence.

  9. Sandra  

    Great and true letter.
    Do you think you will get a answer???
    Another thing if the country is in dire straights as the Goverment implies WHY are we spending millions on millions on moving a government department to Armidale on the whim of the minister, savings should start in the government looking after OUR the Taxpayers dollars.
    Also if he answers your questions,ask him WHY does he blame Labour for everything in question time.Tell him we are sick and tired of all the yelling and screaming and name calling that Liberal ministers are so good at doing

    • Well said and I hope that Mr Turnbull does read your letter.

    • Josephine B  

      Sandra they’re ALL like little school children slinging mud at each other. I only wish they could be the “adults” they’re supposed to be and stop pussy-footing around then actually DO something to straighten out OUR country. There’s TOO much going into their pockets specifically after they’re no longer in politics. We the general public are expected to live either on a pension or have saved all through our working lives to be able to survive. I really pity the elderly pensioners who have worked a lifetime as they receive a pittance. I too would like to see any one of our politicians live in a pensioners home that is his/her castle but not be of the class they live in and try to survive on a pension at least for one month as I’m sure NONE of them would survive like pensioners are expected to. I’d like to see more done on infrastructure as our population is growing SO fast and not enough schools, hospitals or even the roads to compensate the traffic. Also the greed of developers and government now squashing everyone into little boxes (houses) and NO yard for children to swing a cat. No wonder everyone is yelling about kids on their phones (txting or games) they’ve no where to go now as parents haven’t the time to even take them to a park, they’re busy getting home from work in the horrendous traffic. It would be nice to be picked up in private car and driven home to a palatial home in time to have dinner served as well as freebie trips around the globe AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE then to retire on TAXPAYERS money. When we retire we only have what’s in OUR POCKETS.

  10. Gilbert  

    I agree with everything said in the letter. I am a 70yo widower caring for my disabled son (35yo). I am also on a pension, so I know how hard it is. So Mr Turnbull, do something about it now. We are the ones that built this fabulous country with our hard work, not you. With our hard work and support, we elected the Government. It is now time for you to support us.

  11. Julian Donn  

    I liked this a lot Fran and posted it on my own forum.
    A commonsense and realistic approach to the current political chaos and the resulting fall out, looking for no others to blame other than the greed that has created it.

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