PM flags possible pension payment reprieve

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While pensioners are still reeling from the news they will not receive an indexed Age Pension increase next month – the first time indexation has not been applied in 25 years – Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted that some further assistance may be on the way.

Mr Morrison said the fact that pension indexation would be frozen in September was a result of the deflation figure recorded last month and that such an event was unpredictable.

However, when asked about the pension freeze at his press conference on Wednesday, he suggested there could be more assistance coming to help counteract the fact that pensions would not rise until at least March next year.

“Some $1500 has been paid to pensioners this year as part of the pandemic response and that was done in July and April,” Mr Morrison said.

“Already pensioners have received two bonus payments so far this year, but the treasurer and I will work through those issues (the indexation freeze).

“It was not intended, nor will it be the case that you’ll see those payments reduce. We’ll work out the exact response and the circumstances and we’ll announce that when a decision is made,” Mr Morrison said.

While he did not go into detail about what the response would entail, it might mean that pension recipients could receive another one-off payment.

Labor’s shadow social services minister Linda Burney was scathing of the indexation freeze and said pensioners were being dealt a “double whammy” with this news and the continuing low interest rate environment in Australia.

Ms Burney also suggested that given the economic conditions, pensioners were not guaranteed an indexed increase in March either.

“This is the worst possible time to be putting the squeeze on the household budgets of seniors and the most vulnerable,” she said.

“Pensioners have been facing rising health, dental, energy and grocery bills for years. And now they are set to go a full year without payment being indexed.

“With interest rates at record lows, pensioners with modest savings are facing a double whammy.

“Average GP out-of-pocket costs alone have gone up by $11 under this government,” Ms Burney said.

“Cutting the pension is in the Liberal-National DNA. This government has tried to cut the pension or increase the pension age to 70 in every single budget – and they have cut $1 billion from pensioner concessions.

“Scott Morrison needs to explain why he is allowing pensions to stagnate in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.”

Do you expect the government to jump in and offer extra assistance to pensioners given the indexation freeze? Is more assistance the right thing to do given the current indexation freeze?

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Written by Ben

109 Comments

Total Comments: 109
  1. 1
    0

    If there was really no inflation then I suppose no increase would be fair. But there is inflation, for example my council rates just increased by 2% and food keeps rising.
    Some things have fallen but they are not things that pensioners generally use so there is no benefit for us in that.

    • 1
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      The prices at the top end of town have fallen but the prices at the bottom end of town have increased.
      Some food products in supermarkets have increased by 100%.
      Domestic consumer electricity cost has increased. Council Water charges have increased

    • 0
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      Arvo – what has increased 100%? What rot; this year our food expenses have gone down and our electricity is cheaper since we switched providers months ago. Today we recieved our council rates, gone down $22.

      It’s just a matter of shopping around for the best deal.

    • 0
      0

      Is a mixed bag. In my area – my rates have increased $72 for the year, and my area is known as the dearest petrol for miles. But food – especially at my local weekly farmer’s market – is very cheap. Even to day, at my local vegie market, punnets of blueberries were 3 punnets for $6.00. I love these, and most times they have been around the $5-$6 for ONE punnet. Luckily I don’t eat meat – eat fish – though egg prices have increased.
      I have just had major dental work, and I got a quote to have it done first week of April. Had to be cancelled. Had work done 2 weeks ago, and had increased $234. My PHI rebate was less than a quarter.
      I must admit I’ve saved more over the past few months, enabling me to purchase things I needed to upgrade.

    • 0
      0

      What abt sheer high-way robbery Gas costs….was shocked when received latest bill for just 2mths, it was higher than also recent 3mthly elec bill + 2mthly water bill combined (for the same periods). Had ducted gas heating serviced again couple of mths ago + turned gas hot water down 2 notches a couple of mths ago (it’s barely not hot now…take very short showers twice wkly now as not going anywhere/no socialising/in Vic.

    • 0
      0

      Rates are the killer for me. Our council has jacked them up 20% in three years (partly due to unrealistic revaluation of properties). Water bills have gone up over 30%. Insurance costs have skyrocketed. These are costs we can’t escape. Also have seen big increases in food bills.

    • 0
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      But as a struggling SFR, pension increases don’t do me any good and I don’t get any of the bonus handouts either. Just a recommendation that I slash my already minimal drawings from super. Don’t know how I’m supposed to live on less than half the OAP. Oh… that’s right. Savings. I went without holidays and restaurant dinners and nice clothes so the taxpayer could benefit. Silly me! I thought I was saving to be able to afford dental and optical care and a little household help in my old age.

      I’m now spending up big on home renovations and some luxury items so I can qualify for the OAP, since I can’t retain my savings for the things they were intended for. To hell with the deficit. I’ll join those putting their hands out for more and whinging when there are no increases. At least I’ll have a secure, livable income and be able to retain the maximum allowable assets. And if Short-on-brains gets his way, I’ll keep my franking credits as one of the triple-dippers, instead of being bashed and insulted for standing on my own two feet.

    • 0
      0

      Greg- here is some of the rot you question- Campbells Chunky Beef & Veg thick soup increased to $3 from $1.75, 1 kg pf potatoes from $4 to $8.

    • 0
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      Arvo – fruit and veg go up/down all the time, nothing different there.

      Your soup when $1.75 was on special at that price, the $3.00 is the normal price ($3.50 at Coles currently).

      Soups have not gone up 100% in one go….again, rot.

    • 0
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      Greg said
      ‘Arvo – what has increased 100%? What rot; this year our food expenses have gone down and our electricity is cheaper since we switched providers months ago. Today we recieved our council rates, gone down $22.

      It’s just a matter of shopping around for the best deal’

      ————————————————
      I am with Red Energy — it is Australian — so if you do SHOP around make sure it is Australian

  2. 0
    0

    Standard “go to hell” attitude to seniors from the Libs and their hayseed mates. Don’t hold your breath waiting for any decency from these cretins.

    • 0
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      all I will say is that the majority of Australians vote the coalition time after time – I’ve been around 70 years now and the coalition have won 74% of that time. Sorry curaeous but your views represent the minority

    • 0
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      And you think the Cretins from the Labor party would any better ? LOL.

    • 1
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      While you’re LOLing you might want to consider that the cretins in the Labor Party introduced the OAP, the Disability Pension, medicare, compulsory Superannuation and just about every other benefit you can think of.

      So yes I think the Labor Party “would any better”.

    • 0
      0

      The LNP don’t give a damn abt pensioners/seniors….Aged Care homes, their responsibility, perfect example.

    • 0
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      In the past, the Labor Party has delivered some excellent reforms, wellsy32. But we are not voting for THAT Labor Party today. We are voting for cretins who want to hand mega billions more to the high paid in superannuation tax concessions, slash the incomes of struggling self-funded retirees (while allowing those with far less need to triple dip and continuing to hand out to high income earners), and continue to declare working, saving and being self-reliant punishable crimes.

      Both parties are a disaster today – but sadly the Labor Party is worse. And Shorten clearly knows that, since he actually told us all not to vote Labor!

  3. 0
    0

    wow we are talking around $1 and pensions reeling and yet the goverment isnt dropping pensions with everything going west

  4. 0
    0

    It has been suggested that this year our CPI has gone backward only because the Government introduced free child care, and the fact that petrol prices have come down. Two things our elderly probably don’t use. But from my observations, grocery and meat prices have increased, and they are the two commodities the elderly definitely use. Yes, the two lots of $750 payments this year may offset these rising costs, but I am feeling our Government (Labor and liberal) have, and are failing our elderly. This is particularly evident with our ‘Aged Care’. Enough is Enough. Our elderly have done the hard yards in building this country and they deserve more respect, and better care and support than they are currently receiving. I am affronted with the evidence to date regarding the care our elderly in a majority of Aged Care institutions. Not because of the nurses or staff, who are doing the best they can, under the conditions they work under, but because of under staffing, under resourced, costs and profits. And don’t mention the food. The food, which I witnessed served, I wouldn’t serve to a dog. We can do a whole lot better, but it is going to cost more. Like child care, should we implement any change, the cost of Aged Care will be beyond most people. The only real answer is our Federal and State Governments must fund Aged Care. I can see no other way.

    • 0
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      I agree, CoogeeGuy. But we also should stop the profiteering by private operators. I had a relative in one very well-run home, but the UK company running a chain of Homes was not happy with the profit levels (though they were quite high) and put in a manager who slashed staff numbers, reduced food quality, and demolished recreation programs.

      I looked into Aged Care facilities as a business, and also Child Care. Both deliver far, far higher profits than the average business. This is unacceptable. These are essential services that ought to be delivered on a not-for-profit basis, or for very modest returns.

  5. 0
    0

    A $1,500 bonus for each pensioner and still complaining about an almost insignificant increase in costs.

  6. 0
    0

    How about something for self funded retirees, we are hurting as well.

  7. 0
    0

    Sorry Discon, you have done it again, like with the Malaria drug, “all I will say is that the majority of Australians vote the coalition time after time – I’ve been around 70 years now and the coalition have won 74% of that time.”
    Firstly, normally they don’t get the majority of the vote, Secondly they have done a dreadful job more times than not, and Thirdly there are a lot of pensioners that are thinking that an old dog CAN learn some new tricks, eg. caring about ones Grandchildren.
    No point lingering in the past Discon, much as some of us may like to, but the past plays no balls today.

    • 0
      0

      I believe it was the last set of Labor government that managed to rack up a massive deficit and there was no pandemic. Oh that doesn’t matter, just print more. And John Howard left a massive surplus. ‘Secondly they have done a dreadful job more times than not” Ho ho ho ho.

    • 1
      0

      Name an achievement of any Liberal government. They give a tax cut for the wealthy, set up massive tax concessions and when the electorate has finally had a gut full, they set about their dirty tricks campaigns.

      As for the lying rodent’s massive surplus, does that make up for his massive debt first time around as the worst Treasurer we have ever had?

      Oh and what about wasting $50 billion plus on the dog’s breakfast of an NBN? He He He

    • 1
      0

      @inextratime
      Labor left a deficit of $48 billion which the Liberals called unbearable. The deficit is now $677 billion and the Libs are calling it manageable. Howard put money in the bank by selling off a lot of public assets, which we can never get back, and left a large structural debt. The myth that the Libs are better money managers has been spread by them and is untrue.

    • 0
      0

      When Labor puts forward policies that make sense as the right way forward, they will win an election. They deserved to lose the last one. Shorten actually told intelligent voters not to vote Labor, and they didn’t. Forget history. We are not re-electing little Johnny or Keating or Hawke. We are voting on today’s candidates and the policies they are putting forward. Labor keeps getting it wrong, so they lose.

      I despise the Libs and I think their gifts to the wealthy stink, but Labor wanted to crucify battlers who are struggling as a result of having worked hard and lived and planned responsibly. Now they want to give mega-billions more to high income earners in superannuation tax concessions while making sure more battlers are excluded from the pension and struggle to achieve an income somewhere near the OAP. They continue with policies that will push taxes up, make more retirees dependent, and put billions more in the pockets of the well-to-do. And they continue to spin grossly untruthful yarns that fool people into thinking they are looking after battlers.

      I continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, and to wish fervently that there was a better alternative.

    • 0
      0

      Agree Lookfar….
      ot only left work to look after now deceased (for 11yrs) spouse, thereafter my aging also now deceased disabled Mum + grandkids thereafter too so our kids could pay their mortgages as childcare fees are almost ‘criminally’ high. Reckon I saved the Govn’mt approx $100,000 in past 10yrs. That $1,500 we OAPs received was such a damn pittance – no where near close enough to fix all needed in my 52yo home + replacement of 25yo appliances – savings almost depleted w/out doing most of above. Sure, lucky that own my home, reckon LNP want us to re-morgage our homes thus leaving almost no inheritance for our kids/grandkids & unable to pay for Aged Care Home…..altho’ as a Vic I’d rather live on the street than go into Aged Care facility (Fed Govn’mt blunder). Luckily for me, kids more than happy to accommodate – as I will be happy to sell home, buy a nice big caravan for me & my super protective dog & live in one of their backyards (they can have the ‘van’ when I “cark it” altho’ may have to wait for a few more yrs as gratefully still fit & healthy….just uncomfortably $ poor.

  8. 0
    0

    I think we all should be grateful that that we got the two $750

    • 0
      0

      Do you think the companies being propped up by the Covid 19 Job Keeper $1500 per fortnight to keep on their employees are doing the right thing by all their employees and tax payers? A lot of these employees would have previously been earning more than $1500 per fortnight and the companies are not topping up the remainder but expecting them to work full time and not pro rata. There is a lot of rorting going on and I dont believe these companies are knocking back the Job Keeper payments even though their bisinesses are doing the same or even better post the the lifting of covid restrictions and lockdowns. Agree with everyone that food and cost of living has gone up

    • 1
      0

      From all reports Willie, most OAP’s are most grateful for the two payments of $750. But I think it well deserved. I have much respect for, and thankful toward our elderly, who too went through hard times, earned every cent of their incomes, paid their way with little handouts from our Government. We should be able to reward them better for their life contribution in their later years. It might mean we can no longer go on paying out all these generous payouts toward maternity / paternity leave, discounted and/or free child care, baby bonuses, etc, all of which our elderly survived without.

    • 1
      0

      That $1,500 was welcome but far from enough – just check out the ever increasing cost of staple foods during this pandemic (especially if live in Vic as I do), we’re being ripped off by supermkts eg: Coles recent higher than usual profit as suspect Woolies will be too. Some of my & my dog’s wkly food staples increased by 5-10% during this pandemic. Think better check out Aldi asap. Council rates + Gas are rip offs too.

    • 0
      0

      Willie, it is always good to look on the positive side, but as evidence mounts that the price of goods is rising much more than we expected, some of that gloss may dim if we find that the lack of pension increase is costing us a lot more than the two $750.s

  9. 0
    0

    ‘Do you expect the government to jump in and offer extra assistance to pensioners given the indexation freeze? Is more assistance the right thing to do given the current indexation freeze”

    BLOODY OATH!

  10. 0
    0

    We certainly have a lot of greedy pigs among the labor voters, don’t we

    • 0
      0

      And the Liberals who voted against Shorten because he was going to get rid of franking credits aren’t greedy?

    • 0
      0

      No, Fedup. Because Shorten was attacking people with less income than the OAP, and ultimately that was going to do massive damage to the economy because those people – and the younger battlers planning their retirements, would drain their savings and go on the pension, costing the nation way too much over the longer term. Yet Shorten was going to let pensioners triple dip, keeping credits they didn’t need because they already had a secure income, and continue to let the well-to-do claim huge credits against their tax bills. We need more intelligent voters, so please don’t insult them.

    • 0
      0

      Mike Omment – you’re just another nasty person, no matter who u vote for. Calling anyone a “greedy pig” b/c of which Govn’mt they choose to vote for is just not acceptable. YLC….pls delete nasty name-calling posts as per Mike’s one above in future. I do not appreciate being called a “greedy pig” b/c I more often vote for ALP, even tho’ I’m a swinging voter……intelligent enough to choose the “Party” that confirms to my needs, not just a slave to one “Fed Party.” Your shocking nasty name-calling of ALP voters has now made me wonder if all LNP voters are like you…..
      ot helping ’em Mike.

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