In October the Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent a letter to all 1.7 million Australian pensioners, suggesting that, as a result of the May Budget, they had just enjoyed a pension increase.
Mr. Abbott's letter deliberately obscured an unpalatable truth: budget changes to the way the Age Pension is indexed will significantly reduce the rate of pension increases over time — amounting to an estimated cut of $80 per week to pension payments over the next 10 years, according to the Australian Council for Social Services (ACOSS) which states “the indexation of pensions to CPI would have a significant impact on pension levels. While pensions would still increase as prices rise, they will increase more slowly. After 10 years, ACOSS estimates that single pensioners will be $80 per week worse off than they would be under current arrangements. Community living standards improve with increases in wages, but the living standards of those on pensions will fall behind.”
For thousands of older Australians already living below the poverty line, the magnitude of these cuts is untenable, risking the creation of an aged poor cohort. But with so many budget fronts to fight, this issue's been flying under the media radar, so it's increasingly possible the Senate crossbench could cut a deal to allow the changes through.
Will you hold Mr. Abbott to his promise on the eve of the 2013 election that there would be "no changes to pensions" by signing onto the campaign now?
YOURLifeChoices website has partnered with GetUp, one of Australia's largest campaigning communities, with a membership of over 600,000 people, to ensure that changes to the Age Pension do not proceed.
If you are already living on the full Age Pension, you will be aware of the near-impossibility of maintaining a decent standard of living. Further cuts – up to $80 per week - will reduce this frugal lifestyle to one of poverty. So what can you do?
If you agree that the proposed changes in indexation are wrong, sign the YOURLifeChoices-GetUp petition here.
If you want this petition to be circulated more widely, share with a friend – or two. You can also like us on Facebook and extend the reach of this petition on Twitter.
Who is GetUp?
GetUp is an independent, grassroots, community advocacy organisation that seeks to build a more progressive Australia and hold politicians to account. Whether it’s campaigning on climate action, economic fairness, environmental sustainability or social justice issues, GetUp members combine to demand better from our government, big business and media.
GetUp members from across Australia come together at critical moments to take targeted, coordinated and strategic action to make real change. This could mean signing a petition, helping to get a television ad on air, attending an event or meeting with local members.
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