A bill to abolish the Senior Supplement, which is paid to holders of a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) is due to be introduced to the upper house this week, but it looks to be another of the Government’s Budget measures struggling to gain support.
Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews was confident that the Greens would give the bill the necessary support, if introduced as a stand-alone measure, rather than as part of the broader social security reforms. However, Greens senator, Rachel Siewart, has categorically ruled out supporting the bill, stating, “we ain’t going to support it”. The Greens, however, do think that the abolition should be considered, but only as part of a broader review into retirement incomes, which would include changes to Age Pension eligibility age, indexation of pensions and the GP co-payment.
The abolition of the annual supplement of $886.20 for singles, which is paid quarterly, would save the budget almost $1 billion over four years and has the backing of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). ACOSS argues abolishing the supplement would improve the future sustainability of the social security system.
Read more at SMH.com.au
Do you think the Senior Supplement should be abolished? Is ACOSS correct to support the end of such a payment? Or is a wider review into retirement incomes the right thing for the Government to endorse?
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