Last week the Morrison Government tabled their plans to introduce more cruel cuts to the pension. The Government wants to stop the age pension supplement for pensioners who spend more than six weeks overseas.
Australia is a diverse community where one in four people were born overseas. These proposed cuts will hurt hardworking migrant pensioners visiting family overseas or who need to spend extended time caring for relatives or grandchildren.
The Morrison Government also wants to increase the residency requirement for the pension from 10 to 15 years. Making people wait longer to get the pension will only force some older Australians to go without, struggle or live in poverty.
The Liberals and Nationals are obsessed with cutting the pension.
They have tried cut the pension in every budget, in every year they have been in government:
• In 2014, they tried to cut pension indexation – a cut that would have meant pensioners would be forced to live on $80 a week less within ten years.
• In 2014, they cut $1 billion from pensioner concessions – support designed to help pensioners with the cost of living.
• In 2014, they axed the $900 seniors supplement to self-funded retirees receiving the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
• In 2014, they tried to reset deeming rates thresholds – a cut that would have seen half a million part-pensioners made worse off.
• In 2015, they did a deal with the Greens political party to cut the pension to around 370,000 pensioners by as much as $12,000 a year by changing the pension assets test.
• In 2016, they tried to cut the pension to around 190,000 pensioners as part of a plan to limit overseas travel for pensioners to six weeks.
• In 2016, they tried to cut the pension for over 1.5 million Australians, by scrapping the energy supplement for new pensioners.
• They spent five years trying to increase the pension age to 70.
• And the Morrison Government continues to shortchange pensioners with its inequitable deeming rates while interest rates remain at record lows.