Dear Beagle Editor, Ms Sudmalis and Mr Turnbull must immediately rule out including the family home in the pension assets test, as proposed recently by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
Labor does not support including the family home in the pension assets test.
There are over six thousand aged pensioners in the Batemans Bay/Moruya areas and these pensioners shouldn't be penalised because of where they bought their family home 30 or 40 years ago.
The Gilmore electorate has the second highest number of aged pensioners in Australia, and these pensioners deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in retirement.
This Liberal Government’s dreadful track record of cuts to pensioners is making many south coast pensioners anxious about what further cuts may be in the 2017 Budget.
Before the 2013 election the Liberals promised “no cuts to pensions”.
Then in every single Budget the Liberals have tried to cut the pension.
In the 2014 Budget 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.
Then Scott Morrison did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension leaving 3,480 aged pensioners in the Gilmore electorate worse off by changing the assets test.
The Liberals already want to increase the pension eligibility age to 70 by 2035 – meaning Australia would have the oldest pension age in the developed world.
The Liberals want to abolish the Energy Supplement to pensioners – a cut of $14.10 per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year. Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off.
On top of all that around 190,000 pensioners will have their pension cut as a result of Mr Turnbull’s plan to limit overseas travel for Australian pensioners.
Pensioners in the Batemans Bay/Moruya areas need certainty in retirement, Ms Sudmalis and Mr Turnbull should rule out including the family home in the pension assets test. Fiona Phillips Labor spokesperson for GILMORE