Terri Butler MP, Labor for Griffith

The Liberals are the party of pension cuts

From Jenny Macklin

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. This unfair cut would have ripped $23 billion from the pockets of pensioners of every single pensioner in Australia.

In the 2014 Budget they cut $1 billion from pensioner concessions – support designed to help pensioners with the cost of living.

In the 2014 Budget they axed the $900 seniors supplement to self funded retirees receiving the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.  

In the 2014 Budget the Liberals tried to reset deeming rates thresholds – a cut that would have seen 500,000 part-pensioners made worse off.

In 2015 the Liberals did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to around 370,000 pensioners by as much as $12,000 a year by changing the pension assets test. 

In the 2016 Budget the Liberals tried to cut the pension to around 190,000 pensioners as part of a plan to limit overseas travel for pensioners to six weeks.

The Liberals still want to make pensioners born overseas wait longer to get the Age Pension by increasing the residency requirements from 10 to 15 years.

The Liberals still want to increase the pension age to 70 – meaning Australia would have an older pension age than the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. In the first four years alone around 375,000 Australians will have to wait longer before they can access the pension. This is a $3.6 billion hit to the retirement income of Australians.

The Liberals still want to axe the Energy Supplement to 2 million Australians, including around 400,000 age 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.

Turnbull also wants to completely take away the pension supplement from pensioners who go overseas for more than six weeks, this will see around $120 million ripped from the pockets of pensioners.

And they still refuse to adjust deeming rates for pensioners. It’s been nearly three years since the Turnbull Government last lowered deeming rates, and pensioners are paying the price, with current deeming rates now significantly higher than real rates of return. Interest rates  have fallen from 2.25 percent in February 2015 to 1.50 percent today, yet Turnbull has done nothing.

Labor will not be lectured to by Malcolm Turnbull or Scott Morrison about standing up for pensioners.

The Liberal Party is the Party of pension cuts.


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Community Heritage Grants 2018

Labor will fight the Liberals’ cuts to Universities in Batman

With Ged Kearney, Labor candidate for Batman

Labor supports La Trobe University, one of the largest employers in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and a proud feature of Batman.

Labor will fight the Turnbull Government’s cuts to universities that will see La Trobe University lose $81 million of Commonwealth funding between 2018 and 2021.

Labor has always defended our universities.

We blocked the Liberals’ harsh university cuts in the 2014 Budget that would have seen the introduction of $100,000 degrees.

We blocked the Liberals’ harsh university cuts again in the 2016 Budget that would have seen universities lose $3.8 billion, and forced students to pay off more debt earlier for a lower quality education.

And again, just before last Christmas when the Liberals’ attempted to bring in a backdoor cut to kill off the demand-driven funding system - Labor declared its opposition.

These latest cuts will hit universities like La Trobe the hardest.

Labor analysis says that La Trobe would face a cut of $81 million between 2018 and 2021 - that's just unacceptable.

And it's not just universities - the Liberals have cut $2.75 billion from TAFE, skills and apprenticeships.

Instead of cutting universities and TAFE, we need to look to the future.

That’s why last month, Labor announced a once in a generation National Inquiry into Post-Secondary Education that will look at every aspect of the vocational and higher education systems, to ensure they can best respond to the needs of Australia’s economy and society.

Labor will continue to stand with universities and students to fight against Mr Turnbull’s cuts.

Only Labor can deliver the opportunity of a high quality post-secondary education system.


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