Greens demand 'Fair go for pensioners'
Pensioners are John Howard's forgotten battlers, Greens Leader Bob Brown said, joining ACT lead Senate candidate Kerrie Tucker in front of Parliament House today.
"The Greens are determined to put pensioners on the election agenda. We are campaigning for a $60 a fortnight increase in the aged pension. There hasn't been a substantial increase in the aged pension since 1993. If John Howard can afford $100 billion in tax cuts in the past three years, he can afford the $3 billion it would cost to give pensioners an extra $30 a week," Senator Brown said.
"Australia's 2 million aged pensioners haven't had a substantial increase in their pensions since 1993. They live on $13, 980 a year, that is, $268 a week. Average weekly ordinary time earnings in Australia are $1091.20," Senator Brown said.
Lead Senate candidate Kerrie Tucker said the Greens would also campaign for fair pension indexation for Commonwealth and Defence Force superannuants.
"For years now, retirement incomes of Commonwealth and Defence Force personnel have been falling behind those of other Australians" Ms Tucker said.
"In order to keep pace with rising costs, all pensions are indexed to the better of the consumer price index (CPI) and a wage-based index. But Commonwealth and Defence Force superannuation pensions are not. They are indexed to the lower CPI figure. So they a falling further and further behind average wages, and further and further behind other indexed pensions."
"Two Senate committee reports have recommended that a wage-based index be used for these people. But the Howard Government isn't prepared to shift. If I were elected Senator for the ACT, I would continue to campaign for fair indexation for people on Commonwealth and Defence force super," Ms Tucker said.
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603 (Senator Brown)
Media contact Roland Manderson 041 224 1379 (Kerrie Tucker)
Authorised and printed by Christine Milne, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600