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Government continues to fail pensioners

The Rudd government has continued this week to fail the 1.2 million Australian aged pensioners, as well as those on disability and veterans benefits.

On Monday, the Greens moved an amendment to the Coalition's bill to increase the aged and veteran pension. The amendment would have seen the $30 a week income boost go to disability pensioners as well, but this was not supported by either the Government or the Coalition.

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Labor Doubly Wrong On Constitutional Stoush - Brown

The Rudd government is doubly wrong on its refusal to accept the Senate bill to lift single aged and veterans pensions by $30 per week, said Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown today.

"First, this is a contrived Constitutional ploy to avoid the government's responsibility to itself legislate pension increases."

"Second, the government's Constitutional stand is wrong. The Constitutional validation for the Coalition's pension bill is clearly argued in the letter to Senator Minchin from Senate Clerk Harry Evans (attached)

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Greens call on govt to help pensioners and stop arguing over process

The Rudd government should support the bill to increase the single pension, which was passed by the Senate last night, or introduce its own bill to increase pensions across the board, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The Rudd government was able to bring in $31 billion in tax cuts without a review, or a public inquiry but will not act to increase pensions by $30 a week," Senator Brown said.

"There is no excuse for the government's inaction. It needs to stop arguing over process and take action for pensioners."

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Greens win Senate Support for Increased Pensions

The Senate has supported an increase in pensions for individuals and single veterans - after a 12 month campaign by the Australian Greens.

The Greens tonight voted with the Coalition and independent Senators to pass the Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill 2008, which, if supported by the Rudd Government in the lower house, will raise single pensions and the single veterans' pensions by $30 per week.

"The Senate, backed up by the vast majority of Australians is saying to Mr Rudd ‘get on with it - increase pensions," said Senator Brown.

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Greens move to amend Coalition pension bill

"The Greens will help progress the pension bill through Senate if the Coalition ends luxury car tax filibuster," Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Australia's 1.2 million aged pensioners are doing it tough and need some immediate relief. So do disability pensioners and veterans. They cannot wait another nine months for government action. Especially not after government ministers have admitted they could not live on the single aged pensions themselves," Senator Brown said.

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Senate calls on Rudd to show more heart for pensioners

The Greens say their successful Senate motion calling for an immediate $30-a-week rise for single pensioners, puts the onus on Prime Minister Rudd to provide more help for single pensioners.

"The Senate has called on Mr Rudd to introduce legislation for an immediate $30-a-week rise. This motion will help assure him such legislation would go through both houses of Parliament as top priority," Senator Brown said.

"All sides of politics are calling on Mr Rudd to show more heart and give pensioners immediate support."

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Those on pensions need help now

Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner have all admitted that they could not live on the single aged pension of $273 a week. But they have refused to help for another nine months.

In the meantime 1.2 million aged pensioners and Australia's carers, will remain living in poverty and deprivation.

The letters I receive from pensioners are heart-rending. Many cannot pay for needed dental care or operations or take holidays, let alone buy presents for loved ones.

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