Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Barry O’Farrell’s heartless cash grab from local pensioners

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michelle Rowland MP
    Member for Greenway

The Gillard Government today called on Barry O’Farrell and the New South Wales Liberals Government to stop their heartless cash grab from local pensioners living in public housing.

The O’Farrell Government is planning to increase public housing rents next year by about $85 per year for single pensioners and about $128 per year for pensioner couples combined – ripping much-needed money from the pockets of local pensioners.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, joined the Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland, today in Blacktown to launch a community campaign against the O’Farrell Government’s cruel rent hike.

“Our message today is simple – hands off pensioners Mr O’Farrell,” Ms Macklin said.

“This cruel rent hike follows the Gillard Government’s recent boost to the pension to help pensioners make ends meet.

“There are about 1,600 pensioners living in public housing in Greenway. That’s 1,600 pensioners who’ll be worse off when Barry O’Farrell hikes their rent next year.”

In the past month single pensioners across Australia have received a $250 in extra cash and couple pensioners have received $380 combined. And from March next year they will receive a permanent boost to their regular payments. In total, single pensioners will receive an extra $338 a year and couples will receive an extra $510 a year combined from next year.

Ms Macklin and Ms Rowland met with a local pensioner to hear firsthand the pressure the O’Farrell Government’s rent hike will put on his budget.

“Pensioners like Clyde will be about $85 a year worse off when their rent is increased next year,” Ms Rowland said.

“The Gillard Government is delivering a boost for pensioners to help them make ends meet, but Barry O’Farrell just wants take a slice of it for himself.

“It’s just not good enough. I encourage local pensioners living in public housing, their friends and family to make their voices heard and tell Barry O’Farrell to stop this cruel cash grab.”