Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Swan ‘The Serial Misleader’ Strikes Again

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today expressed her surprise of how desperate the Labor Party had become.

“Without any strong leadership, Labor can only resort to sneaky and misleading statements in attempt to scare some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Senator Vanstone said.

“The indisputable fact is that the Howard Government has massively increased assistance to older Australians.

“Last financial year, the Government provided over $25 billion to assist older Australians.

“In the recent Federal Budget the Government announced the Acknowledging Older Australians package which will provide extra benefits of over $3 billion for older Australians.

“Mr Swan’s recent comments show that he simply does not understand Final Budget Outcome papers and that Labor are unfit to govern.

“Mr Swan alleges that pensioners have less in their pockets than they were promised.

“The simple fact is that we paid out half a billion dollars more in bonuses than was originally budgeted for in 2000-2001.

“Mr Swan also forgets that it was this Government that introduced legislation to ensure that the rate of pensions was not only linked to the Consumer Price Index, but that it also would be maintained at, at least, 25% of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

“When Labor was in Government, they talked about a MTAWE guarantee a lot but never had the guts to make such a commitment.”

“I believe that this Government can stand proudly beside its record on what it has done for older Australians,” Senator Vanstone said.