Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Pensioners warned of e-mail scam

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today warned age pensioners to be alert to an internet scam, which appears designed to anger pensioners over the level of financial support provided to refugees in Australia.

“Emails are being sent to older Australians, claiming refugees are receiving welfare payments of $2,500 per month and comparing that to the age pension,” Mr Brough said.

“The claims in the email are blatant lies, which are also being repeated on websites and chat rooms.

“What concerns me most is that the scam targets older people and uses the plight of refugees to whip up discontent.

“Clearly as the election approaches there will be those who go to any lengths to try to influence people.

“I have no idea who’s behind the scam, but understand that a similar campaign was recently mounted in Canada.

“Age pensioners receive significant support from the Government. In fact, at $24 billion a year, the age pension is the biggest component of the welfare budget.

“Under the Howard Government, pensioners enjoy payments of $66.20 per fortnight (for a full single pension) and $111.40 per fortnight (full partnered pension) above inflation because of our decision to link pensions to wages.

“Our strong economic management has provided dividends to pensioners, including this year’s $500 bonus – dividends that wouldn’t be possible if Labor was in power and repeating its past poor economic and budget performance.

“I urge anyone who receives these junk emails to treat them as such – mark them as junk – and send them to the trash can.”