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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Bob Brown forgets pensioners

“Bob Brown is overlooking 800,000 pensioners,” Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said today.

“It appears Mr Brown’s call for a ‘fair go’ for pensioners is meant to only apply to some pensioners.

“Mr Brown wants to help 1.2 million pensioners, but what about the other 800,000?

“There are 2 million age pensioners in Australia.

“Thank goodness Mr Brown’s not running the country. He often seems vague, but this is extreme!

“All 2 million pensioners have benefited from the Howard Government’s initiative to tie pension rates wages, by linking pensions to 25 per cent of male total average weekly earnings.

“This initiative means the maximum single pension is $66.20 higher, and the partnered rate is $111.40 higher than it would otherwise have been.

“All pensioners received the $500 bonus in this year’s budget, with pensioner couples receiving $1,000.

“And more senior Australians will be able to access the age pension for the first time, or receive a higher pension from next month as a result of changes to the asset taper rate.

“Along with Utilities Allowances, these are the dividends provided to our older Australians as a direct result of the Howard Government’s strong economic and budget management.

“These are dividends that would be threatened by a Labor Government which has vowed to pursue policies which will drive up inflation, put pressure on interest rates and ultimately threaten the budget surplus.”