September 06, 2014

In an Oscar-worthy performance, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews today ‘announced’ that the pension will increase later this month.

Of course, a pension increase is very welcome news for millions of Australians receiving the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment.

However, Minister Andrews truly took absurdist humour to new heights today. 

Thanks to Labor's reforms, the pension goes up twice a year by the higher of the CPI or the Pension and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, and is benchmarked to wages.

Labor's reforms mean that the pension keeps up with the cost of living. But Tony Abbott's Budget has scrapped the pensioners index and the wages benchmark. 

Incredibly, today Mr Andrews didn’t utter a single word about the fact that Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget includes real cuts to the pension.

That Kevin Andrews could get through today’s ‘announcement’ with a straight face suggests that a post-parliamentary career in the dramatic arts is a very real option for him.

But celebrating a pension increase while simultaneously planning to cut the pension is nothing more than a bad joke – and nobody but the Minister is laughing.

The truth is, Tony Abbott repeatedly lied to pensioners when he told them he wouldn’t change their payments.

In fact, it is exactly twelve months to the day since Tony Abbott promised Australians:

“No change to pensions.”

Tony Abbott – Sunrise with David Koch – 6 September, 2013

Tony Abbott deceived Australians before the election when he promised not to mess with pensions, and Kevin Andrews deceived them today by refusing to admit his plans to cut the pension.  

Kevin Andrews should stop reading fairy tales and start reading his Budget – it shows in black and white that the pension will go down.

The Parliamentary Budget Office has already confirmed the Abbott Government’s massive cuts to the Age Pension – a staggering $23 billion over the next 10 years.

And the Australian Council of Social Service has shown that this year’s Budget will mean pensioners will be about $80 a week worse off within 10 years.

One year since the election, Australian pensioners know the true cost of this Prime Minister’s deceit.

They can’t afford another year of Tony Abbott’s lies.