May 08, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison are responsible for massive cuts to older Australians, including to aged care. The Liberals have cut more than $2 billion from residential aged care and dumped Labor’s $1.2 billion Workforce Compact and Supplement.

This included a massive $1.2 billion cut to aged care in the 2016 Budget.

105,000 vulnerable older Australians have been left waiting for care at home because of Turnbull and Morrison’s inability to tackle the aged care crisis.

As the number of older Australians joining the waitlist for home care grew by tens-of-thousands, the Turnbull Government did nothing of substance to fix the crisis.

Nothing will make up for years of harsh cuts to older Australians by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

Let’s not forget that before the 2013 election the Liberals promised “no cuts to pensions”.

Then in every single Budget the Liberals have tried to cut the pension. 

In the 2014 Budget they tried to cut pension indexation – a cut that would have meant pensioners would be forced to live on $80 a week less within ten years. This unfair cut would have ripped $23 billion from the pockets of pensioners of every single pensioner in Australia.

In the 2014 Budget they cut $1 billion from pensioner concessions – support designed to help pensioners with the cost of living.

In the 2014 Budget they axed the $900 seniors supplement to self-funded retirees receiving the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.  

In the 2014 Budget the Liberals tried to reset deeming rates thresholds – a cut that would have seen 500,000 part-pensioners made worse off.

In 2015 the Liberals did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to around 370,000 pensioners by as much as $12,000 a year by changing the pension assets test. 

In the 2016 Budget the Liberals tried to cut the pension to around 190,000 pensioners as part of a plan to limit overseas travel for pensioners to six weeks.

The Liberals still want to make pensioners born overseas wait longer to get the Age Pension by increasing the residency requirements from 10 to 15 years.

For four years the Liberals have tried to increase the pension age to 70 – meaning Australia would have an older pension age than the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. In the first four years alone around 375,000 Australians will have to wait longer before they can access the pension. This is a $3.6 billion hit to the retirement income of Australians.

The Liberals have tried to axe the Energy Supplement to 2 million Australians, including around 400,000 age pensioners – a cut of $14.10 per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year. Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off.

Turnbull also wants to completely take away the pension supplement from pensioners who go overseas for more than six weeks, this will see around $120 million ripped from the pockets of pensioners.

And they still refuse to adjust deeming rates for pensioners. It’s been more than three years since the Turnbull Government last lowered deeming rates, and pensioners are paying the price, with current deeming rates now significantly higher than real rates of return. Interest rates have fallen from 2.25 percent in February 2015 to 1.50 percent today, yet Turnbull has refused to do anything.

Older Australians don’t trust a word that Turnbull and Morrison say. They know that Turnbull’s number one priority is giving an $80 billion handout to big business and the banks.


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Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra