LETTERS from readers, August 2019
Single pension too low
IN the June edition of THE VOICE was a letter by Jessie Spencer of Harrington, NSW which caught my attention.
I agree wholeheartedly that the single pension is too low. I am also a widow and after my husband’s death I still had the same bills to pay, repairs to be done, household insurances and so on.
Utility bills might be a bit less with one, food costs also, but that is about it. Every day costs of surviving remain the same.
There is a saying: two can live as cheaply as one. With this I concur. Therefore, why is the single pension so low?
Diana Wood – Morisset, NSW
Act now on nursing homes
IT is time for both the Government and Opposition to set in motion a proper overhaul of the failed business model of the nursing home industry.
The Aged Care Royal Commission has revealed many instances of abuse of the elderly in nursing homes.
In addition, many witnesses have called for the introduction of proper staff-to-resident ratios. There should be at least one registered nurse on duty at all times, and only registered nurses should be supervising the medication of residents.
We don’t need to wait for the Royal Commission’s inquiries to be finalised. The Government needs to act now.
Shirley Bains – Blaxland, NSW
Retirement Villages blues
It’s not just Residential Aged Care facilities but Retirement Villages as well who are in the business for the massive profits they make.
Folks, it’s not all good. The state and federal Governments turn a blind eye to complaints received from residents or their family members.
I know from personal experience, which sadly cost me my savings of some $35,000 at 78 years of age.
Six months after signing the agreement, I knew I’d made a big mistake. It took me two years to sell my new three-bedroom house. It was shown occasionally to prospective buyers, who were then taken to a newly built home.
Don’t sign anything until you understand 100 per cent what you are signing up for. There are some good, honest village operators, but please take care, don’t rush into anything.
Lorraine Chandler – Ferny Hills, QLD
Discriminatory term deposit rate
I have been a customer of the Newcastle Permanent Building Society (NPBS) for about six years. I have recently discovered different interest rates on offer with their Smart Saver Account. Those under 25 years get 3 per cent on their savings, but anyone over 25 years, including pensioners and the disadvantaged only get 2.4 per cent. I wrote to the NPBS about this disparity, which I consider to be discriminatory. The NPBS disagreed.
Tim Hunter – Kariong, NSW
Donation in honour of John Barber (RIP)
I AM very happy to donate to CPSA. I am a former employee from a long time ago and I worked with John Barber (RIP), Linda Adamson (RIP) and Noreen Hewitt (RIP) as well as others, both for CPSA at one stage and also on the establishment of the Australian Pensioners & Superannuants Federation, for which I obtained the original funding and which was a significant and important national organisation until it lost funding. One day hopefully APSF will be funded and operational again.
It was an honour to work for the organisation and to collaborate on many campaigns, including the establishment of the first national advocacy service, TARS, as it was known then.
My donation is in memory and honour of John Barber, who passed away this year. He was a wonderful colleague, activist, friend and mentor to me. His spirit lives on in the work of CPSA today, including when CPSA raises its voice to speak the truth in relation to aged care policies and ageism in Australia today. I have been so impressed with CPSA’s contribution to the Royal Commission. I am sure John would also have been incredibly impressed and proud.
It was my honour to have served the organisation and to have worked with John and Linda and Noreen, as well as many others. Vale.
My best to everyone there for the incredibly important and vital work that you do.
Dr Jo Harrison, PhD. Health Sciences (Gerontology), University of South Australia
(CPSA thanks Dr Harrison for her generous donation of $500. Ed.)