Make your vote a vote for a real pension review!

Article published 2 March 2022

Make your vote a vote for a real pension review!

THE pension (Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment) loses a little bit of purchasing power all the time.

This is because pension indexation jacks up the pension after six months of price rises. Pension indexation does not deliver compensation for those six months of price rises. Those price rises pensioners must cover themselves.

Because this happens on a continual basis, the pension gradually loses purchasing power. After a number of years, this turns into a crisis for those pensioners who have the pension as their sole source of income.

Part pensioners are generally better able to cover the gradual loss of pension purchasing power because they have other income and/or savings.

But the loss of purchasing power happens to them, too.

CPSA argues that the level of the pension payment has once again reached crisis point.

Once again, we at the very least need a one-off increase as was awarded in September 2009, more than twelve years ago.

In other words, we need a pension review.

However, rather than once again have a review that merely allows the pension purchasing power to catch up with today’s economic situation, we need a pension review that addresses the following items:

First, the review should improve indexation so that pensioners are compensated for the price rises of the previous six months. This should be done in a one-off payment, which will necessarily be small.

Second, the review should fix social housing. Social housing funding has been going backwards for a quarter of a century. As a result, tens of thousands of people who should receive help are thrown to the tender mercies of the private rental market.

For these people, the Rental Allowance is inadequate and needs to be increased immediately.

Third, the review should fix access to medical services, especially specialist and allied health services, which have become unaffordable for full rate pensioners and put a severe strain on part-pensioner budgets, too.

Fourth, the review should fix funding of the state-and-territory-run public dental health programs. These programs are so underfunded that they do little more than pull teeth and provide dentures.

Fifth, a pension review should not be stand-alone. The poverty faced by well over a quarter of a million Australians aged over-55 but not yet of pension age is severe. Despite the recent, one-off increase in JobSeeker, their payment is still well below the pension: 35 per cent below the pension for singles and 21 per cent below the pension for couples.

The next federal election will most likely be in May this year. Make a party or an independent candidate’s stated commitment to a pension review the reason you vote for them.

If you support a pension review, email us at voice@cpsa.org.au with your support and the reason(s) for your support.

Also read:

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