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Older people short-changed in GST compensation stakes



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A u s t r a l ia n P e n ; SUPERANNUANTS' FEDERATION

13 April 1999

O l d e r p e o p l e s h o r t - c h a n g e d , i n G S T c o m p e n s a t i o n s t a k e s

"Age pensioners rem ain unconvinced that the GST compensation will not be totally eroded w ithin just 5 years," Edith M organ, President of the Australian Pensioners" and Superannuants" Federation (AP&SF) said today, as she w arned that 1.7 m illion age pensioners would be shocked and

angry to learn that the GST com pensation begins to fade away a few m onths after it is introduced.

"AP&SF w rote to the Prim e M inister during the election, campaign w arning that the com pensation w ould be underm ined and would quickly erode because of the link betw een the GST pension rise and male total average weekly earnings. The PM 's response w as to evade the issue, as he

continues to do.

"If Treasury officials can see a major flaw in the compensation for pensioners, w hy can 't the G overnm ent?

"Perhaps pensioners should enlist the services of Perry Mason to help them in this m ost baffling m ystery - The Case of the Disappearing GST C om pensation .

AP&SF's N orah McGuire said; "Pensioners and low income retirees living off their ever dim inishing savings are feeling anything but "relaxed and comfortable". The GST com pensation offered boarders on the jnsulting.

"Older Australians have serious reservations w ith the tax package as a whole - in addition to w hether or not food is taxed.

"A complex and expensive billion dollar rescue plan would now be needed to salvage the com pensation package. However, AP&SF cautions against relying too heavily on com pensation that could be taken away w ith tire stroke of a legislative pen. G overnm ents simply cannot be trusted to

guarantee that the com pensation will be m aintained.

| "No fair-m inded Australian could support a tax plan that1 w ould short­change m illions of A ustralians," concluded E dith Morgan. Comment: Edith Morgan: (03) 9481 5944 (h) or (03) 9650 4709 (w) N orah McGuire: (02) 9281 3566 (w) or (02) 9698 9135 (h) or 0419 614 415 (m) Yvonne Zardani: (07) 3844 5878 (w) or (07) 3356 4795 (h) or 0417 738 422 (m).

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