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Yes you're suffering: no we're not helping.

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MEDIA RELEASE Alby Schultz MP Federal Member for Hume

Electorate office Ph (02) 4822 2277 Fax (02) 4822 1029 Parliament office Ph (02) 6277 4386 Fax (02) 6277 8482

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Yes you’re suffering - no we’re not helping says Labor Alby Schultz, Federal Member for Hume, today asked anyone who supports a rise in the aged pension of thirty dollars a week to come into his office and sign a petition.

“The Rudd Government has overlooked senior Australians in the Budget and this petition draws to the attention of the House, the plight of older Australians.

“Pensioners are not able to maintain a reasonable standard of living because of rising costs, a fact which Mr Rudd and several of his senior ministers have admitted yet are not prepared to fix” said Mr Schultz.

“Hundreds of thousands of aged pensioners are struggling to make ends meet which is impacting on their health and wellbeing, but instead of acting, Mr Rudd’s Labor Government wants to conduct yet another review over the next twelve months.

“Why doesn’t Labor agree to a $30 per week increase for aged pensioners for the next 12 months while the review is in progress?” asked Alby Schultz.

Despite Labor’s desperate attempts to muddy the situation with half truths and misinformation, the facts are that the Howard Government took practical steps to improve the financial position of pensioners.

As a result of linking pensions to wages (25% of male total average weekly earnings) or CPI - whichever was greater - the maximum single rate of pension is now $72.80 per fortnight higher than it would have been

The Howard Government also expanded eligibility for the pension while introducing the utilities allowance and the seniors’ bonus - for which Labor is now trying to claim credit.

The petition asks the Labor Government to: • ensure that seniors have a reasonable standard of living; • recognise that they are struggling to make ends meet with the increased cost of groceries and petrol; and • acknowledge and address their situation immediately.

While Labor uses technical tactics and half truths to detract from the real issue, many senior Australians must continue to eke out a miserable existence.

“I’ve just got one thing to say to Labor and Mr Rudd. Stop the arguments, come home and fix the problem” said Mr Schultz.

“The petition is in my office and I ask all interested people in Hume to come and sign it.

“Should people wish to get copies to place on the counters of their businesses or take to their local communities, please call my office on 4822 2277 or 1300 301 826.

For media enquiries please contact: Lex Meyer

Phone: (02) 4822 2277

(02) 6277 4386

0427 592 616