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Supporting Territory pensioners.



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M e d i a R e l e a s e

THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Federal Member for Lingiari

22nd September 2008

SUPPORTING TERRITORY PENSIONERS

The Australian Government is determined to give Territory pensioners the long-term support, certainty and security they deserve.

Member for Lingiari, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, said the commitment to reform the pension system can be seen in the Utilities Allowance increase from $107 to $500, and extending it to carer payment and disability support pensioners.

“This fortnight all age pensioners, singles and couples, carers, veterans and disability pensioners and women on the wife pension will receive the next $128 instalment of their annual $500 Utilities Allowance.

“We also provided bonus payments for seniors and carers,” said Mr Snowdon.

“The Government is well underway in its inquiry into improving the pension system. More than 600 submissions have been received from pensioners in every sector including carers, age pension couples and people on disability pensions.

“All pensioners are under financial pressure and we are determined to improve the pension system for everyone in the Territory and across Australia,” said Mr Snowdon.

By contrast said Mr Snowdon, more than 5000 pensioners in Lingiari would miss out on the proposed Liberal pension increase.

The Liberal and National Parties plan to introduce a bill in the Senate this week which would exclude 5490 of local pensioners from a pension increase.

“Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t believe that the 328 carers, 3460 people on a disability pension and 1702 of pensioner couples in Lingiari are in need of more help,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The Liberal-National Coalition had 12 years to fix the pension system properly but did nothing. Last year the Howard Cabinet actually voted against raising the base rate of the pension.

“Once our inquiry is complete, the Rudd Labor Government will act quickly to improve the pension system for all pensioners,” Mr Snowdon said.

Media Contact: Kate Sieper 0488 484 689