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Brandis letter to seniors in Ryan.

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  Australian Labor Party   National ALP

Wayne Swan - Brandis Letter To Seniors In Ryan Wednesday, 21 March 2001

Brandis Letter To Seniors In Ryan Wayne Swan - Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

Media Statement - 15 March 2001

A letter mailed to the seniors of Ryan today by Liberal Senator George Brandis shows the Howard Government is still in deep denial about the impact of the GST on older Australians.

The taxpayer-funded Brandis letter also demonstrates the lengths the Coalition will stoop to in attempting to paper over its betrayal of older Australians.

This Government told pensioners and self-funded retirees one story when they needed their vote in the 1998 election but a very different one after they were back in office.

For example, before the last election, older Australians were told they would get a four percent increase on the pensions to compensate them for the 10% GST.

However, after John Howard had their vote, he wheeled out the fine print - half of the 4% increase was just an advance that would be clawed back in March 2001.

From March 20 - just three days after the Ryan by-election the pension increase will be cut by $7.90 for singles and $13.20 for couples. By clawing back the money at the time of an increase Mr Howard was hoping pensioners wouldn't notice.

In addition, 70,000 students receiving rent assistance (including up to 3000 in Ryan) will lose up to $4.40 per fortnight from March 20 and 100,000 families will have their payments cut.

Then on the Savings Bonus - before the last Election John Howard told older Australians in Brisbane:

"... for every person 60 and over there will be [a] savings bonus - a one-off tax free payment of $1000 in relation to any investment income that you might have". (John Howard, Carseldine Retirement Village, Brisbane, 18 August 1998)



And then on radio:

"You get a $1000 savings bonus for all people over the age of 60". (John Howard, Radio 6PR, 25 August 1998) ●

Then after the election, and after they were saddled with a 10% GST, he wheeled out the fine print.

Around 40% of Australians aged over 60 have received nothing from the Savings Bonus. And 43,255 Australians were insulted by Savings Bonus cheques for just $1.

The Howard Government will say anything to get people's vote. And they will do anything to claw it all back once they have got what they want.

When older Australians look at what they get in return for paying a 10% GST on nearly everything they buy, they know the government's promises don't add up. George Brandis and John Howard are just too out of touch to realise it.


Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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