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F.I.D. - cowardly attack upon pensioners

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PRESS R E L E A S E Senator Tony Messner

Shadow Minister for Social Security 89/83





John Bannon appeared to have joined with his Federal colleagues in launching a cowardly attack upon the savings of pensioners, it has been stated.

Senator Tony Messner - the Shadow Minister for Social Security - was commmenting on the imminent introduction of the Financial Institutions duty.

"Labor Governments seem to believe that pensioners, who rank among the most vulnerable sections of the community are fair game when it comes to raising taxes to pay for their election promises."

"F.I.D., when combined with the proposed assets test and the Hawke Government's refusal to raise the pensioner tax threshold, will result in higher taxation for pensioners."

Senator Messner said that it was abhorrent that the Duty should apply to pensioners and beneficiaries receiving a range of Commonwealth benefits.

"These people receive assistance because they are in need. By subjecting them to F.I.D., the South Australian Government is going to increase their needs without providing any additional assistance."

"The measure will hit all the harder because of the Commonwealth Government's decision to introduce direct payment of pensions and benefits into bank, credit union or building society ’ accounts."

"As a result every time a person seeks to remove some of their pension they will be forced to pay the duty."

"Such a proposal cannot be justified on any equity grounds."

Senator Messner said that it was obvious that the Government had not even considered the effects of the duty upon pensioners until the Opposition had pointed it out.

"Such an oversight brings the Government's competence into question."

"This hasty and ill-considered measure should be dropped immediately before it causes real harm to this section of the community."


For comment: 72 6966