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Senate call for pension increase ignored.



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Monday, 8 September 2008

Senate call for pension increase ignored

The Treasurer has failed to respond to a Greens motion which called for an immediate increase in the single aged pension, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

The Greens motion, moved by Senator Rachel Siewert and supported by the Senate on 1 September, called on the Treasurer

'to raise, as a priority measure, the single aged pension to reflect the cost of living for pensioners is in excess of the consumer price index and that pensioners deserve immediate relief.'

"It has drawn no response from the Rudd government, but it is just the start of a Senate campaign to have pensions debated repeatedly until the government grants pensioners some relief," Senator Brown said.

"Pensions will be indexed on September 20th and they are expected to rise by $15 a week. This is an opportunity for the Rudd government to increase single aged pensions by an additional $30 a week before a more substantial overhaul following the tax review."

Senator Brown said a $30 a week increase for single aged pensioners, who currently live on $273 a week, would cost an estimated $1 billion a year.

"This is far less than the $3.5 billion in tax cuts for people earning over $75,000 a year in this year's budget. The Greens were the only party to oppose the tax cuts," Senator Brown said

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

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Ebony Bennett Media Advisor Senator Bob Brown | Leader of the Australian Greens e: ebony.bennett@aph.gov.au m: 0409 164 603 | p: (02) 6277 3170 | f: (02) 6277 3185 w: www.bobbrown.org.au