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Veterans' bonus welcomed.

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Wed, 15th October 2008 VETERANS' BONUS WELCOMED

Louise Markus MP Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Louise Markus MP, welcomed the one-off bonus payment to Veterans groups announced by the Government yesterday.

“I am delighted that veterans on service pensions, income support supplement recipients, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders and Gold Card holders will receive this early Christmas present” said Louise Markus.

“The Coalition has been saying for several months that pensioners should be given a $30 per week rise.

“I’m very pleased that our efforts have paid off but a little disappointed that it is only a one-off payment and not long term help for pensioners as the Coalition has been saying” said Louise.

“I’m also very pleased that because of the Coalition’s strong economic management that paid off Labor’s $90 billion dollar debt, put the economy in the black and built up a surplus of $22 billion dollars, the money was there to help pensioners.

“It’s a reflection of the attitude of the government towards veterans and pensioners that the pension boost was part of a larger package in response to the global economic crisis and not based on a compassionate appraisal of how tough it has been for single aged pensioners and veterans

“Although the government hinted at further gains next year, there is no guarantee that will happen. Malcolm Turnbull questioned the Prime Minister about guaranteeing a rise in the base rate of pensions in the next budget. The Prime Minister failed to provide such a guarantee.

“The Coalition has been very resolute in standing up for pensioners and together with my colleagues I will work hard to pressure the government to lock in long term assistance for pensioners and veterans” said Louise Markus.

The one-off payment was made possible through the surplus and payment will be deposited into bank accounts on 8 December. More than 326,000 veterans’ affairs pensioners will receive the payment.