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Rudd goes AWOL on pensioners.

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Margaret May MP

Federal Member for McPherson Shadow Minister for Ageing


10 September 2008


Mr Rudd has finally joined the chorus line of Labor MPs who have been telling him

the single aged pension of $273-a-week is impossible to survive on. Unfortunately for

Australia’s pensioners, Mr Rudd offers sympathy, but no solution.

That is, unless waiting around for the conclusion of another Rudd Government

review is the solution?

“Mr Rudd has left me in no doubt that he is not up to the job of governing Australia.

After almost ten months in government, Mr Rudd is already out of touch,” Mrs May


“The Prime Minister, in chorus with the Deputy Prime Minister and his Treasurer,

admitted he could not live on $273-a-week. Instead of showing real leadership on an

important national issue, Mr Rudd chose to slap pensioners in the face.

“The Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, also stated he could not live on $273-a-week. In contrast to Mr Rudd, Brendan Nelson has offered a solution. He will

introduce legislation into parliament that calls for a $30-a-week increase in the single

aged pension as well as a one-off bonus payment before Christmas.

“Mr Rudd, that is what leadership looks like.

“Pensioners have reached breaking point. They are so frustrated with the Rudd

Government’s inaction they have taken to the streets in protest.

“It is shameful that we have pensioners struggling to obtain the basics in life - such

as food and shelter - in a country as wealthy as Australia.

“In fact, I would go so far as to say it is un-Australian! As a nation we can do better

than this.

“As Prime Minister, Mr Rudd can do a lot better than this,” Mrs May said, “Even some

of his backbenchers have started to question his leadership on this issue. I call on

the Prime Minister and his Government to support the Coalition’s legislation and start

listening to the pleas of pensioners and even those on his own backbench.”


Media Contact: Joshua Rosner - 0418 622 247