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COTA wins bonus for pensioners.

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22 May 2001


The Council on the Ageing welcomed the Government’s commitment to provide a pensioner bonus of $300.

"COTA was the only seniors organisation actively arguing for this in the lead up to the Budget and we are very pleased that the Government has taken our advice on providing some assistance for pensioners with large one-off costs that they are unable to save for on the age pension," said Mr Denys Correll, COTA’s national executive director.

Our specific recommendation from our Budget submission was:

Recommendation 1.1

As a matter of urgency, the Government must review the position of older people who have little or no other income than the Age Pension. COTA seeks the Government's consideration of a means-tested periodic supplementation of the income of such people. A low income pensioner supplement should be set at a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $500 per annum.

"The bonus will help people with such expenses as repairs and maintenance or to buy something that they need - items that are often difficult for people to save for.

"The GST has hit pensioners harder than the Government’s original modelling suggested. We have had heard too many stories of hardship in recent months to doubt the seriousness of the situation.

"The Government has looked after the interests of self-funded retirees in this budget through the increase in the tax-free threshold and the more generous income and assets test which will allow them to claim a part pension with full access to concessions.

"Clearly, the cost of living has risen considerably and retirees living standards have fallen. The Government has heeded the signs," concluded Mr Correll.