Contributed by an age pensioner
A leaked federal government document shows the government’s intention to take concession cards from pensioners and it will cost an individual up to $49.10 per fortnight.
All welfare payments under $20.02 will be scrapped. Retirees who do not qualify for the full pension because of superannuation or assets, but receive the nominal amount, will not qualify for the health care card.
For retires, the cost of health, including prescription drugs can be formidable. These pensioners will also lose the pension rate car registration, license and council rates etc. Most of these people are not wealthy. Many have already had their pension cut via the recent change to the assets test and are in financial stress.
Some people on disability support and carers also face the loss.
Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie warned the government against welfare changes, saying Australia already has one of the most targeted systems of income support.
“Once again, this kind of proposal targets people on low and modest incomes to make savings,” Dr Goldie said.
It is extraordinary that as the exposure of the treatment of welfare recipients through Centrelink continues to unfold, the Turnbull government is going for yet another measure to raise funds from some of the most vulnerable Australians. The government chooses to ignore the evident public concern.
The suggestion that this is necessary to control the budget, convinces almost no-one. It is common knowledge that this comes at a time when the same government, refuses to act on corporate tax evasion and siphoning off funds to tax free havens. Practices that put a bigger hole into government finances that is saved by welfare cuts.
A good part of the reason for the demise of former treasurer Joe Hockey and why Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister, was that they sighted the same target. Malcolm Turnbull promised then that his would be a more caring government.
There are a lot of Australian who feel let down by the betrayal of this promise.