Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Tim Colebatch, Economics Editor for The Age ...

"Then there are the pensioners. Their leaders claim they got nothing from the budget — how unfair! Public sympathy is always with the pensioners. This time, however, the facts are not. From March 20, along with the second half of a 4.1% annual rise in their pension, pensioners had their Utilities Allowance for electricity bills lifted from $107.20 to $500 a year. They will get a one-off bonus of $500, help with internet connections and transport concessions. Pensioners got nothing? Rubbish.

It's true that the pension is just $273.40 a week for singles, or $456.80 for couples, and you can say that's too low. But pensioners have not been neglected, and don't face the same costs as working people. Few have mortgages, few have children. Their doctors bulk bill, they get cheap pharmaceuticals — free, if they need a lot of them — they get rent subsidies, cheap loans and concessions on everything from council rates to car rego, public transport and energy bills. And they pay no tax.

And pensions are rising. Since 2003, pensions have risen 24%, while wages rose 21% and prices 15%. Who pays for all this? Working families, paying their taxes."

So. There you go. You can put your
clothes back on now. And shut up.

1 comment:

Terry Wright said...

That's fine if the pensioners don't want to go on a holiday or buy a couch or to do any of the things that Tim Colebatch could afford.