From Fair Go For Pensioners (FGFP) – Victoria
Fair Go For Pensioners (FGFP) in Victoria, an independent non- profit Coalition of community organisations, retired unionists and concerned individuals, has asked Australian and Victorian governments, through the relvant ministers, for urgent meetings to discuss a better deal in this year’s Federal and Victorian budgets, for pensioners and all other recipients of social security payments.
FGFP expresses grave concerns at the fact that pensioners are increasingly falling deeper into poverty for which the periodic minimal CPI adjustments, in no way make up for the huge rises in the cost of energy, food, health, housing and age care and that in terms of national priorities the needs of pensioners, must come well ahead of the astronomical tax concessions for the rich and their companies.
The following demands have been presented, in order to meet the most urgent needs, and will be followed up with a vigorous public campaign.
That the Federal Government increases the Age Pension rate from 27.7 percent of the male average weekly earnings (MTAWE) to 35 percent of the MTAWE over a medium 4-year term.
That all income support payments be indexed on a quarterly basis. That the retirement age reverts to 65 years of age.
Medicare to include optical, hearing, dental and all pharmaceutical services.
These services and Centrelink information be readily available in person to person and delivered in the appropriate cultures and languages.
The Newstart Allowance to be raised to at least $100 per week for the single basic rate.
Victorian Government increase all utility concession rates-water, gas, electricity from 17 percent to 20 percent and Council rates be waived. Utility rates be standardised throughout the year as cooling systems are as important to seniors’ health as heating system. These rates have remained static for over 20 years.
Public transport across Victoria for pensioners and other concession card holders be free or at least free during off pick hours. Re-instate a 100 percent reduction on the pensioner car registration fee.
The Victorian Govt. to revise its Home s for Victoria plan to ensure on going funding for the growth of secure, accessible and affordable public housing.