The following Statement of Claims, authorised by the Steering Committee of Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition Inc Victoria (FGFP), is to be presented to our elected Ministers and Representatives of the Victorian and Federal Parliaments.
We call on our respective ministers and parliamentarians to recognise the significant hardship facing all pensioners, especially aged pensioners, the unemployed and single parents and their children today as they struggle with rising cost of living issues.
We also note that many seniors have not had the opportunity to build superannuation nest eggs like today’s workforce and are forced to rely on a very small age pension.
We urge Federal governments to commit to national policies to reduce poverty and urge State governments to fully endorse and support anti-poverty policies by driving the provision of adequate concessional systems.
FGFP continues to pursue the following Claims with our elected Ministers and Representatives of the Victorian and Federal Parliaments.
- That the Federal Government increases the aged pension rate from 27.7% of male total average weekly earnings (MTAWE) to 35% of the MTAWE.
- That all pensions and welfare payments be indexed on a quarterly basis instead of six monthly.
- That the Federal government over the medium term (i.e. 4 years) increase all single base rates of social security income support payments from 27.7% of male total average weekly earnings to 35% of male total average weekly earnings.
- That over the longer term (i.e. 7 years) a decent income from social security payments for pensioners, single parents with dependent children and the unemployed is prioritised.
5. That FGFP calls for the inadequate Newstart Allowance to be raised by $100 per week for single people is prioritised to stop entrenching poverty
- That proper and improved healthcare measures for pensioners and other low income groups including single parents with their children and the unemployed are prioritised, including medical, dental, optical, hearing, pharmaceutical and culturally appropriate services.
- That the level of funding for aged care services, including culturally appropriate services, is significantly increased and extended to meet the growing demand in this area.
- That pensions or allowances are not restricted due to overseas travel to visit loved ones.
- That tougher legislation/regulations and penalties for unscrupulous operators be enacted to protect older people and other concession card holders considering taking out reverse mortgages. FGFP does not support using reverse mortgages to fund retirement if legislation/regulations are introduced to coerce older people to fund their own retirement.
- That a thorough review of the impact of the GST and concessions on pensioners and other concession card holders be undertaken to ensure that pensioners and other concession card holders are not losing out, also that the National Partnership Agreement on concessions be reinstated.
- That the retirement age not be increased and remain at 65 years of age.
- That tax loopholes are closed and tax superannuation concessions in the pension phase be taxed at the marginal rate of income tax when investment income exceeds $125,000 or more a year.
- That the Federal Government assists low-income earners to increase their superannuation savings by reinstating the Low-income Super Contribution (LISC) retrospective from 1 July 2013 when it was abolished.
- That the State Government reinstalls a 100% reduction on the pensioner motor vehicle registration fee component of the registration bill where the card holder or their spouse is the registered operator of the vehicle.
- That the State Government extend the proposed 100% reduction on the pensioner motor vehicle registration fee to all concession card holders.
- That all utility concession rates be standardised throughout the year, in recognition that cooling systems in summer are as important to seniors’ health and well being as heating systems in winter.
- That there should be an increase in pensioner and other concession card holders concession rates for utilities and council fees.
- That public transport for pensioners and other concession card holders should be free or at least free during off-peak hours.
- That public transport for regional and rural pensioners and other concessions card holders should be free for weekend travel.
- That the Victorian Government develop and implement a strategic plan to address the current and future housing needs of pensioners and other people on low incomes as a matter of urgency.
The strategic plan must address increasing the supply of secure, sustainable, and affordable housing, improving access to government funded housing, reducing rental costs for people on low incomes, the development of innovative models for the provision of affordable housing and funding for specialist housing and homelessness support services.
Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition Inc Victoria (FGFP) is a non-profit coalition of community-based organizations and individuals advocating for social justice for pensioners and other low income groups such as single parents with their children and the unemployed marginalised by financial hardship or poverty and inequality.
FGFP advocates for and mobilises pensioners, single parents with their children, the unemployed and other low income groups and their supporters to gain significant improvements in income and related services for those living in poverty or in financial hardship and disadvantaged.
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