The President of Fair Go For Pensioners (Victoria) Joe Montero
Fair Go For Pensioners (Victoria) run a stall on Sunday 2 October at Melbourne’s Federation Square, joining many other stalls and activities marking the opening of this year’s Seniors Week. Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) and Save Public housing joined us. both are affiliates.
The stall with a good bunch of helpers provided a wonderful opportunity to talk to people about key issues that affected their lives, giving us greater insight into how people are feeling and what they say is important.
Considerably more than 350 show bags were given to interested individuals, as well as a range of other material, which showed what we are doing and where we aim towards. This generated interest. This was especially true, when it came to our investigation of the state of the age pension and the plan to launch a major campaign to have it raised to a liveable level.
Most people, including age pensioners, are unaware that the [pension has been kept down below what it should be for year. Governments have been able to use sleight of hand, manipulating indexes and an inaccurate cost price index (CPI) to hold back on payment increase that should have been made. This amounts to thousands of dollars per age pensioner.
Participation in Seniors Week also marked our emergence from the isolation of Covid lockdowns. Fair Go For Pensioners is back in business, and this goes further than complaining about the state of affairs. Our intention is to help people get together to be a force for positive change. We want to organise and build unity with others in action that can bring results.
Although we are concerned with age pensioners, our concern extends to all those who are dependent on payments form Centrelink. We know that we are all in the same boat and what effects one group effects the others. We know that there is a push to turn us all into a source of cheap labour and that this has a lot to do with why all payments have fallen further and further behind what is considered an acceptable standard of living in Australia.
Fair Go For Pensioners knows that any improvements to the age pension will build pressure for improvements in other payments, and this is one particularly good reason why anyone finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, has an interest in supporting a liveable age pension, whether they depend on Centrelink, are underemployed, or heading towards retirement.
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