For the first time in 23 years, 2.5 million pensioners will not receive their half yearly adjusted pension rise — which is often as little as the cost of one ham and cheese sandwich.
Scott Morrison has decided that a rise cannot be “justified” given the decline of the “official” cost of living.
Yet pensioners know that the real cost of living for their daily needs — food, energy, shelter and medication — is several times over the cost of living at any time and especially now during the coronavirus pandemic.
They need and deserve an increase in their income, at least similar to negotiated or arbitrated award wages. They do not deserve a freeze and an occasional hand-out.
The Fair Go For Pensioners Coalition calls on the federal government to immediately grant such an increase and urges the Labor Party, the Greens and independents to support the claim for a pension rise.
[George Zangalis is the vice president of the Fair Go For Pensioners Coalition in Victoria.]