Fair Go For Pensioners

For the first time in 23 years, 2.5 million pensioners will not receive their half yearly adjusted pension rise, writes George Zangalis.

The Fair Go For Pensioners coalition organised a rally on May 24 in response to the federal budget’s significant new restrictions for those on Centrelink payments, including older Australians.

Their main concerns are with the change to the pensioner assets test, attacks on Medicare, the threat to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and a reduction on the right to overseas travel. The rally also addressed issues faced by the unemployed on Newstart, those on disability support and single parents.

About 100 members of Fair Go for Pensioners (FGFP) rallied in Melbourne on May 25 to call on political parties to reverse severe funding cuts to welfare, health and education in the federal budget which will condemn more pensioners and low-income families to living below the poverty line. FGFP president Roger Wilson said the budget focus on giving the business sector generous tax cuts came at the expense of slashing services for the most vulnerable — pensioners, low-income families, the unemployed and those fearing homelessness.
The Anti-Poverty Network South Australia hosted a conference, “Speak Out! Stand Up! Ideas, Stories, and Action Against Poverty” on October 16 and 17. The event, part of the nation-wide anti-poverty week of activities from October 11 to 17, was a unique gathering of activists, community workers and welfare recipients who face constant attacks on their rights as they struggle with below-poverty-line incomes and few job openings. Significantly, it was the only anti-poverty week event organised and run by low-income people.
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