pensioners

The wealthy and corporations got a visit from Santa Claus, but the rest of us got Scrooged again on Budget night.

A windfall in tax income — derived in part from higher than expected royalties and corporate taxes in the mining sector, owing to higher prices for iron ore, coal and oil — provided ideal conditions for the government’s pre-election budget.

There was never a chance that Treasurer Scott Morrison would use this windfall to boost social spending — that just wouldn’t accord with the Malcolm Turnbull government’s “trickle down” economics.

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.

Melbourne Fair Go For Pensioners protest, May 20, 2015. Photo: Annaki Rowlands

Pensioners rallied in Melbourne on May 20 to protest against the federal government's budget. The rally was organised by the Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition.

More than 200 pensioners rallied on the steps of Victoria’s parliament house on July 10.

The rally was called by the Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition, which has a list of demands on the state and federal governments.

Their demands on the federal government include a pension rise from 27.7% of average weekly earnings to 35%; improved healthcare measures, including medical, dental, optical, hearing, pharmaceutical and culturally appropriate services; and more funding for aged care services.

More than three million people took part in strikes and protests across France on September 23. They were demanding the withdrawal of laws that will dramatically reduce the right of workers to access pensions. The protests, which had been called by a coalition of seven of France’s union confederations, showed that the passage of the Pension Bill through France’s lower house of parliament had done nothing to weaken opposition to the attack on pensions.

More than 2.7 million workers joined protests across France on September 7. The strikes and protests marked the start of a parliamentary debate over the new pension bill that will dramatically cut workers’ pensions. The protests were called by coalition of six of France’s Union Confederations.

One hundred pensioners rallied outside Victorian Parliament House on May 27 to demand a raise in the aged pension.

The rally was organised by the Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition (FGPC), which had previously organised nationwide protests in November 2008.

Frank Cherry, national coordinator of the coalition, told the crowd: “We’re rallying today to highlight the plight of pensioners, both to the state and federal government, and to begin the second stage of our campaign to increase the pension.”

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