Gibbons slams Opposition over pensions

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15 September 2008

    Gibbons slams Opposition over
FEDERAL Member for Bendigo, Steve Gibbons, slammed the Coalition’s tactics in
Parliament today, as the Opposition parties sought to exploit the plight of aged pensioners
that they did little to help when they were in office.
He said the Coalition parties had 12 years to come up with a long-term policy for our aged
“Even a proposal brought to Cabinet in the dying days of the Howard Government was
rejected – and of course that Cabinet included the current, albeit pro-tem, Opposition leader,
Dr Nelson, the Deputy Opposition leader, Julie Bishop, the pro-tem Shadow Treasurer,
Malcolm Turnbull, and a most of the other now shadow spokespersons.”
“Today’s Parliamentary antics were nothing more than another attempt to deflect attention
away from the Liberal’s ongoing leadership soap-opera in a week when Peter Costello – that
perennial pretender for the top job – is releasing his book.”
Mr Gibbons said the Rudd Government is not interested in knee-jerk responses to a problem
that has been more than a decade in the making.
“Labor will put in place a lasting solution to ensure the adequacy of all Commonwealth
pensions, not just the aged pension.”
He said the Rudd Government is going about this in a responsible and orderly way with a
comprehensive review of measures to strengthen the financial security of seniors, carers,
and people with disabilities.
“The review, recommended by a Senate Committee and supported by both the Liberal and
National parties, will consider appropriate levels of income support and allowances, including
the base rate of the pension, as well as the frequency of payments and the structure and
payment of concessions and other entitlements.”
Mr Gibbons said the review is being lead by Dr Jeff Harmer, Secretary of the Department of
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and pensioners can expect
positive action from the Labor Government after he delivers his findings next February.
“In the meantime, seniors will benefit from the new initiatives announced in the Rudd
Government’s first budget together with a modest CPI increase in their pension this month
and they can look forward to lasting improvements to their financial situation in the not to
distant future.”

                  Bendigo Phone: 03 5443 9055 Fax: 03 5443 9736
                                 P/O Box 338 Bendigo Vic 3552
                  Canberra Phone: 02 6277 2230 Fax: 02 6277 8564
                        Suite R2 91 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

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