PENSION CUTS - IT HAPPENED TO US TODAY and IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU TOMORROW
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We are a retired couple that have just returned from spending Christmas 2016 in Geelong with our 90+ year old parents to find a letter telling us that our pensions had been drastically reduced per fortnight, reduced by an amount of almost $500 per fortnight. This is approximately our food and some day-to-day expenses.
Why? Because our politicians say we have too much in assets, assets we have worked and saved so hard for so we can enjoy our retirement. We are not rich. The money we received was a top up from both our pensions. It was a top-up to our very modest superannuation funds and a small pension from the military I receive due to active overseas service during a war. We have worked and paid taxes our whole lives.
There goes our ability for our retirement funds to cover our living expenses as we age. We'll end up depending on the government for everything in the end.
We aren't big spenders. In 47 years of marriage we have just bought our third fridge. We have our second colour television. We give to charity. We volunteer. We would have gone out for dinner maybe 5-6 times last year. We do go to the pictures, 3-4 times a year. The biggest luxury in life has been a few budget conscious trips overseas, which we have saved for over time.
The financial gurus have been telling us for years how much they project we would need to live comfortably and each time the amount went up we worked harder and saved more to reach those goals - but they couldn't see this coming!
The politicians are the ones who decide what to spend where, who support double dipping for ex-politicians, who support so many ex-prime ministers with exorbitant expenses, who take the allowances such as $275+ per night for staying away from their primary residence even if they own or are renting the house they are living in in Canberra "because it is legal", who use RAAF VIP jets for one way flights rather than commercial airlines, who support generous pensions and free travel entitlements after they are no longer in parliament. They are the ones who create the debts Australia has yet they are not making any cuts to their own pensions or lerks and perks.
Both sides of politics voted for this!
The published statements on this focus on the minimal changes to most pensions, and minimise the impact on the almost 200,000 people who have also been hit by this reduction. No doubt they are people like my wife and myself- people who have contributed to Australia's economy, people who have built very modest resources to support ourselves, people who valued only a small contribution from the country we have worked and fought for. Why should this small, small group take the hit?
If this can happen to us now, it can happen to you tomorrow.
Please, contact your local Federal member and ask them to pressure their respective political parties to revisit the financial policies and make some real savings, not take what amounts to peanuts in the budget from those who worked and fought for their country and who maintain only a frugal lifestyle. Ask them why many large companies don’t pay tax, why we have to bail out companies which fail when they make the laws regarding good governance, why we support such generous entitlements for our current and past politicians. Perhaps ceasing the entitlement to five return air fares for former politicians paid for by the government would assist in recouping whatever contributions the pensions cuts have achieved.
If all else fails, tell them that you vote and won't vote for them!
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