With a little more than a week to go before the Tasmanian state election on 15 March, National Seniors has compiled a summary of how the three major parties rank against each other as they strive to win the over 50s’ vote.
The summary of the parties’ policies relate to key priority areas: ownership of the issues, shipping and tourism, cost of living, housing, employment, education and training, transport, health and social inclusion.
More than half (52%) of Tasmanian voters are over the age of 50 but no major party says it will appoint a dedicated Minister for Ageing in a stand-alone portfolio to concentrate its time and resources on seniors-related issues.
“This is disappointing, given that seniors have contributed all their lives to their communities and all expect leadership from government,” Tasmanian policy advisory group chair Mary Parsissons said.
There was also no commitment from either Labor or the Liberals to further assistance or support for seniors grappling with rising utilities costs, although the Greens suggested the party would implement targeted state-wide investment in household energy and water efficiency.
Read the full party responses to our Election Priorities document:
Meanwhile, National Seniors has welcomed a promised stamp duty concession for Tasmanian pensioners downsizing their homes.
Premier Lara Giddings said that if Labor was re-elected, Tasmanians on the Age Pension would be eligible for a $10,000 rebate when they chose to buy a smaller, cheaper, home better suited to their needs.
Parsissons said National Seniors had been campaigning for the stamp duty concession following similar moves in the Northern Territory, ACT and Victoria.
“Many older Tasmanians have been discouraged from buying smaller, cheaper, homes due to high stamp duty costs on the purchase, and so the announcement is good news,” Parsissons said.
“If the cost of stamp duty is cut, older people have more incentive to sell larger family homes, which can be expensive to maintain,” she said.