Fixing pension poverty

By Chief Advocate Ian Henschke

This week I’ve been busy on the road with Joel Pringle, campaign organiser with our partner the Benevolent Society.

We’ve been in the federal electorate of Capricornia in Central Queensland promoting the Fix Pension Poverty campaign.

We spoke to the local Federal Member Michelle Landry and National Seniors members in Rockhampton, as well as addressing the Rotary Club in Yeppoon. We also talked to the Pensioners and Superannuants League of Queensland.

Local radio and print media provided good coverage and I will be following this regional visit up by going to Canberra next week and targeting the crossbench senators.

If you want to help push the campaign along, please visit our website

  • Essentially, what we’re fighting for is:
  • Establishment of an Independent Age Pension Tribunal to take the politics out of the Age Pension
  • An increase in the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, because the older Australians who are worst off are those who don’t own their own home and must rent
  • A subsidy for pensioners to connect to the NBN or another appropriate internet service because governments and business are increasingly only offering essential services and information online.

We’d also like to see an expansion of basic dental care for pensioners, given the high rates of poor dental health among older people.

Another big issue that arose in the past week was concern over the closure of three Service SA centres in Adelaide.

Once again older Australians, many of whom can’t afford computers and internet services, are being told to get online for essential information.

I was asked to speak at a major rally at Parliament House in Adelaide and show National Seniors support for keeping the centres open by signing a petition to go before the SA Parliament. 

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