500 signatures reached
To: The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, MP, Prime Minister of Australia
Fix Pension Poverty
We are calling for the establishment of an independent tribunal to determine the base rate of the Age Pension so ensure a fair and decent standard of living for older Australians.
We also ask the Minister to
• Increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to reduce the gap between pensioners who are home owners and renters;
• Index CRA to housing costs instead of CPI to more accurately reflect changes in costs faced by renters;
• Provide easily accessible Medicare funded dental care to all full pensioners;
• Increase the awareness of government schemes that subsidise or reimburse costs associated with non-pharmaceutical health expenses;
• Coordinate or replace state-based utilities rebates for pensioners in order to prevent utility costs rising as a proportion of pensioner expenses;
• Provide a broadband supplement or rebate for internet related expenses;
• Review the provision of services to pensioners by non-government organisations and, where they provide essential services, assess the sustainability of their funding.
These measures, taken together, would cost approximately $10 billion and we have outlined measures that could provide up to $10 billion in Commonwealth Government savings.
Why is this important?
The Age Pension is inadequate. A third of Australians aged over 65 live in poverty. The current rate of pension is not adequate for pensioners who do not own their home or have assets outside the home.
Unable to afford rent, power, dental and medication expenses pensioners are taking extreme measures to make ends meet. Like relying on charities to provide food, spreading a single meal over multiple sittings and bathing in cold water. Pensioners with teeth problems are mashing food because they can’t afford to go to the dentist.
We believe this deprivation is not acceptable in one of the richest countries in the world. We can and should do better.