Letter written to
The Greens Party (No Reply)
Words cannot say how nauseated I am to hear that Greens have done a deal with Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party to support drastic cuts to seniors’ incomes in this Budget, which is just as unfair as last year’s Budget. You obviously have no regard for the old, the frail and the sick and are happy to reduce the incomes of retirees by thousands of dollars a year but not to touch high income earners. You have no mandate from anyone to do this.
Under the proposed changes retired people who are on low to average incomes of around $15,000 to $30,000 a year and currently receive part-pensions will lose 20% to 50% of their annual income. This affects retired nurses, police officers, teachers, firemen and other state employees. For example couples who have defined benefit pensions of about $500 a week each will lose about $13,000 a year or $250 a week. Where one partner has a defined benefit pension of about $500 a week and the other an income from a $250,000 lump sum, deemed to earn about $134 a week, they will lose up to $150 a week in pension. While these are huge losses by any standards from anyone’s annual income they are devastating for people whose incomes are already close to the poverty line. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia reports that overall the reductions will be up to $10,000 pa (singles) and $14,500 pa (couples).
The assertion that raising the lower assets threshold will give more people access to full pensions is false and misleading. If their assets are lump sums their income will be deemed too high to qualify for a full pension. At the time you backed this decision, a couple with assets of $375,000, the new cut off threshold at which a full pension can be paid on the assets test, would be deemed to have an income of $11,002.50 from those assets. The cut off income for a full pension for a couple is $7,384.00. Because their income is deemed to be higher than the cut off income they will receive about $3000 less than the full pension. Is that the benefit you are talking about?
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, clearly stated before the last election that there would be not cuts to pensions. This is an egregious breech of that promise and you are happy to support it. He is completely changing the rules for the superannuation of current retirees.
You obviously think promises to the Australian people do not matter and are there to be broken. It means nothing to you those seniors should be bullied, vilified and have their meagre incomes reduced by up to 20% while you and other high income earners get major significant salary increases over the next three years. That you would support this legislation without consulting seniors or giving them a second thought says all there is to say about your party. It does not stand for people or humanity.
It is such hypocrisy to advocate for refugees while you turn your back on the elderly and helpless. I am not sure whether this is a decision of a new leader or whether all members of the Greens Party support this decision to impoverish older Australians who have already lost the bulk of their savings in the Global Financial Crisis. If trading off and impoverishing older people for some self-serving agenda of your own is acceptable to your Party, you are a Party Australia can do without.