Federal Member for Fairfax

Media release

Australia’s pensioners and senior citizens had been deceived by the Abbott government through heartless concession cuts, health care hikes and superannuation changes, according to Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer.

Mr Palmer said the Palmer United Party would continue to fight for Australian pensioners who had been badly let down by a Federal Budget filled with lies and broken promises.

“Many of our senior citizens have voted for the Liberal Party for 50 years or more and this is the thanks they get –  a raid on their pensions and superannuation through the GP co-payment and other health hikes, extending the age of eligibility to 70 and more,’’ he said.

“The real reason Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to extend the pension age and the superannuation preservation age is to stop Australians accessing their superannuation when they can enjoy it.

“This plays into the hands of the Liberal Party masters in the superannuation industry in Australia.

“And nowhere is the attack on pensioners more ruthless than with the Government’s destruction of Medicare to make way for a health system exclusively for the rich.

“From July 1, 2015, pensioner contribution towards the cost of PBS medicines will increase by 80 cents per script and pensioners will have to pay $7.00 for each GP visit for the first 10 visits.

“In practice a pensioner has to pay for a blood test, an x-ray and so on. This means the annual commitment could be in the region of $300,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer said it was very concerning that already thousands of patients had stopped visiting their doctors because of the anticipated financial burden.

Mr Palmer said the Palmer United Party senators will oppose the co-payment because all Australians must be allowed free access to hospitals and doctors regardless of their economic circumstances.

“Low income earners, single parent families, pensioners, nursing home patients and those who are socially or financially disadvantaged will be hardest hit by a GP co-payment.

“It is a ruthless attack on Australians when savings can be made elsewhere in the budget.

“The co-payment should be dropped today. The Palmer United Party will not support a co-payment in the Senate,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Ends