Australia’s pensioners and senior citizens had been let down by the Abbott Government through heartless concession cuts, health care hikes and superannuation changes, according to Palmer United Party’s Canning candidate, Vimal Sharma.
Responding to a new global report saying a third of older Australians were living in poverty, Mr Sharma hit out at the major political parties for deserting pensioners in their hour of need.
“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 various health hikes, extending the age of eligibility for the pension 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 super when they can enjoy it.
“This plays into the hands of the Liberal Party masters in the superannuation industry in Australia and drives even more people into poverty,’’ he said.
Mr Sharma said the base rate of the age pension should be increased so that recipients could afford the basic essentials in life.
“With the pension currently well below the 50% mark of the average Australian wage, it is little wonder older Australians are struggling to survive and are so fed up with the lies and ineptitude of the Abbott Government,’’ Mr Sharma said.
Mr Sharma said the Palmer United Party would continue to fight for Australian pensioners who had been deserted by the major parties.
“Restoring the pension and protecting the elderly will be high on the agenda for the Palmer United Party at the Canning by-election.
“We have to support our senior citizens, not discard them. This government has its priorities wrong,’’ said.
“I’m fed up with the entire system and believe that together with Clive Palmer, Senator Dio Wang and the Palmer United Party we can all vote to make a difference and show how we feel about Liberal and Labor at the Canning polls,” Mr Sharma said.