Pensioner Manifesto proposed

Letters to the editor

If ever there was a social group for which we need to formulate a protective “log of claims”, it is our many pensioners who live in Robertson.

Pensions are essential elements of Australia’s ‘social wage’ which is a reflection of our much debated “Australian character” … being fair dinkum, being fair minded, and giving everyone a fair go. Pensions are a grateful and respectful guarantee by the Australian people, through their taxes and government, of the basic welfare of: the ageing; carers of those in crisis; those with a disability; veterans, those with a debilitating illness; the unemployed; amongst others.

In recent years, I have become focused on the needs of pensioners living on the Central Coast. I would welcome views concerning [email: van@ vandavy.com] the following draft. To assist my everyday political thinking I have drawn up the following

F e d e r a l l y – r e l e v a n t Pensioner Manifesto: Pension size: the single aged pension should be increased from its current below-poverty line $390 per week to $440 per week, that is 10 per cent above the $400 poverty line; All other pensions to be adjusted accordingly; A plan for the progressive increase of pensions to 30% above the poverty line by 2030; Pension indexation: all pensions should be indexed as a guarantee against CPI infl ation; Medicare: defence of bulk billing, no privatisation, and extension to cover dental and bulk-billed specialist fees; Pharmaceuticals: an extensive free list; Education: free tuition at local TAFE or community colleges for internet/social media skills; Online government services: such as Centrelink must be human-assisted for aged pensioners who are required now to access online services for financial assistance; and, Must be a new Department of Veteran Affairs Office opened at Gosford for face-to-face contact.

In respect of the ‘Pensioner Manifesto’, a good federal member of parliament should: hold regular publicly-open pensioner forums, maybe bi-annually, in conjunction with ACOSS and local pensioner organisations to discuss priority issues for advocacy and campaigning. A local member should also survey pensioners throughout Robertson to draw up a “log” of places/events which are ‘unfriendly’ to pensioners and which require fi xing by NSW or local government then systematically seek to remedy all of them. For example: key traffic lights with rest areas midway; walk bridges over large highways, once-a-week taxis for shopping locally, etc,

To Fund this Log of Claims we need: A Speculation Tax of 0.1 per cent on every transaction involving stocks & shares, bonds, currencies; Criminalisation of the use of offshore tax hide-outs, for the purpose of avoiding tax; Ensuring all Australian companies pay their 30 per cent company tax; Abolition of subsidies and tax exemptions to fossil fuel polluters: coal, oil and gas companies; Ensure that the big end of town pay their fair share of taxes; For the very wealthy, an end to the 15 per cent taxdodge in superannuation; For low-to-middle income earners, the 15% incentive stays; and, For the very wealthy, an end to negative gearing and 50 per cent capital gains exemptions but for low to- middle income earners negative gearing and CGT exemption stays.

Email, Feb 2, 2016 Vanlyn Davy, Pearl Beach

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