More than 280,000 war veterans will cop a direct hit to their pensions as the Abbott Government wields its Budget axe to the income and benefits of our ex-servicemen and women.
“The Coalition is committed to ensuring fairness for our retired military personnel and easing the pressure on their cost of living.” COALITION POLICY FOR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES – SEPTEMBER 2013
“As you can see, these (Budget) changes are insidious… they will seriously erode pensioners’ financial position over time. That the government would do this to its war veterans and war widows is disappointing.”
- TIM McCOMBE NATIONAL PRESIDENT VIETNAM VETERANS FEDERATION OF AUSTRALIA, MAY 19, 2014 More than 280,000 war veterans will cop a direct hit to their pensions as the Abbott Government wields its Budget axe to the income and benefits of our ex-servicemen and women.
Mr Fitzgibbon said that, in a shameful betrayal of Australia’s veterans, Tony Abbott will scrap Labor’s fair indexation system for Veterans’ Affairs pensions and link them to CPI-increases only from September 2017.
“As a result, $65.1 million will be slashed from veterans’ pensions – including TPI pensioners and war widows – placing them under even greater cost-of-living pressures.” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
In other Budget measures, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Budget has been cut by $107 million – down from Labor’s record $12.5 billion in our 2013-2014 Budget.
And the Seniors Supplement of up to $800 a year – which helps an estimated 29,000 veterans pay for energy costs, telephone, internet, rates, water and sewerage expenses – will be axed from September 20 this year.
In addition, three months’ backdating of successful Veterans’ Disability Pension claims – previously in place to recognise unique nature of military service – will cease on January 1, 2015. Mr Fitzgibbon said this was a shameful way to treat the ex-servicemen and women whose unique contribution has kept this nation safe.
“Millions of Australians are hurting from Tony Abbott’s broken promises, but cutting support for our war veterans and their families is nothing short of a disgraceful act,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.
“Now that DVA officials have confirmed that over 280,000 veterans and their families will receive this lower rate of pension indexation, Tony Abbott should apologise to veterans for his misleading statements before the election.
“Cutting the pensions of people who have sacrificed so much for our country is disgraceful. Lying about it before the election is beyond the pale.
“Our war veterans and their families deserve respect and our gratitude, not more lies from Tony Abbott.”
In contrast, Labor’s record $12.5 billion in funding included many new measures on mental health, access to medication, better indexing of veterans/compensation and TPI pensions and better support for families.