COMMITMENT TO BLOCKING CONCESSION CUTS TO PENSIONERS
Along with other local Councils in South Australia, the City of Marion recently sent a rate payer funded letter to local pensioners advising their council rate concession will end as of July 1 this year.
Pension concessions in SA. total in the vicinity of $230 million per year. For some years a Federal contribution to this collective concession fund has been made, of about $28 million, as it is been until this year.
The reduction in Federal funding however, did not have to result in this hit to pensioners. Despite the State Labor Government attempting to blame the Federal Government, no other state in Australia has abolished this concession despite facing the same circumstances from Canberra. The actions of our State Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis indicate he has targeted pensioners to make a saving in his own mismanaged budget. Deciding to cut this concession from those who can least afford it is totally unacceptable and completely disrespectful. I also find it very disappointing that the local council has spent rate payer money to buy into the blame game instead of looking at how they could assist pensioners with this concession too.
The State Liberals have committed to block any regulation aimed at removing pensioner concession payments on local government rates. With three cross-benchers in the Upper House supporting our commitment, it is now unlikely that the Government will be successful in their attempt to slug pensioners with this cut and therefore the concession is likely to stay in place.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted me on this issue. I have listened to your objections and as a member of Steven Marshall’s Shadow Cabinet, I voted accordingly to support the State Liberal’s commitment to block the Government’s cut to pensioners.