Back to All News

Unfair budget increases health care costs for pensioners

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 7 Jul 2014

The Australian Greens said today that research continues to show how tough and unfair the Federal Budget is for people on low incomes, including pensioners.

"Once again, we're seeing just how unfair the budget is, forcing those who can least afford it to do the heavy lifting," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

"The Federal Budget is poised to cut indexation to pensions and other payments, as well as change thresholds and eligibility rates, making income support harder to access, and on top of that increases to the cost of medical care will disproportionately affect vulnerable people.

"A new report from Sydney University shows that a couple on the aged pension face at least $200 per year in out of pocket expenses as a result of the proposed GP co-payment, and suggests that this budget measure will hit vulnerable people the hardest.

"Since budget night, modelling has shown that low income couples with children and single parents will be punished as a result of changes to family payments, while the Government anticipate that their Earn or Learn regime, which could see young job seekers denied access to income support for more than six months at a time, will lead to 550,000 applications for emergency relief. Now we see that pensioners, older Australians and people struggling with ill-health all face further impacts as a result of the co-payment.

"Putting more pressure on older Australians will make it harder for them to remain healthy, happy and engaged in their communities. Cutting pensions and increasing costs for health care will put more people at risk of going without the treatment they need and will put more pressure on community and residential aged care services.

"Reducing access to medical care will only increase poverty and inequality, and is one of the key issues that will be examined during the Greens-instigated inquiry into growing inequality in Australia.
"It is deeply unfair and cruel budget impacting on our most vulnerable with Mr Abbott hands money back to mining giants and big polluters.

"The Senate should reject these budget cuts and protect those most in need in our community," Senator Siewert concluded.

Back to All News