Seniors not happy with PM's offer
CLINTONVALE pensioners Joseph and Anna Prevend are doing it tough and remain unimpressed with Prime Minister Julia Gillard's promise of offering seniors with a part-time job the chance to earn an extra $2600 a year.
Struggling with soaring electricity bills, medical costs and an increase in rates, the couple says the government does little to protect society's most vulnerable.
“They take away the pension if you earn too much, and they make it so difficult,” Mrs Prevend said.
“We knew a man that worked for $4 an hour milking cows just because he didn't want to stay at home. Giving pensioners the chance to work is good for both their finances and their health.”
Mr Prevend added, “They tax far too much for us as well. The Opposition's suggestion of paying people to take on over-50s is just as ridiculous. It's like having a staff member over 50 is a bad thing.”
Gillard hoped to woo the senior vote by promising pensioners they could earn $6500 a year without losing their pension, spreading their income across the year, whether earned in one day or one month.
She claims it will benefit 25,000 part-time pensioners by an average of $100 per fortnight.
However, Warwick Senior Citizens Association was also cynical about the vote-buying move.
Joe Owens, who will become president of the association this Thursday, said, “That means nothing to us, it's nothing but a carrot to try and get votes.”
He said seniors were doing it tough at the moment and that society's poorest were the ones to suffer.
“I would like the average politician to try and live on what we live on. I'd like to see them live off the basic pension and see how they survive.”
Secretary Marg Wilkie agreed, adding the divide between the pension and her expenses was getting wider and wider.
“I have to budget very, very strictly,” she told the Daily News.
She said she thought the pollies still had a long way to go before they won votes.
“I think it's a concern when I walk down the street and talk to people and hear that no one is happy with either candidate – not just the elderly.
“People are finding it really difficult to know who to vote for.”
The Warwick Senior Citizens Association AGM will be held on Thursday at 10am at the Senior Citizens Hall, Albert Street, Warwick