The combination of two separate stories

03.06.14
Letter to the Editor
The combination of two separate news stories in my local newspaper the Townsville Bulletin today Tuesday 03 June, 2014 have been particularly pertinent to those of us who are ageing and particularly those of us who are trying to survive on a humble pension, these stories were Being over 50 is costly to the household budget which goes on to explain that the National Centre for Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra found that simply being over 50 years of age had many hidden costs that totalled $100 per week. The other story of note was Pensioners battle as concessions canned a story concerning the Queensland State budget where it is reported that Queensland pensioners will lose their concessions being $282.54 per annum for electricity, $200 per annum for household rates, 50 per cent off public transport fares and up to $120 per annum to help pay for water bills. This has come about from the Abbott LNP government cut of $50 million to pensioner’s concessions, and of course their State counterparts are happy to play their part in this LNP plan of “the war against the poor.”
Pensioners in Australia receive approximately $290 per week to survive; most pensioners are over the 50 mark in age, meaning that $100 of the meagre $290 has already disappeared on health and transport costs. This now leaves $190 per week on which to survive. Fresh healthy food is largely too expensive and preparation for many pensioners is nigh impossible through a variety of ailments and illnesses common among the over 50 age group. The Queensland LNP government is increasing the cost of electricity again, this time by 13.6% which pensioners now have to pay without concession; the federal LNP government has reintroduced a petrol tax making transport to the doctor more expensive, as well as the new GP Tax and Prescription Tax forcing up the cost of living. City council rates will also rise thanks to the loss of concession, in all adding over $600 per annum to a struggling pensioners’ cost of living, money that we simply don’t have.
With the mismanagement of Australia’s economy in the past 10 months which has seen big companies such as Holden winding up and local companies such as Pacific Coast Engineering going to the wall, there is continuing negativity from the Abbott government affecting our once vibrant triple AAA rated economy under the previous government, their policies are all wrong and we are seeing the effect which is sending our country spiralling down into an LNP created abyss.
The LNP philosophy is now beginning to damage our nation and if not arrested immediately we are doomed to this dog eat dog USA failed and dysfunctional society. Just coincidently the USA are in $16 trillion of debt.
Regards,
Shaun Newman

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