O’Farrell warned against pensioner cash grab

Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic has called on Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell not to raise rents for 4,538 local pensioners living in public housing when the Gillard Government increases their pension in May and June this year.

“I’m worried Barry O’Farrell will use the Labor Government’s upcoming pension boost as another excuse to increase rents for local pensioners again,” Mr Husic said.

“In 2009 Labor delivered the biggest increase to the pension in 100 years and we secured agreement from the State Government to not hike rents as a result.

“However, as soon as Barry O’Farrell had his chance he bumped up rents for public housing tenants, taking away some of Labor’s pension increase.

“Now we are delivering another big increase for pensioners and we can’t let Barry O’Farrell’s Government pocket these pension increases.”

Over May and June, more than 24,000 pensioners in Chifley will receive a tax-free, lump-sum payment of up to $250, before receiving an increase to their fortnightly pension in March next year.

The increases amount to $338 a year for single pensioners and $510 a year for pensioner couples combined. The payments will be identified as a separate pension supplement, making it simple for the New South Wales Government to exclude it from their rent calculations.

Mr Husic said he would be writing to State Liberal MPs Bart Bassett and Kevin Conolly, calling on them to promise local pensioners they won’t try to take back part of Labor’s pension increase.

“Local pensioners are afraid that after the Federal Government boosts their pension, Barry O’Farrell, Bart Bassett and Kevin Conolly will just take some of it straight off them.

“Mr Bassett and Mr Conolly needs to knock on the Premier’s door and tell him to keep his hands out of the pockets of our pensioners.

“This money is for our local pensioners, not for Barry O’Farrell’s Government."

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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