26 September 2016

Local Member of Federal Parliament, Madeleine King, says Malcolm Turnbull’s disregard for pensioners was becoming ever-clear with the Prime Minister failing to reduce deeming rates while also planning to cut payments.

Ms King said the Liberal Government had failed to adjust the deeming rates for more than 18 months despite interest rates falling from 2.25 percent in February 2015 to 1.50 percent today.

“Currently a single pensioner’s savings are deemed at 1.75 percent on the first $49,200 and any amount over that is deemed at 3.25 percent,” Ms King said.

“Deeming rates are supposed to reflect returns across a range of investment choices, but the Turnbull Government is failing to act by lowering them.

Deeming is where financial assets are ‘deemed’ for the purposes of pension means testing to earn a certain rate of return, regardless of the actual earnings of the investments. These rates are determined by the Minister for Social Services.

Ms King was also concerned at the impact the Turnbull Government’s planned cuts to the energy supplement would have on Australian pensioners.

“If Mr Turnbull gets his way single pensioners will be $14 per fortnight worse off as a result of his abolishing the energy supplement,” Ms King said.

“This may not seem like much to the Government, but it is a lot of money to be stripped from a pensioner’s budget.

“Senior Australians deserve better than the treatment being dished out by Prime Minister Turnbull and his out-of-touch Government.”