Posted on 04. Oct, 2013 in News

Three years since taking office the Napthine Government has failed to cut the cost of living for Victorian pensioners, Shadow Minister for Seniors and Ageing Jenny Mikakos said today.

Ms Mikakos said Mr Napthine had made it harder for older Victorians, many of whom are struggling with the cost of living.

“Premier Napthine, just like Ted Baillieu, has left senior Victorians and those on fixed incomes off the list of government priorities,” Ms Mikakos said.

“Pensioners and the cost of living pressures that they face every day have never been a concern for Denis Napthine. Mr Napthine – in the four years prior to winning government in 2010 – failed in Parliament to make any mention of seniors, pensioners or the cost of living pressures they face.

“Since becoming Premier earlier this year, Mr Napthine ticked off on the stealthy privatisation of aged care facilities across the state and made further cuts to health, resulting in clogged emergency departments, a crisis in the ambulance service and a blowout in the waiting list for elective surgery.

“The fact is Mr Napthine doesn’t care about seniors. Mr Napthine is putting all his eggs into an $8billion dud tunnel instead of investing to assist older Victorians.”

Ms Mikakos said the Napthine Government had made life harder for older Victorians by:
• cutting $75 million from the public sector residential aged care budget and commenced the process of privatising our public aged care facilities;
• cutting the state concessions for pensioners’ gas and electricity bills by a total of $41 annually;
• oversaw retail electricity and gas price rises of, on average, 12 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively in the last financial year;
• increased the motor vehicle registration by $35 per vehicle;
• increased public transport fares by an average of 6.8 per cent;
• the new Fire Services Property Levy has left many households worse off;
• increased the public housing rents for pensioners, swallowing up the former Labor Government’s recent pension increase; and
• dismantled the Office for Senior Victorians.

Shadow Minister for the Cost of Living Lily D’Ambrosio said the raft of cuts that affect seniors was proof the Government had broken its key election promise to reduce every day costs – particularly for older Victorians.

“Unlike Mr Napthine, Labor has engaged with seniors and communities groups through our Labor Cares forums all across the state,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Had Mr Napthine taken the time to speak with older Victorians, he would have realised many of the fee hikes his Government has made hurt those on fixed incomes, such as pensioners, the hardest.

“With one budget to go before the next state election, Mr Napthine will be remembered as the Premier who failed Victorian Seniors.”

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