I stand today on behalf of the 11,602 age pensioners of Lalor. These people may have voted for this government. They may have been reassured by the Prime Minister's declaration that there would be no changes to pensions—only to have that promise dashed in the government's first budget. He threw out that promise. He threw it out on the night of his first budget. Instead, he introduced cuts to pension indexation, cuts to pensioner concessions, cuts to deeming thresholds for part-pensioners and an increase in the retirement age to 70. Pensioners will be as much as $80 a week worse off within a decade—and those opposite have been standing up saying that pensions are going up. Australian pensioners are no fools. They know what the higher of two means. They fully understand that this government that this government is cutting the pension.
This government's agenda is not about 'ending the age of entitlement'; this government's agenda is about ending the age of dignity. These cuts will mean that pensioners in my community are going to be scraping day in and day out across the next decade while these cuts come into play. I call on this government to stop its cuts to the pension, to reinstate the great plan that was in place for pensions and to reinstate the rise that pensioners got under Labor.
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