22 September 2008
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Mr CIOBO (Moncrieff) (6.45 p.m.)—I rise to talk about the plight of pensioners in my seat of Moncrieff, where there are some 10,651 pensioners, part of the 38,321 pensioners across the Gold Coast. I implore the Rudd Labor government to do something for the pensioners of my electorate. This Labor government insists that it is deeply sympathetic and deeply empathetic, but it will not do anything until another review, another summit or another committee concludes its inquiries.
The Howard government had a proud track record of delivering constantly for the pensioners of Australia. We know that single pensioners are $72.80 a week better off as a result of the Howard government’s policies. In particular, we know that when Kevin Rudd went the last election he claimed that, if elected, he would bring down grocery prices and petrol prices. But, in reality, these have increased significantly. They have skyrocketed while this Labor government remains paralysed and says that its way forward is to simply keep watching what is going on. It is not good enough.
The coalition has a concrete proposal. We ask the Labor Party to move beyond the spin and the rhetoric and get behind the coalition’s proposal to increase by $30 the single pensioner payment. We know the government can afford it. They are sitting on a $22 billion surplus. So it is time that the Labor government did something to help those Australians who deserve support—those 10,000 or so in my electorate who are looking for support.