Pen­sion­ers in fear as govt flags more ben­e­fit cuts

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

WEL­FARE re­cip­i­ents were wor­ried that any cuts to their ben­e­fits would worsen an al­ready dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.

Trea­surer Joe Hockey fore­shad­owed more cuts to those on wel­fare ben­e­fits ahead of May’s Federal Budget.

“Wel­fare must be a safety net, not a cargo net,” he said.

Im­prov­ing the budget fig­ures and the econ­omy will take “dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions” that will af­fect house­holds, com­pa­nies and the pub­lic sec­tor, he said.

Joseph Cal­lanan is on a disability pen­sion and could not un­der­stand why ben­e­fits would be cut.

He said pen­sion­ers had lit­tle left once they had paid rent and elec­tric­ity.

“You go into a shop­ping cen­tre with $15 and walk out with next to noth­ing,” Mr Cal­lanan said.

“Ev­ery­thing goes up ex­cept for the pen­sion.

“It’s like they want us to live on fresh air.”

Liv­ing pay­ment-to-pay­ment is a tough re­al­ity for sin­gle mother Min­nie Wi­ley.

She has a five-year-old son and re­lies on her fort­nightly ben­e­fit, but still finds it dif­fi­cult to make ends meet.

Af­ter rent and elec­tric­ity is paid, she cal­cu­lated that she had $150/fort­night to pay for food and other ex­penses.

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