Disabled Veterans prove you just can’t trust them!

by on 12 April, 2013

A. Essery

Allan’s continuous support for veterans casts a dark shadow
of shame upon this Labor government. Considering
savage budget cuts to the Australian Defence Forces and the disgraceful
treatment of war veterans It is obvious to all that the Gillard regime harbours a deep resentment toward
our armed forces.

With punitive actions as such described herein Australia will soon find that there are insufficient enlistments to protect the nation. GC.Ed@L.

During Julia Gillard’s recent week long crusade into the supposed Labor heartland of Western Sydney she was confronted by a group of Veteran’s representatives wanting to know why a fair go in regard to the indexation of their superannuation was being dismissed by her Government.  She ignored them, refused to talk to them in public and breezed past them as if they were lepers.  Later and probably after being told by her advisors that her ignorance could have undesirable results at the ballot box, she promised to meet with them personally.

Another broken promise,  another insult.  She didn’t turn up!!!  Instead she sent along one of her ‘senior advisors’ to say that she was just too busy.  The advisor advised that there would be no decision made on the matter of ex-service superannuation because the associated costs had not yet been finalised.  Not finalised??  This recalcitrant Government has had five years to get the funding organised and they are still using it as an excuse.  They just don’t intend to honour their contracted debt to Veterans.

Now, to add further insult to injury, this miserable Government is ignoring the injustice of their surreptitiously passing legislation denying disabled Veterans the right to have their pensions indexed in the same way as Aged and Disability Pensioners who are on Centrelink pensions.

Let us understand that we are not talking about the army of supposedly disabled who are quite able to work but wont and are sucking our welfare system dry, we are talking about disabled Veterans who went to war for this country and were disabled to the point that they could not and can not do a fair days work for a fair days pay as a result of their incapacities.

I will not bore you with numbers and percentages, but simply say that any parity that existed between Veterans disability payments and those payments made to welfare recipients was lost in 2009.   As a consequence of the review by Dr Jeffrey Harmer into ‘The Reform Of More Secure And Sustainable Pensions’ or ‘The Harmer Review’ Veteran’s disability pensions were deliberately excluded from the review.  This omission occurred despite assurances from the then Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Alan Griffith, Treasurer Wayne Swan and the ‘Minister For Everything Else’ including Disability Reform Jenny Macklin that Veteran’s disability pensions would be included in the Harmer Report.

An oversight you may say. No, it was no oversight, it was the intention of a specific clause inserted into the Veteran’s Entitlement Act Amendment Bill by the Government to circumvent the parity established by the 2007 legislation and so prevented the increases recommended by the Harmer Report from flowing through to disabled Veterans.

The Government adopted Harmer’s recommendations that to maintain the relationship with wage levels pensions needed to be increased by 2.7% of the MTAWE.  Department of Veterans Affairs disability pensions remained, and continue, to be based upon the original 25% of MTAWE and the recommendation to increase Veteran’s disability pensions annually by 2.7% above the MTAWE was deliberately ignored.

This is and remains a blatant and deliberate act of discrimination against disabled Veteran’s.

Every year the increase of 2.7% that Veterans have been denied amounts to a loss of approximately $3,300 to those TPI or Special Rate disability pensioners and approximately $1,200 to the all of the General Rate Pensioners, while all other Veteran’s disability pensions also suffer on a pro-rata basis.

While the Government cries poor and claims that it cannot afford to pay ex-servicemen and women at their contracted pension rate they do make sure that they themselves are adequately looked after from the ‘Golden Pig Trough’ of the public purse. 

A change of government in September will see Labor politicians retire on exceedingly generous packages that they gave to themselves;  Gillard $177,520 p.a. or a lump sum of $5.33m, Swan $168,106 p.a. or a lump sum of $5.04m, Conroy $152,189 or a lump sum $4.57m, Smith $154,530 or a lump sum $4.64m and so on while ex-service personnel struggle by on pensions up to as much as $27,000 p.a. with lump sums up to $810,000.

The bottom line is that those who put on the uniform of this country’s armed services and went to war only to be disabled in one form or another have then been ignored, disrespected and shabbily treated by a dishonourable excuse for a Government.

Alan is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

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