Australian opposition plans to increase veteran pensions to win support

12:57, June 27, 2010      

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Australia's coalition government, or opposition government, said Sunday it would increase veteran pensions in a move to win the support of the veteran community.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and opposition defense and veterans spokespeople said the coalition would legislate for new indexation arrangements for Defense Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB) members as part of its commitment to supporting veterans and ex-service personnel.

Abbott said from July 1, 2011, DFRDB members aged 55 years or older would have their military superannuation pensions raised by the greater increase of either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) male total average weekly earnings (MTAWE) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI).

He said the coalition recognized the unique nature of military service and was committed to a fair, equitable and fiscally responsible military superannuation system.

Abbott said Labor had broken its election promise to fix military superannuation indexation.

"This is a fully costed and fully funded policy. Savings already identified by the Coalition will be used to offset the 98 million dollars cost over the forward estimates," Abbott said in a statement.

"A further 100 million dollars (87.38 million U.S. dollars) will be invested into the Future Fund as a first step towards funding the new arrangements beyond the forward estimates."

Abbott said DFRDB superannuation was currently indexed according to the consumer price index (CPI) and this change brought indexation of DFRDB superannuation in line with the aged pension.

"We are committed to real action to support our veterans, and will ensure that those who have served their nation are properly looked after in their retirement. After all, military service is unique and unique solutions are required to recognize that service, " Abbott said.

Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female Prime Minister after Kevin Rudd stood down as Labor Party leader on Thursday morning. The latest Galaxy poll has Labor with a 52-48 lead over the coalition on a two-party preferred basis.

Source: Xinhua


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