Malcolm Turnbull delivers 'outright' rejection of pension cuts plan

Paul Karp, The Guardian, Sunday March 19, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out pension cuts in the budget after a report that the government was considering cutting welfare for those receiving less than $20.02 a fortnight. It comes as the health minister, Greg Hunt, gave further signals on Sunday the government would unfreeze the Medicare rebate in the May budget to demonstrate what he called a “rock solid” commitment to universal healthcare. The Sunday Telegraph reported that the government had costed a plan to scrap all welfare payments below $20.02, which would particularly affect pensioners who reorganise their finances to receive nominal payments to entitle them to concessions.


Turnbull government to cut concession cards from welfare recipients, targeting pensioners

Annika Smethurst, The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday March 19, 2017

Welfare recipients would lose their concession cards and up to $49.10 a fortnight under secret budget savings costed by the Turnbull government. A leaked document reveals the federal Government looked at scrapping all welfare payments below $20.02 a fortnight as part of the May budget. The change would affect all welfare recipients and specifically target aged pensioners who can organise their finances to receive nominal fortnightly payments. Some retirees have been accused of restructuring their finances to fulfil the requirements of the assets and income test, allowing them to receive as little as $1 per fortnight.


Malcolm Turnbull denies attack on aged in quest for budget cuts

Fleur Anderson, Australian Financial Review, Sunday March 19, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has launched a Trump-like Twitter tirade in a response to a report the government will scrap concession cards and welfare payments in the May budget, saying it's "false" and he "outright" rejects it. In a series of four tweets the prime minister slapped down the report in News Limited newspapers on Sunday which said the government was looking to scrap all welfare payments below $20.02 a fortnight, a change targeted at aged pensioners.