Seniors seek review of cuts in NT Budget

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – Seniors are urging the NT Government to overturn unfair changes to its Seniors Concession Scheme which were announced in the NT’s 2014 Budget.

 

All mens over 65 years and women over 60 years were formerly eligible for the Seniors Concession Scheme but eligibility is now restricted to holders of Pensioner Concession and Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards only.

 

In tightening the concession scheme’s eligibility requirements, the Territory Government has failed to recognise the considerable social and economic contributions that seniors make in both central and northern Australia.

 

The NT Government should follow their interstate colleagues and defer any changes to the Seniors Concession Scheme for a year in order to consult with its older constituents.

 

We do not accept the government’s claims that it was a badly conceived income supplement.

 

While we know that the scheme has been abused in the past, this is an opportunity for the government to address weaknesses in the administrative system rather than penalising future Senior Territorians by restricting access to concessions which assist them to remain living in the Northern Territory.

 

National Seniors representatives have relayed members’ concerns to Chief Minister Adam Giles, Minister for Health Robyn Lambley and the Minister for Senior Territorians Peter Styles.

 

We are pleased that the ministers have accepted the need to fully review the concession scheme and consider policy alternatives to the recently introduced harsh means testing.

 

There will also be a chance to provide a review through a subcommittee of the Ministerial Advisory Council which is currently being fast-tracked.

 

National Seniors strongly supports the Chief Minister’s offer to move towards a more consultative approach on the decisions affecting older Territorians.

 

Margaret Borger

National Seniors NT Policy Advisory Group Chair

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  1. Margaret Borger
    Posted August 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Hello, my name is also Margaret Borger but I am known as Maggie.
    My son died from secondary melanoma in 2013 and I also have a large melanoma in my eye.
    I have been approached by a melanoma research group who would like to do a family tree to see if other branches of the Borger family show a similar melanoma prevalence.
    My phone number is 0427 874751, could you please contact me. I live in NSW but lived in Darwin 2000 to 2002!

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