OPINION: About one in six people on the Fraser Coast is aged over 65, so any change to the aged care pension is going to have a massive impact on our region.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has made it clear that every cent of income support paid out by the government will be scrutinised to determine if a saving can be made - whether it's the aged pension, family payments or other welfare.
The aged pension is listed as the largest expense on the Government's books, so of course it will be under the microscope. But even if some types of welfare payments were to be cut, aged pensioners should not be first on the list.
The majority of them have worked hard all their lives and deserve more than to eke out their last years counting every cent to ensure they can buy food and essential medications.
If they manage to stay healthy enough to live at home, they've got maintenance costs, rates and bills that skyrocket every year - unlike their pension.
If they have to go into residential aged care, it usually means selling the family home to pay a six-figure bond, plus care fees and other charges paid by the week or fortnight that come out of their paltry pensions.
Our elderly have little left to give, financially.
They should be given the dignity of being put first - or at least put before a $12.4 billion fleet of stealth jet fighters.
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