Pensioner Pedro at the Red Shield Family Store in Gladstone.
Pensioner Pedro at the Red Shield Family Store in Gladstone.

Gladstone pensioners set to bear pain from budgets

GLADSTONE pensioners will be living on Struggle Street thanks to the state and federal budgets.

That's the verdict from the city's older residents following the Newman Government's cost-cutting measures on Tuesday and the budget handed down by Tony Abbott last month.

One city pensioner told The Observer he would struggle to afford food if both budgets got the seal of approval.

Pedro, 50, said changes to pensioner concessions on energy, rates and transport would hurt pensioners, who were already "doing it tough".

"It shouldn't be allowed," the Toolooa St resident, who didn't want to use his last name, said.

"What politicians should do is to try living on a working man's wage then we'd be out of this debt problem straight away."

He said half of his $800 fortnightly pension was spent on rent.

A large proportion of the rest went towards fuel, food, electricity, internet and other bills.

"It's not just me that will be hurting, it will be pensioners from across the region," Pedro said.

"Even people that own their own houses will be impacted by changes to rates."

He said the government could save money by checking if people on disability pensions are "truly" disabled.

Under the Federal Budget, handed down on May 12, the pension age will rise to 70 by 2035.

Employers also will be encouraged to hire older workers.

Council on the Ageing chief executive officer Mark Tucker-Evans urged the Premier Campbell Newman to continue funding for core concessions, even without the Australian Government's contribution.

Queensland Council of Social Service CEO Mark Hensley said the budget has delivered a mixed bag of results for the state's most vulnerable residents.

"The allocation of $406 million over five years to improve child protection and family services was a bright spot in an otherwise cautious budget.



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