MEMBER for Capricornia Michelle Landry agrees with David Mills that it's not easy living on a pension.
She was responding to his plight (click here) as he wonders how he'll survive on such a meagre fortnightly increase.
"The Disability Support Pension is no lavish payment and no one is pretending that it is not hard to juggle household costs every fortnight,'' Ms Landry said late yesterday.
"It's important that the government offers what support that we can to provide for those who can't support themselves.
"But it is not an easy task. Despite people's expectations of endless free payments, the government does not have an endless bucket of money, no matter how much we would like to provide recipients with higher pensions."
Ms Landry said the Disability Support Pension increased twice a year but people like Mr Mills, on a full Disability Support Pension, would continue to receive the energy supplement (the bonus payment provided to pensioners to off-set the cost of the carbon tax on their utility bills).
"Even though our government has abolished the burden of the carbon tax on Australia to help stimulate more jobs, we will continue to pay pensioners the 'carbon tax bonus' on top of their fortnightly payments,'' she said.
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"Our government is trying to establish a secure process to ensure that Australia can afford to continue to pay pensions to those in need in the long-term future because, as it currently stands, the pressure on the nation's welfare budget is enormous.
"What we are trying to do is to make the cost of our welfare payments sustainable. In doing so, we also have to consider the taxpayers who go to work every day to pay for these welfare costs.
"Taxpayers fund $150billion in welfare assistance annually. It takes eight out of 10 income taxpayers to pay this bill to ensure fellow Australians on pensions continue to get their payments every fortnight."