Mayoral candidate Tim Griffin chats with Joyce Lawn about his idea to double the rates discount for pensioners.
Mayoral candidate Tim Griffin chats with Joyce Lawn about his idea to double the rates discount for pensioners. Sharyn O'Neill

Candidate pledges to help elderly

TIM Griffin professed his love and passion for the elderly yesterday....and promised them a big cash bonus if he becomes mayor.

The engineering and management consultant announced he would double the pensioner discount on rates to about $500 and said he would pay for it through efficiency gains.

"People on fixed incomes are really hurting and an additional couple of hundred dollars in their pockets will make a huge difference to them.

"We don't want them to be hermits because they can't afford to go anywhere or do any

thing. They should be out there enjoying our region and their retirement," he said.

Tim estimates there are about 10,000 pensioners in the region.

"It would cost about $2.5 million, but in a budget of $275 million or more that's an investment in our elderly that we can, and should, afford.

"I'm confident we can save that quite comfortably by being better at managing the council's resources."

He said pensioners had been badly affected by the current council's hefty rates increases which add up to an average of 28.2% over four years.

"It's as if the council only wants the fittest to survive, but that's not a healthy situation for our community and I believe there will be a lot of support for this policy."

One definite supporter is Joyce Lawn who has lived in Berserker for 60 years and discussed rates stress with Tim yesterday.

She said the rates increases in recent years had eaten into her savings and she knew many people in a similar situation who had cut back on social activities so they could afford to pay the rates.

Tim said: "I've spoken to other declared candidates who support this policy so I am confident I can get support for it around the council table.

"We can make this happen."

The pensioner policy is the second of six key priorities he plans to roll out during the election campaign.

The first was to organise a regular Capricornia sports festival.

"Each of the policies is designed around a central plan to build our future," he said.



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