Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman expressed his frustration and disappointment that regionally based aged and disability pensioners will end up the losers as the current McGowan Labor Budget rules out any Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases to the Fuel Card.
“It is disgraceful that the McGowan Labor Government has targeted a program that benefits aged and disability pensioners in a bid to save a few dollars,” Mr Redman said.
Country pensioners do not have access to metropolitan levels of public transport and often have to either drive themselves or use a taxi to access essential services. The Fuel Card acknowledges that whilst metropolitan pensioners can access subsidised or free public transport, this is not an option for regionally based pensioners who often have to travel longer distances to attend appointments.
The Royalties for Regions funded Fuel Card was a key Nationals WA policy to provide some equity for all aged and disability pensioners regarding subsidised travel.
The program has seen the Fuel Card linked to CPI, ensuring inflation has not undermined the real value of the card, resulting in a $75 increase to the card since its inception in 2008.
“To hit the pockets of pensioners is not on,” Mr Redman said. “I understand the need for spending restraint, however this is not an acceptable action, and is one that we will be fighting.”