Legislation seeking to authorise the Government’s proposed change to the indexation of payments to those entitled to the Service and Aged Pension, the Income Support Supplement, the Disability Pension, the War Widow(er) Pension and equivalent MRCA payments from 1 July 2017 to indexation by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been introduced into the Parliament but awaits approval.
Acting on resolutions passed by each 2014 Branch conference, the RSL continues to oppose these changes. In this quest (as forecast in my last newsletter) I met with the Prime Minister at Parliament House on Monday 2 March.
The Prime Minister led me to understand that the move to indexation by CPI of veterans’ entitlements was a consequence of a broader Government decision to apply this form of indexation to other Commonwealth payments. However, he did not indicate that the Government had any intention of changing this stance.
This issue was again discussed in my meeting with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on Thursday 19 March. A point which Senator Ronaldson raised was that indexation by CPI can sometimes be more beneficial than by other indexes.
We will continue to try to persuade members of the Commonwealth Parliament that whatever indexation regime is enacted for veterans’ entitlements it must ensure there is no diminution in the value and buying power of these entitlements over time.
Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Retd)
RSL National President
This article appeared in the RSL National President’s Newsletter No 2, 20 March, 2015. Newsletter