In 2009 the Rudd Labor Government increased the base rate of Australian pensions.
Since then those NSW pensioners renting social housing (who comprised less than 5 per cent of all public/community housing tenants in the state in 2010) have been fighting a rapacious state government which immediately saw this increase as a jam pot which it could dip into in order to improve its fiscal bottom line.
It would do this by taking 25% of the payment increase from the approximately 68,000 pensioners in NSW public housing, nearly one-third of whom are probably 65 years of age or older.
The windfall would come to an estimated $13.2 to $16.5 million annually for the NSW Government – depending on how many lone person households there are in this group.
In September 2011 the O’Farrell Coalition Government announced in the budget papers that it intends to commence stealing these millions from elderly, disabled and widowed pensioners.
NSW Nationals MPs who dominate North Coast electorates are remarkably silent concerning this theft. Why should they care - after all they are sitting quite comfortably on a salary package of over $140,000 per year plus an electoral allowance.