Monday, April 30, 2012

Macklin's lament. She can't give away money

Some self-funded retirees are proud

Sometimes it’s difficult to give away money. Community services minister Jenny Macklin has $55 million in compensation she wants to hand to 281,000 self-funded retirees ahead of the carbon tax on July 1.

She has the bank account details for all but 9000 of them. Those 9000 aren’t particularly interested in receiving handouts. They haven’t given Centrelink their details because they don’t claim the existing $842.40 per annum seniors’ supplement to which they are entitled.

On offer are one-off compensation payments of $250 for each single retiree and $380 for each couple. They are due to go into bank accounts in the week beginning June 25. Any delay will see the money spent in 2012-13 rather than 2011-12, threatening an elaborate scheme designed to keep payments out of the year the budget is forecast to return to surplus.

No compensation is scheduled to be paid to pensioners or retirees in 2012-13 - the year in the carbon tax actually begins. After the upfront payment in June this year pensioners and retirees will not receive another until July 2013 when the first of the ongoing quarterly payments go into their bank accounts.

Minister Macklin yesterday called on the 9000 uninterested retirees to come forward...

“Please make sure your details are up to date with Centrelink so you get your extra assistance as soon as possible,” she said. “While Labor is delivering extra payments, Tony 0Abbott and the Liberals are planning to claw back money from self-funded retirees, pensioners and families.”

But she might find it tough. Any retiree uninterested in claiming $842.40 might also be uninterested in claiming $250. Or if they become interested they might take their time. Some of the compensation payments might go out in 2012-13 after all.

In today's Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald and Age

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