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Increased benefits leave some beneficiaries worse

Bob Simcock National Social Services Spokesperson

16 April 2001

Increased benefits leave some beneficiaries worse off

The Minister of Social Services' enthusiasm for rhetoric has cost beneficiaries dearly, National's Social Services Bob Simcock said today.

"Instead of wasting time claiming that the mandatory CPI-adjusted April 1 benefit increase was a result of Government generosity, Steve Maharey should have focused on getting the arrangements right!"

When the Government increased benefits on April 1, it failed to increase the threshold for the Community Services Card on which many beneficiaries depend.

Mr Simcock said such an increase has been customary in the past and the Government's failure to make an increase this year has placed some beneficiaries in serious difficulty.

"Many beneficiaries and particularly superannuitants are frequent users of medical services for which they need the Community Services Card. The recent increase in superannuation payments has put some recipients above the threshold for the Community Services Card. They have effectively lost their card and that will cost them far more than what the recent benefit increase is worth.

"For this Minister, words continue to be far more important than deeds," Bob Simcock said.

Ends

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