A national seniors summit has been held in Ipswich today to discuss how the government’s budget will affect them.
Close to 200 people attended, eager that Canberra hears their concerns.
Catherine Tucker reports.
The federal budget received a cautious welcome from this community of over fifties.
The hot topic of today was a pilot scheme to allow senior citizens to downsize the family home without affecting their age pension.
The biggest issue is not having enough age appropriate homes available in areas of demand.
Michael O’Neill, National Seniors Australia Chief Executive: “All good and well to say yes we’ll build age friendly homes but we’ll locate them out in the back block somewhere. For people as they age, for older Australians, they want to be in their local community, their local environment.”
They say the government scheme isn’t perfect but it’s a start.
They’d like to see the Queensland State Government support the scheme with stamp duty concessions for people downsizing.
Michael O’Neill, National Seniors Australia Chief Executive: “I think the importance of that is it’s not just about seniors. It’s also about appreciating you are freeing up stock for young people, young families to be able to live in those areas.”
Bronwyn Bishop, Shadow Minister for Seniors was due to attend today but pulled out at the last minute.
The Mayor of Ipswich says there’s a lack of respect for seniors.
Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Major: “The seniors of this country have put the back-bone into this country. They deserve the respect of the future. That’s what I’m going to make sure happens.”
Over fifties make up 44 per cent of voters and they will have a significant impact at this year’s election. However, the overwhelming feeling today is that the government is still lacking understanding of the financial struggles of senior citizens.
Vox 1: “They don’t seem to want to know us for some unknown reason.”
Vox 2: “We’ve done our bit to support the country, I think it’s time the government did their bit to support us.”
Catherine Tucker, QUT News.