In another example of the Hodgman Liberal government's lack of empathy for low income Tasmanians, Minister for Human Services Jacquie Petrusma has suggested pensioners and self-funded retirees 'get a job' to cope with the loss of Commonwealth concessions on 1 July.
In response to a question asked by Greens Human Services spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP highlighting the significant cost-of-living impact on older Tasmanians of the Abbott Government cuts, Minister Petrusma said pensioners and self-funded retirees need to "get out of the welfare mentality."
"Minister Petrusma has effectively told pensioners - many of whom rely on concessions for transport, electricity, rates, water and sewerage to ease their cost of living - that unless they can provide for themselves, they are on their own,” Ms O’Connor said.
"It's estimated more than 100 000 Tasmanian pensioners and self-funded retirees will cop it in the hip pocket when the concessions are cut on 1 July.”
"Having campaigned on cost of living in Opposition, the now Minister gave these Tasmanians, who are struggling to make ends meet, no comfort at all today.”
"Ms Petrusma clearly has very limited insight into how hard it is to live on an aged pension or as a self-funded retiree on a modest income.”
"Minister Petrusma's heartless answer to my question is an indicator of just how much humanity the Liberal government will put into Human Services," Ms O’Connor said.