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Respect Concession Holders

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 6 March 2014

Tags: Federal Budget

Human Services Minister, Jacquie Petrusma, has refused to apologise in Parliament to Tasmanian pensioners and self-funded retirees for her insulting comment last week that they should 'get a job' and 'get out of the welfare mentality' in response to the loss of Commonwealth concessions.

Greens Human Services spokesperson, Cassy O'Connor MP, said Ms Petrusma is showing continued insensitivity and arrogance by refusing to acknowledge she got it terribly wrong in Parliament last week.

"After listening to the Minister last week suggest to the 100 000 plus Tasmanian pensioners and self-funded retirees, affected by the cut to concessions from 1 July, that they 'get a job' and 'get out of the welfare mentality', today she refused to acknowledge how poorly chosen and insulting her response was.”

"In the past few days I have had feedback from a number of constituents who were shocked that the Minister could show such insensitivity towards older Tasmanians on low incomes.”

"The Minister should apologise. It is the decent, respectful thing to do.”

"Older Tasmanians affected by the Abbott Government's cut to pensions are entitled to hear an apology.”

"Today, Ms Petrusma demonstrated she does not have the strength of character to admit when she is wrong," Ms O'Connor said.