QUEENSLAND pensioners and seniors will not suffer any reduction in payments as a result of cuts announced in the Federal Budget.
The State Government has today reversed a decision to reduce funding outlined in the 2014 state budget.
The ABC reports, The LNP Government had been facing a backlash from older voters over the cuts, which it blamed on Federal Government reductions of $50 million to its scheme, which provides discounts on household bills.
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Premier Campbell Newman said the State Government had listened to Queenslanders’ concerns.
“Pensioners and older Queenslanders have told us that they simply can’t wear the cost of filling the gap between Queensland’s increased contribution, and the Commonwealth Government’s concessions cuts and increased fees and taxes,” Mr Newman said.
“That’s why today I’m announcing that we’ve not only listened to Queenslanders, but we’ve acted, within the space of two days, to reinstate the full level of pensioner and senior concessions.
“Passing on part of the Commonwealth’s cuts to pensioner concessions is clearly not an acceptable outcome for Queenslanders.”
Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls said Queenslanders had put a strong case for the Government not to pass on the unexpected cuts delivered by the Commonwealth.
“We’re very conscious of the ‘double whammy’ impact of the Federal Government’s changes to pensions and the removal of concessions funding,” Mr Nicholls said.
“So we will be looking at all opportunities to withhold and recoup funding from Commonwealth programs and initiatives that they ask States to contribute to from time to time, to make up for the shortfall they’ve created.
“These are the sorts of budget shocks that Queensland finds it difficult to absorb while we are burdened with $80 billion of debt.
“Our ability to respond is restricted by our need to find $4 billion every year to pay our interest bill.”