The 2015-16 Budget has confirmed that pensions for veterans and their families will continue to increase by the greater measure out of CPI, Male Total Average Weekly Earnings or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index.
Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta said the Abbott Government recognised the significant contribution and sacrifice veterans and their families made for Australia.
“Reversing last year’s budget measure and maintaining the current pension indexation arrangements is consistent with the Abbott Government’s pre-election promise to give DFRB and DFRDB military superannuants aged 55 and over access to the best indexation arrangements out of the three indices,” Mr Vasta said.
“This is great news for nearly 200,000 Australians who receive a DVA pension, including approximately 2,200 who are residents of Bonner.”
“The Government holds Australia’s veteran community in the highest regard. Our commitment to ensuring that members of the veteran community receive appropriate support and entitlements is ongoing.”
Under the reform of Australia’s pension system, the asset test will be changed to ensure that resources will be focused on those with lower or moderate private wealth outside of the family home.
Asset limits and taper rates will be adjusted and will affect those who have the capacity to support themselves in retirement while pensioners with lower private wealth will receive a higher rate of support.
The pension reforms are part of a suite of budget measures targeted at improving rehabilitation outcomes and reducing claim processing times for veterans. Other initiatives include:
· Providing $10 million to recruit more case-coordinators to assist with the increasing number of complex claims and improve claim processing times;
· Providing $3.7 million to extend the in-home telehealth trial for veterans and war widows, an initiative aimed at keeping veterans in their own home and community for longer;
· Streamlining the pathway for review of decisions about entitlements made under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004; and
· Providing further funding for the Centenary of Anzac Programme to support additional events commemorating battles that occurred on the Western Front during the First World War and key anniversaries of other conflicts.