VETERANS’ Affairs Shadow Minister Michael Ronaldson addressed Diggers in Tamworth and Armidale yesterday where he pledged fair indexation for veterans’ superannuation if the Coalition comes to power in September.
Senator Ronaldson joined The Nationals candidate Barnaby Joyce and The Nationals Duty Senator for New England, John Williams to sign the promise during forums held at Legacy Hall and Wests’ Diggers.
Under the pledge, military superannuants who have served for more than 20 years will receive the same indexation method as aged and service pensioners. Currently 57,000 Diggers across the country have their pensions tied to consumer price index (CPI) increases, which Senator Ronaldson said was outdated and “unfair”.
“CPI has not been a measure of cost- of-living for at least 15 years,” he said.
“Aged pensioners don’t have their index assessed in this way so they are falling further and further behind.
“It’s basically unfair where they’re at and they deserve a fair go and we’re going to give it to them.”
Under the Coalition’s policy, Diggers over the age of 55 will receive the full suite of Male Total Average Weekly Earning, the Pensioner Beneficiary Living Cost Index or CPI, whichever is highest.
Senator Ronaldson said the pledge was an “ironclad promise” that will feature in the Coalition’s first budget and be delivered by July 1, 2014.