War veterans demand a fairer and better deal

EX-SERVICEMEN and women are struggling to survive on the military pension as consumer price index adjustments remain ill-aligned with the cost of living.

Twice yearly, pensions are examined and adjusted to reflect the current CPI but former colonel and Defence Force Welfare Association national president David Jamison said the system used by the government to determine adjustments was "no longer relevant" because it did not reflect reality.

"The adjustment index they use is the CPI, but the CPI has no longer relevant to the cost of living; it's now a way to manage the economy," Mr Jamison said.

He said the differential average was about 1.2%, which did not keep up with the growing costs of living, nor match that of the age pension.

"What we are asking for is to have the military pension adjusted exactly the same way as the age and services pensions are," he said.

Mr Jamison said the government had to make the change because they set the conditions of service and they had the authority to change it.

"Every time they adjust the pensions, they lose value because the adjustment is less than the increase in the cost of living," he said.

Mr Jamison said he had been rallying the government to make this change, and give ex-service people the assistance they deserved.

"They are forcing more and more into the social welfare net and they're becoming poorer and poorer," Mr Jamison said.

"There has been a long line of broken government promises on this.

"They're quite happy to send people off to all different countries for wars but when it comes to paying the bills they're a little less enthusiastic."

Former soldier Geoff Pickering, of Warwick, agreed with Mr Jamison's view on military pension rates.

"It's disheartening that servicemen can be called on by the government to perform, and they do it to the best of their ability, and they expect help from the government if they need it, yet politicians are not doing the job they're supposed to do and are failing to perform the task for which they have been elected," Mr Pickering said.


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