COTA Australia (Council on the Ageing) today questioned the accuracy of reports by a former Reserve Bank official of the widespread rorting of the pension by older Australians.
COTA Australia National Policy Manger Jo Root said the overwhelming majority of people on the pension struggled from one pension day to the next.
“The suggestion that most pensioners have a stash of $100 bills under the mattress is ludicrous and an insult t o the thousands of older Australians who struggl e to maintain a modest lifestyle on the pension,” Ms Root said.
“High rents, rising electricity bills, food and health costs place huge pressure on pensioners, who struggle to keep up as the cost of basic necessities rise.
“It’s an age-old stereotype that our older generations weasel away their dollars in teapots and pillow cases in an attempt to rort the system and frankly, it’s an offensive one.
“ The claim of massive fraud by older Australians appears to be totally unsubstantiated and COTA calls on the RBA to distance itself from the claims by its former employee.
“As a society we should reward pensioners who contribute a lifetime of hard work and pay their taxes, not leave them in financial difficulty and accuse them of cheating. ”
Media contact: Jo Root, 0430 395 048 or Alana Mew, 0419 929 722