John Hunter believes there are not enough pensioners in parliament.
The 69-year-old Junee resident, and NSW/ACT Australian Aged Pensions Group coordinator, is aiming to address that when he protests in Canberra on August 14.
“I’m looking forward to a lot of people being there in Canberra to show their dissatisfaction with the way all parties and all governments have treated pensioners,” Mr Hunter said.
Mr Hunter plans to have his band of political pensioners registered as an official party in time for next year’s senate election.
If we don’t succeed now, we’ll have to wait for three years and our executive team probably don’t have that time.- John Hunter
Mr Hunter’s party potentials have outlined 15 key policies they would like to implement.
Their main concern is raising the pension by a minimum of 20 per cent, and reinstating the pension fund tax levy that was abolished under Robert Menzies.
“Roughly 1.3 million pensioners in this country are living below the poverty line,” Mr Hunter said.
“The government is still taking the 7.5 per cent of our taxes that’s supposed to be set aside for the pension fund, but that money has been going into consolidated revenue since 1952.”
Any time they need to make funding cuts, they hit lower wage groups and pensioners, and it’s got to stop.- John Hunter
Mr Hunter said gradual changes in society’s view of elderly people have lead to this predicament.
“Australia is second to last against most other western countries when it comes to its treatment of pensioners.
“Only 2.1 per cent of our GDP is spent on the pension, whereas in most European, Latin American and east Asian countries, that’s around 13 per cent.
“It’s a throw away society now, generations ago we valued older people.”
To fix the problem, Mr Hunter wants to see a greater focus placed on bridging the divide between the country and the city.
“Nowadays, we grow up, leave home and many of us are forced to move to the cities to find work,” he said.
“If you create more work in the country, you can keep families together, and grandparents won’t be people you just visit a couple times a year, they’ll be valued again.”