Tasmanian JLN independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has called on both political parties to commit to halve Australia’s $50B foreign aid budget over the next 10 years - and increase Australian Aged pension payments by an extra $25B.
"Did you realise that both the Liberal and Labor parties plan to borrow approximately $50B over the next decade and then give it away as foreign aid? For example Indonesia - who has a military thats about 10 times the number of serving members in Australia's Defence Forces - over the next decade, will receive between $3B and $4B in Australian foreign aid.
Now that it's time to become extra careful on how we spend our public funds - it's time we had much better spending priorities. As one Burnie pensioner said to me, "Charity begins at home. Therefore our government should halve our estimated foreign aid budget over the next 10 years and redirect that extra $25B to Australian Aged Pensioners.
This will amount to a modest increase of approx. 5.8%, but it's a start and $25B more than any other political party is advocating for the people who made our nation great. It will mean the average single Tasmanian aged pensioner who receives $873.90 per fortnight is increased by $50.69 to $924.59.
And an aged pensioner couple who receive $1317.40 per fortnight should receive an increase of 76.41 which takes their fortnightly total to $1393.81. At the beginning of this year an international OECD report (Pensions at a Glance 2015) found that more than one-third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line.