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Review of seniors concession scheme is underway

24 Jan 2017

men-in-the-city

Work on the review of the seniors concession scheme has commenced with the appointment of an “Expert Reference Group” to look at the present scheme inadequacies and unfairness

It was a firm pre-election commitment by the Labor Government upon gaining office to review the NT Pensioners and Carers’ Concession Scheme.

At that time COTA NT gave a firm commitment to play a constructive and helpful role in this process. We were advised that the review would be completed prior to the first budget of the new Government. Of course there is now much transition work to be done to implement the Governments’ election seniors policies – which include – concessions to reduce the cost of living to 3000 Territory Seniors disenfranchised by the May 2014 Budget decision; working with Treasury and seniors organizations to bring back relief for seniors on power and water costs; better housing options in retirement; the opportunity to continue part time work in the Public Service; introduce more age friendly planning; act against elder abuse and free bus travel for senior Territorians in Alice Springs and Darwin.

The good news is that work on the review of the seniors concession scheme has commenced with the appointment of an “Expert Reference Group” to look at the present scheme inadequacies and unfairness. This Group made up of COTA NT, the Association of Independent Retirees, Carers NT, National Seniors, Vietnam Veterans Association, Somerville and NTCOSS will review the current concessions and make recommendations to Government about the implementation of a robust sustainable and fair concession scheme which will benefit seniors well into the future.

Seniors are adamant that they should continue be seen as an investment in the future of the Territory and that there must be a fair and equitable concession scheme to help with a reduction in cost of living pressures. After all the basis of the original 1979 Scheme always was, and still must be, to keep seniors here, especially as they provide a wealth of wisdom and commitment to the fabric of NT society through volunteering, mentoring intergenerational linkages and valuable life-long experiences.

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