Released 29th September 1998
One Nation is determined to ensure that aged people will have a voice in government decisions that impact on their lives and welfare, and that the elderly shall be treated with dignity and respect.
Qualification for Aged Pensions. One Nation will retain the present qualification for an age pension but, in addition, requires that recipients be Australian citizens.
Pension Rate. One Nation will continue to index the single pension rate to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE), whichever is the higher. Where MTAWE is used, the rate will be increased from 25% to 30%.
CPI. One Nation will, as a matter of urgency, review the basis on which the CPI is determined, as the present system, which includes the cost of new cars and houses, and mortgage interest rates is totally inappropriate.
Assets and Income Test. One Nation will remove the necessity for an income test for pension entitlements until fortnightly income exceeds $150 per fortnight for singles and $262 per fortnight for a couple. One Nation will remove non-income-earning assets from consideration when determining eligibility for pension entitlements.
Deeming. One Nation will repeal all deeming legislation covering investments, savings and the transfer of assets.
Residential Aged Care. One Nation will initiate a complete review of residential aged care in Australia, as the present accommodation and service standards are considered grossly inadequate.
Pension-Age Farmers. One Nation fully appreciates the disadvantages aged farmers and their partners face in having to work well into their old age because of insufficient farm income to support themselves and their families. One Nation will initiate an urgent review into the plight of pension-age farmers.
One Nation will ensure that all those with disabilities are respected for their individual worth and dignity, and that, as far as possible, the disabled should be involved in the planning of programs that directly affect them. One Nation will also consider centre based care options for young people who become disabled through traumatic injury such as quadriplegic vehicle accident victims their only option at present is often an aged persons nursing home. One Nation recognises many disabled people benefit from living in the community, but there are others who need centre based care. Both services require realistic staffing levels. In the case of community based care, selection criteria for staff and selection criteria for the disabled are critical. Much of the community concern at present stems from fear that residential areas will suffer from inappropriate placement of intellectually disabled people with anti-social behaviour. The policy of shifting the emphasis away from centre based care of the mentally and physically disadvantaged to community based housing will be reassessed.
One Nation will initiate a review of Carers' benefits with the following options being considered as part of that review:
One Nation will initiate an inquiry into all aspects of the Commonwealth Respite for Carers' Program, particularly with regard to availability and funding.
Dental Services. One Nation will restore Tied State Grants for Dental Services to all Health Card Holders. In addition, the allocation will be increased to $60 million for the first full year to assist in clearing the large backlog of people requiring treatment.
Tied Grants. One Nation will require Commonwealth Grants to the States to be tied to State appropriations by mutual agreement so that Grants cannot be delivered to State budget areas outside the limits of the agreements.