Pensioners in Wynyard have today joined the Shadow Minister for Social Services, Jenny Macklin and local member for Braddon, Justine Keay to discuss the Turnbull Government’s mismanagement of Centrelink.
The message from pensioners and seniors in Braddon is clear: they are frustrated by long waits on the phone to get through to Centrelink and they fed up with the Turnbull Government’s changes to the Age Pension. .
Last week, the Government admitted that a shocking 55 million phone calls to Centrelink went unanswered in the 2016-17 financial year.
That’s a massive increase from 29 million unanswered phone calls in the 2015-16.
Centrelink is in crisis under the Turnbull Government.
Labor is also very concerned that the Department of Human Services is unable to provide adequate assessments of pensioners’ claims due to the Turnbull Government cutting 1,200 jobs.
Local pensioner, Marsha, had to wait six months to have her claim for the Age Pension approved by Centrelink.
Marsha had done everything right, provided all the right information to Centrelink in a timely manner and yet she was made to wait six months before being able to access her pension.
This delay had a detrimental effect on Marsha’s everyday expenses and caused her undue stress as she was unable to receive concessions for power, rates and pharmaceutical expenses.
In 2015/16 the average processing time for an Age Pension application was about 62 days.
Centrelink continues to be understaffed and under-resourced and pensioners and seniors are missing out as a result.
Pensioners in Braddon have had enough of long waits at Centrelink.
It’s time for Mr Turnbull to fix it.