ADSO today launched ‘Operation AWARE 2′ being the second phase of its public’s awareness campaign to explain how unfair and unjust the Government has been to take no action to either fairly index Military Superannuation pensions to reflect the cost of living increases, or to restore Veterans’ Disability Pensions parity.
The launch is timed as a lead up to Vietnam Veterans’ Day on the 18th August, a day that will allow Australia as a whole to remember the contributions made by their country men and women in the Vietnam War. The day also marks the anniversary of one of Australia’s most significant campaigns in that war – the Battle of Long Tan.
Howard Sattler spoke to retired Air Vice-Marshal Peter Criss about the second wave of the fight for fair indexation of defence pensions in the lead up to Vietnam Veterans Day.
At the National Press Club yesterday, confronted by angry Veterans and responding to journalist’s questions about a “fair go” for Veterans’ retirement pensions, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan continued to show that the Government fails to understand that the issue is primarily a breach of contract – a condition of military service where superannuation contributions were compulsory deducted (5.5 % of pre tax salary) and that superannuation payments would be indexed to maintain their purchasing power.
David Jamison, the National President of the Defence Force Welfare Association and spokesperson for the Fair Go! Campaign, has welcomed the support provided by Bob Oakeshott, Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and now Andrew Wilkie, to change the indexation arrangements for military superannuation.
“It is gratifying that during the recent election campaign and in the months leading up to it, the Independents acknowledged and supported our campaign to improve the indexation arrangements for military superannuation”, Mr Jamison said.
The Rudd Government has announced that Australia will donate $25m to an Afghanistan Government trust fund to help integrate former Taliban fighters into Afghan society.
The same Government steadfastly refuses to ensure that former Australian Defence Force men and women have a retirement scheme that maintains their superannuation pension’s buying power.
Ex-diggers are tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), abandoned over a decade ago for other Commonwealth pensions because it does not protect pension purchasing power.