Abbott government refuses to release documents outlining effects of lower pensions on war veterans and widows

22 Apr 2015

The government is blocking the release of documents that would reveal what Veterans Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson knows about how proposed changes to pensions would affect 300,000 military veterans and their spouses.

A Freedom of Information expert has expressed concern at the decision to prevent the release of 13 documents that contain advice from the Department of Veterans Affairs about a decision in the Coalition’s first budget to index ex-services and war widow pensions at the lower rate of inflation rather than average male weekly earnings.

The decision is forecast to cut $65.1 million from veterans and widows when it takes effect in 2017 but the effects will compound year on year.

TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said: “The changes to veterans’ pensions was outrageous given the sacrifice our armed forces have made for our country. But to not reveal the thinking behind it is a terrible betrayal to these brave men and women…..”