POLITICAL leaders and politicians from both of the major parties are very eager to be photographed and identified with serving members of our defence force.
Unfortunately, they are not so enthusiastic to ensure that those same service personnel are cared for when they retire or are forced out of service.
Yes, there are military pensions and superannuation for retired veterans, but the value of those payments is continually eroded by the selective indexation by which they are calculated.
Military superannuation is linked to the Consumer Price Index, which has long been recognised as a measure of inflation as distinct from the true cost of living.
Conversely, the age pension and Parliamentary pensions have been indexed against the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings.
Effectively, this has seen, over the past ten years, Parliamentary superannuation benefits increase by 91 per cent; the age pension by 95 per cent, while the CPI, to which Australian Defence Force superannuants are indexed, has only increased by 33 per cent.
It is a national disgrace that the average weekly military retirement superannuation is less than the Henderson Poverty Line.
While politicians prevaricate or circumvent the real issue, ex-service personnel suffer.
Its not a difficult issue to resolve.
Link superannuation for retired veterans to Male Total Average Weekly Earnings.
The veterans are not asking for much, and God knows, theyve earned it.