BRIBIE'S military superannuation pensioners have lashed out at the Federal Government for failing to provide them with fair indexation despite fighting the battle for many years.
Brigadier Neil Weekes AM MC said he has been involved with the fight for 14 years which had ramped up again after a recent inferior increase rubbed further salt into many deep wounds.
Brigadier Weekes highlighted the Government's continued neglect of military pensioners by indexing superannuation pensions at the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a method replaced more than a decade ago for aged and other welfare pensions.
"The Government considers CPI a fair and generous method of indexation. If that's the case, why doesn't it apply to politicians, aged pensioners, judges and the like?" he said.
In 2001 the Australian Bureau of Statistics stated CPI was not a measure of the cost of living and six Parliamentary inquiries have since recommended a change to a fairer index.
From 1989-2008 the aged pensions increased by 110% and MP pensions increased by 131%. However military superannuation pensions rose a mere 68% in comparison.
Brigadier Weekes said he felt military superannuants were an ignored minority.
"There are currently around 63,000 on the DFRB/DFRDB (Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Scheme/Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme) compared to over three million aged and other welfare pensioners. The military is ignored," he said.
Currently the average ex-military superannuant receives about $24,863 a year which is taxed.
On death, spouses receive 62.5% of that, which continues to be indexed against CPI and the government gets the rest.
This is opposed to the rest of the workforce who have the opportunity to claim and roll over 100%.
"It's a national disgrace, and it's been going on for too long and it's still happening to our young veterans," Weekes said.
"I'm fighting on behalf of the soldiers, navy and air force personnel because I believe they are being treated shabbily and it's an absolute disgrace."
Federal Member for Longman Wyatt Roy remains vocal about fair indexation within the Parliament.
Last Tuesday Mr Roy delivered a speech which told of the struggles military superannuants faced on a daily basis.
"Earlier this year our DFRDB and DFRB recipients were delivered a meagre 0.1% increase via indexation, which for some translated to 47 cents per week. This does absolutely nothing to alleviate the cost increases across the board," Mr Roy said.
"It doesn't buy a loaf of bread or a litre of milk. It does nothing to get them by."
Mr Roy said he felt discouraged when he spoke to veterans who told of struggles to buy their groceries, pay their bills and fuel their cars.
"They are foregoing the simplest luxuries because the money is not available, their superannuation payments are able to buy less and less," he said.
"It would seem like the Labor Government is desperate to avoid giving veterans the respect that is due to them."