ROYAL TOUCH: Jacaranda Queen Cerene Lowe opens the new Grafton office for Page MP Kevin Hogan yesterday, where he spoke of the detrimental side effects of budget talk.
ROYAL TOUCH: Jacaranda Queen Cerene Lowe opens the new Grafton office for Page MP Kevin Hogan yesterday, where he spoke of the detrimental side effects of budget talk.

Anxiety where it’s not due

WIDESPREAD discussion about changes to the pension that may be part of next week's Federal Budget has made many people anxious and fearful, Member for Page Kevin Hogan said.

Mr Hogan said the focus on changes to the pension age was "unfortunate" and had caused concerns for those currently on the pension who won't be affected by future changes.

"I've got to tell you I think it's been one of the most pre-discussed budgets in the history of the country and I think some of it has been quite detrimental - I don't mean to the government, I mean causing people anxiety about changes to come," he told a crowd gathered for the opening of his Grafton office yesterday.

"Last year the Labor Party moved the pension age from 65 to 67; they didn't talk about it beforehand, they just did it on budget night to kick-in in 10 or 15 years time. It happened, there was a bit of a discussion about that and they moved on.

"Unfortunately discussion about this has caused anxiety to people who are on the pension now.

"I'm looking forward to it next week, at least then we'll know what we are dealing with and some people's anxieties and fears will subside after that."

Mr Hogan said he expected the "most important" pre-election promise to the Clarence Valley, the 80% funding of the Pacific Hwy upgrade, to escape the cost saving axe in the budget.

He is also keen to see the details of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's debt levy, which has been portrayed widely as a broken promise.

"I certainly understand people have an issue with saying something and doing something else," he said.

"I want to see the details on it and if it is concentrated on the upper end and it's temporary, I think I can live with it."



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