Adam Hourigan

Pension increase on the money

TO many people a $32.49 weekly pension increase may not seem a lot, but to Colleen Walden of Grafton, it's a godsend.

Colleen, 66, has been surviving on a single pension for the past six years and she admits that it's been an almost impossible task.

Over the past six years she has continually had to dip into her small life savings and each week there is rarely an unspent dollar in her wallet.

“For one thing this will now mean I can fill up the car occasionally to go and visit my grandchildren,” she said yesterday.

“I have one on the Gold Coast, one in Gosford and three in Ballarat so it's a big ask for me to go and see the families even once a year.”

Colleen worked for many years in hospitality in Grafton and only decided to give work away in 2003.

“I knew life would be difficult on a single pension, but fortunately I have always been a person who watches their money,” she said.

“The pension has meant that I have had to give up some luxuries and that hurts, although giving up cigarettes has definitely been good for me. It's just occasionally I like to have one, but that's out of the question and way out of my budget these days.”

Colleen is a member of Grafton Seniors and said that many of her fellow members had been waiting patiently to hear if the Rudd Government was going to deliver on its promised pension increase.

“There hasn't been much talk about it, I suppose we all wanted to see it in the newspaper before we started celebrating,” Colleen said.

“The extra money is great, but we could certainly do with another increase in the near future. Our pension may have gone up, but unfortunately the prices of everything else have gone up by more.”

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