South-west part-pensioners have welcomed the return of their pensioner concession card (PCC) after the federal government stripped them of it earlier this year.
Association of Independent Retirees Warrnambool committee member Ian McMahon said the government’s reversal of its earlier decision would give part-pensioners access to many health benefits they had paid full-price for since the card was taken away.
The numerous benefits included cheaper hearing aids, medicines and bulk-billed doctor visits, Mr McMahon said.
He said part-pensioners had been disappointed at the government’s decision in January to change the assets test for the pension, which denied part-pensioners access to the concession card.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the reforms to the pension assets test were aimed at making the pension system more affordable and sustainable for the future.
“Those reforms provided an increased pension for people with lower levels of assets, while some part-pensioners with high levels of assets lost access to their part-pensions,” Mr Tehan said.
He said the benefits from the concession card varied from state to state but included discounted council rates and public transport.
Mr Tehan said 90,000 former part-pensioners, including 807 in Wannon, would again be able to access those benefits. The concession was reinstated on Monday, October 9.