Super schemes fail
As the major parties try to point score off each other, neither is concerned about the long-serving ex-servicemen/women who have had their superannuation entitlements “ripped off.”
Both major parties have waxed lyrical about the “unique nature of military service” and the “debt owed to these men and women” but this is just lip service.
Superannuation in the services has been compulsory since 1948 and the first two schemes, DFRB & DFRDB, under which some 55,000 Defence Force retirees still receive benefits, would not stand the pub test.
The government did not invest members’ contributions to these schemes, but rather, transferred them into consolidated revenue, where they have always been used to help balance the budget.
Under these schemes retiring members could, after 20 years or more of service, take an advance lump sum payment of future entitlements to help them resettle into civilian life.
If they opted to take the lump sum, their ongoing superannuation payments were reduced based on what their life expectancy was in 1962 which, on average, these men and women are living beyond by more than 14 years.
But the government continues to pay them at the reduced rate until the day they die.
The government also fiddled with the indexation of their benefits, using an inappropriate index, which does not keep pace with the cost of living, and a complex indexation formula to further reduce their benefits.
And this method of indexation flows on to the benefits of their widows and dependent children.
Minister Chester regularly states that the whole issue is a misunderstanding, but in the military misunderstandings are invariably caused by miscommunication.
In 1991, the government introduced a third scheme, known as MSBS, and it has just as many problems.
Then in 2016, it introduced yet another scheme.
Is there a federal politician in the country who would accept the conditions they force on those who served their country in peace and war?
Jim Hislop, Wodonga
Never found guilty
Australian law along with other democratic countries state that any person charged with a crime/s are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Wangaratta's Centre Against Violence and chief executive Kerry Burns has been quoted by journalist Shana Morgan as saying (Border Mail, February 16): "This is a really tough situation for victim survivors who had come forward to make statements."
It would seem from this statement that Ms Burns has already made a highly prejudiced decision (and comment) regarding this case before it had undergone due legal process.
It would seem that Dr Moroney was tried and "crucified" before receiving what is only fair to every Australian.
The tragic post script to this tragedy is there are literally no winners and the countless thousands of satisfied patients and hundreds of babies Dr Moroney delivered throughout his long career are forever hushed.
My condolences go to his family and friends.
Caroline Mackinnon, Rand
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