Federal budget: MPs warn on pension cuts

Western suburbs Labor MPs say any moves to cut the aged pension in next month’s budget would hit some of the area’s most vulnerable people.

Reports suggest the government is considering the cuts, although Prime Minister Tony Abbott has moved to hose down the prospect.

Opposition leader and Maribyrnong MP Bill Shorten said any cuts would be felt by more than 11,000 aged pensioners in his electorate.

“In speaking to local pensioners, I know how worried they are about Tony Abbott’s plans and their ability to pay for groceries and utility bills as we head into winter,” Mr Shorten said.

The government is also reported to be considering raising the pension age to 70 and changing the indexation of payments.

But Mr Abbott said the government would keep its promise in the current term not to tinker with pensions.

“If there’s a lesson to be learnt from the quagmire the former government got itself into, it is keep your commitments, so we will,” he said.

Gellibrand MP Tim Watts said the Prime Minister must honour his commitment to 2.3 million Australian pensioners.