Mr McGowan said it was clear many West Australians were struggling, missed by the State’s mining boom.
‘You learn that a lot of people are doing it tough, a lot of people don’t have the big incomes from the mining sector that allow them to cope with cost of living pressures, that’s a theme that comes all the time at these forums,’ he said. ‘Generally West Australians have some concerns on the cuts to seniors and this was an opportunity to speak to them but the questions went way beyond the cusp of seniors.’
The State Government made changes to the cost of living rebate after Federal Government cuts to funding.
The 2014 cost of living rebate payment is $82 for singles and $123 for couples.
Premier Colin Barnett said while the cut to the rebate was regrettable, it was important to recognise the WA Government had not changed its allocation for seniors’ concessions.
‘The simple fact is that the Federal Government has reduced funding to Western Australia for seniors concessions by $107 million over the next four years under the National Partnership Agreement,’ he said.
‘Reducing the Cost of Living Rebate, which no other state provides for seniors, is the fairest option for dealing with that shortfall.
‘We still offer the most generous concessions to seniors in the country.’