An expansion of the eligibility criteria of the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card has failed to include seniors who receive a carer’s payment or disability support pension.
The Liberal-National Government has bowed to pressure from Labor and the community to include DVA Gold card holders in the scheme but have stopped short of helping the neediest and most vulnerable seniors in regional communities. Only seniors in receipt of the Aged Pension are able to apply.
Labor Shadow Minister for Seniors and the Cost of Living, Jo Haylen said: “I am furious seniors on the disability support pension have been forgotten again. So many people are missing out, this just isn’t the same card the Nationals’ promised during the election.”
Labor Shadow Minister for Disability Inclusion, Penny Sharpe added: “It is insulting the Nationals think some of the most vulnerable people in the State don’t deserve their support. Seniors with a disability are faced with many barriers getting around, especially when they live in rural or regional areas.”
Labor Shadow Minister for Better Public Services, Sophie Cotsis said: “It heartbreaking to hear stories of seniors with a disability being turned away from Service NSW centres. The Deputy Premier must explain why he has excluded them from this expansion.”
The card was released later than promised, has to be applied for online, and is critically underfunded by $135 million over three years, meaning that over half of eligible seniors may miss out. Entire communities in the Blue Mountains, Hunter and Central Coast and Illawarra are missing out because they are deemed to be in “metropolitan” regions.