From: Keith Tennent
To: EDA President ; RSL Nat President ; Capricornia RSL President ; VVAA Sunshine Coast ; TVille VVFA ; Qld VVFA ; PVA Research and Benefits Member ; WA TPI ; ACT TPI ; PVA Secretary ; ACT RSL ; Barry Billing NSW VVAA ; RSL National ; NSW RSL ; NSW TPI ; Queensland RSL ; TPI Federation ; Vic TPI ; Victorian RSL ; VVFA National ; WA RSL ; Nat Coordinator Program ASIST ; President Pioneer-Fitzroy-Highlands RSL District ; Capricornia RSL Secretary ; Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia WA Branch ; Capricornia RSL Sub Branch List
Cc: Federal Parliamentary List ; Main Veterans List ; Ian McPhedran News Ltd ; Paul Dyer Journo News Limited ; Sasha Uzunov Freelance Journo ; Edith Bevan Journo ; Paul Cutler SBS ; Hugo Kelly Journo ; Paul Murray ; Alison Rehn Journo ; Qld Courier Mail Editor ; Frank Walker Fairfax ; Michael McKenna Australian ; Neil Wilson Herald Journo ; Michael Bailey Radio 4RO ; K Stevenson ; Chris Masters
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 3:30 PM
Subject: ESO PRESIDENT SAYS SOME COMPENSATION REMAINS UNJUST
From: EDA Secretary
To: Pat Ellis EDA
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 9:34 PM
Subject: Circular to Ex-Service Organisations.
This is a submission to all ESO'S for support.
We feel strongly about it but please do not think we are in anyway oposed to the Special rate for we agree with all you are fighting for and will support as best we can.
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Veterans will encourage young Australians not to enlist
under current circumstancesNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
EXTREMELY DISABLED WAR VETERANS (Inc.)
Patron: His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC (Ret)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
President: Pat Ellis Dip. MECH Eng, Ph/Fax: 02 9878 1143, Mob: 0425 226 264, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Helen Young, Ph/Fax: 02 4342 0206, Email: email@example.com
All correspondence to: The Secretary, PO Box 449, Woy Woy, NSW, 2256. Web Site: nationaleda.org.au
To all Ex-Service Organisations
Re: Diminution of EDA Pension
When the Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA) was introduced in 1986 it was 150% of the General Rate and T&PI (now known as the Special Rate) was 250% of the General Rate ? a difference of 100%. Since that date, the Special Rate has been indexed ? albeit partially at the CPI instead of MAWOTE in the past ten years ? whereas the EDA has not been indexed in that period. As a result, as at 20 September 2007, the EDA remains at 153.5% of the General Rate, whereas the Special Rate has increased to 290.6% of the General Rate ? a difference of 137%.
Following are the rates applicable from 20th September 2007
General Rate (100%) $322.80
Extreme Disablement Adjustment $495.40
Special Rate $938.00
You will be aware that in the May 2007 Federal Budget, EDA recipients did not receive any increase in their pensions.
When we questioned why we were totally ignored in the Budget, we were advised that Special and Intermediate Rate recipients received an increase in their benefits partly because of loss of earnings caused solely by service-related disabilities and the need to maintain their standard of living and that ?It is recognised that Special Rate and Intermediate Rate pensioners are unable to participate in the workforce while average wages and community living standards continue to rise?.
Does the Government mean that EDAs do not need also to enjoy the increases in community living standards?
EDAs receive their pensions for pain and suffering. We wrote to the Minister for Veterans? Affairs pointing out that 40% of the Special Rate pension is provided for pain and suffering and questioned why EDAs did not therefore receive 40% of the rise given to Special Rate recipients, ie 40% of $50 per fortnight = $20 per fortnight?
You will be aware that at the RSL Congress on 11 September 2007, the Prime Minister announced that from March 2008, EDAs will receive an extra $15 per fortnight. We are grateful for small mercies; however, this increase in our pensions does not address the diminution of our pensions over the past 21 years. In fact, compared to the Special Rate, it diminishes it?s value further.
Member of the Kindred Organisation Committee of the Returned & Services League of Australia
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There are approximately 13,500 EDAs living throughout Australia. Most are World War two veterans. Because of their ages (average age is 87) and their frailty, their attrition rate can be expected to escalate to the extent that in five years time there will be very few left. Any additional benefits provided to EDAs now will be greatly appreciated by these men and women and will not be a great burden on the budget into the future.
Many of our Vietnam Veterans who do not already receive the Special Rate will shortly be of an age where they will not be eligible to apply for the Special Rate. As their health deteriorates, their option will be the EDA. We are seeking the support of all Ex-Service Organisations for our push to have the EDA increased to $200% of the General Rate to bring it back to within 100% of the Special Rate ? the difference between the benefits when the EDA was introduced in 1986.