Seniors in for a free ride after latest election promise
SENIORS soon could be riding the bus for free or getting cheaper driving licences.
That's a commitment made by the LNP in a bid to ease cost of living pressures by $720 for seniors in Queensland.
And it's news welcomed by Mackay pensioner Margaret Matthews, a member of the QCWA who believes government could do more to support the state's seniors.
Yesterday Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls promised the the cost of renewing a driver's licence would be halved for Queenslanders with a Seniors Card.
"Currently, holders of a Queensland Seniors Card are not eligible for any concessions on driver's licence fees," he said.
Current prices for licences vary on price depending on it's expiry. A one year licence costs $76.25, while a five year licence costs $170.75
Mr Nicholls claims seniors could expect a discount that would see driver's licence fees range from $36 to $82.
Ms Matthews, 67, has been on the pension for two years and receives a payment of about $800 a fortnight.
While she says it gets her by, she believes more is needed to assist older residents. "I'd like to see concessions for taxis, public transport, anything to help the seniors because there's going to more and more of us," she said. "We're all getting older, we're not getting any younger."
The LNP has also proposed bus and rail travel in off-peak times free for senior go card holders.
"This will mean that many of the 20 million public transport trips seniors make each year will be free," LNP Shadow Seniors Minister Ros Bates said.
Ms Bates said the LNP understood increases in the cost of living made it hard for Queenslanders to make ends meet - especially those on fixed incomes such as seniors and aged pensioners.
While Ms Matthews prefers to walk rather than catch public transport, she welcomed the decision.
"Once you get to a certain age sometimes you don't feel comfortable driving and that's the only way (to get around sometimes)."
However, Ms Matthews noted that for the public transport in Mackay to assist the elderly, there needed to be improved routes and more frequent services.
"The buses don't run where a lot of the seniors are," she said.