The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will call on the Prime Minister in Question Time today to commit to raising the TPI Special Rate, which is paid to severely wounded or injured veterans and has fallen well behind the minimum wage.
He will be available to discuss this matter with Ms Pat McCabe OAM, the President of the Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Ex-Servicemen and Women.
“The TPI Special Rate is for severely disabled veterans who are never able to go back to work,” Mr Wilkie said. “Specifically the ‘economic loss’ component of the payment is designed to compensate veterans for not being able to work.
“But the ‘economic loss’ component has fallen further and further behind wages growth to the point where it is now only about 65% of the minimum wage. This is clearly unfair and unacceptable.
“The Parliamentary Budget Office has costed an effective increase in the TPI Special Rate ‘economic loss’ component at approximately $240m a year. Surely this is a small price to pay to look after those who have served Australia and now need our help.
“What we need is the political will to make this happen. I hope that the Prime Minister will listen to the concerns of the community and the TPI Federation, and commit to immediately adjusting the TPI Special Rate so that the almost 28,000 recipients receive the respect, and support, they deserve.”
A copy of Mr Wilkie’s question is below.
Andrew Wilkie question to the PM HoR 17 Oct 17
Prime Minister, the TPI Federation has written to you repeatedly seeking a resolution to the dreadful situation where almost 28,000 totally and permanently incapacitated veterans have seen their “economic loss”’ compensation fall to just 65 per cent of the minimum wage.
Prime Minister, given the gravity of this issue, and the Parliamentary Budget Office’s validation of the independent analysis supporting the claim by the TPI Federation, will you now take personal responsibility and intervene to facilitate an immediate increase of $176 a week in the “economic loss” compensation payments to Australia’s TPI veterans?