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Nats vow to top up regional WA pensioner fuel cards if elected in 2021

More than 5000 Albany pensioners could pocket an extra $25 a year to cover travel costs if the Nationals WA return to Government in 2021.

Nationals WA leader Mia Davies visited Albany on Friday to reveal a “key State election policy” to commit $20 million of Royalties for Regions funding to boosting Country Age Pension Fuel Cards if elected.

The scheme aims to support regional pensioners faced with higher fuel costs and taxi charges, with little to no public transport options compared to their Perth counterparts.

About 55,000 regional pensioners and people with disability receive up to $575 a year on the cards, but the Nationals WA want to see that go up in line with the Consumer Price Index.

“We are remedying the fact that the McGowan Government … took away the CPI indexing and have left the card languishing at the same value as when we left government,” Ms Davies said.

After the COVID-19 pandemic rendered many cardholders unable to travel, the Nationals WA have pushed to see the unspent funds rolled over to the next budget.

Albany cardholder June Richardson, 82, said the scheme had been a huge help.

“There’s a lot of people in Albany, aged people, that sometimes struggle,” she said.

“You have people here that have to travel to Perth. I’ve done it with my husband for cancer treatment and radiation and you are doing nearly 1000km round trip,” she said.

“It’s all extra expense that you would have to pay for if we didn’t get this.”

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