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Pensioners call for $45 a week pay rise

By Susanna Dunkerley
16 Mar 2009 12:55 PM

CANBERRA, March 16 AAP - Pensioners are demanding the federal government increase the single aged pension by $45 a week in the May budget.

A group of pensioners will meet with Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin on Tuesday in a last-ditch bid to put their case.

The government is expected to lift the single aged pension by about $30 a week.

But The Fair Go For Pensioners Coalition says that won't be enough for seniors struggling to make ends meet.

Many pensioners, who had worked hard all their lives, were now living in poverty, it said.

"Many of us are children of the Depression, were teenagers in the war years and brought up our families after the war," coalition spokesperson Frank Cherry told reporters in Canberra.

Most never had the opportunity to access superannuation and were forced to rely on the aged pension.

"It's a battle from week to week."

The coalition has vowed to pursue the government if changes were not made in the budget.

"We (will hold) big meetings and rallies right around Australia, but we won't be stripping off," Mr Cherry said, referring a Melbourne protest last year during which angry pensioners made headlines by taking off their clothes.