NO TO 70: Bobby Turner from Port Kembla stands up for a better retirement age.
NO TO 70: Bobby Turner from Port Kembla stands up for a better retirement age. Contributed

Budget is forcing Truckies to keep on driving

THIS week's much publicised Federal Budget handed down in Canberra had only bad news for truckies and transport workers.

No matter what side of the political fence you're on, there's no escaping the fact that transport families will suffer if these budget plans become law.

Leading the hits was the news that the Government now wants us to work until the ripe old age of 70 before we can access hard-earned retirement pensions.

Someone in Canberra doesn't seem to realise that the transport industry doesn't have cushy jobs that people can keep doing as their bodies descend into old age - drivers work physically and hard for the money they earn.

Just when your knees and back start giving in, when you should be able to relax and spend time with your family, you'll have no option but to carry on with the job or even worse, you'll have to try to get a different job doing something completely new until you reach the magic 70.

This is both unsustainable and potentially unsafe.

While you are working up until your 70th birthday, you'd also better make sure you don't have an accident or get injured at work.

Medicare is going to pulled apart with a new $7 Sick Tax and a host of other increases.

Under the new laws, a trip to the doctor that results in a blood test and a prescription will actually burn a $56.70 hole in the pocket of an everyday patient like you or one of your family.

The Treasurer says the $7 GP Tax is "less than two middies" and it may well be small beer if you live in Sydney's North Shore, but for a truckie in Wagga or a young transport family in Townsville, it's a different story because every dollar counts.

The only good news is there's a lot of argy bargy to come before these changes can get through the parliament and start affecting us.

We'll be fighting hard to stop or at least minimise any measures that will hurt transport workers and their families.

The TWU has always stood up to bad bosses, bad companies and bad work practices. Standing up to fight against bad government policies is just another way of doing our job. If you want to help us or get more involved, get in touch.