Labor, Coalition pledge to assist veterans

The Coalition has pledged $45.

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6 million for initiatives to veterans and their families to assist with cost of living expenses and pharmaceutical costs.

If elected, the Coalition will remove out-of-pocket expenses for pharmaceuticals for disabled veterans in receipt of 50 per cent of the General Rate of Disability Pension, or higher, from 1 January 2012.

The Coalition says this will enable more than 87,000 veteran disability pensioners, including our most disabled veterans, to save up to $168 per year.

This extension of the Pharmaceutical Safety net will cost $38 million.

The Coalition says it would establish a website for networking, information and advice to identify, contact and encourage eligible indigenous war widows to apply for entitlements.

Providing support to help Veterans make the transition from post-deployment and military life by providing 24 hours a day counselling service is also a core promise made by the Coalition.

The Coalition will provide $7.5 million to expand programmes to assist ex-service organisations to provide pension and welfare to claim assistance from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Also, $100,000 will go towards the building of a memorial for those who lost their lives on the Montevideo Maru and in the Fall of Rabaul in 1942.

Labor to cover chemist costs

Labor has also promised to cover out-of-pocket chemist costs for some military veterans.

Veterans Affairs Minister Alan Griffin says about 70,000 veterans will be eligible under the commitment with the repayments to be issued annually.

The total cost of the program will be slightly above $18 million over three years.

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