LOCAL Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker has hit back at claims he's let down pensioners in the electorate by pointing to the Gillard Government's track record in supporting the demographic.
Earlier this week Mr Hartsuyker was accused by Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury of voting against an increase in payments and assistance for the 33,100 local pensioners in the Cowper electorate.
Mr Hartsuyker said that pensioners are only getting a cash hand out from the Government because Julia Gillard's carbon tax will drive up the cost of everything.
"The cash payments will be received with one hand and paid with the other," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"The reality is the Gillard Government's carbon tax will increase the cost of electricity and everything else we buy.
"The Government claims that Australians will be 20 cents a week better off under a carbon tax, once they receive Government payments but no one believes Government compensation will cover for the increase in the cost living.
"Day after day we see more examples of how the carbon tax will impose additional costs on Australian families and small business. Councils on the North Coast could be facing a carbon tax bill of more than $575,000 - and that is just for the cost of their rubbish tips.
"Small businesses such as butchers and bakers will have no choice but to raise the cost of goods. Hospitals services will be at risk as funds are diverted to pay for power prices hikes. And local manufacturers will struggle to compete with overseas imports.
"In the end pensioners, working families, small business and government services will all pay the price for this Government's carbon tax. And let's remember that these most recent payments are being paid for with borrowed money. This debt will have to be repaid by future generations.
"In the end the Government is placing extra cost pressures on all Australians and then borrowing billions of dollars to cover for those costs. You don't have to be Einstein to see through the absolute stupidity of this policy and the additional financial strain this will place on all North Coast residents."