Give & take budget is bittersweet

OF ALL the budget ups and downs, there was one $2.7 billion allocation few could argue was anything but long overdue.

Successive governments have previously dismissed pensioners in the carve up of the national pie.

The weekly boost of $32 for single pensioners will go a long, long way for those forced to watch every cent.

And in our region, that's a fact of life for many.

On the flipside, the government has been accused of giving with one hand and taking with the other.

By raising the retirement age to 67 - graduated over six years - the long-term savings to the national bank account are of course massive.

But for now, no-one benefiting from the extra cash on offer during these tough times is about to argue.

The other bright light of common sense to come out of the otherwise uninspiring budget was the recognition of carers - the “unsung heroes of our community” as Treasurer Wayne Swan labelled them.

More often than not, carers spend their lives putting their own needs second to those they care for. Now they, and their 'dependant', will receive a $600 payment annually as recognition if nothing else.

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