Pensioner Politician

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Politician Norma Jamieson is targeting pensioners who keep asking for more and is going to live like one to prove it.
"There are people out there who need to be more judicious with the way they spend their money and they seem to think this is a right," Norma said.
The 67-year-old Tasmanian independent is going to live like pensioners do, forgoing her Parliamentary salary and expense card to survive on the single pension, at $270.00 a week.

"This is coming back to being frugal, using your common sense," she said.
"i've got no objections about going to Vinnies for example or a second hand clothes store, a jumper was given to me and I'm quite happy to wear it."
It could be a stance that leaves her as unpopular with pensioners as Pauline Hanson was with Asians. Regardless, Norma's determined to prove if you can't survive on the pension you simply aren't trying.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he couldn't do it.... Julia Gillard, predictably agreed. Former opposition leader Brendan Nelson went down fighting for an extra thirty dollars... but until now none of the big names had put the pension to the test.... that's been left to this little known Tasmanian.

To simulate life as a pensioner, Norma who owns her own her own home has deducted all her expenses for her rates, insurance, power and petrol.

"It leaves me one hundred and thirty dollars and normally unless I went off to an expensive movie or play or something like that I normally wouldn't spend one hundred and thirty dollars on myself anyway."

That's plenty, according to Norma to cover the weeks groceries, a haircut and the odd cup of coffee.

A stark contrast to the stories of hardship we've come across in recent months with elderly citizens unable to afford food or even a roof over their heads but Norma's not buying it.

"It's a bit like the baby bonus. How stupid can you be.... giving people five or six thousand dollars to have a baby? You ask the taxi drivers... you ask the bottle department, you ask a gaming machine, hotels and things like that... they all had an increase in people going in spending their money, it didn't go towards the baby.... and you think the same will happen if you increase the pension? There is a very real chance that would happen," claims Norma.

It's that way of thinking that has Norma spruiking vouchers... not cash... as the solution. Because she believes the pensioners who are complaining are proof themselves that they can't manage money.

Even oldies who rely on hand outs are under attack.

"You know the food vans out there for people in our cities... everybody has a basic pension it's the way they are spending it seems to be the problem. "

A bit harsh... considering petrol, food, rates and rent are all up.

According to Norma it all comes down to forward planning decades in advance and day to day priorities, like food choices.

But then again, Norma's only living these staples for two weeks... not two decades.

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