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pensioners

Bet and Bob Poole, Coogee

Healthcare and getting by are key concerns for Bet and Bob Poole, who are war veteran pensioners courtesy of Bob’s service as a merchant marine in World War II.

The retired, married couple receives $957.80 a fortnight in pension payments from the Federal Government.

“We’ve been married for 62 years – you don’t get that for murder – and I’ve felt like murdering him a few times,” Bet quips.

“If we have a banana, we’ve got to share it, because we can’t afford two.

“Because you get about $75 extra each if you’re a single pensioner, we know a few of them who are living together and saying they’re separated, which is all well and good as long as you don’t get caught.”

Bet has a heart condition that needs four prescriptions costing $21.20 per month to treat. Bob relies on two prescriptions for another ailment, which cost him $10.60. The couple’s income includes a combined monthly rebate of $10 for prescriptions.
Bet and Bob say any decrease in their combined $11.20 prescription gap would be most welcome.

The couple has private health insurance, which they say they will have to surrender if Treasurer Wayne Swan cuts the 30 per cent private health insurance subsidy.

“If the Government wipes that 30 per cent, I won’t be able to be in it,” Bet says.

“Sooner or later, I am going to have to have my main (heart) valve replaced, and even if I have got private insurance that will cost thousands and thousands to replace.”

Bet says a push by the Pensioners’ League for an extra $30 per week income for single pensioners would not help her or Bob.

“We’re not going to get anything because we’re married, so if I divorce him, I’ll get $30,” she says.

Regardless, she resents that a pay rise for pensioners is even in question when federal politicians have just received one.

“They’re going to give themselves $90 per week and they’re trying to lower that $30 right down to nothing, and that stinks,” Bet says.

Electricity, gas and water prices are going through the roof.

“If we don’t get something in the budget, it means a lot of the pensioners are not going to eat.”

Bob says there should be greater health support for his former comrades injured in war.
www.watoday.com.au

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Entertainment

Entertainment

The sun shone. The beer flowed. The Four’n Twenty meat pies were a hit. The Aussies thrashed the Poms. The Americans were largely clueless about what they were watching.

That sums up the second annual Westfield Hollywood Ashes cricket match held on the picturesque Woodley Park cricket field in Los Angeles on Saturday, with retired Australian paceman victory.

leading a team of Australian celebrities and ring-ins to a 29 run victory.

England were the favourites for the Twenty 20 contest.

At last year’s inaugural Hollywood Ashes, England scored a one run upset victory over an Australian team led by one of the all-time greats, Steve Waugh.

With lanky 65 test veteran Graham Hick at the helm this year, the English team also included actor Julian Sands, a star of the action TV series 24, and 65-year-old UK and US Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman.

England also had plenty of celebrities in the VIP tent, including Monty Python funnyman Eric Idle and comedienne Tracey Ullman, the game’s official “coin tosser”.

“It is one of the greatest wins of my entire cricket career,” Kasprowicz, a 38 test and 43 one day international veteran for Australia, said with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

“Nineteen years of first class cricket, so yeah, as you can see it is a big moment.

“I’m glowing.”

Australia batted first and set the healthy target of 153, with Kasprowicz the top scorer with 29 not out off 17 balls, and former Perfect Match host Cameron Daddo drawing on his high school cricket days to add a quick fire 23 off 17 balls.

England managed just 135, with Hick scoring 20 not out.

Jessie Spencer , a star on the TV series House, and celebrity chef Curtis Stone, were late scratchings from the Australian team but former Calvin Klein underwear model model Travis Fimmel was a favourite among the female fans in the 800 or so strong crowd.

Fimmel, however, was limp with the bat, scoring a duck.

Kasprowicz gave a one word answer when asked after the victory if any members of his team may be good enough to sneak a spot in Australia’s test or one day team.

“No,” Kasprowicz replied.

Daddo was not so sure.

“I disagree with that,” LA-based Daddo, 44, who has appeared in numerous US TV series including 24, Without a Trace and Boston Legal, said.

“I think Travis has a good shot and I think I can carry the drinks for the test team.”

The biggest laugh came when an American spectator watching her first cricket game asked why it was called “The Ashes”.

“Who died?” she asked.

http://www.thewest.com.au

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