It was US president Herbert Hoover who promised Americans a chicken in every pot during the Great Depression.
On Tuesday Treasurer Wayne Swan’s Budget will announce a scheme to give pensioners free set-top boxes to convert analog television to digital.
The $308.8 million scheme will provide a set-top-box for people who qualify for the maximum rate of the age pension, war service pension, carer’s pension or the disability support pension.
The digital switchover began in the Mildura region last year and is being rolled out to metropolitan cities by the end of 2013.
But concerns have been raised following recent natural disasters that the digital switchover could mean pensioners miss out on emergency-services alerts.
Assistance offered in regional areas of NSW, Victoria and South Australia will be extended to cities.
At no cost to eligible households, the Government will supply a set-top box and install it on the person’s analog TV.
“Senior Australians deserved the historic increase in the pension we provided, and they deserve this help to make the switch to digital TV,” Swan said.
“The switch to digital is not always easy, particularly for the elderly, veterans and carers under cost-of-living pressures, so this measure will make sure Australians on maximum-rate pensions aren’t left behind.”
It isn’t initially clear if the scheme provides a digital set-top box in standard or high definition, with some channels such as ONE, 7mate and GEM available to viewers with an HD set top box.
Source: News Limited