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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Planned pension changes raise grey hackles

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A new poll has revealed the high levels of concern about any changes to the pension with more than 70 per cent of Australians against raising the pension age to 70. 

Image from http://retirement-homes-bulgaria.com
Image from http://retirement-homes-bulgaria.com

The Essential Research poll released this week reveals:

• 71 per cent of respondents disapprove of raising the pension age to 70;

• 72 per cent believe that Australians should be able to receive the age pension at 65 or younger with only ten per cent happy to wait to 70; and

• 82 per cent of those aged 55-64 disapprove of including the value of the family home in the assets test for eligibility for the age pension.

Ian Yates, chief executive of seniors’ advocacy group COTA Australia, called on the federal government to acknowledge its clear pre-election promise to make no changes to the age pension and listen to the overwhelming opinions of the electorate.

‘Mr Hockey continues to point first off to pensions and aged care needing to be cut because the budget is in crisis and they are going to make it worse,’ Mr Yates said.

‘Yet the figures the treasurer has released simply don’t support this.

‘According to tables the treasurer released from the Commission of Audit, GDP is rising at a rate of 5.1 per cent and government outlays only at the slightly higher 5.3 per cent – pointing to the need for tightening but not for major cuts to seniors’ living standards.

‘Similarly, pensions are projected to rise at a rate of 6.2 per cent – a modest and sustainable figure given the sizeable rise in the numbers of older Australians in future years, about which we have known for a long time. Indeed, the 2009 Pension Review, which had bipartisan support, confirmed the age pension is sustainable over coming decades.

‘The treasurer’s speech focused on expenditure but not on government revenue and we need to discuss how government pays for the things taxpayers expect it to provide.

‘Critically, the figures the treasurer released leave out the generous tax concessions paid on compulsory superannuation – which benefit the top income earners and are not paid to low income earners at all.

‘An Australian Institute analysis released this week shows that superannuation concessions are higher than the costs of the pension, so the question must be asked: why is the treasurer intent on targeting those who can least afford it, Australia’s pensioners?

‘Australians see the age pension and provision of health and aged care as core business of government and took the government at its word at the last election.

‘It’s time for a comprehensive and holistic look at retirement needs and the ageing population, not this piecemeal approach which targets some people and not others,’ Mr Yates said.

View the Essential Research poll here: http://essentialvision.com.au/category/essentialreport

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. The easiest way to raise additional revenue from the elitist aged pensioner is to increase excise on poker machine tax? No one is harmed, only those foolish to continue playing the poker machine.

  2. The Coalition, in time-honoured fashion, is determined to offer tax cuts in the run-up to the next election. It must therefore find ways to cut expenditure now as an end in itself. It has nothing to do with good policy; it’s about electoral politics. It knows most people will have forgotten the cuts by 2016.

  3. Create a budget crisis ( there is no crisis ) , use that as an excuse to attack the most week and vulnerable in society . Then use the proceeds to give welfare and tax cuts to people that need it the least . Bribing them for their votes at the next election . Thats standard modus operandi for both the State and Federal Liberal Party since John Howard who was the first Australian Prime Minister in Australian history to give welfare to the middle classes . But of coarse once you give welfare to someone as well as tax cuts not to mention funding their children’s private education . It’s very difficult to take it back off them . Solution ! signal out aged pensioners , war veterans , disability pensioners , the unemployed , in other words the people they deem to be unworthy , who they see as the soft targets , the ones who’s voice is not as loud as others and take it from them . Just what sort of society are we becoming ? Mean , ruthless , self centred , selfish , cold , heartless people , certainly anything but Christian . And their army of [fawning sycophants] in the media , shock jocks , Commercial TV and Murdock papers are all right behind it . Shame on you all .

  4. Couldn’t agree more Graco.

    Good article, Echo. Keep telling it like it is. Us oldies combined should not be underestimated by this miserable government. Kck them out at the first opportunity.

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