LABOR WILL MAINTAIN A FAIR PENSION SYSTEM
June 18, 2016
A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australia’s pension system is fair and sustainable into the future.
Labor believes that pensioners deserve dignity in retirement. We also believe that people who rely on the disability support pension and the carer payment should not be forced to live in poverty.
That is why Labor fought so hard against the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s plan to cut pension indexation.
If the Liberals had got their way the pension would have been cut by $80 a week over ten years. Every single member of the Abbott-Turnbull Government voted to cut the pension.
Make no mistake if the Abbott-Turnbull is re-elected they will try to cut pension indexation again.
Labor also opposed the Liberals/Greens cuts to the assets test for the pension because we believe the policy is flawed. We believe these cuts will impose disincentives to save, and strong incentives to spend down assets.
Over time, these changes put at risk the sustainability of the retirement incomes system as a whole.
That is why Labor will commission a comprehensive review of the pension means test to make sure that it is as well designed as it can be to meet its aims.
MAINTAIN THE CURRENT PENSION AGE
A Shorten Labor Government will not increase the pension age to 70.
In 2014, the Liberals announced that they would increase the pension age to 70 – giving Australia the oldest pension age in the developed world.
This change will hurt low income workers, blue collar workers, farmers and many women.
Labor has steadfastly opposed this change to the pension age since it was introduced in 2014, and we will continue to do so.
AGE PENSION PORTABILITY
A Shorten Labor Government will scrap Malcolm Turnbull’s plans to reduce the period of time pensioners can spend overseas and keep their full pension.
Under current rules, pensioners can spend 26 weeks overseas before their pension is reduced, at a rate depending on the length of time they have lived in Australia.
The Liberals want to reduce this period to 6 weeks.
That means 190,000 pensions who were born overseas will receive a reduced pension when they visit family or friends in their home country.
Labor will not proceed with the Turnbull Government’s abolition of the Pensioner Education Supplement.
We will also not proceed with the Turnbull Government’s abolition of the Education Entry Payment.
These cuts are harsh, they are unfair and they will not proceed under Labor.
In every single one of their Budgets the Abbott-Turnbull Government has tried to cut the pension.
By contrast it was Labor that increased the pension by $30 a week in 2009 – the largest increase to the pension in its history.
The evidence is clear – pensioners will always be better off under Labor.
For more details on Labor’s positive plans, please visit: http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/a_fair_pension_system_fact_sheet