Scott Morrison scraps Government plans to raise pension age to 70

| 05.09,18. 04:53 PM |




Scott Morrison scraps Government plans to raise pension age to 70




Morrison scraps plan to raise pension age (ABC News)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dumped the plan to raise the pension age to 70, announcing the decision on breakfast television even before Cabinet has formally agreed to it.


It was one of the issues on which Labor had repeatedly attacked the Government, especially highlighting the impact for people with physically difficult jobs.


Former treasurer Joe Hockey announced the plan to lift the pension age from 67 to 70 in his controversial 2014 budget in a bid to help fund the cost of the ageing population.


The Senate has refused to ever agree to legislation to formalise the change, but until today the Government had stuck to the policy.


Mr Morrison told Channel Nine he did not think the measure was needed anymore.


"It is one of the things I will be changing pretty quickly," Mr Morrison told Channel Nine this morning after facing a question on it from a viewer about why he thought it was a good idea to have everybody working until they are 70.


He said he had been contemplating the change for some time.


But the Opposition has labelled it panic and a sign of desperation.


Labor leader Bill Shorten noted that the Coalition had argued for the policy since 2014.


"Mr Morrison for years has wanted Australians to work to the age of 70. As recently as July this year he said that was his commitment," Mr Shorten said.


"Now he wants to drop it because he is worried about losing his day job."


New South Wales MP Stephen Jones joined the Opposition Leader in pointing out this had been Labor's position for years.


70 was a step too far, Deputy PM says


Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said overturning the previous policy it was a "pragmatic, sensible move".


"I think if you are a tradie, or a brickie or a shearer in rural and regional Australia you don't want some suit in Canberra telling you you are going to have to work until you're 70," Mr McCormack told Sky.


"It's hard, back-breaking work what a lot of our people do and I think being told that they are going to have to work until 70 I think was probably a step too far."


It is the first major policy backdown Mr Morrison has made since becoming PM.


"I was going to say this next week, but I may as well say it here, I have already consulted my colleagues on that and next week Cabinet will be ratifying a decision to reverse taking the retirement age to 70," he said.


It will remain at 67, which is what Labor increased it to.


"The pension age going to 70, gone," Mr Morrison said.


Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm slammed the decision and argued the age pension age should be gradually lifted.


He said "with increasing health and life expectancy, thousands of older Australians are set to spend many years on welfare despite still being able to work and pay their own way".


Senator Leyonhjelm said the move was a sign the Government does not take budget repair seriously.


"This is not how the grandparents of Australia should be looking after their grandchildren," he said.


Deloitte Access Economics economist Chris Richardson called it a policy mistake to reverse the increase in the pension age.


"I would put it down very much to politics," Mr Richardson said, noting that the new PM was trying to get rid of an unpopular policy in the face of bad opinion polls.


"It is a mistake and it does overturn a courageous decision.


"With politics as populist as it is at the moment and with a government behind in the polls it is entirely understandable that the Government is going to dump things that are unpopular.


"But just because something is unpopular doesn't mean it wasn't the right call in the first place."


Jobs not pensions says Council on the Ageing


The Council on the ageing welcomed the move, saying there is no point raising the pension age further because people who want to work longer are often locked out of even being considered for jobs because of age discrimination.


COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said the Government should instead focus on lifting the workforce participation rate for people over 55 and supporting people who want to work into their 70s.


He said that would contribute more to the budget than raising the pension age further could ever save, "and it will result in better retirement incomes for many retirees, again saving the budget".


The pension age has already started going up from 65.


The plan to lift the pension age in the 2014 budget was based on a recommendation of the National Commission of Audit, which said it should be linked to rising life expectancy.


"Not only are people now experiencing longer retirements, but changes in the nature of work and improvements to medical technology have meant that many (though not necessarily all) people are also experiencing healthier and more active retirements," the report said.


abc


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Peter Dutton's au pair interventions slammed by former Immigration insiders Australia's economic growth jumps to 3.4 per cent in the June quarter NSW تسجّل أكثر السنوات جفافاً منذ العام 1965 Interest rates still on hold at record low of 1.5pc as economy looks set to slow Westpac hit with $35m penalty to settle irresponsible home loan case with ASIC Mother killed in hit-run crash was learning to help grieving families Meningococcal disease kills NSW Central Coast university student Aussie dollar sinks and could keep falling Australian home price slide worsens, Melbourne leads real estate fall Dairy industry group calls for drought milk levy of 10 cents a litre that would flow back to farmers Detention centre set alight during riot after young man taken to hospital with serious injuries Man hit by car, six others injured in brawl outside Collingwood nightclub 130yo Brisbane hotel destroyed by fire months after development application dropped Police fatally shoot man in Central Queensland Church's response to child abuse royal commission due Friday ‘All smoke is toxic… avoid at all costs’ Dire warning issued as Melbourne factory fire continues to burn 'If you don't like what Westpac's done, go to another bank': Morrison slams rate hike Bill Shorten uses GST to pressure Liberals in WA as Labor targets marginal seats Westpac raises variable mortgage rates Mortgage refinance rejection spike exposes number of Australians in debt distress Peter Dutton defends au pair intervention after political donations as Labor calls for inquiry Tony Abbott looks set to accept job as Indigenous Affairs envoy Houses shake, windows rattle as 'scary' fireball lights up the Perth sky with a sonic boom Uber driver charged with rape of 17-year-old girl after Bondi drop off House fire in Sydney's inner-west kills man who re-entered home to fight blaze Car catches fire after hitting kangaroo on Monaro Highway, sparking grassfire Turnbull to resign from Parliament on Friday 'A good start': Queensland receives biggest rainfall since April Scott Morrison announces new ministry with Julie Bishop replaced by Marise Payne as foreign affairs minister Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg get to work on first day in top jobs, as Liberals pick through wreckage