Australians on aged pensions will be hit hard by the Abbott government’s needless Commission of Audit, says Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer.
Mr Palmer said the recommendation to raise eligibility for the age pension to 70 by 2053 and include the family home in a new means test from 2027 were an unnecessary attack on elderly Australians.
Mr Palmer said the Palmer United Party’s policy at the last federal election was to increase the amount paid to an aged pensioner, not increase the age of when a person is entitled to the aged pension.
“The Commission of Audit’s recommended changes to the aged pension will not be supported by the Palmer United Party,” he said.
“We want to protect the rights of our senior citizens and in fact the Palmer United Party is offering free membership to aged pensioners. The party will work very hard to sway public opinion that it is wrong to increase the age of entitlement and also include the family home in a means test.”
Mr Palmer said Australia is one of 13 countries with an AAA credit rating so we can afford to pay our old age pensioners what they deserve.
“It is fine for Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey to say they want to increase the age of the aged pension because they don’t have to worry, they will receive a parliamentary pension,” he said.
“The government should not be raiding and pilfering from our aged pensioners. Only seven OECD countries spend less than Australia on their pensioners.”
Mr Palmer said there was not even a need for a Commission of Audit as OECD figures show Australia has one of the healthiest economies in the world.
“Australia has the third lowest total of central government debt in the OECD so there is no need for this attack from the Abbott government,” he said.
“Australia’s net debt to GDP has only increased marginally from 11 per cent to 11.7 per cent since 2010, while over the same period the OECD average has increased to around 70 per cent.”