Federal Budget 2016 Positioning Statement


This year COTA Australia did not submit a detailed Pre-Budget Submission. Our experience is that “set piece” submissions have limited value in impacting on policy formulation for federal budgets in today’s political, bureaucratic, economic and digital environment.

COTA Australia is intimately involved in the identification of policy issues and their dimensions, discussion and debate about options for moving constructively forward on their resolution, and the generation of stakeholder support for constructive bipartisan outcomes, across a range of key policy areas affecting older Australians.

In the current policy environment these are fluid processes in which fixed positioning is often unhelpful to a constructive outcome. The process of opening up policy options and generating support for viable and sustainable steps forward is as critical as the articulation of theoretically desirable “solutions”. Achieving an optimal outcome is often an incremental process for a period of time or over a series of steps until a ‘tipping point’ is reached and a qualitative shift occurs.

By way of example, COTA Australia has for about two years been arguing for an independent, holistic and comprehensive retirement incomes review, covering pensions, superannuation, taxation, housing, and major retirement costs such as aged care. The Review would be commissioned to propose an equitable, sustainable and income-optimising retirement incomes policy framework that would receive multi-partisan support in respect of its core settings and would therefore be in place for the next two to three decades without fiddling. Such a policy framework would engender confidence in the community and across the financial services sector.