Leading seniors advocates COTA Australia said the fresh debate on superannuation, taxation, the seniors supplement and the age pension point to the need for a comprehensive review of Australia’s retirement income system.
COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said it was encouraging that politicians and the broader community were starting to realise just how inter-related all these policies are and why they need to be reviewed collectively if we are to get the best outcome for Australia’s ageing population and the Budget.
“Again today interest groups are talking about individual proposals for parts of the retirement income system and debating their respective merits one by one.
“Instead we need to put them all on the table, see what will work and what won’t, and develop a retirement incomes system that is fair and sustainable for the long term.
“Some of the ideas ACOSS has put forward have merit and we welcome their input in the discussion, especially their call to government to take off the table the proposal to change pension indexation to CPI only.
“However there is more work that would need to be done on the impact of other suggested changes to pension taper rates and eligibility.
“What is clear is that Australia needs a new retirement incomes system, based on careful planning, good evidence and a solid consensus.
“Only an independent expert review of all the policies in play, looking at the winners and losers and sustainability of existing policies, and canvassing the range of new ideas put forward by academics, interest groups and others over the last couple of years, will give Australia a strong foundation on which to build our future.
“Let’s end the piecemeal discussions and do this properly.”
Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Jemma Williams 0409 510 879.
COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.