At least one political party would consider a universal age pension

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More than seven in 10 older Australians say the Federal Government is not doing enough to support retirees, according to YourLifeChoices research.

Those Australians will have their voices heard at the federal election on 18 May.

There are approximately 300,000 more voters aged 70 and over enrolled to vote than there were for the 2016 election – a 13 per cent increase. In the same time, enrolments for voters aged 18 to 34 grew by about three per cent.

In the 2019 Insights Survey, which received almost 8000 responses, you said you wanted: an increase in the Age Pension, to be able to earn more without losing Age Pension entitlements and better access to Centrelink.

Further polling revealed your top five concerns to be:

  • increasing the base rate of the Age Pension; considering a universal age pension
  • addressing climate change
  • gaining better access to medicines and diagnostics, universal dental care, improved private health insurance subsidies
  • developing incentives to work past the age pension age without being financially penalised in terms of pension entitlements
  • gaining easier access to Centrelink resources and quicker responses.

 

On your behalf, we presented them to the three major parties – the Greens, Liberals and Labor – for comment. Today, we present the Greens’ responses.

1. Increase the base rate of the Age Pension; consider a universal age pension
The Greens are committed to addressing the structural barriers that older Australians on low incomes are facing, including better access to safe and affordable housing and increasing the rate of income support payments, such as Newstart, to assist older Australians before they reach age pension age.

We would establish an Independent Equality Commission, which would be responsible for setting the rates of income support payments and would consider the establishment of a universal age pension.

2. Address climate change
Climate change threatens our way of life and the lives of our children and grandchildren and that is why we need to transition our economy to clean energy. By transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy, re-regulating electricity prices and establishing a pubic energy retailer, we can lower energy bills and ensure a safer future for all.

The Greens would also increase the Energy Supplement by 30 per cent. By shifting to clean energy, Australia can future proof our economy and create a new clean export economy exporting clean energy to the world.

3. Healthcare: better access to medicines and diagnostics, universal dental care, improved private health insurance subsidies
The Greens would create a truly universal health system designed to keep people well, which provides the care you need when you need it, regardless of your illness, postcode or bank balance.

We would also address the acute problem of public hospital waiting lists through an additional injection of funding. Our plan includes: universal dental care, increased investment in Medicare and the redirection of the private health insurance rebate into public healthcare.

4. More incentive to work past the age pension age without being financially penalised in terms of pension entitlements
The Greens believe older Australians should be able to continue working past the age pension age without being unfairly penalised financially. We support improving the employment outcomes for older Australians through flexible work arrangements, skills development and protection against age discrimination.

Easier access to Centrelink resources and quicker responses
The Greens consistently advocate on behalf of all Australians to make Centrelink more accessible, effective and efficient. We are committed to ensuring older Australians are able to access Centrelink resources and will continue to hold the Government to account regarding Centrelink wait times and application processing times.

Do you believe the Greens can put sufficient pressure on the Government to achieve their policy agendas?

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Written by Janelle Ward

97 Comments

Total Comments: 97
  1. 0
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    The Greens can promise anything..they will never be in position to grant it!

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      The Greens are known to be an adversary of older Australians because they believe we owe them and our assets should be totally consumed before the old age pension is able to be accessed.
      Not sure where this story came from but The Greens are certainly not offering those eaking out a living from a few assets anything. Its not in their genY DNA.

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      Yes – I forgot that one from the Groans, Mick…. can’t keep on top of everything…

      Stupidest policy I ever heard, same as forcing unemployed to wind down all assets before receiving sustenance.. stupid that… all it means is they have nothing more than sustenance, thus making it harder to even get work, then it also means they have less for their future retirement, since they will have to rebuild their assets – sometimes again and again.

      The only requirement for pension should be that you are retired and eligible (eligibility may change under a universal pension), and for unemployment benefits that you are unemployed.

      Where is the value of taking anyone down to zero all the time? How does that help offset the miniscule payment they may receive? Does it boost the economy and provide jobs etc? Not on your Nelly… it sucks them dry and puts them behind the eight ball again, meaning they might as well be drug dealers etc, thus costing the community more than the payments ….. why bother to work under those demands?

      Typical short-sighted, penny-pinching stupidity from governments and their overpaid lackeys.

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      We will consider…..sure you will….everyone has….How about a promise we will Legislate it!!!….Nope… I didn’t think so!

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      The Greens are more of a mix than one dimensional Mick. Do you know any personally and what they stand for? I do. They own property and gather assets.
      What they are mainly trying to achieve is get a focus on the environment.
      What pensioners are allowed to have is too high in my opinion. People spending down to a more reasonable figure is not a bad idea actually.
      More could be done then for the ones who have nothing not even a home or the unemployed 60 year olds.
      People who vote for the Greens are mostly enticed to do so because they are worried about the future world for their descendants.
      I think they are a better choice than the far right or even the right in the LNP.

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      I can not agree with your comment that what Pensioners are allowed is too high. The wife and I live in our family home , which is not a cheap home with high rates and taxes and upkeep , but we are not moving to accommodate people who were often big spenders all their life , while we were making sacrifices, and see these people rewarded by generous Centrelink payments .If we spend down any of our money we would be forced to sell our home and go through the upheaval of moving at an advanced age .

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      That doesn’t make sense Oldman Roo. Why would you have to sell your home? Nobody is saying that. Some people live on the edge by buying a new car and caravan to keep the money within the limits or renovations. That is who I am referring to. Some have the pension and spend some of their other money at the same time. They say they cannot live on the pension because they have two cars and expensive hobbies. We manage on the couple pension without a buffer but we are restricted with our spending and have to be careful. Maybe just reduce the extra money people can have which seems a lot to us. And take away the ability to keep spending down to that.

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      How can you say we do not have to sell your home when we need , and spend , every cent of income and part pension . We take no holidays , rarely have a cheap meal out and can not afford any kind of expensive lifestyle . Also being of advanced age we both require expensive medicin and treatment , apart from having private Insurance . Our Power Bills are frightening and so it goes on .
      So no miracle cure or Liberal Philosphy of taking from the poor and give to the rich will change anything .

  2. 0
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    All politicans can promise anything and rarely follow it through.

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    very few (less than 10%) care anything about what the greens – they will never ever be in government and they are a blight upon Australian politics.

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    Pity the Groans have such silly extra policies as lowering the voting age to 16.. (Jesus God – just what we need!).

    As for a Universal Pension, it would seriously depend no how it is set up in relation to all other strands of income. If it is on a Pension then tax on income above – imagine your politician of a hefty $300k ‘superannuation’ a year copping $22k extra and then copping a 47% tax on the rest… he/she would DIE first!!

    So this is really a no go – an ambent claim and a vote chaser, and even the Groans will not vote for it if they hold power.

    Increase base rate of pension? Well – yes – controlling skyrocketing REAL costs of living is more important in all ways economically.

    Australia would benefit from being a front runner in alternatives etc… we have the sun, we have the wind, we have the hot air from Cambra, we have the meand, we have the technology …. we can rebuild him stronger, faster, more durable …. we bring you The 600 Billion Dollar Economy …. (starring the wind-blown Steve Reeves)…

    Access to health care is a given….

    Incentive to work longer – yes – take away the dual punishment of income taxes plus chop out of pension and the pensioner would have a better run… in a situation of diminishing returns for greater input and effort, there is no incentive.

    Also the level of Carer Payment needs to be looked at… doesn’t cover the costs in anyway.

  5. 0
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    OOPS! Forgot one … hit wrong button…

    Easier access to Colonel C’Link is a given….. nobody wants to spend two hours on a mobile phone waiting for a response… or have to travel up to two hours to get to an office for a two minute question and answer…. what does Backward Cambra think telephones were invented for? To play video games on?

  6. 0
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    They adopted the title of the “greens”, I understand, because they are ‘green about the gills’ the poor sweet little things. Well, I thought it was funny, not hilarious, but hey who’s counting? or even laughing 🙂

  7. 0
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    Mmmm..I would rather pull my toe nails off with pliers than vote Greens.
    Because I know the pain afterwards would be less and the expectation of what I get more in line with what I actually receive.

  8. 0
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    Pigs will fly before the Greens manifesto has any hope of implementation. They have no realistic idea how they can pay for Utopia.

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      They said the same about the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) and check how that came out. Be on Guard, Alan.

  9. 0
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    Not a very useful article. The greens have reached the pinnacle of their following and there is only one way they can go from where they are now and its not up.
    So back to square one.

  10. 0
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    Not a very useful article. The greens have reached the pinnacle of their following and there is only one way they can go from where they are now and its not up.
    So back to square one.

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