Madame Speaker, I want to reassure all Australian workers they can have confidence in their retirement plans.
There will be no new taxes on superannuation under this Government.
And the Age Pension will continue to increase, twice a year, this year, and every year – at the highest available indexation rate.
The Age Pension is our Budget’s biggest item of expenditure, $44 billion a year. This is more than 10 per cent of all government spending.
The Age Pension is a critically important safety net for many Australians.
That is why as our population ages, we need to ensure the pension is sustainable and affordable.
So, from 1 January 2017, we will make changes that benefit pensioners with fewer assets beyond the family home. But we will also tighten eligibility for those pensioners with higher levels of assets.
Importantly anyone who currently has a Pensioner Concession Card will continue to receive a concession card that provides the same benefits, such as subsidised utilities and transport, bulk billing and cheaper PBS prescription medicines.
These measures are all intended to provide security and certainty for older Australians in the years ahead.