Generous super concessions remain the greatest bugbear amongst YourLifeChoices members. Two thirds of the 3500, 2015 Budget Submission survey respondents would rather the government curb excessive tax concessions for wealthy Australians rather than alter the part Age Pension taper rate, which reduces pension payments based on personal asset levels.
Health is also high on our members’ wish lists, with access to better dental care being ranked as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ by 86 per cent. Government assurances that there will be no Medicare co-payment or ‘price signal’ also ranked highly. Affordable private health insurance was ranked as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ by 84 per cent of those who took the survey.
As reported by Mark Kenny in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, the survey was undertaken to ascertain exactly what older Australians want to see in the budget and, not surprisingly, its hands off the Age Pension and fewer concessions for those who simply don’t need them.
The country’s three-pillar retirement system is a cause for concern, with almost half of all respondents ranking as ‘very important’ the need for an urgent review into pension arrangements, taxation and superannuation. A lift in the Age Pension payment rate to take it above the poverty line was also deemed important by our members, with 84 per cent agreeing it should be lifted to be in line with the recommendation for a modest lifestyle as set by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
A Royal Commission into the misconduct of certain financial planners and their institutions also rated highly, with 84 per cent calling this ‘important’ or ‘very important’.
Our publisher, Kaye Fallick, told chief political correspondent, Mark Kenny, “It is our belief that a lot of people purport to speak on behalf of older Australians and that some of the groups who are doing so are at least partly funded by government, so we thought it was really important, as an independent website, to test policy ideas rather than say what older Australians want.”
The YourLifeChoices 2015 Budget Submission survey will close on 23 April 2015 so, if you haven’t already had your say on your priorities for the Federal Budget, there’s still time to do so.