The key party policies that affect you

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With just one day to go until the Federal Election, YourLifeChoices sets out the major parties’ key policies that might sway your vote – in their words.

The Greens

On financial matters
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.

On 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.

On healthcare
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.

On incentives
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.

On Centrelink
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.

Click NEXT to read the ALP’s policies

ALP

On financial matters
Labor established the Age Pension – and only Labor can be trusted to protect the household budgets of pensioners.

A Labor Government will make the tax system fairer by closing down a concession that gives cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits. We will have a Pensioner Guarantee – protecting pensioners from changes to excess dividend imputation credits.

We will improve housing affordability and support housing construction by reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax arrangements. All investments made prior to 1 January 2020 will be fully grandfathered.

On climate change
Labor will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change.

Labor is committed to working with business to reduce Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero pollution by 2050.

We are also committed to 50 per cent renewable energy in our electricity mix by 2030. Renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner – it is the smart thing to do.

On healthcare
A Labor Government will deliver the biggest cancer care package in Australian history, with a $2.3 billion investment to slash out-of-pocket expenses for cancer patients, which includes eliminating all out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic imaging, with up to six million free cancer scans funded through Medicare.

We will also establish a landmark Medicare Pensioner Dental Plan – giving up to three million older Australians access to free dental care. This will mean all age pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders will be able to access up to $1000 in dental services for free every two years.

Labor will make improving dementia care a national priority, incentivise doctors to visit residential aged care and homes, ensure that every aged care facility has a registered nurse on site 24 hours a day and publishes its staff skill mix. We will also look at how to improve access to home care and ensure seniors most at need are prioritised for packages.

On incentives
Labor will launch a new job creation plan aimed at getting over-55s back into the workforce by providing tax cuts to any business with an annual turnover of less that $10 million that employs someone younger than 25 or older than 55. To be eligible for the additional deduction, new employees need to have been unemployed for three months or more as well as meeting the age requirements.

Labor supports the extended pension work bonus. From 1 July 2019, both employed and self-employed social security pensioners over pension age will be eligible for the Work Bonus, and able to earn up to $300 per fortnight from work before this income is assessed under the pension income test. Additionally, the Work Bonus maximum accrual amount will increase to $7800.

On Centrelink
Labor will establish 1200 new permanent and full-time Department of Human Services staff around the country, improving waiting times and services that Australians rely on.

Click NEXT to read the Coalition’s policies

The Coalition

On financial matters
We have opened up the Pension Loans Scheme to all older Australians with securable real estate owned in Australia, including full rate pensioners of Age Pension age and self-funded retirees, so a pensioner couple on maximum rate can boost their retirement income by up to $18,150.60, without impacting on their eligibility for the pension or other benefits.

We have provided $365 million to make a one-off Energy Assistance Payment of $75 for singles and $62.50 for each eligible member of a couple to around five million income support recipients, including those on the Age Pension.

Both concessional and non-concessional voluntary superannuation contributions can now be made by those aged 65 and 66 without a requirement to meet the work test, with those aged 65 and 66 able to make up to three years of non-concessional contributions under the bring-forward rule.

People aged up to and including 74 will also be able to receive spouse contributions without having to meet the work test requirements.

On climate change
We are committed to Australia playing its part in the global solution to reduce greenhouse emissions. The Government’s 2030 target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels is responsible and achievable. This target will see a reduction in emissions per person halve by 2030. This is one of the strongest efforts among G20 countries.

On healthcare
We are containing the cost of healthcare by increasing funding for diagnostic services such as MRIs and PET scans to detect breast cancer.

In partnership with GPs, we will improve options for more flexible care to meet the needs of patients and to keep them healthy and out of hospital with a $1.6 billion package to strengthen primary care.

We will continue to give Australians access to the latest medicines through the PBS – with reduced costs on more than 2000 new and amended medicines listings since 2013, thanks to an investment of $10.6 billion.

We will provides record funding for public hospitals with an additional $31 billion from 2020–2021 to 2024–2025 to employ more nurses, doctors and specialists, delivering – in partnership with the states and territories – more surgeries and medical services.

On incentives
We are providing more incentive to work past the age pension age without being financially penalised in terms of pension entitlements.
The Coalition extended and expanded the Pension Work Bonus from 1 July 2019 to:

  • include self-employed pensioners; and
  • increase the Bonus from $250 to $300 per fortnight, with the maximum accrual increasing from $6500 to $7800.

On Centrelink
The Department of Human Services’ Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Program is changing the way the Government delivers welfare payments now and into the future. Improving older Australians’ experiences with the Department is a top priority.

The department will continue to invest in new technology to deliver improved Centrelink services for all Australians.

The Government is committed to making it easier for all Australians to access Centrelink services, and in 2018–2019 provided $50 million to target call wait times and improve service delivery.

Wait times in the department’s phone lines are being reduced as a result and an additional 2750 call centre workers employed.

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Written by Janelle Ward

41 Comments

Total Comments: 41
  1. 0
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    None of the parties have made any policy announcements to increase the age pension. There are about 2.5 million retirees receiving a pension or part pension, about 10% of the population, and nothing has been offered.

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      Perhaps but rusted on LNP supporters might want to listen to what The Greens are about. Whilst I can’t vote Greens because of their ‘bring ’em in’ immigration policy (for the third world) and their policy on minority groups a lot of the rest makes sense.

      I’ve suggested to Di Natalie that he might want to get rid of Hanson-Young from the party as it appears she is little more than a festering sore and also for the pary to cost its policies. I suspect that when it does those two things it will be an electable party. Until then it’ll be a bit player.

      I’ve cast my vote for what its worth. Good luck tomorrow, not that any logic or truth will come into your vote OM. You sadly are what you are and will vote LNP as you always do.
      I wish there were many more swinging voters as we’d shake this rotten to the core game up and get our democracy back if it were so.

    • 0
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      What about the grand for dental.

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      I have to agree, Old Man. In fact, I am concerned why all the focus is again only on the 3 major parties – with Greens being considerably smaller and will never win Govt on their own, but are most likely to be a danger by twisting Labor’s arm to get their radical gender and climate agendas into action.

      While Retirees have been generally ignored this time (other than Labor attacking some, and offering some crumbs to others), we must all note that there are 3 Million+ Retirees (being around 20% of the electorate) out there who can make a difference, with 44 (out of 151) Lower House seats currently on Margins of less than 5%. If we all agree, we should at least vote OUT all the non-performers from these 3 Major parties to send a message!

      To achieve the above, the best thing to do is to assign preferences very logically with a strategy as follows:

      Put as No. 1 for your favourite candidate (supporting Retirees preferably),
      Put your No. 2 as the alternative one who you think can win and who may be acceptable to you,
      Put all extremists at the end (including opportunist Independents claiming to be able to fix Climate Change), and
      Put the remaining in between such that the sitting Major party MP is definitely below the alternative Major party candidate (just above the extremists).

      If enough people do this, you will a) know you did your best, b) hopefully the useless sitting MP will lose their seat, and c) maybe even your preferred candidate has a chance to win.

  2. 0
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    it’s all waffle, they will promise anything to retain/get power. I take no notice of electioneering blowhards.

    • 0
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      spot on!!!promise everything…but remember this…if they dont get all their policies through the Senate all hollow!!

  3. 0
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    Wow, I’m so impressed! Why don’t we vote for all of them then we would get all the promises at once. Wouldn’t that make for a great place to be!

  4. 0
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    Read above
    On climate change…
    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.
    Really? Like to see that one!!!! LMAO

  5. 0
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    Read above
    On climate change…
    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.
    Really? Like to see that one!!!! LMAO

  6. 0
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    Agree with the comment, it’s all waffle. Don’t trust any party.

  7. 0
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    Yay! $75!! However, that will not buy my vote.

    Although I doubt that Labor will be able to keep it’s promises entirely, they are actually the better party for us oldfolk. I (and thousands of others) will never forgive the Libs or the Greens for their goalpost changes under Hockey and Abbott that cost us our pension. The so-called “pension tax” will only affect a very small number of top-end retirees. So my way is clear.

    My concern is the Senate. There are so many lightweights that will fall for the stupidities of the ultra right, looking after themselves without a thought for the good of the country. The Senate is a house of review, not a house of stopping an elected government fulfilling its duty. I fear that the crazies will be in control.

    I certainly don’t want “more of the same”. BUT I also don’t want a couple of lunatics preventing the ship’s captain from steering the chosen course.

    On election night, I will be hiding in a cupboard.

    • 0
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      Some good information. I agree that many voters only care for themselves and are like prostitutes: they’ll sell out the country for the promise of loot. This is not who we used to be! I for one will vote for what is best for all of us even if that conflicts with my own interests.

  8. 0
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    climate change””” we all know the climate changes.. what a broad brush to hid behind.. Look out the climate change. spend another B’$$$ ..

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      I really don’t get where they say most people have climate control as high on their agenda. But I have to wonder – WHERE do they get these figures from? – the Greens campaign office?

      Every so-called survey, etc I have seen, read about, and heard, no more than 30% of people rate climate change as important to them. Rates very low on the agenda for most people.

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      Or continue on with the current government and be left behind with waterfront property going under water (what’s the cosy of that???), more floods and fires at closer and closer intervals and heat nobody other than Queenslanders can survive in.

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      Yeh Mick so you think the Labor party can change the climate ?
      The great climate change magic. If you talk about it and throw enough $$ at it the climate will change. Really ?

    • 0
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      Yeh Mick so you think the Labor party can change the climate ?
      The great climate change magic. If you talk about it and throw enough $$ at it the climate will change. Really ?

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      Inextreme, you don’t get it. Try doing some research about how it all works.
      It will cost a lot more if we do nothing.
      You need to type in key words and do a lot of reading.

  9. 0
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    Clive Palmer reckons he will increase the pension by about $180(don’t remember the exact amount) a week. I’d like to know where he thinks that will come from, especially as he owes billions himself!

    • 0
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      Maybe he will pay it himself. He has been paying everything else for himself and the Libs right down to advertising and man power.

    • 0
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      I heard $150. Doesn’t matter where it comes from, it would still be good for pensioners, as most likely he may only get very few seats especially in the Senate (not actually win power) which can allow him to work on the party in power.
      Paddington, last time when he was in the Senate, he didn’t take a salary (or maybe took a token one for legal reasons). What is your problem if he spends his own money on whatever he wants – jealousy?

    • 0
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      George M, so glad you asked!
      He is putting out nasty flyers on independents and labor. We got an awful one for the independent up against LNP guy.
      He is paying not only his own hired help for the election but LNP’s. One ad came through Facebook for people to hand out how to vote cards and was quickly removed. Others are using volunteers.
      He owes his workers money. I am sure they would like to be paid.
      He hardly turned up to parliament last time and when he did went to sleep on at least one occasion.
      There is more but that will do lol.

  10. 0
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    Clive Palmer reckons he will increase the pension by about $180(don’t remember the exact amount) a week. I’d like to know where he thinks that will come from, especially as he owes billions himself!

    • 0
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      Palmer is a liar like his Liberal Party partners. A vote for Palmer is a vote for the LNP and you’ll get more of tax cuts for the rich (Palmer) and new taxes for everybody else.

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