A PROMINENT Griffith pensioner has thrown his support behind changes to the aged pension likely to be handed down in next Tuesday’s federal budget.
Under the changes flagged by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, part-pensions will be cut to the nation’s most wealthy retirees while an extra 50,000 people nationwide receiving part payments will be eligible for the full benefit for the first time.
The head of Griffith’s Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA), Peter Knox, has backed the changes.
“I believe what they’ve now done will be of benefit to the residents of Griffith,” he said.
“It seems that 90 percent of pensioners will either benefit from it or will be unaffected.”
CPSA research and advocacy manager Amelia Christie also believes it’s a step in the right direction.
“We think it’s a positive move, rather than pension indexation which was proposed last year,” she said.
“We suspect those in the higher bracket will be concerned less about losing the pension itself and more about the benefits that come with it however.”
As part of the reforms, the government has scrapped plans to peg pension increases to the Consumer Price Index, which were shot down by the Senate. Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the changes would make the pension system “fairer to more”.
“You have to look after the people who have looked after the nation and made it what it is today,” he said.
“We have to make it fairer, but we also have to make it sustainable in the long run – with an ageing society that is a delicate balance and obviously we need to keep looking at it.”
The changes will see more than 170,000 pensioners nationwide have their payments increased by more than $30 a fortnight. But Mr McCormack acknowledged there were some who would lose out.
“No matter what government policy you do, there’s going to be winners and unfortunately those who want it to be different,” he said.
Tuesday’s federal budget is expected to be markedly different than last year’s, which Mr McCormack conceded was “tough”.
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