WAGGA Independent Retirees Association branch president John Harding yesterday cautiously welcomed newly proposed Federal Government measures designed to encourage older Australians to stay in work longer.Outlined in the 2010 Intergenerational Report, Australia to 2050: Future Challenges, released yesterday, the measures would provide financial encouragement in the form of tax breaks to retirement-age residents who wish to remain in the workforce on a part-time basis.The report also suggests the country's ageing population will put enormous pressure on government finances and health care costs with the number of people aged 65 to 84 years set to "more than double" by 2050.Mr Harding, a former Wagga mayor, said the initiative could have significant benefits for older residents, however there were also a number of potential sticking points."I think most older people would prefer to work a bit longer if they can but many employers don't want them to," he said."If we suddenly keep people working longer it could also have repercussions for younger people moving up into the workforce."In order to encourage senior Australians to the scheme, Mr Harding said the Government would have to ensure the combination of part-pension and wage remained attractive.Since his retirement in 1997, Mr Harding has held a number of roles, both paid and unpaid, and said he was ultimately very supportive of older residents remaining part of the workforce.
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