Speech - Constituency Statement (Pensions and Benefits)









A fair pension and a decent superannuation policy is the bedrock of a fair society. About 330,000 part age pensioners are about to receive an extremely rude financial shock, courtesy of the Liberal government and the Greens. I do not believe the government or the Greens fully understand the magnitude of the cuts that are going to flow through to part-pensioners: 330,000 part-pensioners are going to receive some very substantial cuts to their total income—a very nasty shock.

People who will be hit include, for example, a single person with assets exceeding just $250,000, and a couple with assets exceeding $375,000. These people have been slurred by the Prime Minister and government ministers as millionaires, and they are not. They have accumulated a small retirement nest egg and receive a reasonably small part-pension—something that we urge them all to do for the future of the country. These changes and these cuts to their part age pension will, in fact, encourage these people to divest, to spend their money rather than to take a part-pension.

There are a lot of people in Australia who are being dudded by the Liberal Party and dudded by the Greens, and people are telling lies about them. The Liberal Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of a number of billionaires in the top end of town. These people opposite go around and call these people millionaires, when they have very modest incomes. If you have a combined income of $36,000, you will have your part-pension cut by $8,000. You have got a nerve to call those people millionaires! You do not know what you have done. You will be punished in your electorates at the next election for this attack on people on very modest incomes, who have saved all of their life.

Vandals like you, who will not tax multinational companies when they shift their profits offshore, shift the burden onto low-income retirees. Shame on you! Shame on you for this attack on pensioners. Shame on you for attacking the very people who made our country great. That is what you have done. The superannuation system in this country was always meant to connect with the age pension.

On our side of the House we put in place a decent age pension, the single biggest increase in the history of the pension. The first thing you did in government was to attack that age pension in your first budget by trying to change the indexation. Having failed to do that, you are now getting stuck right into part-pensioners, people on incomes as little as $36,000 a year. They are not millionaires. You are attacking the very people who made our country