April 24, 2014
It is pretty clear that the Abbott Government's politics of austerity--known as fixing the budget in order to fix the economy --- is going to target welfare, especially the aged pension, whilst leaving the Coalition’s generous expansion of the paid parental leave scheme untouched. So much for equity. People having to work until 70 whilst already well-off women can get $75,000 for six months at home is the main way the "budget crisis" of an ageing population will be addressed.
The central problem with singling out the A$40 billion age pension scheme by introducing a pension eligibility age of 70 is the existence of age discrimination which results in older workers being pushed out the door or workers retiring because of illhealth. Given the increasing restrictions to accessing the disability support pension, many older workers will end up being on Newstart whilst waiting to access the pension.