Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Tens of thousands of wealthier retirees will lose access to the age pension under changes targeting what Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described as "liquid assets millionaires".
Every single one of these people receiving a part aged pension will continue to do so – it will just not be in the form of cash into their bank accounts.
Under Abbott’s sleight-of-hand the announced changes will lose them the small fortnightly cash transfers some currently receive, but they will all retain the highly financially lucrative seniors health card – a benefit worth thousands of dollars a year to the average retiree.
If you want proof of this just look at the paltry savings the Abbott Government is supposedly garnering from the this measure – a total of est. $177.7 million each year over the next four years.
An estimated 91,000 of those independent retirees (some of them millionaires) who structured their post-retirement assets, tax-free superannuation lump sums and income streams to allow themselves a regular federal government welfare payment and/or benefit, will lose their Centrelink cash transfer, but retain the right to bulk-billed medical services, heavily subsidised pharmaceuticals, subsidised public transport travel, telephone account concessions and, energy supplements etc via retention of the seniors health card.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Treasurer Joe Hockey, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and the rest of their far-fight rabble must think Australian voters are fools if they expect them to swallow this politically convenient stop-gap measure aimed at neatly sidestepping the need for superannuation tax status reform.