Older Australians should keep more of what they earn

27 June, 2022

A Dutton government would support older Australians, who choose to work more, by doubling the amount of income age pensioners and veteran service pensioners can earn without reducing pension payments.

This change will make it more worthwhile for older Australians to pick up an extra shift or work extra hours and help small and regional businesses deal with labour shortages.

The Leader of the Opposition the Hon Peter Dutton MP calls on the Albanese Government to implement the policy immediately to help relieve pressure on a very tight labour market.

“Employers can’t find staff – thousands of jobs across hospitality, agriculture, tourism and retail remain open,” Mr Dutton said.

“This policy ensures that pensioners and veterans, who want to work, are not financially penalised. It puts more money into their pocket.

“There are around 80,000 age pensioners and veterans who are choosing to work who will likely benefit from this change,” Mr Dutton said.

Currently, age pensioners and veteran service pensioners can earn $300 of income each fortnight without impacting pension payments. Under the proposed change, age pensioners will be able to earn up to $600 a fortnight and still receive the maximum pension payment. Pensioners will continue to accrue unused pension work bonus amounts up to a maximum of $7,800, which can exempt future earnings from the pension income test.

Well targeted policy, designed to increase labour supply, will ease workplace shortages and put downward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

Labor’s big spending agenda, which includes $18.3 billion of direct spending, and $45 billion in off-budget funds, and ill designed policies, which discourage Australians from working and earning more, will achieve the opposite: put upward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

The proposed change is expected to have a cost to the Budget of $145 million in 2022-23.

A Dutton government would review, on an annual cycle, the merits of extending the policy change to future years taking into account changes in overseas net migration levels, the unemployment rate and the workforce participation rate. The Labor Government must outline its plan to ease cost of living pressures and put downward pressure on inflation. Australians can’t afford to wait for Labor to get its act together.

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Russell Broadbent MP
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