Pension Asset Test essential first step to economic justice

Pension Asset Test essential first step to economic justice

Achieving adequate retirement incomes while managing the fiscal cost of providing services to Australians as they live longer is one of Australia’s greatest social challenges.

“Uniting Care Australia has been a consistent voice in advocating economic justice for the most vulnerable Australians.” Said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia

“As such Uniting Care Australia is pleased that the government and the Greens have responded to ours and the calls of COTA and ACOSS to change the pension asset rules.”

“These changes increase the amount of assets a person can hold before their pension is reduced. They also reinstate the taper rate that was in place until 2007. The changes will primarily affect people with assets worth over a million dollars (excluding their home), but will support increases for those who have less.”

“This change is a constructive step in the right direction.  Further reforms are needed to both tax and income support systems and in particular to superannuation. The status quo is wasteful, and does not target scarce public funds to those in need.”

“For over a decade UnitingCare Australia and a number of other leaders have called on respective governments to develop a comprehensive and transparent review of retirement income; this must include changes to tax concessions. This is critical to achieving equity across the board and a fair tax system. Recent analysis released by the ACTU and the Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes confirms this view.”

“UnitingCare Australia will continue to call for tax concession reform on superannuation and I know we will not be alone.”

“For those advocating for social policy change and economic justice for our most vulnerable we understand that there is considerable complexity and that change does not always unfold neatly. As with any complex welfare policy, changing the pension asset rules is only one piece in the puzzle, but it is important part that will assist in enabling greater equity in welfare delivery.”

“Just as we have for the last decade, UnitingCare Australia will continue to advance policy change with a view to improve the effectiveness, fairness and justice of equity of the delivery of essential human services and payments. We will support both constructive small steps, and well-designed larger changes.”

“UnitingCare Australia will work with any elected representative to achieve these aims.

Considering the enormity of the challenge before us we believe this is not only a responsible but an essential approach.”

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