Dilemma or Deception?
Posted on Thursday, 11 February 2010
Dilemma or deception? That is the question that needs to be asked about the Government’s spin on the recently released Intergenerational Report. The Government must stop portraying older Australians as a financial burden on the nation according to the Hon Judi Moylan MP, Member for Pearce.
Speaking today in Parliament on a Matter of Public Importance on the release of the Intergenerational Report, the Member for Pearce said “older people have become a scapegoat for the Government as they peddle propaganda to frighten us into believing there is a need to reduce services, increase taxes, massively increase the population and force older Australian to work until they drop.”
The Intergenerational Report argues Government spending will outgrow revenue by 2050. While acknowledging that there are challenges Mrs Moylan said that the costs associated with an ageing population had been distorted in the Report because of the conflation with the rising costs of general health services in an expanding and more demanding population.
“If the government wants older Australians to contribute to increased productivity by retiring later then it must deal with age discrimination, its own inflexible workplace laws and provide genuine tax and superannuation incentives.”
Working beyond retirement though is not for everyone, but it is too simplistic to assume that when a person retires, they will no longer contribute to the productivity of the nation.
Although this contribution may not be directly quantifiable in terms of our Gross Domestic Product, the volunteering and caring role that many older Australians undertake on retiring is vital to Australia’s productivity. Mrs Moylan called for a new Productivity Commission report to investigate the value added by older Australians.
“Older Australians are our nation builders and defenders, they have contributed tax for several decades and they need to be valued by this Government as more than mere economic units.”