The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has discussed tax and welfare payments, pensions, housing downsizing, superannuation, and tax reform in a speech delivered to the Council on the Ageing (COTA) in Sydney.
The Treasurer said that in a broad sense, the government’s economic plan benefits older Australians. Personal income tax reforms to overcome bracket creep reward hard work, and more competitive tax rates for businesses help to guarantee the services older Australians rely on, he said.
‘The aspiration of ageing’, Address to Council on the Ageing (COTA), Sydney
Aspiration has no age limit. That’s what we believe.
Aspiration doesn’t grind to a halt when you hit 65. It is not the exclusive domain of younger generations, eyes wide open, world at their feet.
To be financially secure; setup for the years to come. To be fit and healthy. To build on or broaden your career, to learn new skills, seek out new experiences and opportunities. To be independent. To be safe. To be respected. These aspirations don’t fade away as you get older.
Likewise, choice and opportunity should also not retire. We will continue to enliven and encourage people to realise their aspirations at whatever age they may be.
This year’s Budget was once again a plan for a stronger economy.
Our Budget is a plan for a stronger economy because we believe that from a stronger economy all else flows, most importantly the essential services that Australians rely on.
I could come here today and I could give you any number of commitments about services, particularly when it relates to aged care or anything else, but they wouldn’t mean anything at all if the Government didn’t have a plan for a stronger economy.
If you don’t have such a plan you can’t afford to implement any of those policies.
Frankly, I wouldn’t believe any political party or any politician who stood at any platform and made any commitment to you unless they had a plan for a stronger economy to pay for it.
Now, our Budget sets out what that plan is.
I have just returned from two days in Argentina at the G20 and the Australian economy is the envy of all of those economies.
Twenty-seven years of consecutive growth, real GDP growing at 3.1 per cent, the strongest jobs performance in our economic history – 95,000 young people have got jobs in the last fiscal year. That is the strongest fiscal year jobs growth for young people since 1989.
We have a strong economy and the plans we are putting in place for an even stronger economy are being realised.
That is the guarantee that underwrites; whether it is on aged care, on welfare, on pensions, on disability services, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – all of these things. Unless you have a stronger economy, any commitment in that area, any empathy in that area, any passion that might be proclaimed in that area cannot be relied upon unless you have such a plan to ensure the economy continues to grow and underwrite all of these things that Australians rely on.
Now, as part of this year’s plan for a stronger economy we have addressed the challenges of ageing on our economy but more broadly.
Dealing with this has been a key part of our plan.
It involves ensuring that choice and opportunity, and the ability for all Australians to build their aspirations for a longer and healthier life – engaged, informed and empowered – all of these are realised.
Our More Choices for a Longer Life package is not just good social policy to increase engagement by older Australians, but it is a targeted and proactive step to prepare our economy for an ageing population.
An ageing population means Australians are living longer and healthier lives. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty good thing. When we talk about ageing sometimes, you would think when you hear from public policy makers or bureaucrats or economic commentators that it is some sort of economic curse that people are living longer and healthier.
If you are ever concerned about your superannuation or tax considerations as moving into the category of older Australia; and if you are caring for your elders at home, please do not hesitate to contact us Tax Accountants & Advisers on (02) 8318 1545