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Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Page: 6342

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Age Pension

Mr CHRISTENSEN (DawsonThe Nationals Deputy Whip) (14:50): My question is to the Minister for Social Services. How does the government propose to provide a fairer and more accessible pension? And what are the alternatives to this approach?

Mr MORRISON (CookMinister for Social Services) (14:50): I thank the member for his question. The answer is that first of all you need to recognise that the pension is a safety net. It is a welfare payment. It is a welfare payment to support and help those who are most in need. That is what it is about. It is a welfare payment for those who need it most.

That is why this government has brought forward measures that will ensure that no longer will someone be able to receive a part pension when they have $1.15 million worth of assets in addition to their family home. That is what these changes will do. What they will also do is to ensure that those who are on low and modest levels of assets will receive an increase in their pension—some 170,000 Australians on the pension and with low and modest levels of assets—of $30 on average per fortnight. And there will be 50,000 additional full pensioners as a result of this change.

And those opposite are voting against that. They are actually voting to sustain part pensions for those with assets of over $1 million in addition to their family homes and denying a pension increase for those on very modest levels of assets. I can tell you why they think that. They think that the pension, on welfare payments, should just go to everybody. They think welfare is a universal thing because they are the welfare party. The Prime Minister says that they are not the workers' party anymore because workers are saving for their retirement. And when they get into their retirement, we are going to make sure that their hard-earned savings in their superannuation will not be the subject of the tax slug that those opposite want to impose, because we understand that when workers save all their lives they build a nest egg for themselves. Those opposite see it as a tax nest—a tax nest for those to plunder.

The shadow minister earlier referred to 'trousering'. The 'trouser» «bandit'» sits over there because he, together with the shadow Treasurer, wants to come after the hard-earned superannuation savings because they do not understand that the pension is not superannuation. The pension is a welfare payment for those who really, really need it. Superannuation is something that people have worked and saved for. They have saved for it. It is their money. And when they have saved, when they have worked, when they have run businesses—

Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton will leave under 94(a).

The member for Gorton then left the chamber.

Mr MORRISON: and when they have got up every day to go and do their job, what they have done is provided for their retirement. What we are asking those people to do, who have got to that position, is to do just that and live off the earnings and of their hard-earned savings. What we will do for them is: we will not tax them like the «'trouser» «bandit' opposite.