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AGE PENSION POLICY; RETIREMENT INCOME SYSTEMS

Senator Messner, by leave and pursuant to notice, moved the following Motions together- That the Senate notes- (a) the widespread disquiet in the community amongst those who are nearing the age of retirement and present age-pension recipients; and

(b) that Ministers in the Hawke Government have a confusion of views on vital questions affecting pre-retirees and age-pensioners such as: (i) whether to replace income-testing by means-testing of age pensions,

(ii) the harsher application of income-testing to age pensions, and

(iii) the taxation of superannuation payments; and

calls on the Government to immediately state its policy on these matters.

That the Senate- (a) recognises the proposed fundamental changes that the Government is making to Australia's retirement income systems;

(b) acknowledges that the Government has received a number of reports on these proposed changes from a number of committees, including: (i) the joint ACTU/CAI/Government Official Working Group on the proposed superannuation changes, and

(ii) a working party of public servants from the Departments of Treasury, Finance, Social Security, Prime Minister and Cabinet and Veterans' Affairs;

(c) is of the opinion that there should be the widest possible informed debate on the Government's proposed changes; and

(d) calls on the Government to release and make public all reports it has received relating to its retirement income policy changes.

Debate ensued.

Questions-put and passed.