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Pensioners to win under Government's tax reform commitments.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SECURITY

SENATOR JOCELYN NEWMAN

 

August 17, 1998

 

Pensioners to win under Government’s tax reform commitments

 

The Government’s historic commitment to pension payments has made a mockery of Labor’s scare campaign over th e effects of a Goods and Services Tax on pensions.

 

Mr Beazley suggests that the 4 per cent compensation figure is an amount which would have gone to age pensioners despite any changes under the tax package. This is fundamentally wrong and is nothing more than Mr Beazley’s scurrilous and irresponsible scaremongering of older Australians.

 

The CPI effect of the tax package is approximately 2 per cent. This figure has not only been confirmed by the Department of Treasury but also independently by Westpac Bank.

 

Mr Beazley points out that pensioners now receive increases in their pensions linked to male total average weekly earning increases (MTAWE). This is correct and it was this Government which introduced and passed the legislation which gave effect to that protection in 1997. But he is wrong to suggest that the 4 per cent CPI increase in the tax package going to all pensioners and allowees is overtaken by the MTAWE benchmark.

 

The 4 per cent increase in pensions, including the 1.5 per cent real increase announced in the tax package released by the Prime Minister will, over the period of the forward estimates (i.e. for the period for which official projections are made), ensure that the single pension rate stays appreciably above 25 per cent of MTAWE.

 

It is high time that Mr Beazley started to make a constructive contribution to this debate and stopped attempting to frighten and confuse Australia’s elderly.

 

Media inquiries: Richard Wilson, 0419 693 092

 

 

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