Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Questions without Notice
The pension continues to rise every six months. It rises at the moment according to CPI—the inflation data—because the inflation data is higher than total male average weekly earnings increases. What we are proposing is that after the next election it continues to rise with the cost of living. If we do this on a sustainable basis, the average annual increase in the age pension to 2024-25 will be around 5.1 per cent per annum. It was going to be six per cent per annum under the old arrangements.
Having said that, I would ask the Leader of the Opposition not to cry crocodile tears over this issue, because the Leader of the Opposition used to believe in surpluses. In fact, he even announced that Labor had delivered a surplus. He actually announced that Labor had delivered a surplus. Labor never delivered a surplus. Labor never lived within its means. Labor never could live within its means. The best evidence of that is the fact that, as of today, Labor still has not committed to delivering a surplus. Labor still will not stand at the dispatch box over there and commit to ensure that the government lives within its means. It opposes everything. But it is going down into a budgetary cul-de-sac at a high speed. Why? Because sooner or later, whether it is the Labor Party in government—
The Leader of the Opposition is just a dead wrong: The pension keeps increasing. The Leader of the Opposition is trying to spin a line that the age pension, which continues to increase every six months, is going to fall. Is that what you are actually saying? Do you know what you are saying, Bill? Hello? Earth to Bill: are you there, son? Do know what is going on?