House debates

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Questions without Notice

Senior Australians

2:33 pm

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care. Will the Minister update the House on how the government is helping retirees and pensioners to earn more and live better? Is the minister aware of any different ideas that would raise taxes and hurt self-reliant senior Australians?

Photo of Ken WyattKen Wyatt (Hasluck, Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Goldstein for his ongoing interest in our senior Australians. As a young man, it's great. We are focusing on senior Australians. One of our key strategies is Ageing Well. In that key strategy, we're looking at the fitness and sporting initiatives that will encourage senior Australians to become active. Equally, social connectedness is important. There are two points in life in which we are going to have senior Australians stop for a moment, think about their life on their journey to 100 and undertake two checks. In both intervals they will have a health check. They will have a look at a career check in case they wish to change their minds and look at some options. The other one that's important is a financial check. Their financial check will enable them to see if they have sufficient funding for their retirement years and their aged care. On that basis, what we will see is that they will make some judgements about the security of their future.

But that future is only secure if there's no risk. Let me say that Labor's franking credits policy is a risk. It will detract from their capacity to pay for the little things that are important to them, like the paint job. Those thousands of dollars that are important to their life and to their cost of living will be impacted on. We see that 84 per cent of those people have a salary of less than $37,000 annually. That's going to hit them quite hard, when you think of the thousands of dollars that will be taken away by your tax. In addition, 900,000 Australians, including retirees and other low-income earners, receive dividends, and those dividends mean everything to them.

Photo of Ken WyattKen Wyatt (Hasluck, Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I hear some interjections, but if we are serious about caring for older Australians then we won't hit them with that level of funding. A vote for Labor policy—

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for McEwen is warned.

Photo of Ken WyattKen Wyatt (Hasluck, Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Health) Share this | | Hansard source

will see them lose significantly. What's important is that you don't take their money, that you don't dip your hands in their pockets and take what they've worked for over a period of time, making a contribution to their life and to their planning.

That's why those two intervals of 45 and 65 give them the opportunity to financially plan for a future that gives them security and the opportunity to make use of their money for their holidays, for their way of life and for the little things that are important to them and their grandchildren and their children. So I want all of them to think about Labor's policy, what that means for them and the impact that voting for Labor will have on their lifestyle.