Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Questions without Notice

Pensions and Benefits

2:25 pm

Photo of Concetta Fierravanti-WellsConcetta Fierravanti-Wells (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Brockman for his question. I welcome the opportunity to update the Senate on the work that the Turnbull government is doing to deliver for all Australians and most especially for Australians of age pension age. In the budget, the government outlined a full package that helps age pension recipients take control of their finances and their future in the More Choices for a Longer Life package.

Of course, this includes important changes to the Pension Loans Scheme. The Pension Loans Scheme is, of course, a voluntary scheme and can provide a reverse mortgage type loan that can offer a fortnightly income stream to participants, and this can help age pensioners enjoy a higher standard of living in retirement by allowing them to receive regular additional payments from the government. The government is expanding the scheme for older Australians. From 1 July next year, the scheme will be expanded, with the available fortnightly loan-plus-pension amount increasing from 100 to 150 per cent of the maximum rate of the fortnightly pension, which is currently $907.60. Around 6,000 eligible pensioners of age pension age are expected to take up a loan under the scheme over the next four years.

What were those opposite going to do to pensioners and to self-funded retirees?

Senator Abetz interjecting—

Of course, they were going to raid their pockets—raid them. Absolutely, Senator Abetz—raid their pockets. These are people who have worked very, very hard for their retirement, and what are you guys opposite going to do? You're going to put your hands in their pockets and raid their pockets. It's their hard-earned cash, and that's what you were going to do.


No comments