Older Australians in Western Sydney should keep more of what they earn

Friday, 26 August 2022

The Albanese Government is being urged to support the Opposition’s proposal to allow seniors and veterans to earn more without reducing pension payments.

Currently, age pensioners and veteran service pensioners can earn $300 of income each fortnight without impacting pension payments. Under the change, proposed by the leader of the Opposition, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, age pensioners will be able to earn up to $600 a fortnight and still receive the maximum pension payment.

A Private Senator’s Bill, The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Enhancing Pensioner and Veteran Workforce Participation) Bill 2022, has been introduced to the Parliament.

Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the sensible reform would help ease the cost-of-living crisis.

“Older Australians have a great depth of skill across a variety of sectors, and they should not be penalised for wanting to work more, particularly in this difficult economic environment,” Senator Payne said.

“We know that we’re in a very tight labour market with many small businesses hurting because of they are unable to find staff.

“Our proposal means more Australians will be able to keep more of what they earn while also helping Western Sydney businesses keep on track.”

Senator Payne said the government be clear about whether they support the proposal or not.

“This Bill is currently before the Parliament but Prime Minister Albanese wants to wait until the government’s so-called Jobs and Skills Summit before even considering the policy,” Senator Payne said.

“Local businesses should not have to wait for a government Summit for action to be taken to address these serious labour shortages.”

The proposed change is expected to have a cost to the Budget of $145 million in 2022-23.