“The Government should embark on a comprehensive reform agenda that addresses tax reform, infrastructure reform, deregulation (particularly in relation to workplace relations), ongoing barriers to trade and flaws in the education and training system,” it says.
Under the Fiscal Strategy section, the report makes recommendations as follows;
“The Government should consider transforming pension payments to owner-occupiers into a loan that is recoverable against their property when it is sold, potentially with a residual value that would allow pensioners to access equity for other purposes, such as aged care. While it seems prudent to allow retirees to maintain a minimum residual value, very little of the equity in owner-occupied housing is currently being drawn down for other purposes. A similar reform has been suggested by the Centre for Independent Studies, including coverage of the family home in the pension assets test complemented by a guarantee supporting pensioner homeowners accessing reverse mortgages for their homes. Any changes could be introduced via a transitional process whereby existing recipients can maintain the pension under current arrangements whereas the tightened asset test applies to pensioners after some date in the future.”
Given that pensioners pay tax all through their working lives, many people might well suggest that they have already paid for their pension and more. They may add that the proposal from the ACCI and the Centre for Independent Studies would mean paying twice over.
\Many older people, who have worked hard for their home over the years, often see their efforts as a means to make a further contribution to their children or grand children’s welfare. Besides, have they not earned the right to live their final years in relative peace and comfort? We owe them at least that.