Pensioners are sick of being told we are a worthless burden to society | David Tyler | Opinion | The Guardian

Australian pensioners are once again being bullied by a powerful lobby group which advocates cutting welfare spending to reduce the government’s budget deficit.A new Centre for Independent Studies report says retirees have a “misplaced sense of entitlement” about pensions and suggests homes be made part of the pension assets test, heaping further anxieties upon the elderly.Pensioners are constantly made to feel that we are an expensive liability; a burden on society.The report echoes the Abbott government’s ill-fated National Commission of Audit, and its urgent call to cut the age pension while ignoring calls to rein in superannuation concessions for wealthy Australians.Retirees gaming the superannuation system to retire early: report Read moreCiting the burden on taxpayers, the CIS does not consider other sources of revenue, such as improved tax collection from multinationals or from the 37.6% of large companies who paid no tax in Australia last financial year. Nor does it concede that governments do not solely rely on individual wage-earner income tax receipts. It is a cruel distortion to depict age pensions as coming solely out of tax payers’ wage packets.To counteract the scaremongering by the CIS it’s important to note that Australia is second-lowest amongst the OECD in spending on age pensions.We spend 3.5% of GDP on age pension, while the UK, for example, spends 6%. France and Italy spend 14% and 15% respectively. Yes, we have an ageing population, but the government’s own estimates show spending on the aged pension will increase only slightly to 3.9% by 2050. Our superannuation scheme allows government to shift the cost of welfare on to workers.

Source: Pensioners are sick of being told we are a worthless burden to society | David Tyler | Opinion | The Guardian

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