Battling Seniors to be Kept Waiting

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‘Single Pensioners Missing Out: Report,’ AAP, August 11, 2008.

The Federal Government acknowledged the hardship of pensioners this week, but warned there will be little help until next year. Releasing a paper that showed almost 80 percent of Australians aged over 65 were on a pension, Minister for Families Jenny Macklin said the system was too complex for a quick solution. “It’s very important that, as we do this review, we get the results right because we have so many people who are dependent on the pension,” she said. Ms. Macklin also hinted that Labor’s overhaul of pensions – to be part of its tax review – would encourage workforce participation and saving to try and ease reliance on the pension. The report revealed that elderly Australians spend an average 13.1 years on an age pension and this figure is rising. It further found that of the 2 million Australians receiving the age pension, many had little other income; 13 percent relying solely on the pension, while more than 50 percent received less than $20 a week in additional private income.

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