Greens Welfare spokesperson Senator Janet Rice and Queensland Senate lead candidate Penny Allman-Payne will today announce in Brisbane the Greens’ costed plan to lower the retirement age from 67 to 65 and giving every Australian early access to retirement.
This is in addition to the Greens’ recently announced commitment to raise the pension rate to $88 a day.
Senator Rice will join Penny Allman-Payne, who is on course to win Pauline Hanson’s Senate seat for the Greens, to campaign on issues that matter to Queenslanders, including the party’s plan to support Australians older.
Lowering the eligibility age will widen pension access for hundreds of thousands of older Australians currently living in poverty and provide much-needed early retirement with guaranteed income support for those who have worked all their lives on low wages in order to take care of their families.
Since the Rudd government raised the retirement age from 65 to 67 in 2009, the Liberals and Labor have failed older, low-income Australians.
Across the country, thousands of older Australians approaching retirement age have a limited ability to continue working or have been excluded from the labor market entirely. Thousands more are in physically demanding jobs at minimum wage, forced to continue working two more years because successive Labor and Liberal governments have failed to give them the support they need.
Australian Greens MP leader Adam Bandt said if the Greens were successful in their campaign to oust the Liberals and secure the balance of power, they would use their influence to ensure that older voters and the working class are not left behind. dust again by a future Labor government.
It is the first time the Greens have given early access to the Age Pension at an election, a call heard from older Australians who say they have been let down by Labour. Today’s Greens announcement in Queensland reflects the party’s optimism at winning Hanson’s Senate seat, the lower house seats of Griffith, Brisbane and Ryan, and the belief that older voters, in particularly in Queensland, no longer feel represented by Labor or the Liberals.
As MP Adam Bandt, leader of the Australian Greens, said:
“No one should be forced to work forever in this country, and no one should retire in poverty. The Greens are proud to fight for the right to retire at 65 with an income that will actually pay the bills.
“There is a poverty crisis among older Australians, and it is worse for older women, who are the fastest growing group facing homelessness.
“Older people who have worked in minimum wage jobs and manual labor are being forced to seek work instead of enjoying the retirement they deserve.
“In the balance of power, Greens will fight to restore respect and dignity in aging, and ensure that it is rest and revitalization, not poverty, that awaits people at the end of their working lives. . By making billionaires pay their fair share of tax, older Australians can retire earlier with dignity.
As Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens spokesperson for family, aging and community services, said:
“Liberals and Labor have failed older voters and working families across the country. Hundreds of thousands of older Australians live in poverty and are counting the days until their next birthday so they can finally reach retirement age.
“Allowing earlier access to the Age Pension will reduce poverty in Australia and support thousands of older Australians who deserve better from our government.
“Thousands of older workers are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to retire. Many work for poverty wages, in backbreaking jobs – in manufacturing, in hotels, in supermarkets, as laborers and salespeople – people who have worked hard all their lives and are forced to wait two years more to retire. The Greens will not make them wait any longer.
“Anyone who has ever struggled to put food on their table, or had to choose between paying the rent on time or getting the medicine they need, knows how long an extra two-year wait is.
“For too long Labor and the Liberals have imposed policies that enrich the rich and left everyone else behind. It is time for the government to take care of low-income workers and older Australians.
As Penny Allman-Payne, lead candidate for the Queensland Senate, said:
“Here in Queensland we only need a 1.5% swing to win another senator, and if we win I will fight to make sure the billionaires and big business pay their fair share to lower the retirement age and increase the rate.
“I am fighting to take Pauline Hanson’s place in the Senate because the people of Queensland deserve someone who will fight for them, not some wealthy career politician who talks a big game and then votes with the Liberals to fuck the ordinary people.”
PAY FOR OUR PLAN
By making billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes and removing subsidies for big polluters, we can build a better life for all of us.
1 in 3 large corporations pay no tax and many large corporations and billionaires send their profits overseas tax free.
Greens to tax billionaires with a new ‘billionaire tax’, require big corporations making excessive profits to pay a ‘corporate super-profit tax’ and billions of dollars in donations to coal giants , oil and gas which are at the root of the climate crisis .
These measures have all been costed by the Independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
When big business and billionaires pay their fair share, everyone can get the services they need for a better life.