Chris Smith Breakfast program 2GB | ‘Change it!’: Government slammed for ignoring pension overhaul

Currently, pensioners working more than one day a week at the minimum wage will have their benefits reduced. National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke told Chris Smith national cabinet should have agreed on changes to the system yesterday. “The government isn’t even commenting on this … the only reason I think it is, is because it would mean they have to change the system. And if you have to change the system, change it!” Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has expressed her support for a pension overhaul in a letter to Chris Smith.

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2GB Money | Ian Henschke Interview

Well, I tell you the self-funded retirees or the self-funded, you know people, you know, it’s you know that The Gerry Harveys to Kerry Stokes the Gina Rineharts who are all still working. They get to keep their money when they earn it, and they just pay tax. When the pensioner works the pensioner gets 50 cents in the dollar taken away. And then when they earn above the, tax threshold, which I think is about 32,000 when they get another 19 cents to take it away. So they’re paying the highest marginal tax rates of any individuals in Australia effectively. Now, why is that? It’s because Someone somewhere sees the pensioners welfare. And when they see it as welfare, they say, oh, well, you’re not really entitled to keep any of that money. So I’m going to put my hand in your pocket.

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4BC Breakfast | Ian Henschke Interview

We know that in aged care. Who was a report done by the council for the economic development of Australia saying we need another 17000 people to work as care workers in aged care. So you’ve got all these jobs going. You need another 10000, I believe, a year in the health sector. You’ve got the Australian Hotels Association the other day, was supporting our push. We’ve got the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry supporting our push. We’ve even got the richest person in Australia, Gina Rinehart. She came out and gave a couple of speeches just recently, saying that in the west, they need 50000 extra workers in western Australia alone.

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‘No brainer’: Seniors group call for pension overhaul to combat labor shortage

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke says it’s a “no brainer”. “One of the big problems we’ve got at the moment is we need tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of workers,” he said on 6PR Breakfast. “And what happens if you are a pensioner and you work more than one day a week, and that’s only $240 … you lose 50 cents in your pension, and then you pay 19 cents in the dollar tax. “And that’s why Gina Rinehart, who’s the richest woman in Australia, has come out and said ‘fix it!’ Because it doesn’t make sense.”

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A rich source of skilled workers

Policymakers looking to retraining programs and skilled migrants to fill skill shortages as the economy roars back from the pandemic should not overlook a potentially rich source of experienced and often highly skilled workers – retirees. Many retirees would be happy to work for a few extra years, at least part time, to postpone dipping into their superannuation nest eggs, during which time of course they also would be paying income tax. More important, they would be contributing to an economy in which nine in 10 jobseekers unfortunately lack the requisite training needed for the vast majority of available roles, according to new analysis by the federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

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3AW Drive | Ian Henschke Interview

So if you add all that up, party, this is a no-brainer. I mean, decent jobs, and that pensioners would want to be doing, age pensioners would want to be doing. If you look at aged care, for example, the greatest proportion of people working in aged care,. Are over the age of 50, right? So as they head towards their pension date. At the moment, they know that if the Aged care home or the home care provider says to them, would you like to work every weekend for us? Because we do need people on the weekends, they’ll discover very rapidly, but once I’ve worked on that Saturday, the Sunday, they’ll start losing 50 cents in the dollar, and they’ll say, look, it’s not working.

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Pension system changes needed to keep older Australians in work

“If the government exempted work income from the income test for those with limited savings it would boost their income and savings in retirement, and boost the productivity of the nation,” Mr Henschke said. “We will nudge millions of Australians into, not out of, work.” The idea has support from business groups and figures. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart said the change would help ease the nation’s skills crisis. “We are a supporter of the government changing its policy where pension arrangements are concerned, so that pensioners can work should they so choose, without onerous tax resulting from their decision to work,” Ms Rinehart said.

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ABC Breakfast program interview Ian Henschke

We say, we need workers in aged care. We need workers at home care. We need works in the health system we need them Hospitality. Gina Rinehart in western Australia, with the board has been shut. She’s come out and said, look, this doesn’t make sense, because she’s probably losing workers in her business areas, which are pastoral areas. You know, the I think she’s got big parcel interest in mining interest. She has mining interest in some past ones, just you sold a few. But, yes, so she’s that, She’s saying, you know, let these people work and try and get a better taxation system going.

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Jokes and Joys

A giggle a day keeps the doctor away