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Let Pensioners Work

Calls grow for changes to pension eligibility rules to ease Australia’s job crisis

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“When you think of people who worked for a long time, they’ve built up an enormous amount of skills, they’ve got a lot of experience, they don’t panic, they know what to do in different situations…they also have a lot of capability to mentor younger people to provide that experience and that skill,” Willox said. Willox’s push for older Australians to be able to re-enter the workforce with ease comes after Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton said he wanted to double the amount age pensioners can earn before their pensions are reduced in an effort to both fix staff shortages and help with the rising cost of living.

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500,000 ‘grey army’ workers stand ready

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Estimates from Deloitte Access Economics quantify a 5 per cent bump in the number of 55s in the workforce as a $48 billion boost to national gross domestic product. Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief economist Aaron Morey says the tight labour market means tapping into the full potential of the workforce was “critical” to getting the economy back on track.

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A fair go for grey army

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Time to let pensioners like George work more Pensioner George Gibson wants to work more to keep the country growing, but he also doesn’t think he should be penalised for doing so. At a time when Australia is desperate for workers, industry groups agree it’s absurd a “grey army” of employees like the 71-year-old are being held back by outdated rules that mean they can only earn $300 a fortnight before their government payments are reduced. It comes as Opposition Leader Peter Dutton pushes for the threshold to be raised to $600 – an idea championed by mining billionaire Gina Rinehart. National Seniors Australia says 19 per cent of pensioners want to return to work.

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AGE-OLD RULES NOT WORKING

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Estimates from Deloitte Access Economics have a 5 per cent rise in the number of over-55 s in the workforce as boosting national gross domestic product by $48 billion. The idea has long been championed by WA mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, pictured right. Mr Dutton confirmed conversations with Mrs Rinehart had helped inform his stance.
Mrs Rinehart said she applauded Mr Dutton “for the leadership he has shown on this issue”. “I would encourage the Government to not only consider the benefits to the department of eliminating pensioners’ paperwork but the revenue generated from additional income tax … and businesses then able to generate more taxable profits,” she said. Mrs Rinehart wants the Government to go further than Mr Dutton’s policy however, by eliminating any upward limit to what pensioners can earn, “and just let them contribute like other Australians by paying income tax” .

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DUTTON IN PENSIONER WORK PLAN | Leader’s Gina-Inspired Policy

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Peter Dutton is in Perth for the second time in less than a fortnight , this time to spruik his calls for the Albanese Government to let pensioners earn more money without their pensions being cut back. WA mining magnate Gina Rinehart championed a similar policy before the Federal election as a way to help solve Australia’s worker shortage, but the idea was never adopted by former prime minister Scott Morrison.

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Encourage retirees to remain in the workforce

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Given our ageing population, over the next few decades Australia is set to lose billions of dollars’ worth of human intellectual capital as well as priceless wisdom that collectively diminishes from the workplace once workers vanish into the oblivion of retirement. Overall, we as a society need to change our view of retirement so those people who want to keep working to earn money to supplement their pension or superannuation are able to do so. Those who are willing and able to contribute in their industry should be encouraged to do so, not out of pity, but out of a desire to extract the rich knowledge that would otherwise be lost to society.

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