Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More policy confusion from Tony Abbott

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott needs to come clean on his secret plan to make older Australians work longer to pay for welfare payments for high-income families.

A report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald reveals that Mr Abbott has a secret plan to increase the pension age so that high-income families can receive generous family tax benefit payments for children under five years of age

Mr Abbott’s shadow cabinet proposal says:

“If a universal family tax benefit payment needs to be fully funded it could be done by further increasing the retirement age.”

Mr Abbott’s latest policy thought bubble means that high-income families would collect welfare payments of more than $4,800 per child per year.

He says that older Australians should pay for this largesse by lifting the pension age.

In his book Battlelines Mr Abbott says the pension age could be increased to 70 years.

But confusion surrounds Mr Abbott’s real position with his spokesman saying “no final decisions have been made in these areas.”

This is yet another example of Mr Abbott’s erratic policy ideas not lasting from breakfast to lunch time.

It is more evidence that Tony Abbott is a huge risk to older Australians.

Mr Abbott’s extreme views on welfare for high-income families means that he is playing politics with the lives of older Australians.

The Rudd Government is committed to targeted family payments to ensure welfare is directed towards families who need them most.