The Labor Party has announced it will not support the government's proposed changes to the age pension, which were set to save $2.4 billion in the federal Budget.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten said yesterday that Labor would fight the government's attempt to "cut the pension for hundreds of thousands of pensioners".
The changes in the federal Budget would only affect part-pensioners, with the government estimating that 170,000 with modest savings would gain some age pension while 330,000 with more assets would lose some of their entitlement.
Under the proposed changes, home-owning older couples with assets between $800,000 and $1.2 million would lose their part pension altogether.
Mr Shorten cited 'independent analysis' that showed the proposed changes would affect half of all new retirees within 10 years.
"Labor has carefully considered the proposal and it’s clear the government has not been upfront about the full extensive impact of these cuts," Mr Shorten said.
"[The independent analysis] shows more than a million retirees will be affected by these cuts, including 700,000 people who will retire in the next decade," he said.
"Some single pensioners will lose more than $8,000 a year – a quarter of their yearly income of $36,000. Some couples will lose approximately $14,000 a year," Mr Shorten said.
National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill supported Labor's move, describing the proposed changes as "poorly thought through, and, subsequently, unfair".
"The public talk was about ‘wealthy’ retirees. But, in fact, the sums show middle- to low-income pensioners, with little capacity to adjust, would have been seriously impacted," Mr O'Neill said.
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