Backflip on pension age increase gets thumbs up in Bundy
IT'S more than 40 years away for Bundaberg's Lillie Hall, but that didn't stop her smiling after hearing of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision to dump plans to raise the pension age.
The 17-year-old was among the thousands of Bundaberg workers who yesterday welcomed the PM's move to keep the pension age at 67 years.
Previously the government had been looking to raise the pension eligibility age to 70.
"Next week, cabinet will be ratifying a decision to reverse taking the pension - the retirement age - to 70. It will remain at 67," Prime Minister Morrison said yesterday.
Among those backing the PM was Hinkler MP Keith Pitt who said it was a great move for Bundaberg's senior community.
"The Prime Minister is doing the right thing by senior Australians, removing another Hockey hangover," Mr Pitt said.
"Australians can retire at any time they choose to, if they believe they are in a position to support themselves, but access to the aged pension is once they are 67."
Ms Hall is an apprentice hairdresser.
She said she felt for older workers in labouring and physically demanding jobs.
"There are plenty of people in their 50s working hard, but when you get into your 60s, you're a little more frail," Ms Hall said.
She said she'd love to see the pension age lowered to 62.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the decision wouldn't last long if the government gained control of the Senate at the next federal election.
Mr Shorten said Mr Morrison had backed the increase in his three years as treasurer.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the reverse of the pension age rise was "sensible and pragmatic", especially for manual workers in regional areas.
"I think if you're a tradie or a brickie or a shearer in rural and regional Australia, you don't want some suit Canberra telling you that you've got to work until you're 70," Mr McCormack told Sky News.
The cabinet will discuss the issue next week.