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Poverty among older Australians to be compounded by budget measures

The Australian Greens said today that already high poverty levels among older Australians would increase as a result of the Government's budget measures.

"The Global AgeWatch Index has found that 35.5% of older Australians are living in poverty, and that Australia is ranked 61 out of 95 countries when it comes to income security, including pensions and income support," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing said today.

"Debate continues in the Senate today on the Government's Social Services Amendment bills, which will make things even worse for older Australians.

"Increasing the retirement age to 70 without dealing with the growing numbers of older Australians on Newstart facing age discrimination and other barriers to work will see people living and retiring in poverty.

"Cuts to pension indexation will lead to people receiving the aged pension being $80 per week worse off in real terms within a decade.

"The Greens will continue to oppose both Social Security Amendment bills in the Senate today.

"The Government should drop legislation that will hurt older Australians, and work closely with them and with the community sector to develop a comprehensive reform package to ensure people have the support they need as they age, to avoid being exposed to poverty.

"A so-called modern nation such as Australia should not be leaving people behind later in life, and the Government should not be making things worse as part of an ideological war against income support," Senator Siewert concluded.

 

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