Blocking through Senate possible
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OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has spoken to elderly Bendigo residents about potential changes to the pension.
The government has said changes to the aged pension are “inevitable”, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott signaled on Monday the cuts would not be made before 2017.
Tighter indexation and eligibility thresholds would be introduced in three years, he said, while other benefits could be adjusted now.
Mr Shorten met with eight pensioners at long-time ALP member Lorna Erwin's house to discuss the changes and challenges with the system.
The Opposition Leader also took aim at News Corp reports of tax hikes for people earning more than $80,000 a year, which would see an $800 levy.
Those earning $400,000 a year would be slugged $8000, the News Corp reports said.
He said the government had broken a pre-election promise not to introduce new taxes.
"These people know that a broken promise is a broken promise," he said.
"A tax increase is a tax increase is a tax increase.
"No amount of weasel words by Tony Abbott and his Liberal government can change the truth.
"Before the election, pensioners were not going to be touched.
"Before the election, there would be no tax increases in a government led by Tony Abbott.
"Now we see, two weeks from the budget, rampant speculation that there will be a tax increase on people who go to work."
Mr Shorten did not rule out the opposition blocking the tax changes in the Senate and said he would have to look at the detail.
"We will fight a tax increase on ordinary Australians, absolutely," he said.
"It's a bad idea, it's a broken promise, it's a tax increase. Labor will have no part of it."
Mr Abbott told 3AW on Tuesday only a permanent increase would represent a broken election promise.