Pensioners better off, says Abbott

PRIME MINISTER: Tony Abbott live on radio on Tuesday.

PRIME MINISTER: Tony Abbott live on radio on Tuesday.

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PENSIONERS will be better off overall despite changes to the aged pension looming, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott. 

The government has said pension changes are inevitable, but Mr Abbott has clarified the changes won’t be for at least three years.

In a speech to the Sydney Institute on Monday, Mr Abbott said he believed pensioners would be better off.

“Prior to the election, we said that we wouldn’t cut the age pension,” he said.  

“I want to assure vulnerable people that the aged pension won’t be less tomorrow than it is today and that people turning 65 tomorrow are certainly not going to have to wait five years to retire.  

“I’m confident that pensioners will be better off because they’ll lose the carbon tax but keep the carbon tax compensation.”

Mr Abbott again signalled pain in the upcoming budget.

“Come budget night, I suspect that there won’t be many without a potential grumble, but involving everyone in repaying Labor’s spending binge is the only way to be fair,” he said.  

“The budget pain will be temporary but the economic improvement will be permanent.  

“I can assure you that everyone will be involved, including high-income earners such as members of parliament.”

The changes would make personal tax cuts more likely in four or five years’ time, he said.

“This will not be a budget for the rich or poor, it will be a budget for the country.”

A spokeswoman for Treasurer Joe Hockey recently told the Bendigo Advertiser the government needed to address the ALP’s mismanagement of the economy.

“The Coalition was elected on a pledge to fix the budget and address Labor’s waste and mismanagement,” she said.

“The latest budget updated outlined an historic run of deficits and debt projected to reach $667 billion.

“Labor is now blocking more than $20 billion in savings in the parliament, including $5 billion of their very own savings they took to the election.

“They have no credibility.

“If Lisa Chester (sic) is concerned about rising gas prices, she and her Labor colleagues should abolish the carbon tax."

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