LETTER: Seniors' vote could sway the election outcome

WITH nearly half the voting population aged over 50, seniors could sway the outcome of the upcoming election.

Little has emerged in the way of commitments to improve the lives of older Australians but National Seniors has collated the key seniors-related policies for each of the main parties so you can see just how they compare.

Seniors say that superannuation policies and harsh Age Pension changes have combined to dent confidence in their retirement incomes. 

Labor will review the Age Pension asset changes due to take effect January 2017, but has fallen short of committing to any amendment.

The Coalition and Greens are holding firm on the policy that will see around 330,000 retirees losing some or all of their Age Pension.    

Both major parties have committed to returning the budget to surplus by 2020-21, yet the target remains ambitious, given there are no real economic reforms on offer.

On health, there is extra funding for hospitals but not enough to substantially improve waiting times for elective surgery. Private health insurance is set for a shake-up regardless of the election outcome.

Aged care has been put in the too hard basket, with considerable uncertainty around funding and vague promises of long term reform to manage the increasing demand for quality care.

There are some clear differences in policies on offer but none that would meaningfully affect the well-being of older people. 

Rosemary Desmond, 

National Seniors

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