A.I.R. Federdal Budget Report:
Disappointing Budget for Lower Income Self-funded Retirees
The President of the Association of Independent Retirees (A.I.R.) Limited, Max Barton, has warned the Government that the combination of the reduction in the assets threshold for part pension eligibility to $820,000 for a couple with their own home and the accelerated cut in the withdrawal of the part pension or taper above $385,000, will mean a reduction or abolition of a pension or part pension for over 300,000 elderly Australians. Read more
A.I.R. Welcomes End of Medicare Co-Payment Proposal
A.I.R. has welcomed Government’s decision not to continue with the $5 Medicare co-payment which will allow a more comprehensive consideration of the best way to ensure the sustainability of Medicare in the long term and remove a distracting issue from the ongoing consultations which the Minister for Health, Hon Sussan Ley MP, is conducting with GPs and health stakeholder groups about protecting Medicare.
A.I.R. has, however, written to the Minister to suggest a number of actions to be taken to address issues of concern to self-funded retirees about the future of Medicare and the reform of Australia’s health system:
- Introduce actions to offset the rapidly increasing out of pocket Health Care costs for older Australians.
- Scrap the CPI indexation measure of Health Insurance rebates that was introduced in 2013. This reduction to the % rebate adds to the cost impact on the premium increase each year for PHI for retired Australians.
- Change the PBS Safety Net threshold for single retirees to 65% of the couples / families threshold level or the same % difference between the threshold income limit to receive the aged pension for either a single person and a couple.
- Introduce incentives to medical specialists to provide bulk billing to Aged Pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders.
A.I.R.’s Pre-Budget Submission for 2015-16
3 February 2015 – The A.I.R. Pre-Budget Submission for 2015-16 has just been lodged with The Treasury. The submission makes 11 recommendations on issues and concerns of A.I.R. members and makes recommendations within the areas of Financial, Health Care, Aged Care and Social Welfare that are important and need to be addressed in the Government’s 2015-16 Budget. Read more