Queensland's over 50s have named economic management as the number one issue in the state election and called on the major parties to come clean on how they will manage the state’s finances in the next term of government.
Michael O’Neill, chief executive of National Seniors, said management of the state’s economy was critical because it provided the foundation for people to live with dignity and certainty, whether in the workplace, in retirement or in their latter years.
“An economy that is managed effectively, with productivity at the forefront and an emphasis on harnessing the skills and experience of all and keeping the cost of government taxes and charges down, is what provides confidence across the whole community.
“There are challenges but those seeking the Treasury benches need to be upfront about how they will deal with them and provide the foundation for the future.”
O’Neill said older Queenslanders living on low and fixed incomes relied on concessions to help deal with state and local government and utility charges.
“They are entitled to certainty about the maintenance or otherwise of such benefits and that depends on the economic management strategy of the party in power.
“If there are to be restrictions or limits on concessions across the term of the government, then the parties need to be upfront now and inform the electorate. We will be seeking a clear unambiguous statement from each party on this aspect.”
O’Neill said that whichever party wins power would help lift the state’s bottom line by putting policies in place that encouraged older people to stay in the workforce longer.
“Job creation for all ages must be a priority and that includes the over 50s. Successive Queensland governments have failed to take mature age employment seriously and that is to the detriment of the people concerned, their families and the state economy through the loss in productivity and experience.”
O'Neill said the over 50s would judge harshly any party that could not provide confidence about their competence to manage the finances of the state.