New research from National Seniors Australia shows four out of five older Australians don’t believe they receive privileged treatment from government.
Seventy-four per cent also think their age qualifies them for respect from younger people and 73% believe they give more support to their children than they receive.
The findings contradict those of public policy think tank, the Grattan Institute, which recently released a report titled Money in retirement: More than enough, arguing older Australians had a “privileged status”, including tax breaks and excessive retirement income.
National Seniors CEO and Research Director, Professor John McCallum, said today his new report Respect for Age: Going, Going or Gone? Views of Older Australians revealed older Australians believed exactly the opposite.
“Rather than enjoying an ‘age of entitlement’, most older Australians believe their views are not being heard or respected when major government decisions are made that directly affect their finances,” Prof. McCallum said.
“They feel they are targeted, for example, on tax concessions when others who also benefit from concessions, such as big business, politicians and the wealthy, are unaffected.
“They also believe the government finds them an easy target when it needs to make budget savings and makes changes to the age pension and superannuation without considering alternatives.”
Prof. McCallum said older Australians believed the recent Gratton Institute report and another in 2016 did not accurately represent their situation and were creating a politically-motivated “fake intergenerational war”.
“This ‘war’ doesn’t exist in the eyes of older people, who generally give more help to their children than they receive,” Prof. McCallum said. “They also believe that if you can work in old age, you should, but that older people should not be compelled to keep working.
“Most seniors also agree the government has a responsibility to provide the Age Pension to those who need it.”
The full report Respect for Age: Going, Going or Gone? Views of Older Australians can be found at www.nationalseniors.com.au/respectforage.
National Seniors CEO Professor John McCallum is available for comment.
Media contact: Lynda Schekoske 0488 047 380 or 07 3233 9134.