New Greens leader Richard Di Natale has failed one of his first tests as leader by supporting cuts to the aged pension. The cuts will take $2.5 billion from pensioners over the next four years.
Di Natale has justified the cuts by saying that they are taking from better off pensioners. Under the new arrangement, 170,000 pensioners with few assets will get $30 more. But the money comes by taking from the payments of 330,000 part pensioners who have the most asset wealth.
Though Di Natale claims these were “people on high incomes”, Labor modelling found the wealthiest couples targeted by the measure receive only $55,000 a year in super income—hardly living the high life.
Overall, welfare spending as a proportion of GDP has shrunk in the last decade.
The Greens claimed the government agreed to consider changes to superannuation tax concessions as part of the deal, but the same day Social Services Minister Scott Morrison told the 7.30 Report, “we will not tax your super” and that their position remains “unchanged”.
The Greens have been duped into supporting a terrible policy in an effort to look influential. The deal has not brought changes to superannuation any closer. It only promotes the idea that welfare is just a safety net, rather than a right.
It’s not parliamentary deal-making with Abbott we need from The Greens—but a fightback.