So, the government wants us to work longer because Australia’s population is ageing.
There is nothing new in this revelation, in fact, if anything it’s ancient history. Paul Keating identified the ageing demographic 20 years ago, which is why we have a 9% superannuation guarantee in place today. Had the Howard government understood the rationale, we’d all be sitting on a 15% superannuation guarantee today and today’s intergenerational report to be announced & sprouked by Swan wouldn’t be anywhere near as dire as we’re being prepared for.
For mine, given the loss I incurred courtesy of greed-obsessed American financial markets, I’ll have to work beyond age 65 anyway. I won’t be alone. Whether that be part-time or full-time – a rapidly diminishing probability given an employment marketplace which just doesn’t see benefits in paying older workers appropriately for their skills and experience – the need will still be there. That’s life, I suppose. Yet again, the greater good can be seen to be cast aside for the short-term minorities quick gain. The 11 years of conservative government from 1996 to 2007, as far as the average worker can be concerned, were a complete null zone. Wages and CPI barely kept pace, and in most cases didn’t. The gap between rich and poor has broadened considerably, genuine taxation reform was not enacted, despite what advocates for the GST would have us believe. I fear for the average worker in Australia, the damage has already been done. Had Australia stuck to the program with Keating’s reforms, the country would be in a better place in terms of productivity and future economic demands than it is today. But Howard had his ideological blinders on and change for the better, for the workers of this once ‘lucky country’, was deliberately cast aside.
Will Rudd pick up the dropped baton and re-enter the race? It’s extremely doubtful, despite what Ken Henry might recommend. Genuine taxation reform appears to be the monster which hides under all government’s beds. It’s easier to pull up the bed clothes and hide where the monster can’t see you, and you can’t see it, than face the monster, abolish it, and realise that fear is the only thing to be feared. Rudd is not a visionary. He’s a policy man. Policy required to stay in power, nothing more, nothing less. Paul Keating, where are you when your nation really needs you?