Today in estimates I asked the Department of Social Services about the McClure review of welfare payments and whether the review was examining any of the potential impacts that would come with increasing the retirement age. Unfortunately it isn't.
An increase to the retirement age would have significant implications for many older workers who could face being excluded from the workforce due to factors such as age discrimination and a lack of training and support. These workers would face the prospect of being forced to survive on payments like Newstart or the DSP for longer periods of time and would face living in poverty in the years leading up to their retirement.
The Department also would not confirm if they had been asked to work on the implications of raising the retirement age, however the Secretary Mr Pratt said he has been talking to the Government about the issue. The Government's review of working age welfare payments must examine these important long term issues.
We've also used Estimates to access more information about the Welfare Review.
A list of the stakeholders consulted by the Government so far - http://tinyurl.com/ma8m3et
A list of the review's guiding principles - http://tinyurl.com/kxhvjd8