Budget: It hurts low income families

Hurt by budget: Gregory Moore with son, Zaino, 3, and daughter Yasmeen, 20 months. Picture: Natalie Roberts
Hurt by budget: Gregory Moore with son, Zaino, 3, and daughter Yasmeen, 20 months. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Western Sydney father-of-two Gregory Moore says this is a budget that will especially hurt low-income earners.

A qualified heavy-vehicle mechanic, he doesn't see how the government can ask someone who does manual labour their whole working life to keep it up until 70.

He is 38. He completed his apprenticeship after year 12 but others in his industry left school in year 10.

"If they retire at 70 they will have worked 54 years of their life," Mr Moore said.

"Over 50 and you're over it here. A truck wheel weighs about 100 kilos; you're not lifting it as such but you're tipping it off the floor. It's mainly people's backs that go and they get hernias. At 51, when you want to change jobs out of a trade, you're much less employable."

Australian Workers Union assistant national secretary Scott McDine said a proposal like this shows how dangerously out of touch the Abbott government is with real workers.

"Only someone who's never worked a day of manual labour in their life would imagine that it's possibly to do it until you're 70," he said.

Mr Moore's children are 20 months and 3. His older child, Zaino, has autism. "If I'm still working at 70 he'll be in his mid-30s and may still need my financial help," Mr Moore said.

It concerned him that in a divorce his superannuation would count as dividable property. "This means you could lose your super which means the change in the pension age will apply."

Commonwealth Bank's MyWealth reporter Peter Wolfram said a 48-year-old born on January 1, 1966, wishing to retire by 65 would need about $96,432 in super to generate the equivalent of the maximum Age Pension — currently $21,912 a year for singles.

He said a 48-year-old today would need to make extra pretax contributions of about $5232 (singles) or $3943 (members of a couple) a year for the next 16 ½ years to retire at 70.

Builder Mark Braatz said: "I'm a '70s baby so I fall into that bracket of retiring at 70 but the way I feel at 44 I don't think I'll make it to then but my father could probably contradict that. He's 82. A butcher all his life. He stopped last year. He'd been helping in a butcher shop about 15 hours a week."

This story Budget: It hurts low income families first appeared on Parramatta Sun.


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