Aged Pension: “an economically costly inheritance preservation scheme”

The Australian’s Adam Creighton has continued his war against the Aged Pension’s largesse towards wealthy retirees, labelling it “an economically costly inheritance preservation scheme”:

Last week figures emerged showing about 255,000 pensioners lived in homes worth more than $1m, costing taxpayers an estimated $6.3bn a year — enough to reduce the top marginal tax rate dramatically, for instance. The Australian National University report found almost 30,000 pensioners were in homes worth more than $2m. The biggest asset most people own is excluded from the eligibility test for the Age Pension.

No one begrudges success but the government needs to prioritise who receives scarce tax dollars. The 707 pensioners in Perth’s Dalkeith (median dwelling value $1.5m) or 429 in Sydney’s Vaucluse (median $2.7m) should be lower down the list than families struggling to buy a home facing marginal tax rates of 39c in the dollar.

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