Older Australians are relying on the age pension because they are blowing their super on cruises and luxury items, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says.
Tuesday night’s budget announced an increase in the aged pension to 70 by July 2035.
Mr Truss said 1100 new people a week, in their mid-sixties, were moving on to the age pension, with many of them accessing their super from age 60 and squandering it.
“Increasingly, the lifestyle and the savings for superannuation are being seen as an opportunity to enjoy a few cruises and the luxuries of life for a few years until it runs out and then people wish to fall back on the age pension,” the Nationals leader told the Conservative Breakfast Club in Brisbane on Wednesday.
From 2017, the age pension will be indexed twice a year against inflation instead of average male weekly earnings.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the increased pension age would not just hit construction workers, but also nurses and cleaners.
“How dare Tony Abbott lecture the real people of Australia about working longer,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Asked about the difference between Labor’s decision to increase the pension age to 67 and the Abbott government’s moves, Mr Shorten said: “70 is distinctly older”.