Hockey horror show rejected

A PROPOSAL to lift the retirement age to 70 has been met with horror, disbelief and indignation from hard-working locals.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has sparked outrage after hinting the age pension could become off-limits to people until they reach septuagenarian status.

A month out from his first budget, Mr Hockey said hard decisions had to be made to ensure the country could cope with its rapidly ageing population in future years.

Australia’s retirement age will rise from 65 to 67 in 2023, but Mr Hockey has not ruled out adding an extra three years on at a future date.

The Leader’s Facebook page was inundated with comments on the topic, with few respondents finding anything positive to say about the suggestion.

Tamworth resident Brian Gordon got straight to the point when he said: “Bloody hard as a tradie to work until (you’re) 70.”

Stuart Goff, of Moore Creek, urged the government to save money by cracking down on welfare cheats, rather than targeting the elderly.

“It’s the people that can work now (who) should be working and not getting the dole,” he said.

Tamworth’s Louise Water was quick to put out a potential fatal flaw in the government’s logic.

“A lot of people aren’t capable of working at that age,” she posted. “They say we are living longer; this will surely cut back on those statistics.”

Experienced local accountant Stephen Maher said very few people could afford to retire without some assistance from the age pension.

He said raising the retirement age would give rise to a myriad of issues needing to be overcome, such as retraining for older workers unable to complete physical labour and younger people being squeezed out of the workforce.

“If people have been in a position where they are not able to put money aside in superannuation or other forms of saving for retirement, raising the pension age would just make it more difficult,” he said.

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