Scott Morrison is facing backlash from Labor ministers for ditching a new retirement plan, with one opposition minister calling it a “circus”.
The Prime Minister told Channel Nine this morning that he is scrapping the proposed plan to raise the pension age from 67 to 70.
“I’ve already consulted my colleagues on that. And next week, cabinet will be ratifying a decision to reverse taking the [pension] age to 70. It will remain at 67,” he said.
The policy was introduced in a 2014 budget plan and announced by former treasurer Joe Hockey.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told Sky that abandoning the plan is a “pragmatic, sensible move”.
“I think if you are a tradie, or a brickie or a shearer in rural and regional Australia you don’t want some suit in Canberra telling you you are going to have to work until you’re 70,” McCormack said.
“It’s hard, back-breaking work what a lot of our people do and I think being told that they are going to have to work until 70 was probably a step too far.”
But the decision has received criticism from multiple Labor ministers.
Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has expressed concern about Morrison’s sudden change of mind.
Scott Morrison voted seven times to increase the pension age to 70. Now he says he was wrong. How do we know he won't try it again? How can we trust him? pic.twitter.com/aWwXR2ueUg
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) September 5, 2018
Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor was one of the first Labor officials to criticise the decision, claiming it was made with an imminent election in mind.