Essential Report

Can we afford a long life?

Jun 19, 2012

Paul Schroder says the nature of our work is changing and the significance and reliance of super will increase — especially as we are all living longer.

In 2002, for every person aged 65 and over, there were about 5.3 people working. By 2043, this will decrease to about 2.5 people. That means less people doing more work to maintain health and other services for a burgeoning older population.

Simultaneously, the nature of work has changed so that there is more contract, casual and self employed workers. Australian Super’s Paul Schroder tells 3Q the great challenge for super is to ensure these people continue to make contributions to secure their retirement. Considering one in three children born today will reach 100, super should take equal priority to the family home when it comes to finances.

Interests Represented by Parties

May 30, 2011

Q. Which political party do you think best represents the interests of –

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Families with young children 34% 31% 5% 29%
Students 30% 28% 10% 33%
Working people on average incomes 40% 32% 5% 23%
Working people on low incomes 43% 27% 6% 24%
Working people on high incomes 13% 63% 2% 22%
People on welfare 38% 23% 8% 30%
Pensioners 33% 28% 5% 34%
Small businesses and self-employed 20% 47% 4% 29%
Big business 13% 62% 2% 23%
The next generation of Australians 19% 31% 17% 33%
Indigenous people 23% 21% 16% 40%
Ethnic communities 22% 21% 15% 42%
Rural and regional Australians 18% 34% 11% 36%

The Labor Party is considered the party which best represents the interests of working people on low and average incomes, people on welfare and pensioners. The Liberal Party is considered best at representing the interests of people on high incomes, big business, small business and self-employed, rural and regional Australians and the next generation. The Greens’ main strengths are in representing the next generation, indigenous people and ethnic communities.

There was little difference between the major parties in terms of representing the interests of families with young children, students, indigenous people and ethnic communities.

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