The issue is everywhere in the media at present. Foreign corporations not paying enough local tax. Cashed-up foreigners trying to buy big chunks of our real-estate. From anti-migration walls to offshore detention facilities, it seems that the people holding the purse-strings are blaming foreigners as the reason for our economic decline.
So how likely is it that the Government would try to reduce the pension entitlements for Australians from migrant backgrounds as part of a budget-savings measure?
This very proposal in May 2016 is currently before Australian federal parliament, and would limit the amount pensioners could spend overseas before their pensions were affected. The time limit they spend in another country and their eligibility to receive their full pensions would be reduced from the current 26-week threshold to six weeks, and after that time, the payments would reduce progressively.
At the moment, Australia has international social-security agreements with many other countries, and these allow people who migrate between those countries to access their benefits while overseas.
While opposition parties publicly oppose the current plan, the forthcoming federal election and the growing burden of pension payouts on the economy, make this a hot election issue.
I predict that the Australian government will reduce the pension entitlements of pensioners who spend a lot of time overseas.
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