General News

27 April, 2022

Katter on pensions

MEMBER for Kennedy Bob Katter has come out swinging in the first week of the election campaign, calling for changes to the age pension and to charges associated with developing blocks of land.

Mr Katter is pushing for the age pension to be boosted by $100 a week so seniors can deal with the soaring cost of living. To pay for the $14 billion a year policy, he wants the Federal Government to place a five per cent surcharge on all imports into Australia which would generate $20 billion a year and give Australian industry and workers a competitive advantage.

“If you want to buy something from China instead of Australia, then you should pay five per cent more for it,” Mr Katter said. “It might teach people to buy Australian made and not from overseas.

“People who have worked their whole lives for our nation can’t afford to live on the age pension payment they are getting now. Some people on the pension did not have superannuation for most of their working life.

“Single pensioners can currently earn $180 a fortnight before their pension is reduced. I think that figure should be increased so that pensioners can work if they want to, without being penalised.”

To tackle the current housing and rental crisis, Mr Katter is calling for changes to the charges put on every block of land by State and Local Governments.

He also says developing the Bridle Track link to the coast would allow families to make a choice to live on the Tablelands where there are larger lots of land available.

“In my view, 300 square metre housing blocks are no place for families to grow up in, and it’s time to end slum housing developments in Far North Queensland,” he said.

He says the Bridle Track Tunnel must be built from Cairns to the Tablelands to allow people to buy acreage housing blocks around localities like Koah, Speewah and Davies Creek.

Mr Katter believes the Federal Government should intervene in the process of subdivisions in what he described as a failure of State and Local governments.

“The restrictions and requirements of subdivisions have jacked up the price of a block of land to over $100,000 to $200,000,” Mr Katter said.

“The costs of curbing, channelling, headworks charges etc. have made the costs astronomical. The cost to construct a house has also risen, you need to put scaffolding around it during construction which costs $25,000, and you must have insulation now which costs $50,000.

“The Federal Government is handing out money for people to build houses which means demand is increasing but supply is decreasing. All this does is increase property prices.

“The Federal Government should step in and address the supply of housing by creating acreage block subdivisions without all the restrictions and requirements under the State and Local Government rules.

“Charters Towers used to be under the Mining Act, and we had no restrictions on subdivisions and a block of land cost you $7,000. When we went under the restrictive State and Local Government Act, the price of a block went through the roof to $140,000 then settled back to $70,000.

“The restrictions are increasing the cost of land by 10-fold.”


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