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Downsizing: Productivity Commission says elderly should sell their homes

An outraged caller has locked horns with Neil Mitchell after he suggested she should downsize her home so she wouldn’t have to rely on the pension. 

The Productivity Commission has released a report suggesting elderly Australians would have a better quality of life and reduce their reliance on the aged pension if they sold their homes. 

But Helena, aged in her sixties, said she was entitled to the pension and did not want to sell her home, which is currently valued about $800,000.

Helena: Why should I have to move out of my house?

Neil: Well, why should we have to feed you?

Helena: Because I paid taxes all those years and got nothing from it. There wasn’t any first home buyers grants back then. There wasn’t any Family Tax Benefits A and B. There wasn’t any handouts.

Listen to Helena’s full conversation with Neil  

Housing for the elderly is estimated to be worth more than $1 trillion in Australia, and the ageing population is expected to further strain the country’s budget deficit.

In an editorial, Neil Mitchell said while he did not think downsizing should be compulsory, it should be encouraged.  

‘We are entitled to take responsibility for our own lives,’ he said.

‘If you have a house worth $1 million and you can downsize to something worth $500,000…and you put the other $500,000 into super, you get an income there that will be better than the pension.’

‘People should be encouraged to do it and the first starting point is get rid of stamp duty so when you do downsize, you’re not blowing $50,000 in some stupid tax for Daniel Andrews.’