A WEALTHY businessman has urged the Federal Government to provide tax cuts for the elderly to keep working to slash billions from the cost of pensions and health care.
Peter J. Daniels told a lunch meeting of Coast business people at Alexandra Headland yesterday that he believed Australia was heading for a major economic downturn unless it tackled its spiralling debt.
The motivational speaker, who made his fortune in real estate and business interests across 28 countries, said he predicted the global financial crisis and believed the conditions were ripe for another downturn unless economies started tackling their debt.
"The Australian economy is in crisis but our politicians are not admitting to it," he said.
"We are borrowing $100 million every single day."
His comments came as the State Government unveiled its Budget to tackle debt.
Mr Daniels predicted that the Australian economy would falter within two years as the mining and Chinese booms petered out.
"You will see unemployment like you have never seen it before," the 80-year-old, who remembers the Great Depression as a child, claimed.
Mr Daniels suggested two measures that he believed could turn around the Australian economy.
One was to provide significant tax cuts for people who continued to work past the normal retirement age.
He estimated $40 billion to $80 billion a year could be saved by not having to pay pensions and health care costs.
The other was to provide a five-year tax-free window for companies developing innovative products that could be exported to the rest of the world.
The author of more than a dozen books, who has been paid millions to speak around the world, said his advice was to get out of debt, build up reserves and ensure assets were out of the reach of banks and the government.
He said there were great opportunities to make money even in a downturn through identifying new markets, opportunities and through innovation.
Mr Daniels said Australia also had to address its welfare mentality.