“You can get a pool of people together and you say once you’ve hit 85 we will now pay something. Most people aren’t expecting to get to eighty five so you can use that pooling concept. So I think there’s lots of work that’s going on around the world on that. And we will probably see more on it, because people are starting to put their mind to it. That’s the comment I’d raise…

“I think this is fascinating. How many people go and buy a hotted up car and spend $2000 a year on insurance because they’re concerned that they may lose their car and it’s a big purchase for them? When you cut through it, for most people the biggest asset they’ve got is their ability to earn a wage for 40 or 50 years or however long they need to earn it. And also in retirement if they need to top up their income.”

Call for partnership to raise research funds

Ian Morante, fund secretary of Nationwide Super Fund, said that if the Government were to channel just the tax on the growth in super fund contributions into research, that would total between $100-150 million a year. According to APRA figures for the September 2007 quarter, total employer contributions were $12.253 billion. This indicates a total for the running at about $48 billion, Morante said. Given that the figure for the December 2006 quarter was $11.315 billion, in just nine months contributions have grown by $800 million.

If the growth of employer contributions is about $1 billion a year, then the tax on the growth, so you don’t reduce the current tax receipts to the Government, will be about 15 per cent of the $1 billion, or $150 million. “That would fund some fantastic research and projects in the community,” Morante said. “The message from the Government could be that super helps you in the future and it helps in the community now.”

Dr Vaughan Carr, the chief executive of the Schizphrenia Research Institute, said that if scientists are to tackle a big problem, such as schizophrenia, they needed to work in a co-operative basis. The research needed to be overseen and governed in a way which made scientific sense.

He said the Government should be persuaded to see that the $64 million over five years being asked for by the Australian Psychosis Research Network did not compete with the current scientific funding programs of competitive grants.

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