Coalition pushes pension review

The offer of an independent review into pension rates is nothing more than lip service from a desperate Coalition Government attempting to push through another unpopular policy.

Government pushes pension review

In an attempt to silence critics of the proposed changes linking the age and disability pensions with inflation, rather than the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE) from 2017, the Federal Government has offered to set up a three yearly independent review of pension rates.

The independent review could recommend increases to pension rates which would be considered by the Federal Government at budget time, but would not be binding.

Coalition backbencher and critic of the proposed changes, Andrew Laming, called the proposal “promising”. “I think this is the first glimmer of hope, the first shining beam of light that we have a solution to this problem, which would make changing of pensions each year something that'll be evaluated on a regular basis, done so independently and hopefully in some way depoliticised,” he said.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison suggested that the review would act as a “safety net”, but said that the pension system must remain sustainable. “This is a very serious issue for the future of the country, the pension is currently being received by around 2.5 million Australians and it is costing taxpayers obviously significantly in the order of over $40 billion,” he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the offer showed how serious his Government is about getting the reform passed. “Under our proposal, pensions will go up twice a year every year, they'll maintain pace with cost of living,” he said.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek was critical of the idea. She pointed out that the review would only show us that the new lower indexation rates mean pensions are inadequate and that the government may or may not accept the independent review's advice. 'It's meaningless ... pensioners know they are being dudded,' she said.

Read more at www.abc.net.au
Read more at www.skynews.com.au

Opinion: PM continues to miss the point

The offer of an independent review into pension rates is nothing more than lip service from a desperate Coalition Government attempting to push through another unpopular policy. Tony, you aren’t fooling anyone.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison openly confirmed that the review would act as a “safety net’ and then proceeded to say that the findings of the review would not be binding. This independent review offers little to no assurance to those 2.5 million Australians who are already doing it tough.

Shadow Minister for Families Jenny Macklin hit the nail on the head in her response to the proposed review by suggesting that a regular review was a good thing, but it should not come at the cost of a “proper indexation method”.

As with the previously unpopular GP co-payment policy, the Coalition Government currently lacks the support in the Senate to push through any changes to the pensions. Hopefully the Coalition’s latest stunt won’t sway any of the crossbench. 

What do you think? Is an independent review a good idea, regardless of whether the changes to indexation successfully pass through the Senate? Rather than cut the rate of indexation on pensions, from where do you think the government should source budget savings? 





    COMMENTS

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    ghoti
    16th Mar 2015
    10:25am
    There's little point in a review if the Government of the day can simply ignore it. And what's this about an "independent" review? The LNP, which has form in this area, will stack the review team with fellow ideological warriors. After all, no government sets up any form of enquiry if the result is not going to be the one it wants.
    Budget savings? Target multinational companies. Change the taxation system so that it is more progressive, with those doing very nicely paying more than they do now. Abolish the fuel subsidy.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:47pm
    Good that the real agenda of this government is well understood.
    Dotty
    16th Mar 2015
    3:40pm
    I agree with what you just said and its very true ! They will only ignore the result if its not good for them on the day ! Dotty
    Travellersjoy
    16th Mar 2015
    10:26am
    The Abbot government has nothing but contempt for seniors worth less than a million dollars.

    They, and anyone on the cross benches need not expect my vote to pauperise impoverished old people.

    I am happy to see taxpayers withdraw subsidies for wealthy Superannuants though.

    Those who can pay tax and still live comfortably should contribute before reducing pensioners to penury.
    worker
    16th Mar 2015
    10:30am
    remove the life time pensions of MP to 10 years only t0 50% of the one they now get
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    10:40am
    Indeed - politician salaries need to be reduced to attract the genuine people and not the 'career' politicians, whose primary aim is to insulate self and cronies from the disasters created by their own decisions and indecisions.

    Politician super should be capped and, as before, tax paid on money earned from excessive savings... as it should be with the rest of the community.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:50pm
    Yes. I won't be holding my breath on that one.
    Dotty
    16th Mar 2015
    3:44pm
    This is another one that I agree with wholeheartedly ! As was said the career Pollies are out to get all they can in the short term and all of us older pensioners can go jump as they really don't care !! It is just lip service to try and get there budget across ! Dotty
    wally
    17th Mar 2015
    4:50pm
    You wont find anyone like Mother Theresa in Parliament.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    10:36am
    If it's not binding it's just another nice little earner for some Party faithful - again.. probably drag some of the old cronies out of retirement for another sweetener. Gotta pay for all the costs of your free overseas trips, you know. Gold Card for life isn't all that great a deal!

    Pensions have been sustainable for years, and still are, since the very vast majority of pension payments returns to the economy in quick order, thus stimulating it and providing a base on which government can operate its economic pie in the sky dramas.

    Pensions provide employment in many ways, and I see no reason why those who've worked hard for it should carry the can.. we carried that can for our elders without a complaint, and felt it was the right thing to do. Now let it be reciprocated.

    If governments need money or to cut costs, they've, by now, received an extensive list of how to go about that.
    dougie
    16th Mar 2015
    10:44am
    Seniors,
    Keep annoying your MPs. They do not like to see anti mail in their in box. Ask them to pass on your email to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Social Security. It is unfortunate that we cannot vote on their pensions isn't it.
    If there is to be an independent review let it be bi annually and by the same review committee which does the parliamentary salaries. If their rise is granted then there is no reason to block a pension increase.
    particolor
    16th Mar 2015
    12:36pm
    Your wasting Your time talking to them nowadays !! And don't bother writing either All their Offices are Issued with a State of the Arts Paper Shredder !! :-(
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:51pm
    There is always value in public feeling because they know where that leads.
    dougie
    16th Mar 2015
    2:08pm
    Particolor,
    Oh ye of little faith!
    dippity
    16th Mar 2015
    2:12pm
    just the ticket to fix the rorts; good one Dougie
    dougie
    16th Mar 2015
    5:03pm
    I have never seen a government based committee that was not picked on the basis of the way they think. Never picked because they are independent in their thoughts and actions and never made a report that did not echo that of the government or the department wanted. If they did move from the required result it was at their own peril. Hence my suggestion to ensure the same panel be used to review pensions as is used to review parliamentary salaries, If one does not achieve an increase neither should the other. Tie them inexorably together and se e what happens.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    6:56pm
    I seem to recall that Kevin Rudd handed out a heap of foreign embassy jobs to coalition candidates. That was fair andthis bunch of misfits did just the opposites.
    You have to be a bit more realistic dougie. Sure government tilt the playing field but the current government is anabomination in every way.
    wally
    18th Mar 2015
    12:42am
    mick, that was to get 'em out of sight and out of the country .
    tomtom
    20th Mar 2015
    6:25pm
    dougie/particolor - agree with you both, my e-mails to our local bloodsucker is always " I have contacted the minister and he/she has said " - biggest bloody cop out of all time, they will Not go against party lines. I have paid more into tax than these other bludging gitts have/will, they could not give a stuff - they are set for life. What it needs is for retirees to get serious and march on Canberra to show we are serious, not sit at our laptops/computers whinging all day
    professori_au
    16th Mar 2015
    11:10am
    When the government is paying your salary it is not an independent review. It is more likely set with the parameters designed to achieve a pre-conceived outcome. In Geelong we have another type of research or investigation. It is about the endemic bullying that is in the local council and which goes right to the top. Unfortunately many of the villains are also good at their field and any organisation is likely to be reluctant to sack them, so they and this happens in many public service and public service type organisations they are promoted outside of the problem area. This just entrenches the problem and not solve it. So we have a situation where council has employed someone to investigate bullying. don't make me laugh. I cannot see senior or executive government allowing any result that might impinge on their credibility. It will only be a cover up, as has happened in the past. The investigations conclude "insufficient evidence to.........) and so the bus goes merrily along without any service. Look at the role models.... The Prime Minister and the like. If we cannot control it at that level then bullying will never stop. Bullying is a form of cowardice where some one weaker is the victim. the cowards usually rely on positions of power, or being supported by other cowards, until a bigger coward comes along then they become the victim. So you can see the difficulties and until it is made quite clear by the public that such behaviour is not acceptable and the law will be used to its fullest. Remember The Panlock case that made it a criminal offence where those convicted can face up to five years gaol term. Well why is it not being implemented?
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    11:47am
    I see you have been thinking along the same lines as my argument with a Prof of Peace Studies, who could not get his mind around the idea that legitimised bullying by governmental structures was just as real as schoolyard, and far more damaging, and also set a bad example to the rest of the community by indicating that bullying and standover were the ways to get things you want.

    Leads to all sorts of social problems.

    While ever government itself bullies - so will everyone else... but in this case I think they've made a mistake in thinking that invading Pensionara would be an easy war because somehow those dependent on government payments are the serfs of government.
    lasaboy
    16th Mar 2015
    11:51am
    I have not voted Labor since the seventies long story) but having said that, I will not be voting liberal in the coming election in NSW nor will I vote for anyone giving the libs their preferences, so I guess Labor will be it, we in NSW need to send the Liberal's a clear message, we won't take your crap anymore, just like Qld has done
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:53pm
    Maybe consider voting for an Independent whose preference goes to Labor. Not the ideal but it does starve this disreputable government of oxygen.
    KSS
    16th Mar 2015
    12:58pm
    Given that the NSW State Government has maintained all pensioner payments, discounts and benefits despite reductions in funding from Canberra, I cannot follow the logic of punishing the State Government for Federal Government actions. The two are not linked. Take your issues up with your federal MP and vote accordingly at the next General Election. Do not relegate NSW to the bottom of the barrel to demonstrate your displeasure with Canberra. That would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    1:11pm
    Doesn't have to be logical, KSS - the thing is that the thrust of these things by a specific party group is enough for the populace to reject that party group in its entirety.

    You belong to the same party and follow the same policy lines - you take the bad with the bad that comes from past failures at all levels of that Party group.
    KSS
    16th Mar 2015
    1:42pm
    In other words TREBOR, spit the dummy, stamp your feet, because you happen to disagree with the Federal Government, or more pertinently, dislike the leader of the Federal Government. Then what? You might as well blame Mr Baird because your bins are not emptied or there are pot holes in your local roads, or you cannot have a beer on your local beach or every car park in your area charges high parking fees or you can't buy matzo bread because your local council passed a vote to denounce Israel. All because your local Council wears the 'same colours' as the Federal Government!
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:03pm
    Fair call KSS. Just remember the blatant corruption which they were caught out with. Whilst Labor had its crooks as well the fundamental right of Australians to elect THEIR government is diminished when you get the big end of town filli g the airways with their propaganda.
    Perhaps you might also remember that this NSW state government sent out a memo on Valentines Day instructing its members to write hate mail agai st Labor on the day. Do you still think that this government needs to be returned? I mean.....Australians need to punish the bad.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    8:14pm
    That's called democracy, KSS - anything else is imposition, or a form of Fascism for which nobody voted.

    the over-use, indeed abuse, of government agencies and power to handle minor issues is nowhere more prevalent than in the area of rights for alleged minorities. There are areas where government has a place, and there are areas where it does not.

    Where a government exceeds those parameters in its policy THRUST, it is the right of the people to draw its teeth.
    lasaboy
    16th Mar 2015
    10:16pm
    KSS the problem is this liberal state government is following the federal ideology and they are selling off our assets, a business without assets goes broke in no time, we have already lost many assets so the burden gets greater for those left
    Sheila
    16th Mar 2015
    12:05pm
    A simple way to fix the Pension dilemma:
    Change the Entitlements



    I absolutely agree, if a pension isn't an entitlement, neither is theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn't sustainable.
    Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable! The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over:


    The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in Australia will have this message. This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.

    Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:


    1. Scrap political pensions.
    Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.


    2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.
    A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they're out of office.
    Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.
    Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.


    3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians' retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
    This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.


    4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.


    5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
    I.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.


    6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.


    7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/15.


    The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.
    Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
    Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.
    The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.


    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message. Don't you think it's time?

    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!


    If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.


    If you wonder why the above individuals are asking for your help look at the figures below.

    REMUNERATION – SPECIFIED STATUTORY OFFICES

    Date of Effect 1 July 2014

    Specified Statutory Office

    Base Salary (per annum)

    Total Remuneration for office (per annum)

    Chief of the Defence Force > $535,100 - $764,420

    Commissioner of Taxation > $518,000 - $740,000

    Chief Executive Officer, Australian Customs

    And Border Protection Service > $483,840 - $691,200

    Auditor-General for Australia > $469,150 - $670,210

    Australian Statistician > $469,150 - $670,210

    “PAY FREEZE, NOT FAIR. SOB, SOB”

    Salaries of retired Prime Minister and Politicians

    Office

    Additional salary (%)

    Salary as of 1 July

    Prime Minister

    160

    $507,338

    Deputy Prime Minister

    105

    $400,016

    Treasurer

    87.5

    $365,868

    Leader of the Opposition

    85.0

    $360,990

    House of Reps Speaker

    75.0

    $341,477

    Leader of the House

    75.0

    $341,477

    Minister in Cabinet

    72.5

    $336,599

    Parliamentary secretary

    25.0

    $243,912

    Other ministers

    57.5

    $307,329

    Shadow minister

    25.0

    $243,912

    Source: Remuneration Tribunal.



    So if I press all the right buttons, the TOTAL annual wages for the 150 seats in the Parliament are:

    Prime Minister

    $507,338

    Deputy Prime Minister

    $400,016

    Treasurer

    $365,868

    Leader of the Opposition

    $360,990

    House of Reps Speaker

    $341,477

    Leader of the House

    $341,477

    Minister in Cabinet

    $336,599

    Parliamentary secretary

    $243,912

    Other ministers*

    307,329 x 71 = A$21,820,359

    Shadow ministers*

    $243,912 x 71 = A$17,317,752


    The TOTAL ANNUAL SALARIES (for 150 seats) = $41,694,311 - PER YEAR!

    And that’s just the Federal Politicians, no one else!



    For the ‘lifetime’ payment example (below) I used the scenario that:

    1. They are paid ‘lifetime’ salaries the same as their last working year and

    2. After retiring, the ’average’ pollie’s life expectancy is an additional 20 years (which is not unreasonable).



    It’s worth remembering that this is EXCLUDING all their other perks!



    SO, for a 20 years ‘lifetime’ payment (excluding wages paid while a Parliamentarian)



    Prime Minister @ $507,338 = A$10,146,760

    Deputy Prime Minister @ $400,016 = A$8,000,320

    Treasurer @ $365,868 = A$7,317,360

    Leader of the Opposition @ $360,990 = A$7,219,800

    House of Reps Speaker @ $341,477 = A$6,829,540

    Leader of the House @ $341,477 = A$6,829,540

    Minister in Cabinet @ $336,599 = A$6,731,980

    Parliamentary Secretary @ $243,912 = A$4,782,240

    Other ministers** @ $307,329 = A$6,146,580 x 71 = A$436,407,180

    Shadow ministers** @ $243,912 = A$4,878,240 x 71 = A$346,355,040



    Conclusions:

    TOTAL ‘life time’ (20 year) payments, (excluding wages paid while in parliament) = A$833,886,220 – OVER $833 MILLION

    Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, et al, add nauseum, are receiving $10 MILLION + EXTRA at taxpayer expense.



    Should an elected PM serve 4 years and then decide to retire, each year (of the 4 years) will have cost taxpayers an EXTRA Two and a half million bucks a year! A$2,536,690 to be precise.



    A 2 year retirement payment cut-off will SAVE our Oz bottom line A$792,201,909 *** NEARLY $800 MILLION.

    There are 150 seats in House, minus the 8 above = 142 seats, divided equally for example = 71 each for both shadow and elected ministers.

    This example excludes all wages paid while a parliamentarian AND all perks on top of that - travel, hotels, Secretarial staff, speech writers, restaurants, offices, chauffeured limos, security, etc. etc.

    150 seats, 20-year payment of A$833,886,220 less annual salary x 2 years of A$83,388,622. [$41,694,311 x 2]



    “Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.”

    Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)



    YOU’RE RIGHT, YOU HAVE FOUND WHERE THE CUTS SHOULD BE MADE!

    ACTION: Push for a MAX 2 year post retirement payment (give ‘em time to get a real job).



    Spread it far and wide folks. People should know.
    heyyybob
    16th Mar 2015
    12:25pm
    WOW !! Done :)
    particolor
    16th Mar 2015
    12:30pm
    Nice Speech !! :-) Now go and Enjoy the Half a Loaf of Bread that Joe just shouted You for a Pay rise ?? :-) Don't eat it all at once !! It has to last a fortnight !! And You wont be getting another Half Loaf for another Long Six Months !! :-(
    THANKS JOE for the Buck 70 !!
    gilstamp
    16th Mar 2015
    12:35pm
    Sheila, Even this is only a relatively small amount and such action will only lead to claims of sour grapes and entitlement. The whole $40 billion of pension payments is equivalent to the amount of the unnecessary superannuation concessions for higher earners which also totals approxiately $40 billion. This is where campaigns should focus along with other revenue sources foregone. Combined with revealing the myth of the national debt, these are the directions we should be urging Labor to follow and to provide a rebuttal now before the impressionable who seem to be most of the population accept carte blanche the absurd propositionsthat the government is pushing.
    Kato
    16th Mar 2015
    12:36pm
    notice how they cannot apply the same rates to health funds etc.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:55pm
    Streuth...write a book. Remember.....rules for some and (different) rules for others!
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    1:14pm
    Well shot, sheila, though a bit long. Most don't read all that, but they follow the gist. You should do it as a series of lectures. I often flood people with far too much information at the one time.....
    KSS
    16th Mar 2015
    1:32pm
    Sheila, actually I do not agree with the call to cut MP's salaries. If you look at your own figures there are civil servants who earn considerably more. The fact that the PM of Australia earns only half a million dollars is frankly laughable. Any self- respecting senior administrator of a large company would not get out of bed for that amount. It seems more pertinent to me to look at those salaries of the Public Service Heads!

    I don't think the salaries are the issue. Nor is the MP's superannuation. Yes they are paid higher percentage than most Australians but so are many sectors paid higher than the national standard 9%.

    No, the real issue is all the payments they are 'entitled' to once they leave office, regardless how the leaving occurs. Given they do have a generous retirement package, why do the Australian people have to continue to pay for offices, secretarial support, cars, flights, telephones, and assorted other 'expenses'? Why do they not pay for these things themselves if they want them? Its not like they couldn't afford them After all if they are used in the course of their business, they would also be tax deductable! This is where savings can and should be made. Their pensions should not be able to be accessed until they reach the national retirement age - currently 65 rising to 67 by 2023 and possibly 70 by 2035. Most of the younger MPs out of a job get other work almost instantly so have no need to access their parliamentary pension. Those older MPs providing they have reached the preservation age (which could be 60) should be allowed to access their pension under the same terms as any other Australian accessing theirs.

    How much did Australians pay for Mr Whitlam after he left office? Or Mr Keating? Or Mr Hawke, Mr Howard? How many ex MPs are still being funded by taxpayers (other than their pension)? This is where we need to be making serious changes. Not whinging about a salary + pension that in the commercial world is derisory.
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:16pm
    Now that the curtain has been lifted on what the politicians (and ex politicians') are costing the taxpayers , we might also examine the pay and conditions that are paid to department heads and senior management in the Public Service. The head of the ABC, for example, (if my source is correct) takes home over $700.000 per year and the ABC's "stars" of news and current events are paid around %300.000 per year. So the Public Service "Sir Humphries" ( of Yes Minister fame) all have their snouts well and truly in the trough as well.
    So it isn't just the politicians that are reaping the rorts. And that doesn't even scratch the surface of what is going on in the state governments.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:08pm
    Good one Wally. None of them are worth $800 000 pa. And if they were paid on performance then they'be lucky to be getting $50 000 pa. But remember: this is a club.....the public is not asked to make comment and certainly no suggestions.
    Adrianus
    19th Mar 2015
    9:54am
    They all aspire to one day become the top postie in all of Australia.

    16th Mar 2015
    12:21pm
    1. The Australian 'government' MUST stop listening to their 'shadow government whisperers" (corporations, lobbyist) and start listening to the voice of their citizens!

    2. The Australian 'government' MUST STOP spending money on the so-called
    War on Terror" ( that isn't! ) and instead take care of their own citizens!

    PROBLEM SOLVED! And everyone is HAPPY!

    http://justice4poland.com/2014/12/09/prominent-voices-speak-out-to-stop-usukeu-push-for-thermonuclear-wwiii/

    http://uk.sputniknews.com/world/20141206/1013279203.html

    http://cecaust.com.au/main.asp?sub=articles&id=2014_12_08_pilger.html
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:58pm
    You miss the point: big business provides election funding to the liberal side of politics so BIG BUSINESS OWNS THIS GOVERNMENT. That is thr problem!
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:19pm
    I'd like to see you provide more explanation of what you mean by citizens. Rudd tried that and look what happened to him.
    wally
    17th Mar 2015
    4:48pm
    Naughty Mick. You neglected to mention that the Unions fund their puppets, rubber stamps and cronies that infest the Labor Party.
    tams
    16th Mar 2015
    12:22pm
    What a lot of absolute rubbish.
    If we really need to improve the quality of our politicians from ex-staffers, teachers and union officials, we may need to increase the packages.
    If you all think our politicians are over paid, where else are you going to get elected persons working 7 days per week for 48 weeks of the year to represent you moaners and put up with all the rubbish below.
    Kato
    16th Mar 2015
    12:31pm
    tams all the moaning is coming from the well educated politicians trying to shaft the pensioners disabled and needy. I see no effort in trying to address there own expenditure. 7 days a week 48 weeks per year good thing they get so many Parliamentary breaks and a good length are they not.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    1:00pm
    Its not the pay its the GOLDEN HANDSHAKE AFTER 2 TERMS IN OFFICE and the instant access to this wonderful loot.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    1:16pm
    I beg to differ - if the salaries were much smaller you would ONLY attract the people who really want to do the JOB..... I'd be one of them and prepared to take $50k plus go to my electorate at year's end for a bonus for work value. I'd soon get the message if I were not working for my ELECTORATE. Grass roots politics.

    The ordinary person out there isn't so dumb they can't say how their own country should be run.
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:30pm
    TREBOR, are you suggesting that Malcolm or Clive should become our PM because they don't need the money? For that matter, why not Gina Reinhardt or Jaimie Packer? If the only criteria is to be willing to work for next to nothing.
    And another thing, don't give 'em an expense account, either. Make 'em pay forroom and board, trips around the country and overseas as well. Let 'em pay for their own office staff, drivers, and all the other rorts that go with their jobs! Then see what kind of people put their hands up to be politicians! Probably bribe takers like so many of our neighbouring countries have.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:00pm
    Damn - I forgot how Malcolm and Clive could snake under the wire.... might have to make it illegal for anyone with above a certain amount of assets to stand for Parliament, since they have no grasp of the real issues and no way of obtaining that grasp.

    A year living on the pension would sort them out.
    tj
    16th Mar 2015
    12:24pm
    I don't understand why all the concern about the pension entitlements when the changes to indexation will not happen if Liberals lose the next election.Look what happened in Victoria ,South Australia,QLD,with the Preferential voting system we have will surely see Shorten as our new pm .
    MITZY
    16th Mar 2015
    2:46pm
    tj: If we don't keep protesting this unfair government will walk right over the top of us. They already assume they have a "mandate" for everything they proposed prior to being elected as well as a "mandate" for everything they didn't propose afterwards.

    Abbott is really quite silent and steely on the pension issue, Morrison also. They are obviously working hard to get their way behind the scenes. Pensioners don't really have a strong advocate to put their case to the government. If the government doesn't get its education legislation passed (that gets more media attention than the pensions) it will fight to the bitter end to ensure the pensioners suffer.

    If they want to attack the age pension, maybe they should leave the bottom end of the scale of recipients of the pension alone i.e. the pensioners who are receiving a full pension and no other means of support income. They should consider attacking the other end of the scale where high income earners legally arrange their finances to receive part pensions (some receiving part age pensions up to more than half the current age pension).
    The indexation of pensions should continue as it is currently, 28% of male average earnings not CPI 16%.
    We don't need anymore reviews where basically when presented to government (by hand-picked government friends) the government then picks the eyes out of them and only applies the parts conducive to their ideology.
    Millions can be saved by cutting out the tax concessions on superannuation which again only benefit high income earners.
    Abolish the reinstated fringe benefits tax the previous government abolished.
    We know the Medicare co-payment is not really dead, buried, cremated and if this comes to fruition we certainly need no changes to pension entitlements. We like the rest of the nation need appropriate remuneration. Wages are already running well ahead of inflation/cpi.
    There are plenty ways to reduce costs without hitting the most vulnerable.
    Its not our fault governments get themselves into budgetary messes, they created the situations and should take responsibility for their actions starting with their own remunerations/perks of which they have plenty.
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:42pm
    I still think that any government that tries to shaft the age pensioners (the number of which increases every year and commands an ever growing proportion of votes in every electorate) would be committing electoral suicide.
    Why would they do it?
    It would seem that Drew is doing the work of the Opposition in pushing a scare campaign that will only frighten those gullible people that believe slogans and do not think things through.
    I understand that the NSW Labor Party is running a scare campaign that falsely claims that the Liberal govt in that state wants to sell off ALL of the electricity infrastructure so they can put up the price of electricity. It will be interesting to see whether this scare campaign works there when they have their election.

    16th Mar 2015
    12:31pm
    TAX REFORMS!

    STOP TAXING SMALL BUSINESS!
    Let the business grow and employ more people.
    Stop taxing workers for overtime.

    The government MUST learn to spend money wisely.
    They DON'T!

    All government's big projects should be independently scrutinised.

    STOP the immigration of unskilled people!

    MULTICULTURALISM DOES NOT WORK!!
    particolor
    16th Mar 2015
    12:43pm
    Yes it does !! Look at France England and Denmark !! !
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    1:02pm
    Agree. And perhaps add make it illegal to bring in foreign labour for no other reason otyer than to undercut local wages.
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:45pm
    HKW which government do you mean about needing to learn to spend money wisely? It would be helpful if you were to clearly identify which leaders you think failed to spend money wisely.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:14pm
    Have a look at the debt wally. It ain't a shriking. Just that the media reported every other night when Labor was in and does not report this at all now. Funny that!
    So have you asked yourself lately WHY Abbott abolished the debt ceiling when the previous government lived with it?
    wally
    17th Mar 2015
    5:09pm
    The reason that the current government hasn't been able to reduce the debt they inherited from Labor in 2013 is because of the "ironclad" financial commitments made by Labor during their last few months in office. Abbott and Co have not been able to get out of funding these commitments, which Labor claimed were "Abbott proofed". So the Coalition has had to raise the debt ceiling in order borrow the money to pay for Labor's last go at squandering the taxpayers' dollar, thus leaving the Coalition with the task of honouring Labor's commitments.
    The Labor-Green Axis, aided by some of the independents, have done their best to derail Abbott's efforts so far to make meaningful inroads in repaying the debt. So Australia finds itself going down the same slippery slope Greece, Italy , and other debtor states in Europe have gone down. Watch and see what happens to Greece in the coming months. Is that the future we want for Australia, thanks to the Labor Party?
    Misty
    17th Mar 2015
    7:06pm
    What a load of rubbish you have written here Wally, nearly every economist that speaks on TV or writes in the papers will tell l you we don't have a debt problem one so wake up and stop moaning.
    wally
    18th Mar 2015
    12:49am
    Misty, you ought to be old and wise enough by now not to believe everything you read in the newspapers or see on TV. Especially from the Labor media stooges that parrot the Labor lie about how Australia doesn't have a debt problem. Don't you believe what the boss of the Reserve Bank has had to say about Australia's debt?
    Kato
    16th Mar 2015
    12:33pm
    Taxpayers Forced To Fund Lifestyle Choice Of Small Group Of Australians.
    Australian taxpayers are footing the bill for services and privileges provided to a relatively small group of citizens living in an out-of-the-way backwater, a study has found.

    “What we’ve found is that there are small groups of people living in remote areas like Canberra, with surprisingly high costs for general expenses like charity work, retirement plans and Indian weddings,” the report’s author said.

    “I think what Australians will be saying is, ‘If I choose to live in a community three and a half hours from the nearest city, is it reasonable for taxpayers to pay $150,000 for an Australian Air Force jet to get me to Sydney?’

    “’If I choose to spend $1000 on a posh dinner in London, is it realistic to pass on the receipt to someone else?

    “’If I choose to build a $7,000 bookshelf when everyone else is buying Kindles, should I perhaps chip in a bit?’ I think these are valid questions”.

    But a spokesperson for the community hit back, saying the community members had a very close connection to the land and to the work. “This is the very essence of who they are. They were born for this. For many of them, they simply don’t know anything else. It stretches back generations in some cases”.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    1:18pm
    Ha ha ha ha ha....
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:54pm
    Your last paragraph is most interesting. in your quotation. The community members might "have a close connection to the land", but their work? What are they working at? Are they self supporting in their work? Are they educating their children so they can find jobs and join the Australian workforce? Are they providing adequate health care to reduce the infant mortality rate? Or is the Australian tax payer supposed to throw money at them and forget about them.
    Or as Marie Antoinette might have said, "Let 'em eat goannas"
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    12:46pm
    Here we go again. So its "Independent" is it? This government has No independent bodies. It seeks to control all of these so as not to get a rebufal.
    Having failed to get any support on wage reform (the next WorkChoices attempt) and having failed so far to stick average and poor Australians with taxes oneveything this bunch of misfits now goes after an easy target: pensioners.
    One might think that going after the rich for a bit of tax or reforming thr highly abused welfare system might be a much better option. Obviously not.
    I just hope that at election time voters remember what Queenslanders did to Campbell Newman. Even election bribes failed Newman as he gave business the keys to thr state to plunder as they saw fit.
    The pension may need to be sustainable but it also needs to be fair, something that this government will never understand as it relentlessly tries to tread citizens who are not well heeled under foot. We need an election!!!!!!
    particolor
    16th Mar 2015
    12:58pm
    BULL !! Its past that !! :-( We need a French Revolution !! :-)
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    1:03pm
    Off with their heads and let them eat cake. Blaggards!
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    4:58pm
    Let's get all the peasants to gather up their scythes, pitchforks, axes, flails and torches and go storm Parliament House!
    particolor
    16th Mar 2015
    5:22pm
    Wally wait till He's got our Army overseas Minding someone else's Business !! :-) :-)
    wally
    17th Mar 2015
    5:12pm
    parti, do you think Australia can afford to load 'em all up and ship 'em all o'seas? They might get as far as Christmas Island or Nauru!
    Supernan
    16th Mar 2015
    1:10pm
    What amazes me most is that the LNP thinks pensioners should just live on less when everyone else is granted a pay rise. Currently the pension is linked to Wage increases. The Wages increases are based on how much it costs workers to eat & pay bills.

    So when wages go up, so should pensions - for the very same reasons !

    If they want to know where the money should come from, how about cutting back on the $45 billion they pay annually in subsidies to mining companies. Or the tax break on super, well descibed by others here. Or actually tax the extremely wealthy who mostly pay no tax.

    We worked in the Tax Industry. Family Companies, Family Trusts, Self Managed Super Funds, Negative Gearing, Subsiduary Compaies, etc all allow the rich to pay much less Tax . It is also perfectly true that the richer you are the less tax you pay & if you are very rich you pay none. Cut the loop holes & they could afford to double pensions !
    ray from Bondi
    16th Mar 2015
    1:14pm
    and I am sure those convening the review will be hand picked for their views.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:18pm
    Just like the last review which....surprise, surprise,....came up with the conclusion that (average) Australians were living beyond their means and needed to behit with a whole pile of cripplig taxes, which as normal made no difference to the rich.
    This government is such a blatant agent of the rich.
    BeezNeez
    16th Mar 2015
    2:11pm
    Wind 'em up and watch em go.....
    Pamiea
    16th Mar 2015
    2:17pm
    Cut wages to all gov pollies and judges abd magistrates once they retire. Heaven knows they expect us to live on the pension so why should they get heaps? Get rid of the dead wood in Gov departments where u have officers waiting placement - give em a redundancy package and stop the freeloading. Stop spending unnecessarily on infrastructure fir a year or so. I intend to write soon showing where our pension goes and after paying rates, water, electricity, gas,car and household insurance, saving for car rego and services, medical benefit funds one ends up with $34 per day on a single pension to feed, entertain, clothing and petrol - try it. Its difficult.
    genimi
    16th Mar 2015
    2:18pm
    Pfffft! don't need a taxpayer funded review to know that pensions will be eroded under the changes, we already know that they will slide further and further under the poverty line!

    All that really is needed to raise the revenue needed to support our older Australians is to ensure that companies pay proper taxes on their profits before they syphon the money off shore!
    robmur
    16th Mar 2015
    2:28pm
    Why is it that the pensioners are always in the gun to have their pensions reviewed/reduced?
    The pension at minimum should never be lower than the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE) - full stop. Any endeavor, whether it be by a review panel should not deviate from this basic principal. The trouble with a three year review is the government isn't bound by any decision the review panel may recommend. There are so many ways governments can save money, and I'm not going down the path of politicians salaries and superannuation. Foe example, employing overseas workers when there is high unemployment currently in Australia; reducing overseas aid, particularly to countries like Indonesia; bring home the troops from Iraq - let them sort out their own problems; return asylum seekers to their own countries if they aren't able to be usefully absorbed into Australian society; reduce immigration numbers per year. That is only a few ideas, there are plenty more no doubt.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:18pm
    I think it was Cuba that says you get 50% or 75% of the highest of your last five years in work as your pension.... I'd be on $75k indexed to today's rates....
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:20pm
    Ah - here it is:-

    Old-age pension: 60% of average earnings in the best five of the last 15 years of employment plus 2% of earnings for each year of employment exceeding 30 years is paid.

    http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/2010-2011/americas/cuba.html
    wally
    18th Mar 2015
    12:52am
    It's a long way to Cuba by fishing boat.
    Chris B T
    16th Mar 2015
    2:32pm
    Why don't we have a review into having Out of Touched under Performing Ministers to be removed from office. A peoples review every year.
    Before any election, as three years is just to long.
    Performce base testing like the #$##### we have in other areas .
    Oh we will make ours binding. WHY HAVE REVIEWS IF THERE NOT BINDING.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:21pm
    I'm in.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:21pm
    ... to try to dupe the adoring public into believing you are actually genuine about ensuring fair play..... why else?
    GeorgeS
    16th Mar 2015
    2:32pm
    Commonwealth Public Service retirees have always been CPI indexed pension. when they complained both Liberal anf Labour governments have said that is the right way for indexing your pension. At least the Libs are consistent but what about Labour now condemning what they said when in government is correct indexation.
    MITZY
    16th Mar 2015
    3:21pm
    George: Commonwealth Public Service retirees have had "superannuation" from the day they joined the service to the day they retired. Many are highly paid during their tenure and I'm sure will live comfortably on their CPI indexed pensions.
    My first cousin's granddaughter and her husband work in public service in Canberra. Married with two little boys (one nearly 3, the other 1 year this month), been on paid maternity leave for both children, well paid jobs, have three rental properties plus their own home (mortgaged of course) and managed to have an overseas holiday every twelve months for several years before the children came along. They are very good workers (had second jobs to acquire what they have) and good luck to them. They will retire comfortably. However they have said to me so many times, no everyone is equal and we have to look after those that need help.
    Low income workers/workers in-and-out of employment subject to seasonal influences and downturns in economies, Newstart recipients, disability/carer recipients, current age pensioners on a full age pension and no other means of support don't need their pension increases each six months reduced from 28% to 16%. These are the people who need to be looked after so they can have some quality of life. After all each and every one of them (as we all are) still contribute to the tax system via the GST. Surely there is somebody in this "unfair" government able to see and act to stop the rot of pollutin miners/big business/multinationals etc. milking this country for every cent they can for the benefit of another country's interest.
    Gee Whiz
    16th Mar 2015
    2:33pm
    There is something radically wrong with a government whose embers enjoy pensions that only the rest of us can dream about but who are intent on inflecting the most amount of ordinary pensioners who have paid tax all their lives.

    This so called "pension review" is just another attempt by the government to pass the buck so they can say "it had nothing to do with us: an independent body made the decision to reduce the pension".

    These scumbags are determined to reduce the pension one way or another. Fair means or foul. As long as it doesn't impact on their own golden retirement nest egg.
    GeorgeS
    16th Mar 2015
    2:38pm
    I see blogs condemning politicians entitlements. Do you know the golden rule? He who has the gold makes the rule. Politicians who control the gold make the rules to favour themselves. Be honest would any one of us in that situation be any different
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:36pm
    Yes, George, I would. As in many things in life it';s called a value judgement, and I would consider it and most likely, knowing myself full well, would reject the easy path of self-enrichment.

    I already refused to take the easy route out of the public service and take 2/3 or salary indexed for life for stress.... I resigned instead. I have no money but a ship-load of integrity.
    Mar
    16th Mar 2015
    2:52pm
    It's gone from the "sublime to the ridiculous". Proposal of a Review is is a total whitewash. Never as their been such a poor Government. They don't even know that they don't know!!!!
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:23pm
    More wasted public money. And we have a crisis with one expensive review after another?
    scud
    16th Mar 2015
    3:06pm
    You can't trust this government. So many broken promises, tricks and sleights of hand.
    wally
    17th Mar 2015
    5:13pm
    Juliar taught 'em well!
    Dancer
    16th Mar 2015
    3:10pm
    This latest move is indeed lip-service. There are no guarantees that any government of the day will accept the Review Panel's recommendations - if in fact they make any recommendation to increase the pension at the time of the review - probably won't because the Liberal Government will appoint the members of the Panel and likely will appoint people who they believe will NOT recommend increases! In between the 3-yearly reviews pensioners will still continue to fall behind cost-of living rises. I urge everyone who relies on an Age, Disability or Carer's Pension to continue opposing this latest insidious move which will see more people move into poverty and homelessness.
    Gee Whiz
    16th Mar 2015
    3:22pm
    You can guarantee that the people that make up this panel will be close friends of the politicians. Nepotism has always been the catch phrase of all politicians.

    Even ex PUP party member Glenn Lazarus had his wife on the payroll. And most pollies have arranged for family members to get a high paying job somewhere in government.
    MITZY
    16th Mar 2015
    3:31pm
    Agree Dancer: I've written to my local MP (a Liberal) soon after the unfair budget 10 months ago (no response). I wrote to Hockey also (no response). I signed up with GetUp hopefully this will have a response. I then wrote again to my local MP through this GetUp campaign last week. No response.
    I had an acknowledgement from Hockey to say my correspondence was received but it may not be replied to if what I was writing about had been covered by many similar letters - what a copy-out that was, still no response. I wrote to Jenny Macklin (Labor) as she was in charge of this portfolio when in Government, but after taking quite some time to write and edit my spiel, same result, no response.
    They don't respond in or out of government and of course they can easily ignore what we write and then say they have a mandate to do what they didn't tell us they were going to do, because there had been little response from the public.
    You can look back centuries reading events from governments and parliaments past, all you need to do is change the names and dates and places and the rhetoric then is just the same as it is today. Grey power marching on Canberra would have no effect either, politicians skins are as tough as pumpkin skins.
    SGW
    16th Mar 2015
    3:38pm
    Particolor says we need a French Revolution and that's exactly what is needed but unfortunately we don't have the balls to do it like the French. The French take to the streets and literally fight the enemy of the people ( the police ) until they are destroyed nothing can change because they are put there by the elites and oligarchs to do there bidding so unless people are prepared to arm themselves and fight for a better system nothing will change.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:42pm
    You have a point there in that the oath of office of a police person is to 'up[hold the law as written' - i.e. to place no interpretation on it and to slavishly follow the diktat of the Commissariat - oh, sorry the government of the day.

    Thus in many ways police can and do become the enemies of the people... one unspoken reason for the stress departure of so very many genuine police officers. Someone highly placed once wrote that police enter the force to wage war on the forces that disrupt and are the enemies of society - and within twelve months find out they ARE the enemy who disrupts in many cases.

    In contrast to that, an increasing number of police officers are becoming genuine citizens and human beings........ a massive change in direction for the Force.
    Mar
    16th Mar 2015
    3:48pm
    Totally agree with you Dancer.
    carmencita
    16th Mar 2015
    4:46pm
    Has there ever been such a thing as INDEPENDENT REVIEW? We know full well that everything a government does when there is a controversial issue would be to call an 'independent' something.........but there is no such thing!!!!!!!!
    wally
    16th Mar 2015
    5:05pm
    If the review was truly independent, they wouldn't have one. You might also recall that when governments of any persuasion claim they are going to "consult" with the people, they only listen to those who share the government's point of view. Any dissenting views are simply ignored, except for a "thanks for sharing your views" note.
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:47pm
    Totally agree Wally. I posted one of two dissenting views, in 1992 with the Law Reform Commission, on the clearly signalled APPROACH to domestic violence issues, on many basic legal, rational and constitutional grounds... and the end result was the bland statement:-

    "There were two dissenting views"......

    I then became An enemy Of the people and.. believe me - suffered direct attack.... don't laugh .. that is what this country has become under the very real Fascists on both sides who have control at this time.

    I'm still standing... and still fighting...... daily!
    TREBOR
    16th Mar 2015
    7:48pm
    http://www.yourtv.com.au/program/pensioners-behind-bars/300559/
    wally
    17th Mar 2015
    4:42pm
    When the government says that it is "consulting the public" or "conducting an independent review", it is nothing but a smokescreen to make us think that a democratic process is being conducted and it is intended to lull us into a (false?) sense of security. When the government announces that it has followed all of the steps and announces its decision, you can bet it was a done deal before the consultation feed back request was even announced in the first place. It is an old, time worn trick, and it works every time. We can only hope that the people benefit from this procedure, 50% of the time.
    Misty
    16th Mar 2015
    5:52pm
    Where is Frank?
    MICK
    16th Mar 2015
    7:27pm
    Been wondering that too. Also Frank's other aliases: Solomon, miss aisle and a few more. Maybe he has been retrenched because he was found out. At any rate good to have real views rather than the government propaganda.
    Adrianus
    19th Mar 2015
    10:03am
    The nurse wouldn't let me have my laptop. I'm back home now and I'll be putting in a complaint about you mick.
    Nan Norma
    16th Mar 2015
    6:29pm
    I thought superannuation was supposed was supposed to replace pensions.
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2015
    8:36pm
    How can it, when most of the tax concessions on superannuation go to those who won't need a pension anyway? Low income earners don't get much benefit from superannuation and can't possibly build up enough to fund retirement completely, but the top 10% of income earners pick up $10 billion a year in superannuation tax concessions. That's more than enough to make sure the pension system is sustainable.

    16th Mar 2015
    8:29pm
    There should not be any change to pension indexation. PERIOD. It is socially and economically destructive and totally unnecessary.

    Our pensions are not high by world standards, and they ARE sustainable. Savings can easily be made by clamping down on tax evasion and making wealthy global corporations pay their share.

    Further, the Greens have proposed changes to superannuation tax concessions for the wealthy, stating that this could save $10 billion. They say that 30% of the total cost of superannuation tax concessions benefits only the top 10% of income earners.

    My rough calculations suggest that someone who can put $100,000 a year into super, over and above the concessional amount, will receive $930,000 in tax concessions over a 20 year span. Yes, contributions over a certain limit are taxed at the marginal rate, but the income the super fund receives is taxed at concessional rates, and not at all after age 65. So someone who can afford to put $100,000 a year into super, over and above their concessional amount, will potentially cost the taxpayer tens of millions in tax concessions over a lifetime. This is ridiculous. Superannuation tax concessions to low to average income earners encourage saving for retirement and are therefore beneficial for the nation. Higher income earners are going to fund their own retirement regardless. They don't need millions in tax concessions to encourage saving, and the taxpayer shouldn't be subsidizing the retirement of the super-wealthy at the expense of the poorest.

    The current structure of tax concessions on superannuation means that the cost to the taxpayer of funding the retirement of the super-wealthy can be many, many times the total cost of funding the retirement of a full pensioner. There is therefore no excuse for cutting pensions while not addressing this obscene generosity to the rich.
    Fready
    16th Mar 2015
    9:40pm
    Many current pensioners have taken 320 times as much out of the system as they put in. Google "No, the rich don't pay a fair share of tax" for confirmation. A self funded retiree couple who scrimped and saved during their working life to be independent and who ended with $1 million in a term deposit will be lucky to earn as much as a couple getting the full pension.
    Misty
    17th Mar 2015
    6:59pm
    Well Fready all I can say they should sack their Financial Advisor, my husband only had a 1/4 of that and we managed ok with that and a part pension, he worked until 70 and I worked until 64 and paid our fair share of taxes. I don't begrudge my taxes going to pay for people less well off then we were, but I do begrudge the wealthy who use every trick in the book to avoid paying their fair share. Someone tweeted on Q & A last night that someone they knew with a $1,000,000 bank balance was doing it tough and struggling, beggars belief don't you think?.
    Anonymous
    18th Mar 2015
    7:16am
    Just been thinking about it. If a person has $1,000,000 in the bank this would preclude them from the pension.

    So they have to live on the income from that pension. OK.

    Currently the interest rates are very low if they just have this money on term deposit.

    Even if they were getting 4% which I doubt...that would be $40,000 a year for a married couple. They would not be getting the concessions that a person on a married income would get so would be paying full price for everything. They would only have a Seniors Card probably and this does not give you much at all.

    I "can see that a person on $1,000,000 may be struggling.
    Anonymous
    18th Mar 2015
    7:19am
    I left out the word "pension" after the word married above.
    Not Senile Yet!
    17th Mar 2015
    12:02am
    You need to have a thick skin to be a Politician......a hide like a rhinoceros....capable of switching off your ears......and no conscience whatsoever about screwing the Old Aged and Disabled!!!
    Independent Review!!!!
    By the Party in Power......who just happens to want to pay Less!!!
    These Party Puppets believe in their OWN Lies so much......that they keep reminding us that they have not actually broken any Election Promises.....that attacking the Pensions is the ONLY way to reduce the deficit......never mind cancelling the 50 billion order for Airplanes from USA or reducing it by half even!!!
    These idiots believe that we are All Idiots as well!!!!
    Don't vote for any Puppet that belong to a Party and has sold out to them!!!!
    Vote them all out of OUR Parliament by Voting all the Independants in that you can.
    Gee....whiz.....even a Communist Party Member is starting to look good compared to these mongrels!!!!
    Yeah....good idea....INDEPENDANTS.....that is what we need!!!!
    Independent of the Greedy Party Machines!!!!
    worker
    17th Mar 2015
    5:01pm
    Wast of time a review and citizens monies as outcome will still be same. However a review and one made public of the life time pensions of MPs along with the cost of maintain parliaments would be better as it would show citizens savings to be made possible grater them that of the poor aged.

    reduce the pirks and pensions of so called politicians
    Fready
    17th Mar 2015
    8:24pm
    Misty, mine was just a fictitious example to illustrate that the pension is quite generous. A person who had saved $1 million could for instance (depending upon their circumstances) receive a part pension. Not everyone has a Financial Adviser. Some FAs charge more than 1% per annum (or $10,000 for $1 million)with no guarantee that they will create more than that for their client. Lots of money owned by retirees is in a term deposit or simply in the bank through fear of losing their capital.
    Misty
    18th Mar 2015
    12:00am
    Well all I can say is anyone who has a $1 Million in the bank should not be entitled to a pension I don't think the Centrelink rules would allow it anyway.
    wally
    18th Mar 2015
    12:41am
    Misty, the question is at what point does a person's financial situation put them "over the limit" to be eligible for pension payments? Does the value of a home come into it? Do medical expenses not covered by Medicare come into it? What I am getting at is how pension eligibility should be assessed. Should able bodied people who have never been in the work force be entitled to the same pension benefits as those who have worked all their adult lives? Many questions to sort out.
    Misty
    18th Mar 2015
    11:55am
    Yes Wally I do agree with you on most of the points in your comment above, it is a complex issue to deal with and not many politicians have the gumption to do so, same with Superannuation, Negative Gearing and the GST, apparently they get slaughtered in the polls whenever this is mentioned as a possibility.
    Anonymous
    22nd Mar 2015
    2:44pm
    A single person with $1 million in the bank would not get a pension. A married couple would get a very small pension with all the benefits. Fair enough! A couple who struggled to save SHOULD be better off than a full pensioner (and a couple with $1 million wouldn't be much better off without dipping into capital, and every dip reduces their income). Those who worked hard and saved hard during their working life have taken a huge hit with falling interest rates and now have to put their capital at high risk to get enough to live on. They've already done their share of the ''heavy lifting'' and made huge sacrifices. Hockey speaks of intergenerational theft - but he fails to acknowledge that huge wealth has been transferred from these now-retired workers and savers to the young in the form of interest rate falls (which hurt retirees but give massive benefit to the young).

    The issue isn't those with $1 million. It's those with several million. They are costing the country tens of billions in obscenely generous tax concessions.

    The other issue - that unfortunately isn't nearly so easy to address - is who SHOULD get pensions. Currently, someone who inherited $500,000 and spent it on a couple of world trips, gambling and restaurant dinners can get a full pension. Someone who lived on a shoestring budget and had no luxuries, but saved $500,000 is heavily penalized. Someone who worked hard all their life but wrecked their body in unsafe working conditions and had to retire at 54 is punished, while able-bodied man who surfed on the dole all his life is rewarded with a full pension. There's no fairness in the system. There never can be. But there can be a lot more equity and common sense than currently exists.
    Rob
    18th Mar 2015
    3:33pm
    On a side issue does anyone know if you prepay your private health insurance whether or not you can claim two rebates in the year of payment??
    Fready
    18th Mar 2015
    7:37pm
    Misty,a non-homeowner couple can get a part pension if they have less than $1,292,000 of assets. Remember that assets other than cash are valued at fire sale value. A homeowner couple can get a part pension as long as the value of their assets doesn't exceed $1,145,500. Either couple (homeowner or non-homeowner) can also have income of less than $2860 per fortnight without it causing them to lose their part pension.
    Anonymous
    22nd Mar 2015
    3:23pm
    This is where I see a glaring unfairness. A man who has wrecked his body in hard work and can't earn anything, but has struggled to save a decent nest egg, will be battling to get as much as the pension, while someone who was much more privileged can earn over $1000 a week AND have $2 million in assets (including a home) and still get a part pension.
    AquarianIdealist
    18th Mar 2015
    8:43pm
    We must give it a chance to see if it works, on the other hand if it turns out to be just another excuse by government to say "it wasn't our doing, it was the review panels decision" then that is the time to protest. There is another much simpler way to deal with pension reletivaty and that is to align all increases to the that of senior beuracrats and politicians at the same percentage.
    AquarianIdealist
    18th Mar 2015
    9:10pm
    people talk of protest, Most of us (pensioners) volunteer no doubt What do you think will happen if we didn't turn up for awhile. It's a hard ask I know, but never the less it is an option to consider.
    lasaboy
    19th Mar 2015
    10:06am
    Once upon a time politicians were leaders of the community, then they became opportunists and failed businessmen, these days they appear to be failed crooks and and leaders of mediocrity
    Gordy
    19th Mar 2015
    10:13am
    The absolute hypocrisy of politicians and bureaucrats trying to deny money to retirees is appalling. These people don't have a retirement problem as they set themselves up with the "Future Fund" ( interesting name to hide the real purpose) a $110bn exclusive retirement fund for CW politicians and public servants. The fund was established by Costello who took $20bn out of taxpayers revenue to establish it and it has been topped up by taxpayers funds and massive dividends from their friends the four Banks and others. The question is why cant ALL retirees participate in the future fund to solve some of these budget problems?