A fair go for older Australians

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

A fair go for older Australians

From my perspective 2014 has been a particularly divisive year in Australian politics. And this strident argey bargey and entrenched ideological divide is leading to some pretty horrible policy decisions. So here are some facts which have influenced my belief that social equity should be the number one issue for ALL politicians in 2015. And a plea for all members of parliament to have a rethink over the Christmas break so they return to work with a renewed sense of social equity and a commitment to a fair go for all.

Now what could be fairer than that?

Fact one
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. This is a worldwide phenomenon and Australia is not immune, with the richest one per cent of Australians now possessing the same wealth as the bottom sixty per cent.

Source: Still the lucky country?

Fact two
A widening of the gap between rich and poor is bad for all, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This was revealed in a trends in income inequality report in December.

“In most OECD countries, the gap between rich and poor is at its highest level since 30 years. Today, the richest 10 per cent of the population in the OECD area earn 9.5 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent… policies to reduce income inequalities should not only be pursued to improve social outcomes but also to sustain long-term growth”

Source: Trends in Income Inequality and its Impact on Economic Growth

Fact three
One of the greatest gifts to wealthy Australians are the concessions on superannuation, with the wealthiest benefitting at the expense of the most vulnerable. To quote recent research:

“…tax concessions flow overwhelmingly towards the well-off, with those earning less than $34,000 per annum receiving almost no assistance and those earning over $180,000 per annum receiving the most. Astonishingly, the top five percent of individuals account for 37 per cent of concessional contributions.”

Source:

The Australia Institute - The great superannuation tax concession rort

The Australia Institute - The case for a universal pension

In 1908 when the Age Pension became law, an Opposition Minister named Mr Reid stated, “I wish to heartily commend the character of this measure … in so far it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice”.

And that, I believe, should be the case today, with older Australian men and women who have worked and paid taxes for decades looked after in a way that gives them at least a reasonable standard of living in retirement. Governments have many and various levers to fine-tune the collection of revenue and the payment of welfare benefits. So to simply cut the income of the most vulnerable is both crude and shameful. It is high time we looked at the revenue side of the equation and, in particular the tax breaks for those in top income brackets.

A fair go has always been the Australian ethos and no government should be allowed to dismantle this core contract.

What do you think?





    COMMENTS

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    Maca1939
    23rd Dec 2014
    5:46am
    I agree fully with your comments and feel ashamed to read what is happening at the moment with this government what they are doing to the older generation in our community. Especially with housing - none of us know what is ahead for us and to see yesterday that the new head of social services is cutting funding to housing is not on - if someone is presently on new start they cannot afford to pay rent and eat, let along anything else. The other thing is the disability pension I know a young guy who is 51 suffering from cancer pancreatic cancer, he has had it for 2 years, has now been transferred to new start and is working 17 hours a week delivering pizza, he comes home from work and collapses into bed, he informed me that he cannot keep this up, he is worn out, what is happening to our empathy and understanding to those who need assistance, it is time that people began to put themselves into the shoes of people like this young man and say "how would I be in this position", so come on Mr. Abbott for someone who was in a religious order where is your empathy towards the older person and people in the community who were on the disability pension.
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    7:26pm
    Love your comment and totally believe in essence the meaning of all it entails....Troubles start when people start to defraud the Government...that is the only problem ...its nothing to do with any particular party in at a certain time but the corruption which appears to be rampantamongst some of our society today...there will always be these people cos they clever and have had lots of fake time to establish their cunning etc.......so the powers that be like that young man suffer for it all......its like putting most good women in a house and sending several good men to meet them as wife potentials...but some of these young men going to meet these women aren't all cosher..and only want free prostitution.......catch my meaning...so everyone suffers the majority (I hope) of good and decent ones........
    bob menzies
    23rd Dec 2014
    6:46am
    there is merit in your article but the problem is that in 1908 only about 4% of people reached aged pension age and got the aged pension - now it much greater - some say 33% already and growing - the problem for all governments is finding the money to pay for everything - labor left us with a massive debt and deficit problem - we can't tax our way out of it as our taxes are up there with the highest already - I believe anyone who has worked for say 40 years deserves a decent retirement as do the seriously disadvantaged and indexed at higher of CPI and PBCLI and MWATE- I do not agree with giving refugees who can't find work the same benefits . Seems to me many commentors identify issues but mostly don't offer solutions - governments of all persuasions have a difficult job prioritising competing focus groups. For my 65 years the conservatives at least try to look after taxpayers money - labor just waste it and they should be condemned to opposition for at least a decade because of the way they handled the budget over past 6 years.
    Jen
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:41am
    bob, that debt and deficit problem has only INCREASED under this Government, despite their attempts to move wealth from the poor to the rich. In nobody's fair mind, should this be allowed to happen. And it won't because I think even the most complacent, gullible Australians will put their foot down come Election time.

    Finding money for pensions and social welfare is a primary responsibility of Government. Instead of cut, cut, cut, where are the innovative ideas for growing Australia, instead of always trying to shrink it? The HIllsong Nazi and Tony Abbott, I believe, have already brought about the loss of the next election. I damn well hope so, anyway.
    Kato
    23rd Dec 2014
    4:19pm
    Bob get off the harp and look at the long term social ramifications this will reap.
    Crime will rise and if the disadvantaged are not looked after they will take. and you and I may well be there next target. To use the budget who ever caused it to subjugate the populace is abhorrent.
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    7:33pm
    To Bob Menzies...don t lose your faith in the Libs...I been with them since we came here 1972 and similiar in birth country..I truly believe they are doing all in their power to average things out and we do llive in the best country on the planet....I saw 2 thousand people in front of the high fencing built up at the English end of the Tunnel I think I correct...do correct me if I m wrong...and they trying to get into UK.....mostly Africans...we cannot sustain all these people jumping queues either......I never complain I try and do manage well......having a small allowance from homeland as well which helps greatly to pay bills monthly.....yes it is a worldwide phenomen...trying to give enough to make everyone equal does not work....
    clydecladidlehopper
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:03am
    There is a small mistake in your article.
    "This is a worldwide phenomenon and Australia is not immune, with the richest one per cent of Australians now possessing the same wealth as the bottom six per cent."
    This should read according to the article you quoted..... as the bottom sixty per cent!
    Seasons greetings..
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:36am
    That is correct, Clyde..I missed it....
    Kaye Fallick
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:17am
    Hi Clyde - many thanks for picking up my 'oopsie' - you are quite correct, the richest one per cent of Australians have more wealth than the bottom 60 per cent - which just makes me wonder how this can ever seem fair when that one per cent get such massive subsidies on their superannuation. Do the really need them?
    Happy Christmas and thanks for joining in the debate, warmest, Kaye
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:37am
    Kaye: An excellent article, only hope both sides of politics read it.
    I get quite annoyed with the superannuation subsidies especially as pollies contribute more than 15% to their super and the rest of the workers instead of moving up to that 15% by this time, are struck around 9% compulsory for who knows how long.
    Also, the ABS and estimates indicated a few months ago that in ten years time there will be the same amount of the population on age pensions as presently. There will be an erosion of pensioners in ten years time due to the increase of the retirement age to 70 years and also there will be more retirees entirely self-funded and less retirees partly self-funded. However the current pensioners will be losing thousands of dollars in ten years time with the erosion of their pension due to the CPI calculations. How will those with no savings and totally reliant on their age pensions to exist cope.
    Macca1939 has some good points.
    Sceptic
    23rd Dec 2014
    1:49pm
    Mitzy, there is nothing stopping people increasing their super contributions to 15%.
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:55pm
    Agree Sceptic. We have been told for years that relying on the compulsory amount
    is not enough. The only way to have enough money in retirement is for people to take responsibility and make their own contribution. It can also be done from pre-tax income so is actually worth more than the few dollars you sacrifice.
    Kato
    23rd Dec 2014
    4:24pm
    Sceptic and KSS agree with that while you think along those lines why doesn't the government do away with the wasteful 30% for health funds. give people a choice pay a Increased medicare levy or full health insurance. not both where you get neither bang for your buck.
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    5:37pm
    Or Private Education too Kato. If you want to opt out of public education so be it but you pay for it and not expect the government to subsidise private school facilities.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:57pm
    Quite a few people here have said exactly what Sceptic and KSS say before.
    However, people are their own worst enemies. The percentage that comes out of their salary and wages towards their superannuation they don't miss. However, with the cost of living, two members of families working to survive and pay the childcare fees etc. how many of them will find that extra percentage to put away?
    What they don't have in their pocket beforehand they don't miss and most of these younger families trying to get ahead and pay their mortgages too, would never entertain the idea of putting that extra into their super funds.
    You know you can't put an old head on young shoulders.
    The politicians are on something between 15 and 16 per cent.
    It its good for the goose its good for the gander.
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:12pm
    Mitzy the employer super payment is in addition to the salary. You don't miss it because you never have it. As I have said elsewhere, everyone can make a contribution to their super, it doesn't have to be a lot just consistent. A $10 contribution sacrificed would be taxed at 15% not the usual 30% so there is a saving on even that small amount. Over time, this adds up not only the $10 but added compound interest. On a salary of $45000 that $10 is more than 1% extra per week. Quite honestly most people could afford to make that contribution but as you so clearly say it is not a priority. All some of here are saying is that it should be. We can all make excuses why we refuse to save for our retirement, But it is the responsibility of the individual - no-one owes anyone else a living.
    Radish
    24th Dec 2014
    4:10pm
    Extra contributions while still in the workforce is definitely the way to go and quite honestly you do not miss it. When an employee gets a pay rise I think it is a good idea to put half that pay rise into your super. Unfortunately most don't think like that. The old adage is still l true "peoples' expenditure rises to meet their income".

    I totally agree with your post KSS
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    10:47pm
    KSS and Radish - I totally concur with your sentiments - you either delay your consumer gratification and take the risk you will live to see retirement age - or consume and go on the pension. Anyone can do it, even if it is a few dollars per week from a young age to compound it. One coffee per day is about $1250 per year - consume it and make Hudson's rich - or salary sacrifice it instead and make yourself rich.

    Learning what 'pay yourself first' actually means is an extremely powerful wealth concept - for the poor and rich alike.

    Hope is not a plan.
    speakup
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:05am
    What is needed in Australia is for our Public Servants ( elected Governments) that enjoy an extravagant lifestyle provided by the citizens of this Country to treat the senior's with respect we are a lot older (and in many instances wiser) than the majority of the Politicians .Do not insult our intelligence,with all the media information we receive today we are fully informed with what our Public Servants are receiving and what they are doing with our Taxes.We have a Queensland Premier in a country of less than 24 million that is paid by us a higher salary than the President of the USA a country of 319 million
    Hawkeye
    25th Dec 2014
    10:14am
    So what and where is this extravagant lifestyle enjoyed by public servants?
    I was a public servant, with a particularly dangerous job in defence to keep our "brave" soldiers safe from themselves. Meanwhile, they were paid double what I got (plus the same again in free benefits) and many of them drank the lot.
    Oars
    29th Dec 2014
    11:31am
    I am in favor of a high pay for any poly WHILE HE/SHE IS IN OFFICE. But I am not happy with any of the payments they get AFTER they are kicked out. Why not pay them big while they are in office, with a max time in office of 5 years. Then we will see a better crew standing up, not drifters who can't get a real job, or hack lawyers unable to read.
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    7:42pm
    My word that is absolutely erroneuos...I also agree entirely with Oars too and I really think the free democratic society we live in is ready now for a different type of political setup..not dictatorship but surely there something else than all or most of populations relying on Govt to keep em.......
    mac_paddy
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:59am
    Fact 4. It is no longer appropriate to canvass any increase in to a progressive tax, where each pays accordingly to their means. Whilst no increase to income tax or the medicare levy can be contemplated but it is acceptable to canvass increases to regressive taxes such as the GST. Taxes where the less well off pay the same amount as the rich.
    Grumpy
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:04am
    mac_paddy, Amen! Nor should we overlook the fact that business both large and small basically does not pay any significant amount of GST. A free kick given to some deserving a yellow card.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:14am
    Grumpy, so now businesses both large and small 'don't pay any significant amount of GST'? How does that work? I would be very interested in your explanation?
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:45pm
    GST is just another profits tax on business. Every business has become a tax collector and gets no reward for doing the work of the ATO.
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    7:48pm
    I thought if you have your own Pensions in place for retirement that you not e titled to Govt pensions....I know of someone RIP now who received full senior pension and also had quite a large lump sum early retirement pay out and also a pensions scheme funded for years by that person...how did that happen and some cultures also have several houses ..change one letter in their surname for seven sons give them the houses to let out etc etc etc I also know of years ago some cultures having built whole blocks of serviced apartments in Italy and receiving full sick pensions here and probably now receiving senior pensions..come on Australia....its common gossip when you travel...I was on a local bus several years ago and a lady from S Africa asking me all about it........
    particolor
    2nd Jan 2015
    10:26am
    What Else is New Precious ??
    Brissiegirl
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:06am
    I don't believe governments are meant to ensure "social equity". Our judiciary does not even ensure law and order. Thieves and corrupt politicians to begin with. The pension was never meant to pay for car rego, insurance, petrol, internet, holidays etc. It was meant to stop people from being cold and hungry. We are supposed to work hard, save our money and not blow our superannuation on overseas holidays, then apply for the pension, moaning because it won't pay for a luxurious lifestyle. We are funding too many so-called refugees, their legal aid and lately $400,000 for legal services to an imported killer. It is the rich who are taking the risks that provide the jobs, so I'm not into bagging wealth. If I want wealth it is up to me to go out and make it happen. I'm more dissatisfied with politicians who have got our country into debt by squandering taxpayer funds, and by their actions, damaged our social cohesion, possibly irreparably. We should look after our disabled, provide them with housing and services. But people who work all their lives will soon be fully self-funded, with tax-deducted superannuation savings soon doing the job which was originally intended.
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:41am
    Now that comment is basic common sense, Brissiegirl.
    I have read many posts where people/companies with wealth (even self-made) are detested.

    As if all wealth should equally shared,
    no matter who takes the risks!

    I believe, if all the wealth of the world WAS shared equally,
    it would not take long before it ended up
    back into the original hands.

    Some have no "drive/dreams" to take risks & make money,
    Some do not want to put in the long hours/hard work,
    And many are unable to make the debit/credit balance.

    So, in general, wealth is drawn like a magnet
    to those who have determination & courage.
    (Excluding any type of corruption
    which is only fueled by greed & evil).
    Grumpy
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:16am
    Brissie Girl & Miss Aisle running true to form. Those with all the wealth & power have the God given right to stack the system to deny access to opportunity to any but the most ruthless. You clearly endorse the top 1% of the population owning as much as the bottom 60%. It does not matter to you that the dipstick son of a multi-millionaire is guaranteed a university education while a far more talented child form the "other ranks", capable of a far greater contribution to the nation is denied one because his family cannot afford a university education deliberately priced beyond the reach of his family to exclude the "Hoy palloy".
    Which would be better for the wealth of the nation?
    Under your preferred system only 50% of the population will contribute to its maximum potential. With university education open to all on the same basis up to 100% have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
    You do realise of course that both Hockey and Abbott received free unversity education courtesy of Labour policy of the Whitlam era?
    The author of the article is absolutely right. The key to wealth is social equity....equal access to opportunity. Then each person can make the best they are capable of of the opportunity.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:33am
    Nobody is suggesting that all earned wealth should be spread evenly. All that is required is that all pay their fair share according to the tax system - and that current tax system weighs far too heavily in favour of the well-off while allowing far too much leeway in deductions for the same and is in need of revamping.

    The peasants with the burning brands and pitchforks aren't quite raping your treasure room and carrying off the contents of your store room just yet....
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:33am
    Do you ever see the glass as "half full", grumpy ?

    Has your face forgotten how to smile
    or experience joy?
    You've brainwashed yourself into
    being grumpy, grumpy.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:07pm
    Brissiegirl: A good post generally, apart from the last sentence. Life deals blows to people. Some seem more prone to rough times than others. I believe governments should be there for social empathy among many other reasons for us all. There will be many souls ongoing (as in the past as far back as 1908) through circumstances happening during their lifetimes that prevented them from working a full lifetime and therefore being unable to accumulate the superannuation you suggest. Life circumstances discriminate, and if the majority of us are genuinely good people and we have good governments we are there for our fellow human beings and listening and reading to what is currently touted, the majority of good Australians agree (even Coalition media supporters such as Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Andrew Bolt and Janet(?) Albrechtson) the current government does not pass the fairness test, the pub test, and the plus/minus test.
    Dancer
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:10pm
    Brissiegirl - your comments regarding "work hard, save money and not blow superannuation" is all very well for those who have a job, the capacity to save and who also have money paid into superannuation. That is not the case for many olde3r people, especially women - many women didn't work, so they didn't accumulate superannuation, and if they did work they still didn't accumulate superannuation because women didn't get super years ago. Then there are those women who did work, accumulated a little super, but before it became substantial they gave up paid work to care for a family member (ie husband/child) who needed full time care - so the income disappeared!!! So expand your thinking a little to see the whole picture!
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:17pm
    Superannuation as it currently stands is another rort, and is essentially yet another 'privatised' network that provides healthy incomes for those who are running the super funds etc, while providing opportunity for government to take tax, and provide (again) excessive benefit for those with more already.

    Now if super payments were untaxed and unfee'd... and tax taken on termination of the individual fund on profit...... there might be a different story.. but governments worldwide simply cannot resist the lure of all those dollars hiding in those accounts..

    Or if a genuine National super Fund was set up and handled cheaply.......
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:15pm
    Grappler,
    Wait till the next financial collapse (just around the corner) and see how much super is left in those accounts.
    More assets for the Bankers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oars
    29th Dec 2014
    11:36am
    Brissigirl. You are talking sense as the rich are only a few in number- BECAUSE THEY ARE RISK TAKERS and are " still standing" at the end of many years of a survival race. The welfare system is supposed to look after a minority of folk who are unable to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, this welfare hand out has become a thing of "our right" in many circumstances. The softening up of this process has led many countries into welfare overload: Great Britain; New Zealand, and now Oz. Many of the recipients could do something, to make the "wheel"go around" but are too lazy to get out of bed. So there.
    Footloose
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:15am
    We have become a country of ungrateful entitlement. In a land of such opportunity as Australia, only the disabled and unfortunate should need to be supported by the welfare system. It is a common misconception, perpetuated by unbalanced articles such as this, that the rich get away with it when in fact it is they, and only they, who pay more into the tax system than they withdraw, as stated in the 2014 article in The Australian, quote
    "Put simply, only the top fifth of households paid any tax. The bottom 6.9 million households, while often incurring income tax liabilities and regularly paying GST, received more in cash welfare and services than they paid in." Just Google "who pays the most tax in Australia"
    Grumpy
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:34am
    Footloose, I have done my own analysis of the budget and tax situation.
    Your proposition is based on absolute dollars paid in tax. This is a proposition well suited to the wealthy who can trumpet how much they are contributing. Is this a proper basis for the tax system? Surely the more correct basis is that each should contribute proportionately according to his ability to pay. That way no one is forced to forgo food on the table. On this basis those earning $30K to $80K pay a net rate of 32% tax on current scales, those between $80K and $180k pay 38%, and the top quartile earning more than $180K earn...wait for it...27.6%. So while the top quartile pay more dollars what they pay is a far smaller proportion of their income.
    Which would you regard as the fairer go?
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:36am
    Give full details. Nobody cares - everyone pays tax, not just income tax and the PROPORTION of tax paid by those not well-off is higher. The ONLY 'black holes' are with those with large discretionary incomes - who spend it offshore or hoard it in non-productive areas.. everyone else pays 100% of their income back into the tax cycle - the less you have, the sooner you put it back.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:07am
    Grumpy,

    Can you please explain how a wage earner on $180k pays only 27.6% of earnings in tax?

    Can you also explain how if that same person asked for a wage cut of say $10 pa they would then be earning an extra $10,259 pa by paying that much less in tax?

    Can you also explain how a wage earner on $30k is paying $9,600 of that in tax?

    I'm really interested to see your calculations?
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:39am
    Frank - that is the essence of 'salary sacrifice' and putting it into superannuation...
    As for the $30k earner - the tax-free threshold works to give some equity in taxation.

    All figures are not absolutes there - all incorporate that tax-free threshold and thus remain 'equal' in that sense.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:03pm
    Grap, are you saying that Grumpy based those calculations on all wage earners salary sacrificing? What proportion of the salaries were sacrificed? The total amounts? Or are you suggesting only those with incomes above $180,000 salary sacrifice? How close are you to Grumpy? Can you ask him to explain his extrapolation?
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:24pm
    No, Frank - only those who have an adequate income to afford 'salary sacrifice' to pay into super. Most are not in that position, so it is a rich man's perk again...

    I'm waiting for the explanation on the income tax - though the basic rates are correct from the rule book.... finer figures on dropping a few bucks to get a tax concession or gaining a few bucks for the same reason are interesting...

    Perhaps they show the need to have that old tax scale restored in some mode, so that as you get more you pay more.... used to work OK.... now it just plays into the hands of the rip-off merchants.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:03pm
    Grap and grumpy, none of what you are saying is making any sense to me and it appears that neither of you can explain it in simple maths, so I will just form the opinion that you both are massaging the numbers to have a whinge.

    "only those who have an adequate income to afford 'salary sacrifice' to pay into super. Most are not in that position, so it is a rich man's perk again..."

    What's to stop a wage earner on $45,000 salary sacrificing 100% of his wage under the same TTR rules? For that matter what is stopping any salaried worker from doing that regardless of their income? I thought this Gillard/Swan change was a little strange but then again, I don't have all the facts. What? Industry Super Funds don't do this for their members? Why not? It's a pity we hate Financial Planners and want to make them so expensive as to be out of reach for those who need them the most.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:22pm
    It's a question of what people can afford, Frank. Nobody on $45k can afford to put it all into super. Someone on $450k can afford to put a heap away. Therefore, what reason is there to offer the person on $450k all the benefits and the one on $45k none? If the person on $450k is such a poor money manager that they can't pay their way and not have extra perks as well - they don't deserve to be there.

    Pollies are nowhere a fair comparison - they receive all found in their daily stipends etc, and thus have a post-tax near full salary to invest wisely.... no working stiff gets those perks..... or the benefit of the PERP - Politician's Early Retirement Program, of perks and benefits from Day One of being ousted by a disgruntled public. Good work if you can get it.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:49pm
    Grap,

    " Nobody on $45k can afford to put it all into super."
    Why not?
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:09pm
    For those of you who clearly have no idea about salary sacrificing to super; anyone can sacrifice to super up to a maximum $35000 for the over 50s which would include the employer component. So it would be impossible to make a sacrifice of your entire salary of $45000 (which would not include the $4000 contribution from the employer). The amount you sacrifice is taxed at a lower rate so is actually worth more than the actual dollar amount. Even sacrificing $20 a week will, over time make a significant different to the final super amount.

    In addition people can make non-concessional contributions which means it is contributed after tax at their usual amount.

    Further for those lucky few earning more than $300,000 a year there are additional taxes to pay. The ATO website is a mine of useful information.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    5:34pm
    Yes, you are correct KSS. the concessional contributions cap has changed that many times in the last 2 years and previous to that I believe it was open, following a wage/award variation case by Fair work. But 2 years ago it was $50k for those who were old enough for TTR, and there has been talk about a return to that level. My main gripe is that low income super members are more advantaged by co contributions in terms of investment return on overall contributions. A $1000 contribution attracts a government contribution of $500. That is a 50% return from day one! A member on say $60,000 would not achieve that sort of return.
    We seem to be continually throwing money at that 60% and they keep asking for more.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    6:16pm
    Frank - they have to LIVE on that $45k - no way they will be putting $35k away.....
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:04pm
    No they wouldn't Grappler but they probably could put away $10 a week approx 1% more into super. If they sacrifice that amount from their salary they would only pay 15% tax on that money and not 30%. Over time that $10 would add a significant amount to their super. And that is the point. Everyone can add to their super if they choose. It doesn't need to be a huge amount, just consistent over time.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:08pm
    Frank: We, part of the 60% take what we are given. We didn't ask for anything, it was those pesky pollies that decided on the rules and regulations. They were the ones who decided to throw the money away, to get elected. They give and they take.
    Adrianus
    24th Dec 2014
    2:18pm
    Grap, when you say "Frank - they have to LIVE on that $45k - no way they will be putting $35k away..... " you are not referring to the TTR arrangements where income is drawn from their member account while they are working and in the transition phase. In other words they live on the income from the Super Fund.

    MITZY, I agree with you. Our problem is that we are not smart enough not to be bribed. If only we were less dependent on the government? Now that seems like a worthwhile goal.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    2:27pm
    Actually you could sacrifice $35K out of $45K - it just would not be worth doing so past the $18.2K zero tax threshold. You would minimise your tax to 15% max - not 19% above $18,201 and then 32.5% over $37K. You would save 'x' dollars in tax per year at this level and then take it back out of your Super as a transition to retirement pension. It is more tax effective. Even lower paid bods have tax lurks - you just have to pay attention to the rules. Too easy to pretend you can't get the same breaks as the rich if you don't research and learn.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    2:50pm
    In the above I am saying you can actually live better by sacrificing a large amount as you get some reduced tax benefits and then take your money out again through a transition to retirement pension. In effect you end up with more dollars in your pocket through lower tax compared to not doing the same. However, an amount sacrificed exceeding $26800 would have no benefit though as it takes you below the $18,200 tax free threshold.
    Adrianus
    24th Dec 2014
    5:12pm
    Yes Reasons, I understand your logic and calculation. My question to Grumpy was "please clarify the assertion in relation to those tax percentages.

    We seemed to have got off track with Grapplers assertion, in the absence of Grumpy's response, that Grumpy included a Salary Sacrifice Super contribution for higher income levels. My question remains......

    "Grumpy,

    Can you please explain how a wage earner on $180k pays only 27.6% of earnings in tax?

    Can you also explain how if that same person asked for a wage cut of say $10 pa they would then be earning an extra $10,259 pa by paying that much less in tax?

    Can you also explain how a wage earner on $30k is paying $9,600 of that in tax? I would have thought the tax would be closer to 9.5% ?? Not 32% as implied???
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    7:43pm
    Someone on $180K sacrificing $35K to Super would pay:
    $5250 tax at 15% for the $35K sacrificed (taking their pay to $145K)
    $3572 tax between $18.2K and $30K
    $15,910 between $30K and $80K
    $$29,250 between $80K and $145K
    A total of $53,982 tax or 29.99% of $180K

    As we have a sliding tax scale it is hard to see how $10 could do that - it would need a cliff-edge type tax system where you would go from one tax scale to another by just removing $10 - but am happy to learn how.

    In the case of someone earning $30K, they would pay $2,240 tax between $18.2K and $30K, making their tax 7.47% of $30K.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    8:45pm
    I think you need this also...

    Someone earning $80K would pay $19,482 tax and that would be 24.35% of $80K.

    This % would be reduced if the same $35K was salary sacrificed - as would the $30K example if an appropriate amount was sacrificed.

    So in a nutshell, the more you earn - the higher the percentage of tax you pay.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    10:11pm
    And before anyone gets too carried away - you can't sacrifice $35K in reality - the sacrificed amount depends on your age - up to $35K total can be put into Super before tax if you are over 50 - but it is less the 9.5% employer paid Super component.
    Adrianus
    24th Dec 2014
    11:40pm
    Reasons, you are missing the point. Have a look at the following post and assertions on tax paid by various income margins and tell me if you agree?

    "Footloose, I have done my own analysis of the budget and tax situation.
    Your proposition is based on absolute dollars paid in tax. This is a proposition well suited to the wealthy who can trumpet how much they are contributing. Is this a proper basis for the tax system? Surely the more correct basis is that each should contribute proportionately according to his ability to pay. That way no one is forced to forgo food on the table. On this basis those earning $30K to $80K pay a net rate of 32% tax on current scales, those between $80K and $180k pay 38%, and the top quartile earning more than $180K earn...wait for it...27.6%. So while the top quartile pay more dollars what they pay is a far smaller proportion of their income.
    Which would you regard as the fairer go?" - Grumpy. (AKA The. Grappler)
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2014
    7:29am
    Ignoring salary sacrificing...

    If you earn $30K you pay a total of $2,240 in tax - that is a tax rate of 7.47%

    If you earn $80K you pay a total of $19,482 tax - that is a tax rate of 24.35%

    If you earn $180K you pay a total of $64,482 tax - that is a tax rate of 35.82%

    A single pensioner gets around $20K in round figures, so...

    * It takes about NINE $30K earners to pay for one single pensioner.

    * It takes ONE $80K earner to support a single pensioner.

    * One $180K earner supports more than THREE single pensioners - and is paying twice as much tax as a $30K salary person earns.

    If you get paid $180K, you are generally adding value to the company, under some pressure to perform and not getting paid for the sake of it. There has to be a dollar incentive to work at a high level.

    Not sure if it answers your question, but tax deductions aside, it seems to me that those with the ability to pay, generally are.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2014
    11:03am
    And if that does not convince you - someone on $360K salary...

    Pays a 37.65% tax rate and would pay $135,547 in tax...

    And would support NEARLY SEVEN single pensioners!
    Adrianus
    29th Dec 2014
    12:42pm
    Somebody on $360,000 pays.....

    Income tax, $135,547
    Medicare, $7,200
    Budget repair levy, $3,600
    Total Tax, $146,347

    Of course you need to be a high flyer to earn that sort of money. Company Director, Politician, Union Boss etc.
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    7:56pm
    I understand that the reason we are in so much dbt etc and trouble with all the handouts, illegals etc etc is when the Governemtn in Australia first started to put money away for peoples when they come of retirement age ...someone in that govt in power at that time spent the money....This would have to looked into to basics of this country 250 years ago is that right....it appeared to be the same with giving land free for building their own house...Thence the Real State Institute came along and all that with it that encompasses not always right either.....
    Jurassicgeek
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:35am
    Dont rely on Abbott or Hockey to safeguard your future if you are poor. These two bludgers are committed to looking after the big end of town.....
    wally
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:31am
    Does this post mean you are not a fan of Tony and Joe?
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:35am
    They'll only safeguard theirs!
    However, they should not forget that: "There is no honour amongst thieves!".
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    7:59pm
    Giving power to some people is to their detriment as some can manage in real life and some don`t wan t to with hanging over them the delight of getting it all for doing nothing at all.....we have only ourselves to blame for mis management......
    Radish
    2nd Jan 2015
    6:30pm
    If Bill Shorten is the answer then God help us!!
    Old Timer
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:43am
    I agree with your comments and mostly with the six responses you have received so far. I suggest the following would assist in bringing the Federal budget under control in the years to come:
    With our extended lifespan, adopt the proposed retirement age of 70.
    Do not allow the proposed 3 year restriction the of the pension asset and income test in 2017.
    With an increased burden on the poor, do not allow the proposed increase to the GST.
    To avoid discretionary spending, disallow superannuation to be taken as a lump sum.
    Reduce superannuation taxation concessions for those earning over $100,000 per annum.
    Terminate negative gearing tax concessions.

    Ron C
    Kaye Fallick
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:19am
    Hi Ron, your suggestions make a lot of sense and are currently being discussed by many think tanks and those involved in policy. Taking a lump sum and spending it makes not sense - converting it into a pension/annuity makes a lot of sense. Happy Christmas, warmest

    Kaye
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:42am
    a) PENSION age - not retirement age. That I disagree with. Working after 65 should be optional not mandatory. Are politicians going to wait until 70 to pick up their perks and super? When they are ready to do so, we can talk.

    The rest I pretty much agree with.
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    8:02am
    How are the people (usually considered unemployable unless they are already in a job) going to find jobs? I have a few options"
    1 They (Our beloved politicians) are going to ensure that the jobs they exported to 3rd world countries are returning to Australia and will be now available to be executed by those in the 65 to 70 age range
    2 The kids just finishing their education will not be able to get a job and therefore will be on "The Dole" for 5 years longer awaiting the retirement of the oldiest now at 70 yo.
    3 The 65 to 70 year old people will now go on the dole for thye next 5 years instead of receiving the "age Pension'.

    Unless option 1) is executed againsyt the will of the greedy corporations who would have to cope with reduced profits, option 20 and/or 30 will be enacted.
    This means that young people are on "soul destroying" missions to find jobs which are 'Just not there" or people in the 65 to 70 age bracket will receive NewStart payments instead of the age pension which is about $100.00 per week less.

    Either way, the Government winns Finaicially !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    JUST "BAD LUCK" THAT PENSIONERS ARE NOW LIVING EVEN FURTHER BELOW THE "POVEERTY LINE" or that our young people are destroyed by not being able to find jobs.

    Big Business is far more than people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Precious 1
    29th Dec 2014
    8:04pm
    I agree Ron Connor retirement age 70 or even more I think people are still capable of working online for a living too indeed... I not doing so badly at my own age ...been retired 12 years now and learning more than ever online ..indeed being offered jobs online and also when I was in the UK four years ago I couldn't believe it at all.........
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:50am
    Federal Taxation was intorduced into Australia in the year 1915.
    Wonder why & How the country was as prosperous as it was before that date?
    How did all the Federal projects get paid for?
    Who paid the Politicians & Public Servants?

    Once we hind the TRUE answers to those questions, we will discover the only valid responses that will return Australia to an equitable society!!
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:46am
    For a start, Patriot,
    we didn't have hundreds of thousands of illegals
    milking taxpayers' hard earned money.
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:57am
    kiss aisle,
    As usual, you're NOT addressing the issue raised!
    DIVERSION TACTICS!
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:03am
    Facts rather than emotion please miss aisle.
    How did the country run before introduction of taxation?
    You should know
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:22am
    Do you honestly think that hundreds of thousands of illegals
    entering our country milking our taxpayers' hard earned money
    is "emotion" and not "fact" ??
    You SHOULD know the answer to that one.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:27am
    There are no 'illegals' - there are asylum seekers. The illegals are the ones who overstay their visas etc.

    You assume that intercepting sovereign vessels on the high seas, sending legitimate asylum seekers to a foreign land and then shipping the approved ones off to a Hell In Asia holiday spot is legitimate? It is piracy on the High Seas and a total abrogation of Human Rights and international law.

    Now get back to the subject..... you must be a schill for some LNP politician...
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:04am
    miss aisle,
    More diversion tactics without addressing the ussue I raised?
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:16am
    C'm. on Patriot, - I just addressed the issue of
    "emotion and facts" .
    You just don't like the answers, do you?
    wally
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:30am
    Hi Grap, Just because an arriving migrant claims to be a refugee whose life is in danger in his or her homeland does not mean that they are telling the truth. To believe what they say as true (as was done in the Rudd and Gillard years) was utterly naive and irresponsible by those screening the boat people under Labor's guidelines for assessing the new arrivals.
    Last week's Martin Place murderer is an example of someone who should not have been granted asylum, let alone bail as it turns out, by both state and national governments. I doubt that the money spent on welfare payments and legal costs lavished on this man represent value for the taxpayers' dollar.
    I also wonder how many other "serpents have been placed at Australia's breast" courtesy of the Labor policies on immigration between 2007 and 2013. All at taxpayers' expense, of course, diverting such funds from genuine, deserving aged pensioners. So thanks to Labor's immigration policy, we see "Peter being robbed to pay Abdul."
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:30am
    miss aisle,

    Don't Dislike factual responses at all. They - if correct - educate me.
    It's not WHO is correct but WHAT is CORRECT.

    Address this post please.
    If you want to discuss other issues, START A NEW POST!
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:51am
    Simple, Wally - that's why we have processing. A person is a legitimate asylum SEEKER or claimant awaiting processing. Once full and proper processing has been done, their status as an asylum RECIPIENT is either accepted or rejected.

    Unfortunately it is almost impossible to weed out the 'serpents at the breast of Australia' - granting of asylum perhaps should be provisional for a set period, or a period that may be extended under certain circumstances. That way anyone who goes around preaching jihad could have asylum status revoked, and start walking them avenues 'til their legs felt like stone, listening to voices of friends vanished and gone...

    What appalls me at the moment is that even those granted asylum recipient status are not given asylum here as requested, but are shipped off to holiday destinations elsewhere..... That is a serious abrogation of international law.
    Hawkeye
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:51am
    Patriot (what a misnomer)
    Federal INCOME tax was introduced in 1915 as a TEMPORARY measure to aid the war effort (WW1). Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe WW1 has been over for the best part of a century now, making the continued collection of Federal income tax redundant, immoral, and possibly illegal.
    Before this there were a range of other Federal taxes, as well as State Income and other taxes, to fund the effective governance of the country.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:58am
    Sorry to take over the whole discussion here... I just do...

    As for social security being spent on asylum recipients (approvees?) .. I've long advocated that the real way forward for Australia is what I call the GAIA projects - Greatest Australian Infrastructure Advances, the prime one of which, in my humble eyes, is the development of a city-state in the Pilbara that will incorporate steel, shipbuilding, etc with Australian ores etc.. and running as much as possible on renewable energy etc....

    ... and creating employment for Australians including new ones... in the GAIA asylum recipients could learn a trade or skill, so that in the event they were kicked out.. at least they could go home and do some good...... and be paid wages for work... not social security....
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:20pm
    Hawkeye,
    Your suggestions are "Quite Valid & COrrect".
    Taxation is certainly ILLEGAL as it - indeed - was only a "temporary measure" that - as happens many times - stayed and was re-inforced.
    I don't know what I have done to be NOT PATRIOTIC in your eyes.
    However, it's a world where - until the govt. outlaws it (soon?) thinking differently is still allowed.

    All this post was attempting to achieve is to "Uncover" the mechanism by which Australia (and Many other countries) was quite wealthy & prosperous without ANY TAXATION for so many years.
    Hawkeye
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:22pm
    Sorry Patriot, I had someone else on my mind at the time
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:26pm
    Erring is human.
    You're forgiven!
    Kato
    23rd Dec 2014
    4:43pm
    miss aisle can you tell the Government where these hundred and thousands of illegals are coming in? they have sorted out the fleeing refugees on boats?
    Hawkeye
    23rd Dec 2014
    6:14pm
    miss aisle
    Sounds like you have some insider info on the Liberal Nazi Party's hush-hush "stop the boats" project.
    By your comments, it must actually be a dismal failure, because it is fact that there were NOT hundreds of thousands of illegals when they took over from the ALP, yet you continue to say over and over that there now is.
    Oars
    29th Dec 2014
    11:49am
    Patriot. You refer to an era when people were fewer in numbers, and yet this great country was being sold off to places liker Russia, China, UK USA and otherrs. The point you make is faulty, and you were not there and did not see the difference in comradeship and neighbourly assistance in the early 1900s- that rarely exist today. The world- and OZ- has changed. We are all smarter, and less likely to do anything without reward. The welfare system was meant for the needy, not the bludging- greedy. Have an unbiased look at the tax paid by whom- and where it is spent. The politicians are trying to patch up a leaking boat- how do you suggest they do that? Boring more holes?
    Clare bear
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:59am
    Thank you for your comments:-) I hope the new minister is open to this factual in formation.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:44am
    The Adolph Eichmann of the Boat Trade? I doubt it....
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:08am
    I personally have no problem - with the following provison - for our Personal Properties to be included in the asset test.
    The provison is that the "Value Threshold" of where the home is in/excluded from this RORT be set to the Average Commercial Valuation of the homes owned by our individual Politicians. Such wether such Property is "Owned Outright" or is included in a "Family Trust" or other "Tax Avoidance Scam". In other words: "Where they really rather than where the Paperwork suggests they live". This to be inclusive of living in Properties paid for by US the TAXPAYER!
    I believe that we, as Taxpaying Australians, should be entitled to a similar "Standard of Living" as they are! Good for the goose, good for the gander!

    I personally have a quite nice - but certainly NOT EXTRAVAGANT - home located in an area where Land Valuation" is/has Skyrocketed.
    Taxation & GST was paid on every bit of building material that went into it.
    I refuse to conprehend why I personally should be penalised for increase in land values by being forced to "Sell & Move" move to a "Shanty" in order to receive my pension for which I have contributed ALL my life via the increase in taxation that was levied by the government at the time.
    THE WHOLE SCHEME IS AN UTTER DISCUATING SCAM.
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:45am
    THE WHOLE SCHEME IS AN UTTER DISGUSTING SCAM.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:49am
    Yes - remember Sir Joe of the Hock-shop came out and said that yer granma living in a house worth $500k or more by 2020 (or so) would find her pension chopped... $500k in any Sydney/Melbourne suburb in 2020? Chicken feed!

    All the property hoarders need to have ONE home registered as their primary and LIVE there - not move about etc, and cash in after the obligatory period, then move again. As a business, this kind of venture needs to be regulated more and kept under much tighter controls, including those who own properties offshore etc, have interests in family trusts and so forth.

    ALL of these things need to be brought under the microscope right now... that is where your Black Holes are... not in your grandma's house in Wopping... which she can't eat or drink...
    Ming
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:28am
    It is a strange phenomenon, the people who scream loudest about having paid tax all their lives, have actually paid the lowest tax. I hope Mr Morrison applies the same rigor in his new appointment as he did in his last, then the people who need help may get what they need while the people bludging on the taxpayers get their just desserts.
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:47am
    Absolutely, Ming!
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:54am
    Tax is not an abswolute figure - it is a figure pro0portional to income.

    You trying to argue that Jo Bloggs on $100 a week paying $23 in tax is better off than Joe Rich on $1000 a week paying $230?

    Get over it.,...

    The entire argument over taxes paid on income is flawed in many ways - not least in that the same people pay the same taxes on things bought etc....

    Jo Bloggs buys a microwave worth $50 including GST - she now has $27 left from her $100.... Joe rich buys a microwave worth $50 including GST..... he is now down to a paltry $720 from his $1000.

    Get a grip, lad.....

    All these bludgers.. you know any for real who do not satisfy the Centrelink etc requirements? Or are you, like so many, just talking through your hat about a silly and unfounded prejudice?
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:01am
    Spot On Grappler!
    Raising the Tax Threshold and reducing the taxes of the "Well to Do" does nothing for those already below the level where dignified living is possible.
    miss aisle
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:27am
    Ming made a couple of simple statements,
    which you twisted out of shape
    beyond recognition!

    Try looking at a simple comment
    at face value.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:45am
    Like to explain how these 'simple statements' have been 'twisted?

    " the people who scream loudest about having paid tax all their lives, have actually paid the lowest tax."

    Not even an issue - tax is PROPORTIONAL to income. Pretty bald statement and pretty damned insulting to those who've in many cases carried the hard yards most of their life.

    " the people who need help may get what they need while the people bludging on the taxpayers get their just desserts. "

    Pension is not 'help' - it is an Entitlement set in concrete and will not go away. Pensioners do not 'bludge' on the taxpayers - they ARE taxpayers, past and present,and the number of rorters on DSP or No Start is miniscule compared to the genuine cases. The unemployed and DSP beneficiaries also pay tax....

    What's twisting anything there? Posting an opposing point of view isn't twisting anything.
    Adrianus
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:32am
    That's the thing Ming! Why isn't the high income earner screaming about Hockey hitting him with an extra $6,000 in tax to fix the budget mess left by you know who?
    Who?
    I will give you a clue. The 2 main culprits have a pension of $375,000pa plus more perks than a HSU boss.
    wally
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:36am
    Maybe in the sense of fairness, Tony and Joe will start taxing pensioners and give everybody something to whinge about.
    Hawkeye
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:16pm
    Because, Frank, that bloody high income earner probably hasn't even noticed that $6,000 reduction. And if he has, he already has his accountant working on how to ensure that it won't apply to him anyway.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:20pm
    Maybe in the sense of fairness, Tony and Joe will start disbanding all the perks the high income earners love so dearly. How would they feel if their high incomes were somewhat eroded by not being able to distribute their wealth in family trusts, negative gearing, superannuation perks, salary sacrifices, motor vehicle deductions and more. No wonder the highest earners end up paying the lowest taxes.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:26pm
    A very good call Hawkeye: I worked half of my life-time in chartered accounting firms, and I agree not many will pay that impost. There are so many ways to reduce that impost and if they can't quite get there the accountancy fees charged will tip them over and of course they're tax deductible too.
    Hawkeye
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:51pm
    I have always maintained that one of the chief reasons that we have such poor governments (on all sides of the fence) is that they are paid at a level above where they are actually feel the consequences of their actions.
    If they were paid less (say, no more than 50% over the average wage) I bet we would get much better people in the various parliaments. After all, take away all the crap and overseas jaunts,etc, being a politician is only a part-time job.
    Kato
    23rd Dec 2014
    4:38pm
    Wally just in case you haven't caught up with things. It is called a GST and it is on a fair range of goods and services so I think pensioners pay a tax. Self funded or otherwise.
    Radish
    24th Dec 2014
    4:18pm
    A lot of sensible replies on here. People were warned 20 years ago to prepare for their retirement...some took heed, many did not. It is up to each individual as to how they choose to prepare for their retirement.

    Don't forget those who are not reliant on pensions are saving the government of the day a lot of money and are still paying tax, the medicare levy. They also do not have access to the concession card if they are full self funded and many do not access the Seniors Health Card either. They pay full price for everything.

    I fail to see why some are annoyed at those who are self sufficient.

    23rd Dec 2014
    9:35am
    Totally agree about the shame that is currently Australian politics. We have Scrooges intent on ripping a few cents from the unemployed, disabled and older.. in pursuit of a few 'rorters' and a few measly dollars in any fiscal year... and at the same time feeding those with much, much more by continuing to throw BILLIONS at sustaining the Mandatory Dual Income Family (MADIF) via tax concession, childcare, housing purchase, superannuation and even having their own children (PPL). All of this make is nigh impossible for anyone on a single income to ever fairly compete in the Life Stakes - let alone a single unemployed or pensioned person. All the fearful damage done to our society and economy will haunt this country for many years to come, especially when the much touted 'global economy' collapses from its own inbuilt deficiencies - as it is doing right about now, as predicted.

    You can add to that the Fat Cats you've described with their excessive ability to safe haven income into superannuation and then reap the benefits both ways.

    Absolutely appalling. Most appalling that any government would seek to establish a New Jews category of citizen by constantly going after those with the least, including the least opportunity to even get a start, as some kind of evil succubus on society, when the reality is that it is the self-same Fat Cats who are sucking this country dry like the leeches they are.

    Those who know of me elsewhere will know that I confidently predict a dark future, with a tightly controlling government of one stamp or the other taking the reins and enforcing 'laws' that will dictate to all virtually every facet of their lives... who and how to employ, who to work for, who to rent/sell to and for how much.

    Leads to Nazis or Soviets....
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    5:39pm
    We all have to be mindful that we have generated an age class war and tend to focus on our own interests and forget about those who will pay the greatest penalty for funding our entitlements.

    Regardless if you are rich or poor, the young are paying dearly for the social welfare recipients and for the rich to have high priced houses - and the health care of both as they age.

    Boomers lose their voting block power numbers around 2020 it appears as we die off. Be we rich or poor, we need to think long and hard about this younger voting block, as they will likely find us wanting in attitude to benefits and question why they should shoulder the entitlement burden if it is too heavy.

    We need a visionary forward planning government to look at a range of things including big business off-shoring and avoiding taxes, everyone's entitlements in an equitable way and sensible taxation laws. My guess is that we will get blind-sided by a young-uns political party because we Boomers are too focused on the trees and the forest will run us over.
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    7:16pm
    Reasons,
    As long as the Government keeps exporting (allows the Industrialists to) OUR real jobs and import foreign labour the generation you refer to will not whinge about carrying the Seniors.
    They'll all be on welfare themselves because of the "lack of Jobs"!
    bebby
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:49am
    To Ron C. I was told recently of a Commonwealth Public Servant and a group of friends who
    pay 48 cents in the dollar taxation banding together to purchase at least five properties in various states in Australia to gain the benefit of negative gearing. They get richer while the lower paid struggle to pay their taxes to enrich these smart tax dodgers.
    Bebby
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:15am
    Some people are never satisfied. You tell a story of five people paying the highest tax rate of almost half their income who band together and buy investment property. And you complain! It says more about the green eyed monster residing in you than the self help this group are engaging in.

    The lower paid do not struggle to pay their tax - it is deducted at source - if indeed they pay any at all. Being on a low salary has its challenges but paying tax is not one of them.
    Jen
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:52am
    Now that's just silly KSS. All of it.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:37pm
    KSS: I paid income tax all my working life working in public service and private enterprise. Being a woman, public service at the time did not employ women once they married. I had to leave after 7.1/2 years employment. Public service netted me roughly 112 Pounds in superannuation for that 7.1/2 years which was used as a deposit on a block of land which took 2 years to pay off and then another two years to save for a deposit to build a house. Private enterprise netted me nothing, no superannuation. Private enterprise, salary and wages earner, PAYE, paid tax every fortnight or month according to circumstances and had no means of deductions of any kind.
    Thresholds were lower in years gone by but I'm sure today low income earners do have a challenge coping, but surely paying tax from their pay happens?
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:14pm
    Exactly as I said Mitzy, being on a low wage has it challenges but paying tax is not one of them given it is as you and I agree, taken at source.
    tj
    23rd Dec 2014
    4:25pm
    Bebby if the 5 people were not breaking the law ,what on earth is your point??
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:20pm
    tj: To answer for Bebby, "the point is the law is an ass".
    Hawkeye
    24th Dec 2014
    12:45pm
    As a public servant (which I was), it is pretty well impossible not to pay your full amount of tax, after all, big brother pays you so he knows exactly what your income is.
    And paying "rich persons tax" at 48% doesn't make you rich. It just shows up the inequities of the income tax system after a century of "bracket creep."
    So I commend these enterprising souls for jumping on to a facility designed to aid only the rich in their tax avoidance efforts. By banding together they are simply becoming the equivalent of one rich person (I was going to say "rich turd" but I changed my mind at the last minute)
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    9:50pm
    So what is to stop a big bunch of 'poor' people paying say 32.5 cents in the dollar saying "I can do that" and getting together and doing the same - even if it is one property?

    Nothing that I know of - except will-power and the right mindset.

    They get similar negative gearing tax benefits to those 'rich turds' and get to 'have-a-go'. They have the same tax rights - and the same right to lose or gain money - just like anyone else.
    Hawkeye
    25th Dec 2014
    10:38am
    Reasons
    Negative gearing on 48% tax gives a much better outcome than on 30% tax.
    I've had a rental property (kept my old house when I moved across the country) and did the sums. Unless you are on that top tax bracket, negative gearing loses money. It involves a balance between tax deductions for "losses" on income from an investment, and future profit from capital gains on that investment.
    Not being on 48% tax reduces the tax deduction, so I found it much more profitable to make money from the rent rather than "lose" money.
    So, in fact, the rich have more "tax-rights" as you put it.
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2014
    7:20pm
    Sure, 45 cents in the dollar at the top rate gives you a better tax LOSS outcome - which is all negative gearing is about. If the asset goes gang busters and lifts in value - which is what you are totally betting on with negative geared assets - you make money.

    However, if it doesn't go up - both high and lower tax brackets lose money - it is a mugs game unless you are in an asset price boom and sell high at the right time.

    You might not get the same tax loss benefits at a lower tax rate - but you still get SOME - so it is not a reason not to do it, if you believe you are on a sure thing.

    Simple Example:

    You buy a house for $500K and pay 5% interest only for 10 years = $25K interest per year.

    The person on 45 cents in the dollar claims back $112,500 over 10 years.
    The same person pays out-of-pocket charges of $137,500 over 10 years.
    (ignores, land tax, rates, insurance, etc)

    The person on 37 cents in the dollar claims back $92,500 over 10 years.
    The same person pays out-of-pocket charges of $157,500 over 10 years.
    (ignores, land tax, rates, insurance, etc)

    They will have lower tax percentages than that in reality and be more out-of-pocket, but it demonstrates both are worth doing - IF the asset goes up in value.

    It is just the difference between thinking poor or thinking rich, or glass half full or glass half empty.

    I think you will find poorer people who think rich and take the opportunity that is there for them to take - will win nearly as well as someone richer if everything goes to plan - that is - the asset INCREASES.

    There is ALWAYS someone richer than you - complete with better tax breaks.

    Wealth is all about risk and reward - and taking the level of opportunity that is offered to YOU.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2014
    7:12am
    And for some clarity on which group makes more money...

    There is $20K difference between the 2 groups of tax payers - with the 45 cents in the dollar group better off by that $20K in lower tax.

    If housing doubled over that 10 years...

    Those rich 45 cents in the dollar bods make $387,500
    Those 37 cents in the dollar people only make $367,500 (the poor bastards)

    (above is indicative only - av. tax will be lower in reality and many costs are missing)
    Simo
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:06am
    The same means testing should aply to all including the Politicians, even the Prime Minister of this Country.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:22am
    Spot on - no pension/super from the government coffers until pension age.. and then means tested. Same for all never-ending benefits paid out of the public coffers. If you can afford your own plane fares everywhere - you can pay for them like everyone else.

    That would chop 100% of politicians.
    wally
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:39am
    And fat cat public servants like Mark Scott, who is the boss of the ABC.
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:21pm
    Simo did say the means testin should apply to ALL.
    bartpcb
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:26am
    Your commentary is spot on. Given the growing base of 'older Australian', I would suggest that the 'older Australians' vote against any government that has penalised pensioners in any way. Governments do not listen to reason, they only respond to the bottom line on power and return to governance. A collective vote of the 'grey army' against any party penalising pensioners would topple them from power.
    Ming
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:10am
    Perhaps if tax is proportional to income, then payments of pensions should be proportional to tax paid! Now listen to the screams!!!!
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:19am
    With an upper and a lower limit, obviously.

    If I had my pension set at 25% of my earnings over life - I'd be on around $85,000 a year. Now I just KNOW you'd rather pay me $18,000 in pension..... but I'll hold out for the rest.... tax free, BTW......

    Cuba pays 25% of the greatest of the last five years of income as pension..... easy street.....
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:24am
    Oh - and does that mean my Aunt who worked only when she was young would get nothing? You saying all those women who couldn't work really should get nothing? They worked at home, Bub.... and damned good work it was at one time, too. And all those severely disabled people.. just chuck 'em on the streets to beg?

    What is needed here is a cutoff point that is realistic, and that means the top end get nothing when they are already doing just fine. Hard work, but that's how it will have to be.

    Point is, the entitlement of a pension is not open-ended - there is an upper limit

    Miss Aisle.. MISS AISLE - tell me I'm twisting his comments again.....
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2014
    9:29pm
    bartpcb: My cousin is married to an Austrian (naturalised Australian for eons).
    He came to Australia when he was 21 and will be 80 next year. He has three other brothers living and working in Austria all their lifetimes. They make contributions to their retirement all their working lives and the Austrian government takes the last five years of their working life and averages it as the basis for their government pension. The pension is tax free as they have paid income tax along the way also. The good thing about their retirement is that they can go to work doing whatever they like, full or part time after their retirement. The money they earn by working in retirement (if they wish to do so) is taxed according to what they are earning and their government pension keeps keeping on with no reductions.
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    7:24pm
    MITZY,
    Same in this Country. THERE IS NO B***DY Difference!
    When the age pension was introduced, taxation was increased in order to be "Set Aside" and be used to furnish the pension when the person became ENTITLED to it!
    There was no provision for the then CURRENT Generation to be responsible for this burden. Additional to this, Compulsory Super was introduced and - at that time - the taxrate was NOT reduced to counteract the TAX INCREASE when the pensions were introduced.
    READ the government hasard that is on file relating to these government debates!

    We MUST DEAL with the FACTS after researching them and confront our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES with those FACTS.
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    7:25pm
    THEN CURRENT GENEREATION fefers to the generation paying taxes when seniors draw on theirs!
    MITZY
    27th Dec 2014
    12:16pm
    Patriot: The B....dy difference is that in Austria and other countries, (my brother in the U.K. is in the same type of pension fund) is they started in those pension schemes as soon as they started work. In Australia (the Keating era) when super first became compulsory at 3% of salary and has only increased to 9.5% currently, a lot of the retirees on this website who had no superannuation beforehand are not in a position of accumulation as will be future retirees from the time Keating introduced it.
    Nothing here with all the different scenarios given will change the face that lots of people in their lifetime do not work that whole working lifetime due to various circumstances, injury, loss of income partially, retrenchment/redundancy, disability being mental or physical etc.
    My brother in the U.K. has been one of the lucky ones. He started work in a factory situation when he left school and he retired on a great retrenchment/redundancy package at 60 (in 2008) instead of retiring at 65 in 2013. He would not have gained any benefits by sticking at the job from 60 to 65. He had a fantastic medical scheme he cotributed in this employment and a year before retiring had knee reconstructions on both knees at the company's expense i.e. the whole costs were paid by the employer. Not like our health schemes. All those working years his job was never in jeopardy and what good fortune to be able to take a redundancy package so close to his normal retirement time.
    He is enjoying his retirement immensely, playing golf twice a week and taking all those lovely cheap holidays (booking them at the last minute for fantastic discounts) which you can do so easily living in the U.K.
    Not every person is that lucky, and as I said at the beginning of these posts somewhere, and KSS indicated nobody is stopping the individual from putting some of their own money into super to increase their retirement incomes, but circumstances in people's lives change, think of the young families today trying to pay off their mortgages (which are much larger in purchase cost compared to what the average couples earn) along with cost of living and child-care costs etc. compared to a good percentage of the retirees contributing to this website.
    You can see the haves and the have nots from the comments posted.
    KSS
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:38am
    Here we go again, let's all bash the 'rich' and punish them for their success and blame them for my personal circumstance. I am getting very tired of the continual back-biting towards those who have done well and are financially secure.

    Of course everyone would like a bit more but unfortunately life is not fair. I agree with Miss Aisle, and I have said many times before, collecting all the wealth and sharing it equally among everyone would not solve anything. In a very short time, there will be some with nothing because they spent it all. There would be some with a little because they spent some and saved some. And then there would be those that spent some, invested some, lent some and got a little more back for doing so, sold their knowledge and skill to those that didn't have any and as a result ended up with far more than they started with. That is life. Deal with it.

    I do not begrudge anyone their pension funds including the politicians. I doubt very much whether anyone goes into politics because of the generous pension. However, I do think it should only be available once they reach retirement age like everyone else. I also think they should fund their own travel, offices and staff they continue to have after they leave parliament. Why are we still paying for ex Prime-ministers?

    Australia simply cannot continue to provide ever increasing levels of welfare for ever increasing numbers of claimants. We must change the expectation that welfare is a life long entitlement to one of a temporary state for all but the most needy. We must change the intergenerational reliance on government money, we must ensure that those claiming any sort of welfare are genuine claimants in need not those making lifestyle choices, we must ensure that people save for their retirement and on retiring do not blow the lot on round the world cruises and exotic holidays.
    And on the support side: we must make sure that those genuinely in need are supported to a level that allows a life of dignity not luxury. We must make sure that welfare comes with a whole of person package not just money to enable the person to return to their normal life. People must be helped to help themselves not just given a handout.

    Jealousy of others is a wasteful emotion and does no-one any good including those who feel it. Stop bemoaning the fortune of others. It is they that provide the jobs and services for others.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:50am
    Nah - let's all enforce tax regimes that don;t allow the rich all the concessions while pursuing those with less for a proportionately higher component of their income.

    show me where anyone is demanding anything but a fair go for rich and poor alike....

    You reckon someone with easy dollars should be able to put it into a super fund and get tax benefit then get another tax benefit on retirement? After a lifetime of organising finances through trusts and companies so that they never pay their own way out of stated income?

    What is so wonderful about that kind of organised theft that it should be held up as sacred?
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    10:53am
    It these people provide the jobs etc - why is the world economy failing? Not very good at it, are they?

    If you want fewer claimants for social security - provide the jobs instead of robbing poor Asians to earn a few more paltry dollars or pay some of your profit back into the social security demand you've helped create. Can't have it both ways.

    You're either an active and contributing part of THIS society - or leave it for good, along with your business.
    wally
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:50am
    Are you suggesting that Australia adopt communism and state ownership of every farm, factory and public utility? You whinge about multinational companies exploiting their Asian workers. Are those working in mainland China's sweatshops any better off before the factories were built? Do you think the Indonesians stitching running shoes together would rather go back to work in the local rice paddies?
    Or would you rather pay through the nose the next time you go to the "Cheap and Nasty" discount store to buy your next pair of knickers because the Asian workers get paid $25Aus per hour+ penalty rates?
    You can't have it both ways.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:14pm
    Nah, Wal.. never said we should have state-owned farms etc - look at how badly the 'state' is doing at the moment with more and more of the income going through its hands. Someone posted before that Federal tax was to tide us over WWI... Well - if there's been any 'collectivisation' - it has been at the hands of governments of all kinds successively grabbing more and more of the pie and creating a de facto collectivisation of many things in society by grabbing economic control over them.

    Same results as every Stalinist five year plan...... look around you....

    I don;t 'whinge', BTW - I simply point out the facts, and advocate a Job Off-Shoring Tax - you ship jobs offshore like any other commodity, you pay an exit tax on them..... that's part of treating jobs as just another commodity in some half-assed way.

    The overall conditions for those Asian workers has not improved massively, and as I predicted some years ago, China is now entering the 'escape velocity' phase of throwing more power to the engines of industry to get it into orbit... expending massive energy and creating a down-range trail of debris and pollution in the form of rising wage/cost spiral and inability of other elements of society to compete with Chines Industrial Man in income - causing more price rises of farm produce - for example - and thus putting upward pressure on wages.

    One day prices will be the same as if built here... THEN we will all be Equally Poor! Except the rich of course....
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:30pm
    Grappler,
    You have "Summed Up" the Dynamics of the current GLOBAL Situation.

    "Animal Farm" by Aldous Huxley make excellent and educational reading.

    And don't think that you're the only opne that reads these sort of books.
    Our MASTERS have also read & conprehended it.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:33pm
    IF jobs are to be treated as just another commodity to be dispensed on some mythical 'global market' - then they should be put up for sale by those who should be occupying them at home..... how's that?

    **posts on Ebay...

    "One glowing opportunity.... 65 yo old Australian man offers once in a lifetime opportunity for developing the potential to be a great brain surgeon..... Auction with Reserve.... starting at a low, low $500k...Buy It Now $2m or Make An Offer".....
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:35pm
    I actually haven't read Animal Farm..... but I'm a great fan of William L Shirer's "The Rise and Fall Of The Third Reich".... very many scary comparisons right there for any observer of political systems...
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:37pm
    I talk too much - how long before Chinese costs of manufacturing are the same as ours........ and what will we do then?

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/wages-in-manufacturing
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:41pm
    Grappler,
    Some people either have visions or they are just "smarter than the rest of us.
    Sad enough, the predictions in both of these books are enacted very Close to the truth" currently and - will be even more so in the future - if we DO NOT STOP THEM.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    1:56pm
    Sadly, what you say is true... it seems to be part of human nature to self-destruct.

    We are stopping them now by voicing our opinions here and elsewhere..... such things gather a momentum of their own.. a grass roots movement... and allows both 'sides' of the Tag Team to see what we really think out here. Enough pressure and one day perhaps some sanity will rule, but while we are hamstrung with the two party system, we are going nowhere.

    Time for that New Party - I vass considering a ghimp... sorry - that's The Right Stuff.. we already haff a ghimp in der hot seat... I was considering The Leaner's ShirtFront Party
    Not Amused
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:45pm
    Many retired Australians didn't pay super and they do need a standard pension, but that is gradually changing. The idea that superannuation collected in a lump sum is for having fun over a few months and then apply for the pension is greedy and nonsensical.
    Miss Aisle I agree with everything you and Brissiegirl say. We are a country overloaded with entitlement seekers (aka asylum seekers and home-grown rorters). Who is going to employ and pay for immigrant accommodation, education, health, pocket money and invariably the cigarettes of those who think Centrelink money comes "free out of hole in wall"? There are not enough taxpayers to prop up long-term welfare for extra people who force their way into Australia. I see them roaming city streets and parks during working hours, couples sometimes with large numbers of kids all having a nice time sitting around or playing games while their neighbours are busy working to pay their own bills as well as the bills of those sunning themselves. The complainers here who want a better deal sound like they think there's some bottomless pit of financial give-away resources when we are so deeply in debt it's scary. Reading this forum, the green eyed monster is alive and well unlike my ancestors who really did it hard through two wars and the Depression. University education has always been open to everyone, it just means that as years have gone by since Labor introduced HECS, students are being asked to contribute more. I just wish university entrance would be determined on merit alone to increase the likelihood their studies will result in a real job.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:57pm
    Not Amused - I'd be interested in your personal list of who are and who aren't the 'entitlement-minded' and the rorters.

    Your views on university entrance are interesting and worthwhile - the problems we have at this time are whether or not our education systems at State level are actually generating equal opportunity and thus the opportunity for the genuinely talented to gain university places - at which point I say for free... and the reality that many such courses are very, very limited and even ideologically driven these days.

    If education was based on genuine retained knowledge and not just rote learning as its standard for evaluation.... and on academic achievement as opposed to academic attainment.. you would see the genunely talented in the poorer groups more represented.

    As it is - a private school education can throw up a Tony Abbott and a Joe Hockey... perhaps fine as far as rote etc go - but significantly showing us daily they cannot think outside the squares and are quite unsuited to their position that their education can slot them in to.

    Perhaps we need a proper review of what constitutes education?
    Kato
    24th Dec 2014
    12:36pm
    Wally. The Governments both State and Federally used to own all the utilities which employed thousands of people. Like everything successive governments have flogged off to pay down debt and broken promises. The problem they now have is there is nothing left to flog off. no revenue equals sucker punch the public in some other form' oh that's right it is all there fault. Do you think they should be looking at downsizing as they do not have as much to manage these day's.
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    7:28pm
    Kato,
    Find out why the "Silverware" had to be sold (in other words why there was a deficit in finances) and you'll have the answer to the curent crisis.

    I suggest downloading the docoment contained at the following link.
    ALL WILL BE REVEALED!
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    7:29pm
    LINK:

    https://archive.org/details/TheMoneyTrick
    bebby
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:11am
    No KSS, I do not have a green eyed monster living inside me, I, do however, have a sense of amazement that people who are enjoying a substantial wage, having the greed to want more and getting the ordinary taxpayer to enrich them with Negative Gearing.
    Not Amused
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:00pm
    I understand your resentment about negative gearing. However, research shows that if negative gearing is discontinued, investors will discard real estate, there will be a shortage of rental accommodation, and taxpayers will be required to fund more social housing. At the moment, returns for those using negative gearing to purchase investment properties are hardly worth the many worries associated with rental property. As for greed of people wanting "more" when is "more" too much? This does sound quite green-eyed. We should all get on with our lives, make the most of any opportunities that come our way, and admire successful people, not disparage them.
    Radish
    24th Dec 2014
    4:26pm
    We would have a lot more homeless if negative gearing was abolished.
    I agree with your post Not Amused. I have said before on here I have nothing but admiration for people who aspire to get ahead and actually get there. There are enough examples of people who have done just that and many of them go on to become very big donors to charities etc. Look at Dick Smith,Kerry Stokes, Richard Bramson....all people who came from nothing to become where they are today.
    Tom Tank
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:49am
    It used to be the ALP who were ideologically driven but these days it is the Libs being forced fed by the likes of The Institute for Public Affairs. The "Faceless Man" of the Libs with their extreme view of Capitalism.
    Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, made it plain that while business should be free of Government interference in the pursuit of their self-interest the benefits gained from the increased wealth of the nation should be shared by all the people of the nation.
    While we are being subjected to the first part of that the very important part about sharing is totally neglected.
    Economists are now stating that reducing welfare impacts upon the economy as a whole as a result of a decrease in spending power. The same applies to reduced wage levels. A little common sense tells you that anyway.
    Unfortunately those in power at the moment subscribe to a view that will damage the country as a whole while badly affecting the least fortunate in our society. The damage done may well be irreparable.
    Do we need another Dismissal?
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:16pm
    Do we need another Dismissal?

    Yes.......
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:25pm
    The others are driven by the "Same Faceless men" and, the ultimate results will differ very little.

    Why try to resolve a problem with the same techniques. As Einstein said, This CANNOT and WILL not be done. We MUST make radical changes !
    But - with his IQ - how would he know?
    bob menzies
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:24pm
    labor is and always will be the one ideologically driven - a telling facts that since federation conservative governments have been in power every 7 in 10 years - why - because middle australia don't want a party that embraces communism - the coalition will govern for the next decade and Australia will be thankful (well the majority anyway)
    Hawkeye
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:45pm
    Why not just simplify the whole system?
    A great start would be;
    1. Eliminate ALL, and I repeat ALL, tax deductions and allowances. Now the rich will pay their fair share, thus eliminating any budgetary income problems.
    2. Eliminate the Assets and Means tests and pay the age pension to EVERYONE at age 65. This eliminates any whinging about fairness in who receives or does not receive the pension. Also, because the rich are now paying their fair share, most of their pension will be paid back as income tax.
    3. Stop referring to the age pension as "welfare". IT IS NOT. It is a retirement income scheme bought and paid for from taxes contributed over a lifetime. Only decades of fraudulent accounting, by governments of all persuasions, has lumped these contributions into General Revenue and now distributes them from the welfare budget.
    Patriot
    23rd Dec 2014
    12:55pm
    Hawkeye,
    Point 3. must be very "unpatriotic" as I have expressed the same FACT a few times on this forum. Needless to state - that I agree.

    Points 1 & 2 are - in my opinion - worhtwhile discussing and considering
    Radish
    24th Dec 2014
    4:30pm
    Hawkeye, you are wrong on point 3. Your taxes do not entitle you to a pension. A person becomes entitled by way of meeting the income and assets test. Your taxes you paid over the years went to pay for roads, transport, infrastructure.

    There is no automatic entitlement to a pension.
    Patriot
    24th Dec 2014
    7:31pm
    Radish,
    Read the Govt Hansard referring to the Introduction of the Age Pension.
    Just to prove to yourself that the Age Pension IS an Entitlement!
    Hawkeye
    25th Dec 2014
    8:38pm
    Yes Radish, do it, and get Joe & Tony to have a look as well.
    Boomer
    23rd Dec 2014
    2:30pm
    Regarding "Fact3": The maximum concessional contribution ( Super Guarantee, 9.5%) is $18,783 PA people earning over your $180,000 figure. This is not an extraordinary amount of money being tax advantaged, as you put it. These people may not earn these High salaries for very long, ask miners that are now unemployed, and the money is locked up in Super.

    Yes people earning less than $34,000 get no advantage because they don't pay any tax. Some analysts suggest people earning around $60000 Pay no net tax if the various concessions and benefits are taken into account.

    Yes there are low income earners who are poor by definition, but there is a large "middle class" who are doing very well, paying little net tax and not saving for their retirement. We self funded retirees (savers) who have earned average wages all our life. Are now being targeted because some are poor and will still receive social security when they Retire. How fair is that?

    For you article to be fair you should include the figures for who actually pays the most tax. I don't have the current figures but you will find that 20% of tax payers are paying 80% of the tax (Pieretto's principle will apply) the top 1 or 2% will be paying around 40% of the total tax
    bandy
    23rd Dec 2014
    3:39pm
    excuse me Bob for living so long
    bob menzies
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:25pm
    your excused - I aim to make it to 100
    Jonathan
    23rd Dec 2014
    5:44pm
    We were a homeless group of West Australians, mostly living in our cars, who believed that the treatment of those on lower incomes and poverty stricken has not been fair for many years. On the 11th November, we presented to The Senate Economics Committee on Affordable Housing many true stories of the problem of being homeless. Mort and Bevan spoke of the plight of the aged, who had little at the end of their working life, but enough just to buy a camper van to liver in as rentals are too high. Mort is Aboriginal, and was homeless living in his car for over 9 months. At 66 years of age, he had nowhere to go. I had been homeless for 2 years with my son, 19, living in our car and spending 12 months in Darwin and then another 12 months in Perth.
    Australia is divided by borders. From National to State, and from State to Council. Policies and laws AND benefits, differ across the country. In WA for instance, if you are on a pension, you do not ride in an ambulance for free. whowever you are you are billed $900 for the ride. That doesnt happen on the east coast. When we talk about federal politicians I often wonder if there is any possible approach at all. State government can over rule their findings and Councils can over rule state legislation.
    With the new federal minister just appointed there will be changes to the NPAH agreement which will affect the homeless. The lower incomed Australians are going to get slugged heavily as well as more red tape is to be introduced for benefit requirements, pensions and old aged. Yet the $35Billion for the F35 will go ahead.
    There has to be something done to stop the gap. Every Australian, no matter where you live should have the right to a home and medical services. If you google "Article 25" you will see that Australia has signed the document to support Human Rights. Catch 22 - It is signed Federally and NOT by state and Council. Therefore treatment of every Australian is at the mercy of the council or state they live in.There has to be an equalling to allow those AUSTRALIANS living in poverty to climb 1 rung of the ladder.

    If you notice I said Australians, not Queenslanders, not Victorians or West Aussies, Australians. Enough said.
    CindyLou
    23rd Dec 2014
    6:37pm
    With all due respect I wonder why folk that are homeless do not get together with friends and share a flat like young people do...ie three people on welfare/benefits sharing rent of perhaps 240 p/w, in a smaller regional area within walking distance of shops etc. I think I'd prefer that to living in a vehicle, especially in an area such as Perth or Darwin, both of which are somewhat more expensive in relation to day to day expenses (fuel, food).
    bob menzies
    23rd Dec 2014
    7:37pm
    folks - there are a wide range of views and many thought provoking views - what I have noticed is some are very critical of someone's views if it doesn't match theirs - we live in a democracy and each of us should be able to express our views with resort to personal attacks - I also find it disappointing that some refer to current government with terms such as Nazi or Adolf Eichman to certain politicians - very unfair and unwarranted - anyone who fought the NAZIs or who read history knows they were evil (so was Stalin) - I am a conservative and my main complaint with labor is that within their group are those who embrace communism (ever been to one - I saw East and West Berlin - and others believe in socialism - failed concept universally - but labor centre left and right wing are generally OK and i doubt many would argue that Hawke was anything but a great success as PM - trouble is the others Whitlam, Rudd and Gillard were ordinary and Keating was a better treasurer (arguably our best) than PM
    Hawkeye
    24th Dec 2014
    11:30am
    Bob
    Communism is the extreme left of politics, while Nazism represents the extreme right. Stalin and Hitler were neither, they were tyrants who used and abused politics and lies to gain power and then subdue and enforce their tyrannical agendas on a demoralised population who were looking for a saviour (Sound familiar in Aus at the moment?)
    Historically our two major parties have generally been pretty close to the centre of politics, with Labor slightly to the left and Liberal slightly to the right. True, Labor has always had a few who were red ratbags, but the Liberals have always had an alliance with the Nationals, many of who lean very far to the right.
    Over the last 20 years or so, Labor has continually moved towards the right of the spectrum and, in my observation, are actually considerably more right-wing than the Liberals were under Malcolm Frazer. As a result, the Liberals have moved so far to the right that they are approaching the ideals of Nazism (and the Nationals even more so). This is a big reason IMHO that they keep their agenda so secret until after each election.
    BTW, Communism is NOT a universal failure. Go to China, mix with the people, open you eyes and feel (yes you can feel it) how proud and happy the general population are. Compare this to the current situation in Australia.
    Jacks
    30th Dec 2014
    1:10pm
    CindyLou,

    If your homeless you can't get a centrelink benefit, they won't give it you unless you have a fixed address. That means you can't, be sleeping in your car, be using a friends PO box, or house to stay in short term or couch surfing. To get Centrelink benefits you have to have all of your documentation to provide id etc, like a lease or passport or other such things that many homeless people do not have or cannot get access to. If you manage to find emergency accommodation from a charity and then get set up into something more longer term and want to enter the private rental market, Most Real Estate agents won't lease out to people on Centrelink benefits, they want people to be working and have a steady income.
    Anonymous
    30th Dec 2014
    4:22pm
    Jacks - that is not correct - and would be contrary to the most basic public expectation for social services to exist as a safety net. Centrelink will in fact pay homeless people on a weekly basis instead of fortnightly. They also provide special support if you are homeless as you are less likely to have access to normal things like ID's, etc.
    Jacks
    30th Dec 2014
    6:03pm
    Reasons, I just checked with human services and your right. However, this is only new legislation that has allowed that to occur as of November 2014. For many years Centrelink would not provide a regular payment to those who do not have a permanent address.
    Baz
    23rd Dec 2014
    8:41pm
    It's a cruel world, alright! A cliche perhaps, however, education will always remain the leveller.
    Adrianus
    24th Dec 2014
    2:23pm
    Baz, I have known some very well educated idiots, who not only cannot find a job but also cannot support themselves financially.
    jeffr
    23rd Dec 2014
    11:33pm
    Two points I would like to make...percentage wage increases, 5% of say $600 wage is $30.
    and 5% of $2000 is $100. Extrapolate that over the years and it's easy to see how the rich get richer and the gap gets bigger. Add on the perks at the Big End Of Town, Super contributions,Shares in the company, expenses etc:etc: its a trough and a b***dy big one.
    The second point that worries me "Deeming"what happens when the 3.5% is not made by the companies your super has been invested with.....your going backwards and the way the economy is looking it's on the cards. Solution, draw all your money out and spend it on unnecessary luxuries. I have heard this from a few other people and it is a worry. For goodness sake, politicians take heed and thats ALL of you, right across the board.I want my grandchildren to have a future.
    KSS
    24th Dec 2014
    2:06pm
    What you are advocating Jeffr is for everyone to be paid the same amount regardless of worth, skill, experience and demand. This is totally unrealistic. Even if it did, there would still be some who spend their entire salary and those who don't and end up being better off.

    I just don't get why so many people on this site are so angry that some do better than others. Put the jealousy away and stop whinging about other people's wealth.

    24th Dec 2014
    8:41pm
    "...the poor are getting poorer."

    FALSE

    Yes the rich are getting richer, BUT

    The poor are GETTING RICHER AS WELL

    Yes income inequality is increasing, BUT

    more and more people are becoming MIDDLE CLASS and moving OUT OF POVERTY
    jeffr
    25th Dec 2014
    3:58am
    Solomon,it is my view that more and more middle class are moving into poverty. They are living in Middle Class Homes where the cost of living is slowly taking away any hope of survival. Yes, some take take on 2 or 3 jobs to survive. Jobs are becoming scarce, bills keep getting higher. Until we get common sense instead of common greed your views will be as sad as many other comments that I read.
    Virginia
    24th Dec 2014
    8:44pm
    A lot of bleeding hearts. If you want a good retirement save for it. You can't have it now and later. You are all adults for goodness sake act like one. You all blame someone else . Its not always the governments fault. I don't agree with Labours wasteful inefficient spending; Liberals have a big hole in the purse .... But all of you go and live in India for 12 months you will soon realize how amazing our government is. What I saw was many people living in a feudal system and no chance of changing it.
    No-one is actually poverty stricken in Australia. You all just have it so good you have no idea. I have worked all my life sometimes two jobs for what I want. I have never inherited anything. I never even got a home grant. I had to leave my chosen profession because as a woman I could not get married and then Pregnant and stay in the job. So I got another job. We live in an amazing place JUST GROW UP.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2014
    8:52pm
    Excellent post Virginia

    We should pack up all the whingers and sent them on a boat to Africa.
    CindyLou
    24th Dec 2014
    10:35pm
    Ditto
    Australia is a wonderful country
    jeffr
    25th Dec 2014
    4:21am
    Virginia, yes I also agree with most of what you say,However,I must object to you saying "grow up" Democracy is something I strongly believe in, are you trying to tell me the Liberal Government having a "big hole in the purse"gives them free rein? I do not think so.I will reiterate....We need common sense from all politicians Labor, Liberal,National,Independent or Greens. Until this happens the rich WILL get richer AND the poor will get poorer. Not sure of the grammar for richer or poorer but it was used when I got married so it must be correct :-)
    Hawkeye
    25th Dec 2014
    10:53am
    Virginia, you just don't get do you.
    WE HAVE SAVED FOR OUR RETIREMENT through a lifetime of contributions into the Age Pension (Super Fund) via taxation. These contributions have been stolen by stealth over many years and by many governments. They are ours and we just want an acknowledgement that it is our right to collect them. How would you feel if your Super Fund told you the age of entitlement is over and you are not going to get your bought and paid for benefits?
    Adrianus
    27th Dec 2014
    10:49am
    Hawkeye, you would have contributed to that fund if you started work at 15 and are now aged 79 or older. To calculate the number of years you would have contributed to that fund. Start with the number 64 then add the age you were when you started work, then subtract that figure from your current age. So 64+say 15 = 79. Say you are now 85-79 =6 years of contribution.
    As Virginia said life is what you make it!! Try to be happy with your choices.
    miss aisle
    27th Dec 2014
    1:01pm
    Virginia,
    If nearly all people had your common sense attitude to life, politics,
    retirement, & entitlements,
    our beautful country would just glow with success.

    I think all those who constantly complain, constantly want more,
    & always think they're entitled to this, that, & the other,
    should live in India (or another 3rd world country)
    for 12 months, like you did.
    The complainers just haven't got a clue.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2014
    3:52pm
    Hawkeye - many Australians have contributed a lot of tax in their time and would love to get a pension, but also consider pensions a social security fall-back and not an entitlement.

    There is NO specific pension tax, it is a totally unfunded liability (similar to pollies and PS pensions) and it is only an unwritten social contract between younger generations that they will support the older generation as they age.

    You are trying to win an unfunded entitlement vs social security safety net battle.
    miss aisle
    27th Dec 2014
    3:59pm
    Very well explained, Reasons.

    Hawkeye is comparing with Super with the Aged Pension.
    Like apples with oranges.

    Aged pension is means tested, Super is not.(only 1 of many differences)

    And like you correctly stated,
    "There is NO specific pension tax".

    Just taxpayers paying taxes towards any projects
    outlined by the govt. of the day.
    Don't understand why that simple piece
    of info. is so hard to take in ?
    Adrianus
    29th Dec 2014
    9:04am
    Hawkeye,
    The National Welfare Fund which was paying pensions was closed around 1951. It only lasted about 4 years. Pensions returned to being paid from general revenue. We didn't have enough males in work to pay enough taxes at the time.
    When the 'national' aged pension was introduced during 1908 people were asked to pay a little extra tax but no Fund was set up until after WW2.
    The average life expectancy of a male was 65, so many did not live long enough to get their first cheque.
    I understand your anger about the way our governments have wasted our tax donations over the years. I too am angered by this waste, because after the waste comes an increase in taxes. Where does it end?
    You did not contribute to the aged pension fund because it did not exist during your working life!
    I very much doubt that you made a contribution to your "Productivity Super account.'
    jeffr
    25th Dec 2014
    2:47am
    KSS, you have a valid point vis-a-vis reward for skill,demand etc: and I do not have a problem with that. Simply giving percentage pay rises does not only reward the people who are achievers but rewards all of the workforce.Using percentage it follows rich get richer, this does not mean everyone deserves it? I do believe money makes money and money makes jobs but I do NOT believe in greed, which seems so abundant in the society in which we now live.
    Jacks
    26th Dec 2014
    10:29am
    Well researched article which explains the eroding of equality in Australia and our democratic principles. Trickle down economics is an outdated theory and has been discredited by the overwhelming evidence of the profits soaring upwards to wealthiest in the world and no trickle down happening at all.

    According to the International Monetary Fund Australia Australia sits third lowest out of 24 countries for level of Debt sitting just behind Denmark and Peru has the lowest level of all, for the level of Debt in the OECD world. We are doing exceptionally well and the Debt and Deficit is a shameful scare mongering campaign in order for this government to justify it's cuts, which will not bring the budget into surplus, but punish the most vulnerable. Almost all countries go into debt to build infrastructure and industry for their nations, and we were the envy of other nations. We do not have an unsustainable, education, medicare or welfare budget. Our revenue raising is the biggest problem, and we are not investing in new industries at all. We desperately need a government with vision for Australia. I see a recession on the horizon
    MITZY
    27th Dec 2014
    12:29pm
    Well put Jacks. The subject matter and the Facts One, Two, Three quoted by Kaye Fallick at the beginning, are truly valid and let's hope we do get a new look in 2015 and get "your government with vision for Australia", today's polls indicated the voters are very very dissatisfied with our current lot. There are a lot of people in this coury waiting for the "fairness factor" to kick in.
    miss aisle
    27th Dec 2014
    1:11pm
    Jacks,
    There'd be no recession on the horizon,
    if Labor had not wasted & gave away $billions
    & let thousands of illegals into our country.

    We would have been able to pay as we go
    with infrastructure, welfare budget, etc.
    and revenue raising would NOT BE
    biggest problem !!

    People who think govt's. going into debt is normal -
    have got it all BACK to FRONT !
    Jacks
    27th Dec 2014
    2:16pm
    Miss Aisle.

    Governments never pay as they go. They're not run like a household budget. Most people have no idea of economics.
    miss aisle
    27th Dec 2014
    2:24pm
    Do you remember Jacks,
    that John Howard's govt.
    left a very tidy SURPLUS
    which was quickly squandered ??
    miss aisle
    27th Dec 2014
    2:26pm
    After getting the country's finances
    in the BLACK ?
    You either have a short memory
    OR have no idea !
    Jacks
    27th Dec 2014
    3:19pm
    The international monetary fund which has more access to data, facts and information than you have, found that Australia's most needlessly wasteful spending took place under the John Howard-led Coalition government rather than under the Whitlam, Rudd or Gillard Labor governments.. The International Monetary Fund examined 200 years of government financial records across 55 leading economies, so there's plenty of evidence. They weren't listening to bunch of horseshit at the local bowls or over scones with the ladies.

    The study found that in broad terms Australia's government debt has been falling since 1932, when it peaked at 98 per cent of gross domestic product. Across all levels of government it is currently just above 20 per cent after climbing since the global financial crisis.

    You continue to believe the 'old wives tales' you've been fed by whomever gives them to you.
    miss aisle
    27th Dec 2014
    3:49pm
    Jacks -
    Whether having scones with the ladies or playing bowls,
    red is still red, and black is still black.

    If Labor had achieved to use the black colour,
    they might still be the govt.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2014
    5:11pm
    miss aisle

    Under Howard and Costello's constrained spending and good money management we could...

    * Salary sacrifice over $100Kpa into Super at 15% tax.
    * The tax rules then allowed us to hide that ~$100K and claim high family benefits, etc - because that made you appear poor for tax purposes.
    * The same rules allowed you to get loads of handouts of cash throwaways by government, for the same reason - you could make yourself income poor.
    * If your kids were earning too much and that could affect your family benefits, no probs, they could salary sacrifice as much as required to ensure they were not a problem either.
    * Howard had so much money one year he did not know what to do with, so they gave all apprentices $800 one-off for toolkits.
    * Who can forget Costello telling the unemployed mums to go have a kid for their country - and here is the $3K for your new digital TV when you deliver.
    * We got income tax breaks every year instead of every 3, because Howard and Costello did not know what to do with all the tax receipt money and votes could possibly be bought.
    * A $1m could be put into Super in one hit at one point - because they were good blokes - and the poor needed to boost their Super balances.
    * Gave huge first home buyer incentive giveaways to ensure houses rapidly increased in value for those who owned them.
    * The Libs reduced the public debt of $96 billion - $40 billion which was of the Frazer government's making - to a $20 billion surplus - BUT, most Liberal folk conveniently forget Howard sold $72 BILLION WORTH OF PUBLIC ASSETS between 1996 and 2007 - so he must have wasted heaps of tax receipts.
    * Household debt went from 70% to over 140% during the Howard government and has not decreased since.

    The above shows in a small way why the IMF in 2013 identified that the Howard Liberal government was the most needlessly wasteful spending government in Australia's history.

    This sort of data is interestingly disturbing for Liberal fiscal prudency devotees, because Rudd and Whitlam don't rate a mention, as they evidently did not try hard enough to waste taxpayers money.

    (BTW - Labor got rid of these bloody good perks, the useless prats - then proceeded to spend it as - well - as recklessly as the other stupid Liberal crew.)

    The Libs rode the bulk of the mining boom, housing boom and share boom tax receipts - with some dips along the way of course.

    Governments are representative of the general population - regardless of their political affiliation; they are clueless with money - especially other people's.

    So, I would get off your high horse about Liberal money management ability - they are as clueless as the next political party, but they have successfully put 3 word slogans into their devotee’s heads to endlessly and mindlessly regurgitate until they eventually believed them to be true.
    Jacks
    4th Jan 2015
    1:44pm
    Miss Aisle

    Howard government borrowed $2.4 billion dollars and this debt will not be payed back until March 2019. You can see tenders to the treasury bonds 2006-2007 data from the Australian government office of financial management

    27th Dec 2014
    6:00pm
    I think you are living in cloud cuckoo land! The tax breaks given to the wealthy, mean that they become self funded retirees, not dependent on the pension (and therefore on the public purse). You have totally overlooked the age demographic of baby boomers moving into the age pension age category; how are the younger generation to cope with the expense we are to become on them? It (the problem of keeping pensions at a sustainable level), is huge; and in part is due to this demographic bulge that we didn't have to face (as tax payers), 20 or 10 years ago. One possible solution would be the re-introduction of Estate Duties on Estates of over, say a million dollars - where the Estate is being passed on to the next generation. With the boom in property prices in Sydney and Melbourne, there will be plenty of beneficiaries sitting back and sweating on mum and dad to turn up their toes. Will we ever have a government brave enough to tackle this? More likely the current mob, than the alternative, but don't hold your breath!
    Jacks
    28th Dec 2014
    5:15pm
    The MYEFO contains a treasure chest of budget numbers and here are some interesting facts highlighting the generally misunderstood spending spree of the Abbott government.

    In 2012-13, Labor's last full budget, government spending as a share of GDP was 24.1 per cent. The unwind from the GFC stimulus was more or less complete.

    Mr Hockey's MYEFO numbers show that government revenue will rise to 24.3 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 and 24.8 per cent of GDP in 2017-18.

    Those of you with a sharp mind can see that if Mr Abbott had not starting spending like a proverbial drunken sailor and held government spending at Labor's post-GFC level at 24.1 per cent, there would be budget surpluses from 2016-17 (as Labor has budgetted for under PEFO), with a budget surplus at around $13 billion in 2017-18. The fact is that for this and every year of the Abbott government's forward estimates, government spending as a share of GDP is 25.2 per cent or more.
    wally
    30th Dec 2014
    11:10am
    Is it true that Abbott got stuck having to make good on the spending commitments made by the Labor Government before they got the boot in 2013? Speaking of the budget surplus for 2016-17 as promised by Labor's forward estimates, didn't Wayne Swan make optimistic promises for budget surpluses that evaporated year after year when he was treasurer?
    So you would have us all believe that Labor's promised $13Billion surplus for 2017-18 would, unlike Swan's earlier budget estimates, actually happen if Labor was in government?
    At least Hockey's prediction is in contrast to Labor's pie in the sky fantasies in predicting budget surpluses.
    Jacks
    30th Dec 2014
    1:22pm
    You mean this prediction that they would have a surplus by the first term of government, and now this prediction ...."Hockey has has admitted his promise of a balanced budget in four years cannot be achieved, blaming many of the same external factors Wayne Swan used to cite, and for which he was condemned by the Coalition. This time the budget papers predict a surplus in financial year 2019-20. This financial year’s deficit has blown out from less than A$30 billion to more than $40 billion
    Jacks
    30th Dec 2014
    2:43pm
    Actually Hockey said they would deliver a surplus in their first Year! of office and a surplus for every year! of their first term. If that's not pie in the sky I don't know what is.
    MacI
    28th Dec 2014
    5:24pm
    I read an interesting article published by Crikey in June 2013 that looked at middle-class welfare. To quote from the article "The overall scale of redistribution in Australia can be gauged from the fact that while private incomes among the richest 20% were more than 21 times higher than the private incomes of the poorest 20%, that disparity was reduced to about three-to-one, or by 86%, after benefits and services were received and taxes paid." It shows that the wealth gap is not as gaping as it would seem based solely upon the income disparity. Food for thought!
    Not Senile Yet!
    28th Dec 2014
    7:59pm
    Ming and Miss Aisle are definitely handicapped by their Extreme Right Wing views when it comes to managing an economy as small as Australia's.....A Country does not need to be run like a Company!!!
    For starters...income is not produced by Sales & Profits....although the Right Wing Like to sell everything that is owned by taxpayers and then count it as Tax Income!!!
    Wally has been brainwashed that all the Immigration has caused the budget blowouts rather than Simple Miss-Management by Both Parties!!
    KSS has made such Stupidly uninformed and Biased Right Wing comments that I think he believes we will all be better off if we become another State of the USA!!!
    Reasons seemed to be more on the right track with his insightful facts about Howard and the Liberal Government bad management of the economy!
    Most are off base in not understanding that WELFARE is and American word used for All Government Funded Payments! In Australia it was only ever used to include unemployment and Disability Payments so the disadvantaged weren't forced to become criminals to survive/eat!
    Pensions on the other hand were never considered or labelled Welfare.....not until America started to influence our Society thru TV and the Internet.....now OUR Politicians believe they can include them.....simply because they pay them!
    Our Culture of...... REWARD for Hard Work and paying your taxes.....is being challenged by the forever creeping American View.....that of FY I'm alright......rather than our OWN of ......we look after our Elderly and unfortunate citizens!!!!
    Our Polly's revel in ANZAC on the big day....standing up their for Publicity.....but let's get real here....If the diggers could see how our Pollies are not Following what they fought to Preserve....The Mateship...The helping those less fortunate....even if it meant paying more in Tax...they would be HORRIFIED!!!!
    Not being a communist nor wanting to be one...I must also point out that I have not desire to become a Greedy Right Wing Capitalist either!!!!
    Nor do I want to be an American!!!!
    Our Tax System has become CORRUPTED by the Relevant Parties trying to Please Minority POINTS OF VIEW!!!!
    Keeping the Worker on less money to compete with other economies who simply outsize us....not to mention pay far less wages......is a Waste of what we have built so far!!!! We will never compete on an equal basis without becoming a society with less standards!!!
    Communism only failed because it was corrupted by humans.....Capitalism will also fall for the very same reason!!!
    I Learnt a long time ago that any Brilliant System will FAIL once Humans CORRUPT it!!!!
    But slashing jobs and Pensions to balance the books never works....it just shrinks the Pie!!!
    Spending too much too quickly just blows out inflation.....everyone's worst enemy!!!!
    A Society is only as healthy as its economy.....money needs to keep moving.....needs to create more money!!!!!
    The biggest drain on OUR Economy is the Rise and Rise of Taxation along with the Rise and Rise of Penalties instead of Rewards!
    And WHO is it that is issuing all the Penalties??????
    And WHO is it that keeps Increasing Taxation?????
    Where are the Rewards for Safe Driving? Where are the Rewards for working HARD and paying your tax?????
    Super you all say is a good thing ...to self Fund Retirement....but who is continually changing it and taking more and more tax.....driving people to put their money into Self Managed Funds to avoid being told what they can or cannot do with their Money????
    Super stopped being a good Investment ten years ago!!!!
    Who is taking more and more Tax from the Real Estate Investors as well as the Mums & Dads.....Who do you think?????
    Time to ask yourself.....are they really SERVING YOU?....or have you become THEIR SERVANTS?????
    Anti-Discrimination Laws in Australia have EXEMPTIONS...for Practical Reasons.....and which Largest Group gains the most Exemptions? No Not the Corporate Giants!!!!
    The Government itself gains more exemptions than any other organization!!!!!!
    They are Exempt from Discriminating against their own Tax Paying Citizens !!!! They can tax you as they please and waste it as they please....then Blame the Previous Government and collect their Welfare financed Super (Pensions)!!!!!!
    In the mean time all you Citizens are too busy arguing which Party was Right and which one was Wrong......blinded...lost...to the TRUTH!!!!
    If they are in a Party...They are legally Corrupt......totally NOT in it to Serve YOU....but to Serve their OWN Party and themselves!!!!!
    And you wonder why you get such dumb arse decisions from the elected puppets controlled by Invisible Back Room People!!!!!
    Really??????
    jeffr
    29th Dec 2014
    2:31am
    Do any of our politicians read all of these comments? and if they do, do they really care? I read them, and, yes, I am confused. I always thought I knew what was best. Sadly, I think I am like many of our politicians, not clever enough, not enough vision and certainly not enough compassion.I will keep my fingers crossed, and hope for a better future for all Australians.
    Oars
    29th Dec 2014
    11:26am
    You have played up the case for the less wealthy, but ignored the case of the people who are still trying to create their own income and associated jobs. The case I put is the small businessman who has worked on through this last ten years with a handout and has run up a loss. The Centrelink calls that an ASSETT ???. So they have no chance of gaining any pension nor any benefits. Talk about looking after the lazy, and ignoring the seekers. Talk is cheap- action is needed to adjust the tax system to encourage those who try and who will pave the way for a better Oz. It is not rocket science- if you want to think past the current thinly disguised banter.
    GG
    30th Dec 2014
    7:22am
    Sometimes I'm ashamed to be Australian because of what the government is up to. Robert Menzies must be "turning in his grave" over the things that this so-called "liberal" party has done! I'm afraid it'll get worse before we see any light in this dark tunnel and I'm not the only one who's afraid for the future. Whatever happened to the "lucky country" and a fair go for everybody? I was shocked, disgusted and disillusioned when Gough got the DCM (don't come Monday) so much so that I refused to vote for 24 years and I still can't see we have anyone capable of running the country. Our politicians are worse than schoolyard children - I know which group would do a better job! Nearly every time they open their mouths, only lies come out.
    Tax and superannuation urgently need reform as does negative gearing, what a rort! And don't get me started on shareholders!
    BElle
    30th Dec 2014
    1:51pm
    One argument that many in politics and the media perpetuate is that persons on Aged Pension do not contribute to the public purse. This is a complete fallacy as they do in fact pay tax every day.

    - The GST is payable on almost everything they purchase or service that they use.
    As most of their income is spent on a weekly or monthly basis then a large portion of that income is paid in this way.
    - They Pay Land Rates
    - Water Rates
    - Vehicle Registration
    - Service Charges on Gas and Electricity.
    - Parks and gardens
    - Duty on insurances etc.
    - Fuel excise.
    I am sure that there are more times in which they contribute to society than these.
    One of the factors that has little coverage is the time and effort that retired persons spend in doing Voluntary Work. Work that otherwise would need to be paid from out of the public purse. They also, in general, have a very ethical approach to their responsibilities to themselves and society in general.
    A great many Aged Pensioners have worked and paid their taxes, often from the ages of 14,15 16. They did not benefit from the many schemes and advantages that todays youth have accessible to them.
    BElle
    30th Dec 2014
    1:56pm
    Just read some of the comments to the article and would like to correct some of the misconceptions re Superannuation (compulsory). Almost all pensioners over the age of 75 did not have adequate access to Super. Their wages were extremely low compared to todays average income - Therefore even increasing the percentage and making your own contribution would not have amounted to enough to keep up with todays inflation and runaway pricing by comparison.
    Jilly B
    1st Jan 2015
    7:40pm
    Belle,
    I do not agree with your comments. I lived in this area and had no super in my name when compulsory came in in 1991. Considering that is a little over 20 years and I m due for retirement I continued to work and put the little money I had into paying off my house. Yes I was awarded some super contributions after 1991 and for a short time in 2005/2007 I put money into super out of my pay only to lose almost all of it in the GFC. At that point thinking about the interest one pays even on a modest mortgage I decided to pay any extra direct into my house account. It has made an amazing difference to my total owing. Others can do the same with a bit of thought for the future. If you own your home and budget for the household essential accounts then one can live a wonderful life on little money.
    Fready
    30th Dec 2014
    4:50pm
    BElle, not really true. I am 78 and started paying into Super in 1958. There was no restriction on access. The fact that it wasn't compulsory is irrelevant.
    I am now self-funded and am confronted at every turn with Government policies based on my "ability to pay". For instance a self-funded retiree will pay up to about $50,000 more for aged care than a pensioner who blew all they earned during their working life.
    The "deeming" rules that come in on 1 January 2015 will see many self-funded retirees having to claim a part pension.
    Jilly B
    1st Jan 2015
    6:20am
    I have read some of these comments and I understand Kaye's 3 comments but the responses are poorly informed. Their opinions are formed by I honestly do not know what! Governments come and go and some are obviously better than others depending on the financial state of the world at the time. Each and every person who can work needs to plan within their means for the time when they will not be able to work. We all know it is coming and many of us do not plan well. I am not talking about the small percentage of people who have terrible things happen to them and their families like, extreme sickness, fires, etc but in my lifetime my mother had 5 children and never worked after getting married at 28, lived through World War 2 on her own (both her parents and her husbands were deceased) educated all the children at her school of choice and never owed a penny in fees, cooked 7 days a week and lived until she was 95. I turned 65 in December and I am preparing to finish full time work some time soon after commencing work when I was about to turn 16. I started my nursing training in my 17th year and have also married had 2 beautiful boys and I have chosen
    Jilly B
    1st Jan 2015
    6:23am
    I have read some of these comments and I understand Kaye's 3 comments but the responses are poorly informed. Their opinions are formed by I honestly do not know what! Governments come and go and some are obviously better than others depending on the financial state of the world at the time. Each and every person who can work needs to plan within their means for the time when they will not be able to work. We all know it is coming and many of us do not plan well. I am not talking about the small percentage of people who have terrible things happen to them and their families like, extreme sickness, fires, etc but in my lifetime my mother had 5 children and never worked after getting married at 28, lived through World War 2 on her own (both her parents and her husbands were deceased) educated all the children at her school of choice and never owed a penny in fees, cooked 7 days a week and lived until she was 95. I turned 65 in December and I am preparing to finish full time work some time soon after commencing work when I was about to turn 16. I started my nursing training in my 17th year and have also married had 2 beautiful boys and I have chosen Education for my children over luxury for myself. I am fully aware of my non working days but I intend to volunteer, read, cook, visit my children, support poor children in other countries and keep my mind active. I will have little money to live on but I am not worried as I can cook and budget. What is wrong with some of the people who have commented in this forum. Do they think of all the things they can do to give back and to help society or have they prepared for this time in their life?
    Retired Knowall
    1st Jan 2015
    12:44pm
    Well said. I see by the majority of comments in this forum that the age of entitlement is alive and booming.
    If we divided up the wealth of this nation evenly amongst all who live here today, within 10 years we would be back to the present status quo.
    After 45 years of my working life I would be ashamed to put my hand out and demand the tax payer support my intended lifestyle.
    Radish
    2nd Jan 2015
    10:58am
    Many chose not to think about their retirement and to coast along in life; others chose to make choices to ensure they would have the lifestyle they wished in retirement.

    There are others who did not have the ability to do anything other than to live from day to day due to one reason or another and the pension should definitely be there for those people in their retirement to enable them to live a reasonable life style.

    I would certainly hope those coming behind will hopefully take heed and make sure that if they wish to live a comfortable retirement they need to plan early and not leave it until they are retired to find they cannot live the way they would like or as they used to when in the workforce.

    The pension in years to come will not be enough and the country will not have the ability to pay what people expect.

    For those on this site it is too late to do anything now other than adapt to the circumstances as they now stand for each of us.
    Radish
    3rd Jan 2015
    4:40pm
    If you think our pensions are bad in Australia have a look at what seniors in USA have to look forward to living on in retirement if they have not made adequate provision themselves.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30592942
    Jilly B
    7th Jan 2015
    3:30am
    Radish, These comments make a lot of sense. You set out the different options available to most to get it right before retiring. If you do your research on the ones who did not have any opportunities to provide for the future you will find that it is a very small percentage. Some of perhaps many can make as many excuses as they like but most of them lack credibility and show little insight into trying to provide for their retirement. It is always easier to blame the government, life circumstances, or many other things and harder to accept that you simply did not do enough yourself or you are unable to adjust to a simpler lifestyle.


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