Could family home exemption be a victim of stimulus package debt?

A leading taxation expert says that including the family home in the assets test for the Age Pension could help pay down COVID-19 stimulus package debt.

Family home under threat again?

Scrutiny of the family home and its exemption from the assets test for the Age Pension has again intensified.

A leading taxation expert has suggested including the family home in the assets test as one of several measures to pay for the COVID-19 stimulus packages.

Professor Robert Breunig, who leads the Australian National University’s tax and transfer policy institute, says that if the tax system is not reformed, the burden of the coronavirus repayment will fall on young people.

He has suggested several measures, including an increase in the goods and services tax (GST) – ruled out earlier this week by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg – and higher land tax to stop the debt burden of the $214 billion COVID-19 response unfairly penalising young people.

Prof. Breunig says Australia’s tax system is “antiquated and not well set up to encourage growth in the economy”.

He told Guardian Australia the tax system had “generated inequality between young people” – who pay income tax and GST – and older people who have experienced “a huge run-up in their wealth” from buying houses and benefit from “tax-free income from their superannuation”.

He says fiscal stimulus and lower interest rates to combat economic crises “pump money into the economy” in a way that drives up asset prices such as shares and real estate, exacerbating wealth inequality.

He supports an increase in the GST because it “has the extra benefit of taxing people’s accumulated wealth as they spend it”.

“We should also switch from stamp duty to land tax to better capture the value of increased asset prices and make it easier for people to buy and sell houses,” he says.

“Another option is to include owner-occupied housing in the assets test for the Age Pension and introduce a government-run reverse-mortgage program to help people spend their assets while alive.”

The notion of including the family home in the assets test for the Age Pension has been raised by other academics and retirement income specialists, particularly in the lead up to the government’s Retirement Income Review, which was expected in June.

Deloitte Access Economics' Chris Richardson says there is a case for including the family home in the asset test for the Age Pension and that it is “the right thing to do”.

Economist Sean Corbett concurs, but with a condition. He told YourLifeChoices that the value of the family home – above a certain threshold – should be assessed, but only after better products became available to enable people to access the equity in their home.

Personal finance specialist Noel Whittaker says: “The pension is welfare, and welfare expenditure is increasing by eight per cent per annum – way above national income. To any reasonable person, it would seem unfair that a couple can live in a $4 million house, have the boat and the cars owned by the kids, have $200,000 in super and still get the full pension.”

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist with The Australia Institute, says that including the family home in the assets test is not a yes or no answer. He believes there should be a cap on the value of the home before it affects the pension assets test but that the location of the home raised significant problems in establishing a cap.

A YourLifeChoices Flash Poll, Should the family home be part of the assets test?, drew a strong response, with an overwhelming 85 per cent of the 2481 respondents adamant that the family home should not be part of the Age Pension assets test. Ninety-six per cent of respondents said they either owned their home outright or with a mortgage.

However, when asked whether the home should be part of the assets test in future, 45 per cent were unsure, 26 per cent said yes and 29 per cent no.

To the question “If yes, when do you think this might occur?”, 37 per cent said “not in my lifetime”, 18 per cent said between five and 10 years, 16 per cent within five years, and 11 per cent within three years.

Most responses were highly critical of the concept of including the family home in the assets test for an Age Pension – and many were critical of the assets test generally.

Meanwhile, Mr Frydenberg told ABC’s Insiders the stimulus debt “will be paid back in the years ahead” by growing the economy.

Deloitte Access economics supports the concept of shrinking the debt though economic growth, saying austerity “rarely makes sense”.

“We’ll be borrowing about an extra 10 per cent of national income,” it says. “If we choose not to pay back a single cent of that, the growth in our economy over time will halve to about five per cent of national income in 18 years, and then halve again to 2.5 per cent in a further 18 years.”

Deloitte estimates that – given the record low borrowing cost – the annual interest bill on new borrowings will be $1.6 billion, which could be paid by raising the Medicare levy from two per cent to 2.14 per cent.

In light of the country’s debt, have you changed your mind on whether the family home should be included in the Age Pension assets test?

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    COMMENTS

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    almost a grey hair
    16th Apr 2020
    9:21am
    Why does the gov not look at removing negative gearing and increasing capital gains tax on rental properties instead. After all you can only live in one house, anything more can be seen as being greedy. Maybe look at franking credits as well.
    NZ politicians have voted for a 20% reduction in their salaries during this crisis yet Canberra remains silent
    Hobbit
    16th Apr 2020
    10:13am
    Well said
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    10:52am
    That would lead to even less properties available to rent.
    inextratime
    16th Apr 2020
    12:12pm
    Retiring Well - it may also lead to building houses that people could afford to buy thereby reducing the rental demand. The massive appreciation on houses prices is one of the factors in the growing gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. We are one of the few countries that has the investment allowance so its not exactly indispensable.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    1:03pm
    As can be seen in the current crisis most people live form pay to pay with no savings so have no hope of every buying a house. Less rental properties means higher rents.
    Sooty from Marketing
    16th Apr 2020
    1:28pm
    It’s easier to blame older Australians than offshore gas giants like Shell, Chevron, and BP who are cheating Australians like us out of billions of dollars by exploiting an outdated, broken mining royalties system.

    We are letting the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations dig up our precious natural resources for free.

    It’s a broken system, Australians stand to miss out on $480 billion over the next two decades. That's more than six times the entire health budget.

    And this is the best the Professor Breunig can do?

    Even Japan raises more taxes from imported Australian LNG than we do.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    2:10pm
    Not too sure I want to own an off share gas company in the present economic climate myself even with the royalty scheme.
    Jenny
    16th Apr 2020
    2:31pm
    NO, our parliamentarians haven't remained silent re reducing their own wages. Scomo has said it's not going to happen, they are all working harder than ever and he's not going to cut wages. At the same time he announces that parliament is going into recess until August! Figure that one out!
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    2:51pm
    Nationalise it all and see.......
    Hoohoo
    20th Apr 2020
    1:08pm
    I believe you are 100% wrong about rental properties, Retiring Well. At the moment (during COVID-19) there's a glut of rental properties because people who own more than one property can no longer short-term rent out to travellers via airbnb, Suddenly they're not getting any income at all from their excess properties, so they've released them to everyone for rent. The great thing about this is that those who have always rented out long-term, and who are offering 12 month leases, have an advantage over these others.

    FINALLY, there's real competition in the rental market and rents are coming down.
    Snowflake
    16th Apr 2020
    9:29am
    Noel Whittaker is offensive when he says people on the age pension are welfare recipients. I have paid my taxes over my lifetime and now the pension is given to me to assist me in my retirement. And if you are complaining about people living in 4 million dollar houses and have the boat and cars in the kids name, well change the laws but I don't believe that scenario is indicative of most pensioners.
    eraser
    16th Apr 2020
    10:04am
    Well said Snowflake
    Hobbit
    16th Apr 2020
    10:13am
    Well said
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    10:54am
    Noel Whittaker is right the pension is welfare and it is only paid to those who have no other means of support. It has nothing to do with how much tax you paid at all. Many have paid lots of tax but no pension for them.
    Tanker
    16th Apr 2020
    10:55am
    You are correct Snowflake but those who have arranged their affairs to ensure they do qualify for a part aged pension, thus giving them a Health Care Card, while living a 4 million dollar home are rorting the system.
    There are often statements made accusing people on welfare and pensions of rorting the system while many wealthy people are sitting back doing very well indeed because the system is geared toward them.
    We are living in an age of inequality and perhaps this pandemic just might see some adjustment in that. Hopefully that will be the case but don't hold your breath.
    Tanker
    16th Apr 2020
    10:55am
    You are correct Snowflake but those who have arranged their affairs to ensure they do qualify for a part aged pension, thus giving them a Health Care Card, while living a 4 million dollar home are rorting the system.
    There are often statements made accusing people on welfare and pensions of rorting the system while many wealthy people are sitting back doing very well indeed because the system is geared toward them.
    We are living in an age of inequality and perhaps this pandemic just might see some adjustment in that. Hopefully that will be the case but don't hold your breath.
    inextratime
    16th Apr 2020
    12:17pm
    Retiring Well. Believe it or not, most of the pension goes back into tax revenue via gst etc.
    The fact that there is not a national pension scheme where everybody gets it is simply to prop up unemployment stats via the huge number of people employed in sorting out who gets what.
    Veritas
    16th Apr 2020
    12:26pm
    I flagged this issue a while back in a post called An End to the Age of Entitlement. Many rely on equity in the family home to sustain a modest lifestyle. I can see it ending. And worse yet, because of the coronavirus accumulated debt, little compensation will be offered. For example, if stamp duty was replaced by a land tax, it would be a windfall for a government of the day. You would hope that in way of compensation, pension payments would increase. I can't see it happening.

    The reality is, this current government largesse must be recouped. 1 in 7 of Australia's population in 2017 was over the age of 65. When I was a teenager, my old man hounded me to 'get a job'! Now, I can hear my kids preaching the same mantra. Happy Days.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    12:29pm
    If you're right, Retiring Well, why do we give pensions to former politicians most of whom are multimillionaires and most certainly have other means of support.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    1:01pm
    Pollies don't get welfare pensions. They get an entitlement the same as many do in private enterprise.
    Veritas
    16th Apr 2020
    1:21pm
    Snowflake is correct when he says he, alongside all of us, paid taxes throughout our working live--in my case big taxes. But Snowflake assumes the world is just, which it isn't.

    Scomo declares we must all make sacrifices to defeat this malaise.

    Not one politician that I know of from all sides of parliament has suggested 'taking one for the team'. The BASE SALARY for a minister is $211, 250 per annum. Where is Pauline? Where is Barnaby? Where is Albo?--all strangely quiet. And yet if they took a 50% pay cut until 2021, ministers would still have more than most of us to live on.

    It's not about the money, but the show of leadership in sharing the community's concerns, fear, and suffering.

    I dunno? Am I the only sceptical voice here, or does anyone else believe pollies should show a modicum of compassion by salary sacrificing in this time of hardship?
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    2:08pm
    $211250 is peanuts compared to what many would earn outside politics. Why take 10% of what you can earn for nothing other than prestige.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    2:13pm
    It isn't an entitlement, Retiring Well. They decided themselves what they could fleece off the taxpayer and what they did was corruption, not an entitlement. Deciding that they would work 8 years in Parliament and then get a huge, indexed pension for life is not an entitlement it is paid for by the taxpayer.
    Private enterprise entitlements are paid for by the firm but the politicians so called pensions are paid for by the taxpayer who never would have agreed to that outrage.
    Veritas
    16th Apr 2020
    2:27pm
    I stand corrected. Our friends across the ditch in the Ardern government will all take a 20% pay cut for the next 6 months. Now, that is leadership. While the New Zealand has a population of just 4.886 million, they so far have only 9 deaths from coronavirus with only 6 new cases overnight.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    2:54pm
    Ah - so now politicians take a huge drop in pay by coming into politics to help out the peasants? Can you prove that - or is it just pie in the sky?

    Can't see a branch secretary of a party making more than an MP, let alone a minister - but the way these things are done so as to secure the most income... well.. who knows? Even the Union honchoes - fearless guardians of the workers - cop huge salaries and perks.

    Just another day in business paradise...
    Hoohoo
    20th Apr 2020
    1:31pm
    Retiring Well, your words "$211250 is peanuts compared to what many would earn outside politics." are the words from a rich person, speaking up for other rich people. You are living in an elite, entitled bubble if you think $211,250 pa is peanuts, by any comparison.

    Personally, I'd prefer to see teachers, doctors, nurses, police, tradies and people from working classes in politics, because they're the only ones with some insight into the struggles of the majority of people they're employed to represent. Of course we need smart people to represent us, but who's to say these workers can't be smart?

    If a you think $211,250 pa is peanuts compared to what you would earn outside of politics, then bugger off out of politics - we don't need you to represent us. In fact, you're a liability as far as being any good at being 'representative'.
    Allenmack
    16th Apr 2020
    9:46am
    Here we go again, let's flog the pensioners and "welfare" recipients, instead of targeting the mutinational profiteers who have been screwing this country for years and paying virtually no tax. Of course they do pay those annoying obligatory political donations to keep the wheels greased.
    Hobbit
    16th Apr 2020
    10:16am
    Exactly right
    Travellersjoy
    16th Apr 2020
    12:20pm
    Spot on. Gutless wonders in government - or have their hands out and in Murdoch's pocket.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    2:11pm
    Just buy Australian and they don't make any money.
    Hoohoo
    20th Apr 2020
    1:58pm
    My manufacturing business has been destroyed by the policies from the LNP. Cheap Chinese imports have eaten us alive. I emailed Andrew Robb when he was Trade Minister, complaining about the effect from the loss of local jobs in my Region should I shut shop, in the midst of him negotiating a trade agreement with China and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). He suggested I close my factory in Australia and set up in China. Easy fixed!

    The next thing I learn, he's suddenly left politics for mental health reasons yet is immediately employed privately, successfully negotiating the sale of a 99 year lease for the Port of Darwin, to the Chinese Government! Oh yes, these type of politicians know which side their bread is buttered! Now I see why you, Retiring Well, think $211,250 pa is peanuts compared to what you'd earn outside of politics. Now I see who's really running our country. Now I see why it's well worth these politicians taking a paycut of $211,250 pa (+huge perks and First Class international travel) so then they're set up for life outside of politics afterwards.

    Don't tell me their lavish pension isn't paid out from the public purse (Internal Revenue) any less than the Old Age Pension is.

    How can Australians buy Australian when we're forced to shut down our Australian manufacturing sector?
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    9:57am
    why not get rid of negative gearing and capital gains exemptions AND the assets test exemptions in exchange for an increase in welfare payments and low income support? And while at it reintroduce a progressive tax system and dump the planned tax cuts.
    Hobbit
    16th Apr 2020
    10:15am
    Pensions are NOT welfare. And income tax is only one of the government's income streams. Company tax could provide far more if multi-nationals paid their share.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    10:56am
    Age pension is welfare. If you get rid of negative gearing and CGT people will just invest overseas instead of Australia. Demand will mean increased rents as the rental supply dries up.
    inextratime
    16th Apr 2020
    12:18pm
    Retiring Well - was your previous handle 'old geezer' ? Your band wagon has a familiar smell.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:37pm
    Hasn't happened before - won't happen again. If there is no unwarranted profit to be made out of both Concessional capital gains and negative gearing - the market will not dry up - it will alter to fit the new rules - most likely meaning more HOMES will be on the market and fewer 'investments'. Those who currently own 'investments' will either sell them off or play by the rules... the number of houses on the market will not alter.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    2:06pm
    No there will just not be enough homes built to satisfy the rental demand and rents will skyrocket.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    2:55pm
    Seriously? So all those people - all that demand, will not have an impact on the market...?
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    3:34pm
    Unless returns from rentals increase significantly then people will not invest no matter how much demand. Properties are hardly worthwhile with negative gearing and current CGT.
    Hoohoo
    20th Apr 2020
    2:10pm
    Ah yes, Old Geezer, you said earlier "buy Australian" and now you're saying "invest overseas". Rents are coming down, OG/RW, as the rental market is being flooded with Airbnb empty houses during COVID-19 and bans on travel. Some of these people with more than one home will probably decide to sell them if they won't rent them out long term, which will bring down prices of homes for sale. They might even start a housing market crash.

    There are more than enough homes to rent - there's no need to build more, unfortunately for builders and housing developers.
    Brissiegirl
    16th Apr 2020
    9:58am
    Socialism regularly rears its ugly head with bleating about opportunities to rip off those who went without, slaved, saved and maintained their family home as a roof over their heads in retirement! The family home certainly limits reliance and costs associated with welfare housing. It's insulting and rude to describe pensioners as welfare recipients. For just a few years, having done the hard yards for previous decades, pensioners are returned some income that they cannot earn in old age. This is another bull.... socialist/academic opinion that will never go anywhere while pensioners have a vote because they will rid themselves of any government that proposes the ones who worked and paid for the family home should therefore be financially punished.
    eraser
    16th Apr 2020
    10:09am
    Well said Brissiegirl Whittaker is so out of touch and just rude to those that have helped build this great Country
    Tanker
    16th Apr 2020
    11:02am
    That is not Socialism but purely a means to trying to restore some degree of equality which has, over the last 20 years, been significantly affected.
    Those of us who have worked hard to get what we have managed to put together are being ripped off by the money manager types who have had the wherewithal to arrange their finances to minimise tax.
    They have ended up having accumulated much more wealth than they need in retirement in order to pass on to their children. This preserves, and builds, the inequality in Australia today.
    Tanker
    16th Apr 2020
    11:02am
    That is not Socialism but purely a means to trying to restore some degree of equality which has, over the last 20 years, been significantly affected.
    Those of us who have worked hard to get what we have managed to put together are being ripped off by the money manager types who have had the wherewithal to arrange their finances to minimise tax.
    They have ended up having accumulated much more wealth than they need in retirement in order to pass on to their children. This preserves, and builds, the inequality in Australia today.
    Hasbeen
    16th Apr 2020
    11:40am
    If they want to include the family home in the asset test, they will have to abolish rent assistance, & public housing for the "Ne'er-do-well" to re balance the equation. You can't rip it off those who went without to provide for their retirement, while still handing it out to those who are too slack to do it for themselves.

    The best way of saving money would be to cut back by about 60% on universities & their gross waste. Surely there is some better way of guaranteeing a pen pusher job in the public service, than a useless university degree in a non discipline.
    Brissiegirl
    16th Apr 2020
    12:45pm
    There's no such thing as "equality"except under socialism where everyone becomes equally poor. Nothing is equal. Some people have more, some people have less according to how they manage their lives. Some people are well, some people are unwell and it is the unwell people who deserve "welfare. That's how it goes."

    The government could begin paying back the debt by cutting the squillions $$$ we give to the corrupt World Health Organisation, the United Nations and all the numerous grants they dole out to UN subsidiaries and a myriad of overseas charity agencies that squander the money. A lot of our overseas aid ends up in countries run by corrupt despots.
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    1:29pm
    "rip off those who went without, slaved, saved and maintained their family home as a roof over their heads in retirement" is not socialism, it's the capitalist way
    101
    16th Apr 2020
    4:54pm
    Can someone explain how their Tax over their lifetime paid for their Pension.
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    5:02pm
    cheeky Care Bear asking trick questions ... imagine the outrage if age pensions were only paid up to the pv of taxes paid during lifetime
    Tanker
    16th Apr 2020
    10:01pm
    Ah dear me Brissie Girl you have got another rant about Socialism in again. Addressing issues of inequality is not Socialism in fact it can be classed as Christianity. Having major inequalities in a country, as is happening here, actually damages the economy. Trickle down economics does not work and if many people in the community lack sufficient disposal income they can't buy anything other than the bare essentials and businesses shut down due to a lack of buyers.
    Tanker
    16th Apr 2020
    10:01pm
    Ah dear me Brissie Girl you have got another rant about Socialism in again. Addressing issues of inequality is not Socialism in fact it can be classed as Christianity. Having major inequalities in a country, as is happening here, actually damages the economy. Trickle down economics does not work and if many people in the community lack sufficient disposal income they can't buy anything other than the bare essentials and businesses shut down due to a lack of buyers.
    Brissiegirl
    17th Apr 2020
    8:17am
    Dear Tanker, excuse me? An opinion is not a rant. You do your opinion no good whatsoever by attempting to put someone else down by directing rubbish talk towards them. I could make a joke about your uninformed comment re trickle down economics and businesses shutting down due to a lack of dispos(able) income (do you hold a university degree in economics?) but simply read what you have to say, and accept or dismiss it. In this case, dismissal is the most polite response possible.
    Lookfar
    17th Apr 2020
    1:17pm
    Brissie Girl, that is not Socialism, it is Australianism, - Australians, being doers, have a definite feeling for equality in the work place, a boss who will never get his hands dirty is not respected.
    You should recall that the legislation requiring every worker to contribute 7% (ot was it 8%?) of their wages towards the Pension Fund was enacted in the 1940s, and is still happening to this very day.
    Sure, Menzies slimed his way to spending our pension money on other things, - like the mackenzie 'sports rorts,' - seems a real tradition in the libs, - although to be fair the labour party at that time supported Menzies in that theft, - but whatever the re-naming we are still paying that same money specifically legislated for our retirement.

    However you can justify that in your conscience is beyond me, but in my opinion, it is Betrayal.
    Sure that the workers hadmore money in the Pension fund than they did must have infuriated those greedy politicians, - they haven't changed a whit you will notice today, but they could have spent lots of that money on hospitals, old folks retirement villages etc. - each with a trust dund to keep it going forever, - that would also have stimulated the economy and been a significant reduction of Govt spending.

    What is really interesting about this act of politicians is what happened with the GFC, the which Rudd extricated Australia from with his largesse.
    - Look at America, they survived by QE, quantitative easing, by paying not just Billions but Trillions to the 'too big to fail' banks, - had they paid only a tenth of that amount to all the people who were suddenly losing their homes, dreams, etc. after a lifetime of work, the GFC would have finished much sooner.

    And who were blamed? - the poor people of course, the ones all the lenders conned into thinking that now they could have their own house, and signed up, only to find that the people who had provided their finance were gone, and their houses were suddenly worth much less than they had paid for them, so they had no choice but to walk away.

    If the choice is between the lying theiving banks, - who create money every time they make a loan, and a touch of 'socialism' in Australian culture, you know what every decent Australian will choose.

    Of course Murdoch, etc. will try to trick you to choose them, but surely you can be smart enough to see through their lies?
    Hoohoo
    20th Apr 2020
    2:25pm
    Brissiegirl, I agree with your opening comment that it's insulting and rude to describe pensioners as welfare recipients.
    I also agree with you that people who've worked hard and done without luxuries so they can pay off their home mortgage shouldn't be penalised in retirement, compared to those who never saved and did without.
    But I still believe in social justice and that means people who weren't given the same opportunities as me should be given a safety net. I don't think you should call this Socialism though - just a good old Aussie fair go.

    I don't believe the family home should be included in the assets test but if your own home is worth more than $1.5 million, then maybe the excess should be counted as an asset to be included in the assets test. Does that sound fair enough? The average family home wouldn't be affected at all and if it is, then cop the excess ffs, because you're rich!
    Anonymous
    5th May 2020
    1:08pm
    If we had a 'fair go' or 'Australianism', we wouldn't be persecuting people who saved to fund their own retirement and handing out to spendthrifts and bludgers. How can anyone justify reducing the pension entitlement of someone who spend 40 years paying off a home while handing out more to someone who chose not to bother? Similarly, how can anyone justify the current situation where many self-funded retirees have to live on an income significantly lower than the age pensioners receive, or drain their savings prematurely and end up poor despite all their hard work and sacrifice. Meanwhile, the genuinely hard up struggle because too much is paid out to manipulators who don't have genuine needs.

    The current system is appallingly unfair and economically harmful, and adding the family home to the assets test can only make it worse. The assets test should be abolished. It's is patently unfair. If it were abolished, there would be no incentive for people to overinvest in housing, and the unfair favouritism of people who sink millions into a family home would end. A much better solution would be either a universal pension and tax retirement income, or an income/deemed income test only with ALL assets over a very generous threshold counted for deeming. That way, it wouldn't matter whether people chose to invest in the family home, a caravan or motor home, boat, shares, or money in the bank - they would all be treated equally, as they should be!
    Anonymous
    5th May 2020
    1:08pm
    If we had a 'fair go' or 'Australianism', we wouldn't be persecuting people who saved to fund their own retirement and handing out to spendthrifts and bludgers. How can anyone justify reducing the pension entitlement of someone who spend 40 years paying off a home while handing out more to someone who chose not to bother? Similarly, how can anyone justify the current situation where many self-funded retirees have to live on an income significantly lower than the age pensioners receive, or drain their savings prematurely and end up poor despite all their hard work and sacrifice. Meanwhile, the genuinely hard up struggle because too much is paid out to manipulators who don't have genuine needs.

    The current system is appallingly unfair and economically harmful, and adding the family home to the assets test can only make it worse. The assets test should be abolished. It's is patently unfair. If it were abolished, there would be no incentive for people to overinvest in housing, and the unfair favouritism of people who sink millions into a family home would end. A much better solution would be either a universal pension and tax retirement income, or an income/deemed income test only with ALL assets over a very generous threshold counted for deeming. That way, it wouldn't matter whether people chose to invest in the family home, a caravan or motor home, boat, shares, or money in the bank - they would all be treated equally, as they should be!
    Horace Cope
    16th Apr 2020
    10:17am
    Well, here we go again with the family home being included in the assets test for pensioners. I note that the person suggesting this is an academic who is not in receipt of an age pension and will probably never get the age pension because of the generous super schemes endowed by universities.

    Firstly, the young have always been responsible for paying taxes that support, inter alia, age pensions. As Snowflake points out all of us paid taxes during our working life which went to a government to pay the bills necessary to run Australia. Back then we were the "young" who supported the retired people who helped build this great country. Our generation added to that building and it's our turn to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

    Matt Grudnoff is correct when he says that the location of the home raised significant problems in establishing a cap. This really is the only impediment for including the family home in the assets test as the postcode is the main reason for the value of a home, not whether the home has 3 or 4 bedrooms, ensuites or a double garage and carport. No government will be able to establish a cut-off for the value of the family home which will be fair to everyone.
    Travellersjoy
    16th Apr 2020
    12:24pm
    Well put Horace.

    How easily they forget we were once the young who carried the main tax burden - although in times past the rich did not get off as easily as they do now. We seem to have a new class of capitalists who ride above the rest of the society and care for no-one but themselves and their bank accounts.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:38pm
    Had grandparents and grandparents in law - never even thought about their receiving a pension - it was their right.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    12:55pm
    I agree with you, Horace. I did a bit of research on the 'three bed with a bit of garden' house I live in.
    For the same house on the Gold Coast I would have to pay an extra $50,000 - $60,000, Melbourne an extra $100,000 - $150,000 and in Sydney and extra $2 - 300,000. And it's no good pollies saying move and get a cheaper place because the moving costs are horrendous, and as you get older you need to be near family and friends.
    Hoohoo
    20th Apr 2020
    2:30pm
    Regardless of postcode, if your own home is worth more than $1.5 million, then maybe the excess should be counted as an asset to be included in the assets test. That sounds fair enough to me. The average family home wouldn't be affected at all and if it is, then cop the excess ffs, because you're rich!
    Golden Oldie
    21st Apr 2020
    5:50pm
    One way of calculating the value of the home is to remove the value of the land and positioning of the home. The land is the value of lacation which is greatly increased due to government planning and restrictions of available land. You cannot live on a bare block of land. Council restrictions and lack of amenities such as water and power make this so.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    10:24am
    There is no debt - the stimulus money will be re-absorbed into the taxation system in short order, apart from the bits of it that are, as usual, hoarded by offshore adventurer freebooters, and those who freeboot in areas that pay no tax.

    Taxing the retiree twice for a home bought and paid for and on which all taxes have been paid during working life will not resolve the problems of government. Like any other asset bought and paid and taxed for, it should not be included in any assets test.
    Lookfar
    17th Apr 2020
    1:32pm
    Well thought out, - thanks Karen, and also for pointing out that retiring well is OG, - sometimes I am a bit too trusting and Trolls fool me.
    Hoohoo
    25th Apr 2020
    12:48am
    There are far worse sins than to be too trusting, Lookfar. The meek shall inherit the Earth, it is said - I just hope she isn't too raped, pillaged, fracked and polluted by the time the meek inherit.
    Or maybe it means that when the Earth is done with modern, destructive humans, she'll be returned back to the peoples who have truly valued their country and sacred places?
    ekbg2002
    16th Apr 2020
    10:25am
    Well said. Plus footballers could do with less pay, as well as bank managers, CEO’s etc
    panos
    16th Apr 2020
    10:26am
    Here we go again, softening everyone up by talking about it....

    Well I dont give a hoot about it..... do what you will.....I am sick of worrying about it... bad enough trying to stay alive during this pandemic, maybe they will release the virus into the wild here and bring in DEATH TAXES....as all the oldies will be croaking it.....
    Hoohoo
    25th Apr 2020
    12:54am
    Such a cheerful bastard, Panos! And don't give them ideas! Even the Libs will be desperate to find new streams of income now. How about the government skimming off 10% of your Super when you croak? You won't need it when you're dead, will you?
    Willfish
    16th Apr 2020
    10:40am
    Usual response. Conduct a survey to ask people who should pay more tax, and everyone says someone else should. There are loopholes in the aged pension system that you can drive a truck through. Those in million dollar houses scream they are entitled to the pension because they paid income tax all their life. Negative gearing and franking credits are just tax avoidance schemes (and yes, I get franking credits). If the government was serious they would first plug the holes in the tax system that allow multi-nationals and large corporations to avoid tax, then close the loopholes available for the wealthy, then having set an example, start closing the loopholes further down the line. If they had the guts, which they have not.
    Horace Cope
    16th Apr 2020
    10:52am
    Whilst I agree with most of what you have written, Willfish, the fly in the ointment is the word "wealthy". I have not been able to get anyone to give a definition of the words "wealthy" or "rich". Can you help?
    kram
    16th Apr 2020
    12:41pm
    Horace Cope - Wealthy is any couple having over $860.000 in assets as they will get NOTHING from this government.
    They worked and saved so as not to become a burden on this country.
    This article is just another attack on pensioners and the elderly.
    Golden Oldie
    16th Apr 2020
    10:56am
    I have a house to live in. Value dependant on where I live and shortage of land available, which is not my responsibility. My rates are high for council and water. The house does not ptovide an income, and I cannot sell a bedroom, bathroom or toilet to provide me with cash for food, etc. Instead of punishing people who worked hard, saved money, paid a mortgage, while tampering with the legislated income tax cuts for the welloff, approach it with different alternatives. Why do governments always attack the poorer people in the community. Wages are stagnant, welfare, disability and pensions do not keep up with inflation over the long term.
    older&wiser
    16th Apr 2020
    10:56am
    I am strongly against any talk of making the primary residence a part of the assets test, no matter what the value of the home. Who would determine the level, how would it be regulated, how to control the value during property price fluctuations?
    I am single (always have been after losing fiance when I was 6 months pregnant), on pension, still with a mortgage, in small little home that probably would not suit most people. But I have worked so bloody hard that, at age 67, I physically can't even handle a casual or part time job. My house suits me, I've done allot of work to it to make it comfortable for me. I haven't been on overseas holidays, only recently updated my 19yo car, and have never spent, wasted or lived lavishly.
    If this stupid suggestion does come in, it will be a disincentive for younger people to save for their future retirement, and only lead them to spend what they earn, to rent and go into retirement with BS little as possible.
    No, absolutely hands off the house. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a $2 million home, and the kids owning the boat, car, holiday home, etc. They are not doing anything wrong, illegal or fraudulent, so good on them.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    11:02am
    No there is nothing wrong with owning a $2 million house but there is a problem when you put your hand out for the pension. Just make the pension a debt on the estate.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:40pm
    Yup - he's OG.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    1:07pm
    That's why we need a universal pension, Retiring Well. For some reason having to jump through hoops and never know when government is going to raise or remove the pension seems to bring the bullies out in force.
    A pension as of right would see age pensioners accepted the same as every other pensioner.
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    1:41pm
    if you talked to some younger people you might discover that inclusion of the home in the assets test barely warrants a thought in their retirement planning. It could be a good idea to look at what else changes before you criticise its inclusion, who know's pensioners might even end up with an increase in income. The government has already recognised people need about 70% of median wage for the economy's sake so an increase in various forms of welfare to a living wage is not beyond the realms of possibility.
    Hoohoo
    25th Apr 2020
    1:18am
    Well I agree with Retiring Well (for the first time ever) with the comment: "there is nothing wrong with owning a $2 million house but there is a problem when you put your hand out for the pension."
    Sorry folks, but if you own a home worth $2 million+ then you're rich! You obviously don't need or deserve the OAP with its perks.

    But older&wiser, I totally disagree with your: "And there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a $2 million home, and the kids owning the boat, car, holiday home, etc. They are not doing anything wrong, illegal or fraudulent, so good on them." They are being deceitful and underhand and so there most certainly IS something wrong with it. Bad on them, not good on them. They are selfish and inconsiderate.
    What happens when their kids want to retire? They'll have to work longer to be self-funded because they're burdened with their parents' assets (the boat, car, holiday home, etc.) which are in their own names instead of the selfish parents', preventing them from sliding under any future assets tests.
    AutumnOz
    16th Apr 2020
    10:57am
    How come these idiots in government cannot see that including the family home in the assets test will cause home owners to revolt against the government.
    The age pension isn't welfare, it is an entitlement for people who have paid tax in this country for many years in the past.
    Aged people are not the only ones who may own a home, there are plenty of young people who currently either own, or are buying, a house. I suspect those young people will also be making a fuss if our government still insists on robbing those who have paid off, or are still paying for, a family home.
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    1:04pm
    The age pension IS welfare, just like everything else that comes from Centrelink.

    The age pension is not an entitlement, neither is it given to people because they have paid tax for many years.

    Plenty of people who end up on the age pension have never worked or paid income tax. Plenty of people who have worked hard, paid tax and saved all their lives do not qualify for the age pension. It is welfare for people who, for whatever reason, are not able to fund their own retirement.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    1:10pm
    My question again, Fedup, why do multimillionaire ex politicians with multi dwellings get a taxpayer funded pension when they are well able to fund their own?
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    1:33pm
    Triss, politicians don’t get the age pension. They get a government superannuation pension like all govt employees (but more generous).
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    1:45pm
    payment of taxes does not entitle anybody to a pension, rather it is to avoid prosecution for non-payment of taxes. You might never pay a dollar in taxes but you can receive a pension if you satisfy the eligibility criteria.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    2:20pm
    The government superannuation was decided by members of the government, Fedup, and a lifetime, indexed pension after 8 years of working in parliament is a corrupt practice. If a third world country carried that out it would be called corrupt why isn't it called corrupt here?
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:27pm
    ... and let's not forget that they can always go back to their wonderful remunerative occupation they had before entering politics... why then do so many of them 'need' to cop another sweetener, like High Commissioner to Flagistan or something... board member on Sustralian Airships or whatever??

    I clearly recall one NSW Labor minister getting the chop by her electorate, and much public breast beating about how the party would look after her and make sure she had a sweet ride...

    Why didn't she just return to her brilliant career? Answer:- because she had none.

    They, as usual, want it all ways as long as it suits them.
    Meg
    16th Apr 2020
    10:58am
    Why not withdraw from Australia's commitment to take in thousands of refugees each year, rather than flog our elderly? As it is, you can work, pay taxes, and get nothing from the government until you've lowered your hard earned and hard saved cash. The government that includes our home in the assets test will be voted off the planet, never to return again.
    Frontline
    16th Apr 2020
    11:00am
    I’m confused I’m a frontline worker during this pandemic so grateful to have a job now and when this is over. Still 7 years off retirement and have sacrificed a lot to own my home. I will not be eligible for any of the government assistance during this time - so still paying full tax etc and happy to do this. Why should we be means tested on our house on retirement. Surely we need to look at the amount of benefits for some workers and I say this as the organisation I work for stood down 22 staff temporarily only 2 of them earn $750 a week so why are employees earning $80 a week getting the full amount surely it should be based on actual earnings not same for everyone.
    Sundays
    16th Apr 2020
    11:16am
    Swings and roundabouts. I understand it was easier for the ATO to introduce the payments quickly if there was a flat rate of $1500 p.f for everyone. Of course, if they are casuals with less than a year, they will get job seeker of $1100 p.f.
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    1:48pm
    kids working one shift a week at the local cafe are pinching themselves at their good fortune
    Sundays
    16th Apr 2020
    11:04am
    YLC bring this topic up with monotonous regularity. Finding experts to support the theory. No government that wants to be re elected will ever bring this in. If the best example Noel Whittaker can come up with is a couple in a $4m home receiving the full OAP then he really has no idea of the majority situation. There is a much greater chance of an increase in GST
    Horace Cope
    16th Apr 2020
    12:36pm
    I agree about the regularity of this topic, Sundays, and if the system is working properly, the next topic will be about reverse mortgages.
    Teacher
    16th Apr 2020
    11:13am
    About including the family home in an assets test for pensioners - FAIR GO! My home is all the monetary value I have in this world. Bought 64 years ago, paid off a second mortgage to a private money lender in 6 years during which time I had two children and husband worked 3 shifts and sometimes 7 days a week for us to survive - practically on bread and dripping for those 6 years. Have worked all my married life and paid my taxes until my husband died. Now am on the single aged pension with no super or anything behind me. As well as Council rates I now need to pay for repairs to certain parts of my old house This is very hard to do on the pension. I don't think my pension will stretch far enough to pay tax. Would the government rather I be in a Dept. Housing home and they come and fix everything that goes wrong at their own expense?
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:42pm
    All true... if I were not handy with the carpentry etc tools we could not afford to maintain this house, let alone upgrade it out of our pockets, while paying a mortgage at 70.
    Bindy
    16th Apr 2020
    11:18am
    This idea comes from our capitalist system and is not "socialistic" in any way, quite the opposite! Were it from a system based on the principles of socialism then we would not have a privileged tax avoiding rich elite class in the first place.
    Nonetheless, have to say I agree with most commentators that the family home, in our type of economic system, should NOT be considered an asset for the means of determining pension eligibility ....in fact, everyone should be entitled & enabled to have their own home
    JoJozep
    16th Apr 2020
    11:36am
    Golden Oldie,

    Well put. As far as YLC try to stir up the pot, they always succeed with this accusation, I say, stop your bullshit!

    The current and future governments of all persuasions note; " You toucha my house, I toucha your vote".

    Come on pensioners, are we going to let these bullshit "academics" postulate how we should live out our lives. I note everyone proposing these tax measures are not the ones affected!

    How about we stop funding these leeches and force them to work like we did in the past, Like Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics thinks it's the right thing to do, quoting YLC above! Yeh? Since when has this bludger ever expressed an opinion to leave pensioners and part pensioners alone, and never, ever, criticizes big business. Is that because they pay him a fat wage to espouse big business as golden saviors, when in fact they're golden parasites, paying little tax, employing as few low paid workers as possible, using tax loopholes, paying off Politicians, and above all, being powerful enough to advertise against any government proposing to be the next elected government.

    If these leeches think I and thousands of other pensioners are not livid by raising this issue in this way, they have to think very hard whether they will be in power come next election. Wait till the leech has a partner/wife in an aged care home and he has to pay $2,100 per month in additional fees as a government contribution out of his meager savings. Does he think that's fair? Bloody leech and hypocrite!
    TOR888
    16th Apr 2020
    11:40am
    Fix negative gearing and stop subsidies to giant overseas corporations would be a good start..
    Get these parasites to pay their corporate taxes as well..Qatar tax their LNG at $28 billion a year ..Australia gets $800 million if we are lucky.. leave the family home alone for gods sake
    Jennifer
    16th Apr 2020
    12:16pm
    TOR888, well said, I absolutely agree!
    Jennifer
    16th Apr 2020
    12:16pm
    TOR888, well said, I absolutely agree!
    Mariner
    16th Apr 2020
    12:02pm
    I would prefer to see a decent inheritance tax. Leave the oldies in their houses but tax the estate at about 20-25% before handing it over to the younger generation. The old folks could enjoy their retirement and the kids (or whoever) gets less. No one would be hurt apart from people who cannot wait for the parents to pass on.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:46pm
    All well and good, Mariner - except for the leeches who have the wherewithal to hold nothing in their name(s), so their estate pays no inheritance tax.

    Beware the golden pheasants... (term borrowed from WW II Berliners to indicate high up Nazi Party people etc) ...
    Mariner
    16th Apr 2020
    1:56pm
    Understand you, Karen. So possibly disallow family trusts first up. It has always been the motto in Australia - property will never go down and as long as we allow McMansions to be built and called primary residences that is where the money is going for people who want their offspring to benefit. Just ordinary people, Karen, who read all the reports by uncle Whittaker and other advisers. Same with Super unless you force people to exhaust super first before getting the OAP. They can count our little unit in the asset test, they may even take it off me and house us in a nice Government housing unit across the road - no rates, no body corporate fees and no repair costs just 25% of income.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:30pm
    You could be better off with a decent set of neighbours. Many 'houso' areas are slowly becoming suburbs with the houses being bought.
    Jennifer
    16th Apr 2020
    12:09pm
    I totally agree with Meg, her comments today 16 April at 10.50 a.m. All you people in government - stop the refugee intake and reassess what you can do to make up for the stimulus packages and economic loss to our country. BUT please don't forget to care for those who have sacrificed so much to get their own home, paid their taxes, managed WITHOUT ANY HELP from the government OF THEIR TIME - done all this so as not to be a burden on the tax payer.....yet these are the very same people you want to penalise in their twilight years - these are the same people who forged ahead to buy their own roofs over their heads, to live in it through their old years - not to have it ripped off from them in their later years. Why does the government - all these well to do politicians in ALL PARTIES instead look at following the example of the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda OHearn, and themselves "sacrifice" at least 20-30% of their own earnings; that wouldn't be too much for them once in a while. Just why aren't they doing this if they are so concerned about making up the deficit caused by the stimulus packages. Look at yourselves first, all you politicians, before eyeing a land grab from hard working older and old Australians.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:47pm
    I did notice the NZ government cut pollie's incomes during the crisis... leading from the front, as our lot could never do.
    Farside
    16th Apr 2020
    1:52pm
    token gestures might be great for a headline and 15 minutes of fame but in the long run don't help anyone
    Horace Cope
    16th Apr 2020
    2:29pm
    Yes, Farside, a token gesture. I recall when Rudd took over that he magnanimously rejected the pay rise for politicians that the Remuneration Tribunal had recommended. He didn't brief the media 6 months later when the pay rise went through, backdated to the previous ruling.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:32pm
    Gladys of Australia doesn't give pay rises... just extra earners for being on some committee or whatever.. cynical old school friend of mine says his member - ostensibly and Independent - was bought off with a slot as standby Speaker... no work for good money extra ...now the Independent votes with the government...
    Jennifer
    16th Apr 2020
    12:09pm
    I totally agree with Meg, her comments today 16 April at 10.50 a.m. All you people in government - stop the refugee intake and reassess what you can do to make up for the stimulus packages and economic loss to our country. BUT please don't forget to care for those who have sacrificed so much to get their own home, paid their taxes, managed WITHOUT ANY HELP from the government OF THEIR TIME - done all this so as not to be a burden on the tax payer.....yet these are the very same people you want to penalise in their twilight years - these are the same people who forged ahead to buy their own roofs over their heads, to live in it through their old years - not to have it ripped off from them in their later years. Why does the government - all these well to do politicians in ALL PARTIES instead look at following the example of the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda OHearn, and themselves "sacrifice" at least 20-30% of their own earnings; that wouldn't be too much for them once in a while. Just why aren't they doing this if they are so concerned about making up the deficit caused by the stimulus packages. Look at yourselves first, all you politicians, before eyeing a land grab from hard working older and old Australians.
    stevo
    16th Apr 2020
    12:13pm
    It's all very well and understand the need to try and rebuild the Economy after the Covid-19 worldwide crisis, but including the family home in the Asset, Test would be a complete disaster. People on the Old age pension would not be able to live; if you call it a life on the amount we receive now and would burden the older generation even more and likely kill a lot of people. WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE PENSIONERS HAVE TO LOOSE ????????
    busybee
    16th Apr 2020
    12:14pm
    Older people will be forced to sell their homes to live, then they won't have any way of paying the disgusting prices to get into care homes when the time comes. How will the government like to fund that then. There are better ways for the government to find money than to continually rip off pensioners who have already done their bit. And paid higher taxes than many do now.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    12:14pm
    It’s well past time that pensioners changed from victims to victors. Forget about paying taxes all our lives for our pension, we paid enforced taxes all our lives to pay for the pensions of politicians, politicians’ widows, and bureaucrats and it's time they acknowledged that fact. It's payback time.
    After the virus we will have a great debt and it is not up to the elderly to pay it back. Politicians’ salaries need to be cut by 1/3, retired politicians’ corrupt pensions need to be asset assessed and I’ll guarantee they won’t want their houses in the assessment. And that Futures Fund, built with Australia's boom time surpluses, needs to be used to pay back that debt.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    12:50pm
    The Futures Fund needs to be returned to Australia and pay its way, and become a part of a national superannuation scheme far removed from the hands of politicians and their mates.

    I not how very few people see what a gross act of theft that was - to remove $130Bn from the national budget and store it offshore to pay for politician and a few other's fat retirement packages... if a Central American dictator did it - the people would revolt and the US would invade... but here...? Just business as normal for Canberra.
    Sundays
    16th Apr 2020
    1:27pm
    Karen, the Future Fund is for unfunded superannuation liabilities of retired Military and Public Servants. These workers paid after tax dollars into super but the Government put the money into consolidated revenue until they realised that as they retired people would need to accsess their super. It is not a slush fund. However it has done well and some could be used.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    2:29pm
    The original opening balance of $60.5 billion was made of surplus which belonged to the Australian taxpayer and the Commonwealth's remaining stake in Telstra, also not theirs to take. That certainly should be returned immediately.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:37pm
    Sundays - my point is that the government of the day (Howard's Way) lifted that hefty amount without so much as a by your leave and slotted it into a tax haven where it pays no tax here - and that means that if this country hits skid row - as appears likely at the moment - THEIR retirement will not be touched in any way.

    YOU could be thrown on the street with no job and not be able to access Centrelink assistance - politicians and their chosen few will still get the same amount no matter what they do to this nation. It is easily foreseeable that with a huge crash average earnings could collapse down to around the dole level - while the chosen ones would still receive thousands a week and would easily become the new generational aristocracy (in an 'egalitarian' country).

    Theft and pure greed and self-interest no matter which way you look at it, and the law forbids that some be treated differently.
    Travellersjoy
    16th Apr 2020
    12:17pm
    These issues have been widely canvassed for moths or even years, and the Chicago school economists always come back to the same answers - anything that keeps ordinary Australians paying for the indulgences and privileges of the rich and corporate.

    First take away all tax and pension concessions from people with 2 million or more in their super - who needs more than that to live out their lives?
    Second, ensure people with large super funds are forced to run down their capital before getting concessions or tax breaks.
    Third, revisit negative gearing, and frnking credits which are just plain perverse.
    Fourth, make corporations pay tax in Australia on money made in Australia.
    Fifth, people with huge assets and super should not be getting the age pension - unless the government wants to move towards a universal minimum income.

    And that is just the beginning.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    12:59pm
    Franking credits are just another withholding tax like PAYE and PAYG. If you get a refund of your franking credits you are just getting back your overpayment of tax.

    Negative gearing can just be used a different way by restricting your financial affairs so nothing will change their either.

    Large super funds are no longer permitted with a cap of $1.6 million. So you can't now have $2 million super funds.

    People with huge assets and super don't get the pension.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:38pm
    Provided the tax is done correctly, OG - which does not appear to be the case in many instances.
    Jennifer
    16th Apr 2020
    12:24pm
    Stevo, Busybee and Triss, well said - what a disgrace that we older and old Aussies, have to fight the politicians who, most times, are not deserving of their fat salaries. They really need to apportion a part of their undeserved pay to helping Australia pay its huge debt and get back onto a strong economic base.
    Jennifer
    16th Apr 2020
    12:24pm
    Stevo, Busybee and Triss, well said - what a disgrace that we older and old Aussies, have to fight the politicians who, most times, are not deserving of their fat salaries. They really need to apportion a part of their undeserved pay to helping Australia pay its huge debt and get back onto a strong economic base.
    kram
    16th Apr 2020
    12:32pm
    Retiring Well - So those who own houses, probably under mortgage, would leave their houses empty, or would they put them back on the market so that others could achieve home-ownership.
    That money could then be put to productive use like small business or shares to help boost the economy.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    12:54pm
    Many investors are leaving their properties vacant now as it is simply not worth the risk to end up with a non paying tenant.

    A lot more investment will simply go off shore as there are simply better investments available.
    Mariner
    16th Apr 2020
    3:22pm
    RW - I see that happening right under my nose where we live. Empty units, duplexes and houses - rather an empty house than a bad tenant.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    3:36pm
    Why would you risk putting a tenant in when many are now not paying rent? Even those on welfare are a big risk.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:40pm
    Well - in that case, OG - their tax concessions should be stopped, since the justification for that largesse is that they are providing accommodation....

    Good argument for abolition...
    Anonymous
    17th Apr 2020
    3:34pm
    You can't rent a property that is under repair.
    Hoohoo
    25th Apr 2020
    1:30am
    And yet you can rent a property in a state of disrepair. I've rented heaps of such places in my Uni days and presently have two nieces sharing a house with another woman for $600 a week. The gutters are falling off, there's mold and the fibro is very shabby in places.
    Priscilla
    16th Apr 2020
    1:02pm
    As usual, retirees are going to be ripped off by the government to pay for losses whilst the working rich just look on.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    1:04pm
    I certainly would not like to pay the tax bill of the rich.
    Horace Cope
    16th Apr 2020
    2:35pm
    Priscilla, the top 10% of earners pay 70% of tax income. Further, 50% of earners pay 97% of tax revenue. That means that 50% of earners only pay 3% of tax income so it's difficult to reconcile your thoughts that "the working rich just look on".
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:42pm
    None of which takes into account the opportunities for those at the 'top' to hoard income away and find tax loopholes - leaving them with still a huge discretionary income while paying nowhere near the full tax on income.

    Whole tax system needs a total overhaul.
    Hoohoo
    25th Apr 2020
    7:19pm
    Rich on paper (and visible assets) but tax-free in actuality.

    You don't pay anyone's tax bill, I'm guessing, R.Well.

    16th Apr 2020
    1:05pm
    I can't see what the problem here is with putting the house in the assets test unless you have a multimillion dollars mcmansion.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    2:50pm
    It's a foot in the door, Retiring Well. Once the government is allowed to get its sticky fingers on someone else's asset that asset will soon become theirs. Think of the age pension money being transferred into Consolidated Revenue, £100 million, which would be several trillion dollars in today's money which all got piled into the secret black hole called the government personal piggy bank.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    3:07pm
    I don't have a problem with the house being used as a surety for the paying back of the age pension as a debt.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:43pm
    Impossible to reconcile the situation of every householder - no chance of a home as an asset since it was never treated as an asset and thus received no tax concession during its purchase life - there endeth today's lesson.
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    4:59pm
    Having a tax concession doesn’t make something an asset. There are a lot of assets that never receive a tax concession, e.g. car, boat, jewellery, term deposit, household contents, etc.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    7:46pm
    Jump on the bandwagon, Retiring Well, and single out the elderly pensioner to pay the debt of the nation. If the pension is going to be a debt at the end of your life then so should everything else like unemployment benefit, subsidised child care, rent assistance, tax concessions and the list goes on.
    Viking
    16th Apr 2020
    7:54pm
    Triss, yes good idea I agree with all of that. So are you saying that pensioners should benefit from the stimulus package and debt but only others, like SFRs who received nothing, should pay it back?
    Viking
    16th Apr 2020
    8:59pm
    Karen, your assertion that because it's not taxable or receives a tax concession a home isn't an asset suggests you never even started a first lesson in accountancy?

    If you go to a bank and ask for a loan you will be asked to state your assets and the main one will be your home.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    10:08pm
    Viking, I said that if pensioners had to pay back their pensions then everyone had to be treated the same.
    if SFRs didn't receive unemployment, child care assistance, rent assistance, tax concessions in their working life then there would be nothing for them to pay back.
    Hoohoo
    25th Apr 2020
    7:28pm
    This 'paying back debt' talk sounds like a back door Death Duty, except that your new version is just paying back government handouts (which includes tax breaks, pensions, First Home Buyer benefits, franking credits or anything that reduced Consolidated Revenue over your lifetime).
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    1:27pm
    I agree that the family home should be included in the Age Pension assets test, above a generous value cap. Although I agree with Matt Grudnoff that there would be serious problems in establishing the cap.

    It not not fair that people in homes worth millions are getting a pension. But, at the same time, there should be no disincentive for people to purchase and pay off a home during their working life. Nor should people who own their home be financially punished in their retirement, when others on the same income have spent it on travel, alcohol, gambling, etc.

    This is where it is unfair. I own my home and an investment property which, in total, are worth about $1,000,000. I will not get an age pension because the investment property pushes me over the assets test limit. If I sold both properties and bought a home for $1,000,000 I would get the pension. If I sell the investment property I will have to pay CGT. But someone living in a million dollar home can get the pension, and sell their home without paying CGT.

    It would be in the government’s interest to provide incentives for everyone to own their home and an investment property on retirement. Then they would pay much less in age pensions and rent assistance. Suggested measures which discourage these purchases are counter productive.
    Mondo
    16th Apr 2020
    7:47pm
    I agree there are numerous anomalies in the current system that need fixing. But then if there was no CGT on investment properties given the tax benefits during ownership when would tax be paid on the income?
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    8:38pm
    Spartan, landlords pay tax on rental income, less expenditure, at the end of every financial year. It’s exactly the same as someone paying tax on their work income, minus work related expenses.

    If the property is not negatively geared, and mine isn’t, there are no tax benefits during ownership. The govt makes money from investment properties by taxing both the rental income and the sale.
    Mark
    16th Apr 2020
    1:41pm
    Let’s not forget that having your own home or not is already included in the calculations of an aged pension.
    “For a couple your combined assets must be below $394,500 if you own your own home, or $605,000 if you don’t own your own home. You can still be eligible for a part Age Pension if your assets are worth up to $869,500 if you own your own home, or $1,080,000 if you don’t own your own home.”
    Mariner
    16th Apr 2020
    3:33pm
    Yes Mark - my humble place would be sold, buying one of those park places around here at $180 fees per week, rent assistance given. No rates only power bill, everything else taken care of. And then I am allowed $210'000 more in assets. Selling my flat and buying a mobile home would leave me with an extra $250'000 and I would still get the full pension. Do not need to leave a legacy - think about it and do your sums. Only applies to little people in flats worth under $500'000.
    maelcolium
    16th Apr 2020
    1:49pm
    This man is an expert fool or a foolish expert.
    Macroeconomcs 101 - Federal Taxes don't pay for anything in a fiat currency. Taxes drain currency from the economy, are not banked and do not accumulate.
    Federal debt in federal currency is able to be wiped out with a keystroke. Public debt only exists because Governments persist with the unrequired issue of bonds as some sort of self imposed monetary credibility.
    A Federal Government is not like a household as it issues the currency and can issue as much as it needs without fear of bankrupcy in it's own currecny. Households on the other hand must accumulate or borrow currency before they spend so are financially constrained. Governments are only constrained by available resources in the economy and Australia has an abundance of idle resources.
    Somebody please tell this cretin to go back to University and study Macroeconomics before opening his mouth and making an ass of himself.
    Sunflower
    16th Apr 2020
    1:54pm
    No - the family home should not considered in assets for assessing the pension - for average couples/single persons. Maybe there should be a threshold for those who own multi-million dollar homes and assets. My husband and I have struggled (been married before) to get our modest home, have paid it off, but we have NO savings and VERY little superannuation. So we rely on the pension to live. We are frugal, repair, not replace, do our own home maintenance and I cook most of our food - we don't go out for dinner (even before this pandemic) or movies, or overseas holidays etc- we budget.
    We are NOT welfare recipients, we have worked all our lives since age 16 and 17 and paid taxes, never had unemployment, never bludged. We paid high taxes, this was supposed to go into a fund for our "pension". Not our fault the government used that money for other purposes, and that we are living longer than they would like!!! It's far too easy easy to blame our age bracket.
    I don't hear any politician saying they will take a pay cut to help in any way?? And they are paid far too much as it is! Don't think anyone would disagree with that.
    Rusty
    16th Apr 2020
    2:22pm
    Here we go again, another attack on pensioners by overpaid public servants, the age pension isn’t welfare, we have endured at least 4 recessions and low wage growth now all they can propose is a bite at our main asset . If they want to go to the opposition benches then let them try.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2020
    3:05pm
    If the age pension isn't welfare then why don't all those over pension age get it? It is not an entitlement so it must be welfare.
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    3:40pm
    I can’t believe people are arguing about this. Of course the age pension is welfare. That’s not an opinion, or an offensive comment, it’s a fact. The age pension is paid out of the welfare budget.

    The age pension is not a right and it’s certainly not a reward for a lifetime of paying taxes. In fact, the more taxes one pays during their working life, the less chance they have of getting an age pension.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:47pm
    The government does not consider Pensions welfare - it is titled Social Security and rightly so. Welfare is when you go down to Vinnies for help with the lecco bill..
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    4:52pm
    Social security = welfare payments administered by Centrelink.
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    5:16pm
    Charity = getting help to pay bills from Vinnies.
    Viking
    16th Apr 2020
    8:13pm
    Karen, the government pays pensions through Centrelink, the same agency which pays out unemployment and other social security or welfare benefits.
    According to the Collins Australian edition dictionary; "welfare financial and other assistance given to people in need."
    "welfare state - a system in which the government undertakes the chief responsibility for providing for the social and economic security of its population, usually through unemployment insurance,old age pensions and other social security measures."

    Can you find any official statement that says the pension isn't welfare?
    Anonymous
    17th Apr 2020
    3:32pm
    Centrelink is now called Services Australia.
    Play Fairly
    16th Apr 2020
    3:43pm
    I'm with you Snowflake.
    People who refer to the Aged Pension as Welfare are in error. The Aged Pension has never been classed as Welfare. It has always been, and still is, a Right for workers who have spent their entire life in the workforce, paying taxes and contributing much to benefit Australia.
    If you look towards those who are totally against the payment of an Aged Pension, you will find they themselves would go out of their way to utilize every taxation loophole there is to avoid paying taxes. If their wealth dissipates overnight from an ill advised financial transaction, would they be too proud to apply for an Aged Pension? How else would they survive?
    Viking
    16th Apr 2020
    8:20pm
    Prove it! Show us a government or published definition which states the pension isn't welfare.
    Wader
    16th Apr 2020
    3:49pm
    We have a problem in this country of balancing work and welfare. There are able people who have not worked for years and some for whom this is generational. They are now receiving the same increased benefit as those who have worked and lost their jobs. The money is not coming back into the economy because shops are shut or products not available. A fair amount is keeping the drug market very happy.
    How about changing the rules so that rural producers can build and offer temporary and permanent accommodation for farm workers as they once did without being penalized in the tax system. This would increase job opportunities for Australians who want to work.
    Hands off the family homes that have already been earned by workers.
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:50pm
    How many jobs for the long-term unemployed shall we put you down for, Ebenezer?

    Just making the point that those who complain about long-time unemployed do not seem to understand the situation.

    Correct - family home was not considered an asset during its 'life' - it should not be considered an asset in retirement. Why should retirees be forced to pay twice for their own home?

    Tell 'em to go to buggary.
    Wader
    16th Apr 2020
    3:49pm
    We have a problem in this country of balancing work and welfare. There are able people who have not worked for years and some for whom this is generational. They are now receiving the same increased benefit as those who have worked and lost their jobs. The money is not coming back into the economy because shops are shut or products not available. A fair amount is keeping the drug market very happy.
    How about changing the rules so that rural producers can build and offer temporary and permanent accommodation for farm workers as they once did without being penalized in the tax system. This would increase job opportunities for Australians who want to work.
    Hands off the family homes that have already been earned by workers.
    patti
    16th Apr 2020
    3:49pm
    That's right - hit the pensioners again, we who can least afford it. I have had no weekly increase, just the stimulus package. But I'm paying through the nose for items at the supermarket now. I don't mine helping out others who have lost work, but I still need to live, and my home is all I have.
    Eddy
    16th Apr 2020
    4:20pm
    Given that the exemption of the home from the means test has been a feature of our pension system since 1912 I do not see the current or future conservative or labor governments changing that. However I do see limits being put on the value of the family home to dissuade people from upsizing to quarantine their financial assets from the assets test. For instance an upper limit of say $1 million. So as not to disadvantage those whose houses have had an enormous increase in value since they purchased, a sliding scale so that after something like 35 years ownership or continuous residence the house gets a full exemption. This may dissuade people who, for instance, take a $1 million superannuation payout and combine it with the $1 million proceeds from their house sale to buy a $2 million dollar house solely for the purpose of reducing assessable financial assets to qualify for the age pension
    Karen
    16th Apr 2020
    4:50pm
    Personally I think we need to get rid of both the major parties and the Greens and start again with some real people in the hot seats.
    Eddy
    16th Apr 2020
    5:30pm
    Sympathise with your idea Karen but realistically it will not happen.
    Eddy
    16th Apr 2020
    5:30pm
    Sympathise with your idea Karen but realistically it will not happen.
    Triss
    16th Apr 2020
    10:10pm
    I agree, Karen.
    Wader
    16th Apr 2020
    5:19pm
    Long term unemployment is a fact, not a complaint. It is bad for the unemployed and its bad for the system that must and should support them. We need to be smarter about providing work opportunities, including for those people who do not fit into the urban job market.
    As for" providing jobs Ebenezer" we can all do our bit by our shopping habits and supporting local ventures. As most home owners do while they have money to spend.
    Anonymous
    17th Apr 2020
    3:30pm
    4% unemployed is full employment.
    Wader
    16th Apr 2020
    5:19pm
    Long term unemployment is a fact, not a complaint. It is bad for the unemployed and its bad for the system that must and should support them. We need to be smarter about providing work opportunities, including for those people who do not fit into the urban job market.
    As for" providing jobs Ebenezer" we can all do our bit by our shopping habits and supporting local ventures. As most home owners do while they have money to spend.
    Mondo
    16th Apr 2020
    5:33pm
    Same old same old chestnut again rolled out and distorted to create fear and disquiet.
    Firstly our economy is so far out of wack and has been distorted by successive governments to pay-back, appease or attract voters that almost anything that is now done to raise revenue will have unintended consequences. The fact is the country is living beyond its means, we spend too much and save too little, our private debt is huge, one of the world's top two running into the hundreds of $billions. Our economy is so distorted that whatever is done will affect vulnerable sectors of the population but Its not totally unjust that those who mostly benefitted from the stimulus, the young in work, the unemployed and those on pensions should bear some of the cost of restoration.
    The fear about housing being part of the pension calculations is overblown. Houses are already rated on land valuation; if that valuation was extended to include the value of the built property and a margin of say 25% of the median house price was applied and compared to each house value and anything above that was included in the pension calculations, what would be the problem with that?
    Some of the other proposals are simplistic and have unintended consequences. If we pay land tax instead of stamp duty it would mean that those who have already paid stamp duty will be paying it all over again. Eliminating the stamp duty will reduce the entry cost of buying a house so both/either house prices will increase due to increased demand and/or investors will be able to buy even more houses because the entry cost will be lower so still shutting out younger first home buyers and locking in rentals. Existing owners and Will beneficiaries will get more for their houses.
    The old ideas of stimulating the economy by reducing tax or the GST no longer works because we no longer make anything to buy. All we would be doing is creating more low value, non value adding jobs in retail, borrowing more money from the savings of the Chinese and stimulating the Chinese economy by buying more of their low quality goods. (The Chinese don't buy Chinese, they buy S Korean and European consumer goods).
    The real economic solution is long term but it would still benefit the hard workers, savers and investors and hurt the spenders and those who don't invest in their careers. My solution would be;
    1.increase the GST to 20% on all non processed food and medications to raise money to help pay off the debt and reduce imports
    2. eliminate tax on the first $50,000 of retained savings to encourage self reliance so we never need to repeat the current hand outs - the money is invested into buying back and expanding Australian manufacturing industry creating more local value adding jobs and ensuring that more company tax is paid here.
    3. Make every company, local or foreign by "deeming" a tax of 5% on all turnover in Australia until they can present the ATO with realistic profit figures. The deeming rate sticks until they do.
    4. Invest more in CSIRO but ensure that all inventions are developed and made in Australia not made overseas
    5. reduce company tax by 25% for companies that manufacture and value add in Australia
    6. ensure that all school children repeat and repeat again until they can at least leave school able to read, write and do basic maths and take an active role in the work-place
    7. increase TAFE funding, reduce funding for ten years to Uni courses/ faculties that do not materially add value to Australia. Eliminate HECS for students who work in Australia using those skills for 10 years.
    If we added more value to what we produce and made more of what we buy we would all be happier and better off; more high value satisfying jobs would be created; crime and its cost would reduce; social security and its cost would reduce and eventually we would pay off the debt and then pay less tax or receive more benefits.
    Finally, make crime pay - for the community. let's eliminate stupid $110 fines for endangering Australia by bringing in uncooked meats, wildlife and other disease carrying items into the country $2-5,000 would be more effective. The same with speeding fines, drunken driving and driving with a phone, make the culprits pay for running the justice system and their cost to the community. A woman in SA just got 500 hours community service for killing 4 people at the wheel!! Apply a $2,000 drug and weapons inspection fee to every container entering the country to force exporting offending countries to fix the problem at their end.
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    6:21pm
    Absolutely disagree with 1, 6 and 7.
    I don’t agree with increasing the GST on anything, but especially not on non-processed foods which are the healthiest foods to eat. And medicines are expensive enough already, which is why they are subsidised by the PBS. If non-processed foods and medicines became more expensive a lot more people would be sick, which would end up costing the economy a lot more.
    As for continually repeating students, that is just ridiculous and this government has already cut uni funding to the bone.
    Mondo
    16th Apr 2020
    7:40pm
    Fedup, I missed out the word EXCEPT on non processed foods and medications.
    Its a fact that worldwide a very large proportion of inmates in jail for very serious crimes cannot read and write. Would you prefer to pay for these people to be in jail for years or on the dole rather than repeat at school. Would you change your mind if you or your family were the victim on one of these crime?
    So what would you do then to repay the debt and improve the economy for the long term?
    Fedup
    16th Apr 2020
    8:51pm
    If someone hasn’t learnt to read and write effectively after 11 to 13 years of schooling, there are reasons for it that won’t be solved by repeating. And criminals are better off in jail, than still at school in their 20s.
    Viking
    16th Apr 2020
    9:12pm
    Fed up, that's presumably provided they didn't kill someone in your family to get to jail but okay if someone else's family member was murdered?
    Waiting to retire at 70
    16th Apr 2020
    5:59pm
    I really don't care what they do. They will continue to change things over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. I don't care anymore as it only makes me feel abused and treated like an idiot.

    Change things if you want, but GRANDFATHER all changes as I have spent 60 years working within the rules of those decades to be independent of the public purse (accept for my travel pass). Changes simply bring down all the planning done to avoid taxes being diverted to my life.

    If they don't want to GRANDFATHER any future changes, then I'll see you at the barriers in your 'yellow vest'.
    Macheke
    16th Apr 2020
    6:58pm
    agree with tanker again. Also why have a cap on value of home included. An asset is an asset. Some have homes others have other assets. See my earlier posts when the retirement review was first raised.
    Jtee
    16th Apr 2020
    8:10pm
    Absolutely not. Pick on the companies that don't bother to pay tax through profit shifting offshore instead. Have lived in the same house for the last 40 years and through no fault of our own it has increased hugely in value. It is still the same house, it is home. Population increase in Sydney has led more and more people moving to regional areas thereby raising the prices of real estate.

    Bring in a Universal pension, asset free, and let all income including pensions be taxed at normal rates instead.
    fish head
    16th Apr 2020
    8:14pm
    of course the burden of repaying the Covid-19 Stimulus package will fall on younger people since they will be the people earning wages.Just as my generation picked up the tab for WWII debts. It's a given someone has to pay and it's the wage earners each time. This is just another greedy grab at pensioners pockets. Those "million dollar houses" were not worth a million dollars when they were built usually out in the sticks especially transport wise.
    thommo
    16th Apr 2020
    9:08pm
    Agree Almost a grey hair. Who are these mongrels hitting on age pensioners and the vulnerable people in our society. Why don't those who earn more pay more (tax). And get rid if nagative gearing and franking credits to start with. And the politicians can also show example and cut their pay packets. Oh no, that's against their ideology. Just hit those on the bottom. If they want a revolution, just demonise the age pensioners.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2020
    1:18pm
    Thommo, given that they don't get a pension, what do you propose retirees whose only income is from franked shares live on if franking credits are abolished? Please tell me how a couple with, say, $900,000 is supposed to survive on bank interest of maybe $18000 a year, with no concessions or benefits? What is there, besides shares paying franked dividends, that comes close to paying a living wage to a couple in that category?

    Oh, that's right. They should just live off their savings until there is nothing left. Then what, pray tell, would be the point of retiring with savings? We might as well send a telegram to all Australians advising them to make sure they spend everything before retirement because it won't do them one ounce of good to have any assets - only deprive them of about $1 million they would otherwise collect in pension payments over the course of their retirement. When we have hundreds of thousands more on the OAP, because self-funding is no longer an option, what do you think will happen to pensioners?

    You are demonising the self-funded - hitting those who contribute most to the economy. The majority who benefit from negative gearing and franking credits are NOT wealthy. They are battlers who go without to invest and build a nest egg so that they won't be dependant on taxpayers in retirement. I certainly agree with policies that fairly tax the wealthy, but please stop calling for taxes that will drive battlers into poverty. They are already suffering far too much unfairness.
    thommo
    16th Apr 2020
    9:08pm
    Agree Almost a grey hair. Who are these mongrels hitting on age pensioners and the vulnerable people in our society. Why don't those who earn more pay more (tax). And get rid if nagative gearing and franking credits to start with. And the politicians can also show example and cut their pay packets. Oh no, that's against their ideology. Just hit those on the bottom. If they want a revolution, just demonise the age pensioners.
    cupoftea
    16th Apr 2020
    11:40pm
    Well reading most of what has been written my friend and his wife are separating but they will have to stay in there 4x2 because they cant sell and both buy another place so they just have to split the bills as they will only have to share the kitchen but when they both get there single pension they should be able to struggle bye with that
    Pass the Ductape
    17th Apr 2020
    8:35am
    It never ends does it? There always seems to be someone out there who can't help themselves but to offer ways to ruling bodies on how to suck the very last cent from those least fortunate.
    Bindy
    17th Apr 2020
    9:43am
    "Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim:The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate" Bertrand Russell
    Ed
    17th Apr 2020
    9:55am
    Our parents and ourselves PAID for the 'Age Pension' , what happened to all that money and the interest gained from it??? Make those bloody mining companies pay tax as well as the other Multi-national companies, I'm sick of constantly reading about us paying more for our natural resources than the countries we sell it too e.g Natural Gas, cheaper in Thailand to buy than here in Australia where it is mined...go figure that..!
    Anonymous
    17th Apr 2020
    3:29pm
    No one paid for their Age Pension. It is just paid as welfare out of the welfare budget.
    ex PS
    20th Apr 2020
    6:48am
    And where does the money come from to fill the welfare budget vaults, that magic money tree that the government in their wisdom planted centuries ago. The government has no money, they gather our taxes and use it to provide us with essentials like Pensions, if we accept your argument we have to accept that no one pays to keep schools, hospitals, police services or ambulance services going, it all comes from the magic government money tree. Are you proposing that all of these things are welfare because they are paid for out of government budgets?
    The " welfare " budget is no different from any other, it is funded by taxes, no amount of political spin will change that. (By the way I do not accept that Pensions are welfare.)
    Every year the government gets together to decide how they are going to spend revenue (taxes), and guess what, this includes what is going to be allocated to the Pension Entitlement.
    It is quite simple, if no one paid for Social services to be provided, they would not exist. What we need in this country is a little more thinking and a lot less political spinning.
    joni
    17th Apr 2020
    12:30pm
    Your Life Choices highlights this subject with such regularity, I am wondering if they get paid or receive lucrative endorsements to do so. I have worked very hard to PURCHASE my house and do not consider it to be of benefit to either homeowners or non homeowners to have property values included in the asset test calculations (whatever the value may be). Using people, who for whatever reason have not managed to buy their own property, against those that have are being manipulated for political purposes. It's time to move on from this and see it for what it is.
    ex PS
    20th Apr 2020
    6:55am
    joni, it is my humble opinion that ideas like this are floated via various sources at various times by governments to gain an understanding of the public's attitude to the idea. When the time comes that this idea is promoted and no one bothers to voice their objections the government of the day will pounce and put the required legislation through.
    Governments see lack of response as tacit agreement to their proposals, certain things need to be constantly addressed otherwise they become irrelevant in the minds of our masters.
    In my humble opinion.
    ex PS
    19th Apr 2020
    12:16pm
    Want to fund the virus campaign, close the loop holes that allow companies to minimise their tax to near zero amounts. If they do business in this country they should pay tax in this country, close down businesses that have head offices in tax haven countries.
    This guvment needs to realize that the people who mostlyvvote for them are homeowners. If they bite the hands that feed them, they will find themselves getting rather hungry.
    Just because their supporters are faithful dogs, it does not mean they are cowardley curs who will suffer abuse untill kicked to the curb.

    21st Apr 2020
    10:42pm
    Bastards is being way to polite. I also was told by all my friends and family NOT to do this But I was a DUMB ASS and did it anyone. You know I am always right (NOT). They got 50k out of my pocket and when the account was over 115k.My account went down 111k in less than 30 minutes leaving $8,400. They knew this was my retirement money and didn’t give a damn. I guess they were done with me then because no one would take my calls.If it sounds to good to be true, it is. Luckily for me I was introduced to [email protected] he helped me get all of my funds back.

    5th May 2020
    1:22pm
    Someone should tell this IDIOT professor how it was paying 18% interest on a home loan, and how damned easy the young have it in comparison with rates below 3%- FUNDED BY RETIREES WHO ARE SACRIFICING THE INVESTMENT INCOME THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RELY ON IN OLD AGE.
    Oxleigh
    23rd Jun 2020
    11:58pm
    This article was written in April 2020 !!!!!!
    why is it being dug up again now, we all know that the govt will use whatever tactic to rip off the pensioners.
    When it was bought into law about Super being compulsory why weren't the public educated about investments and savings for the future.
    Everyone then and even now don't understand the thought that should go into making sure of where their money is invested and why you should put it in the best place.
    Do not trust some investment advisors, educate your self as to what can and cannot be done.
    We looked at what we could put into super from both our wages and planned to put x amount in each so we would not have to rely on pensions.
    It was going to plan then without much noticed the government reduced that amount and wrecked our plan to be pension free. Now we are, as the "entitled generation" puts it re a burden on their taxes by relying on the so called "welfare and generosity of their taxes".
    If they think we are a burden on them then they have to think about all the taxes we paid from hard work and going without to pay for the power stations, roads, hospitals, and all the things they take advantage of now.
    They should stop using our roads, hospitals, power, water and all the other infrastructure and build their own.
    Keep your hands off out homes we worked and sacrificed for and give us the pensions we paid for for long hard years of slugging it out.
    Make the politicians sacrifice some of their income and make the "entitled generation " work as hard as we have for Australia and our families.
    Pay rent for a while and save for your homes with cash and don't buy the best tv and flashest cars and designer clothes and private schools and make your own way in the world.
    First of all get a job.
    Mustlovedogs2
    28th Jun 2020
    4:10pm
    Why don’t politicians consider taking a pay cut. Self funded retirees have worked hard to prevent being a burden on the govt. Paid tax to support benefits for the less fortunate. To include the family home in the assets test is completely unfair.
    ozjames70
    30th Aug 2020
    1:19pm
    Both self-funded retirees and those who have not been so fortunate but who have managed to put their kids through school and pay their own homes off have worked hard. Expecting to receive the OAP which you have paid taxes for and which for many of us was considered the right thing to do. The original aged pension was set up in 1900, when NSW and VIC legislated to provide pensions for those aged 65 and over. This became a national aged pension in 1908.
    This was converted into the Australian Pension scheme in 1946 by the government and opposition of the day with an income tax levy of 7.5%, called a social services contribution, which was introduced to be used exclusively to finance social security cash payments. While it was called a non-contributory scheme, every worker paid their share through the income tax levy. So there really is no such thing s being a 'burden on the Government'.
    Those who have been able to save or invest extra should not be penalized, just as those who have ended their working lives (sometimes early because of age discrimination or work off-shoring, but let's not go down that path), should not be victimised for working under the belief that the system set up to look after them would provide a reasonable pension.
    The reality is various governments raided the fund and used it for other purposes and now 26% of those over the age of 65 in Australia are living in poverty. Retirement ages got raised, but government policy did nothing to preserve jobs and even worked with big business to export jobs to cheaper labour countries. Toothless legislation was enacted to protect older Australians who wanted to work. Some workers were in a better position to save and invest than others, but often, at 60+ it was too late to change careers.
    Instead of pitting self-funded retirees (who should also get the aged pension, even if with a tax model like NZ) against the 1.5 million older Aussies who rely on the Age Pension as their main source of income, the government should reform the current system to ensure it is adequate and provides a decent standard of living for all pensioners. We've all paid our taxes and dues and deserve what governments since 1900 have promised.
    If we're going to throw out these promises, then maybe we throw out preferential voting, and federation and remove a level of government. With a national government and local government, voila, we'll have solved the funding problem and be able to address some of the stupidity that has emerged with states selling Australia to foreign nations (water, electricity, ports, etc) and the crazy border shut-downs since COVID-19.
    If current governments want we public to believe past promises by their parties mean nothing, they need to be aware that the changes seen in recent elections are the start of the end for them. It now has the potential to happen very quickly and then we could forget about politician's pensions for life just like they are choosing to forget about the Australian Pension for all Australians.
    But if politicians don't know key figures of the day, I guess they don't know history or past government promises.
    Koro
    28th Aug 2020
    11:20am
    Complaining about pensioners being welfare recipients after them paying tax for a large part of their adult life while multi-million dollar businesses get away with little or no tax if they have a smart accountant? Welfare recipients my foot - how many single supporting parents do not take handouts from the government and support their children until they are self supporting? The more you look after yourself and your families it seems the more you are punished. What about the ones that live on welfare all their lives, live in government housing with minimal rents and no overheads etc etc etc so leave the decent self respecting "pensioners" alone for once. The pension they get would nowhere go near what they have contributed over their life time. I am referring to the genuine, hardworking ones that deserve at least a bit of a breather in their twilight years.
    ozjames70
    29th Aug 2020
    4:28pm
    Koro totally agree with you. I think it's time more of us spoke out to warn enough is enough
    ozjames70
    29th Aug 2020
    2:40pm
    It seems those talking about pushing the repayment of the COVID-19 debt onto current pensioners have forgotten that we pensioners have paid for past disasters and wars. We've paid taxes all our lives and contributed to bailing out poor decisions made by politicians.
    If politicians hadn't given to every person who decided Australia was an easy place to move to and had made company taxes realistic and properly managed our economy (not just their re-election and personal benefits), we'd have had many other ways to address this problem.
    It seem like we are not far off just terminating pensioners and grabbing their assets as more government revenues through death duties. In history others have attempted this, but failed miserably.
    I still can't get over how businesses were subsidised to keep workers on (really so the blow-out in unemployment wouldn't look so frightening) and those without jobs were paid a realistic amount to live on, but we pensioners got a token payment versus the way costs that we pay have risen (ignore childcare and education) and are now the targets for a bigger contribution.
    Proper business taxes would totally solve the debt, but then best not to push taxes onto those who will employ politicians post their time on the gravy train. You just have to look at where ex-politicians end up and the amount they get paid.
    Guy Fawkes and many others have had the right idea. Force politicians to be accountable in just the same way as they are trying to hold aged pensioners responsible for stupid political decisions. So with we over 65s being 18+ percent of the population and growing, does the government not see the voting power of this group? Or is it that the goal is to reduce the number and therefore reduce social and health services costs?
    It's just a pity Australia doesn't have a Statesperson who is prepared to stand up for the people who built this wonderful country everyone wants, and our politicians can't wait to sell out.


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