16th Nov 2018
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Age Pension or Newstart increase: which one should be a priority?
Age Pension or Newstart increase: which one should be a priority?

There have been suggestions this week that in March 2019, we may see a significant rise in the Age Pension, but should that be a priority for Australia?

This year there has also been a strong push to increase Newstart payments by $75 a week. Currently, Newstart recipients are living on around $272 a week on average. Many of these recipients are aged 55 and older, but not yet of Age Pension age, and are unable to find work to transition into retirement.

In the YourLifeChoices 2018 Retirement Matters Survey, we discovered that around one in five respondents have been or are receceiving Newstart payments.

Clearly $272 a week is not enough to live on, and many people are in fact subsisting on or below the poverty line – especially renters.

Full age pensioners live on around $417 a week. While this figure is not going to help many live a comfortable retirement, many older Australians who do own their home find it helps them live at least a modest retirement. That’s not to say that there are just as many older Australians living on or below the poverty line, but one cannot deny that $417 a week is a significantly higher payment than $272.

Age Pension rates are indexed to the rise in Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), whichever is greater. The CPI measures changes in the prices of a fixed ‘basket’ of goods and services and is used to preserve the real value of pensions. The PBLCI measures the effect of price changes in out-of-pocket living expenses for households that depend on a government payment. That index is designed to check whether recipients’ disposable incomes have kept pace with price increases.

After indexation is applied, the payment rate is then benchmarked against a percentage of the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). The single rate of pension equals 27.7 per cent of the MTAWE and the couple combined rate is equal to 41.76 per cent. Once initial indexation is applied, if the payment is less than the MTAWE benchmark, it will be lifted to equal the percentage rate.

The benchmarking of pensions to the MTAWE is to ensure pensioners maintain a certain standard of living, relative to the rest of the population.

Newstart payments are simply indexed against CPI.  

The news that this year's wage increases may next year lift the Age Pension by more than usual indexation will certainly be well received, but should we be looking at helping those who may need it a little more?

YourLifeChoices has long advocated for an increase in the Age Pension base rate, which has not changed since 2009. But the Newstart payment has not increased in real terms in 25 years.

We have one of the highest minimum wages in the world, but we also have one of the lowest minimum welfare payment rates. Newstart is not benchmarked against the minimum wage nor average male earnings. For older Australians who cannot find employment and are too young for the Age Pension, failure to better benchmark their government payments is possibly consigning them to poverty.

So, given the option, do you think the Age Pension should increase, or should those funds be put into Newstart?

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    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    16th Nov 2018
    10:51am
    how about raising the carer pittance to that of the carers who care for strangers ( hourly rate )
    SuziJ
    16th Nov 2018
    1:24pm
    The carer payment pays the same as the DSP & Age Pension. Or are you talking about the carer allowance? Yes, I agree that the carer allowance is a pittance, but they are the only ones who receive extra money.
    Paddington
    16th Nov 2018
    10:54am
    Newstart seems cruel for people who cannot find a job and have tried with no success. Maybe age of unemployed is relevant as older ones would be in more distress than a teenager or very young one who can stay home with mum and dad. One size may not fit all.
    Some older workers who are unemployed are in limbo and using up their savings and super in their fifties and sixties. An employer does not have to state that age is an impediment to getting the job they simply don’t choose an older person.
    Single pensioners who are renting seem to be struggling so again individual circumstances need to be considered for elderly people.
    The amount of people seeking charity must be an indication that some people are really struggling.
    We can never judge why people are in financial distress as individual circumstances are so different.
    Ms Logik
    16th Nov 2018
    10:06pm
    Yes, I agree. And finding myself in the situation - too young for the pension, too old to find a new job - I know quite some people who are really struggling on Newstart. What many people out there don’t know is: To be eligible for Newstart when you are over 55, you either have to apply for 20(!) jobs per fortnight which is very frustrating, or you can work 30 hours per fortnight as volunteer for organisations/charities of your joice which can be very rewarding, personally, sadly not financially. Most volunteers are on some sort of Centrelink payments. Imagine Australia without volunteers!
    Rae
    17th Nov 2018
    12:07pm
    Yes without all those volunteers we'd need to employ people wouldn't we. Better to keep them on a pittance than create real work and jobs for people.

    Better to have 3 million workers on welfare because wages have been going backwards for decades and needing charity than to share the profits fairly.

    I'd keep applying for jobs. Millions of applications flooding the network might collapse it and finally force some sort of sane fix.
    Ms Logik
    17th Nov 2018
    9:02pm
    Yes Rae and Paddington,
    the whole system needs to be changed. Today I met more people of older age "working for the dole/Newstart", doing their 15 hours per week for an average of $18.63 per hour. And surprisingly we are quite happy!
    Everyone needs a purpose in life to feel happy. Flooding employers with applications is very devastating for your own wellbeing because you never get an answer, as well as for the employers who don't take any application seriously. The so called "Job providing agencies" should be abolished for older people because they are a nuisance and with their requirements and reduce many of us to tears. They are torturing us, making us jump through hoops just to earn their money (this was mentioned in the discussion on this site before as well).
    As Adrianus said, there should be a solution for people between 55 and 67 (that's the new retirement age!) in transition.
    As a democratic society, we have a duty to look after everyone. Politicians seem to only look after themselves and don't have to seem an idea what is going on in the communities out there. If there are too many people suffering, there might be a revolution. It has happened in the past!
    We, the Australian people are really nice.
    But we need to live as well while we are are doing our volunteering which seems to be the only option we have for work.
    Most of us are not dole pludgers!
    jackie
    16th Nov 2018
    11:16am
    Newstart is a priority...It is too low...Job hunting is expensive and time consuming...In the end these job seekers will become tax paying workers. Stupid Pauline Hanson thinks they all don't want to work and live on NSA for 20 to 40 years that is why they should work for the dole on farms. Australians need to vote for politicians from science, maths, IT and engineering backgrounds instead of ex lawyers and uneducated morons like Hanson.
    Mamacrystal
    17th Nov 2018
    6:32pm
    Well I would imagine most thinking people don't listen to Pauline Hanson too much, and wish hr a speedy return to the fish and chip business or the other place she spent some time hanging out in!
    Farside
    16th Nov 2018
    11:21am
    A massive 84% acknowledge they could not survive on Newstart $272 a week yet only 45% and prioritise an increase in Newstart over the age pension. Reflects the nature of the 55% who felt pensioners, already paid significantly more, should be prioritised over those doing it harder.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th Nov 2018
    3:31pm
    It's called SELF-INTEREST. Farside. Please make things better for others, but NEVER prioritise others over making things better for me!
    George
    16th Nov 2018
    10:43pm
    It's an idiotic poll trying to pit one group against another, hence you get such results.
    Adrianus
    17th Nov 2018
    8:15am
    Farside, Newstart is meant for a 6 month term. Why should it be encouraged for longer terms?
    Farside
    17th Nov 2018
    8:16am
    Rainey, you are right about the self-interest, I was just noting how widespread the attitude is among the respondents. It seems consistent with the selfishness so often expressed on this site.
    Farside
    17th Nov 2018
    8:34am
    Adrianus, as far as I am aware the eligibility to receive Newstart is not restricted to a six month term hence the reason many people have been long term recipients. ACOSS recently reported almost two thirds (64%) of people on Newstart allowance receiving it for one year or more. It also found 44% of those unemployed long-term were on these payments for over 2 years and 15% for over 5 years and 49% of long-term recipients were over 45 years old. It is not a matter of encouraging Newstart but providing a welfare safety net for those who need it, a bit like the aged pension really.
    Rae
    17th Nov 2018
    12:10pm
    Only pay the job providers for successfully finding jobs for clients. The current system encourages inefficiency and lack of success.It is too expensive as well. The money would be better spent increasing Newstart than in for profit job agency pockets.
    Farside
    19th Nov 2018
    12:34pm
    +1 Rae, I wonder if there has been any review of the performance and cost/benefit of the job providers compared with the former Commonwealth Employment Service. I know people who have been to several job providers and found them next to useless with finding jobs.
    Enneagram 8
    16th Nov 2018
    12:03pm
    You cannot live off an Age Pension. If you have rent to pay, food to buy, bills to pay, run a Car and have a very, very modest lifestyle even without travel involved. I feel so sorry for people on Newstart allowance. Its disgraceful, what the government thinks is enough to live on. Most people on NewStart allowance don't eat properly. They live on Rice alone. Which is very unhealthy. While Politicians live off an income of $4000 a week. They have no clue what these people go through to make ends meet and they never meet impossible to live off $272 week. I need $600 a week to live, to pay rent, buy good food, pay my bills and run my car. I don't smoke, drink, or gamble and have no social life very occasional I go to an $8 movie at Garden City Hoyts. Booragoon.
    thommo
    19th Nov 2018
    9:06am
    The government treats unemployed people like s++t. and that is reflected in the lousy Newstart which is a pittance.
    In fact, the govt uses the same tactics to deny a decent Newstart allowance the same way they inhumanely treat asylum seekers...The govt just turns a blind eye to both groups, and also to age pensioners...They all simply ignored...
    But we can change all of this if we kick this LNP govt out of office at the next election...
    CarolAT
    16th Nov 2018
    12:04pm
    Both Newstart and Pensions (Age and Disability) are woefully inadequate. I chose to prioritise the Pension as pensioners have no chance of changing their circumstances. For even those lucky enough to have acquired substantial superannuation during their working lives, the only way is down, never up. On the other hand, a young person has something very important on their side - time - time to study, time to get a job and time to save for their retirements. They will receive superannuation all their working lives whereas those now retired received it only since 1992 meaning that current retirees have had some two decades less of superannuation than today’s workers.
    Farside
    16th Nov 2018
    2:44pm
    Carol, what do those below pension age do in the meantime until they have a job and can earn superannuation? Have you thought about how events might transpire for someone over 50 who uses time to study, time to get a job and time to save for their retirement? While receiving NEWSTART or other support they must gain admission to a course and incur study related expenses. At the conclusion of study they will face bias and struggle to compete with younger graduates for opportunities to gain experience and paid employment to obtain superannuation. All the while they may still be supporting children not entitled to AUSSTUDY or YOUTH support allowances. Admittedly some retirees will have only had access to super since 1992 however many did have access to pension and super schemes for at least two decades before then. Seems to me the NEWSTART increases should be prioritised over pensions.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th Nov 2018
    5:25pm
    I agree, Farside. It's easy to assume all unemployed are young and therefore have opportunity to change their lives, but that just isn't true in the real world.
    Star Trekker
    16th Nov 2018
    12:08pm
    My daughter has multiple disabilities and on Newstart (Drs will not sign DSP forms). I am on a wife's pension (Equivalent to Carer's). I have to subsidise some of her medications as they are not on the PBS. This can cost me up to $150 a month. I also cover the difference between what she get back from Medicare and what the Drs charge and also pay for her travelling costs to appointments (fuel for my car as she is not allowed to drive). Some of her Drs are over 300kms away.

    Now tell me that she doesn't need a rise in her payment,
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th Nov 2018
    5:27pm
    She needs to have her disability recognized. Find a doctor who will sign those forms. Talk to a Centrelink social worker. You should not be in this situation.
    Star Trekker
    16th Nov 2018
    9:08pm
    Tried the Social worker, no help there.
    She is not fully treated and that the end of it.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    17th Nov 2018
    6:36am
    Ah yes! Compelled to accept ''conventional'' treatment that somebody else dictates is appropriate - regardless of the real merits! Been there and done that. My partner had a horrendous battle when he was denied DSP because he refused surgery to his back. A relative had the surgery and is in a wheelchair. He had extensive physio (at horrendous cost) and is about 60% improved and at least able to walk, do light lifting, etc. But of course physio is not covered under Medicare and even health insurance doesn't cover much. The likes of OG would assert that folk like my partner should suffer in financial hardship for the rest of their lives, AND should be denied the right to use their own savings to fund their treatment but have to live on it instead (which in fact is the situation). We live among vile, disgusting, and hideously selfish people, sadly. I feel for you, Star Trekker. Wish I had answers.
    Star Trekker
    17th Nov 2018
    8:43am
    Thanks Rainey for your support.

    My daughter suffers from:

    Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (connective tissue disorder due to faulty collagen): genetic, cannot be reversed only have joints repaired after they are damaged. She is waiting for surgery on her foot.

    Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia Syndrome (her heart beats too fast when resting): at the moment it is controlled by 2 medications.

    Fibromyalgia: Takes an expensive drug usually for epileptics, not on PBS for pain.

    Multiple Allergies: Takes 4 anti-histamines a day. Not on PBS either.

    Allergy induced Asthma: medication on PBS

    Depression (due to pain): on large dose of medication which is also used for pain.

    She is also on Panadol Osteo (generic): not on PBS.

    Vitamin D due to the inability to go outside when hot (more than 24C) not on PBS.

    Strong pain relief for foot: slow release on PBS, Instant release is not.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    17th Nov 2018
    12:09pm
    It's ridiculous - and criminal - that she's not on the DSP. If the Centrelink social worker didn't help, I suggest you pay a personal visit to your local Federal Member, making sure you take all the medical documentation and your daughter with you. Lay it all out, and give him/her a comprehensive list of the costs and yours and her income and budget.

    If that fails, you need to get a local journalist on side. Find a newspaper that will front page your story. Try a letter to 60 minutes or Today Tonight. Yes, I know it's hard to sacrifice your privacy, but it might be worth it - not just for you and your daughter, but to highlight an issue that many others struggle with.

    Keep pushing until someone acts. And go back to the Centrelink social worker, and document EVERYTHING that he/she says or does. Keep a meticulous diary of every word uttered, every action, every cost, with dates, times, and copies of every letter or document. Write protest letters to MPs, Ministers, Centrelink employees, the local newspaper.

    If there's one thing people in power HATE, it's paperwork - especially paperwork that might hold them to account or expose them as doing wrong. If you keep hammering with lots of paperwork and meticulous records and evidence, they will cave in just to shut you up and eliminate the risks of being exposed as wrong or cruel.

    I know one person who was refused public housing so she took a sleeping bag and rolled it out on the floor at Centrelink. When they told her to leave, she said ''I have nowhere to go. There's a journalist outside with a camera (she'd prearranged that). If you like, I'll ask him to photograph me rolling my sleeping bag out on the footpath outside. I will give him this record of my applications and waiting times and all the communications between me and your staff".

    She had a public housing apartment the next week!

    It isn't easy to fight, but it's not impossible either. But they will walk all over you if they can.

    I wish you well, Star Trekker. PM me if there's anything I can do to help.

    BTW. I happen to know that Centrelink is quicker to recognize mental illness as a disability than any physical ailment - so stress the depression. Maybe get a psych report?
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    4:20pm
    If you are open to it, read Anthony Williams books, "The medical medium" "Liver Rescue" Thyroid Healing" there maybe some answers for the health problems that you can help with. Order from a library if you can or e-book is cheaper.
    thommo
    16th Nov 2018
    12:12pm
    newstart should be raised for those over say 55,they have little hope of employment full time,the younger one's--there are jobs out there.Age pensioners should have a raise of around $50 weekly,the basket of goods they are talking about,would not include some things that are required.we have been on the safety net since august,find that bit extra helps a lot.Then again i know a 29 yo male working full time supporting wife and 3 kids bringing home $700 weekly,pay the $350 rent,there's not much left!!!
    inextratime
    16th Nov 2018
    12:25pm
    Try increasing both. Why ask if one should be preferred over the other ? Compared with the defence budget or the cost of Foreign Aid, any increase is a pittance.
    Adrianus
    16th Nov 2018
    12:27pm
    In my opinion we should have 2 types of Newstart Allowance. The existing one is ok for people who don't want to work. Then for those who do want to contribute say 3 days per week, a higher payment, based on existing Newstart plus an additional amount commensurate with productivity. This additional amount could be partly paid by the private sector if the public sector is short on opportunities.
    Labor wouldn't have the courage to implement such an idea, because it would dramatically reduce unemployment, so I call on the LNP to fight against the Unions and do something in this area.
    Rae
    16th Nov 2018
    1:03pm
    Where are you going to find the jobs? A lot of workers now, three million, are underemployed and would like more work. They are being topped up by Welfare payments if they have a family.

    Workers stopped sharing in productivity decades ago. There is no going back now.

    All these fascist policies have resulted in the same problems they caused in Germany prior to WW11. Designed to divide Society and very effective at doing just that.
    KSS
    16th Nov 2018
    2:18pm
    I disagree Adrianus. Newstart should stop completely for those who don't want to work not maintained at the current level and certainly not increased.

    Those genuinely wanting and actively looking for work should be supported to do so and noone would disagree with that.

    Welfare is a support system not a lifestyle choice.
    Star Trekker
    16th Nov 2018
    3:13pm
    KSS, what about those that cannot work due to health problems? With the change of criteria for the DSP, they have no choice but to be on Newstart.
    Rae
    16th Nov 2018
    4:55pm
    The DSP system was yet another austerity measure in the search for a budget surplus for no particularly good reason.

    There should be a limit. Retrain and find a job for a worker within 12 months or the agency has to pay back the money to the taxpayers and the Government has to find the unemployed a job or a DSP.

    For someone not disabled or ill and not requiring lengthy retraining 6 months should be the cut off.

    It's the only way to get the employment agencies working. They are pretty useless and expensive the way they are.
    Adrianus
    17th Nov 2018
    8:24am
    80% of workers identified as 'underemployed' are happy with their hours. Why try to make people work longer hours than they want?
    KSS, I agree that 12 months is long enough for an able bodied person to join a work group. With this in mind they should be cut from the teet, or get a job.
    Rae
    17th Nov 2018
    12:18pm
    They may be happy Adrianus but can they afford to choose and is the taxpayer making up the difference between a full time job and one chosen for convenience.
    Jen50
    16th Nov 2018
    12:34pm
    While many aged pensioners a doing it hard, I believe Newstart is a priority to help people to find work and get back on their feet after losing a job otherwise they are in danger of spiraling into further difficulties and homelessness from which they might never recover.
    billy boy
    16th Nov 2018
    12:53pm
    all pensions, should be raised, significantly
    Old Man
    16th Nov 2018
    12:55pm
    It seems that those who make these decisions are on such a high income that they don't fully realise what a difference a few extra dollars will make to those on government assistance. Further, those advising the lawmakers are senior public servants, some of whom get a higher remuneration than their masters, and the same mindset applies.

    What is needed for those older people on Newstart is what Howard and Costello did in the '90's; put all of them on the DSP. What they did with that decision was to immediately lower the unemployment rate as the recipients went off the dole queue.
    Aussiefrog
    16th Nov 2018
    12:58pm
    Both are priority, are we trying to clash two category of people? They have plenty money to adhere to the Paris agreement and country shoppers but not enough for Australians!
    Rae
    16th Nov 2018
    1:05pm
    Trying to clash categories of people is exactly what they are trying to do? Divide and conquer.
    cat
    16th Nov 2018
    1:01pm
    Newstart & age pension should both be increased....they are not comparable so why prioritise one over the other.
    Get money from the fat defence budget from MP's retirement entitlements.
    KB
    16th Nov 2018
    1:02pm
    Newstart is a priority. Older people who are not eligible for the pension should be given a greater increase. and also for people who have families to provide for.
    Rae
    16th Nov 2018
    1:07pm
    Families are provided for. Newstart is just a beginning payment but there is extra for partners and kids fortunately. It's single people who really do it tough especially on Newstart and often on the pension as well.
    Jacka
    16th Nov 2018
    1:03pm
    The old age pension/disability pension are there for a reason, for people of a certain age or people unable for whatever reason to work. There are plenty of jobs out there you may not like them but it's a job you should take a job under whatever circumstance and keep looking for something more suitable for yourself without being a hindrance on the taxpayer. Far too many handouts these days as you're well aware. That's enough for this subject. Cheers Jacka.
    Jacka
    16th Nov 2018
    1:14pm
    Jacka again I stand corrected, I do have a little more to say. I'm a great Believer that charity begins at home, instead of throwing taxpayers money away in aid and whatever all over the globe look after the people that count, the Australian citizen's of all ages, in particular the aged and genuinely disabled. Again, Cheers Jacka.
    maelcolium
    16th Nov 2018
    1:15pm
    There is no reason why Newstart and the Aged pension shouldn't be identical. The living costs would be the same. In fact, it could be argued that Newstart should be higher to account for the additional expenses of looking for work which an aged pensioner need not worry about. Having said that, age pensions should be much higher and at least 75% of the minimum wage. The age pension should be the benchmark for all social security.

    It's time to stop punishing people for being out of work. It is the failure of Government to generate enough jobs for people. How often do we hear about the Business Council wailing about costs of unemployment, but in the next breath they hold out their hands for corporate welfare at every opportunity - think tax breaks, fuel rebates, reducing union power, assisted project funding, income deductions etc. I guarantee there are many more that escape public attention.

    Governments need to govern for the people. They don't, which is why independent candidates are being supported as people realise the two major parties are not looking after the community.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    4:25pm
    One of the most sensible comments here.
    Pooshka
    16th Nov 2018
    1:18pm
    Thank you for running this Poll. I think there are a lot of people not aware that 43% of Newstart recipients are over the age of 45. Most of those recipients, I assume, would have families and homes to upkeep and have paid taxes throughout their life. The ability of maintaining families and homes on Newstart is impossible. Hence Credit Cards have to be used to cover costs of repairs or to pay monthly bills. Debt is a result. Those who have not experienced attempting to survive on Newstart and who have no idea what it is like to receive rejection after rejection when applying for jobs for which you are aptly qualified to do are either naive. It was comforting to read the comments and to see the results of the Poll. Self managed Retirees often assume that everyone has huge Super to draw on and this is not the case.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th Nov 2018
    5:23pm
    I agreed with your comments Pooshka, up to the last sentence. Please don't brand self-funded retirees that way. There are some who are arrogant and selfish, but most are very concerned for the welfare of those less fortunate. Many SFRs are struggling on very low incomes, and mortally terrified of the impact of the ALP's cruel policies, but choose to stay self-funded so that there is more in the pot for others.
    MareeIrene
    16th Nov 2018
    1:27pm
    Both payments need to be raised and a payment for over 55's which is higher than Newstart for those who have worked their entire lives and cannot find employment is crucial , i am 64 and was made redundant and have worked since i was 15 but can only access Newstart , its horrible and i rely on handouts , but then i acknowledge that the pension is very hard too .
    MareeIrene
    16th Nov 2018
    1:30pm
    Both payments need to be raised and Newstart should have a rate for those over 55 who have worked their entire lives and cannot find employment , which is comparable to the pension .
    Sundays
    16th Nov 2018
    3:15pm
    Agree
    ChristineS
    16th Nov 2018
    1:33pm
    Looking at the results, people think Age Pension should be increased before Newstart; yet most people could not survive on Newstart. Punishing people on Newstart by keeping them at poverty level helps no-one. Trickle down economics is a joke. Give people at the bottom more money so they can survive, and they will spend it, and this will help to keep the economy moving. BUBBLE UP economics is what I advocate. There are more people on Unemployment benefits than there are jobs, so even if every person on Newstart got a job, there would still be more people than there are jobs; we need to support them.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    4:30pm
    I agree. But sadly most people here want to punish and put all unemployed in the same basket.
    ChristineS
    16th Nov 2018
    1:40pm
    Just reading through all the comments, great to see such good supportive comments. It seems very positive that people understand how difficult it can be for people on low incomes - be it pension or Newstart. My daughter works as a part time carer, and is one of many who are "under employed". She does not get any government support - she went through Centrelink when she was unemployed and the whole process was demeaning, and difficult, and she would rather struggle along than face Centrelink procedures.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    4:33pm
    That is exactly why they make it so hard, to keep as many people off welfare, and you wonder why people have turned to crime and become desperate and more selfish. Well done to your daughter, she needs to find other ways to supplement her income.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    18th Nov 2018
    3:30pm
    But they DON'T keep people off welfare, musicveg. They don't even try to. They have made the OAP so attractive that tens of thousands of self-funded are racing to spend their money and join the ''elite pensioner tribe''. Not that those with nothing but the pension are cruising, but the majority of OAPs are doing very well with their savings, concessions and pension - MUCH better than struggling SFRs who are ALWAYS the target for every cruel attack.
    Chris B T
    16th Nov 2018
    2:22pm
    Since there is No Government Employment Service only Private, a lot of out of work people can't get help from Private Providers.
    1 Not entitled to new start so No receiving of funds From Gov to Private Provider for Job
    Placement.
    2 No Help Given By Private Provider, you can search there Site for Work but your Number
    given to you by them has no monetary value to them it is Binned.
    3 You can employ a Job Site for fee for service. Great when you are short on funds and not
    receiving new start.
    4 Prospective Employers only employ those who Come With Government Funds.
    New Start Is a windfall not all unemployed receive.
    Age Pension Is a Life Time of Paying Taxes when employed.
    Fairness in Dollar Terms, Depends on if your Employed or OAP.
    There is No Fairness in New Start as mentioned Above.
    VJ
    16th Nov 2018
    2:29pm
    Pensioners and Newstart recipients all deserve to be able to live in some sort of comfort and safety. this is a wealthy country, our less able are deserving of better.
    robmur
    16th Nov 2018
    2:36pm
    As an aged pensioner, my wife and I would welcome a substantial increase in the aged pension. Being our only source of income and costs of everything sky rocketing, trying to exist on an Aged Pension is very difficult. However, I do sympathize with those people on Newstart. The argument that these people will find work is just sugar coating a glaring problem that exists in our society when employment isn't readily available, particularly for the over 55s who are well under the age to receive the Aged Pension. It is about time the Universal Pension, like in New Zealand, was introduced. Get rid of the Aged Pension, Newstart, Carers' Payment and all other government hand outs. The needs of the needy (aged, unemployed, carers, veterans etc.)would be individually assessed and an appropriate allowance paid to enable people to live in some form of comfort and not have to worry about the endless red tape that is a terrible feature of Centrelink. Twice a year each Universal Pension would be increased according to the COL rises. Currently, I favour an increase in the Aged Penssion.
    Cowboy Jim
    17th Nov 2018
    6:22am
    What would be the difference in doing away with asset and income testing and then introducing individual assessments and handouts of allowances? Give everyone their age pension per person not single/couples, like we paid our taxes. And then tax all the income including pension payments. People would invest their money instead of trying to hide it or giving it away to family 5 years before pension age. An incentive for people to do better and avoid shuffling their money into renovations and newer cars just to keep the payments coming.
    BOLOGO
    16th Nov 2018
    2:41pm
    Single aged pensioners have similar weekly costs for petrol, electricity, gas,water etc as couples who get 300 plus more. In WA there is no choice of providers like the Eastern States. Pay 75 dollars a week electricity base not on use but raised connection charges, 30 dollars for water, one dollar 69 ltr for petrol, private rentals av 350 wk one cannot live. All this not include food. No disposable income to go out for singles!
    Golden Oldie
    16th Nov 2018
    2:51pm
    Both need an increase, but Newstart needs it more. How about if this " government" stops wasting our money on huge contractor charges to run the services that should be run by the public service personnel and contracted out for the debit card welfare payments, private contractors for providing job search and private tuition to try and get a job and which replaced the TAFE system. Also giving millions to budinesses that haven't even asked for it, and subsidising big business with huge tax breaks. The Liberals are such wasters of our money.
    Rae
    16th Nov 2018
    5:05pm
    I agree. The cost of public services has blown out and is often off shored now. Once it provided numerous full time jobs within Australia and supported at least three other workers per public servant.

    A lot of the multi national contractors will employ the cheapest outsourced labour off shore and take profits home. There is no advantage to Australia. We aren't even getting cheaper services nor more efficient ones.

    Wasting tens of billions on ideology.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    4:38pm
    I agree too, I walk a path everyday with overhanging trees and uneven surface, near an aged care facility and those in charge are not getting the job done. A small example of inefficiency of the private contracts. They still get paid because no one bothers to inspect the work.
    Jim
    16th Nov 2018
    3:08pm
    Not sure where the figures for the pension come from, as a couple we get nowhere near that amount, as individuals we get approx $330 each per week, are the figures based on single pensioners and single Newstart recipients, having never being on Newstart I don’t really know much about it, do married couples on Newstart get a higher amount? Nevertheless each case should be determined on individual cases with those most in need being looked after accordingly.
    Farside
    16th Nov 2018
    4:24pm
    The figures above are for singles per week. Couples rate is around 75% per person of the singles rate.

    Details at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/payment-rates-age-pension/39901
    sunnyOz
    16th Nov 2018
    3:53pm
    Increase in Newstart needs to be looked at, but should be linked to contributions via taxes. Bit hard to explain and give details but should not be raised for generational people who choose not to work and contribute. If you are over 50 and can't get a job, Yes, should be increased. But again it should be linked to employment assistance.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    17th Nov 2018
    6:27am
    How do you determine who ''chooses not to work and contribute'', SunnyOz? Linking to contributions via taxes is rather cruel to those who simply can't get a start in life. I could identify some who folk THINK ''choose not to work and contribute'' who would actually give their eye teeth for an opportunity. They APPEAR lazy, because lack of opportunity and guidance has resulted in mental illness - a conviction that society is their enemy and will never give them an even break, no matter what they do.

    Newstart should be increased across the board, with higher increases for older folk who have been retrenched or had to quit due to illness or disability (they SHOULD be granted disability pensions - but many are unfairly declined). It should then be indexed the same way as the OAP.

    But we need to find ways to help those who have been socially and educationally disadvantaged or are of low intelligence. If I had my way, we would have an 'army' that does community and charity work - and enlisting would be compulsory for anyone under 25 who isn't working or learning (and optional for those over 25). It would be run along similar lines to the military - with accommodation and food provided, uniforms, physical education, classroom learning and trade training opportunities, discipline, and development of a culture of camaraderie and brotherhood. But it would also offer free medical and dental and psychological counselling.

    Of course those who enlist would be paid a small wage, but with everything provided their needs would be minimal. A portion of their wage would be held in trust in an investment account and paid out in a lump sum when they graduated - by finding full time work (which they would be assisted to look for). Money management and life skills would be compulsory subjects for classroom study.

    I know men from disadvantaged backgrounds who were forced into the military at a very young age and absolutely hated it, and are filled with resentment over their compulsory service years, but it was the making of them. They are still ''brothers'' of those they served with 40 years on. It gave them self-respect and self-discipline. I would never suggest forcing such people to volunteer for weapons training or to go to war, but there is plenty of work to be done in the community. Imagine the savings on road building, cleaning public areas, caring for the aged, supporting the sick and disabled, tending parks and gardens... Give these folk back their self-respect and stop them feeling all of society is scorning and condemning them and nobody will ever give them an even break.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    5:55pm
    Sorry Rainey, but why do we need to get young people doing slave labour, if those jobs need doing then they should be paid the minimum wage, but instead these jobs for the community are outsourced to private contracts, another reason that council jobs are no longer available for local people in their areas. Why should young people be in an "army" style camp away from their families, friends and what they know. Real jobs is all that is needed. I watched the green army ( these are work for the dole people) not doing a good job in my local area because the supervisor was obviously not caring enough to make sure they do it properly or he did not have enough knowledge. They threw weeds on top of native plants that were trying to grow for example.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    18th Nov 2018
    3:27pm
    I never advocated anything like 'slave labour', musicveg - but rather all necessities provided plus some spending money plus some compulsory saving. It's clear that many young people NEED an 'army style' camp, away from family and friends and what they know, to help them grow up and learn to be independent and self-sufficient. There will never be enough jobs for everyone, and there will always be young folk who either won't work or simply don't have the life skills to find and retain a job. I proposed a solution for those people that will give them back their self-respect, enhance their life skills, and make them employable.

    Those who can get jobs or who study would be exempt, so nobody is forced into this 'army'. If they don't want to be part of it, enrol in a course. Regardless of the shortage of jobs, the employable with initiative will ALWAYS find work - or create their own. But we need solutions for those young folk who, for whatever reason, are unemployable.

    I understand social disadvantage, musicveg. And I understand how best to help the socially disadvantaged. There are no perfect solutions, obviously, but real jobs just don't exist and will never be created in abundance, and even if they did exist, there would still be lots of young folk who can't secure and hold a job. We need solutions for them. Letting then stay with family and friends is allowing them to stay immature, incompetent and dependant.
    JayJay
    16th Nov 2018
    4:50pm
    I believe both Newstart and Pension payments are inadequate especially for non-home owning recipients. However ... maybe I'm old, jaded and tough.... once all pensions were set at a more realistic amount I think Newstart payments should be cut for those younger people who refuse to accept viable jobs because they are hard, dirty, labouring, not on their wish-list etc.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    6:20pm
    The more people cut off Newstart the more of a burden on society, crime goes up and charities are inundated.
    Charlie
    16th Nov 2018
    6:26pm
    Lets not turn this into a battle between the old and the young, its not a generational issue.

    Who said the money had to be payed to one group or the other.

    Give them both increases with what ever money is available, but don't forget that youth have all the opportunities on their side. They can survive on much less money and enjoy it provided they have good health

    In old age everything is in decline and there are many things that can no longer be enjoyed through the senses. Old age is quite different to a slow version of life, the way it was before.
    Kosmo
    16th Nov 2018
    7:44pm
    Definitely the Age pension
    George
    16th Nov 2018
    10:51pm
    It is an idiotic poll, and shame on YLC for trying hard to put one group against another!
    Naturally, this website has more retirees than unemployed hence forced results would favour the former.

    BOTH are priorities, and in this resource-rich country BOTH should be increased. Age Pension should be a Living Wage, and must be made Universal from Age 65 (also Residency for say 15 years). However, Newstart also needs to be increased to make it reasonable while not by too much so that there is incentive to look for work.
    Now why can't this be the sensible outcome from such a poll - if the poll was sensible?
    Cowboy Jim
    17th Nov 2018
    6:07am
    Depends on people's circumstances: If a person loses their job at, say 50, the New Start payment is totally inadequate in order to look for another position. On the other hand we have young people here who get together (3 males, 3 females), renting a clapped out house and share their dole money and spend the day surfing and partying. There the money is certainly sufficient and even an enticement to continue the life style instead of looking for work. A house like that rents in my area for $320 to $370 a week. 6 times the weekly dole - you do the sums.
    The full pension here is enough if you consider when the pension was introduced the recipient was never thought of having a car, high speed internet and pay TV. We do quite OK in our neck of the woods and the needy people are mostly gamblers and for that we might blame state govts as they could no longer function without gambling tax receipts.
    Valerieaj
    17th Nov 2018
    8:37am
    One can live carefully on a pension if costs of housing are not included.
    Housing/rental is the most variable cost from state to state and city to country.
    A person who rents in a big city pays more than an owner in a small town and while I realise that the home owner has worked to pay for a home, there are many circumstances which prevent this, such as divorce, immigration, illness, etc.
    Why cannot Newstart make allowance for this and try to maintain a semblance of the conditions which existed before the need for Newstart payments begun?
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    6:23pm
    Yes I always wondered about the rent assistance, is it based on medium rents in your area or in the whole of Australia?
    Mad as hell
    17th Nov 2018
    8:40am
    Pensioners v Newstart
    Baby Boomers v Millennials
    Labor v Liberal
    .... v ...
    Australia is rich enough, instead incompetent governments are failing to secure our national wealth for our nation.
    Lost revenue from ....
    LNG taxes, Qatar v Australia
    Negative gearing breaks for multiple properties driving up prices.
    Trust funds to escape paying fair taxes.
    Multi nationals not paying taxes in Australia
    Instead it’s about Pensioners v Newstart
    I want my stolen part pension back.
    I care about the environment.
    Adversarial government is not working, when it’s all about the next election.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    6:25pm
    Yes now all they care about is the next election and making promises, promises, and then we will see the same old injustices continue.
    Vee
    17th Nov 2018
    4:15pm
    I receive a part aged pension, work 1 day a fortnight and have custody of a 14 year old with a brain injury and I am struggling. I am also trying to help out a son who has been unable to find work. If anyone thinks that you can live on $272, you are kidding yourself. You are lucky to get a 1 bedroom rundown flat for under $300 and anything decent will cost you at least $400 a week. $272 less $300 doesn't really add up does it. In my case, if Newstart was increased I would have a better quality of life than I do now because I may not have to help out others who are struggling.
    musicveg
    17th Nov 2018
    6:27pm
    There are many in your situation and it is so wrong, that we are treating people like this in our so called rich society. Crime is rising and so is depression and desperation. More burden on charities and the health care system, we are on the verge of some sort of collapse of the system.
    Farside
    19th Nov 2018
    12:42pm
    One would expect that after 27 years on continuous economic growth this would be as good as it gets for those on welfare.


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