Fixing pension poverty is the main issue

The issue that matters the most.

Fixing pension poverty is the main issue

The 2019 federal election may not have been officially ‘called’, but it’s clear to see that campaigning has well and truly started. So today, YourLifeChoices reports on the first and most important election issue for older Australians – lifting the base rate of the Age Pension.

We have been reporting on this matter for years now and it seems that, whilst there is outright hysteria at the suggestion of changes to franking credit rebates for the nine per cent of self-funded retirees in self-managed super funds, the one quarter of older Australians living in poverty remains of little concern.

In order to shift the needle on this matter, YourLifeChoices will be contacting the relevant government minister and shadow spokespeople from all major parties for their comments. We think it’s important that our 230,000 members can clearly understand the intentions of all political parties in relation to a suggested increase in the base rate of the pension.

First, let’s get some facts on the table.

Above is an index of 14 OECD nations with which Australia regularly compares its wealth and economic indicators. But you will rarely see this particular index, because we come last out of the top 14 OECD economies, and second last out of the full list of 35 nations. The table measures the percentage of citizens aged 66 and over who live in relative poverty, defined by an income of less that 50 per cent of the median household disposable income for that nation.

You will note the OECD average is 12.5 per cent. Older Australians living in poverty measure 25.7 per cent. This is the second worst ranking, after Korea at 45.7 per cent. Nations with similar economies to Australia – say Canada, United Kingdom or United States – measure 9 per cent, 13.8 per cent and 20.9 per cent respectively.

So, what has gone wrong?

Put in simple terms, since the early 1990s, with the introduction of compulsory superannuation, at a flat percentage, regardless of your salary, this system has worked to reward those on higher salaries. So, if you earn $40,000 in today’s dollars, your superannuation guarantee contribution (SGC) of 9.5 per cent should add $3800 per year to your retirement savings.

However, if you earn $150,000, your SGC will add $14,250 to your retirement nest egg. And because you have more discretionary income, you may take advantage of salary sacrifice or extra contributions adding further to your future retirement income.

So, what seemed like a good idea at the time has contributed to a widening gap between the retirement haves and have-nots.

This gap has widened in Australia compared with the world’s advanced economies, with the exception of Korea, we have the most older adults living in poverty – more than one quarter of our senior population. And it is no surprise that those in the ‘cash-strapped’ retirement tribe (the 15 or so per cent of Age Pension recipients who rent) are doing it toughest. They manage to ‘exist’ on the pension, but often go without essential nutrition, household heating, or much needed preventative healthcare.

The last increase in the Age Pension base rate was under the Rudd government. In April 2008 it awarded $30 a week to single age pensioners and lifted the rate of indexation by 2.7 per cent.

The YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index™ proves that it is high time the base rate was increased again. It is not good enough to assume that older people should just ‘make do’ with a penurious standard of living.

From 20 September 2018, the following pension payment rates apply:

Maximum Age Pension payment rates

Previous

Current

Increase

Single

Base

$826.20

$834.40

$8.20

 

Supplement

$67.30

$67.80

$0.50

 

Energy Supplement

$14.10

$14.10

 

Total

$907.60

$916.30

$8.70

Couple (each)

Base

$622.80

$629.00

$6.20

 

Supplement

$50.70

$51.10

$0.40

 

Energy Supplement

$10.60

$10.60

 

Total

$684.10

$690.70

$6.60

The Pension Supplement is paid as part of certain regular fortnightly income support payments to help eligible recipients meet the costs of daily household and living expenses.

Pension Supplement* basic amount

Previous

Current

Increase

Single

$23.40

$23.60

$0.20

Couple separated

$23.40

$23.60

$0.20

Couple (each)

$19.20

$19.40

$0.20

Pension Supplement # minimum amount

Previous

Current

Increase

Single

$36.10

$36.30

$0.20

Couple separated

$36.10

$36.30

$0.20

Couple (each)

$27.20

$27.40

$0.20

Updated 20 September 2018

As part of its Fix Pension Poverty campaign, the Benevolent Society has noted that older workers contribute $27.4 billion to the economy.

Unattributed contributions include caregiving ($22 billion a year) and volunteerism ($16 billion). To suggest that older people receiving a pension create a drag on our productivity is simply mathematically incorrect.

But by how much should the base rate be increased?
That’s a matter for discussion.

YourLifeChoices will do more work in this area, so stay tuned for our recommendations.

But this is all about our members – and how you are faring.

Are you one of the 26 per cent living in poverty in the ‘lucky’ country?

If so, what are your thoughts on increasing the Age Pension? How much do you believe the base rate should go up? And the rental allowance? Is that sufficient for your needs?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Ted Wards
    22nd Feb 2019
    10:31am
    This article gives some very interesting views on the future of the pension. https://www.ricewarner.com/the-age-pension-in-the-21st-century/
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:10pm
    Sounds a lot like the family home to be included in the assets test is again on the agenda Ted.
    You might like to mention that Australia is one of the few western democracies which do not pay its retired citizens a pension without hurdles put in place to cut them out. Even New Zealanders are entitled to a pension. Not in prosperous Australia though.

    What really irks me is that the current government refuses to end offshore tax havens where the wealthy export profits to and then no pay tax whilst at the same time it gave the rich huge tax cuts they had no need of.

    The "future" of the age pension depends more on whose wagon is being pushed. During the past 6 years its been the wealthy with everybody else paying. Whilst I have no love of Labor I have to say 'VOTE LABOR' unless you want to see your home being brought into the assets test so that you can be disqualified from a rightful pension. That's the game.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:11pm
    Been waiting for a chance on that one, Mick. All dividend payments moved offshore cop a tax - no ifs or buts.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2019
    11:38am
    I agree with the family home being asset tested.
    Lets get an accurate assessment of a person's wealth before we hand out welfare. If we don't do this our taxes will continue to climb. Bill Shorten is planning an extra $200B in new and existing tax increases.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2019
    11:38am
    I agree with the family home being asset tested.
    Lets get an accurate assessment of a person's wealth before we hand out welfare. If we don't do this our taxes will continue to climb. Bill Shorten is planning an extra $200B in new and existing tax increases.
    Rosret
    18th Apr 2019
    12:17pm
    Given that we have heard this so many times if it is under the heading of an election issue then who is offering a solution.
    Increase the pension and the self funded pensioner disminishes the value of their portfolio and lowers the incentive for others in the workforce to invest in increasing the amount they save towards retirement.
    This was a Labor party idea of Paul Keatings introduced with the persuasion of the large private mostly foreign enterprises.Australia's hard earned dollar goes overseas in the tune of billions of dollars.
    I don't see any political party putting their hand up to fix superannuation other than put a bandaid on it.
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    10:42am
    My Preamble: (OAP = Old Aged Pensioner/Pensions).

    {QUOTE}“The old aged pension is NOT a right, it is something “we” grant those that fulfil certain criterion” “It can be taken off you, if you do not do as instructed – at any time - by a Centrelink Officer”

    Australia’s Contribution to its OAP’s is currently 2.9% of GDP (5)
    {SNIP} Assistance to people older than the working age includes the Age Pension and similar payments to veterans and war widows (the Service Pension). Australian Government expenditure on payments to the aged is currently equal to around 2.9 % of GDP {END SNIP} Source: Australian Treasury Dept. (5)

    Pension spending as a % of GDP for all OECD Countries as at 2018 7.5%
    AUSTRALIA Lies 6th from the bottom, of 37 “somewhat comparable” Countries!!! (6)

    I suspect (Anecdotal) that, like me, NO OAP wants to hurt Australia by demanding something Australia cannot afford – We have Children, grandchildren, etc.. We do not want to be a burden.

    Personally I would like to see:-

    • Old aged Pension be DETACHED from Centrelink. ALL add-ons & concessions to the pension be amalgamated – these can be used as political footballs SEE Items 4 & 11 Below.

    1. Before the 2013 election the Liberals promised “no cuts to pensions”. (They Lied) They have systematically attacked every area they could get away with AND they have got away with a lot.

    2. Then in every single Budget the Liberals have tried to cut the pension.

    3. In the 2014 Budget they tried to cut pension indexation – a cut that would have meant pensioners would be forced to live on $80 a week less within ten years. This unfair cut would have ripped $23 billion from the pockets of pensioners of every single pensioner in Australia.

    4. In the 2014 Budget they cut $1 billion from pensioner concessions – support designed to help pensioners with the cost of living.

    5. In the 2014 Budget they axed the $900 seniors supplement to self funded retirees receiving the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

    6. In the 2014 Budget the Liberals tried to reset deeming rates thresholds – a cut that would have seen 500,000 part-pensioners made worse off.

    7. In 2015 the Liberals did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to around 370,000 pensioners by as much as $12,000 a year by changing the pension assets test.

    8. In the 2016 Budget the Liberals tried to cut the pension to around 190,000 pensioners as part of a plan to limit overseas travel for pensioners to six weeks. (They succeeded in this draconian Measure) Any wealthy Australian can go for 6 months without losing benefits, however OAP, it appears, are vermin. In a nation of immigrants, we can only visit our families overseas for a maximum of 6 weeks. What is the reason for punishing us in this way? In 2016, 1 in 3 older people were born overseas; the majority of these were born in a non-English speaking country (3)

    9. The Liberals still want to make pensioners born overseas wait longer to get the Age Pension by increasing the residency requirements from 10 to 15 years.

    10. The Liberals still want to increase the pension age to 70 – meaning Australia would have an older pension age than the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand and more. In the first four years alone around 375,000 Australians will have to wait longer before they can access the pension. This is a $3.6 billion hit to the retirement income of Australians.

    11. The Liberals still want to axe the Energy Supplement to 2 million Australians, including around 400,000 age pensioners – a cut of $14.10 per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year. Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off. Australia has the 10th highest energy prices in the world (September 2018)(4)

    12. The “supplements” are a ploy to remove and reduce pensions – e.g., If a Gov, was able to “convince” the voters, it’s policies reduced energy prices – who would they “hit” first? The OAP’s, that’s who! - REMOVE THE SUPPLEMENT.

    13. (See Item 8) Turnbull also wants to completely take away the pension supplement from pensioners who go overseas for more than six weeks, this will see around $120 million ripped from the pockets of pensioners. In 2016, 1 in 3 older people were born overseas; the majority of these were born in a non-English speaking country (3) Now we cannot visit family for longer than 6 weeks – you can you’re rich. They have succeeded in doing this

    14. And they still refuse to adjust deeming rates for pensioners. It’s been nearly three years since the Turnbull/Morrison Government last lowered deeming rates, and pensioners are paying the price, with current deeming rates now significantly higher than real rates of return. Interest rates have fallen from 2.25 percent in February 2015 to 1.50 percent today, yet Turnbull has done nothing.

    15. The Abbot Gov Change 25yrs to 35yrs “Working life” for OAP portability, is so profound and far reaching it will need to be the subject of an separate paper.
    “In 1973, general indefinite portability was introduced for many Australian pensions. Portability enables certain payments to continue to be paid when a person travels overseas. Indefinite portability was extended to most pension categories and did not impose additional residence conditions for payments to be made overseas. Generally, if a pension was payable in Australia, it was payable overseas. Indefinite portability was introduced on 8 May 1973”. Thank You Gough Whitlam.
    “Labour will not be lectured to by Malcolm Turnbull or Scott Morrison about standing up for pensioners. The Liberal Party is the Party of pension cuts”. (well said Jenny – we hope it remains true after you retire) Researched by Jenny Macklin (a sad loss to the labour party and the old aged pensioners of Australia) A short history of every cut the liberals have made and tried to make to pensioners and seniors (any italics appearing are mine) March 14, 2018 (1)


    SOURCES:-
    1. http://www.jennymacklin.net.au/a_short_history_of_every_cut_the_liberals_have_tried_to_make_to_pensioners_and_seniors
    2. https://www.actuaries.asn.au/Library/Events/Insights/2018/MichaelRicePaper.pdf
    3. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/social-and-economic-engagement/employment-and-economic-participation
    4. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/electricity-rates-around-the-world.html
    5. https://treasury.gov.au/publication/2015-intergenerational-report/chapter-2-government-budgets-over-the-next-40-years/
    6. https://data.oecd.org/socialexp/pension-spending.htm
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:43am
    Thank you Realist. The 2015 Budget was the worst and also affected Defined Benefit Pensioners and the counting of Superannuation in the Asset test. I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding Supplements. Roll them in to the base.
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:07pm
    Realist ... Thanks a lot for the summary great to read and understand the Lib's purpose in their political life ...

    But we still vote for them every time over and over .... and they do more damage to the economy and get us closer and closer to the USA way of life ....

    We have lost our beautiful Australian Identity like we use to be in Bob Hawke days where we where unique in the world ..... for good or Bad BH show us to the world and we became very patriotic to be Australia no matter where you came from or what religion you follow ..... we where united ...... now we look and follow USA way's thanks to the Lib's ...

    We need another Bob to govern us .... for good or bad he did make us proud of been Australians ..... What do you think ????? vote Lib's ... Labour ??? Independent ??? Who do you vote for ???? this time
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:11pm
    My .. aaar-uuur.. arrr .. my goverment of National Reconciliation... uhr.. should not.. MUST not.... be.. ummm.. perverted.. yes, that's the word... perverted... into a Government of Wrecking A Silly Nation by those.... aaarh.. bent on self-interest!!

    Unfortunately Bob's high rhetoric masked the reality that his government should have said - apres nous la deluge.... the deluge of self-interest from every direction but real.
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:11pm
    Australian pensioners have always done it hard. I think there should be an increase for those that rent, have no investments and savings as well as family help. Those that are better off should not gloat over that.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:23pm
    Oh... I think Mortgage Assistance for pensioners with a mortgage would help.... costs about as much as renting once all the utilities are included... what's the difference?

    Might toss that one at Bill to forestall some of his party's ideas on funding sex change or something in full.... just to satisfy the squeakers with head problems...
    johnp
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:25pm
    Agree 100% with Realist. What really irks is that senior politicians retire on about $300K p.a. pension. What an extreme and opposite polarisation that is
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:35pm
    Yes TERBOR ... as I say for the good or bad but you have to agreed that we all where happy and have a happy times been Australians ... not like this days we live in fear that they are going to take more out of our pension and create a new worry in our old age ... I check My Gov every day and search for possible bad news about pension changes ...is that a happy way to start the day ?????
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:13pm
    When people hear all these undertones of 'pensions will be a thing of the past' and then see bits and pieces movement towards just that - no wonder they are worried.

    It's an absolute disgrace terrorising older people.... bullying of the lowest order.
    Arvo
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:24pm
    I agree TREBOR - Other synonyms: are persecute, oppress, tyrannize, torment, browbeat, intimidate, cow, coerce, strong-arm, subjugate, domineer
    Arvo
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    On reflection- INTIMIDATION - is a criminal offence!
    moke
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:42pm
    Hey realist get out of fairyland and come live with the average aged pensioner who worked before superannuation and with children etc were not able to save huge amounts for later, I believe many of the pre super people were of the impression that some of their taxes would help to pay a pension after retirement. Work for the Government or be one of the upper income group and no worries
    GeorgeM
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:54pm
    Realist, thanks for a summary of the misdeeds of the Liberals. Of course, another important part of their history is that Fraser stole the money out of the Pension Fund and moved it into Consolidated Revenue, something which has never been rectified, with the 7.5% Tax to create the Pension Fund still continuing as part of Income Tax.

    However, I also question why you have focused the entire attack on pensions history only on the misdeeds of the Liberals? Are you a member of the Labor party? I agree with the descriptions used by Trebor and Arvo - however nasty actions against retirees were carried out by Labor too (note the spelling, it is NOT Labour, as "u" / you are missing in the Labor party we have here). While I am not providing a specific detailed history, the following misdeeds of Labor come to mind readily:
    1. Keating shut down the Pension Fund (which had been cleaned out by Fraser), instead of restoring it - as any real Labour person would have done. Always thought he was a Liberal in Labor's clothing! He also set up the Superannuation Guarantee - as a smoke screen to avoid people's focus on his other nasty actions.
    2. Keating brought in the much reviled Assets Test for qualifying for Age Pension - thus penalising Savers.
    3. Keating brought in the Deeming system - thus penalising Earners.
    4. Keating increased Pension Age for Women from 60 to 65 - gave them Equality! Note an important side-effect: When a man typically retired at say 65, the woman who was typically (not always) younger around 60 was also able to qualify for Age Pension, thus both qualified for it based on the Couples Test (another garbage test, as it should be Individual). Thus, besides single Women, such couples also got hit with reduced or nil pensions depending on the wife's status.
    5. Gillard / Swan increased Pension Age to 67.
    6. After the Assets Test change in Jan 2017 by the Libs + Greens (which Labor only pretended to oppose after sitting on the fence till the Greens decided to support the Libs), Labor (Bowen / Shorten) refused to reverse it prior to the 2016 Election, and has no plan to reverse it. Hypocrites!
    7. Labor (Bowen / Shorten) has poorly designed a proposed attack on Franking Credits which in fact attacks the less well-off SFRs, rather than the rich, thus it is going to create more Age Pensioners when SFRs reduce their assets to fix this new disadvantage.

    Labor has usually positioned itself for workers, certainly NOT for Retirees, and MUST NOT be allowed to win by default as a result of justified anger against the Liberals. Jenny Macklin was a fraud and a useless woman (glad she is going), as she and others never did anything sensible when Labor were in power from 2007 to 2013 - in fact increased Pension Age to 67! She is going to retire on over $200,000 Guaranteed Politicians Pension WITHOUT any Assets, Income or Couples Tests, just like several other retiring Politicians (including Wayne Swan, Julie Bishop, etc), and thus such people have NEVER cared for the ordinary people who have different rules, and suffer bullying by Centrelink such as by RoboDebt, excessive processes, etc.

    The only sensible & logical conclusion is for us Retirees to all resolve to VOTE AGAINST all current Liberals, Labor and Greens MPs (3 Million+ Retirees can make a difference) by putting them LAST in voting preferences (or just above any extreme ratbags).

    The only sensible solution to the Broken Age Pension system, is for ALL (including Politicians - past & present) Pensions paid by Govt to be scrapped, and replaced by a simple Universal Age Pension for all on reaching Age 65 & Residency (say 15 years) with NO Tests (with a lesser subsistence amount for those who don't qualify) paid directly by the ATO with NO Centrelink role. This will save massive costs, and give big incentives to Save & Earn - also will result in a great improvement in the Economy. I believe NZ does such a system already!
    Easy to afford it - apart from the above benefits, the Pension Fund should be restored (Future Fund?), and a Minimum Tax put on all Large Companies and Rich individuals - to prevent fake / excessive claims for Deductions as several are effectively paying Nil or Negligible taxes! Note: So-called Labor never fixed this too!
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:04pm
    @moke

    I hope you feel better now you have insulted me, I actually live in the Burt Electorate WA. I have no idea where the "fairyland" you allude to is. :-)

    I feel genuinely sorry for you, please try and find ways to enhance the debate. Many on this thread has called for "simplification" in one way or another. This simplification could benefit the may strata's of our senior population - do not let the Gov. divide and conquer.

    May I humbly suggest, regardless of our circumstances, ALL OAP's suffer in their own way, or more precisely are victims of the countless rules.

    TOGETHER: We can quantify, the issues, define their impact on us all AND collectively develop ways of having our voice heard.

    DIVIDED: We will ensure the status quo.
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:17pm
    Well GeorgeM .... not matter where you look we are stuffed all the way ....

    as I ask ??? in one of my posting Who in hell we vote for ????? ... We are totally Fup

    sorry but I do not have any other word to describe these
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:20pm
    @GeorgeM

    Thanks for your comments, they are a "NEEDED" contribution the the debate!!!

    Oddly I never attributed the USA spelling of Labor to "our" Labor party - as old as one gets, we live and learn - thank you for enlightening me, it may prevent me looking (even more) foolish in the future. :-)

    I disagree on some minor points, but, it will serve no purpose to debate those.

    I have read the NZ system and it could provide a "framework" for change here. However, I urge everyone to look at other systems too, within "somewhat" similar countries. (As I and many have done)

    Knowledge is power.
    GeorgeM
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:38pm
    I agree with your sentiment, Aussie. As I responded to your other posting:
    "Who do we vote for this time? Certainly not the ones who have repeatedly let you down - that means NOT Liberal, Labor or the Greens! ...".

    With no good alternative in sight currently, all we can do this time is to send a message and get rid of as many of existing MPs as we can this time - hoping for some to wake up thereafter.....One election is not sufficient to fix this massive mess. One has to live on some hope! Don't give that up!
    I agree with Realist's 2nd comment above, that we have to do this TOGETHER.
    The Care Bear.
    23rd Feb 2019
    9:35am
    Totally agree GeorgeM, This election is about sending a clear message to the self absorbed MP's. Shun the major parties and when you do pay particular attention to your preferences.
    Grateful
    24th Feb 2019
    12:17pm
    SFR, that is somewhat counter-intuitive. Who do you vote for? You say NOT to vote for any of the major parties but to "pay attention to your preferences? Back to square One??
    So, to whom do you give your first preference and most importantly, then, to whom do you give your second, third etc etc preferences??
    It is an extremely dangerous game we play when we start voting against the major parties.
    Like them or not, but, with these mathematical experts who so blatantly manipulate those "minor party" preferences, we see people who received 20 actual votes get a 6 year salary of over $230,000 in the Senate and have just one publicized issue and we have absolutely no idea what else they stand for?
    Do we want to see the elected party continually being "blackmailed" with "deals for votes" by unknowns?
    Is THAT the democracy that we have fought so hard for??
    GeorgeM
    24th Feb 2019
    1:51pm
    Grateful, Preferences are YOUR decision, as you don't have to vote the way anyone tells you (I trust you know that). I understand that is difficult in the Senate voting, however there you can always find a decent group to your liking and select them keeping in mind who they might pass on their preferences to - if you don't want to number below the line.

    Hard to give advice of who to vote for, as you need to do your own research.

    For the Lower House at least, the only strategy I can suggest for now is to get rid of as many existing MPs from the Major parties (Liberal, Labor & Greens) as possible, as none of them are working for you! Democracy is NOT working currently as the Major parties ignore the people (except buying votes of certain groups with pre-election bribes) and decide what they will do, NOT your local candidate.

    How? Suggest you number preferences in the reverse order, starting from any ratbags / extreme / dangerous candidates at the bottom, then the sitting MP above that, then others as per your preference above that till you get to the least worst person at the top! That's all one can do for now.

    If 3 Million+ Retirees can do the above, and many existing MPs lose their seats, then we will have shaken up the system and become recognised as an important voting group, only then some may (indeed will) listen to us.
    The Care Bear.
    25th Feb 2019
    12:20pm
    Thanks GeorgeM, you saved me some typing time. The main point in this next election for me is to try to remove all sitting members of the major parties. It may very well cause some grief, but you can't make an omelette without breaking the eggs. In truth this country is run by the backroom bureaucrats who really need to be controlled better than they are.
    Karl Marx
    25th Feb 2019
    2:13pm
    Spot on. I have come to realise that the LNP are run & influenced by the wealthy, not just here but also overseas. News corp is a prime example. Rupert is evil & only concerned with power.
    I have had enough of supporting the LNP & am now coming to terms that they are evil & corrupt, I have been hoodwinked for years.
    Labor isn't much better.
    Let's all put the current sitting member last & vote independent, Green but any party must be ticked higher than either LNP or ALP
    patti
    22nd Feb 2019
    10:55am
    The pension should be a liveable income, available to all. It is done in other countries with good results. I get fed up with hearing that I am on "welfare" - as if it were a hand out, when I paid a lot of taxes during my working life. Don't forget there are age pensioners who are still paying mortgages on their own homes, who get no assistance, unlike those who rent. If you live alone, the costs of home ownership can be crippling, if you add rates, insurance, house maintenance to the mortgage repayments. The advantage, of course, is the security of having your own space and not having to move every time the rent goes up. Just increase the basic Age Paneion. And also Newstart while you are at it. It's an insult to expect people to live this way.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:08pm
    ... and many who fit out a house to cater for disability.....
    floss
    22nd Feb 2019
    10:55am
    What does one say Realist ,great reading things are a lot worse than i thought and it has all happened under a Liberal government. Yes they do look after the wealthy the old trickle down trick.
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:14am
    {QUOTE}What does one say Realist ,great reading things are a lot worse than i thought and it has all happened under a Liberal government. Yes they do look after the wealthy the old trickle down trick.{END QUOTE}

    Hi Patti

    This was an article I wrote, when I secured a meeting with my local "Labour" MP. I waited two months to be granted my 10 minutes of "fame" - He had absolutely NO INTEREST in listening!

    We older citizens need to be vigilant, proactive, and forceful in our views. We must make it clear (IMO) to both major parties, that our "substantial" voting block is not a "given". We must also make it clear, they need to LISTEN.

    Regards the wealthy Patti:

    EIGHT Liberal MP's are BILLIONAIRES ($AUD)
    Of course Clive Palmer, you know, the one who will not pay his workers.
    One Labour MP Tony Zappia..

    Does one REALLY think they are not "swayed" by their own wealth, power, and "mates" when making decisions???

    BTW, "ScoMo" is worth about 20 Million
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:20am
    Sorry Floss, this old fart got you're and Patti's name mixed up..... Duh
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:46am
    Realist, very disappointed to hear your local Labor MP was not interested. Our local MP is excellent but he’s a Liberal and so I won’t vote for him. So wish he was an Independent because he has the interests of the community at heart
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:15pm
    As I see it floss voters have a very clear choice. Vote LNP and the house ends up in the assets test as well as more attacks of retirees. Vote Labor and you still not get a lot but will be saved from further destitution.
    My take is that THIS government which has started down the dictatorship path needs to go. If Labor does not do the job we expect of it then next time around voters need to put in many Independents who are not harlots to business.
    My call. The logical progression to proper government but not sure if the electorate has the spine or common sense to do what is good for it. We'll see.
    Cheers
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:26pm
    I pity the poor inhabitant
    Who tramples through the mud
    Who fills his mouth with laughing
    And who builds his town with blood
    Whose visions in the final end
    Must shatter like the glass
    I pity the poor inhabitant
    When his gladness comes to pass ..

    Apologies to Bob Dylan.
    Misty
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:55pm
    Realist I am not being nast but the Australian Labor Party does not have a "u" in it, unlike the UK party.
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:37pm
    @Misty
    I have already prostrated myself on this issue :-) I was wrong and ignorant.

    BTW: Nast usually has a "y" in it :-)
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    10:57am
    Very interesting article Ted, Thanks for sharing.
    Blinky
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:31pm
    The low pension n the disregard x retirees is not a new isue. BOTH Labor n Libs are guilty.
    Labor had plenty of time to fix it with Rudd or Gillard, but they didnt. I have not heard one word from Labor referring to fixing this problem, if elected.
    The Libs r quite happy to save money n balance the budget n they r not worried about pensioners either.
    In sum, Aussie pensioners, as always are stuffed!!!
    tactful
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:33am
    If my husband and I find ourselves in dire straights we will simply sell our home and move into something small and cheaper.
    As homeowners we have this luxury of being able to do so. Of the 26% of Age Pensioners how many are home owners, in rental or in government rental.
    Some of our cost of living expenses are choices we make and not necessities of life.
    We must ALL take responsibility for our situations, we are where we are because of what we have or have not done.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:17pm
    That's exactly what this lot want tactful. That way you leave your children precious little and all wealth ends up in the hands of the 1%. I for one do not think this is a healthy outcome for 99% of the population but the big media interests will likely keep pushing the worst option. I hope you reconsider.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:29pm
    Cooo-rrect, Mick! Three jelly beans out of the jar....

    That's what is behind the 'family home in assets test' nonsense.... under such a regime the housing vultures will own it all and EVERYONE else will pay rent...

    Time to put a stop to this racket..... one investment property and that's all you get....
    Maggie
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:15pm
    I found this such a glib response. There are many who struggle along because they are challenged in one way or another and have not had the good fortune you have been gifted with. A little empathy goes a lon long way.
    Paddington
    23rd Feb 2019
    8:46pm
    No, not correct! Many people become unwell with illnesses like MS and cancer, etc.
    Not everyone is clever either, some people are challenged and unable to earn high incomes.
    Tragedy strikes too and can come in the form of an accident or loss.
    Not everything can be controlled.
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:34am
    Thank you YLC, I will be very interested in what the politicians have to say. The age pension is not eneough and unecessarily complicated.

    22nd Feb 2019
    11:37am
    What is the figure used to define the poverty line?
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:18pm
    According to whom? The LNP? A loaded question if ever I saw one.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:29pm
    Your pension minus the costs of altering a house for disabilities and running costs for disabled...... not a lot.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:30pm
    According to the department responsible for making that decision, MICK. Hardly a loaded question when the article is about people living below the poverty line yet that figure is omitted. If the poverty line is $400pw makes the percentage of 25.7% horrendous but if the poverty line is $600pw then that puts the article in a different light.
    Sceptic
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:30pm
    The poverty line is defined in the article, but not the actual amount. It is defined by an income of less than 50 per cent of the median household disposable income for that nation. note that is median, not average.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:56pm
    Thanks Sceptic, and the dollar amount is..............?
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    9:46am
    beware median and average...often a huge difference.
    Rae
    25th Feb 2019
    7:23am
    The Australian median wage is $43960 so poverty would be under $22 000. All single aged pensioners and Newstart would be under the poverty line or any person receiving an income stream under $22 000 a year.

    Anything under $1000 a fortnight pretty much puts you in poverty in Australia now.
    Aussiefrog
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:40am
    25% living in poverty, THAT'S UNACCEPTABLE!
    Liberal and labor are the ones to blame for it.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:19pm
    Its funny but I read exactly the opposite yesterday. CEPA which is funded by ARC, a government subsidised organisation, claimed all was hunky dory and that retirees never had it so good.
    I'll go with Kaye who is not being paid by a vested interest.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:30pm
    I remember a cartoon from the Fraser days - Fraser says:-

    "You never had it so good!"

    Worker says:-

    "We never had it!"
    Rae
    25th Feb 2019
    7:26am
    Let's not forget the Greens who have had the ability to change this and haven't. In fact regardless of claims of not causing disadvantage through legislation the Greens have voted for several bills that disadvantage with no recourse to change anything by the people affected. I don't think they have much idea of consequences.
    Karl Marx
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:44am
    I have read the article & the post by Realist has enlightened me & I am ashamed of what has happened to our senior citizens especially over the last 6 years. I want to apologize to all on this site for my bulling, repeated abuse, name calling, sexist comments etc.
    The posts so far have highlighted just how wrong I was with my support of the LNP government. I am so ashamed of myself for being so blinded by the lies etc that this current government has been telling for the past 6 years.
    I will never vote nor support the LNP in any way ever again.
    Please forgive me as I am so so sorry. As many people have said, this government must go, so let's all work together to change that next election & make Australia the proud nation it once was, voted by the people for the people & not work for the wealthy who can more than pay their way & help those far less fortunate.
    God bless you all
    Magic Touch
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:07pm
    Lothario I am happy to see that at the end of the road you had wake up an know how to turn back. I am one fo them who had hit very very hard by this 2 government. It,s not Centerlink stuff they just follow this government rules.
    Realist
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:11pm
    I am deeply humbled by your post, I wish my Labour MP would have allowed me to extrapolate. I may have found something that resonates with him. But, it was not to be.

    I am new to the board Lothario, hence do not know your posting history.

    Again Thank you sincerely.
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:18pm
    Lothario...We may as well vote for corporations instead of politicians. They are the ones that run everything including our puppets politicians.
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:18pm
    Lothario .... Accepted ... great now is time to work together again and became the Australia we use to be many many years ago ..... Like ....Milk, Juice and cheese delivered to you home and many many other beautiful things that make Australia a place to live and enjoy life ......
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:23pm
    Huh.....sorry Lothario but your spots changed from jet black to snow white overnight. Please explain!
    There are some things which are not possible and I'll wait and see how it goes........but something appears horribly out of place with your post.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:31pm
    I'm not holding my breath.. it's pure sarcasm ....
    casey
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:21pm
    Well Lothario, yesterday you were calling yourself Former Labour Voter. Now we are back to Lothario. So what is it now, LNP, Labour, Green or just don't know.
    Sceptic
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:26pm
    I would suggest that it is possible that someone else, maybe one of Mick's favourite ALP trolls, has registered as Lothario.
    Misty
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:02pm
    Oh dear, looks like another of Lothario, FLV'S multiple personalities have taken over, either that or I am dreaming, Oh well time will tell.
    GeorgeM
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:59pm
    I think more likely it's an ALP troll. YLC should prevent re-use of names to prevent such re-use by different people, otherwise it can become a massive trolling site.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:50pm
    It's just sarcasm - Lothario wouldn't feel guilty if he ran over someone's only baby while doing 100kph in a 40kph school zone... he unashamedly robs the taxpayer every day with his 'family company'... no wonder he's worried about Shorten and Co coming after trusts and family companies that cheat on tax.
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2019
    6:34pm
    We so wanted it to be you too
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2019
    6:44pm
    Love you too Sunday’s in spite of your loonie leftie ideas
    But no way would I post such pathetic nonsense.
    Shows you labor are running scared and will resort to anything including lie , defame and make up all sorts of crap to win a vote
    The only party that will improve the financial and moral situation of everyone including pensioners is the LNP the other mob have no principles . You just saw a great example of their cunning and lack of morality
    Karl Marx
    22nd Feb 2019
    9:47pm
    Sorry for my last post, Medication wore off. so forget what I said about voting LNP, they are greedy people bent of creating more wealth for themselves & their mates on the back of the retiree.
    Again sorry, will try & keep my medication up.
    musicveg
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:05pm
    Should have saved it for April Fools Day. Thought it was too good to be true.
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    9:48am
    Welcome back, Lotharia - now you're the one we know and loathe.... we need you here for light entertainment between serious bouts of serious discussion.
    Blinky
    24th Feb 2019
    11:03am
    Lothario there is no evidence the ALP will improve the pension. I havent heard them talk about it at all.
    Pensioners cost money even asylum seekers are better off cause they dont need to pass an asset or income test, they get a guaranteed home n a pension.
    Pollies r always thinking of ways to screw Aussie pensioners. We r stuffed, nobody cares about us any more.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2019
    4:35pm
    Labor won't be able to increase the pension when it has to fund pensions for the hundreds of thousands it plans to steal from with its disgusting franking credit policy. Once it takes all that money from battling self-funded retirees, while continuing the benefit to the wealthy, it will need to cut spending heavily. Old age pensioners will be a target for sure, because Labor will start to whinge about the increase in the total cost of the OAP - and of course it will NEVER admit that it caused the increase by its unfairness.
    Karl Marx
    24th Feb 2019
    10:28pm
    OGR, I think we need to just settle done a little. The LNP from my new research will not support retirees whether they are on a pension or SFR. The ALP I honestly believe after reading Bowens latest response to FC is that they will only target those that are $Mill wealthy so you or i or 96% of retirees with FC won't be affect. I believe that this is Labor policy. The LNP I now admit has lied & cheated to everyone for the last 6 years.
    I am also of the persuasion that our assets are far to low & the great majority of companies don't pay their fair share of tax if they pay any at all & Labor hopefully will stop these rorts.
    Arjan
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:52am
    It is disgusting that a large proportion of Australian pensioners are living in poverty in a so-called rich country. My partner and I both get the Aged pension but we both worked hard all our lives and paid our taxes which should ensure that we get a liveable pension when we retire (superannuation was not compulsory back then.) Since the Rudd government was in power, not one political party ever mentions doing anything for pensioners apart from giving us a meagre raise of $3.20 a week - what a joke! It's time the Government started looking after the people who helped form this country instead of bending over backwards to pander to the rich who are only interested in making more and more money - such greed.
    Blinky
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:23pm
    Yes Arjan. I think BOTH Labor n the Libs are guilty. The former did nothing to improve the system while in power (Rudd, Gillard, Keating) n the latter have done nothing so far either.
    As I suggest elsewhere 8n my comments, there should be a realistic increase to the pension rates n to the asset test, which is really disgustingly low.
    But WHO IS LISTENING?
    I have not heard one word from either party about fixing this problem. You know why? Because they are more worried about fixing the budget n balancing the economy. Any improvement to pensions cost money and they dont like it. In sum, pensioners are stuffed!
    Labor says they represent the workers, they have never said they represent the "former workers"
    Misty
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:04pm
    What is it with you TREBOR?, I have noticed in some of your previous comments you have a thing about women, do you dislike them that much?.
    Triss
    22nd Feb 2019
    9:48pm
    Yes, Trebor, and she didn’t have to wait until she was 67 to get her pension or have it docked when she was given a job.
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    9:52am
    Yup - she may have been the mouth-piece for the party, but when you take the credit you also take the slagging that comes righteously your way - never affects those who make the decisions in their private superannuation and perks paradise.

    No gang violence on their beaches... no housos and street people in their streets .... no beggars, no rapists, no burglars.... no unemployed begging for a crust at the castle door.. no waiting in queues at the airport ....

    During a savage winter in County Mayo, the poor starving people made their way through the snow to the castle of Lord Sligo for a little sustenance... he locked the gates....
    Kaye Fallick
    25th Feb 2019
    10:10am
    Two comments removed for poor language and derogatory remarks
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:07pm
    Fixing pensioner and genuine low income SFR poverty should be a government priority.

    Let's keep our minds right and and our eyes on the ball...

    It's the people who leech off 'family companies' and 'trusts' and such to exploit every tax advantage who make it hard for any of those genuine low end SFRs. The Guv'nah sees those pirates and says:- "Nope - NONE of you get anything from us - too many bolt holes already!"

    My question is then - why not fix the bolt holes instead of letting them flourish?

    By george, we've got one such here who draw a salary and his running costs from a 'family company' and some shares when he feels like it - but pays zero tax!

    No wonder it's so hard for the honest people with a few business ties...
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:26pm
    You are lamenting about the right (LNP business controlled government) vs left (union and socially controlled government) TREBOR.
    Normally the big end town (always) wins. Perhaps times are indeed a changin'. We'll see after May and we all need to remember clown Murdoch is good at puling rabbits out of his hat. I await the result....and what Labor will do after the counting is done.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:34pm
    Me, too, Mick. I'll wait and watch.... won't be fooled again.....
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:09pm
    Who do we vote for this time ??? this is a big question for all of us and we must make sure the Lib's do not get in power and damage he pensioners more and more ....... Read Realist comments at the top ... well documented
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:29pm
    The $64 million question:

    LNP and you get done over a fourth time.

    Labor and you have safety albeit need to wait and see.

    Independents and you have proper government. Of course voters have to do this en masse and the media will not push a vote for Independents because the media has its own wealthy owners and therefore blatant vested interests.

    Good luck. Your call. And if Australia gets it wrong who are voters going to blame?
    Sceptic
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:35pm
    Just imagine the chaos of a Parliament made up of independents, note, not a Government, as that would be impossible. No policies. no leaders, just one issue wonders. Independents have never, are never and will never be the answer. Any promotion of them being so is fanciful at worst, and ignorant at best.
    GeorgeM
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:02pm
    Who do we vote for this time? Certainly not the ones who have repeatedly let you down - that means NOT Liberal, Labor or the Greens! Even a stint with lots of Independents (avoid the ratbags & extremes) will be better if we put the Majors out in the cold this time...maybe then one of them will change for the better down the track?

    22nd Feb 2019
    12:10pm
    So, what has gone wrong?
    Multiculturalism !! Leftists influence !
    Unwelcome migrants invasion!
    Aids to foreign countries in billions of dollars instead of their own folks.

    The government simply doesn't give a sh..t!
    They have no respect for people who helped built this country.
    They take no proud in true Australians but the lazy newcomers running the streets of Melbourne terrorising communities committing heinous crimes!

    The government takes no proud in Australia as a country that should care for a good living standard of pensioners. All they care about is to fill in their own pockets with the corrupted money from their NWO bosses.
    The new trend is to genocide us by forceful flue shots and/or euthanasia so they won't have to support us with pensions.

    This are the globalists new instructions !

    SHAME ON YOU POLITICIANS !
    WHO DO YOU SERVE ?!!!
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:32pm
    Its pretty obvious who controls the current government. Tax cuts for the wealthy? Company tax cuts (failed but not forgotten)? No Banking Royal Commission?

    Labor? The bad bad unions which only try to get workers enough money to live on?

    Independents? They are the true ideal for government as not tools of anybody at present.

    Who do you serve? Anyone other than the abomination we currently have!
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:44pm
    HKW ... very easy answer ...... $$$$$ greedy people like this people on this Article and I really think our politicians have been reading about this people and learn how to make more money money money .... and sell all the basic utilities (Electricity, Water ...etc)

    http://most-hated-people.blogspot.com/2011/04/eight-most-greedy-people-in-history.html

    I really hope to be able live for at least 10 more years in peace without worry about my pension .... what a F Dream wowowowowo
    Aussiefrog
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:44pm
    Greed is the only force that drives this wretched world.
    GREED GREED GREED.
    We are destroying this beautiful planet for greed, karma will catch up with us soon or latter.
    A nice little comet will do the trick....
    Blinky
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:11pm
    There should be some criteria x getting the pension. Once u meet that criteria, u should not have to depend on the whims of greedy treasurers who want to introduce cuts to the pension nor should you have to report to Centrelink anymore as this is a truly humiliating experience.
    For ex. The criteria should be based on an initial asset n income test, e.g. max assets $1million, excluding your primary home.
    Max income, excluding the pension $ 60k pa.

    I have mentioned before that "true pensioners" are person who cannot support themselves n need a govt pension.
    Persons who CAN support themselves nicely, do not have to worry about Centrelink n changes to the pension cause they have enough income n assets.

    A simple solution would be to:
    A. Increase the basic pension rate to a more comfortable level, e.g. $800 pfn x couples n add $1000k pf x singles.
    B. Increase the asset threshold to at least $700k, excluding the primary home. Treasurer Hockey decided to take $3 x every $1k people have over the threshold, this is hurting thousands of pensioners!!!
    C. Increase the income threshold to $ 40k or so. This would be a REAL INCENTIVE x some retirees to work. I cannot see how $150 pw can be an incentive at all.

    I agree that newly arrived older immigrants should have to wait 15 yrs to get the Aussie pension. They have not worked here, they have not paid taxes n they have not contributed to this country.
    In sum:
    1. Increase the pension rates.
    2. Increase the assets test.
    3. Increase the income test to reward retirees who want to work.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:14pm
    Reverting such things as power supply, tool roads and such back into the hands of a single roof government body without shareholders and multiplicated leeches in management and boards and sales and such hanging on would save a motza....

    Might have to put those unemployed on to digging the Blue MouCorby killers on the chain gangs out in the hot western end of the project and Bob's Yer Uncle!
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:16pm
    BTW - anyone worked out how many people are NOT employed by the 'owners' of toll roads, what with all the automatic tolls and such... coupla clerks n' jerks and off ya go.... plenty of fodder for the leeches. gotta keep the bastards well fed or they'll act up and complain to Auntie Gladys....
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:20pm
    Touchy keyboard - that's Blue Mountains/Great Dividing Range Water Channels, put the Corby Killers and such out west in the hot end of the project on the chain gang...
    gerry
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:31pm
    what a lot of tosh ,Have you been to S Italy, cicely. bolivia, Mumbai ,most of Africa,ex communist countries
    In Cairns I pass Brothers, Cazaly's ,Casino and many other clubs at lunch time,The car parks are full and pensioners fight to get a pokie machine before buying a 12 dollar lunch and a 4 dollar beer ,25% !!!!!,,I read the "Conversation"" when I can stomach it ,,All 300,000 a year anarchists ,they post
    ""This government ignores""" What is needed "" etc . etc I,m an agnostic politician and from the working class,but I wonder if they will get stuck into Labor after May

    Ive backpacked all over and seen old people making soup out of leaves and grass,you only have to go to Manila and see entrepreneurs scraping he sides of trash bins ,cooking it and selling it on, God what do you do when you walk down the street and beggars hold out their hands and flick their mouths with a finger sign ..,some are covered by a health system that's not worth the bus trip ...Contrast the man here at my docs who said he had back trouble and the doctor wrote him out 4 trips to have massage on medicare,,He walked out and I saw him riding his bike later,,,Here everyone has free health,subsidised rent,electricity and travel Tv,PC, fans and visits from carers
    I listen to pensioners who say "I paid My taxes yeh for their kids school,welfare medicare ,roads .schools etc. etc but they never paid for their pension.Only the Brits did that by paying a stamp from the day they started work and even thats not even enough because old people just wont die
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:35pm
    We don't live there by their standards of currency or anything else....

    Thank you for your comment.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:20pm
    @ gerry 12.31pm

    DON'T TRY TO WHITEWASH OUR POLITICIANS ACTS!
    Your heartless attitude is quite obvious.
    Don't attempt to sell your pitying advertising of other poor countries, which is not our fault!
    Why should Australia lower herself to their standards?!
    Cannot we do better? SURE WE CAN !
    Yet, with these lapdogs in Canberra it is rather difficult to progress as they don't listen to us!
    They are listening to the sounds of their masters golden coins only ....

    The White generation of baby-boomers have worked their assess off building this beautiful country to this established standard we have now and deserve a dignify pensions.

    Have you been to Germany, Holland, Croatia, Sweden, Norway ?
    These well developed countries look after their pensioners.

    But of course, Australia is now becoming the third world country and somebody has to support the newcomers, who are strolling around out streets looking for their targets to rob.

    What a life !
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:15pm
    gerry.... what in hell UR talking about ...great you travel all the world and seen all poor people making soup from grass ...wowowowo the issue here is that we live in a very rich country @@@ NOT IN COMMUNIST AFRICA@@@ yes we pay tax and more all over the place for the benefits of better living so we do not have to MAKE SOUP FROM GRASS ...... so I am sorry for them but the reality is that we live in a totally different society that them and we get ripoff by our politicians ...THAT IS THE ISSUE ..... Not the Grass soup wowowowowowo so there is no comparison with Bolivia Peru Chile or any other country .... get you facts in order mate and as HKW is saying ......."DON'T TRY TO WHITEWASH OUR POLITICIANS ACTS!
    Your heartless attitude is quite obvious."

    Maybe you need to go back to Africa and give your rich pension to all that poor people so they can have a proper soup

    What a bloody Joke .... I come from a poor country and also travel the world the same way and I seen all that soup business but I live in reality and that is Australia not Africa
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:55pm
    Up there, Cazalys? Hmm - I never knew that.....
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:57pm
    Even here pensioners head for the clubs for the air conditioning, and then the cheap meal and beer....

    $4 beers you say? I'm in the wrong place.... but my memories of Townsville are hot, hot, hot....
    Rae
    25th Feb 2019
    7:39am
    Gerry I've travelled a lot too. In Australia we limited our family size and both parents went to work, and paid high taxes, to better living. As long as countries insist on cultures that refuse opportunity to huge numbers, refuse to grant women equality, ensure a few ultra wealthy own everything and continue to have 8 or 9 children they will never develop.

    That is not our problem and we should not be lowering our lifestyle to accommodate cultures that won't move out of the dark or middle ages.

    Best thing we could do is get rid of religious, cultural and selective schools and insist all kids attend there local comprehensive schools and learn to assimilate and get on with each other regardless of home situation. Like we did back after WW11.

    Schooling can increase inequality and we have allowed this distortion since Howard's push for all things privately owned but publicly funded.
    musicveg
    25th Feb 2019
    1:08pm
    Good point Rae, all schools should be public only, kids get along great when they are young enough, it is only when they have been brainwashed long enough do they start to go against each other. If it is a private school it should be privately funded, there are too many segregated schools nowadays because of the extra funding that is given to the private schools.
    gerry
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:31pm
    what a lot of tosh ,Have you been to S Italy, cicely. bolivia, Mumbai ,most of Africa,ex communist countries
    In Cairns I pass Brothers, Cazaly's ,Casino and many other clubs at lunch time,The car parks are full and pensioners fight to get a pokie machine before buying a 12 dollar lunch and a 4 dollar beer ,25% !!!!!,,I read the "Conversation"" when I can stomach it ,,All 300,000 a year anarchists ,they post
    ""This government ignores""" What is needed "" etc . etc I,m an agnostic politician and from the working class,but I wonder if they will get stuck into Labor after May

    Ive backpacked all over and seen old people making soup out of leaves and grass,you only have to go to Manila and see entrepreneurs scraping he sides of trash bins ,cooking it and selling it on, God what do you do when you walk down the street and beggars hold out their hands and flick their mouths with a finger sign ..,some are covered by a health system that's not worth the bus trip ...Contrast the man here at my docs who said he had back trouble and the doctor wrote him out 4 trips to have massage on medicare,,He walked out and I saw him riding his bike later,,,Here everyone has free health,subsidised rent,electricity and travel Tv,PC, fans and visits from carers
    I listen to pensioners who say "I paid My taxes yeh for their kids school,welfare medicare ,roads .schools etc. etc but they never paid for their pension.Only the Brits did that by paying a stamp from the day they started work and even thats not even enough because old people just wont die
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    12:35pm
    We don't live there by their standards of currency or anything else....

    Thank you for your comment.
    Anonymous
    26th Feb 2019
    1:46pm
    So, Gerry, that raises the question of do we want to deteriorate to those conditions, or do better? So far, Australia has done much better BY BEING DIFFERENT in the way it operates tax and welfare. But Bill Shitten thinks different is bad. Maybe he thinks our aged should live like they do in Bolivia, Mumbai and Africa? That's certainly where we'll be heading if the idiots in the Labor Party are allowed to stuff the economy. Robbing poor self-funded retirees while the wealthy keep their franking credits and pensioners are allowed to triple-dip (even if they own a lavish mansion!) is certain to drive the OAP bill through the roof, and then there will be screams to reduce that cost. Only one way to do that once the savings of the frugal are gone. Cut the payment rate.
    Rae eluded to that earlier and sadly she's right. It has to happen if Labor is allowed to apply its politics of envy.
    Anonymous
    26th Feb 2019
    1:46pm
    So, Gerry, that raises the question of do we want to deteriorate to those conditions, or do better? So far, Australia has done much better BY BEING DIFFERENT in the way it operates tax and welfare. But Bill Shitten thinks different is bad. Maybe he thinks our aged should live like they do in Bolivia, Mumbai and Africa? That's certainly where we'll be heading if the idiots in the Labor Party are allowed to stuff the economy. Robbing poor self-funded retirees while the wealthy keep their franking credits and pensioners are allowed to triple-dip (even if they own a lavish mansion!) is certain to drive the OAP bill through the roof, and then there will be screams to reduce that cost. Only one way to do that once the savings of the frugal are gone. Cut the payment rate.
    Rae eluded to that earlier and sadly she's right. It has to happen if Labor is allowed to apply its politics of envy.
    Geo
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:00pm
    Bring Keven 07 back, he'll look after us. The first thing Kev07 done was UP the Pension and by a reasonable amount.
    musicveg
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:13pm
    I didn't mind Kev07, but I think a lot of people did not like what he wanted to do and they got rid of him, kind of reminds me of Whitlam days.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:30pm
    Kevin spent like a drunken politician in a strip club
    Aussie
    23rd Feb 2019
    3:34am
    Well around 2009 Kevin sing up the Commonwealth of Australia as a corporation in the US securities Commission to support and guarantee the banking deposits .... have a look my posting down below
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    9:59am
    Kevin 07 didn't need to double plus the national borrowings.. ergo ... he didn't spend anywhere near as much as the current LNP, starting with the Abbottion and Hokey Joe...

    ... come on down to Hokey Joe's - you want a national debt? .. but wait... we've got more... TWO for the price of one....no ceiling on Hokey Joe's .... purchasers on credit can pay in easy monthly installments for ten generations.... so come on down ... bring you mum.. bring your pop... bring your reffos and your immos and your impoverished billionaires.. bring your pensioners and low income earners .... at Hokey Joe's one size fits all...
    BERRYUPSET
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:18pm
    Got to be a BASIC RATE RISE!...Who /which party to vote for?ADVICE PLEASE!
    Aussie
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:10pm
    Yes will be on the 20 March and 20 September each year
    GeorgeM
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:52pm
    Hard to give such advice, as you need to do your own research. I have not heard of any party other than Seniors United Party of Australia which may be interested in Retirees. But they may or may not have any candidate in your area.

    For the Lower House at least, the only strategy I can suggest for now is to get rid of as many existing MPs from the Major parties (Liberal, Labor & Greens) as possible, as none of them are working for you! Suggest you number preferences in the reverse order, starting from any ratbags / extreme / dangerous candidates at the bottom, then the sitting MP above that, then others as per your preference above that till you get to the least worst person at the top! That's all can do for now.

    If 3 Million+ Retirees can do the above, and many existing MPs lose their seats, then we will have shaken up the system and become recognised as an important voting group, only then some may (indeed will) listen to us.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:00pm
    Been doing that for years now, George... and will continue to do so.
    GeorgeM
    23rd Feb 2019
    12:39am
    Good on ya, Trebor. At least in the YLC survey today, I noticed 22% Swinging voters (besides committed Independents)...gives some hope!

    22nd Feb 2019
    1:23pm
    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/retirees-in-these-countries-receive-100-of-a-working-salary/
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:01pm
    Cuba........
    KSS
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:37pm
    Why do you always whinge about people who warn more money than others. Get over yourselves and stop with the envy politics.

    Here are a few facts of life:
    Some people get good jobs with higher salaries.
    Some people have few skills and get jobs that pay less.
    Women who have children also work fewer hours and therefore earn less money.
    Men who become full time carers for their children also work fewer hours and earn less money.
    It's not only pensioners who are carers or volunteers.
    Superannuation contributions are based on your salary. Get over it.

    Harping on all the time that there are people in higher paying jobs, or people who made sacrifices to have a comfortable retirement do not deserve this constant barrage of complaint.

    Make you point, lobby for higher pensions or whatever, but just stop with the envy politics aimed at anyone you think has more than you, whether that be their home, super, investments or money in a sock under the bed. It's been done to death in this site, it's boring. Move on.

    Cue MICk and his troll accusation!
    MD
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:50pm
    Fair comment, thanks KSS.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2019
    6:08pm
    Great comment KSS
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2019
    6:45pm
    Agree but that should be everyone whether Pensioner or SFR.
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    10:02am
    Some salaries and pay scales are frankly ludicrous for the actual work done... and they are not open to everyone, but normally to a small closed group..... therein seems to lie a serious problem .. we don't have a meritocracy, we have a cronyology.
    MITZY
    22nd Feb 2019
    1:46pm
    Hi Kaye
    Thanks for this interesting article. Quite a lot of good comments here too; hopefully some could be extrapolated and used to convince governments on both sides it is time for another injection to the base rate of the aged pension ELEVEN (11) years after the last one occurred. Just think how much everything has increased in that time and the little dribbles of increase received (but not to the base rate).
    We don't need adverse comments surmising how poorly off some pensioners are when others aren't, nobody knows the reasoning for their situations better than themselves. Its obvious to you and yourlifechoices that the age pension needs a good boost to its bottom line and hopefully you can go into bat on our behalf.
    HDRider
    22nd Feb 2019
    2:10pm
    My goodness, what passion!
    The truth is: unless there is a general strike throughout Australia or a civil disobedience on a very grand scale, there ain't NOTHING going to change with the white trash politicians in Canberra!

    22nd Feb 2019
    2:42pm
    Yes i know some pensioners are finding it tough and the pension should be increased.
    Some SFR are also finding it not so easy we dont get the concessions that pensioners get and we only have a yearly income just above the pension rate with our franking credits if these are taken away we will be much better of on the pension we are fortunate that we have our own home.so for all you people out there that think SFR are well off think again
    GrayComputing
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:03pm
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    DaveL
    22nd Feb 2019
    3:28pm
    All Pensioners,full and part, plus SFR are allowed a taxable income just below $30,000 before they
    Pay tax. This is mainly due to the Seniors Tax Offset of$1602 pa.
    Removing the STO would ensure part Pensioners and SFR pay tax. This could be used to increase the rate of the full pension, a sacrifice that everyone champions.

    22nd Feb 2019
    3:58pm
    The pension rates are in line with the amounts required for a modest retirement according to APRA retirement standards
    Hence they are where they should be
    Any more would mean that Asset and Income Thresholds should also be increased and SFR's should be given an equivalent tax break or rebates
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:09pm
    So, will the real Lothario please stand up
    Jim
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:04pm
    I agree with most of the comments, the main item of paying everyone a base pension would seem to be the one area where most people agree, so that should be the starting point, then maybe a sliding scale of how people are taxed on any other income, I have family in the UK who are on the pension, they are allowed to earn £6000 tax free per year, then they are taxed on everything else above that amount, there is no asset test at all, the one thing you can almost guarantee if one of our major parties are looking at putting the family home into the asset test then the other will be considering it as well, if the family home were to be added to the asset test I for one would lose the pension, I suspect that many others would be in the same boat, especially anyone living in a major city, house prices in some areas are over a $1,000,000, so under the current limit on assets I suspect there would be a hell of a lot of people who would lose their pension and have absolutely nothing to live on, many might say sell up and down size, if I down size I would have to look for a shed, I know the current government have put in place a package for people to down size and their increased assets wouldn’t be counted towards their limit, that wouldn’t do me any good unless I moved to a remote area, I couldn’t afford anything in the area I live, I think Labor have a similar idea, the idea being to free up housing for the younger generation, not sure if the younger generation would be happy moving into my 3 tiny bedroom house, no garage, no en-suite. My concern regarding the pension is that we need to look after the people most in need, under the current system that wouldn’t include my wife and myself, I would be happy if my pension was frozen at today’s rate and any savings should go to those most in need, I don’t mean for it to be frozen indefinitely, maybe 2 to 3 years might help or until things improve, but who could we trust?
    GeorgeM
    22nd Feb 2019
    4:20pm
    Kaye, good article, and good to know YLC is going to use it's strength of numbers (of Members) to put it's voice to the Major parties. However, rather than simply focus on only one item (increase in Base Rate for Age Pensions, which in itself is a very important change), if you broaden the range of Questions / Suggestions, that would be of benefit, interest and knowledge of this Group.
    For example, can you consider the following additional Questions:
    1. Given the poverty chart as noted, will they consider reversing the Assets Test changes of 2017 which has severely reduced the incomes of part-pensioners?
    2. Given that the Age Pension system is Broken and with many Inequities, will they consider scrapping it altogether and replacing it with an Universal Age Pension system (say at Age 65, and Residency 15 years) with NO other tests, maybe something like NZ already has? Mention massive Benefits - massive savings on Centrelink costs as ATO can do it, boost to Economy (Taxes), boost to Retirees by increasing their Earning & Saving capacity without penalties, and reduced Stress & health issues from dealing with Cenrrelink which also means less health costs.
    3. To enable fairness, also for implementation of Universal Age Pension, will they considering scrapping all Special Govt Pensions, such as for Politicians, etc, where they get fixed benefits with NO tests? All must live under the same rules in - remember "Advanca Australia fair" as our Anthem says?
    4. To ensure funding for Universal Age Pension, will they consider re-instating a Pension Fund or Future Fund (outside Govt control to prevent future political tinkering) using the 7.5% Tax still collected as part of Income Taxes?
    5. To ensure strong funding all-round as well as fairness, will they consider a Minimum Tax system such that all Large Companies and Rich Individuals have to pay a Minimum Rate of Tax, as many are getting away with Nil or Negligible Taxes?

    22nd Feb 2019
    4:58pm
    The blame for this fiasco can be ascribed entirely to the nauseating LNP. Labor will fix it.
    Cat
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:08pm
    With rents being jacked up suddenly by as much as $80.00 per fortnight, the rental allowance of $121.00 per fortnight no longer helps a person to pay their rent, and other allowances like pharmaceutical also rendered redundant because all of these allowances and most of the base pension are gobbled up in rent for the investors to make a profit on it.

    There needs to be a housing provision for age and disability pensioners that doesn't allow this to happen.

    There are also other reasons why there are nearly 26% of pensioners living in poverty in Australia. One of the main ones is women in this older age group who are divorced and have no superannuation, and probably no home either. There probably needs to be a different base rate for this group of people, which would include some men also, but would be more common for women. But the fact is that this government does not give a damn about older financially vulnerable women. We have even heard some of them literally vilifying women as they line their pockets, including with large pensions for themselves for doing literally nothing of any value.

    One of the other reasons why other countries are higher on the scale is that people in some of those countries are inclined to mobilise themselves, raise hell, and legitimately fight for their fair share of the wealth. Notice that France is low on the list of poverty stricken pensioners . I am wondering if their willingness to deliver a forceful serve to their champagne socialist government like the yellow jackets recently did might have something to do with that. I am not advocating the vandalism that went with that, but we are made to feel by this colonialist minded government that we are not allowed to fight for our rights, and that the colonial beuracrats are totally 'entitled' to their blown out pensions, but the rest of us are not, and they will spew that totally false rhetoric every chance they get as the Commonwealth paid Centrelink employee did as quoted in this article saying that people are not entitled to their pension. If they are entltled, then so are we - we actually worked for it.

    We need to start being more assertive. The government doesn't blink an eye at delivering up a living hell for any Australian in all the ways they do it, by enforcing low wages, enacting policies that they know will fling thousands out of their jobs into poverty, or by continuing to allow unequal treatment for women, people with disabilities, older people etc, and subjugate everyone to the idea that it would be a crime to raise any kind of hell back to them, and even literally make that a crime. So we are all just being totally ripped off and gaslighted over it.
    deejay
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:12pm
    there are no differences between any of the political parties regards the age pension - they simply don't care - it's far easier for them to give less than to give an increase - to give more is in the too hard basket - they have all got their fingers in the till to get as much for themselves they give me the creeps - they get paid far too much - their salaries should be halved along with all the perks - the basic aged pension should be adjusted and raised to be the same as the average weekly wage - dental should be part of medicare at no cost to pensioners - after all isn't dental a health issue - dentists are among the worst greediest monsters on this planet - gp's are governed to some degree by government but dentists can charge whatever they like and they too couldn't give a rats ass about pensioners - stamp duty should be abolished - this was supposed to be gotten rid of when gst was brought in but the greedy state pollies kept it going - the lying parrasites - what about the last indexted pension increase $11 a fortnight to keep up with inflation - what a bloody joke - i'm seriously thinking of leaving australia because i feel i have seriously been let down by this bunch of parasitic bunch of arrogant politicians - i came to australia in 1968 and it was good then but to my dismay i have seen this country go further and further down the gurgler - there is no pollie that realy cares about aged pensioners and the hardship we have to endure because of their incompidence - there is nobody with any clout that can do anything for the aged pensioner -pollies turn a deaf ear when ever the re is even a mention of an increase to the age pension - in the meantime they continue to waste billions of dollors one way or another
    deejay
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:12pm
    there are no differences between any of the political parties regards the age pension - they simply don't care - it's far easier for them to give less than to give an increase - to give more is in the too hard basket - they have all got their fingers in the till to get as much for themselves they give me the creeps - they get paid far too much - their salaries should be halved along with all the perks - the basic aged pension should be adjusted and raised to be the same as the average weekly wage - dental should be part of medicare at no cost to pensioners - after all isn't dental a health issue - dentists are among the worst greediest monsters on this planet - gp's are governed to some degree by government but dentists can charge whatever they like and they too couldn't give a rats ass about pensioners - stamp duty should be abolished - this was supposed to be gotten rid of when gst was brought in but the greedy state pollies kept it going - the lying parrasites - what about the last indexted pension increase $11 a fortnight to keep up with inflation - what a bloody joke - i'm seriously thinking of leaving australia because i feel i have seriously been let down by this bunch of parasitic bunch of arrogant politicians - i came to australia in 1968 and it was good then but to my dismay i have seen this country go further and further down the gurgler - there is no pollie that realy cares about aged pensioners and the hardship we have to endure because of their incompidence - there is nobody with any clout that can do anything for the aged pensioner -pollies turn a deaf ear when ever the re is even a mention of an increase to the age pension - in the meantime they continue to waste billions of dollors one way or another
    mancub1967
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:58pm
    I have read and been very impressed with the research posted by certain well informed and studious individuals, a little appalled at some of the other remarks which do not support the way Pensioners have been maligned by the LNP since day one of taking office. I have never been unemployed during all my working life, and have payed all my taxes diligently, I worked until I was 68 as a Paramedic working for the State Government of South Australia, it was my belief that I would get a Pension when I retired as I knew that my Super would never be enough to live on, what made it worse was paying my wife a portion of my Super on Divorce. With the changes made to the Pension assets test I was unable to get a Pension due to the house I was trying to sell was rented, what this meant was the value of the house and the rent money was put against what I was allowed to have even though it was my only house and I was living with my children. The asset test adjustments have been cruel to numerous Australians such as myself, I have been forced to live of my Super which has reduced dramatically to a point it wont last more than 2 more years. When I hear the argument about increasing the Pension I fully support it, but conversely I have written numerous times to Labor members of the opposition and have no reassurance they will adjust the asset test back to where it was before the cruel LNP gained power, I know we will be better off with another party in power, but to be honest we as a nation have lost a party who truly represents all Australians, the lucky country we no longer are as long as our governments only support there base.
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    10:09am
    I sympathise with you... leads to what I usually say peach case needs to be looked at individually, but then, that runs the risk of coming up against the never-ending whine from whatever party is in opposition that they are employing more 'bludging public servants'.

    I've already said the ATO needs to employ more qualified and capable people and sort out the current mess wherein some are getting away with zero tax while riding the moon... but having worked in the CPS myself I know that 'capable' is not necessarily one of the criteria, as long as you 'tick the boxes' with a little theoretical 'knowledge' and don't 'rock the boat' which terrifies senior public servants.

    "outstanding officer, great at producing new systems.... just not sure we can keep him under control" ..... small minds run the show... still do.
    mancub1967
    22nd Feb 2019
    5:58pm
    I have read and been very impressed with the research posted by certain well informed and studious individuals, a little appalled at some of the other remarks which do not support the way Pensioners have been maligned by the LNP since day one of taking office. I have never been unemployed during all my working life, and have payed all my taxes diligently, I worked until I was 68 as a Paramedic working for the State Government of South Australia, it was my belief that I would get a Pension when I retired as I knew that my Super would never be enough to live on, what made it worse was paying my wife a portion of my Super on Divorce. With the changes made to the Pension assets test I was unable to get a Pension due to the house I was trying to sell was rented, what this meant was the value of the house and the rent money was put against what I was allowed to have even though it was my only house and I was living with my children. The asset test adjustments have been cruel to numerous Australians such as myself, I have been forced to live of my Super which has reduced dramatically to a point it wont last more than 2 more years. When I hear the argument about increasing the Pension I fully support it, but conversely I have written numerous times to Labor members of the opposition and have no reassurance they will adjust the asset test back to where it was before the cruel LNP gained power, I know we will be better off with another party in power, but to be honest we as a nation have lost a party who truly represents all Australians, the lucky country we no longer are as long as our governments only support there base.
    Charlie
    22nd Feb 2019
    8:26pm
    How do you think a pensioner would replace a car or even a scooter, what about essentials like a washing machine, refrigerator, or an air conditioner. How about a computer or tv set or mobile phone. How about shoes and clothes. Then there's medication covered by medicare only $6.00 a script but there's five of them a month.

    Then there's fees like registration, road service, license, insurance, plus running costs. Services like electricity

    The further a person gets from a regular income the more things start to ware out and need replacing. There is no money to cover this. Any interest generated by super put in the bank is called income and used to reduce pension.

    Interest from savings has to be able replace all the items that wear out or everything is slowly eroded
    Jim
    22nd Feb 2019
    9:36pm
    In NSW there is a program that assists pensioners to replace things like refrigerators and I think other electrical goods might also have some sort of assistance, I think I read somewhere that there are about 40 different things that are either free or reduced, Registration is free but you have to still pay your green slip, we also get reduced land rates from our local council, it might be worth checking with your state government for any assistance that is available, some of the assistance is federal and some are state.
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2019
    10:13am
    Just thought back - our fridge is now six years old.... it just sits there and hums and I just assume it won't break down...... don't even think about it... mechanics for cars are, of course, like dentists... $100 an hour plus parts and they always charge top range for parts... I used to do all my own mechanical work, but I've grown old and find it hard to get up off the ground now...

    Those on only pension often do without a car anyway... as the unforgettable Fat Joe said - poor people don't drive much .... if he said that to the poor people of America where he is masquerading as our ambassador, one o' dem maght fork up his honkey ass for him, mah man...
    musicveg
    22nd Feb 2019
    11:21pm
    Welcome Realist, the posts are so informative, I enjoyed reading them
    All I want to say is Universal Pension for all including the pollies on the same pension, and/or asset test the pollies, they do not need the pension they are given, it is crazy that they get so much when most have enough to retire on and many just get another job so why should they get this lifetime pension? It is pure robbery from the tax payers.
    Realist
    23rd Feb 2019
    12:59am
    @musicveg

    Thank you for your kind words. My first day on this board.

    I read your words:

    Somehow our biggest weakness is that we are divided. Each OAP with their own agenda dictated by their OWN unique circumstance.

    We need everyone's voice, BUT, more importantly we need a common denominator that will bind us all. A fractionised force is an ineffective force.

    I hope for all our sakes we can find a way.

    Anger can be useful if it is channelled - THIS makes me angry:

    EXCESSES:

    There are too many of these, they would completely hijack this thread - they indicate “heartless indifference” towards ALL Australians.

    South Australian LIBERAL MP Tony Pasin in excess of $500,000 to renovate his office. NOTE: Tony Pasin is one of Australia's richest politicians, with an estimated worth of
    $AUD ONE Billion dollars (5)

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann LIBERAL booked flights costing $37,000 IN ONE DAY to sway crossbenchers towards big business tax cuts last year, Education Minister Dan Tehan says.
    BTW: Good luck finding his personal wealth!!!!
    Farside
    27th Feb 2019
    12:25pm
    no issue with universal pension if included in income test however pension increases are a lower priority than increases to newstart, especially for those with families to support or in transition to retirement. Why should newstart be lower than the pension?
    Aussie
    23rd Feb 2019
    3:12am
    A question that I have no answer ..... Why "THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA" is a register corporation in the "UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION"

    Look here

    https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/805157/000134100410001939/coa_18ka.htm

    and here

    https://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0000805157&type=&dateb=&owner=include&count=40

    ??? What our politicians are doing with our contributions and is this why we always with enormous debts ?????? so they take and take from our small pensions ...

    This is very estrange .... also I wonder if is illegal ???

    and This Guarantee by our government at the time (2009) Labour Gov.

    https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/805157/000134100409002546/schedule_ba.htm

    Not sure if this is relevant to the topic but is interesting as the Gov. provide us with a deposit guarantee .... but to what cost ?????
    Blinky
    24th Feb 2019
    11:23am
    A. Increase the basic rates.
    B. 8ncrease the asset test threshold to $700k. The existing one is too damn liw!
    C. 8ncrease the income test. Who wants to work x $125 a week?
    D. NEVER 8ncl the primary home in the asset test. We bought when we were working n paying taxes, we own 8t, leave it alone!
    E. STOP changing the freaking rules, this can only 8ncrease anxiety in old pensioners who need stresss in their lives like a blow to the head!

    26th Feb 2019
    1:48pm
    Might take a while to happen, but we are much more likely to see pension cuts if Labor has its way and removes all incentive to save for retirement. STUPID policy, but many pensioners apparently aren't smart enough to think through the logical longer term outcomes.

    26th Feb 2019
    1:48pm
    Might take a while to happen, but we are much more likely to see pension cuts if Labor has its way and removes all incentive to save for retirement. STUPID policy, but many pensioners apparently aren't smart enough to think through the logical longer term outcomes.
    seagirl
    16th Mar 2019
    3:40pm
    So sad that the Government does not look after age pensioners i find it hard to pay my bills and put food on the table yet they have money to give other country yet they can't look after us.. so so sad
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    3:43pm
    They also have the money to pay themselves high pensions, so many are retiring so they can take advantage of them before any changes take place. At least $200,000 per year for life no matter what your income or assets are when you a retired MP.
    deejay
    23rd Mar 2019
    11:19am
    age pensioner if you pay rent you get rent allowance - i have a mortgage but get bugger all assistance / allowance - i pay by direct debit my electricity account every fortnight so i don't get whacked with a hefty bill at the end of the 3 month cycle - just got a letter from my electric company saying my fortnightly payment needs to be increased by $5 extra per fortnight - oh well there goes the paltry pension increase of $10 per fortnight which by the way we did not get on the 21st march as we should have done - a slab of 500gr butter in coles has gone up from $3 to $5:50 - a bit more than 83% increase - aldi put theirs up to $5 - i'm now eating rice & baked beans - i hope to christ these don't increase or i'm buggered - may as well jump off the harbour bridge but then again the cost of petrol i couldn't afford to drive there - elections are upon us again - strange to see with all the homeless and povety within the pensioners there's not a mention what there going to do it - when howard brought in the gst we were supposidly compensated for this tax - like hell we were and the state governments were supposed to scrap stamp duty in it's place - that didn't happen either - just imagine if the revenue from the stamp duty went to better the living standards for pensioners with that amount of cash - once again the crooks in suits cheated us again - what next as we slip further and further down the girgler - just read the chart how we in australia compare poverty against the OECD nations which measures the % of its citizens aged 66 and over defined by income less 50% medium houshold disposable income [ whatever that supposed to o mean ] out of the full list of 35 nations we came a fantastic 2nd last - now does't that show what a fantastic job these incompetant buch of highly educated bunch of idiots who are governing us are doing /secondly we need to create a political party for the age pensioners run by pensioners who don't get paid the extortionate salaries & perks this other mob gets
    deejay
    23rd Mar 2019
    11:19am
    age pensioner if you pay rent you get rent allowance - i have a mortgage but get bugger all assistance / allowance - i pay by direct debit my electricity account every fortnight so i don't get whacked with a hefty bill at the end of the 3 month cycle - just got a letter from my electric company saying my fortnightly payment needs to be increased by $5 extra per fortnight - oh well there goes the paltry pension increase of $10 per fortnight which by the way we did not get on the 21st march as we should have done - a slab of 500gr butter in coles has gone up from $3 to $5:50 - a bit more than 83% increase - aldi put theirs up to $5 - i'm now eating rice & baked beans - i hope to christ these don't increase or i'm buggered - may as well jump off the harbour bridge but then again the cost of petrol i couldn't afford to drive there - elections are upon us again - strange to see with all the homeless and povety within the pensioners there's not a mention what there going to do it - when howard brought in the gst we were supposidly compensated for this tax - like hell we were and the state governments were supposed to scrap stamp duty in it's place - that didn't happen either - just imagine if the revenue from the stamp duty went to better the living standards for pensioners with that amount of cash - once again the crooks in suits cheated us again - what next as we slip further and further down the girgler - just read the chart how we in australia compare poverty against the OECD nations which measures the % of its citizens aged 66 and over defined by income less 50% medium houshold disposable income [ whatever that supposed to o mean ] out of the full list of 35 nations we came a fantastic 2nd last - now does't that show what a fantastic job these incompetant buch of highly educated bunch of idiots who are governing us are doing /secondly we need to create a political party for the age pensioners run by pensioners who don't get paid the extortionate salaries & perks this other mob gets
    musicveg
    23rd Mar 2019
    1:44pm
    Meanwhile millions of taxpayer dollars are going on the next federal election campaign. Butter is not good for health anyway DJ, beans are very healthy but watch the salt intake. Veggies are cheap so eat more of them if you can. Yes it is disgusting we are at the bottom of the list of standards for pensioners, whilst the elitist MPs get more money than 10 pensioners in their pensions which are not even asset tested. This inequality has to stop, we are living in a time of real greed. For interest sake check out this quiz to see who you align with : https://australia.isidewith.com/political-quiz
    Anonymous
    27th Apr 2019
    6:44pm
    Want to fix pension poverty AND give ALL senior Australians a better deal?

    Vote United Australia. They plan to increase pensions by $75 per week. They have some very progressive and innovative policies and unlike some of the other very good minor parties, they DO have the ability to get real traction and potentially hold the balance of power. That would give us some genuine protection from the excesses of both Labor and Liberal. I don't much like Clive Palmer, but he has excellent policies and some very good candidates.
    musicveg
    27th Apr 2019
    7:16pm
    Noooooooooooooooo OAW, Clive Palmer says one thing and does another, a millionaire who just wants to make more money. I looked at the website of United Australia and cannot find many policies at all, nothing on the environment, health or education for starters.
    Bombers
    15th May 2019
    11:58am
    Went to a Centrelink seminar a couple of weeks ago! Very interesting, they will pay you whatever pays you the less when administrating the Asset and income Tests! It is against the law to actually hide money under the mattress or in your safe. Do not travel with your money because that lessens the amount of money you have in your asset amount and therefore increase perhaps your part pension! When you downsize, if you are both of pension age, the maximum of $600,000 may be put into super, and the interest as well will come under the asset test, again affecting your chance of a small part pension. Also with that $600,000 you can NOT buy a caravan or boat/yacht as your principal residence! So stop saving too much into super, $300,000 is enough. Also when the pollies get a percentage pay rise, convert it to a dollar value and every pensioner gets the same increase, or the pollies get what the pensioners received, $3.20 a week, should be enough to live on shouldn't it?
    deejay
    7th Jun 2019
    6:44pm
    WELL IT DIDN;T TAKE LONG FOR THESE POLLIES TO RAID THE TILL AGAIN BY GETTING A 3% INCREASE TO THEIR SALARIES - DISGRACEFUL - NOTHING FOR AGE PENSIONERS AGAIN - I'D LIKE TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT RENTERS AND HOME OWNERS OR SHOULD I SAY HOME OWNERS WITH A MORTGAGE WHICH CLASSIFICATION I COME UNDER - WHILST RENTERS GET RENT ASSISTANCE A PERSON WITH A MORTGAGE GETS NO ASSISTANCE - RENTERS DON'T PAY RATES SO THEY ARE BETTER OFF THAN MYSELF AND LOT'S MORE BESIDES - FAIR ENOUGH WE DO GET SOME CONCESSIONS FROM THE STATE WITH RATES ETC BUT IT DOES'T COVER THE RISING COSTS OF SEVICES - THE COST OF WATER IS NOW HORRENDOUS AND ELECTRICITY TOO - MY HOUSE INSURANCE HAS JUST GONE UP - BANG THERE GOES THE PALTRY $10 A FORTNIGHT WE GOT - WITH THE DIFFERENT INCREASES I' AM WORSE OFF THAN I WAS BEFORE- I THINK I'LL SELL UP AND GO ON THE RENTAL TRAIN - THERE WAS A PICTURE ON MY COMPUTER NEWS REGARDS THE POLLIES - ALL SAT THERE WITH A BIG GRIN ON THEIR FACES WITH THE NEWS THEY HAVE BEEN GRANTED A 3%-INCREASE - NO WONDER - FEDS THAT IS - PROBABLY WON'T BE LONG BEFORE THE STATE POLLIES JUMP ON THE GRAVY TRAIN TOO - - FED UP WITH THE LOT OF THEM - DJ
    deejay
    7th Jun 2019
    6:44pm
    WELL IT DIDN;T TAKE LONG FOR THESE POLLIES TO RAID THE TILL AGAIN BY GETTING A 3% INCREASE TO THEIR SALARIES - DISGRACEFUL - NOTHING FOR AGE PENSIONERS AGAIN - I'D LIKE TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT RENTERS AND HOME OWNERS OR SHOULD I SAY HOME OWNERS WITH A MORTGAGE WHICH CLASSIFICATION I COME UNDER - WHILST RENTERS GET RENT ASSISTANCE A PERSON WITH A MORTGAGE GETS NO ASSISTANCE - RENTERS DON'T PAY RATES SO THEY ARE BETTER OFF THAN MYSELF AND LOT'S MORE BESIDES - FAIR ENOUGH WE DO GET SOME CONCESSIONS FROM THE STATE WITH RATES ETC BUT IT DOES'T COVER THE RISING COSTS OF SEVICES - THE COST OF WATER IS NOW HORRENDOUS AND ELECTRICITY TOO - MY HOUSE INSURANCE HAS JUST GONE UP - BANG THERE GOES THE PALTRY $10 A FORTNIGHT WE GOT - WITH THE DIFFERENT INCREASES I' AM WORSE OFF THAN I WAS BEFORE- I THINK I'LL SELL UP AND GO ON THE RENTAL TRAIN - THERE WAS A PICTURE ON MY COMPUTER NEWS REGARDS THE POLLIES - ALL SAT THERE WITH A BIG GRIN ON THEIR FACES WITH THE NEWS THEY HAVE BEEN GRANTED A 3%-INCREASE - NO WONDER - FEDS THAT IS - PROBABLY WON'T BE LONG BEFORE THE STATE POLLIES JUMP ON THE GRAVY TRAIN TOO - - FED UP WITH THE LOT OF THEM - DJ
    musicveg
    7th Jun 2019
    6:54pm
    Yes deejay, the pollies always get what they want, and people voted the Libs back in despite all the lies and promises that they will not keep, again people have been fooled once again. Be careful considering renting, I rent and the price rises every 12 months and I only get a 12 month lease at a time, you need to think about where you will rent and see if you can get a long lease with a fixed rent amount if you can.
    deejay
    7th Jun 2019
    7:41pm
    THANKS MUSICVEG - I'VE CONSIDERED RENTING BUT I'VE GOT A BETTER IDEA - I THINK I'LL BECOME A GREY NOMAD - NO MORE RATES , WATER , ELECTRIC , GAS BILLS TO THE BIG GUYS - SELL THE HOUSE -PAY OUT THE MORTGAGE AND BUY A MOTOR HOME AND JUST DRIVE OFF TO WHERE-EVER - FORGET THE CARAVAN PARKS THEY ARE WAY TO EXPENSIVE - THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT THE MORE I'M GETTING TO LIKE THE IDEA - ANYBODY GOT BETTER IDEAS - AGED PENSIONERS NEED SOMEONE TO ORGANIZE A MARCH TO SHOW THESE POLLIES HOW DIS SATISFIED WE ARE - BY THE TIME THIS HAPPENS [ IF EVER ] I'LL PROBABLY HAVE HIT THE ROAD OR SNUFFED IT - DJ
    deejay
    7th Jun 2019
    7:41pm
    THANKS MUSICVEG - I'VE CONSIDERED RENTING BUT I'VE GOT A BETTER IDEA - I THINK I'LL BECOME A GREY NOMAD - NO MORE RATES , WATER , ELECTRIC , GAS BILLS TO THE BIG GUYS - SELL THE HOUSE -PAY OUT THE MORTGAGE AND BUY A MOTOR HOME AND JUST DRIVE OFF TO WHERE-EVER - FORGET THE CARAVAN PARKS THEY ARE WAY TO EXPENSIVE - THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT THE MORE I'M GETTING TO LIKE THE IDEA - ANYBODY GOT BETTER IDEAS - AGED PENSIONERS NEED SOMEONE TO ORGANIZE A MARCH TO SHOW THESE POLLIES HOW DIS SATISFIED WE ARE - BY THE TIME THIS HAPPENS [ IF EVER ] I'LL PROBABLY HAVE HIT THE ROAD OR SNUFFED IT - DJ
    musicveg
    7th Jun 2019
    8:15pm
    Sounds like a better idea deejay, put the solar cells on the motor home too so you can be off grid, if there is nothing stopping you just go for it and enjoy your life. I am saving up for a tiny house too. There is a website that advertises them and you can find land to rent too.
    https://tinyrealestate.com.au/find-land-park-tiny-house-much-pay/
    Owning a house is becoming a burden sadly, people might be asset rich but their lives are lived poorly with stress of paying so many bills, it is really bad in USA and Australia seems to want to follow this horrible trend.


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