Carrot not stick approach sought in family home debate

Is including the family home in the Age Pension assets test the right thing to do?

family home

“Trust an economist to ringmaster a circus”, you said. “Of course an economist would favour the economy and not the retiree,” you added. “Hands off the family home!” you said.

Last week, Deloitte Access Economics' Chris Richardson said that including the family home in the Age Pension assets test was “the right thing to do”.

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

To gauge whether the economists’ views were more widely held, we sought further opinion and discovered some resistance and some who knew their view would be unpopular.

Amanda Graham, co-founder and co-CEO of Downsizing.com.au
Australia has a great tradition of encouraging Australians to buy a home by exempting the family home from taxes such as land tax and capital gains tax.

Making the family home part of the Age Pension assets test would go against this proud tradition.

It represents a stick approach to an ‘empty nest’ problem when what we need is a carrot approach.

In April–May 2019, a Downsizing.com.au survey that received 700 responses sought to gauge Australians’ preferred policy options leading into the federal election.

Apart from increasing the amount of the pension, the No.1 preferred policy option was to exempt the proceeds of the sale of a family home from the pension assets test.

This was supported by more than 40 per cent of respondents.

The Rudd Government in 2013–14 announced a pilot scheme to exempt downsizing sale proceeds from the pension assets test.

The concept was scrapped in 2014 by the incoming Abbott Government and never implemented. Various stakeholders, including the Property Council of Australia, have since proposed a range of models to revive the scheme.

We believe the Government needs to re-investigate exempting family home sale proceeds from the pension assets test, to encourage seniors to move into more suitable accommodation and to free up existing homes for younger families.

Noel Whittaker, personal finance specialist
The pension is welfare, and welfare expenditure is increasing by eight per cent per annum – way above national income. To any reasonable person, it would seem unfair that a couple can live in a $4 million house, have the boat and the cars owned by the kids, have $200,000 in super and still get the full pension. It won't be popular, but that's my view.

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist with The Australia Institute
Including or not including the family home as part of the assets test is not really a yes or no answer. There are arguments on both sides.

I think there should be a cap on the value of the home before it affects the Age Pension assets test. So (and I’m just plucking a number) if you had a cap of $1 million, then your home would have to be worth more than $1 million before it affected the assets test and then only that part of the asset that was worth more than $1 million would be included in the assets test.

The biggest problem with including the home in the assets test is that its value will vary significantly depending on where it is located. That means if it was included in the assets test, you might force retired people to move away from family, friends, community and other support networks.

Economists are famous for saying ‘on one hand … but on the other hand’, and I fear that’s exactly what I’m doing now.

Dallas Achilles, consumer services professional
I don't think it is fair for older Australians who have lived in their homes for most of their lives to be penalised, just because the value of the land where their home is located has increased in value.

A roundabout way of recovering some of the Age Pension costs, and taking advantage of the escalating values of ‘homes’, is to expand the already expanded (since 1 July 2019) Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) to allow limited lump sum payments.

Right now, under the expanded PLS, anyone over Age Pension age (including self-funded retirees) can access up to 150 per cent of the fortnightly Age Pension rate – but not in a lump sum.

The debt is payable if the property is sold or upon death. Administrative costs aren't high as no mortgages are involved – only a caveat on the property.

Reverse mortgages can be a daunting and complex exercise. Centrelink’s PLS is much simpler, and flexible, as rates could be reduced or stopped at any time and so on. The debt attracts 5.25 per cent interest (compounding).

Do you believe including the family home in the assets test is inevitable? Is one of the greatest hurdles setting a value over which a home could be included in an assessment?

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    COMMENTS

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    Chris B T
    17th Jul 2019
    9:05am
    No Asset Test On Home
    No asset Test At All
    The belief that there are so many Wealthy Homes Own By Pensioners, do a survey of where all Pensioner Home Owners Live.
    This Information Is Given When Applying For Pension as Place of Abode.
    My belief it would be about 2% above $5 million, 10% above $1 to $5 million, 50% $500k to $1 million and than the Rest 38%.
    Not the Great % Portrayed.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    9:32am
    Chris, do you have any basis for the property value distribution above or is it just your belief?
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    9:58am
    Reasonable estimates.... doesn't matter anyway since you can't eat the house - you live there and since it was never a business deduction, you own it pure and simple and the government has no claim on it in any way.

    Pretty simple, eh?
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    10:10am
    Same applies to all other assets bought from post-tax income.... BTW....

    Revolution imminent....
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:19am
    I live in a whole street full of $1 million plus homes mostly owned by OAPs.

    Just give everyone who wants it the OAP which is to be paid back from their estate when they die. No problem with selling houses etc.

    Fair to everyone.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:26am
    So, LiveItUp ( can we just call you SKI?) , you want to government to reimburse all costs of owning a home so that, upon death they have actually earned some 'right' to take money out of an estate?

    A home is either an investment or it is a person post-tax purchase - can't have it both ways - and if it is an investment in anything, including an estate, all costs associated with it must be tax concession along the way...
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    11:33am
    LiveitUp, you must live in the same street as Old Geezer, he lives in a whole street of million dollar houses owned by OAPs and wants the pension paid back on death.
    As I said earlier, we live in a democracy and everyone must be treated equally. So, on death, all the tax payer funded benefits you have enjoyed during your life must be paid back...tax cuts, child benefits, treatment in a public hospital, unemployment benefits, seniors card, health card, etc.
    Of course in the case of the OAP the government would have to take into account the amount they took off workers all those years ago.
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2019
    11:37am
    Gee Bob, your post about a revolution made me think of Dave Allen. He had a comedy routine about rising up and taking over, part of it was; There will be a gnashing of teeth; teeth will be provided!" Little retirement places on the mid north coast are sure to be needing teeth for the gnashing.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:43am
    No I just want any OAP collected paid back when you die. It would then be available to anyone regardless of their assets and income.

    That's a lot fairer than the current inequitable system where you can have a $10 million house and collect the full pension.

    What taxpayer benefits? I don't get any myself.
    Mad as Hell
    17th Jul 2019
    12:00pm
    Someone will always find a loophole governments are always chasing their tail
    No Assets Test
    Abolish negative gearing on all investments
    Abolish franking credits
    Universal pension for all
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    12:00pm
    Aah, so that’s the reason for your angst, LiveitUp, pension envy.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:32pm
    Pension envy? ROFL
    Chris B T
    17th Jul 2019
    3:55pm
    I sad Take A Survey, not hard as Centerlink Has All Your Addresses.
    I believe it is a Beat Up Just To Have An Excuse To Bring In Asset Test For Home Owners Home.
    Just Remember Some Of These Wealthy Homes Value Is Location Not The Condition Or Type Of Dwelling.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    5:43pm
    Would not work Liveitup as nobody would leave an estate if that was the case.

    Capital gain tax the sale of the family home after buying and holding costs.

    It's actually a depreciating asset over long time frames regardless and these economists should know that.

    Once you subtract the holding costs there is less than 2% appreciation annually over the last 100 years.

    Best bet will be the housing price correction. Take 60% or so off current prices and these idiot economists will stop seeing money piles to rob and have something real to worry about.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    7:32pm
    A gnashing of gums.... arrrgh...
    Blinky
    17th Jul 2019
    11:42pm
    Leave the primary home alone. Stop harassing pensioners!!!
    If u need money, reduce foreign aid and asylum seekers.
    GeorgeM
    19th Jul 2019
    12:29am
    Agree, Blinky. This is just another repeat topic encouraged by Liberal-supporting economists who do not need age pension themselves after having reaped massive tax exemptions on their devious tax-evading schemes. YLC needs to call them out a bit more strongly.

    The whole idea / "debate" is a redundant piece of nonsense - in a massively resource-rich country such as Australia the topics should be:
    a. We should have NO Income Taxes, and
    b. ALL should get Universal Age Pension with NO tests other than Age (65 years is enough) and Residency (say 15 years).
    Just ensure ALL companies pay Minimum Taxes of say 25% for Companies on Gross Income (maybe only allow LOCAL verified expenses as Deductions).
    Farside
    19th Jul 2019
    10:14am
    are you saying to tax companies 25% of turnover George?

    While I don't think anybody who could make such a change is listening, it is an interesting idea as a thought experiment to consider how many companies would maintain a presence in Australia and what the consequences might be for consumers.
    GeorgeM
    19th Jul 2019
    12:59pm
    Farside, what is your problem - made too much money from a multinational?
    Re: your word "turnover", note that I did mention "maybe only allow LOCAL verified expenses as Deductions" - my comment was to indicate that essentially we need to prevent the fraudulent claiming of unverifiable / non-genuine overseas expenses which result in most of these companies paying close to ZERO taxes? 25% is a SUGGESTION and depends on what's reasonable, definitely ZERO (or close to it) IS NOT - are you happy with 20% as Minimum Tax rate? I can guarantee that large companies will not run away and forego huge profits just because they have to pay a little more taxes. Also, Consumers will have lots more money to spend - great for business.

    Bottom line is - We Australians are foregoing massive amounts of Revenue while screwing the local people including pensioners. That MUST be stopped, and we Retirees with massive experience of conditions in this country need to wake up and start acting in our own interests, especially as the working Australians are not focused on this matter while they have their heads down trying to survive or earn a decent living.
    Farside
    19th Jul 2019
    8:35pm
    George, why the hostility? I am all for supporting local efforts and do what I can when I can. I happily pay more for local produced on the basis of use it or lose it and have done so for many years. You were the one who said "25% for Companies on Gross Income" and I asked clarification of what that meant, simple as that. Gross income is usually equivalent to gross revenue (aka turnover) but rarely has it any relationship to profitability or gross profit, which is after deducting the costs of production. I have no objection to disallowing fraudulent claiming of unverifiable /non-genuine overseas expenses but there are still plenty of legal, verifiable loopholes that require attention. Turnover based taxes have the potential to hurt importers, low margin and loss-making businesses so any rate must necessarily be low. There is a school of thought that favours treating deemed turnover taxes similar to franking as offset against assessed taxes.

    As it turns out I have worked with several multinationals and in my case returned income to Australia. I am however aware of many of the methods used by multinationals and domestic companies to shift profits and stash money offshore. I wrote my first paper on actions required to eliminate transfer pricing in the early 80s but clearly it did not go far to changing attitudes.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    9:30am
    It is inevitable the family home will be included in the assets test so long as there is a means tested pension. The improved value on the property rates certificate can be used for setting a value of a home in an assessment.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:20am
    Investment properties are already valued so no different valuing the house you lie in.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:26am
    You said it yourself, SKI - an investment is an investment.. no comparison.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    5:45pm
    At which point the aged pensioners forced to sell will have to and crash the market. Great idea.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    9:57am
    'Experts' (falls off chair laughing)....
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    11:19am
    "Revolution imminent..." falls down laughing again, yeah sure, don't hold your breath.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:28am
    We're a pretty peaceable lot in Oz, I know... oh, well... I once did a thing on Ned Kelly for uni - revolutionary or criminal - on the balance of evidence a revolutionary - but like John Brown the Abolitionist - nobody rose to his Cause, so he was lost...

    Down Kelly Country way he is a hero ....
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    12:31pm
    folks are cut from a different cloth these days in case you had not noticed Trebor. These days apathy rules and she'll be right is the zeitgeist of modern Australia.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    5:46pm
    If they could actually see consequences it would be helpful. Pity they can't and their predictions aren't terribly clever either.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    10:01am
    A carrot wielded enough times or big enough constitutes a stick... and they know where they can stick that...

    I'd say let US take the stick to the bastards at every opportunity....

    Our place is valued at less than $500k - and with a mortgage... they can stick it where the sun doesn't shine .... or pay the mortgage, the rates, and so forth.....
    older&wiser
    17th Jul 2019
    2:05pm
    Absolutely agree Trebor. Want some cash? - oh well, just sell off a bedroom, or the garage. I'm the same as you - mortgage, rates, maintenance, costs, etc. No incentive to save for your old home. Can see it in 40/50 years - the govt complaining that consolidated revenue is falling because so few people own their own home!
    I would only even give a slight consideration to the home being in the Assets test if the home was valued at some huge amount - say around $10 million. Also - WHO is going to run, organise, control and oversee this disaster? How would homes be valued? With the amount valuers charge at the moment, god forbid! Just like Real Estate Agents, one valuer might value it at $X, another at $Y. Would be rife for fraud.
    A few years ago, I had my car written off. It was 21 years old, in mint condition, less than 92,000kms on it, with many top value extras. Due to age of car, I could not get insurance for agreed value. I got back exactly the same amount as if I had an absolute junk heap rust bucket with 500,000 kms on it. Made not the slightest difference that I had looked after it, and kept it in prime condition. So would be the same with valuing houses. A total rort. Like you - they can stick it...
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    5:48pm
    Nobody in a $10million house is getting an aged pension. They couldn't even pay the rates and insurances with it. This is so unrealistic. Where do these economists dream up this stuff.
    grumpyoldwoman
    17th Jul 2019
    10:10am
    Quote "No Asset Test On Home...No asset Test at All" I totally agree with Chris B T
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:21am
    Agree just give the OAP to anyone who wants it which I to be pad back when you die.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:29am
    Nah - 180 deg wrong, SKI - pension is paid for into consolidated revenue ... it is being paid back when it is drawn, so is not a debt after death....
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    11:48am
    LiveitUp, what about people who have nothing, no savings, no house? How are they going to pay anything back out of a negative estate? That policy you vote for is going to cause a lot of anarchy, folk who have worked and slaved all their lives to own a house and a bit of savings are not going to accept that they did it all so they could bequeath it to the government.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:52am
    If people have nothing then they are the ones that deserve welfare. Like all others debts the OAP pension debt would only be paid if you had enough left to pay it.

    They could always make the family pay the debt too.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:54am
    What about those who have worked and slaved all their life but can't get the OAP due to the asset and income tests? The house is so inequitable that the only way to make it fair is make it an asset and test it too.
    AutumnOz
    17th Jul 2019
    2:34pm
    LiveiItUp, if people have worked and slaved all their live but they can't get a pension because of their income and assets, they have more money than many home owners.

    The OAP is not welfare it has been paid for by workers with 7/5% on their tax bill each year.

    Try to check your facts and to make some sense before repeating rubbish such as "home owners must repay their pension after they die from the value of their home.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:09pm
    Rubbish.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    5:52pm
    Welfare is not paid for by workers. Tax is purely to control inflation. The Government can issue debt instruments to do as it pleases. Besides all the sales of all the assets we paid high taxes to build should be there to pay all a pension surely.
    Trillions of dollars. They can't have wasted it all surely.
    Charlie
    17th Jul 2019
    10:12am
    As homeownership decreases amounts retirees, the more political pressure will come to bear to include it in the assets test. Most of us made many sacrifices in life's journey to own our own home in retirement. The frivolous along with a supportive government that wants more and more will win this one. Unfortunately!
    Sen.Cit.90
    17th Jul 2019
    10:19am
    Where would we fit in who are in Retirement villages who are subject to exit fees? Mine is 30% plus the cost of refurbishing. Chris B T and Trebor, I'm with you on your comments.
    geordie
    17th Jul 2019
    10:24am
    Where else and from who else is the Government going to get their money from. The kids of today are spend spend spend. Thats why they cant afford houses. Its the only thing keeping the economy doing as well as it is. Pollies like to spend spend spend also, somwhere do you get the extra moolah? Obviously from retired people who in their day were told/advised by the g'ment to save save save. Im opening an account in Bermuda.....
    Im a self funded retiree, or will be soon. Thank you government for giving us a clue as to where youre heading with all these extra taxes. Fore warned is fore armed.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:30am
    Not from the global economy they love so much - other than by borrowing from offshore banks etc....
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    12:41pm
    claims that "The kids of today are spend spend spend. That's why they cant afford houses." are bollocks. Do the math based on average median incomes and house prices. Talk to some young'uns in ordinary jobs and young families to support for a reality check beyond the sweeping generalisations. It's hard enough for kids to cobble together a large enough deposit to service the loan even with current record low interest rates.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    5:56pm
    Yes go spend, spend, spend and then get the couple pension and all the lurks. How good is Australia.

    Farside don't worry these crazy prices can't hold much longer. 60% falls as in the US and Ireland could be expected.

    I've just been overseas and can assure you the young are travelling and having a great time and good on them. Obviously saving is for suckers as you only get punished for it anyway.
    Anonymous
    21st Jul 2019
    12:25pm
    ..my advice save just enough to get the pension and the concesson card...why scrimp and save...may as well get on the bandwagon and then the government will have a problem with ALL retireess on some sort of pension and concessions...how it will be paid for who cares!!
    Katie
    17th Jul 2019
    10:25am
    I is not inevitable the family home should be means tested. It can only happen if soft voters let it. Demand to be heard!!! The family home over the life of the loan which is the majorities' working life, has been taxed and banking interest paid in amounts that make it a breakeven proposition for most. The current loans of $1M-$2M minimum will incur ridiculous amounts of interest that are unlikely to ever see a breakeven. The Pension was created for taxpayers who contribute all their life which is the majority. This is a base income for those same people who have contributed and now can no longer. Also what about parents who have kids with disabilities. Should they be persecuted because they are housing their child with a disability and saving the Govt the cost of this. That home needs to be there for the child when the parent passes, so the child is not homeless. My daughter will be in the exact situation. And why should I move my daughter to a cheaper state away from the essential services, family and community she needs because I have to live off my house funds and leave her destitute when I die. While I've watched the Govt squander taxes in subsidies for big business; mining corporations etc while letting them not pay their proper share of taxation in this country. The family home in it's life cycle has paid in taxes in one shape or another over and over again. And so have the occupants. My daughter even with her disability works in modified employment - still earning a wage and still paying taxes. The Govt is greedy, fiscally irresponsible and backs corporate wealth over taxpayers. Hands off the family home - it's not an asset - it's a life long liability that very few financially benefit from in the long run. And what about the next generation coming through. Without any hope of a inheritance, will unlikely never own a house or pay it off. Legislation is permanent not temporary. They already want to put the Age Pension age to 70 years - imagine living on unemployment of $273 pwk from 65 till 70 years, because no one will employ you, then having your family home means tested to get another $140pwk. What a joke. Fight for your right to your pension not to include the family home and tell this Govt to stop rorting the taxpayer funds and start building the wealth of the public purse instead of draining it to their mates in disguised corporate entities and overpriced mismanaged infrastructure projects; then there will be enough revenue for the Aged Pension. This Govt has the philosophy Starve the Beast - take all the funds out of the taxpayer purse and make them grovel for tuppence; and pour the same funds into the hands of big business. Stand Up and be Heard - and write to your politicians and tell them you will not Stand for a means test on the family home!
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:41am
    Game Plan - reduce the peasants unto servitude and impoverishment, so as to create a Utopia in which business magnates will profit mightily and thus Trickledown will benefit all of society and all will prosper mightily..... free range capitalism unfettered by any controls will create a Brave New World for all....... equally....

    Suddenly John Howard awoke from his Utopian dream with a jerk.. seeing the jerk was Tony Abbott beside him as his bedfellow, he immediately vomited and kicked Tony out, only to find Fat Joe sleeping it off on the lounge surrounded by cigar fumes and arm in arm with a strange Belgian with a comic opera Cherman agzent...

    "Not your fault, son!", said Wee Johnnie desperately ...."I blame those Belgians! Not your fault that you became Dok-Tor Evil Economics, Fat Joe..."
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:41am
    .. and then begin the Hunger Games..........
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    12:57pm
    be kind to the Belgians Trebor, they are not all responsible for the Hunger Games. Cherman (German) is only spoken by 1% of population ... old mate Matthias is from Eupen, which is in the German speaking region on the border so he cannot really help himself.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:00pm
    Yes, Katie, the Turnbull's home is said to be worth $50 million but he will still get his taxpayer funded pension, office, office staff, gold pass, etc. Take the trough away from them before putting elderly OAPs on the street.
    KSS
    17th Jul 2019
    4:23pm
    So Triss where is the acknowledgement that Mr Turnbull donated his entire parliamentary salary to charity,? Or as usual you just cherry pick information.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:03pm
    Katie have no fear. Nobody can touch a house that has a dependent in it apart from the bank if you have debt unpaid. Your daughter is safe.

    In fact we'd all be wise to move our youngest grandchild in as a dependent and really fuck with these maniacs.

    The Liberals are not out to get anyone. There entire aim is to stop Labor gaining government and helping people. That's it end of plan. It's why they have no policy but "blame Labor".

    Nothing to worry about from them. These economists are dangerous though. They never see Depressions coming and their ideas are often very dangerous.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:11pm
    So, KSS, where is the proof that Turnbull donates half a million dollars to charity, or is it to his and Lucy's private ancillory charity. I hesitate to say this but if he can so easily donate that amount it's no wonder he can't understand how devastated workers were when he backed penalty rate cuts.
    Buggsie
    17th Jul 2019
    10:26am
    Yes the sooner the better to be fair to all. Why should someone in Sydney or Melbourne qualify for a full pension if their home is worth over $2million? When others like me with far less total assets including my home do not get a cent of pension? No social justice in that, is there? As I say, the sooner the better!
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:43am
    ummmm.. lock in a. Eddy...... let's keep it simple .... lock in a........ the cost of their home in El Cidney or Malbadishu is far higher than the bush ....
    Eddy
    17th Jul 2019
    4:28pm
    Since Trebor has already included me I won't contribute further.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:07pm
    Is that an example of revenge being served cold or just politics of envy creeping out.

    There is no social justice in any of it now.

    It's just reward those who play the rules or spend everything while punishing savers and everyone is real mean to the disadvantaged and unfortunates who really should be being looked after far better.

    It must be near end times because none of it actually makes any rational sense anymore.
    MJM
    17th Jul 2019
    10:41am
    The most upsetting thing for me right now is what to do !!! Sell downsize renovate run to Sweden to live!!!!! Already they have added 7 years to my working life .. I will be elderly looking after the elderly as an AIN. I have a modest house under $1 m and a piddly super account .. so hopefully they will go away and leave me to enjoy my life.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    10:57am
    don't be confused by your life choices ... work if you can, else selling and downsizing to free up cash is a no brainer. Make a sea or tree change to something more affordable, often more comfortable and bonus is it also reduces your exposure to the assets test.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:45am
    Sea change is keeping property values high here when they are falling in El Cidney and Malbadishu, Kahmberratoom, Darwin es-Salaam, and so forth....

    Might go a spot of whale watching after a nap.... it's hard work saving this silly nation from itself....

    When did the government of national reconciliation become a government of wrecking a silly nation?
    Poppy
    17th Jul 2019
    10:44am
    I know of people who own a holiday home brought years and years ago. On the coast, and that holiday home is not counted as an asset, today that holiday home is worth a $million but won't sell because they want pension. Now that is shear greed,. Before including the family home consider the holiday home first.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    11:16am
    Why do you believe the holiday home is not counted as an asset? As far as I am aware the only real estate Centrelink do not include in your assets is your principal home.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:03pm
    Yes, I thought that, Farside.
    older&wiser
    17th Jul 2019
    2:15pm
    Sorry Poppy - complete rubbish! I have only just been through this with my brother. Only the primary residence is exempt from the assets test.
    My brother owns his own home. He bought an overpriced home on the coast some years ago, thinking he would eventually sell here, and move there. Rented the 'holiday house' for what he thought would be the short term. But circumstances change, and now he could not sell it for anywhere near what he paid for it. So people looking at him might assume (incorrectly) that he is similar to the example you give. Because he has negative equity in his holiday home, he still gets the full pension. He has just sold the holiday house at a huge loss, wiping out most of his super.
    RobP
    17th Jul 2019
    10:47am
    I think that asset testing the family home has to depend on whether there are any dependants in the home for the homeowner. i do not think age should be a factor. Older children can be unemployed, older parents can have young children and relatives can be carers. I think the income of the family and the demands upon the income need to be assessed before using the value of the family home to deny income. The value of the family home is not known in fact until the home is sold and selling the home would render the occupants homeless. I think it is wrong and uncivil to force people out of their homes when no money has changed hands. If a family did own a four million dollar home and boats etc it is unlikely that they would need the pension. If there is any doubt a case by case consideration could be applied. I think it would be wrong to force retired folk out of their homes and/or deny them living expenses. it is wrong to value young families over and above ageing people. All members of the community are valuable and deserving of food and shelter and consideration.
    Not Amused
    17th Jul 2019
    11:07am
    Such an abhorrent disincentive for people to make sacrifices and pay significant rates, taxes and maintenance costs on their family home would have to be pre-election party policy. A party that so much as canvassed this idea would never be elected! As well, any politician promoting this idea would have to agree that his/her pension would also include home ownership assets testing. Politicians' pension conditions would have to be totally re-jigged or they would feel the wrath of the people. IMO it's a ridiculous notion only up for discussion on slow news days.
    Hardworker
    17th Jul 2019
    11:24am
    It's the same old story. Obviously Noel Whittaker and all those other financial advisers can advise the wealthy, who can afford them, how to keep the mansion and other luxuries by putting them in the names of their children and still collect the Aged Pension. Maybe the home (floor area only) should be included but only over a high figure in order to stop this rorting. The rest of us would not be included as we live 'ordinary lives' not 'luxurious lives'. The unfortunate part is that this decision, once introduced, may in time become a slippery slope and end up affecting more and more of us.
    Tood
    17th Jul 2019
    11:24am
    No Noel Whittaker, the pension is not welfare, it is an entitlement that I and thousands of taxpayers have contributed to over our working lives.
    If this govt cannot organise a non asset tested pension then it will never be able to manage to equitably include the home as an asset considering the mine field of variables.
    As many have stated a house does not transfer into cash for everyday living and in fact it costs money to maintain, repair, council fees, etc etc.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:20pm
    ahem, the pension is welfare, at least according to Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, which makes opinions to the contrary rather pointless. She described the aged pension as welfare and "a generous amount of money that the Australian taxpayers make available to our older Australians ... unable to look after themselves".
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:08pm
    If that's so, Farside, then we need to axe completely the pensions of ex pollies because they are far more able to look after themselves, being decades younger/ running their own businesses,/ being given highly paid grace and favour jobs and overseas ambassador type jobs.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    7:42pm
    Social Services Minister (says it right there - she can't even name her own portfolio correctly) Anne Ruston..... **falls off chair laughing again**

    Social Security is the payment network - welfare/well-being etc are the INTENT of the payment under Social Security - it's a lazy woman's way to use the shorter term 'welfare' to describe social security and she really should read her own sign on the door...

    What a joke these politicians are with their planned BS ....

    Giver her $40 a day to live on - no extras.... watch her cry ....
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    2:53am
    In response to whether she could live on the pension, Ruston says it is irrelevant. This should not surprise anybody.

    As for comparison to pollie pensions, also irrelevant as this is part of their package. That said, I think their packages should be amended so they have same benefits and access as ordinary taxpayers (and restrict them from working in areas related to their service for six years).
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:17pm
    Indeed Farside. In fact they should not be allowed to work to benefit foreign interests ever in my opinion.

    The outcome of attacking Australian home ownership will be foreign landlord corporations. Probably paying no tax as they bleed the natives for funds to expand.

    We are so stupid in Australia allowing sale of freehold property to anyone.

    Our grandkids won't start a chance if we aren't careful and look towards the final possible consequences.
    ozrog
    17th Jul 2019
    11:28am
    Tell them to go away. Leave yhe home alone. I could of used harsher words but I'm feeling he might have mental health issues.
    Blinky
    17th Jul 2019
    11:48pm
    How come these "financial experts" do not tell politicians their very expensive mansions should also be included in an asset test x pollies?
    If there is money to pay x pollies' full, fat pensions, why shouldn't there be money x your humble Aussie battlers in their old age?
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    2:54am
    A financial expert knows enough to realise pollie pay and aged opensions are unrelated.
    VinceD
    17th Jul 2019
    11:29am
    Don't do it. It would devalue properties at the higher end as retirees downsize/downcost and it would increase competition for lower value properties making it more difficult for younger people to buy a home. It would also create stress for older people who suddenly have to move from their family home of many years and away from their friends and neighbours. We paid for our pension but successive governments chipped away at it by stealth and now the money is gone. The pension should be universal but I doubt that we will see this lying greedy careless government do anything about it.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:21pm
    There was no chipping away at it. They sold the assets we built to generate funds in a fascist frenzy of privatisation and then blew or lost the profits.

    They need to be made accountable for that. Maybe from their own portfolios of dozens of houses.

    The pension should be universal is the truth of it all and we paid enough taxes before all the tax cuts to ensure that should be the case.

    17th Jul 2019
    11:31am
    This topic has been done to death. Why don't the people at YLC take the time to go back to the previous articles on this topic and count those for including the family home and those against it. They can publish the numbers of people who have more of an interest in the topic.

    I have made my opinion known a number of times; the family home cannot be included because of a number of factors, the main one being that real estate prices vary dramatically depending on a postcode rather than how a property presents. I agree that downsizing should cause any surplus to be considered as an asset.

    There is a way around the problem if any government is stupid enough to try and include the family home as an asset. Draw up a mortgage covering 80% of the value of your property with your children and claim that you owe money on your home. No money changes hands but the debt is there on paper.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:32pm
    a fake mortgage does not diminish the value of your principal place of residence, though it may reduce the net value of your assets however the rort-around-scheme is easily trumped by a federal land tax upon the property owners that ignores mortgages (fake or otherwise) ... very hard to avoid.
    grumpyoldwoman
    17th Jul 2019
    1:54pm
    Our home is being left to charities in our Wills end of story and we are not going to let the Government get their ..... fingers on one brick! If they send us under with no pension I will plant veggies in pots and become a vegetarian! I am well and truly over them shifting the goal posts there has to be a limit to how many times than can do this to grab money from everyone, and if there isn't there should be!
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:27pm
    An increased GST and land tax is probably inevitable. The main aim of the Liberals is to keep Labor from governing. They have no other policies and so have sold everything Labor built off. It's pretty dumb but there it is and it was always the history of the Liberal Party.
    They never did try to hide it.
    Richard
    17th Jul 2019
    11:34am
    By what economic criteria does that make sense, other than putting the political objective of balancing the budget ahead of the welfare of citizens. The family home is not an income generator. Only income should be taken into account when determining pensions. Suggestions like that reveal a very shortsighted and narrow view of what an economy is for in my view.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:49am
    True - as I've said before - a Windbag or a boat are net losses - not income earners.... so what is this 'assets test' business that includes no income-generating assets, that are then taken into account re price once sold? Double dipping much?

    ONLY income-generating assets should be included (fringe benefits are income by another name - not part of this discussion).

    What if I build that homebuilt aircraft in the garage.. am I suddenly rich when I'll have to ration flying to suit petrol price and it's all achieved with my own hard work and money?
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:34pm
    then something as simple as cash in a non-interest bearing account is not an assessable asset?
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    7:49pm
    ..been through that one, Farside - Colonel C'Link/ATO have access to your account information and a calculation could be done automatically on real income earned.

    Pure laziness on their part and leaves them plenty of leeway for shenanigans = control over the individual.... Read The Prince by Machiavelli - a ruler should be capricious at times and arbitrary when it suits... jeez - surely you've had bosses who think they can behave that way... make a name for themselves - usually it is Flop or Mud, and they ruin businesses...

    So it behoves Colonel C'Link/ATO as the ruler of the peasants and the strong right arm of government in the War of Suppression, to leave plenty of room to be arbitrary and capricious... so as to engender fear ...

    P.S. That's also why we have laws that permit capricious and arbitrary behaviour by certain selected groups in our society - in order to enable a climate of fear and a reign of terror... see industrial relations, women's rights, Indigenous rights/recognition/inclusion, ethnic sensitivities, rights of the victim.... plenty to choose from.... and all favour capricious behaviour as their chosen weapon de jour....
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    2:59am
    nod of the head to Trebor for using "capricious" in a sentence.
    Priscilla
    17th Jul 2019
    11:35am
    NO! My home is where I live (rent free) because I went without to ensure my home was paid for by the time I retired. Why should I sell it and pay rent to some investor? Does not make sense. People who still have to pay rent in their retirement are the people who are below the poverty line and struggling to exist. Leave us alone. We have worked hard for what we have. Fix the economy by giving jobs to Australians and not overseas workers. Give Australians full-time work instead of whatever casual work remains for them. Train apprentices and retrain older Australians who have lost their jobs and cannot find work. Stop all this artificial intelligence takover jobs and making more unemployed. Regulate the greedy banks and superannuation companies. So many things the government should be doing but would rather attack retirees.
    KSS
    17th Jul 2019
    1:08pm
    But you don't live rent free at all.

    You pay rates, home insurance, maintainance, water and sewage, replace essental appliances like cookers none of which a renter has to pay and which can add up to more than a weekly rent. And you don't get rent assistance either on a pension.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:35pm
    "My home is where I live (rent free) because I went without to ensure my home was paid for by the time I retired. " ... this a life choice.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:15pm
    You're right, Priscilla. We downsized a couple of years ago and an investor bought it and renters moved in the day after we moved out so our downsizing didn't help the families that the government insisted would be able to get into property owning.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:38pm
    Triss I really believe these privateers want a corporate rental climate as you find in Europe where very few own homes and housing is owned and supplied by professional landlord organisations. Easier to control workers that way.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    7:51pm
    Correct KSS - if a government wants to make a home an asset, they must pay now and indexed all costs that went into generating that asset - including past losses from divorce etc....

    I'd be a rich man, having lost two homes to bad women...
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    3:02am
    "having lost two homes to bad women..." ... these are life choices Trebor, and yep, choices have consequences as your story illustrates.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:23pm
    I lost a house to Central bankers and bad government Farside. It's not easy forgiving that either.
    At least with bad women you might have gotten some bonuses out of it. The Government and bankers just make stupid decisions you have to wear with often not compensation at all.

    Choices do have consequences. Foreign ownership of Australia and natives recolonised and at the mercy of feudal landlord corporations isn't unseeable. You want that?
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    6:30pm
    Rae asks "Foreign ownership of Australia and natives recolonised and at the mercy of feudal landlord corporations isn't unseeable. You want that?" – no.

    But that said Australians need to take responsibility for their decisions and recognise it is not within the capacity of most to rewrite history. Nevertheless there is little point arguing the toss. Australia needs foreign investment and corporate landlords are definitely foreseeable as they are in western Europe.
    Lookfar
    17th Jul 2019
    11:35am
    The PLS, Pension Loans Scheme, at 5.25% is high, (all over the world very low interest rates are offered) but not excessive, - in regard to Australian banks, but having it Compounded is the killer, that is what turns a Credit Card into a nightmare, that is what allows the super rich to sink their fangs into your jugular, it has no place in the debate, it can turn a $1000. debt into you having to sell your home and live in a tent, there is no justification for adding compounding interest to a loan that is totally secured by the property value nor is there much paperwork, - it takes a simple few keystrokes, that created money is a gift to the bank as it can then borrow against it and add more loan money to it's resources by using your property as extra collateral according to the act, win win for them, no excuse to gauge and gauge the owner of the resource, - you.
    Whether the Govt. provides (creates) the money or the banks, there is no justification for Compounding, - they already have a share of your property to secure the money, Adding Compounding to expand their share is Usury, or more simple, Theft.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:39pm
    I have no objection to the idea of the PLS, however I think the rate should be the same as the deeming rate. Since the deeming rate is supposed to equal amount earned on investment, there is no reason why this should not also be deemed rate charged to the borrower.
    older&wiser
    17th Jul 2019
    2:18pm
    Agree the PLS rate is ludicrously high.
    Poor Bazza
    17th Jul 2019
    11:38am
    If the government is softening us up to apply the Asset test to the family home, why not use the median price for that particular suburb as the base line and only include in the Assets test any value of the house over the median.
    That way if you live in, say, a $2 million house is a suburb where the median for your style of house is $1.9 million, then only a small amount is counted towards the Assets test.
    However if you live in a $3 million house in that suburb then you won't get a pension. So if you wanted "pocket money" then you could down size to a $2 million house in your suburb and it would not be counted towards the Assets test. You still won't get the pension until you have spent your $1 million pocket money though!!
    Food for thought!
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2019
    11:43am
    My biggest complaint about including the family home is exactly what you have said, Poor Bazza. Unlike me you have provided a very good solution to that problem. The fly in the ointment is that the value will be provided by a gummint person but your idea is very though provoking.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:44pm
    Centrelink can't get a simple system right now. They would never cope with anything that complicated. It would be a disaster. The Government private job providers and NDIS are useless too. Even the ABS can't function properly and APRA has admitted it isn't coping and you want that sort of complication added.
    Lookfar
    17th Jul 2019
    11:38am
    Noel Whittaker has provided a lie to justify his arguments, the lie is that the Pension is Welfare, - it is not, it is a paid for entitlement.
    https://www.cirnow.com.au/more-criminals-in-government/?fbclid=IwAR32sE_6x9_yaxwLP3-ObfShJFlo8kj6uk3OalM5O3BoBo3ttTR06GbZHl0
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:46am
    Noel Whittaker is right. The OAP is welfare as it is only paid to those who have no other means of support. That is the definition of welfare.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:46am
    It is certainly not an entitlement.
    thommo
    17th Jul 2019
    11:47am
    I agree with you LOOKFar.
    the age pension is an entitlement, and it needs to be increased to ensure a decent and respectable retirement..
    People are starting to wake up and get angry with this government because of the stingy OAP, but also because they got dudded with their lies in the last federal election...
    They won't be fooled next time.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:37pm
    OAP is anything but stingy. It should only provide for the basics of life not the luxuries. The number of people on cruise ships on the OAP keeps the cruise industry going. If they can afford to cruise it is too much.
    KSS
    17th Jul 2019
    1:10pm
    The only 'entitlement' thommo is the entitlement to apply for the pension. There is no entitlement to getting it.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:52pm
    not only is Noel Whittaker correct, the Social Services Minister Anne Ruston agrees the pension is welfare, which makes opinions to the contrary rather pointless. She described the aged pension as welfare and "a generous amount of money that the Australian taxpayers make available to our older Australians ... unable to look after themselves".
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:29pm
    If Anne Ruston really thinks..."It is a generous amount of money that the Australian taxpayers make available to our older Australians," she told 3AW on Monday. What does she think of the politicians', judges' and bureauocrats' lifetime pensions as of right along with multiple business class airfares for themselves and their families along with extra allowances for time served as a minister, parliamentary secretary or other office holder.
    AutumnOz
    17th Jul 2019
    3:31pm
    An interesdting article Lookfar, thanks for posting it.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:35pm
    Salary packages have nothing to do with welfare such as the OAP.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:01pm
    Not quite, KSS - the pension is an absolute entitlement bounded by hedges of qualifications.... as I said before - it's like Reg having the right to have babies even though he can't have babies...

    So... all in favour of the proposition "Old Geezer has the right to the pension, but he can't have one" raise your right hand.... motion carried... there you go, OG ..... done and dusted....

    Are you here under a different name? You're not olbaid/diablo or what-was-is-name-again, are you? There's the same kind of sulphurous smell in the air.....
    thommo
    17th Jul 2019
    11:42am
    Any government that includes the home in the assets test will be doomed.
    This government will try to include it, but only to save it money, just like they've short-changed pensioners by changing the assets test in the 2015 budget, and lately with the deeming rate..
    Kick this government out before it is too late...
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:45am
    No they won't as they will start with a high value and gradually reduce it. People will just accept it.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:56pm
    Kick this government out Thommo, but they were only just elected. You missed the boat on this one.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:03pm
    In Belchium ve know how to boil zer frogs zlowly.... that the gist, LIU?

    Not your fault, son - I blame those Belgians....
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    3:09am
    the boiling frog parable cannot be attributed to the Belgians; they much prefer eels with green sauce and steamed mussels to frogs.

    And btw Trebor, "gist" is flemish for yeast, which can be found in bottle fermented beers like Duvel.
    Hairy
    17th Jul 2019
    11:42am
    Just as I commented on another subject your own goverment is the biggest scammer of them all .no no no asset test on home,why bother working hard long hrs then have it all taxed again when you retire.now you know why the young are just enjoying spend spend spend .why save now you WILL get it taken from you one way or another.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    11:51am
    Government is the biggest fifth column extant in the West at this time... and the greatest danger to Parliament is democracy...
    AutumnOz
    17th Jul 2019
    3:32pm
    Spot on Trebor.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:51pm
    Yes. People actually owning homes was an aberration of the social democracy after WW11 and the fight against fascism. Now that fascism is rising again the houses will go back into professional landlord hands.

    The Liberals are there purely to stop Labor. No other reason.They have no policy and no interest in what the wealthy or corporations do. Just stop Labor governing and keep wages low. That is all they are interested in.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:07pm
    You got that right, Rae - every step bought with the blood of a generation is slowly being taken back.... shiftless bastards thought they had an entitlement to a home and a fair income after dying like flies in WW II - but GuvCo can slowly set things right again... LiveItUp got it in one - they'll just boil the pot slowly so the frogs won't jump out... been watching both 'sides' of The Tag Team doing that for years now...
    Hairy
    17th Jul 2019
    11:45am
    I agree with told .100%
    SuziJ
    17th Jul 2019
    11:49am
    Noel Whittaker doesn't understand that the Age Pension IS NOT WELFARE!

    Since when did the Pensions increase by 8% per year? 8% of the basic single pension (with no supplements) of $843.60 is $67.48 pa. So where's our rise? It's never going to happen!!! We have to be content with a paltry $10 - $15 max per year.

    What about those of us who don't have any assets like what Mr Whittaker's described?

    We live from one pay to the next just managing to pay our bills. We have 'older' cars, the bare essentials in our household goods.

    And yet, we still have to pay the same for our food, clothing and everyday basic 'essentials'.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    Noel Whittaker is right the OAP is welfare.
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    1:59pm
    not only is Noel Whittaker correct, the Social Services Minister Anne Ruston agrees the pension is welfare, which makes opinions to the contrary rather pointless. She described the aged pension as welfare and "a generous amount of money that the Australian taxpayers make available to our older Australians ... unable to look after themselves". The pension is the solution for those who don't have any assets like what Mr Whittaker's described.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    2:22pm
    That's exactly right Farside.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:10pm
    Anne Ruston can't even read her own portfolio - Social Services Minister - no mention of 'welfare', which is the intent of social security, not its operation.

    What would she know about it? Politicians have generally no real idea about their portfolio - all they are is a mouthpiece, and a hugely overpaid one, for their party on that particular subject area - and the actual work is done by public servants or contractors...

    Remember Bob Carr - "I run a good meeting!" - that's about all they actually do .. waste of time, money and space, and the most over-rated non-entities in this nation.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:36pm
    These politicians are responsible for water and food security. Good luck to them. I expect Karma will take most of what they have gathered up for themselves before this is over.
    Anne Ruston needs to get working on supplying water to her constituents. It's her job.

    Social Services. Poor woman. She'll have a hard time of it come the realisation harvests everywhere are failing.
    seadog
    17th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    The family home should never be included in the asset test. We need to remember that the age pension was brought in as a special amount within the income tax system to provide for all people reaching retirement age and not just to go into consolidated revenue. This has been stolen from that account by successive governments over the years. We should not have tax cuts but a pension for all irrespective of assets upon reaching retirement age. This works in other countries so need to be brought in here.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:00pm
    Why not? It is simply stupid that you can live in a $10 house and collect the full OAP.

    You can also buy a house worth millions and just leave enough other assets to get the full OAP. Just downsize when you run out of money.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:33pm
    That's what retiring MPs and PMs and judges do. All living in multi million dollar houses and getting way more pension, why don't you have a go at them?
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:34pm
    That is part of their salary package which is nothing to do with welfare such as the OAP at all.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:10pm
    One rule for some, another for the rest, eh LIU? You ARE Old Geezer! I knew I could smell the sulphur of envy...
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:20pm
    Gotta agree with you, Trebor.
    seadog
    17th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    The family home should never be included in the asset test. We need to remember that the age pension was brought in as a special amount within the income tax system to provide for all people reaching retirement age and not just to go into consolidated revenue. This has been stolen from that account by successive governments over the years. We should not have tax cuts but a pension for all irrespective of assets upon reaching retirement age. This works in other countries so need to be brought in here.
    older&wiser
    17th Jul 2019
    2:25pm
    Seadog - agree. My memory is not that much faded, because I remember CLEARLY at my fist job when I was 17, the payroll lady sitting us down and showing a big white board about the tax system, explaining that 7% of our tax would be set aside for our retirement. When they were talking about the superannuation system coming in in 1992, I thought 'yippee - I'll have a good little nest egg to start that off'. Then the shock of finding out no - it has all been stolen from me. I had zilch. Had I known it was all a lie, then perhaps I would have been putting away some for my retirement. And the double wammy - almost from the time super came in, I needed to leave employment and move back to the farm, to help care for my mother with dimensia. So many years of non paid employment, thus no super. Return to work? - yes, in low paid jobs, lucky if I could find them in a rural setting.
    Not happy, Jan...Not happy..
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    3:16am
    gee, must have come as a surprise when the 7% levy was amalgamated and lost in 1962. I bet you have some questions for that payroll lady.
    joni
    17th Jul 2019
    12:14pm
    I am sick and tired on Your Life Choices continually bringing up this topic. It would seem that they are in favour of an Asset Test and like stirring the pot. I AM COMPLETELY AGAINST AN ASSET TEST FOR THE HOME. I have worked long hours, gone without holidays, gone without visiting restaurants and lived a quite frugal lifestyle and now it would appear that someone wants a slice of all my hard work. HANDS OFF. Those in support of this ridiculous theft of my money appear to be those that have not gone without most of their lives. I have. If this asset test is implemented, there would be no incentive for people to buy property. They would be more inclined to rent and claim assistance from the Government throughout their lives. STOP GAUGING FROM THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE DONE THE RIGHT THING.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:32pm
    If you collect the OAP then you haven't done the right and provided for your own retirement.
    older&wiser
    17th Jul 2019
    2:29pm
    LiveItUp - must be male. Think about women staying home to care for the kids (as they did in those days). Then perhaps a divorce or hubby dies. Return to work, unskilled in low paying jobs. Then most likely time off work to care for older parents.
    Don't you DARE say people have not done the 'right thing' to provide for their retirement. Pompous ass....
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:15pm
    Wrong. I am one of those women who stayed at home and looked after my kids instead of farming them out to someone else to look after. I haven't worked for over 30 years and much better off today than I have even been including caring for a sick partner. So I can say people have not done the right thing to promote their retirement.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:14pm
    No, you can't - you can only speak of your own situation.... like dealing with veteran claims, no two individuals see things in the same way.... and it can be amazing how many will line up to say a story is not as told - since they were at the other end, how do they know, when each sees only what is in front of him at the time...

    My dog's bigger than yours doesn't wash.. sorry...nd never tell a person of my generation the cost of poverty...
    sunnyOz
    17th Jul 2019
    8:46pm
    LiveItUp - typical half of a couple comment. SO much easier to brag about being 'better off' now. What a totally selfish comment - totally agree with in2sunset.
    VJ
    17th Jul 2019
    12:28pm
    I totally disagree with including the family home as part of an assets test. my husband and i used to live in a former housing commission area of West Ryde. we sold that home for just under $200,000 in 1989 - today that property is listed at circa $1 million dollars. so, through no fault of ours, our home would have increased to such an extent that we would be considered wealthy. Not fair and could all of those who think this is a good idea, go away and do something constructive.
    robmur
    17th Jul 2019
    12:30pm
    NEVER allow the family home to be included in the Asset Test. Many might be asset rich but income poor. Abolish the Aged Pension for a Universal Pension as in New Zealand. Problem solved and a much fairer and less complicated pension system. About time the federal government and Treasury looked at implementing a Universal Pension.
    robmur
    17th Jul 2019
    12:30pm
    NEVER allow the family home to be included in the Asset Test. Many might be asset rich but income poor. Abolish the Aged Pension for a Universal Pension as in New Zealand. Problem solved and a much fairer and less complicated pension system. About time the federal government and Treasury looked at implementing a Universal Pension.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:33pm
    Agree just make any OAP received a debt to be paid back in full when you die.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    2:41pm
    No, Liveit up, No. I would think, with the number of elderly pensioners both now and coming up, there would be a huge class action which would be played out globally to the detriment of the government.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:11pm
    We haven't seen a class action over HECS debt as yet so I very much doubt we would see one over a pension type HECS debt either.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:16pm
    No - but what you see is people incurring a HECS debt and then working causl - many nursing grads do that.. money's better and they pay next to no HECS and reap the max they can...

    Treat pension as a debt and watch what happens.... ve haff vays off meking you valk, Boss-man ....
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:42pm
    It would bankrupt their kids in many cases. The economy would collapse as all people stopped spending to save for old age. Be careful of the consequences.

    Already we have kids disadvantaged because Europe, China and India subsidise free education and are running rings around the West bent on privatisation. Those Foreigners buying up everything think we are insane and they are quite right.
    Bluey@home
    17th Jul 2019
    12:41pm
    So if the aged pension is welfare what would we call a politicians pension
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:50pm
    Part of the job package and not welfare at all.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:18pm
    I think there's a good argument for putting all retirement packaging under one roof and one set of rules with the same limits on how much you can salt away into super. That would put a stop to the preferential schemes and the ability of some to 'salary sacrifice' and would compel a full salary and full liability for income tax.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:18pm
    It's welfare when it is a handout and out of connection with the rights of all others...
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    8:57pm
    It may be called a job package, Liveitup, but with some pollies being on it for thirty years they must have used up whatever small amount of super they had accrued so they have been existing purely on the taxpayer. Why is that job package, which is a blatant piece of corruption in my opinion, so acceptable to you?
    Adi
    17th Jul 2019
    12:51pm
    There should be NO asset or income test. All people who paid taxes paid for an age pension. If there is a test the family home is a HOME not just a house - the centre of an extended family which is part of Australian life. Even the economics don't make sense - sell the home,get a pension - then what ? All back to less than square one and the family values trashed and the family heart taken away.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:58pm
    Just collect the pension while you are alive and then when you die and no longer need a home it can then be used to pay back any OAP received.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:22pm
    Nope - my home passes to my descendants, same as the rich man's does... he's had a better run already so he doesn't need it - we'll take it back from those over a certain net worth instead, eh?

    The way you want thing, OG, we will have men back to humping their swag on part-time casual and massive division of society along cash lines with the rich getting richer every generation and the poor poorer...... and all the attendant problems ...

    You sound like the characters who designed the Anti-Catholic Laws in Ireland in the 1800's.. a seriously retrograde step, and exactly what I said above - slowly taking back all the steps won with the blood of two generations fighting for this country. What an absolute bastard act... and worthy of a fight...
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:27pm
    Of course, LIU, it could go the other way as well. If you have to pay back whatever pension benefits the government has paid you then it's only fair that the government has to pay you back all the taxes you've paid the government during your life...Logical and fair.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:43pm
    I like that thinking TRISS. I could certainly do with the hundreds of thousands I paid to look after strangers if we are going to sort it all out haha.
    OLD TAX PAYER
    17th Jul 2019
    12:58pm
    Well said Priscilla leave the home alone. We have all paid our dues worked hard and long hours so we may live mortage free during our well earnt retirement OR shall we teach our children not to work, not to pay tax, not to save for a house for it will taken away. the building industry will suffer and a domino effect will evolve to other trades and no goverment wants that
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:59pm
    Since when can you tell your kids anything.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:29pm
    Depends how you've raised them, I suppose.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    1:00pm
    Great idea to include the house in the assets test.

    An even better idea is to give anyone the OAP who wants it. It then becomes a debt to be paid from your estate when you die.

    That is the only fair way.
    Lookfar
    17th Jul 2019
    1:23pm
    Does that mean the rich folk have to refund all their tax offsets? fine if so, totally discriminatory and unacceptable if not
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    1:26pm
    Nothing to do with tax offsets at all.
    Lookfar
    17th Jul 2019
    3:22pm
    Just how do you justify your anti entitlement rave farside and livetup, you have been proved wrong several times yet you still trot out the Neo-Liberal line time after time.
    Are you being paid by someone who has no morality? - that is what you sound like.
    FYI, taking all the money from everyone, and giving it all to the suoer rich, - the philosophy you seem to espouse would destroy our economy. - is that what you want?
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:27pm
    Maybe we are just sick of paying for those who don't do what it takes to look after themselves and put out their hand to the taxpayer instead.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2019
    6:57pm
    Yes rich folk handing back tax offsets out of estates would be fun. I can hear the screaming from here now. Like trying to get franking credits back. Maybe this should come out of estates as well.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:31pm
    Not all that fair, LIU. As I commented earlier, if you have to pay back whatever pension benefits the government has paid you then it's only fair that the government has to pay you back all the taxes you've paid the government during your life...Now that's fair.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    3:39am
    and what proof might that be Lookfar?

    You may be entitled to social security safety nets, dare I say welfare, when eligible however if you are ineligible because you fail the means test then bad luck old mate. No apologies for that.

    Don't play the man just because someone does not share your opinion, which just happens to be at odds with reality. You claim I "have been proved wrong several times", show me where and I will consider the proof but in its absence your claim is as unconvincing as your economic credentials. Me, a neo-liberal stooge ... funnier gag than Trebor.
    KSS
    17th Jul 2019
    1:17pm
    So if the home is included in the asset test will 'they' get rid of the diecriminatory difference between homeowners and non-home owners?

    Currently there is already a 'tax' on the homeowner of $210,500:
    For a full pension -
    non-homeowner singles with assets worth less than $473,750
    single home-owning pensioner with assets worth less than $263,250
    Farside
    17th Jul 2019
    2:07pm
    good point
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:33pm
    Sounds good, KSS.
    Miranda
    17th Jul 2019
    1:18pm
    Haven’t seen any discussion about the cost of selling and buying another property if someone is forced to move in order to downsize. Solicitors’ fees and stamp duty cost thousands of dollars.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:36pm
    Yes, Miranda, the cost can be between $15,000 - $20,000 and with the property market slipping you could find yourself in a less, pleasant and convenient house for the same price as the one you've moved from.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    3:42am
    if you don't want to drop a bundle on downsizing the trick is to choose wisely and not pay too much, sometimes easier said than done
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:51pm
    Property is a very poor investment over long time frames. It's one of the reasons this idea is very stupid. In many cases the Government would be paying the home owner. I think long term property returns are less than 2% over the last 100 years and definitely less than inflations which would have to be included. Depreciation, interest, rates, insurances, maintenance, structural damage all weigh into what people believe is a golden goose.

    The sharemarket runs rings around property buying and gold holds value after inflation. Property is often something you lose a lot of capital investing in.

    Those poor guys that upgraded over and over instead of investing for income are going to have a hard time as this correction plays out. They have been taken for a ride unfortunately and now hold a very illiquid asset fast losing value.

    Way too late for the Government to think about getting a piece of the action.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    6:35pm
    Rae says "Property is often something you lose a lot of capital investing in". This is true, especially over very long time frames. Many people do not acknowledge that property can and does drop in value.
    Tricky
    17th Jul 2019
    1:24pm
    The Government and their respective economists and advisors can not be trusted.
    They still continue to screw us with Deeming rates of 3% on Cash Term Deposits!
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    1:25pm
    It's only 1% deeming rate.
    older&wiser
    17th Jul 2019
    2:32pm
    LiveItUp - don't give HALF the story...it is 1% - only for the first $52,000 (for a single person). Then the huge decrease from 3.25% to 3%. Do get your facts right.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:08pm
    If you have more than $52,000 in cash then you are doing yourself a disservice by just parking your money and not investing your capital well.
    sunnyOz
    17th Jul 2019
    8:51pm
    Having read all comments by Liveitup - seems typical of being always being right, and being the the master guru. Allot of people are not as fortunate/lucky/greedy as you, so please have a little bit of empathy.
    Joyful56
    17th Jul 2019
    1:47pm
    I'm so fed up with the attacks on pensioners. We were sold the plan by successive governments, our whole working life. We've planned and organised our futures according to those plans and then the government keeps changing the rules and moving the goal posts and we have to change our plans accordingly. They've already moved the pension age further away (and extra 6.5 years) and now they want to talk about 70+ AND including the home - where are our taxes (7.5%) that have never been reversed and should be there to support us.
    Yellow Vests need to be uptaken by OAP and seniors approaching pension age imo.
    We are a HUGE voting block, who apparently sit back and take what's handed out - WELL NO MORE!
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:38pm
    Good one, Joyful56.
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    1:51pm
    Politicians need to get their snouts out of the trough before casting their eyes on the OAP. Why are taxpayers forced to pay out for huge, lifelong pensions and perks retired MPs and their spouses...those same people who told OAPs they could live on nothing.
    There are ex MPs who left parliament thirty years ago whilst still in their thirties, now in their sixties they probably have another thirty years on the taxpayers backs.
    maelcolium
    17th Jul 2019
    2:16pm
    This is old. No political party is going to crack this nut as it spells electoral demise. Let's all move on. Oh, ignore the economists with their two handed reasoning. That,s why they can't find their own arses with both hands! LMFAO
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    2:19pm
    The taxpayers will support it.
    Sundays
    17th Jul 2019
    4:00pm
    The taxpayers will never support it, too many young people waiting to inherit. No Government will ever bring this in as it would be electoral suicide. They may set a limit but not that many live in $10m homes. What would stop people doing what farmers do now, ie pass the property onto the kids 5 years before they retire.

    It might be what you want for whatever reason, jealousy, envy, lack of social conscience but it won’t happen in my lifetime.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:27pm
    Exactly what I did, Sundays - sold my home and made sure the kids will inherit it all - that I then went through a hell of a time for many reasons was unexpected - but I'm back again... and don't own enough to be bothered by this government or their confreres in Labrador...
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:40pm
    LIU, there are many taxpayers who are coming up to retirement age and, believe me, they will not be supporting it.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    3:58am
    Sundays, were you aware succession is no longer a financial reality for two thirds of broadacre farms?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-07-14/farm-succession-struggles-families-leave-land-after-generations/11282582

    I think taxpayers could be persuaded to support inclusion of home as part of overall review of tax and welfare systems. The politics are horrible as Chris Richardson said but with less progressive PAYG it and GST increase is inevitable. People will look at how it affects theirs and kids situations and choose accordingly, as they did with the lowering of means test limits in 2017.
    Sundays
    18th Jul 2019
    8:17am
    I doubt it Farside. Taxpayers could be persuaded to the merits of a Universal pension and tax extra income. However, at this point in time, the family home is sacrosanct to those who worked for years to pay them off. Economists living in ivory towers, and the politics of envy will not change Governments whose main aim is re-election. Australia’s pension system is not that generous anyway. Hence, the latest drop in deeming rates
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    9:02am
    Sundays, I don't disagree with your points re universal pension, or family home being sacrosanct at the moment, or government reelection aims, or pension generosity as %GDP.

    I disagree with your generalising economists being driven by envy, they just work with the numbers and that upsets people unable to tolerate views inconsistent with their own (as reflected in many comments here). I suspect envy is a baser quality found elsewhere.
    RobP
    17th Jul 2019
    2:22pm
    Referring to the previous mention of the pension being welfare for Australians over 65 yrs who cannot look after themselves. 66% of Australians over the age of 65 yrs draw the pension at least in part. If you consider that before 65 yrs, people contribute to Australia either by working and/or parenting, volunteering, caring and many other occupations paid/unpaid, it seems peevish miserly and cruel to resent providing subsistence income to these citizens in their ageing years over 65. What would 66% of Australians do after 65 yrs if this was denied? 65yrs is considered the age after which citizens are no longer required to seek employment to provide for themselves. if people were machinery they would be scrapped after their useful life is over. This cannot apply to people because we live (or are supposed to live) in a humane society. So what would happen after retirement at 65yrs if there was no provision for citizens? Would society continue to be structured the way it is? Without stability for the complete life cycle of the citizens of Australia would we continue to function the way we do? I think not. I feel the attitudes that are being communicated are a changed version of the original intention of the pension. I believe in the beginning it was meant to recognise citizens for their life contribution and consider their subsistence in their approaching frailty. Now it is communicated as welfare support that is provided due to inadequacy of the citizens. This comes across as manipulative, inhumane and without empathy and gratitude. If the people of Australia did not work hard and raise their families, contribute to society, care for their family, friends and comment on social issues and vote there would not be an economy to manipulate. Gratitude needs to be given thought.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:12pm
    No that just proves that most people fail to provide for their own retirement and rely too much on the taxpayers to fund it instead.
    Sundays
    17th Jul 2019
    4:12pm
    The rate of part pensioners is increasing so people are funding their own retirement as super kicks in. Given you say you haven’t worked for over 30 years, it’s a bit rich to talk about what taxpayers should or shouldn’t fund LiveitUp.
    ozrog
    17th Jul 2019
    4:17pm
    Latest figures on retires said more are self funded then going on centrelink pensions. LiveItup
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:29pm
    Superannuation has to start to bite - it's been 25 years or so since universal super started, and it's only just beginning to show some meat...government and government-paid idiots who screech about 'the cost of pensions' and 'women are cheated in super' etc are in La-La-Land.... and they know it... it's calculated to keep the peasants off balance and under threat ...

    Politics of Division, innit?
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    9:50pm
    Actually, LIU, rather than relying on taxpayers you will find that retired people save the taxpayers much money. Evidence shows that older Australians currently contribute the highest number of volunteer hours of any other age group with one in four Australians aged 65+ participating in voluntary work. Women alone in the 65-74-year age group contribute $16 billion per year in unpaid care-giving and voluntary work. Perhaps they will have to keep a work sheet so the government can pay all that benefit into their estate on death.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    4:03am
    Triss, do you think pension changes will cause older Australians to contribute fewer volunteer hours? My guess is they will continue to do unpaid care giving and voluntary work as they have always done.
    Triss
    18th Jul 2019
    12:11pm
    Staying with care giving I agree with you, Farside, but there is always some outlay with volunteering even if it is only transport costs so, if government keeps chipping away then, people might have to do less due to expense.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    2:00pm
    fair point Triss, could see a reduction due to financial pressures.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:54pm
    It would be good if they stopped volunteering as then the young folk needing a job might get a go. You can't have a go if some old fart is doing it for free.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    6:39pm
    also a fair point Rae. I volunteer at local community centre for a few hours each week teaching IT and have to take care that I do not undermine local businesses providing IT support services for profit.
    KeWi
    17th Jul 2019
    3:27pm
    I'm a supporter of fairness - as much as possible treat people in the same circumstances the same. So someone who has 'worked hard and paid taxes' and pours all the money into their family home gets the full pension, while someone who has 'worked hard and paid taxes' but pours their money into shares (or any other asset that is not their home) gets no pension. Similarly, someone who owns their $2m home but decides a $1m home would meet their needs better goes from getting the full pension to getting no pension.
    Something about these cases seems 'not quite right' - their asset positions are the same but one gets 100% pension and the other gets nothing. There has to be a better and fairer way - that is what the discussion should be about.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    3:30pm
    I agree the house is the most inequitable part of the whole OAP. Why can someone with a $10 million house get the full pension but someone with a very modest house and other assets get nothing?
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    5:56pm
    Nobody in a $10 million home can afford to live on the pension. The rates and insurance alone would eat all the money up.
    Tanker
    17th Jul 2019
    4:02pm
    Australia is one of the leading countries of inequality within the community and this applies to retirees as well as everybody else. A recent survey showed that while some are aware of their relative wealth most of the well-off simply have no idea how well off they are compared to the ordinary person.
    Comment about the average mortgage being 1-2 million illustrates that point. The mortgage of the average person may be nudging the million but that depends on where they live.

    Don't be surprised if an inheritance tax raises it head again as we are about the only developed country that hasn't got one.
    Tanker
    17th Jul 2019
    4:02pm
    Australia is one of the leading countries of inequality within the community and this applies to retirees as well as everybody else. A recent survey showed that while some are aware of their relative wealth most of the well-off simply have no idea how well off they are compared to the ordinary person.
    Comment about the average mortgage being 1-2 million illustrates that point. The mortgage of the average person may be nudging the million but that depends on where they live.

    Don't be surprised if an inheritance tax raises it head again as we are about the only developed country that hasn't got one.
    Not a Bludger
    17th Jul 2019
    4:03pm
    OMG - get these progressives - particularly progressive economists - out of my house and my wallet.
    Of course the family home should be exempt from all these Marxist attempts to redistribute my hard won house (and other assets) to those who do no more than hold their hands out - aided and abetted by leftie lawyers, also being paid with my coin.
    Don’t understand why YLC keeps promoting such minority views - YLC should be speaking on behalf of the majority of we oldies.
    I challenge YLC to so do, publicly, in their columns!
    Lookfar
    17th Jul 2019
    4:14pm
    Farside/liveitup, have you considered for even a second that there would be no taxpayers had the older people you are now contemptuous of for 'putting their hands out', (even those words are only justified by your stridently denyinng the truth of the pension levy) not had children the which they brought up for free, going to great lengths to educate feed and clothe the potential taxpayers of the future, - which in before times had the responsibility of looking after their parents when the parents got too old to look after themselves? Should those old people of which you speak so disparagingly have chained up their children and forced them into work gangs for the rest of their lives, would that be how we should have treated you? Your attitude seems to me disgraceful, life consists of give and take, - when you are young you take, then when you are working you give back, and then YOU get old and trust that your children will give back also to you as is only fair. Only that way can life go on, now Society as a whole fulfills those roles, do you want to destroy society so you have no duties, only rights?
    Is that not where young teenagers are at that age? are you stuck at teen age?
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    6:32pm
    Tell mw something I don't know as I too did al those things and still managed to provide for my own retirement. If I can do it anyone can.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:32pm
    **signs** again - you know nothing of others... don't judge until you've walked a mile in their shoes - but make sure you give them back, too....
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    4:17am
    lots of motherhood and angst Lookfar but your point is what exactly - that pensioner entitlements should vary depending whether they raised families or not, cared for parents or not, had children to care for them or not, whether paid taxes or not? How does this relate to duties and rights and teenagers?

    Why would you suggest chaining up your children and forcing them into work gangs? That is one strange idea of parenting in the 20th let alone 21st century.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    6:03pm
    Farside you are suggesting making it harder to run an economy. If you want a home you also need to save for your own retirement or lose it at pension time. Soon no pension at all as those with homes object to others less frugal receiving pensions if they can't pay it back.

    Then we are like countries with no welfare and those economies struggle as more and more savings are squirrelled away. That;'s the issue now. Too many savings looking for returns. This idea would make that worse.

    If China and India had a welfare system we wouldn't be in the financial crisis we have now in my opinion.

    Cashflow is King and economies dam it at the risk of economic collapse.

    What goes around comes around. It's not complicated.

    These politicians are foolish believing square pegs will fit round holes. They never do.
    Farside
    18th Jul 2019
    6:43pm
    How am I suggesting making it harder to run an economy Rae? You might find we agree on more than you realise.
    bobm
    17th Jul 2019
    6:30pm
    Everyone gets the pension similar to NZ and UK. GST in NZ is on food at 15%. The pension is less than what Australia has. The main thing all have the pension we could get rid of most of Centrelink. Their wages can go for the pension. No blood sucking accountants and lawyers to doctor the system. Simple to run..At the same time reduce the bludging Polies back to a normal pension and allow them to use the super they have contributed to and not ripped the system off.
    In NZ you can work if you like, still get the pension when of age not like this system you are getting screwed every way you go.
    We an all believe in the fairies can't we
    LiveItUp
    17th Jul 2019
    6:32pm
    Agree and it is to be paid back from your estate when you die.
    TREBOR
    17th Jul 2019
    8:32pm
    Make pollies pay back all their perks? There's a thought...
    Triss
    17th Jul 2019
    10:00pm
    And don't forget, LIU, government has to pay back all the taxes that have been paid by the deceased during their lifetime. And, yes, Trebor, pollies also must pay back their corrupt perks. And LIU must pay back all the benefits she has had in her life, free schooling for children, any treatment in a public hospital or dentist, etc. Bet my previous sentence won't go down well.
    Lookfar
    18th Jul 2019
    10:22am
    Bobm, is it true that the pension has to be repaid from your estate, in NZ. please?
    Poppa
    17th Jul 2019
    6:44pm
    In my opinion if this came to pass it would be a vote killer from all the Pensioners same as franking etc that was to be part of Labors platform in the may elections
    Lookfar
    17th Jul 2019
    7:05pm
    Apparently 'liveitup' was born a fully formed adult, so got nothing from his family or the society he lived in but he forgets that the wonderful opportunities that opened for him was in a society created by those he now despises. Logic not being an area he is strong in, he doesn't understand that if the Pensioners have to give back all the Government money they have received, despite being entitled to it, when they die, then all the businesses and big corporations that have received tax deductions etc. from the Government, must pay them all back also, - what's good for the Goose is good for the Gander, - all goverment money must be paid back, or none.
    sunnyOz
    17th Jul 2019
    9:02pm
    Lookafar - just to let you know...."liveitup" answered one of the comments above by saying was a 'she' not a he. That is, if even that is the truth. Seems VERY condescending of anyone less fortunate than her and her privileged life.
    LiveItUp
    18th Jul 2019
    1:54pm
    No silver spoons for privilege life for me at all.
    Travellersjoy
    17th Jul 2019
    7:49pm
    All 'pensioners' are not the same and it is miss-leading to pretend they are.

    There is a massive gulf between the 'self funded retiree' with millions in super rigging their affairs (with the help of the accountants and economists so keen to dispose of the homes of the poor pensioner) to get access to part pensions and concessions. They are just barnacles on the bum of society, and you can tax their houses to wherever.

    Thousands of full Age Pensioners with little or no super income, need the security of their homes as long as they are able to continue there. Government spends a fortune on helping us 'age in place' because it saves a bigger fortune in health care and social costs to keep us socially connected, economically secure (if very frugal) and in good mental and physical health.

    A home is more than just a house, more than just an asset, more than an inheritance for the kids, more than a thing to be disposed of at the whim of government because someone else needs a house and won't build their own.

    This whole move is to cover the failure of governments to sustain a proper public housing policy, market failure under neoliberal policies, and the insatiable greed of the middle class for what working class people are clinging on to for dear life - their homes.

    Heaven help the poorer pensioner with disadvantaged or disabled dependents if they have to sell their home under an assets test to be eligible for a pension. Most low income families would be excluded for a start, to say nothing of the working class battlers with little or no super caught in a gentrification trap not of their own making.

    The middle class have priced working people out of the inner cities where most of the work is, and now they are sending their number crunchers for the homes of pensioners in the suburbs they covet. Over my dead body, I say.

    It is no accident that all the 'experts' promoting these policies have never experienced housing insecurity, been unable to pay the rent, or paid the rates before food and clothes to maintain security.

    My working class parents loaned me the deposit for my home and I repaid them along with the mortgage through Keating's 17.5% interest rates. Who is telling me someone else deserves my home more than I do? I loaned my child the deposit for her home, and she repaid it, along with her mortgage. Do they want hers next?

    The economists and accountants need to get out of their feather beds, remove the silver spoons, and go into the real world that ordinary Australians are living in. We are not chess pawns to be moved around to suit a conservative government intent on social engineering to solve a housing problem of their own creation.
    Lookfar
    18th Jul 2019
    11:07am
    Excellent Post Travellersjoy, imho, Thank you. - Lookfar.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    6:06pm
    More like millions of rich wealthy immigrants buying up real estate from countries that had free university education to help them get ahead.

    Why do we punish Australians for being born here with high HECS bills?
    Blinky
    17th Jul 2019
    11:40pm
    While a very, very small number of pensioners might be living in a "mansion," the large majority will surely own your average Aussie home, worth probably between 1/2 mill to -maybe- 1 or even 2 mill. Real Estate is a funny thing and prices go up over the years. If a pensioner bought a house x 1/2 mill, it will surely be worth 1 or 2 mill by the time he retires. Then, here come the so called 'financial experts" and advise this "rich" pensioner should be punished and should sell his home.
    All these "experts" never mention the fact that, if there is money x politicians' pensions, for asylum seekers, migrants, refugees, dole bludgers, and foreign aid, then, there should also be money x Aussies who paid millions in taxes and who should now have the right to "retire in peace."
    AUSSIES DESERVE A GOOD PENSION, STOP TRYING TO TAKE MONEY OFF THEM!
    Blinky
    17th Jul 2019
    11:40pm
    While a very, very small number of pensioners might be living in a "mansion," the large majority will surely own your average Aussie home, worth probably between 1/2 mill to -maybe- 1 or even 2 mill. Real Estate is a funny thing and prices go up over the years. If a pensioner bought a house x 1/2 mill, it will surely be worth 1 or 2 mill by the time he retires. Then, here come the so called 'financial experts" and advise this "rich" pensioner should be punished and should sell his home.
    All these "experts" never mention the fact that, if there is money x politicians' pensions, for asylum seekers, migrants, refugees, dole bludgers, and foreign aid, then, there should also be money x Aussies who paid millions in taxes and who should now have the right to "retire in peace."
    AUSSIES DESERVE A GOOD PENSION, STOP TRYING TO TAKE MONEY OFF THEM!
    Blinky
    17th Jul 2019
    11:40pm
    While a very, very small number of pensioners might be living in a "mansion," the large majority will surely own your average Aussie home, worth probably between 1/2 mill to -maybe- 1 or even 2 mill. Real Estate is a funny thing and prices go up over the years. If a pensioner bought a house x 1/2 mill, it will surely be worth 1 or 2 mill by the time he retires. Then, here come the so called 'financial experts" and advise this "rich" pensioner should be punished and should sell his home.
    All these "experts" never mention the fact that, if there is money x politicians' pensions, for asylum seekers, migrants, refugees, dole bludgers, and foreign aid, then, there should also be money x Aussies who paid millions in taxes and who should now have the right to "retire in peace."
    AUSSIES DESERVE A GOOD PENSION, STOP TRYING TO TAKE MONEY OFF THEM!
    LiveItUp
    18th Jul 2019
    1:52pm
    Your small number is hundreds of thousands.
    mogo51
    18th Jul 2019
    9:57am
    I think Noel Whittaker is right.
    Lookfar
    18th Jul 2019
    10:33am
    Mogo51, care to advance reasonable arguments? what is your base argument? - if you have no argument, no supportive facts, you are probably wrong, it is just a baseless assertion.
    In which case why say it at all?
    LiveItUp
    18th Jul 2019
    1:50pm
    I agree. Why should people get welfare when they have expensive homes that could be used to pay for that welfare when they die?
    Blinky
    21st Jul 2019
    2:18pm
    Mogo. Noel will not have to worry about getting a govt pension when he retires, nor will he have to worry about having his family home being included in the asset test?
    You know why? Because the Aussie pension is x peasants, people in the lower echelon of our society.
    Noel, economists, f8nancial advisors, politicians n the like are NOT peasants. They have money and they will have their own big super pensions, shares, real estate n othet investments. They really do not care if u get a miserable pensiion, if u have to work till age 100 or whether u have to sell your family home.
    I cannot believe u still think Noel is right!
    midnight
    18th Jul 2019
    2:52pm
    Please don't force me to sell my home. As a single mum, I have busted myself trying to provide a home for myself and my kids. Let's not forget that it is also something that we 'will' on to the next generation (our children) to help them in this economic mess. So, I sell my home and then waste the income made by paying rent to someone who has bought a home from some other pensioner, lives overseas and then that is where my rent goes, out of the country. And what about when your landlord decides to sell, and you have to move yet again. Ones home is ones security into old age giving a degree of comfort, sanity, and reducing the fear that this government is putting into my mind.I have planted my fruit trees, my veggie garden, have solar panels, but use as little electricity as possible. No heating unless it gets down below 4 degrees. No cooling in the summer. Terrified.
    Rae
    18th Jul 2019
    6:10pm
    May have to become a landlady to a few boarders and tell the government where to go.

    When push comes to shove we don't really need them. If the government fell tomorrow we'd still get up and get on with our day.

    Besides don't forget your kids. They won't let you get hurt by these greedy and foolish economists bent of ruining the planet.
    Blinky
    21st Jul 2019
    2:25pm
    Midnight. Most pensioners are like you. We worked hard, paid taxes, raised a family, and saved x years to buy our family home, which we have made improvements to ovet the years.
    Unfortunately, pollies n economists do not care, they do not give a damn.
    All they are looking for is how to get money off pensioners to balance the budget or to psy x their own fat salaries n pensions x life.
    Pensioners are a sub,-class this people dont give a damn about!
    Bulla
    21st Jul 2019
    12:29pm
    What about the politicians who are paid hefty salaries, other perqs and equally hefty super and pensions,for doing nothing other than shouting on one another in the parliament.Is there any clue to the amount they are paid as salaries,perqs,super,and pensions? Why it is kept hidden from scrutiny by public.
    Blinky
    21st Jul 2019
    2:09pm
    Bulla, well said. Pollies, ans economists and other so-callef experts in these matters are quite happy to accept that there is a class issue in Australia when it comes to retirement n pension rules.
    Pollies n well-to-do people dont need to worry about pensions because they are higher up, in a different social class. Pensions n retirement rules affect only the peasants of this country, those x us who worked n paid taxes x years. We need a maverick PM who would have the guts to fix the pension system in Australia, and I wonder if that super PM will ever exist!!!
    Bulla
    21st Jul 2019
    12:30pm
    What about the politicians who are paid hefty salaries, other perqs and equally hefty super and pensions,for doing nothing other than shouting on one another in the parliament.Is there any clue to the amount they are paid as salaries,perqs,super,and pensions? Why it is kept hidden from scrutiny by public.
    Blinky
    21st Jul 2019
    2:01pm
    Noel, the pension is NOT welfare. A pensioner would have paid taxes for at leat 45 to 50 years before retiring. It's money that is pa8d back in return x their hard work.
    Are u also saying that politicians receive welfare payments when they retire? Well, in that case, they should slso get the Aussie pension and their family home should be included in the asset test.
    That would be only fair, wouldn't it?
    Unless u r telling me the pollies r a special, privilleged, untouchable class, and not from this world?
    Blinky
    21st Jul 2019
    2:32pm
    Where did Noel get these figures from? The current asset test is around $400k. The family home has nothing to do with it.
    Noel, how come politicians can own not one, but many a home, have other assets n other investments and still get an avg pension of $200k for life?
    If they can keep their family (and other homes), why cant we?
    Are you saying this is fair?
    Will u have the guts to reply to us?


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