Federal Budget 2018: 'Fattening older workers for the kill'

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There are many ways of looking at a Federal Budget. It really depends on who you are and what is at stake.

At the highest level, economists consider the sustainability of the Budget over the forward estimates period (i.e. the next four years) and beyond if further measures are proposed.

The next level down is that of a sector or interest group – perhaps an industry sector or business council or a not-for-profit. Here, the way the budget matches the interests of that group are of prime importance.

And then there are the more individual levels: Are you a worker, a student, a carer, a pensioner or a person with special needs? Here, the fine detail of your entitlements and ability to pay your bills is of paramount importance.

As the voice of retirement, YourLifeChoices is keenly interested in the welfare of Australian retirees and those planning to retire in the next 10 years. This means the six retirement tribes – the Affluents (self-funded single or couple homeowners), the Constrained (single or couple homeowners on a full or part pension) and the Cash Strapped (single or couple renters on a full or part pension). And we continue to ask the question whether everyone has a genuine chance to live a productive and dignified life in retirement?

We are also interested in the overall sustainability of a government’s budget. Put simply, is this nation racking up too much debt for future generations to reasonably manage?

So does Federal Budget 2018 deliver for retirees?

Our first impression is that this is indeed an election budget, with carefully calibrated income tax cuts for low and middle-income workers. There is no increase to the Age Pension – the base rate was last increased in 2009 and remains too low for a reasonable retirement life.

But given the Turnbull Government’s intention to raise the Age Pension age to 70, there is at last a recognition that things need to change if people are expected to work an extra three years beyond the current (increased) age of 67, due to commence in 2023.

So the sweeteners for older workers are a ‘living longer’ health program, with online checks on health, fitness and skills at age 45 and 65 and some community health funding.

Also a $10,000 restart subsidy for employers who hire older workers and a $2000 allowance for upskilling for mature age workers. Strangely, that program was introduced in the 2014 Budget. And it was a $10,000 subsidy even then.

The work bonus is an important plus, allowing older workers to earn up to $7800 without affecting their pension entitlements. As the Benevolent Society has noted, this is a long way from the opportunities Canadians have of earning up to C$1400 per week before an income test kicks. Further, in New Zealand there is no income test for the Age Pension. YourLifeChoices maintains that many older workers simply cannot continue to work until age 70. This is particularly the case in physically demanding jobs such as building, hairdressing, nursing and cleaning. Their bodies simply give out. Most people do not retire because they want an easier life – they are forced out of the workforce for health reasons. So to force such people onto Newstart at $40 a day is not just unrealistic, it is the wrong thing to do to people who have paid taxes for 40 years or more.

The expansion of the Pension Loans Scheme to full age pensioners and self-funded retirees is helpful for asset-rich, cash-strapped retirees lucky enough to own a home. But this is not a ‘gift’ from the Government, merely a loan for which 5.25 per cent interest will be charged. By expanding its role in the mortgage market, the Government will earn more money from this measure. And it must be totally galling for pensioner renters who are struggling to cover higher rents – taking 30 per cent of their income, according to the YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index. They must be asking what is in this budget for them. There appears to be nothing.

In summary, we believe this Budget is ‘fattening older workers for the kill’ – for the move to an Age Pension age at 70. And when it comes to a question of sustainability, we do not share Mr Morrison’s optimism that this nation can lock in a seven-year program of tax cuts at a cost of $140 billion (over 10 years), in the hope that receipts will continue to be rosy.

There are too many external factors at play to commit younger generations to such a high level of debt.

Does the Budget deliver for you? What are the key benefits?

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Written by Kaye Fallick

227 Comments

Total Comments: 227
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    This budget is a con…and an insult..As a pensioner, the govt will now let me work to earn an extra piddly $30 per week more without losing any pension, and will give an employer $10K to take me on. You can guess what will happen…the emplyer will take the $10K and then get rid of me.
    But enough..
    The real issue here is the lousy treatment of pensioners…Why don’t they just increase the pension, and while they’re at it, restore the assets test which effectively reduced my part pension by $14K per year…that was an act of betrayal and treachery which about 1 million pensioners won’t every forget or forgive.. This govt will get wiped out at the next election, and good riddance to them…

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      That is nothing but a whole lot of whinging about nothing.

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      Thommo,
      understand what you are saying and reckon there would be a lot of us in the same boat, however your income will only get worse under Labor’s proposal to deny you of the FRANKING credits, so best not cut off your nose to spite your face.I agree it was a disgrace to keep changing super rules ( asset test and taper rates in recent times), but both sides do it and if Labor win the next election EVERY worker and SFR will be worse off due to Shorten and his mates policy on franking credits.

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      Old Geezer is obviously a LNP stooge and troublemaker

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      Yep – can work ONE extra hour a week!! WHOOPEE!!!

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      It is a con thommo, better known as ‘smoke and mirrors’:

      1. where else in the developed world is the pension age 70?
      2. where else in the developed world are pensioners told to sell their homes (downsize) and live off the proceeds.
      3. where else in the developed world are pensions WITHHELD with an assets test intended to force retirees to squander a lifetime of work and savings and deny them a moderate life in retirement.

      This budget is more of the same. Try to imagine what this lot are ging to do IF they were to get back in. Monstrous behaviour again!

      Last thing is what happened to “Budget Repair” and why is $50 billion of the country’s cash being handed to the rich and multinationals to take out of the country.

      You are too kind Kaye. This is a ‘rape and pillage’ budget intended to con those who are too stupid to see this lot for what they are: a rich man’s tool for wealth transfer to the top. Study America to see the results!

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      Yes fairplay they will have something to really whinge about under Labor.

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      Fairplay,
      I wonder do you own shares and receive franking credits and if you do, have you calculated how much tax you would actually pay on those shares that are tax free, should Labour get in?

      Although I don’t own shares I am wondering how much pensioners are likely to be worse off? I hope you don’t mind me asking but you so seem so knowledgeable, it would be helpful if everyone was able to get an understanding of just how detrimental it could be for pensioners if Labour got in.

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      Any fair rendition of franked credits says that if x amount of tax has been paid, that is part of gross income. Therefore it is added to gross income for tax purposes, deductions are worked out, and taxable income is determined.

      At that point, the only tax payable should be the difference between the franked tax already paid and overall tax liability.

      I see no difference in any approach to this issue ………………… UNLESS the current situation is allowing recipients of franked credits to pay no tax, or is allowing them to not include that already paid tax as part of gross income.

      If that is the case, Shorten has a fair point, and everyone should be paying tax on income according to the same rules.

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      The ATO says a return is due on excess franked credits…. it doesn’t say anything about not notifying franked credits.

      This whole thing sounds like a storm in a teacup – unless some are getting away with cheating.

      Here seems to be a bug bear:-

      “The basis of the system is that if a company pays or credits you with dividends which have been franked, you may be entitled to a franking tax offset for the tax the company has paid on its income. The franking tax offset will cover or partly cover the tax payable on the dividends.”

      https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/You-and-your-shares-2013-14/?page=5

      The question again arises – why should a company not pay tax on its income.. and why should an individual not pay tax on his/her income?

      IF – as I’ve been told here – franking is tax paid ON BEHALF OF THE SHAREHOLDER – it is not part of company tax, and thus it appears the companies may be using this loop-hole to reduce their tax burden on income.

      I think this entire issue need s thorough review and straightening out.

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      Thanks Trebor, so probably not much worse off at the end of the day?

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      If Labor gets in I will lose $25,000 of my income if I leave my investments where they are. So East of Toowoomba it is not an insignificant amount of money to most people.

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      Dear EAST OF TOOWOOMBA, Whilst i have asked my Industry Fund how i would be affected they simply cannot answer my question with any certainty only to comment that because my exposure to Australian shares through super is only a small percentage the impact would not be that great. It just indicates how complicated both sides of politics are making what should be something we can all understand.It is FRUSTRATING !! and just means we are making an industry out of financial planners and in the current environment they go hand in hand with politicians at the TOP of the list of who we all least trust. My understanding would be anyone who has Super will probably be affected by Labors policy on FRANKING credits , whether you be a worker or a SFR and invested in Australian shares.I think Shorten has back peddled on his initial policy by exempting anyone receiving a full or part pension , but please do not quote me as i am not 100% sure.I suppose we will all pick out certain elements we like or dislike about each side of politics and whilst for the most part of my life i have supported Labor i now find in retirement this may not be my best option at present.I am conflicted because like many of us we have been affected by Turnbull’s asset test changes (most unfair to those that retired under a certain set of rules and may have made different decisions had they known , BUT how could they … a good argument for GRANDFATHERING the rules for those that had already retired based on that set of rules at the time).My take is that i will be further disadvantaged should Shorten win and reckon there would be many in the same situation that do not want to be hit with a double whammy and let’s face it Labor has a terrible track record in recent times with managing money eg.RUDD and his HARVEY NORMAN policy just one example ………….Cheers

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      I’m no expert, EOT, but it seems to me it might be the companies who are getting a benefit from this. Trouble is that if the companies are brought to heel – and we already know that only a third or so of the BCA member companies pay the full 30% company tax on taxable income (???) – and if the companies are slugged for more, they will take it out on their (small) shareholders – more as a political move than a real one, so as to put pressure on from the ‘grass roots’.

      Of course the directors and such, who own the vast majority of the shares anyway, will not be affected and will still receive remuneration and bonuses.

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      I have seen letters from super funds telling people the non refund of franking credits will not affect them as they pay more than enough tax to cover it.

      However if that is true then logically retired people whose super is now tax free must be already missing out on the franking credits refunds that they should be entitled to receive.

      I have sent various super funds this question and have yet to receive a reply. I hope I am wrong but it looks to me that I may have exposed them for creaming off extra profits from self funded retirees.

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      Mick. Unfortunately, other countries are considering increasing the retirement age. ‘Work until you drop dead’ is the preferred policy. However, nothing is being done about Workcover in Australia for over 65s. They can’t get affordable Income Protection Insurance, Accident Insurance being over over 65 and that includes personal loans and credit cards insurance protection.
      Apparently, Finland is discontinuing its universal pension plan after 2 years, finding it unsustainable.
      As for employer’s subsidy of $10k to employ people over 50, this may work for 50-60s but not for over 65s
      “Strangely, that program was introduced in the 2014 Budget. And it was a $10,000 subsidy even then” – Do we have any statistics how this has panned out?

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      Good comments, thommo. Yes, your losing $14K is not important for OG, but his losing anything (can’t say if he is lying about the amount as there is no proof) is a problem! Maybe, we should all vote for Labor just to ensure OG gets his justice as he applauded when others lost due to the Liberals action on the Assets test.

      That aside, no hope really from any of the 3 main parties even when we have “rivers of gold” revenue coming in, and I would recommend all vote AGAINST all current seat-warmers by putting them last. We don’t want them getting their hands on fat, undeserved, unrested pensions after making others suffer. Maybe then new MPs / Independents may fight for the people – if they don’t, turf them out next time / before they get to their min 8 years to qualify for their massive special pensions.

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      George I can assure you that if Labor gets in power and still has this policy on the table they will not get one extra cent out of me. I will just divest and earn my income elsewhere like many others will also do.

      Also you will find that many who lost on the change of the asset test will also lose under Labor’s non return f franking credits policy. So your idea of voting Labor I to punish me will back fire on them instead. Not only have they lost their pension but 30% of their income as well.

      I have already divested quite a lot of money from the share market and if markets keep rising I will have little left in it by the time Labor comes to power anyway.

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      In am similar situation as you thommo. We’ve been betrayed and lied to by the LNP and Greens. This is an election budget don’t vote the mongrels back into power.

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      Sounds like a good point, OG – maybe the franking credits you detail there are going into the fund for the bonuses of the operators… hmmmm..

      If anyone were to lose over changes to the current franking process – they must have been getting something for nothing.

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      I am certainly not getting one penny for nothing. I am just getting the excess tax paid for me back.

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      That’s exactly why it would not change one cent, OG…. provided that is the entire case.

      This ‘franking dividends’ thing is a war of words – not facts and dollars and cents, and is a very effective scare campaign on the part of the LNP.

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      I can assure you that the self funded retiree who lost their pension due the asset test and now has to invest in shares paying franking dividends will tell you that it is a war of losing many more dollars to them.

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      Give me an example in figures.

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      Trebor if you have say $800,000 to invest you can put it in the bank at what 2.5% interest if you are lucky. That an income of $20,000. Buy shares in the banks at 10% gross return that gives you $80,000 including $24,000 in franking credits. Which one would you choose?

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      Even putting half in the bank and half in bank shares is going to give you $50,000 including $12,000 in franking credits.

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      Trebor, I really thought we had got through to you that your understanding of what Shorten is proposing is WRONG. He is stealing the income of SFRs who rely on that income to exist. And OG is right that it’s the poorer SFRs who will suffer – a massive 30% cut to income that is already, in many cases, way less than pensioners receive.

      Please tell me why an SFR should pay 30% tax on an income of maybe $20,000 a year or less, JUST BECAUSE THEY INVEST IN SHARES? Meanwhile, a worker on $120,000 a year gets their franking credits as a reduction of the tax they pay on their income, and pensioners keep their franking credits as a cash bonus on an income that is higher than the SFRs who are deprived? How can you justify that? And yes, that IS what Shorten has proposed. I don’t know what you base your weird interpretation of the policy on, but you clearly are totally misinformed on the subject.

      FACT: Companies are owned by shareholders. The company – ON BEHALF OF THE SHAREHOLDERS – remits 30% of its profit to the ATO. It pays the balance to its shareholders with a notation that 30% tax has been deducted. No different from PAYG tax being taken from wages. The wage earner who has no legitimate tax liability expects to get it back, and he does. And so should the shareholder who has no tax liability. But Shorten says ”No, we won’t give it back to the shareholder UNLESS he has substantial taxable income from other sources OR he gets a pension. If he’s a struggling SFR depending on it to fund a decent lifestyle, we’ll screw him over. And worse, if screwing him over reduces him to hardship and he has to apply for a pension at some future time, we’ll tell him ”No, you STILL don’t get your franking credits because you weren’t a pensioner before March 28,2018. So you can continue to suffer unfair tax for the rest of your days.”

      Gee, that’s really a great way to treat people who worked hard, saved well, and tried to help the national budget by not putting their hands out!

      BTW. I wrote to 18 ALP leaders, including Shorten and the Chris Bowen and stated that was my understanding of the policy and I was appalled at the unfairness of it and I did not get one reply. I also wrote to my local member, local Greens representative, and two leaders of the Greens. No reply. If my understanding was wrong, wouldn’t you expect one of them to say so?

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      Sorry, correction. I DID get ONE reply, from Tanya Plibersek, who said ”but it will only adversely affect a small number of self-funded retirees, and we had to do something to get revenues.”

      Oh, I see. If you screw over a small number who don’t have much voting power, that’s okay – no matter how evil, unfair, cruel or disgusting the policy. It’s only bad if it affects a large group whose votes can make a real difference.

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      TREBOR – this sounds like a circular argument. OG is slagging Labor with no facts. I guess that is smear.
      The facts are franking credits work on eliminating double taxation. Sort of fair (?) that if the company has paid tax on the dividend then why should the recipient pay tax again, the logic being if the recipient were on a lower tax rate then he would get a refund, but if he were on a higher tax rate he would be making up the difference.
      The real issue is the gaming of the system by the wealthy with their over creative accounts, schemes and offshore tax shelters. In reality those on the top tax rate (48%) should be tipping in a bit more tax to the ATO because the company rate is only 30%. Vice versa for retirees who have a low or zero tax rate because they earn zip.
      The system should work. If it is not working then FIX THE PROBLEM rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater. As normal this lot are again preying on retirees who are not a burden on the public purse. When they become so this government will most definitely introduce legislation which will force retirees to sell their home and live on the proceeds.
      Anybody who votes for the current government is either mentally challenged. a dill or in the party.

      Mark my words it will end badly if this lot het back in. Uncle Rupert and our right wing media have a lot to answer for.

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      Shorten’s not planning to take the 30% – his concern is over double dipping – and from what the ATO says – a bit of poor wording seems to give a loop hole that permits a company to pay franking credits and thus not pay tax on its income – while the shareholder still has to include franking credits in income.

      If the company is merely lodging tax in advance on behalf of the shareholder, to be later included in calculation of overall tax burden – the company should not also receive a tax deduction for doing so, since it comprises part of their dividend payout.

      I think the idea is that companies are double dipping here… which may be right – I’m not an expert.

      What could happen is that companies deprived of this tax loop hole could reduce dividend payments.

      As it stand, if you get a dividend payment with franking, you include franking in your gross income – so it is really no different from being paid dividend without franking for YOU. I think the issue is with companies.

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      OG – that’s not the example requested – what, in figures, will you actually lose and how if franking is changed to the Shorten Principle?

      I thoughtwe’d determined already that it is with the company – and they might short change on dividends if they have to pay tax on their full taxable income – not that they do anyway in the majority of cases.

      Simply put – a company owes tax on its taxable income – a shareholder owes tax on his/her taxable income – if a company gives franking credits as part of dividend payout, it is not a legitimate deduction for the company, but it seems they are using it as such.

      That is double-dipping by companies – not shareholders – and since few companies pay full tax on their taxable income – it really should make no difference other than their trying to put pressure on by squeezing their minority shareholders until they scream.

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      Trebor you are shifting the goal posts again way off left field. If you haven’t got it now then you never will. So just be quiet until you understand what is going on here.

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      Lots of diversions above from the main topic, and from thommo’s great comments!

      Instead of reversing the Assets Test changes, the most serious issue now added is that the BIGGEST INCOME TAX CUT BENEFICIARIES (of over $7,000 per year) will be those earning around $200K, i.e. THE POLITICAL BACKBENCHERS, CROSS-BENCHERS AND THE OPPOSITION – what a huge Carrot to them to vote for it!!!!!

      VOTE THEM (Liberals, Labor, Nationals & Greens) ALL OUT!

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      No, OG – I shifted no goal posts – you simply didn’t answer the question asked.

      Give me an example with figures of how a shareholder will lose – try two approaches so we can see the difference.

      You said you’d lose $25k – that’s a lot to lose – so you should be able to support that with figures.

      HOW would the Shorten Principle remove $25k from your gross income?

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      It would be wonderful if we all took this medicine as the political class would be fixed overnight. Sadly most people support their political ‘football’ team and spout the propaganda they put out. It never ceases to amaze me that many voters have the misconceived belief that Independents cannot govern a nation. They can.

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      HS – the budget promise of $10,000 for employers to take on seniors – nothing new, that is a con as it is already in place!
      You ask how it panned out – well in all the time it was available, less than 1,000 employers took up the offer. It was an abject failure. PLUS that amount is taxed. Employers are not interested.

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    Let us not lose sight of the reality that a ‘budget’ is nothing but a forward estimate and a guess at what might be spent in certain areas. It is not dollars in the bank and has no comparison with actual spending, and a ‘surplus’ or ‘deficit’ budget is only an estimate of what it MIGHT look like at year’s end.

    If politicians were honest they’d p0ut out a budget at year’s start and then compare it direct at year’s end.

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      That said -the jiggling around pensions is silly – most pensioners and retirees don’t work, a 5.25% compound interest rate is hardly appealing and the view that pensioners might have a need to use this loan facility to make ends meet is frankly disgusting on the part of government. Fits with their base idea that people should be totally funding their own retirement even when the government stuffs the economy for them.

      Is Morrison going to sit down with The Cormannator and smoke a big cigar and then vote himself a big pay rise as a bonus for all the god work?

      I’m reading a book about the actions of certain Unions during WW II – and at one point a contributor (real letters etc) says that the government did nothing to control this, but that it was easy to do nothing while sitting in Canberra and feasting off the best the land could provide while the troops went without food due to strikes and such.

      Nothing new under the sun… I’m warming to that Canadian idea and that tiny little New Zealand idea….. this allegedly 12th ‘richest’ nation in the world is remarkably poverty-stricken except in some circles – and yet other nations without massive resource exports can do better than our governments do for the unemployed and retired.

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      This is a con budget intended to fool the fools and not upset too many (average) voters so that this lot can be pushed back into power. Then the real poison comes out. Think about what happened after the last 2 elections. This time will be the same if voters put this lot back in.

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      Stop with your lies and scaremongering Mick
      It’s a good budget – giving back to the poor and middle class
      There is nothing bad in the budget for anyone
      The real poison will be if labor get elected

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      We think alike Bob. I worked for a group which demanded budget forecasts with evidence to support projections and my annual salary increment was only approved if I had either exceeded my profit forecast or could prove that events totally unforeseen or out of my direct control had caused a shortfall. Not only could I lose my annual increment if I failed to deliver, two consecutive years meant that I would not only lose my annual increment but also my position.

      Governments will tell us what they like with no evidence to back up their projections and, like this budget, will become Santa Claus each three years to keep their job. When the election is over, the excuses as to why they cannot honour their promises will come thick and fast.

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      You got it, OM – we’ll get the gifting now – roll out the pork barrel in an election year – then it will be ‘hard times’ all over again next year and the year after – then it will suddenly be sunshine and roses again.

      If only those who set budgets and targets etc could operate with real figures instead of figures in their heads.

      Pretty much all I see is fiddling with the edges here and nothing of substance.

      At the moment I’m not well enough to go over the budget in detail… maybe tomorrow…

      The hypocrisy I found most astounding was saying that since ‘410,000 jobs had been created’ – there was no reason to raise Unemployment Benefits. Nonsense in the real world of insufficient job numbers, and I suppose we’ll just have to put up with the development of an underworld all over again after the prosperous years, and the rise of a permanent under-privileged class along with a permanent criminal class. It’s easier to make a million selling drugs than it is to work for it – I met a drug dealer once and he said – “I get two years in prison – my girlfriend lives in my house and I’m buying another one – my bills are paid by the ‘mob’ and I get money in here. I’ll get out and do it again.” He was mid twenties and already headed for riches, while ‘honest’ folk struggle to eat sometimes. His descendants will run this country and be doctors and lawyers and politicians and feed off the fat.

      I read a book on the true history of Bonnie and Clyde and it was appalling the way most were treated back then and turned to crime – they knew they were headed for the grave, but they were anyway, so they figured they might as well do it with some money – legal or not.

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      Agree with you whole heartedly Trebor. This country under this government is going to hell in a handbasket. I’d prefer my meagre tax break go to those on Newstart and Youth Allowance and to be put towards services such as health, education and renewable energy research & development.

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      Have you seen the wastage in health and education? It is astounding! More money will only make it worse not better.

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      Health and education are a state responsibility OG. You are muddying the waters.

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      Why are so many whinging about the budget not having enough money for health and education then?

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      Because of people like you, OG, who don’t know any better.

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      Raphael – a good budget? You crack me up but what else does one expect from a government representative on this website.
      If you claim that the pennies most people are getting compares to the tens of thousands of dollars the top will get if tax cuts get up then you must be a bigger moron than I took you for. But then you are posting cash for comment so maybe I am wrong?

      OG – have a look where this government is spending $100 million of valuable taxpayer money. On a women’s feel good gender equality talkfest. I have seen this sort of thing before. It will be the same: a total waste of money with nothing to come out of it other than hot air. Pensioners to pay?????

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      Anyone else noticed that the things I posted above – of the establishment and perpetuation of an underworld, a criminal class and an under-privileged class – go hand in hand with the kind of ‘leftie’ revolution, and/or sabotage etc – that became very common in the deprived times, especially the 1920’s and 1930’s – when there was a massive rise in Communism in the West, along with a criminal class and so forth?

      Continuing down the road we are on is leading this nation and society into that same trap for the many, with the difference that these days the criminal class has no class and considers anyone else fair game – whereas the old criminal class had values, such as you don’t rob ordinary people etc.

      This new brand of criminal class is much worse……

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    The thing about the budget that screamed at me was the unfairness to the lowest earning worker. Someone on $40,000 will pay the same rate of tax as someone on $199,000. The low paid worker would spend every cent thus stimulating the economy so why not tax him less, far less than the high income earner.
    The other thing is a warning. Do not sell a portion of your home to the government or a bank. If desperate, sell and find your own home to create a bit of cash if desperate. Keep the home in your name solely, trust no one taking a piece of your modest home.

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      It is great to see that workers are finally not getting over taxed for their overtime worked. Awesome move by the government.

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      agree with you Kathleen

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      OG – you are clearly being paid for comment. Stop!
      The ‘tax relief’ for lower workers is zip. The real action is happening at the other end. Not only do wealthy Australians income earners benefit from accounting fiddles and offshore tax havens but now this rich man’s government is giving these people a huge tax windfall and selling it as progress and jobs. It isn’t. It’s the next LNP lie meant to fool voters.

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      I think OG is wearing 2 Blue Ties today judging by his comments.

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      I think OG is wearing 2 Blue Ties today judging by his comments.

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      Maybe we need a neck-tie party……………………

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      Those who work extra hours should receive a concessional rate of tax for doing so…………… (now there’s a startling idea)…

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      Kathleen – you simply don’t understand the tax system

      The poor pay far less tax than the high earners

      Go find a simple tax calculator on the web
      enter your numbers and see for yourself

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      80% of the tax is paid by the top 20% income earners so why shouldn’t they and middle income earners get a bit extra instead of continually giving it all the whinging pensioners.

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      Kathleen they want to to give a BIG FAT TAX CUT to Politicians (backbenchers, cross-benchers and even the opposition) to ensure they vote for these tax cuts as they are set to gain the maximum of $7K+ cut in taxes based on their $200K salaries!!! Simple really! Disgusting creeps!

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      Raphael, if you earn $40,000 or less you really can’t afford to lose and up to $60,000 should be considered as low income earners and every cent is precious to them.
      Here is an example for you, this is a real one!
      When the top earners were hit with the budget emergency tax a family lost $6,000. They said that was their annual holiday. However, that same year the whole family went to Paris.
      Do you understand?
      What is normal for one is not normal for another?
      Someone on $40,000 or so would not even dream about going to Paris!

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      The poor have far less money on which to pay tax….. what would you have them do, Rafe? Pay 200% of their income so they can match the income tax paid by the fat cats? Take out a loan so they can pay their ‘fair’ share of income tax and pass it down to their descendants?

      Easy fix – pay everyone the same as the fat cats and they will all pay more tax – yeah – that’ll work…… (rolls eyes emotion inserted) ….

      The fat should be proud to pay tax to support this nation that feeds them so well.

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      Kathleen and Trebor
      You guys are amazing – no matter how much tax the so called wealthy pay, you will never be satistisfied until you get the same income as them.

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      Not my argument, Rafe – you’re the one complaining that the peasants pay less tax….. I’m just offering you a viable solution to that issue…..

      Better still – why not restrict all incomes to the same level, and that way everyone can pay the same tax….. we could go either way here to find a solution to the ‘issue’ of the fat paying more tax. Simple enough. Just pay everyone the same whether it be high or low….. no problem.

      Where is your pride, man, in supporting a nation that supports you?

      I long ago said I was happy to pay income tax, since in return I got to own destroyers, F-111s and all that and it was put to good use….. well – in some ways it was.

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      Raphael, what income? Beside the point!
      Oh you have misread me. We need the high income people for sure because we need them to help the economy. If they pay their fair share of taxes good on them. Many do not and now th government is treating the poor and rich the same percentage wise!
      However, people have the same needs, namely, food and shelter.
      Everyone pays GST which is enough for the really low income people to contribute similar to pensioners.
      The point a lot of us are trying to drive home is what poor people are left with is cruel!
      Go support your LNP but some of us on here recognise their lack of compassion and fairness!

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      Am I confused with the tax rate, doesn’t the tax rate change only apply to low and middle income earners, those on $199,000 a year don’t recieve a tax cut for about 7 years. As for the usual claim by Mick that anyone who disagrees with him is on the payroll of the LNP its very clear to everyone who he supports, so does that make him an employee of labor? As I have commented before on these pages I have had dealings with Bill Shorten, the man is an absolute grub, I am not against labor but I am definitely against Shorten he was and still is a traitor to the working man and will do nothing for the worker but will do plenty to feather his own nest and that of his left wing cronies, no doubt many will say the LNP are no better and I might agree, but wasn’t it Shorten who raised the retirement age, I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. Once and for all the tax paid on dividends is tax paid on behalf of the investor and is therefor refundable to the tax payer, if the dividend is unfranked meaning no tax has been paid the nothing is refundable but the dividends are still counted towards your income, if you are below the tax free threshold then no tax is payable if you are above the tax free threshold then you pay tax on the income.

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      I agree with you Kathleen and Trebor.

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      Raphael – I am right. You are a moron.
      The level of tax has nothing to do with this and TREBOR is on the money. It is ONLY the PERCENTAGE OF INCOME which counts.
      The rich pay a low low percentage. The poor pay a high percentage. And then remember that the rich fudge their TAXABLE income figure BEFORE tax is even calculated.
      You know all of the above and are clearly a government stoolie misleading readers. Funny how your posts are so in line with the dishonesty of this government. Disgraceful Australian! Have you no shame.

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      Mick the proposal is that most people will pay 32.5% in tax.

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      “Most” people will pay according to the tax bracket they are in. Some will pay zero and others 48%.
      Because you earn a fair bit OG you will likely lose the imputation credits. That’s how it works.
      It is fair.

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      Mick if OG earns a fair but then he can use his franking credits to reduce all the tax he pays. Labor is not going to hurt him at all.

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      Very good, VCBB. Nor will it hurt others who are playing the game fairly and squarely.

      Again – a company should pay tax on its income, and an individual should pay tax on his/her income. Giving out dividends is not a tax deduction – it is sharing the profits of a year’s work, from after-tax income.

      Sounds pretty simple to me.

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      Shorten may want to clarify his policy but unlikely the right wing media will air this as it puts a dent in the media’s ability to discredit Labor.

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    sensationalist heading
    Unfortunately nothing in the article supports the “fattening for the kill” headline

    The tax cuts are a god send for middle and low income workers and will be a boost to the overall economy

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      Dream on Raphael! $10 may mean a lot like a loaf of bread and a large bottle of milk not two coffees at a cafe to the very poor but it still is inequitable because of lifestyles between the rich and poor.
      The poor struggle to make ends meet whilst the wealthy plan an overseas trip.

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      Yes Kathleen how come all the cruise ships are full of pensioners.

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      They’re not – they’re full of retirees….

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      Nope most are pensioners not retirees. Retirees take more expensive holidays instead.

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      OG, I am not even talking about pensioners. I am discussing the lowest paid workers who end up with something equal to a pension in amounts but who have to go to work which has costs associated with it.

      Cruise ships full of pensioners? How many people on a full pension and nothing besides can afford to cruise? You will find they have other money to afford to do that. Cruises are not cheap by a pensioner’s standards. Out of three or four hundred a week how long would it take to save for a cruise? Maybe a road trip to see the grandkids might be on the agenda but beyond that by the time they saved something it would go on necessities.

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      Kathleen you can hear all the pensioners crowing all over the ship how good the pension is to be able to avoid such trips.

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      Yes, OG, you can hear those with $500,000 in the bank and a fat part pension crowing about how much better off they are than the battlers who saved $850,000 or $900,000 and are being screwed over for doing so, and crowing about how much better life is for them than it is for either struggling pensioners or poor SFRs, but those crowing are a small minority – growing now that the government has made self-funded retirement so hard. The cost of pensions is rising now, funding more people to crow about their cruising while savers who might have helped the budget are crucified and pensioners who have no savings are half-starved.

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      The poor have lost $50 a week in bracket creep over the past decade and you claim that $5 back is a “godsend”. Liberal liar!

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      OG – are YOU the one breaking into their cabins on all these cruises and rifling through their personal papers to discover that they are all pensioners pure and simple?

      Bloody criminal….. must be a crew member….. a Lascar perhaps who doesn’t vote or pay taxes here…

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      No Trebor I don’t have to break into cabins as they all tell how good it is to be on the pension as they can afford to go on cruises. Some do 3 or 4 a year. Quite frankly they annoy me with their badge of honour from collecting welfare.

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    I don’t see anything that supports the headline. I judge these political parties by their past performance. So I see labor as stupid and the liberals as slippery. Both as untrustworthy. What a choice.

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      Yes Tib, who can ever forget ‘There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead?’ What a cracker! The government may have its faults – and indeed it does, but the other mob were left in an amazing financial position, and like kids in a lolly shop, shoved as much goodies down there own throats (figuratively), until they made themselves, and all the rest of us, sick, and we are still trying to get out of the mess. Who wants to go back to that? In Victoria, they spawned a Premier, who spent $1.2 billion to not build a road; and a further $3.2 billion on a desal plant that has yet to produce a litre of useable water. This country cannot afford a repeat of the ineptitude of these clueless imbeciles, no matter what Mick, Tib and the rest of you loony lefties have to say!

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      There will be no GST under a government I lead…….. who could forget….. (rofl emoticon inserted with glee)….

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      The Victorian government paid out a contract locked in by their Liberal forebears, so as to not provide a road not necessary or functional – the blame lies with those who let the contract.

      Just another Liberal way of handing a few lazy bill out of the public purse to mates for doing nothing.

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      Desal works well enough in Saudi…. if and when there arises another need – the structure is still there,

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      Big Al as usual you are talking garbage. The national dept is higher than its ever been under the Liberal mismanagement, remember the budget emergency. Now they are handing out tax cuts to big business. It’s a budget emergency when they want us to pay and a free for all when handing out money to big business. Labor was in the middle of the GFC what’s the liberal excuse.
      https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2017/03/26/coalition-debt-exceeds-labor/

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      Whilst I agree with you your choice is pretty clear Tib. Labor is looking after most Australians whilst Liberal is looking after the 1% + slavery for the rest of the country. Pretty clear cut I might have thought.

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      LNP looks after me very well. Lucky I’ll a pensioner so I get my franking credits refunded under Labor too. Thank goodness I rearranged my financial affairs so I am not a self funded retiree.

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      Sounds good. The sick reality is that self funded retirees are not a burden on taxpayers but are under attack for this. Politics does not get much worse than this: attacking the aged for doing the nation a kindness. That is the problem with the bastards who call themselves the government at present. Soon to be changed.

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      Mick I’m concerned that Labor is up to something more sinister and it franking credit policy is a mere smoke screen.For some reason I just can’t bring myself to tryouts them either.

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      Yes, Tib, both are untrustworthy.

      The big added worry now is that the BIGGEST INCOME TAX CUT BENEFICIARIES (of over $7,000 per year) will be those earning around $200K, i.e. THE POLITICAL BACKBENCHERS, CROSS-BENCHERS AND THE OPPOSITION – what a huge Carrot to them to vote for it!!!!!

      VOTE THEM (Liberals, Labor, Nationals & Greens) ALL OUT!

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      I don’t Know VCBB but I’d be thinking Labor’s long game might be to close some of the fraudulent mechanisms rich people have put in place to avoid paying their rightful taxes. I would support that because it is plain unfair for the wealthiest amongst us to avoid paying tax when the poorest have no way out.

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      Mick the wealthy win under Labor’s policy as VCBB is trying to point out. It is those who rely on this extra income that Labor wants to take from them that are the losers.

      Anyone rich enough will just invest elsewhere so Labor doesn’t get anything out of them. By the look of certain shares this is already happening.

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      You have it the wrong way around OG. Labor is not after your money. The Coalition is….to give to the rich.
      I hope you watched last night’s reply by Shorten. Retirees NOT AFFECTED IN ANY WAY and the dividend imputation refunds will not be removed. End of BS!

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    Here we go again, it’s a good budget, it’s a bad budget, this group got looked after, this group missed out again, the AAA rating looks like being downgraded. It’s a budget the same as every other budget, some winners, some losers and the comments are wholly dependent on which side you support. What this budget is above everything else is an election budget, designed to make more people happy than unhappy. Every major party has an election budget solely to attract voters, not do anything for the economy, live with it.

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      It’s a dishonest budget OM. The peanuts thrown at most Australians will be ripped back as soon as the election is done if this lot get back in. Remember Tony Abbott?

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      It’s not just an election budget, it’s a disgusting attempt to con the people and divert riches to the top end of town. It has 2 MAJOR objectives:

      1. Secure big tax cuts for big business, and newly added (a la Trump),

      2. Big tax cuts for the rich – with those on $200K salaries to get the biggest tax cuts of $7K+. Since this exactly benefits the MPs (base salary for backbenchers / opposition / cross-benchers being around $200K), there is a strong chance this policy may pass due to the greed of the MPs.

      Rest of the Budget is just smoke & mirrors, not meant to really help anyone!

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    This is an election budget it has all of the devious schemes used by Howard and Costello built in. They conned the tax payers while riding on the mining boom. Mal an co does not have that advantage. Smarten up when the vote comes around.

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      I agree 4b2 and you have reminded me of the con trick perpetrated by Costello although I can’t remember which election he did it. There was a budget where he spent the lot and when Howard called an election, the cupboard was bare. Howard rested on his laurels, pointing out what had been done leaving Labor with no money to make any promises.

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      You two are living in fantasy land! There was no debt, repeat, no debt, when Dudd won the election in 2007. What part of surplus do you not understand? It took crooked Kev and Jaded Julia a little over two years to ‘rectify’ this ‘parlous’ state of affairs – so stop revising history – it is less than 10 years ago – do you think the rest of us are stupid?

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      A surplus budget is not cash in the bank, Big Al – get your mind right. It’s just a guessing game with fudged figures on estimates.

      You are one of those who mistakes a budget for real figures….. what would have been left after twelve months of ‘Howard’s surplus’ – nothing, as history showed.

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      History showed that Rudd wiped out the real surplus, as Costello stated in his comments on this current budget, it took them 10 surplus budgets to get a real surplus and get debt free, I haven’t seen any comments from the experts that what Costello stated was untrue, maybe you have information that supports your point of view.

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      Rudd didn’t stop at the surplus he made sure we had a decent debt when they left and well into the future with their stupid schemes.

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      Jim, Costello wiped out the surplus long before Rudd took the reins. The figures just didn’t reflect it because he did it by creating advance obligations that he knew could not be met when the boom ended. It was Costello who created the debt. He was just smart enough not to let the data reveal the truth.

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      Nothing like the advance obligations Rudd and Gillard left though.

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      Gee Big Al, I can’t see where either 4b2 or I have said anything about debt. We spoke of budgets which have little or nothing to do with the national debt. To make it simple for you Big Al, the budget is all about money in and money out, the same as a wage earner getting paid and having to use that money to pay for food, clothing, mortgage/rental/board and savings. There is also a debt, the same as a wage earner may have a mortgage, which is paid for out of any money left over from the budget. Coalition people know what a surplus budget is, Labor people haven’t a clue.

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      A response to a few issue aired above.

      Yes 4b2, it is a con. Only thing missing is Work Choices but that has been creeping in during the past 10 years by stealth under any other name.

      I can’t believe the BS about the Rudd years being dredged up. Next we’ll get a rendition of pink batts and school halls. For the record look up the meaning of ‘GFC’. Rudd got in and it hit. Funny that. I never heard you complaining about losing your job after this hit Jim…but you are happy to deride the PM of the time who made the call. You are having your cake and eating it too but should show some gratitude that you and your family were not sacrificed like so many others around the world.
      FYI NO COUNTRY ran a surplus after the GFC!

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    While I am always interested in government doings regarding retired people, I would like to see some commentary on how this will impact all Australians. The high cost of a place to live is standing out as something that is important to every Australian. Have they done enough? I don’t think so.

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      I agree for once we have a budget that helps people other than those whinging pensioners and low income earners.

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      OG, The poor lowly paid worker does not score much at all. Yes, $10 helps when you are that poor, but not enough! They needed to pay next to no tax as they contribute via GST as all their money is spent. I feel for them as they have to work and survive very humbly!

      I appreciate my pension and am thankful for it. However, I do not appreciate the government thinking I am stupid enough to give them my home which is not a million dollar one before you try that argument.

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      $10 would be enough to feed us for about 3 days.

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      “$10 would be enough to feed us for about 3 days.”
      LOL another one who thinks that those on Newstart should be able to live on $40/day, all the while complaining about losing $25,000 of his income from his investments if Labor took away his favourable dividend rort!

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      No Labor wont take anything away from me and it’s only a rort if you are not smart enough get it yourself.

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      Linda – I am aware of the cost of housing. Enormous…but this has happened before. Having recently returned from overseas I notice the rise in food prices again. Huge. Is nobody seeing this?

      OG – what a load of BS. We are experts at living on the smell of an oily rag. Went shopping today and you cannot feed yourself for 3 days on $10 unless you buy a packet of flour from Aldi and a handful of bananas, make dampers, and eat that. Food is becoming a luxury are Woolies and Coles drive prices through the roof. Likely inflation imposed on us!

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      Just worked out it cost me less than a dollar for the food I ate today. So I was wrong $10 will last me more than 3 days

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      OG – as normal NO DETAILS. Elaborate your claims if they are to be taken seriously.

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      Thank goodness I can afford to eat out and not have to live like OG. Life is good on the pension.

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      Good on you.

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      OG brags about being wealthy, paying tax, and buying cruises for his family. Gee. I’d rather enjoy decent food and good company over a meal out when I feel like it. If it takes reducing the food budget to $1 a day to get rich, I’ll pass. Happy is way better than wealthy anyway!

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    What does this Budget deliver for Older Australians including pensioners – NOTHING!
    Decency demanded that now that it’s confirmed there was no Budget Emergency (it was a lie) and we have “rivers of gold” instead, the bastardly Asset Test changes from Jan 2017 should be reversed.
    Alternatively, they should implement Universal Pension for all simply based on Age (65) and years of Residency (say 15 yrs), with NO Asset, Income or Partner tests. Save lots of Centrelink costs, and also abuse for the elderly!

    Also, where is the Minimum Tax approach / any alternative actions to ensure all Companies and the Wealthy pay their fair share of tax??? Not even Labor talks about it!

    Note that the BIGGEST INCOME TAX CUT BENEFICIARIES (of over $7,000 per year) will be those earning around $200K, i.e. THE POLITICAL BACKBENCHERS, CROSS-BENCHERS AND THE OPPOSITION – what a huge Carrot to them to vote for it!!!!!
    VOTE THEM (Liberals, Labor, Nationals & Greens) ALL OUT!

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      No it helps the workers instead which is awesome.

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      Rubbish, OG, workers will get a sandwich and a milkshake ($0 – $10 per week), whereas the rich will get $7K+ per year, including all Politicians! NOT AWESOME for workers at all, you need to get your brain checked! Anyway, my comments were mainly focused on Older Australians, especially pensioners (full or part), not workers, so your comments are just a diversion from facts – as usual.

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      George the rich were once workers too so I really can’t see what the problem is with them getting a well deserved tax break too.

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      OG – most of the rich were never workers… they inherited and were slotted into nice little earners by family and mates… look at Fat Joe for example….

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      Our PM wasn’t rich either until he won the “lottery” by having a few shares at the right time.

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      Yes – a few can be lucky – remember the odds on winning at a poker machine? Much the same – luck can have something to do with it – but luck is indiscriminate and as hard to find as a fish when you are keen to catch one…

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      OMG, OG! You think someone who INHERITED over $100 million was ”not wealthy”. Dream on idiot! Turnbull went to the most exclusive private school in the nation. His father owned a chain of hotels, and he inherited over $100 million from his grandfather before he finished university. He won the lottery alright – the BIRTH LOTTERY.

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      Wrong Rainey he had very little until he was working for Ozemail and had a heap of their shares when they were taken over. A good friend was at uni with him and he had no more than the rest of them.

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      OG – you keep repeating that workers received a windfall in the budget. WRONG. You know that.
      Workers were thrown a few peanuts to make it look like they were getting something and so they would not look closely at the huge amount of money going to the top 1% in (company) tax cuts. That is where the real action is but you know that.

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      Mick if you say the LNP only looks after 1% how come over 50% voted them in? I personally don’t like Labor’s attack on self funded retirees taking another 30% of their income either. I this policy alone may lose them government if people start believing the truth on how it really works.

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      People with big salaries and self employed people have the perception that the coalition is on their side. Up to a certain income they’ll only get peanuts. The other stereotype is people who are conned into believing lies about ‘jobs & growth’ and what is good for the nation….lies to con the mentally challenged.
      Can you please clarify how retirees are losing 30%? I suspect you are referring to franking credits and it is uncertain how these are going to go. My understanding is that Shorten is trying to cull these for wealthy citizens who have zip taxable income because of creative and fraudulent accounting and then claim back the tax paid by companies….which retirees earning zip have a perfect right to claim off their tax.

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    Does the Budget deliver for you?
    -NO. IT DOES NOT !
    What are the key benefits?
    -THERE ARE NONE! said , the age pensioner over 70 years of age.

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      Well I’m over 70 and still no age pension for me.

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      You’ve got to much to get it, OG – by your own statements…. you forever rant about pension only being for need – you have no need yet whine about not getting it….

      **wears out the eyes rolling emoticon by inserting it again**

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      That’s because you have investments and are wealthy. Old Geezer.

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      Nope I’m not wealthy at all. I just don’t spend much.

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      You are wealthier than the common OAP, Old Geezer, you don’t qualify!

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      Because if you could qualify, you’d be eating humble pie or as Malcolm said to Lucy, “Let them eat cake” !

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      You claim that changes to franking dividends would cost you $25k – yet you say you are not wealthy but instead you spend little…

      Amazing – simply amazing….

      You’re a fantasist, OG.. pure and simple.

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      You don’t have to have that much money or earn much more than $25,000 to get $25,000 in franking credits. Anyone with just enough assets not to get the pension can do it quite easily.

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      Trebor, my taxable income would be $20,000 a year if I gave up work, with NO pension entitlement, and over $6000 of that would be franking credits that Shorten wants to steal.

      OG is wealthy. I am NOT. And I am far more typical of those Shorten’s cruel policy will tax unfairly.

      I despise the LNP. They stole up to $20,000 a year from less well off SFRs. Now Shorten is determined to finish the job of wiping out everything they saved for a lifetime to achieve and forcing them onto pensions, but he’s making sure they continue to suffer long after they qualify for a pension. Apparently, saving is now a crime.

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      OGR – did you watch last night’s response to the Budget from Shorten? Your franking credits are safe as Shorten made of point of stating retirees would not lose $1 of this. End of argument.

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