Election 2016 wrap up: focus on superannuation

Who will be the best person to run the country for the next three years and beyond?

Election 2016 debate - leaders shake hands

The second Election 2016 debate took place last night, with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten attempting to assure Australians of who would be the better person to run the country for the next three years and possibly beyond. How did they fare?

As to be expected, the debate commenced with the ‘big sell’ from each leader. Mr Turnbull pushed his ‘jobs and growth’ economic agenda while Mr Shorten stuck to his mantra of hospitals, education and ‘a fair go’ for all Australians.

Perhaps surprisingly, it was Bill Shorten who opened the mud-slinging, accusing Mr Turnbull of continuing the style of Government for which his predecessor, Tony Abbott, was notorious.

“When Malcolm Turnbull got elected eight to 10 months ago, I thought my job would become harder. But I thought the politics would go to a better place in this country. I thought we would dispense with the Tony Abbott three-word slogans and I thought we would see a more elevated debate about ideas. But on each issue, I see this government shrinking into a Tony Abbott style government of three-word slogans and scare campaigns and I do not expect the next five weeks of this election campaign to be any different,” said Mr Shorten.

Mr Turnbull expertly evaded the first question aimed at him and it set the tone for the rest of the debate. When Laura Tingle of the Australian Financial Review asked what he thought of Australian voters feeling they had been let down because he had abandoned the political stance that had given them hope for politics, Mr Turnbull referred to his time in business and his relationship. When told he had not answered the question, he moved on to his stance on climate change.

When asked if Australians could trust the new leader based on the fact that they’d both deposed previous sitting leaders, Mr Turnbull again evaded the question, claiming that he is a “well-known entity”, whereas Mr Shorten stated that Labor has learned from its past mistakes – referring specifically to his role in dispatching then leader Julia Gillard.

The two lost little time in trading barbs, with Mr Turnbull saying that Labor is “the same old Labor – wanting to spend” and Mr Shorten stating that the Coalition is “same old Liberals – giving money to the top end whilst the rest of us struggle”. From there, the debate spiralled into political rhetoric and party lines. But the main question most older Australians want answered is how both parties plan to treat the future of superannuation.

Mr Turnbull maintains that his changes to super make it a fairer system. “People with very high incomes will not get as big a tax concession as they have in the past, but it will still be a generous system for everyone,” he said.

He went on to say that super should not be used as a vehicle for wealth accumulation for the very rich. He added that the super changes announced in Budget 2016/17 would help people on low incomes and hailed his ‘catch up super for women’ proposal, as well as the fact that those over 65 will be able to continue to contribute to super. In all, he claims he has created a fairer system for all Australians and once his plans are in place they will stay that way.

Mr Shorten, on the other hand, preached how Labor introduced super and that “Labor is the party of superannuation”. But as far as guaranteeing that super will not change in the next term?

“I can give this guarantee tonight. No changes that the Labor party has ever contemplated are retrospective. One of the quite shocking developments from the Budget, was that Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison have now created real uncertainty about the whole superannuation system, because they’re proposing retrospective changes. Now Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison say the changes aren’t retrospective, but just ask one of the many people who are affected by these changes. Every person in the superannuation system is now undermined, because if Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison, with no warning, with no electoral mandate, can introduce changes which retrospectively penalise investors in superannuation, how do we know they won’t do it again?”

On the defensive, Mr Turnbull replied, “Can I just say that the changes we are proposing are not retrospective at all. It is perfectly clear that they only operate, in one case from the night of the budget, and the rest from the 1st of July next year.”

“That’s simply not right,” Mr Shorten responded. “And people don’t have to take my word for it, take the word of experts. From the Institute of Public Affairs through to the CPA, Australians know that this Government, is now saying that people who made investments based on old laws are now having to recalculate amounts based on decisions they made in good faith. If we believe in the rule of law, retrospective changes are poison to confidence in superannuation.”

The rest of the debate was an exchange of party lines and rhetoric about the economy, climate change and our refugee crisis, but not much more information was divulged other than what we see in political adverts and party jingles.

Watch the debate on Sky News

Opinion: No clear winner

The one thing we all learned from the Election 2016 debate last night was that there was no clear winner. The spouting of party rhetoric and expert evasion of difficult questions left Australians none the wiser as to whom is the better person for the top job.

Australians hoping for some clear indication of the future of the country would have been disappointed, as both leaders seemed a little too well rehearsed for the debate to have been enlightening. Most of us may have learned just as much from each party’s political advertisements.

As for the reaction of older Australians, well, we’ll let you decide. Mr Turnbull claiming that his changes to superannuation are not retrospective may have a few retirees scratching their heads, especially the ones who have planned for their future based on past legislation.

The efficacy of Mr Turnbull’s plan to cut company taxes is also under suspicion. How can he guarantee that the money, which he has already planned to spend, will actually go back into our economy and not into the pockets of foreign investors? The short answer is: he can’t.

If we Australians, as Bill Shorten believes, are to have a clear choice for leader by the end of the election campaign, there was no indication of it based on this debate. It was hailed by The Guardian as “top hats versus hard hats” and that may be the only difference between the two. But at least they had matching ties.

What did you think of the debate? Who do you feel came out on top? Do you have a better idea of how you’ll vote as a result of this debate?

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    COMMENTS

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    jamesmn
    30th May 2016
    10:06am
    turnball could not lie straight in bed if his life depended on it don't forget he was responsible for the nbn blowout in the enormous cost and the time it is taking to install this program if he can't do this how can he do anything but look after his rich mates no wonder he does not want a royal commission into the banks but he wanted 1 into the cfmeu union which was a waste of tax payers money and then he acuses bill shorten when he was cleared by the royal commission
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    12:18pm
    Over 100 union leaders before the courts on nearly 1000 charges doesn't seem like a waste of a Royal Commission to me. Bill Shorten didn't do anything that was illegal but he dudded his union members in Cleanevent. The link is here.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/cleanevent-staff-lost-400m-under-deal-by-bill-shortens-awu/news-story/62300ed88eeb832e95689e9413ea90b6
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    12:21pm
    Here's another link to the Chiquita Mushrooms deal which also dudded workers.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/chiquita-mushroom-workers-say-they-were-in-the-dark-and-dudded-by-bill-shortens-union-20151021-gkep7j.html
    KSS
    30th May 2016
    12:27pm
    Mr Shorten has vowed, if elected prime Minister, to run the country as he ran the union. I take that to mean to the benefit of the unions and their leaders and to the detriment of the 'workers' if his union record is taken as an indicator of future behaviour.

    We have been warned by the man himself.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:49pm
    Come on KSS. That is better known as gilding the lily.

    And the normal BS from Old Man Frank. The real action on the corruption front will come when you run a RC into Liberal Party funding from multinationals and the rich and what is expected in return. It ain't free!
    And then there was Feeney. And then there was a police raid on the offices of Stephen Conroy. Yeah, there is corruption at work. In your own patch Old Man. Next thing you'll be posting about pink batts again.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    3:19pm
    Oh dear, more unwarranted abuse from MICK. I didn't write the articles on Shorten, I just reposted them. If they are lies please abuse the writers of the articles. What about Feeney? Did the Libs erase his multi million dollar negatively geared house from his declaration of assets? Did they make him leave his cheat sheets behind in the Sky studio?

    I am disappointed with your inference that the Federal Police made a raid on Conroy and his staffers because the Libs ordered it. The NBN, a private company, made a complaint to the Feds who have done their job as they see it. You normally don't get things like that wrong MICK.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    4:30pm
    If you want to throw mud then how about mention the (federal) Liberal MP involved with Gold Coast Council and fraudulent rezoning activity. That sort of thing from the Liberal Party never seems to make the news. Please do tell.
    When you start seeing a pattern of behaviour from the current government) it leads to a conclusion. In this case gutter politics to win the upcoming election. Same intent as Royal Commission into Rudd/Gillard...which also came to nil and which was also set up for a political purpose....at another huge cost to taxpayers!
    About time you stopped hiding behind your political correctness and owned up to the reality that the LNP is the culprit in dirty politics and ALWAYS runs this way. Standard practice! Please do not claim the moral high ground.
    There will be more to come out of the Conroy raids once the election is over no matter who wins.
    And by the way THE NBN HAS BEEN LOADED WITH RIGHT WING STOOLIES just like the Royal Commission into Labor was run by a card carrying Liberal Party stoolie as well. THIS IS HOW THE COALITION DOES BUSINESS!
    Kaz
    30th May 2016
    4:47pm
    Old man, you know the NBN is beholden to the government.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    10:00pm
    You know, sometimes I wonder if it's worthwhile chewing through the restraints. What happened here is very simple people, jamesmn posted a comment which I disagreed and I posted my view with some supporting details. So far, so good.

    In comes MICK, the Labor supporting annoyance who, as usual, plays the man, not the ball. He can't seem to fault my comment so he immediately changes the subject to get onto ground with which he is familiar. To add a bit of spice, he accuses me of being someone else with whom he has a personal grievance. I'm over it MICK, I will continue to have my say but I will give your rude personal responses the contempt they deserve.
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:05pm
    Old Man, the only reason there are not a 100 business owners before the courts with over 1000 charges is that the LNP won't let them come under the same scrutiny as the Unions.
    Doesn't matter how much LNP camp followers wish it wasn't true,but for every bribe accepted a bribe is offered and it does not matter how much you fiddle about with words, a bribe is a bribe, is a bribe.
    The Royal Commission has no credibility until we see some company heads being put before the courts for paying bribes and supporting corruption.
    And that is the real shame because it stands in the way of cleaning up Union corruption. It leads us to focus more on political mudslinging than cleaning up the workplace.
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    10:12am
    Mr Turnbull says that the super changes announced in Budget 2016/17 would help people on low incomes. He claims he has created a fairer system for all Australians and once his plans are in place they will stay that way.
    I had a "Significant event notice" the other day from my super fund. Apparently the Government changes to the superannuation law which take effect from the 1 July 2016 now mean that all death and TPD insurance for accumulation members must be provided by an external insurance company. That means now for the exact same cover it will now cost me, out of my super account, nearly double what I had been paying when it was run by my own Company superannuation fund.
    Who benefits. The Big banks who own insurance companies and big multi-national insurance companies. Not hard to see who pulls the LNPs strings when it comes to making changes to the superannuation laws.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    10:49am
    Would that be the case for Industry Funds mango. This is something all Industry Funds used to include for free.
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    11:08am
    I assume so Mick. I'm in the Rio Tinto super fund which I imagine it would be classed as an industry fund.
    Luckily we can opt out of the death and Totally and permanent disability cover.
    This is just a blatant act of redistributing wealth from the working class back to the Multi Nationals through poor legislative changes.
    For a young worker when you take the compounded loss from his super account over his life time that amounts to quite a large amount of money that goes missing from his final superannuation payout.
    What the hell was this Government thinking other than how to make the Corporations richer.
    KSS
    30th May 2016
    12:23pm
    Mick for the last 20+ years these insurances were not free in industry funds. They were very low cost though with the fees deducted from contributions and not from extra payments by the account holder. However, about two years ago these fees increased significantly whilst the amount and T&Cs of coverage decreased. It behoved everyone relying on these insurances to make sure they were still adequately covered for the best price, something I suspect many did not do.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    12:26pm
    MICK, I was in an industry super fund for a time and the death and disability clause was an "option". It was the default position which meant that unless you specifically requested that a deduction was not made that a member was automatically charged a weekly premium. I chose to opt out because for the same amount of premium I could achieve a much higher cover with a separate insurer.
    Sundays
    30th May 2016
    1:00pm
    I have a friend who was off work with cancer (now recovered) and the insurance through her super fund was a godsend.I suspect the changes to insurances would not be known by most people until contacted by their super fund
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    1:11pm
    Yes KSS Insurance was reasonably low cost. Unfortunately now the funds have been legislated to obtain external cover the fees that are deducted from the individuals account is going to nearly double.
    That is going to mean a very substantial loss of final superannuation payout to younger workers who are still required to maintain death and TPD cover for the sake of their young families. For example annual premium per $1000 of death and TPD cover is going to rise for a 26 year old worker from 53 cents per $1000 cover to 92cents per $1000 cover. For a 50 year old worker from $4.53 per$1000 of cover up to $7.86 per$1000 cover
    Pretty poor policy by this LNP Government.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:45pm
    KSS: I have to agree with you on that one. Now that I think of it the cost was low. I seem to recall a figure around $1 or so per fortnightly pay. My post above was more inline with a negligible cost and that was my thought. Sorry. Thanks for the clarification mate.
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    1:46pm
    You can't opt out completely as super funds are required to offer everyone a minimum level of cover. Even SMSF are required to consider insurance and document that they have done so.

    I haven't seen anything about government changes that insurance must be covered by an external source. I do know that premiums have risen significantly over last few years and super funds may now be outsourcing it to external sources.
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    2:46pm
    Bonny ....A recent Notice from my Rio Tinto superannuation fund titled "Significant event notice", states ,"Recent changes to superannuation law means that from 1July 2016 all insurance for accumulation members MUST be provided by an external regulated insurance company. Self insurance for accumulation members of super funds is NO LONGER PERMITTED."
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    2:58pm
    And yes you can opt out completely if desired, (you have been able to do so for a while now) but my point is , members were getting the same coverage before for nearly half the cost. the old scheme was working quite well . Now through these changes if you want to maintain death and TPD coverage it is going to cost nearly twice as much for the exact same coverage the company fund was offering. If this is the LNP's idea of good business then you would have to think they really are in bed with the Banks and Insurance companies.This will be a huge loss to a young persons final superannuation payout should he maintain the same death and TPD cover.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    4:20pm
    Yikes mango. Hope they are not paying you in script. Chuckle.....
    My only thoughts about external cover compared to cover from the company you work for is to say that you are most likely safer not dealing with your employer as companies go broke, are taken over or fiddle entitlements. Toss of the coin perhaps...but iron ore may send many a company with debt to the bottom.
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    6:09pm
    Geez Mick...if RioTinto go bust the whole Country is going to be in trouble. Not only that but Rio would have to go broke at the same time as I either die or become too disabled to work.There's been a few Insurance companies go bust in the past don't forget.Remember HIH Insurance. It was Australia's second largest insurance company. It was placed into provisional liquidation on 15 March 2001
    nicestman77
    30th May 2016
    10:19am
    Politics in Australia is broken, at the next elections send them a clear message that we the rate payers are not happy with their performance as it stands now, lets get away from electing bankers, and unions officials, from running Australia, we need new young politicians in the big house on the hill, not people who have their own agendas, we need politicians who care about the future of Australia, vote well away from the major parties, and local governments.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    10:51am
    If the government is sent packing with a large swing most of the Howard leftovers in this government will not recontest. This is a start
    Plan B is to elect a whole pile of Independents and changes to the voting system makes that one a heck of a lot easier and directing your preferences away from this dreadful government is now easier too.
    Grateful
    30th May 2016
    10:52am
    Who would bother to watch a "debate" when we already knew what they were going to say and how they would say it?
    ALL TALK and that's the problem NO ONE is game to tear into the REAL issues that are destroying our society and also confusing the population. The two most critical issues that are affecting the very fibre of our society. Negative gearing of HOMES and superannuation.
    The government's ONLY "action" on both issues is to "make superannuation fairer", how, by putting a cap of $1.6 million when you cease to get the tax concession on income from that fund. Then one day later after copping a hiding from his constituents, apologises and says that it only affects 4% of superannuation accounts!!! THAT's their ONLY "solution" to those OBVIOUS glaring inequities in superannuation that affect ALL workers and taxpayers???
    And negative gearing. SURE, the laws of supply and demand have most certainly contributed to the price spiral of housing making the vast majority of "homes" now out of the reach of first home buyers. There simply were not enough houses to include in the negative gearing process and by ADDING over 2 million people who could participate the balance of supply and demand was devastated with the patently obvious repercussions that we see today. An economic and social DISASTER that cannot be reversed.
    But, the Government is doing NOTHING about it just allowing it to get worse.
    WHO benefits by the profitable sale or the rise in price of a house? Think about it?
    At least the Opposition is doing SOMETHING. Sure,it will reduce the demand on established homes and I argue that that should be and have been the absolute basis of negative gearing, that will put a lid on the exponential increases that we have seen to date, but, people will still want to buy established homes and will still have to pay a high price because there are simply not enough of them and there CANNOT be any more of them, just like a painting. So that furphy that prices will crash is blatantly untrue.
    Having to buy a newly constructed house to get the negative gearing tax benefit will have enormous benefits for the economy and for society. It will CREATE a larger supply chain producing many jobs in all sectors of the building industry and especially cheaper house for people to make their HOMES. It is an absolute win/win proposal. Compare the number of beneficiaries from leaving it as it is or the latter. How bleeding obvious is that??
    Remove the politics out of BOTH issues and we then might see a "fairer" society!!n Meanwhile, TALK is cheap, we deserve MUCH better.
    particolor
    30th May 2016
    11:08am
    Your ALL right !! Id rather watch 2 Three Toed Sloths playing Snooker than that pair debating !!
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    11:47am
    Politics in Australia is broke.
    It's so broken that the idiots don't realise how much voters are pissed off with them. I'm just hoping that there will be enough voters to send all politicians a very loud message and send the Coalition, Labor and the Greens into oblivion.
    The big three are so desperate that all they can is slog, "TRUST US", "TRUST US"
    Well you can shove the trust voters have had in all three in the past up your region where the sun doesn't shine!
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    11:48am
    Supply and demand is the controller of house prices. Youi have that one wrong. What predominantly controls house prices is income and interest rates. That's why when the second income became the norm house prices went through the roof. That's why when interest rates were halved house prices again went through the roof.
    There is a shortage but that is not the main reason why prices have headed up.
    The real issues are THE LACK OF REAL JOBS brought on by idiots in government who believe that you can sell jobs and assets to the third world and she'll be right. We are now paying the price. Forced to import (and pay foreigners) for almost everything. And robotics is coming and will make things worse.
    Both sides talk about 'jobs'. Consistently. But neither side discusses the above....because they know the facts and fear a real discussion.
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    12:06pm
    There is more to that then you state Mick. House price also shot through the roof with the frenzy of auctions. Main winners were foreign and new immigrant buyers who simply upped the ante to win. Also, some buyers could outbid others because they could get loans without interest charge which gave an advantage over the ones who were limited in their mortgage outlay. ( You can guess which culture I mean).
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    12:37pm
    nicestman77, if you want to get away from those who you don't like, you will need to support MICK in his call for Independents and whilst this is a sound idea in one way, it will give us a parliament similar to Italy where up to 40 parties make up the total. The need to get a majority gives amazing concessions to minor parties which are not necessarily for the good of the country.

    My suggestion, for what it is worth, is to choose the major party which you feel will do the best for you and your family. The winning major party will be the government for the next three years.

    MICK, you are 100% correct that supply and demand is the main controller of housing prices. The supply is helped by various levels of government which can release land, rezone areas and allow reasonable covenants. I believe that councils have a lot to answer for because of the amounts they charge developers. Sure, developers are rich and can afford any payments made but they stay rich because the costs are passed on to the purchaser. I have read (sorry, can't find the link) that in Sydney, upwards of $50,000 is added to a building block through council levies and covenants.
    Grateful
    30th May 2016
    1:09pm
    Mick. Why did house prices for ordinary brick veneer houses in "ordinary"suburbs jump nearly 6 fold from 1998 and treble within the last 15 years? The DEMAND was increased through higher tax benefits to negatively gear that investment, yes, lower interest rates which exacerbated that, allowing superannuation funds to be able to borrow to invest in real estate and the SUPPLY remaining stagnant. Add 2 million new bidders to a stagnant housing supply and those same bidders, mostly the same negative gearers competing against each other with cheap money, the result is obvious.
    Negative gearing should never be encouraged, assisted, subsidized, into a stagnant commodity. Why does any commodity increase substantially and way out of historical norm unless there is a strong increase in demand and exacerbated when there is also a shortage of supply? It is BASIC common sense economics. It happens with bananas and it happens with houses. Exactly the same principle applies. It is NOT complicated.
    To say that I am wrong in saying that is being extremely short sighted and dare I say economically ignorant.
    If our budget situation is to change, and it is NOT a crisis, one need only reverse some of the decisions implemented by the 2004 and 2007 budgets. Very obvious place from which to start.

    And who is going to get the benefits of those changes to insurance providers, the same companies that are going to get $50 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years????? Are we serious???
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:41pm
    Not saying that supply and demand is a strong driver Grateful. Just saying that people push up prices when they have heaps of income (compared to repayments) and when rates are low. We have not had rates this low in any of our lifetimes....and some of us are pretty old.
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:22pm
    Old Man if you consider it 40 different parties trying to run the country would be closer to true democracy. It would of course be destined to fail, but it might shake up the so called major parties enough to take their responsibilities seriously when reelected.
    At the moment I feel like if I choose one of the so called major parties I am choosing between Woolworth's or Coles with the only deciding factor who's going to give me the best meaningless fuel discount.
    anicca
    30th May 2016
    10:32am
    It is my understanding that the Gov. Guarantee capped at $250,000 is not applicable to Super Funds with the exception of Self Managed Super Funds. This information is not widely known.

    I have little confidence in Turnbull or Shorten. Unfortunately, they are both a long way from being conviction politicians which is a scarcity these days.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    12:31pm
    The Government Guarantee does not apply to public superannuation funds, whether it is a term deposit with the superannuation provider or not.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    10:40am
    Not too sure I can empathise with your view leon. I agree that Turnbull made the correct sin regard to superannuation.
    However you discount much of the debate about being mudslinging. This has been the mode of operation from the government since day 1. Every night on the TV you hear the next set of lies and the mud being thrown with no opportunity given to Labor to respond properly. Last night it was a FAIR debate and Turnbull had no chance to hide behind editing from his mates in the media who are pushing their man.
    I saw the debate as clear cut. Turnbull with his very narrow 'I know all about business' taunt whilst refusing to respond to independent data which indicates that $50 billion handed to the wealthy will have an almost nil economic increase. And Shorten with his fairness coverage and pointing out again where (our) taxpayer money is heading under the current government: to the rich.
    I thought it was a good debate. What surprised me is how narrow Turnbull was in his ideology. Frightening! 'Trust me'? Must be kidding!
    Sundays
    30th May 2016
    2:34pm
    I agree Mick, that was my take too. I saw Minister Cash on sunrise this morning, and she is another one who never answers the question, and just sprouts slogans. Surely, they can't believe that there will be 'jobs and growth' just by giving a tax break to businesses
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    2:41pm
    OH boy that Michaelia Cash is one hell of a BITCH! As are most of them
    particolor
    30th May 2016
    10:46am
    A pair of Rabbits in the Spot Light !
    Bill will run the country like a Union ! :-) What'll we do if he calls us out on Strike ?? :-) :-)
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    6:32pm
    Maybe if we all went on a little spending strike they might notice us at least. Imagine the highways and cafes if the retirees stayed at home for a week or three.
    particolor
    30th May 2016
    8:00pm
    I could do a fortnight at home easy !!
    If we all did I think their tills would be Down ! :-(
    But doubt that would worry those Stuff Shirt Pollies, only the shopkeepers :-(
    Glen48
    30th May 2016
    10:48am
    I am voting for Australian Liberty Alliance ,,they want to stop Islam
    particolor
    30th May 2016
    10:54am
    I can name another Dozen or so country's that want to do that ! But I think their Clown (Paid for) Governments have gone too far into the Manure Heap now to have any chance of backing out :-( :-(
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    11:49am
    God is great. Hope I don't end up on a watchlist for that one.
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    11:50am
    Glen48 -Once I know where their preferences are going and that should be 6 June.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:38pm
    HS, have a look at the link:

    http://theconversation.com/senate-voting-changes-pass-so-how-do-we-elect-the-upper-house-now-55641

    Methinks that the system may be improved, although given the laziness and disinterest of voters many (most) will likely put a 1 above the line............which will be accepted even though they are now required to number 1 to 6 above the line.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    2:38pm
    Thanks MICK, can you explain why all of the TV ads by the AEC insist on telling us that a valid vote requires 6 numbers above the line? I have heard people from AEC on radio who agree that a voter can put ! above the line and it will be counted as a valid vote yet we are led to believe that it won't. This is what the legislation states;

    "23 Subsection 269(1)
    Repeal the subsection, substitute:
    (1) A ballot paper in a Senate election is not informal under paragraph 268(1)(b) if:
    (a) the voter has marked the ballot paper in accordance with subsection 239(2); or
    (b) the voter has marked the number 1, or the number 1 and one or more higher numbers, in squares printed on the ballot paper above the line."
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    4:15pm
    I understand that the rules are in place but my understanding from the Electoral Commission is that a '1' will be counted even though it should not be....but you lose control on where your preference goes. Not sure what the Electoral Commission will do if there is a legal challenge after polling date.
    Numbering 1 to 6 above the line directs your preference to where you choose. Not where the party elects it should go. A wonderful improvement.
    Likewise an error below the line will still count. If voters number 1 to 3 say instead of 1 to 9 (the new rule) then that is not informal.
    I guess there is an attempt to avoid a large number of informal votes like in the past.
    Cheers.
    Capn Dan
    30th May 2016
    11:15am
    Most comment I heard on the 'news' this morning was about the quality of the suits worn by the great leaders. The 'two party' system is becoming a one party system with two names. Two sides of the same bent coin for punters to toss. The Liberal Democrat Party will end petrol tax and reduce your financial burden quickly. Give the Liberal Democrat Party your first vote before your 'major' party to force real change.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    11:50am
    Don't expect the vested right wing interests who control the large media outlets will mention that their man came off second best and at worst was made to look rather sick.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    12:43pm
    Capn Dan, if any party wants to use all of the petrol tax only for roads and road infrastructure, they'll get my vote. It was originally put on to be used only for roads but today only about 20% gets spent on roads. Alternatively, they could drop it by the 80% that gets collected and put into consolidated revenue.
    4b2
    30th May 2016
    11:21am
    The second election debate? Wow I must have missed the first one. I believe the "OPINION" No clear winner, which will be the result at the election date. Debates don't tell voters anything they haven't heard before. We only have to remember back to the last pre election statements. Few of which carried forward. The LOCKSTEP statements on education, health and Disability were quickly downplayed and distorted by respective Ministers.
    I think the Guardian has the right headline "Hard hats vs Top Hats. I must say though I have not seen much of Pine, Dutton, or Hunt during the election preamble. Pitty I cant say the same for the incompetent treasurer.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    11:29am
    The 1st one was a bit more lively and Barnaby went on with a lot of crap and heartless ideas too, that creep does not care a hoot about cruelty and he really is a dead loss. He makes NO sense at all and it is scary he is 2nd in charge what a creep!
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    11:52am
    Just found that website 4b2. Not Bad. Comments are not right wing edited from what I can see which provides views from both sides. Try that from the big business owned mainstream.
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    11:56am
    4b2- The Guardian is rife with far left wing journalists. One, Badham, is a self declared Communist.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:15pm
    Not a problem HS as long as you allow freedom to comment and only cull the obvious troll comments. A tough ask.
    If you read any of the tightly controlled right wing media outlets you will find a totally different set of comments than for those where moderation is done in a fair way. The difference is called PROPAGANDA intent.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    11:23am
    I watched some, Turnbull just waffles on never answered any questions as usual, he sure is a disappointment as he does have the appearance but after all he IS a merchant Banker so as I have always said NOT TO BE TRUSTED. I not that so many ESPECIALLY the Libs know that an interviewer has only a certain amount of time and so they waffle on and on till tiime runs out -- iif I were the interviewer I would say SHUT the ---- up and answer the bloody question! Matius Corman and Pyne are others that do this a lot waffle and say NOTHING! Oh so does that Cash bitch / Kelly ODwyer /
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    11:53am
    "Turnbull just waffles on never answered any questions as usual". That's because he believes that we, voters, can be pissed on like mushrooms. I'll be part of the wind that blows the piss back.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    11:55am
    Turnbull had little to say other than his normal 'I know all about business and Labor knows nothing' taunt as well as a very limited range of discussion. He really could not match it with Shorten (surprising!) other than the normal lies coming from the government. When asked questions from the media outlets which are not big business controlled he did very poorly.
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:28pm
    You can't blame Malcolm, he is spouting meaningless nonsense that he has been told to say by the people in the backroom who control him. It was probably written for Tony and they haven't bothered to revise it.
    It's hard to be convincing when you don't believe your own rhetoric.

    30th May 2016
    11:52am
    "No clear winner" is right, but more like "definitely two losers". Beavis and Butthead!
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:16pm
    You get an idea of why the country, the one with the greatest potential on the planet, is in such a bad state. Good post Eddie.
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:29pm
    "No clear winner"sadly that includes the voters.
    Rosscoe
    30th May 2016
    11:54am
    " Perhaps surprisingly, it was Bill Shorten who opened the mud-slinging, accusing Mr Turnbull of continuing the style of Government for which his predecessor, Tony Abbott, was notorious..."

    I don't think I can agree with your summary. The Federal Goverment needs to be called out, at every opportunity, for the way it has lied to the community. The Australian population is suffering from the lack of action of this present government.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    11:58am
    Leon may need to watch the entire debate again Rosscoe with pen and paper. I sort of remember that Turnbull made a number of comments with mud in hand.
    And let's all remember how it ended: Shorten went over to shake Turnbull's hand and Turnbull had to think about whether or not he would let this happen. You could see the hate all over the man's face coming through the political smile. Not a nice thing to see or a good way to end the session. Says a heap about the government....and none of it is pretty.
    Tom Tank
    30th May 2016
    12:13pm
    Mick was it hate or fear?
    Turnbull is not performing well and he looks as if his heart isn't in it. Perhaps he is being controlled by the party machine to not upset neither the electors nor the right wing of his own party.
    Seems to me that Abbott is waiting in the wings.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:35pm
    It looked like hate to me Tom but then I could be wrong.
    I would suggest that Morrison would be the obvious choice. A slick talker with a head full of figures which he can draw on the mislead interviewers at the drop of a hat.
    Polly Esther
    30th May 2016
    12:21pm
    They are the best we've got? and they are trying? well yes they are, very trying.
    Just hang on to your britches, it's going to be a long bumpy ride.
    KSS
    30th May 2016
    12:56pm
    Mr Shorten- with reference to super changes: "“I can give this guarantee tonight. No changes that the Labor party has ever contemplated are retrospective."

    OK I'll bite: what are the changes to super he is contemplating? And will they be as guaranteed as the reversal of the axing of the school kids bonus?

    And whilst I am sure we are all deeply grateful for Mr Shorten's promises to spend between $35 and $65 BILLION (depending on who you believe) extra (and there's still four weeks campaigning to go) on the usual suspects (and emotionally charged) health, education, ABC for women's sport broadcasting and so on, I would like to know where this money is coming from and how he intends to create jobs and improve the economy.

    Oh and has he promised to increase aged pensions, reverse the super changes proposed in the May budget, reverse the changes to overseas claimants of Government pensions, improve housing affordability for young families, increase taxation of multinationals, reduce politician's perks......... I might have missed those announcements? And if he has, do we believe him?????
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    12:58pm
    All those promises only valid to July 2.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:23pm
    Good try Bonny. It seems that lying is in your DNA.
    The question is KSS which Party is the leader in the lying stakes? After the last election there is a clear winner on that front. WHilst I do not want to plug Labor I do need to say that it, in the past, has pretty well done what it said unlike this government.

    Tony Abbott said "we say what we do and do what we say" going into the last election. What he left out was the phrase 'until the election is over'. We will see if Labor goes down the same path. Given the difference in the demeanour and behaviour of MPs from the Labor side compared to that from the government side methinks that Labor may well stay with their undertakings after July 2.
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    1:37pm
    Mick pull the other leg. You are dreaming. It's all truth stretching that's why I didn't bother to watch last night's electioneering.

    I'm wondering why the betting odds of who forms government are NCP 1.3 Labor 3.5. That says they are betting on LNP a clear winner.

    The are pollies and if you believe any of them you are in fairy land.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    1:49pm
    Yes Mick Abbott broke every promise he made EVERY ONE
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    1:58pm
    I didn't even realise he made any promises.
    KSS
    30th May 2016
    2:20pm
    Yes PlanB, the boats stopped by themselves, the carbon tax repealed itself as did the mining tax. Yup Mr Abbott broke EVERY promise.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:48pm
    Stopping the boats was well done. I give the government a pat on the back for that one. Repealing the Carbon and Mining taxes were paybacks for election funding. And then there are the rest. A large number of broken promises. Do you not recall:

    "We say what we do and do what we say", "no new taxes", "no changes to Medicare", "no changes to Gonski", "no changes to climate departments", "no cuts to the ABC or SBS", etc.

    Come on KSS. You know the truth. Here are a couple of links:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-07/abbott-government-broken-promises-jumps-to-12/5870784

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-budget-backflips-bring-broken-promises-tally-to-85,7722
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:49pm
    Read my post above Bronny.
    mangomick
    30th May 2016
    3:05pm
    According to Barnaby Joyce the boats stopped because all those live cattle boats heading off to Indonesia blocked the water ways. Once the live cattle trade was stopped there was plenty of room on the high seas for refugee boats to start up again.
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    3:12pm
    All those things just needed fixing Mick as the failed to do what they were supposed to do. Carbon and mining taxes were just stupid taxes. I disagree with Gonski as you can't make elephants climb trees and that is what it tries to do.

    I do agree cuts to ABC and SBS were a bad idea but going forward who today watches TV any more. I rarely do.

    He did do a good job in amending the taper rate for pensioners as couples with $1m plus in assets should not be getting the pension.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    3:50pm
    Heere are just some Abbott broke

    https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fmedia%2FBw7MJRjCYAAFKN1.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bloggerme.com.au%2Fabbott-govt-first-year-what-year&docid=irhcdzU2u1dZrM&tbnid=VjTghwDj_Z1KzM%3A&w=600&h=503&client=firefox-b-ab&bih=606&biw=1366&ved=0ahUKEwicw9DhgIHNAhWCKKYKHQK2AsQQMwgkKAgwCA&iact=mrc&uact=8

    Plus NO cuts to pensions -- another one broken.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    4:05pm
    Bronny: of course you would argue that a Carbon Tax was stupid. All those beholding to the coal industry do. So did the government...which is why Tony Abbott and his cutthroats killed it off, and then systematically went after every part of government which had anything to do with renewables. This was a blatant sell out of the public interest to a big business enterprise.

    A question for you Bronny: why do you think that countries around the globe want our Carbon Tax model? Answer: because it was proven to work and worked so well that the fossil fuel industry had to reach deep into its (large) bank account to get rid of it.

    Whilst you are prone to the one liners (as you most likely troll on a number of websites) you avoid the reality that your coal friends are marked for extinction. It will however take half a century to send the industry to its grave. All I can say is that I hope the leaders of the industry are never again employed in any other company and have to do it tough.
    Oldie84
    30th May 2016
    12:59pm
    The debate on this site clearly indicates that no Politician is able to speak the plain truth and set out a realistic plan for our country. Turnbull came closest to it except he took the whole hour to say what could have been said in five minutes. Shorten disgusted me with his constant bashing of the "Rich". Give me a break. When I read that Labourers in Victoria can earn $3000.00 dollars a week on infra structure projects it sickens me. As well as this constant promising of funds, for this and funds for that. We will be the Greece of the Pacific if there is no one able to cut through the fog of Entitlements. Remember- the world does not owe you anything.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:32pm
    I can tell which side of politics you stand on Oldie82.
    The reality of life is that divide between rich and poor has been growing for several decades so the big end of town DOES NOT NEED TAX RELIEF. Especially such a large one: 5%/$50 billion of taxpayer money.
    Your comparison with Greece is interesting and I give you some background information:

    1. there was mass corruption in Greek politics and the rich ripped billions of dollars out of the country and paid no taxes. Sound familiar?
    2. the rich saw what was coming and took their money out of the country assisted by the government.

    In the end average citizens were left holding an empty bag. This is what will happen in Australia if we keep permitting the rich to take more and more whilst avoiding their taxes (tax havens and loopholes!) and now giving them large amounts of taxpayer money.

    Entitlements? Is this the same as tax cuts for the rich? Methinks there is no difference.
    FM
    30th May 2016
    2:03pm
    Hi Oldie, as Mick said Greece's problems have nothing to do with the saving or taxpaying habits of ordinary Greek citizens.Greece has a problem because a couple of banks borrowed huge amounts of money from US, UK and European lenders who accepted sub prime collateral as a guarantee. They lent enormous amounts of this money to developers who did not have the assets to repay the interest on it let alone the capital. When the economy tightened the developers went bankrupt leaving the banks with massive debts. The Government had to bail them out passing the debt on to ordinary citizens who had no part in the borrowing. As Mick said wealthy people withdrew their money and deposited it in Germany and elsewhere so that all the debt fell on the poorest people. The debate is why do Governments bail out profligate banks? It seems that when banks borrow on international markets it is taken that they are State sponsored. If they were allowed to default borrowing would be much more difficult and expensive for all banks and for countries who rely on some or a lot of borrowed capital.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:37pm
    Thanks FM. That had slipped my mind but you are spot on.
    At least they got some wonderful infrastructure out of it......which is all but unused because Greeks do not have the money to use the Autobahns or the rail services that this money delivered.
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    6:40pm
    The people of Athens did not deserve what the French and German bankers did to them.

    I hope the bankers and developers aren't doing it to us right now.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    8:38pm
    I was there a year ago Rae. The facts are that greedy bankers offered loans, which could only be described as sub-prime loans, and the Greeks grabbed them with both hands.
    The Greek people were indeed fleeced but Greece has roads which make our best look like third world. They also have a superb train infrastructure where nobody pays for a ticket. And then there was the fraud their rich were involved in with government officials and a retirement system which you would not believe for everybody.
    Average Greeks bore the pain and Germans lost their dough. Don't feel sorry for the Greeks though as they let it happen. At least they got some wonderful infrastructure....although nobody is on the Autobahn and the intercity trains is all but empty because Greeks cannot afford to use either. A Greek tragedy!
    FM
    30th May 2016
    1:37pm
    Neither Leader mentioned a Plan to provide adequate pensions for retirees as part of their Plan for Government. The provision of pensions is a core obligation of a Federal Government. There was a scheme put in place to provide future pensions for all in 1946 through which all workers would pay a 7.5% levy into a National Welfare Fund. For the majority of workers that was the only superannuation scheme available. The proceeds of this contribution can adequately pay current pension requirements. We cannot accept the fact that various recent Governments stole the money from this fund as an excuse for not paying a proper pension. Now both Parties are taking the money that should be budgeted for pensions and using it for other schemes which are not their core business but seem like a nice idea for winning votes and telling seniors they did not save for their retirement. We need to call them to account for the theft of our superannuation and failure to plan for future payment of pensions. We need to ask them to show what their Plan is for funding pensions for retirees who depend on this Fund as well as self funded retirees on low to average incomes whose part pensions were cut last year. Although all retirees should be entitled to a pension from this fund we are not asking for that just a restoration of the entitlements that were there.
    It is mind boggling that Bill Shorten raises concerns about retrospectivity in super changes for people with more than $1.6 million in their super accounts but approves the retrospective cuts to the incomes of self funded retirees with very modest incomes. So far older Australians are nonexistent as far as the major parties are concerned.
    We need to make them aware of our existence by writing to them early and often about their ‘PLAN for SENIORS’ and letting them know if they do not do have one that we will implement out plan of putting them last on polling day. Unfortunately it does not look like we will get any help from the media or that anyone will organize more central action so we have to do as much as we can individually.
    I will post a letter I wrote on Saturday after I heard Bill Shorten say he would not reconsider the changes to the taper rate. If you wish to borrow any bits of it you are welcome. I will also post the reply I received which says ‘trust me’.
    FM
    30th May 2016
    1:39pm
    Dear Mr Shorten and Labor Party Representatives.
    So far there has been no mention of a plan by Labor to adequately fund pensions and part pensions for retirees and yesterday Mr Shorten made it clear that Labor is going to maintain the harsh cuts to part pensions put in place by the LNP by doubling the taper rate and reducing the deduction for self funded retirees who are primarily drawing down after tax income.
    While the funding of other services such as Education and Health are primarily State responsibilities the funding of pensions is a prime central responsibility of the Commonwealth Government and requires adequate planning.
    Starting with the Hawke Government successive Governments have not done that. Instead they have stolen people’s retirement funds and now pretend that previous Governments and retirees instituted no pension savings plan and made no provision for their retirement. This is totally false.
    As I am sure you know a superannuation scheme was created in 1946 to ensure all retirees would have a pension and that every currently retired person has paid into this scheme.
    This is similar to the schemes that exist in NZ, UK, US, Canada, most European and many Asian countries. In these countries every retired person gets an aged pension as a result of their contributions. In Australia the majority of retired people get no pension or a partial pension only. People’s pension entitlements were further diminished by the changes approved in the 2015 Budget that affect self funded retirees with both limited assets and small defined benefit pensions.
    The Australian Pension scheme was set up in 1946 by the Chifley/Curtin Governments in a bipartisan agreement with the Menzies opposition. Income tax was split into two components. One, the social services contribution, was to be used exclusively to finance social security payments, in particular the aged pension. This contribution was set at 7.5% and lodged in a National Welfare Fund.
    Mr. Menzies stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept separate so that “the stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    However he changed his mind about keeping the fund separate and in 1950, when the balance in the fund was almost 100 million pounds, the levy was grouped with Tax Paid but was still collected.
    On the basis of this levy The Whitlam Government (1975) legislated that every person over 70 was eligible for the aged pension as had been done in the US, UK, Europe, NZ and elsewhere.
    In 1977 the Fraser Government restricted aged pension entitlements and transferred the balance of the Welfare Fund (by then almost half-a-billion dollars) to Consolidated Revenue, and ‘borrowed’ it for other uses such as the building of New Parliament House.
    In 1985 the Labor Government repealed Acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts) and introduced the Income and Asset Tests, thus excluding millions of Australians from receiving the Social Services Pensions. Much of this money was used for other purposes including the completion of the new Parliament House. Mr. Hawke is reputed to have said they would work out how to fund pensions when the time came. They continued to collect the 7.5% levy and to this day it still is collected.
    There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund would be enough to pay a non-means tested pension to every retiree of more than $500 a week.
    It seems that the method present politicians have adopted for dealing with the ‘borrowed’ money is to pretend this levy never existed and that this money was never contributed for retirement pensions. By now most people also seem to be confused about the levy or have forgotten it existed.
    This was very evident in November 2015 when Scott Morrison, arguing for tax cuts for high income earners, stated that Australians paid more personal income tax than people in other OECD Countries and that they did not pay a Social Services levy. Among other things, he is obviously completely ignorant of the fact that there is a social services levy that is incorporated into statements of personal income tax. An ABC Fact Check showed that when the Social Services levy paid in other countries is taken into account their tax rates are on par with Australia’s. On the basis of this levy other OECD Countries can afford to pay a pension to their retirees but Australia disgracefully tries to limit payment even to the most needy.
    If politicians accepted the contributory funding basis for pensions they would have to admit they have spent the money. They also would have to accept that the pension should not be asset and income-tested; that there could be no possible basis for including the family home in any tests; and that the pension is not being paid from the taxes of younger generations (whose own 7.5% also is being misappropriated).
    The National Welfare Fund was the only fund the majority of working people had available to them until the last decade or so as only Government and large organisations had superannuation funds. It is the only superannuation fund many older retired people could use. People working casually such as many women were not allowed to participate in superannuation schemes. It was as valid a fund for contributing to superannuation as those that exist today.
    It is truly frightening that the money people contributed via a Government instituted and managed fund has been effectively stolen and it is grossly insulting to say to people who contributed to this Fund that they did not pay for their pensions and that the aged pensions they receive are welfare.
    At this stage retirees are not requesting a universal pension but consider that the changes that have deprived low income self funded retirees of all or a significant portion of their part pensions in the 2015 budget are completely unjustified. They expect those changes to be reversed or at least modified.
    The increase in the taper rate has taken it back to where it was about twenty years ago and does not in any way allow for inflation in that time. It will force retirees on small lump sums to draw down much more of their capital to live on and mean that many more people will have to rely on a full pension much sooner than would be the case if the 2007 taper rate was maintained, but who is doing any forward planning? The discount rate of about 40% that existed for the money people on defined benefit pensions draw down fortnightly made allowance for the fact that a significant portion of this money is not income but their savings. The reduction of this to 10% leaves people who made after tax contributions in old schemes of up to 30% of their after tax income during their working lives with little more than the pension. These contributions made it impossible for people to pay off mortgages during a period when interest rates were up to 18%. It meant most people retired with significant mortgages and debts. If they had taken a lump sum instead of the pension many would be entitled a full pension and most would certainly get a much larger part pension.
    The fact that $1.6 billion dollars was taken from funding for the frail elderly in the last Budget is disgraceful and the rhetoric that has been used to disparage the elderly over the past three years from Labor as well as Liberal think tanks unconscionable.
    It would be much fairer if all retirees got a pension from a portion of their contributions. The remainder of their retirement savings could be taken as a lump sum or pension as is the case in the UK, US, Europe, NZ and many other countries.
    While you have proposed ‘grandfathering’ the proposed changes to high end super for people with lump sums over $1.6 million in their funds there was no proposal to grandfather last year’s changes.
    This Labor team is a huge disappointment. It appears to be totally out of touch and disengaged from real people. There have been no discussions with senior groups by Chris Bowen, Mr Shorten or Jenny Macklin about how the changes made impact on people. Undoubtedly they will turn up at a few nursing homes for morning tea in the next few weeks. Chris Bowen was Minister for Superannuation but appears to have no idea of what superannuation schemes exist and have existed, like his counterpart Mr Morrison, or of the fact that there are older schemes that are unlike the current ones.
    Like their predecessors this Government and Opposition appear to see people’s retirement savings as a large amount of money that can be subverted to other purposes and not repaid. We have two parties standing with policies that take from the poorest and most vulnerable retirees to give tax cuts to the rich or fund other largess.
    Labor has given retirees who are its lifelong supporters every reason not to support it in this election.
    Tzuki
    30th May 2016
    1:40pm
    Nicestman77 and HS. You have nailed it! The so-called top dogs in the run for winning this election are there for themselves and their mates. Australia will not benefit by them. Personally I am staying right away from them and have great respect for the Nick Xenophon Team. He has shown me in the past that he is a fighter for the people and he has my vote! Check him out and see if he has a candidate in your area. Just my opinion :)
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    1:55pm
    A good choice Tzuki.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    1:56pm
    Tzuki I was thinking of Nick also BUT he is all for cutting penalty rates -- I am not in favour of that at all
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:11pm
    So what are you going to do PlanB? Vote for the Greens?
    I took a hit when I advocated that superannuation concessions need to be tightened. They have now been tightened too much and catch fish who are just trading water. I include myself in that group. Such is life...but the deed needed to be done nevertheless, just like taxes need to be collected from multinationals and the rich need to be stopped from sending their profits to offshore tax havens.
    Sometimes you have to suck it up PlanB and do what is right for the country, not yourself.
    Nick Xenophon would appear to be one of the very few bright lights on the horizon. Sorry you cannot support him. I will be.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    2:26pm
    ME vote for the Greens NO WAY !!!! Nor Lib or Lab either
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    3:58pm
    That leaves Independents.
    Just make sure you leave the coalition off your list altogether so that preferences cannot go to them. I like the changes to the voting system.
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    6:04pm
    A vote for the Greens is a vote for Socialist / Communist Cuckoos.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    8:32pm
    Whilst I see where you are coming from is there anything worse than putting a Party in whose only focus is money for wealthy supporters? Even the Greens have their good points.
    Words like communist, reds, socialists belong to the McCarthy era hate campaign directed at Russia and to the current government which oozes hate towards the Opposition.
    Ok....looks like Nick is going to get a run.
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:34pm
    HS, you've convinced me, I'm voting Green. I love birds.
    FM
    30th May 2016
    1:40pm
    Dear
    Thank you for your email to Bill Shorten about the aged pension and the former Compulsory Contributions Levy and National Welfare Fund.
    We note your disappointment with Labor’s decision on the pension assets test.
    The Liberals have spent three years attacking Australian pensioners.
    First, they tried to cut the indexation arrangement of the pension – a cut that would have left pensioners as much as $80 a week worse off within a decade.
    Labor fought this cut, and fortunately we were able to protect the pension.
    Thanks to Labor, pensioners have been spared this unfair cut.
    But the Liberals did not stop there. In 2015, the Abbott-Turnbull Government teamed up with the Greens to cut the pension assets test.
    Labor fought this cut too. We opposed it in the Parliament but the Greens and the Liberals did a deal to cut the pension.
    We opposed this cut because we believe the policy is flawed.
    We believe these cuts will impose disincentives to save, and strong incentives to spend down assets.
    This is not in the best interests of pensioners, or the sustainability of the system as a whole.
    But we cannot fix all of the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s problems overnight.
    They have tripled the deficit. The Budget we will inherit when we come to government is fragile.
    It would be irresponsible to commit to reversing this change from opposition.
    But we understand the situation this cut has put pensioners into – and that is why we will be undertaking a review into the pension means test in government.
    We want to make sure the pension is as effective as possible; that it interacts effectively with the superannuation system and incentivises savings as much as possible.
    Labor has a strong record of supporting pensioners. In government Labor introduced the biggest reforms to the pension in its 100-year history. We increased the base rate of the pension, introduced a new pension supplement and improved the regular indexation arrangements so that the pension keeps pace with the overall standard of living of other Australians.
    These changes were some of the most significant anti-poverty measures undertaken in a generation. They literally brought more than one million people out of poverty.
    Thank you again for taking the time to write to Bill Shorten. We welcome your interest in our policies and the political process.
    Kind regards,
    Mandy
    ALP Information Services Unit
    Australian Labor Campaign Headquarters
    www.alp.org.au
    Australian Labor Party [campaign16@chq.alp.org.au]
    KSS
    30th May 2016
    2:24pm
    The answer is "No" then, Mr Shorten won't reverse the taper rates.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:52pm
    That one I am not too sure about KSS. Guess we'll have to wait for the fat lady to sing....and whether or not Shorty can squeeze the country's money out of the cheats who think they own the game and do not have to pay tax.
    Interesting days to come. Just hope Peter Cosgrove is a better man than john Kerr was.
    Grateful
    31st May 2016
    11:00am
    SURELY no one really expects Age Pensioners to be better off under a Coalition government. EVER!!
    Needy not Greedy
    30th May 2016
    2:11pm
    If there is to be another 'Debate' for Christs sake let's have an interviewer with some _ _ _ _ _ _ balls handle it, what a waste of tv time that rubbish was, the interview may as well have been done by a cardboard cutout as he just let both waffle on and answer nothing of the questions which were piss weak in any case.
    I see on a few other blog sites that some financial planners are suggesting that the best avenue for many retirees on part pension is to sell their current home, cash in their super, combine the money to upgrade to a much better home or area and then with assets reduced claim full pension, this strategy seems to be gathering momentum rapidly, surely this would be disastrous for government, and maybe fast track their previous talk about making the family home an asset?
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:17pm
    Until death duties are brought back in or the home included in the assets test. Also, work out the costs in selling and repurchasing a home. $50,000+ ?
    Last thing, what happens if Australia hits the wall economically? I hear some economists talking about AU$1 being worth < US0.60. Watch top end properties fall like dominos if that were to happen. Just think back to the GFC.
    Good luck. Financial advice is like seeing a specialist: always get a second opinion if drastic action is recommend. AS far as our under qualified financial planning industry is concerned get 3.
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    2:25pm
    I have always found that when the herd does something then one follows at their peril.

    I for one wouldn't be upsizing my home to a better or more expensive one as the day is fast approaching wher the house will be included in the assets test.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    2:29pm
    Dead right there Mick
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    2:36pm
    You are also on the money Bonny
    FM
    30th May 2016
    2:51pm
    If financial planners are advising this to elderly people,and I doubt they are, they would have to recognize that there is a major cost and stress involved in selling a home and buying another. When people first retire many relocate but a few years into retirement the majority of older retirees are looking at down sizing or staying in the home they are familiar with and would not wish to do anything like that. They would prefer to have a little bit of extra money on hand for emergencies while it lasts rather than depend on a pension alone. Younger people appear to be very suspicious of retirees and wish to paint them in the worst possible light. Depicting them as cunning and scheming is yet another demeaning slur on the many people who are struggling to get by and who have taken huge hits on their super through the super schemes losses on the share market. I will object to this suggest in the ALP letter.
    LiveItUp
    30th May 2016
    3:05pm
    There is a ad on early morning radio from a some financial planners advertising to help people organise their affairs to get the pension. They even say that the health card is like gold in your pocket. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of these planners. They have been advertising for awhile now so they must be getting some business.
    PlanB
    30th May 2016
    3:57pm
    I have never been a mover in my whole life I have lived in total of 4 homes and I do not intend on moving, I have been in this one for 30 years.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    4:08pm
    I can't agree that the family home should be included as an asset. If it was we would not be affected but if we lived a few suburbs over in the same style house of the same age, we would probably lose the pension. I have said before that, in a lot of cases, the family homes were originally in areas that were classed as "working class" and were not considered to be millionaire's homes. Different times have produced people who want to live in certain areas therby inflating the values.

    When a two bedroom fibro home on a small block of land is suddenly worth $2.5M, other homes nearby owned by pensioners who do not wish to sell become very valuable. Why should people who have lived most of their life in a home, raised children in that home, be forced to sell so they can put food on the table?
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    4:36pm
    You have to be careful who you vote for Old Man because you get what you deserve.
    If the policies attacking retirees from the current government are retained (they shouldn't be!) and the current government gets back in you may find that the smile is on the other side of your face.
    I often revisit the old saying 'be careful what you wish for. You may just get it'. A lot of wisdom in them thar words.
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:38pm
    If homes are included in an Asset test, and I don't agree they should be, they should be assessed at the market value on day of purchase, this would be a fair way of identifying those who are trying to hide money in order to qualify for an unneeded pension.
    LiveItUp
    31st May 2016
    3:43pm
    I recently spoke to financial planner about this and he seemed to think that they would start with houses above a certain level of say $2 million and then adjust it down from there. He also said that it would be fair that no one would be denied a pension and they should be given the option of taking a pension and paying it back after their death.
    Not a Bludger
    30th May 2016
    4:26pm
    More left wing moaning from the editors of YLC - you just will not accept that Shorten is a card carrying Union Boss and although you try to categorise him as as a "reasonable person" he and his CFMEU mates (including his own shadow ministers) are not.

    They certainly have no interest in the average man in the street like me - just ask his other mate, the Premier of the Soviet Socialist State of Victoria - who has protected various Union thugs from any rule of law at all.

    Be very careful of what you might wish for - you might get it.t
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    4:41pm
    Thought Leon was actually leaning to the right. Perhaps not enough.
    Your post is sounding like a Frank special. Unions, unions, and more unions. How about you talk about the big bickies: the big business fraud whereby big business writes its own legislation and coalition governments introduce it as a Bill. The reason: election funding made available to coalition governments....return on investment mandatory!
    Until we have a proper debate about 'corruption' you need to zip it Bludger as YOU ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN ONE SIDE OF THE DEBATE. That is the domain of trolls! Cash for comment! People who sell their souls willingly!
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:43pm
    Not a Bludger, following that logic, Malcolm is a card carrying member of the Bankers Association so he can't be trusted to look after the interests of the workers. And as most LNP MP's are solicitors or ex bankers neither can they.
    So are you advocating a vote for the Independents?
    Needy not Greedy
    30th May 2016
    4:27pm
    Hi FM, your imput is much appreciated, I have attached shortcut to one of the articles below but they seem to be springing up on the net like mushrooms lol, we are one of the couples who were dumb enough to scrimp and scrape for many years to pump money into our super thinking it would enable us to live reasonably comfortable in retirement only to find that as of January our small part pension will disappear, and the meager returns from super these days will leave us only a few thousand dollars above full pension anyway, going by Centrelinks figures it would appear there are 84,000 retirees in our bracket alone so no wonder financial advisers are trying to get in on the act!

    http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/finding/residential-investment/42675-offloading-assets-and-home-upsizing-the-maze-to-keep-your-part-pension-in-2017.html
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    5:11pm
    Like many of us Needy our plans changed overnight. Thank you Abbott/Turnbull governments.
    In the debate last night Shorten did make the point that retrospective changes are not on and hinted at the precedent this may be setting for future such attacks on citizens. Turnbull stood there like he had a canary in his mouth and did not respond.
    My wife and I were somewhat lucky. Took our super and invested it in property and shares in 2009. Avoided the carnage and are not caught in the will they or won't they worries with the current government.
    Hope it works out ok for you.
    FM
    30th May 2016
    6:24pm
    Thank you Needy. I will check it out. We have become very pessimistic about Australia's economy and presume we cannot afford anything. If we look back over history the economy has usually bounced back very strongly after downturns. The problem is that this downturn has gone on much longer than anyone expected, rather like the Depression of the 30s. There are small signs that it is turning around in the US which brought us to where we are, and the UK. I do not know how much optimism is warranted but I think we should not make decisions as if things will never get better and in so doing put extra burdens on the vulnerable elderly who cannot do a lot to improver their position.
    FM
    30th May 2016
    4:29pm
    I agree Old Man and valuing family homes would be very controversial. Do we want to have a country where we force people out of their homes just to survive in their late 70s, 80s and 90s when they do not have a lot of time left and when they are perhaps contemplating aged care but not quite ready for it.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    5:11pm
    I seem to recall that this is precisely what Hockey and Abbott tried on.
    Young Simmo
    30th May 2016
    6:26pm
    Look at what DUMB Coppers do, they could have sold it back to the supplier for 3/4 price, and given the money to me so I could donate it to the PPF. HONEST
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/video/watch/31724567/police-remove-beer-from-dry-community/#page1
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    PPF = Poor Pensioners Fund.
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    6:50pm
    Where is the Poor Pensioner's Party when you need it?
    Young Simmo
    30th May 2016
    7:02pm
    Rae, if you want to make a donation, I will give you my Bank Acc details and look after it for you, trust me.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    8:28pm
    Sounds like you are a Liberal Party guy Simmo.
    Young Simmo
    30th May 2016
    10:56pm
    You finally got it right Mick BUT, it is time for a change after voting Liberal since 1958, I'm thinking Derryn Hinch or maybe good old Pauline.
    Potatoe Head and, Look at Me Smallball, both need lesson in reality.
    Happy Jack
    30th May 2016
    10:03pm
    Focus on super!!??? What about the corrupt practices- dodgy fund raising, etc, etc, we are being taken on a ride for sure and haven't got access to cab charge, like some.
    FM
    31st May 2016
    10:56am
    Good comment Jack
    ex PS
    31st May 2016
    12:15pm
    Like most political debates these days, the interested voters got a homogenized version of what the relevant Think Tanks think we want to hear.
    Political debates in this country are becoming a farce, with so called debaters either talking over each other or deliberately distorting facts in order to win votes.
    It seems that the LNP and the ALP can't agree that the sky is blue, but they can agree that they don't want competition from the Independents.
    As far as I am concerned there was a clear winner that is assured of my vote and that was an entity that did not even take part in the debate. I will be voting for all and any viable Independent with LNP and ALP last.
    FM
    31st May 2016
    1:12pm
    I agree ex PS. The Think Tanks act for the parties. They have discounted senior Australians, have no idea of the needs of older voters and no interest in them. They have persistently and rabidly advocated robbing retirees and pushed wedge politics trying to get young people to turn on seniors. It will be a pleasure to hold them to account and show them still have some clout.
    JiiPeeTee
    31st May 2016
    8:25pm
    I agree with the ALC comment:
    For Labor to be attractive to Christian voters at this election, three things are needed.
    First, Labor must agree to leave the anti-discrimination laws alone.
    Second, Labor needs to promise to abolish “Safe Schools”. No child should be bullied for any reason but “Safe Schools” is not about this. It is about teaching your children their gender is fluid, a dangerous lie.
    Third, Labor must agree to allow Australians to have a say on whether or not marriage is redefined. Labor has promised to scrap the peoples’ vote on marriage and legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days.
    Ausdigga
    1st Jun 2016
    8:44am
    It's about time debate moderators called out political "debaters" on not answering questions from the audience or moderator it's seen constantly and allows to pollies spout rhetoric ad infinitum.When a moderator says to a pollie " If you don't answer the question you will not be asked any further questions and therefore will not be part of the debate ", I recall seeing Boris Johnson's interview when he was asked the same question SIX times in a row and never went even close to answering the subject. If they don't answer close them down !
    PlanB
    1st Jun 2016
    9:05am
    I agree Ausdigga ad they should also be MADE to shut up and stop waffling on as they do till the time is up.
    Andy
    6th Jun 2016
    10:31pm
    simple answer, sack the both of them, get rid of them, Politicans need a very big shake up.


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