7th Aug 2018

The shocking statistic where older Aussies are over-represented

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Older Aussies leading homelessness

Older people are becoming homeless in increasing numbers.

This week is homelessness week and community service organisation Baptist Care Australia is calling for action to stem the tide of insecure and marginal housing for Australians aged over 55.

“The most recent 2016 Census revealed a 28 per cent increase in homeless people over 55 years compared to 2011,” said Marcia Balzer, Baptist Care Australia executive director.

“Older people are over-represented in insecure accommodation like boarding houses and among marginal residents of caravan parks – 42 per cent of marginal residents in caravan parks are over 55.



“Clearly, older people are finding it increasingly difficult to access secure affordable housing. Our Baptist Care organisations see the results of this every day as demand for social housing among older people far outstrips supply.

“As part of the Everybody’s Home alliance, Baptist Care Australia is calling on governments at all levels to work together to achieve the goal of eliminating homelessness by 2030.

“Other countries and communities have had remarkable success in eliminating homelessness. If there’s the political will, we can do it too.”

Earlier this week, delegates at the National Homelessness Conference in Melbourne heard how Finland eradicated rough sleeping by replacing shelters with permanent homes paired with intensive support.

Homelessness Australia, the national peak body for homelessness, says Australian governments can learn from countries that have invested in affordable housing as a response to homelessness.

In Finland, social housing is up to 20 per cent of all housing stock (in Australia, it’s 4.7 per cent).

The homelessness crisis has been growing in Australia, driven by a population boom and the worsening housing crisis. Homelessness rose 14 per cent over five years to 2016 (ABS) while spending on housing and homelessness declined 16 per cent over the same period.

“We need a plan,” Ms Balzer said. “A national plan that everyone agrees with and works to achieve. It needs to address the causes of homelessness.

“Increasing the supply of affordable social housing is essential to ending homelessness. This will cost money given how badly neglected social housing has become. But we don’t have a choice if we want to live in a country where older people have a roof over their heads.

“Every one of us will be an older Australian eventually. We need to make sure we can provide, safe, secure and affordable shelter for everyone regardless of age or circumstance,” Ms Balzer said.

Would you like our Government to follow Finland’s lead and end homelessness?


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COMMENTS

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MICK
8th Aug 2018
10:23am
Guess which side of politics has attacked retirees for the past few years and which does not care about any group in society which is suffering?
This issue is a cost of living issue and the problem with older Australians who have spent their whole life in one geographical location is that they now need to move but cannot do so. The only option if family will not take them is the streets. Breaks your heart.
Cowboy Jim
8th Aug 2018
10:40am
Depending where one lives - here in the warmer climes we do have quite a few people sleeping rough. But that is quite often also their wish, helping shelters put a few restrictions in their way, like no smoking while inside, no alcohol on the premises and so on. Sleeping in an old car costs nothing and one can drink and smoke as well. Showers are provided in council toilets and to top it all: The $890 per fortnight pension is available for spending with no deduction for accommodation. A few days a week food is provided in the park, even a doctor comes for a visit now and then.
Might be totally different in large cities down south. Have mates in the bush renting a unit for $200 a week in a town with a Woolies as well as a hospital. The downside is that in old age there is not much of a support network.
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
12:40pm
Not sure what the Rudd -Gillard-Rudd government did to help the homeless
Wonder what Shortens policies on the issue are . I’m sure he’ll promise them all a house of their own if he thought it would help him win the election
MICK
8th Aug 2018
2:51pm
Sounds like a good deal Cowboy Jim. The single pension is crap unless you own your own home and this has always been the single most important thing for all Australians to achieve before reaching retirement age.

olbaid - the typical government post. Whilst you may be correct I ask WHAT HAS THIS LOT DONE IN THE PAST 6 YEARS???
The answer is they have attacked retirees with a ruthless ferocity never before seen in our country whilst giving the rich high wages, personal tax cuts and company tax cuts. The latter has not yet eventuated.
Please do tell about previous governments.
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
3:57pm
The single pension is $23 without rent assistance . This provides for a basic lifestyle which is commendable
A single person can earn up to $60k before the pension cuts out, AND can still be eligible for a seniors card for reduced medical and utilities etc.
Dont forget those on OAP get many discounted services which pushed the value of the single OAP to around $30 p.a - ITS VERY GENEROUS
Jim
8th Aug 2018
5:18pm
Do we have to guess which side of politics has attacked pensioners and low income workers, no matter how many times Bill Shorten repeats his lie that he has changed his mind about attacking pensioners on their meagre amount that they get from franking credits, it is still on the agenda, either that or he hasn’t informed the rest of his party, as I have posted before in our latest monthly newsletter from our local member she has repeated that the franking credits are still part of Labor policy. This policy will hurt the low income workers and pensioners more than the reduction in the asset reduction that the LNP brought in, which I didn’t agree with either, but a reduction in the asset test from $1.2 million down to $830,000 certainly didn’t affect myself nor would I think it would have a great effect on anyone on struggle street.
Kali-G
8th Aug 2018
11:08am
Sadly we have a Government that has NO IDEA of what the population is facing. Neither has the Socialist Opposition. Last month Bishop/ Turnboll gave $10 MILLION to The Palestinian Authot6ity !!!!! WHY???? to fund terrorism> Our Foreign Aid is 3.4 BILLION.......why not help Aussies FIRST! no wonder we have homelessness, poor pensioners, and disillusioned citizens. We need to act to get rid of both socialist parties!!!!!
MICK
8th Aug 2018
2:55pm
Socialist party? Make no mistake that the current lot is a rich man's party. The fact they give away money to foreigners and waste much much more is because they are negligent and don't give a damn.

If the media talked about the $600 billion debt the current batch have run up Australians would get really angry. Instead we see BS like the Emma Hussar event whilst Liberal Party crook McGuire got a couple of nights mention. Be careful of what you believe. The facts are the facts are the facts....and the media is 'fake news' to get voters to vote for the coalition.
kinkakuji
8th Aug 2018
11:34am
I can't understand why people keep banging on about 'fluff issues' such as electricity prices, crime rates, cost of living, jobs etc. when there are critical issues such as the plastic bags disaster and the tampon tax (which our hard-working government has laboured through long and difficult hours to finally rescind - kudos!) to worry about. There are also issues of national survival, such as sports stadiums and hospital name changes that our nation's legislators, to their credit, take very seriously.
The real worry in the past week was the shortage of Grange and fresh lobster in the parliamentary feeding troughs. Apparently there were near riots when the over worked pollies sat down and found out the shortages. They finally settled for a supply of French reds at $500 per bottle and fresh lobster flown in from Canada as a compromise but warned severely that it better not happen again. Stick Insect was O.K. as there was plenty of parrot seed available for her.
Jim
8th Aug 2018
5:22pm
Have you tried some of that imported French red, our cask reds are a lot better, and don’t get me started on imported lobster.
MD
8th Aug 2018
8:29pm
Thanks for that kinkakuji, I enjoyed your expose' of just how hard our incumbents are doing it in the 'cracklin' capital. Love your style, oink!
East of Toowoomba
8th Aug 2018
11:43am
Wouldn't have thought living in a caravan park was akin to being homeless.

Lots of people choose to live that way and I am sure it's not because they can't afford to rent a house. Owning your own dwelling such as a caravan feels more secure than renting a house or unit. Least if something goes wrong, you own your van and can move it somewhere more salubrious.
sunnyOz
8th Aug 2018
10:25pm
I met a lady aged 86 living in a caravan park. Run down van, $220 a week site rentals, plus electricity. Been living there for 16 years after travelling permanently. Not easy getting up to the amenities a few times in the middle of the night. Van would not stand up to a move, and she fears the park could be sold.
She has tried applying for a Govt flat but the mere fact she 'owns her own home', makes her ineligible.
HS
8th Aug 2018
10:41pm
So if she was living in a own tent in a caravan or camping park paying site fees etc, would that also classify as a home?

Just doesn't sound right. But it does sound like bureaucratic BS!
Chris B T
8th Aug 2018
11:44am
Just because you live in a "Caravan Park/Mobile Home Park" you are down on your luck.
Some of these Caravans are Palaces On Wheels and are Transported around the by Contractors as the Owners Arrive at the Destination With It Ready To Live In. No need for Large Cumbersome Vehicle.
The other benefit is claiming Rental Assistance.
Yes some may be not so lucky, than others it suits them because of the small space to look after and park facilities as well as location.
East of Toowoomba
8th Aug 2018
11:51am
So right Chris BT - some caravan parks have great facilities for their residents such as ensuite bathrooms, swimming pools and spas, public transport, shopping centres and beaches just a short walk away.

I have seem some beaut vans and would be more than happy to trade in the house to live on permanent holidays in one of those luxurious vans, someday.
BrianP
8th Aug 2018
11:45am
This is the Biggest Priority. Shame on the government for not giving enough priority to our homeless most vulnerable older citizens.

I make a very personal criticism directed at the Hon Malcolm Bligh Turnbull MP Prime Minister of Australia. You need to do more. Much more.
MICK
8th Aug 2018
3:15pm
But you'll accept the tax cuts?
MD
8th Aug 2018
8:32pm
Et tu Brutus ?
Rosret
8th Aug 2018
11:54am
Tired of hearing about Finland.
Bob Hawke had a very famous quote "By 1990 No child shall live in poverty" - Still waiting.
Rae
8th Aug 2018
12:46pm
Finland and Iceland etc keep being mentioned because the policies they have designed are working.

Iceland's policy of nationalising the banks, jailing the bankers and bailing out the citizens is a far better policy that the APRA Bail In we have passed here this year for example.
MICK
8th Aug 2018
3:18pm
Quite factual Rae, but ask most of the posters on this website what bail-ins are and they would likely have no idea.
I'd back nationalising banking and actually jailing crooks at the top of the food chain who normally either get off because they have the best legal TEAM or get very very lenient sentences....can't be too tough on the rich crooks can we.
Rae
8th Aug 2018
6:08pm
I'm not necessarily down on the rich MICK but certainly the crooks.
Nothing wrong with making money if you do it honestly and hurt no-one.
Crooks are not being gaoled as they should be. The Legislation is very wobbly now.

I'm also not surprised people don't know about the Bail in as the Media certainly didn't advertise it and wow was the doing of it a doozy. There is a whole movie there.

I'm spending a bit of my savings moving it out of Australia and pre-booking next year's travel.

It's those who think they are clever having bank shares or mortgage offsets or who knows what " instruments" who will be devastated if it does go pear shaped.

I've Investment cash accounts I'm not even sure are safe.
HS
8th Aug 2018
6:14pm
A bail-in is the rescue of a financial institution that is on the brink of failure whereby creditors and depositors take a loss on their holdings. A bail-in is the opposite of a bailout, which involves the rescue of a financial institution by external parties, typically governments that use taxpayers money
heemskerk99
8th Aug 2018
7:09pm
fully agree labor mickey, jailing the crooks such as the ex president of the labor party mick( incidental ) williamson, belan, johnson etc for helping themselves to their members contributions, or for such prominent leaders as craig thompson, using members fees to satisfy his sexual needst, they also used the best legal team, difference: they used the union member's funds and it did not cost them a cent and any slack was taken up by the labor party, I feel sorry for a brainwashed , washed up and once hopeful and aspirant candidate for the labor party who was found out by the voters, still blowing his trumpet, poor old labor mickey it is hard to be a forgotten once readily recognised failure
MD
8th Aug 2018
8:36pm
Give up Rosret, don't waste your time waiting, we've missed that one entirely. 28 years in the political jungle has seen lotsa saints fed to the lions.
Rae
9th Aug 2018
6:22am
Yes HS. That is what a bail in is but the Legislation passed here does not specify the "instruments" to be included if APRA needs to rescue a bank in strife through excessive lending on overpriced real estate.
Old Man
8th Aug 2018
12:19pm
It's misleading to quote percentages as the actual numbers may show a different picture. It would be better to quote the numbers to see what percentage of the population is involved. I note that the writer considers people who live in boarding houses and caravan parks are discussed in the same article as homeless people. I don't consider those who have somewhere to go home to as homeless.

I also note the usual suspects are attacking the federal government when affordable social housing has always been in the purview of state governments. Rudd promised to take the homeless off the streets yet they are still out there. Rudd made the startling discovery that not all people are on the streets because of circumstances, some choose to live that lifestyle.

It seems fair to compare Australia and Finland because we share so much in common. Not! Winters in Finland are much harsher than in Australia and whilst our cities can get cold, none of them are under a blanket of snow each and every winter. Can we get some clarity on this article please, tell us how many people are involved so that compare the numbers for which social housing is needed.
MICK
8th Aug 2018
3:23pm
I see your political persuasion coming out again OM.
I seem to recall Rudd won government weeks before the GFC hit. Funny that. I think you may want to give the guy a bit of slack and have a look at the performance of both Abbott and Turnbull in this and many other areas of government. You may also want to explore the fact that Australia has made vast economic headway in the past 5 years and that the current government has done NOTHING for most Australians and only cares about the wealthy. Blind Freddy could see that.
Personally I'd vote for a benevolent fair and honest dictator if there were such an animal. Sadly Turnbull and Abbott want their dictatorship and we have all seen what they are doing. The homeless have no chance.
HS
8th Aug 2018
4:39pm
Wasn't there a newspaper story about Tony being a 'trainee priest' who rebelled against serving tea to his old and sick priests?
Old Man
8th Aug 2018
9:04pm
Well done MICK, your Labor party is proud of you. The article was about homeless people and my comment was about the topic. Very clever of you to work in the GFC which has 3/4 of 5/8 of bugger all to do with the topic. Your description of your Labor leader as a dictator is wrong, he doesn't have enough support in his party to be one.
KSS
8th Aug 2018
12:24pm
"Other countries and communities have had remarkable success in eliminating homelessness."

Like where? Finland? Well no! Slowly decreasing homeless numbers may be; eliminated homelessness NO!
KSS
8th Aug 2018
12:31pm
Since when does choosing to live in a caravan park mean you are homeless? Go to any caravan park and there will be many many permanent residents who own their own 'vans' chalets etc.

What about all the younger people also homeless? The mentally ill? Younger women with children? Single men? Single women?

Surely the issue is homelessness not pitting one group over another. Don't they all deserve help regardless of age? Or is being over 55 just another age of entitlement?
MICK
8th Aug 2018
3:24pm
That's know as 'no choice' KSS. I would actually classify living in a caravan as homeless.
HS
8th Aug 2018
4:28pm
Younger people need employment. The government is forcing the unemployed, registered for Newstart, into mandatory obligations that includes reporting to a nominated Employment Agency subsidized by the government. The agencies that offer training for specific job vacancies in the market are 'worth their weight in gold' and those who are there to just ride the'gravy train' by 'cherry picking' suitability are as useless as those who are dole bludgers.

The mentally ill are allowed to walk the streets because the government has closed state operated institutions for the mentally ill.These mentally ill people, of all psychiatric levels, are lost,angry souls who succumb to drug addiction,crime and being taken advantage of.There is only a slim amount of hope of rehabilitation for them and the duration of rehabilitation is questionable. Many of these mentally ill people are homeless, some on disability welfare, some have nothing and no help. Some reject help aggressively. . One fellow said he'd be better of to commit a serious crime and go to gaol for shelter, food and clothing. Only dedicated experts might be able to help. But, in many cases many expert help is futile. This is a huge problem.

Younger women with children need to live in a separate community specifically designed for them and their children.

Single men and single women ought to have separate communal abodes unless by mutual consent they share together .

We have the age gaps in which the 55s and the old age pensioners don't want to live among the younger generation and vice-a-verca.

On top of it we have culture gaps where one group can't stand to live among another culture group, not so much because of religious, skin colour race but, because of being aggravated by the character and disrespectful behavior by another group.

So, it's not about pitting, it's about placing groups where they can live in peaceful harmony with one another. In time of evolution some opposing groups eventually find a common ground but until then, profiling of the society is needed all the time in order to manage the diverse society and make improvements along the way.
KSS
8th Aug 2018
7:30pm
So as I said HS, don't they all need help not just the entitled over 55s?
HS
8th Aug 2018
10:13pm
Of course! This focus is on the elderly 55+ with acknowledgements that all homeless people need help but you can't achieve it without segmenting the age, health, safety and gender groups. That calls for profiling and grouping the problems one by one.
HS
8th Aug 2018
12:47pm
“As part of the Everybody’s Home alliance, Baptist Care Australia is calling on governments at all levels to work together to achieve the goal of eliminating homelessness by 2030

First, I acknowledge and praise the Baptist Care Australia calling on governments at all levels to work together to achieve the goal of eliminating homelessness by 2030 as one of the life’s most precious humane endeavors.

Solution – Churches, Charities, Local Municipal Shire Councils and State governments sit on billions of $$$ in reserve which could be used to set aside crown land, establish a communal infrastructure for the over 55yr old homeless including public transport, build cheap bedsitter homes from pre-fab ‘flat packs’ from as little as $10,000 each + cost of construction to accommodate the over 55 homelesss people who, if on Newstart or other form of welfare would pay back in rent and electricity 44% of their welfare fortnightly payment $545.80 and 51.73% when it increases to $590 after 9 months of non-continuos non-work.
It will leave these people with a balance of $150 per week to live on.
In addition, for those over 67yrs old homeless but on age pension of $904 pf their contribution of 55.75% leaving a balance of $200 per week for them to live on.
This plan for the over 55 yr old single homeless people is not about “the return on investment” viability, it is about the church, charities local, state and federal government pooling together social community responsibility in getting these unfortunate people, no matter what their reasons for the circumstances leading to their homelessness, off the ‘street gutter living’ and providing them with housing and retrieving some dignity for them.
If anyone doesn’t get the gist of such a plan then get used to seeing homeless people living out in the street in their droves.

http://www.housingeurope.eu/resource-1024/why-housing-policy-in-finland-is-a-success-story

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/how-finland-solved-homelessness/

https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/mar/22/finland-solved-homelessness-eu-crisis-housing-first

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2018/0321/Finland-s-homeless-crisis-nearly-solved.-How-By-giving-homes-to-all-who-need

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-12/homelessness-conference-melbourne-hears-finland-solution/8891920
shirboy
8th Aug 2018
2:10pm
Our government needs to be taught the lesson that CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME !
MICK
8th Aug 2018
3:26pm
Now we have rich man's charity....better known as tax cuts for the rich.
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
4:02pm
Mick the tax cuts are putting money into ordinary Australian's pockets directly and into their super funds .
When most Aussies still working do retire they will have a very comfortable lifestyle
Curious
8th Aug 2018
2:22pm
I have witnessed so many homeless people in Sydney's streets. Homelessness doesn't discriminate between ages and generations. My heart goes out for these people but so little I can do to help as I also am an elderly person trying to look after myself.

In the past few years, some of my friends are migrating from Sydney and Melbourne to different parts of Australia, seeking cheaper accommodations and a better lifestyle. I have visited them once they have settled down. I found my friends had found better living standards in regional towns in different States and more financially secure as a consequence.

Affordability of housing in Sydney and Melbourne is certainly a concern. It definitely has no place for homelessness. People need to be mobile, seeking accommodations suitable to their finance and liking. There are so many beautiful regional cities with a perfect climate to choose. Yes, Government should help these homeless people to relocate according to their choice. However, the homeless people should move out of the most expensive cities, which are most expansive to live in.

Having said that, My heart is very much saddened every time I see a homeless people in the street. I think it is a job for all three levels of government to tackle this problem. Please don't just rely on the charity organisations to solve this problem. We elect governments to govern for all Australians. Homeless people are Australians, too. They are part of us, whether you like it or not. How about it, eh?
MICK
8th Aug 2018
3:30pm
So right Curious. Some people end up on the streets after marriage/family break-up. I worked with a highly intelligent guy who got on the grog when his wife left and took most everything with her. He ended up losing his job and last I heard was on the streets.
Relocating is a start of course but once broken it's impossible to put the pieces back together again. Sad but government talk, waste our money and never fix this problem. It demonstrates the heartlessness of those who govern us.
Curious
8th Aug 2018
3:52pm
A broken home is a major problem for all ages, particularly for the older people. Government helps in amending broken life is part of the social service required here. We need a rehabilitation service for the vulnerable. Pollies can sometimes forget why they are elected and who do they serve. I think they need to be reminded constantly. Unfortunately, we need a lobby group to remind pollies and governments. I think the ordinary Australians should give the government a charter, listing our urgent needs. The performance of the government should be measured accordingly. Does anyone vouch for this suggestion?
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
4:00pm
For most included in the articles definition of "homeless" its a lifestyle choice

Drug alcohol gambling and other addictions being a significant factor, mental issues another.

No one needs to be homeless when we have such a generous welfare safety net
Curious
8th Aug 2018
4:38pm
mmmh! Are you living on an old age pension? Yes, I agree with you that the old age pension cannot afford drug, alcohol, gambling and or other addictions. However, homeless is never a lifestyle choice, it doesn't matter what definition one may like to use.

I don't understand what you mean by a "generous" welfare safety net. Remember, all or most Australians pay taxes when they work. Out of the coffer of our Nation, we provide pensions of all sorts. Generosity has never been a measurement for these provisions.
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
5:07pm
$23k p.a. before rental supplement and discounts for rates, pharmaceuticals, utlitities , transport etc and being homeless?

Definitely a lifestyle choice
Cowboy Jim
8th Aug 2018
7:45pm
olbaid - you have to make up your mind: rental supplement and discounts for rates do not go together. It is one or the other. I do appreciate the age pension and the rate discount. But it took quite an effort to get the flat in the first place. With the rates, body corp insurance I wonder whether I would be all that much worse off in a decent caravan with rent assistance and an extra $205k allowance in assets being a non home owner.
Curious
8th Aug 2018
8:09pm
Well olbaid, I haven't seen one single millionaire makes the homeless lifestyle choice. $23k p.a.with a rental payment of $300.00 a.w. leaving $7,400.00 for other expense for the year. That means $142.31 p.w. to pay for food, energy bills, water, communications, and household items. It doesn't need the genius to find this limited budget difficult to survive in our current expensive cities, like Sydney and Melbourne. In other regional cities with a different standard of living, you may be right.
Cowboy Jim
9th Aug 2018
9:01am
Curious, you are quite right with the figures in big cities. Where I am it is easier, but then we relocated after finishing our employment, sold the city home and bought a cheaper place. If renting here the cost is still $240 a week. Single person nearby is renting a 2 bed flat and with rent assistance is on $1045 a fortnight (full pension and rent assistance). A former work mate got himself a slightly larger place and shares the place with a woman (sep. rooms) and they are both on full single pension with only one claiming rent assistance. Each on about $900 a fortnight. You have to know the lurks and perks, it seems.
HS
9th Aug 2018
9:12am
Depends where you buy the unit CJ - I did similar analysis 2 years ago and I was $50 a week better off owning my 2 bedroom strata unit in a regional city. Mind you Council rates do go up as does the Strata levy every year and now maintenance costs are creeping in...plumbing, carpet,interior painting...Now, 2 years on I am again reviewing whether I should sell up and rent or not...Rents increase also...It's a real dilemma...
HS
9th Aug 2018
9:19am
This cold winter is costing me $350 per month in electricity heating, that's after the provider's 15% discount and pensioner discount. That's the problem living down South in a colder region. It would cost just as much for electricity if I rented.
Cowboy Jim
9th Aug 2018
9:58am
Your power bill is rather high, HS. My bill here comes every 3 months and after the NSW pension discount, and is roughly the same as your monthly one, do not need much heating in winter and hardly any cooling in summer though. Lived in Melbourne for 8 years and the bills were certainly much higher there. The power company reckons my daily cost at $3.15 presently. Another bill is due next week.
HS
9th Aug 2018
10:12am
Yes it is very high. My electricity consumption is equivalent to a household of 5 people and I'm a single resident but, that's because I am not yet prepared to freeze in winter times nor to walk around in the unit with 2 or 3 layers of clothing on to keep warm like many older pensioners do...but, soon I will have to capitulate to this method...or move north....Broken Hill is warmer, property is real cheap...but poor water. supply ...and soon it will become a ghost town,,,
Cowboy Jim
10th Aug 2018
9:31am
Got the bill this morning, HS. $3.03 per day this time and we did use the air con for heat quite a bit. You might have to join us up north but not necessarily Broken Hill (I did like it there but their summers are really hot and the winters bitterly cold). Did not drink water and the wine comes from SA, unfortunately so does the beer.
Curious
10th Aug 2018
10:12am
HS et el, if we have a bill of $350 per month for electricity, I definitely want to move to a warmer climate. Although we don't have an electricity bill like HS's, my partner has a severe asthma problem in winter, we stay in Cairns during Sydney's winter. We now think about staying in Cairns fulltime for the better of our health and finance.
Cowboy Jim
10th Aug 2018
12:50pm
Curious - your idea of spending winter in Cairns is a good one. We lived up there for 18 years when younger and in full time work. Before you decide to go there permanently do spend a summer on location. You will find that the air con is an absolute must. Watch your bills then. Medical care is not as good when getting older unless you are in private health. Quite often we are staying in Cairns July/August; unfortunately it is the tourist season and accommodation is more expensive.
tango18
8th Aug 2018
4:01pm
Please correct me if I am wrong but, I seem to remember the Labour Government coming to power in 2007 and sayin g they would overhaul the age pension. We got a rise of just over $28 pw and legislation that increases in March & September would be tied to the rise in the CPI or the Average Man's wage, whichever was greater. Also they were looking at gradually raising the "base" so that it increased to a larger percentage of the basic wage (I think 27% to 30%).
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
4:04pm
They also raised the eligibility age to 67
Shorten intends to increase it to 70 AND take away franking credits from your super
tango18
8th Aug 2018
4:54pm
I think it was the LNP which raised the women's retirement age from 60 to 65 and it's going to be 67 - so what? People are living about a decade longer so the age had to be looked at. As for franking credits they are a rort - if you don't pay any tax why should you get the tax the company had to pay as a bonus. Lots of companies don't pay enough tax anyway, and returning franking credits means that company has paid ZERO tax on that portion of their business. I say tax the companies for all of it and let people who are entitled to it claim it back.
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
5:04pm
So silly
The fact that the dividends are franked means that the compaany has paid the equivalent %age of tax on that income

CBA just announced a $2.31 dividend per share franked at 30%, meaning they paid 30% tax on their profits - that equates to almost $3 billion

Why should I have to pay 30% tax when my effective tax rate may be only 15% or lower or even Nil because I'm retired and my income is below the tax threshold
HS
8th Aug 2018
5:07pm
tango18:-

IN YR PENSION BI-ANNUAL ANNUAL
GOVERNMENT INCREASE INCREASE

LABOR 2012 $18,077.80
LABOR $18,512.00 2.40% 5.52%
LABOR 2013 $19,076.20 3.05%
LABOR $19,544.20 2.45% 4.40%
COALITION 2014 $19,916.00 1.90%
COALITION $20,194.20 1.40% 2.11%
COALITION 2015 $20,337.20 0.71%
COALITION $20,498.40 0.79% 1.61%
COALITION 2016 $20,664.80 0.81%
COALITION $20,745.40 0.39% 1.70%
COALITION 2017 $21,015.80 1.30%
COALITION $21,164.00 0.71% 2.21%
COALITION 2018 $21,481.20 1.50%

It took Labor 2 years to increase the old age pension by $733 per year and it took Coalition 4 years to increase it by $405 per year !
Since 2012 the old age pension has increased by $3,087 to end of 2017 or $118 per fortnight which is $59 per week.
ozirules
8th Aug 2018
5:22pm
tango18 your last sentence is what I believe does in fact happen now. the companies pay the tax and those who are entitled claim it back. should a shareholder not be entitled to the credits then the tax as paid stays with the government. there are strict rules about who is entitled to the return of the tax which was paid on their behalf by the company as there is with any other tax deduction which is claimable at tax return time.
KSS
8th Aug 2018
7:32pm
That's a lot more than my wages increased over the same period HS.
KSS
8th Aug 2018
7:35pm
Tango18, if women want equality then the age for eligibility to claim an age pension should rise to the same as that for men. Fair's fair after all.
HS
8th Aug 2018
10:19pm
So, K S S are you saying that your wages are less than $413.10 per week or are you just being mindlessly flippant?
sunnyOz
8th Aug 2018
10:41pm
KSS - I am a little confused at your ignorance. Women do not get eligibility to the pension any earlier than males. There is NO difference in ages that men/women get the pension.

As clearly stated on Govt web page -
The pension age for men and women born from 1 July 1952 will be gradually increased from 65 to 67 years as set out in the table below.

Can't see anything stating that women get the pension earlier than males.
heemskerk99
8th Aug 2018
6:02pm
to those who reckon finland is the it and a bit of blissed living, why don't you go over there for a year to try it out, my bet, you be praying to be back in this horrible country, AUSTRALIA, before you have even had the pleasure of enjoying their winter.
Cowboy Jim
8th Aug 2018
7:50pm
Right on, heemskerk99. They have the highest suicide rate in all of Europe.
Jim
8th Aug 2018
6:06pm
We have had discussions on this site quite a few times regarding the housing crisis, instead of some people highjacking the commentary for their politicising of the article to support their favourite pastime of either knocking the government or criticising the opposition, why not look objectively at the problem, let’s face it neither of the main parties have got clean hands. Years ago we seemed to have a lot more social housing than we currently have, I think in NSW it was Nick Greiner that started the rot with his policy of charging people in commission housing the going rate in private rental, he also encouraged people to purchase their housing commission home with a reduction in the cost depending how long they had been renting, was this a good idea, history would suggest it wasn’t, the end result was that no more or very few new housing was built by the government nor did successive governments. I have posted before that a temporary solution could be building the old style Nissan huts that many migrants lived in their early years in a new country, I’m sure the homeless would prefer something like that rather than living on the street, then governments could start to plan for a long term solution.
Rae
8th Aug 2018
6:18pm
Yes Jim. I've also suggested unviable motels would be a cheap way to house those who are homeless but desire housing.
MD
8th Aug 2018
8:57pm
Fair comment Jim and Rae. Not sure that most 'I've got rights' homeless folk would be content with 'Nissan' style hut accommodation or a motel room out backa Bourke. As I recall, it seems to me that whatever is on offer needs to be situated near - friends and family, hospital/doctors, public transport, have minimum two bedrooms (to sleep the outlaws) access to beaches/shops and definitely not located anywhere near any of 'those losers'.
HS
8th Aug 2018
10:26pm
The Polish government is ready to spend PLN 20 billion on its rent-to-own housing program Mieszkanie+, deputy Investments and Development Minister Artur Sobon told daily Rzeczpospolita.
Poland should have 100,000 apartments under construction in 2019 under the scheme and has already prepared a list of investments covering some 108,000 flats, he adds in part confirming earlier declarations.
The Development Ministry opposes liquidation of unsecured open escrow accounts planned by anti-trust watchdog UOKiK as it would negatively impact the housing market, the official also says

Gosh, I remember similar deals in Sydney, 1971. You could rent-to-own and they gave you first 3 months to walk out on the deal if it didn't suit your budget.
MD
9th Aug 2018
6:06am
Right then HS, looks like Oz should be investing in an old, leaky, former fishing tub, filling it to the gunwhales with society's jetsom and flotsam, set it onna course for Polac and wave tata from our fair shores as it drifts away to utopia eh ?
HS
9th Aug 2018
8:53am
Frigates 2-billion deal criticized
August 8, 2018
The Polish government should make sure that its PLN 2 billion purchase of aging Adelaide-class Australian frigates comes with no strings attached, former deputy Defense Minister general Waldemar Skrzypczak stressed in an interview for Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
Poland should continue its own warship development programs, as otherwise the purchase of the frigates from Australia may spell doom for Poland's own shipyards, Skrzypczak also warned.

Oh, my, my MD...maybe... there goes the $2 billion dollar deal down the OZ gutter...tsk,tsk,tsk...
floss
8th Aug 2018
6:20pm
Caused by forced population growth, just plain stupid.
floss
8th Aug 2018
6:21pm
Olbaid please removed your head out of the sand.
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
6:28pm
Why would you say that floss ?
I find it rather rude
heemskerk99
8th Aug 2018
7:16pm
olbaid you offended floss and it is a member of the labor party who take umbrage when you dare to speak the truth
olbaid
8th Aug 2018
7:45pm
thank you heemskerk99

makes sense now
Charlie
8th Aug 2018
7:58pm
No housing for age pensioners, it all went to no hopers and aboriginals and nobody wants to live anywhere near them.

Somebody forgot to tell the government that there was no compulsory super in 1960 when some age pensioners were in their first jobs.

Have to rely on considerate property owners. Estate agents don't want to know renters who don't have jobs
Cowboy Jim
11th Aug 2018
9:45am
In the 60s one had to be offered membership of a company super fund. Was a bit like forced savings for people the company considered good employees. I was in one of those funds but when we were retrenched we all got a pay out. Most of us could pay off the mortgage. A hefty mortgage was $20'000 in those days.
sunnyOz
8th Aug 2018
10:50pm
Throughout Qld, there are literally thousands of dongas sitting going to rot and ruin, once used on the remote mining sites. Outside Wallumbilla there are hundreds. And for people who don't know what a donga is, these are units containing either 2 or 4 sell contained rooms, with bathroom, and air conditioner. Just sitting there rotting. Is so upsetting seeing them just sitting there, with so many homeless.
HS
8th Aug 2018
11:09pm
And, the infrastructure at these places is.....????
HS
8th Aug 2018
11:10pm
Health care, public transport, commerce, etc ???????????
Justsane
10th Aug 2018
2:18am
Tango 18, It was actually Bob Hawke (Labor) who increased the Pension age for women from 60 to 65 in very small increments over many years. I think this meant that a woman born in 1935 could get the pension at 60 while one born in 1949 had to wait till 65.
Adrianus
12th Aug 2018
6:15am
It was also Bob Hawke who massively increased taxes on people's retirement savings. When you become so popular anything is possible. I'm just pleased Rudd's iPhone selfie idea was not a thing back then. Can you imagine a future where only union bosses owned a house?
melbgirl
10th Aug 2018
11:22am
YLC had an article this week that showed that 67% of renters are in housing stress; I imagine many of that group are dependant upon pensions and benefits. It's no surprise homelessness is increasing amongst the over 55s, 12 months leases then periodic tenancy is the norm placing vulnerable people at the whims of landlords selling/redeveloping, increasing rent, all meaning insecure housing. Sure this affects all age groups but the over 55s don't have the capacity to increase/change their incomes.
OnlyGenuineRainey
12th Aug 2018
8:05pm
This article raises a few questions. Firstly, what percentage of these ''homeless'' are 'homeless' by choice? As others have pointed out, caravan living appeals to many. I could certainly live permanently in a large caravan or motorhome. I've met folk who choose to reside in a tent. One fellow, paid to caretake a camping ground in warm north Queensland, set himself up magnificently in a large tent with separate toilet and shower tents, big generator and every modern appliance!
Perhaps more significantly, though, I question how so many can be without adequate accommodation after - what - 3-5 decades to work and plan for their retirement years? I know circumstances vary and some have suffered crisis, but most of us had every opportunity to buy a home. My partner and I bought a home on a minimal income while paying for medical care and therapy for a special needs child and dealing with significant health issues ourselves. On the other hand, I have relatives who CHOSE not to buy because they didn't want the burden of a mortgage, insurance, maintenance and rates - and they saw rent assistance as an appealing bonus to aged pension income.

Perhaps before we scream for more government handouts, we need to ensure we have a solid understanding of the problem, because hasty, ill-conceived policies like cancelling franking credits and depriving savers of a part pension destroy initiative, encourage cheating and manipulation, and drive greater dependence on the public purse. It's just too easy to assume that the solution to all our social ills is to take from some to hand out to others.

That's not to say we should endorse selfishness. Compassion is a requirement to qualify as human. But I think our society has evidenced that simply taking from one group to give to another creates more problems than it solves - and we all know that it's never the rich that the government takes from, but rather the battlers whose hard work and frugal living have positioned them in modest comfort, and who are now being ground back the hardship they struggled so hard to escape.

There should be NO poverty or homelessness in Australia. Sadly, though, I foresee the problems getting continually worse. We have a rich man's government and an inept opposition that, if not secretly subscribed to the same goals as the LNP, is certainly going to drive the nation in the same direction - intentionally or otherwise. And even if there were enough independents or minor party members to make a real difference, it seems they also lack either or both intelligence or integrity. Self-interest prevails, and common sense is anything but common - and until we destroy the former and drive policies based on the latter. there is simply no hope for this nation or its people.


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