14th May 2018
Are the Budget plans what really count for seniors?
Author: Olga Galacho
Post-Budget, this is what counts

David Robertson is the Head of Economic and Market Research for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. He joined the bank 16 years ago as Head of Financial Markets. His career commenced in 1989 as a foreign exchange dealer and, since then, he has worked in a range of senior roles in Treasury and Financial Markets for the State Bank of NSW, First Chicago and Commonwealth Bank. We spoke to Mr Robertson for his take on the Federal Budget 2018’s incentives for pensioners, proposed tax cuts, dividend imputation, interest rates and the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

YourLifeChoices: What do you think of the Federal Government expanding its role in lending by extending the Pension Loan Scheme (PLS) to more retirees?
David Robertson:
The Pension Loan Scheme was a well-kept secret. I think there had only been about $30 million in loans provided in the 30 years since it was started. There hadn’t been a great deal of take up of that product. I think it’s a good thing that it is available more broadly now. Any new offering for retirees has got to be a helpful thing.

How does the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s product for retirees (in conjunction with Homesafe Wealth Release) compare with the Pension Loan Scheme, which is essentially a top up for pensions which attracts a 5.25 per cent interest rate?
Whereas the PLS is a loan, the Homesafe product is an equity release product that provides an upfront lump sum. The owner of the house retains ownership, but at the end of that process the equity is effectively released through the sale of the property. It’s available only in certain postcodes and not all over Australia. Being a release of home equity rather than a loan, it certainly meets a wide range of our customers’ needs. It is available in lump sums of between $25,000 and $1 million. Interest is not charged because it is not a reverse mortgage, thus it is fee based.

 


If plans for tax cuts to big business go ahead and the top marginal personal income tax rate is removed, as proposed by the Federal Government, do you think this could jeopardise future budgets’ ability to return to surplus?
The consideration in tax cuts for all business is that we ensure that we remain competitive internationally. The US just recently reduced its corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 per cent. In Australia, we are talking about going from 30 to 25 per cent. The question is should the larger companies participate in that as well. I think international competitiveness is the factor that would suggest the tax should be broadly based rather than capped at a certain size. If you look at this Budget and the fact that it was ahead of expectations with $35 billion more in revenue than was forecast, a lot of that is due to business being profitable at present and that has created a windfall for Government revenue. I agree with the Business Council of Australia which says that strong business is a prerequisite to a strong economy and that leads to paying down debt more quickly and being able to provide more personal tax cuts. We are in a unique environment – we have low interest rates and low inflation – you need to tinker with tax settings to optimise the economic outcomes.

There is a risk with locking in a temporary increase in revenue and locking in a more permanent reduction in the tax rates. But having said that, I am more concerned about the Budget assumptions rather than plans to change tax brackets. There are assumptions that wages will grow 3.5 per cent and I am not sure that will happen as quickly as the Government has indicated. There’s clearly a reliance that the global economy will grow well and that China will support our economy. That is fair enough, but it remains an assumption that may or may not occur. If the assumptions are not right, that might jeopardise a Budget surplus.

Can you comment on proposed tweaks to dividend imputation and negative gearing as proposed by Labor?
I do have concerns about eliminating dividend imputation and (franking credit) tax refunds given we are in a low-interest rate environment. Because rates are at a record low, the timing seems problematic to me. And similarly with negative gearing, given the property market appears considerably more soft compared with six or 12 months ago, the timing with tinkering is problematic.

Independent economist Saul Eslake commented recently that over the past two decades  the tax regime and other policy settings have seen a redistribution of wealth from the young and middle aged to older Australians. Can you comment?
I am not sure it is that simple. We do have an ageing population, we are living longer and that is a good thing. I think it is good that this Budget had a number of incentives to continue to employ older Australians. And the funding of aged care is very welcome. But as for the redistribution of wealth, I am not completely sold on that. We have one of the strongest economies in the world. It is 26-plus years since the last recession, so I wouldn’t criticise the evolution of the tax regime over the past few decades on that basis. But clearly, we need tax reform moving forward. We need to take into account changing demographics. The inherent strength of our economy is perhaps evidence the redistribution of wealth to older Australians  might not be as large an issue as Saul Eslake has suggested.

How do you see banks’ housing loan books 10 years from now if increasing numbers of young Australians cannot afford to buy a home, negative gearing is tweaked, thus de-incentivising residential investors, and the regulators keep insisting that banks make it hard for young families to borrow large sums with small deposits?
Housing affordability for young families is clearly an issue. Although it is pleasing we have the first home-owners scheme and state-based concessions for stamp duty. But it does remain difficult. The measures the regulator has put in to reduce interest-only lending and investor lending has seen a welcome rise in lending to owner-occupiers. Those macro-prudential measures have been effective. Housing prices are now at far more sustainable levels. They were growing too quickly, in particular in Melbourne and Sydney. And now it seems across Australia they will be relatively flat or even slightly lower. However, our base case remains a soft landing amid a strong jobs market and with low interest rates. We are very comfortable with the credit quality of our housing loan books.

What is the outlook for interest rates?
The path the Reserve Bank (RBA) takes will be pretty important to housing prices. The RBA will calibrate rate rises taking into account the sensitivity of Australia’s housing market given high household debt. The RBA has always had a good track record of keeping a steady ship. And I expect they will continue to do so during this interest rate cycle, but nevertheless we do expect the next rate movement to be up rather than down. Most economists expect a rate rise won’t happen until next year. If you had asked me three months ago, I would have said late this year. But the softer housing market and also through the Banking Royal Commission’s increased focus on lending standards, these factors have probably pushed back that (rate rise) timing. There is a school of thought the focus on lending standards may keep property prices a bit softer for longer. So the next move is up, but it is increasingly being deferred further down the track.

What is your view on Budget initiatives now that you have had time to consider the announcements?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    14th May 2018
    9:03am
    And there you go. Bank boss plugging tax cuts for the big end of town. Well fancy that.
    So this pariah wants the top marginal rate lowered, the company tax rate pushed down 5% and taxes to be "broad based"? Broad based means that average citizens, the ones already struggling to pay their bills, to pick up the difference.
    PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS NOT CLASS WARFARE?

    Australia does not need the American model unless average citizens want to become destitute working poor. If what has been done to the Hospitality Industry and is playing out in many others is not clear then please go to SpecSavers.
    The sooner Labor is put into office the better.
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    10:36am
    I agree Mick. In Seattle last year, we saw huge car parks full of what were termed ‘the working poor’. People with low paid jobs who can no longer afford to rent and are forced to live in RVs, caravans, and their cars. It might be a way of life in the USA, but we don’t want it here!
    HS
    14th May 2018
    11:05am
    Sundays. "but we don’t want it here!"
    News for you.
    It's already here!
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    11:27am
    Where HS, I’m talking thousands of people in abandoned ar parks who all have jobs. The homeless I see here have no jobs, and it is a terrible thing
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    11:35am
    Low paid workers are doing it tough, but they still usually have a roof over their heads. Unlike America, they don’t have to work all day,to come home to their car! Not as a perhaps short term situation but as a way of life. I don’t live in a bubble and I’ve never seen anything like it. There are homeless people living on our streets, but most have drug, alcohol and mental issues which is why they cannot work.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    11:58am
    Mick, do you have an official position in Unbelieva-Bill's office? This government could hand a million dollars to every man, woman and child, and you would still bang on about inequity, unfairness, big end of town, blah, blah, blah! Change the tune, old fella - bit monotonous!
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    12:13pm
    Company tax rates need to be 15% not 30% and we would have so much tax revenue we would not know how to spend it.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    12:18pm
    HS there are not people camped in tents along the footpaths in our major cities, not like the USA wherer you can hardly put a pin between them.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    12:33pm
    I don't think MICK is smart enough to work in an office Big Al - not even Unbelievabill's!
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    12:33pm
    We have lots of modern day swaggies in various mobile vehicles living on the road permanently now some as even in tents.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:59pm
    Funny seeing the trolls play tag.
    Big Al - I thought there was hope for you but apparently not. You are missing the whole point about the wealth of a nation. Everybody needs a portion and in a wealthy country like ours money should not be solely owned by 1% or less of the population. That is what the game is under the current government. And worse. Perhaps debate the issues rather than use Abbott style slogans. That would gain you credibility like you did in your post below.

    OG - I feel so sorry for you OG. I thought you had the intelligence to understand that Trickle Down Economics was a slogan used by the rich and their governments to con citizens out of their money. Lower taxes for the rich mostly goes into bigger homes, fancy new cars, holiday homes in the best locations on the planet and lifestyle. Are you not smart enough to see this????
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    2:32pm
    I see you have no idea about trickle down economics Mick. Those bigger homes, fancy new cars, holiday homes even in the best locations have to be built using trickle down economics. They are certainly not built by the rich themselves.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th May 2018
    4:34pm
    OG, the rich have had their big homes and fancy cars and holiday homes for a long time. Now they are just hoarding their millions in off-shore tax shelters, not spending them. Trickle down is BS. Give a poor man more and he spends it driving business profit and growth. Give a rich man more and it ends up in the Caymans.
    Retired Knowall
    14th May 2018
    5:05pm
    OG they don't call it TRICKLE DOWN for nothing....it is just a trickle.
    And your wish for the rate to be 15%, it's already better than that.
    The Headline rate is 30% but after all the deductions and rebates it's actually less than 14%.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    6:54pm
    You crack me up OG. Google it. A con run by the rich to get more money. It worked in the US which is one of the main reasons ordinary Americans are living in destitute poverty. This is what you want for Australians.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th May 2018
    8:28am
    OG, your stated reason for your wish for company tax to be reduced to 15% is nonsense. What difference does the tax rate make if companies can't sell more because nobody has money to buy? You are being thoroughly ridiculous. We have increasing poverty and hardship, falling real wages, falling welfare payments, rising prices, increasing unemployment, and you think that somehow giving a company a tax cut to spend on higher directors' or CEO salaries or another robot to replace 10 workers will magically result in economic improvement. How illogical can you get? Increase wages for low income earners and give welfare recipients a 10% increase and there would be so much increased spending that profits, tax revenue and employment would soar. But handing out to companies does nothing other than boost their capacity to pay even more obscene salaries to directors and executives. There is simply no reason for them to hire more people or pay better wages, because they have enough people now working enough to produce as much as they are able to sell.

    Only a total fool or someone with an ulterior agenda would even hint that a tax cut for companies as going to drive increased revenue when the market is shrinking due to consumers having less to spend.
    George
    15th May 2018
    3:12pm
    What else can one expect from a Banker who wants to promote business interests! I couldn't find any "Unexpected insights.." as the YLC email highlighted!

    RK is right to point out that currently businesses only pay 14% tax - in fact that is the Average, and a shocking result because many companies are paying Nil or Negligible tax. Any suggestion for tax cuts would make sense ONLY IF and AFTER we have Minimum Taxes being paid by all! Also, our Corporate taxes are NOT comparable with USA where there are additional State Taxes - the Banker has ignored that!

    The solution is NOT to vote Labor - the other half of the tag team who have offered nothing for Retirees, and who will come in to hit Retirees again as they have been doing regularly since Keating!

    The solution for real Change must begin NOW - all Retirees / Older Australians need to vote OUT all current major party candidates by putting them LAST in preferences - anyone else couldn't do worse, and we may actually see change for the better with Independents and other parties vying for Retirees' votes - if we can unite as group.
    john
    23rd May 2018
    11:05am
    I'd like an explanation of home equity loans for people who have some assets but no cash flow, which seems to be a big big problem for many people getting close to or already at retirement? How much , what is the limit upward and downward.
    To me it sounds like reverse mortgage?
    Dave R
    14th May 2018
    10:16am
    A very one eyed view IMO.
    Most of what he says contradicts what others are saying.
    He is mostly wrong and the sooner Labor gets in and hopefully, because I don't entirely trust them, begin returning fairness to our economic system the better.
    This LNP government has no idea what fairness even means.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    12:08pm
    When I was a kid if I said 'it's not fair' I was chided by my parents who would say 'life is not meant to be fair' How true, we live in a very unfair world, otherwise how can you explain that in Africa, Asia etc there are billions living it abject poverty while we live like kings! The futile pursuit of fairness is simply a front for taking money from hard workers and giving it to those who don't want to work. This process kills incentive and destroys wealth, so that it becomes a race to the bottom. Oh well, I guess you think that's fair.
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    12:10pm
    Dave you are real dreaming if you think under Labor things will be better. Fairness is certainly not part of Labor either. That insane franking credit policy clearly shows Labor's preference for the high income earners.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:45pm
    Good post Dave. Of course the liberal party trolls above would say what they did.
    Malcolm Fraser, the Liberal Party hack who was a part of illegitimately removing a Labor government, coined that phrase. Of course Fraser had a silver spoon sticking out from some part of his anatomy. Say no more.
    And is so into his own needs. The franking credits issue is unresolved at this stage and the rich ARE milking franking credits whilst retirees get a very small percentage. He fails to mention that.
    The whole issue could be quickly resolved if Shorten or Turnbull put out a statement saying 'FRANKING CREDITS WILL CUT OUT ALTOGETHER ONCE TAXABLE INCOME REACHES $50,000'. That way you keep the rich off the money and struggling Australians get a small leg up. Don't expect this government to do this. It is the servant of the rich.
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    2:35pm
    Haha Mick that is exactly the opposite of what Shorten wants to do. He is after the rich who don't pay tax but have big franking credit refund cheques. You proposal wont catch them at all.
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    3:04pm
    Mick the way the opinion polls are moving in the direction of an LNP win we wont have to worry about that insane franking credit proposal or the increase in CGT either.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    5:06pm
    Don't know how you come to that conclusion OG, the opinion polls have have hardly changed in months, the preferred PM may have changed but no one takes any notice of that ( according to the poll experts ), it is the 2 party numbers that count and Labor is still ahead and has been for months. Newspoll did show a tightening in the numbers using a new formula, but the IPSOS Poll had Labor well ahead.
    Placido
    14th May 2018
    10:22am
    Yes Mick,
    Having worked for a US multi-national and travelled to the US fairly often for work it is easy to see how their system fails the average person.

    Employees are treated as commodities, hired and fired as the economy fluctuates (based on a 3 monthly cycle of profitability) I saw people working 3 jobs just to keep a roof over their heads.

    We don need this to happen here (Turnbulls policies have already put us on the slippery slope downwards.
    Adrianus
    14th May 2018
    11:45am
    I can see that your heart's in the right place Placido, but I don't understand how a weak , non-competitive business can offer high paying, permanently secure jobs?
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:39pm
    Capitalism (survival of the fittest) is one thing. A badly run business or one which is not competitive is entirely another.
    You need to go the US Adrianus and have your eyes opened. The 'Land of the Free' advertising is as dishonest as 'Trickle Down Economics' is here. Slogans for the mentally challenged.
    Adrianus
    14th May 2018
    3:35pm
    MICK, if you have your eyes open, then please explain why you speak in clichés ?
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    6:56pm
    I am surprised you can spell 'cliche' or even understand what the word means.
    George
    15th May 2018
    3:21pm
    Good observations, Placido.
    In desperation with the destruction wrought by right-wingers (including Democrats), they turned to Trump! That is, anyone who MIGHT do something for them, although he also strongly favours the rich and the business end. At least, his stance on reducing foreign workers, unfavourable trade terms and focus on bringing back manufacturing, mining (including coal) and jobs generally is a fresh breath of air.

    We also badly need someone here to adopt a people-centric approach to policies, but the landscape looks bleak! That's why we need to shake up the system ourselves, and I encourage all (Older Australians in particular who have seen it all) to vote OUT all current seat-warmers and get fresh blood in from any reasonable alternatives - Independents or alternative parties.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    11:51am
    We live in a global economy and our companies, including the banks, need to be able to compete on a level playing field. Australian company tax rates are amongst the highest in the world - if something isn't done, no-one will want to invest in Australia, we will go into serious recession, and the main people to suffer will be the poor and the workers who will lose their jobs by the thousands. The only ones preaching Class Warfare are Shorty and his Labor cronies and if elected they will damage Australia immensely and probably permanently. We need a labor leader with vision such as Paul Keating. It really is that simple.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    12:03pm
    Class warfare is about transferring money from poor to rich. That is precisely what is happening. The fact that other countries are doing the same is nothing more that an indication that the rich in all countries are now pushing down their taxes by pitting country against country.
    The truth is WE ARE IN A CLASS WAR and that it is immoral. Please do not tell me about 'Trickle Down Economics' Meerkat. This is a slogan which has been shown for what it is. ANybody who doubts this should do some research and/or go to America to see for themselves. It is pitiful....and the opulent rich still cry poor.

    Your post is the normal liberal party lies, spew and mudslinging. You have no facts. You have no credibility. So bring on the rest of your bloggers. They should be out of the monday morning briefing by now and ready to blog.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    12:23pm
    Tell me again Mick, how was it fair that people who were ineligible to stand for election to our national parliament, did so, under the banner of the party you champion, took the tax payers money and thumbed their noses at all of us for as long as they could? You harp on about fairness, exploitation, divides etc etc yet Bill and your mates are absolute rolled gold champions in all areas of looking after number 1. Tell me how fair and equitable it was that union official Bill traded away workers' pay increases (that he purportedly represented), for a slush fund to get him elected to federal parliament
    So you want that sort of equality for all the rest of us? I don't think so!
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:01pm
    The fact that you are using the "rolled gold" slogan tells me you are straight from the liberal party propaganda machine. That expression has been rolling off the keyboard of the other paid stooges as well the past few days. Found out!

    The High Court has 'changed its position' which is not mentioned in any of the media attacks on Labor. Funny that.

    If this were a real issue your employer would have attached a referendum to the back of the last election to fix the matter once and for all.
    How about a rendition of pink batts and school halls? That and vile mudslinging is all your side of politics can do when it has nothing else to attack with.
    George
    15th May 2018
    3:25pm
    Leaving aside all your other stupid comments, I find the "..need a labor leader with vision such as Paul Keating" comment the worst - the BIGGEST MORON we have ever had as a Treasurer - one who did everything the Liberal way and destroyed this country. That's why right-wingers like him - he did their job for them! To the extent, that Liberal John Howard was far more preferable to the voters!

    14th May 2018
    12:05pm
    A well balanced an honest assessment of the budget and the tax reforms of the coalition.
    The coalition has more tweaking of tax policy to do and that will come in the next few years as our economy improves. For now the changes made are right given the economic situation at present .
    It would be irresponsible to promise larger cuts and more spending . Shorten will promise anything to buy votes
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    12:12pm
    Careful Raphael or you too will be accused of being a LMP troll! The leftie neo-Marxists dont want to hear logical and considered arguments, only what fits their very narrow view of a socialist world where everyone is equally poor!
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    12:21pm
    I see all the red tie brigade are out in force early here today.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:06pm
    They've had the morning briefing and now arriving back to their keyboards.
    You guys crack me up. One of the cronies, a bank CEO, says what he says is good (for him) and you parrots sing the song. Maybe add in the new paradigm from the past few days: "rolled gold". Also straight from your briefing.
    Trolla are what they are and pretty easy to spot. Putin has a whole building of them. Sounds like this government has quite a number as well given the responses from so many unknown posters since Shorten said his bit.
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    1:30pm
    Yes Mick we have been busy meeting and working out our strategy to get you. My belly hurts for all the laughter at that meeting this morning.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:36pm
    You tried the mass attack last few days. That failed.
    Perhaps try honesty and decency. That'll work....but alas these are qualities Liberal Party paid stooges do not have in their souls.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    3:40pm
    OOps, I meant the Blue ties not the red.
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    4:36pm
    No ties for us as we value our freedom to have none.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    5:17pm
    That's not the way you come across on this site OG, you and your buddies.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    5:17pm
    That's not the way you come across on this site OG, you and your buddies.
    Lookfar
    14th May 2018
    12:13pm
    This man's CV. indicates he may never have done it tough, thus he doesn't feel anything when he says the housing market is soft, or whatever, he doesn't understand, nor probably care that the housing market doesn't currently enable poor or young people to get a house, due to factors such as negative gearing and higher interest rates which make it viable for investors rather than real people to own their own home.
    Generally speaking, people need to own their own home, to feel safe, to get rewarded for looking after and improving it, to be insulated from the money rent market when stuff goes pear shaped, to reduce their living costs as they see fit, ie get solar or grow a garden or such, to survive on the pension when nothing else is coming in.
    In short, probably only due to his ignorance, the man is a monster, and the Bendigo Bank doesn't help their "people's bank" claims by employing that servant of Neo-Liberalism.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:07pm
    Yes. You cannot expect somebody from the top end of town to do anything other than cry poor and tell the lies they do to get what they want: an opulent lifestyle paid for by abject poverty from the rest of the country.
    George
    15th May 2018
    3:28pm
    Agree, Lookfar, his perspective is completely off the mark and just another comment from a Banker / Business rep with no idea of what is good for Retirees or people in general.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    12:14pm
    Last night for the first time ( I am sick of the hype about this wedding ), I watched a documentary about Harry and Meghan and it showed Meghan vbisiting the homeless in a big USA city. The footpaths were crowded with what looked like permanent dwellings, I just hope we never get to that stage here.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    12:30pm
    Not sure what state you live in Misty, but if you aren't Victorian, you should see the streets of Melbourne these days! It is laughingly labelled the world's most liveable city, yet two of it's main thoroughfares, Flinders Street and Elizabeth St., are lined with homeless people living in cardboard boxes, and in shop doorways. They are drug affected, and angry to boot. They have a government that has frittered away billions of dollars needlessly, and underinvested woefully in public housing. Melbourne (and its homeless), are a national disgrace - not the homeless, but the circumstances that have led to it, and lack of action to address it.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:34pm
    Wow. That sounds suspiciously like a lefty who cares. Maybe I have you wrong Al. Congratulations and thanks for showing a human side.

    Some of my posts are precisely on this happening in Oz where working class people will also be destituted. Already happening in America and it breaks my heart when I see it. Everywhere.
    Not what we need here but the game is in play.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    12:15pm
    Homelessness may be here but not to the extent it is in the USA and I hope it never does.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    12:23pm
    It will be if we let Shorten in and he goes on his spending spree .
    Rjebsocialist countries like France have far worse ghettos , slums and homelessness
    Rosret
    14th May 2018
    12:41pm
    I watched an MA show on Netflix called Shameless. If you can handle all the alt sex scenes (I just used the skip with the mouse) it is a real eye opener from the point of view of the poor in the USA.
    Its a very well written script. I just wish they could have presented a PG abridged version for me!
    We don't ever want to follow the USA lead - and yet I think we are.
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    12:42pm
    France has for years had chronic under investment in housing which has pushed rents up. Coupled with low wages. Sound familiar? The US stats show they have much lower rates of homelessness than we do, but I guess a tent, or if lucky a car doesn’t count.
    Rosret
    14th May 2018
    1:00pm
    Sundays, middle America is in a terrible state of poverty and the average longevity is 4 years less than Canada. We don't have to sell our home if we get sick and we have a social welfare program that provides for the unemployed.
    Our tertiary education costs are relatively affordable compared to the USA.
    If you are on the right side of the bell curve in the USA whereby you have a job, you are educated and white - life is good if not better than Australia. - But for the rest?
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:12pm
    I have been to the 'Land of the Free' (NOT) many times. What struck me from the first visit was the poverty of average citizens and the complete abuse of citizens who are essentially slaves. At the other end the rich live the life of kings with wealth which defies logic.

    Australians need to careful that the right wing propaganda and their own complacency does not result in us being the next America. Once it's here it will be hard to turn back the clock.
    Even poster like Raphael with a cushy propaganda job from the government will find that his services will no longer be required.

    Guard what you have Australians or be happy with what you inherit.
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    1:24pm
    Yes, Rostret, I’ve been to the US four times in the past six years and it’s a sad state of affairs as you say. Getting worse with each visit. The beauty of their national parks doesn’t negate it, and I will not go back. This is what concerns me with the Liberal policies. I read somewhere that the Libs want an economy whereas some of us want a society and I agree. Also, still waiting for the Liberal trolls to tell me one genuinely good thing Michaelia Cash has done for employment
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    2:01pm
    The last time I was in the US the outskirts of Denver were crowded out with tents from people who had a job but could still not afford to lie. This is what the current government is trying its best to engineer. Better known as slavery.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    2:43pm
    Mick, sometimes you make comments that almost border on the intelligent (almost, I iterate), then at other times you totally destroy all your credibility with this inane nonsense that the present government is trying to impoverish a huge portion of this nation. In case you hadn't noticed, Mick - Alan Joyce - CEO of Qantas, took home a pay packet last year of somewhere (reportedly), in the vicinity of $20m. Now guess what Mick? He gets one vote at the next federal election - exactly the same as you and me. The point is, why would any government want to smash those at the base of the earning pyramid (or even half way up), to the advantage of the few at the top? Any simpleton should be able to work out (and you don't even appear to make this category, Mick), that to destroy the incomes/livelihood of those at the bottom, would ensure that that party would be electorally annihilated. So your bleating is just a nonsense - it just doesn't make any sense!
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    4:29pm
    The only paid troll here is Mick
    Spews anti coalition garbage ad nauseum
    No facts no intelligent debate
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    7:00pm
    Al - ordinary Australians are struggling. Fact. Prices of everything have increased like a wildfire with wages not increasing in step.
    If tax cuts for the top end happen there will be new taxes for struggling Australians to pay for the tax cuts. What does not make sense about that? Do you think the Tooth Fairy is going to pay? Oh yes.....tax cuts are going to stimulate the economy.....just like it did in America when Reagan did the same?
    Please do not insult my intelligence Al. I have more than you give me credit for and my calls are mostly well researched and on the money. Yours?
    Rosret
    14th May 2018
    12:35pm
    So current Labor policy bias questions put to an economist who answered very clearly and succinctly.
    There were some very complex questions put forward where it would be impossible to give an off the cuff one sentence answer.
    Thank heavens politics is finally moving away from the patronising one liners to deliver the message to the plebs.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:18pm
    Wait for the election. The Liberal Party is the party of slogans and I expect that's where we will end up.
    You may want to read the spiel again Rosret. The responses are self focussed.
    Whilst the issues may be complex the underlying causes are quite clear in many cases. Bad government, decisions pandering to the interests of the rich and allowing America in particular to run an economic one sided game all feature in how we have arrived here. Let's sell the rest of our farming land to other countries? And so the betrayal of the country continues........until there is nothing left.
    Old Man
    14th May 2018
    12:39pm
    Housing for young couples has always been difficult but we got around the problems back then by saving, not going out, not having a credit card and buying an existing home which needed a bit of TLC. When we read about housing prices, the big numbers are given in those areas which are not really what the average first home buyer would be looking at. Talking with our children and their friends, it seems that some young couples want it all and they want it now. They want a new McMansion, double garage with a new car in each, a polo and an overseas holiday every year and some of these people are the ones who complain about the cost of housing.

    As soon as I read the answers given by David Robertson, I knew what the responses would be. He suggests that the Budget is OK and that some of Labor's policies are not and that will certainly fire up the rusted on Labor hacks. Forget that there is a chance that his opinion may hold some credibility, he has crossed the line. For the record, I don't believe that he is the only economist saying this as some suggest. What surprises me most of all is that he was allowed to express his opinion in this site.
    Rosret
    14th May 2018
    12:47pm
    Never this bad Old Man.
    There is a two stream income in our society today.
    I would love to know where the people of Sydney get all their money from. It isn't from being policemen, nurses or teachers.
    One person could buy a home for their family last century, now a mother can't even be a mother and raise her children anymore without having to juggle work and home duties.
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    1:27pm
    OM - economists do not have a lot of credibility as they are owned by other interests and mostly say and write what they are told to.

    Housing - you have this wrong Rosret. I am with OM on this one. Tell me where the current crop ever had to come up with a deposit of 30% to 50%....on one wage?
    OM is correct in pointing to lifestyles of the current lot: new cars, electronic gadgets, fashion clothing, expensive holidays, car loan. restaurants and shows, etc. And they have no money? Give me a break.
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    2:23pm
    So Adrianus has removed most of his posts. Mustn’t have liked the responses. Go figure
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    7:00pm
    sunday could it be you had a hand in that, just think, don't do to others etc, CARMA
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    7:29pm
    KARMA! Get it right. No, I certainly didn’t bully him into removing them. No need to concern yourself
    neil
    14th May 2018
    2:25pm
    RE THE PROPOSED TAX CUTS FOR LARGE BUSINESSES, MR. ROBERTSON STATES WE HAVE TO REDUCE COMPANY TAX TO BE COMPETATIVE, HE USES THE U.S.A. AS AN EXAMPLE. OVER THERE A BUSINESS HAS TO PAY STATE TAX AND CITY TAX ( AS WELL AS CITY RATES). THE ALLOWANCES THAT CAN BE CLAIMED ARE NOT AS GENEROUS AS OURS. WE PAY AN EFFECTIVE TAX RATE OF 11% . TAX IS NOT THE ONLY CRITERIA A COMPANY LOOKS AT WHEN SETTING UP.

    NEIL.
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    2:28pm
    We also have lots of those other taxes businesses here pay too.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    2:29pm
    Well companies here have to pay GST which is more than US state and city taxes. I agree with your comment on claiming reduction in tax - more rapid depreciation would be a great way to start
    Old Geezer
    14th May 2018
    2:36pm
    What about payroll tax, land taxes, rates etc.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th May 2018
    5:00pm
    Ill-informed, Meerkat. Companies in the US pay sales tax, as well as state, city and federal taxes. They add up to way, way more than the tax they pay in Australia. An accountant friend in the US specializes in helping companies move to Australia - because our taxes are so much LOWER.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    5:11pm
    Doesn't matter what you tell them OGR, they won't believe a word you say.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th May 2018
    8:22am
    True. They are locked in to their rigid and unsubstantiated beliefs and incapable of thinking, let alone considering evidence that the assumptions that policies that appear to benefit them must be sound are wrong.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    2:26pm
    Here's the leftie neo-Marxist procedure:
    1. Anyone who doesn't agree with you, label them an LNP troll
    2. If (1) fails, resort to personal insult and character assassination, including accusation of being un-Australian.
    3. Simples - and we haven't even needed to call in Bull's union thugs
    Not a Bludger
    14th May 2018
    3:00pm
    Right on Meercat - and the sooner socialist plants like MICK, spouting end on end bilge, leave these columns the better.
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    3:13pm
    Well you two Liberal trolls. I keep asking, tell me one genuine long term initiative Michaelia Cash has done to improve employment other than a photo opportunity
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    3:32pm
    Haven't seen anything yet Sunday from the 2 mentioned above.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    4:19pm
    Well, Sundays, employment has improved spectacularly since the LNP took over and fixed the economic climate, so she must have done something - I like her - talks straight and not afraid of union thugs. I see Talkbull's popularity is climbing, and 2PP gap is closing - I predict it will continue to close as election nears and Shorty's unsuitability to be PM continues to be exposed. I predict a narrow LNP win and a more workable senate as the clowns are voted out.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th May 2018
    4:58pm
    What garbage are you listening to, Meerkat. Employment has NOT improved spectacularly (or even excellently). There have been more jobs created, and more have entered the workforce, so unemployment has remained virtually unchanged. That is NOT a good result.

    I despise Shorten, but I certainly don't look forward to more of this vile LNP, and if they do win, I hope we have far more independents to balance the scales. We need a way of keeping the bastards honest - and preventing their continued bashing of the less well off to overindulge the rich.
    Meerkat
    14th May 2018
    6:48pm
    OGR you need to work out who you hate most! You are obviously a very unhappy person given you vitriolic comments. I don't have much money but I have a very happy life - I can fill my bar- fridge with beer, I can eat out at the many clubs nearby - in essence I am a baby-boomer who has prospered from the economic boom that Australia has enjoyed for the last 30 years. I live with a great woman who understands my needs. I don't care about all the bankers and wankers in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra on salaries that I can't dream about - I live in the comforting thought bubble that I am actually way happier than they are. Don't be jealous - it will eat you up!
    Sundays
    14th May 2018
    7:45pm
    Talkbull, Shorty, clowns. Statements which are not backed up with facts. Maybe you should stick to your very happy life down the club because your posts are full of criticisms and negativity. I like informed debate but just because you say something doesn’t make it true. The current employment rate is around 5.6% and underemployed rate is 13.9%. It’s rising just as OGR stated. No spectacular improvement but I see we are going to create a Space Agency. Maybe that will help
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    11:11pm
    Or you could say "Anyone who doesn't agree with you", label them a Leftie, works both ways Meerkat.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    11:16pm
    Meerkat maybe employment has improved but the majority of the jobs are part time and that doesn't help the economy, who is going to go out and put a deposit on a home, buy a car etc if they are only working a few hours a week and no guarantee that their job will be there next week, next month, next year.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    11:16pm
    Meerkat maybe employment has improved but the majority of the jobs are part time and that doesn't help the economy, who is going to go out and put a deposit on a home, buy a car etc if they are only working a few hours a week and no guarantee that their job will be there next week, next month, next year.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th May 2018
    8:20am
    Meerkat, I am neither unhappy nor vitriolic. I have a great life. But I am entitled to criticize politicians and parties and to comment on poor policies. And I have every right to contradict incorrect statements, and your statement about employment growth was totally incorrect. Disagreeing with a political position or an untruthful claim does NOT make someone either vitriolic or unhappy. It merely means they have the ability to THINK. And why on earth would you assume I am jealous? That's a wild assumption that makes a total ass of you. I am merely appalled at the state of what used to be a great nation, and at the harm that is being done to it both by politicians and big business leaders and by unthinking people like you who can't respond to a comment other than with nastiness and insults.
    Meerkat
    15th May 2018
    9:07am
    You guys just can't handle the truth!
    Misty
    15th May 2018
    11:05am
    Come down from your Ivory Tower Meerkat and take your rose coloured glasses off and you might see what the real world looks like.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    17th May 2018
    1:03pm
    Goodness, Meerkat, you are showing yourself to be not only nasty and intolerant, but totally ignorant! Your incorrect statement is corrected with intelligent response and all you can do is boast about your good life and falsely accuse and insult others. Quite obvious who can't handle the truth!
    ph
    20th May 2018
    11:30am
    Being a humanitarian, and thinking beyond ones own narrow self interest does not equate to be a Marxist or socialist.
    Australia's attempt at replicating Americas worst aspects is lamentable. It will be our children, and grand children who will wear the brunt of this unconscionable global march to the right.
    That those who are not part of the financial elite cannot see this is truly sad.
    SuziJ
    14th May 2018
    2:46pm
    Not any good for those of us who don't own any 'real estate'!
    GrayComputing
    14th May 2018
    3:05pm
    It is time for all of us to rant at our PMs to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

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

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

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

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    Anonymous
    14th May 2018
    3:25pm
    BS GrayComputing - I have many friends/acquaintances over the age of 65 who are millionaires - excluding their family home. To give them the pension would mean reducing the rate of pension to all the rest - so how would that be fair? Join the real world, and then comment - otherwise your views will receive the contempt they deserve.
    Try coming from another angle - allow those over Aged Pension Age, to borrow from the government against the value of their property, where they are otherwise ineligible for the OAP. Then let their estate reimburse the government after they have departed this mortal coil. That way, everyone (except the estate beneficiaries) ends up better off.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th May 2018
    4:55pm
    Big Al, there is NO evidence that paying pensions to people who fail the assets test would reduce the amount available to pay others if fair taxation were implemented. What would happen, though, is that there would be greater equity.

    Here's just one example of the gross unfairness and economic stupidity of the assets test:

    Jack, and Joe and Fred earn the same income and at age 64, have equal wealth. Jack and Joe are not well educated and don't understand investment, so they have their savings in term deposits. Fred is a bit of a financial wizard who invests in property and shares.

    Jack goes around the world a few times at age 64, spending $200,000. He is left with $550,000 and he and his wife draw a substantial part pension, with concessions.

    Joe and his wife would love a world trip, but they decide they can't take it until his wife's aging mother dies because they are looking after her and won't leave her alone. So he can't think about taking his world trip until age 73. In the interim, he and his wife have lost 7 years of pension income. They have saved the government a fortune by caring for an elderly person who would otherwise be in an aged care home at government expense, but it cost them well over $200,000 in lost income.

    Fred puts half of his wealth into investments that earn high returns and buys a very expensive house, and he and his wife enjoy a full pension plus healthy investment returns - resulting in a very healthy income.

    All three had the same opportunities, but the person who comes off worst is the guy who saves the government money doing what is good for society.

    As I said, this is just one example. I could quote a thousand others.

    As for your ''friends and acquaintances'' - you are naïve if you think $1 million is a lot of money for a young retired couple today. It certainly is not. And how did they get it? If they went without extensively to save it, they SHOULD be comfortably off in retirement. Yet they would most likely be better off with only half that amount given the stupid system we have in Australia.

    I DO NOT agree with making people borrow against their property instead of paying them the OAP. Why should people who worked and saved responsibly end up with nothing while those who lived the high life are supported by the taxpayer? It's you who is not in the real world, Big Al. Punishing saving and investing merely creates more hardship and more manipulation. It's a stupid approach that is economically harmful. And why should someone be allowed to gamble, drink and party and get handouts from the government but someone who prefers to save to pass wealth on to their loved ones suffers discrimination and is denied the right to use their savings as they wanted? You are denying people freedom to choose their preferred lifestyle and spending, and THAT IS UNFAIR.
    Jim
    14th May 2018
    3:14pm
    I don't believe class warfare exist, it's seems to me that there is an agenda by some to create politics of envy. That being said I do agree with many of the comments so far, especially the comments regarding who is giving this advice, I have yet to find a financial advisor that I would trust, so I would disregard any advice that this guy is making, I think the proof of how reliable banks and their advice is has been shown in the Royal Commision, the lot of them are nothing but thieves, and I hope they are brought to account and dealt with appropriately, nothing short of jail time for some of them.
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    3:38pm
    Ditto.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th May 2018
    8:04am
    Class warfare is certainly happening, but the politics of envy is also alive and well. The government and ALP seem keen to promote both. I suspect it's all part of an agenda to restructure society such that there are very rich, and poor slaves - a feudal society in which the poor have no option but to bow to and serve the rich and there is no way to move up in society.

    Yes, the bank top managers acted unconscionably, but any action against them is only going to hurt their customers and shareholders - the people the Royal Commission is expected to protect. There's no way the top management will be punished. Some will resign and walk away with a boat load of riches, and on to the next opportunity to pillage and plunder. Others will ''apologize'' and promise to do better, and stay right where they are taking fat salaries and doing whatever they can get away with. AMP is a classic. The directors were shocked when shareholders voted heavily against their remuneration plan. The share values fell through the floor, but the directors and executives ''still need to be paid adequately to enable the company to perform''. Several resignations. Repeated apologies (for all the good they do!). But any punishment will be a fine paid by shareholders. And any compensation to shareholders will be paid by shareholders who aren't eligible for compensation. The whole thing is a farce!
    Adrianus
    15th May 2018
    12:52pm
    Rainey, how does the government promote class warfare and the politics of envy?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th May 2018
    7:41am
    Just one example, Adrianus, is the way the government manipulated the assets test shouting ''millionaires shouldn't get pensions'' to rally the pensioners to support a policy that was patently unfair and economically harmful. No honest exposure of the fact that they were destroying incentive to save. No truthful admission that $1 million is not much money these days for a retiree looking at maybe 30+ years of rising costs and increasing health and care needs. No admission that pensioners typically get some $2 million over the course of their retirement, so the guy with $1 million is actually not wealthy at all.

    Another example is the BS about homeowners being ''lucky'' and renters being poor. No admission that many homeowner pensioners would be better off renting. No reminder to the whinging renters that most of them had the same opportunity as the struggling home owners to pay off a mortgage, but chose to spend on a lavish lifestyle instead.

    Then we have the accusations of Centrelink rorting - with no fair admission that many accused made innocent mistakes or were victims of Centrelink stuff-ups. But don't anyone dare to suggest politicians or big business should be held to account for misconduct or dishonesty. Look how the govt. resisted calls for an inquiry into banks! And everyone SHOULD avoid tax, but oh they abuse the poor guy whose disability prevents him earning or who simply can't find a job!

    Superannuation tax concessions to high income earners - who have NO NEED of ANY help to finance their retirement - cost the nation as much as the aged pension, but all we hear about is how the OAPs are sending the nation broke.

    Then there is that disgusting ''cashless welfare card'' that they are threatening to expand to ALL welfare recipients. Kill off any self-respect or freedom of choice the poor buggers have left, and make them the subject of ridicule and scorn. Never mind why they are needy!

    I could go on, but if you can't see by now, you are totally blinded by your political affiliations and privilege and completely lacking in either objectivity or empathy.
    Adrianus
    19th May 2018
    7:33am
    Rainey, if we apply your logic to the government's budget repair tax, which was only levied on high income earners, then it becomes an act of class warfare?
    Do you see where your logic is flawed?
    Try thinking about what is right or wrong rather than what is right or left?
    Adrianus
    14th May 2018
    3:59pm
    The Homesafe Wealth Release product is interesting. It appears that the Bendigo bank must buy a percentage of the home. As they would do with their Sharia home loans, they don't charge interest, but do charge a fee. Has anyone had any dealings with Bendigo's Homesafe Wealth Release product?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th May 2018
    4:35pm
    No, but I wouldn't deal with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank if it were the last bank on earth. I've seen how they treat their customers. Absolutely appalling!
    Jim
    14th May 2018
    5:16pm
    The devil is in the detail, it doesn't say how much the fees are, years ago Islamic banks were not allowed to charge interest on loans apparently it's against their religious beliefs, I think this was also the same for Jewish money lenders, but what they did charge was a service fee, which was sometimes higher than the interest that would have been charged, so I would be very sceptical of this scheme.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th May 2018
    8:14am
    I know someone who borrowed from them for an investment property. Three months after offering a fee-free loan, they slapped a $40 a month charge on, saying they had the right to vary the agreement. Three years later, when the borrower was in crisis after a major health problem arose that left the borrower struggling to cover minor shortfalls in income when the property was vacant or needed repair, the bank refused to re-negotiate a 6% interest loan, even though rates had fallen to below 4%. Their response to an appeal for help was ''find another lender and pay us $3500 to release the security, or live with the terms''. The callous tone and abruptness of the response left the borrower in tears. Then he discovered they had been charging a 1c late fee regularly because the bank was crediting payments one day late if the automatic deposit fell on a Sunday, and the credit report showed ''arrears'' so other banks were rejecting applications. Eventually, I found a bank that would accept a written explanation and offer a loan at fair rates, but Bendigo and Adelaide were downright cruel in their treatment of a borrower who did everything right, but was left struggling through no fault of their own.
    Adrianus
    15th May 2018
    8:44am
    Interesting Rainey, I've heard a couple of similar stories involving a few banks. In the wash up it pays to be never late for an appointment, never wait for the bank to call you, always provide more information than required. Have a coffee or beer with your bank manager from time to time. A great opportunity to keep them in the loop. Your bank mgr just needs to know that he is not going to pass on a nasty surprise to his boss.
    The Sharia loans are an interesting concept too.
    I think the Bendigo lends the money to the Mosque at a fee. The Mosque then buys houses for worshippers to rent. When rent is paid to an agreed level the deeds are reassigned to the worshipper. Bendigo Bank are very secretive on this arrangement.

    14th May 2018
    6:49pm
    placida, another singer blowing his labor trumpet
    MICK
    14th May 2018
    7:02pm
    Bla bla bla.....the next brain dead post. Zzzzzzz........

    Labor Mick......
    School halls and pink batts......
    Shorty.......

    You crack me up with your ignorant posts mate.

    14th May 2018
    7:52pm
    is it just me or does labor micky sound more honest while wearing that mask, his double gang-gang must be having a rest day
    Misty
    14th May 2018
    11:19pm
    Dream on heeskerk99.
    Meerkat
    15th May 2018
    9:52am
    All the stuff about governments various wanting to make the poor poorer and the rich richer is pretty hard to accept given the evidence. This country has always been one that allows anyone from any background to get rich. It seems to me it is just class warfare peddled by the labor party to scare people into voting against the coalition - just as they used the mediscare campaign so effectively during the last election campaign. I think this time though, it will fail because people will see it for what it is - populist scaremongering. I believe there are quite a number of very good people in the liberal and national parties, and probably some in the ALP too, who genuinely want to make our lives better. Sadly, Shorten is not one of them.
    Adrianus
    15th May 2018
    12:47pm
    You make some good points Meerkat.
    I don't think many Labor supporters have ever really thought about the facts. They seem to be happy for someone to tell them how to think.
    They probably go to sleep at night dreaming of what it would be like if we didn't have big business, banks and rich people. And how good it would be if the government gave them a Universal Pension.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th May 2018
    7:28am
    I think you are both being bigoted and unfair and showing gross ignorance. This country does NOT allow anyone from any background to get rich. That's a myth perpetrated by the privileged and substantiated by a isolated examples that do not expose the full facts. Getting rich requires a great deal of knowledge, opportunity, contacts, guidance, and a measure of good luck. On the other hand, anyone can work hard and save and become moderately comfortable, but having done that, they are likely to discover that they would have been better off NOT saving for retirement, given the idiotically illogical and economically harmful pension assets test that makes someone with $500,000 better off in income terms than someone with $1 million, and forces savers to live off their savings for the benefit of other taxpayers until their savings erode substantially.

    There is no ''popularist scaremongering'' in pointing to the class warfare that is very real in our society today and being perpetrated by a government that is robbing middle and upper working class Australia to hand out to the rich. Goodness, they now want to tax someone on $30,000 a year the same as someone on %$250,000 a year. We've been subsidizing the retirement of the $250,000 a year earner very generously for years, while giving the $40,000 a year worker bugger all! And then there are all the rorts and dodges the rich can use. Oh, they CLAIM the poor can to, but that's a STUPID argument when the poor have no money to pay fancy accountants, let alone to invest in these tax-avoidance schemes.

    We SHOULD have a universal pension. Other nations do and it isn't sending them broke. Our system is seriously flawed, grossly unfair, an administrative nightmare, a disincentive to responsible lifestyle and planning, and just hopelessly unwieldy and inefficient.

    As for big business, banks and rich people - no problem if they pay their tax and act ethically and conscionably. The complaint is that they DO NOT.

    I will agree that Shorten is not one of the good people. I won't agree that there are 'quite a number' of good people in the LNP or Labor Party. By and large, our politicians are dishonest, hypocritical, self-serving, greedy, and totally inept.
    Misty
    16th May 2018
    9:41am
    Barnaby Joyce called Malcolm Turnbull " inept ", so he would agree with you OGR.
    Lookfar
    16th May 2018
    1:11pm
    Meerkat, your reply is just rich person propaganda, Neo-Liberal propaganda if you like, but now that surveys and analysis all over the world have found out that the "Trickle down effect' is self serving lies, we are confronted with the situation that the super rich are scooping another 80 billion dollars off the top of our yearly income and how can we pay for that gormless donation to the bottomless pit of greed?
    And the blindly selfish bastards don't hardly pay any tax, - what do you think we should do to these anti-social parasites, Meerkat, just deny it is happening?
    That would be the cowards reply..
    Kathleen
    18th May 2018
    3:00pm
    Anyone from any background can get rich? Really, Meerkat? What planet are you from? Opportunity, education, health, family, intelligence etc all play a part.
    Mediscare term belongs to the LNP!
    If you do not know that Medicare is gradually being eroded then you are only looking at what suits your argument.
    Shorten is not a one man show and neither is the present PM.
    The difference is Labor has some nice ones around their leader and the poor PM is outnumbered to do what he really believes in.
    As for the big banks and companies paying less tax or no tax in hundreds of cases rather than giving money to lower income earners is false economy.
    People on the lower end of the scale spend whereas upper wealthy save rather than spend. Growth happens when people spend their money. So if you give $100 to someone on little money it goes around but an extra $100 to super wealthy people it stagnates.
    If you have only ever voted for one party then you do not look at policies or justice. I have voted for most exception PH as too racist for me. This time it is certainly Labor. Reasons are as follows:
    1. Medicare must be preserved and reinstated properly
    2. The environment must be a priority, solar not coal!
    3. The poor must be a priority of any just society
    4. Wages need to be increased for low income earners
    5. Fairness such as penalty rates for non full time workers esp.
    I could go on but you get the gist.
    Of course we need wealthy people because they pay more taxes and even help the charities if decent human beings. So long as they do not dodge their responsibilities I am happy for them.
    Adrianus
    19th May 2018
    10:13am
    Meerkat, I believe the world is a better place when goals are seen as achievable too. Whether a child's dream is to become wealthy, or a leader of industry, or perhaps a film producer, or a school teacher, or a Prime Minister, or a mother, or a father, perhaps a captain of the hockey team? Whatever the dream, whatever the goal it doesn't matter. The importance of the goal cannot be dismissed. I really get annoyed at those who will tell a child, 'you cannot achieve your dream because you have a medical condition, or you have limited opportunity, or you aren't intelligent, or your mum and dad didn't reach that level etc etc blah blah blah. These people are so cruel and heartless uncaring..so n so's. I'd better stop.. grh!!
    P$cript
    15th May 2018
    9:04pm
    I see the knuckle dragging trOGlodytes have been out in force
    Lookfar
    16th May 2018
    11:57am
    just a judgement, p$, not backed by anything, I am sure that Heemskjerk, OG, Raphael, etc have someone who loves them, if only their dog, Dogs love unconditionally, would that we could too :)
    GrayComputing
    16th May 2018
    4:00pm
    pensioners

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

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

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

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!

    16th May 2018
    6:03pm
    lookafar as long as it not past his nose, that is why your dog runs away at 100+ miles an hour when you come within smelling distance
    Lookfar
    16th May 2018
    6:38pm
    Heemy, My dog is a Rottweiler and Ridgeback cross, - extremely protective, I have no need to lock my vehicle at supermarkets, he is totally devoted to me and has very long teeth in a very strong jaw, can jump straight up two metres, snap his jaws 10 mm from your face just to play and 5 metres in one leap, - an extraordinary dog,- his job is to remove all rodents, etc. from our big organic vegie garden, a job he loves and pursues with relish, gets up to 70ks I would reckon. He sleeps beside my bed, and you would not survive if you came to my place as he reads the emotions of bad people, but at least you would have a quick passing, - what on earth are you talking about?
    Misty
    16th May 2018
    7:35pm
    Who knows Lookfar, I think heemskerk is from an alternate universe.

    16th May 2018
    9:09pm
    look afar but not past his nose, by not lying and assisting those people who need help I don't need the protection you rely on, only those who accept their deeds are unacceptable by the Australian society are using these normal friendly creatures to hide their owners criminal habitats and boast about it, drug bosses are renowned for using feral dogs to protect their crops, as for misty, sorry to waste my breath on a nowbody, clean your eyes and you may see the real world we live in.
    Misty
    16th May 2018
    10:30pm
    Silliest comment you have made by far heemskerk99 and you are the one who needs to live in the real world, your comments here show just how out of touch you are and I certainly can see bright and clear thank you.


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