15th Jul 2011
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Carbon tax update for self-funded retirees
Author: YourLifeChoices
Carbon Tax, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Self-Funded Retirees, Centrelink, Tax Return, Department for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

An estimated 285,000 self-funded retirees who do not qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), or are not required to submit a tax return, will not receive any compensation. Is this fair?

YOURLifeChoices has received many questions from concerned self-funded retirees, who, contrary to popular belief, are not enjoying the high life with hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal. The reality is that many self-funded retirees are only just making ends meet and the financial impact of the carbon tax could.

We have asked Centrelink for clarification about who can address the concerns of self-funded retirees but, as the carbon tax is not yet legislated, it is unable to provide an answer. A team has been set up to handle enquiries on behalf of the Department for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and we have asked it to clarify if any arrangements are to be made for those self-funded retirees who, at present, do not seem to qualify for any assistance.

Watch this space.



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    COMMENTS

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    rosemaryjune
    15th Jul 2011
    3:53pm
    Those on self-funded super who don't get any Govt. cards because of "assets" in super miss out on a lot of benefits but only withdraw the same amount as pension.
    retroy
    15th Jul 2011
    4:49pm
    A commonwealth seniors health card can be obtained regardless of assets held in Super. To be eligible a retired couple over 65 need to be receiving an annual income of less than $80,000.00 per year. Then the Govt is offerring the same deal given to pensioners. Hope this is helpful.
    barbarajean
    15th Jul 2011
    4:56pm
    I have recently been given a book written by an eminent medical doctor – Dr Paul Epstein and his colleague Dan Ferber called “Changing Planet, Changing Health”. His simple definition of a very complex subject is worth considering, and I quote:

    “For more than 10,000 years the planet’s climate has been relatively stable. ..... For thousands of years...humans developed ingenious ways to survive the elements – to stay cool in the heat, to keeps dry when it’s wet, to find warmth in the cold. When the wood, peat and whale oil used to fuel the fires of our burgeoning population ran low a few centuries ago, we discovered abundant new sources of fuel – the coal, oil and gas that began forming more than three hundred million years ago from the buried remains of ancient plants and animals.
    For the past few centuries, we’ve mined, and burned these fossil fuels to cook , heat ...... and transport ourselves with increasing speed ..... Fossil fuels are rich in carbon, they combine with oxygen in air to form carbon dioxide when burned ......, we’ve pumped more than a half trillion tons of this gas into the atmosphere. This has raised the atmospheric CO2 concentration by almost 40% over that preindustrial era, to a level the planet has not seen for 30 million years.
    Like the glass roof of a greenhouse, CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat.”

    This is a very “potted” version of the process of changing a very natural and life-giving gas into a gas which is causing harm to the planet. One might say that a plastic bag in and of itself is not harmful, it is quite useful in fact, BUT, tell that to the “wandering albatross” that has taken it up into its gullet whilst catching a fish. What else is “pollution”?

    ...and then there is China?

    I put “Solar Power in China” into Wikipedia and had a look at the “Energy Policy of the People’s Republic of China”. I quote here a little: ...... “ the country is currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases .........China’s per capita emissions are still far behind developed countries. {Aust. being the highest} China is also the world’s leading renewable energy producer.”

    The inventor of one of the most efficient Solar Panel technologies is a Chinese-born Australian citizen who was educated in Australia. He could not get development finance here, so, although he would have preferred to stay here he went back to China.

    The Chinese people aspire to the quality of life we enjoy and why shouldn’t they? They are using our country’s wealth to produce products to achieve this, they are developing technologies to keep their CO2 levels down, they are using our technologies and some of our community are suggesting that we ‘plant more trees’ – give me a break!!!!
    We can begin to change this if we "put a price on carbon" or "tax some big polluters" or share the tax around and charge everybody - which would you prefer?
    shell24a
    15th Jul 2011
    5:52pm
    Understanding the problem and the solution proposed is not a simple matter. Most people are too busy doing whatever it is that makes up their lives to give it much thought. Sadly. But when you have a smart person who says he can save you some dollars most people will run to him. The theme runs through history. Taking medicine has not been a popular pastime. Thank you for that good information.
    Bedgie
    15th Jul 2011
    7:22pm
    All retirees should be treated equally and all aged persons should be treated equally in regard to payment for nursing homes. Self funded retirees or part pensioners should not be discriminated against when it comes to fees for aged care. They have saved "for a rainy day", worked and paid taxes all their working lives and should not be penalised when they enter aged care facilities.
    Bedgie
    15 July 2011
    Kelly
    15th Jul 2011
    7:56pm
    The Labour Party has always discriminated against self funded retirees who they see as wealthy. The coalition isn't much better.
    Self funded retirees, including part pensioners, should join the only group that speaks for them and lobbies state and federal governments on their behalf, i.e. The Association of Independent Retirees.Their web site is www.independentretirees.com.au
    genimi
    16th Jul 2011
    2:27pm
    I was just wondering about the real value of the Carbon Tax, I may be dumb, but itseems to be cost neutral for the polluters so where is the incentivefor them to reduce their emissions?

    The government levies a tax on the polluters, the polluters recoup the cost by increasing costs to the businesses they supply, the businesses recoup by putting up their costs, the householders (well some of them!) recoup from the government. seems like a silly paperchase to me.

    I am a superannuant under the age of 65 so no offset for me, although I still pay tax on my super - does that mean tax cuts for me? Still seems unclear whether or not I will see any form of compensation for the increased cost to me.
    Crazy Horse
    19th Jul 2011
    9:13pm
    @Kelly. Political parties including the ALP are well aware of the growing electoral power of the older generations. If yo ureally want a say in policy join the political party that most aligns with your basic beliefs.
    Crazy Horse
    19th Jul 2011
    9:15pm
    @robynann. If the major polluters reduce their emissions they will not have to pay the tax. That is the incentive.
    edly
    21st Jul 2011
    4:51pm
    Sent an email to a number of MP's re this issue. They, or their lackies, do not seem to understand that there are some of us who are not provided for in the compensation, even though if we were a few years older and would be eligible for a part-pension and then would receive compensation, or if received a few dollars less per week would be eligible for a low income health care card. Perhaps need to do what advised - put everything into a super fund, don't take an allocated pension and go onto newstart.
    bartpcb
    22nd Jul 2011
    10:23pm
    The government of the day has the right to make the difficult decisions that it feels are necessary for the general well being of the nation. If we as a nation do not like the decisions, policies and directions, we have the opportunity to remove the government at the elections. It should be note however when it comes to the pensioner generation that built this country all governments have been neglectful. Perhaps pensioners should realize that collectively they have enormous election power, and consolidate and use that power.
    Sheilab
    6th Dec 2013
    2:00pm
    What about fringe benefits for self funded retirees, especially those on a very low income.

    I have a Commonwealth Senior Health Care Card & I'm living in a rural area in Victoria. I'm really scraping the bottom of my money barrel with outgoing expenses like radiology, specialists fees, ambulance, telephone, municipal, water rates, electricity, pet registration, etc. You name it, you have to have a pension card to get a discount.

    Telstra offered a percentage off my telephone bill this week, but I had to have a pension card, same goes for all the above, including some GPs (especially country ones - I have to pay full doctor's fee, but that's for everyone with our local clinic, except Veterans & kids).

    The only thing U get discounted for sure is prescriptions with a Commonwealth Senior Health Care Card.

    For instance, yesterday I went to have an ultra-sound because I was in extreme pain, I got told my heath card was no good - this was a private radiology company (inside a public hospital) - I was told I had to have a pension card. I have to tell you, the ultrasound wasn't done as I didn't have the upfront fee.

    What in the heck is a health care card for, if not for health costs? Evidently other radiology companies are pulling out of bulk billing for health care card holders as well, will pathology be next?


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