26th Jul 2017

Scrapping energy subsidy shocking way to treat pensioners

Scrapping energy subsidy a shock tactic
Olga Galacho

Abolishing the energy supplement would be akin to human rights abuse, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) said yesterday.

Under legislation being considered by the Senate, removing the payment would cost pensioners up to $14 a fortnight.

Speaking at a Senate hearing into abolishing the supplement, which since 2009 was meant to offset expected higher power costs linked to the carbon tax, ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie said the measure must “be firmly rejected”.

“If this Bill goes through, 1.7 million people on the lowest incomes will be worse off, including those paying for accommodation, food, travel costs and day-to-day bills while living on just $38 a day,” Dr Goldie said in the ACOSS submission.



“Expecting people in Australia to survive on so little is a human rights issue.

“We cannot fathom why the Government persists in trying to cut the incomes of people who have the least.”

The Federal Government has proposed axing the supplement for anyone who began receiving income support from 20 September 2016. 

The hearing held in Melbourne yesterday into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending Carbon Tax Compensation) Bill 2017 received submissions from eight organisations. Each group objected to the supplement’s abolition.

The committee behind the hearing is due to report on 9 August. If the Bill is passed, the supplement will no longer be paid from 20 September, saving the Government more than $930 million between now and 2020.

Opinion: Government’s power play pickpockets pensioners

The Federal Government’s attempt to rob our poorest of the energy supplement is unconscionable and overtly discriminatory.

Pensioners on income support before 20 September last year are safe for now. But anyone who has fallen on hard times since will be wondering if they are living in a parallel universe, because the Government has arbitrarily decided they won’t be entitled to help paying killer power bills.

Welfare groups have justifiably rounded on the senators taking submissions before the measure is presented to parliament.

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) rightfully described removal of the assistance as bordering on human rights abuse.

It told the hearing yesterday that nearly 3 million Australians are living below the poverty line and the Government’s job should be about helping increasing these people’s incomes, not slashing them.

Yet, in its submission to the hearing, the Department of Social Services borrowed from Trump team’s alternative facts manual. It laughably claimed that the “repeal of the carbon tax … put downward pressure on electricity prices”.

Bollocks. As several groups pointed out to the senators, wholesale and retail electricity prices are significantly higher now than they were in 2013 under carbon pricing.

Analysis by Melbourne University’s Australian-German Climate and Energy College identified the average electricity price across Australia was $134 a megawatt hour last summer, compared with an average of $66 during the two summers that the carbon tax was in place. That is a doubling of the rate.

Further research from the Australian National University found that between 2006 and 2016, the average electricity bill soared 65 per cent.

The department went on to claim “the actions the Government is taking” is also helping to ease the pain of expensive energy bills.

I’m sorry? Which actions? The ones involving giving energy transmitters and distributors permission to jack up wholesale prices because of their gold-plating of infrastructure?

Before a power company can increase its prices, it needs to convince the Government’s energy regulator that a hike is warranted. Thus the blame for higher power prices lies fairly and squarely at the feet of a Government that has allowed runaway network cost blowouts to be passed to the consumer via electricity retailers.

Plus this year, electricity retailers have added even more pain by announcing steep tariff increases.

And if the measures referred to are the one-off energy assistance payment of $75 for single pensioners or $125 for couples, someone hasn’t done the maths. Axing the supplement will cost some pensioners as much as $366 a year – a one-off $75 bonus will go nowhere near covering the shortfall.

A Salvation Army survey this year found that socially disadvantaged households spent $73 a week on utility bills. The Government really is delusional if it thinks its one-off bonuses are going to be much help.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is now probing electricity retailers’ pricing methods. Preliminary findings will be presented to the Treasurer by 27 September 2017 and a final report by 30 June 2018.

At the very least, the senate review should await the consumer watchdog’s independent verdict before tampering with the energy supplement.

What do you think? Where else could the Government find the savings it will make by scrapping the energy supplement? Will losing this supplement mean you won’t be able to pay your power bill?

Related articles:
Why has my energy supplement stopped
Energy bill increases





COMMENTS

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Ted Wards
27th Jul 2017
11:06am
Perhaps the real human rights violation is the fact that all Australia is being held to ransom over utility prices and the government assured us that deregulation would drive the prices down. Well it hasn't and now they are saying it will in yet another 10 years time. So how about we start holding the politicians to account and make them introduce legislation that protects the average Australian from being held to a ransom!
George
27th Jul 2017
5:09pm
It's time for the Govt to enforce CPI only annual price increases (after removing the last round of 20% increases from 1st July 2017). Price control is essential for an essential service for any decent Govt - as usual, can't hear even the so-called "Labor" suggesting this.
Knight Templar
27th Jul 2017
6:58pm
When is the government going to wake up and abolish the $3billion paid to subsidise renewable energy i.e. windmills and solar. Let these industries prove their efficiency by competing in an open energy market. These subsidies are ultimately paid for by the Australian consumer through increasingly higher energy bills.
davo
27th Jul 2017
8:58pm
Knight: sure, when the government ceases all subsidies to the fossil fuel industries (think I have seen figures in the $10b/yr range?). Fairs fair. Don't get me started on the Adani/coal lovers society in the LNP government.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:10pm
Establishment costs for any new business or venture are always highest at the beginning - once established they can compete on that mythical level playing field.

However - you need to look at the long-term thinking involved. Yes - it is going to cost to set up that infrastructure - yes - it will remove certain issues such as pollution....

On the other hand, by the time it gets here it will become just another plaything for those intent on generating profit first and foremost.

On that basis alone, all government subsidies should cease immediately.
Retired Knowall
28th Jul 2017
7:30am
FACT CHECK, the internal rate of return for most domestic households that install Solar Panels is in the 15% to 18% range, with a payback period of 5 years.
Most people could borrow at 6% at present and be streets ahead.
My power bill is under $30/month.
Govt. STC's are rapidly reducing and should reach Zero by 2019.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
9:46am
I actually pay more for internet a month than I pay for electricity. My winter bill is less than my summer bill as I use fans in summer.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
1:38pm
So you live in a warm climate, OG. Lucky you. A decent human being would be sympathetic to those who need extensive heating, not gloating like an arrogant self-serving pig who has no compassion.

Yes, RK, solar is a good investment, but to suggest most people could borrow to install it is rather presumptive and ignorant. Poverty stricken pensioners can't borrow, and anyone paying rent doesn't have the option to install solar.

Sadly, because solar has reduced revenue, power companies are hiking up the connection fee constantly, and the solar rebate is miserable and reducing. Those with solar are still seeing their bills increase, especially if they work during the day and are compelled to run appliance at night. Bring on better batteries please!
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
7:20pm
Solar feed in has gone up in NSW from 6c to 16c and 17c depending on who supplies your electricity.

Those with solar now use apps to control their appliances so that they use electricity during the day. So washing is done, washing up is done and dinner is cooked just in time for you when you get home.
Rainey
29th Jul 2017
5:34am
I wouldn't rely on an app to turn appliances on when the house is empty. One malfunction and the house burns down! And an app can't do the ironing or turn the roast or add the vegetables or sauces part way through cooking.

Sure, solar feed in has risen, but not enough to offset the huge increases in the standard tariff, and certainly not enough to offset the massive increases in the unavoidable connection fee.

Besides, not everyone CAN have solar, OG. Some of us have the decency to be respectful and empathetic to those less fortunate than ourselves. Some of us even care enough to lobby for a better deal for OTHERS (despite the fact that we, personally, might be okay). Some of us care for SOCIETY. (Others, like you, are just disgustingly and offensively SELFISH!)
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2017
2:11pm
Rainey you said the feed in tariff was miserable and reducing so I thought I would enlighten you than in NSW it was a moving target and was increasing not reducing. I could have said nothing which would have been selfish.
Radish
29th Jul 2017
5:03pm
Funny isnt it that SA who boast about having solar and wind power have the highest utility charges.
Retired Knowall
30th Jul 2017
8:55am
Oh dear, the glass is always Half Empty, why is that so?
Rainey
31st Jul 2017
8:57am
The solar rate reduced dramatically for many who had installed solar early, OG. And yes, your comments are selfish. Sad that you can't understand that. You do nothing but rant about how well off you are and how that's because of your good management, and you are downright nasty to anyone who remarks that they are struggling.
Rainey
31st Jul 2017
9:01am
This would be a dull forum if everyone was singing ''glass half full'', RK. It's a discussion. Sometimes discussions highlight good ideas for improving things. Other times, they comfort folk who are struggling - if they display empathy rather than just gloating about being better off. Sadly, there are a few here whose focus seems to be just to boast and denigrate others.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
10:45am
Well Rainey you know that the feed in tariff would be reduced dramatically when you signed up for it many years ago now. Maybe you should have planned for it instead of just letting it happen? I did.

Now it is increasing I have my Plan B to take advantage of it.

Full your glass up instead of whinging Rainey.
Retired Knowall
1st Aug 2017
7:27am
And there are those that constantly only see the negative in everything. Try doing something positive for a change if you are able.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
5:31am
I am very positive, RK and OG. OG, I didn't plan for the feed in tariff reduction because I never benefited from it in the first place. I wasn't fortunate enough to be able to afford solar that soon.

I do, however, enjoy the solar rebate now. Lucky me! I also enjoy a decent retirement nest egg, a nice home, and a great casual job that pays well and I love. And a wonderful relationship, great neighbours, and fun hobbies. My life is great - after 50 years of working 80 hour weeks to overcome unbelievable hardship and repeated tragedies. But one of my ''hobbies'' is lobbying for social and political reform and greater recognition of the hardship so many disadvantaged suffer in an increasingly selfish and self-serving society where the greed of the well off is insatiable and there is far too little human decency and respect.

Having come from severe disadvantage, and experienced just how hard it is to rise above it, and having a vast number of friends whose stories made selfish politicians cry and would make anyone with a shred of compassion deeply ashamed of our society, I take every opportunity to speak in a way that offers comfort to the hurting and hopefully stimulates consideration of ways to build a healthier society. My sincere apologies to the self-interested privileged gloaters who are offended by that. I do understand you THINK you were born to superiority and entitlement, and I'm sorry if it offends you to have me challenge that view.
Old Man
27th Jul 2017
11:08am
This is another beat-up, a scare tactic which has become commonplace with political parties. The way these scare tactics work is to take a bit of the truth and rework it to make readers/listeners/viewers believe that what affects a very small group is, in fact, applicable to everybody. The truth that is there is that the Senate is considering the proposal to not pay the carbon tax supplement to those people who are not yet eligible for a pension, not all those who already receive the supplement. That number falls well short of the claim that 1.7 million pensioners will be affected. The only way that high a number will be affected is if the numbers are being projected to the time when all existing recipients are no longer alive.

We hear on radio another of these scare tactics when a person, purporting to be from the club industry, is bemoaning the possibility that her penalty rates might be removed if her bosses choose to do so. We also hear that 700,000 workers are affected by the penalty rates decision by Fair Work Australia. The truth in this matter is far removed from the stories we are told. The number affected is just over 100,000 as the rest are working under EBA's, most of which have been negotiated by unions, which cannot be affected by the FWA decision. As well as that, penalty rates are not being removed, just reduced.
john
27th Jul 2017
11:53am
Old Man get hold of a book about the almighty Kathy Jackson , HSU and read it, and then tell me Fair Work and its magistrates /vice presidents or what ever, actually give a stuff about who they are making judgement on. There is a wonderful pair in that story , if you didn't see them on TV , well you missed an obscenity of greed and power, but not for much longer , for the lady.
One worker losing penalties is bad enough , 100,000 is terrible. There is no half way with this stuff, both sides are rotten to the core , and picking out lies and mis truths to suit an argument is impossible.
Both the major parties, also, you may remember , wiped out the pension fund a few decades ago I think, that began, OUR MONEY.

Where perhaps subsidies and penalties may never have had to be even looked or talked about, or even scare mongered about full stop.
EBA"S in some companies are jokes, as was seen in EBA no 8 at Australia Post three or four years ago, because of people of Bill Shortens ilk who do deals with bosses, one very wealthy Post boss too by the way. Bill did the same sort of thing in the past.
My union behaved in a manner that changed my politics. No trust from me. But the rank and file need protection most unions these days don't do it. What are they after then?
You may not or you may, realise that there are quite a few employed people who are sweating on their boss to either keep penalties or remove them ,people with no EBA's or decent union, yes they are out there too, so generalisation mate, is as bad , as exaggeration!
john
27th Jul 2017
12:03pm
I read through you again Old Man , and you simply have no idea of reality on the street, you must be very satisfied. This wealthy country houses a handful in relative terms of people on a good wicket , it also houses millions of workers who just make through week for week, many of them are not workers they are pensioners who have worked all their life for a decent retirement in a very wealthy nation, and still scrounge after retirement.
So forget about subsudies , the bottom line is these people in THIS COUNTRY, should not have to worry about subsidies AT ALL, they should be looked after totally and fully, so we don't have old workers old soldiers old Aussies struggle to their death.
When I listen to statistics and number I damned near vomit, because they mean absolutely nothing, to a person on the line.
Old Man
27th Jul 2017
12:26pm
Thanks john, I stress once more that penalty rates are not being removed, either now or in the future, they are being reduced by ¼% and this is spread over two years.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
3:14pm
Regardless of how much or how little it is - it creates the wedge in the door or multiple 'classes' of workers... some with full entitlements and some without....

On that ground alone it is a declaration of class war.....
Old Man
27th Jul 2017
4:17pm
Thanks TREBOR, as the man with no trousers once said; "Life wasn't meant to be easy". Australia has different classes of workers, those who wash before work and those who wash after work; those who are qualified to do a job and those who are not qualified and therefore choose a different path; those who are university trained and those who left school early. All are entitled to be paid for the work that they perform and pay rates have always reflected the skills required for the work involved. Pay rates have been established over many, many years by employers, unions, tribunals, levels of government and direct negotiation by workers. This latest reduction in penalty rates is because a government asked a tribunal to investigate and decide.
Hawkeye
27th Jul 2017
7:31pm
Can someone please explain how a rant on penalty rates gets into a discussion about the merits of paying the Energy Supplement to pensioners?
Couldabeen
27th Jul 2017
7:32pm
I'll add a comment to the Penalty Rates hysteria. As of the 1st of July, all Awards were given an increase of 3.3%. On the same day, the Sunday penalty rates were reduced by 5 percentage points. Which in real terms means that that was a reduction of 1.7%.
Which would lead to most Sunday workers actually have a reduction in earnings of less than $5.00. For most workers, that'd be less than they would typically spend on take-away coffees each weekend. Something that they could've made at home for a fraction of that cost.
Old Man
27th Jul 2017
7:48pm
Well spotted Hawkeye, I started that. I started off by saying that this article was full of fake news and got carried away. I apologise.
Old Man
27th Jul 2017
8:52pm
I disagree Couldabeen, every $ gets 3.3¢ and as the reduction in penalty rates is being phased in over two years, the loss on penalty rates for this period is 1.5¢. An increase.
Daveh
27th Jul 2017
11:13am
Once upon a time electricity was considered an essential service. The generation, distribution etc was all owned and operated by the government. As government has sold off most of the assets of the generation, distribution, poles and wires etc to private companies of course the price goes up as private enterprise is only motivated by profit. There is no real competition between resellers as they all charge the same. I also recall that IPART a few years ago gave a price rise to the retailers to cover advertising costs. Who is kidding who. There are a fixed number of customers so how does advertising help lower the price.

Politicians say anything except putting the blame on themselves.
Rae
27th Jul 2017
11:16am
Stop giving freebies to some people and not others. This whole energy shambles is a result of incompetence and privatisation. We are subsidising Chinese Industry power bills and it is as simple as that. Also paying huge middle man costs for what is purely a billing service.

Do away with the retailers and let the providers send out their own bills and save a whole layer of unnecessary cost.
David
27th Jul 2017
11:28am
The energy supplement was introduced to compensate those on low incomes following the introduction of the carbon tax on 1/7/2012. The carbon tax was repealed on 17/7/2014 with effect from 1/7/2014. Since the carbon tax only lasted 2 years and was repealed over 3 years ago, I cannot see the justification for the continuation of the energy supplement that was introduced solely to compensate low income earners for the extra costs associated with the carbon tax.
Whether the pension is sufficient (without the energy supplement) is another issue and this should be reviewed given the concerns of many.
However, the fact is that the purpose/reasons for the introduction of the energy supplement (ie the carbon tax) is no longer there.
MITZY
27th Jul 2017
11:37am
We can see you don't need it! Stop giving the government ideas that nobody else needs it.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
12:18pm
Agreed David
KSS
27th Jul 2017
12:42pm
I agree David.

Mitzy no-one needs compensating for a tax that does not exist and hasn't existed for three years!
Why aren't you (and others) making a case for some sort of reduced energy rate to ALL with incomes equal to or less than say the age pension (that would include the 'working poor', other welfare recipients and even self funded retirees as well as the aged pensioners)? That would be a lot more beneficial and, dare I say it, equitable to use the current buzz word than trying to claim a benefit for something that is no longer valid.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
1:24pm
The 'carbon tax' was replaced by the massively higher escalating costs of 'privatised' provision of power etc... thus there is no argument for anything as regards the Energy Supplement other than to increase it to match the cost increases or replace it with a new supplement titled 'The Privatisation Cost Rise Supplement'.

A li'l honesty on the front porch never hurt nobody....

All extra costs to the budget should be borne by the retirement funding of those politicians who voted for this privatisation nonsense.... highway, gaslight and electric light robbery....
KSS
27th Jul 2017
1:41pm
TREBOR rising costs of power is a separate issue to the costs compensated for by the carbon tax energy supplement and should not be confused. The carbon tax was repealed three years ago and so should the energy supplement that was introduced to off set the tax. Go ahead and make a case for a different (higher?) discount for those on low incomes if you wish, but to argue for the retention of an obsolete recompense is just ridiculous.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
1:59pm
So when is enough enough as OAP already get a big discount off their power bills as well as getting an energy supplement that is no longer relevant.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
2:12pm
Not good readers, it seems.... the never-ending demise of the English language.....

"or replace it with a new supplement titled 'The Privatisation Cost Rise Supplement'."

Not hard, eh? You offer a supplement for one purported reason for cost increase - that does not eventuate - therefore when other factors cause even greater cost increases, you either continue and upgrade the existing supplement or you roll it over into a newly titled one doing the same job.

Not hard at all....
George
27th Jul 2017
3:32pm
Quite right, TREBOR. Replace it with a new supplement titled "The Privatisation Cost Rise Supplement". At least Gillard had the decency to compensate for her foolish decision, where this Govt doesn't understand the word "decency" what it means. As you can see, the Liberal party stooges are out in force to support their moronic party.
jackyd
27th Jul 2017
5:20pm
Consider the situation this way...
The supplement was introduced to compensate for higher energy costs due to policy direction.
Policy direction in asset sales and and subsidized dumb ass green schemes has also led to escalating energy cost leaving more lower incomers going cold and freezing, some to death.
The supplement, with this fact in mind should be increased for all those subjected to the consequences of this failed energy policy.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:16pm
Woman in Deepest Western Sydney used a candle for a night light... woke up with her hair on fire as her home burnt down...

Is this the kind of society we want?

BTW - my g-g-grandmother, who ran the Royal Hotel in Inverell after her husband died, suffered the same problem..... pub caught fire and burnt down ... at least then the local churches etc for miles around, at least as far as Glen Innes, ran fund-raisers to help her out.....

Times were different then......

Again - is this the kind of society we want in MY country?
VICMT
27th Jul 2017
11:32am
I've voted for this goverment's side of politics since I arrived here from UK in1964.
I'm afraid they've lost me now.
The continual erosion of incomes of lower paid workers, pensioners etc has torn the heart out of the "egalitarian society " that I came to and loved so much.

Now we see a society in which some people earn obscenely high salaries and an ever growing gap between haves and have nots.
Never thought I would see the day when I would form this view.
Where has our sense of fair play gone?
Hilily
27th Jul 2017
1:49pm
I agree VICMT.
There is no such thing as a fair go anymore. It got lost when we started to vote business men into power and we should have known that they were only interested in profit.... Theirs.
Janran
27th Jul 2017
1:55pm
Our sense of fair play started to disappear with PRIVATISATION andJohn Howard duping the working classes (his "Aussie Battlers"), into believing they could move into the middle class and have a decent retirement. They took the bait, hook line and sinker, and voted for him.

But these Battlers don't spend thousands of (tax deductible) dollars to accountants and solicitors each year, to arrange their affairs so their tax is minimalised to near zilch - that's the realm of the upper class, who have done it for generations (yes, Family Trusts!) in their snooty enclaves and expensive private schools. These types simply do not PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE of tax. That is considered to be the responsibility of poorer working people.

Then we had this very useless Federal Government, promising the States they will receive a bigger share of GST revenue, if they PRIVATISE energy utilities. No wonder that energy prices are off the Richter scale and governments have no leverage over the unsurprising and unconscionable price hikes. If they'd asked me I would've told 'em - "You can only sell your soul once." Same goes for the Golden Goose.

Now we've lost our State assets forever. Don't dream that private (and often foreign) Corporations give a flying fig about people on struggle street, as they are only legally accountable to their shareholders. They aren't charities, except when it comes to political donations, then they're often very generous. They'd much rather donate to political parties than pay tax to governments - that's for losers!
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
2:08pm
Same thing happened with sidewalk cafe`university quadrangle Labor (the Labour left over after they left 'U' out of it), with its replacement of an overall 'best good' ideology to one of 'better good' for its chosen constituents. We all know who those are by now...

I was, at one time a union delegate (unpaid - so no recompense for taking the vicious attacks of 'management' on a personal basis or spending my time and energy working for the 'floor') - and the Union signally failed to support me when that 'management' engineered a situation that reflected badly on me and gave them the chance to sack me (a move that cost them many thousands of dollars since I was THE relief operator and they could not replace me - well, DUUUUH!).

That personal injury had a huge impact on me at that time in my life and continues to this day with my petty cash retirement....

If they cannot even take care of their own against blatant injustice - how are they ever going to support anyone else against injustice... but no matter - their entire philosophy these days far over-rides such petty considerations as fair play and a fair go for conscientious people with guts.

Now you only need to flash the skirt card or the ethnic card or any other Accredited Victim Status card to get a seat in Parliament or a spot in some Union post paying top dollar....

Meanwhile the country goes down the toilets under the reign of what have become nothing but A Tag Team operating in lockstep.

You see, VICMT - your concept applies to ALL the major 'parties' - their views and aims are far above the petty considerations of the well-being of the people who pay them.


"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all His laws."

- John Adams.
Rae
27th Jul 2017
2:18pm
Yes The absolute silence of the Unions as worker's wages have been decimated and retirement incomes attacked using fraudulent CPI figures and asset/ income tests "deemed" (dreamed) into existence proves they are all in the same bed TREBOR. The neoliberal, suck up to the 1% bed.
George
27th Jul 2017
10:33pm
Agree, VICMT, and also with TREBOR's detailed explanation of LABOR leaving "U" out of it. The latter started mainly in 1990 (few actions before that as well) with Keating delivering the massive recession, globalising the economy, selling off the people's bank (CBA) plus mergers, destroying tens of thousands of jobs, commencing massive Outsourcing of jobs, and reducing tariff protection (to help "Free Trade" for China's benefit) to destroy manufacturing, plus..., plus....

That's why we need a new Trump-like force who can set a new direction based on "Australia First and For Australians" as the strategy for policies. Otherwise, God save This Country from these ars....s!
john
27th Jul 2017
11:33am
Whats new? With this government when it comes to money , their target is always the easiest target and the lowest income people.
It's political suicide , but it maybe that where we are heading that way in both sides of major politics, a puppet head, that can't speak out of his own heart, and a bloke who has people around him with no ideas about how to save money or help the economy without whacking the worst off.
HS
27th Jul 2017
12:02pm
So when is this current government going to roundup all the age pensioners to central ghettos, concentration camps and start building gas chambers and ovens for them? - The non-stop stigmatisation assaults by the current government against age pensioners sounds historically very familiar. But, giving themselves a 2.5% annual parliamentary pay increase is so conscionable,while some age pensioners almost freeze to death because they can't afford the high electricity and gas prices.
Sen.Cit.84
27th Jul 2017
12:35pm
My thought too HS
Polly Esther
27th Jul 2017
12:08pm
energy subsidy wiped, oh my heavens what ever next?
well that's it then isn't it
and I don't think I can find the energy anymore to protest.
just have to cuddle up to my shawl and blanket.
bring on the summer
Sevi
27th Jul 2017
12:13pm
What do you expect? Vote in a multi millionaire as Prime Minister and he'll bankrupt all of us, cannot believe how much Electricity costs now in WA, plus we only have one Electric Company so can't even dump them for another.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
12:20pm
Get rid of all subsidies
They don't work
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
3:17pm
You're right there, bro.... if business can't survive without subsidies, they shouldn't be in business... as Dick smith said - when he and Gerry Harvey etc made their first fortunes, the costs of business were fully 50% higher.. yet they still managed..... today businesses expect to be spoon-fed and on the government teat for life, and to only be there to amass personal fortunes for their inside group at whatever cost to anyone else.

No wonder the French put the guillotine to good use......
floss
27th Jul 2017
12:41pm
Can Pensioners afford this greed is good Liberal party and can we wait till the next election before the lights go out in the poor end of town.
George
27th Jul 2017
5:04pm
I am not sure there is an alternative.
The plus side is, such moves will ensure the death of this bunch of moronic politicians - if only all retirees would remember to put such dopes last in the preferences next time around.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:18pm
I won't forget, George..... nor will the ex, who is a died-in the-wool Liberal ....
Charlie
27th Jul 2017
12:43pm
I wouldn't call it a human rights violation because there are far too many things where people wanting something go crying human rights, but it is straight out wrong to start taking anything from the struggling age pensioner.

They seem to forget that for the age pensioner there is no hope of a better job just over the horizon. What an age pensioner has to sell to make ends meet, well that's the end of it. he cant buy a new one later.
floss
27th Jul 2017
12:53pm
The Mad Monk started this mess and Trumbull has no idea on how to clean it up.Some factories are now in the process of putting off staff in our area due to the cost of power where will it all end.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
1:03pm
We still have factories in australia ?
Thought they all closed down because unions kept asking for ridiculously high wages
We could no longer compete
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
2:01pm
We still have lots of factories but most are manned by overseas workers. It's a case of find the Aussie if you can in such places.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
2:02pm
Forgot to mention their are a lot more Kiwis than Aussies as well in our factories.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
3:24pm
Nonsense - the award rate for car builders ran at about $18-22 an hour... all the extra were bonuses for production and allowances for conditions etc.

Get over it... the business concerned fled these shores for one reason - they can exploit cheaper labour elsewhere and get away with it.

However, as I've explained to you all before - once they start building their high-priced vehicles in Pooristan at 10% of the labour cost - who are they going to sell them to? Pooristanis on 10% of our wage rates (if that)? Australians or Yanks or Brits who have now been robbed of the opportunity to generate enough income to buy one of those high priced cars?

Running offshore in such a craven fashion is a short-term stop-gap to their own impending Downfall - for one simple reason - their management have no idea what to do other than exploit and 'numbah crunch' - certainly they are incapable of long vision and forward planning on a grand scale, and are totally unwilling to forego their own massive incomes for a while before reaping the benefit from a truly prosperous company.

The Chinese, for example build licenced Japanese designs and call them Great Walls etc... thus undercutting the Japanese car industry and creating economic and marketing woes for Japan.

Now THAT licencing is short-sighted.... grab for profit at any cost in the medium to long term.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
4:49pm
Trebour it is cheaper to buy most cars sold in Australia overseas and import them. You can save thousands and you have same warranties etc.
jackyd
27th Jul 2017
5:45pm
Sorry to say Floss but the mad monk has not been in power in SA for the last 16 years. I doubt if the mad monk would be installing a farm of $110 million dollars worth of diesel generators to back up The Big Battery international tourist attraction after closing down a power station the operators wanted to lease for a further 5 years.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:21pm
You are right, OG..... we do suffer the 'Australian Premium' here far too much.

Since we are 'the twelfth most prosperous nation in the world' - isn't it plain as day that we can afford massively inflated prices?

(pokes tongue in cheek severely...)
Hawkeye
27th Jul 2017
10:44pm
A quote from Henry Ford, father of modern industry

"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

Oh Henry, where are you now when the workers most need your wisdom, and the industrialists need a kick to the head.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2017
12:16am
Yes - Henry understood that people can't buy your product if they can't earn enough to buy it... simple really.
ex PS
28th Jul 2017
8:40am
How will lowering wages put more money into the economy? Most economists are blaming wage stagnation for the slow recovery of the Australian economy, what do those people calling for lower wages know that they don't?
The Australian economy is mostly propped up by small business, most of who are involved in the service industry, to make money out of providing a service it has to be be affordable must more importantly it s users must have money to pay for it. It is a bit lazy to just make motherhood statements like wages are too high, cut them and everything will be OK. Like most everything, a balanced thoughtful approach is required.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
1:18pm
Turn back Blackbaird's and Captain Hook's (Gladys The Jackal) (etc) 'privatisation' of public ventures, and restore prices to some sort of sanity instead of lining the pockets of board members, duplicated administrative and executive staff and shareholders (who do not exist at all under a public scheme) - then we'll talk.

The theft of public utilities for personal profit going back to the Greiner 'purchase of a sixteenth share for himself and another sixteenth share for his missus in the 'privatised' F.4 Freeway into the M.4 Motorway, is the most blatant form of corruption any government could install as a policy to suit its own members and their cronies.

I'd say by now the ordinary person is sick of paying for this selfish fattening up out of public utilities by an 'insider' group - the new privateers.

Do the figures on toll roads to get to Sycney CBD - $40 a day each way = $20k extra a year NEEDED in wages/salaries just to break even.

Now what was someone saying about record low rate of 'inflation'? What about the REAL inflation of all these extra costs of living artificially added on to ensure some politician, their family and their cronies a continuing nice little earner for life?

When WILL this vile corruption be rooted out of this nation and State?
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
1:37pm
I really can't see the problem with electricity as my power bills have been going down not up. Just switch off everything when you don't need it. Just got my winter bill and it is less than my summer one.

The take up or solar and use of energy efficient appliances has decreased power usage and with batteries coming on line power companies will sell less power and the only way to make profits is to continue putting up prices.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
1:49pm
Buy some shares in utilities
Get your "subsidy" through dividends and capital gains
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
1:57pm
Most utilities are highly leveraged so if interest rates rise then there may be losses not gains. Looking to sell some of mine. Dividends have been good.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
2:55pm
Ah - so everyone with an extra two cents should buy shares in utilities?

Brilliant - just brilliant! Now why didn't I think of that? You do realise that the number of shares a pensioner could buy would recover for them annually 99% of buggar-all, don't you? And that the majority shareholders hold upwards of 85-90% of the shares for their own benefit, don't you? And the 'mums and pops' virtually don't exist other than as window dressing to make it look as if the whole deal is truly a 'publicy share-owned company', don't you?

Where you bin, laden?
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
3:12pm
Interesting but can you explain why I get phone calls about voting from the companies I own if I am just a "mum and pop" shareholder?
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
4:45pm
They are obliged to ask.... your vote is meaningless unless you are a major shareholder.
HS
28th Jul 2017
12:37am
That's a load of BS Old Geezer. In summer it costs me $98 per month in winter it costs me $350 per month. Your antagonistic comments, day in day out are grossly obnoxious.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:22am
OG will peddle any lie that appears convenient at the time - anything to support his precious LNP and their drive to restore a feudal society! His problem is he is over-privileged, mean and selfish, and he objects vehemently to paying a tiny bit of tax on his huge income.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
9:56am
My internet costs more than my electricity now. It is cheaper in winter than summer as I use fans in summer.
HS
28th Jul 2017
8:29pm
Old Geezer- And, the sun shines out of your backside day and night, right? - You old crapper.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2017
2:26pm
That's good I wouldn't want anyone following what I do anyway.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
1:20pm
Good idea as they scraped the carbon tax so why wasn't this scrapped back then? After all it was bought in as compensation for the carbon tax and thus is no longer applicable.
Rainey
27th Jul 2017
2:00pm
Prices have soared, OG. It doesn't matter what ''tax'' or other factor caused it. The fact is pensioners NEED help to pay the ever increasing bills - MORE help, not less. But of course you delight in seeing the less fortunate hurt and gloating that you aren't suffering. You are a vile animal.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
2:18pm
My electricity bills have gone down not up just by doing things differently. So why can't others do the same?
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
2:24pm
Also check the prices you are paying for electricity as the prices can vary from one retailer to another by over 30%. A big discount may not be the cheapest way to go at all.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
2:51pm
Switch to Origin energy
best provider by far
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
2:56pm
Switch to stand-alone - best provider by a country mile....
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
3:15pm
It's not economically for me to switch to stand alone as yet but I'll keep doing the sums.

I know who can provide my electricity for the lowest bill but you need to do you own sums for the best provider for you. By the way don't take any notice of those websites that do it for you as they certainly didn't work for me.
George
27th Jul 2017
3:28pm
OG, the article says "... the average electricity price across Australia was $134 a megawatt hour last summer, compared with an average of $66 during the two summers that the carbon tax was in place. That is a doubling of the rate." You can't read, I suppose, or more likely, blinded by your support for any garbage from the Liberal party.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
3:42pm
George
Average price is skewed because of high cost of renewables - blame labor and the greens for that
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
4:27pm
Cost of power may be going up but people are getting a lot more efficient in using power now. So the price may go up but if you only use half as much then it makes little difference.

Also how is the average worked out because retailers buy their power on the open market?
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
4:47pm
Every time the householder creates 'efficiencies of usage' the power companies simply raise their 'standing cost' for supply to ensure the same cashflow.....

It's permanently pushing a soft turd uphill ....
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
4:48pm
If you mean an average for a supplement - naturally that is 'deemed' in accordance with government calculations.
George
27th Jul 2017
5:01pm
No, Raphael, renewables haven't impacted that much, however Privatisation has, with massive price rises under the Liberals.
They should have capped price increases allowed to a maximum of CPI-only for this essential utility service.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:24pm
Wait until some of these 'companies' "crash", George - leaving their head honchos with uncounted millions and the small shareholders with a dead loss........... and the government footing the bill from YOUR tax money to pay them out (part of the 'privatisation' contract is that these clowns are insured by the government against 'failure' - no matter how devised, and even if it is in pure self-interest. Where IS Gordon Gecko when you need him?)

Rodney Adler ring a bell? Off with many millions while his company and its shareholders bite the dust.....
Rae
28th Jul 2017
11:22am
Origin stopped paying dividends recently. That isn't a good sign Raphael.
Raphael
28th Jul 2017
6:04pm
Only temporary Rae
Don't panic
Still good cap gains so far
KB
27th Jul 2017
2:43pm
Energy supplement for pensioners is small help for pensioners.If they scarp the supplement then the government should increase the pension at a higher rate so pensioners can afford too pay for power .
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
2:48pm
Just do things differently and use less like I do.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:26pm
Agreed - Pension should meet the requirements of TRUE inflation, and not just some mythical CPI designed to give the lowest figure.

REAL costs of living have far out-stripped wage rises and pensions and especially Unemployment Benefits.
Rae
28th Jul 2017
11:31am
Yes TREBOR the CPI basket needs adjusting to measure reality. Then pensions and welfare would rise when necessary.
floss
27th Jul 2017
2:57pm
Get real Raphael unions are not to blame for the high cost of living ,you and your Lib. mates should take the cigar out of mouth put down your glass of port and join the real world.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
3:09pm
Passive aggressive post.
You and Trebore need to chill

Our wages are too high. Your stupid unions took your hard earned money and knifed the workers.

And Trebor - buying shares is all about accumulation, a little at a time. $20,000 worth of utiltiy shares, $10k if purchased 10 years ago, would have given a pensioner an additional $1,300 per year in dividends. Much more than the paltry $14 that was meant to offset Juliar's carbon tax
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
3:18pm
Just remember our PM sold his Ozemail shares that he bought for about $500,000 for about $60 million.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
3:22pm
I had a young fellow living with me for a while and he wanted to do a certain job but was having no luck. So he asked a particular employer could he work for him for a week for nothing and see how he liked the job. Today that young fellow tells employers what he wants to do the job rather than just accepting what they will pay him. One company even upped his pay even further.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
4:49pm
So your average pensioner takes the odd lazy $1000 minimum buy lying about every couple of weeks and goes about buying shares?

Never thought of that....
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
5:54pm
No Trebor. Think before you speak
They should have been investing wayyyy BEFORE becoming a pensioner

Duh !
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:27pm
Riiiight, Rafe - so they just ignore the ups and downs that are the reality for most..... especially today with partial employment the norm....
TREBOR
28th Jul 2017
12:24am
Let's go back to the Wall Street Crash, shall we?

Everyone, no matter how poor, was BORROWING to buy stocks and shares.... and then leveraging the 'equity' in those stocks and shares to borrow more... and buy more and so on..

(sound familiar? sure does)...

SO - everyone on a part-time job should be investing in shares, Rafe - since they MUST have that minimum lying around of $1000 to even get a look in....

... or better still - why don't they borrow it and take a chance?

Tell me now - are YOU one of those major shareholders or just the small fish they lure so as to make it look like they have a publicly-subscribed company? What percentage do the top ten shareholders own between them of YOUR shareholding?

Some research for you.....

Then ask this .... if the business crashes..... what will YOUR shares do? (crash)....

Meanwhile, have your top dogs off-loaded shares onto the market? Or have they contented themselves with being both major shareholders and board members and 'consultants', and reaped countless millions out of the business even while it was operating - OUTSIDE their shareholding that would necessarily plummet at the same time as yours in the event of a collapse?

I NEVER speak too soon... I KNOW....
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
9:53am
Trebor if only people would realise that the value of shares is irrelevant if you still get a decent return when the world panics. I actually love these panics as that's when you make big dollars buying more shares not selling them. eg If you bought CBA at $5.40 in 1991 your dividend today is more than you paid for them. Not only that they are now worth $85. How many downturns and crashes have they been through?
Rae
28th Jul 2017
11:39am
I bought Origin to do exactly that. The price has risen and up until now the dividend was a good supplement for energy bills. This half year they have cancelled the dividend. Some sort of trouble with overvalued assets.

An individual company can be tricky.

Yes OG anyone buying CBA then has grown wealth and provided useful annual income as well.

Strangely people will borrow for holidays , caravans etc but won't borrow to set up income for countless holidays at a later date.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:45pm
''...if only people would realise that the value of shares is irrelevant if you still get a decent return...''
which is precisely why thousands who lost part pensions and were told to ''spend their capital'' have grounds for complaint, OG. The value of shares is EVERYTHING when you have to sell them to survive. And when you've been forced to sell at low value, then your assets AND income fall and you qualify for a pension, and the cost of pensions SKYROCKETS.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2017
2:14pm
Why would you have to sell shares to survive? Anyone having to do that must to have been greedy having so much of their money invested in shares in the first place. Also as the value of your shares falls you get more welfare so you statement doesn't make any sense at all.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
5:47am
What an IDIOT you are, OG! Why would you sell shares to survive? Because, dickwit, the government promised people up to $20,000 a year to top up the inadequate income they were generating from investments, and when that was suddenly snatched away, they had to get money from somewhere. You and the IDIOT politicians are saying SPEND YOUR CAPITAL. How the hell do you do that if you invested your capital - sensibly, on the basis of professional advice and advertised government policy - to try to generate sufficient income to be as self-sufficient as possible. Of course you have to sell of your investment, dunce! You can't buy groceries with share certificates.

And yes, of course if the value of your shares falls far enough, you get pension benefits, which is WHY POLICIES THAT FORCE YOUNGER RETIREES TO REDUCE THEIR HOLDINGS and have less for later years ARE ECONOMICALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.

But you are clearly among those whose brains cells have been killed off by selfishness and greed, OG, so I wouldn't expect you to get it.
inextratime
27th Jul 2017
3:33pm
OG. You should write a book entitled "How I saved the World". Everything you comment on is based on your own circumstances and then applied to everyone else. Unfortunately everyone's story is different, but in your narrow minded view, we should all be like you. Thankfully we are not and your views are becoming tiresome.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
4:34pm
Some of the views from the welfare people here make me feel like not matter how much they got it would never be enough. What can one expect as people are conditioned to live on what ever they get paid. Give them more and it still will not be enough. I find the whinging here tiresome too.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
4:51pm
Your feelings on the genuine thoughts of those here are irrelevant, OG - we're interested only in your facts and views... which often are very Delphic and contradictory.

Nobody here is whinging, apart from a few who are exercising the politics of envy over thinking someone else is getting something they aren't...
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
4:52am
OG is the biggest whinger of all, and won't be content until taxes are abolished and anyone below upper-middle-class is exterminated as punishment for giving 50+ years of their life to toiling to make pigs like him rich! All we hear from OG is ''give them less so my rich mates and I can have more''.
floss
27th Jul 2017
3:52pm
We are not effected as much as some as to power cost but we feel for people that can't afford the cost of heating etc.Raphael I feel sorry for you and liberal attitude , greed is not good.
Raphael
27th Jul 2017
4:01pm
don't get me wrong floss. i do feel for people that have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own.
but those on OAP who havent saved because they were happy to rely on taxpayer but say they have it hard when others have sacrificed for their retirement don't get a penny , I have no sympathy for.
If everyone got the pension then perhaps me along with many millions of others would be more sympathetic
One needs to have $600k in investments just to achieve the same level of income as a full pension. How unfair is that, that folks in this position get no handout. They may as well blow it all and get the full pension
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:30pm
How many "havent saved because they were happy to rely on taxpayer" - as opposed to some who went through hell and high water to secure a decent retirement but were sabotaged by endless changes to the 'rules' and the conditions of life?

Easy to say, Rafe - not easy to live..... don't try it at home... it will literally kill you.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:53am
Have to agree with Raphael, Trebor, but also with you. My partner and I went through hell and high water to secure a decent retirement, and only succeeded through a minor stroke of good luck in our later years - otherwise we would have had our retirement sabotaged too. Nonetheless, I still work and we'd struggle to avoid needing a pension in the future if I didn't because we are facing some very high costs for medical and dental treatment and my partner has costly special needs.

Raphael is right, though, that many - I dare say, most actually - didn't save when they could and should have, but were happy to reply on the taxpayer, and it's patently UNFAIR that many of them now get more than people who saved and the savers are forced to drain their reserves for the benefit of people who were less responsible.

If I survey the retirees in my neighbourhood, I can find only one couple who are not exploiting the system unfairly - me and my partner! One neighbouring couple earned high income as journalist and inherited $500K, but blew the lot and live off the taxpayer. Another gave $2 mil to their kids and built a split house so they could both get single pensions while living together. A single woman on Disability inherited $1.2 million and spent the lot on a house so she could continue on full pension, despite having nothing wrong with her and having rorted the system for 30 years. Another couple both earned good wages and had no misfortune but put every cent through the pokies. Yet another spent on multiple trips around Oz, expensive parties, and tons of grog. Honestly, I can't find a retiree living near me who earned less than DOUBLE mine and my partner's joint earnings over a lifetime, and had even 10th of the costly challenges and bad luck we struggled with. Yet we are somehow better off than all of them!

If I had my time over, I'd holiday lavishly and buy new cars instead of used and much nicer clothing and eat out regularly. I might even take advice to divorce my partner and buy a house structured like a duplex. It certainly doesn't pay to save - or to be honest.

I do feel sorry for those who genuinely suffer hardship through no fault of their own - and I know many who have, like my partner and I, were born to major disadvantage and have been victims of serious injustice and suffered through major crisis, but they are a minority I fear. Our system encourages irresponsible living, dishonesty and manipulation - and from my observation, the vast majority of the population respond to that encouragement, either through tax reduction and avoidance or through devising ways to get a pension and benefits in retirement (if not before).

If we woke up and abolished ''needs based'' pensions and paid everyone the same, recognizing retirement as a universal right and the obligation of any decent society to care for it's elders, we would save a bundle of money and create a far healthier and happier society - one in which the young would have an incentive to work harder and save better, knowing that their turn would come.

The privileged continue to want to use ''the big stick'' to try to weed out the users by slashing pensions and benefits. That can only result in extensive poverty and further gross unfairness. The solution is as Raph and others have said - a universal pension for all retirees. But we also need to address the stupid superannuation tax system that currently gives the wealthy massive tax benefits while accumulating, then huge tax-free incomes in retirement. What is wrong at present is that the rich get huge handouts; the poor get pensions and benefits; and the lower-middle-class strugglers get bashed up and have everything taken from them, having never had any share of the ''booty''.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
9:39am
Rainey what has any of that to do with the price of electricity?

FWIW I too live in a neighbourhood full of pensioners and you would need a million plus to buy any of their homes.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
1:33pm
It has everything to do with subsidizing pensioners' power bills, OG.
And how do you manage to live in a rich neighbourhood where you'd need a million plus to buy houses? Just proves your claims of being ''disadvantaged'' are blatant lies. Not that we didn't know that, of course. We know you're lying when we see evidence that you've touched the keyboard!
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
7:16pm
Good management Rainey.
Rainey
29th Jul 2017
5:25am
The best manager can't afford a million-dollar house on a ''disadvantaged'' income, OG. If they had a million-dollar house and a disadvantaged income, they'd sell the house. Stop the lies. They brand you a very obnoxious individual, and really destroy any chance of you influencing anybody with your bigoted and baseless opinions.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2017
2:19pm
Rainey I don't own the house myself so I can't sell it.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
8:12am
No. It's in the name of a trust or company, but it's really yours, OG. Just another rort to dodge tax.
Nerk
27th Jul 2017
4:25pm
Sooner or later it will become cheaper to run a generator for electricity, the way they are going.
Old Geezer
27th Jul 2017
4:31pm
Yes I have a generator for blackouts myself and it costs very little to run. So if it wasn't for the noise I'd run it all the time.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:26am
Seems you have everything and everything costs nothing, OG. Maybe it's time you stopped chest-beating, gloating, and nastily condemning the less fortunate to misery and started acknowledging what things are like in the REAL WORLD - the one you PRETEND doesn't exist! You really are very transparent, you know. It's quite apparent to everyone here that you are constantly lying. We don't need to see your lips moving.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
9:44am
As a matter of fact I didn't have to pay for that generator as I got some of your "luck" getting that Rainey. I don't believe in luck myself at all as it certainly doesn't exist in this world. You make your own so called luck through good management.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
1:29pm
True to a point, OG, but the best managers encounter situations that are outside their control at times, as anyone with empathy and human decency acknowledges. Good management positioned me reasonably comfortable today. Were it not for a lot of bad luck, I'd be wealthy. Most of my bad luck was a result of encountering corrupt and self-serving bureaucrats, in situations where I was rendered completely powerless by bad laws and inherited disadvantage. But you wouldn't know anything about that, OG, because you were born too privileged to even recognize what privilege is, and you don't have a shred of human decency in you.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:48pm
Terribly bad management on my part to have my father die when I was a few weeks old - or was that bad management by my widowed mother, OG? What about my partner being bashed almost to death at age 12 by a nun. Shockingly bad management, that! How about being forced to leave school and join the army at age 14? Bad management again?
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2017
2:22pm
With the benefit of hindsight we would all be very wealthy indeed.
Rainey
31st Jul 2017
8:54am
And hindsight would prevent me growing up as an orphan, OG? Hindsight has nothing to do with it, you nasty old fool.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
10:41am
Rainey you made a bad choice in choosing your parents just like I did.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
5:20am
Oh, of course, shithead! It would have to be somehow my fault I was orphaned. Otherwise how could the filthy privileged justify showing contempt for me and assuming superiority and superior entitlement?
srs21
27th Jul 2017
5:48pm
"Carbon tax" was a furfy spewed out by the mad monk to frighten voters away from the labor govt. ...... so said Credlin. Gillard said there'd be a price on carbon.... Now these pack of battler haters should help all thr battlers which is such a growing concern thanks to them. Ease up on them. It's getting very serious
floss
27th Jul 2017
6:10pm
Raphael I must agree with your super comment how could that ever happen , how could Hockey be so stupid can't blame the Unions for that.
Olga
27th Jul 2017
8:38pm
Hey Old Man, if my article is fake news can you confirm your power bill hasnt increased big time the past few years? Coz if so, I want to know what plan you are on, please. Cheers, Olga
Olga
27th Jul 2017
8:47pm
Hi David. The point I make is that the government energy regulator has allowed grid operators to jack up the prices they pass on because of unnecessary and ineffectual grid upgrades - gold plating- so yeah maybe a carbon price relief is no longer necessary as you point out, but the buck still stops with the govt for permitting price hikes. Maybe they should rename the energy supplement along the lines of Energy Price Extortion Relief and keep compensating low income earners for the inept decisions of the regulators.
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:13am
Spot on, Olga. They need to rename it and INCREASE IT TEN FOLD.
Dot
27th Jul 2017
8:50pm
WHY I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO WORLD WAR 3, IT'LL GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO HUNT DOWN THOSE CRIMINAL BASTARDS WHO HAVE OUTSOURCED OUR ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND SCREWED US AT EVER TURN.
IT DOES PAY TO BE A CRIMINAL BASTARD, NOT A DAY GOES BY WHERE I SEE INNOCENT BABIES SUFFERING OR DYING FROM CANCER YET THESE BASTARDS LIVE WELL INTO THEIR 80'S, 90'S AT A MASSIVE HIGH COST TO THE TAXPAYER, YES I'VE LOST ALL FAITH.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:32pm
Don't forget that we can 'resume' every asset held by a belligerent foreign nation... so if the US and China knuckle it out and we join Uncle Sam - all those assets owned by Chinese are forfeit...

Cunning, yes?
Raphael
28th Jul 2017
1:50am
Yes comrade trebor
Perhaps you'd like to go live in a communist country
Oh wait - only North Korea left now
Rae
28th Jul 2017
12:12pm
Rubbish The Chinese People's Party was still in power last time I looked.

And those communists own plenty of Australia now including a lot of the grid system. They are concerned with the well being of The Chinese People not us.

They aren't the only foreign government forcing up electricity prices either.

It isn't about people's bills though so don't take it personally. It is purely a destruction of competition. If they can destroy our industries through excessive power prices then their own industries benefit.
Simple.

No point fussing as this is the capitalist way. Divide and conquer.
Raphael
28th Jul 2017
11:37pm
China has embraced capitalism
And if labour didn't waste out mining boom bonanza , the Australian government could be investing overseas too to boosts its investments and revenues
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
5:38am
Get your facts right, Raphael. Labor didn't waste the mining boom. Howard and Costello did, legislating massive tax cuts, concessions and handouts - 80% of which benefited the wealthiest 20%. Labor had to honour those obligations, leaving a huge budget hole. Yes, they spent on economic stimulus - widely acclaimed as having saved Australia much of the pain the GFC causes in other parts of the world. But they simply couldn't reverse the legislation Howard and Costello put in place to give now unaffordable handouts to the rich because they'd have been thrown out of office if they'd tried.
johnp
27th Jul 2017
9:35pm
I didnt read all the comments but only a fraction of the cost in the bills received these days is for the actual generation, control and distribution to the door. A major cost is for all the retail activities and the rest of the overarching commercial and support activities etc superficially lying on top of the actual costs I mention above.
Also the pollies, CEOs etc with their recent 2% pay rise, perks, rorts etc mean those further down the food chain continually putting pressure for increases. So the pollies actions in this regard are dragging Australia down.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:34pm
Got that right, bro.....

The costs are all in the retailing, which did not occur when power was a government utility owned on behalf of the people. Your didn't NEED to retail it if you owned it...
Rainey
28th Jul 2017
2:11am
Anyone with a brain could predict that creating a host of competing businesses retailing power - each with their own management expenses and high management salaries - would drive the cost through the roof. How did anyone not see that having twenty CEOs and 100 Directors and 20 headquarters where there used to be just one wasn't going to impose hideous cost increases? Then there's all the costly advertising and marketing - for a product that we all need and were happy just to pay the a government entity for. Nobody with a brain wanted to have to sift through price charts and discount offers and contract terms just to be able to turn lights on!
Rae
28th Jul 2017
12:15pm
The generators just need to issue their own bills and all these billing service providers could be shut down saving us a lot of the costs.
Captain
29th Jul 2017
10:09am
Rainey, precisely why I lobbied Victorians to oppose Jeff Kennet and the Liberal Party when they proposed the sale of Victoria's electricity and gas utilities. After all they belonged to the Victorian people not the Government of the day.
johnp
27th Jul 2017
9:42pm
Now is the perfect time for YourLifeChoices to investigate or assist or encourage the research and publication of a comparison survey/report comparing the various retirement villages etc. To weed out those that indulge in misleading conduct, unfair contract terms or unconscionable conduct.
TREBOR
27th Jul 2017
10:35pm
Let's face it people - as I've been telling you for ages now - privatisation is a failure and is one big continuing lie.

Get used to it and do something about it.
ex PS
28th Jul 2017
8:52am
Privatization is just a mechanism for governments to transfer their obligations to provide a service to Private Enterprise, once the transfer is completed they can ring their hands and say how awful it is that people are being ripped off and deny any responsibility for the mess they have created.
Can anyone tell me of one case where Privatization has proved be a better proposition for the end users, we know that the companies that take over do well, we know the governments that initiate the process are happy, but what about the people in the street who have to put up with the gouging and poor service?
Rae
28th Jul 2017
12:18pm
Just wait because it will be the water utilities next. The NSW government has been separating and setting up Water Corporations of local water supplies for a few years now. Even separating the water charges from the rates. it's a plan in progress. More money for the bankers and deal makers.
Raphael
28th Jul 2017
6:03pm
When that happens Rae, make sure you buy them shares and reap the benefits (not welfare benefits $
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2017
7:23pm
I have water tanks and use very little water from the water supplied.
Raphael
28th Jul 2017
11:32pm
Don't you have a well too OG
Rainey
29th Jul 2017
5:22am
And a bore, and his own private lake, plus pumping rights from the nearby river!

Yes, I have a tank too, OG. A very large tank actually. But my water bills still keep skyrocketing. By law, in our area, plumbers are only allowed to run tank water to the toilets and laundry and some outside taps. And Murphy's law says it rains heavily and often when the tank is full and then there are very long dry spells.

If I ever built another house, I'd cop the expense of a grey water irrigation system. But I doubt there's any way to reliably eliminate rising water costs, especially in drier parts of the country.
Rae
29th Jul 2017
2:13pm
How about we stop them selling our water resources. Raphael wants me to pay again for the water system we have already built. Selling other people's assets should be classed as theft.

What a scam this privatisation has become.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2017
2:18pm
Rainey I use all my grey water to irrigate my garden and my tanks are nearly always full. I have emptied them in over 10 years now.
MD
30th Jul 2017
3:54pm
"With the benefit of hindsight we would all be very wealthy indeed."
Yes, methinks you've said it all OG, judging by your multifarious claims I get the impression that you are full of hindsight - your comment(s) issue from which end ? - and as opposed to your "benefit of hindsight" you'll allow us the benefit of doubt I'm guessing you're a veritable wealth (of knowledge) indeed.

Rainey, thankyou - for the laugh. That was a good quip re "bore, private lake and pumping rights". Relative to OG; I agree "bore" and "pumping rights" applies, (he is a bore, certainly pumps himself up & has the "rights"), his "private lake" presents no end of possibilities, were OG to divulge he walks on the surface would be the ultimate proof of his limitless abilities. Perhaps others might like to join in crowdfunding a pair of lead wellies for his next outing.
Rainey
31st Jul 2017
8:50am
Thanks MD. Yes, crowdfunding to supply lead wellies! Great idea! I'd donate to that!

Of course your tanks never empty, OG. Along with all your other impressive powers, you have are the ultimate rain dancer. And if they did empty, you would just pump from your private lake to refill them.

MD certainly pegged you correctly: ''a bore, pump yourself up, have the ''rights'', and I'm certain you believe you walk on water. It's for sure you are determined to try to convince all of us you do. Sorry, we are smarter than you give us credit for. And you are totally transparent. But I should send you a sympathy card if Shorten gets his tax reforms in. You might finally have to pay your way in society, and maybe you'll stop gloating. But look on the bright side. You'll save that $1.1 million you paid your fancy accountant.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
10:37am
Hindsight is not a concern to me at all as I look to the future and leave the past where it belongs. In the past!

No bores here as I have no need for them. I'll have to donate the wellies too as they hinder my ability to walk on my lake. Might trade them for a new fishing outfit instead to catch those monsters that are too smart for me with my old gear.

I have no need of a n accountant being one myself so I guess I just have to transfer the $1.1 million to my off shore haven instead.

Shortens tax reforms are not a worry to me but wasn't he the one who increased the pension age to 67?

Be careful what you wish for as if you try to punish the rich the poor get hurt at lot more.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
5:18am
No, OG, the warning goes ''if you punish the poor too much, the rich get hurt''. Society collapses and chaos reigns - at worst, civil war or revolution; at best, the increased crime, increased addition, increased family breakup, increased immorality, and increased mental illness we are seeing today.

Nobody punishes the rich, you old fool. But some of us would like to see them made to contribute fairly to social health, instead of bleeding the nation dry and constantly hitting out at the poor, while whining constantly that they don't get enough. Some of us - actually the vast majority according to surveys - are heartily fed up with the disgusting greed of the vile subscribers to the ridiculous and disproven ''trickle down'' theory, and want a restoration of a sane and decent society in which people are treated with respect.

BTW. Obviously you missed the message. YOU ARE A BORE. And a pumped-up self-opinionated scumbag.
*Loloften*
28th Jul 2017
10:51pm
Received my (58 day) Gas bill 2day.....increased by 36% even tho' all same as last yr except that in past 10mths I've negotiated an 18% discount + used less re ducted heating/cooking/hot water!? Just saying.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
11:15am
What this $330 power rebate that only 10% of those eligible have taken up?
*Loloften*
3rd Aug 2017
2:55am
Yes OG.....what is or was this apparent $330 power rebate? Have never heard of it, pls inform me + who is eligible.
Virginia
5th Aug 2017
1:01pm
Take it from Mothers who have kids in child care and
earn thousands more than we ever did and get child care rebates


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