What politicians really know about the Age Pension

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A scan of media releases from key federal ministers since last year’s Budget shows that not a single portfolio considered the financial issues plaguing age pensioners.

Two issues loosely tied to the Age Pension made headlines in the past year – the superannuation incentive for downsizers and whether franking-credit cashbacks should be paid to retirees – but neither spoke to the plight of cash-strapped pensioners because they are less likely to own a home or share investments.

At YourLifeChoices, we are disappointed that politicians seem to be ignoring how tough it is to make ends meet for tens of thousands of older Australians.

Since last May, retirees who are renting have experienced cost-of-living expenses that have risen at a faster rate than the twice yearly indexed increases in the Age Pension.

Why have our politicians been so silent about the growing number of impoverished seniors?

We are determined to hear what the major political parties really think about this and other thorny issues that worry you, as expressed in your responses to our regular surveys and via emails and the Meeting Place.

While planning for this year’s May Budget enters the home stretch, we are putting 10 questions to the Coalition Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer; Labor Shadow Minister for Families and Services Jenny Macklin, and Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert to bring their focus back to the issues facing older Australians. Hopefully, their responses will help us better understand their plans for the welfare of older Australians, retirement income, health and support services.

YourLifeChoices is asking for their thoughts on the following topics:

  • proposed increase in pension age
  • scrapping of the energy supplement
  • pensioner eligibility assets and income limits
  • the merit of the downsizing policy to boost superannuation savings
  • potential reversal of excluding the family home from pension tests
  • retention of franking credits by the Australian Taxation Office
  • soaring cost of energy and private health insurance
  • increasing rental assistance
  • reducing superannuation concessions in favour of a universal pension
  • what single policy measure of your party will do the most for the wellbeing of older Australians?

What questions would you put to politicians on the issue of affordability in retirement?

Related articles: 
Will your money last? 
Retirement Affordability Index 
Opposing views on Age Pension

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Written by Olga Galacho

206 Comments

Total Comments: 206
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    What are they going to do about the loading on Health Insurance for pensioners. We could not afford health insurance when our children were growing up, so we are now penalised 62% extra in premiums for ten years. We are now nearing 70 and we either pay this extortion or we do not eat. This is blatant discrimination.

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      So you think it is fair that people only take out health insurance when they need it? I don’t and that is why the loading is so good.

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      Yes I agree. I dropped out 5 years ago because my rent and having a roof over my head was more important. The 2% each year is a money grabbing by the govt. I was trying to get back into private hospital but cannot afford with the rental increases that have been applied in the last year.
      When are the government going to scrap that for older Australians?

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      Concerned, the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) penalty (2% per year after 31 years old) was only brought in in 2000 and at that time there was an amnesty for all those over 31 who did not then have health insurance. And at the same time introduced the 30% rebate on premiums for those on lower wages and an extra Medicare levy for those on high wages with no insurance. The LHC penalty was and is capped at 10 years meaning the most anyone would pay is 70% above the premium at the time they join.

      You had the opportunity then and every year since to take private health insurance and for whatever reason chose not to. That’s fine. But it is not discrimination and you have had 18 years to change your mind.

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      You only have to have a basic policy to keep your discount so what can be fairer than that.

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      Unfortunately, for many it’s not the premiums that are the issue. I dropped my cover – reluctantly – not because of premiums, which were quite affordable, but because of the hideous gap costs I incurred for every treatment. In one year, gap costs for surgery cost me over $20,000. If I’d had no cover, it would have been free.

      A friend whose wife died of cancer recently says that dropping his cover was the best thing he could have done. This man has 4 children and I nearly had a heart attack when he told me he’d dropped his health insurance. His wife took ill months later. He reported that she was in hospital beside his mate’s wife – who had the same illness – and received identical treatment from identical doctors and providers. Both wives had the same medicines and out of hospital treatment. They went to chemo sessions together and sat together. The mate, with insurance, had $180,000 in debts when his wife died. The friend who cancelled his had NONE. His wife got EVERYTHING totally free. Same care exactly. Only difference was there was no charge.

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      AND that is why so many with private health insurance are nowsaying they dont have it when they go to hospital; especially in an emergency situation. More drain on the public purse but they are quite entitled to be treated as a public patient if they so wish…

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      Most public hospitals will now offer no out of pocket expenses if you agree to use your private insurance.

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      No, they don’t. None in my area do, and we have some of the largest and also some very small ones. The rule is always 25% of the fee out of pocket.

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      If you get put into a hospital around here you pay nothing even as a private patient and they sort out all your bills too. There is no 25% out of pocket expenses or anything like that you have to pay,

      I’ve had cancer twice and haven’t had to pay anything at all even in a private hospital for my treatment. Last cancer treatment was over $50,000 according to my Medicare records but it cost me nothing personally and I even got most of my transport costs covered as well.

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      You want private? Pay full measure in the privae hospitals and stop clogging up the public system and pushing old ladies on pension to the back of the bus repeatedly, costing them money.

      Private health holders and the medical profession (if I can call these current parasites that) need to hang their heads in shame and give a full apology for their whining self-interest at the cost of those with the least, and in the case of many old ladies, without much real opportunity to actually earn a living apart from raising the kids as a once honourable profession.

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      Trebor unfortunately if I don’t go public I don’t get treated. However I do get treated a lot better than others as a private patient in a public hospital. I can ask for what ever doctor I require and don’t have to take some smart kid who is anything but smart. I owe no one an apology as I pay for the best and I expect the best.

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    I’m on a DSP and I work my budget out per pension. Last fortnight’s Pension was $894 and my bills totalled $1,677 – before food and petrol. That did include my yearly car rego (which is one of the few bills I now pay annually, most are monthly) and I do have private health insurance because I know I’m going to be facing hip and knee replacements in the not too distant future and I have so many health problems. From the pension I received on Tues this week I have $670 worth of bills so far before food and petrol again. I know everyone says people renting do it even tougher but I have to wonder. Owners have council rates, water, home insurance, repairs and no Government subsidy to help with those bills. I do have a small super but I can’t just keep drawing down on it, but how do people manage with no back up. I’m struggling and I go nowhere and do nothing basically. The Politicians need to realise that pensioners are surviving on less money than they get in lunch money allowance each week. In other words they need to spit out the silver spoon and get into the real world.

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      If you can afford private health insurance on the pension then you are doing very well on the pension.

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      I work my budget out per pension also but when you Rent and down own a home and rents going up more then what they should it is harder then home owners. Rates are done quarterly – where I lived before which my daughter sold the house for a loss and the rates were only $400 a quarter but I was paying $300 per week rent that is $600 out of my pension and left with $400 a fortnight after getting rent assistance for Electricity, Rego, Insurances, food, phone, petrol for appts which in the end had around $1 left. Homeowners do have more as those bills you are talking about are over a quarter. Since all our public housing is going to refugees, etc that makes us pensioners out in the cold paying massive rents over $600 a fortnight which I will be paying at least $640 per fortnight out of my pension and only $134 rental assistance per fortnight. Work that out. They should be paying at least $200- 250 a fortnight for rental assistance which would mean Pensioners could afford to go on a bus trip or meal out with friends. I could not go out at all no money left.

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      If you think you have it tough now just see what happens when negative gearing gets abolished. I have sold all my rental properties as there are simply easier and better returns to be got elsewhere. Many others are now cashing in too so rents will only go one way as supply decreases and demand increases.

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      I suggest you do as other pensioners here are doing and support Shorten’s attack on self-funded retirees, Joy Anne. Drive tens of thousands more onto pensions, push investment away from shares and into property (driving property values and rent UP) and into foreign investment. When the devastating economic consequences are felt, pensioners will hurt far more than they are now. But most of them seem to be too green-eyed and self-obsessed to even try to understand that. Hopefully, you have the intelligence to support better retirement incomes for ALL Australians – including those who are forfeiting $20-30K a year to help the budget

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      Jansview you are sooooo correct, having cash flow is the absolute need every week. No pensioner thats done the hard yards of 40 to 50 years of work and paid taxes should ever be cash strapped during retirement. The governments have no reasons why things go bad, and they always talk of “we should” instead of “we are”.
      But there are costs we put out into other things that could be forgone before our own countrymen suffer at the hands of an inadequate pension , which put some hard workers on the poverty line , how dare these bastards talk about private welfare.
      Your fortnightly payment should ber$1788.00 .Now all the government has to do is find the money wasting things our nation does and give those monies over towards bigger pensions, that’s what after retirement should be about. But we do give a lot to other countries, and other organisations and that is how and where you get the money, to balance the pension to fairnes! Before any one else from outside or that is not as important as your own people. Isn’t that everybody who is not an Australian. And that is the real factual problem we obligate our nation toabsolute bulldust things , and leave our own to rot, with terrible terrible condition of poverty , when it should not be that way.
      But all governments have done it ALP and LNP spent the pension fund!

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      +
      Jansview Life is a struggle on a pension. If you hip an knee replacements in the then bear in mind that there will be out of charge of such as a pre consult with the anaesthetist and hospital charge of 500 if you pay a lower premium.Get very little back on Medicarefor specialist visits Just had a hip operation and saving up for my other one which needs to be done sooner than later. If I was you I would start saving for the gap costs. Put the money in high interest account. The DSP does go up by 12.00 next week Pensioners did better under Labor Government

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      Just spent a week in hospital having the specialists of my choice with no out of pocket expenses what so ever. Got free TV including Austar instead of having to pay $12 extra a day that they charge pubic patients. All visits after leaving the hospital have been bulked billed as well.

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      OG, how come you are the ONLY one who can achieve these outstanding outcomes? Low rates. No gap for medical treatment. Free this. Free that.

      I had health insurance for years and I was NEVER once bulk billed for anything. In 10 years of much higher rates of hospitalization and medical treatment (for myself and my partner – and mostly the latter) with no insurance, I have spent 1/20th of what it cost me in the previous much healthier decade.

      That said, recent surgery for my partner wasn’t available in a reasonable time frame so I opted to pay for private treatment. It cost $9000, and the Medicare rebate was $990. If the specialist bulk billed, his income would be about $2000 per hour, but he insists he needs $9000 an hour to run his practice! What disgraceful greed! No wonder the nation can’t afford the cost of health care.

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      That’s another positive for bring on the OAP. No medical bils.

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      Wrong on that one, BigBear. My partner would have suffered for another 3 – 4 years to get it done for free as a pensioner. We opted for private treatment this time because it was well worth the cost to get timely relief.

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      When I had surgery as an insured patient, after I arrived home I thought the bills from doctors would never stop. Yet I knew of a number of cases of people having identical surgery in a public hospital and they didn’t pay a cent. BUT:
      A friend of mine had health insurance all of his working life, but could no longer afford it when he became a pensioner. I needed eye surgery and it was done on both eyes within about six weeks. My friend needed the same surgery more urgently than I did, he waited three years for one eye to be done, then two years extra for the second.
      The politics of envy have seen the government concession on health insurance premiums reduced, yet people who had insurance for all of their working lives should see the concession increased to allow them to retain their insurance, in recognition of the massive savings that have flowed to governments by those who have funded their own healthcare costs for several decades.

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      Wait just a minute, Maxchugg. SOME of those who didn’t have insurance have imposed NO burden on the health system at all, because they either paid the cost of private treatment themselves, or they didn’t seek treatment.

      I bailed out of private health because of the gaps. With a disabled partner and a child and a chronic health condition myself, I simply couldn’t cope with the bills that came in after every treatment. Seemed we were cows to be milked. The moment we mentioned health insurance, up went all the costs – I suspect to the actual cost + the insurance rebate. Now I can’t get insurance. It’s just completely unaffordable. Yet overall, I’ve probably cost the government a tiny fraction of what most people do, despite suffering ill health. I had insurance for much of my life, and I paid for private care for most of the time I’ve been uninsured – partly because I opted for alternate medicine often.

      The system is broken and there are no simple fixes, but the key to fixing it is to somehow end greed and selfishness. The problem is entirely ”I should have more because…”’ It’s at every turn. Until we change that mentality and start addressing what’s good for society, we’ll continue to go backwards.

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    It is all about welfare including OAP now so much if you are not an OAP you are now considered a real mug. Time to look after SFRs instead of those on welfare who are the biggest drain on our budget. Enough will never be enough for those on welfare.

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      Biggest drain on the budget eh? would you like to back that up with facts because I’ll go head to head with you to prove otherwise. You seem to be a very opinionated, self absorbed person. I have witnessed your comments on this platform for a while. Your arrogance is nothing short of rude. Why can’t you ever say anything nice – you obviously relish the idea of putting people down it probably gives you a feeling of superiority however all it shows is your lack of respect for your fellow man.

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      Biggest drain on the budget eh? would you like to back that up with facts because I’ll go head to head with you to prove otherwise. You seem to be a very opinionated, self absorbed person. I have witnessed your comments on this platform for a while. Your arrogance is nothing short of rude. Why can’t you ever say anything nice – you obviously relish the idea of putting people down it probably gives you a feeling of superiority however all it shows is your lack of respect for your fellow man.

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      Yes welfare is the biggest drain on the budget and what does the government get for it? Nothing but a lots of whingers wanting even more for doing nothing at all.

      I don’t have to prove otherwise as the facts speak for themselves. I pay you take it is as simple as that.

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      Tomcat, do you deny that aged pensions are costing the nation a lot of money? If so, where do YOU think the money comes from? Manufactured by good fairies, perhaps? Or dropped from Santa Claus’s sleigh maybe?

      I have to agree with you about OG’s comments generally, and his attitude to the less affluent, and I suspect there are far bigger drains on the budget – superannuation tax concessions for one! However, he is right about one thing. Those NOT drawing an aged pension in retirement are mugs, and being treated appallingly. And it seems a lot of pensioners want them treated far worse.

      We need MORE incentives for people to strive to be as near to self-funded as they possibly can achieve. Policies like Shorten’s (and, for that matter, the cruel and dishonest change to the assets test by the LNP) only serve to push more people into hardship and push the cost of pensions UP. Benefiting the less wealthy self-funded so they remain self-funded ought to be a major priority.

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      Us and them just the way the government likes it.

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      I think the costs associated with so called welfare depends on how one looks at things. When very successful people and companies can and do hire lawyers and accountants to find every last deduction and instruct folks on how to organise their investments and savings to reduce tax down to totally nothing, that comes at a cost. How many pay 10 percent on all their income into sales tax? Those using welfare, that is who. Consider all the volunteers out there, working for free, what they do would be very expensive for our nation’s budget.

      When we all just think of ourselves and our own little patch without seeing the importance of those costs that keep our society civil and fair then what can end up with is more crime, more social dysfunction, true ghettos (something Australian’s know little about) except for the original folks who lived here. These issues can cause costs in other ways.

      If you made your packet by going to extraordinary efforts to avoid your contribution to this country then why not consider putting something back.

      Pensions are costing this country a lot of money but what about that 7 percent that was paid in extra tax, where has that gone? What about how the big end of town can control the end of the road superannuation by charging excess fees and giving advice that profits them at the expense of the person who owns the superfund.

      Banks are costing Australian’s a lot of money, Government is costing Australian’s a lot of money. Like it or not we are all in this together and should and need to think and act accordingly. When rents go up and folks on the lowest rung can’t find a shelter to live in something is terribly wrong.

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      Gosh, lot of ASSUMPTIONS there, Linda. Are you suggesting that all SFRs avoided tax so punishing them now is justice? If so, you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes pensioners paid that 7% tax. So did the self-funded retirees, but now they are being attacked for saving the budget tens of thousands a year. They don’t get a pension. They don’t get concessions. And now they are going to be taxed 30% regardless of their income, just because they invested in Australian shares. Pensioners won’t pay it. Most people with wage or business income or rental income sufficient to offset it won’t pay it. The wealthy won’t pay it. People with more than $1.6 million in super won’t pay it. The ONLY people who Shorten is targeting are low-paid employees contributing to super and poorer self-funded retirees who don’t have enough assets to generate a living income.

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      OG at the time when I sorted out my affairs so I could go on the OAP I was a little concerned I may have done the wrong thing. However by the our government and our opposition want to treat SFRs I realise I have made an awesome decision. If you can sort out your affairs to get OAP go for it mate you won’t regret it.

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      I feel I must reply to Old Geezer and I wonder why he is so openly offensive to some people on here. I did taxation for 35 years and seen individuals and business both go down in some circumstances and wonder where he is getting all his info from that he is quoting on here and I wonder what his wage or income was??

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      Ancal I can’t remember what my income was when I had a job as it was so long ago now. All I remember that it was quite a good income for the time.

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      Pensions aren’t costing the nation anything – it is the theft of the pension fund by politicians and their using that funding where it did not belong that is costing the budget money.

      Wake up, people – EVERY aspect of government spending is a ‘cost to the economy and the nation’ – and it is only a lying ideology that chooses to single out the bought and paid for retirement funding for pensioners, and only fools who follow that line.

      Do we really need a ‘corporation’ with overpaid ‘board members’ who might meet once a week to rubber stamp the work done by public servants – to build submarines – when we already have a Department of Defence Procurement fully staffed?

      Stop whining about pensions and other genuine social security – and start looking at the blatant theft that is going on with your money to suit old mates and party colleagues booted out by their electorate for not being goddamned good enough….

      Governments have no right to set up ‘jobs’ for failed politicians…

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      Okay, Trebor. Then if pensioners aren’t costing the nation, SFRs are effectively paying up to $40K a year in ”tax”, and SHOULD get their franking credit refunds.

      This constant attack on them by pensioners is causing a lot of hurt and ill-feeling and destroying sympathy and support for pensioners. It’s sad that some are so obviously green-eyed and nastily wishing hurt on people for no better reason than they are jealous – and it clearly IS jealousy, because none of their arguments make any sense and they can’t answer valid questions with logical responses. There’s no fairness or respect evident in their comments. Just anger and spite that others MIGHT have more than they do – and they don’t even know the other’s circumstances.

      I agree completely that pensioners are entitled. I also agree that politicians are greedy and evil and dishonest. So why are we not uniting to sing ONE SONG, instead of attacking one another?

      I championed pensioners and the disadvantaged when OG and Bonny attacked them unfairly. But I’ll also stand up for the SFRs when the like of Kathleen and Misty attack them unfairly – because we should ALL be focused on the same objective, and not spitefully bullying others out of envy or based on unvalidated assumptions.

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    I wold like to start a campaign to bring individuals of a married couple into line of what single pensioners are paid. For far too long individuals of married couples have been treated like people on the dole and are paid more than $230.00 a week less than single aged pension’s. The saying that two (2) people can live cheaper than one in all bull dust and we all know it, but nothing is done to improve the conditions of individuals of married couples. In probably 90 per cent of cases single pensioners are living more than one to a house hold and in many cases singles pensioners are supported by family members. The cost of a married couple are in most cases double that of pensioners receiving the single rate as in most cases individuals of married couples have two lots of medicines, costs double when they go out some where and other costs are double yet individuals, as I said before are treated like people on the dole. Every time there is a pension rise individuals of married couples are fall further behind as their rise is far less than those on single age pension, and further, why should people in some cases on the single pension as they never paid taxes in their life, and in most cases of married couples, both have contributed to paying taxes etc., and are still doing so with GST on almost everything you buy. I worked for over sixty years, and I feel that I paid my dues in order to receive the single rate of pension, and further, when I was still working Center Link claimed that half my income was my wife’s so she didn’t receive the full pension, but when I filled out my tax for the year the Taxation office claimed that my income was all mine and as a result I was taxed as a single man, and this went on for over ten years past pension age as I did not get a full pension until I was almost 76 years old. I am proposing that all individuals of married couples have their pension increased by an immediate of $150.00 a fortnight and further increases until such time as all individuals of married couples are on the single rate of pension and that there be no more “DISCRIMINATION” in this regard. There are also hundreds of couples living in de-facto relationships and yet they still receive the single pension. As far as I am concerned a “Age pensioner” is an age pension whether single, individuals of married couples, or those living in de-facto relation ships and should all be treated the same. Can you just imagine how much the Government is saving every year by “DISCRIMINATION’ against individuals of married couples. Max Jackwitz (Grumpy)

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      Rubbish it costs the same for 2 to go out for a meal as one person. Just buy one meal and ask for a second plate and share. We do.

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      @Old Geezer

      So that’s how the Old Geezer fortune was put together – not shrewd investing as you have previously had us believe.

      That must have been you ahead of me in the pub the other day, ordering one glass of beer, and a straw for the missus.

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      Wasn’t me as I don’t use straws as they are bad for the environment.

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      Cranky, as a single aged pensioner let me say that my single pension has to cover home maintenance, rates, gas and electricity, motor vehicle expenses, etc. all of which are the same as that for a couple on the pension. Yes, you have double the food, and two on private health cover (if you do have it) but you have two pensions not just one.

      If you choose to eat out, take holidays, etc then obviously you can afford it (I can’t) but there are definitely many aspects where two can live as cheaply as one – you are just not considering the big picture!

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      Don’t believe OG’s agitating trolls. He just loves being a pain in the area where the sun doesn’t shine. When we all say White he will say it’s Black. When we say it’s Day he will say it’s Night, and so on. Just one of those trolling irritating agitators. There’s always one in every crowd.
      He sold all his rental properties, he stated here in his comment. So it sounds like he is well off and can’t be a OAP. If he is on OAP, mind boggles how? If he’s not an OAP, he understand “Jack sh^t about the hardships that OAP’s have to live with just to survive”. Frankly, judging by all his stupid irritating trollying comments,OG is full of horse-sh^t.

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      Agreed Cranky, both individuals in a marriage should be receiving the same amount as two single people on the age pension.
      As it is a married couple on the age pension are a lot worse off than they should be as the only thing that is cheaper for two than one is the rent, the married couple share the cost of rent, the single pays it him or her self.
      Other than rent every cost is doubled for the married couple, and the assets allowed are a lot less than for a single person. It is a very unfair system in my opinion.

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      Wow what a lot of whingers who get to live well for doing virtually nothing.

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      I have to agree with the assertion that married couples suffer grossly unfair discrimination. Singles can share and get two single pensions, and have all the benefits of being married. Many who are actually in de facto relationships (though not honest about it) draw two single pensions but live as a married couple.

      Yes, rent is usually more expensive for singles – though there is no fair way to compare because being part of a couple may well impose a need for significantly more expensive accommodation. For example, my partner suffers C-PTSD and cannot live in close confines, so we have to have a stand-alone home with good clearance from neighbours, whereas I could happily live in a tiny home unit or flat, or even a large caravan.

      I could live on 1/4 of what it costs to live as one of a couple, because my partner has high health, care and diet needs.

      It is NOT as simple as those who want to make trite generalized assumptions would have us believe.

      Perhaps the rate should be the same for singles and members of a couple, but pay a little extra to those singles who can PROVE they are living alone. That would certainly be fairer than discriminating against honest couples.

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      go to any coffee shop and note the demographic of those in there…my local is always full of grey haired people having coffee, cake, meals…any time of day you care to go there. Not all retirees are doing it hard.

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      Agree Radish. The only coffee I get is the free one from the Golden Arches with the cheapest item on the menu. The coffee I got the other day was just so good and in a very nice mug too. Golden Arches certainly look after us seniors.

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    I am very worried about the Pensioners as I am one. I pay massive rents over $600 a fortnight for the last 4 years and now $640 per fortnight after increases in rental. The highest rental assistance is $134 per fortnight. This should be at least 200-250 per fortnight depending on the rent you pay.The govt have given all free housing to refugees etc and the pensioners have been attacked by our Govt over the last year or so. Even with prescriptions, if you can’t take generic then you are punished by paying extra for the genuine script. I cannot take generic makes me violently ill that is because of the compound and I know many who cannot. Then on 1 script I have the govt have decided to change from a 7 day packet with the main tablet taken on day 1 and calcium 6 days to taking away the 6 tablets and only supplying the 1 main tablet a week for 4 weeks at the same price and if we need to take the others we have to spend twice as much like my Dr said disgusting as the extra tablets Caltrate are around $16-18 each 2 months. Just so the Govt can save money. This is another expense put on pensioners.

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      Sounds like mind over matter to me with not being able to take generic prescriptions. This has been proved by a study done in a nursing home. Every time I go the doctor I come away with a handful of scrips too but I never get them filled if I can’t see the need to take them. Remember many people are like kids unless they are given a lolly (script) then they think the doctor is no good. It saves me a fortune.

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    I would like to ask what can be done about the high cost of maintaining disability aids such as mobility scooters. The tyres for mine cost $110 EACH, then there are the tubes, and when I’m unlucky enough to have a puncture (I had 3 at one time last week, it seems that some people find it amusing to lay tacks etc on bike paths and footpaths), I have to pay an $80 call out fee plus new tubes and cost of labour to get it fixed. I recently received information on getting puncture proofed tyres, which would cost me nearly $1700 for a set including having them put on! Who on a DSP or aged pension can afford costs like this? Without my mobility scooter I would be stuck inside 24/7. Considering the size of a mobility scooter tyre against that of a car tyre, plus the weight it’s required to work under, it’s a total rip off.

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      Buy a broom and install it on the front of your scooter and that should fix the problem.

      Scooters should be banned on footpaths as they are nothing but a hazard to pedestrians. People on scooters don’t stop and look like pedestrians at crossings as they think they have right a way and just dart out in front of cars. It is a wonder more of them as not dead right.

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      Those tyres are cheap. Be careful what tyres you get. I replaced 2 tyres within 6 months after buying my scooter as they were very low grade. Buy a stronger tyre and around the same price but you have to shop around. I have a disability scooter also as I don’t drive my car much and could not because of medication for over 2 years.
      I also know that the batteries are over double the price of a car battery I was lucky to find a Battery place that let me pay off each fortnight for my batteries. Also the same battery place let me pay off recently a charger which was $250.
      They are Central Batteries Brisbane. They are extremely helpful and not sure but probably could get tyres at a reasonable price. Don’t go to Battery world as they are very expensive.

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      Old Geezer, I’m sorry you think that about people who require mobility scooters… I’ve travelled behind some pedestrians who are incapable of walking in a straight line, stop suddenly for no reason, and dealt with the hazards of others emerging from shops without so much as a glance to either side. I too would prefer to travel on the road but it’s illegal for us to do so. I’ve also survived being broadsided by cars leaving properties with concealed driveways.
      I like many others, don’t assume right of way, I ALWAYS stop and look everywhere before crossing a street. I WAIT until cars are actually stopped, even when I’m facing a green walk signal. Many drivers don’t seem to know that we are actually classed as pedestrians.
      Stop lumping the actions of a FEW to all, that is not the case. I’ve witnessed many more careless pedestrians and drivers than mobility scooter users!

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      Joy Anne, I’m sorry, in what universe is a set of 4 tyres for $1700 CHEAP?? I don’t buy inexpensive tyres and I don’t buy from battery world either, the batteries simply don’t last.

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      Hi all above,
      When reading ‘Old Geezers’ comments, perhaps you should consider them with the contempt they deserve. My opinion, he is only ‘Shit Stirring’ please excuse the coarse language.

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      Scooters are a big problem where I live. We have an accident at least once a week where someone runs over a pedestrian and there are skids marks at nearly every crossing where cars have skidded to a stop trying to miss scooters. People around here fail their driving tests and then get a scooter and drive it lie they drove their cars with all the issues that caused them to fail their licence. After being hit by a scooter and taken to hospital myself the sooner they are banned the better.

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      Old Geezer and others, I’m sorry you were hit by a mobility scooter, are you sure you didn’t suddenly appear and walk into the path of a scooter, or perhaps stop suddenly or even change direction suddenly in front of a scooter user just trying to get to his/her destination? I’ve been using a mobility for over 20 years now and the ONLY accidents I have involved being broadsided by vehicles leaving properties with concealed entrances, and the driver wasn’t even looking where he/she was going. Not all who use mobility scooters are old either, when I first started using one I was employed as a PCA, and needed one to get to my jobs, before that I was walking everywhere.
      The sooner EVERYONE learns a little commonsense, looks both ways before stepping out of shops for instance, NOT suddenly coming to an abrupt stop for no reason, or suddenly changing direction without first looking behind to see whether one is about to walk into the path of a scooter the better. There may come a day when you too, Old Geezer, needs to lower yourself to use a mobility scooter just so that you can meet your daily needs. Sadly it is only then that many truly understand the hazards we scooter users face on a daily basis.

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      I was sitting on one of those seats on the foot path reading a paper when an idiot on a mobility scooter ran into me. Don’t be silly enough to say I shouldn’t have been reading the paper and watching out for idiots on mobility scooters as that’s what we all have to do now.

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      Why are you driving on bike paths?

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      Nay I’d rather be dead then have one of those mobility scooters myself.

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      OG some of your comments today seem to be designed to be hurtful, which is disappointing. On my daily walk I always pass mobility scooters, other walkers, dog walkers, cyclists and those ginormous baby strollers. Usually we seem to manage it all safely, probably because most of us behave with courtesy! I always ‘give way’ and usually I am rewarded with a smile and thanks (or both). I’d prefer not to require a mobility scooter but if I do then so be it! I’d like a purple one with a cattle prod to poke people who are mean to others.

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      After being actually run into by one of those mobility scooters going about 3 times as fast as the rest of those moving obstacles you mention and having so many near misses with idiots riding them I have every right to make people aware of how dangerous they are. if they could only go as fast as most people walk then that would be a big improvement to the safety of others but some travel as fast as 20 klms an hour.

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      Ebergeezer Scrooge:- Get that scooter off the footpath and meet your fate on that crowded road filed with maniacs who can’t stand a vehicle doing 10kph… Bah… HUMBUG!

      If you got run into by one – watch where you’re going… elderly don’t have fast reactions as a rule…

      They should do a charge in line to make sure they get you next time… (M-wah-ha-hah!)

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      KSS, mobility scooters, like pedestrians are allowed on bike paths! As I travel many kms every night ministering to people who survive on the streets, often the bike path is the only means of getting from point A to point B. No, to answer the next inevitable question I don’t receive payment, and no, there is no extra expense to me at all, listening to others costs nothing!

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      Oh no I don’t have to share bike tracks with mobility scooters now too. I wonder if they know which is their left from their right sometimes when they deliberately pull out in front of my bike. Most are death too as they can’t hear my horn. Yes I had to replace my bell with a louder horn but it made no difference.

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      VeryCaringBear, I’ve been using a mobility scooter now for over 20 years, and I am not deaf (I think that’s what you mean not death). I’ve encountered both cyclists and pedestrians that don’t know their left from their right too, and who pull out or step into my path without so much as a backward or sideways glance, and then of course tell me I’m going too fast!

      I believe your claim that you are a careful cyclist, so do likewise with me and the many other mobility scooter/electric wheelchair users in this world who actually do know how to manage their appliances safely in this modern world. There are always SOME in every walk of life that chooses to do what is wrong or dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that EVERYONE affected is the same! Perhaps the mobility scooter you claim to have encountered didn’t have mirrors, I have two, one on each side of me, so I can see and avoid collision with people approaching on both sides of me. Perhaps even “all the mobility scooters” that you’ve encountered are the same one! I too have had to install a loud air horn on my scooter because pedestrians etc paid no attention to the one that is installed, and yes, that too made no difference! So there are problems everywhere!

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    Of course politicians don’t know about the Age Pension and they don’t want to know.

    Their pension is not means tested, quadruple the amount and they can earn large sums of income with it. The psychopaths don’t care about the rest because they think everyone else are just plain stupid to not be a politician too.

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    DEEMING RATES! unfortunately we sold our permanent home long before the new rule came in (were already on pension) Apparently you can now put up to $300000. into super and so any money we got from the sale is with the bank (not in shares – dont want to go down that track) The money invested with banks is no where near the rate at which it is deemed that we receive. This is so unfair for all pensioners.

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      Yes, Deeming rates. They do not reflect the low rates being paid by banks. If people have money in the bank, and many pensioners do. Centrelink can distinguish where Assets are held, and if in a bank then the deeming should be the bank rate. It’s unfair to say Pensioners can get a better rate of return. Many are too sick, too old, too conservative or not as savvy as others.

      Also, the change to the taper rate is more detrimental than the change to the Asset thresholds

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      Deeming rates are too low as you can get at least 3 times that rate if invested well.

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      I do have some sympathy over the deeming rates (if not actually affected by them). However, it looks like interest rates will be on the rise shortly so the gap should start to reduce soon.

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      Hopefully they will increase deeming rates as well.

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      OG, you are being very egotistical and nasty, failing to acknowledge that deeming rates favour the privileged who have better investment knowledge and capacity to chase good returns. Both deeming rates and asset thresholds and taper rates are grossly UNFAIR to the less financially educated and those who are too old or sick to cope with chasing investment returns.

      Once again, it’s cater to the privileged and stuff the rest. And of course you support that callous cruelty because you are privileged.

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      Unfortunately deeming rates will go up as interest rates rise because they are worked out on what the government believes in the mix of investment a pensioner should have and believes that parking money on deposit is lazy investing and they should not have to tolerate that.

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      Deeming rates are awesome as you are only assessed at the deeming rate no matter what you earn.

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    OLD GEEZER. Well that might be for you. But I do know many cannot take the generic because of the compound and it has been mentioned that it is a cheap version and does upset people. I have experienced that and my Dr has agreed. I have researched it thoroughly.
    I cannot take generic and the cause is not mind over matter. The compound interacts with other medication.

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    They Must include the value of the home in the means test! It’s disgusting that there are people with 2 million dollar houses receiving the pension, whilst those of us with houses worth 20% of that and shares/savings worth less than 1 million are ineligble.

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      The family home is not an Asset. It does not generate income unlike shares. Many in Sydney and Melbourne have very modest homes which are worth over a million. The same house in regional Australia would be a lot less. You can’t make people sell their family home just because it’s worth more than yours. Not their fault prices have gone up.

      However, maybe a cap of 2 million subject to inflation would stop people over investing in houses to qualify for the OAP

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      Family home is an asset as I don’t see too many people getting them for nothing.

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      House is already in the assets test to the tune of about $203’000.
      Non home owners are allowed to have that much extra in assets.
      My place is not worth all that much more here. OK, raise the cap higher but allow for a higher pension payment.
      Or, give those people with houses worth more than $5 million the pension but take the money back when they die so it does not go to
      the next generation in full. That is really behind the Govt’s plan to
      soak pensioners. Many live on a shoestring to hand over their assets to their offspring. It all adds to the great wealth divide people always talk about.

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      I just can’t understand why anyone would want live on a shoestring for someone else to squander their assets after they die.

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      There are many things you can’t understand from your narrow-minded and self-serving perspective, OG.

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      I guess that is one of them then.

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      My family have already got their inheritance so won’t be much left in my estate now.

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