Age Pension: a new report says that the Age Pension is unfair

A new report released by the Centre for Independent Studies may have missed the point of the Age Pension.

It’s unrealistic to expect the Age Pension to increase over time and unfair to future generations to expect them to fund it. Or so says a new report.

A recent report says the Age Pension is unsustainable and unfair to younger generations.

Authored by Simon Cowan from the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) The Myths of the Generational Bargain states that increasing life expectancy, a higher proportion of people in retirement and pension increases means the amount workers need to pay to fund the pension is breaking the intergenerational bargain.

The CIS report makes four key recommendations:

  • to increase retirement age
  • to increase superannuation preservation age in line with retirement age
  • to reduce early access to superannuation
  • and to investigate more substantial superannuation reforms.

To bring some context to the report, it is useful to note that CIS is one of a group of independent Australian think tanks that will not reveal their funding sources. It does, however state that it supports ‘individual choice and liberty’ and an economy ‘based on free markets’. So it is fair to describe it as a right wing, libertarian organisation.

Research and commentary on retirement income, including the Age Pension and superannuation, is important to inform the debate on the best way to enable all older Australians to live a productive and dignified life in retirement. This report, however, is a narrowly focused, misleading summary of what might be done to make our retirement-income policy both equitable and sustainable. In fact, equity seems to be missing in action entirely. 

There are three fundamental flaws with the CIS analysis, which include its rewriting of history, its refusal to address the basic inequity of the current system and the assumption that all Australians have an equal opportunity to fund their retirement and to work until they drop.

First up, the rewriting of history. As with many politicians and commentators, Mr Cowan states that the pension was always designed to be a safety net. It wasn’t actually – when it was introduced in the Australian Parliament in 1908, it was commended with the following words:

“… it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice”.

The pension was intended as a reward for service.

As we have covered in our Retirement the risk is all yours article, there has been a steady shift of the risk of retirement income to individuals and away from the state. But this should not encourage commentators such as Mr Cowan to revise the original purpose of the Age Pension – where the welfare of older people was a collective responsibility of society.

And this leads to the point of equity. Australia’s current retirement system is simply unfair. It rewards a narrow band of wealthier citizens at the expense of all others, regardless of generation. So the Age Pension costs the country about $39 billion per year – but the cost of taxation concessions on superannuation is set to overtake this amount within a year. So to take aim at the expense of the pension without a serious consideration of the (soon to be) higher cost of super concessions is, to say the least, unbalanced.

In a report released by the Actuaries Institute (and at least we know who funds them!), it was noted, “There is also a 50-fold difference between wealthy Australians in the top 5 per cent income bracket who are about to retire, and those at the bottom 5 per cent”.

And this leads to the third and final point. Australia’s retirement income system is based upon an individual’s circumstances, particularly their employment. Those who earn a lot, save a lot. Those who save a lot can invest a lot in a tax-favoured structure which, in turn, helps them earn a lot more. Those who miss out are the low paid, the self-employed and women. This entrenched disadvantage must be addressed as, yes, we are living longer and so those with less will continue to need support. Raising the pension age is a crude response to a complex problem.

Tackling inequity is much harder but an even playing field in retirement will be fairer for all concerned – not just the privileged few. To return to the CIS report, and the belief in free markets, it’s worth bearing in mind that it is these same free markets which delivered the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. It was the taxpayer who was forced to bail out the big banks. In the words of Peter, Paul and Mary, “When will they ever learn?”

What do you think? Do you agree with the CIS report that the intergenerational bargain has been broken and the Age Pension age should be increased to cover costs? Or is there a better way of funding retirement?

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    COMMENTS

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    Budgie
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:11am
    I think that everyone is also missing the point that in the 40 years that I was in the workforce, my taxes and everybody else's taxes in that time was used by the Government to pay for the general running of the country which included pensions, capital expenditure on hospitals etc. It has never been a "Bank" where the money that we provided was put aside for our retirement. We paid our annual taxes for the running of the country in that particular year. The younger people that are paying their taxes now will be supported by future generations in their retirement. Reform is needed but these people just can't target pensions as the cause of our financial woes. They need to look at the bigger picture so that everyone is equally catered for in the community - equally being the operative word. Not looking after self interests.
    Crashbang
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:58am
    So true. These companies must be on the parole of big corporations to come up with trash like they do.
    the government past present & possibly future believe they can spent & take what they like without question. With the returns available on money if the Govt had not have had such greedy hands the pool would have kept growing & the issue of shortage minimal.
    Irishwolfhound
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:39pm
    There was such a "Bank" Budgie, but dear "Where's me trousers" Malcolm Frazer took that fund and put it into the General Revenue in his stint in Parliament! Until then everything had worked well!
    bebby
    3rd Mar 2016
    4:52pm
    Budgie. I have just "tuned" in. I absolutely agree with your comment.
    Robin7
    4th Mar 2016
    3:38am
    please, people, over the last 5 years I have volunteered for indie candidates at elections, handing out how to votes at polling booths,
    (I am in my 50's.)
    I was shocked that older aussies, almost without fail, are vehement that they must vote for the party that wants them to stay at work until they drop dead on the job, rather than pay them a suitable age pension.
    Please, people, stop voting for the "Liberals", they are anything but liberal. They hate you.
    maxchugg
    4th Mar 2016
    1:12pm
    I agree. I'm absolutely fed up with hearing about inter-generational theft.
    During my long working life I always paid my taxes which, I was told, were also funding my retirement which would arrive at age 65. I was fortunate in that having lived in a period where unemployment levels were much lower than is now the case, I never found a need to draw on welfare of any kind.
    By the combination of paying taxes and paying my bills, I consider that I have made a reasonable contribution to the provision of the infrastructure which now exists in this country and will remain for the benefit of current generations.
    It seems that if you rely upon welfare from the day you leave school, or if you arrive in a boat, the welfare system can be relied upon to support you for the rest of your life. If you enter the workforce these days you can see the day of retirement moving further and further away until the point will be reached where most will die before becoming eligible for a pension.
    Is this really what the people we honour on Anzac Day fought to achieve?
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2016
    2:37pm
    Years ago we had more taxpayers supporting those on pensions.
    Today I think it is done to around three persons to one person on a pension.

    We need more taxpayers otherwise the system will be unsustainable.
    Tom Tank
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:26am
    The report would appear to be an attempt to put pressure on the Government to reduce spending by cutting pensions. As the article said the largest imposition on the income/expenditure ledger will shortly be the excessively generous superannuation concessions to the wealthy.
    Organisations who publish reports like this should be compelled to clearly state who is funding them. "He who pays the piper calls the tune" so now the CIS have played the tune who paid them? Until that is revealed this report cannot be taken seriously.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2016
    7:55am
    So let's organize ourselves and put counter-pressure on the government, Tom Tank. Posting here won't do it. Letters to the editor will help, but aren't nearly enough. We need an organized and forceful counter-attack that presents our views unemotionally, and with fair recognition of the economic challenges this country faces, but with a reasonable demand for recognition of our rights and an end to the ''elder bashing'' that we've had to tolerate lately, and an ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE of no more broken promises on pensions and no more lies to justify unfairness or insults.

    Please check out my post way below suggesting a white paper and media campaign. I think it's time. With an election looming, we need to make sure the candidates are well aware of our voting strength, our anger, and the likely outcomes of continuing the elder bashing that has become an art form of late.
    Charlie
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:27am
    Hard to see what they are getting at. There is only one thing clear to me and that is. "I have never seen so much misuse of the work equity as in the last 10years. Things seemingly quite different are made to look the same, for somebodies convenience."
    Waiting to retire at 70
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:32pm
    I believe it was our Embarassment in Washington, sorry, I meant, Ambassodor in Washington Joe Hookey:
    - who wanted us all to work until our organs could be harvested,
    - who wanted my kids to "just get a good job",
    - who wanted you and I to fund his wife's negatively geared investment property in Canberra by 'renting' it to Joe and couple of his mates.

    What he, this current gaggle of federal politicians and now the Centre for Independent (of what? Reality?) Studies, want is our hard earned cash to fund their parliamentry pensions, lavish lifestyles, helicopter joyrides, etc. etc. etc.

    Since I commenced paying taxes:
    - the number of retired people requiring a pension has risen
    - the no. of women in workforce has grown (from less that 30% participation to over 60%), whilst male participation rate now stands at 70% (the rest are being raised, educated or retired)
    - The population has grown from 11.39m to 24.02m (111% increase)
    - GDP per capita has grown from $3,248.17 to $43,929 (1,252% increase)
    - A couple's pension has grown from $45.50 (1974) to around $297/week (550% increase) now
    - Life expectancy has grown from 70.85 yrs to 81.2 yrs (14.61% increase).

    With universal compulsory superannuation being introduced in 1992, I only had a 22 years contribution period for my employer to contribute to my retirment income (remember it is described in the Act as an "Employer Contribution"). Fortunately, a person born today will have more than double that period for their employers to contribute to their retirement - which is great and what Compulsory Super is about. And that contribution rate will be 12.5%, not the 9% I ended up on. So tell me who has a better chance of a dignified retirement, with sufficient backing to not require to call on a public funded pension? The majority of people starting work these days?

    It isn't persioners rorting the public purse be complying with pension entitlement rules rather politicians (cow toweing to Employer Groups demands) who have deferred increasing employer contribution rates to 12.5% (we should have been pretty close to that rate, based on original plans).
    It isn't persioners (the most vulnerable in our community) rorting the public purse by complying with pension entitlement rules but ignorant, at best, dishonest more likely, 'think tanks' (dumb jocks to me), fronting 'bullsh*t' reports at the behest of politians who cannot do their job and lead this nation. A plague on their households.
    MacI
    5th Mar 2016
    8:13am
    Waiting to retire: Interesting statistics but they are meaningless unless stated in present value terms. The current weekly Full Aged Pension for a couple is $671 per week not $297 as stated. Based on $45.50 in 1974 $671 per week represents about an average 6.8% per year increase in the Aged Pension. The average inflation rate over the period from 1974 is 5.1% so there has been a significant increase in the Aged Pension in real terms. According to the RBA Inflation Calculator the equivalence of $45.50 in 1974 is $353.73 in 2015.
    The GDP per capita growth is impressive - in real terms $3248 is worth $25251 in present dollars representing an real 173% increase. Applying 173% growth to the $353.73 equivalent Aged Pension today (353.73 x 173%) the Aged Pension would be $611.95 per week.

    Conclusion: Whatever way the Aged Pension is adjusted to todays dollars the current Aged Pension has significantly increased in rel terms.
    Kosmo
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:29am
    People on the age pension deserved more, they worked all their life. They paid the taxes. They should be recognize and pay more on their pension !!
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:41am
    If they have worked all there life Kosmo but many didn't they went from the dole or disability pension straight to the pension why should they get anything or perhaps at least a reduced figure?
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:54am
    Depends, Robbo. If they were genuinely disabled and couldn't work, they should be looked after. Also, if they were unemployed due to entrenched disadvantage and despite serious personal endeavour, they deserve to be looked after as much as anyone else does.
    margie
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:21pm
    I am in my sixties Kosmo and apart from a few years raising my young children until school years, I have worked. Not flash jobs with big money, just enough to provide for my kids, no baby bonus, no handouts and in the early years no super. In my late forties managed to re-educate myself and found a job with better money and a pretty good super which helped me pay my home off completely. We were told that our taxes were to provide for our parents in their retirement and also our own, so now the goal posts have been shifted and suddenly the taxes we paid (and they were plenty) is used for something else. I do not think there are many of 'my' generation who lived on the dole, that was something shameful and if you were unfortunate enough to lose your job, most would do almost any menial job until a better position was found. I can see that with the amount of people on the dole these days and those that just follow this lifestyle from family to family there will not be enough people paying taxes for anyone to receive a pension, but don't discriminate against those that have worked and worked hard, they deserve some help in their twilight years. As for counting the family home in the assets test, you would need to be careful what amount was the cut off point as we see in many suburbs across Australia, many average homes rising dramatically in value because of the area and/or increasing prices. These homes are not owned by the wealthy and are not mansions, just homes people have struggled and gone without to ensure a roof is over their heads.
    Adrianus
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:37pm
    Kosmo, some may have arrived from overseas last year. So who were they paying the tax to?
    Richied
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:05pm
    Agree. But it's a little more nuanced than that.

    The pension should be a reward for service to country, however some have not had the opportunity to work all their life, because of health, lack of skill, lack of jobs, etc.

    Do we give pensions only to those who have worked continuously? Do we reduce pensions to those who haven't worked throughout their life? Do we have a two-tiered approach - those who worked and those who didn't (or indeed a three-tiered approach - those who worked and saved super, those who worked and didn't save, those who didn't work)?

    As can be seen it gets very messy very quickly. A fair approach seems to be - you turn a certain age and you are entitled to benefit subject to assets. This is basically what we have.
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Mar 2016
    5:29pm
    You may get a laugh out of this or be gobsmacked.

    SENATE
    Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill 2008
    EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM
    (Circulated by authority of
    Senator the Hon Helen Coonan)
    Preface
    This Bill is the first step by the Coalition to deliver a comprehensive
    policy in relation to pensions, income support, Veterans' support and
    carers over time. Assistance for single age pension is an immediate
    priority due to the urgent circumstances facing many recipients struggling
    to cope with escalating costs of living
    The Coalition will continue to address the further concerns being raised by
    pensioners and pension groups.
    The Coalition recognises that the single service pension is not a welfare
    payment however for the purposes of this Bill the term 'single pensioners'
    and 'single age pensioners ' refers to single recipients of the Age pension,
    Widow B pension and the Age Service pension
    This Bill amends the Social Security Act 1991 and the Veterans'
    Entitlements Act 1986 to increase payments to single age pensioners by $30
    per week.
    The Bill aims to increase the single age pension, single age service
    pension and Widow B pension by $30 per week with effect from 20 September
    2008.
    The increase in payments is to be met from the Standard Appropriations in
    section 242 the Social Security (Administration) Act 1991 and section 199
    of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.
    The Bill inserts new sections into the Social Security Act 1991 and
    Veterans Entitlements Act 1986 to provide that an amount equivalent to $30
    per week is added to the Single Age, Widow B and Age Service pension rates.
    General Outline
    Older Australians are a growing and diverse demographic within the
    population who are active contributors to the Australian Community.
    As a nation we enjoy one of the longest life expectancies in the world,
    currently 13 per cent of Australians are over 65 years of age and this is
    expected to grow to 25 per cent by 2047[1]
    Currently, government funded pensions and allowances are the main source of
    income for most people aged 65 years and over.[2]
    The current single rate of pension is 60 per cent of the combined couple
    rate, which is lower than the average for major OECD countries which stands
    at 63 per cent. The proposed increase of $30 per week would bring the
    single age pension in line with the OECD average.
    The important role that older Australians play in our society should not be
    understated. Almost half of older Australians aged 65-74 years (48%)
    provide unpaid assistance to someone outside their household, one-third
    (33%) provided volunteer services through an organisation, 29% are actively
    involved in community organisations and support groups of various kinds.[3]
    However many older Australians are finding it harder to afford these social
    activities because they are even struggling to afford the basic necessities
    to live and live with dignity.
    The current focus has been on the plight of working families, with seniors
    barely rating a mention. Social Inclusion is the government's mantra, but
    seniors, who are dealing with spiralling costs, are being socially
    excluded.
    Single pensioners expected relief this year from the increasing cost of
    living pressures. That is what the Labor party promised them in 2007.
    The Senate Inquiry into the Cost of Living reported in March this year and
    outlined the critical circumstances of many pensioners due to the increased
    cost of living. However there was no extra relief provided in the Budget.
    Grocery items are costing more and single pensioners are struggling to meet
    these costs. There are many reported stories of pensioners doing it tough.
    They are doing without fresh fruit and vegetables and surviving on jam
    sandwiches to see them through. Along with the reports of substandard food
    purchases there are some pensioners taking strangers into their home as
    boarders.
    Affordability of health care is also a concern for many older people and
    single aged pensioners are putting their health at risk.
    Older Australians have also experienced significant increases in the cost
    of petrol for their cars. For many single pensioners, their car is a
    lifeline into the community, providing them with the ability and mobility
    to participate. However this is a freedom that is fast becoming
    unaffordable.
    The Coalition in Government had a strong record.
    It was the Coalition in Government that introduced the Utilities Allowance
    in 2005 to assist older Australians with meeting everyday household bills
    such as electricity and water.
    During almost 12 years of Coalition Government the pension increased by 57
    per cent in normal terms or 24 percentage points above inflation. This was
    through good economic management and adjustments to the pension when
    needed, not just commissioning reviews upon reviews. The Coalition
    Government legislated to set the maximum single rate of the pension to at
    least 25 per cent of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). This
    meant that whenever pensions were adjusted for increase in the CPI, and the
    pension rate fell short of the 25 per cent MTAWE there would be a top up
    equivalent to 25 per cent of MTAWE.
    Due to the strong economic management of the Coalition in Government
    pensioners enjoyed three, one off bonuses. These were criticised by Labor
    when in opposition and in Government were reported to scrap bonus payments
    this year. Pressure from the Coalition, pensioners and pension
    organisations saw the bonus paid for this year only. They survived because
    of the outcry from pensioners and pension groups. These are the bonuses
    the Government is touting as relief for older Australians in the face of
    rising costs.
    It was because of the Coalition's strong economic management that the Labor
    Government inherited fiscal surpluses of $110 billion over five years.
    Labor's tax and spend measures increased the surpluses to around $112
    billion - an increase of 1.5 per cent. The $22 billion dollar surplus in
    2008-09 - the result of the Coalition's strong economic management - is
    being hoarded by Labor. It is a surplus which Labor is not willing to
    share in these tough, financially uncertain times with Australia's most
    vulnerable individuals.
    The Rudd Government received an 83 page cabinet submission on the 25th of
    March from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and
    Indigenous Affairs, followed by an 11 page briefing from Treasury regarding
    the inadequacy of the pension on the 16th of April this year. Yet to date
    there have been no new policy initiatives to address the issues raised by
    pensioners and pension groups.
    The intent of this Bill is to provide urgent relief to single pensioners in
    recognition of the increased pressures placed on their budgets through
    soaring costs that the Rudd Government has not brought under control.
    Financial Impact
    This Bill will affect 928,834 pension recipients in total.
    857,229 Single Age Pensioners
    700 Widow B Pensioners
    70,905 Single Age Service Pensioners
    Total expected cost of $1.45 billion.
    -----------------------
    [1] 2008 Pension Review Paper page 33
    [2] "Older Australia at a glance" Australian Institute of Health and
    Welfare Report, November 2007, page 43
    [3] "Older Australia at a glance" Australian Institute of Health and
    Welfare Report, November 2007, page vii.
    Old-Age Pensions Act 1908 (NO. 17, 1908)
    15. --(1.) Subject to this Act, every person who has attained
    the age of sixty-five years, or who, being permanently incapacitated
    for work, has attained the age of sixty years, shall, whilst in
    Australia, be qualified to receive an old-age pension.
    "qualified to receive" means, in relation to the United Kingdom, entitled to
    receive subject to any disqualification or any provision about giving notice,
    claiming, earnings, hospital treatment or overlapping benefits which may be
    appropriate and, in relation to Australia, qualified to receive after taking into
    account any means test which may be appropriate;
    (n) "retirement pension" has the same meaning as in the legislation of the United
    Kingdom and includes a contributory old age pension payable under that
    legislation;
    Anonymous
    6th Mar 2016
    4:42pm
    Thanks HS. Someone should remind the current government of their claims in this statement.
    fedup
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:31am
    Well said Budgie couldn't agree with you more I am well in my 70's still working full time just to be able to put enough into super as for years I was unable to join a super fund. Thank you for your comment.
    islandguy
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:39am
    I had a heart attack aged 45. At that time I made the decision to not invest in super since I didn't know how long I was going to live. I saved for retirement. I have been financially penalised ever since. Those who save for retirement (outside the superannuation system) should have the same advantages as those inside the system. What is long overdue in the "super system" addressing outrageous anomalies such as politicians retirement benefits gained after just a few years service. I'm ex military and received ZERO super during or after my service.

    3rd Mar 2016
    11:55am
    I have just passed the aged pension age and I am continuing to work - though I at times wonder why I bother. It seems the harder you try and provide for yourself, the less the government is prepared to do for you. So the incentive is to lash out on overseas and fancy domestic travel, consume like there is no tomorrow, and then when you have squandered the nest egg, the government will step in and support you. That is a crazy system in my book. Not sure what the answer is, but one thing for sure is that the family home, when it passes a certain value (say a million dollars) should be counted in the assets test. Otherwise the kids of the homeowner inherit substantially, whilst the taxpayer keeps mum and dad going. No equity there for the wider community.
    Mojobomber
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:08pm
    More and more jobs are going. I left my job on a redundancy, my husband lost his job and made redundant. There are countless people on the dole. Great to expect you to work but between jobs dissapearing and the productivity commission expecting unrealistic targets, how can you be expected to work in your supposedly retirement years?
    Teddyboy.
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:10pm
    Typical right wing effort. How do they feel about removing superannuation concessions for the rich and stopping all the perks they get in relation to trust funds and all the other loopholes we know are available to them?
    Ozetwo
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:14pm
    For libertarian read "self interest". These right wing think tanks are aligned with the wealthy and privileged. Many of today's retirees did not have access to superannuation schemes for the majority of their working life nor did they earn enough to provide an adequate reserve for their retirement years. Wealthy people have been able to undertake generous top ups of their super funds over the past few years.I think this think tank report emanates from an LNP leaning mouthpiece testing the waters for changes that will only disadvantage the poorer end of the population.
    Hairy
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:27pm
    Blatant discrimination on Australia's past workers.those greedy bloody blood sucking maggots in Canberra need to be taken to the courts and sued for discrimination of pensioners.they are a total disgrace.it makes me ashamed to be an Australian right now,they don't have to disclose who donates to their party this leaves it wide open for corruption.as a worker try not declaring ALL the dollars earned.wheeling and dealing for their own interest and unless pigs fly I won't change my mind and that goes for all the party's ,MAGGOTS
    Play Fairly
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:36pm
    I have to wholeheartedly agree with you hairy.
    Bes
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:30pm
    DAMMIT! I knew we shouldn't have had kids!!!??
    Dors
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:45pm
    like
    Play Fairly
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:31pm
    I think our leaders need to address the main problem we have in our country, and that has got to be the lack of jobs for our youth. These people are supposed to be the taxpayers of tomorrow.
    The 2nd problem our leaders refuse to address is multinationals operating in our country and not paying any tax.
    For goodness sake, why our aged and/or disabled people should be disadvantaged because our country's finances are being mismanaged is a disgrace.
    Bes
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:33pm
    ‘Entitlement’ my arse, I paid good money for my Pension and other benefits. Just because they borrowed that money, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or hand-out. Gold plated MP pensions and Civil Service Government benefits, aka free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, 20 weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call me a 'greedy pensioner' and my retirement, an ‘entitlement’.
    What the HELL is wrong with us? WAKE UP Australia! Someone please tell me what the HELL is wrong with all the people that run this country?

    We're "broke" & can't help our own Pensioners, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc., but spent 1.2 billion $$$'s for G-20 events!
    In the last few months we have provided aid to India, Greece and Turkey. And now Afghanistan, Pakistan, the once Home of bin Laden!
    AS OF NOW -- PENSIONERS outnumber ANY OTHER type of voter even by race - religion - or age.
    The only way things will change is when ALL of the above translates into voting results at the polls.
    Our retirees living on a 'fixed income', receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organisations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$'s and tons of food to foreign countries.
    They call Old Age Security and Healthcare an Entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?
    We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans
    AUSTRALIA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, hospitals being understaffed, average income families who can't afford dental care, elderly going without 'needed' meds and having to travel hundreds of miles for medical care with no reimbursement of cost, vehicles we can't afford fuel for, lack of affordable housing, and mentally ill without treatment - etc., etc
    They have a 'benefit' for the people of foreign countries...ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors, and medical supplies, Literally, BILLIONS of Dollars.
    Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the support they give to other countries.
    Sad isn't it?
    marls
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:52pm
    Bes
    So true so much money available to support the rest of the world but we are broke for the taxpayers if gvt stopped giving it all away and paying every Tom dick and Harry coming here for welfare we would not have a problem
    Play Fairly
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:56pm
    Bes and others, I wonder if "Your Life Choices" would be interested in placing an online petition on their website, so that we all can send a Wake Up message to our politicians. The petition would have to outline the exact sentiments Bes has expressed....each point this person has made is very relevant and pertinent. We need to fight to obtain some sanity and common sense in decision making in this country.

    We must get this message through LOUD & CLEAR to Canberra. I think our politicians live in a totally different world to their constituents.
    Scrivener
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:15pm
    I'd sign a petition framed by Bes's arguments. The conditions we are in are not all that different to conditions that have been precursors to a whole range of revolutions. The notion that the poor can continue to be milked and cast aside because they no longer qualify as 'economic units' will eventually cost this government its power. Unfortunately the CIS and IPA are the only ideas this government seems to source. Not one of the current lot seems to be able to think. Oh yes, they react well enough - but THINK! Turnbull tried it and it didn't work. He's simply in the wrong party. A reasonable man like Turnbull should not belong in a Genghis Khan party.
    marls
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:24pm
    Play fairly
    Vote Aust Liberty alliance,rise up Aust party. Pauline Hanson , or any independent party that puts Australians first
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:24pm
    Marls, I totally agree and have been advocating that in a number of my posts and replies. But we need other large organisations to shout for us. The one we are on now would be a good start. How about it YourLifeChoices??
    looknlisten
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:35pm
    This is why its so important to have additonal sources of income - who knows what will happen next as the Government continually wastes tax payers money on fighting wars that d on’t involve us and continues to have State Governments that in my opinion are a total waste of Tax Payers money, when the whole country can be run with one Government. We have only 24Million population and prior to the financially irresponsible way South Africa is run today - they coped quite well with having one Government governing the whole country of 48Million. Figure that out. I want how much each State Government Dept. costs Australian Tax Payers to run - don’t you?

    *All the air fares to Canberra in this age of Technology - no need to fly - if computer programmers can work with their team from any location and most
    business communicate via either telephone hookups or webinars why this archaic method? surely if the public can watch live broadcasts of parliament sittings on TV, surely the members of parliament can do likewise.

    *Then we have all the State Government official vehicles, which are leased via Avis Rent a Car - that would be a huge saving doing away with all of them, which
    mostly sits in carparks all day clocking up car park fees. and if not, these parking spots could be income producing by charging the public a fee for their use.

    *Unnecessary high end salaries and the very generous golden hand shake pensions that politicians enjoy.

    *The high entertainment bill that politicians seem to deem necessary to fulfil their duties.

    and all the other work related perks

    Surely our City Municipalities headed up with a Mayor could fulfill the role of
    reporting to our Nations Capital in Canberra.
    Scrivener
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:00pm
    Damn right. I think I read recently that Chicago had about the same population as all of Australia and it's run by a City Mayor and Council. Even if my figures are not exact, the point you make is accurate.
    Rae
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:50pm
    At the rate the State governments are selling off everything we soon will not need them at all. They are doing away with themselves really.

    As for the CIS how about they do a report that increases the share of productivity to ordinary workers and we might not need the government to subsidise the lousy wages that have been declining for decades now due to the ideology of groups like the CIS.
    bartpcb
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:39pm
    Another pathetic attempt by a Right wing organisation to rip off the pensioners and justify their actions by appealing to the younger generations sense of 'it's not fair'. Well guess what? It is fair that the older generation are paid a pension seeing as we paid for it, in struggle and labour and the raising of the younger generations in the first place.
    Culgoa
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:44pm
    My wife and I have worked hard all out lives, paid our taxes and contributed in various ways to our community. I resent the inference that we are freeloaders.
    For real freeloaders see the millions going to our ex Prime Ministers who are wealthy in their own right, and the large corporations who pay low taxes.
    Perthite
    3rd Mar 2016
    7:51pm
    I so agree. My husband and I both worked hard but unfortunately my husband died at work aged 59 running up flights of stairs to fix a problem because the computer programmers had caused an error and he had to fix it manually. He got nothing as it was deemed to be natural causes. I had to give up work three weeks before because of ill health. When I told the doctor that I had given up (expecting to be able to work at a not so stressful job after a six month break) his reply was "I don't know how you have kept going this long with your health problems". Of course, I just get the single pension even though we both paid tax. There are many others in this position and worse and yet the government now want to penalise me because we did without to pay for a home with interest rates up to 18% at one stage. The lowest that we paid was 9.5% plus 7% extra tax for our pension. We paid more tax than billionaires do now. They need to look at these high costs.
    jackie
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:44pm
    What's so unfair about younger generations funding pensions for seniors? I did it without complaining when I was young. We need to address the unfairness and hypocrisy of our governments that receive non means test massive pensions at much younger ages than the rest of the commoners out there.
    JJ
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:48pm
    It's true that there will be an explosion of retirees in the near future, and it is expecting a lot from the younger generations to support all of them, probably for quite some years on average. But it also seriously annoys me to hear that the government will be spending many billions of dollars on a submarine fleet which will not be delivered within the next twenty years! Who knows if these subs will even be adequate so far in the future? And history tells us that the price will rise enormously during that time. That doesn't seem to me to be a wise investment in defense.
    Fortunately I don't have to worry about the pension - I will never qualify for it anyway thanks to having lived a reasonable lifestyle, paid superannuation, and worked until the age of 75 in order to be independent. But I am aware that not everyone has had the opportunity to do as I have done, and provide adequately for themselves. So I believe it's time to review the generous concessions the governments have made toward individuals, businesses and industries who don't need them, rather than make life more difficult for the ordinary man.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:19pm
    How refreshing, JJ, to see a comfortable self-funded retiree admit to being fortunate and recognize that not everyone could do as you did. I've read post after post from arrogant egotists condemning anyone who isn't self-funded as ''lazy'', ''stupid'', ''bludger'' etc. It's sickening.
    Yes, it is time to review the generous concessions to those who don't need them, rather than make life more difficult for people who have slogged all their lives to pay taxes, educate children, and contribute to building the nation.
    Brissiegirl
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:50pm
    Alan Jones advocates that pension applicants should reverse mortgage their homes. That's alright for people who will be self-funded retirees. I thought that was what Nick Sherry meant when he introduced superannuation. When we were overcharged management fees for our superannuation plan, he acknowledged we had been ripped off, contacted the company for an answer, but we never heard from him again. Typical political ignorance. Well there won't be many people taking on the risks of borrowing to buy a home, paying interest for years, maintenance, rates and all the sweat and tears that go with such a long-term commitment, only to be told they have to mortgage it in their old age. Simpler and less worrisome to apply for government-subsidised housing. If incentives to buy a family home are removed, it's just that simple. Very few people will do it.
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:47pm
    Ok number 1 - Alan Jones is not totally right or wrong just a bit of both. Go and have a look at this site https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/ and find out for yourself.

    Number 2, who the hell is Nick Sherry?? If he is from the 80's forget it he is probably dead and buried.

    Number 3, I do agree with all of you in Retail or Industry super funds being ripped off. But that is your own fault. I took all mine and my wifes money out of institusionalised super and started with our own Self Managed Super Fund thru ESuperfund. The best thing I have ever done, it is whats known as freedom. You should try it.
    MICK
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:54pm
    The real question is if Cowan has bias or not. Is Cowan the voice of GenY or perhaps he belongs to the end of town?
    If the younger generation cops out on supporting the parents of genY then the parents will not have a dollar to leave. Poetic justice if things were to play out this way.
    Scrivener
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:57pm
    Don't tell my kids, Mick, is haven't got a dollar to leave anyway - the kids just think I do.
    Anonymous
    9th Mar 2016
    7:37am
    I went to school with a Simon Cowen. If it's the same one, he's certainly not GenY, but he is super-privileged. Born to great wealth.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Mar 2016
    12:29pm
    Rainey, just google his name and then check out his photo on the website for the Centre of Australian Geniuses he works for.
    Scrivener
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:55pm
    Well, the older generation funded the younger generation when they needed it. When I had kids I was perennially broke. The older generation funded much of their own parents generation's retirement as well. Ah! We have raised a very selfish, 'me' generation. We fought wars for our rights and we paid out taxes back then to secure them.
    If this looney government spent more wisely and taxed more wisely we would not even be asking the question.
    marls
    3rd Mar 2016
    12:57pm
    I can fully understand why young ppl don't want to work why work all your life to be taxed to the hills save for a home only to have it taken off you to pay for your pension because these are the ppl who have never worked being rewarded in this country and gosh I know a few of them and they are laughing st the worker every day
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:10pm
    Marls can you please put some punctuation into your post. As I have no idea what you are talking about.
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:06pm
    CIS does not say who the are funded by - but a penny to pound of s*** it is the Liberal Party and the likes of Murdock and his ilk. I would not be too worried about that report as it is a load of rubbish. They can't get there facts right and come out with outrageous statements and nothing to back them up.
    What we Elderly people need to do is get off our collective backsides and make our presence known at the ballot box, and I don't mean voting for the usual suspects(who have never done us any favours). So how do you do this. It is called research, Senate candidates, political parties there are many out there that maybe worth a try. We need to tell these uppity Libs and Lab and Greens that we are sick of them paying lip service to US. We are powerful and we must use that power to send a message. If you cant do your own research ask friends or you children for help.
    There will be a DD in July so Turncoat can get rid of the pesky Jackie Lambies and Glenn Lazarus and all the others that make no difference. What do You do? As I said RESEARCH of alternative Parlimentary Candidates. Those who maybe able to save our bacon. Maybe Lifechoices can find some alternatives for us to consider.
    Scrivener
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:30pm
    Yes. I'm in. That is a worthwhile revolution. I'm sick of living on dog food.
    deepred
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:06pm
    This is probably the toughest issue this country faces. But firstly I don't believe the pension is a "right" for working and paying taxes for many years. Those taxes paid for the running of the country at the time. They were not put away for us when we became pensioners. The aged pension is a safety net for those who genuinely need it and we simply must look after these pensioners and they deserve better than they are getting currently. I believe the fundamental problem with the overall cost relates to those getting a part-pension. I find it hard to believe that the government provides any pension at all (plus a health card) to couples living in their own home (irrespective of its value), earning $75,000 and having other assets up to $1.1million. These people are living very well and the government should be cutting these generous benefits on the (relatively) well off and using the savings to increase the basic pension for those with genuine need.
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:22pm
    Deepred, are you brain dead or blind. You would have read this in the introduction "First up, the rewriting of history. As with many politicians and commentators, Mr Cowan states that the pension was always designed to be a safety net. It wasn’t actually – when it was introduced in the Australian Parliament in 1908, it was commended with the following words:
    “… it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice”.
    The pension was intended as a reward for service."

    We all need to stop looking for other people to blame. The Governments are to blame not large companies, not pensioners earning $75,000 a year and getting a part pension. You can't get any sort of pension earning that much money, so what a load of bull.
    Johnno11
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:52pm
    Hi deepred.
    I for one Agree with all your comments barr one and that is the issue on whethet the pension is a right or not. May I suggest you re read Faye Fallick's article. It was granted as a "Reward for service". In early 1900's legislation was passed to have 1.5% put away for those who reached retiring age. Eventually, as with everything governments have done, the pool of money disappeared into the general coffers. At this stage I have yet to find any evidence that legislation had been introduced for the re direction of this pension fund. This occured in the early 20's. What I am getting at is the fact that, the pension was always an Australian Citizen's right. The subject of old age pension has been muddied with Social Welfare rhetoric.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    6:06pm
    Broad generalizations like ''part pensioners are the problem'' create a false perception that results in stupid policy like the recent change to the taper rate - a policy based on flawed assumptions and resulting in gross unfairness.

    Deepred is partly right. It IS possible to get a part pension while having $1.1 million, $75,000 in income and a home. It won't be after January 2017. The problem, though, is that high income earners will still get a part pension, while very low income earners with assets that are grossly overvalued and may be unsalable, won't. Those who acquired money through superannuation or negative gearing investment got huge benefits from the taxpayer to build wealth, and those who went without to save outside the tax-advantaged investment realm got nothing, but now suffer discrimination and are unfairly denied the benefit of their hard work and sacrifice. That will prove a disincentive to younger Australians to strive, and that's economically and socially destructive.

    The assets test is fundamentally unfair. Someone worth millions can get a part pension if most of their millions are tied up in the family home. Someone worth less than $1 million might be kicked off in Jan 2017 if they have a modest home. UNFAIR. Someone with a very high income can get a part pension, but someone with a minimal income has to drain what might, in fact, be meagre savings when you consider how long they have to last. Those who went without to save are denied the benefit of their effort, while those who spent more freely are indulged - even if their earnings remain high.

    At a time when deeming rates and interest rates are 3% or less, the $3 taper rate equates to a deeming rate of 7.8%.

    To force people who worked hard and sacrificed to save to drain their savings while others who have much more retain them is wrong. To indulge those who can earn well while grinding those who can't into poverty by compelling them to spend their hard-won savings is wrong.

    I believe the government could save money AND give retirees a much fairer and better deal by abolishing the assets test completely and tightening the income test so that people with more than a ''comfortable income'' don't get a pension. To ensure those with assets don't artificially reduce their income, a fair deeming rate could be applied to ALL assets, including the family home, but a fair unassessed threshold set that ensured anyone whose home isn't unreasonably extravagant is not disadvantaged. The income test would then measure the higher of actual or deemed income. Those with valuable assets (including their home) that they don't wish to sell could be offered a concessional loan to top up low earnings. It would be cheaper, fairer, and more sustainable.

    While I don't agree at all with the current attack on retirees, and I believe we are ALL entitled to a fair retirement pension, I do think it would benefit the nation to make changes to the pension system that genuinely improve fairness and sustainability. The taper rate change ABSOLUTELY DID NOT!
    poorwomanme
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:17pm
    Yet another attempt by "the entitled generation" to lay the blame on those who have given 45-55 years of their life to working so that this over-privileged generation of today can live in the style that they feel entitled to.
    I said back in the 70's that our generation is going to have a lot to answer for.
    Find another scapegoat for your incompetence.
    They say you get what you deserve in life but fair dinkum! do we really deserve the incompetents we now have? Get rid of the rest of the "Joe Bullocks" ( is that Bullock by name, Bullock by nature?) and get on with making decisions that improve our lives, not penalise them.
    Biddy
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:30pm
    It might be their idea that pensioners are ripping of the young whom they say is the main
    Problem but do they forget we once worked bloody hard to get where we are today and payed taxes,but never said that we were funding the pensioners of that time it never crossed our minds,but it seems every time the Liberals get into power they start whinging that there is not enough funds to keep pensioners payed ,but they can give themselves a big pay rise which keeps them comfortable never onkce
    Perthite
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:36pm
    Well, Budgie, it is not true that it was never a 'bank'. Older Australians paid an extra 7% tax to fund our retirement. When Malcolm Fraser took the money from the TRUST FUND and put it in general revenue stating that "we will cross the pension bridge when it arrives". When superannuation was introduced we older folk fought to have it in our own names which younger people have benefited from so that the government could not take it again. There was not enough in super to pay for our retirement as it started at 2.5%. It is fair enough that younger people should fund their own retirement. We did not get any middle income benefits, the child allowance was a pittance and we struggled to pay our mortgages, feed and clothe the family. We saved for our own house deposits too and women working for the government had to leave their jobs when they married - not when they had children. There was no maternity leave. Men took their holidays to look after the their wives when they had babies.
    Irishwolfhound
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:40pm
    Not many people seem to know this do they Perthite!?
    Rae
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:59pm
    A huge demonstration and court case by those women forced to resign , unfairly dismissed, when they married might be the next protest we could mount.
    .
    Richied
    3rd Mar 2016
    3:00pm
    Well said.

    Anyone in their fifties or older would have struggled to accumulate sufficient super funds to retire comfortably, given the late (and low) start of compulsory superannuation.

    Compared to other OECD countries, Australia has poor pension benefits, as the benefits are removed faster than older people are able to become more self-sufficient.
    Howard
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:44pm
    I'm pleased to see that AT LAST the pensioners & part pensioners are waking up to ALL
    the govts. in this country. The whole lot of them, only seem to be able to think of very little else but lining their own pockets, with current pay rates, perks & regular large pay rises. The last pay increase was 2% which would be around $4,000 on the lowest paid salaries!! Not only whilst they are actually in Parliament but the vast amounts of pay & perks they & the public servants draw from the taxpayer after they have left govt. employ. They then have the temerity to start cutting the pensioners. I would have thought that the cut backs should come from the top & not the bottom of the pyramid?? I would also question as to who got the country into this sorry state of owing BILLIONS. The PENSIONERS? I would also question, as someone already has, the amounts going to the purported refugees WHO FORCED themselves upon us?? It's time the pensioners had some means of forcing some common sense, logic & desire to get this country into some good shape. The pensioners at the moment only seem to have the ballot box for persuasion but they are just about all as bad as one another?? Time to have at least a very large petition?? Jack
    *Imagine*
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:50pm
    Between writing this and posting it I see some people have already corrected you so I'll add my bit anyway. Deepred and Budgie. I think that you may be interested to know that GB, NZ and AUS put a general Welfare Act into place, post WWII. GB and NZ kept theirs going and now fund aged pensions for all their citizens (no means test). AUS however, put the Welfare fund into consolidated revenue and spent it. Easy come easy go! SO no pension fund left and they introduce a super scheme to replace it. They give tax breaks for citizens to fund their own retirement through Super. Now they call the former pension right, for which we paid extra tax, a welfare safety net. The age pension never was a safety net, it was a right, paid for by those of us who worked at that time. Politicians repeat the term “safety net” often enough and people start to believe them. Well don’t, If you are now well past retirement age, you paid for your pension, but inept Governments spent it on other things.
    Now the the fight is also turning against those who are taking advantage of the tax breaks in super - the very reason the tax breaks were put there in the first place. I think that we can safely say that the collective politicians of AUS are lost on this one. We need to demand a ‘retired worker’ direction with clear goals and a strategy to achieve them. Then allow the strategy to run without meddling for a few years. My brain hurts with all of the Pension and Super changes that have already, or are planned to, take place. At the next ballot box, please vote for educated independents, not Party Hacks and we might see a difference.
    Perthite
    3rd Mar 2016
    8:00pm
    When Malcolm Fraser took the Pension Trust Fund into General Revenue and spent it, the tax did not drop 7% and we had to keep paying it for years afterwards.
    Troubadour
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:54pm
    So many of us were in that twilight zone, before you could pay extra income into a superannuation fund to enhance your pension - so are just on the basic Age Pension, but
    did work hard for more than 25 years and paid our taxes. I sadly had to retire from work earlier than I anticipated due to a work accident, did not get a BIG payout like so many do now, thankfully did get a disability pension which changed to Age Pension when I reached 65.
    We are very thankful for what we do get - but it is irksome when we see so much money
    being thrown at those who do not or have not worked, and could.
    ozrog
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:58pm
    I guess we older generation paid for and built all the infastucture that the younger generation are now reaping the benifits of. It might come as a surprise but we invented the internet, computing, mobile phones and most of modern day technology. So suck it up and look after those that have enabled the young the life style they enjoy today.
    Biddy
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:59pm
    So it's the age of entitlements is it,every time the Liberals get into power they say that they are running out of money and that we are a burden on society yet they can give themselves pay risers when it suits them they have holidays and travel overseas at the tax payers expenses but not a word is said whom funds them morons and it is us pensioners whom are ripping of the system so you write,they can send billions of dollars overseas for India and foriegn aid to Afgahastian and even where Bin Laden was captured but nothing said,but as soon as the pension is mentioned there is one hell of a uproar ,give us a break we paid taxes and we worked bloody hard to keep us in some sort of life at the pension age,I also sick of being told that we are a burden on society and that the young are keeping us give us a break and tell this Government they are the ones whom cause the problem,they give themselves a big pay rise but that's ok keep screwing us and make us look like the criminals
    Dot
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:08pm
    Cut back on foreign aid, no more money for asylum seekers, refugees, all Politicians must account for every cent they spend on them selves, no more unnecessary travel across the world use the damn internet. Family allowances must return back to the old days when endowment was paid monthly per child, recall $6.50 per child.
    We received nothing as displaced persons after WW11 why the hell are all todays migrants receiving all this benefits.
    Cut out all monies given to schools like the muslim ones.

    3rd Mar 2016
    2:08pm
    The people who produced this, and the publisher, should hang their heads in shame. What an indictment of a greedy, selfish, self-serving society that has forsaken all integrity and morals. The way we care for the aged tells the world what kind of people we are, and the people who produced this are dishonest in the extreme and thoroughly contemptible.

    The current generation of retirees had little chance to invest in super unless they were among the privileged few. Instead, they paid a tax levy to fund their retirement. It's hardly their fault the government stole the money that was in those coffers! But regardless, they have made a huge contribution to the future of the nation and of the young, and today's workers OWE A DEBT - a debt they should be proud and happy to pay.

    What kind of world do these creeps want? One where only the privileged have a right to a life, and the rest must live a slave existence until they die of exhaustion?

    By all means, extend the retirement age for those who are physically and mentally able to work longer, and certainly restrict early drawings from super. But attack the excessively generous superannuation concessions to high income earners and the obscene wages and benefits to CEOs, company directors, politicians and senior bureaucrats. Tackle tax evasion and waste. LEAVE PENSIONERS ALONE.
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:18pm
    I notice that some of you are calling for Petitions. Would it not be better for organisations like the one we are now gracing and all the others to get together and present a united front on behalf of us all. I am 67 and not a pensioner yet as I can't afford to retire. But i am angry at the inactivity of all you who are pensioners and probably me for not channeling our anger and resentment along more productive lines.
    My advice to you all is don't waste your time and energy on the likes of Simon Cowall and CIS. The governments are the ones to blame - and Tony Abbott Bill Shorten Malcolm Fraser and that Greens bloke are the main suspects. How many of you live in their electorates, how are you going to vote come July's Double Dissolution?? I don't live with them. So I am going to RESEARCH the Senate candidates for NSW and see what I can do there. When I came to Australia in 1970 as a fresh faced 20 year old. I knew nothing. I voted labour as I was working class boy. In 1975 I really saw what a labour Government could do and never voted Labour again. It is 30 odd years later and I will never vote for a major party again. They are deceitful, liars, thieves and treat us like idiots. Just yesterday a Labour Senator from WA resigned - so straight away Shorten decides to give the role to Pat Dodson. Hang on did any of you sandgropers vote for Dodson?? Thought not! Shorten says he will be an assett to the indigenous people and will be able to look after all of Northern Australia!! Hang on Bill he is the Senator for WA not NT or Queensland. All the time they are telling lies and manipulating us. I honestly don't know how their wives and children react to this deceitful and manipulative behavior. Any way I have said too much. So YourLifeChoices how about a response to my first paragraph.
    BundyGil
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:24pm
    CIS is an ultra right wing ginger group pushing their ideological barrow.
    Why is their crap being repore her. They need to be totally ignored by all.
    Chris B T
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:27pm
    The "Me Generation can stay on the continuous education and handouts and no need to start paying off HEC's until a level of earnings is reached to start paying back. Some never to be repayed.
    Before the Whitlam Labour Gov, you where on your own.
    This is what the pensioners of today had to face, pay your own way beyond year12/leaving cert. No dole for under 18's automatic job for males if went to then CES (Army conscription).
    So who's bleeding whom, Have a Real Thought Process Before BLEATING.
    Today it is a free for all until a level of earning is reached with centerlink payments.
    Richied
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:48pm
    Those who want to reduce pensions often quote that pensions will increase (as a percentage of GDP) from just over 2.5% to just under 4% in the next 35 years. That's a bit sensationalist, when one notes that, even if the 4% forecast is reached, Australia will still have the fifth lowest aged pension contribution of all OECD countries.

    Admittedly, other countries have higher cash payments but lower concessions (on things like rates, electricity, transport etc) to aged pensioners, but even taking the full benefit into account, Australia is still in the bottom ten countries.

    Although 80 percent of people of aged pension age claim part or full pension, this percentage is not going to rise, because more people are building a superannuation nest egg (those in their fifties now may struggle, given the late start to compulsory superannuation, but those under will have good super nest eggs).

    When one understands that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of its citizens, it seems wrong that health and pensions are used as easy targets for cost cutting.

    I'd like to think that all fair-minded Australians would be willing to continue funding aged pensions at the current levels.

    (Note: I probably will never be eligible for a pension)
    julias
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:58pm
    I am a 70 yo aged pensioner. My generation were not expected to save for our old age or retirement.We did expect our contributions in taxes to go towards helping our Elders.What is going to happen to the younger generation when they get to their 70's and 80's? Which they will, eventually.
    Circum
    3rd Mar 2016
    4:48pm
    Naturally CIS believes that they,the now old young generation,will not want a pension as it will be unfair of them to change their view.

    In any case the CIS argument is not logical and uses emotive language .Equally I could say its unfair that my taxes are paying for younger peoples education etc.And in order to make education costs more sustainable,I could recommend that the number of years at school should be reduced..etc etc absurd of course
    Aussie
    3rd Mar 2016
    2:59pm
    Well I am 72 Years old and very healthy and all i have as income to live day to day is my pension but unfortunately i am not prepare to lock myself on one room on a share accommodation with other people that are not my family.

    I have 3 beautiful kids they are working hard and I am not going to become a burden for them so this is my history..... maybe I help someone to live a productive and dignified life in retirement .... without worries and full of happiness.

    I retire at 65 and continue working as a IT teacher with a satisfying results but then in 2012 i start looking at the future of the country and my future options.
    I look Australia, Look at my original country, Look other South Asian countries to assess my future .... ??? What to do ..??Where to go ..??Stay in Australia ???.

    I look at my financial situation and all I had was my pension (average $1,600 per month) Wowowowo I calculate my expenses ...Rent food medical entertaiment car expenses ELECTRICITY .. Water ... and I found that I got left if I was lucky just a few dollars on my pocket.

    I look at my benefits ...$2.50 x day on public transport, free public hospital .... Home assistance .... Gov. Housing (very long list - but I apply anyway) etc.

    Yes all nice but not sufficient for a nice life .... just live on a room until I die or in a public house with many neighbours problems ....NO BLOODY WAY .... I have to do much better than this so this is what I did ..

    1.- Investigate other countries financial opportunities (Living expenses - Rent food etc)
    2.- After a long investigation of Australian situation and other countries I found that Australia was going to be on a very bad financial position for us retire people with only a pension (Increase in cost of living, rents and much more ...and look what happened today ...very scary for all of us - please exclude those with other income like rentals or superannuation income ... maybe they are ok, happy for them )
    2.- I look to move to Bali, Thailand, South American countries etc. so ....
    3. I decide to move to Thailand (Close to my Kids - Cheap to live, great weather, nice food, good beach etc etc)

    So I move to Thailand and this is what I am doing with my $1,600 Australian dollars pension:

    1.- Found a companion that can share life with me, great (nice and happy person) - Everybody say Thai women takes all your money ???? What money $1,6000 x month ???? So what ... I am very happy sharing what I have.

    2.- I am paying for a block of land and will build small home by about Aug 2016 (Currently renting)
    3.- Building a new Hydroponic equipment to produce and sell Hydroponic in my area.
    4.- Planting avocados and other plants for consumption and sell on the markets (Lots of fun) currently I am selling tomatoes I am growing .....

    5.- My basic expenditure:

    Rent = $145 x month (North of Thailand) or about $350 on the coast beach side
    Food = $300 x month (Including meat, chicken veggies eggs ...everything we need)
    Entertainment = $200 x month
    Electricity = $12 x month
    Phone: $40 x Month (Mobile with internet and international calls)
    Internet= $24 x month (Fast - Unlimited)

    Total = $721
    Left for building = about $800 x month (or 20,000B - Thai money - lots of money)

    So this is my history as a 72 years old retire person living overseas.
    I use to earn over $120,000 x year and pay all my taxes (Lots of taxes) Pay mortgage and the rest ....so I have pay my duties as an Australian for many many years ...... Now is my time to live a live a productive and dignified life in retirement ..... I have pay lots of money for other retired persons during my working like.

    I hope I provide a positive attitude for you retire people ..... Do not worry be Happy and enjoy the rest of your life do not listen to anybody.
    If you still married the same and probably better

    Have fun and live a happy happy time do not think to much just do what you think is best for you ..... do not complain he he he
    C
    Jolly
    3rd Mar 2016
    5:15pm
    Well done to you Aussie. Just goes to show that there are alternatives out there. Just go and look for them.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    6:19pm
    Yes, well done, but I have to ask if you earned $120,000 a year, what you did with it that you NEED a pension? Where did it all go?

    This is what angers me about the changes to the taper rate. It's forcing battlers who saved a little to drain their savings and forfeit all benefit from their hard work and sacrifice, yet it gives a full pension to people who earned high incomes and lived it up and didn't save at all.
    Aussie
    4th Mar 2016
    2:07pm
    Well when I retire at 65 I collect my small super of about 160,000 and invest in studio units (2 with mortgage because I continue working) thinking that will provide me with some income to add to the pension and live Ok in Australia he he he he ...I was bloody wrong the cost of maintaining the 2 units increase and increase each year on maintenance and strata fees and council to the point that I start putting money to maintain the properties .... so yeahhhh I decice to sell out and think what to do.
    You know the rest ....read above

    Have lots of fun I am having a great time .... do not worry about the high incomes .... just do your life forget about the rest and make a happy time Yeahhh let's do it Ok
    FM
    3rd Mar 2016
    3:43pm
    Another deplorable piece of wedge politics and elder bashing from a septic think tank. Retirees paid for their superannuation from after tax income, sometimes at up to 30% of after tax income. It is not being paid for by the next generation. In addition they paid for ordinary pensions with an early version of the compulsory superannuation scheme. A compulsory 7.5% levy was collected as part of tax from 1945 to pay for pensions and is still being collected. This is the same as the scheme used in Europe and the UK to pay the universal pension. There are estimates that the trillions of dollars paid into this the fund (and stolen since 1985) would be enough to pay a non-means tested pension to every retiree of more than $500 a week as is done in the UK and Europe. Retirees have been robbed of the money they saved for both private and state superannuation and now you are suggesting that they be turned out of their homes. When it comes to assets the greatest asset one can have is the ability to work and the potential to earn income. People who retire early generally do so for health reasons and that will not change.
    Changes to superannuation and retirement age were hasty responses to the GFC. Everyone is paying a price for the banking crisis but instead of blaming the banks those with vested interests are blaming retirees who lost most during that time. The changes made to superannuation should have been challenged by everyone, in particular younger people affected by them and unions who sat idly by. Generations and unions of old fought long and hard for proper retirement pensions. Younger people need to understand that significant contributions have to be made to have adequate superannuation. They can afford it and the state can afford it.
    Lescol
    3rd Mar 2016
    9:39pm
    FM & others. 1945 was a little before my time but I would definitely like to learn much more of this matter. I very much believe this is the type of scheme Australia desperately needs. Only a universal transportable scheme should exist.
    BundyGil
    3rd Mar 2016
    4:04pm
    The Centre for Independent Studies is an ultra right wing 'think tank' of the ilk of Andrew Bolton.
    It's purpose is to push their neo con, everyone is on their own, look after yourself agenda.
    I really don't know why it is being reported here except to create controversy and fear.
    Just ignore their crap as it only encourages them.
    There does need to be a discussion on pensions, superannuation, and future affordablilty due to the aging population mix and less young people to fund than in the past, but not from CIS.

    This is NOT a current problem, no matter what the conservatives try and tell you, but it will be in 20 years time
    Al1955
    3rd Mar 2016
    4:46pm
    In 1908, the percentage of older Aussies who lived till retirement age was small, and their life expectancy was a few short years. Now we have a far far higher percentage of people reachng retirement age and they can expect to live well into their 80s. We have a far lower proportion of taxpayers paying taxes to fund pensions for our older community in retirement. As a consequence the pension must be viewed as a safety net and all people bar the poorest must contribute to their retirement.. some totally and some partially.
    You can never make things totally fair. My parents lived through the depression and were frugal to the extreme and totally funded their own retirement from limited means. My in-laws had two good incomes and purchased luxuries, cars, overseas trips and lived with the best of evertything. They spent everything they earned and were totally reliant on the pension when they could have well afforded to pay their own way.
    Everyone who earns must be made to save for their retirement to make things as fair as possible and only those who cannot earn a reasonable wage will then become reliant on this safety net.
    Circum
    3rd Mar 2016
    5:01pm
    Sure everybody should ideally save for their retirement as a SUPPLEMENT to the pension.But please dont call the pension as a safety net as its not.Yes the government will try damn hard to brainwash people to think that its welfare.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2016
    7:28am
    Trouble is, Circum, that saving doesn't pay. Those who saved are forced to drain their savings and forego the pension and benefits and many, after January 2017 if not already, are far worse off in income terms than pensioners. Sure, they can use their savings to boost their living standard, but if they are in early stages of retirement, they won't want to do that because their savings will quickly run out. What nobody is considering is that if we see the same rates of inflation in the next few decades that we saw in the last, $825,000 in today's money will be worth maybe $80,000 two or so decades from now. If people have to spend their savings, they will likely be very hard up when it comes time to go into care. Furthermore, many have assets assessed at high value that are not returning and are not saleable due to economic conditions. Others have their money tied up in assets that, if sold now, would result in a substantial capital loss, so they want to hold on for improvement - understandably.

    The pension system, as it stands, is not conducive to saving and is grossly unfair. It needs a total overhaul. And that overhaul should begin with recognition of the true facts about today's retiree - that we paid for our retirement through taxation and we are as entitled to the aged pension as superannuants are to their super pensions. And today's workers are just going to have to accept that they have an obligation to pay, like it or not, just as we were obliged to support our parents and grandparents.

    It's past time for retirees to hit back with some very strong public statements about their rights and their absolute disgust at the behaviour of those who don't treat older Australians with respect. Maybe a strong letter or petition to the Government, copied to the International Commissioner for Human Right, with, of course, accompanying press releases to major media would get us a hearing and a chance to expose some fundamental truths that are being covered up in rants against aged pensioners? It's time we hit back!
    Lescol
    3rd Mar 2016
    4:56pm
    I had said it before and I say it again; a transportable universal non-means tested pension to all upon age 65 and taxed. The present government has to be replaced and the wedge politics have to stop. Negative gearing has to stop. Such a deduction against personal income is immoral.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    6:10pm
    Agree, Lescol. That would be much fairer and more affordable. But there must also be something done to address the family home exemption. I don't want to see anyone forced out of their home, but it's grossly unfair that someone can deliberately tie up $2 million in a house to get the full pension while someone who accepted a modest home and invested to try to be self-sufficient is denied a pension. Even with a non-means-tested pension for all and a tax on income, those who plunge their money into a family home are going to enjoy an unfair advantage.
    moke
    3rd Mar 2016
    5:01pm
    Some older pensioners did not have the benefit of Superannuation and paid their taxes. just a pity the government didn't put some of the taxes aside to fund those aged pensioners. I can't get with all the bitching about pensioners when thousands of young people get the dole and have not worked one day in their lives or paid taxes and expect workers to fund them and they expect more than pensioners get. I have worked in an area where the unemployed are trained, assisted and helped to apply for work and the number of non interested is unbelievable. GIVE PENSIONERS A BREAK THEY HELPED MAKE AUSTRALIA WHAT IS WAS A FEW YEARS AGO (CAN'T USE THE PHRASE WHAT IT IS TODAY BECAUSE IT HAS GONE DOWN HILL IN A HURRY)
    freed1948
    3rd Mar 2016
    5:31pm
    I lived in Thailand for a number of years. On returning to Australia I had to remain in here for 2 years for my age Pension to be portable.
    I was granted a full pension as my working life here complied with the requirements to receive it. In this time I have found it impossible to live a contented life on my $1,600 per fortnight.
    I therefore intend to return to Thailand to live out my life more comfortably.
    All I have seen since I returned are changes to the pension entitlements that make it more difficult to survive.
    There are currently changes to the pension entitlements waiting to be passed that will adversely affect me and even make it difficult to survive in Thailand.
    The Age Pension is NOT an entitlement, it is a return of the taxes I have paid.
    What happened to Abbott''s and Hockey's promise that there will be NO changes to the Age Pension??
    freed1948
    3rd Mar 2016
    5:33pm
    Sorry that should be $1'600 per month>
    Aussie
    4th Mar 2016
    2:12pm
    Ok Ok .... come back to Thailand come to the north forget about the bars and make a nice and healthy life with your $1,600 dollars
    of course some small adjustments have to be made like your home will be small and the conveniences you had in AUS are not here but hey hey ....that is only material rubbish that we accumulate over the years.
    I dispose of two containers full of stuff to the salvation Army for other people to use ..... Now I have only what I need Fridge bed stove some clothes some local furniture (Bamboo and cheap wood) car ....that's it no extras OH OH and TV with small computer to communicate.
    So Yeahhhh come back mate this is good.
    C
    Disco Diver
    3rd Mar 2016
    6:19pm
    Use the United Kingdom way of paying for your pension which you pay for.
    At age 65 pension paid no questions asked as you paid for it.
    Work after 65 no questions asked as you paid for the pension.
    Go overseas on holiday for more than 6 weeks, no questions asked as you paid for it.
    Lescol
    4th Mar 2016
    2:48pm
    I am able to confirm that Australia had such a scheme in the 50's but it was thrown out by the LNP and their cohorts. I am not angry but I intend to get even at every future election/opportunity.
    B J
    3rd Mar 2016
    6:32pm
    It makes me so mad when Im made to feel guilty for being on the pension, I was informed the other day by an 18year that now that hes working he is paying my wages. I worked for 52 years & paid my taxes & I wasnt offered super until 1989. Who have I been supporting for 52 years?
    BJ
    gca
    3rd Mar 2016
    6:33pm
    So, how do we get our message through to the government? We don't want thousands of refugees being let into the country to live on welfare when we can't support our pensioners and farmers. When I was at school(50's & 60's) migrants came and worked. They didn't expect handouts but wanted opportunities. Remember the contribution these migrants made to our country with the Snowy River Scheme?

    We should not be effectively borrowing money to give to other countries as foreign aid. When we have our drought stricken farmers back on track, our pensions restored and our budget in surplus maybe we can consider overseas aid. Might need to be a bit more selective though, as some of the countries that are receiving our aid really don't like us! (Remember the Bali bombings.)

    In the rush to be "warm and fuzzy" and politically correct we have let a religious minority hi-jack Christmas take over our swimming pools with special nights for them and had their halal food forced upon us in schools and now army ration packs.

    Let's remind these visitors and the politicians that we are mainly a Christian country and want the values that represents to be maintained.
    Perthite
    3rd Mar 2016
    7:43pm
    That is terrible forcing halal food on us. Coles and Woolies meat is all halal which means that the animals are badly treated.

    You are right about foreign aid. This should be stopped until Australia sorts itself out.

    Someone mentioned Joe Hockey being Ambassador for Washington for which he will receive a good salary and yet we still have to pay working politicians their huge pensions from the day we sack them. Would anyone work if they could get their salary with the trouble!
    Play Fairly
    3rd Mar 2016
    10:40pm
    I'm not too chuffed about giving foreign aid to Indonesia either. They have treated Australia with contempt on many occasions. We have been very generous to our neighbours, but the time is here when we need to look after our own people first.
    I agree with Perthite too. It is terrible that halal slaughtering methods are used in this country. I do not condone cruel slaughtering of our cattle. If Coles & Woolworths are using only halal slaughtered meat, then we have every right to object to this cruel practice. I am not even sure if Indonesia's cruel handling of our live export cattle has ceased. We have been warned in this country that domestic supplies of beef, and also fresh milk, will become in short supply. THIS iS NOT WHAT WE REALLY WANT FOR OUR COUNTRY.
    Deb Dickman
    3rd Mar 2016
    8:15pm
    On the contrary, I believe everyone should be entitled to it. Its totally unfair to allow only those who are below a certain threshold (myself included). The more you have worked, and the more taxes you have paid should entitle you to it. We have worked to support previous generation, then so to should future generation work to support the elderly.
    Lescol
    3rd Mar 2016
    9:28pm
    A transportable universal non-means tested pension to all upon age 65 and every one is liable for taxation. Negative gearing has to stop for deduction against personal income is immoral.
    Rosret
    3rd Mar 2016
    10:06pm
    Noone seems to get it. Probably because young fit people are making the decisions of the elderly. Yes, we are all living longer but we are still old. Now we are old and tired for much much longer. People don't give up work because they are lazy - they are just plain worn out. I wonder if our generation was so horribe to our parents generation. Shame on us if we were!
    miker
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:44pm
    Baby Boomers and existing Pensioners do need to worry about their future. The young workers who will be bearing the increasing tax burden to pay for the elderly are saddled with home mortgages and home rental costs that defy belief. The whole system is so out of balance. I see more violence and malice towards the elderly in the years ahead.
    Rosret
    4th Mar 2016
    9:06am
    So is the size of their homes out of balance. The number of extracurricular activites their children attend, the holidays they expect to go on. Turn the clock back - we didn't live at that level of extravagence.
    Some baby boomers don't need to worry. The average superfund is $40K
    - the crunch is coming and the government knows it. ....hence the >9% super fund contribution. However the private superfunds have figured out its a bonanza for them and a squeeze for the individual. I wish super was in government hands.
    However the private medical going up will mean more dropouts from the private system. Longer waiting times for treatment consequenting in more premature deaths - all sorted!
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2016
    10:55am
    Wow, Miker! Which groups do you survey to come up with such nonsense? All my ''young worker'' neighbours bought brand new 4-bedroom/2+-bath/3-living room/2+ garage brick and tile homes, professionally landscaped and with swimming pools, and they STILL take their kids overseas for holidays. Conversely, all of my friends in my generation knocked themselves out, going without holidays and outings for years, growing vegetables, sewing clothes, and working weekends and nights when they could to pay off and renovate run-down 30+-year-old 2 bedroom weatherboard cottages.

    Those of the young who are doing it tough are not paying much tax, and are getting family allowances, childcare benefits etc. that didn't exist when I was raising kids. And most young have 2 incomes today whereas we had only 1 for many years.

    If I look at averages in my generation vs 35-year-olds today, my generation:
    _ Paid about the same in ''years worked on average wage'' terms for a house, but it was an older style 2-bedroom in need of renovation, whereas today's young are more likely to buy much larger and brand new.

    - Paid up to 10 times the price, in terms of ''hours worked on average wage'' for needed furniture, appliances, cars, linen, and other household needs, (I recently bought a new fridge and lounge that cost exactly the same, in actual $, as the first ones I bought - back in 1973. Blankets cost LESS today in actual $ terms than back then. And how about the cost of family photos? Remember what it used to cost us to record a happy family event?)

    - Paid several times the price, in terms of ''hours worked on average wage'' for clothing, cosmetics, hair care, etc.

    - Went out to eat a few times a year at most, compared with the young, most of whom dine out at least weekly.

    - Holidayed occasionally quite close to home and often in tents or basic cottages, not luxury apartments or hotels and certainly not overseas

    - Often worked through holidays and long service leave and had second jobs at night to pay their mortgage

    - Got no help to pay for childcare

    - were disadvantaged in earlier life by very low youth wages and low female wages, so hadn't nearly as much chance to save

    - had far less access to information and advice to help them with financial planning

    Should I go on? This crap about how tough the young have it is precisely that. CRAP.

    I do, however, worry about the future, because our government is so corrupt, dishonest and incompetent that nobody knows how bad things will get, but we do know who will suffer as a consequence: the disabled, sick, aged, and educationally disadvantaged, every time!
    Valalan
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:50pm
    This is just ludicrous to suggest that the younger generation are paying for our pensions. We have paid our taxes all our working lives to pay for that. Now they are trying to take it away.
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Mar 2016
    5:22pm
    All of our banks would have collapsed in 2008 had the Federal Government not ridden to the rescue. None were able to refinance their offshore loans because global credit markets had frozen.
    During the crisis (GFC), our banks borrowed more than $120 billion using the taxpayers' AAA credit rating, the greatest bailout of any industry in our history
    FM
    4th Mar 2016
    12:10am
    Yes Rainey you are absolutely right, we need to challenge the newspapers that publish these attacks every time they occur. I read this one in Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and objected to it but it would take many objections for them to take heed. The editorial control appears to be very weak.
    The Sydney Morning Herald is the paper I am most familiar with but the Age runs similar articles. The SMH has spearheaded some appalling attacks on seniors including in the past year including
    • A vicious rant by Ross Gittins about pensioners being greedy and grasping after low income retirees lost significant pension in last year’s Budget.
    • That was followed by numerous attacks from Peter Martin including one pushing the notion that retirees who own their homes are asset rich and should be taxed out of them or forced to take a reverse Mortgage to fund their pensions. In another he presented retirees as drunken bludgers who did not need anything like the income stated by Association of Superannuation Funds to survive.
    • Nazeem Khadem did her bit of elder bashing recently by stating ‘Australia is facing growing income inequality. Baby boomers who benefited from free tertiary education, the housing boom and superannuation tax breaks now hold about 40 per cent of the nation’s wealth’.
    It would appear that some of these attacks are paid for by lobbyists for business and Government who are using newspapers to run savage campaigns to justify cutting the incomes of old, sick and dying people who have no advocacy bodies to represent them. Newspapers give them credibility they do not have. These cuts would fund tax cuts for them.
    You can complain to newspapers via letters to the editor. The contact for the Sydney Morning Herald is letters@smh.com.au
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2016
    7:35am
    FM, what I'm thinking would be a useful strategy is to compose our own white paper. I can do it with a bit of research help. Then, release it together with an appeal to the International Human Rights Commissioner, copied to the Prime Minister and Treasurer and leaders of Opposition, and accompanied with press releases to all major media.

    Get our voices heard. Protest the blatant discrimination we are suffering and get some of the relevant facts out there, countering lies about how ''easy'' we supposedly had it (e.g. compare the price in ''years of work on average wage'' terms, but add in the important variables of interest rates, single incomes in most families, lower youth and female wages, far higher costs for other household necessities, higher general living costs).

    Make a statement about the tax levy that was to fund retirement and where it went, and demand that the Government recognize our entitlement as a consequence of them stealing the money we put aside for our old age.

    If the white paper is well done - not over-emotional or reactive, but objective and fair - it might put some of the rumours to bed. At least it will let the government and the greedy know retirees are not a pushover and won't stay silent if treated with contempt and unfairness.

    Governments respond to lobby groups who shout. We are a significant voting force, but they ignore us because they think we are too old to pay attention and make a noise. We need to convince them otherwise. Let them know they'll feel pain in the polls if they don't reverse their strategy on retirement and stop the insulting attacks and unfair betrayals of trust.
    Rae
    4th Mar 2016
    9:21am
    We certainly need an active lobby group. It appears the retirement groups have no fire and would rather fuss about 'The Palestine Issue' or other inconsequential issues.

    I do believe the cutting of income from January 2017 will stir people up. We are pretty apathetic most of the time. After all we let these governments do all this including selling off all our assets for discounted prices purely to earn points towards that cushy after parliament job. We should have stopped them a long time ago.

    There is no national security left now and we may very well have a world war with many of our resources and infrastructure under foreign control.

    We even watched the decline in wages year after year, the decline in taxes was celebrated. I always thought that would cause problems eventually and so it has.

    Australia spends too much and earns too little and owns hardly anything any more. Our standards of living have to fall and those young people used to "high living' will feel it the most.

    They will want to blame someone so as usual it will be the immigrants and the poor. Pensioners are the new poor.
    FM
    4th Mar 2016
    12:37am
    Hi Lescol
    I am posting the history of the pension contribution fund in two posts as I can't fit it in one.

    People have spent their lifetimes paying for their pensions with an early version of the compulsory superannuation scheme.
    In 1945, Prime Minister Ben Chifley and the Commonwealth Government split personal income tax into two components. One of them, the social services contribution was to be used exclusively to finance social security cash payments. This contribution was set at 7.5% and lodged in National Welfare Fund. Unlike the UK and the US there was no link between personal contributions and entitlements.
    The Opposition Leader Robert Menzies insisted that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate. That it should be shown separately on the Taxation Assessment and paid straight into a trust account and not mixed with the General Revenue.
    Menzies said: “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    The levy and the National Welfare fund began on January 1st 1946 and contributions were shown separately on the personal Tax Assessments until 1950. In 1950 the balance in the fund was almost 100 million pounds, in today’s money several trillion dollars.
    Bob Menzies supported by the Labor Party amended the Acts governing the special Fund and the Compulsory Contributions (levy) was then grouped with TAX PAID. It appeared as one amount on taxation assessments and was paid straight into Consolidated Revenue.
    But the compulsory 7.5% levy was still collected. In 1977 Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund Account (by then almost half-a-billion dollars) to Consolidated Revenue. That money equates to another several trillion dollars. And still the 7.5% was taken out of everyone’s pay packet every week.
    FM
    4th Mar 2016
    12:38am
    Pension Welfare Fund continued
    In 1985 the Labor Government repealed Acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts) and introduced the Income and Asset Tests, thus excluding millions of Australians from receiving Social Services Pensions. But still the 7.5% levy continued to be collected.
    To this day it still is collected. There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund would be enough to pay a non-means tested pension to every retiree of more than $500 a week.
    And taxpayers, including self-funded retirees, are still paying that levy but politicians of all stripes and a complacent media still push the myth that the pension is welfare. They’ve got to. If they accept its contributory funding basis they have to admit they have spent the money.
    They also would have to accept that the pension should not be asset and income-tested; that there could be no possible basis for including the family home in any tests; and that the pension is not being paid from the taxes of younger generations (whose own 7.5% also is being misappropriated).
    This is adapted from a piece written by
    Brian Edmonds
    Lescol
    4th Mar 2016
    12:54am
    Thank you FM. In the next few days I've got to do some research and I would note that this is rather scandalous material! Do you have any details re the Brian Edmonds article? All too often I find there is social media hearsay and so I need research to satisfy myself. Cheers.
    JJ
    4th Mar 2016
    11:19am
    I didn't know any of this history FM. Thank you for the information, it is very interesting. I need to do some research too, although your point sounds very believable knowing our governments as we do!
    FM
    4th Mar 2016
    1:01am
    Yes Rainey you are absolutely right, we need to challenge newspapers that publish attacks on seniors every time they occur.
    I read this one in Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and objected to it, but it would take many objections for them to take heed.
    The editorial control appears to be weak and seems happy to support any organization that calls itself a think tank, no matter how extreme, probably because it pays for promoting its ideas.
    It may well be that the editors hold these views and are unconcerned about engaging in elder bashing.
    We do not have a free or independent press. We will get what we accept and this is not acceptable.
    People can complain to newspapers via letters to the editor.
    The contact for the Sydney Morning Herald is letters@smh.com.au
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2016
    7:49am
    FM (and others) please read my post below proposing a white paper and media campaign. I believe we have an opportunity, and with an election looming soon, the time is right to make a strong and positive move.
    Not Senile Yet!
    4th Mar 2016
    1:18am
    So Dumb the working generation now....both parties have manipulated the truth into half truths or outright lies......because the new generation simply do not know their history or what their parents generation sacrificed for them!!!!
    The Age Pension was never!,,,yes... NEVER!....ever.... called Welfare!!!!
    It has only been labelled so by the Party Puppets on both sides...left or right....to brainwash people into believing that it is charity......which is welfare......given by the Government to those in need/broke in their old age!!!!!
    What a total bunch of Lies and deceit!!!!
    As has been mentioned by others...it was enshrined in our Legislation way back in the early 1900's...(1908 I believe)...that it was a REWARD for Service.....which does indeed make it an Entitlement!!!!!
    Think carefully about that.....and while you are at it....think about this:
    Murderers, Robbers, Thieves, Rapists, Fraudsters and most Law Breakers in General who are serving Jail Sentences for their Crimes are supported by the Government at a approx. cost of $100 a day with Free Food, Health Care, Security, Accommodation, Free TV and sports & recreation!!!!!!
    What kind of Society does this for their Citizens that break all the laws and rules and avoids paying taxes as much as possible??????
    Why after 45 years of working and paying taxes is a Pensioner or Retired Person considered a LESS WORTHY person...ie paid only $500 per week but has to pay for Food and Accommodation, Elec Gas and Water etc. etc. out of that amount.....whilst the Prisoner gets a FREE ride ..all expenses paid.....and are worthy of $700 per week expenditure.....probably paid for by that very same Pensioner/Retired Person?????
    What sort of Society Values it's Older Citizen's LESS than a Prisoner in Jail???
    The same Citizen that paid for not only your roads you drive on, but the bridges, highways, schools, Universities, and probably contributed to the profits of every private business that exists today, all to to serve the next generation!!!!
    The reward...to be attacked by the very people who paid for the system that allows them a very comfortable life...their Members of Parliament.....simply because those same party puppet members cannot balance a budget!!!!!
    SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
    As for the Super Discussion.....who could afford it before 1990...whilst raising a family on one wage most of the time and limited overtime????
    As for the Dissappearing Pension Fund!!!!...Yep Malcom Fraser access it ..but let's be Fair here.....he had to have the Oppositions approval to do so!!!!
    Something the designers of the scheme thought could never happen...not in a Lifetime would Labor and the Liberals ever agree on anything!!!!
    So what was the Sweetener????
    Why did they agree to raid the Piggy Bank that was intended to pay the Futre Pensions that they can now not afford????
    Well...here's a hint.....like a secret free trade deal.....details were never divulged to the public!!!!!
    But guess what magically appeared right afterwards.....A BRAND NEW PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN CANBERRA.....and Yep you guessed right....FULLY FUNDED!
    Bigger than the White House in the USA!
    New....paid for!
    And the Old One....turned into a Political Museum.....Fully Funded and Paid For!!!!
    MAGIC eh what????
    pfbnug
    4th Mar 2016
    3:02am
    Agree with Budgie all the way. If the government has a problem raising the money, take away pollie's perks and stop paying freeloading Incomers all the money I and those like me paid in tax. We'd soon be pack on the way to the Lucky Country!

    4th Mar 2016
    7:45am
    I've read the posts here and I think a lot of older Australians are justifiably angry. But what can we do? We need to hit back. Letters to editors are a great way to do that, but I think maybe I have a better idea.

    FM has done some good research and presented some relevant data. There's more that can be unearthed, e.g. to do some REAL comparisons on access to housing then and now - not the fake research that suggests we got our homes almost given to us and the young are doing it a million times tougher! The research I see never mentions 18% interest rates, low youth and female wages, many families living on one income - not two, or the high comparative prices of household goods and other high essential living costs.

    What I'm thinking is that if we want to get attention, we need a BIG SPLASH. I can arrange for a professional writer to produce a detailed white paper if I can get some assistance with research. That could then be submitted to the International Commissioner of Human Rights and various MPs (PM, Treasurer, Opposition Leader, Shadow Treasurer, etc.) In presenting it, we would naturally send press releases to key media outlets, so there is national attention paid to our anger.

    Seniors represent a huge voting force. We have power. We are not using it. We need to capture the energy behind the angry posts here and mount a structured defence that will get us noticed and taken seriously - not dismissed as angry old b.... 's wanting more handouts.

    Anyone up for it? I'll get the paper written at no cost to anyone if others can supply historical data (such as that FM quoted) and copies of media articles that bash retirees, threaten our income security, breach government promises, etc.

    Would Your Life Choices act as co-ordinator please to receive submissions and pass them on to me to pass to the white paper writer?
    Lescol
    4th Mar 2016
    2:23pm
    Hi Rainey I am interested and FM provided a most interesting reference. Basically is shows that Australia in the 50's had a world leading social policy and by how much they have declined.

    Given the current wedge environment I suggest the focus needs to be a push for a return of the policies of the 50's ie. a transportable universal non-means tested pension to all upon age 65 and taxed. As well, negative gearing has to stop for such a deduction against personal income is immoral.
    Play Fairly
    4th Mar 2016
    4:43pm
    I also would like "Your Life Choices" to act as co-ordinator as per what Rainey has proposed.
    MD
    4th Mar 2016
    8:54am
    The author(s) of this article & dare I say the site publisher are indeed very naughty. This contribution is akin to the results of someone throwing a single bone into a cage of ravenous dogs. It has however produced many valid contributions and points that need to be directed to the appropriate source(s) for due consideration otherwise we each of us are but blowing our cheeks to no avail. A number of contributors have made this very point in fact. So my question to this site manager is - What is to become of this (collective) contribution ?
    History is full of similar situations and an appropriate analogy could be our collective politicians, perk servants, stink tank thinkers in residence et al likened to Marie Antoinette purportedly saying; whilst poncing around the palace, with the amassed peasants revolting outside "Let them eat brioche" (sweet bread).
    Rosret
    4th Mar 2016
    9:08am
    Yes.
    Saalbach
    4th Mar 2016
    10:37am
    Those against the pension always resort to a few fundamental issues to support their case, but when you look at these, they are full of holes.
    Take the case of the increased number of retirees. The argument is that future generations are going to have to support this increased number. However, that increased number have been paying taxes all their lives, as well as supporting those who had already retired. The situation is no different to what it was in the years when the pension worked, and before the Govt started crying poor.
    Another argument is that future generations will have to pay more than their fair share of tax to fund pensions. If the Govts have spent the money that we paid in tax towards our pensions, then they presumably have invested it in a better country. The future generations will get the benefit form that, so it is reasonable for them to pay for it - a simple "user pays" situation.
    Of course, if Govts in the past have misspent the "pension" money, then that is a problem for everyone, not just retirees. The discussion shouldn't then be about pensions, it should be about better fiscal management.
    Our Govts (of either persuasion) always claim to be the best ever financial managers, but never are. We need to stop believing them, and put pressure on them by voting for minority parties - look at the pressure Nick Xenophon, Wilkie, etc have been able to apply. You may not agree with their policies, but the principle is still there - having a wide range of views will get better outcomes.
    FM
    4th Mar 2016
    11:22am
    Hi Lescol
    You will get some of this information in the following Government website.
    History of the Pension
    http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf

    There was a further development of specific relevance to social security in 1945. The Commonwealth split the personal income tax into two components. One, the social services contribution, was to be used exclusively to finance social security cash payments. Revenue from the contribution was paid into the National Welfare Fund, from which all such cash payments were to be made, but there was no link between personal contributions and entitlements. The fund was supplemented by subventions from payroll tax and general revenue. In the event, the social services contribution was again merged into a single personal income tax in 1950. All cash payments are now made direct from general revenue.
    In 1952 the means test on age and invalid pension eligibility was largely removed for permanently blind people. It was completely removed in 1954.

    A reciprocal agreement on social security was concluded with the United Kingdom in 1953.

    Mr Brian Edmonds researched what I provided for the MAP Party.
    Lescol
    4th Mar 2016
    2:07pm
    Many thanks FM but the actual reference is http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/1301.0Feature%20Article221988?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=1301.0&issue=1988&num=&view=
    I also took a copy of the page as such have been known to be changed :)

    Perhaps I would note that in the 50's Australia had a world beating policy upon such matters and it is a shame to have seen what has been lost! Regardless, the 'age of enlightenment' can be restored if there is enough public outage and I for one am prepared to be counted.

    I hope that many will review, decide and also be counted in this matter.
    Hobbit
    4th Mar 2016
    11:29am
    Major points deliberately avoided are that Income Tax is NOT the governments main source of tax revenue, it's actually minor. And pensioners are still contributing taxes:
    GST
    Petrol Excise
    Alcohol Excise
    Council Rates
    Licences and Registration
    Stamp Duty when we down size our houses

    Any fool can cut costs, it takes brains to increase revenue. Expand the economy and revenues will exceed expenditure by a handsome amount. Sadly, our pollies are inept fools paid high salaries and expenses suitable for people clever enough to understand complex matters.
    Circum
    4th Mar 2016
    2:50pm
    A clever person can cut costs and increase revenue at the same time given the right process.Throwing more money at a problem may only increase wastage .And sadly you are right about our politicians who rely on consultants and committees to do their thinking for them

    4th Mar 2016
    1:59pm
    Given some of the facts stated here about the history of taxation and pension funding, and the use of funds designated for pensions to build a new parliament house, and assuming these facts can be verified, I wonder if retirees have a valid case to sue the Federal Government for their losses as a result of misappropriation of taxpayers' money?
    Circum
    4th Mar 2016
    2:54pm
    tempting course of action but I wonder if its a bit like suing yourself.
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Mar 2016
    5:12pm
    Maybe a class action against the politician proponents that were responsible for the misappropriation of taxpayer's tax revenue that resulted in the depletion of funds to cover future pension payments. Funds that were used to prop up fraudulent charity groups and fraudulent private education centers? Of course, their legal costs in defending the action would have to come out of their home asset. Perhaps a loan by way of reverse mortgage on their home?
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Mar 2016
    4:54pm
    Take a young person who is probably earning over $100,000 per year by authoring commissioned proposals . Claims his entitlement to income tax deduction. Probably has private health cover. Probably has one or more negative geared properties and a fancy car. He might have a family that he has to support. Probably has share investments on ASX or other and should have plenty of money in his bank account and in his superannuation. In other words he may be wealthy. But, I doubt that he has any experience living on the Aged Pension. Perhaps he should try it for at least 3 years or so and maybe, just maybe he will change his degrading proposal attacks against Aged Pensioners. The infamous misnomer from Joe Hockey that degraded and offended pensioners, that their days of 'entitlement' were over has grown ever so stronger with the younger generation jumping on the bandwagon shouting "It's all the baby-boomers fault for the miserable future of today’s younger people. Destroy, Destroy them. Exterminate. Exterminate". Then we had the likes of Tony Abbott imputing “NO,NO let them live and contribute $7 co-payment to a $24 billion Medical Research fund so they can live longer”. I doubt that this younger person has any idea what it's like living on the amount of the meagre fortnightly full pensions let alone part pension. Then again he may be a sympathetic person but he has to write what his employer expects him to write because his employer depends on private donations and income from selling the books that they write. Only he knows his exact position. But, no homeowner who has lived in poverty of income would write such incendious garbage proposals regarding age pensioners that he has. Fair comment?
    pjvixen
    4th Mar 2016
    6:33pm
    What a ridiculous report - so completely out of touch with the real world which those of us not on high incomes inhabit. Current pensioners comprise people who were never able to access superannuation. e.g. women of our age group never had superannuation no matter how long or hard we worked. It was considered we would not need it as some man was supposed to support us. When that man died, however, if he was fortunate enough to have superannuation, that superannuation ceased on his death. The pension also needs to increase along with the CPI as all costs increase and if our income does not, where are we then? Sleeping in gutters? Whoever is responsible for this report should live on the pension for 12 months and see how they survive.
    *Loloften*
    4th Mar 2016
    11:21pm
    I'm so damn fed-up with being the scapegoat who pays for our Pollies, over their lifetime, enormous retirement benefits. Superannuation did not come into effect 'til 1985, initially excluding "casual" workers as were many women, no childcare rebates back then so we could only work during school hrs @ most, if lucky, for meagre wages. All wages were enormously lower & home mortgage interest rates 8-17%, not the record lows now. No hope of most 60+yr olds having anywhere near enough for a comfortable retirement let alone majority not needing to access the Age Pension. Buying a roof over our heads which we now own wasn't easy, worked our butts off. Our income taxes back then were also higher than they are now. Greedy Pollies, be very grateful for we baby-boomers paying for your enormous retirement benefits over the decades as well as lots of infrastructure u somehow can't afford to pay for now. Stop denigrating us to our grandkids who many of us mind often now, saving u heaps so u can live a life-time of extreme luxury (on us) which no Age Pensioner will know.

    5th Mar 2016
    4:20am
    The fools who endorse slashing or ending pensions should be careful what they wish for. Australia's once world-leading social welfare system was created by rich politicians - not by the poor (who have NEVER had power or political clout!). It was created in recognition that a healthy society is better for the rich. Slashing or ending pensions means less GST collected, less petrol and transaction tax and property tax collected, less assets passed on to the next generation, and lowered consumption, which means less GST, petrol, property tax etc. collected, lower profits so less income tax collected, more unemployment so less income tax collected, more poverty... and so the cycle continues. Add more ill-health, less education and more crime due to increased poverty and you have a society not-so-slowly sinking.
    Now, among these greedy, selfish people who aren't willing to pay pensions are many who, for whatever reason, won't ultimately be able to self-fund their own retirement. Illness, accident, family crisis, unexpected job losses, investment mistakes, unexpected economic downturn at inconvenient times... today's retirees know all about those problems! What will these greedy, selfish younger folk do without the pension once they have successfully orchestrated cancellation of it?
    Greed and selfishness motivate dumb choices, and it appears the greedy and selfish are making some very foolish choices. Intelligent advisers would warn them that it will come back to bite in a big way.
    Countries where pensions have been slashed are seeing the results. It isn't working! Austerity is leading to increased economic problems rather than improvement.
    A healthy economy requires a healthy society and a healthy society requires a strong social welfare safety net and a fair retirement program that offers strong incentives for the working class to work hard, save, and invest in a home of their own and a nest-egg for retirement.

    5th Mar 2016
    7:43am
    And something else dumb Simon didn't consider: the government stole the money we contributed, via an early version of compulsory retirement saving, that would have been enough to give every retiree $500+ a week, non-means tested. If they can steal our retirement savings, they can steal the savings of today's workers. Just because theirs has their name on it doesn't make it safe! When both super savings and pensions are gone... what then?

    Today's workers should be paying willingly and demanding a better deal for retirees, if they had any brains. It's THEIR future at stake.
    Mike
    5th Mar 2016
    8:56am
    I worked all my life, sometimes up to 32 hours overtime. 16 hours Saturday and 16 hours Sunday, I paid a hell of a lot of tax. I raised 4 children and saved hard for my retirement under current Centrelink guidelines and receive a small part pension. Now Blasted Hockey has called disabled people rorters and smashed the retirement plans of an estimated 560000 retires, whilst he himself and his cronies rorted the travel allowance into paying of his Canberra Holiday house, and other MPs such as Bronwyn Bishop rorted hundreds of thousands to spend on their own greedy selves. Even Julie Bishop , now known as the second Bronwyn, spent $30000 to fly her from Perth to Canberra to attend a meeting, and is still spending snout in trough. I who have voted Liberal all my voting life will join the other 560000 semi retirees and NEVER vote for those blasted Liberals again. Now Hockey, after rorting the system for his own greedy self, is now in the US on more money , taxpayers money, than anyone can possible dream of, and he is still rorting the system
    Anonymous
    5th Mar 2016
    6:46pm
    Mike, make sure you tell the LNP that 560,000 retirees will vote against them, and tell Labor that 560,000 retirees, and probably lots of the kids and friends and their kid's friends, will vote FOR them if they pledge to undo the cruelly unfair changes the LNP introduced in direct contravention of their lying pledges. I reckon retirees have enough clout to get the LNP ousted if Labor can assure us that they will treat us with more respect.
    MacI
    5th Mar 2016
    11:10am
    Every now and then I return to this website and leave depressed at what is predominantly self-interested, whinging commentary with opinions with little factual basis and too much mud-slinging at pollies and contributors who put forward an opinion that is contrary to the popular view put forward in this forum. No doubt I'll be I'll be back in a while with renewed optimism that maybe this time I will not have to browse through reams of whinging and the same old views being re-stated again and again.

    Oh no! I just realized that I've caught the whinging bug. What the heck I feel better now.
    gca
    5th Mar 2016
    3:15pm
    It would be nice if I was so well looked after as an aged pensioner that I had no need to whinge. It would be even nicer if something came of all the whinging and the government started looking after its own people instead of throwing money away in aid to countries that don't really like us and in welfare to refugees who have never made any tax contributions to our country.
    Boomer
    5th Mar 2016
    1:01pm
    Instead of raising taxes on super the govt should be doing something about allowing people to put $540,000 post tax into super every three years. That is up from $400,000. Also the practice of placing residential properties in super where people can salary sacrifice $35,000 of there wages to go towards mortgage when they would not be able to utilise the govt tax concessions if the property was brought outside super and after 60 years of age the rent would be tax free. There is a viable need for tax concessions if you want people to be self sufficent but blatent over generous ones that average australians could not afford to put to use are wrong. The assets test for the pensions is too generous when it isnt including a portion of the primary residence cannot continue either. It wouldnt mean that if you owned your own home then the govt wouldnt pay a pension, but it is bbecoming increading unrealistic to ask for a pension if you are living in a 1 to 2 million dollar house and not have say 400,000 be counted towards the assets test. Genuine, in need pensioners wouldnt be affected. The notion that you hve worked hard all your life and now its time for the younger generation to look after me is outdated and unaffordble.
    gca
    5th Mar 2016
    3:10pm
    If only my house was worth that much! Unfortunately the Ex has the house worth $1.5mil and mine would probably sell for close to $300.000 on a good day! So what portion of the value of this asset are you considering counting towards the assets test?

    Yes, I have worked hard all my life, but I don't think I should be penalised by a government that failed to set some of my taxes aside for the future and who throws money at refugees who have never paid taxes. The actions of the same politicians who have had their snouts in the trough for years!
    Anonymous
    5th Mar 2016
    5:14pm
    gca, people like you should benefit if the home was included in the assets test and the asset limit raised substantially to compensate. The current situation is that someone with a modest home and a little more savings is disadvantaged while those with multi-million dollar homes and less savings get a full pension. That's unfair. I think the assets test should be abolished, actually, because people should not be punished for savings and investing. Instead, there should be a fair deeming rate applied to ALL assets (home included) over a very generous threshold, and only the income (higher of deemed or actual) tested. That way, those who have saved and been responsible are not punished for their efforts and we keep incentives in the system, but the government wins by not paying pensions to those with more than adequate income to live comfortably.
    Linda
    5th Mar 2016
    5:20pm
    Just like young families, young people who can't afford any training or university education, the elderly are just pawns in a political game. Come election time, promises are made, sometimes kept. It is insulting to all the hard working Australians who only started a superannuation account at the time it became required. Successive governments have promised this, given that, and now trying to change the underlying basic idea of the old age pensioners after they were assured years ago that their extra tax would cover it.

    Now, a pension is called welfare, and various governments have seemingly mismanaged those tax funds so they no longer cover what they were intended for. Now, they start talking about entitlements. What happened to that future fund Mr. Costello put away? Did they spend that too?

    When we worked, we paid taxes, a good bit of taxes, we funded pensions, youth allowances that were very generous, and then after we paid, they want to call us leaners on society. Shame on them. All we have had is proposal and proposal, cuts to our fixed incomes, higher prices for everything we need to live, food, rates, maintenance costs on homes, or high rents, and then some outfit has the hide to start to talk about the oldies as liabilities. Meanwhile, jetting around, riding helicopters, fancy dinners, rent free, big super, high salaries, plus the all important industry and corporation pals that are being made, gives these elected leaners a sense of entitlement that goes beyond belief.

    They are being paid, to look after this country and the people in it. It is about time they set the priorities right.

    Their best idea is to sell off government services and assets, assets such as the Health Insurance crowd, who now are raising their rates to make that all important profit.

    They seem to think once it is private, their job is done, there are few if any actual regulations or laws that cover consumer rights, and instead we are left alone to try and be treated properly by these mongrels.

    LNP has well and truly made a mess of Australian economy, and they seem to have nothing to offer except cuts. There are no ideas, just pay their party contributors via profit opportunities. It is short sighted and treats all Australians as mugs.

    I pretty much hate politics because it does seem it is all sleezy, tricky, spin, bs.
    Lewi
    5th Mar 2016
    6:08pm
    just send a letter to our treasurer pensions is so simple everone that has an in come pays 3% pension tax no more shortasge no more means test increase pensions to say 1000 per forthngt for singeles 1600 for couples and we the pansioners pay the 3percent also they do the same inholland and works wel we all get the same pension rich opr poor nomatter what assets we have because we paid for our pension over the yaers
    miker
    5th Mar 2016
    11:09pm
    Does anyone know what the total cost per year to the Taxpayer of past and present politicians is please. It would make an interesting read. We currently have six ex pm's if you count Tony, my understanding is that ex PM's get quite a hefty lifetime allowance. Do Deputy PM's who acted in the PM role also get an additional consideration?
    Exposing the total annual 'Pollie Cost' could possibly help the pensioner cause, it might help bring the 'Youngsters' in behind us
    MD
    7th Mar 2016
    8:45am
    Try typing - 'ex politicians perks' and/or 'ex public servants perks'
    this should open a veritable can of worms for your perusal !
    Pamiea
    6th Mar 2016
    12:31pm
    Anyone who votes Liberal because their dad did needs their head read unless of course you are one of the lucky fat cats! They don't look after the average Joe Blow but the wealthy and if you are not one of those PLEASE RECONSIDER AND VOTE LABOR.
    Anonymous
    7th Mar 2016
    3:59pm
    Gotta be joking they are as deep in the trough as the rest of the Mp's etc all living high on our taxpayer dollars paid more than any other set of MPs pop now 24 million 11 million working paying largest sum of revenue cake always have even though they lie saying wealthy pay far more tax - in words maybe they do individually but in percentage of income NO Way! Too many loop holes never closed Trust A/cs off shore accounts and dont think Labor isn't at it too look at Craig Thompson and others caught out using union money so they are not backward coming forward either under Rudd/Gillard/Rudd MP's gave themselves a 75% increase. Ask Jacqui Lambe independent these days.
    Nah I stopped voting Labor when not only cant manage money - Keating/Hawke run up debts of 96 Billion largest to date back then in 14 years and Last version of Rudd/Gillard 300 billion in 6. And Hawke started taking donations from big business and brought on The Accord, must remember that sacked heaps of workers for productivity and that upped the profits as well but also made employers greedy for more so backfired as off to China Taiwan other cheap labour places as Labor lowered Tariffs too so couldn't compete with China etc didst help. Workers didn't see rising wages until Howard 1996. Meanwhile exec wages rose 60% during Labor years ACCC survey 1995.
    No we need new blood. Old parties too incestuous and locked into gravy train lifestyle. The last version of Labor is worse since Federation. This version of Coalition is not a lot better imho. But at least not running up more debt than last lot but we're still borrowing 110 million 365 days a year and cant afford to bring in these refugees to go on dole as most have done and Afghans worse 97% still on dole after 5 years and that report was a few years back and not changed. No we're keeping far too many on benefits who never have worked or contributed towards pension or health as these both come out of income tax. Levy for pension never taken off still there today paid in the General Revenue and paying for all sorts when should be still being paid into Pension Fund as started off. Now Labor also along with Liberals lie saying never did happen we never paid for our age pension in our income taxes. They all lie. They all agree on any rise to their own salaries or perks.
    Bane
    6th Mar 2016
    5:59pm
    Whilst I agree that we should assist those who are in need around the world, we must protect our ability to do so in the future. Our taxes should go to the benefit of our own country until we can do so. Charity does begin at home and the appalling situation where our pensioners and homeless get less than the average wage whilst refugees line up at Centrelink with few skills to add to our economy leaves me gob-smacked. How can we afford the billions spent in overseas aid often to countries that show no gratitude. Our successive governments lack the vision and intestinal fortitude to make the hard decisions and pander to popularity polls and loud mouthed minorities. This was the lucky country but we have turned into an undisciplined lazy country living outside its means and which will eventually be run by foreign interests. Wake up Australia before it is too late.
    nzXaust
    7th Mar 2016
    9:53am
    I'm 67, a retired Baby Boomer. When I was 37 it was obvious that the country would find it difficullt to fund the aged pension for us. No rocket science degree needed then. After brain damage and an ex-wife who couldn't cope with it, I'm now a full pensioner. I have to leave my unit because I can't manage all the stairs anymore. - $600k. I have about $250k in the bank. Does anyone have any good ideas where I should go? I'm having seizures from worrying about it
    HarrysOpinion
    7th Mar 2016
    3:33pm
    Look around regional cities eg Albury-Wodonga. There were some two bedroom units for under $150,000 on a ground level village strata units style. (No stairs). Albury has a major health industry, railway, airport and all the major shop brands. Check it out.
    MacI
    7th Mar 2016
    5:22pm
    Can you supply a little more information, e.g. where you live now. Also, I don't know what you mean by "- $600K". Is that what your unit is worth?
    miker
    7th Mar 2016
    11:47am
    Recent articles suggest that the total 'Pollie Cost' is something like $40 million per year.
    Their pensions are staggering and are payable until the day they die
    We need to focus on this, highlighting the difference between their pension and our pension. No Politician worked any harder than many of us
    Anonymous
    7th Mar 2016
    4:43pm
    Yes way to go.
    And to just correct something said early posts. The Age Pension Fund was closed in 1950 by Menzies with the agreement of Labor at the time, in order to use the money lodged there for Age Pensions worth around now 3 billion in today';s currency as had been being collected since start. And the way it was collected was a levy on income taxes to pay for age pension. 7% and when they agreed to shut it down and transferred the money over to Consolidated Revenue, they also transferred over the regulations which shifted the collection of money to Consolidated therefore every single worker was still paying towards their future pension and those pensions being paid at the time were coming out of fund and after like now from Consolidated Revenue.And still paying today March 7th 2016.

    Problem is today not one politician will agree this happened yet it is history and in Hansard. Denial is universal between Labor and Liberal/Nats. Notice they always agree on money to themselves and to ideas like this which paved the way for them to have more themselves at the time as short after WW2.
    So that is the one reason why its is not a safety net.

    And another reason is more money is being paid into Super on schemes for workers $1 For $1 saved over mandatory etc.
    And then concessions worth more this 2016/17 year than the whole Age Pension is.

    Yet to listen would think we the over 65's are bankrupting the country and young workers being ripped off. That is just to divide and conquer. Just as they divide the married couples from singles and SFR from Age Pensioners.

    If we all pulled together, as a block we could out-vote the lot of em. And one reason why they go on campaigning to have young ones hate us all regardless of pension takers or not.

    Most worked one wage saved for home of own. or not. Now home owners who went without are reviled and want to take our home for the state etc. Kids were told they are using up your inheritance for years.

    So aging is blamed for all ills when much can be sheeted home to the members of Parliaments and wealthy lining their own pockets at all of our expense using monies we didn't take in rises but given by employers just as today they give % toward Super. .

    Labor hasn't represented the worker for years not since took first donation for favours an The Accord in 1984 Hawke.

    Unions should have stopped giving them money to represent workers but didn't as they too were at it and still are using monies for members for own use. Craig Thompson convicted so a good example and many others foll wed. Greed drives them all today.

    So what to do - nothing seemingly the answer as most are to apathetic and start off the old your team against mine Labor against Liberals meanwhile they go on making sure they are well off huge pensions look at how many are retiring to gt the pension now because if re-elected would have to wait til 65. Or maybe even 70. Notice they never argue over pay or perks - nor over closing trust accounts or off shore. Labor had 6 years to do this - didn't. Nah all in bed with each other whilst pitting all of us against each other.

    Divide and rule.Losers are the men and women today who have worked and paid income taxes same as today still doing same but called Super. But both levy still there and also employers paying what 12% towards super. So both schemes still in operation money coming from worker-wise.

    Suggestions...........we need new blood
    Anonymous
    7th Mar 2016
    5:20pm
    Where is the suggestions of what to do. One poster earlier said had some.


    Henry and Innes tried to start a party of older people to fight for ourselves over at the Meeting Place. But apathy won.
    As it always seems to do and why we're discussing now what to do but wont do much seems to me.

    Will just start off the arguing again over Labor v Liberals. Just have to go to Meeting place to see it in action with a lot of Labor voters spitting hate but still voting Labor and still moaning re pension not enough but got the $30 if single and of course the singles argue the couples get too much and so on. And both political parties love it as shuts us up and they are scared stiff we could unite as one voting block so for last 20 years have divided the ruled. Also deny that we ever pain any money into Pension Fund or existed but it did.Til they both agreed to use the monies in 1950. Can fight here but same old they agree on a lot and then use words to make us argue the toss. They win. We lose.

    ALA is one new party, started off already registered and with common sense policies. Including looking after the over 65's. Business people running it. So could be a good new start.

    Or others too starting off but none mention us except for ALA and I thought it was a good sign as not using us as scapegoat but saying need to be looked after better. And that is truth.

    Whatever we could do with a new party and all of us stop the old arguments kiss goodbye to voting old hat as they have let us down badly as a group. More compassion for overseas economic migrants seeking to live in countries like ours or UK with higher welfare than just to be safe.

    And lets face it. they are living off Centrelink far more than previous refugees from WW2 did or had access too even.
    Although not a lot said as if so get called racist we do get some reports and one is that one country, Afghanistan, a large 97% of their incomers stay on welfare for more than 5 years, and that was a decade or so ago.

    And we do know our population has grown faster due to taking in more and more refugees etc but our working population isn't growing at all still stuck around 11 million workers paying income tax as well as levy old pension and 9% super contribution from employer to their super new pension scheme.

    and yet in last decade MP's alone have had a 75% increase in their salaries on top of many other bits of income. So have top public servants as they follow MP's rises.

    Country cant afford all of this so blame constantly here is its all the aging population causing the problems.

    And that my friends is a blatant lie. We dont cost that much and super concessions more this year to wealthy than entire age pension paid out.

    Divide and rule.

    Is it not time we did something - needs to be as a block to make a difference.
    Anonymous
    7th Mar 2016
    5:20pm
    Where is the suggestions of what to do. One poster earlier said had some.


    Henry and Innes tried to start a party of older people to fight for ourselves over at the Meeting Place. But apathy won.
    As it always seems to do and why we're discussing now what to do but wont do much seems to me.

    Will just start off the arguing again over Labor v Liberals. Just have to go to Meeting place to see it in action with a lot of Labor voters spitting hate but still voting Labor and still moaning re pension not enough but got the $30 if single and of course the singles argue the couples get too much and so on. And both political parties love it as shuts us up and they are scared stiff we could unite as one voting block so for last 20 years have divided the ruled. Also deny that we ever pain any money into Pension Fund or existed but it did.Til they both agreed to use the monies in 1950. Can fight here but same old they agree on a lot and then use words to make us argue the toss. They win. We lose.

    ALA is one new party, started off already registered and with common sense policies. Including looking after the over 65's. Business people running it. So could be a good new start.

    Or others too starting off but none mention us except for ALA and I thought it was a good sign as not using us as scapegoat but saying need to be looked after better. And that is truth.

    Whatever we could do with a new party and all of us stop the old arguments kiss goodbye to voting old hat as they have let us down badly as a group. More compassion for overseas economic migrants seeking to live in countries like ours or UK with higher welfare than just to be safe.

    And lets face it. they are living off Centrelink far more than previous refugees from WW2 did or had access too even.
    Although not a lot said as if so get called racist we do get some reports and one is that one country, Afghanistan, a large 97% of their incomers stay on welfare for more than 5 years, and that was a decade or so ago.

    And we do know our population has grown faster due to taking in more and more refugees etc but our working population isn't growing at all still stuck around 11 million workers paying income tax as well as levy old pension and 9% super contribution from employer to their super new pension scheme.

    and yet in last decade MP's alone have had a 75% increase in their salaries on top of many other bits of income. So have top public servants as they follow MP's rises.

    Country cant afford all of this so blame constantly here is its all the aging population causing the problems.

    And that my friends is a blatant lie. We dont cost that much and super concessions more this year to wealthy than entire age pension paid out.

    Divide and rule.

    Is it not time we did something - needs to be as a block to make a difference.

    8th Mar 2016
    1:19pm
    Interesting article in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2016/mar/07/whos-winning-find-out-how-your-income-compares-with-every-other-generation?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+AUS+v1+-+AUS+morning+mail+callout&utm_term=160603&subid=14256895&CMP=ema_632

    Check it out. It claims Australia is the worst place in the world to be between 60 and 79 years of age (it doesn't look at average income of those above 79). It also claims that, unlike in most other developed nations, Australians over 60 are MUCH WORSE OFF than younger Australians. The younger you are, the more likely they you are to be way better off than someone your age was in 1985.

    It makes a complete lie of Simon Cowen's claims about ''intergenerational theft'', because it establishes that older Australians are doing it much tougher than young.
    gca
    9th Mar 2016
    11:25am
    So, who funds CIS and how independent is it?
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Mar 2016
    12:35pm
    Private donations, no one in public knows from whom plus revenue from the crap books they write.They answer only to the people or entities that commission them and submit their crap to the government or the opposition.
    miker
    9th Mar 2016
    10:47pm
    Pollie Pension, Pollie Pension, Pollie Pension, there I've said it 3 times to get your attention!. Us Pauper pensioners must expose the full extent and cost of the Pollie Pension. Theirs goes up and up, ours is under constant attack by the likes of the smart assed well to do CISdiks

    Every second word uttered these days by Turnbull and Morrison is the word 'Innovation', well let them please show us some. Take a cut in the Pollie Pension to show that they mean business when it comes to promoting austerity.

    Pollie want a Cracker, you bet they do
    FM
    11th Mar 2016
    9:59am
    Interesting article Rainey.
    When it comes to the election it would be good if we had a number of credible independents like Tony Windsor. In a recent election in Ireland the people sent the two major parties a very clear message by electing Independents and minor parties such as People before Profit. This means that most likely there will be another election within a year and the major parties have to go away and really think about what people want before it. It is not what the parties have been offering up to now.
    Martin Balsac
    14th Apr 2016
    9:29am
    I fail to understand while the taxpayer is required to provide a lifestyle for people too lazy or stupid to provide for their own retirement. At the very most the pension should be pitched at an amount that allows these people to simply exist. If a pensioner can afford to go on a holiday or a cruise then they are being given too much. Welfare should be a safety net not a lifestyle choice.
    JJ
    14th Apr 2016
    9:57am
    I think the present age pension does provide little more than a safety net for those who have nothing, or very little. The people who annoy me are those who have plenty, but still expect to be paid a full pension on top of this simply because "we are entitled to it. We have paid our taxes all of our working lives!" Otherwise I agree with what you say, Bazza.
    JJ
    14th Apr 2016
    10:01am
    By the way, I don't claim a pension because I didn't allow myself to create a situation where I would need one. But I suppose not everyone can be as lucky as I have been.
    Martin Balsac
    14th Apr 2016
    10:21am
    I am also self funded completely. It annoys me to see people going from cradle to grave on the taxpayer while people who have contributed all their working lives can't even get a health card! We punish those who do and reward those who don't and won't. Unfortunately there are more bludgers than contributes and they all get to vote.


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