Benefit cut will directly hit economy

Planned benefit cut may be more costly than expected.

Thanks largely to the fanfare surrounding superannuation changes announced in Budget 2016/17, a small change to the Energy Supplement went almost unnoticed. And while the battlefield is currently focused on the unemployed, those who are looking to receive the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension will also lose out.

Anyone planning to apply for social security benefits, including Newstart Allowance, the Age Pension and the Disability Support Pension after 20 September 2016, will receive between $4.40 and $7.05 less than those already receiving the payments.

The Energy Supplement was previously known as the Clean Energy Supplement and was introduced by the then Labor Government as compensation for the increased energy prices expected under the Carbon Tax reforms. And although indexation of the supplement ceased on 30 June 2014, the payment has provided a much-needed boost for those receiving meagre social security payments.

However, the Government’s plans to axe the supplement have come under fire from welfare groups, and now 34 prominent Australians have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking him to reconsider. Former Liberal leader John Hewson, comedian Corinne Grant, economist David Morawetz and Uniting Church president Stuart McMillan are just some of the notable signatories.

Drafted by the Australia Institute think tank, the letter states that the cutting of Newstart is poor economic and social policy. "A government that plans to give more to the richest Australians while cutting support for people below the poverty line will only further entrench inequality in Australia," the letter stated.

"We urge the Prime Minister and all political leaders not to cut Newstart."

Announced in this year’s Budget, the cut is expected to save $1.4 billion over five years but goes against the advice of the Business Council of Australia, which claimed that Newstart Allowance "no longer meets a reasonable community standard of adequacy and may now be so low as to represent a barrier to employment". KPMG also recommended that Newstart Allowance be increased rather than cut.

While Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has acknowledged that Newstart Allowance is not adequate, he has not committed to opposing the cut when Parliament returns.

According to the March 2016 quarter poverty figures, now calculated by The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, the poverty line for singles not in work amounts to $425.61 per week, when housing payments are considered. This means that Newstart Allowance is some $161.71 less than what is considered the poverty line. The Age Pension fares slightly better at $7.89 above the poverty line.

Read more at SMH.com.au

Opinion: Ending supplement a false economy

The loss of $4.40 per week may not seem much for to some, but to those on the Newstart Allowance – which is only $527.60 per fortnight for singles – it’s significant. And for those who receive an Age Pension after 20 September 2016, losing $14.10 per fortnight will only compound the impact of the asset threshold changes that will take place on 1 January 2017.

So, while the Government may have a valid point that the Energy Supplement is no longer required without the Carbon Tax, the predicament of those in need cannot be ignored.

The estimated $1.4 billion that the Government plans to receive in savings may well look great on paper but when you consider that $1.4 billion will be directly taken from our economy, all of a sudden there’s a flaw in the argument.

The reality is that for those living on Newstart Allowance or an Age Pension every cent counts and every cent is spent. It’s spent on bills and utilities, food, clothes and transport. There is no ability to squirrel money away for a rainy day – today is that rainy day. A sobering fact is that, according to the 2015 Global AgeWatch Index, 33 per cent of Australians over 60 live in poverty.

The Government’s refusal or inability to address the inadequacies our Age Pension and Newstart Allowance simply means that more older Australians will live out their lives in poverty.

What do you think? Should the Energy Supplement be stopped for new claimants of Newstart Allowance and the Age Pension? Would you notice the effect of $14.10 less per fortnight?

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    COMMENTS

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    A Nana of 6
    30th Aug 2016
    10:31am
    The government seems like they just want to take take take....We are paying higher electricity and gas prices and yet they want to take the supplement off us. I would certainly miss the $14.00 a fortnight. The government wants us to spend to build the economy but they take any extra we may have to spend off us. I voted for the Liberals now I am wondering if I did the right thing. Stop giving the pollies so many lurks and perks.. there would be heaps available in the coffers for things that matter. The salaries they are on they don't need all the extra benefits over and above what they are paid.There would be BIG savings made there.
    jackie
    30th Aug 2016
    10:43am
    A Nana of 6....I agree. I pity anyone that is on NSA. These pollies' salaries should be that amount. It should be an honour to serve this country. They all are wealthy enough to donate 3 years of their time. You could call it working for Australia. It would save the country a mint.
    FrankC
    30th Aug 2016
    11:37am
    They've just given themselves ANOTHER pay rise. Obviously conscience is a dirty word as far as they're concerned. I just cannot understand a government that wants to take take all the time..Common sense as far as the pollies are concerned has gone out the window.
    FrankC
    30th Aug 2016
    11:41am
    I forgot to add, that this pay rise must be the first that has been backdated for virtually a year, backdated a year. When i worked in a government hospital, the most we had backdated was 2 months, then the tax came in ...!!
    poorwomanme
    30th Aug 2016
    11:45am
    A Nana of 6..... if you had of actually listened to what the Liberals were saying pre-election, you would have known they are doing nothing more than what they said they would and yet you and your ilk voted for them.
    Don't start crying in your teacup now, you are getting what you asked for.
    Rae
    30th Aug 2016
    3:40pm
    They went to the election with the promise of taking from the poor to give to the rich. The money for the wealthy and business tax cuts has to come from somewhere.
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:04pm
    I can't understand how you could have voted for them, Nana of 6. It was clear well before the election as to what they want to do to people on pensions and part pensions. Indeed it has been clear for ages as to the LNP coalition's attitude to all those on low incomes, pensions, etc, i.e. such people deserve to have little and what little they have should be whittled down. On the other hand, the wealthy and big business should be protected. They don't seem to have any understanding that if people on low incomes have a little more to spend, they will spend it all, but give the wealthy some more (and usually big amounts, they don't spend it as they already spend all they want to and only increase their savings.
    Next elections not only NOT vote for that mob but try to persuade all your friends and red to NOT vote for them either. Join a political party such as Seniors United or an equivalent one.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    2:22am
    You got what you voted for nana! now suck it up
    genimi
    12th Sep 2016
    1:38am
    Interesting FrankC, they have just given themselves another parish and yet those who work so bloody hard to service the Australians who are unemployed, disabled or retired have not had a payrise in over 3 years and whose employers - the government - are still not prepare to negotiate a parish less than the CPI (which pensioners receive automatically) surely this is beyond hypocritical. These employees work in deplorable conditions, subject to abuse from the public every day because of the policies of the government. I worked for Social Security / Centrelink for more than 34 years and have friends and family who still work for them under increasingly difficult conditions with absolutely no consideration for their efforts. I understand that many people knock the efforts of Centrelink staff but they seem to forget they are bound by legislation and the restrictions imposed by the government in the service they provide.
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    10:36am
    Either accept the situation "As Is" and do not alter anything OR cancel this supplement for ALL!
    As the money certainly will be missed I suggest that, for the sake of creating yet "Another Layer" within our communities, the "Do Nothing" scenario should prevail.

    Purposely creating UN-EQUALITY amongst us only has the potential to foster unhappiness between people who will (rightfully so) question WHY some are getting more than others.

    JUST let them tax their "FATCAT MATES" to balance the budget and force them to pay their share of the burden!
    babyboomer
    30th Aug 2016
    11:22am
    I agree. Social Unrest is beginning already. The Rich are being seen as the Enemy they are. Remember the French Revolution ??????
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    12:25pm
    babyboomer,
    Thanks for taking the "time to respond".
    It would seem that such a measure is designed to instigate/create animosity/DIVISION amongst those who hate the rich.
    "Divide & Conquer" is the motto????

    Let's just remember that there is not a thing wrong with being rich as the "Love of money", combined with massively associated levels of insecurity by many of them, will not be curbed for a long time yet.
    Whilst saying this, there is something wrong with the UNADULTERATED GREED expressed with some of the filthy rich though!

    UNADULTERATED GREED generally endeavours to NOT ensure that those who are not so well of have the unconditional opportunity to be assured of a rewarding, quality & dignified life.
    This the "EVIL CULPRIT" which has been escaping from "Pandora's Box" (very noticeably) since the 2nd world war.

    And yes, I understand the true motives for the French revolution very well indeed. CANNOT WAIT!!!
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:06pm
    Yes, if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow was it has been doing in Australia, USA, and many countries it is easy to envisage that eventually there will be revolution.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    4:19pm
    The gap between the poor and the rich because too many people now have a welfare mentality and expect everything without lifting a finger.
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    4:49pm
    Old Geezer,
    It's very difficult to remain motivated when the current & previous governments haVE allowed/promoted to export OUR jobs to 3rd world countries in Asia just to expand their BOTTOM LINE!
    Just note - The above certainly does not condone the attitude you're referring to.
    I know it unfortunately exists! However, I believe not to the level some on this forum claim it does!

    May be it's about time that many people like "You & I" get on our "High Horses" and start making some trouble to correct this situation.
    After all, this situation developed on OUR WATCH while we were asleep because we trusted these CRIMINALS!
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:53pm
    I take it that you are actually referring to the rich and to big business, Old Geezer, as they seem to expect continual protection from government so the gap remains.
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    6:35pm
    Alexii
    Since WW-II the gap has widened enormously.
    Then, poverty was virtually unheard of (unless Self Inflicted) and the "working Man" could enjoy a reasonable "Standard of Life" whilst educating his/her kids to the level they were capable of.

    Shortly only rich kind will be able to "Squander Away" their time at University!
    LiveItUp
    31st Aug 2016
    7:33am
    Not too sure I'd want to be in big business at tne moment as people have stopped spending and I believe it is getting tough out there.
    LiveItUp
    31st Aug 2016
    7:35am
    Heard the other day even funeral businesses are doing it tough as the weather has been too warm and people are not dying like they normally do.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    8:04am
    Nah- it's just that, too many people are digging their own graves these days. It's part of Malcolm's Innovation call.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    5:47pm
    Bonny, you were supporting cutting incomes. Of course people will stop spending if their incomes are slashed. How will it NOT get tough for business is consumers can't consume. It's IDIOTIC policy to suggest cutting taxes to companies that will not be able to make profit to pay tax on when nobody has any money to buy the goods they produce.

    It really beggars belief that people can be so short-sighted.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:01am
    Bonny, more old folk die due to extreme heat than cold. I think things will even out as it costs more to cool a building than to heat it, with cuts to Pensions, electricity, which does not seem to have gotten any cheaper even after the axing of the Carbon Tax, will become unavoidable and air conditioners will not be used.
    So you don't have to worry about the funeral business, it is business as usual, nothing is more sure in life than death and taxes.
    KB
    30th Aug 2016
    11:06am
    The cost of living keeps rising, If the Liberals want to cut out the energy supplement then they must look at the electricity companies and demand that they stop the constant rise in electricity charges. so people on low incomes can afford to pay electricity. Electricity is an essential service not a luxury
    Rae
    30th Aug 2016
    3:43pm
    What did you think was going to happen once the electricity was privatised? Check out your middleman. You may be able to get a better deal with another billing company.
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:07pm
    Privatisation is a curse. Rae,, even when one checks out the different companies, the prices continue to get higher and higher. Utter rookery.
    Rae
    30th Aug 2016
    7:37pm
    A natural monopoly such as electricity or water should always be a public owned utility, not for profit, as far as I'm concerned.So I'll agree with you Alexii.
    LiveItUp
    31st Aug 2016
    7:36am
    I agree wzyer and electricity should be publicly owned not owned to make a profit. Too many layers now have to make a profit out of them.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    8:06am
    So, when they privatise the Ambulance service there will bodies piling up in the gutters.
    tia-maria
    30th Aug 2016
    11:10am
    I don't trust this Liberal Party PM Turnbull and Mr Morrison they are a deadly combination.......trying to hurt the less fortunate such as retired pensioners and the genuine battlers of our country..................If they only attack their own Pensions and Perks with all Politicians.......... after being government.......... than just maybe they will save heaps of taxpayers needed funds..........PLUS stop the intake on migrants as we cant afford to keep giving out massive hand outs.
    poorwomanme
    30th Aug 2016
    11:30am
    Actually tia-maria, a Country can't grow without migration and the fact is, your ''hand outs'' claim is false, there are less people on welfare than in the 90's.
    With a pseudonym like tia-maria, weren't you once a migrant and if so, should we regret allowing you into the Country because of the hand-outs you received?
    Renny
    30th Aug 2016
    11:50am
    Thanks poorwomanme. I just wish people would stop blindly believing the crisp from the LNP and main stream media. The TRUTH is that as more of us have some superannuation the costs of benefits gave started to decrease. Plus the majority of WW2 veterans have passed this another big saving. This government just lies to divide us and because they know the generally stupid population thinks they tell the truth.
    tia-maria
    30th Aug 2016
    12:08pm
    poorwomanme...... are you for real???? .........we have been a very giving country and their is a time when we need to shut the flood gates until our country get back onto their feet.........and if it was not for the taxpayers of our country.............. these migrants coming into our country.......... illegal......Would not get the help such as medical dentist.....food housing regardless if its a( tent it still a roof over their heads) and many are ungratefull...........We would not have the strain on our finance like we have........

    And as far as the Politicians go they need to take a step back first strip back on their massive pensions and NO more Perks........cheers
    marls
    30th Aug 2016
    12:17pm
    tia-maria
    agree. my family and i are migrants, my parents both worked their butts off with no welfare, and i have worked since 15 and i am not on welfare, i support myself via my super and paid taxes all life, the new migrants coming are automatically entitled to centrelink and free this free that and so are all their 4 wives
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    12:57pm
    poorwomanme are you for real????? agree with you tia-maria the migrants from past eras worked hard and have been an asset to our country, but alas now they come here with no skills and cant get jobs so are on welfare, along with their extra wives and numerous badly behaved kids who will also be getting welfare because there will be no jobs for them as well as other true blue Australians the job market is shrinking. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:22am
    tia-maria, the call for the halt to immigration has been going on for decades, I can remember as a child arriving at the Perth port and seeing hundreds of people on the docks with signs welcoming the new migrants. At least that is what I was told by my parents and the people around me. Unfortunately the signs that were being held up were mostly saying POMMIES GO HOME, and STOP STEALING OUR JOBS. This was the early 60's and I saw the same reaction to the Slavic Immigrants, the Italians, Greeks and Vietnamese. My mother was twenty five years old with two very young children and no relatives or friends around to offer support. If not for the genuine kind neighbors that we always seemed to move next door to my family would have probably been on the next ship home. Yes I was one of the original Boat People.
    I will always remember the widowed pensioner who lived next door who was always trying to feed me Vegemite sandwiches through the fence in the back yard out of site of Mum because she did not wish to offend her by implying that she could not feed her children. Or will I forget the Greek Cafe 'owner who used to sit me down at a table and feed me while I was doing my homework and waiting for Mum to finish her shift as a kitchen hand.
    We had it relatively easy we spoke the same language and had modern skills that enabled us to find work, but it was still hard.
    Imagine leaving a country with nothing, maybe not speaking the language and coming from a developing country, I don't think it would be a trip to be taken on a whim. We have plenty of room, we have land that is useless in our eyes but may well be seen as potentially productive by others, I can not see any occasion in the past where we have taken in refugees and immigrants where our culture has not eventually bee enhanced because of it, lets not let fear of the unknown turn us away from doing the right thing.'
    I also think that the majority of small business in this country is owned by migrants, so in reality they tend to create jobs rather than soak up welfare.
    MICK
    30th Aug 2016
    11:14am
    Whilst welfare needs attention this government refuses to go after corporate and wealthy Australians and force them to pay the correct rate of tax (including back taxes) but instead is coming after those who have very little or those trying to support themselves in retirement. Despicable human beings running an agenda for their rich supporter base.
    babyboomer
    30th Aug 2016
    11:23am
    yes. despicable. it's becoming a totalitarian country
    poorwomanme
    30th Aug 2016
    11:36am
    The elephant in the room and a succession of Governments who refuse to tackle the problem and why?
    Ask Julie Bishop for starters, why she accepted half a mill into her Liberal Branch coffers from a Chinese backer with affiliations to the Chinese Government and who is she now beholden to now?
    Political graft is the shame of this Country.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    11:46am
    For God's sake Mick give it a rest. You rabbit on about forcing corporates to pay the correct rate of tax when all of them already do. If they didn't there would be action taken by the ATO. Where was your plaintive cry about corporate tax between the years 2007-2013? Nobody in this forum has yet defined the word "rich" yet you keep referring to the "rich". I could also suggest that Labor runs an agenda to protect its unions base which runs scare tactics with lies to get their mates elected.
    Renny
    30th Aug 2016
    12:02pm
    Oldman thank god for unions. People like you believe we should Just trust employers and the government, if it's LNP, to look out for us. Any study of history will show that they are more prepared to screw us to help their mates, who often end up RICH on the backs of favours supplied. And RICH? Anyone on over $150,000 a year. Anyone on over $80,000 a year is doing just fine. Figures not adjusted to allow for life stage issues. The interesting thing is studies show that people on higher incomes or earnings, think they're average, but they're well above. As for Mick, go you good thing.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:18pm
    If the companies and the wealthy didn't pay their required tax then the ATO would be after them to pay it. The wealthy already pay more than their fair share of tax.
    KSS
    30th Aug 2016
    12:36pm
    Old Geezer I have tried many many times to have contributors here define what they mean by 'rich'. It seems to me they mean anyone with more than they have!

    Renny it shows just how much you are out of touch if you think $80000 is on the way to richdom. $80,000 is well below the average wage!
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:54pm
    It does not matter how much or how little you earn it is what you do with it that matters. People earning low wages have become wealthy whilst people on high wages struggle to make ends meet. $80,000 can make you wealthy over time if you only spend half of it whereas $150,000 can make you poor over time if you spend it plus some.

    Taking on debt is robbing yourself of future income. If you take on debt to produce more income than the interest on that debt then the situation changes dramatically.
    GeorgeM
    30th Aug 2016
    1:46pm
    Agree, Mick. As usual the right-wing Liberals will oppose your comments. The large companies are getting away with murder due to bad tax rules, and so are the rich people with trusts, company set-ups, etc. Turnbull can fix the budget in no time if he fixed these tax rules and made every company and individual pay their fair share.

    On the other hand, the Labor party is as always useless - note how Shorten "has not committed to opposing the cut when Parliament returns", also remember he / Chris Bowen refused before the election to reverse the Assets Test changes from Jan 2017 - and ensured they will lose the election. I am surprised at all the pensioners / part-pensioners who voted blindly for these two disgusting parties.
    tia-maria
    30th Aug 2016
    3:41pm
    Hi Mick agree with your comment mate
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    9:38pm
    I agree, Old Geezer. People on $20,000 a year should stop eating and sleep in the streets so they can save and get wealthy over time - if they live long enough!
    LiveItUp
    31st Aug 2016
    7:22am
    Yes Rainey people on $20,000 could save and get rich too. My kids did when tney first started working.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    8:09am
    "people on $20,000 could save and get rich too"?
    Bulll S--t !!! Bonny.
    wally
    31st Aug 2016
    12:03pm
    Getting the rich folks and the rich companies to pay the "correct" amount of tax wanders into "how long is a piece of string" territory. The rich and the corporations have the funds to hire high powered lawyers and accounting firms to support their claim that they are paying the "correct" amount of tax. They might even mount an argument that they are paying too much tax and should be awarded refunds.

    So we are faced with at least two questions. Who decides what the "correct" amount of tax ought to be paid? Is there a flat " one size fits all" tax scale that is to be applied to wealthy people? Should a similar "one size fits all tax" ratw be applied to corporations? If so, how much? What happens if the corporations decide that the taxes they are expected to pay reduce their profitability if they stay in Australia and close up shop like Ford is doing? What happens to the tax revenue that Ford's now unemployed workers pay? How do you squeeze tax dollars out of companies that go off shore or fold up altogether?

    A Genius might arrive at a way of arriving at an equitable tax solution for Australia, but you wont find anyone like that in the Australian parliament.
    wally
    31st Aug 2016
    12:17pm
    A question for bonny and the 722 post. When did your kids start working and saving on $20,000 a year? Were they living independently and paying their own way? After all, individual circumstances very depending on where you live and the sort of work you do.

    For example, a mate of mine worked as a cleaner in an up market CBD wine bar'bistro. When the place closed for the night he and the others on the staff divided and took home left over wine and "perishables" like cheese, bread and meat rather than leave the "perishables" to be thrown out. He might not have gotten rich, but he did eat well!
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    12:44pm
    So, Old Man- Apple got a tax bill of $12 billion because it's paid its due share of tax? Or, did it get the bill because it paid only .05% of the 12.5% tax it should have in Ireland? That $12 billion represents Ireland's total Healthcare Budget. They pay bugger all tax here in Australia too.
    But the Irish joke of the year is that Ireland don't want the money!!!! How bloody pathetic !
    There are more corporate 'bad apples' around in Australia. ATO is just restrained to shake the ' corporate' tree real hard and it probably has one hand tied behind its back by the conniving government who are protecting their rich mates.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    8:35am
    Bonny is telling stories, again, Wally. In another post she said she bought houses for all her kids, and she pays for family entertainment outings. Of course kids can save on $20,000 a year if Mum or Dad pay for everything they need. They are rich because she handed out to them in ways most parents can't hope to.
    babyboomer
    30th Aug 2016
    11:19am
    Yes. to lose $14 a fortnight would severely affect someone already living on the poverty line. take away Politicians' unearned perks DONT spend money on referendums, Give to the poor. Social inequality is now a huge problem in Australia. The rich have NO IDEA.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    11:51am
    If you check the figures put out by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic Social Research, you will see that pensioners are above the poverty line.
    Janice
    30th Aug 2016
    11:57am
    I agree with you 100%
    tia-maria
    30th Aug 2016
    3:42pm
    Old Man..........I bet your one of the wealthy retirees???? try and understand the less fortunate than oneself?
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    4:09pm
    Ah tia-maria, one of Mick's followers with the same wrong assumptions. Try and stick to what you can prove when you say something. I don't make assumptions about others in here so please give me the same courtesy.
    Rae
    30th Aug 2016
    7:48pm
    I bet that Institute of Applied Economic Social Research makes a whole pile of assumptions to come up with a poverty line that fits everyone, everywhere.

    That is the biggest problem with the neoclassical theory. Complex systems just don't fit their assumptions, models or equations.
    particolor
    30th Aug 2016
    7:51pm
    O M... I for One have had a gut Full of Your Boss !! the sooner they are Gone the Better :-( :-(
    I'm sick of getting Burgled by Utilities and Service that were once Our Property ! Water, Electricity and Telephone Belong in the Hands of the Government ! NOT GOUGING Private Enterprise !! :-( :-(
    And with NO Foreseeable Pension Increases Where is this going to end up ???? :-( :-(
    Play Fairly
    30th Aug 2016
    9:21pm
    I agree with you Particolour. I don't know where this is going to end up either. So many people despise the present government with a passion. The likes of Turnbull and Morrison will never consider the needs of those doing it tough, and any chance they get they will whip those who can least afford to be flogged. It beggars belief that they continue to receive obscene amounts of superannuation and Pensions from the public purse, yet they are attempting to scrounge money from those who have the least in our society.

    I still live in hope that more Australians will start contacting their Local Members of Parliament to express their displeasure at how this government has refused to consider the needy in our society. Crack down on the multinationals operating in Australia and not paying taxes, and for goodness sake stop trying to rob the poor. What a contemptible lot we have "leading?" our country.
    tia-maria
    31st Aug 2016
    12:34am
    Old Man we are all entitle to ones opinions?
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:28am
    Old Man please try to be kind, we have so few new contributors with fresh ideas, please try not to scare them off, they are not used to your antics.

    30th Aug 2016
    11:39am
    This is, again, a misleading article. Nobody is going to lose anything because it will only apply to those who will receive Newstart, Age Pension and DSP for the first time. Those already receiving the supplement will continue to receive it. The history of the supplement is that Gillard ("there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead") on introducing the carbon tax also increased payments to pensioners to compensate for the expected rise in electricity prices. The carbon tax was repealed by the Abbott government and all reputable sources agreed that there would be an average saving of about $500pa for electricity consumers. The supplement raised by Gillard was allowed to remain. If that supplement was taken away then there would be a case to claim that pensioners had "lost" something.

    Relying on comments by the Australian Institute does not fill me with a lot of confidence. It is a well known left leaning organisation that has only ever criticised the conservative side of politics and has had union leaders on the board. I don't believe it has ever produced a balanced opinion.
    Renny
    30th Aug 2016
    11:51am
    The $550 savings has never been achieved. Costs went up.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    12:06pm
    And while taxpayers KEEP their carbon tax concession, pensioners are deprived despite the fact that they need the benefit MORE now than they would have if the carbon tax had never been introduced.

    There has been NO saving from abolishing the carbon tax. Energy prices are soaring.

    Stop spreading misinformation, Old Man. You are dead wrong on this. And the government's ''divide and conquer'' strategy is disgusting.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:24pm
    My energy costs are falling not rising so I don't know what you are on about Rainey with your energy prices soaring.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    12:28pm
    Maintain the rage Old Man, just keep pussy pacing to and fro now that the cat's outa the bag.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    12:41pm
    Thanks MD, I like a clever use of words. BTW, the pussy is the famous Felix the Cat, designed by an Australian, Pat Sullivan.
    KSS
    30th Aug 2016
    12:51pm
    Rainey you are simply confusing the compensation for the now de-funked carbon tax and the rise of electricity prices. The fact remains that the supplement was to compensate for the known rises that would occur as a direct result of the imposition of the carbon tax. The tax is gone - so should the supplement introduced to compensate for the cost rises.

    As for the so called 'promise' of a $500 saving in axing the carbon tax, that was never a cast iron given for most since it wholly depended on how much you actually spent on electricity. In a year I would spend about $680 on electricity so how could I possibly expect to get $500 back from the abandonment of a tax? Be realistic for goodness sake.

    Now if you want to argue for an increase in welfare payments then feel free but do not use the carbon tax supplement to do so.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:58pm
    I agree KSS.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    1:07pm
    Thanks again Old Man, this time for indentifying Felix, although I confess I'm a tad disappointed - I would have been far more exciting had you said it was Jenny Hawkins.
    Kaz
    30th Aug 2016
    1:17pm
    Old geezer is the only person I know who said his electricity costs are falling - everyone should switch to what he's having!
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    1:28pm
    The sun must be shining more in my part of the world now I guess.
    GeorgeM
    30th Aug 2016
    3:28pm
    I note some dumb comments in response to Rainey. Anyone in NSW who does not know that the deregulated Electricity prices have had massive increases from 1st July 2016 is just plain ignorant / dumb.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    3:33pm
    I live in NSW and the price of my electricity has gone down since July so I haven't seen any massive increase.
    Rae
    30th Aug 2016
    3:53pm
    I found I needed to change billing companies to get an energy saving.

    Like insurance I now change companies every year. You get a discount as a new customer but no discount for loyalty.

    Forget being loyal to all of then,. Neoliberalism is all about getting the best deal you can.

    Never sign a contract and that way you can change companies easily.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    4:07pm
    It costs heaps more to replace a customer than keep one so I really don't understand these companies sometimes. I ring around and find the best deal then ring the company that sent me the invitation to renew. I just ask can you match it. Most times they do better. I just see it as another way of making money as a penny saved is one I don't have to make elsewhere.

    I hate contracts as well especially mobile phone ones. I just use Aldi pay as you go and it costs me aobut $15 a year. I stock up on starter packs I get for about a third of their value or less and use one of them if I need internet or phone coverage.
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:14pm
    OK, Old Geezer, I recently shopped around again for best energy prices and my last bill has gone up considerably (i.e. per unit and the daily fee). What energy company are you using please so we can all check it out and perhaps "migrate" to it? Now you can't get into any bother telling us the answer to that question.
    Really looking forward to your answer.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    9:54pm
    Old Geezer is full of sh.... t! Electricity prices are REGULATED. All companies charge the same rate. The only difference is a minor discount for early payment- which amounts to virtually NOTHING if your bills aren't very high, and a slight variation in the very minimal amount of compensation for input of solar power to the grid.

    My power bills are low because I have solar, and shopping around saved me a few dollars. AGL keep begging me to come back and offering a slightly higher discount, and I keep telling them the discount is worthless. A 2c higher solar rebate is worth far more. They don't get it!

    Bottom line is the neediest in society cop huge bills because they can't afford to install solar or they rent. And a vile, cruel government - supported by selfish people - is crucifying these needy folk who are already poverty stricken. I know pensioners who wear 4 layers of clothing and rap themselves in blankets in winter and can't do anything because the layers are too cumbersome to allow movement. Only the most selfish, self-serving and nasty people would support taking more from such battlers.
    LiveItUp
    31st Aug 2016
    7:31am
    i have off the grid solar so not sure what they now charge for electricity but did hear that people are getting together and getting great electricity deals. Maybe OG joined one of these schemes.

    I always wear layers of thin clothes myself as they are warer than just putting on a jacket. I don't have any trouble moving around. I also use wood I collect from my property to heat and cook.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    8:01am
    Do you also live in a cave Bonny? Sounds as though you love your dinosaur environment.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    10:41am
    I was going to tell you how I get cheaper electricity bills but because of your attitude I think you should just all find out how yourselves. Meanwhile I'll collect my cheque each quarter from my power company.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:32am
    Kaz, I think he just keeps adding Solar Panels, he'll run out of roof space sooner or later.
    I'm not sure that I should admit this but my Statement shows around a $180.00 to $200.00 cost each quarter, to the electricity provider.
    Rodent
    30th Aug 2016
    11:40am
    Will post more later re this subject, but meanwhile so reading about our Treasurer's recent mad ramblings go to Google and enter - Scott Morrison's Car Crash Logic -----by Greg Jericho of the Guardian, complete with Graphs/tables and embedded data
    Kaz
    30th Aug 2016
    1:18pm
    Yes brilliant piece.
    shell
    30th Aug 2016
    11:41am
    You seem to keep taking from the poor WHY? If you would stop all your entilements and free travel after you leave parliment the country would be doing so much better. But no you keep increasing your pay and hurting us .. We never got big handouts like you keep taking .. I bet you there is no way you could live on the pension what we get. Not what you get when you leave parliment .. Stop your entilements or do your job free as you are all multi millionairs you dont even need the money.. I would be embarrassed to take more money and free travel knowing i had a rich bank account already... You just hurt the ones that have worked hard all there life and now i cant even put a heater on to keep warm cause i cant afford the electricity bill...This is so unfair.
    Ted Wards
    30th Aug 2016
    11:43am
    Two very easy solutions. Cut back politicians pays and perks by 50% and make churches and religions pay taxes. When will a study be done on how much this country would gain if those two things alone occurred. I think the back taxes alone from some of the larger churches would stagger us all. They wont though will they.
    Ted Wards
    30th Aug 2016
    11:44am
    Just how much in total of the budget goes to the politicians. Does anyone know? If you look at how much work they actually do I think they are highly over paid and it should be related to outcomes like every other working Australian.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    12:35pm
    By "churches" I assume this includes all (in their many and various forms) Ted Wards ? Thus synagogues, mosques, tabernacles, cathedrals
    missions, (church affiliated) schools, charities, universities and the like all apply likewise ?
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    1:30pm
    I agree about churches. They seem to be popping up everywhere lately and one can only think there must be a economic reason why?
    particolor
    30th Aug 2016
    7:55pm
    Open Yer Eyes ! :-( They are not Churches !! Churches don't have Minarets !! :-( :-(
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:47am
    TW, it is the nature of politicians to stick their collective noses in the feeding trough and keep them firmly there until death or dispossession.
    If you try and take salary or perks away from them they will be even more open to bribes and corruption. At least this way it is all out in the open and we can judge them by how far they choose to stretch the boundaries.
    Boof
    30th Aug 2016
    11:47am
    I am in a position whereas, if I want to go out I have to catch a bus. Only $2.50/day x 14, but it all adds up. I buy the cheaper shoes, etc. but I think that may be false economy, ad they only last 3 or 4 months. Prob better to buy more expensive stuff. Yes I will miss $14 a fortnight ,more so than those who dont have to catch a bus to go to shops etc. I don't think Governments take into considerstion that old people like to look neat, buy decent clothes & even aftershave, toothpaste, etc.
    Renny
    30th Aug 2016
    11:52am
    They won't take it off an existing pensioner, it's only new pensioners.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    12:08pm
    That's disgusting, Renny! Take it off some but not others? Divide and conquer, and ensure future pensioners live in worse poverty than existing. How could anyone with a conscience condone such appalling unfairness and cruelty?
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:20pm
    Pensioners also get a discount on their power bills as well so why the need for this payment now their is no carbon tax? Meanwhile the rest of it has to pay full rate plus some to make up for these discounts.
    KSS
    30th Aug 2016
    12:53pm
    I agree Rainey. No one should retain the compensation for a tax that no longer exists.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    5:58pm
    The tax might not exist in name, KSS, but the costs DO - higher than they would if the tax had never been introduced. It is just LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES to say the compensation isn't needed. It's more desperately needed than ever before and taking it will have more negative economic impact. Businesses aren't growing profits because people are reducing spending - because they don't HAVE money to spend. Meanwhile the rich hoard.

    Anyone with a brain could see that this STUPID Neoliberal policy of stealing from the poor to give to the rich would result in major economic problems, and it has. Yet fools still endorse it. There are none so blind as those who WILL not see!
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:53am
    I really don't see the relevance, what difference does it make if the rules apply to existing or upcoming recipients.
    $14.00 may not mean anything to most of us, but to someone struggling it could mean two days without food, or having the power cut off.
    It comes down to the same old thing, we can't get big business to pay a fair amount of tax, so we take it off those who can least afford the loss.
    At the same time the government wants to reduce the tax collected from big business in order to start a process of trickle down economics which has been proven not to work.
    Renny
    30th Aug 2016
    11:55am
    This is just dumb. People on Newstart cant find jobs because they don't exist. Between technology and an inept government we have a jobs crisis. 457 visas are stealing the jobs because the government let's them. So let's pay themm less and let parents pick up the cost, thus transferring more government responsibility to the private citizen. Aagh!
    KSS
    30th Aug 2016
    12:59pm
    Renny what you say is not really quite correct for all areas. Take the Hunter Valley as an example with very very high youth unemployment yet the fruit growers have to employ backpackers to pick it because the local youth refuse the work. The fact is there is work for those who really want it, and yes that might not be in their own backyard (or what they think they deserve) but why shouldn't they move for work? Many older people did exactly that.

    And now the backpackers are considering their options with the 'promise' to force the backpackers to pay tax at 30% regardless of their actual income whilst in Australia. You have to remember that those on working holiday visas can only work for up to three months with a single employer, the main purpose of their 'holiday' must be holiday and not work and they cannot work for the whole duration of their visa.
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    1:11pm
    Renny,

    I would "just Cancel" the visa's and make these jobs available for Australians once again.
    I would also put a "Surcharge" on companies employing staff overseas for jobs which could be done by Australians.
    The "Surcharge" would be at such a level that the "Total Cost (surcharge + actual pay of overseas employee)" to the employer for "filling this position" would equate to the same amount as employing "an actual real dinki di Australian in Australia".
    Such action could marginally up the "Service Cost" of some services but this would more than be "OffSet" by the reduction in taxes to service the current unemployment in Australia.

    This would then also provide adequate finance to keep paying the LEVY (as per current point of discussion) to ALL.
    Or would such action "Set a Precedent for the current set of CRIMINALS in Charge" to finally & "Once Again" start looking after Australia & Australians.
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    1:26pm
    KSS
    You certainly "Have a point & Make it well".

    The answer is simple though:
    1 Offer those jobs to all who are physically capable & cannot find a valid excuse to not do the job
    2 If no volunteers, Pull numbers out of the hat & Volunteer them
    3 If they refuse, "Stop the Dole"

    Whilst such actions seem drastic it will certainly separate the "chaff from the wheat".

    Unfortunately, such drastic actions call for some "Safeguards though"
    1 ensure that these "(appointed) Volunteers (if necessary)" are "Better off OVERALL" then if they were to receive the dole.
    That is, ensure that their total net (travel, accommodation etc.) earnings equate to significantly more they would receive as jobstart.

    NO SLAVERY!
    Rodent
    30th Aug 2016
    11:57am
    I am reposting this here now because its now more relevant, was a reply to adbob and other

    Media reports suggest that the govt is claiming $1.34Bill Savings in NOT paying the Energy Supp to NEW pensioners as from 1 Sept 2016.
    This is part of the $6.5Bill in savings that they will include in their Omnibus Bill. I find this "interesting as it would mean a significant increase in the Total Numbers being paid Pensions and related Social Security Payments.
    Over the time period involved that would require an increase in people paid of between 740,000 and 1,100,000 people. That may be OK, BUT from June 2015 to Dec 2015
    the DSS Demographic data shows a DECREASE of 94,695 in total numbers of people paid.
    Maybe somebody should ask what is the basis of the $1.34Bill claimed savings over the 4 year period?
    Of course this is on top pf the claimed savings for the Asset Test changes which were originally $2.4bill .

    Additional comments - some may conclude here that the only way to make this Non Payment of Energy Supp to New Pensioners as from Sept 2016- fair to all would be to NOT pay this Supp to all EXISTING pensioners as well- wouldn't that be interesting if that were proposed? . My brief calculations suggest that an extra Saving of $5Bill + could be realised. The Govt might try this on using the old fairness and equity argument. I will bet its in their thinking right now.
    Renny
    30th Aug 2016
    12:05pm
    It is lies and more lies. Nothing they ever claim stands up to scrutiny. Never seen the like before. Absolutely shameful.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    12:40pm
    You're on the money Rodent, I'd be happy to nominate you for assistant treasurer if someone else cares to second.
    roy
    30th Aug 2016
    2:46pm
    No posts from MICK yet, is he now posting under the name of MD I wonder?
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    5:11pm
    I don't think so fred, MD seems to have a sophistication that Mick could only dream about.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    5:51pm
    Gentlemen - fred, Old Man, I thank you both, although best not discount Mick. I see him as a doer and added to that the last thing this site needs is an equivalent to the 18C censorship. If we all of 'hang out our dirty washing' at least we can then consider our own standpoint, or for that matter - bloody mindedness.
    Not Senile Yet!
    30th Aug 2016
    12:06pm
    Time for Malcolm to assert himself to his Corrupt Right Wing Caucus!
    Time to tell them that their Policies are Cruel to the Poor and Unworthy of this Great Country!
    Yes Malcolm.....get a set of balls man.....stand up to your Caucus!
    If you don't the Backlash will smash your Party into oblivion as it did in the NT when they refused to come back to the Centre with their Right Wing Extreme Policies!
    Absorb the Fuel Subsidy or pay it as a rise!
    Then Cut Back on All the Politicians Perks/Claims and remove the Tax Payer subsidy for the MP's Super! Tax subsidies are for those that NEED them not those that DO NOT NEED THEM!
    Our MP's earn enough to pay their own way without subsidies for Super!
    While you are at it.....Make all Religions....regardless of faith.....pay a 10% tax on their income.....to be paid directly to MEDICARE.....to fund it for ALL!
    Negotiate with Labour on Super Changes and meet in the Middle (Often called the Centre) so ALL AUSTRALIANS CAN BENEFIT from the Tax Savings by NOT Subsidising those who simply do not need to be!
    And lastly...bring in Legislation that requires all Companies that have an ABN in Australia are Required to pay a Minimum 10% tax on ALL profits produced in Australia......securing that taxation for Funding our Health System and Hospitals in the long term!
    Do that Malcolm and you and your Party Will get re-elected!
    After re-election bring in a 5% Tax on ALL Mining in OZ......this Tax to fund Education for the future! If the Mining Giants choose to mount a similar advertising campaign.....you can label them UN-Australian and refusing to contribute to our Future!
    You are OUR PM......We expect you to LEAD.....not be a Party Puppet!
    Forget Abbott.....they simply cannot bring him back.......he is dead!
    Sack Morrison....he is owned by the Extreme Right and you and everyone else knows that!
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:15pm
    This energy supplement should have been stopped with the carbon tax as that is why it was bought in in the first place. Get rid of it for everyone as it is no longer relevant.
    almost a grey hair
    30th Aug 2016
    12:27pm
    As we believe we are a first world country, perhaps we should be managed as a first world country, and recieve our aged pensions like other first world countries and that is we automatically rec the pension when we reach 65. Its not our fault that all the tax we have paid over the years has been mis managed. We are all born the same way, butt naked and toothless and what we do with our lives after that is up to us. Why should anyone be penalised because they have saved for retirement and paid off their only home. (we can only live in one , we don't need two) By paying pensions as a matter of right we could get rid of the half of centrelink that deals with pensions, saving the country a lot of money. They could retire or seek alternative employment, some may even get jobs they actually like for a change. In the meantime we should all be making sure we qualify for the full pension by staying on top of centrelink rules, regulations and amounts, what you can and can't do and spend as much as we can on non assessable assets before we sit in the nearest centrelink office with the great unwashed cap in hand begging for what is rightfully ours.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    12:44pm
    I like your broad brush strokes 'almost a grey hair'. You've painted a very colourful canvas indeed & dare say, full of texture. Don't let the paint dry.
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:51pm
    Very good, almost a grey hair. I agree with your sentiments.
    And MD, you're obviously an artist with that comment - lovely.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    5:55pm
    Bless you Alexii, your level of discernment does you credit - it takes an astute person with a critical eye to appreciate the finer points.
    Rae
    30th Aug 2016
    8:02pm
    Jolly clever idea there. Or confess mismanagement has finally demoted us into developing status. That way we can save billions of foreign aid and maybe even pick up some aid from first world countries. I've thought for a while it is a bit daft for taxpayers to borrow billions to give to countries with their own billionaires.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:41am
    Simple economics, trickle up theory, you give pensioners money they have nothing to do all day so they spend it in coffee shops, theaters, on holidays, on children, grandchildren, whatever. They will spend it because why would they need to save it"? Their future may end in a day, a week, a month.
    It makes more sense than trickle down theory where we give money to the rich who's hobby is hoarding money, so that very little of it actually trickles anywhere.
    Charlie
    30th Aug 2016
    12:52pm
    So what if the energy supplement is no longer relevant without the carbon tax.

    Have they noticed that the age pensioners electricity deduction no longer pays for any electricity, because the service fees have risen so much it is not even enough to pay them.

    A person can reduce their electricity usage but they cant reduce the service fee.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    12:58pm
    If there is no carbon tax there should not be an energy supplement. That is where it is wrong and it should be abolished now.

    If you want to use the rise in your electricity for an income in the pension then that is another matter altogether.
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    30th Aug 2016
    12:55pm
    The pension for our "representatives" is calculated on 75% of their already excessive salaries. If the pension of the People -that they are supposed to "represent"- was calculated the same way -just on the minimum wage!- the pension would be $1009, instead of $759.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    1:01pm
    The pokies will do well with that increase.
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    30th Aug 2016
    1:11pm
    You think there should be one rule for the people we pay to make the rules, and a different rule for us, Old Geezer?
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    1:23pm
    We all play by the same rules. However I do know where an increase in the pension is likely to be spent. Now wonder those pokie companies are going gang busters.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    8:37pm
    Old Geezer, you should win a prize for nastiness and vile unfounded assumptions. I know hundreds of aged pensioners and none of them have ever put a cent in a poker machine. They don't drink or smoke and the closest any of them come to ''gambling'' is buying a scratchy occasionally to gift to a grandchild for a birthday or Christmas.

    You really are a revolting person.

    30th Aug 2016
    1:04pm
    The truth is we are doomed, not enough jobs, too many people on welfare, and our gutless government still wants to bring more migrants into the country, go figure. The crime rate is increasing, not enough police to keep the law, judges not giving strict enough penalties, the law is not adequate for the types of crimes committed, the pollies need to go out into the real world and not carry on like school children when sitting in parliament, they need to do their jobs more efficiently or get out, in the long run we are paying them to do their jobs.
    Patriot
    30th Aug 2016
    1:14pm
    Jannie,
    They BRING more migrants into Australia without asking US if they should!?!?!?!?!
    Whose agenda are they following?????
    fedup
    30th Aug 2016
    1:04pm
    Why on earth would the government care, about poverty in Australia, shame on you Mr Turnbullsh###
    tia-maria
    30th Aug 2016
    3:44pm
    fedup.........point taken by me mate......Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison are two deadly politicians we need to watch as if they had a chance they would stop Medicare and Pensions all together
    concerned
    30th Aug 2016
    1:13pm
    This is typical of our so called pollies who are voted in by not only the high flyers, that the lowest cop the brunt of all their failures. It is time they got their snouts out of the public trough and did what they are paid for, it seems to me they are incapable of decision making in that they are asking the public to make their decisions re same sex marriage at a cost of $160m. How much time do they want to come to a decision, we don't care whether it costs them their job at the next poll, just do your over paid job.
    KSS
    30th Aug 2016
    1:23pm
    Blame the opposition and the Greens for the same sex marriage fiasco concerned. It is they who don't trust the rest of Australia to make the right decision.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    1:27pm
    That the big problem with our government. Spending too much of their time on minor issues that effect minorities in our society. More time needs to be spend on the big issues that effect the majority of the people.
    HarrysOpinion
    30th Aug 2016
    2:10pm
    " the energy supplement payment which was introduced by the then Labor Government as compensation for the increased energy prices expected under the Carbon Tax reforms"
    -OK-the Carbon Tax is gone BUT the cost of 'ESSENTIAL' energy prices is going up and up so the ENERGY COST COMPENSATION must remain in some form. It doesn't matter whether you call it Carbon Tax or Emissions Tax Compensation. You can apply for Rental Assistance if you a single pensioner renter of $130.40 per fortnight. Pensioner home owners should be able to apply for an equivalent amount of compensation for their ESSENTIAL ENERGY costs.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    2:33pm
    Pensioners do get a discount off the electricity bill.
    HarrysOpinion
    30th Aug 2016
    9:57pm
    Old Geezer- Is the electricity bill discount for pensioners equivalent to government's rent assistance of $3,390.40 per year , ($130.40 per fortnight)? I don't think so.
    LiveItUp
    31st Aug 2016
    7:42am
    Renters have to pay for their electricity too in most cases so it's a level playing field.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    8:17am
    So the pensioner renter with $200,000 in a bank account can get rental assistance and the regional pensioner home owner in a $200,000 home unit and no money in the bank can't. You call that level playing field?
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    10:43am
    They both have to pay for electricity and the interest on $200,000 would not go anywhere near the cost of rent so the person without the house needs rent assistance.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    6:10pm
    According to your previous posts, Old Geezer, $200,000 should generate at least $15600 per year (given that you think it's fair to deprive people of 7.8% of every $1000 they have above a random threshold). Even at only 5%, it's $10,000 a year. Add rates, insurance and maintenance, for which $6000 a year would be a VERY conservative allowance, and the homeowner is at least $16000 a year worse off than the renter. I can rent a lovely huge 4 bedroom/2 bath home in a prime position in a regional city for $300 a week, so the person without the house is FAR BETTER OFF THAN THE HOMEOWNER.

    You are absolutely full of it! You have no idea!
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    9:02pm
    Not too sure where you can rent a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house for $300 a week as around here you would pay twice that plus some. $300 a week would be lucky to get a one bedroom unit or bedsit. So you would need more than twice $15,600 a year just to cover your rent. A home owner paying $6000 a year in rates etc would be miles in front or the renter. If you owned a 4 bedroom 2 bath you would be looking at over $500,000 so $200,000 would buy much either if anything. House down the street has just been put on the market for well over $1 million. This is a regional city area.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    8:46pm
    Oh, so whatever you CLAIM is the case where you live is the basis for all decisions and the REAL FACTS as others can evidence are totally irrelevant. Typical of bastard LNP supporters who can't deal in fact unless it's twisted to suit their disgusting selfish agenda.

    If you don't know where to rent a 4 bedroom 2 bath house for $300 a week, you are IGNORANT AND DUMB. And homeowners paying $6000 a year in rates etc. are NOT miles in front of renters at all. Many are struggling to hang on to their homes. Add the extra pension entitlements + rent assistance and many renters are a hundred miles in front. My financial adviser suggested I gift my home to my kids 5 years before retiring, and then pay them rent. I'd be thousands a year in front and the mongrel government wouldn't get it's hands on the home I worked for 35 years to pay for
    Grateful
    30th Aug 2016
    2:11pm
    "The estimated $1.4 billion that the Government plans to receive in savings may well look great on paper but when you consider that $1.4 billion will be directly taken from our economy, all of a sudden there’s a flaw in the argument."
    This is something that the Liberal Party has NEVER been able to understand. I bet that EVERY CENT of that $1.4 billion IS spent on day to day essentials. What a hole that would leave in our disastrous economy??
    Compare what we are also told that a vast portion of the age pension that is paid to those with a part pension is NOT spent and is simply left to sit in bank accounts.
    What do BOTH of those situations tell us??? Patently obvious.
    Blossom
    30th Aug 2016
    2:28pm
    People on Newstart are going to find it hard as they have to travel regularly reporting to job agencies and applying for employment. My understanding is that they receive a lower Centrelink Benefit than Aged Pensioners who don't have to do that extra travelling.
    bebby
    30th Aug 2016
    2:36pm
    Old Geezer, how is it you are assuming those who are on the pension would waste increases
    they may get on the pokies?. It would seem from your comments you haven't any idea how those less fortunate than yourself have to live.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    2:46pm
    They are the only people with time on their hands to play the pokies.
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    4:58pm
    You really seem to think that all pensioners spend their time at the clubs playing pokies. How do you know? Is that where you spend your time to observe? I can assure you that my wife and I and all the seniors people we know DON'T go to the clubs and play pokies. Why do you generalise this about pensioners?
    My wife and I live frugally now and will need to be more frugal next year. Thanks heavens we own our house! But the insurance bills are a killer and get more so each year.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    10:38am
    There are an awful lot of pensioners in clubs these days doing just that and pokie companies are going gang busters so someone must be supporting them and it is not me.
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2016
    6:21pm
    Alexii, you are typical of most aged and disability pensioners and carers. The majority are responsible, clean-living people who worked hard all their lives for far too little pay and live frugally in old age. They deserve respect, not the vile disgusting arrogant insults the very ignorant OG throws at them.

    Old Geezer, ASS-U-MEs make you a prize ASS - and a nasty one at that.
    Rodent
    30th Aug 2016
    2:38pm
    Just to get your Interest, this is the Judith Slone article in today's Australian- and I think she is a Liberal supporter

    Apologies for length but not everybody reads the Australian--makes your blood boil?

    It was always going to come out that the real rorts and costs in the superannuation system are the public sector defined benefit superannuation schemes.

    Just ignore Scott Morrison’s assurances that “commensurate measures” will ensure the privileged ones on defined benefit schemes will be treated like everyone else; it’s complete twaddle and he knows it.

    Or he should know it, unless he has been hoodwinked by his bureaucratic advisers who are, almost to a man and a woman, beneficiaries of these gold-plated schemes.

    Let us first consider constitutionally protected employees. They include judges, tribunal members and senior state public servants. As their titles suggest, they won’t be affected at all by the changes to the taxation and regulation of superannuation announced in the budget.

    When Peter Costello introduced his superannuation surcharge tax, a group of judges simply went to court — presided over by another group of judges — to ensure the tax didn’t apply to them. Surprise, surprise, they won.

    So for the select group of constitutionally protected employees, life is unaffected and they can look forward to their lavish pensions in due course. No “commensurate measures” for this lot.

    For others who are members of (untaxed) defined benefit schemes, at worse there may be an imposition of a few grand of extra taxes for those earning more than $100,000 a year in retirement. But this impost comes nowhere near making the treatment of these pampered pooches equivalent to people who have had to work hard and save to accumulate their superannuation balances.

    There are a variety of defined benefit schemes for public sector workers. Many of them are closed but some continue to this day.

    The generosity of these schemes varies. Defined benefit schemes used to operate in the private sector for high-paid executives, but they have been closed for more than 20 years. Note also that few of the private defined benefit schemes paid retirement pensions: beneficiaries were handed a multiple of their final salary and sent on their way.

    Top of the pops of the public sector schemes is the old parliamentary scheme, with ex-pollies earning up to 75 per cent of their highest salary indexed by movements in parliamentary salaries. Before 2001, a 30-year-old retiring (or defeated) politician could qualify for a pension — think Natasha Stott Despoja and Bill O’Chee — defying the rule about accessing superannuation only on reaching preservation age.

    The scheme was completely closed in 2004. And note that neither Malcolm Turnbull nor the Treasurer are members of this old scheme. But they do take advantage of an employer contribution of 15.4 per cent, whereas those in the private sector have to make do with 9.5 per cent. You know it makes sense.

    There are also some generous parliamentary schemes at the state level. And the schemes covering judges and magistrates are to die for — although if you do die, your spouse or partner will get about two-thirds of your indexed pension for the rest of their lives.

    Consider the old Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme for federal public servants that was closed in 1990. (Another defined benefit scheme was put in place, the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme, to replace the CSS. The PSS was closed only in 2005.)

    Most of our fearless policy advisers will be members of the CSS. For long-serving employees, the CSS pays out over 50 per cent of final adjusted salary, indexed by the consumer price index. Under this scheme, members could make zero contribution, although contributions up to 5 per cent after tax were permitted to boost final retirement income.

    The fact salaries of senior public servants have soared in recent years turns the CSS into a truly princely arrangement.

    There is an additional wrinkle to the scheme that knocks it out of the ballpark.

    When the system of compulsory superannuation was first introduced, members of the CSS were awarded an additional contribution of 3 per cent of salary to be deposited into an accumulation account. From that point, CSS members could salary sacrifice additional contributions to this accumulation account, free of any of the constraints that apply to workers in the private sector. (This wrinkle also applies to members of other public sector defined benefit schemes.)

    What this has meant is that the entire concessional contributions cap has been available to these lucky ones because there is no estimate of the monetary value of the notional annual contribution made on their behalf.

    So a current CSS member aged 58, say, can make a $35,000 pre-tax annual superannuation contribution, whereas an employee in the private sector must take into account the employer contribution when calculating the amount that can be salary-sacrificed as a concessional contribution.

    It is a complete disgrace, but the practice has persisted for years and years — I guess because the public servants never bothered to advise the politicians to close the loophole.

    But if you really want to smell the putrid stench of hypocrisy, consider the government’s decision to grandfather these schemes. When the CSS was closed to new members, all existing members were allowed to remain within the old scheme and to continue to enjoy all its benefits. Ditto the parliamentarian scheme.

    It was not as if there wasn’t an alternative. CSS members could have been transferred to a less generous accumulation scheme, with only their CSS benefits to that point preserved. But the government of the day decided against this action. The same argument applied to the parliamentarian scheme.

    So here’s the real rub: grandfathering is fine for public servants and parliamentarians, according to politicians. But when it comes to mere mortals seeking to save for their retirement, grandfathering is so yesterday.

    Indeed, it is not just the case that grandfathering is out of fashion; there is a need to look back into time to make sure that members of accumulation schemes have not contributed too much of their post-tax savings. Indeed, Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer told me that she wanted to reach further back than July 1, 2007, but the integrity of the records couldn’t be assured. She was fearful there could be two classes of citizens without this retrospectivity.

    Kelly, there are two classes of citizens, but it has nothing to do with backdating regulation. There are the privileged public servants and pollies and the rest of us.

    And the cost of running these defined benefit schemes is soaring as interest rates fall — in much the same way that $1.6 million doesn’t generate the income it once did.

    The total superannuation liability of the commonwealth (for its present and former employees) will rise by close to $19 billion across the budget forward estimates, culminating in a total figure of $195bn in 2019-20.

    Any budget savings made as a result of the government’s budget superannuation changes are completely swamped by the burgeoning liabilities associated with the defined benefit schemes.

    It’s time to return to the drawing board.
    MD
    30th Aug 2016
    6:07pm
    Thanks Rodent - at the prompting of Judith Sloan. I partly addressed this very subject on a weekend post in 'Forum', nevertheless , well done and pertinent.
    mike
    30th Aug 2016
    2:57pm
    Can anyone explain why the pensions of Mr Hockey and Ms Bronwyn Bishop have been left Untouched whilst everyone else has been reduced
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    3:03pm
    They are part of their salary package and not a welfare payment to stop them living in poverty.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    6:02pm
    They are disgusting OVERPAYMENT to useless bastards who do NOTHING of value - but have set up the system to rort the public purse. Aged pensions, on the other hand, are recognition of the fact that senior Australians can no longer work and earn but should be respected and cared for.

    The way we treat our aged tells the kind of society we are, and clearly, Old Geezer, you need some lessons in respect and caring. The society you crave would speak volumes about the lack of human decency, the selfishness, the arrogance, and the greed of the ''haves'' in this world.

    Furthermore, the society you crave, Old Geezer, would be an economic disaster, because nobody would have money to spend so there would be minimal business profits, constant increases in unemployment, and falling tax revenues. Greed will ultimately result in self-destruction, but sadly it will destroy the guilty last - after the death of all the innocent victims of these vile self-serving policies.
    Supernan
    30th Aug 2016
    3:34pm
    How else can the Politicians afford their 2.5% rise to their own salary ? ? ? ? After all the highest paid only get $157,000 per year ! ! ! Like our local polly who lost his seat - he only got compensation pay out of $100,000. How can they manage poor dears !
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    3:41pm
    That's the problem $157,000 is peanuts to what people earn in private enterprise. That's why we get the calibre of people we do in parliament. Pay them more and you will get better people to manage our economy.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    9:00am
    What garbage, Old Geezer! I have hired and fired in large corporations and in EVERY INSTANCE the more an applicant THOUGHT they were worth, the less they were actually worth. The only competent and diligent workers were those willing to accept a very modest wage and humble enough to let those who employed them determine appropriate recompense for their efforts.

    Greedy or egotistical (i.e. believing they are worth more) = inept, useless, lazy, greedy, often corrupt, and basically worthless. And that pretty much sums up a vast number of our politicians.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    9:56am
    Pay them more and attract even bigger and more ambitious charlatans and thieves.
    mareela
    30th Aug 2016
    3:40pm
    Old Man your typical propaganda persists after all these years about PM Gillard. What she actually said was she would put a price on carbon and she did. There was no lie, only Abbott's
    destructive propaganda but it worked and the current lot of liars have the hide to complain about Medicare truths during the election. You never mention Abbott's list of lies, no changes to Medicare (tried to start a GP tax), SBS, ABC, Pensions. The list is endless. Why don't you practice what you preach and provide this column with a balanced view, instead of the right wing nut job view only.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    3:48pm
    Gillard price on carbon was in name only it never worked at all.

    Anyone would think carbon was bad when in fact it is the building blocks of everything on earth.

    All a carbon trading scheme does is make some traders very rich on a lie.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    5:16pm
    Sorry mareela, I was watching a different channel to you. Hopefully this link will work where she made the statement; 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POoiWt2aAIQ

    It's hard to rewrite history when proof such as this exists.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:03am
    I agree with OG. Carbon is being maligned just as that fantastic product, Asbestos was maligned and hounded into extinction. How could it be so evil, it made people so much money, I am sure that the companies that made millions out of Asbestos paraded a whole string of paid for comment journalists and scientists to prove their point. Hell they even got government ministers to hound those charlatans who were pretending to have asbestosis to the grave in order to avoid paying health care costs.
    Let's not make the mistake of letting human extinction get in the way of profit, it is not the LNP way.
    mareela
    30th Aug 2016
    4:02pm
    And Old Geezer/Bonny you would know because you're an expert right wing nut job?
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    4:12pm
    No I jack of all trades master of none.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    4:56pm
    and you are a left one and a useless one at that
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    4:57pm
    by this I mean mareela
    HarrysOpinion
    30th Aug 2016
    9:48pm
    Old Geezer-ex Bonny...hmmm....you gave yourself away with that statement...
    Jezemeg8
    30th Aug 2016
    4:13pm
    Here's a thought, how about cutting the ludicrous pension that politicians receive and their benefits and giving those on Newstart, Disability and Age Pensions a rise. I'm sure there'd be an even greater saving if that were to happen.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2016
    4:18pm
    The pollies deserve their pension or a job well done. Those on Newstart, Disability and Age Pensions (welfare payments) only get them so that they don't live in poverty. Big difference here.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    9:58pm
    What planet do you live on, Old Geezer? A job well done? Have you not recently checked what bad shape the economy is in, how much disharmony and unrest exists in our society, and how much corruption and crime politicians have been found to be involved in? Get a life!

    Big difference alright. Most on Newstart, Disability and Age Pensions are people who have contributed to the nation and would continue to do so if able, whereas most politicians are vile self-serving leaches who polish their trouser seats and inflate their stomachs stuffing up the nation, fighting like children, insulting decent Australians, and cheating to claim benefits they are not entitled to.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    10:36am
    It is simply disgusting Rainey that you say such things about the leaders of our nation. Those comments belong to those on welfare not our leaders.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    6:15pm
    No, Old Geezer. Those on PENSIONS are the victims of the total stuff ups of the inept overpaid greedy fat cats who rort the public purse and take helicopter rides at taxpayer expense. What is DISGUSTING is the disrespect you show for the people who MADE this nation. We don't have ''leaders''. We have greedy, self-serving, corrupt, dishonest, cruel, disrespectful MONGRELS who care nothing for the welfare of the nation and abuse power for their own selfish ends.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:17am
    OG, a job well done, five pages into their Omnibus Bill and what do we find, a multi billion dollar mistake in the figures, it had to be pointed out by the opposition, who the government claims is incompetent. If their mistakes have to pointed out by an incompetent opposition what does that make them.
    And then the Whip lets some of the members out of class early presumably because they were tired after all their hard work, and the government losses three votes.
    The scary part is that this is not a cluster by beginners, these people have been in power for three years. Let the supreme being save us (he/she) because the government is not capable of doing it.
    And this is legislation that the government told the opposition to stop blustering, there is no need to read it, just trust us and sign it. Legislation that had a few little extras that the opposition had not even mentioned in their election campaign, remember the wedge tactics by the government, "This is all stuff you have agreed to in the past, sign it or be held up as political obstructionists"
    Yes they would be seen as doing a good job, if they were selling snake oil to frontier rednecks.
    Cranky
    30th Aug 2016
    4:21pm
    I can't see why young people on new start allowance should be paid #527.60 a fortnight when a member of a married couple only receives $656.00 a fortnight and these people have worked a life time and paid taxes etc.' where some of the younger generation on new start may never work or pay taxes. Grumpy
    ANONYMOUS
    30th Aug 2016
    4:26pm
    How about the Government cut costs and entitlements at home....Polling wages, perks, retirementand travel benefits... Just for a start.

    SAVE BILLIONS BY PASSING THE SAME SEX MARRIAGE CHANGES WITHOUT DOING THE PLEBISCITE TOO!!!!

    UPGRADE ALL WELFARE PAYMENTS TO A HUMANE LEVEL AND SET THE LEVELS INCREMENTALLY SO ALL AUSTRALIANS IN NEED HAVE DIGNITY AND SECURITY!!!
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    5:20pm
    I have a problem ANONYMOUS. Turnbull went to the election promising a plebiscite so it is expected that he honours that promise. If he agrees with Shorten that the parliament can decide, he will be accused of breaking an election promise. I find it interesting that one of the reasons that Shorten wants a parliamentary vote is that he is concerned that voters might reject gay marriage. Is he saying that he doesn't agree with a democratic process?
    HarrysOpinion
    30th Aug 2016
    9:44pm
    Good point Old Man but, as I have commented in the past on several occasions ,"It does not matter what the politicians say or promise to the public because we all know that they lie...What really counts is how they vote for legislated laws in parliament that affect our lives and culture".
    Patriot
    31st Aug 2016
    7:39am
    A plebecide is a "Waste of Time" as the Pollies ask for our opinion and they are still able to decide the opposite of what the people want!
    If we decide to spend the money it MUST be a Referendum so that WE - THE PEOPLE - decide and IMPLEMENT without interference from our POLITICAL MASTERS!

    Of course, this should have been done coinciding with the recent election in order to SAVE MONEY (Mr Morrison) and cause less inconvenience to THE PEOPLE!!!
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    7:56am
    You are correct Patriot, alternatively, it should have been done on the recent Census 2016...to gauge what the people want on the SSM issue after all,the plebiscite is non-binding to amend the constitution.
    The plebiscite would cost nix if included in the Census 2016 and could have allowed ABS more financial support in their budget to ensure greater integrity of their hardware and security system given that the plebiscite is going to cost $150 million. What's happening is as a result of abysmal government leadership, absolutely abysmal.
    Patriot
    31st Aug 2016
    8:37am
    HS
    What leadership[ - there isn't any!
    Only following the line as dictated by the GREEDY Corporations
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:20am
    Disagree Patriot, there is plenty of leadership, but it is coming from the backroom boys who probably were not elected but obviously gave the top job to MT for as long as he kept his opinions to himself and blindly followed orders.
    Dotty
    30th Aug 2016
    4:50pm
    I agree that taking $14 plus off Age Pension benifits will be like telling us to dig a hole and hop in!
    I for one would be devastated by this cut as am totally dependent on the Age Pension wnith no Assets at all to fall back on !
    So should I start digging my hole now Malvolm Turnbull !
    Dotty
    Alexii
    30th Aug 2016
    5:00pm
    They'd just like us to fall off the perch and curl up our toes, Dotty.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    5:21pm
    Please read the article again Dotty, you stand to lose nothing. Existing pensioners will continue to receive the supplement.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    9:46pm
    So that makes it okay, Old Man? What kind of person justifies something on the grounds that it only hurts SOME PEOPLE?
    Patriot
    31st Aug 2016
    7:34am
    In order words: "Just let's create more division within the community".
    Very short sighted in my opinion!
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:22am
    And how do we keep a Dictatorship in power, we get the peasants fighting over scraps amongst themselves. The trick is to make life so hard that scraps are valuable to them.
    KB
    30th Aug 2016
    5:31pm
    14.10 may not seem like a lot but every bit helps when it comes to the electricity bill for pensioners I certainly would miss it.
    Rosret
    30th Aug 2016
    5:57pm
    The Newstart is something that should be axed and the money saved should be going to the overall pension rate. Newstart equates to the elderly working for unbelievably low wages and doing young people out of full award paid work.
    However if you drop the pension rate the first thing people do is eat less or poorly, cut down on heating and cooling, stop taking medication and withdraw from society.
    For those who don't care - the next thing they need is medical attention, if not hospitalisation at a cost of $500 per day. Its a false economy to starve the elderly.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    9:47pm
    If Newstart is cut, Rosret, what happens to those for whom there are no jobs? They just starve to death?
    Patriot
    31st Aug 2016
    7:33am
    Rainy,
    Why don't we arrest them when they "Steel a loaf of Bread" in order to feed their kids and send them the the new UK-Penal Colony.

    It does not seem to be understood that "Dire times induce Dire measures". Any parent worth her/his salt would commit such a crime to feed their offspring.

    If we - as a human race - are to advance (& survive) in evolution we must learn to look at the whole of humanity as communities that need dignity, compassion & security.
    Rather than the "Dog eat Dog" attitude that is promoted by the GREEDY Multinational Cartels and - as a consequence - by their SLAVES - OUR Elected Representatives!
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    10:33am
    If your child leave school today and doesn't get a job you have to support them. There is no Newstart for them unless you too are on welfare. So you then have the choice either pay for their expensive education so that they get Youth Allowance or completely support them. If you thought OAPs had it hard spare a thought to our young folk who can't get work.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    6:17pm
    Make up your mind, Old Geezer. Anyone who is struggling is at fault for their failure. There is too much paid out in ''welfare''. The government is doing a good job. But the young are doing it tougher than our generation? What a load of contradictory rubbish you peddle!
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:26am
    Patriot why waste money sending people to the UK when there are perfectly good Concentration Camps on Manus. But wait, the humane modern people of PNG have closed this hell hole down.
    Mindy
    30th Aug 2016
    6:46pm
    Boy, what a bunch of self-interested whingers. It is a poorly researched and inaccurate article yet everyone who has nothing better to do but sit at home and bludge off the taxpayers has to have a bleat!

    Simple equation of $ in and $ out. The govt is currently borrowing to pay pensions and allowances. This is unsustainable. Everyone wants someone else's rice bowl to be raided, not theirs!
    HarrysOpinion
    30th Aug 2016
    9:36pm
    Mindy - In that case you better pay more income tax, more medicare levy. Instead of 'head-bashing pensioners'. CONTRIBUTE MORE INCOME TAX just like the current pensioners did when they paid high tax and levies to keep your grandparents alive. If the government is borrowing to pay pensions it's because it misappropriated that part of income tax revenue that was set aside for future pension payments. Using 'pensioners' as an excuse is absolutely deplorable. Do you like your Champagne / Wine Mindy? Then pay more for your alcohol so the hospitals can cope with over 150,000 alcoholics taking up hospital beds every year. Do you want more refugee migrants in Australia (27,000-50,000 per year) to live of your income tax? Then contribute more income tax and tell your company employer to pay more tax Mindy. No? Well, that's is not sustainable!
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2016
    9:45pm
    Reducing pension is not sustainable, Mindy, because it means more people live in poverty and don't consume (thus reducing business profits, tax revenue and jobs); more people suffer illness and depression because of poverty- imposing higher costs on the taxpayer; there is more likely to be more crime and addiction - imposing more costs on taxpayer. In short, it COSTS more - not less - to cut. It's like a father wanting to save money by starving the kids. It doesn't work very well!

    Mindy, greedy taxpayers just don't get it. Reducing the amount spent on welfare and services STUFFS THE NATIONAL ECONOMY. It doesn't save money. It costs money. The government needs to borrow to pay reasonable benefits to people who, because of economic conditions or health issues or age, cannot support themselves adequately. And taxpayers need to suck it up - as we did earlier in our working lives, when taxes were far higher and concessions and handouts were far less. We paid to support older Australians, knowing (or believing and trusting) that our turn would come.

    What astonishes me is the utter stupidity of younger Australians who scream for reductions in the aged pension. Don't they get that they are screwing up their own future! How dumb can you get- to want to destroy a system that would benefit you down the track and create a system that will deliver nothing but hardship and misery for future generations! Astonishing that people can be so stupid. But that's greed for you! It addles the brain,
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    10:45am
    Rainey let's face it there are just too many people on welfare today and there isn't enough money to go around so they will have to cut back and how much they pay people.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Aug 2016
    12:29pm
    There are too many refugees (90%!) on welfare today and it's about time the rich tax payers, the banks, the financial institutions and multi-national corporations paid a larger share of corporate tax or levy to pay for the refugee's upkeep in Australia instead of the government stealing from the age pensioners.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    6:11pm
    Spot on, HS. But there are also far too many rich pigs rorting superannuation tax concessions (and capital gains concessions and negative gearing concessions - not to mention cheating on claims of business tax deductions for personal expenses), and then gloating about being ''self-funded'' when they cost the taxpayer more than any pensioner ever will.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:35am
    OG, if you take out the pensioners and just count the people who are really on welfare the figures aren't so bad.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Sep 2016
    11:41am
    The pensioners are on welfare so need to be counted as well. I repeat too many people now on welfare in this country.
    AlbertC
    30th Aug 2016
    8:50pm
    they give their dogs a pay rise of $40 grand a year and wan,t to take money away from us once again the liberals are still runing under the flag of coruption when are the people in our marvelous country going to wake upp to what the libs do to fill their wallets whilst takeing ehile we are exspected to live on alow pension if ageane gave me a wish it wold be te liberals party diapearing from sight a alow us who rely on our pension to live somone click your finger it might work.!
    Dukki
    31st Aug 2016
    7:18am
    I agree with the majority of the people here , thesddition money should stay ,god knows we need it,Perhaostbepollies could stop giving themselves raises,like the one they just give themselves ,retrospect toLast September!! Then there would be plenty go round. After all they are only doing a job ,not being president or something that important N most ,not all,don't do that very well either
    Drewbie
    31st Aug 2016
    9:27am
    I have a permanent back injury ( no less than 5 slipped discs ) caused simply by unloading loam from my trailer, please note: it wasn't deliberately self inflicted. I'm a home-dad managing our household while the wife works to support a family of five. 5 years long, I've not received, nor was eligible for any welfare allowance because my wife, " earned too much ". The wife came down ill ( anemic ) suddenly Sept last year & was off work for six weeks. Resultingly, I was forced & tried to apply for the disability pension. At 55 yrs I was instead shunted onto N.A. and required to register with a local "Job Network Provider " with all that entails.
    My N.A. is affected by how much my wife earns & quite often I get " zilch " for all the JNP obligations I must fulfill & in return get nothing (employment wise) for my efforts.

    Apologies for my long gripe, but you can appreciate it is "subject related ". Oh, by the way, married recipients on average only receive $493.X cents fortnightly, so a $14.10 reduction would bring that to a measly $479.X cents. No-one can exist on that & I fully agree & support what The Business Council of Australia and KPMG call for regarding Newstart Allowance.

    Cheers everybody.

    Craig.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2016
    5:52pm
    You have my sympathy, Craig. Some people just don't get how hard it can be for genuinely sick and disabled folk or those who encounter crisis or trauma. It seems some arrogant posters assume everyone has total control over fate and if they are struggling it must somehow be their fault. It's a shame fate doesn't deal them a totally devastating blow and teach them some empathy.

    I'm still working and earning and have healthy savings (after doing it VERY tough for 5 decades!) but I'll speak out for folk like you every day of the week. The government is disgusting. There is no excuse for their cruelty, and it's economically stupid (as confirmed by those eminent folk who have spoken out against it).
    Mez
    31st Aug 2016
    11:34am
    PENSIONERS CANNOT AFFORD TO GET LESS BUT POLLIES CERTAINLY CAN SO HANDS OFF OUR ENTITLEMENTS!
    I WILL BE VOTING FOR THE INDEPENDENTS NEXT ELECTIONS IF THIS HAPPENS!
    Where is their commonsense? REALLY!
    RENT ALLOWANCES DESPERATELY NEED TO BE INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY AS MOST PENSIONERS DO NOT OWN PROPERTY AND ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE HOMELESS FIGURES WHICH IS INCREASING RAPIDLY IN LINE WITH THE INCREASES IN RENTS!
    Mindy
    31st Aug 2016
    6:52pm
    Nothing like getting a reaction! I guess none of the people complaining spend their pensions on drugs. Rainey, to quote you: 'greedy taxpayers just don't get it.' Sorry, they are the ones paying tax & they are greedy!!

    $ in, $ out - the equation does not change.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    8:53am
    Yes, Mindy, because they are consuming the resources of the nation for personal gain and unwilling to pay their share to cover the cost of providing them. They are benefiting from the various contributions of hundreds of thousands of worse off - including pensioners and the unemployed - to society. They are using the social structure to protect themselves against potential future hardship and need. And yet they are not prepared to stand up and demand that society show proper respect and consideration for those who have fallen on hard times for whatever reason. They are not prepared to fight for a healthy, happy society in which there is social justice and human decency.

    Actually, in the global finance world,, $ in doesn't equal $ out at all. The system of money creation and circulation is very complex and - frankly - quite disgustingly dirty! It was devised to enrich a few and impoverish the majority, and it does that well. The only recourse we have is to recognize that fact and to counter it by structuring systems as Australia did in past generations - accepting an obligation to care for the disadvantaged properly and treat them with respect, and not to overindulge the selfish privileged who claim an unfair benefit from national resources that ought to be shared more fairly.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2016
    8:55am
    BTW. I pay taxes - despite being over retirement age. Though very moderately comfortable financially (some idiots would say I can afford to retire self-funded, but they are idiots!) I'm still working and paying, and donating to charity, and fighting for social justice and a better deal for pensioners, funded by a fairer tax system and less indulgence of the greedy well-to-do.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:33am
    Mindy, every adult in Australia pays tax.
    Kato
    31st Aug 2016
    7:12pm
    but but the liebrils reckon we are paying less for electricity because they got rid of the carbon tax, and mining tax.
    ex PS
    2nd Sep 2016
    10:31am
    Keep this to yourself Kato, it is a bit of a secret, the government tells lies in order to get simpletons to vote for them. It sounds terrible but it has worked for the last four years or so and is not likely to change because it works. Tell people what they want to hear and they will probably believe it.