What strategies will be needed to help the nation foot our COVID-19 bill?

Long-term strategies and quick fixes are required, but who’ll fund them?

old hands and young hands holding money

While much of Australia is beginning to enjoy the fruits of hard time served indoors during COVID-19 lockdown, with some venues reopening and travel restrictions starting to lift, it may be time to address the elephant in the room, says a University of New South Wales report.   

That elephant? Who will foot the coronavirus stimulus bill?

Health measures have come at a huge economic cost, with the lockdown estimated to have cost about $1.4 billion a week. Millions are out of work and the federal government will end up spending about $213 billion in direct spending; state spending will be around $13 billion. Money borrowed from the Reserve Bank could exceed $105 billion.

Some commentators estimate the impact of reduced revenue in future years to $1 trillion.

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg rightly stated that a federal budget once expected to deliver a surplus for the first time in years will now be the “largest-ever deficit when a revised budget is released in October.”

It will take all hands on deck to repay this debt.

“The question is how we as a nation will pay the bill and over what time period,” says the UNSW report.

“And even though we aren’t out of hibernation yet, the debate has already started about whether we can grow our way back. This includes what tax incentives are needed to help stimulate growth and cushion businesses and workers through the transition and/or what belt-tightening and tax-raising strategies will need to be implemented.”

There have already been calls directed at retirees and baby boomers to fork out more than other generations.

“This is partially arguing intergenerational fairness – the high cost of protecting seniors as our most vulnerable group – and also a pragmatic approach that they are likely to have more capacity to pay, having accumulated assets over time,” said UNSW Business School professor of practice Jennie Granger.

“Of course, not all seniors are wealthy and even those who have been self-funding their retirements have had their investments and incomes significantly battered by low interest rates and the bear share market.”

She suggests more tax revenue could be taken from investors to help repay government debts – by putting a limit on franking credits, taxing superannuation withdrawals, limiting the concessional tax rate on super earnings, limiting capital gains tax exemption on their homes and limiting negative gearing.

Prof. Grainger also suggests broadening the tax base and reforms to GST and state taxes as a means of shoring up the economy.

Her colleague, Dr Rodney Brown, suggested three quick fixes to stimulate growth.

The first would be unwinding the legislated personal income tax cuts worth $158 billion.  “This reduces forward expenditure, so we are not compounding debt. This is attractive because it is less painful to withdraw something we never had,” said Dr Brown.

The second was introducing a temporary levy, similar to the one introduced for three years after the Global Financial Crisis. This added two per cent onto personal taxable income over $180,000, affecting 400,000 Australians and raising more than $3 billion.

“A corporate form of this could be a temporary ‘super profits tax’ on the most profitable companies,” he said.

The third is cancelling the super guarantee charge rate rise, which Dr Brown says “doesn’t repair the budget, [but] it is a cost to business. It may be an attractive option for the government to defer or cancel this rate rise. If future employee costs for businesses don’t increase, that may be an incentive for businesses to hire additional employees”.

Perhaps retirees have seemingly been asked to shoulder the economic burden of COVID-19 because over 50s make up 27 per cent of the population but hold 50 per cent of the nation’s private wealth and 46 per cent of its disposable income.

However, the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System came to older Australians’ defence over the weekend with an open letter to the Morrison government.

“We are beginning to see incessant lobbying from retiree groups demanding greater taxpayer support in the wake of COVID-19,” reads the letter published by Fairfax.

“Older Australians say the retirement system is in crisis and leaving them financially vulnerable, forcing them to call on the Morrison government to consider changes in areas such as the Age Pension, deeming rates and access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

“The Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System, representing millions of retirees and older investors, has written to key finance and welfare ministers urging reforms including to measures previously introduced to take pressure off the federal budget…

“Retirees are facing a string of inter-related hits to their finances. Company dividends are being slashed… Falling interest rates… Income from rental properties have also collapsed… The alliance said it all meant many retired Australians’ incomes were being stripped away by the impact of the coronavirus and the situation ‘could extend for years’.

“…the alliance wants the government to… [implement] another cut in the deeming rate.

“It also wants an automatic revaluation of assets used by Centrelink to determine the pension accessibility for retirees…

“The alliance has also called for the government to rethink the taper rate changes it introduced in 2017 that helped save billions in pension payments. The alliance says those changes now mean that couples who may have almost $900,000 in assets are up to $1000 a month worse off in income compared to a couple with $450,000 in assets…

“It wants all retirees to have access to the [Commonwealth Seniors Health] card and for the government to promote its availability.”

The intergenerational war over who’ll foot the bill is in full swing, even though we still haven’t recovered from the crisis. In fact, we’re still not even aware of what the final cost may be.

“The federal government has already racked up hundreds of billions of dollars of debt to steer the economy through COVID-19, which will need to be repaid by younger generations," writes Leith Van Onselen for MacroBusiness. “Younger Australians have also been hardest hit by job losses.

“Now retiree groups want to throw billions more onto the debt burden of younger generations so that they can enjoy their retirements in undiminished comfort.

“Seriously though, the burden of COVID-19 must be shared throughout the community, not hoisted on younger Australians shoulders. Retirees must also bear some of the pain.”

Is repaying the debt even an issue for you? Should all generations band together to help our nation through these unprecedented times? How do you feel about this?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    neil
    22nd Jun 2020
    11:01am
    It is an issue for us o.a.p.s, we will be seen as a target where as the coalitions mates will be looking forward to tax cuts.

    Neil.
    Cheezil61
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:23pm
    Yep, of course, rotten to the core!
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    7:55am
    Yes $11000 extra income a year for wealthy income earners. And yet not a mention here of cancelling the tax cuts. Haha.
    Hoohoo
    26th Jun 2020
    3:10pm
    They have to cancel future tax cuts and break this ridiculous and childish vote-buying strategy.

    Do we need rich people getting richer or essential services for everyone (including rich people)? I call government services essential because they ARE essential for a decent society. Look at the hell hole the USA has turned into! Please don't let Australia fall into that type of fetid hole.
    retiree
    22nd Jun 2020
    11:13am
    As a baby boomer I see Gen Z to pay - they thought it a great 'joke" to run the #boomerremover. If they thought the pandemic was such a joke, OK they can pay
    Gra
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:24pm
    I agree 100%. The younger generations will have much more opportunity to rebuild their super funds than us o.a.p's. As it is, most of us will never see our funds get back to where they were at the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic.
    Hoohoo
    26th Jun 2020
    3:20pm
    Don't blame and punish their whole generation for the few knobheads' stupid behaviour. Every generation has a cross-section of knobheads in it, including ours.

    Generation wars never fixed anything. All they serve to do is divide the people so those who benefit (including our political leaders) don't have to even address the real issues. Wake up!

    If you think blame games work then you must consider that people of the future should be punishing us for the crap environment we've left for them.
    Of course it's not fair because some of us have tried hard to fix the environment for people of the future.
    Buggsie
    22nd Jun 2020
    11:16am
    It would be a very brave government to reintroduce personal income tax increases for any group, let alone retirees. But LNP governments have never been known for either commonsense or fairness, just promotion of the increasing divide between the wealthy and the poor. Hope for the best, but expect the worst, seems to be the best attitude for current retirees to hold at the moment.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    8:27pm
    The LNP are not known for common sense or fairness, but heaven help us all if Labor gains power during or after the end of the pandemic. They wanted to wipe out self-funded retirees. They want to increase the super guarantee so that more billions flow into the pockets of high income earners and lower income earners and struggling small business is screwed. And while they are stuffing the economy, they are also destroying society with their stupid gender rubbish and reverse racism. And they are allied with the idiot Greens who are now proposing to defund the police force, so goodbye law and order and protection of person and property. What a mess!
    inextratime
    23rd Jun 2020
    2:13pm
    And you can add free university education to the that list. The thoughts of pm Gough Whitlam still exist within the Labor party branch stackers.
    Bakka
    22nd Jun 2020
    11:20am
    No combination will be popular across all generations..and while in principle I don’t support taxing the so called rich to support the so called poor, maybe a special tax levy ,means tested should be in the mix.( as per the Ansett levey)
    The majority of retirees have not benefited from Gov. assistance.due to CV19. so leave them alone this time.
    Whatever happens it will be long and painful
    Chris B T
    22nd Jun 2020
    11:40am
    Might be time to Set Minimum Tax Rate to be Collected off the Going Tax Rates.
    There can't be a Tax Receipt below a "%" set of Rate as is the case now some can be zero or very close to.
    The combining of incomes for the purpose of reducing tax with loss making investment/business to cover loans and other expenses.
    Horace Cope
    22nd Jun 2020
    11:45am
    Does the UNSW Business School professor of practice Jennie Granger live in the real world or is this just another hypothesis with no basis in reality?

    It's easy to make claims about Baby Boomers and retirees having assets which, although true in a lot of cases, doesn't address the reason that those assets have been accumulated. Most of those assets were purchased with after tax income and, in some cases, a lot of luxuries were foregone to pay for the family home. The percentage increase in real estate over the past few decades has been constant and higher than previous decades for a number of reasons, some of which are because of government policies. Baby Boomers and retirees have paid their way in the past, are paying their way now and should not be asked to pay any more than any other tax group.

    It's OK to claim that "younger" Australians will be left to carry the burden when things get back to normal but this is misleading. Personal tax is not calculated by age but by income received after allowable deductions. Interestingly, about 50% of tax is paid by about 10% of the highest income earners. It's drawing emotion into the argument when suggesting that it's the "younger" Australians who will carry the burden.

    The stimulus packages have been targetted to try and maintain the economy in the short term as well as keeping the workforce together for when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. History tells us that employment is created by the private sector and I agree with Dr Rodney Brown that deferring the compulsory super increase may assist with businesses keeping costs lower which may lead to more employment. Not only is that helpful for the dignity of work but it has a twofold effect on the economy: less outgoings for jobseeker payments and increased income from personal taxation.
    Lookfar
    22nd Jun 2020
    7:10pm
    Hi Horace, sorry I haven't got around to you yet, - was annoyed with you in another post claiming the Brown Coal electric power stations in the Latrobe had environmental filters, - I have been there, that was a bit naughty of you, - driving into the valley looks like a Nuclear explosion mushroom cloud, tut, tut.

    However, some correction about the difference between History, and some silly theory, - it is always good to keep ideas correct before you make decisions based on them.
    Let's look at Australia, Private Industry did not send the convicts, etc. to found Australia, sure Private sector persons came riding along too and carved out huge swathes of country for themselves, and were certainly involved in lots of Aboriginal slaughter, so Private sector People of bloodthirsty nature were certainly there, filling their pockets at every corruptible corner, but in no way did they create genuine employment, really they held the colony back.

    Leaping forward to America when it became a world power before and after WW2, it's Huge advance was funded purely by the Govt following the Keynesian economic idea at that time, building dams, roads, railways and infrastructure of all kinds later replaced by Economic Rationalism as Keynesianism, whilst buiding the nation and it's people, did not lend itself to total gobble gobble by the rich, who have since become the Super rich and now Gobble Gobble Gobble.

    To the degree that individuals create a business through hard work and new ideas or a new invention, those Private people do an enormous amount of stimulus of employment and economic activity, but the Buying out/ taking over of those small businesses by huge corporations almost always leads to serious retrenchments and disposal of hard working committed personel and displacement by the ruthlessly greedy.

    - Small buiness creates the economy, big business sucks it dry and contributes the minimum, so that part of Private sector, - the part that usually pays no Tax, - the parasite part, contributes very little, if not takes more than it gives.

    Now we have had many years of the vampire Economic Rationalism, and it is causing a world economy having very shaky foundations, it is time to drive the Stake through that vampires heart and look to create a more sensible and equitable society within which All are Cherished and All Contribute, and the Private sector is lauded for it's contribution in regards to individual striving but not allowed to go beyond that to the mega greed disease.

    BTW I can't see much difference between society costs keeping the economy alive by Jobseeker, etc. and individuals earning money yet doing nothing except the jobseekers actually do necessary work but the fat rich rent seekers do nothing.
    And that is just observation, - nothing to do with socialism or any other ism.

    Cheers Horace,
    Geoff
    Arvo
    23rd Jun 2020
    5:36am
    UNSW Business School professor? These are the guys who failed to predict the collapse of the Australian Automotive Manufacturing Industry, as I recollect in 1987 during my Commerce studies at UNSW....buggers were annoyed when I wrote in one exam that lowering tariffs, allowing imported cars to flood our small market would be very detrimental to our motor vehicle manufacturing industry...But, of course they knew better ...eh?

    As we paid through our nose when we were younger without finger pointing at OAP's of our era...so will the future generations. Why should they have it easier than us and those before us?
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:02am
    Isn't it a pity the Federal and State Governments sold all the income producing assets we paid high taxes to build for the future.

    To top it off they've contracted perfectly good public services into privateer hands at huge costs to the Nation.

    Now they want what assets we have left to live off.

    Tell 'em they're dreaming!
    Hoohoo
    27th Jun 2020
    5:05pm
    I really enjoyed reading your post, Lookfar Geoff. I've never read such a succinct dissection of our economy and the positive, democratic role of small businesses and the destructive, undemocratic role of multinationals.

    It makes it apparent that very large corporations are the scourge of the world. Their unrestricted ravaging of communities and whole countries can't ever be voted away, whether in western democracies or megacorps like China.

    So it leaves these questions:
    - Is democracy even possible when corporations are legally allowed to "donate" to political parties?
    - What role can citizens effectively and legally play to influence governance?

    And yes, Rae, selling the golden goose of public utilities to privateers, which had been paid for by working families paying their taxes year after year, has had tragic consequences for those very taxpayers. Politicians sold their souls but the people have to pay the bills.
    SAM
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:01pm
    Increase the GST to 15% everyone pays that way
    Rosret
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:23pm
    No.
    Tood
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:30pm
    Pensioners cannot afford to pay another 5% unless they are exempted from rent and utilities costs.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:32pm
    I prefer that first step is to make it flat across the board with no exemptions, then adjust the welfare payments for expected increase in GST so recipients not worse off, and only then look at increasing the rate for more revenue
    dabi56
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:49pm
    Yeah Sam every billionaire pays the same as every Pensioner. GST is a Regressive Tax
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:50pm
    Indirect taxes are inherently unfair and cause increased poverty. Increasing GST would mean huge increases in hardship for those who are battling now. And increasing pensions would be patently unfair as it would leave the already struggling self-funded retirees with a massive increased living cost and no help to cover it. It would likely be the last straw for hundreds of thousands of SFRs, who would just give up and put their hands out for a pension.

    Exempting pensioners from rent and utility costs would be patently unfair to homeowner pensioners, who are already - in many cases - worse off than their pensioner counterparts.

    What we need to do is stop 'boxing' people and making invalid assumptions about this group vs that group, and just give EVERYONE a guaranteed basic income, then increase income taxes at the top end. It's not hard. But while we continue to indulge this group and deprive that group, there will be major problems.

    Why should welfare groups get more, Farside, when low paid workers and struggling SFRs will be hard hit and get nothing? We have to get rid of this 'welfare' mentality and start rewarding those who strive, until they reach the point of achieving very healthy incomes - at which point a sensible system of progressive income tax should cut in to ensure those who earn most, pay most.
    SuziJ
    22nd Jun 2020
    6:04pm
    Tood, there is NO GST ON RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PAYMENTS, but Commercial rents do attract GST. The income from renting a residential property is included in the taxable income of the owner of the property. The GST you pay on the upkeep of the home is also not claimable.

    As for GST on fresh food, check out this url: https://www.ato.gov.au/print-publications/gst-and-food/?anchor=GSTfreefood#GSTfreefood

    GST on other food: https://www.ato.gov.au/print-publications/gst-and-food/?page=5#Taxable_food

    So, if you're thinking of purchasing chocolate milk from the supermarket, you'll have to pay GST on it, but if you purchase fresh milk and Akta Vite, Milo, etc, you'll not pay GST on the milk. If you're purchasing sparkling mineral water, then expect to pay GST, whereas bottled still water doesn't attract GST.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    9:43pm
    Youngagain, no issues with raising the tax free threshold so low incomes and all your pov SFRs are also compensated for loss of GST exemptions, but that was not what the OP wrote about. I would rather give the SFRs back the 2017 taper changes but I am more concerned with those finding themselves on struggle street because they are rather than those who go there by choice.

    I don't disagree with any movement to sensible progressive taxation or a living wage but I see little point in UBI to those who do not need it.
    Youngagain
    25th Jun 2020
    7:01pm
    Farside, how out of touch can you be? Earning enough to pay tax would be a dream for vast numbers of SFRs, so raising the tax free threshold won't help them one bit. Nor, obviously, will it help low income earners.

    Even giving back the 2017 taper rate changes won't help a lot of struggling SFRs, with investment returns at an all-time low and poor prospects for any improvement.

    The point of a UBI is that it doesn't rely on a bunch of bigoted, ill-informed power-crazed bureaucrats, politicians or advisers to presume to decide who needs what. The flaw in all means tested system is that nobody can ever assess someone else's need accurately, so ultimately the system is grossly unfair, able to be manipulated readily, and removes freedom of spending choice. A UBI and a sensible tax system removes the unfairness and makes the whole system far more efficient and affordable to administer.
    Farside
    26th Jun 2020
    5:02pm
    out of touch? Youngagain, well certainly not playing in the same paddock as you, so feel free to whinge about the woes that have befallen SFRs and their choices until UBI comes in. Hopefully you come around to understanding UBI is not happening any time soon, especially while the broad consensus is it could actually increase poverty and damage the economy.

    FYI, there are many SFRs that understood we have been moving to a low interest rate environment for the past decade and adjusted their plans accordingly. Like you they might not like the low returns on bank deposits but you don't hear them whining over it and expecting government to bail them out while there are higher priorities.
    Youngagain
    27th Jun 2020
    3:41pm
    Any SFR who isn't very worried by their low income and threats of higher GST or loss of franking credits etc. is VERY RICH, Farside. The vast majority are deeply concerned, supporting the National Seniors' campaign for a UBI or at least a major change to means testing, and acknowledging a hideously unfair system. It's not about 'understanding' anything. It's about not having choices. You can understand everything, but when there are no other reasonable options, understanding Is pointless. And I don't think ANYONE is asking the government to 'bail them out while there are higher priorities'. SFRs merely want a fair deal, and a fair deal is highly affordable if the govt. stopped giving the richest 1% over $300,000 per person in tax concessions to build their retirement war chest. There are billions going to the richest 20% in grossly unfair superannuation tax concessions and these could easily be redirected to struggling retirees who have never had the benefit of concessions like that and are now not getting a fair go.
    Youngagain
    27th Jun 2020
    3:45pm
    Besides, Farside, this discussion began with a proposal to raise GST. My comment stands. It would be patently unfair to SFRs and your dumb comment that they could raise the tax threshold would be useless to those most severely hurt. Try sticking to the point and acknowledging FACT instead of always trying to score points by changing the topic.
    Hoohoo
    28th Jun 2020
    6:57pm
    Isn't the current tax threshold at $18,000 pa? But the problem with our whole economy is that the very rich can make that starting point irrelevant - it's just for the workers who pay tax all their working lives.

    A UBI would be fine but only if all the people who accessed it ACTUALLY paid tax, but we all know the mega-rich have ways to make ANY income disappear so they NEVER pay tax. It's always being "re-invested" into their many money-making assets/schemes. EVERYTHING becomes tax-deductible for even little moguls.

    And then there's the Franking Credit rebates for those who don't even pay tax. THIS is where the means-testing should be applied, so mega-rich can't put their hands out, yet again (they've already been paid dividends, for heaven's sake!).
    Incognito
    28th Jun 2020
    7:08pm
    And not to mention the so called "charities" the rich set up like Bill Gates.
    Rosret
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:21pm
    Mr Morrison has stated over and over that the government intends to grow productivity to get us out of this debt.
    You can vote Labor and rest assured we all will be taxed until the cows come home.
    So instead of attacking men, women, age, wealth, country etc etc. Follow Plan A and we will get out of this with our lives and our children's future economic security.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:40pm
    Morrison is wrong. He needs to go and have a chat with his people and have them explain to him how the economy actually works and the life cycle of a dollar. There is no hurry to reduce debt so long as there remains a need to build infrastructure for a growing population and the debt is manageable. Passing on paper debts/assets imposes no net benefit or burden from generation to generation.
    Lookfar
    22nd Jun 2020
    7:37pm
    Rosret, Usage by Politicians of the word productivity should be accompanied by a long series of questions to that Politician whilst attached to a very sensitive Lie detector, particularly when that politician tells you that not to support him will be attacking men, women, age, wealth, country etc etc. - Beware of Politicans seeking to cloud your judgement by invoking fear and trembling, you don't even need a lie detector to spot those liars.
    It does not surprise me that Morrison has used that technique on you, - he has a sales background after all, but if you believe his lies then that is a problem not only for you but for the rest of us when you vote, - particularly as you do not seem to be taking appropriate care, and your name is not Daniel.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:10am
    Exactly so Farside. It is a worry that UNSW professors don't understand MMT.

    The Government has borrowed made up money from itself and will in time pay itself back. It has to. They all have to. Apart from the Superannuation funds forced to buy bonds as a portion of the prescribed portfolio no rational person would buy bonds at current yields.

    The interest is just too low.

    Where has all the money gone that has poured into State and Federal Treasuries for years now from sales of our assets?
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    12:44pm
    Rae, I'm not sure they even need to understand MMT, tho would not hurt for them to at least get a grounding in the basics. It was enough during the health crisis to heed the advice from informed experts, so why not with an economics crisis. I suspect this is why they continue to chatter about about managing the budget and bang on about debt and deficit instead of managing an economy. They are struggling to even understand Keynesian let alone think it so locked in they are to the monetarist and neocon ideologies.
    Hoohoo
    28th Jun 2020
    7:07pm
    And we all know what LNP means when it has intentions "to grow productivity to get us out of this debt." It means more wage stagnation for real workers.

    Or worse, the flip of the coin, it means robots to replace workers. You can't get blood out of a stone just because you want to increase productivity. Young people will pay for it, either way.
    Billv
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:29pm
    Well of course retirees will be targeted, we are always the first in line
    Tood
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:34pm
    Let the younger generation of me,me, me cop the burden, we went though 18% mortgage payments, worked hard and have done the heavy lifting. Breeding a few less children would also help their budget and a back to basic attitude.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:11am
    Should have seen them here last weekend spending willy nilly in cafes and restaurants, clubs and pubs. They've got money to burn obviously.
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    12:55pm
    Tood, the boomers helped raise the younger generation and instil the values and behaviours in them that you now criticise. That makes you part of the problem, try to be part of the solution.
    JoJozep
    22nd Jun 2020
    12:37pm
    Hi guys. Wake up to where this is leading. Blame retirees because they're fighting for their basic rights. Why not chase the big business bastards who pay little tax, do their dirty work in overseas tax havens, with poverty level workers, pay minimal wages, opt for casual workers so they can pay minimal hourly wages, deny them proper super, obliterate sick leave and holidays, demand they work long hours when everyone else is safely at home and have the power to fire anyone at will with no consequence. In a nutshell present the lousiest conditions for the working family known in history. Even serfdom was a better system. At least people ate.

    So who is Professor Jennie Granger and her colleague Dr. Brown. Never heard of them before. How dare they interfere in retiree's welfare by wanting to cut their meager sources of income. We, the retiree's are sick to death of such "intelligentsia" Bullshit academics who couldn't do a serious course as doctors, engineers, architects and the like or did a typical professional degree at Whoop Whoop University. Who do they represent? Business academics who are lucky if they did a three year course in "business" administration. What drives business? Yep, how much profit it makes. How do you make profit? Yep reduce costs of production. How do you reduce costs of production? Yep, pay workers bugger all, reduce their entitlements like holiday and sick pay, hide behind Scomo's anti union legislation, keep wages stagnant for a decade, and charge twice as much for their inferior Australian made products to what they import from "slave" countries.

    Even so called japanese made products like Canon and Nikon cameras are no longer made in Japan, China and even India make all or parts for these upmarket products. I can't think of one Australian made product that's famous as a brand name in overseas countries. That means business in Australia is slowly dying out, and though it results in a few multi millionaires who make their millions and then retire on huge incomes and pay minimal tax, they are the ones who look at pensioners and retirees as a burden on society - their society.

    When we had the opportunity to lead the world in electric car production, well before Tesla took on the task, where was the LNP government? I've never heard of any politician having a degree in the physical sciences like engineering, biomedical, architecture or even basic design. What actually took place was a complete shutdown of the Australian initiative, ordered by US General Motors and Ford, as they could see the potential and wanted no competition from an upstart like Australia. China was not so foolish. Later the EU came in on the Act and now the US via Tesla. As usual, Australia was left behind. These countries could see something innovative was necessary for world survival.

    I challenge the business community to come up with some idea that will put Australia on the map and start the regenerative process. They should start by paying good wages and have good working conditions, and stop eyeing pensioners' and retirees' income and their survival conditions. Also, the LNP government must play a pivotal role in understanding the needs and requirement to fund research projects and also to ensure the benefits flow to all Australians. I want to see "academic" business advisors get off their fat rumps and develop an idea that will put us on the map, where we can all benefit. I'll stop there.
    Mardi
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:28pm
    Well said
    Cheezil61
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:21pm
    Have to agree with most of this re big business & how they treat employees is a disgrace!
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:16am
    Problem is Big Business is almost all International and paying hardly any taxes here.

    Business academics should have known better to allow more neo-colonisation of Australia.

    My suggestion to them is to read a bit of economic history and stop making the same mistakes over and over.

    22nd Jun 2020
    12:57pm
    Give everyone over pension age the Pensioner Health Care Card to encourage people to downsize instead of upsizing their homes.
    Tanker
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:43pm
    That would not encourage anyone to downsize only give those who don't need it the Health Care Card.
    Paying of the accumulated debt should be spread over an appropriate number of year in order to ease the load over a reasonable period.
    The worry is that being a right wing government with a paranoia about taxation, ably assisted by the Institute of Public Affairs,will seek to get back to a budget surplus ASAP.
    Their classic approach will be austerity measures where expenditure is cut to the bone and taxes for the wealthy decreased. The given rational for that being that it will encourage consumption through the trickle down effect. It has been shown long ago that doesn't work but politicians never let the facts get in the way of ideology.
    cupoftea
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:03pm
    RW I must have read wrong because even if you get no OAP you still get a Health care card
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:05pm
    It would encourage many to downsize as they wouldn't lose their Pensioner Health Care card. Many now upsize just to get the Pensioner Health Care card. People now retire with the most expensive house they can buy leaving just enough to get full pension plus Health Care card so the house also needs to be added to the assets test.

    Better still give anyone who wants it the age pension which is to be paid back when they die. That should add heaps to the Covid-19 debt pay back.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:42pm
    People are not going to downsize while it means they lose pension benefits. The downsizing provisions only ever benefited the very well off who knew they would never need a pension anyway. It was stupid to suggest allowing a contribution to super that resulted in lost pension income would encourage any intelligent retiree to downsize. Upsizing is much more profitable!
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:25am
    The Government created the current tendency to upscale the home to a better location and more expensive house, probably already renovated and with better views and amenities.

    Why wouldn't you when a couple can then access the full aged pension and the lovely concessions.

    I chose badly. I should have taken my lump sum and done what others do now. Gaining a newish and better home and also free money I never saved in a risk free aged pension. And the beauty of not paying full price for everything.

    I handed over my lump sum for an income stream. 48% non concessional and got screwed over by Hockey deeming that 10%.

    Nobody is going to do that now. I know quite a few who have bought those better houses and a new car and kept the maximum allowed then rocked down to Centrelink.

    Smart thing to do these days.
    Lookfar
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:19pm
    This "It must be Repaid" twaddle from such as the Hon. Josh Frydenberg, is a mournfull wail from the dying economic "Theory" called Economic Rationalism, it is not applicable in these times, nor probably not for the last 50+ years also.
    Now we have what the Americans call Quantitative Easing, they printed trillions of dollars, none was nor will be paid back.
    Unfortunately it was all given to the banks that created the Financial Crises of 2007-8 so was not very effective in getting the world back to stability.
    Indeed it could be argued that had the money been injected into the economy rather than the greedy pockets of the rich, America would not be in the dreadful position it is now in, - China, however, - in that exact same time period spent a similiar amount of money on it's own internal infrastructure, creating the biggest economy in the world, - one which beat the Americans soundly in the recent Trade wars initiated by the American president,- ah what a Pity Morrison had to hitch Australia to that dismal falling star..

    Back to the stimulus, first tried by Rudd in 2007, worked well then, now reluctantly by Morrison, still, better late than never, and reasonably effective so far, although a lot more could be done, if we could get these braying donkeys repeating 'it's gotta be paid Back, off Our Backs.
    Thing with the Stimulus, the money has to be spent in Australia on Australia otherwise it will badly affect our Balance of Payments, - that's why it has to be given to the poor, not the rich, - the rich will just whip it off overseas, and it has to be spent on things which will increase Australia's wealth, like Education, - education is expenditureInvestment in/on the future, sadly lacking by Govts thinking they just have to import educated Migrants so no one will know they have been so miserly except the current generation finding almost no jobs they have been educated to do nor how to self train as things develop.
    - Thanks Economic Rationalism, stuffed up another generation.
    Obviously we need to update Australia's Power grid, the high cost of maintaining our old coal dinosaurs is restricting Australian manufacturing due to the excess cost of electricity, - and that won't be improved by giving our stimulus money to overseas Gas companies so that they can set up their own infrastructure, and sell our gas overseas to Their profit less a small royalty.
    By building our own Renewable Energy Grid, we would need to set up Wind Turbine factories, more Solar panel factories, dig and use our own copper and iron ore, - making towers, railway lines, panel mounting, lots of high voltage DC cables to connect them and simultaneously initiate on the biggest scale possible, tafe, etc. courses to bring our unemployed and unsatisfied employed up to the level to be able to do the multitude of jobs that will be needed, - and of course a Govt with the wisdom and drive to lead it and take the rest of us along with.
    However the end of that process will give very cheap electricity in such abundance we could sell much of it overseas for more than we currently get for coal, which is a dying market anyway, we could afford to desalinate and pump water to many areas in Australia with good soil but no water, to mitigate killing hot summers and freezing winters arising from the changing climate, jobs for all, - everybody in Australia would be better off, including the aged, - maybe some of us could help also :)
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:53pm
    there is a lot of misinformed chatter over national debt from those using the household or business as a model, under a misguided belief this is relevant and meaningful to the electorate.
    KSS
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:21pm
    "By building our own Renewable Energy Grid, we would need to set up Wind Turbine factories"

    About 6 days ago, I passed a large wind farm in southern NSW with multiple wind turnbines and not a single one was turning. A few days later I made the return trip and a similar situation, about 1/3 turning. So please tell me how we will have consistant electricity when the wind doesn't blow and the sun don't shine?
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    8:22pm
    We cannot produce anywhere near enough energy through wind and sun to power industry. Solar is fantastic for domestic and small commercial enterprise power and to supplement other sources. Happily, solar does NOT require sunlight. It works from light, not sunshine, and therefore continues to work (albeit not quite as well) on dull and rainy days. Wind has not proved particularly successful as a power source and the establishment cost appears to not be justifiable. There are lots of other options for producing power naturally, but so far none have proved a feasible substitute for coal-fired power stations. The Greens and Greta live in la la land, sadly. The reality is that we ARE moving gradually to greater use of renewable energy and taking better care of the environment, but it is a gradual process and it can't be rushed without wiping out the economy and doing major social harm.
    Deano
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:34pm
    About time we changed the whole Govt. handout mindset and treat all hand outs as nothing more than a loan by Govt in the same way we went from free education to paying with repayments made via HECS.
    Adopt the same approach with every form of Govt. assistance inclusive of the pension and apart from paying back at some nominal rate when employed as now done by HECS, your debts should be checked at two points:
    1. on death
    2. if you received an inheritance.
    If you have outstanding debts they are paid before you receive an inheritance or before your estate is disbursed in death.
    Sure, there are many people that will die with debts and find ways to avoid ever having to pay anything back or are not able to but there will be far more collected than lost.
    Lookfar
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:50pm
    Good reasoned thought Deano, but it is still just economic rationalism assumed behind it, which has a faulty idea of what money is so is, imho, going no-where.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:00pm
    The age pension also needs to be a HECS style debt payable on death too. Then anyone can get it and pay it back when they die.
    Jim
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:22pm
    I was of the understanding that many years ago part of our taxation was meant to go towards our pension, so we have already paid for our pension up front, so how does anyone consider it could be a debt to be repaid, that’s sounds very much like we are expected to pay for our pension twice? Someone has already said that the younger generation have more time to recoup their losses than the older generation, which seems to me that would be the case, many of the older generation made their sacrifices when we were young, which included going on strike to improve conditions for the next generations, I recall when fighting for a shorter week we went on strike one time for about 10 weeks, we got no money off anyone during that time, I think we have done our bit, time for others to do the lifting.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:36pm
    OAP is welfare that Is paid out of current tax revenues. It is paid to only those who have no other means of support. You do not pay for your OAP through taxation at all and you have never paid anything toward it either. Therefore you have not paid for it once let alone twice.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:38pm
    And then everyone stops saving and investing because it's pointless, and aims to ensure they die broke. It's already detrimental for many to save so lots are going on the pension who really shouldn't need to. Neighbours gave their kids millions so they could get the pension. If it is made a loan, they will just give more away earlier in life. It's a stupid notion. There needs to be incentives to work, earn and save, and a fair retirement system like in all other developed nations - where EVERYONE is rewarded for a lifetime of contributions to the nation.
    Jim
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:40pm
    In 1942/43 Ben Chifley raised income tax, a percentage of the increase was meant to pay for pensions amongst other things, the money was meant to go into what was called the welfare fund to pay for the pension, I think this is why many people call the pension welfare, no matter what you call it, it was like a future fund that all pensioners would have access to, at a later stage, I think it might have been Fraser transferred the funds to consolidated revenue, taxes didn’t go down, so therefore all workers continued paying the increased taxes, so in my opinion we continued paying for our pension. I can’t verify the amount that was supposed to go into the welfare fund, I have heard 7.5% others might have further information.
    SuziJ
    22nd Jun 2020
    6:08pm
    How on earth are you supposed to repay a pension on your death if you have nothing to service it with? No savings, super, assets, etc.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    8:10pm
    Make the OAP a loan and there will be no aged homeowners. People will give their houses to their kids or sell them and blow the money on luxury travel, then live on the pension and have nothing left when they die. It's yet another of the STUPID ideas that the greedy and selfish keep coming up with to deprive those who do what's good for the nation, give the needy as little as possible, and grossly over-indulge the wealthy.
    Up front lady
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:41pm
    It doesn't matter what measures they decide on, this debt will never be repaid, unless we all live in third world conditions with no health, education etc spending.
    China should pay, failing that, the debt for all countries due to covid 19 should be simply written off. Just call it quits and start over.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:35am
    A debt jubilee is on the cards.

    Cancel the coming tax cuts. The high income earners don't need it now after everything has changed due to covid.
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    1:06pm
    Rae, have you ever seen a conservative government not like a tax cut, a subsidy or bailout when there was one in the offing? Much easier to proffer tax cuts to business and the wealthy, suppress wages and condition and prune services then sell this to the electorate as sound economic management. And we buy it.
    Hairy
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:46pm
    Im thinking the culprits who missmanaged the spread of this virus need to be made to pay.the arrogant lieing Giverment of that country allowed millions Of their Infected countrymen to travel all over the world.they have some of the Best brains of the world there, so it was not stupidity. There definately needs to be a huge investigation into the whole affair.as i said stupidty is something that doesnt exist in that country ,ask them and they will tell you.
    Lookfar
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:12pm
    Hi Hairy, the whole thing is much more complicated than that, - it seems there was American money behind some of that research in Wuhan, it is highly unlikely anyone will be legally sure who is to blame, so do you want a war with China?

    Morrison fired the first shot, on the instigation of that fool Trump, and certainly he didn't ask me or anyone on this list, but China listened and fired back, to our national detriment of Billions of dollars.

    China is our major trading partner, why would we want to fight with our major Trading partner? America is our direct competition, we would be better off fighting them, - at least then we could take back all our land that America owns.

    Besides, China is said to be able tot turn out a major Aircraft Carrier every 6 days or something, just how long would our fleet last against such incredible manufacturing capacity, or the American fleet for that matter, so the Americans would have to use Nuclear, the which the Chinese have also, but they have anti nuke shelters deep under most of their cities, America doesn't, nor do we.


    Lets be sensible about this war with China thing, - it is all just a beat-up by Trump to try and hide how inept a fool he is, and Morrison is a fool to take us into conflict with China, he is almost being a traitor to us, even a trade war with China will cost us a lot more than Covid-19, and nothing to show at the end of it but rue.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:11pm
    we don't know with any confidence whether the Wuhan virus research lab was responsible or what role it may have played. For all we know it could have come out of Fort Detrick prior to it being shutdown for safety concerns and infected US soldiers took it to Wuhan in October for the World Military Games. It could have just happened like other zoonotic viruses. If you can believe the Chinese doctors they did not know detect it until December and we know know that it has was also detected in Italian water samples from around the same time. Life can be complicated .
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:29pm
    China and Italy are linked by the One Rod policy.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:51pm
    “Company dividends are being slashed… Falling interest rates… Income from rental properties have also collapsed" – in other words the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System wants a taxpayer funded bailout for the investment choices of retired investors. Quelle surprise.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    1:58pm
    So where do you suggest a self funded retiree gets an income? Even with the pokies you loses 30% of every dollar you put in.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:56pm
    Investors take a longer term view and invest for averaging income over a number of years so any losses are smoothed. It's not that hard – budget for three good years, three bad years and four average years.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:04pm
    That will not create any income in the current economic climate.

    I prefer to sell when market is high and buy when market is down myself with none of this investing for the long term by buying at any price. I budget for a good year every year so have a lot more very good years than anything else.

    I just love the current market myself.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    8:15pm
    Farside, the majority of retirees are NOT investors and never wanted to be forced to deal with investment. Setting up a system that compelled them to become investors was an act of serious elder abuse by our government, and it's disgusting that some folk still endorse the disgracefully unfair and economically harmful system that we, alone, among developed nations, have. In other countries, it is recognized that the aged do not want to suddenly have to become investment gurus just when they are starting to lose their capacity to embrace complex new learning, and they certainly don't want to have to be 'averaging' income and worrying over falling asset values and dividends when they have are struggling with health issues and have no idea how much longer they will live. Other countries give ALL retirees a basic income, and if you did what is good for yourself AND the nation, to are properly rewarded. Wealthy retirees pay tax - as they should.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    10:01pm
    Youngagain, whether those retirees like it or not they had enough assets to invest and chose to put their nest eggs into interest earning accounts, mortgages and other schemes. Retirees had opportunity to take advice so they were informed of the consequences of their choices. It was entirely predictable that interest rates would fall. If they did not want to deal with investments they could have purchased an annuity pension to provide regular income at little risk to themselves. No doubt you support the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System advocacy for a taxpayer funded bailout for the investment choices of retired investors – but are you surprised?
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    10:36pm
    Retiring Very Well, good luck to you for always taking a profit ... buy low and sell high has always had universal appeal when it comes to investing but clearly not everyone is as good as you. The best analysts and day traders cop losses from time to time, heck even Warren Buffett does not win on every trade.
    Youngagain
    25th Jun 2020
    7:20pm
    Farside, your attitude is disgusting. On the one hand, you purport to be sympathetic to people who have nothing or very little, no matter what choices or failures led to that situation, but on the other hand you have no empathy at all for retirees who worked hard and saved well for 40+ years, and are still saving the taxpayer money by being responsible, but have minimal options for earning a decent income.
    These retirees DID NOT HAVE A CHOICE. Many did the only thing they knew how to do - put money in fixed deposits. They were not educated in financial matters. Decent advice is almost impossible to get unless you are very wealthy. None of them had a crystal ball to predict the future accurately.
    Yes, I do support the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System, because they are not advocating for a 'taxpayer-funded bailout' for investors. They are lobbying for a system that encourages and rewards responsible living that reduces the burden on taxpayers to fund retirement - whereas clearly you want to blow the cost of retirement through the roof by making it impossible for most people to avoid reliance on a pension.
    We NEED a fairer retirement system. And the first step in that is to adjust superannuation tax concessions which currently cost over 3 billion a year, and rising fast, paying the richest 20% a whopping 80% of that cost. While the top 1%f benefit from a $300,000 tax-payer funded contribution to their super, the bottom 20% get less than $50,000 over a lifetime. That's Labor's 'world-class super system'. Actually, it's a world-class con deceiving the working man into agreeing to give hundreds of thousands of the working-class man's tax to the rich.

    But like you, Labor wants to attack anyone who worked and saved well, and claim they are being unfair giving $40,000 a year to the tax coffers by not claiming a pension. That's not enough for the greedy and selfish though. No, they want to steal every penny those workers accumulated, and accuse them of taking more than their share by wanting to maintain an income at least equal to that pensioners enjoy.
    Farside
    26th Jun 2020
    5:39pm
    Youngagain, you find my attitudes to the safety net and SFRs disgusting and all sorts of negative epithets but that is all you have. Those retirees you refer DID have a choice as to how they invested and saved their nest eggs over the past forty years; they did not need to be wealthy to do seek advice.

    I do not attack those who have worked and saved well. I might not agree with bailouts for their investment choices but that is not an attack. Nor do I attack those who cannot provide for themselves receiving the safety net or those that choose to optimise their affairs to still qualify for a part pension – they are all working within the rules. Your animus is just more projecting on your part. SFRs freely choose whether they spend down their savings or not to enjoy a standard of living better than a pensioner. I do not see a role for taxpayer subsidised inheritances however there are many who see retention of capital and not spending down as a right; this is also not an attack.

    That said, I totally agree with you that we deserve a fairer retirement system. I agree we need to look at living wages, superannuation concessions, capital gains tax concessions, refunding franking refunds to non-taxpayers, GST exemptions, assets tests limits and exemptions, and progressive personal tax rates. We also need to be reforming corporate tax and the ITAA.

    I am at a loss why you think your gripes with the system are a Labor problem. Labor is not in government and has not been for the last three parliaments. You should pay less heed to whatever nefarious motives you think they have towards you and your money.
    Youngagain
    27th Jun 2020
    3:54pm
    Labor introduced means testing, Farside. Labor wanted to wipe out poorer SFRs by stealing their franking credits and giving them to high income earners instead. Labor has massive influence in parliament - in fact has virtually run the government for decades by virtue of a majority (using Greens and Independent's votes) to block legislation they disagreed with.

    And yes, you DO attack those who have worked and saved well, constantly asserting the falsehood that they had/have investment choices - which is BS. Why shouldn't retention of capital be a right, when drinking and gambling and other wasteful exercises (which cost the nation in health and safety terms as well as pensions) are a right? Nobody chose freely whether to spend down or save, because the rules changed AFTER they made choices according to the rules that were in play at the time. That negated any choice.
    Eddy
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:01pm
    I would have thought that the University of NSW would have more common sense as to portray this as a battle between the generations. The Covid-19 bill will be paid for by the taxpayer base of the time, as it has always been done. The younger generation enjoy the infrastructure paid for by previous generations such as multiple freeways and highways, bridges (eg Sydney Harbour , Westgate, Storey, Narrows etc etc bridges), airports, universities, schools, hospitals, sewage and water supply systems, electricity grids, the independence and freedoms bought by a couple of world wars, the Snowy Mountains Scheme and satellite communication, just to name a few. It is time for the younger generation to step up and accept their responsibilities as adult citizens and take no notice of some educated idiots trying to stir up intergenerational discontent.
    KSS
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:24pm
    And don't forget that each generation pays the welfare of the generations above too!
    Jim
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:44pm
    Well said and very true.
    Sceptic
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:03pm
    The usual whiners react to a UNSW report and blame the Government.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    10:37pm
    a very astute observation
    stevo
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:07pm
    It's always the Baby Boomers who get the blame. We worked all of our life; not like some of the current generations who switch from one job to another usually for better pay and conditions. Most people in their 60's 70's and 80's worked all their life in one job and all paid taxes for that length of time; we paid our way. Now in our later life, we should not have to pay for the younger generation at all. The Old Age Pension is just that. It's an amount that most of use Pensioners with NO Superannuation have to live on and scrape through and forgo many luxuries. IT ISN'T EASY.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    8:47am
    Indeed and we paid pretty high interest rates which helped our parents in their retirements and higher taxes.

    If anything the younger generation are fooling around building up huge HECS debt for useless degrees and not supporting the elderly at all as we supported our older generation.

    They need to get on with actually producing the needs of Society and forget about anything else.

    It is their turn to bring in the sustenance for everyone.

    It's time we stopped molly coddling these adults who need to grow up and face reality.
    Mardi
    22nd Jun 2020
    2:26pm
    They could charge tax to some of the big companies that are at the moment getting away with paying no tax
    Cheezil61
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:18pm
    Wouldn't even have had Covid if the bloody govt had locked Aust down immediately when news hot of Covid in China, considering Sco-Mos then ongoing bed sharing wit China & bending over backwards to keep their trade $ insteadof looking after the health of all Australians! There is no doubt about whos fault it is that we are in this mess!
    And now he & his cronies want us to argue about who should foot the bill? It is glaringly obvious that the wealthy politicians like Sco Mo himself & his wealthy mates should be sacrificing their own greedy superannuation & putting another levy on their OWN wages, bonuses, etc..they are way OVERPAID anyway! Leave everyone else alone & hit them hard- about time they came down to the level of ordinary hard working tax payers & see how they like having to battle to put food on their tables & pay their bills like the rest of us do!!!
    NoFreeLunch
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:56pm
    Pleeeze don’t make me laugh! Your summary of the state of Australia has totally ignored the fact that we have had one of the lowest death rates in the world, thanks to the quick shut down that the Morrison Government did compared to most of the 1st world countries.
    As far as cowering to China I don’t know what news you watch by we have taken one of the strongest lines for transparency of their handling of the whole Covid affair.
    He has done an amazing job given our small percentage of actual taxpayers in our relatively small population. Perhaps the Communist system of Government would suit you better where everyone is given equal handouts, treated as a number and told what to do? May I suggest China?
    Yes politicians have always been well paid, but that’s the price we pay to live in a country like Australia where everyone seems to want to migrate. Best of a global downturn I guess, because trust me there’s no where else I’d rather live at this point in time.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:05pm
    it's common sense the virus would already be here even if they had locked down a month earlier. It would have been on a flight out soon after it started spreading in China. Covid has been detected in Italy in water sampled in December.
    KSS
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:26pm
    And don't forget the criticism Mr Morrison faced down at the time when he stopped flights from China before anyone else in the world. There's just no pleasing some.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:31pm
    Leith Van Onselen needs a reality check! Nobody is 'throwing the burden' on younger Australians so retirees can retain their comfort. Age poverty rates are high in Australia. As pointed out in the article, retiree couples with around $900,000 in savings are about $1000 worse off in income terms than those with half that amount. Many retirees - particularly younger retirees - are seriously worried about funding their old age. And Leith Van Onselen needs to be reminded that unlike younger Australians, who were handed guaranteed income through the crisis, self-funded retirees were given NOTHING - NADA - ZILCH. But many have seen their income streams collapse through falling dividends and rents. As for being asset rich -- all the young folk I know are living in near new 4+ bed, 3+ bath, brick and tile homes with luxury finishes and landscaped grounds and at least 2 late model cars in the garage, not to mention swimming pool, TV in every room, multiple computers, and, in many cases, a boat. Conversely, while I can point to a few retirees (in every case, full pensioners) who own million dollar mansions, most retirees I know are living in low cost little home units with high body corporate fees and are actually puzzling over the fact that renters get so much help with accommodation costs yet many home owners actually pay MORE when body corp fees, rates, water, insurances and maintenance are all added up.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:16pm
    Your young folk are far from representative. Many millenials are single or have young families, own one small car maybe six or seven years old, buying a small block in the outer burbs with plans to build a two or three bed starter home.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    8:44pm
    Sure they are, Farside. I've seen some of them on TV whinging. They have upmarket furniture and clothing, eat in restaurants, buy coffee regularly, and all have big dogs to feed. Anyone who is employed in Australia is doing way better than most of my generation when we were starting out. For a start, not many are forced out of school at 15. They don't slave away on a tiny 'junior' age until age 21. Women are far better paid. Childcare is subsidized. Interest rates are at almost nil, and cars, clothes, furniture and household effects cost a tiny fraction of what they cost us, relative to wages. Millenials don't know what hardship is. Goodness, my grandchildren are earning more working part time in a takeaway store than my husband and I have to live on after 50 years of hard work and saving. At 16, they are planning to pay cash for a car in a few months and to have enough cash for a house deposit before they finish uni. Such a tough life!
    Even the unemployed now are getting 50% more than aged pensioners, and aged pensioners are way better off than the SFRs deprived by Hockey's monstrous assets test change.
    Farmers are now complaining that they can't get workers to pick their fruit and veg because people are getting $750 week to sit on their bum and do nothing. Yet after 50+ years of hard work, retirees can't even dream of having an income anywhere near that amount. A couple has considerably less than that between them.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    10:09pm
    It will please you to learn the covid bonus is temporary and the jobseeker allowance will revert to its previous newstart rate at about 60% of the pension. Must warm your bones to wish others a miserable life.
    Youngagain
    25th Jun 2020
    7:09pm
    Farside, I don't wish anyone a miserable life, but it's time some of the bludgers got off their backsides. When I see a whinger on TV complaining that Newstart isn't enough and then showing off their dinner of avocado salad, and flopping around clearly obese, I say they are being paid too much. Aged pensioners who worked and paid tax for 40+ years can't afford the meals this whinger is indulging in at taxpayer expense. Of course no chance she'd go pick fruit. It doesn't pay enough, and obesity would make it impossible for her to meet any kind of quota.

    I feel deeply sorry for anyone who is temporarily unemployed or sick and doing it tough. I've been there, and struggled for many years, while raising teenage kids. It was incredibly hard and took many years of hard work to recover from. People who are genuinely doing it tough temporarily, despite all their best efforts, should be well supported. But we have far too many in our community who just won't make an effort.
    Youngagain
    25th Jun 2020
    7:09pm
    Farside, I don't wish anyone a miserable life, but it's time some of the bludgers got off their backsides. When I see a whinger on TV complaining that Newstart isn't enough and then showing off their dinner of avocado salad, and flopping around clearly obese, I say they are being paid too much. Aged pensioners who worked and paid tax for 40+ years can't afford the meals this whinger is indulging in at taxpayer expense. Of course no chance she'd go pick fruit. It doesn't pay enough, and obesity would make it impossible for her to meet any kind of quota.

    I feel deeply sorry for anyone who is temporarily unemployed or sick and doing it tough. I've been there, and struggled for many years, while raising teenage kids. It was incredibly hard and took many years of hard work to recover from. People who are genuinely doing it tough temporarily, despite all their best efforts, should be well supported. But we have far too many in our community who just won't make an effort.
    Cool Nanna
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:34pm
    My husband and I are self-funded retirees!! Not wealthy as such but in a comfortable position through years of hard work and going without luxuries. How dare the government target our group to foot the bill for COVID. We know of many retirees who have lead a life of luxury, fine homes, fine cars, overseas holidays etc etc etc and now they are sitting back enjoying a full pension. No planning for their future there. Makes my blood boil!! I realise the debt will need to be repaid but don’t look at us! Get all these lazy young ones out working and paying taxes. Seems crazy to me that we have to depend on backpackers to do fruit and vegetable picking whilst our youth sit at home on the dole. It’s a joke!
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2020
    3:39pm
    We had more foreign workers than unemployed in this country before Covid-19. I have no doubt we will see the same in years to come as well as our young people just don't want to work hard at ll.
    KSS
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:29pm
    Even today, farmers are worried about crops going unpicked because the backpackers are not available and local Australian unemployed won't travel to do the work!
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    9:01am
    KSS. My farm labourer/motor mechanic son drove 1000kms last week to work in rural Victoria. You are right. There are jobs that need doing and locals needed to supervise backpackers that are still available.

    However doing a Business Degree seems more important. Perhaps it's a stupid choice though because without the Superannuation system Keating built there is no need for all these financial experts and money managers anyway.

    Keep chipping away until we all pull our money out and renovate or buy better homes. Seems the only sensible thing to do with money now.

    May as well do as one young I know and get a Doctorate in the Role of Women in Ancient Rome. Didn't get her a job but she had fun and can call herself DR now.
    Oxleigh
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:44pm
    This is typical of the "entitled generation" who say lets box the ears of the oldies who are using up the resources of the yuppies who think the world owes them a living and the pensioners are welfare dependent and are sucking up their tax.
    Well what I say to all these "entitled" is that because of all our hard work over the years we have provided, by our hard work and taxes, the infrastructure we all enjoy.
    Think of the poles and wires and power stations. Hospitals and water from the dams.
    The roads and all the railways that get them to work and provide transport for their food and all their designer clothes and supplies for their take away food they live on, and transport for their grog and fuel for their BMW's and Audie's with the 5 zeros, 4 on the boot and one behind the wheel.
    If they would like to get off our roads, stop drinking our water and build their own power stations and get off our trains and don't go to our hospitals and airports they are welcome to do this and build their own stuff anytime.
    abundanced
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:45pm
    I'm tired of this ageism. Let's not forget baby boomers lived through their younger years without any sort of govt handouts the likes of what is available today. And baby boomers contributed to all those handouts because we worked our butts off for the future of our country. If our kids didn't have a job, they stayed at home and were supported by us, there was no such thing as a free handout. People who are unemployed these days aren't expected to give anything in return for the dole like community work which should be mandatory ... keeping our communities free of rubbish regularly in lieu of that one day a year called "Clean up Australia Day" for example. And then, of course, we have huge corporates like Google, Amazon, FB to name a few, who avoid paying taxes like the plague but generate unspeakable profits - why not delve a LOT deeper there. Leave the baby boomers alone for heavens sake. Enough is a enough.
    zus
    22nd Jun 2020
    4:53pm
    Im thinking that parliamentary life super etc be abolished.
    Ginaus
    22nd Jun 2020
    5:12pm
    Send the bill to China...
    Lookfar
    22nd Jun 2020
    6:17pm
    Ginaus, why shouldn't we send it to America, - after all they funded that research that they couldn't do anymore in America, -Were Closed Down!! so sent it to their Chinese ally to finish, - seems to me the Chinese foolishly trusted the Americans, - of course almost everybody in Australia knows not to trust the Americans, silly Chinese, - oh, and silly Morrison.
    SuziJ
    22nd Jun 2020
    5:34pm
    Won't affect me in the slightest - on the DSP awaiting the AP in just over 2.5 years, no savings, no super and renting.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    9:13am
    Saving will not affect your pension. A good friend in the same situation as you has managed to save over $100 000 bit by bit over 25 years and it's made his life so much easier just having that bit of a back up.
    Roy R
    22nd Jun 2020
    6:04pm
    I think the government should approach it as Menzies did after WW2. Everyone has to accept the blame so everyone has to pay. (Except me ha ha!)
    Eddy
    22nd Jun 2020
    7:38pm
    Your comment is correct Roy except it was Chifley, Menzies did not take office until 1949.
    Roy R
    26th Jun 2020
    5:58pm
    Point taken Eddie.
    Roy R
    26th Jun 2020
    5:58pm
    Point taken Eddie.
    Alexii
    22nd Jun 2020
    6:59pm
    I suppose they will slug we oldies again. Make the assets test even worse. Reduce pensions. Anything to help make suer the olds will have an env worse retirement income than they already have. Oh to win the lottery.
    Youngagain
    22nd Jun 2020
    9:32pm
    The morons who keep harping on about retirees paying the cost of COVID-19 might like to consider that we are already paying through the nose. Can't get a decent interest rate on our savings. We are putting up with 1% return on our savings so the 'poor' young folk can have 3% home loans. In other words, we are heavily subsidizing their wealth accumulation. Anyone suggesting we pay even more can put a sock in it.
    Farside
    22nd Jun 2020
    10:19pm
    You are getting a 1% return on your savings because there is no demand for borrowing them. If there were more borrowers then your interest rates would be higher. No point blaming young people and 3% home loans. The RBA sees Australia having it’s current interest rates (0.25%) “for years” as central banks try to negotiate the coming global economic slowdown.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    9:19am
    Pointing out how lucky these young are with low interest rates isn't blaming the young. They need to realise how fortunate they are. I was forced to sell a house for a 35% loss when business rates hit 23%. If interest and taxes had been this low imagine the wealth we could have built. The young are very lucky now. Cheap loans and cheaper taxes, cheaper food and cheaper cars and just about everything else they desire. Even subsidised childcare which is a luxury I never received. If they are foolish enough to pay too much for houses in major inner city areas it's not the fault of our generation.
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    1:15pm
    It's not the young that are responsible for 3% home loans and 1% deposit rates, heck the demand from the young by borrowing large multiples of earnings for 30 years is helping to prop up interest rates. Blaming them for their behaviours and values results from their upbringing but has little to do with why interest rates are low and Youngagian receives 1% return on her savings. You want higher interest rates then you need to increase the demand for A$ investment.
    Youngagain
    25th Jun 2020
    7:26pm
    You entirely miss the point, Farside. It doesn't matter how is responsible for what. The point is that the old are NOT responsible for hardship the young are suffering and NOBODY should be suggesting retirees should pay more so the young - who are actually doing much better than we did at their time of life - can have an easier ride.

    This article was about making retirees pay more so the young have it easier. The justification used is false. The suggestion is wrong and the reasoning is wrong.
    Farside
    26th Jun 2020
    5:46pm
    which point was that Youngagain that I missed? It was you that said "... we are already paying through the nose. Can't get a decent interest rate on our savings. We are putting up with 1% return on our savings so the 'poor' young folk can have 3% home loans." Is there any way to construe your point other than the 'poor' young folk are responsible for your 1% return on savings? Indeed it is you who do not understand how interest rates are set, choose to invest in cash deposits and entirely missed your own point.
    Youngagain
    27th Jun 2020
    3:35pm
    I repeat, Farside: It does not matter a jot what causes low interest rates. What matters is that the old are losing and the young are winning, which makes the whole premise of this article false and the proposal it puts forward patently unfair.

    I did NOT choose to invest in cash, and even if I did it would not change anything. There are very few reasonable choices for today's retirees. Annuities are a sick joke. Shares are risky, Cash doesn't return. Bonds return poorly. Real estate is complex, risky, and requires high capital investment, plus doesn't guarantee liquidity. Precious metals don't deliver income. The only reliable income-producing choice is the OAP, and for that one has to dispose of all their assets. The young have it all their way in today's economy, by comparison with retirees. Sure, they face challenges, but nothing like the challenges retirees are struggling with after having weathered all the storms and tempests that were not the same exactly, but certainly just as challenging as any the young are facing today.
    zoomer
    23rd Jun 2020
    10:38am
    Remember when we had a lottery to fund the Opera House ????
    Why not have a covid lottery to repay the debt.
    Lookfar
    23rd Jun 2020
    11:01am
    zoomer, - we don't have to pay the debt, as already proved above.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    9:22am
    Lookfar is right. The loan is from the RBA to The Government. The LNP has borrowed Government debt from itself.

    Besides the Lottery would have worked when we owned it but that's yet another revenue raising asset the fools sold off to foreign investors for a pittance. We don't own it anymore.
    JoJozep
    23rd Jun 2020
    1:13pm
    Can I suggest a solution to the age old problem faced by renewable energy. That is, that renewable energy is intermittent.

    Abut 45 years ago, I wrote an article to the "Age" newspaper suggesting a renewable source of energy which was inexhaustible, repeatable daily, simple to maintain, low cost and marries in easily with existing infrastructure. It uses potential energy generated by the moon. Although Victoria has this energy resource, it would not be difficult to find similar conditions in other states.

    This is tide power. Tides depend on one main source:- the rotation of the moon around the earth. This happens twice daily to all parts of the earth's surface. The moon's gravitational mass is enough to draw seawater towards it, causing high tides and low tides at different locations on Earth. In Victoria, we have Port Phillip Bay, which directs in flows and out flows through a narrow opening called the "heads".
    The mechanics are simple. As water flows through the heads twice daily, this is independent of wind and sunshine. We are talking millions of tons of water being raised about 2 metres inside the bay compared to the outside, twice daily. All we need is a shallow horizontal turbine about 500 metres long across the heads (to one side to avoid sea vessels and fisheries) that turns with the flow, producing free power for the whole of Victoria.
    Mechanical turbines are low maintenance, produce zero emissions, and will last till the Earth bangs into the sun in a billion years or so.

    Also it's a resource that will not diminish the earth's resources. Importantly, the energy is available at our doorstep and is totally free. As tides rise and fall in a fixed cycle, the energy will also vary between zero and maximum twice a day. Some means is required to smooth out this min-max cycle like storage tanks at a determined level (cheapest option) or rechargeable batteries, but these can be expensive. We have had vast experience with the original Snowy scheme, which also relies on potential energy storage, yet the tide scheme doesn't rely on rainfall or large storage areas. Our storage area is Port Phillip Bay, vastly superior to the Snowy Scheme anyway.

    Did I hear some one say:- You can't have a free system, as no one will want to be part of it if they can't hop in for their chop! But then think what cheap electricity will do for the economy and households. All we have to do is find money for the infrastructure project, once operational, it will easily pay for itself in a few years. We might also be able to sell our cheap power to the other states.

    Come on our engineers, put Australia on the map!


















    0
    Farside
    23rd Jun 2020
    1:38pm
    Tide and wave power definitely the way to go ... let's hear the oh no where is the baseload generation crowd go off then.
    inextratime
    23rd Jun 2020
    2:22pm
    The country needs a complete makeover as far as governing is concerned. 25 million people and thousands of people governing. Federal, state and local admin duplicating services, different regulations between states, political differences between state and federal based on party lines, policy differences to obstruct developments that cause red tape causing the need for thousands more external consultants in a world that is now highly computerised and communications technologies able to make massive differences to decision making processes. TIME FOR CHANGE and for the public service to be dramatically reformed.
    cirdan
    23rd Jun 2020
    4:41pm
    I'd like to respond to these but it just retirees using the opportunity to vent and bash each political party. I'll find another forum where there is far less vitriol and bias
    Lookfar
    23rd Jun 2020
    4:53pm
    cirdan, I doubt that there are any forums that you can contribute to without reading what others have to say, - that is the whole point of having a discussion.
    On this particular thread there is very little vitriol, although hard for there not to be Bias, - if we all believed exactly the same thing we should have nothing to say.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    9:30am
    I'd have liked to hear your opinion.
    Priscilla
    23rd Jun 2020
    6:39pm
    Billion dollar companies like banks, mining industry and huge corporations. Also companies who do not pay any tax.
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    3:51am
    you are not going to be much of a bank, mining company or huge corporation if not worth billions of dollars.
    kenny
    23rd Jun 2020
    10:39pm
    Why don't the Tax Office charge a flat, non refundable tax on ALL multinational companies in Australia, to put money into the coffers. Hundreds of millions, and more are not being paid
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    3:54am
    because ATO has no basis to act like a highwayman and would inevitably lose in court. The nation's reputation and sovereign risk assessment would take a hammering and investment would fall.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2020
    9:33am
    They could stop subsidising foreign corporations. The average tax of around 12% is laughable when huge subsidies for these profiteers are considered.
    Farside
    24th Jun 2020
    1:20pm
    indeed they could and perhaps should Rae, but it does not give them a basis to "charge a flat, non refundable tax on ALL multinational companies". I would like a levy charged to the search engines and social media for the content they scrape and republish so some of these lost advertising dollars fed into our economy but not holding my breath.
    Lookfar
    26th Jun 2020
    10:47am
    Farside, the last thing we want is investment by overseas companies, if we are going to rebuild the Australian economy we need to replace foreign companies with Australian companies.
    At the moment foreign companies are draining us dry, yet pay no tax, we now know that stimulus money works fine and most of the advanced economies in the world use it to enormous benefit.
    Why shouldn't we?
    Farside
    26th Jun 2020
    4:33pm
    Lookfar, the capital has to come from somewhere, and it's not going to be stimulus, which is fine for the local economy but unable to fund productive infrastructure. Simply, there are not enough dollars from local savings to provide investment dollars. If we want to provide funds domestically it will require reducing current consumption (we saw how much business enjoyed the covid induced slump in spending) and increasing domestic savings. The consequence of reduced foreign investment would be a combination of lower living standards and unfunded investment opportunities not going forward. Be careful what you wish for.

    The issue with taxes is a separate problem requiring a separate solution, but suffice to say they drain us dry within the law.
    JoJozep
    26th Jun 2020
    5:21pm
    Lookfar,

    I cannot see why you oppose a scheme which eventually will make you rich. Where will the money come from you say. Where did Scomo and Josh find hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the unemployed? They were so generous they stuffed up the estimate by a mere $60,000,000,000. I think I could do a better estimate than that. So a scheme that will generate millions of dollars to the State economy and improve our electricity generation for all time is not worth funding. Come on, your'e either living in the dark ages or you have some weird and personal economics going on.

    Is it because we don't need foreign investors? Is it because you have a personal interest in high electricity prices and stand to lose big time? Come on tell us why your'e so negative about progress, then I'll admit I'm wrong and wear a permanent mask in case I might see an opportunity for the State to progress.

    Dawh!! pass me the club, I need to bash a rabbit to death!!
    Lookfar
    26th Jun 2020
    7:14pm
    JoJozep, which scheme am I opposing? - it is blatantly obvious I am supporting the Stimulus economy, I have several times on This site shared my renewable design for Australia, - the which has been accepted, - I said we Don't need foreign investers, - in fact, I am saying all the way through that we Do Not need to worry about where the money is coming from, and that the stimulus will make our future if the govt can only accept it, and that it will give our children and Grandchildren a future.
    I am so damn positive about the future and progress I wonder have you read my contributions, but happy to try and find a rabbit for you, - perhaps start with Morrison, - he needs to accept the reality he reluctantly brought into being and go for it, - or even better grab that Friedenburgh, - each time he says, "we gotta pay it back," - hit him with your rabbit club, as hard as you can.
    Lookfar
    26th Jun 2020
    7:30pm
    Far side, it is precisely the Stimulus - or that that has been called in the US, Quantitative Easing or everywhere else Printing Money, - or keynesian economics, that built the economy of germany so it almost ruled the world, that built the Economy of america through Massive development of Dams, Roads, railways, huge industrial projects, the japan re-invente itself that Taiwan was almost bigger than China, that South Korea took over that Mantle and that Finally China did it, building the Biggest Infrastructure of all time so making it arguably the Biggest economy in the World, (and Australia's best customer and Trade partner).

    It is good to think deeply about the issues, not react with the mindless knee jerk, - no-one is home with the knee jerk except the doctor with the hammer.
    Farside
    27th Jun 2020
    1:29pm
    I suggest you think a little more deeply about the issues. You are not building a modern economy in Australia solely with domestic finance, 25 million people and nationalistic fervour. Our venture capital industry is one of the weakest in the OECD and unable to replace foreign investments. If Australia needed nothing from anyone else then of course we could do whatever we want, but we do not produce everything we want. We run a current account deficit because of our trade imbalance. Without allowing foreign investment, the AUD would quickly lose exchange value with other currencies and subsequent reduction in standards of living at home.
    JackandJill
    27th Jun 2020
    6:51am
    I’m not a Finance person but is it possible that Govt bonds could be offered? Would it be possible that they could pay a slightly better interest rate that would make them an attractive investment. At the same time providing an opportunity for us to recover.
    Incognito
    28th Jun 2020
    1:00am
    If the money comes from the Government, then it comes from the Reserve bank doesn't it? And who owns the Reserve Bank, the Government. So my understanding is they never have to pay it back if they borrowed from themselves, is it just about printing more money or these days digital money? The Feed (SBS Vice TV) did a thing about this a few weeks ago talking about how we don't have to pay it back, ever.
    Lookfar
    29th Jun 2020
    2:31pm
    Dear Farside, your call for Deeper thinking can not be provided by Farsides' life experience, Australia has been under the domination of Economic Rationalism for longer than your conscious life, we find ourselves, as a result of that idiotic economic Theory, without almost any manufacturing industry, no decent employment for our youth, nor the education system to instruct them.. our Infrastructure hugely vulnerable to Cyclones and floods, towns and cities running out of water- and now to our horror Bushfires, - killing even those in the big cities, and only paid for by our being a Quarry for the Multinational corporations to export Raw Ore - is this a big gift to our young folk? we don't even refine it or make it better? wtf!

    No, it is Intergenerational Warfare, and seen as such by the young, maybe unconscious or not realised, but that is what we have done.

    You say, "You are not building a modern economy in Australia solely with domestic finance, 25 million people and nationalistic fervour. Our venture capital industry is one of the weakest in the OECD and unable to replace foreign investments."

    On the Contrary, Farside, we Do need to build a modern economy in Australia, - Desperately, and we can use Domestic Finance as so many other countries are already doing, and have done, making Venture Capital widely available, and certainly not requiring, except in special circumstances, the greedy slavery of foreign investments.

    Germany after ww2 had all it’s infrastructure destroyed, 2 major cities firebombed to ash, (Russians had east Berlin,) population 46 million, now a major power, no problem for us to do likewise, - we have so many resources here already.

    I don't think for a moment you are stupid, so I ask you to try and re-imagine an Australia which processes all it's ores - Iron, lithium, computer grade Silicon, Lead, Copper, Vanadium, Iridium, to name just a few of the ones not yet mined out, - (the destiny of almost Any mine, - to be mined out..) as finished articles or at least as the refined tons of pig iron but preferably in a number of configurations, - steel, hardened steel, stainless steel, plates, sheets etc, - a huge and profitable industry could evolve in Australia just from value adding our mineral resources, and developing our Renewable Energy resources to make our value adding process the cheapest in the world, - after all our Renewable energy resources don't need to be dug up, - just harvested, so our first job is to set up our renewable energy powered National Grid, - bit by bit, as we learn and grow, and then use it to overcome our desperate water storage, - to make electric cars to allow us no imported oil etc, - in every way we can make Australia a great and totally independent country, - free ourselves of the overseas investment shackles, properly look after our children's future, protect our environments, - protect our early Australian white culture and our black culture, allow our Australian feelings of Mateship and Community to develop, not the materialist selfishness of America, sometimes called by it's youth, the Death Culture.

    It is interesting that at this time, Rudolf Murdoch, arguably a ruler, if not The ruler of Australia for the last 50 or so years, ( Ruling Badly, - my opinion), through his multi media empire, finding rural area newspapers not so profitable, just closed down approximately 1,000 mast - heads, ie local newspapers or amalgamated local newspapers, - just like that - F!- You!, closed.

    - If you ever treasured a wisp of belief that the seat of world Materialism (the US) ever ever gave a tingle of a damn about Australia, that should be to you a wake-up call. - NO.-

    Farside, local currency creation can not be spent overseas, only the manufactured products thereof, so we don't need to worry about currency markets, (what a theft area those..) we only need to get our own economy thriving and the world will pay our price for whatever they value, - as was the situashe before the supergreedy multinational, multiBillionaire, Corporations came to "invest" and bleed us dry.

    Please Farside, don't pretend thinking Deeply will help, think inventively, creatively, lovingly, caringly, - think about our endangered future, your Grand children - even your own Children it is happening so quickly, think about what we can do that avoids the foolishness of the past.

    Fine to build on the past, Stupid to make and keep on making the stupidities of the past as they become apparent.
    Farside
    30th Jun 2020
    2:14pm
    Lookfar, I have been puzzled why we are so reluctant as a nation to actually produce metals from ore or scour or process fibre into cloth or grains to flour or animals to meat for export; it's hard to believe there is no market for the value added products. It seems nonsensical we send raw materials for processing overseas then import them back as either production inputs or finished product (we had four fish canneries, now we send fish to Thailand for processing). It would be one thing if it was labour intensive processing so chasing cheap hands makes sense but for capital intensive and automated processes it simply comes down to a function of right size to be competitive.

    I spent much of my life looking at manufacturing so you are preaching to the converted wanting local manufacture of products that we and other nations want to buy. No argument that we have several competitive advantages based around metals and renewable energy. I simply don't believe there is broad interest in increasing our self-sufficiency and resilience or that we could do it on domestic finance alone at a price that is competitive. You may wish for a stronger venture capital industry but the fact remains it is weak. There is little long term vision for the nation and we are more than ready to take short term decisions for the sake of expediency. We must choose our battles.
    Farside
    30th Jun 2020
    5:02pm
    You might find this opinion piece on foreign investment interesting. http://www.rossgittins.com/2020/06/we-should-get-fair-share-of-foreign.html
    BillF2
    30th Jun 2020
    11:33am
    Send the bill to Mr. X. Jinping, c/o Chinese Communist Party, Beijing, China.
    Lookfar
    5th Jul 2020
    7:31am
    I was wondering where you were coming from BillF2, then came across an article in campaigns@organicconsumers.org

    here is the interesting part, "Now EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. nonprofit that helped fund gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, is pushing its own “expert” on the media—but in this case, it’s the nonprofit’s own founder and president.

    Peter Daszak is on a mission to deflect attention away from any role EcoHealth Alliance may have had in creating the coronavirus pandemic. But he’s not stopping there. He also wants to paint anyone who questions the mainstream narrative as a “conspiracy theorist.”

    According to this article in GM Watch, Daszak was project leader on a $3.7-million grant supporting bat coronavirus surveillance, and bat coronavirus gain-of-function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology. (Gain-of-function research is a method of studying viruses to make them more virulent and/or more transmissible)."

    Well Bill, my info, - unverifiable, was that there were 4 labs, - 3 in America, which were closed down due to Malpractice or something, and the one in Wuhan, which the Americans could not close down from outside, understandably, but, - all 4 labs funded by America, and now, Wow, a name of one of the American companies funding Wuhan, and links for you to follow if you go to that site I gave you at the top, - articles and everything, - Golly aren't you lucky that your suggestion on YLC won't be taken up.

    Just think of that, $3.7 million dollars US, from an American company, "to fund studying viruses to make them more virulent and/or more transmissible)."

    That any company could have such a diseased soul to countenance funding such evil is mind blowing enough, but it is also salutary to know that President Trump will certainly know about that whole thing, yet he tries to Blame China, and worse and worse Morrison Believes him, and damages Australia's economy by siding with Trump.

    If Morrison is just a gormless fool, he should not be a Prime Minister of a lonely coral atoll, let alone Australia, but if he knows all that stuff and still says what are blatant Lies, he is a traitor and should be tried forthwith, and Faugh to his claim of being a Christian.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Bill, but I am sure you will be just as disgusted as I am.
    Better to Know when you have been lied to, though. imho
    Incognito
    5th Jul 2020
    1:53pm
    Lookfar you better be careful you will be called a conspiracist like I have for posting about this very thing on this thread: https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/the_meeting_place/post/virus-from-china?
    But you will need to go back to the early pages to see some of my posts.As many are there speaking out about this there are many counteracting it too, so much is hidden to the regular people of the world while we are being fed bits and pieces to keep us all in line with the plan.
    Every whilstleblower on this thing has either disappeared or has been accused of lying to gain money or attention. As you can see how whilsteblowers are treated on many things people have to be very brave to speak out, you can be locked up for life in some cases.
    Incognito
    5th Jul 2020
    1:55pm
    Thanks for the link I will check it out. I am all for organics, have been all my life, I believe it is what has kept me healthy. I live a chemical free life as much as possible.But that is another subject.
    Lookfar
    30th Jun 2020
    5:22pm
    Good points Farside, it is almost as though a decision was made after ww2 ? perhaps, to systematically remove Australia's manufacturing industries without discussing it with us Australians.
    It is said that the Liberal party supports the big end of town, and that town seems to be in America, not Australia, but the Labor party doesn't seem to have done much to reverse the situation when it has been 'in power' although just how 'in power' it was with the huge percentage of Australian people who think what the media tells them what to think without even knowing it.
    You are correct that it is going to be a major battle to rebuild Australia, however we have been at war before.
    It is just that it is so hard to see where is the enemy, I guess that a significant strength of the enemy is us, but whatever, it has to be attempted, things will not improve by themselves, and certainly the current govt would be hard pressed to find it's own arce even with the help of a seeing eye dog, all it thinks it has to be doing is to pretend to be returning to "normal".
    Lookfar
    30th Jun 2020
    6:19pm
    Yes Farside,
    Typical well balanced article by Mr Gittins, whom I have always enjoyed,
    However, as he mentions that the Balance of Payments problem was solved because Australia joined the rest of the world in having a 'floating' currency he does imply that it was somewhat tardy about doing so.

    And therefore we may argue that We are being a fair bit behind the rest of the world in not using "QE" or "quantitative easing" also.

    It can't be that hard, even the Americans seem to be able to do it although they do make the sad mistake of giving all their stimulus money to the idle rich, who only use it to get more power.
    Of course they are much more firmly under the booted feet of Neo-Liberalism, as that is where most of the Multi-Billionaires live, hence their inability to handle the Coev-19 virus.

    Neo Liberalism is considerably less respected in Australia, although the Govt. seems not to have really understood that yet, maybe we can design a "free yourself from Neo-Liberalism" APP, and send it to all their mobile phones?
    And if we send the hat around a few times perhaps we could get a really clever sniffer dog to help them all out too.
    OzzieKrow
    30th Jun 2020
    5:48pm
    Having read about half the comments, with which I mostly agree, however, one point I didn't see made was the fact that the very people who sold off our assets have insulated themselves from the vagaries of the markets by having us pay large, if not extortionate, pensions when they leave parliament. Not only that, but some of them finish up with more publically-funded income as ambassadors and the like.
    Our pensions are means-tested. Why should they be exempt from the same limitations? If they were subjected to living as many low-income earners and pensioners live, they may be a little more compassionate - but I see little of hope that happening!
    Lookfar
    30th Jun 2020
    6:38pm
    Don't worry OzzieKrow, many discussions on YLC throw that particular egg at our pollies, it is certainly another area of sincere criticism of same.

    What do you think of the ideas being shared between Farside and I (and others) in the last dozen posts or so?
    Incognito
    30th Jun 2020
    11:17pm
    Scomo needs the money to fund his defence plan $270 billion over the next 10 years. Sad we are gearing up for more war all the time when we need to bring the world together, even a pandemic cannot do it.
    We have enough nuclear warheads to destroy the planet many times over in the world, have you read this book Lookfar and Farside?

    Title: Surviving the 21st century : humanity's ten great challenges and how we can overcome them
    Variant Title: Surviving the twenty-first century
    Author: Cribb, Julian, author.
    Publication Information: [Cham, Switzerland] Springer, [2017]
    ©2017
    ISBN: 9783319412696
    Abstract: "This book explores the central question facing humanity today: how can we best survive the ten great existential challenges that are now coming together to confront us? The author examines ten intersecting areas of activity (mass extinction, resource depletion, WMD, climate change, universal toxicity, food crises, population and urban expansion, pandemic disease, dangerous new technologies and self-delusion) which pose manifest risks to civilisation and, potentially, to our species' long-term future. This isn't a book just about problems. It is also about solutions. Every chapter concludes with clear conclusions and consensus advice on what needs to be done at global level--but it also empowers individuals with what they can do for themselves to make a difference. Unlike other books, it offers integrated solutions across the areas of greatest risk. It explains why 'Homo sapiens' is no longer an appropriate name for our species, and what should be done about it."--Back cover.
    Personal Author: Cribb, Julian, author.
    Subject Term: Nature -- Effect of human beings on.
    Twenty-first century -- Forecasts.
    Lookfar
    3rd Jul 2020
    4:56pm
    Incognito, no I have not read the book but many like it and they share a common fault, they never get around to the nitty gritty , What can we actually do!
    What Farside and I were developing is a conversation about a very important real change in Australian Politics, that just might get up at this particular time, and I must admit to being disappointed that you made no attempt to discuss that but tried to divert us to something no doubt important to you, but irrelevant to the subject being explored.
    With such things as links, books, etc. I have the attitude, "Read it, and to the degree that you understand it and have made it part of you, answer the discussion in your own words, don't instruct us to read it".
    Sorry, may seem a bit harsh, but I have been advised/implored/instructed, etc. to read many thousands of books which may or may not be pertinent, and to the degree I have read them been severely disappointed to have wasted my time on someone else's incapacity to think Clearly. - I am sure your heart is in the right place though.
    Incognito
    3rd Jul 2020
    5:21pm
    Well I am only half way through the book and after each chapter it has suggestions of what we can do. There is a lot we can do, but getting politicians on board is the hard part.
    Lookfar
    4th Jul 2020
    2:28am
    That is a very fair reply Incognito. imho.


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