Rents will continue to test ‘Cash-Strapped’ tribes

Font Size:

There is little relief in sight for age pensioners who rent, says Joel Pringle, advocacy campaigner at The Benevolent Society.

•••

In 2016, The Benevolent Society partnered with think tank Per Capita and The Longevity Innovation Hub to look at the experiences of Australians living on the Age Pension. The report, Adequacy of the Age Pension in Australia, comprehensively showed that relying on the pension while renting privately is the biggest indicator of poverty among older Australians.

That report played a major role in the Fix Pension Poverty campaign, which has repeatedly emphasised that the quickest and simplest way to address poverty among older people is an immediate increase in Rent Assistance – a 50 per cent rise for single people and 30 per cent for couples.

Ongoing costs for homeowners, such as rates, insurance and maintenance, can also prove difficult for those on low incomes. The inequality of access to council rate discounts or exemptions for people on the Age Pension (or others on low incomes) is a major issue in certain regions. The capacity of councils to provide financial relief in areas of disadvantage requires serious attention.

The Adequacy of the Age Pension report showed a massive difference not only in the additional costs faced by renters, but also in underspending on other areas of essential goods and services.

For example, pensioners who own their homes have private health insurance at similar rates to the rest of the community, around 46 per cent. That rate crashes to 16 per cent for pensioners who rent (Cash-Strapped tribes).

Older renters spend less on healthcare than their home-owning peers. This is also true for insurance, utilities, vehicle fuel and food. The evidence is that food is the first item of essential expenditure to be cut in order to cope with inadequate incomes.

This reinforces the view that being stuck in private rental accommodation while on a low income affects people’s entire wellbeing, including health and safety.

Looking forward to 2019, the much-talked-about housing downturn has seen rents decrease in Sydney and the central suburbs of other major cities – in other words, the places with the highest rental costs. Rents in many other suburbs and regional areas, where more affordable dwellings are typically found, continue to rise modestly.

While some relief will be felt by those paying the highest rent, it is unlikely to increase the availability of affordable private rental properties for people relying on the Age Pension. Being in private rental accommodation will still be the biggest cause of financial distress for older Australians.

The incomes of the Cash-Strapped tribes are inadequate. As the cohort in their age group with the lowest savings, the gap between their income and the cost of living is made up by debt and poverty.

The Benevolent Society urges you to seek out the services and supports available and ensure you are receiving them, for example rebates for supplies for diabetes or incontinence and energy rebates or low-income support from telecommunications providers, and seek out local not-for-profit financial counselling services and programs such as MoneyMinded.

• The Benevolent Society is a not-for-profit, non-religious charity committed to seeking a just society where all Australians can live their best life.

Would a significant boost to the Government’s rent allowance make a big difference for you? Do utilities test your budgeting skills?

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

Join
By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

RELATED LINKS

How over 55s would fix the Age Pension and Centrelink

How would you fix the pension system? Here are your ideas …

How does buying a house with a friend affect the pension?

Robyn is looking to move closer to the city and is considering buying a house with a fr

Australian pension system worsens on global index

Rejigged assets test has caused retirement income system to deteriorate: index.

102 Comments

Total Comments: 102
  1. 0
    0

    More “tribes”….. Give us a break!
    Instead of rolling out a long eulogy just say that governments got out of low cost housing decades ago. Now we have what was always going to happen.
    Had the money handed to the wealthy been put into housing for those who have no home then it would have been a totally different ball game. Of course the bank accounts of the wealthy mean a lot more than a million people who are at the mercy of the markets. Welcome to business.

    • 0
      0

      We need a Labor government pronto, and for them to cap rents, particularly for the “Cash-Strapped”. A pox on the LNP for letting what you describe happen.

    • 0
      0

      Labor government will drive everyone poor
      What then – no one left to tax the faeces out of

    • 0
      0

      Rents are market controlled.

      Public housing should never have been privatised. Privatisation is just to shift public money into private hands.

      Tax is useful in a fiat economy to control inflation. It hasn’t as asset price inflation is out of control. The Government could build public housing by funding the States if they wanted. Most of the States will be in funding trouble anyway thanks to revenue issues from losing the profits after privatisation.

      Hitler’s economists invented privatisation to do exactly what it has done. There was no mistakes made. Public funds have been stolen.

      Neither the LNP or the ALP can save us from recession now. The damage is too much and debt levels too high. Wages too low for too long and too much money bleeding into overseas accounts and tax havens.

      Income earners are paying excessive taxes, rates, rents, insurances, costs and GSTs etc while the privateers make off with the money untaxed.

      Something like 84% of our sharemarket is foreign owned and a lot of the businesses and property as well.

      The Liberals sold the Country out using scare tactics about government debt to do it.
      They lied about a budget emergency just as they lied about needing to rob retirees in those fascist budgets Hockey brought down.

      Motels could be bought right now to house the poor if there was a will to do so.

    • 0
      0

      Hope the Libs are paying you well for all your comments Lothario because it won’t last long. It’s a sinking ship. I have a friend who works in Parliamentary Services. Big increase in Liberal Ministers and back benchers asking for quotes on their entitlements if they leave.

    • 0
      0

      ScoMo waaayyyy ahead of shorty as preferred PM
      LNP also going great guns in the polls
      Aussies are beginning to see what a disaster Shorten will be and how much more good the LNP can do for our beloved country

    • 0
      0

      Those great economic managers the LNP leased Darwin Port for 99 years to the Chinese for $506 million. That’s $5 million dollars a year. How is that in Australian interests? Except for Andrew Robb.

    • 0
      0

      That’s $506milliom cash right there , not to mention the savings in running and infrastructure costs etc
      Great deal – way to go LNP

    • 0
      0

      Less the $47.8 Million, Morisson is spending on replicating parts of Captain Cooks voyage around Australia. Who know what other worthwhile projects (not) he has in mind trying to buy votes

    • 0
      0

      Sunday’s -dumb comment . Off topic

    • 0
      0

      As was your original comment Lothario and anyway people don’t vote for the PM they vote for their local member.

    • 0
      0

      Misty
      Dumb and dumber has nothing on you

    • 0
      0

      The problem we have is that the LNP has been and is a disaster, and Labor is much worse! Most of the minor parties are single-issue-focused or total ratbags. Independents just cause disruption – though I think we need lots of them right now to send a message to the majors that two-party politics isn’t working for Australia.

      Rae is right, sadly. Neither party can save us from recession. The Libs have sold us out, and much as I detest Lothario’s right wing BS, he’s right about Labor. They will drive us all poor.

      I have deep sympathy for those who are genuinely doing it tough, and I’d like to see a return to investment in public housing, but you don’t fix poverty by stealing from those who have managed to elevate themselves a little and destroying incentives to strive. The ‘help the lame duck’ mentality constantly creates more lame ducks, and we are seeing this continually in our society – more people opting out of striving because either it’s too hard, or there is not sufficient benefit. The whole welfare system needs a complete restructure – starting with a universal pension for the aged to remove the incentive to over-invest in housing or spend up big to qualify for pension benefits. Currently there is simply no point in saving to be above the pension threshold unless you can be way above it, because to achieve a decent income, you have to spend the extra savings until you qualify for a pension. Might as well spend them quickly, because there is simply no benefit in having them otherwise.

      Similarly with the rent dilemma. Simply handing out generously to renters while home owners struggle with high rates, insurance and maintenance costs AND likely suffer a huge pension reduction for having strived for decades to pay off a mortgage, makes home ownership less appealing and fewer will strive to pay off a mortgage.

      The solution is NEVER as simple as increasing handouts. Someone has to pay for them. That’s where I see the LNP and Labor differ, and neither is right. LNP is too harsh on the needy, and Labor just drives the growth of the lame duck mentality and punishes people for having a go. Somewhere there must be a happy medium, but seems none of our politicians have a clue how to find it. At least Palmer, for all his faults (and he has many) is focusing on stimulating economic activity to drive growth. Maybe he is onto something there? Certainly more sensible than the strategies either major party is pursuing.

      As for the election possibilities, I still think Labor is well in front, but the LNP is gaining ground and all the campaigns against the franking credit policy are helping their cause. I think Labor shot themselves in the foot with that nonsense brain fizz and all the lies they told to justify it.

  2. 0
    0

    Our elderly, Carers and disabled should not have to struggle the way they do in a rich country like Australia. Everything Governments have privatised has ended up costing much more

    • 0
      0

      No it hasn’t
      It’s enabled us to be debt free and save heaps
      Costs are also lower than they would have been run by dumb bureaucrats

    • 0
      0

      Tell that to those struggling in private rental, or homeless because the Commonwealth Governments cut back the amount given to the States for housing

    • 0
      0

      What rot Lothario, the LNP have doubled the net debt since they came to power.

    • 0
      0

      “It’s enabled us to be debt free and save heaps”

      There’s something wrong with your “logic” system in your brain Lothario, debt free, since when, you have no idea.

    • 0
      0

      Debt free until Rudd and Gillard got their filthy hands on our bank account .

    • 0
      0

      Have you forgotten that little happening Lothario?, it was called a Global Financial Crisis.

    • 0
      0

      Misty
      Dumb and dumber have nothing on you

    • 0
      0

      So how did Rudd & Gillard personally get their hands on your bank account, what did the bank say, did you inform the police, where they charged & prosecuted. I’m sure we’d all like to know. No government or politician to my knowledge can access anyone’s bank account. Unless of course the money in the account was from criminal activity or you owe the ATO money because of tax fraud, highly likely I’d say.
      Well done Rudd & Gillard

    • 0
      0

      What’s that old saying Lothario,”Sticks and Stones etc”, well you can carry on with your verbal abuse and bullying but it just passes me by.

    • 0
      0

      Repeating yourself again Lothario.

    • 0
      0

      1984 do you notice how Lothario never answers the questions asked of him?.

    • 0
      0

      1984 asked a stupid question -what a moron. I was referring the the national finances .
      No wonder he’s a leftie like you
      Dumb and dumber

    • 0
      0

      I could call you all sorts of names Lothario but I won’t stoop to your level of right wing nastiness although I am sure there are some polite people who know their manners, voting for the right wing.

    • 0
      0

      I accept your apology Misty. Next time I hope you think before you falsely accuse me . Don’t be like 1984 asking me moronic questions and expecting a response

    • 0
      0

      Lothario are you dumb?, or cannot you read correctly?, you are the one who is calling people names, you should be the one apologising.

  3. 0
    0

    Do not push for a Labour government as we will get more refugees and that will cost us big time. I am not sure how to vote this time around as the current Labour and Liberal governments are piss weak and do not consider us pensioners that are struggling. Refugees and other immigrants are raping funds that should be going to pensioners or struggling families who do not have their own houses. I wish more people would see this but alas the do gooders can’t see past their own back door.

    • 0
      0

      It’s Labor (not “Labour”). You’re not in NZ or the U.K.

    • 0
      0

      Yes – socialists can’t spell
      How do you expect them to run a country

    • 0
      0

      Off topic again Lothario.

    • 0
      0

      Jannie might not be a able to spell ‘Labor’, but is right in the statements. The ‘do gooders’ never consider where the money is coming from. Curiously, they never volunteer to pay the bills! All those screaming that we should admit more ‘refugees’ (and I question the claimed ‘refugee’ status of many) should have to house and feed them – personally! Then see how many they want brought in.

    • 0
      0

      Yep, it’s official. Shorten declared Labor will increase the refugee intake by 32,000. God help us!

  4. 0
    0

    Great comment Rae you summed it up so well.Sorry Lothario you are still a fool.

    • 0
      0

      You are very rude
      LNP will win the elections
      Sorry sweetheart – the leaners can whinge and asked for more handouts all they want. Aussies have had enough of bludgers

    • 0
      0

      In your dreams Lothario as that is the only place the Coalition will win.

    • 0
      0

      I fear the LNP won’t win, but they are gaining ground. Labor has really shot itself in the foot with its franking credit nonsense. As more and more people come to understand it and the danger it presents, there is a definite swing away from Labor. And Shorten’s unpopularity doesn’t help them. It’s going to be an interesting few months – but whichever party wins, the people lose. That’s a given.

  5. 0
    0

    I get $1000.00 per fortnight on a carer payment, 800.00 of that is rent daughter gets 900.00 pf disablity doesn’t go far with two disabled people in the house electric /transport /medications/etc etc food

    • 0
      0

      Sorry you are struggling, tisme, but unless my math skills are failing me, that seems okay compared to a couple on the OAP! You have $1100 per f/n to live on with no rates, house insurance or maintenance costs. That’s $28600 per year, and you would get all pensioner benefits and concessions. The OAP is around $34,000 a year for a couple and they have to pay their housing costs out of that (either rent or rates, insurance and maintenance on a home). A couple would have to have housing costs of only about $100 per week to be as well off as you and your daughter are, and I doubt most would get anywhere even close to that.

      Your situation highlights the overall inadequacy of the system, and it’s sad that people with disabilities are struggling, but I don’t think there are any easy answers. Increasing welfare sounds simple, until you question how to pay for it. I think there are avenues to increase revenue fairly – e.g. by addressing global company tax avoidance – but with debt at current levels, funding more welfare is going to be a challenge, and if the government keeps taking from battlers who have some savings, but low incomes, we will have less people with savings and more on welfare.

  6. 0
    0

    Why can’t this govt just increase the age pension across the board and be done with it, instead of handing out band aids to assist pensioners.. it is a disgrace and a blothch on us all for letting govts getting away with our social responsibilities….
    Vote in a govt which will introduce a decent universival pension, instead of one that kow tows to the rich and powerfull…

    • 0
      0

      The age pension amount is adequate

    • 0
      0

      You’re mean Lotharia….

    • 0
      0

      And you’re just greedy

    • 0
      0

      you make me laugh and feel sorry for you

    • 0
      0

      How do you know the pension is adequate, Lothario? Do you live easy on it? Tell me how it’s adequate, not “you’ve heard of a pensioner who goes on a cruise” or a pensioner who lives in a house that must be worth a $million. Itemise it out for me.

    • 0
      0

      Yes Lothario, do you get a govt pension, not a super one?, there is a big difference.

    • 0
      0

      They just need to fix the CPI to include housing costs. Rejig the basket to only include necessary costs including housing. Homeowners do have housing costs as well.

      If the cPI actually showed inflation properly pensions would rise.

    • 0
      0

      Govt pension or super one, Misty. Yes, there IS a big difference. The govt one is secure, increased twice a year, and comes with a host of concessions and benefits. Super pension is dependant on investment returns and the asset balance, comes without benefits and concessions, and only increases if returns are good and there are no losses.

      Vast numbers of people on super pensions are really struggling, and fear reducing their savings because that will reduce their income further. With the Labor Govt threatening a vicious attack on their income, and many having lost countless thousands through the LNP treachery, vast numbers are seeing the govt pension as appealing – especially since many on government pensions have investments that drive their income up to as high as $60K a year – much more than hundreds of thousands on super pensions enjoy.

  7. 0
    0

    From whence came this inane term ‘tribes’?

  8. 0
    0

    Tribes WTF ? Lothario rubbish.

  9. 0
    0

    Hey Dickhead, How many times do you have to be told? Stop calling us tribes.

  10. 0
    0

    Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.
    And for those touting polls, just ask any politician & they’ll tell you polls mean nothing, it’s the ballot box that counts.
    LNP members, like the rats they are, are deserting the sinking ship already. glug glug

    • 0
      0

      If Africa, South America and India could stop screwing around just producing babies and get working on producing food to feed their growing masses a lot of poverty would be eliminated.

      We cannot satisfy the rich as you say but we can stop feeding them. It’s called shutting wallets and keeping them shut until the bastards capitulate and raise ordinary incomes.

    • 0
      0

      And that’s why this government MUST go as they are only interested in the big end of town. ALP are very close behind them.

    • 0
      0

      Actually, I suspect Labor is ahead of them, 1984, but just better liars. One thing is certain: Labor is going to struggle with its budget plans if elected, because Bowen’s figures are all wrong – based on outdated data and ignoring a lot of quite obvious implications of policy change.

Load More Comments

FACEBOOK COMMENTS



SPONSORED LINKS

continue reading

Seniors Finance

Read this before buying candles for Christmas

Gary Mortimer, Queensland University of Technology and Jana Bowden, Macquarie University Christmas marks a peak in consumerism across the West....

Health news

Climate change means Australia faces more heatwave deaths

Experts are warning that heatwaves present a greater risk to public health than bushfires. Heat-related illness is our "silent killer",...

Food

Dairy-free Banana Ice Cream Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote

Nadiya Hussain has become more aware of her dairy intake, saying: "We need to do our bit - I know...

Finance

Supermarkets urged to stop promoting unhealthy foods

Supermarkets have been seen by many, particularly older Australians, as somewhat of a saviour throughout these strange days, but a...

Health news

What a home DNA test can’t tell you

Genetic testing is easier and more popular than ever. Swab tests and saliva tests can be sent to your home,...

Wellbeing

Social connection boosts fitness app use

Most of us have experienced the benefits of exercising with a friend or loved one, it's more fun and it...

Health news

Massive blood test trial offers hope of earlier cancer diagnoses

One blood test could detect 50 forms of cancers if the trial of a liquid biopsy undertaken by the British...

COVID-19

The trends from 2020 that support a positive outlook in retirement

For most of us, the pandemic changed our lives in a big way. We were forced to dig deep and...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...