30th Jun 2016

Disability and age: from 1998 to 2015

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Disability and age: from 1998 to 2015

We’re so used to hearing that an ageing population is the biggest threat facing our economy, but as sociologist Katharine Betts reveals, the figures don’t quite support this claim.

Since the late 60s large families have become less common, and at the same time, life expectancy has continued its steady rise. For many of us this feels like an improvement –parents no longer have to face numerous unplanned pregnancies and most of us can look forward to our 80th birthday and beyond. But these two changes also mean that the average age of the population has risen and will continue to rise for a few more decades.

For some people, however, this does not look like a good thing. In March 2015 a journalist charted the life of newborn baby girl, writing that she would ‘experience life as a youthful minority in an Australia bursting with ailing boomers’. And, by the time the child was middle aged, ‘there’ll be a generation of geriatrics to support’.[1] Another writes of ‘bedridden hordes of the elderly, dwindling numbers of able-bodied workers, and deeply indebted governments scratching for tax revenues to pay for rising health costs, pensions and aged-care costs’.[2] Other comments like these are not hard to find.[3]

But is the situation really so bad?



The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been conducting surveys of the numbers of people suffering from disability for over 30 years. They show the percentage of Australians with disabilities grouped by age and sex, and by how serious the problem might be.

The first two were in the 1980s: 1981 and 1988. They show a discouraging tendency for the rate of disability to rise over the seven intervening years. In 1981, 51 per cent of Australians aged 85 and over were found to be ‘severely handicapped’ and in 1988 the proportion had risen to 62 per cent.[4] People were described as severely handicapped if they needed help with one or more of three core activities: self care (showering, dressing, eating and so on), mobility (moving around inside or outside the home), and verbal communication. 

By the late 1990s the terminology had changed from handicap to disability, and the definitions of serious disability now included two separate categories: profoundly disabled (always needing assistance with one of the three core activities) and severely disabled (sometimes needing assistance with a core activity).[5]

There have been five comparable surveys from 1998 to 2015. And the pattern they provide gives cause for optimism.

Figure 1 shows that rates of profound or severe disability for people aged 65 and over have been falling over this 17-year period. In the case of those aged 85 and over the rate fell from 65 per cent to 49 per cent.


Source: Disability, Ageing and Carers, ABS, 4430.0 (various issues)

The 1998 data doesn’t distinguish between people aged 85-89 and those aged 90 and over. But from 2003 on we can see the difference between the older old and the younger old more clearly.


Source: Disability, Ageing and Carers, ABS, 4430.0 2015, April 2016[6]

Figure 2 shows that between 2003 and 2015 profound and severe disability rates for people aged 90 and over fell from 74 per cent to 63 per cent, while rates for people aged 85 to 89 fell from 51 per cent to 42 per cent. Similar to Figure 1, it also shows that rates were lower for people under the age of 85. But in Figure 2 it’s also clear that, in all cases, these rates have also fallen since 2003.

Disability is not confined to older people. There are profoundly and severely disabled people in all age groups. In 2015 more than half of them (52 per cent) were under the age of 65. Indeed all babies and children, at least up to the age of five, need help with self care, mobility and communication. To get a full picture of how many Australians need such help, and how many carers we in fact need, we should add them in too.

But here we are focusing on older people.

Figure 3 shows the changes between 2013 and 2015 by both age and sex for the 65-and-over group.

Source: Disability, Ageing and Carers, ABS, 4430.0 2015, April 2016[7]

In all age-group categories the reported rates are higher for women than for men. In some cases this could be due to men being reluctant to report serious problems, but the gap is probably mostly due to the same factors that lead to men having lower life expectancy: more hazardous work, risk taking, reluctance to seek medical help, and hormonal factors that may weaken men’s immune systems8. Thus it is probable that health problems among men are more likely to end in an earlier death rather than prolonged disability. It’s also true that women have a higher risk of dementia, a risk that is independent of the fact that they live longer and so are exposed to this risk over a longer period9.

But the important finding is that, over the 12-year period, rates have gone down for all of the sub-groups. We are not only living longer, the portion of our lives when we might fear to be limited in what we can do is getting shorter. Life expectancy is going up, and healthy life expectancy is going up a bit faster.[8]

Why is this happening? Medical scientists and demographers have not yet got clear answers. But they can tell us the immediate causes. Coronary artery disease[9] and serious vision problems[10] are declining. Dementia — the disease that many of us fear most — is also in retreat. In 2013 a British study reported that over a 20-year period the prevalence of dementia among people aged 65 and over had fallen by 24 per cent.[11] And in early 2016 a US study reported that over the last thirty years (among people who had finished high school) the rate of dementia had declined by 44 per cent.[12] 

We don’t yet know why these changes are occurring. Better health care explains part of the decline in heart disease and vision problems, but only part. Possibly a lifetime founded on a long period of education helps stave off dementia. When we know more we’ll be able to take steps to reduce age-related disability rates even further.

In the meantime the data on the changes themselves are clear. Increasing numbers of older Australians are, and will be, free of serious health problems and will be able to continue to make a positive contribution to society.

 Yes, the ageing of the baby boomers means that we are going have more older people in Australia. The ranks of those aged 65 to 79 will increase over the next 15 years, but more of us will be healthy and able to keep on working in paid jobs, if that’s what we want to do and the jobs are there. Or we will keep on with the volunteer work, helping care for grandchildren and, with luck, doing many other interesting things that we didn’t have time for before.


Katharine Betts was joint-editor of the demographic journal People and Place from 1993 to 2010 and has written widely on demographic topics. She is currently adjunct associate professor of sociology at Swinburne and vice-president of the Australian Population Research Institute.





[1] G. Rushton, ‘Here’s to a long life for Frankie’, The Australian, 6 March 2015, p. 1, 8

[2] F. Anderson, ‘Future tense’, The Australian Financial Review, February 21 2015, p. 16

[3] K. Betts, ‘The ageing of the Australian population: triumph or disaster?’, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, 2014

[4] Calculated from data in Disabled and Aged Persons, Australia, 1988: Preliminary Results, Catalogue no. 4118.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, 1989, p. 2

[5] Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, Australia 1998, Catalogue no. 4430.0, ABS, Canberra, 1999, p. 4

[8] Healthy life expectancy in Australia: patterns and trends 1998 to 2012: Bulletin 126, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014

[9] D. S. Jones and J. A. Greene, ‘Is Dementia in Decline? Historical Trends and Future Trajectories’, The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 374, no. 6, 2016, pp. 507-509

[10] M. Chernew, D. M. Cutler, K. Ghosh and M. B. Landrum, Understanding the improvement in disability free life expectancy in the U.S: Working Paper 22306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016

[11] F. E. Matthews, A. Arthur, L. E. Barnes, J. Bond, C. Jagger, L. Robinson and C. Brayne, ‘A two-decade comparison of prevalence of dementia in individuals aged 65 years and older from three geographical areas of England: results of the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study I and II’, The Lancet, vol. 382, no. 2013, pp. 1405- 1412

[12] C. L. Satizabal, A. S. Beiser, V. Chouraki, G. Chêne, C. Dufouil and S. Seshadri, ‘Incidence of dementia over three decades in the Framingham Heart Study’, The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 374, no. 6, 2016, pp. 523-532 





COMMENTS

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MICK
1st Jul 2016
11:00am
Sounds like a political beat up to me. Surely politicians have better things to do than create scapegoats of the elderly because they are least able to stick up for themselves.
This whole argument reeks of putting the old folks outside the igloo to die and it always reminds me of soldiers who come home after wars: heros one day and discarded hasbeens the next.
The way a society treats its elderly is a window into what we are as human beings and it would be nice if those who seek to demonise people for wearing out and getting old could remember who built the world they live in for them as well as the fact that their time is coming too.
particolor
1st Jul 2016
11:07am
Some Country's Cherish their Elderly Mick !! But Alas ! :-( We are a Burden in the Land of Milk and Honey :-(
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
11:45am
"It takes a village to raise a child"....yada yada yada :( What do you do when the children try to kick the (old) villagers out ?? Vote THEM out, thats wot !!
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
2:29pm
.. but it takes a government to raise a generation of village idiots......
TREBOR
2nd Jul 2016
12:49am
Who said we were least able to stick up for ourselves? We've had over 65 years of practice against all comers.... you don't not learn a few things along the way...

Send 'em all to Political Purgatory so as to shrive their souls... when they learn humility and how to beg for forgiveness for what they've done.... then we MAY accept them back into the tribe.
moke
2nd Jul 2016
3:57pm
Very Well said Mick I agree whole heartedly.

I think the Dole Bludgers and Sole Parents are costing as much or most probably more than the elderly
Rainey
3rd Jul 2016
9:56pm
Probably, Moke, but what do the unemployed do when there is a massive shortage of jobs? Ultimately, the problem isn't people. It's the failure of society to create an environment in which both opportunity and incentive prevail.
particolor
1st Jul 2016
11:04am
There are a LOT of us Oldies now ! Give the Scroogy Cows hell at the Polls !! :-)
They shalt not forget us !! :-) :-)
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
11:46am
Lets all meet at the barricades, on Saturday and give 'em Hell !!!
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
2:53pm
We've got votes stacked up at every thousand feet from seven thousand to thirty five thousand - we'll get 'em, Sir!
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
2:56pm
Good man Trebor - go get 'em :)
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
2:56pm
"Tallyho !!"
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
11:41am
Aging ? Definitely MY biggest threat !! 77 years old/young and can't afford to import any more monkey brains for my brekkie :( Reckon I have a touch of The Dooms ;)
Rainey
1st Jul 2016
11:50am
Having just completed a course in social equity,I saw the real, unbiased figures on the cost of aging in Australia - compiled by global statisticians who have no political agenda. They reveal that the cost of supporting our aged in Australia is highly affordable, has NOT risen substantially in the past 15 years, and is NOT predicted to rise much at all over the next 25 years. The reason is compulsory superannuation and increased wealth among older people. Yes, there are more aged, but they are better off than in past generations. The amount spent on pensions is minimal by world standards. We have the lowest standard of living for aged pensioners in the world, the meanest pension system, and the lowest expenditure of any OECD nation on the aged. And vast numbers of our self-funded retirees have lower living standards than our pensioners. Ain't that somethin' to be proud of!!!!!
MICK
1st Jul 2016
12:04pm
Well written. A pity the right wing media chose to ignore the facts and run the propaganda.
My wife and I are self funded. Not rich just just paying our own pension....together with the uncertainties. Many Older Australians are doing likewise and the current government's attack on retirees is a witch hunt designed to deflect attention from issues like tax cuts for the wealthy and higher taxes for working Australians, let alone the bad economic management we have seen from a government unbound by the GFC.
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
12:05pm
Interesting Rainey. Thanks.
Anonymous
1st Jul 2016
3:13pm
How come you find mostly pensioners in the pokies and pubs losing their welfare Rainey and then winging give me more.
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
3:17pm
Ahah robbo, just 'cos you can afford to go to all the pokies and pubs checking this out......or do you just drive past and peek in the window :) Bwahahahaaa !
Aussie
1st Jul 2016
4:43pm
Rainey ...mate UR correct I have been checking pensions in other countries and if I get that same pension as USA or other European countries.

Australian Max pension a fortnight = $1,004 including $130 rent assistance.

Calculate your basic expenses and you will see that is very little left that is why I move out at the end of the year to live in another country and have all my commodities and quality of life and not sleeping on my car as I did for 3 weeks because can not afford rent only a room far far away and dangerous areas

If you own your home and have some other income then what Robbo is saying may be correct but is not the pension money only is also some extra income they have and can afford to waste it on the pokies because we oldies have nothing to do other that TV Pokies and drink eat and sleep.

Well in my case I have Hobbies and I am considering to make up a website showing all of you how to spend your time and maybe make some extra money on the side by building something.
I am sure that many if not all of you are a kind of handy people (Ladies included) and can use some basic tools and may have some space for a work bench.

Will see for now I hope who ever wins the election do something for us ..... I know I am dreaming
Old Geezer
1st Jul 2016
5:29pm
Welfare should not be paid like cash into people's bank accounts. Have you ever seen the queues at ATMs in the early hours of the morning? One can only think of one reason why this is so.

Robbo is right I too see lots of pensioners in the pubs playing the pokies and gambling away their welfare money.

All those on welfare (age pensioners included) should be given a card that only allows them to spend the money on the basics of living not on gambling, grog etc.
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
9:34pm
Argh - I be choosin' ter piss me money 'gainst the wall... 'tis me own affair! Why is the rum always gone?
jeffr
2nd Jul 2016
1:24am
Hey Geezer,

Perhaps a Caymans Island Card for those who do not need a welfare card. That should stop them paying tax like the rest of us.

Now who could that apply to?????....
Rainey
2nd Jul 2016
12:50pm
Old Geezer, you are obviously among the privileged elite SNOBS who have no appreciation of the value lower paid workers have contributed to this nation, and who hasn't studied history and learned that they all PAID for their pensions with an early form of superannuation managed by the ATO - 7.5% levy SPECIFICALLY to fund pensions. And all aged pensions were to be MEANS TEST FREE- an entitlement for ALL in recognition of the contribution people make to society.

Now, I don't necessarily agree that in today's world aged pensions should be totally means-test-free, but I certainly acknowledge the right of people who worked their guts out for low pay for 4 or 5 decades to a COMFORTABLE retirement, funded by taxpayers, the option to spend their money as they please, and to RESPECT AND DIGNITY. And I think it's DISGUSTING that VILE individuals deny them this right.

Aged pensioners are NOT second-class citizens. They are NOT ''welfare recipients''. They are NOT ''leaners'' or ''bludgers'' or a ''burden''. They are folk - mostly - who have done their share for society (though most continue to give more through charity and community work and providing support for family, friends and neighbours). Many have been EXPLOITED by the rich and privileged, who made their money by USING other people and paying them far less than their labour, skill and intelligence was worth. And now the SCUMBAGS who USED others to build their wealth want to grind them into poverty and deny them modest comfort in old age. Only the worst kind of SCUM would do that. I'll choose pensioners for my friends any day. They are far nicer people, and of far more value to the world.

BTW> Old Geezer, I am NOT a pensioner and probably never will be. But I know what it is to be poor and underprivileged and I've been used and abused and underpaid and exploited by the privileged, who then boast about their ill-gotten gains. And I have nothing but contempt for anyone who speaks of good people as you and Robbo do, and for the unqualified arrogant ASSES who judge people about whom they know nothing.
Old Geezer
2nd Jul 2016
12:50pm
Yes I have already applied for one.
Rainey
2nd Jul 2016
12:52pm
Robbo, if pensioners can manage to get by and have their little bit of pleasure in the clubs, good luck to them. We pay the most miserable pension in the world, and it's evidenced to be insufficient for any decent standard of living, so if some can manage to play the pokies on it, they must be smarter than you or I and they deserve their fun.
Old Geezer
2nd Jul 2016
1:06pm
History is just that history.

For the record I too worked for low pay but saw the light that said hey you mug you need to not work for someone else where they reap the bulk of what you earn and pay you a pittance. So when I had saved enough of that pittance I started working for myself. After making a fortune and losing it many times I soon work it all out. Now if I could do it why couldn't others? Put simply they didn't want to do what it takes to be a success.

I too have been exploited by the rich by simply working for them. I know what it like to live from pay to pay.

Now for an economics lesson. There is simply not enough tax payers today and tomorrow to continue paying welfare to those who have assets to live on and simply don't need the pension. I have nothing against the genuine pensioner who needs the pension for the basics to live from day to day.

However I do have a problem with those who just get it because they are entitled to it and it is nice to have. I am disgusted with the welfare mentality in this country. It is just dreadful to think that self funded retirees have to tell people they have left their pension cards at home when they pay full price while others get a discount. They are basically too ashamed to admit they haven't got a pension card. This is where are society has really lost the plot.

Australia is now a country of welfare whingers where enough will never be enough. Pensioners belong in the same category as renters. Neither shows any gratitude but just whinge at every opportunity.
Rainey
3rd Jul 2016
10:10pm
Old Geezer, the arrogance of ASS-U-MEs astounds. Just because you were able to do something, everyone should! Did you have a disabled child who cost you 5 houses and left you heavily in debt long after your kids had grown up and graduated university? Did you suffer PTSD? Were you so abused as a child that you grew up believing you were trash and undeserving of success so unconsciously undermined every effort that might have led to it? Did you find yourself, just when you thought your child-rearing days were over and you could concentrate on YOU, raising 4 young orphaned grandchildren? Did you have a devastating work accident that left you crippled and unable to ever work again?

Get off your soap box and learn what life is like for other people and stop your ARSEHOLE assumptions and HOLIER THAN THOUGH BS declarations of superiority. You have no idea!

I dragged myself up from the depths of disadvantage too, but unlike you I recognize that not everyone can, and I am grateful for the opportunities and blessings that came my way. I have empathy - not contempt - for those who couldn't achieve as well.

As for Australia being a nation of welfare whingers... perhaps that's because we have such a flawed and unfair system and such a warped attitude to fairness and rights? If we reshaped the system to recognize the right of people to enjoy a just reward for their efforts and to encourage honesty, we might change that whining mentality. While we hand out more in tax concessions to the wealthy than in pensions for battlers, there's good reason for battlers to whinge. And when one small section of society is targeted for cuts to their income of 25% (people with only very modest means) while the fat cats continue to suck up all the gravy, of course people will be angry. They have every right to be.

But hundreds of thousands of pensioners are deeply grateful for what they have, as are hundreds of thousands of renters. And for every ''welfare whinger'' there's a judgmental ASS like you condemning everyone who isn't in your class.

Society has lost the plot alright. People have lost the capacity to respect others. And the greedy rich do nothing but rort the system and whinge. Never enough. Billions hoarded in Panama, but they are still screaming for bigger tax cuts.
ex PS
4th Jul 2016
5:14am
So, we still have the dried out, envious busybodies, who think they have a right to tell people what to do with their money. Once the government puts it into their account it is theirs, so keep your nose out of other peoples affairs. You remind me of the school snitch who could not resist running to the teacher with tales about their classmates.
Why don't you sit down and have a steaming hot cup of mind your own business!
People are entitled to find joy where they can, it is no ones business but their own.
BElle
1st Jul 2016
1:10pm
This is a very relevant post and well worth bearing in mind when anyone sets up an argument against pension stability.
I have found that the most effective way to get your message across is to communicate directly with your local MP. It may not be the party that is currently In power but make certain that the office is well aware of your feelings on the matter. Whilst airing your views on this internet chat page vents your feelings they are simply "blowing in the wind" and you need to have your views known by the immediate parties.
A relative point is that we need to support those already in retirement. Those who did not have the benefit of Superannuation. Those who do not come from families where property is passed down. Those who worked for relatively low wages, many women having no income during their lifetimes as working women were discouraged.
Give everyone a fair-go. The wealthy are more than able to take care of themselves financially, it is those caught in the middle of a spurious argument on welfare that need protection.
Rosret
1st Jul 2016
1:36pm
Katherine, there is a miss match of information and graphs here. Yes, there are less disabled elderly due to the increase in medical intervention fixing things like heart, hips and cancer. I notice you are not young. How many people around you would be deceased or debilitated today if it wasn't for medical intervention? I know many. Even asthma treatments have saved our failing lungs. So there are more of us living on government medical subsidies. Luckily we live in a wealthy economy that has afforded us this luxury. However we are putting an enormous burden on the economy. Subsidised cancer drugs that cost more than one person yearly income, brain surgery that costs many years average income. The cost is enormous. So really those graphs you have presented do not equate the forecast government medical debt. We have not become naturally healthier in fact the next generation after the baby boomers are even more unhealthy. There is a limit to medical intervention and it is cost based - just ask the people in third world nations who have a life expectancy of 50 years.
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
1:46pm
Some good valid points Rosret. I wonder though, if it is not unreasonable to expect the generation(s) after the baby boomers to go without the 52" TV the second/third car or even give up the 4X4 that isn't used as a 4X$, do without the 4th/5th bedroom, 2nd/3rd bathroom and put a bit more effort into supporting their aging parents ?? It IS done quite easily/necessarily in third world countries ;) Well, certainly successfully in SOME '3rd world' countries, to everyones betterment :)
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
2:32pm
After one of my run-ins with government here - I decreed that I would be as much a burden on the taxpayer as possible .... I've earned that right.
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
2:59pm
Careful what you say Trebor - 'They' may sic Jason Bourne onto you :(
Old Man
1st Jul 2016
2:49pm
This article is most misleading as it isn't focussed on all aged pensioners, just a few with disabilities. The last part touches on aged pensioners and admits that there will be more of us. I am amused that the writer has stated that as we live longer, we are also healthy enough to keep working in paid jobs. My mate was a brickie and I'm sure that he will be busting to pick up a trowel again when he reads this article.
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
3:00pm
Ye-ussh - I'm helping the tradies renovate parts of the house - I have to stop every ten minutes to catch my breath. Julia and the rest with their 67-70 pension age while they romp in the warm sun on thousands a week for free can go to hell...
heyyybob
1st Jul 2016
3:02pm
Yeah Old Man. The ones who say old folk can work longer are, I suspect, the ones who ARE NOT that old, but retired from their desk jobs and hang out in shopping malls wearing $150 sneakers that never travel at more than 4 kph and never will :(
marls
1st Jul 2016
3:08pm
i had a job that i enjoyed only problem being it was taking me nearly 2hrs each way in travel, so i decided to retire and live on my super until pension age. otherwise if i kept working i would of only received part pension. so weighted up the options and nothing is worth driving 4 hrs daily. i another year it would of be 5hrs
marls
1st Jul 2016
3:02pm
rubbish the biggest threat to our future is the amount of immigrants coming to australian that have never work and will never work and our government allows them to have multiply wives with each wife having dept of housing and dozens of children
Anonymous
1st Jul 2016
3:10pm
I could not have said it better marls
Anonymous
1st Jul 2016
6:41pm
MANY years ago migrants had to prove they had a job when entering the country and had to have sponsors living here. Criminal checks were also made on applicants and you had to enter through the front door - none of this boat/"refugee" crap. None of this anymore, it is open slather and a hell of a lot worse now than even when Al Grassby swung open the gates.
Aussie
6th Jul 2016
12:16pm
marls you are really an ignorant ...quote "the amount of immigrants coming to australian that have never work and will never work and our government allows them to have multiply wives with each wife having dept of housing and dozens of children"

Bloody hell You are also a racist did you vote for One Nation ???? yes probably did Ignorant ...learn before you quote and insult people like that please You are not Australian

We all know about robbo and what he is a complete racist but I did not think you were the same as him

The world has changed since the 1800's we are now in the new world 2016 wake up
Johnno11
1st Jul 2016
3:26pm
My god. I am totally confused with the rhetoric of this forum. Are we discussing the aged pension or are we discussing welfare? This confusion has been brought about because the original aged and disability legislstion was integrated into the Centrelink business unit to reduce administration costs and to "purportedly"streamline both services. Now, this should never have happened as those genuine retirees and disability recipients are now being treated as those on welfare. IE you are a criminal until proven otherwise. For those ignoramuses who believe that the age and disability pension is, ",not"right then may I refer you to the original legislation which was passed in 1909. The aged pension was "to reward" those who attained retirement age for services rendered to Australia . This is fact. Don't believe me look it up yourself. Just as the recent events where the 7% super savings was devoured back into the government coffers so too was the monies that was put aside legislated in 1909. This occurred in the early 1920's. How bloody convenient for the scummiest to do that. So, for those sceptics, the age pension is in fact a constitutional rights. If you have that desire to attack welfare recipients please do so with clarification. IE there is a distinct difference between the two. For those of you who are "sick and tired of this and that" may I suggest that you take a valium and a good cat nap. Me thinks you are overly tired and are in desperatel need of s good night sleep. To further bring clarity to the the subject, I too despise welfare cheats and they should be taken to task however, it is extremely difficult for an intended retiree to cheat the system as all assets must be declared and any changes to their circumstances must be reported. Very difficult for a retiree to cheat the system. Give the aged pensioners a break will you? Australia is in a financial mess because of the many years of sheer incompetence by the scummies from both parties and their head of department fat cats. Attacking the aged pensioners is a front to cover up the scummies selfish, self centred, egotistical arrogance to blind the people of Australia from the real issues this country faces. Years of mismangement and incompetence. Get off the retirees case and head for the jugulars of the real culprits if you dare.
Aussie
1st Jul 2016
4:55pm
I love you Johnno11 well say and I am with you just look a Bronwyn Bishop pension and other politicians recently and about to retire just a bloody seat warmers and of course the easy way to make money is to target us time after time because we are old and ready to go THEY DO NOT GIVE A S..H...T about us only themselves to keep their jobs they have no balls to look after the elderly that WORK BLOODY HARD AND CONTRIBUTE TO MANY REALLY RICH BUDGETS AND COUNTRY PROSPERITY ......
They are all bastards
This is the last election I will vote next time they I will ignore all political duties I have to comply with.

NEED A BILL OF RIGHTS IN AUSTRALIA for me to comply my duties and what are my rights ??? where is all this written ????
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
7:38pm
He does speak my language....

Boot the lot tomorrow!
ex PS
4th Jul 2016
5:20am
Unfortunately there are some diehard LNP camp followers out there who think that if they refer to pensions as being welfare enough times it will become true.
Johnno11
1st Jul 2016
3:59pm
I forgot to add. For those Puritans who wish to abolish the welfare system because (as you imply) are bludgers and or criminals, have you really thought out what the dramatic consequence of such irresponsible action would inevitably bring about? No I am sure you have no idea what your rhetoric would create should some scummies try to legislate such lunacy. Your ill Concord concept would create a massive divide between the have and have nots resulting in a dramatic rise in crime and in which you could become one the have not victims. Are you sure you aren't a scummie or department head, because only those fools would consider such iodocy. You think that you are paying a lot in taxes now? Suggest you consider the cost of more, jails, guards, police, courts and the list goes on.
Aussie
1st Jul 2016
4:59pm
I have notice in Melbourne and Adelaide crime is happening every day and big crimes ???? Sydney to

WELCOME TO USAAUST (USA Australia)
Old Geezer
1st Jul 2016
5:23pm
I don't think we should abolish the welfare system but welfare (age pension included) should only be available to those who need it. If you have assets then you can get the pension but you will have a debt to be paid back upon your death.
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
9:39pm
OG - does that also apply to tax concessions on super and tax concessions on business and on family benefits and on everything else thaqt comes out of the budgetary pocket of The guv?

Do the Old Diggers have to repay for their use of equipment (damn - that L1A1 in 1967 was worth $107 THEN.... and I busted one) - do the Matelots repay for use of ships and overseas travel... the Air Force for free flights?

Does a politician then have to refund out of death duties all travel and perks? (none of them could afford it!)....

Just asking here...... are you for real?

A person spends a life building up assets so that the Guv can foreclose on those assets after they die? At least a whore stops screwing you once you're dead.....
Rainey
2nd Jul 2016
12:58pm
When the rich give back every cent they have STOLEN from society by using tax avoidance schemes (legal or otherwise) and claiming UNFAIR concessions that aren't accessible to low income earners, and politicians and rich bureaucrats repay all pensions received before age 65 and all benefits not available to the rest of the community (including excessive pension amounts), THEN Old Geezer, and ONLY THEN will I support the idea that battlers who claim small amounts of pension to supplement their meagre incomes should have to repay on death.

What you seem to fail to understand is that pensioners are only claiming modest compensation for the fact that they didn't enjoy all the handouts and rorts available to the rich. Superannuation tax concessions cost us MORE than pensions, and they are NOT needed. So let's have them all repaid before we attack the less well to do.
Rainey
2nd Jul 2016
1:01pm
BTW. Old Geezer, your stupid proposal would have the same appalling impact as the change in the asset threshold - abolish incentive, punish endeavour and responsible planning, and reward irresponsible spending and laziness. Great idea ... if you want to totally STUFF the country. There's been too much of that already, and it's driving the cost of welfare through the roof, in case the idiots haven't noticed!

When we recognize that taxes are the price of living in civilization and a strong progressive tax system and strong welfare system that ensures endeavour is fairly rewarded and people can strive and prosper, we will solve our economic woes. Not before.
Old Geezer
2nd Jul 2016
1:21pm
So Rainey you are saying that I am a mug because I did what it took to become a self funded retiree? I didn't get any benefits form the government along the way because I was always just outside the criteria to get them. The only super I have is the super my employer paid for me while I word as an employee.

In Australia today we punish the rich with higher taxes and they pay the majority of the taxes. Most of the middle class and poor do not pay any tax net of all the rebates they get. Yet they whinge and want more. And you say that is unfair and want the rich to pay more.

I support the change in the asset threshold and would like to see those expensive homes added in as well. Why should we continue to pay welfare to people just because they wish to keep their assets I tact so that the next generation gets a windfall? It sounds like stupidity to me.
Rainey
3rd Jul 2016
10:22pm
I'm not saying you are a mug because you became a self-funded retiree, Old Geezer. I'm saying everyone who wants to strip modestly successful battlers of everything they have worked for is a mug. If people can't enjoy the rewards of hard work, what's the point of working? We have a society of bludgers because we don't let the struggling working class enjoy the proceeds of their efforts. They are constantly being bashed down by the greedy rich who are hoarding wealth like never before, claiming obscene tax concessions and benefits, and whinging like the spoilt brats they are that it's never enough. Meanwhile, we take a big stick to strugglers who managed to save a modest nestegg for retirement and wonder why they are angry.

Why should we pay pensions to people who want to leave a little to their offspring? Because they bloody-well worked and sacrificed lifestyle to leave something for their kids and those who didn't work so hard or who lived the high life or gave it to their kids earlier on get pensions and the rich get massive unfair tax concessions. But according to people like you, the modestly successful battlers who worked their guts out to accrue just a little should be the ONLY ones to miss out. It's okay to shaft them, while you give generously to everyone else.

Give your superannuation tax concessions and negative gearing tax concessions and capital gains tax concessions and grey-area business deductions back before you attack people who didn't get ANY benefits and demand they sacrifice a tiny part-pension that they need to top up the income that has been slashed by economic downturn.

Your GREED AND SELFISHNESS IS SHOWING.
ex PS
4th Jul 2016
4:46pm
What Rainey just said, in spades!!!!!!
Mar
1st Jul 2016
6:55pm
From the "mouths of babes". A young person said to me today "but, there are so many aged people, why don't they have their own political party, they could be so strong". It's the old adage "united we win,divided we fall".
Alex
1st Jul 2016
8:23pm
And we plan for increasing care needs by cutting $1.2 billion from the health care budget.
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
9:41pm
Yes - that'll resolve the issue - they'll all die before they get treatment/care.....
Johnno11
1st Jul 2016
9:40pm
Never ever give up your right to vote. Never. And as far as an aged political party commencing as a new entity in politics. Watch this space. Everyone is correct when they say, " there are now too many of us". Purportedly. Let's get rid of the apathy that the scummies have relying on within our ranks. Kick the barstards where it hurts the most.
TREBOR
1st Jul 2016
10:04pm
Seems my prediction that Tony's government would be a Government Of Watershed In Australian Politics has turned out to be pretty close to the mark....

Make YOUR mark at the election....
TREBOR
2nd Jul 2016
12:50am
I await tomorrow's outcome with glee - if what I've heard is the norm - the major parties will both be in minority and will need to find a new direction....

If I'm wrong? Poor Fellow - MY Country!
Old Geezer
2nd Jul 2016
12:49pm
Liberals will win by 10 seats.
Rainey
2nd Jul 2016
1:02pm
Heaven help the nation if they do!
Old Geezer
2nd Jul 2016
1:22pm
They have also worked out they have enough numbers to control the Senate as well.
Rainey
3rd Jul 2016
10:12pm
Wrong, Old Geezer! The people have spoken. The arrogant LNP got the shock of their lives. We are going to have disruption for the next few months or years, but it will be worth it. We've sent a message that can't be ignored.
Old Geezer
4th Jul 2016
11:53am
Ha Ha I'm actually enjoying the result. Those few bob I out on a hung parliament are looking like bring home the bacon for me.

A friend of mine told me that there were enough stupid people out there as he put it to make stupid votes that he was betting on a hung parliament. Odds were good so I took the bet too.
ex PS
4th Jul 2016
4:40pm
Steady on OldBon, I think you have forgotten who you are posting as. Two conflicting statements in the same subject group? I know you are disappointed but at least try to keep up.

2nd Jul 2016
4:02pm
Aging is a concerning threat, but dying is an even bigger one.
Anne Ozzie
2nd Jul 2016
4:33pm
Theories such as these need to looked at in context. Most people who need help - ie the frail aged are in nursing homes where they only live about 12 months anyway or at home with carers coming in to do things such as clean and shower and meals on wheels. Some of this is volunteers providing care and a some, the people pay at least some part of their care. Lots of retirees in my age group 60-70 are providing free child care for their grandchildren so their parents can go out to work to provide housing and put food on the table. Studies also show these children are better mannered and more socially adjusted than children who spend most of their pre-school years in paid child care nurseries
Old Geezer
2nd Jul 2016
4:45pm
One of the parents should be at home looking after the kids. Why have them for someone else to bring up? We didn't until one of us could stay home and look after them. Child care is a stupid idea.
Rainey
3rd Jul 2016
9:54pm
I agree, but the government wants everyone working and is willing to give subsidize childcare in order to force women into the workforce. The concept of a nation as a society has gone. Now it's a money-making business and money is the only thing that matters.
Old Geezer
4th Jul 2016
11:56am
It's all part of the new world order where people are bonded by the cost of living and their debts to have to work.

More parents working more childcare workers etc to be paid therefore more revenue for the government. That's why they pay childcare.

Meanwhile our young kids can't get jobs.
Rainey
7th Jul 2016
7:53am
And fools like you call those doing it tough ''bludgers'' and tell them to ''get off their posteriors and get a job''.

You keep contradicting yourself, Old Geezer. Maybe too old to think straight?
ex PS
4th Jul 2016
5:01am
I don't know for sure that aging is a threat in itself. What I know for sure is that the aged are becoming a threat to lazy, incompetent, uncaring governments of all flavours.
What would happen to the economy if retirees weren't spending the amount they do in the community? How many jobs have been created in aged care and hospice facilities? How many people work in enterprises that service the needs of the aged?
Maybe the government should consider the unthinkable and try to find the positives in situations rather than automatically go to their normal position of gloom and doom.


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