4th May 2016
Budget 2016/17: Kaye asks “Is that all there is?”
Author: Kaye Fallick

There are two ways to review Scott Morrison’s first budget.

A top-level, ‘will it balance the books?’ perspective. And a retirement-focused appraisal – will average income retirees be better off? On both counts, it fails.

As Leigh Sale’s hard-hitting interview with Scott Morrison on the ABC’s 7.30 program revealed, the Turnbull Government’s budget deficit is a higher rate (26.2 per cent of GDP) than that of the Rudd or Gillard Governments (It is, in fact, higher than that which was described as a debt and deficit disaster by the Abbott/Hockey combo only two years ago). So the books are more heavily in the red, and forward projections are overly rosy (based on assumed iron ore prices which, at $55 per tonne, are robust to say the least). So as an attempt to reduce debt, with a vague hope we may return to surplus sometime after 2020, this budget has ducked all the difficult decisions to raise revenue, preferring instead to fiddle around the edges.

That is not to say it is all bad. The jobs for youth program has a great deal of merit, spending on infrastructure is a no-brainer and a tougher stance on multi-national companies’ tax avoidance is long overdue. But there are many big-ticket reforms that have simply been shelved. A change to Capital Gains Tax and Negative Gearing would do a lot for housing affordability for hundreds of thousands of ordinary Australians, but these changes have been firmly dumped in the too-hard basket. 

Reviewing what this budget offers retirees is not difficult. It offers very little. Those already in retirement know that living on a fixed income is already tough and with yesterday’s cut by the RBA in the official interest rate, it’s likely to get a lot tougher. Those on a full Age Pension are most probably living below the poverty line. Little has been offered to them. An increase in the rate of the pension is long overdue – this was last increased by Kevin Rudd in 2009 and since then rents and prices have increased while the interest paid by banks has gone down.

The changes to superannuation are a start to making the system fairer for all. They don’t go far enough, but do mean that a signal has been sent that super is not an estate planning system. It’s interesting to note that the change to the superannuation transfer balance cap has not been grandfathered. As YourLifeChoices members have told us time and again, it is difficult to plan and enter retirement when the goal posts keep moving, so changes effective the day after the Budget hardly seem fair to any superannuant, rich or poor. The new contribution rules for those aged 65 to 74 do make a lot of sense – but are only recognition that we are all working harder and longer and retirement is becoming a far-off dream for many. 

For those still working, tax cuts for workers earning between $80,000 and $87,000 are targeting middle income Australians and doing sweet nothing for the majority who simply do not earn this much. There is talk of tax cuts for lower income earners further down the track, but that’s cold comfort. And the re-classification of a ‘small business’ from up to $2 million turnover to $10 million is a very big bonus for the business sector.

It is also worth noting the $13 billion of ‘zombie’ measures which remain on the books from the Abbott Government’s first two budgets, as spelt out by Peter Martin yesterday. These include lifting of the Age Pension qualifying age to 70. In addition, there are some “mystery’ amounts ($1.6 billion and $1.9 billion) which will be revealed – you guessed it – in the lead up to the July election. Did anyone mention pork barrels?

In summary, as an attempt to balance the books, the hard decisions have been avoided and we will remain in the red until at least 2020. In terms of fairness and support for older Australians there is very little in this budget to celebrate.

What do you think? Has Kaye been unnecessarily harsh? Are you better off? Or worse?

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    COMMENTS

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    BrianP
    4th May 2016
    10:49am
    Wishy-washy. As the Government have made their top priority winning the election and not people first Vote Them Out.
    Hasbeen
    4th May 2016
    11:24am
    Come on Brian, the vote buying effort was the sub announcement, & I think Turnbull got that one wrong. It turned me off, & I think shot himself in the foot. This is a reasonable effort while dealing with Gillard's time bombs of the NDIS & Gonski.

    Kaye please, hard hitting, what garbage. I tried watching the Leigh Sales interview. Hard hitting, no. Just a nasty vicious, biased woman big noting herself to her mates. I turned it off as I'm sure many real people did.

    I agree this did nothing like enough to earn my vote, but let's be a little fair with the comments. Morrison did better than I expected, just not enough of the right things.
    Saalbach
    4th May 2016
    11:40am
    Guess it depends on your political leaning. The NDIS and Gonski report are both reasonable targets, so to call them "time bombs" is somewhat prejudiced. I think the last thing you could call Leigh Sales is a "nasty, vicious, biased woman" - from what I have seen over the years, she is totally un-biased, does her research very well, and is not daunted by those she interviews. Maybe I am biased - I don't have any affection for either of the major parties.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:22pm
    I agree as I have no time for Leigh Sales as she just gets so many things so very wrong. Her manner is disgusting and all she does is big note herself.

    NDIS and Gonski are certainly time bombs that this country cannot afford. Education and health need to be a lot more efficient and not have any more money thrown at them.
    Kaz
    4th May 2016
    3:48pm
    Education and health are two of the most important issues, but they are human based issues which the LNP have never been good at because they can afford private schooling and private health cover (just like Bonny - no understanding of lower socioeconomic issues leading to disadvantage). Govern the country as a whole, ask what you can do for the less able, lead by care-based examples.

    4th May 2016
    11:03am
    It's a vote-buying exercise that ignores the national interest, favours the well-off (again!) and does nothing to improve the living standards of ordinary Australians.

    It won't buy my vote! This government is inept and unconscionable, and needs to be thrown out.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:28pm
    Well throw them out and see what nasties another government can pull out of their hat.
    Patriot
    4th May 2016
    2:40pm
    Why have the "National Interest" at heart?
    Self Preservation is far more important!
    Greg
    4th May 2016
    5:58pm
    They do keep saying " Jobs and Growth"....their jobs and growth in their bank balance.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:18am
    Actually, Patriot, it's national interest I'm concerned with. This budget IS NOT in the national interest, any more than Hockey's previous one was. It's a total betrayal of the Australian public. It drives debt up and prioritizes increasing the disposal income of the wealthier in our society, at the expense of social services that the society needs.

    I agree, Bonny, that there's not much by way of appealing alternative, but I think the alternative is less damning than continuing down our current path. We can't afford Neoliberal thinking if civilized society is to survive. I know that's not what the greedy privileged want to hear, but it's a fact.
    jamesmn
    4th May 2016
    11:20am
    they did nothing and its already been proved their figures are wrong they have the biggest debt in history and are continuing to spend nothing for pensioners and their jobless figures are wrong if someone works 1 day a week for a few hours they consider them as employed this is false too no wonder the budget will not get through again labour the independs and the greens will only support a couple of things and the small business has to make 1 million dollars what a joke and the average wage is not $85.000 as they are saying bring on the election vote them and their crony mates out who benefit from this not ordinary Australians
    Sceptic
    4th May 2016
    4:29pm
    "They have the biggest debt in history and continue to spend nothing for pensioner." Let's just make the biggest debt bigger, that is a good idea.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:19am
    No, Sceptic. They continue to make the debt bigger by giving more to those who DO NOT NEED IT. Nearly $17,000 a year extra to folk earning $1 million, but there's not enough for essential health and education.
    Polly Esther
    4th May 2016
    11:25am
    I'm sad to ask, " At this moment what is the alternative"?
    Put your rubbish in a plastic bag or a card board box?
    Liberal - Labor- Turnbull - Shorten - ????? I could scream!!
    Saalbach
    4th May 2016
    11:47am
    I guess the only alternative is to make sure you don't put a number next to any of the Lib or Labor candidates in the Senate. An upper house with even more independents is the only way to make sure the Govt does what is needed for the good of all, rather than for their vested interests.
    marls
    4th May 2016
    12:47pm
    Vote Aust Liberty alliance, rise up Aust party, Pauline hanson
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:32pm
    I don't think we can put up with another Senate wanting to run the country like we have had since the Howard days.

    They are a house of review not a house that disrupts and dictate the running of our country.
    Rae
    4th May 2016
    2:51pm
    The only thing the Senate could agree on was to stuff up the plans of over a half a million self funded retirees. Priceless. I'm only glad I'm a total cynic and kept my money out of super where there is less chance of the government mucking with it. I don't trust any of them. Name me one party that hasn't lied to gain an advantage.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    3:17pm
    Get Off The Grass ! Howard was a &*%$# !! :-(:-(
    And still Milking the Golden Cow !
    5 Years out and they should ALL go Automatically onto the Ordinary Old Age Pension and NO PERKS !! :-( :-(
    Start finding out how an Australian has to live and not an Arabian Sheik !! :-)
    Kaz
    4th May 2016
    3:49pm
    Remember the greens can't be trusted either - check their history.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:22am
    The Greens were the idiots who put forward the senseless proposal to crucify half a million retirees and create an environment that discourages saving for retirement and rewards irresponsible spending and a bigger drain on taxpayers.

    As for the Senate, I agree, Rae, but I'm sure glad they blocked a lot of measures that would have made things far, far worse for the nation. They did their job on many issues, and we should be thanking them for that.
    Rosret
    4th May 2016
    11:35am
    The difference between my generation and my parents was they knew they had a super payout that gave them a reasonable income for life indexed with inflation. Every time the reserve bank flutters or there is a budget tornado superannuation gets a gets taken out in the rain without an umbrella. Private superannuation was the worst thing we have done for the individual and the best thing for the hedge fund players. It doesn't matter how much you have tucked away for that rainy day - "they" are taking the roof off the house. If I could turn the clock back I would have invested in real estate and not super.
    Saalbach
    4th May 2016
    11:44am
    If you had done, that, you can bet your bottom dollar they would have announced a ban on overseas buyers, and removal of negative gearing, so the property market would have crashed. Either way, it seems they don't have the interests of the "average" person at heart. Having raised the prospect of changes to negative gearing, their mates can now bale out with good profits, before they announce it next time.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:34pm
    That's why the rich do not invest in super like the ordinary Australian does.
    Rae
    4th May 2016
    2:59pm
    The old way of paying off the house and then buying another fixer upper in a holiday/ retirement destination was far better for that generation. The 7.5% tax paid an aged pension unless you were very well off. Politicians seemed to care about what they were doing and the media had actual reporters rather than 5 minute commentators. The rise in poverty today is alarming and inequality of income, debt and superannuation/investment scams is often to blame for the lose of capital ordinary people experience.

    Name one person that really understands CDOs or synthetic bonds and yet your compulsory super is going into that dodgy fixed interest market while they smile nicely and mumble about bonds being safe as houses. Sure right!
    Nanday
    4th May 2016
    11:59am
    The lack of grandfathering the superannuation limit changes is more than annoying, it is wrong. The rules under which I retired have turned out to be like walking on quicksand - they can give way any time. While the current changes might not affect me or most others who have retired at this point in time, what now will stop them from continuing to lower the limit or impose more and more taxation? The answer is nothing. By refusing to grandfather they have signalled that war has begun on self-funded pensioners who are an easy target because we have been portrayed as 'rich'.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:38pm
    I agree with not grandfathering the super limit. It is a much better idea than limiting the amount you can earn within a super fund before it is taxed like the Labor policy.
    Rae
    4th May 2016
    3:05pm
    By not grandfathering changes the government has declared war on superannuants. Best not to rely completely on the one system then.

    If the changes have not effected you yet then do some homework. The whole idea of relying on super for retirement is fraught with the danger of sovereign risk and market failure.

    The government has made it perfectly legitimate to betray them also come election day. No such thing as trust any more.

    The age of one term wonders and leadership battles replacing sensible policy is upon us.
    Rodent
    4th May 2016
    4:35pm
    Nayday, Bonny

    However don't you find it strange that they Grandfathered the Clean Energy Supplement so that it DIDNT get eliminated for EXISTING pensioners and only eliminated it for NEW pensioners after July.

    Given the Govts expressed views about NOT grandfathering the Assets test changes due Jan 2017, - because they would be to hard to manage, why have the accepted Grandfathering now? can only be the numbers or Dollars are small. I predicted on this forum earlier in the year the Clean Energy Supplemented would be eliminated for ALL pensioners, I think for political reasons its a bit like "eat elephants slowly, they are hard to digest!! , therefore clearly it will happen
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    6:48pm
    Clean energy supplement will go for all in the next budget.
    Rae
    4th May 2016
    7:35pm
    Damned if I could ever figure out how to get the energy supplement as a self funded retiree. There must be a heap of us that were never compensated.It would be the same if GST was increased I suspect.
    No compensation for the self reliant.

    I notice I'm paying the Chinese government as much now for power as I paid the NSW state government and there has been no drop in prices for the tax being done with.

    At least the Chinese government thinks it is a good investment.

    I'm saving for solar and batteries to go off grid.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:26am
    The lack of grandfathering merely justified people's distrust in government and sent a strong message to ''cheat if you can'' because you are being cheated at every turn.

    If there was fairness and honesty in the system, a lot more people would play honestly and we'd have a far lower welfare bill. It's no wonder people are out to do anything they can to get all they can when they have what they worked hard for and planned for taken from them without warning and in such an unfair manner - for no gain to anyone except the lying blowhard who announces the measure and makes false statements about the reasons for it.

    4th May 2016
    11:59am
    This is a "fiddle with the edges of the economy Budget".
    Most ordinary Australians gets nothing from this Budget.
    The Defence Dept and the military suppliers are clinking champagne glasses, though.
    We are following America slavishly - build your economy on making war equipment at mind-boggling cost, so it can be blown up in half a second to become total scrap.
    There's no major Govt support for research and innovation in this Budget - no energy or water infrastructure security improvements - no future food security plans.
    Nothing for innovation for improved methods of travel to combat congestion - nothing for the likes of the CSIRO who have produced hundreds of innovations that have earned the nation billions on royalties.
    It's a do-nothing-to-upset-the-voters, Election Budget.
    It's the most pathetic Budget delivered in the last 25 years.
    The problem is whether Labor can produce ideas and plans, pre-election, that show some statesmanship and long-term planning.
    With Shorten in charge, I seriously doubt that.
    FM
    4th May 2016
    1:07pm
    I agree Aaron. There is a total absence of long term planning. There has been a complete absence of planning for retirement by recent past Governments. They could estimate pretty accurately how many people would be retiring in this period but instead of tailoring government budgets to prepare for this they took the money that was being contributed by people to the National Fund for their retirement and spent it saying they would work out what to do when the time arrived. What they have done is pretend this fund never existed, the numbers retiring have taken them by surprise and people who contributed for their retirement all their lives have not actually saved as they should. Disgraceful.
    Rae
    4th May 2016
    3:13pm
    I think they believed their own lies about Superannuation and how it would fund retirement. You must remember these are people who have never been low income earners. They have no idea how 75% of the people live.

    The crash of 2009 took them by complete surprise. Trillions of dollars disappeared and the chaos of instability is still with us.

    The Central Banks can postpone the market correction by printing more trillions of debt but it is only a postponement.

    Perhaps government is well aware and so make no long term plans. They can't because they are as at risk as the other 99% of us.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:51am
    Still believing their own lies,Rae. Too thick to think past ''Duh, take thousands off half a million people and we'll have more to waste''. They aren't smart enough to realize that they offer a reward for being irresponsible, and that will drive more people onto bigger pensions. That logic is way beyond the capacity of their pathetic little brain cells.
    Nads
    4th May 2016
    12:20pm
    How about putting a positive spin on everything? The society has become negative, so negative, and is always looking at how something can't work. Get people out of their armchairs and make something happen. Support the govt. and be proud of our country. When you live in and travel to other countries Aust. is so far ahead. Even the no name invisible people, non participants, there is support. The media, reporters, be positive, come up with solutions. It is not easy but get out there and get all sides, see how good it really is. Glass definitely half full. ????
    MD
    4th May 2016
    2:17pm
    Good post Nads.

    Got me thinking earlier when the first of these "budget" articles commenced, just how much we seem to have adopted the 'woe is me' attitude. I'm guessing most on this site are retirees (in it's many forms) - pre/present/well advanced. Over the years and associated budgets we have persevered: indeed most (dare I suggest) have prospered! Yes, we've all had our battles & hardships in varying degrees and here we are at a time in our lives when instead of being thankful & enjoying life, far too many lament their lot , want more, whinge and bellyache about how they feel utopia should be run and expect a cabal of clowns to undertake it, to satisfy only themselves. If that's the case then maybe the pollies see us as a mirror image of themselves ? Whats-more, maybe said pollies see us now getting our just desserts.

    Amazing no less, is the claim by a few 'regulars' herein that self confess to "trips overseas", "investment properties", "investment earnings" and the like. Now let me be perfectly clear, I DO NOT begrudge anyone their good fortune, the more-so because they have made the grade and rightly proud, regardless of (or for) others' envy .

    By comparison, the parents of MOST current retirees realized considerably more hardship & in a good many instances they , having 'spun off the mortal coil' have left beneficiaries' a windfall.
    Even were we to set this privileged number aside, the remainder today are still a long way better situated. How much would it take to satisfy some ?

    Nobody should criticize me indulging myself for repetition - the same said regulars do so ad nauseam. No elected pollie, be they independent or party liner is going to right the wrongs; as apparently manifest within this blog, to satisfy everyone within this demographic. Boy ! Haven't we had some clowns try ? A fish n chip shop proprietor gave it a shot & recall what happened then.

    In summary, we should do as Nads suggests - "get out of (our) armchairs", show some restraint in preaching to the converted and be happy with our lot. My glass is half empty , a good cheap quaffing plonk (being within my budgetary parameters) sufficient unto the day therein. Cheers !!
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:43pm
    Maybe it will take some bad times for people to realise how good they have it and stop whinging and make things happen.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:28pm
    Would you like your Glass topped up ? I have a Nice Grange here, I found it at Parliament House a few years back now ! Nice Nose with a Cheeky Palate !! :-) :-)
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    6:49pm
    No it's the wrong vintage for me.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    9:03pm
    I also have a Labor Sauvignon ! :-) But that would be Unpalatable to you I think :-) :-)
    FM
    4th May 2016
    12:36pm
    The question Nads is what is in the glass?
    Patriot
    4th May 2016
    2:43pm
    Poison I guess?
    FM
    4th May 2016
    12:43pm
    Last year's severe cuts for self funded retirees with low to average incomes were designed to fund these tax cuts for higher income earners and business. The Media have no trouble with this. They are not trying to live off retirement savings. They are in the income bracket that gets tax cuts. They have some money put aside for a final vote buying exercise maybe pensioners will get something trivial in that. Nothing can compensate for the waste-field they have made of retirement.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2016
    3:58pm
    FM, you might be right about the intent, FM. But I'm pretty sure there won't be any savings from the pension changes. A financial manager remarked to me that he's now telling soon-to-retire clients that there's a new exciting investment opportunity available. Put your money under the mattress. Our generous taxpayers will give you a 7.8% return, indexed to inflation, with a heap of fringe benefits. None of the risks of the stock market or real estate markets, and over triple bank interest rates, with virtually no risk. How good is that?

    Well maybe choose a fireproof safe rather than under the mattress?

    I think anyone predicting savings from taper rate changes lives in fairly land.

    But there will no doubt be savings from cutting family benefits to struggling single parent families. I just hope all the million dollar a year earners appreciate their generous $16,000+ tax cut. I'm sure they need it badly.
    travelman
    4th May 2016
    12:51pm
    What I found about this Budget 2016 was the treasurer refused to seriously tackle the real issues. The poor and those who need more are getting less because costs will rise and incomes will be unchanged. This government talks about innovation but this flat and pathetic budget is so un-innovative and should be put in a box and buried. The major issues such negative gearing and providing more homes for families and not investors who are 'screwing' those who are forced to rent and making huge incomes to further buy more properties, should be stopped just as Labour said they should. Where are the promises Turnbull made in regard to the new technologies we have to have to change from coal fired electricity generation to the proven and cost saving solar and wind. What about the NBN or is it too embarrassing for Turnbull to talk about his failure in its management.
    To me, the greatest failure of this Government has been its lack of honesty. They hide from us the truth and details of what they are doing, even this planned shipbuilding contract with France is shrouded with secrecy for they have not revealed and serious detail to the public. The other day we heard on the news of a new Australian Ice breaker ship being built overseas. Our Ship and steel industries are crying out for work so this government gives the work to someone else other than our workers. I have only touched the tip of what this government is about, its failure to act responsibly to growth of this nation.
    I liken this budget to these famous French words from King Louis 16th when one of his advisers told him that poor people had no bread to eat, his reply, "No bread to eat? then let them eat cake." We all what know happened to that king. Perhaps this Coalition government is going the same way, we hope so and soon, to Madame Guillotine, politically speaking, of course. Edwin A Pope
    libsareliars
    4th May 2016
    3:10pm
    Spot on travelman, agree entirely.
    In Outer Orbit
    4th May 2016
    6:57pm
    Totally agreed travelman - per recent comment along the same line;

    "Sounds like some genuine gnashing of teeth going on but I'd say try not to despair - I sense the Trump phenomenon is a disquieting message for current right leaning political Establishments across the world; ie don't take the masses for granted. (Trump may have his own faults, besides the cleverly targeted buffoonery, but that is another matter).

    Globally, technology is delivering increasing transparency and exposing social injustice for the crime it is. An increasingly crowded planet is unlikely to tolerate this indefinitely. Sooner or later the equivalent of a social road grader is likely to substantially flatten the ridges. History is littered with examples - revolutions in Russia, France, China, Cambodia, India etc, the demise of the monarchies of Europe, the Arab Spring. Ivory towers have always proved unsustainable. Vote for social justice and it will come. Vote for inequality and it will remain."

    As an aside, the UK Government introduces any pension change with at least 10 years before it comes into effect, to allow people to plan and adapt to the change before it happens. Not easy to anticipate that far ahead, but better and fairer than an abrupt change.
    Hard luck Joe
    4th May 2016
    12:51pm
    Society should have a hard look at itself.The people in this country always want more & more for doing less & less. What do the people expect when the Govt is fighting huge deficit. The LAbour & the greens will take this country to the cleaners if they come back into power. Wake up all the people with common sense
    MD
    4th May 2016
    2:25pm
    Good for you Hard luck Joe, (obviously your surname isn't Hockey)
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:47pm
    Agree people now have a welfare mentality instead of a work ethic. Why work when one can get it for free?
    libsareliars
    4th May 2016
    3:13pm
    Yes Bonny, because people who live on welfare and Newstart are really living high on the hog aren't they? I'm sure most of them would much rather have a full-time job than just eke and existence from welfare.
    Kaz
    4th May 2016
    4:07pm
    There but for the grace of God go you Bonny...
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:30am
    I agree some retirees have a ''welfare mentality'' now, after being totally and dishonestly screwed for working their guts out all their lives and saving. Now they are stripped of income, pay more for everything, and are offered a 7.8%+++ reward indexed to inflation for blowing their hard-won savings. Why wouldn't they develop a ''welfare mentality''?

    If we want to end the welfare mentality, maybe we should think about restoring incentives and rewards for effort?
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:34am
    Funny how the people who rant most about this ''welfare mentality'' support the very measures that encourage it. Quick to condemn anyone for claiming a pension, but equally quick to support measures that force more people onto pensions. Pretty dumb if you ask me!
    Play Fairly
    5th May 2016
    11:29am
    In my opinion, Hard Luck Joe & Bonny, you are both a piece of work. Bet you both have family members collecting social security through no fault of their own....kids, who even after obtaining university degrees, find that there are no jobs out there.....then there would be some of your family or friends who have suffered some major illness, or have been involved in a major accident. Senior members of your family would probably be receiving the Aged Pension.....In my family, these people are aged in their late 80's and in their youth the world was a different place. Superannuation, negative gearing, married women working outside the home, women CEO's etc. etc. we're unheard of then. We have come such a long way since then, but there are still people alive from this era who need to be looked after properly. These people helped make Australia what it is. For how much longer I don't know if this govt.isn't turfed out ASAP.

    For goodness sake, LOSE YOUR ATTITUDE that everybody who receives a pension of some kind has a "Don't want to work" and "welfare mentality" outlook on life. That rubbish "thought bubble" has burst and people as a whole are "SICK TO DEATH" literally, now knowing they can't afford diagnostic scans and blood tests.

    For your own sakes, you guys had better be rich and in good health
    particolor
    5th May 2016
    3:51pm
    Yes we don't want Labor or Greens back Ever ! This Government is doing a Splendid Job on their own Running the Debt Meter to The Highest Reading Ever !! :-( :-( Their Puppeteer's are Proud of them !!
    Ayers Rock
    4th May 2016
    1:11pm
    I think Malcolm Turnbull leading Coalition parties have decided not to win this next federal election. They would do much sounder budget and future proof financial plans, but not. Blinking the eyes to small and middle size companies may not yield enough votes from the vast majority, which are more keen than Australian government.

    For example: Missing an important item I was expecting to see: Increase on old age pension full rate to 30000 $ per person, or 50000 $ per couple. These are realistic and satisfactory levels where per capita is 50000 $ for Australia. So millions of Australians over 65 years of age may turn their back to the next impossible coalition federal government anymore.

    Don't they have any brainers who can suggest vast surveying beforehand preparing the national budgets. How and from where are they getting their inputs? Really it is strange. They are misled and wrong-decided definitely.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2016
    3:48pm
    Those figures you give are plain stupid Tremendousnifer why would two pensioners need $50000 what to go on overseas trips or perhaps the boozer or play pokies.

    Pensioners are well off and have nearly everything for free or at a discount and how the hell is the Government going to pay $50000.00
    In my opinion pensioners should be put on food stamps so as not to waste money as they do.
    Circum
    4th May 2016
    4:14pm
    Dear Robbo.Buying mince meat using food stamps is an unnecessary complication.A generalization that pensioners are well off implies that you have your head buried in the sand possibly tying to find a long lost golfball.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2016
    4:24pm
    Circum all the pensioners I know enjoy life to the full pay all there bills drink/smoke play pokies and travel extensivelly all on the Governemt .
    Perhaps you need to budget better because there is plenty of money in welfare.
    Circum
    4th May 2016
    4:42pm
    Robbo.You obviously circulate in higher circles that I do.Many pensioners I know dont smoke or drink,but yes some play pokies up to $5 a week on average often in conjunction with a half price meal deal at a pub once a week.They do travel extensively between home and the supermarket but you are right the government pays for this travel via the pension in some cases. As for myself I dont get any welfare..never have.
    Circum
    4th May 2016
    4:44pm
    I dont even get any compensation for my tax contributions to pay for other peoples pensions.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:39pm
    Well I gladly paid My Tax for 50 Years, Knowing that some of it went to the Less Well off and Pensioners ! Thinking one day it would be my turn in turn !! But all I see now is Whinging about Giving Pensioners a CRUST ?? :-(
    mareela
    4th May 2016
    1:23pm
    Hard luck Joe you need to take a hard look at yourself and not judge society against yourself which, if correct, is not looking good. How dare you speak for Australian society. Speak for yourself only and you certainly don't speak for me. You obviously are incredibly biased in your right wing assumptions so won't further waste my time. People like you never cease to amaze me with your bigotry.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    2:27pm
    Good budget without all the election sweeties thrown out.

    Great to see that bracket creep has been addressed and that a cap has been put on the amount of super for tax free income.

    I do however think those running small businesses will be disadvantaged by the life time cap of $500,000 on non concessional contributions. These people tend to put all their money into those businesses and then contribute to super on the sale of those businesses.

    It could have been worse with further cuts to the pension welfare system.
    Kaz
    4th May 2016
    4:10pm
    Those on the pension have paid taxes all their lives without the know how not to. That you would seek to begrudge them a life after work astounds me.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    4:23pm
    We all paid taxes all our lives so I'm not begrudging anyone anything.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:45am
    Bonny, you are begrudging people fairness. Progressive tax and welfare is the price of civilization, and essential to a healthy society. In a capitalist world, its the balancing mechanism that allows the capitalist model to function, despite using the labour of the less advantaged to benefit the more advantaged.

    You clearly want the benefits of capitalism without the cost. We need HIGHER taxes on the rich and more benefits for the poor to sustain a healthy capitalist society, because inequity has increased to the point where it is presenting grave social risks. But of course the greedy privileged just want to keep taking and taking and taking and taking and taking ad nausea, and begrudging the less privileged any fair recognition of their work contribution.

    It's got nothing really to do with taxes. We all pay taxes. The poor pay proportionally more than the rich because of avoidance strategies and because indirect taxes impact on the poor. But what the less advantaged really contribute, in huge dollops, is cheap labour. And that's what the advantaged take, without fair payment. Pensions are part of the fair payment, but of course the privileged object to paying anything, and PRETEND pensions are ''welfare''. The aged pension was recognized as an ENTITLEMENT - a debt owed to the aged by the society that benefited from their contributions to it in earlier life.
    Play Fairly
    6th May 2016
    10:19am
    Rainey, you are absolutely correct. The aged pension was recognised as an ENTITLEMENT and NOT WELFARE.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    3:27pm
    Instead of Borrowing all that money in the first place, why didn't they Issue Australian Government Bonds ? And buy them back off the Public at a Sustainable Rate !! We wouldn't Owe Foreigners More than we can afford !! And the Country would still be OURS !! :-) And paying that UN is a Rort !! :-(
    Anonymous
    4th May 2016
    4:26pm
    Yes not a bad idea Particolor you would think there would be a reason
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:22pm
    It pays to Suck Up perhaps ?? :-)
    Ahimsa
    4th May 2016
    3:36pm
    I agree with jamesmn and aaron. Bonny and I are at polar opposites with our views. This government has no social conscience; it's taking care of the wealthy at the expense of the disadvantaged and its economic management is pathetic.
    Tom Tank
    4th May 2016
    4:24pm
    Yes indeed they are indulging in class warfare by taking care of those who don't need caring of.
    A look at the state of affairs in the U.S. where Trump has such a following because he is tapping into the huge discontent with a system that we are copying. Reduce wages, slash welfare, education, health etc. get things back to the 1920s when God was in his heaven and the worker class knew their place.
    History has shown that when the gap between the rich and the poor gets too great then discontent surfaces and this can get very nasty indeed.
    Fortunately we are not as bad as the U.S., despite right wing efforts to take us there, but the trend is in that direction. Fortunately the independents in the Senate ensured that it acted as it was designed to do which is to be a house of review and not a rubber stamp for the party in control of the lower house.
    Abbott is a class warrior and we are still being inflicted by that mentality today and this budget is an indicator of that. What would it have been like if there wasn't an election looming?
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:56pm
    Cruz is Gone :-(
    bebby
    4th May 2016
    4:24pm
    Bonny, you obviously don't know what it is like to live in the real world of genuine battlers.
    Speak to adults who for have been retrenched or young school leavers desperately searching for non existent jobs and tell them they are happy relying on welfare instead of a salary.
    Walk a mile in their shoes and see how critical you become.
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    4:36pm
    Unfortunately I do know what it is to live in the real world of battlers. I was bought up in one where even shoes were a luxury.

    I have also been retrenched and have had some young school leavers desperately searching for non existent jobs in my house.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:33pm
    I wore my Dads old Army Boots to School ! :-)
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    6:51pm
    I use to get my Dad's old hob nail boots and he only gave them to me because the nails hurt his feet.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:48am
    And I lived in a cardboard box in the lake. Bonny, you don't have the first clue about hardship. If you did, you wouldn't be such an arrogant snob, and so determined to see hard workers stripped of everything they worked and saved for.
    Ahimsa
    4th May 2016
    4:57pm
    Can someone please tell me how to respond directly to a comment, rather than make a new comment?
    Circum
    4th May 2016
    5:13pm
    Thats classified information.
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:20pm
    Sign in and then the Reply Thingo will show on Comments ! :-)
    Making your own Comment will allow you to receive Comments in Email from the Subject you commented on :-)
    Rae
    4th May 2016
    5:59pm
    Just click on the reply button underneath the persons name.

    You can only do that in response to the new comment maker but we create a thread by going to the first new comment person and clicking on the reply. Have a try as it won't matter if you make a mistake Ahimsa.
    Ahimsa
    4th May 2016
    6:28pm
    Thanks so much, particolor and Rae. The reply button didn't appear until I signed in. I think I've got it now. This post will tell. And hahaha Circum.
    bebby
    4th May 2016
    5:12pm
    Bonny, if that is the case how can your comments seem to have absolutely no compassion or empathy for welfare recipients?
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    5:31pm
    Some Commenters are on a Retainer ! :-( But they should be on a Collar and Chain ! :-) :-)
    Bonny
    4th May 2016
    6:55pm
    I only have compassion and empathy for those who need welfare not for those who get it just because it's available.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    10:47am
    You wouldn't have the tiniest clue WHO needs it, Bonny. You are too obtuse and arrogant to even bother to try to show empathy to anyone.
    bebby
    4th May 2016
    6:06pm
    Particolor, OUCH, is that me?
    particolor
    4th May 2016
    8:59pm
    Definitely not You ! :-) :-) But Mick and a few others will work it out :-) I think their sick of them ! :-)
    (Sorry so long ! Wonderful Telstra had a Holiday again as usual lately !! :-(
    Ayers Rock
    4th May 2016
    10:10pm
    Assumption a full rate to single pensioner 30000 $ or 50000 $ per couple is not as high as to attract greediness where per capita 50000 $/year is already generating. Supposedly per capita, it means every working or retired person is expected to receive such level at first.

    Those who want to carry to water to those to catch more and more, but depress the others' demands, first learn the justice, fairness and THINK and WHY? Then respond.

    My sound is to those sleepers and reluctant who need to raise for their own good. Raise your voice and political participation to claim your full rights, demand to return your national factory setups, and demand full rights, works and earning for every citizen. Give a tremendous example bang to the world to be awaken, which has been under sedation for long long years.

    For those who still wants to insist on deep sleeping and be less thoughtful: When you become awakened, you will see the rugs under your feet has already been slipped away. You may hope and wait for that another century.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2016
    7:59am
    Hey mate I think you might have been to the boozer or forgot your pills . Your blog is hard to understand but I think you are a bit keen on the communist way of life.
    Why not go to Russia it will certainly suit your style of life and you shouldn"t have much problem picking up the language as I am sure some of what you have written is in Russian and I believe the Vodka is cheap there.
    MD
    5th May 2016
    8:36am
    Although I admire your zeal Tremendousnifier, I feel that ultimately you may be clutching at straws - blowin in the wind.
    The dubious likelihood of your views being realized may well require a wait of "another century", highly unlikely for anyone on-site.

    Maybe you are viewing life through a different prism to that which I do, or you have the benefit of past experience elsewhere.
    We should be wary of what is wished for, history would have us believe that many peoples/races have sought to determine an "awakening" yet ultimately lived to regret their folly.

    You are correct in suggesting "the rugs under your feet has already slipped away" yet the same rug still serves a worthwhile purpose to many - it keeps their head warm.
    Flindersbar
    5th May 2016
    12:56am
    The tail wags the dog when property skyrockets. Nobody said hang on, a family home should not be in the commodities section. There is no value in a valuation in 7 figure digits, unless you're selling, then can you downsize? The banks can't lose, even when they blow it as the state steps in an bails them, ditto real estate and the legal eagles. The answer is a resale limit, say 3% PA profit. The power brokers won't like it, but should we care? Commercial has to be treated differently, anyway that's gambler territory.
    Rae
    5th May 2016
    8:36am
    The high property prices disadvantage everyone except the speculators and the banks and property industry.

    I object to the higher rates and insurances I pay because a bubble has been allowed to develop.

    The answer is a market correction as the sooner the better.

    5th May 2016
    11:42am
    Reading the posts here from the LNP supporters and the privileged, and looking at government policy and public statements, it seems to me that the problem in Australia is that we've forgotten how capitalism works and why it was structured as it was.

    An essential part of capitalism was always the progressive tax system and a strong welfare and social services system. This was to balance the inequity created by asking the less advantaged to supply labour at discounted prices so businesses and government enterprises can operate profitably. Labour is supplied at less than it's worth so that the entrepreneur can price what is produced by that labour at its true value and collect the difference in profit. The worker gives discounted labour, creating social inequity and a lesser ability for the lower paid worker to provide all the necessities of life for himself and his family, and the beneficiaries of that discounted labour pay through higher taxes that provide welfare and social services that restore essential balance.

    The problem we have is that the progressive tax system has been decimated with huge tax cuts at the top end and increasing tolerance of avoidance and reduction strategies. I remember a very healthy and happy society in which the rich paid at least 30% more than they do now. And they were still very well off, and content with their lot. More content, in fact, because society functioned better and everyone was happier, and therefore workers were more willing to give their labour at discounted rates - knowing that they reaped benefits in other ways.

    What we have now is the privileged wanting to have their cake and eat it too. They want low wages, high profits AND low taxes and poor welfare. It's a recipe for social disaster. Sure, there are limits to how far social democracy should go. Socialism and communism have major flaws. But so does capitalism when the balancing mechanism isn't allowed to work properly.

    We need to get back to the basic concept that progressive tax is the price of a healthy society, and stop this notion that avoidance or reduction something to be applauded. And we need to stop this vile scorning of the less privileged and recognize an obligation both to care for the disadvantaged and to compensate the lower paid fairly for discounting the price of their labour.

    The other essential is to restore the notion of fair reward for effort and genuine incentives. If we stop handing out based on random, illogical criteria and get back to basic common sense and fairness in means testing and eligibility, we might have a hope of ending the ''welfare mentality''. But I suspect we have to first address the ''entitled'' mentality of the privileged.
    MD
    5th May 2016
    2:24pm
    Quite some time ago Adam Smith touted some brilliant ideas, some of which you've hinted at. Society has evolved considerably since Smith's time, some may even consider it progress and yet a good deal of what the (touted) 'Father of Capitalism' expounded then is relevant even today.

    Today ; Social Engineers, Actuaries, Consultants, Lobby Groups and their ilk consult with Government and the many Departments thereof and in so doing are using the very latest statistical data, (or at the very least one would sincerely hope so) to achieve a considered outcome that delivers an equitable standard of living for the population. Always and forever we will have degrees of social stratification whereby the "privileged" are seen by the "less advantaged" as scoring a bigger slice of the cake, regardless of the fact that both get to eat their portion as well.

    Agreed , the tax system may not be considered equitable to everyone and a "progressive tax" MAY be the "price of a healthy society" however it remains to be seen whether this will reduce "avoidance" or for that matter curtail the "disadvantaged" from heaping envy and scorn on those considered "privileged". Everyone , but everyone feels themselves "entitled" and "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    So are we to understand that these previously mentioned professional folk have social policy entirely wrong ; that their criteria is "illogical" and whose "common sense " should be adopted to rectify the failed social experiment. Me oh my , either they (me too) must have missed the point or I was wrong thinking I'm on planet earth.

    I wish you well in your grand endeavour.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2016
    4:03pm
    Well, MD, if it was these social engineers, actuaries, consultants etc. using ''the very latest statistical data'' who came up with the hair-brained scheme of offering a 7.8%+ return, indexed to inflation, for people to stop saving and either gift or spend their retirement nest egg or hide it under the mattress, all I can say is ''heaven help us all''. That kind of expertise we definitely DO NOT need. I'd much rather rely on common sense and basic logic - although common sense seems these days to be quite uncommon!
    Kato
    5th May 2016
    1:36pm
    A dud budget by a dud treasurer. Slasher smirk mcgirk didn't have the kahunas to say he was slashing 1.2 billion from aged care on the night did he.
    Rae
    5th May 2016
    2:54pm
    I actually believe we need an uber like system to provide care to the elderly and allow them to stay at home. Already a lot of people provide care but if it was organised for security perhaps more people would do it for a very small fee to the organisers.

    That way the aged care homes that charge far too much would have some competition that was not a government funded contract again costing far too much.
    particolor
    5th May 2016
    3:35pm
    I think we need an Uber Government:-( :-( Where you can Ring Up for the Government you want :-)
    Jilly B
    16th May 2016
    11:10am
    I wonder how ''the rich'' got rich? They have possibly worked or studied and invested and informed themselves as to how to provide for their retirement. Sometimes people find themselves in situations in these times that they did not plan for or expect. The only solution is to be happy with what you had and to live within your means and they are many ways one can do that. i did not intend to stop working but it was forced on me by a overseas third world country that has very bad security. I miss work so much but in the meantime I will just have to make do without any savings left after all the costs of getting back home.
    particolor
    16th May 2016
    1:17pm
    Bag Lady ? :-(
    Rosebud
    16th May 2016
    11:40am
    When is someone going to start lobbying to Grandfather the Asset test that will come into effect January 2017.
    Why should they do that especially seeing they are giving the Top end a $16,000 bonus.
    Are the Pensioners funding this bonus?
    Giving and then Taking back is not a principal we are taught to live by. Very untrustworthy.
    I am very disallusioned, disappointed and feel insecure.
    My husband would be turning in his grave, thinking he put his affairs in order according to the rules for my security after he died.
    particolor
    16th May 2016
    1:19pm
    Indian Givers ! :-( :-(


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