Abbott to ‘pocket your pension’

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Parliament is set to break on Thursday, and Federal Labor MPs have been instructed to use the time away to lobby against cuts to the Age Pension, campaigning on behalf of pensioners Australia-wide with the slogan: ‘Don’t Pocket Our Pension’.

And whilst Treasurer Joe Hockey claims, “We will get the budget back to surplus as soon as possible” he has not committed to a specific date when the budget will be closer to the black. Instead, Hockey says the focus of the next budget would be “to build a stronger Australian economy” with initiatives “focused on jobs, growth and opportunity”, which would include a small business package, childcare reform, infrastructure investment, free trade agreements, and integrity in the tax and welfare systems.

But what of the proposed cuts to the Age Pension?

The pension package is still regarded as core budget policy. The government believes it can save money by lifting the eligibility age to 70 and linking age pension increases to the consumer price index (CPI) from 2017 – as opposed to the existing arrangement of matching CPI or wages growth, depending on which is higher.

The Coalition has accused Mr Shorten of frightening pensioners about the government’s proposals to change the indexation rate. Yet Mr Shorten maintains that rather than his party being negative, it has simply spoken on behalf of the community, saying: “The failure of the last budget was not only because we said ‘no’; it was also because we won the argument in the community.”

“We’ve supported nearly $20 billion, or about $20 billion worth of their cuts – but there are some proposals which simply don’t deserve support…Imagine if Labor had been the rubber stamp that some in the Liberals want us to be? We’d have a GP tax now.”

Mr Shorten then challenged the government to rule out proposed cuts to the pension in the next budget: “We say on behalf of the pensioners of Australia, if the Liberal government can rule out cuts to foreign aid, why won’t they rule out cuts to the pension in the upcoming budget? We need to explain to pensioners that Tony Abbott is seeking to pocket their pension.”

The opposition declared on Tuesday that Abbott had deceived Australians, reminding the PM of his election eve promise of “no change to pensions”. Labor has put forward an ultimatum to the Coalition: “abandon these cuts, or Labor will take this fight right across Australia between now and the next election. We will remind Australia’s 3.7 million pensioners that Tony Abbott wants to leave them as much as $80 a week worse off within a decade.”

According to the Intergenerational Report released earlier this month, spending on age pensions and related services are projected to rise from 2.9 per cent of GDP in 2014–15 to 3.6 per cent in 2054–55. In the government’s 2014 budget ambitions, spending would decrease from 2.9 per cent to 2.7 per cent over the same time.

While the government is saying that this new budget will be ‘fairer’ and less exciting than the last one, it is still pushing its mandate to make pensions ‘more sustainable’, despite public outcry from older Australians against such changes and the patently unfair and inequitable consequences if they became law.

YourLifeChoices has joined forces with GetUp in a campaign to ‘Protect the Age Pension’, and stop the Abbott Government’s attacks on the living standard of older Australians. Why not get on board and sign the petition?

Read more about this at The Guardian.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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125 Comments

Total Comments: 125
  1. 0
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    Who writes this twaddle.it all sounds like straight from the labor party daily hymn sheet.if your intention is to annoy the majority of your potential readers , you are certainly achieving it.

    • 0
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      Pete’s opinion seconded

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      Many journos these days appear to cut and paste from the ABC. It wasn’t always this way. In many cases the “news” is getting paid for what it’s worth. People no longer want to pay for media which only serves to force an opinion on them. Fairfax profits are down 35% and have announced job cuts. So there will be more cutting and pasting I’m afraid.

    • 0
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      What majority? How do you know the mind of the majority Pete, shows how logical your thinking is. One eyed.

    • 0
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      Would you please advise which Labor government your email referred to.

      Perhaps you should remember we have a coalition government, & no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

    • 0
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      Look at it. Frank and his aliases writing his government sponsored propaganda.
      Sorry Tony and employees: pensioners are not going to have a bar of yours and Joe Hockey’s propaganda. Pensioners are going to vote you out next election.
      Australians do not like liars. Nor do we like deceitful posts by your employees posing as citizens.

    • 0
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      More “Wishin’ an’ Hopin’ Mick.

    • 0
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      You‘ve hit the nail on the head, Mick! Leave pensioners alone, Abbott!

  2. 0
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    More scaremongering from Bill Shorten and his childish mates in the ALP. Does the ALP have any credibility when it comes to budget forecasts? Where did they pluck the “$80 per week in 10 years” from?

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      Look at it. Frank and his aliases writing his government sponsored propaganda.
      Sorry Tony and employees: pensioners are not going to have a bar of yours and Joe Hockey’s propaganda. Pensioners are going to vote you out next election.
      Australians do not like liars. Nor do we like deceitful posts by your employees posing as citizens.

    • 0
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      The $80 dollars is a calculation based on the last ten years difference between the CPI and the average wages growth. It is an assumption that nothing changes so the next ten years will produce the same difference.

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      Sceptic, if that is the case then it stands to reason that we are in this mess. Why do wages need to grow so fast and cripple industry? Pleased to see the unions have woken up in SA with a display of flexibility and co-operation. We may see some of SA youth into jobs there.

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      My point is that it is not even a forecast with new assumptions, but a calculation of the last ten years presented as a fact for the next ten years. I would suggest, (and I emphasise that I have not looked at the individual years), that as this period covered the GFC, a high $A, high average wage driven by the mining boom, it may well be not a typical period, therefore perhaps should not be accepted as a simple forecast for the next ten years. What if over the next ten years wages are supressed and the CPI increases at a greater rate due to the lower $A. Then Pensioners would be much better off at the end of the next ten years than under the present system.

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      Yes Sceptic, I understood your point and a very good point it is. Because it is exemplary of the way in which the ALP used their maths to try and balance the budget. They will not hesitate to lie to the unsuspecting public for political point scoring. I see Leon as well as a few posters were easily taken in. There were some very good years between 2004 and 2014. If the unions are agreeable to trade off wages for jobs, your ‘what if’ scenario could prove to be accurate.

    • 0
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      Frank it is time to get real the whole lot of them are liars regardless of which party they come from. It would only be useful if a party came along that knew what the word GOVERN meant, instead of thinking being a politician gave you the right to feather your own nest and bugger all else.

    • 0
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      Sceptic, pensioners would not be worse off is wages grow at a slower rate than in the past 10 years. The current system is that pensions rise according to CPI or average weekly earnings, whichever is the higher – so if wages increase at a higher rate than CPI, then pensions stay abreast of wage increases, if CPI increases higher than wages then pension increases are in accord with CPI. In other words, pensions currently increase in a way that we can keep up with the cost of living, which is not always accurately reflected by CPI. You only have to look at the huge increases in utilities and health insurance to see that they are increasing at a much higher rate than CPI. The figure of $80 approx. per week that pensioners would loose over the next 10 years under Abbott’s proposal has been estimated by credible independent sources, and even the Government’s parliamentary budget office has said that pensioners will be worse off. Why else is the
      Government changing the indexation if not to SAVE the money!!! Pensioners are the most vulnerable and least able to afford cuts to incomes – there are plenty of other areas that can be cut without hurting the most vulnerable.

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      There’s no scaremongering by the ALP, and everyone should be protesting the cruel changes the government is proposing. It’s not about keeping pace with wages. The CPI DOES NOT reflect cost of living increases for pensioners. The current indexation system recognizes that the CPI is artificially skewed by the inclusion of luxury items, which reduce in price in tough times while prices of necessities rise rapidly. CPI pension indexation will drive hundreds of thousands more into poverty – and for what? So the rich can keep partying! We spend far more on superannuation tax concessions to the top 10% of income earners than we spend on pensions. This is where the cuts are needed.

      Pensioners have already suffered huge hits to their lifestyle due to interest rate falls – which have benefited younger workers. Changing pension indexation and slashing concessions to pensioners is forcing pensioners to pay twice for the extravagances of the rest of the community. It’s unfair. It’s cruel. It’s economically irresponsible – because it will result in decreased spending which reduces revenue and drives unemployment up. Every cent paid in pensions goes back into the economy to generate growth.

    • 0
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      Iknow Sceptic thats the moola that the Libs had stashed away, and eventually was found, and spent for the LP, NOw the LIbs want it back 🙁 turkeys

  3. 0
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    If all taxs were the same proportion as PAYE Tax Payers there wold be no tax problems with
    Tax Receipts.
    The share of tax spending should be proportional to were it was taken from.

    • 0
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      Chris are you suggesting that pensioners become subject to a PAYE tax too? Now that would really cause wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst our fellow correspondents!

    • 0
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      No the Taking of Taxes over the years From PAYE TAXED.
      The pororption is greater as it starts at very low base compared to the Big End Of
      Town where there tax rate is very low. But TAX INCENTIVES are Greatest.
      I’m saying you give back at least the same proportion you take.(for most 50yrs)
      If your paying income tax and receiving a pension something is wrong.

    • 0
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      How about taxing wealthy Australians on their GROSS INCOME. That’ll get the tax rorters excited!

    • 0
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      Actually Chris B T many of us on a part pension do pay tax.

      Person A receives a Super pension from a Govt department that is taxed like a normal PAYE salary albeit at a lower rate because of the senior offset. However, because his income is below the threshold he also gets a small part pension from C/Link, based on income before tax. At the end of each year he gets a bill from the ATO to pay extra tax on that part pension on top of what he already pays each fortnight.

      Person B decided to take his Govt Super as a lump sum and bought a bigger house and placed the remainder in a self managed super scheme. He has adult children at home who pay the bills, his super payment is below the threshold and he receives a full C/Link pension. He pays no tax, yet lives in a better house and has more disposable income than Person A has.

      I know these people so it is not hypothetical. This is why I get a little upset when people on this site keep denigrating those on part pensions for being greedy.

    • 0
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      *Imagine*
      Your Combined Income would be well above the aged pension.
      Not making it upto the age pension but over, every body who earns dividends, interest are treated the same. When it is over the threshold.
      After you pay tax, are you receiving less than the Pension.

    • 0
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      And maybe, with all the fuss being made about increasing the taxes on the rich, we should also be expressing our distaste for the petrol companies and the never ending fuel price rises we all see happening. The trouble is, we are just as likely to see one come to pass as the other, being the rich paying more while the Aussie motorist will pay less at the bowsers. There are two chances any of us will see that, one is Buckley’s and the other starts with “Sweet…”

  4. 0
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    Just a few observations, not that anyone will take notice, at least not our politicians.
    to cut the budget deficit:
    Cut out all foreign aid…but give disaster help. (foreign aid is usually given on bank drafts in $US currency)
    TAX Halal payments at 99%
    Dont buy submarines…..save 35 Billion
    Tax huge corporations that take money out of AU
    Stop paying billions on detention etc…send all moslems back.
    Close borders to all unless they are useful to our economy
    Stop paying centrelink to non english moslems
    Stop 1 billion+ aid to Indonesia…(an oil rich country)
    BUT give more to the deserving Australians whom are suffering.
    Just a few ideas….

    • 0
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      I’d vote for you. Unlike our highly paid pollies you clearly care about this country. The pollies don’t.

    • 0
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      Kali-G, May I ask why you are limiting “sending back” only to Moslems? Why would it not apply to all in detention regardless of religious belief? And why would Centrelink still be able to give payments to English speaking Moslems but not those speaking other languages?

      And who qualifies as ‘deserving Australians’?

      Just seeking clarification.

    • 0
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      Kali-G you’re right on the ball mate.
      KSS Moslems=Koran=Sharia law=Not recognising democratic rules.
      I suggest you inform yourself and read what’s in the Koran.

    • 0
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      Yes either read the KOOran or join the Greens !!

    • 0
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      Aussiefrog, I am well aware what is in the Koran. My question was why is it only Moslems in detention that are to be sent back, and only non-English speaking Moslems denied Centrelink payments.

    • 0
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      I will be marching on April 4. I got new rubber tips for my crutches so I can maintain a reasonable speed.

    • 0
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      Gee, I’m almost agreeing with Mick. But don’t tax halal payments, outlaw them.
      And don’t target Muslims. Have a law that requires ALL migrants to swear allegiance to this country and its laws before citizenship is granted. If if the vow of allegiance is violated then citizenship is cancelled and they return to their place of origin.
      But we need the submarines.

    • 0
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      thats a grand idea Max but do u think they would do it lol??

  5. 0
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    “read more about this at the Guardian” a statement about equal to “DANGER HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS” in terms of the toxic low standards of that site

  6. 0
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    I’m waiting for an article headed
    ” Abbott increases Pensions by $78.10 marking the biggest increase by any government in a 2 year period.”

    • 0
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      Give with one hand and take with another. Your boss is shameful….as is his stooge.

    • 0
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      You’ll have a better Beard than Santa Clause before that happens !! 🙁

    • 0
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      Abbott didn’t increase the pension by one cent, Frank. The pension rises since Abbott came to power were in accordance with long-standing provisions gazetted by past governments and in accordance with a formula set down in legislation. Abbott taking credit for pension rises is just another of his many lies. Honestly, if they told the truth and showed respect for people – instead of treating us all like idiots – they might get far more support for their proposals. Trouble is, it appears from forum comments that there is a distinct lack of intelligence among the populace. All I see is dumb allegiance to a political party with no attempt to assess the true facts of an individual issue objectively.

  7. 0
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    Please, top publishing this dribble! The Guardian… very authoritative, not! If you can’t publish an honest story please do not publish.

    I think it is time for some one to question the validity of YourLifeChoices as a non-political social information site for seniors.

    • 0
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      “Honest”????? This government took the work out of the dictionary!

    • 0
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      I do so agree that whst I thought was a well balanced non political website is very left of centre…The Guardian…GetUp…sure very middle of the road! NOT. And why shoukd I not, as a pensioner psy something towards the budget repair? Why is it that the Oposition…labour party who got us into this mess is not more passionately held by this site to account….thGovernment dont hate pensioners…labours behavior must be more seruoudly challenged by your…unbalanced website…until then you are merely a lefty mouthpiece

    • 0
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      Agree David . This site says it had over 120,000 readers and lives on advertising .Yet continually bites the hand that feeds it. And insults the intelligence of its readers .
      The vocal few lefties do not represent the majority of us who provided for our own retirement .

    • 0
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      Oh, so you’ve provided for your own retirement, Pete? And you reap the benefit of all kinds of generous tax concessions? But those who were cursed with ill health or encountered misfortune or were denied educational and job opportunities and thus retired poor shouldn’t get the benefit of a decent pension? They should live in poverty while you prosper at taxpayer expense?

      Don’t presume to speak for all self-funded retirees. A lot of them are not selfish and actually support a decent and fair welfare system that recognizes that in a prosperous country, people shouldn’t have to live in poverty.

      BTW. YOU DID NOT provide for your own retirement. You USED generous tax concessions that were ONLY available to the more privileged to save for retirement. Those who didn’t get those concessions are now putting their hand out – quite fairly – for the equivalent (or actually much less) of taxpayer funds to support them in old age, generally after 40+ years of hard – probably underpaid – work, paying taxes, and raising children who now contribute to the economy.

  8. 0
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    The famous slogan from the X Files, “The Truth Is Out There” certainly does not apply to Bill Shorten and his “Liar Party” cronies and advisors.
    More undigestable crap from Labor and I am surprised that Leon has swallowed it and is regurgitating it as the Gospel Truth to frighten our more neurotic and paranoid pensioners.

    • 0
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      Liars??? Come on wally. This government makes LYING an artform.

    • 0
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      Wally, I heard today ‘they’ are bringing the X Files back. 6 episodes now in production………

    • 0
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      Episode One – Invasion of the Viagrans… I already wrote that one as MIB IV….

    • 0
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      How amusing wally that you post about Labor lies…(your opinion.) With the facts as they stand, yes facts, the current LNP Government have pulled out all stops in the lying stakes. They treat us as idiots. How do you manage to ignore that? I’m intrigued.

    • 0
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      I am told that the Labor adverts in the NSW state election claim that the coalition government is going to sell off the “poles and wires” to the Highest Bidder” or to the Premier’s rich mates. Take your pick. I am also told that the NSW government, if re elected, will only rent 49% 0f the poles and wires and keep the rest. So who would you believe in that case? Just to make it more interesting, a former ALP heavyweight named Ferguson has come out and called the ALP campaign a pack of lies.
      According to Friends mick and Jen, Julia Gillard did not utter the words “There will be no Carbon Tax under any government I lead.” before the 2010 election. So what happened there? Did Tony Abbott spring a Carbon Tax on Australia? Was it Mickey Mouse? Kevin Rudd, prior to his electoral win in 2007 claimed to be an “economic Conservative.” He also said he was going to save the Australian taxpayer the cost of maintaining the Nauru detention centre, just before he began to encourage the illegal immigrants that claimed to be seeking asylum, to the still unending cost to the Australian taxpayer. Thanks Kevin, we sure you a great debt of gratitude for that “saving”.
      So, mick and Jen, I have at least provided some things to support what I have posted. Kindly be good enough to respond in kind and provide some evidence, please, and not just suspect assertions, the way the Union/ALP scare campaign in the NSW state election is bombarding the airwaves with unsubstantiated claims that even stick in Fergusson’s craw.

    • 0
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      Wally, you are swallowing the Liberal’s lies! Sad! I have always been a Liberal voter, but the fact is that they ARE slashing pensions and lying about it. You can’t save the Government money without taking it from someone, and they are taking it from the neediest in the country while lining the pockets of the greedy rich. The CPI has nothing to do with cost of living increases for the poor. It represents changes to the cost of living for people who buy a balanced basket of goods, including luxury items. Living costs for the poor escalate much faster than the CPI in hard times because the cost of luxuries they don’t buy falls and the cost of necessities they do buy rises fast.

      Already we have hundreds of thousands of aged pensioners living in poverty. Those who have some savings have taken a huge hit to their income through interest rate cuts – which benefit the young. Now Abbott and Hockey want to push more aged people into poverty while still subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich with obscenely generous superannuation tax concessions to the wealthy (that, by the way, cost the country far more than any aged pension).

      As I said, I’ve always voted Liberal – until now. I hated the Labor Party. But this time they are RIGHT, and anyone who says otherwise is either totally misled by Abbott’s lies or is among the privileged benefiting from unfair tax benefits to the well-to-do.

  9. 0
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    I am pleased to hear Labor will campaign against changes to Age Pensions.
    Will they also campaign to restore funding for pension concessions on rates, public transport, utilities, and licence fees?

    • 0
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      Take those issues up with your State /Territory Government Travellersjoy. NSW has maintained those concessions and Mr Baird has also promised a further assistance package for gas customers should he win this weekend’s election.

    • 0
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      Give it time KSS. This crew at all levels all wear the same brand. And remember that NSW state liberal is on egg shells after being caught red handed committing fraud with election funding. I’d be willing to bet that if they win the NSW state election the n it will be game on soon after.

    • 0
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      I knew I could rely on you Mick to air your blatant hatred of all things connected to the Liberal Party regardless of reality.

    • 0
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      My ‘hatred,’ if that is what you assume. is against any government of any denomination which is morally corrupt and which wangles its way into government with blatant, contrived and intentional LIES.
      I may disagree with a government but I will give it a fair go if it honest, sincere and is working for the nation as a whole. THE CURRENR GOVERNMENT FAILS ON ALL COUNTS.

    • 0
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      mick is working for Get Up so it’s hard to say what he truly thinks or believes. The must pay you well mick to be able to afford a nice house in Japan.

    • 0
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      How Low Can You Go ? I like the latest Liberal Party Add on the Telly here in the Bush ! It Says !!
      “Look carefully at the bottom of the promotional Flyer for the Independent Member ! You will see it is endorsed, Authorized by a Union Leader ! And Printed at a Labour Party Printer !” 🙂 So Bloody what ?? I don’t care if it was printed in Outer Mongolia by a lost Apache Indian with Gout !! 🙂

    • 0
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      If Labor is against ANY changes to the Age Pension, does that mean that they will also oppose any increases in the Age Pension?

    • 0
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      Just because a person wears crappy suits and always says he fights for the “most vulnerable” in our society, doesn’t make him a saint.

    • 0
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      Frank, you are more likely to find a wolf in sheep’s clothing (crappy suit or not.) What you are saying reminds me of how the Communist Party leadership in the old Soviet Union wore crappy suits and managed to secure the best of everything for them selves and let the working proletariat queue for bread, soap and other house hold items we take for granted. Mick’s “crew” as he call them is a term that can most fittingly beapplied to the ” Liar”/ Labor Party, from Council to State to National level. It is just that they can’t help themselves in their desperation to grasp or cling to power to feather their own nests.

  10. 0
    0

    Ho hum! Here we go again! Must be a slow news day.

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