24th Mar 2015
Abbott to ‘pocket your pension’
Abbott to ‘pocket your pension’

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.





    COMMENTS

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    25th Mar 2015
    9:51am
    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.
    Daffoir
    25th Mar 2015
    10:44am
    Pete's opinion seconded
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    10:54am
    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.
    Hobbit
    25th Mar 2015
    11:46am
    What majority? How do you know the mind of the majority Pete, shows how logical your thinking is. One eyed.
    Hasbeen
    25th Mar 2015
    11:51am
    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.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:05pm
    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.
    wally
    25th Mar 2015
    10:43pm
    More "Wishin' an' Hopin' Mick.
    bookwyrm
    27th Mar 2015
    8:56pm
    You‘ve hit the nail on the head, Mick! Leave pensioners alone, Abbott!
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    9:55am
    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?
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:06pm
    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.
    Sceptic
    25th Mar 2015
    1:30pm
    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.
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    2:52pm
    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.
    Sceptic
    25th Mar 2015
    3:20pm
    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.
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    3:42pm
    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.
    moke
    25th Mar 2015
    4:26pm
    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.
    Dancer
    25th Mar 2015
    4:29pm
    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.
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2015
    6:12am
    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.
    buby
    29th Mar 2015
    4:33pm
    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
    Chris B T
    25th Mar 2015
    10:09am
    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.
    wally
    25th Mar 2015
    11:44am
    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!
    Chris B T
    25th Mar 2015
    12:29pm
    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.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:08pm
    How about taxing wealthy Australians on their GROSS INCOME. That'll get the tax rorters excited!
    *Imagine*
    25th Mar 2015
    1:32pm
    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.
    Chris B T
    25th Mar 2015
    4:44pm
    *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.
    wally
    25th Mar 2015
    10:42pm
    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..."
    Kali-G
    25th Mar 2015
    10:27am
    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....
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:10pm
    I'd vote for you. Unlike our highly paid pollies you clearly care about this country. The pollies don't.
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    1:22pm
    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.
    Aussiefrog
    25th Mar 2015
    2:24pm
    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.
    particolor
    25th Mar 2015
    3:32pm
    Yes either read the KOOran or join the Greens !!
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    3:41pm
    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.
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    3:50pm
    I will be marching on April 4. I got new rubber tips for my crutches so I can maintain a reasonable speed.
    maxchugg
    31st Mar 2015
    12:03am
    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.
    buby
    1st Apr 2015
    5:16pm
    thats a grand idea Max but do u think they would do it lol??
    Daffoir
    25th Mar 2015
    10:38am
    "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
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    10:58am
    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."
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:11pm
    Give with one hand and take with another. Your boss is shameful....as is his stooge.
    particolor
    25th Mar 2015
    7:32pm
    You'll have a better Beard than Santa Clause before that happens !! :-(
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    12:46am
    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.
    DavidB
    25th Mar 2015
    11:37am
    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.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:13pm
    "Honest"????? This government took the work out of the dictionary!
    never give up
    25th Mar 2015
    1:39pm
    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
    Anonymous
    25th Mar 2015
    8:33pm
    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 .
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2015
    6:26am
    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.
    wally
    25th Mar 2015
    11:42am
    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.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:14pm
    Liars??? Come on wally. This government makes LYING an artform.
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    1:24pm
    Wally, I heard today 'they' are bringing the X Files back. 6 episodes now in production.........
    TREBOR
    25th Mar 2015
    2:25pm
    Episode One - Invasion of the Viagrans... I already wrote that one as MIB IV....
    Jen
    25th Mar 2015
    7:47pm
    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.
    wally
    25th Mar 2015
    10:27pm
    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.
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2015
    6:21am
    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.
    Travellersjoy
    25th Mar 2015
    12:05pm
    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?
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    12:20pm
    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.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:18pm
    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.
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    1:27pm
    I knew I could rely on you Mick to air your blatant hatred of all things connected to the Liberal Party regardless of reality.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:43pm
    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.
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    2:59pm
    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.
    particolor
    25th Mar 2015
    7:52pm
    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 !! :-)
    wally
    26th Mar 2015
    4:00pm
    If Labor is against ANY changes to the Age Pension, does that mean that they will also oppose any increases in the Age Pension?
    Adrianus
    26th Mar 2015
    4:35pm
    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.
    wally
    27th Mar 2015
    3:56pm
    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.
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    12:20pm
    Ho hum! Here we go again! Must be a slow news day.
    Kato
    25th Mar 2015
    12:44pm
    And you believe Labour wouldn't.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:23pm
    Correct me if I am wrong but did Labor not increase pensions when it was in government? And I certainly cannot remember Labor ever attacking pensions. That honour belongs to the current government.
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    3:08pm
    Rudd could hardly wait to be sworn in as PM so he could attack the age pensioners. Without hesitation he raised the eligibility age to 67, saying it would save $6b in the Budget!!
    wally
    27th Mar 2015
    3:58pm
    If Labor did that, it was probably the only good thing they did after they sacked Rudd and Gillard!
    Adrianus
    27th Mar 2015
    5:00pm
    Rudd is not finished in his battle with the unions. If Tony Sheldon, Bill Shorten and their union buddies think they can bully the labor party around with a Union vote equal to caucus then they will have a battle. Looks like Albo will join Rudd in this fight. God save Australia will be our catchcry if the Unions get back into government and come out of the closet.
    Ming
    25th Mar 2015
    12:56pm
    The left wing loonies spent the money. They have no sensible solution to the problem so they and their fellow travelers will cause as much chaos as possible, as Mr Shorten says " when you don't know where you are going any road will take you there." Just so long as I don't have to go the same road!!!!
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:30pm
    So you lost your job during the GFC? And you are going to refuse to use the NBN when it is up and running? And of course you will want this government to move the tax free threshhold from $18 000 back to $5 000?
    You are full of it Ming. Whilst you attack the deficit you take all the goodies and do not ask this government why it removed the debt ceiling, why it has no intention of balancing the books and why it is handing $billions to the rich whilst coming after the poor.
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    1:37pm
    Whoa! Such a personal attack on a contributor is unacceptable mick.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:50pm
    I defy you to fault the facts. They are not political vitriole like much of what you post.
    Stick to the facts Frank!
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    2:45pm
    Ming it is part of the left ideology to cut down the tall poppies in order to make themselves look good.

    Hey mick, I'm down here. HA HA HA!!!
    Sceptic
    25th Mar 2015
    3:46pm
    What else happened when the threshold was raised to $18,000 mick?
    Sceptic
    25th Mar 2015
    4:18pm
    No answer mick? I will help you out. The marginal rate was increased on the lowest two thresholds. Thus hitting the lower paid.

    By the way, due to the low income offset the effective tax free threshold before the change was $16,000.
    wally
    26th Mar 2015
    10:58pm
    mick, for someone who likes accusing other people of being trolls, your above remarks look like the work of the sort of troll you claim to despise. More discussion of ideas and less vitriolic abuse of others, please. Unless, of course, you have run out of ideas.
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2015
    6:35am
    I also was misled to believe Labor spent the money, but actually I've learned it was the Howard Government that spent it all - gifting huge tax cuts to the well-to-do. If those tax cuts were reversed, the budget would be in balance. But no, take it from the poor retirees, who've already suffered hits to their income through interest rate cuts (that again benefited the younger and better off). Don't touch the tax concessions on super for the rich though?

    Did you all know that it costs the taxpayer more to keep a so-called ''self-funded retiree'' in retirement for 20 years than it does to keep a full aged pensioner? Superannuation tax concessions to the rich cost the country more than aged pensions.

    FACT: Our pensions are lower than most in the developed world.
    FACT: A large number of Australian pensioners live in poverty.
    FACT: CPI increases do NOT compensate adequately for cost of living increases for the poor, because they factor in cost falls in luxury items pensioners don't buy.
    FACT: Australia has one of the best targeted, most efficient and least costly pension systems in the world.
    FACT: Pension costs are not rising at a worrying rate, and as the impact of compulsory superannuation is increasingly felt, more and more retirees will be self-funded or partly self-funded, driving continuing falls in pension costs.

    The proposed cuts are unacceptable to any decent, thinking Australia. They are selfishly indulgent to the privileged and a denial of fairness to those who rely on the pension for survival.
    Pass the Ductape
    25th Mar 2015
    1:06pm
    As soon as Kevin-o-seven dropped that little pressie into our bank account I wondered how long it would take before it was going to be reclaimed!
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:32pm
    I never got any of this.....and out of principal did not agree with it.
    You coukd have handed the dough back Ductape.
    bananabender
    25th Mar 2015
    1:24pm
    So, are the Abbott supporters denying that Abbott intends to raise the age pension eligibility age to 70?

    And are they denying that he intends to link 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?

    And are they denying that he promised NO changes to the age pension before the election?

    Perhaps it would be more productive to get behind Your Life Choices in their attempts to save YOU money, rather than parroting Liberal drivel.
    KSS
    25th Mar 2015
    1:46pm
    bananabender, people are still allowed in Australia to have differing opinions. Some here disagree with what the current Government is trying to do, others agree and support their efforts. All have the right to express their opinions. All have the right to answer or comment on previous posts.

    What they should not be doing is insulting other contributors, making unfounded allegations against others or treating other posters with disrespect.
    Ming
    25th Mar 2015
    1:47pm
    What rubbish! bananabender, you may have the banana infection! The sooner the age pension age is raised the better, just like Labor did to 67. The changes you refer to all take effect after the next election, so if the majority don't like them the government can be voted out and the brainy Labor union hasbeens can implement another round of voodo adjustments to our economy. The good news is that I will be passed to the other side before the chickens really come home to roost, it will be up to the next generations to bear the burden. So cheer up, spend up, live dangerously and die before the piper has to be paid.
    MICK
    25th Mar 2015
    1:52pm
    And what else dies one expect from the above posters. Good one Frank. You can run but you can't hide.
    bananabender
    25th Mar 2015
    2:14pm
    I agree that commenters shouldn't be insulting each other, KSS. I have always found that those who see the need to do so are coming from a weak position with their argument. Civilised people discuss. The rest argue.
    Adrianus
    25th Mar 2015
    3:13pm
    mick you seriously need some time off work. You remember what happened when your neighbours sold and the raunchy parties started. You don't want that do you? The signs are there mick, take a break.
    Tommy
    25th Mar 2015
    1:56pm
    Now, if they want to start cutting pensions, how about that they start on their own pension.
    As far as I am concerned. They should be on the same pension as everybody else. Look at the money that they would save. It would probably clear the deficit.
    Sorrento Jo
    25th Mar 2015
    2:06pm
    Instead of getting all your information from the Guardian (very pro Labor) and Get Up (very, very pro Labor and Green), how about a bit of balanced reporting.
    TREBOR
    25th Mar 2015
    2:22pm
    I heard Joe's speech and it was just a lot of words without any content, using the usual buzz words, such as growth, jobs, families.... no plan at all...

    There are many ideas around about superannuation, including my very own, which is the simple idea that beyond a certain point where an adequate income is deemed to be receivable from superannuation, the rest above that is considered savings and earning is taxed accordingly, the same as earning from money saved in an account is. Both have already paid some tax - though super is taxed at a lower rate in several ways - yet interest from savings is fully taxable while that from excess superannuation is not.

    Many an anomaly there an plenty of room for a review.
    Nascar.
    25th Mar 2015
    2:36pm
    No worries, the bastards will be out next election.
    Ming
    25th Mar 2015
    3:47pm
    An intelligent comment from a real intelligent person!!!!!!!!!!
    B5YCK
    25th Mar 2015
    2:48pm
    Your life choices is about choices!
    The editors of this site, made a choice to be on the far left and as they have readers who are middle of the road or are to the far right, neither of them are served well with this unbalanced view.
    Pull up the stakes and stay in the middle and report truthfully.
    AlbertC
    25th Mar 2015
    4:25pm
    you want to save money for your liberal wolves in sheep's clothing then lay a new law creating a special super tax on ceos who take home in excess between 20 million and 50 million a a year not sure how many CEO,s we have in aus but if they were taxed heavy it would be a few billion saved
    then you would not have to tax the poor or cut the pension.! have a nice day .
    Justsane
    25th Mar 2015
    4:48pm
    Reporting facts is not showing bias. The LNP government does intend to index the age pension only to CPI from 2017, ditching the average wage as a benchmark, and they intend to increase the pension age to 70 years.

    There are 3.7 million pensioners now. We have the numbers, people. We vote, don't we? Why is the pension benchmark even only 28% of the average wage, why not 30% or even 35%? This does not seem too high. How will the government pay for this? Stop giving hand-outs to the very rich, such as superannuation concessions to the top earners, that's how.
    Tommy
    25th Mar 2015
    7:28pm
    And politicians perks should be stopped as well.
    Young
    25th Mar 2015
    5:44pm
    I no longer comment on this page as I get abused and called a government troll.I was reared to respect elders and others opinions,but it does not happen here.Some of those who comment here all day long must have little to do.
    Stoker
    25th Mar 2015
    6:34pm
    Same here Browny, I was amazed at some of the personal abuse that comes through.
    Pam Qld
    25th Mar 2015
    6:54pm
    Let's make savings starting with politicians. No payment for life when they leave office and all the extra's that the average person does not get. It is just a job that they chose to do or do they just do this job to milk the poor average Australian once again.

    PK
    GeorgeS
    25th Mar 2015
    8:03pm
    Indexation of Commonwealth Public Service (CPS) retirees superannuation pension has always been indexed to the CPI. Despite CPS pensioners appeals going back more than ten years both Liberal and Labour governments would not improve public service pension indexation to that of old age pension indexation. All those arguments that Labour uses to criticise the Abbott government's proposed changes to old age pension indexation are a carbon copy of CPS retirees arguments that Labour rejected when in power. In other words its OK to force a reduced standard of living on CPS pensioners but not on old age pensioners. The Public Service Unions have not woken up to the fact that the government is taking back slowly in retirement the wage increases won while working.
    Alexii
    25th Mar 2015
    9:08pm
    If I recall correctly the good abbott promised to NOT change pensions. As with many of his other promises that he is/has broken he wants to change pensions - change them detrimentally that is. If he were to make a proportional attack upon the very wealthy individuals and very wealthy businesses both of which groups apparently get away with paying little or no tax, then he wouldn't need to attack the more vulnerable people's incomes.
    Paulodapotter
    26th Mar 2015
    12:06am
    Same ol', same ol'. Abbott and his genii think strongly if they protect the rich, they will stay in power. They might be right. After all Abbott is an intellectual giant of his time.
    Adrianus
    26th Mar 2015
    8:22am
    Alexii I wonder what would happen if we hounded the job creators out of business or taxed the multinationals till they did all their business in Ireland?
    One of the reasons for our rising unemployment is that the unions have made it difficult for small business (-200 employees) to employ. This government is showing what can be done. Tasmania went from nearly 9% to now only 6.4% unemployed in less than 2 years. South Australia was heading toward being a basket case but the unions agreeing to abolish penalty rates at least gives some hope for a brighter future. When the economy gets really bad the number of your group called "the more vulnerable" will expand. So please don't be blinded by a political ideology which will eventually destroy us. The May budget will hopefully have some fillips for small business (the enemy of Labor).
    Alexii
    27th Mar 2015
    8:23pm
    I doubt if any of us want to "hound them out of business", Frank. For myself and probably many others, we want to see these wealthy characters and big businesses who currently pay little or no tax pay there fair share of the taxes. The trouble is that governments find it easier to slug the small, the weak, the economically disadvantaged than to tax the powerful. It's all well and good to say they pay 48% tax, but on what amount of income do these really wealthy ones actually pay that tax - they have so many perks and perks, don;t they. The big businesses e.g. Apple have their overseas tax havens and likewise do many wealthy Australians it would seem whereas the ordinary Joe Blog has no such haven and probably wouldn't dream of it. No, I'm not blinded by political ideology and I think that I am a realist able to think for myself and criticise politicians of any persuasion.
    Adrianus
    29th Mar 2015
    3:23pm
    If you are talking about multinationals, I think the ATO is finally launching a crackdown on their profit shifting and foreign debt deductions. No country should be charging high interest on borrowings these days, so that sort of thing should have alarms ringing and red flags waiving. What is wrong with the ATO?
    carmencita
    26th Mar 2015
    12:42am
    I think Hockey is short sighted. What he needs to look at is superannuation and how to improve it so that it will be the source of retirement income and thus reduce the number of people relying on government funded pension. Increasing pension age is not the answer because we know that as we age our productivity is affected because of the so many afflictions caused by physical degeneration which is expected.
    Adrianus
    26th Mar 2015
    8:50am
    carmencita, one of the problems with Super is that it puts a lump sum in the hands of many retirees who otherwise would not be able to help themselves. The temptation to destroy that wealth in order to maximise a government pension is in some cases too strong for people with a lifetime entrenched culture. There are many people who now want access to their Super to buy a house. I think the hardship provision is just right the way it is. We need to learn how to live within our means and not max out our credit cards on the journey to retirement.
    Radish
    29th Mar 2015
    2:45pm
    My parents owned their home before retirement. The idea of buying your home with your superannuation was never heard of before now as far as I am aware. To gain access to your superannuation you had to have a very, very good reason...i.e. had a terminal illness.
    Denzel
    26th Mar 2015
    6:40pm
    It is high time the government stops the disgraceful behaviour of would be retirees spending and/or gifting their super to family, so they can go on the pension.
    Disgusting.
    This article is written by a labor apologist. So transparent
    Chris B T
    26th Mar 2015
    9:24pm
    A lot of over 50 somethings left school at 15/17 not many went on to tertiary education.
    There was no Free education ( until Whitlam Government)
    No dole,only sudscrition for males (Vietnam War) if you can't find a job.
    Compared today Year 12 Secondary Education, Subsidize Tertiary Education and dole,
    living from home allowance for tertiary education.
    The collection of taxes and expenditure are vastly different, from past to now.
    So to say you can't maintain The Pension At Present Level because of Tax Receipts.
    Just remenber who were paying TAXES Longer without benefit of Social Security Payments,
    that are available today.
    Maintain The Pension At Present Level ( Born before 1965 ) Then change by Granfather

    28th Mar 2015
    6:54am
    I can't believe the comments on this page. So many reflect either total ignorance or gross selfishness. Whether you are a Liberal or Labor supporter should make no difference. This is a question of decency and compassion. Already, 1 in 4 pensioners in Australia live in poverty. Arrogant, self-righteous people assume it's somehow their fault. Obviously they have no capacity for empathy and no compassion for people who suffered chronic ill-health, were denied educational opportunity, suffered childhood abuse in institutions, endured trauma or survived serious crisis. Sure, there are pensioners who abuse the system. I know some. So target that to the extent that it's possible, but it's impossible to stamp out all abuse. Punishing an entire class of disadvantaged for the dishonesty of a few is unacceptable.

    The government's proposal is cruel, unfair and economically irresponsible. Retirees have already suffered a huge hit to their lifestyles through interest rate falls (which benefit younger workers). Pensioners are already living in poverty. CPI increases do not compensate for cost of living increases for the poor, because the poor don't buy the luxury goods that influence the CPI movement.

    Australia's expenditure on pensions is low by world standards. Our pension system is well targeted, efficient, and inexpensive. But our pensions are lower than those in most developed countries. The bulk of taxpayer funds goes to well-to-do superannuants in tax concessions. So-called ''self-funded retirees'' actually cost the country more than full aged pensioners. And by cutting concessions on super at the top end, much bigger savings would be achieved than by attacking the poorest in the country. Plus, every cent spent in pensions goes back to the economy to generate revenue growth and more employment.

    Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, should be opposing the unconscionable and economically irresponsible proposal to change pensions - one that represents a gross betrayal of voters' trust.

    Stop attacking the author and start recognizing the facts. There is no political bias here. It's just truth. CPI indexation will cut pensions over time. If it didn't, there would be no Government savings and therefore no purpose to the change. And we DO NOT need to grind more of our aged and disadvantaged into poverty to pay a debt created by giving too many concessions to the rich. We need to take a little back from those who can afford to contribute to fixing the deficit, and maintain the ''fair go'' mentality and the empathy and compassion that underpinned this country until recently.

    Our aged ARE entitled to a decent standard of living. Targeted measures to curb waste should be applauded. Cruel across-the-board attacks on the most vulnerable should never be tolerated.
    wally
    28th Mar 2015
    5:35pm
    It would appear that the government is likely to follow/initiate a one size fits all pensions policy. Or if you prefer, to hammer on the round pegs until they fit the round holes. This is a time honoured bureaucratic policy that ignores individual circumstances that is usually instituted for bureaucratic convenience rather than any attempt tp produce anything that resembles "fairness". The bureaucrats, and by default, their Ministers, will use the line that "Somebody always loses out" in announcing their decision so it becomes a fait accompli.
    Whether this come to pass will depend on its acceptance by the Senate.

    28th Mar 2015
    7:18am
    Those supporting the Government's proposal would do well to read a little more widely and consider the true facts about CPI increases. They DO NOT have any relativity to cost of living increases for pensioners. Here's why:

    The CPI tries to get a balance of all households, and so assumes, for example, that households on average spend 0.69 per cent of their weekly earning on child-care. But child-care is not a concern for most aged pensioners or self-funded retiree households for obvious reasons.

    Similarly, the CPI estimates 16.84 per cent of weekly expenditure is spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages. But given such things are necessities, it's not surprising that households with lower incomes will spend a greater proportion of their income on food.

    The CPI assumes everyone spends a fair percentage of their income on travel costs and restaurant meals, but pensioners don't. Nor do most pensioners buy land and houses, which are also included in the weighting. Pensioners are also less likely to spend much on insurance. But utility costs (electricity, gas, and water) make up a significant portion of a pensioner's expenditure, so rises in these costs (which have been rapid lately) impact heavily on pensioners but not so heavily on the CPI.

    The PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY COST OF LIVING MEASURE is a separate measure designed to measure the real cost of living increase for pensioners. This is a far more accurate guide than the CPI if the Government wants to index pensions in a fair manner. The CPI bears minimal relationship to the real cost of living increases pensioners suffer, and therefore its use for indexing pensions is irresponsible and totally inappropriate.

    To better understand how inappropriate the CPI is as a measure of cost of living increases, read http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-06/jericho-rising-living-costs-are-hitting-some-of-us-harder/5649824
    Okay, it's ABC media - so it's biased, right? Actually, it's based on statistics that are independently compiled by a neutral party and if you read it objectively, it exposes the true facts about cost of living and wage increases and how they impact different households.

    Life Choices is not singing from the labor party hymn sheet. It's reporting the true facts. It's the Liberals and their supporters who are lying on this issue.
    Adrianus
    28th Mar 2015
    8:33am
    Rainey you sound like you work for the same organisation as mick. Why is it that those who don't share your political view are liars? Sounds childish to me. You say you are a Liberal voter and always have been. Well how many people do you think would believe that statement? If you don't think electricity prices have an impact on the CPI then please explain why the CPI dropped by .8% due to the repeal of the Carbon Tax? Prior to the Carbon Tax introduction Treasury forecast the new tax would add .7% to the CPI. Personally I would call that "weighing heavily", it appears to be approximately 28% of the CPI. Your heart may be in the right place but you have the hymn book. :)
    Alexii
    28th Mar 2015
    11:58am
    Well said, Rainey. I fully agree with you.
    Justsane
    28th Mar 2015
    3:53pm
    Yes, well said, Rainey, and well researched. It always amazes me how some people can see bias when presented with mere facts.

    But it is true that the LNP, federally anyway, appears to have moved to the very far right of late, and seems to have little compassion for people in general and the most vulnerable in particular. Take the draconian obligations placed on those eeking out an existence on the dole, the proposed substantial increases to University fees, the Medicare co-payment, which would have hit the poorer the hardest, as well as the proposed changes to the pension. Thank goodness for the crossbenchers in the Senate, who have stopped some of these changes.

    Therefore, to stop Australia going down the gurgler, and ending up with a very inequitable society where the rich have everything and the rest just get the crumbs (which is not good economically, either) perhaps some conservative voters should re-think who they vote for in the next election. Left leaning parties tend to be more compassionate, especially in the current climate.
    Anonymous
    30th Mar 2015
    2:14pm
    Firstly, Frank, I don't work for any ''organization''. And secondly, it appears you don't comprehend very well. I didn't call anyone a ''liar''. Branding people is childish, and I don't engage in that sort of behavior. I address issues. Nor do I, as you have done, make an ASS out of U and ME by making incorrect assumptions about people I don't know.
    What I said is that the Liberals are lying on the issue of CPI pension increases. And they are. I also didn't say that electricity prices don't impact on the CPI. I said they impact more heavily on pensioners than on the CPI. That's plain common sense. The CPI looks at the AVERAGE expenditure on electricity as a portion of total household costs. But poor families spend a higher percentage of their income on electricity than better off families. Same with food. Therefore, the CPI does NOT reflect the changes to costs of living for pensioners, which is why there is a separate Pensioners' and Beneficiaries' Cost of Living Index. Yes, when electricity prices skyrocket, or fall dramatically, the result is reflected strongly in the CPI provided other costs do not vary to a similar degree. That does not affect the argument that the CPI doesn't accurately reflect cost of living changes for pensioners. By factoring in things like land costs, cars, home building or buying costs, furnishings, entertainment, travel, education, child care, financial services, and a host of other commodities that pensioners seldom or never buy, the CPI is always skewed to reflect changes to the incomes of average income earners rather than those on low incomes.
    The Liberals ARE lying about pension increases. They are claiming credit for recent increases that were legislated long before they came to power and that have nothing to do with them, and they are lying about the likely impact of indexation changes - focusing on claims that pensions will still rise with the cost of living when they know very well the rises will be less than the increases in costs of living for pensioners.
    And finally, I don't care what wrong assumptions anyone makes about me. I have always been a Liberal voter (until recently), and I switched allegiance because the current Liberal Government does not adhere to Liberal/National principles and is not governing in the best interests of the nation. There is far too much self-interest and dishonesty reflected in their policies and speeches, and I could NEVER support a politician who insults decent, hard-working Australians by calling them ''leaners'' when they finally can no longer work and they rightfully claim the entitlements that 40+ years of working and paying taxes earned them. It's vile and disgusting.
    AM
    30th Mar 2015
    4:45pm
    I came across GETUP when we protested against the carbon tax. At that time they were pro paying tax for the air we breathe and now they are scaremongering about the age pension! I also remember that GETUP are part of the union and always supported Labor.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    12:42am
    GETUP have NEVER been pro paying tax for the air we breathe, and they are NOT scaremongering about the age pension. They have stated accurate and verifiable facts that even leading retired Liberal leaders agree with.

    As for being part of the union and always supporting Labor - that's never been my observation, but then I don't judge people on their assumed political affiliations. I look at the individual issues they speak on and make an informed decision about the merits of each argument. Anyone who takes time to research will quickly discover that their claims about the aged pension are 100% correct. The Government is proposing to reduce it over time (otherwise they wouldn't save money by their proposed measures) by aligning it to the CPI (which bears no relationship to pensioners' costs of living at all) and doing so will increase the already significant proportion of aged pensioners living in poverty.

    Condemn them all your like, but Labor, the Greens, PUP, independents, and even retired Liberal leaders have all put forward fair, equitable and sensible measures for reducing the deficit, but the Government seems hell-bent on attacking the poor to line the pockets of the wealthy. This is not a political statement. I've always voted Liberal. It's a statement about the current Government, which is NOT following the Liberal mantra.
    AM
    30th Mar 2015
    4:45pm
    I came across GETUP when we protested against the carbon tax. At that time they were pro paying tax for the air we breathe and now they are scaremongering about the age pension! I also remember that GETUP are part of the union and always supported Labor.

    30th Mar 2015
    5:29pm
    Its about time we hit back and told them to chase after those elite who only put in a return and pay tax using accountants and loop holes trust accounts etc etc and send money off shore before hitting those pensioners who did pay their taxes in full on PAYG. And Multinationals like Google Apple etc who profit shift to avoid tax here. About time we took back democracy as depleted by big business and ealthy paying donations to all parties incl Greens now for favours. Like put up GST - (silently saying forget us not paying anything like the same percentage on incomes as the PAYG working men and women of Oz) And dont even mention we should have to have our gross income paid reported by each company we sit on Boards or do consulting etc for. All those lovely trust accounts, offshore banking of profits to avoid tax and other loop holes. Why even the men are rorting Centrelink with claiming more than 1 wife - but forget that - get the easy target - pensioners. And why? too busy arguing Labor v Abbott to speak up for themselves if Meeting Place here is a true example and no different to other Senior forums in that.

    30th Mar 2015
    6:01pm
    Reading comments - gotta love the "I provided for my retirement why didnt you?"
    Really? Most age pensioners today were told pay you income taxes and a pension will there waiting for you. And of course the system was a levy on income tax going into the Pension Fund which was closed in 1950 and monies transferred along with regulation of levy never changed or stopped so even today ppl paying for age pension. Yet all parties conveniently forgot and deny this ever happened. Hansard recorded it. But then it gets murky. And Super - mandatory only started in 1990. So how on earth could most 'provide' more? some companies had pension funds where ppl paid in and even companies did for middle management and execs. But in the 90's when the sh*t hit the Fan and companies were going to the wall - funny thing happened to these pension funds - gone with the wind and only after Howard's B-in-L company was caught did he bring in gov compensation but for very few. So with this history it is very arrogant of any one to be complacent.
    I'd like to see loop holes for Trusts and offshore accounts plus profit shifting by Multinationals companies closed off. As well as super concessions for the very wealthy - save billions. And at least one more tier of income tax put in on top of the current 47% or 49% with levy. And that for any pay over the 1 or 2 million mark for 60% tax Now that would solve a lot of problems. And agree with most comments re Foreign Aid being cut but most of all we have to cut immigration and in particular humanitarian - as we cannot afford to keep ppl on the dole for life when we have so few jobs they could do. As well as skilled - maybe only guest workers as they also push up prices on homes and take jobs leaving business not paying as once did to train ppl in jobs. Plus look at women working with young families and cost of child care - used to stop til last at school leaving a job vacancy for younger coming behind - now taxpayer pays maternity leave, as well as dole monies for the younger folk who unable to get jobs. Lots of ways to save money - and not punish those who did work paid taxes and help build this place to where all want to come.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    12:34am
    Couldn't agree more, Big Val. But as you say above, too many retirees are too busy arguing Labor vs Liberal politics, boasting about their own success in saving for retirement, or making wild assumptions about people whose situation they know nothing about to actually deal in FACTS.

    The FACT is that the CPI does not relate to cost of living increases for pensioners, and thus reliance on it to adjust pensions is unfair; retirees have already suffered huge losses due to interest rate falls (which benefit younger workers), the GFC etc.; and most retirees DID pay for their retirement through a taxation system designed to fund aged pensions - in an era when few had superannuation and many who did lost their super money through mismanagement by fund managers.

    The FACT is that we retirees supported our parents and grandparents without complaint, as did generations before us - in an era when interest rates returns were much higher and means tests much more generous. Pensions in Australia are low by world standards, resulting in many aged living in poverty. Our pension costs are low and NOT rising much, and with compulsory super and improved affluence, more and more people are retiring with savings and not drawing full pensions. This trend will continue.

    And the really significant fact: keeping a self-funded retiree in retirement costs the taxpayer more in tax concessions than keeping a full pensioner - with most of the taxpayer burden being imposed through huge concessions to the very wealthy. Cutting concessions to the wealthiest 10% would save far, far more than the proposed cuts to pensions and would not damage the economy the way cutting consumption at the low end will.

    Bottom line: The Government has got it terribly wrong on this issue, and it doesn't matter which party you support or which politicians you like or despise, anyone examining the facts and anyone with an ounce of empathy and human decency should be protesting their proposals on pensions vigorously. The aged pension IS an entitlement for people who worked and paid taxes for 40+ years, and the disability pension IS an entitlement for the genuinely disabled in a caring society. There is abuse, and it would be good to be address that - but NOT by attacking every recipient and grinding more people into poverty.
    professori_au
    31st Mar 2015
    1:56pm
    The government has no Mandate. Parliament cannot make a Mandate as they are the servant.
    We have, I believe only 6 Mandates in Australia. They are called referendum. the present government do not represent the people. They represent the interests of a vested few, including the power factions of any political party. If they were to get a people's Mandate then go back to the lawful government (we the people) and not some foreign corporate power. I am amazed that so many people believe they work for them
    wally
    1st Apr 2015
    1:45pm
    And they all want to take away our "sit down money " entitlements for their own devious purposes.
    Not Senile Yet!
    31st Mar 2015
    7:58pm
    Just cannot believe how many on this site actually believe all the propaganda spread by the relevant vested interests in swaying people to the left or the right POV!!!!
    Cannot also believe the outrageous comments from KSS and Frank as well as Mick etc etc. all falling for the same Political Trick that has been used for 50 years....
    DIVIDE AND CONQUER....divide the people....create debate...create aggro...get the rich against the poor...get the Religions to fight each other and so on so on so on and so on!!!!
    Small minded equals single minded equals simple minded!!!!
    The Parties control Government!
    The Parties buy the MP's through financial backing!
    The MP's then do not have the right to Represent anyone other than the Party!!!
    And here on-line you all crow about which Party is Right and which one is wrong like barracking for your local footy/soccer/rugby team!!!
    Please continue unabated about how well educated and informed you all are!!!
    Attacking the Pensioners to save money because neither Government/Party is able to BALANCE the Budget is the Crappiest move I have ever witnessed.....trying to justify it is even worse!!!!
    Blame Labor Blame Liberals Blame anyone.....but do not look at the actual fact that both Parties are Corrupt to Hell and so are their members and their Puppets!!!!
    Oh yeah it's all the union's fault...or it's all the Boss's fault!!!!
    Blame Blame Blame!!!!
    Cutting money from the Pensioners' is an insult to all the Diggers who never made it back!!!
    If they were alive and could witness our spineless Mp's on both sides even contemplating such an absurd idea...they'd march on Parliament as they would an enemy!!!!
    Stop getting conned into the Blame others mentality!!!!
    It is the Parties (Both) that are screwing the people!!!!
    Stop voting them back into OUR Parliament!
    Adrianus
    31st Mar 2015
    8:23pm
    NSY, you will not make Labor look good by saying all parties are corrupt. Likewise you will not look any more intelligent than the rest of us by doing the same thing. ha ha ha :) Good try.
    Megleg
    7th Apr 2015
    1:21pm
    I am sure that the pension Abbott receives when he retires will not be anything like the pension the general public receives!!!!


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