28th Apr 2015
Means test could save budget

A report released on Monday by the Centre for Independent Studies may encourage the Federal Government to push forward with plans to include the family home in the pension assets test.

The calculations in the report suggest that asset-testing the family home and encouraging retirees to borrow against that home in order to get a pension, could result in $14.5 billion slashed from the pension bill and a $6000 increase to the pension. These changes would also see non-home owners with assets no longer receiving a lower pension than home owners with assets tied up in their house.

The Centre for Independent Studies is a think tank that is pro free-enterprise and, one of the report’s authors, Matthew Taylor, believes that these changes to the pension assets test “could be popular if it's explained carefully”. He also says that “It would need a cultural change, and the government would have to build a case, but it would make the pension sustainable.”

In an attempt to have retirees fund their own pensions, the plan would see the government creates stricter rules surrounding reverse mortgages. Retirees would be encouraged to borrow up to 80 per cent of the value of their home, which would be accessed as regular pension payments. This mortgage would have set fees, but most importantly, come with a government guarantee that the home owner would not be forced out of their home.

These significant changes would see 70 per cent of those receiving the full Age Pension moved onto the part Age Pension and 24 per cent of singles and 32 per cent of couples moved off the part Age Pension.

These changes would allow increases in the full Age Pension rates to match the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s (ASFA) yearly budget standards for living a modest lifestyle of $23,469 per year for singles and $33,766 for couples.

Read more at www.theage.com.au

Opinion: Is means testing the family home fair?

With another Federal Budget blowout expected next month, it comes as no surprise that the Government is looking to make cuts wherever possible. It’s difficult to argue with the logic behind the report released by The Centre for Independent Studies into means-testing the family home. But is it fair?

I certainly agree with many points in the report, especially the part where it hopes to even the playing field. Under the current system, a home-owner with the same number of assets tied up in their house as a non-home owner with assets, may receive a higher pension.

The question you really need to ask yourself when deciding on this matter, is whether the pension is simply a safety net to fund those without the necessary assets and resources, or is it an entitlement every Australian deserves for paying taxes all their life and contributing to what the country is today?





    COMMENTS

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    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    10:11am
    Old Joe Hockey cant help himself attacking the seniors now its about our homes ......and if he gets his way there be no more inheritance for the kids........Joe Hockey and our PM should stand down as the worse two politicians in Australia history..........You never hear them say their cutting on thousands of their wages?? they be mad if they did.
    Golfer
    28th Apr 2015
    1:06pm
    Sorry to correct you Tia-Maria but there have been 3 worse politicians in Australia and all were once PMs. Remember Rudd, Gillard and Rudd again.....they're the 3 and the country is still trying to recover from those financially draining and embarrassing years.
    Rob
    28th Apr 2015
    1:24pm
    Very true Golfer
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    1:38pm
    I think it is a great idea especially if people can get stamp duty exemptions to downsize. All MPs should seriously consider this proposal as the pension should only be simply a safety net to fund those without the necessary assets and resources.
    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    2:34pm
    Golfer, Rob and Bonny. all spoken words coming from a Liberal voters.........Joe Hockey this idiot needs to take a step back and leave the pensioners alone.........we are the hard workers of yesterday and we earn our rights to do with our homes the way we feel fit...........He can go after the DOLE BLUDGERS of Australia who have never contribute to any taxes and in a big kick up the Ass.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    2:41pm
    Unfortunately I am not a Liberal voter but someone who knows that the pension as we know it is unsustainable and is going to change probably sooner rather than later. What I don't understand is why people who will be better off financially in their retirement are so concerned about their house being treated like any other asset. Most people's kids will already be well established and don't need to be given anything when their parents die. So what is the problem here?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2015
    3:14pm
    I notice that Frank the paid troll and his other avatars are busy above politicizing this issue. This disreputable government has no morals.
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    4:16pm
    I can understand you being upset about this possible change mick.
    particolor
    28th Apr 2015
    4:43pm
    All I noticed was how Quick they Attacked !! :-) One after the other ! Are they Linked ? :-) :-)
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    5:17pm
    There are two possible explanations.
    1. It is a conspiracy.
    or
    2. There are many others (apart from myself) who can not only think for themselves but can deliver clear and concise logical import.
    BWAHAAAA!!!! :)
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:42pm
    I'm not a paid troll just someone who feels that the old age pension is being paid to many people who don't need it.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:04pm
    You are right, Bonny - but you seem to direct your arguments at those who are well below the point where they are rorting the system.

    Perhaps that's why they are calling you a troll... though, to be fair, it may only be a question of 23 million people separated by a common language......
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    6:28pm
    Most of the people here would benefit from this proposal but for some reason just can't see it.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    11:03pm
    Provided the 'floor' for considering it an asset was reasonable and indexed. Too high and the fat cats get away with it again - too low and you kill off the people who deserve a fair go.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2015
    2:14am
    You are alone Frank....apart from your posts under different names.
    We all want a fair system but robbing your children of their inheritance is not the way. And let's face it the rich will have their outs. They always do. So average Australians will be 'harvested'......just what this government has been trying to do since being elected. So let's not kid ourselves that this monster has changed its spot. It hasn't. Just tried the next on.
    Adrianus
    29th Apr 2015
    8:06am
    Bonny, could it be they simply don't want their pension to increase or they are the rorters? I was watching "The Wolf of Wall Street" recently and as the story goes he opened Swiss Bank Accounts in his Auntie's name. Could it be that in Australia we could have a wolf of Centrelink with property in Japan and Canada for example?
    Bonny
    29th Apr 2015
    1:48pm
    That's not as silly as you may think Frank. About 40 years ago when Centrelink as it is now known was first computerised one of the programmers couldn't make his program balance the books due to rounding errors and the accountants were annoyed about it. So he came up with a brilliant idea and added up all these fractions of cents and sent a cheque each pay run to his grandmother. It was only when his grandmother thought she had been overpaid and the honest lady queried it that it all came to light. Moral of the story is tell your grandmother everything.
    Adrianus
    29th Apr 2015
    3:02pm
    Who would have thought? Very interesting Bonny. I think it may be time for a new computer system and it's good to see Bill Shorten supporting Tony Abbott on this.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    6:12pm
    TREBOR
    I agree that those living in "Family Investment Mansions" should not get the pension!
    I suggest the "Floor" for this exercise (for starters) to be as follows:
    1 Limit depends on the suburb (Geographical area) of property
    2 Before the "Limit" is reviewed, honest/realistic evaluation MUST be completed
    3 Adequate Transition time" provided when needed - to possibly downscale
    4 Change/amend to "Basic Rules" MUST be via Referendum only !!!
    wally
    29th Apr 2015
    10:38pm
    Mick, you might at least address the issue that is up for discussion rather than waste everyone's time with your vendetta and attacks on posters you do not agree with. Play the ball and not use the troll's tactic of playing the man.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2015
    11:51pm
    The only people "wasting time" are those promoting either side of politics. Frank and his avatars who keep running the paid adds. Perhaps you could help end this too.
    Adrianus
    1st May 2015
    8:13am
    wally is right mick. There are enough Labor supporters here without you adding your bit. A friend asked a question the other day. How expensive is it to own a car in Japan with their Shaken Law?
    PlanB
    28th Apr 2015
    10:34am
    Hands off the family home --I never worked my arse off to be free of debt to get into debt again and I want to be able to leave something to my Son who has health problems.

    These pollies should have a look at their own lurks and perks, they could save a bundle there but no they like to attack the less well off, well my message to them is bugga off!
    Hasbeen
    28th Apr 2015
    10:54am
    There is no logical reason why the taxpayer should have to fund your sons inheritance by paying you the pension Plan B.

    I think it is entirely fair to expect us oldies to use our accumulated wealth to support ourselves in our old age. However having said that I am entirely sick of funding the spendthrift or bludger who has not made the effort to provide for themselves when they could have. If asked in this way to continue to support bludgers into my old age I would most definitely would rebel, & take action to circumvent it.

    If such a scheme were to be introduced, giving us no advantage in having " worked my arse off to be free of debt" as you say, I would have sold my home & have had a year or two living it up just before retirement.

    If such a system, unfair to the thrifty were to exist I would most definitely have secreted quite a bit of wealth, bank notes or gold for example, in a tin carefully hidden before retirement.

    We are going to have to do something to reduce the debt bequeathed to us by Rudd/Gillard, but this is not it.
    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    11:22am
    Has been, well what can I say????...first your a Liberal voter to start with ( so stop blaming the Labour ???(take a wack at the Liberal party for what they like to do to us retirees) We have worked our butts off paid taxes all our lives and we did it tough..........this government can leave us a lone.....our homes should be left to our children as their inheritance......after all no government gave us big hands outs in our time.(except for the pensions and its only peanuts for politicians take)
    Start picking on Dole bludgers for a change.
    PlanB
    28th Apr 2015
    11:36am
    Hasbeen, I also worked and paid my taxes, so told I was able to get the pension--I also looked after some sick family members --plus my Husband who passed away --so saved the bloody Government even MORE money so you and your Liberal ideas can go and do what I wish this Government would do.
    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    12:00pm
    PlanB spot on.................Has been well what can I say?????
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    1:50pm
    I will say it again - a Pension is a fully paid for and fully pre-taxed Right taken from increasingly high levies on income tax to provide for 'social security'. As part of Income Tax on full earnings, it is, unlike super, fully taxed and thus has every right to NOT be taxed if and when a pensioner has other income (as it now is).

    The ONLY provisos for pension are - oddly enough - what someone said here - to provide for those without the resources etc.

    So - what is the argument, Hasbeen? You may start by leaving out references to 'bludgers' - you have no right to call anyone that and no idea what their situation has been in life.

    I'll tell you in advance - you have no argument. Pension is a paid for Right and if Plan B fits the rules - he has every entitlement to it.

    What we are arguing here is potential changes to the rules.

    How will YOU fare if you are told your home is now included fully in your assets deeming? Better off or worse?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2015
    2:16am
    Spot on the Money Plan B.....within reason.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    6:20pm
    TREBOR
    Concur in every detail.
    doclisa
    28th Apr 2015
    10:37am
    This is just complete nonsense.
    Our homes are that. Leave them alone you greedy bastards. and the pension is a right. Not a net.
    We live in a community to which we have added much through hard work, taxes, volunteering, so suck it up government and look to your own before attacking us and stealing from the vunerable.
    All this will do is cause massive un-stability in the community and the problems we have will get worse...wanna see how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and we end up with gated communities with security guards and high crime rates? This is how it happens.
    The saying is that that the rights of the worker to fair pay, hospital and education never took off because the powers at be got the poor population to believe that they are temporaraily embarassed millionaires. I think Hockey and abbot are attempting the same trick. get rid of them.
    Paulodapotter
    28th Apr 2015
    5:34pm
    Education is right, but the pension is support those that need support as most of us did yesteryear. Since superannuation became the norm, the issue is quite different. The pension is a right for those who need it only, not those who want it.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    5:40pm
    Paulodapotter. Technically anyone who is not of pension age and receiving a Government payment is an employee of the "State". So having said this the State should deduct the mandatory amount from the support payment and place it in a superannuation fund of the "employees" choice. This would be a better solution.
    Blossom
    28th Apr 2015
    10:38am
    This is absolutely absurd. My parents bought a basic 3 bedroom home which was built by the Housing Trust of SA as it was known as then in 1952 for a few thousand pounds (I can't remember the amount). In 2012 I sold for $567,000.00.......In 2014 it was sold for $625,000.00 It had definitely had no renovations done at all during that time. All they had done in that time was clean it and cut the lawns. No renovations at all, not even painting, and most of the garden had been let die. Most of the plants were drought tolerant that they had died too.
    Not Amused
    28th Apr 2015
    10:39am
    Paying off a family home can be a financially difficult task over many, many years, with all sorts of sacrifices. Who would even bother buying a home if the end result would mean all the blood, sweat and tears wouldn't end up staying in the family? May as well rent or apply for government funded accommodation. The reason a home-owner benefits from pension is that the home-owner had the foresight to fund his own accommodation in retirement. What about all the people who never worked and never will? They get low rental government accommodation, a full pension and all benefits. Hands off the family home! Or kill off our incentive to provide our own roofs over our heads for life, and while penalising people for going without to pay for their home, foster a new culture of public housing dependency. What's all the fuss about anyway? In 20+ years everyone will be funding their own pensions due to life-long superannuation contributions.
    Nanna52
    28th Apr 2015
    10:42am
    Who is going to work out the worth of your home. Will it be someone who says a home in your postcode sold for $1.5 million, therefore your home is worth that?

    Can't see the next generation saving for homes if this is the case. Better off selling and renting and getting the rent allowance.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    1:46pm
    Pensioners who have investments properties already have houses assessed for the pension which is no different to one's own house.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    4:18pm
    Bonny, any changes should also stop rent assistance and those living in Government housing should pay a "market" price. Why should the homeowner keep subsidising, those that lacked the skills or will to do the same, but instead frittered their money away.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:40pm
    How do you think those that now fail the assets test that live in modest homes feel about those on the full pension in million dollar plus homes?

    Rent assistance is paid to people in nursing homes so it has little to do with rent.

    The pension should only be a safety net not a right. If you have assets they should be used for your expenses in old age.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    5:41pm
    Bonny, most definitely not.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    5:55pm
    Again with the generalisation..... it is becoming boring to hear people with no idea carry on as if everyone with a pension did nothing in life to earn better.

    Investment properties are a business and should be treated as such - it is not the same as the family home and should not be treated as such. Not hard that!
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:00pm
    Bonny - you have a point about the way in which the 'family home' is defined, and there may be an argument for an upward limit on the value of the family home before deeming is set in place. The problem there is that the bottom line is too low at the moment for those living in major cities, whose property values will soon out-strip that deeming point and thus will cut out people with not much at all.

    Can anyone seriously say that a pensioner living in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs should be deemed to have too high a value property after paying it off for forty years as a HOME - not an investment?

    Are they going to pack up and go live in Bourke to qualify for the pension?

    People in nursing homes are paying rent to stay there - no argument over rental assistance.
    Gammer
    28th Apr 2015
    10:43am
    Some of us have worked hard, paid our taxes, lived frugally, taken few holidays, raised decent law abiding children (also all gainfully employed and paying their taxes)... We struggled through 18% interest rates in the late 80's hanging on to our modest homes as best we could. We hoped that having our own little property meant that we could live (frugally, we're used to it) on the aged pension and eventually then use this property to finance our last years in a decent retirement/care facility..... Who else is going to pay for our twilight years in a nursing home? Maybe our, oh so caring, PM and his entourage will decide that we should be euthanised since we will just be a further drain on the country's resources.... They should take a good hard look at their salaries and all the perks that go with the job - if anybody can afford to take a cut it is them!
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    1:48pm
    Your home already needs to be sold to move into a nursing home and the nursing then takes a big chunk of it to fund your care.
    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    2:41pm
    Bonny, your saying now our homes are sold and the nursing homes takes a chunk of it.......well well well .......look who is calling the kettle black?? your right ........as this policy came in many years ago 25 plus and this saved the government heaps.....BUT in the other breath your saying different..........most of us only have moderate home.......but some have big homes caravan and overseas holidays trips when retired their the lucky...........we did not work hard to own a tiny home for any politicians thinks its theirs in the taking
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:44pm
    Your home is of no use why you die so why not use it to live well in retirement.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    5:47pm
    Bonny, I have the right to dispose of my assets as I wish and leave it to my family when I die. It is better that way then they won't end up like you perhaps!
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    6:33pm
    End up like me? It's not a good idea to make assumptions about people.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2015
    2:20am
    The real issue Nieman away is when does a person havery sufficient assets to look after themselves. We currently have a system where some people should not be getting a pension but are. These are people who have used a broken system set up with flaws so that it could be manipulated. It is.
    Tezza
    28th Apr 2015
    10:47am
    Tia Maria, don't get sucked in by YLC leaning to the left. The report is by the Centre for Independent Studies as one of many scenarios to 'balance the budget.'
    If the findings of the report were adopted, this would satisfy all of those in 'struggle street' plus those with a hand-out mentality. People who have studied and worked hard to accumulate supposed wealth would end up supporting/subsidising those who had not done the same in their lives. These people should be penalised for being idiots for working so hard. Let's opt for a country of mediocrity. Budget could be easily 'fixed' if the Aust. Tax Office collected the $18 billion of outstanding tax debts. This is a treasury issue, not a government issue.
    Drew
    28th Apr 2015
    12:10pm
    Hi Tezza,

    We didn't state a for or against in this discussion, we simply put up the news and then left it open for opinion. I am actually against the suggested means test changes if that gives you an indication, but the report did make some interesting points about house vs assets and how they are tested, i'm certainly no left leaner - voted for the coalition at all but one state/fed election that I was able to vote in!

    Cheers,
    Drew
    Tomaso
    28th Apr 2015
    10:49am
    Here we go again, the pollies should take a look at their little nest eggs and all the perks, they are all two faced liars, that's why they are pollies.....
    Hard luck Joe
    28th Apr 2015
    11:10am
    I agree with all the comments and voice my concern about including my home for pension eligibility. Be warned Lbour or Liberal there would be major revolt if they include family homes for pension eligibility
    PlanB
    28th Apr 2015
    11:37am
    My oath, Hard luck Joe, there will be trouble if they include the home, time for a revolution I would think!
    Patriot
    28th Apr 2015
    3:41pm
    PlanB
    Finally!
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:45pm
    Agree our pension system needs a revolution as it's not sustainable in it's present form.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:12pm
    When the cost of subsidising super exceeds the cost of pensions in the budget, and a lot of that is going to people who would never have a need for a pension - something is very wrong in the state of Denmark....

    On top of that, a properly run super system would cut down the need for pension given enough time and enough employment to settle into place. You can't put away super without a job... not hard.

    It is not the pension system that needs a revolution - it is the current super system with all its faults and the dismal employment situation.



    At this point
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    6:38pm
    There is nothing wrong with the current super system. It will in time replace much of the age pension paid today and that's a good thing. If you don't give people incentives they will not invest in super as it has too many rules and regulations. Money will be invested elsewhere instead in trusts and companies owned by no one but controlled the rich.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    11:13pm
    I disagree - the current super system needs a solid ceiling that will give ONLY tax havening to those who will need it to get more than a pension in retirement - not for those with huge discretionary funds to put into it tom evade tax. People with that sort of money are quite capable of making their own way without subsidy from government and will never claim a pension anyway. Super tax subsidies are not there to create extra disposable income for them, so they can buy another investment property or have a nice cruise down the Danube - the subsidy is supposed to encourage investment to cater for retirement and repalce pension.

    I've said elsewhere that the super system - properly handled and not a massive burden on the Budget from subsidies to those with no need for them - will eventually catch up with pension and largely replace it, but it still needs time, and this silly short-sighted government is quite deliberately undermining that process.

    HOWEVER - we are dealing with the here and now, which means we are in the middle point where there are still pensions out there and still will be for a long time, and the super system has not yet caught up.

    That being the undeniable case - where does anyone get off criticising those on pensions and trying to make their lives unbearable?

    Leave the pensioners alone, rectify the WRONGS in the current super picture, and tax corporations properly, and remove subsidies for big business.

    What IS this focus of this fool of a government on pensioners?
    Kato
    28th Apr 2015
    11:58am
    A great incentive for people to work hard and invest in a family home only to be penalised. The building industry and real estate will be up in arms.
    Supernan
    28th Apr 2015
    12:04pm
    In my opinion its very unfair. We went without lots of things, from age 18, to buy land. Then bought an old shack, did it up & sold it. When we moved to Qld we bought land a long way out of developed areas & paid $3000 for it & put up a modest house for $20,000. Now the suburbs have moved out our way, its now worth a lot, even though its run down & needs maintenence badly.

    We could sell & get the money but our Drs, Dentists, Specialists, Hospitals, shops & rail are now close & convenient for when we can longer drive. Even more important our son & family is 1 minute away & can mow or shop for us & take us to appointments in times of sickness. Why should we suffer becuase we struggled, went with out & bought a house ?

    Until we sell this house is not an asset. It is a liability - rates, insurance, repairs, access track. Its only an asset if we sell . Why can the Politicians see this ?
    PlanB
    28th Apr 2015
    12:24pm
    Yes and at an older age we don't need the upheaval of moving, I am not well enough for that and as you said Supernan we have our Drs etc where we are and it would worry me sick to owe money
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    1:51pm
    You won't be moving anywhere unless you decide to yourself. It is a much fairer system than the one we currently have.
    Wstaton
    28th Apr 2015
    12:09pm
    How is this even going to work has the value of homes in various states are so different in value. This would mean that it would have to be set for each state.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:16pm
    The argument there would be like the argument not to give fat cats excessive super tax concessions - it would be discriminatory..... (LMAO)... so the Guv will strive to set one benchmark - the one that will conveniently drop to it the most revenue.... from cutting yours....
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:16pm
    ... but will not upset its mates too much.
    Tom Tank
    28th Apr 2015
    12:10pm
    A little bit of history here. Robert Menzies, the God of the Liberal Party assured Australians that pensions would be funded from the taxation system. We all therefore have a right to a pension BUT it should be affordable and fair.
    The difficulty that arises is, as always, those who are rorting the system and it is not the battlers but the fat cats.
    Because the family home is not included in the Assets test for a pension they can arrange the parents finances in such a way, trust funds etc, so that a full pension can be paid to someone living in a multi million dollar home.
    There are other ways to sort out any budget problems than including the family home in the Assets test.
    Our National Debt is 20% of our GDP compared to the U.K.'s 75% of their GDP. Our debt is the 2nd lowest in the OECD and exists because of the serious mishandling of the Nation's finances during the mining boom. Compare our situation to Norway's and what they did, and continue to do, re taxing during their boom years and the companies in Norway didn't run away.
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    1:00pm
    Tom Tank, just because you owe less on your credit card than your neighbour does on their's, does not make it less of a debt. It must still be paid back and you at the lower debt may well have less capacity and a harder time paying it back than your neighbour with a bigger debt.
    Tom Tank
    28th Apr 2015
    1:05pm
    The point I was making KSS is that we are being bludgeoned into believing Australia has a high level of debt whereas in fact compared to the rest of the World we have a low level so what is all the spin about.
    Could it be justification for following the Austerity path so beloved of right wing pollies but which actually led to the Great Depression?
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    1:14pm
    I would advise you to stop worrying about the neighbours and fix your own debt first. It is all relative and of an Australian population of 24m less than half are employed and able to contribute to the upkeep of the other half. True there are another 3/4 of a million unemployed but the rest are too old (pensioners) or too young (kids) to work.
    Tom Tank
    28th Apr 2015
    3:37pm
    I am not worried about the neighbours but trying to get a proper perspective on this, as did Peter Costello when he commented some years ago and he referred to our debt in terms of GDP as compared to the rest of the World and told us not to worry. The comparison then was similar to now in %age terms.
    Perhaps you have a short, or selective, memory.
    ZORBO
    28th Apr 2015
    12:17pm
    Just as well that coward Hockey is entitled to free security/body guard for life after he loses the next election..his going to need that
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    1:57pm
    Whoa, Zorb - don't say that out loud...
    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    2:45pm
    ZORBO...........SPREAD THE WORD MATE.......Joe Hockey wants all and gives us nothing in return..........I for one did not vote this party back in....... as this PM and Joe Hockey always had their hidden a gender
    Radish
    28th Apr 2015
    12:23pm
    This report has been prepared by "The Centre for Independent Studies" NOT Joe Hockey.

    I listened this morning to an interview on the ABC re this report and I thought the comments by a representative from the Centre made sense.

    Assets are assets; whether it be money in the bank, shares, gold bullion or a house.
    Putting your own personal interests aside you would have to admit that it should all be treated the same way.

    There are a lot of retirees who have poured huge amounts into a home in order to get a part pension. Is that fair? I dont think so.

    There are some I know pesonally who have large amounts buried/hidden in their homes in order to hide the asset.
    PlanB
    28th Apr 2015
    12:26pm
    How ever if you have been in your home for quite a time it should NOT be asseted
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    1:56pm
    I agree a house is a asset like any other assets most of which depreciate rather than appreciate like houses normally do.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    1:59pm
    It may well make sense - but in what context? You always have to be wary of the fine print.....
    jackie
    28th Apr 2015
    12:25pm
    The rich receive many perks at ordinary tax payer expense so the pension should not have to be another one for them. I think politicians should be provided with the same pension as the rest of us mere mortals and means tested too. This would be a great cost effective move.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    2:01pm
    The ability of some to hide incomes in trusts etc is absurd and easily fixed - a beneficiary of a trust need only be deemed to be in receipt of a specified amount from that trust..... and the whole argument goes away.

    Fer Shaitan's Sake - I'm 'deemed' to make x amount out of bank interest a year.... or was before the total system came in where you can have your bank interest inserted for you by the ATO system.

    There is NO rort that cannot be fixed easily - what is at issue is that there is no willingness to do so - for obvious reasons of self-interest.

    Anyone else for a new party?
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    11:16pm
    BTW - that same system should be keeping track of movements of funds into bank accounts of trust beneficiaries.... and taxing them appropriately as income added to income...... if this is not done it is due to pure self-interest by those in government.
    ZORBO
    28th Apr 2015
    12:28pm
    So I wonder what will happen when home owners sell them and buy a new house for the kids as an early inheritance or will the govt apply a handbrake to that as well?
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    2:20pm
    Nothing it already happens. When I bought my current house I had to write many cheques. One for the price of the downsized house and the rest for all the grandkids. This was only allowed to happen as the house wasn't part of the pensioners assets. Centrelink treated it as just a complete swap of one family home for another.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    12:34pm
    A one word answer to this suggestion: Never.
    marymint5
    28th Apr 2015
    12:38pm
    Oh Please

    Just leave the pensioners alone. We are already feeling as though all our working lives paying taxes ,medicare etc was nothing. The pension is already means tested so we get nothing for nothing. The pension should be right to all who worked their entire lives . I mean all who WORKED. How dare you Mr Hockey & Mr Abbott you are both disgusting.
    Start getting the money off the companies who are defrauding the TAX. Stop negative gearing or just allow 1 house to be negative geared and the rest they can pay themselves.
    LEAVE PENSIONERS ALONE. You will not be forgotten .

    28th Apr 2015
    12:38pm
    What a grumpy old lot of whingers you are! Tell me this - what did Gina Rinehart do to justify the wealth and lavish life style she enjoys? She inherited it from daddy boy - correct? Is that fair to the rest of us? So those of you living in million dollar plus homes and still wanting your full pension so you can leave the kids a nest egg, is that fair? Wake up you old whingers, and appreciate what you have, not what might be taken from you. And why attack politicians? There are probably less than 2000 nationally - and as we all know - pay peanuts and we end up with monkeys!
    ZORBO
    28th Apr 2015
    12:42pm
    Dont forget to take your medicine Al
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    1:53pm
    Pay monkeys and you end up with peanut s#it....
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    2:05pm
    I agree the days of getting the pension and handing our kids our house after we have gone are numbered. I have no problem with kids inheriting houses if their parents have provided for their own retirement.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    2:22pm
    What I just can't believe is that most of these grumpy old whingers will be better off and have more money to spend and enjoy their retirement. Most of their kids will already be well set up and only waste the money left to them anyway.
    tia-maria
    28th Apr 2015
    2:46pm
    OH Bonny Bonny Bonny are U listening to yourself
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:19pm
    So Joe isn't going to deed his kids all his investment properties? Good-O....
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2015
    7:31am
    How ever the kids will not be getting the pension till they are ready to drop so thats why I want to help out my Son that has bad health
    Radish
    29th Apr 2015
    10:41am
    Why not spend the money you have all worked hard for.? Why worry about leaving money behind for others to spend?

    Does not make sense to me. Ok there may be some whose children who will need help, but by golly you only have to walk down the street and see how many of the current generation are spending their money. Lining up for 24 hours to get the latest iphone, costing almost a thousand dollars, always having to have the latest gadgets i.e. the Apple watch cheapest price $499. I could go on and on. Overseas trips every year etc etc.

    Then many complain they cannot afford to buy a home! We did, on one wage but went without to do so.

    The beneficiaries in my Will know that they will get what is left over as there is no way hubby and I are going to go without in our later years just to leave money to others who are doing very well anyway. They all know this and have said "spend it, you earnt it." There will always be a home of some sort to be sold; albeit even smaller as we are downsizing to free up assets.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    1:09pm
    Radish (F)
    In General, I agree with what you're saying and the attitude you're displaying.
    My daughter is not "one of them" and we're not one of those that requires a "Lavish Lifestyle" to live. The pension is (usually) "Just Enough" to (generally) provide the style we want to live and, as our daughter is frugal, she should have the benefit of our frugality. We, rather than the government, SHOULD have the right to decide that though. PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE & SMOKE IT TONY & JOE

    Now on the iPods & the other crap that most kids THINK - these days - MUST be part of their lifestyle.
    WE (collectively as a society) have ALLOWED these attitudes of GREED & INCONSIDERATION to develop by the way we ALLOWED the ELITE to "Fashion the Global Economy". Look up Edward Bernais and You'll find out exactly how it was achieved! We - collectively - were TOO BUSY "Making a Buck" to ensure that the attitudes of our children were different (& Old Fashioned with OUR appropriate ??? values).

    So, I think that it is wrong to blame our kids (generally speaking) for these attitudes.
    As we all know what is the the Jesuit maxim is:"Give me a child for for his first seven years and I'll give you the man"
    Radish
    29th Apr 2015
    1:37pm
    Patriot, of course there are those like your daughter and alsd my step daughter who works hard, is frugal and saves her money.

    There is nothing stopping anyone from gifting money to their children while they are alive but of course none of us know how circumstances will play out for us and we may need the money ourselves before we leave this mortal coil :).

    Re the government benefiting from your frugality. Well, that is how they want it these days. More people to be self funded and that is why they brought in the compulsory superannuation. In general, I believe most on here are on the pension but there are some who are self supporting and they do have money to travel and enjoy their retirement in the way they wish.

    Many baby boomers, because they grew up very frugally after the war (me being one of them) decided they wanted to indulge their children because they felt they themselves had missed out on a lot.

    Unfortunately, many(not all) have gone overboard and we now see the result. Children who want instant gratification and think nothing of the cost and do not bother with saving. I stress NOT ALL are like this but there are a great many. My nephew is one of the "live for today, you are here for a good time not a long time".

    As an only child he is well aware that he will inherit from his mother and also his father and he has no need to bother buying a home as he will inherit two of them.

    I believe in working and striving in this world to get ahead and not be dependant on the hard work of others to get what you want.

    If that view is old fashioned, well so be it.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    2:03pm
    Radish (F)
    At the time Age pension was conceived/introduced they raised the Taxes "Just for the Purpose" of supporting those who were (& HAVE) to pay this contribution ALL THEIR LIFE and support them when they came to be OLD like US.

    Compulsory Superannuation introduced in the 1990s is "Just Double Dipping" as almost ALL OF US have forgotten the initial agreements & Condition that were implemented when the scheme was introduced.

    So I have paid into MY FIND and am now here to COLLECT!!!!!
    Radish
    30th Apr 2015
    3:32pm
    Patriot, read the article I have put up today re entitlement to the pension. It is plainly stated that the taxes we all paid do not entitle us to an automatic pension.
    WTF
    28th Apr 2015
    12:46pm
    So if the home is to be treated as an asset / investment that will be used to fund retirement, wouldn't he home loan repayments (or a portion of them) be regarded as tax deductions ?
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    2:25pm
    I don't think you pay loan repayments on a reverse mortgage. Most pensioners would pay any tax so tax deductions are useless to them.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:23pm
    You don't - so you are off-setting the amount you get + exorbitant interest rates far above a mortgage - against the future sale of the house....

    Last time I looked reverse mortgages were about 50% higher than mortgages and you also paid fees that were added to it.... meaning it accelerated upwards at a prolific rate.... it's essentially loan sharking by another name....

    Here:-

    http://www.infochoice.com.au/home-loans/reverse-mortgage/interest-rates/

    Thank you for raising this relevant point about reverse mortgages and the real cost to the user.....
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    6:24pm
    I believe, from my past calculations and from memory - that the principal doubled in less than eight years.....
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    1:10pm
    TREBOR
    More money for the bankers supported by just about ALL Governments on a Global scale!!!
    TREBOR
    29th Apr 2015
    4:39pm
    ... then five to treble.. then three to quadruple.... work that out.

    Borrow 50% value of a $500k house -= $250k, live sixteen years and you owe a million....

    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole..
    Tezza
    28th Apr 2015
    12:49pm
    Girls and Boys, lay off the politicians. The majority are as thick as two short planks. They have either not worked in the real world or if they have, they were not successful and therefore decided upon politics.
    Total combined salaries for politicians is a relatively small amount when you compare it to Public Servant's salaries and P/S running costs. eg. CEO of Aust. Post, the ABC, Treasury, 3 tiers of government, ATO.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    1:12pm
    Tezza
    They're not that thick though!
    They know how to follow the orders of the "Invisible Government".
    They know how to be of benefit for themselves.
    STUFF THE REST!!!
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    12:53pm
    Oh how easy it is to bait people on this site!

    It should be clear by now that the status quo is not going to be maintained - certainly not in the medium to long term. Regardless of the detail, things are going to change, with or without you. Surely it is better to have a rational debate instead of continually shouting about 'picking on someone else but leave the pensioners alone'! or worse: "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine (in the form of my entitlement to you paying for my pension)" attitude.

    The family home (if you are lucky enough to have a family - not all are) is indeed an asset. One that has both emotional and financial collateral but an asset nonetheless. An asset that the owner(s) has worked hard for in most cases. But for why? Surely a major reason is to support themselves in their old age?

    I, and I am sure many others, resent supporting people living in multi-million dollar mansions with a pension because of one elderly owner who refuses to downsize thus freeing up considerable income.

    People on this site have often made the comment "its not my fault my house has increased in value". True enough but did you really think that when you bought your house for say $3000 (or pounds) that you would sell it say 40 years later for the same amount. Of course not. You hoped it would increase in value. Well guess what? You were right. And it is now something you can tap into to support yourselves. You worked for it so now use it.

    But what about a compromise? Instead of the suggested reverse mortgage from the start, which could be unfair depending on where you live and the local housing values, why not look at space and the capacity to maintain it first. Make those singles/couples still living in 4+ bedroom houses downsize to say a two bedroom residence. And lower (or remove) the transaction costs of doing so. That would free up capital for living costs, lower the demand for aged pensions and still secure no-debt accommodation to live in. It would also still leave something for the kids if you insist. After all it will continue to increase in value over time. It would also still leave an asset that could pay for aged care in the (hopefully) distant future should the need arise. Those already living in 1 or 2 bedroom residences would not be required to do anything immediately. Down the track they may need to consider some other arrangement and that is where the reverse mortgages could have a place.

    The point is, there must be a creative solution to this pension issue and people being responsible for their own upkeep. Blunt instruments such as continually raising taxes on a narrow section of the community will not work in the medium to long term. There must be a better way. Cool heads and less emotional knee-jerk reactions must prevail.
    Kato
    28th Apr 2015
    3:43pm
    Yes the WA government is looking to allow pensioners to be exempt from taxes if they downsize so they can do away with rate concessions etc. At least there is thought and compromise there. I think it fair not to pay the taxes but lose concessions. Having the money upfront to do something with.
    Patriot
    28th Apr 2015
    3:52pm
    KSS,
    Were you "born with a golden spoon in your mouth" by "being lucky enough" to "Have a family home".

    I worked very hard for mine and the Ba***rds "Can & Will" keep their hands OFF IT!
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    8:17pm
    Don't be ridiculous Patriot. Not that it is any of your business, I am my 'family'. No golden spoons for me, not even silver or bronze. Anything I have I worked hard for, saved for, made sacrifices for and depend on no-one and owe no one anything.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    11:22pm
    The idea of forcing people to down-size in one way or another leaves me with a frisson of fear.... smacks of some central controlling socio-fascist government......

    Not wise to open that door...

    As a witty aside (for the cogniscenti)

    Some people rob you with a six-gun,
    Others do it with a fountain pen.

    Government here may not roust the Jews out at dog point..... they just make it impossible for them to stay.... Dead Farken Easy!

    Beware of Freaks bearing Grift...
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    1:14pm
    TREBOR
    Never a Truer & More Correct message!
    the white rat
    28th Apr 2015
    1:20pm
    NO, it is unfair to means test the family home. it would be better for all employees to pay for their government pension whilst they are working after all we paid a medibank levy why can't the government introduce an aged pension levy for all workers regardless of income, say 10% of your salary before tax, and in the future there would be no need for asset tests for your old age pension
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    1:23pm
    They already do the white rat, its called compulsory superannuation introduced in 1993 by Mr Keating and is at 91/2% of salary paid by the employer. But for some years we have been warned it is not enough to rely on and extra payments are necessary. Seems few are listening.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    2:06pm
    Especially for those who neither get off the ground at sixteen on a 'life's earnings' path or who have that savagely interrupted in their mid forties followed by the scrapheap. Pretty hard to put super away when you have no income to speak of.

    THAT is the problem - not enough employment.

    Someone trotted out some thought bubble that by 2054-5cost of pensions would be astronomical - my response? Only if there is insufficient employment going around to allow the majority to get their super up and running....

    Total inflammatory nonsense - by 2054 the super system should - properly managed and not allowed to turn into a free-for-all for the rich who need no pension - have removed the majority from pension.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    2:08pm
    Again - the cost of subsidies to super has now out-stripped the cost of pensions in the Budget. why is this so? It's called mis-management and is nothing new in the Great Land of Oz.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:48pm
    Without subsidies no one would invest in super. I know I wouldn't with all it's rules. Money is much better invested elsewhere.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    10:52pm
    Well, Bonny - when a super fund tells you it returns 12% on investment and a bank gives you 3% - where would you park your money? You could run your own stock market fund and see how it goes, or invest in property, but you need a little cash to get started.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    11:36pm
    If a super fund tells me it returns 12% I'd be disappointed and why lend one's money to a bank if you can own it and get at least double the 3%?
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    1:21pm
    the white rat
    Look up the Government Hansard in the early 1900s when the Old Age Pension was introduced.
    When it was passed, an extra "TAX LEVY" was introduced at the same time. This was to be wisely invested & reserved for "When these people (young at the time) came to be the age we now are". They (the Government) was then able to afford to pay for the "Age Pension". So the Mechanism as you suggest was put into place. We - collectively - are now here to collect these benefits for which WE have SAVED for ALL THOSE YEARS!!!
    Radish
    29th Apr 2015
    4:02pm
    Patriot, what about those who do not qualify for the pension....are they being discriminated against? They paid the tax levy as well during their working lives.

    Cannot just have one rule for one and one for another;) Or can you?
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    4:23pm
    Radish (F)
    Well, that is a point.
    However, let us consider that those who were able to "Put Away" enough into Super were supported by generous Taxation (& other) concessions funded by the "Rest of US" being forced to pay increased taxes to make up the Tax shortfall & Their Lurks.
    Tell me the logic: "Why one should be looking for a Hand-Out when you're wealthy enough already (Good luck to them)". Is that called GREED ???
    Adrianus
    29th Apr 2015
    4:31pm
    Patriot you will have a real problem trying to justify why the group that you belong to should be given special treatment. Read bob Menzies post below 28th Apr 2015
    2:42pm.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    4:42pm
    Frank,
    The same as the Government will have a Real Problem to withhold the Tax Benefits from those that fail to vaccinate their kids but - probably - need the money more than many others.
    The ELITE have a real choice as they do not need the money anyway.
    DISCRIMINATION & EXTORTION ???
    Empress3
    28th Apr 2015
    1:23pm
    One part of the report mentions that adding the home in the means test will take some people from full pension to part pension. So now if the home is added to Super, contents, cars, boats, saving etc. It won't be a part pension it will be NONE at all.
    Just read an article where the big miners BHP & Rio are answering to a senate enquiry into TAX. Through a Singapore scam the big 2 pay minimal tax. BHP $US15 000 pa. I believe they would be a better, fairer target to balance the budget I agree with most of the reaction here and hope it translates in the elections..
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    10:54pm
    Have to agree with you. Once again, any business that needs subsidies in any way is not a viable one already, and definitely deserves none.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    1:42pm
    a) Means testing the family home over a certain value is perhaps the idea - but is bounded by the simple reality that changes to value in some locations have long ago overtaken the reality of what means testing that home should be. The same home in a different area would be valued at a far lower price, which means that some would be disadvantaged.

    b) A combination of all assets needs to be designed so as to ensure that those who are home-asset rich but income-generating poor are not treated more severely than those with income generating assets.

    c) I remain cautious about including the single family home, and of forcing pensioners to borrow against it to fund their retirement. In many cases that is another hardship for pensioners who have worked to have that home when it was possibly worth not much, and so their aim of perhaps passing it on to their next generation to ensure some sort of continuity of benefit from their work would be taken away. One of the issues I addressed elsewhere last night was why the wealth accrued by many/most families seems to vanish within 2-3 generations.... this idea would only exacerbate that situation for the many - and to sound Bolshie for a moment - plays into the hands of the 'better classes' who consider the rights of the peasants to be malleable.

    d) In terms of 'saving the budget' - what will save the budget is z reversion to manufacturing as a solid base rather than 'service industries', the application of a proper tax regime for corporations, encouragement for small business instead of big business (how can any 'multi-billion dollar enterprise' hold its hand out for money from the government to remains 'solvent' and expect to be taken seriously as a 'business'?), proper limitations on funding subsidies for superannuation - a system set up to ostensibly remove the need for a pension in later life and which has yet to begin to bear fruit, and which has been instead exploited by people who would never apply for a pension for gain - and a more substantial approach to actually creating an environment in which business that employ Australians can flourish.
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    1:58pm
    "One of the issues I addressed elsewhere last night was why the wealth accrued by many/most families seems to vanish within 2-3 generations.... this idea would only exacerbate that situation for the many - and to sound Bolshie for a moment - plays into the hands of the 'better classes' who consider the rights of the peasants to be malleable: or is that those generations inheriting the wealth have simply frittered it away on holidays and high living instead?
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    2:22pm
    TREBOR
    a) that is why individual valuations must be carried out.
    b)Invariably those with income generating assets have planned for their retirement so should they be "treated more severely" as you put it?
    c) If the kids want the house kept then they should fund mum and dads retirement not the taxpayer.
    d)I agree with most of what you put forward here. Why manufacturing? Our third largest export is education and it's a service industry. We should build to our strengths not our weaknesses. But if you have a great manufacturing idea which is not labour intensive go for it.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:17pm
    I wouldn't think so KSS - I made a comparison last night with the Anti-Catholic Laws in Ireland - which enforced division of Catholic land between all sons, whereas Protestants could pass it on to the eldest son and retain it in one parcel.

    It could be that our 'egalitarian' approach of providing for all the kids has lead us into a trap of disposing inadvertently of accumulated wealth.

    It isn't as simple as 'the kids spend it all on holidays' - though some do, and that raises the question of whether or not we - as a Baby Boomer generation who've known both hardship and comparative luxury - have essentially spoilt our kids instead of teaching them the life skills they need.

    Another matter though.... I'm simply concerned over the forced re-possession of the established family home by the functionaries of the State - in this case the banks with the aid of the Treasurer... who, BTW - won't have to endure any hardship involved, and therefore should butt out.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:23pm
    Frank - it isn't just a matter of 'planning for your retirement' - the best laid plans o' mice an' men gang oft a-gley! Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

    Many who planned and worked hard have been ambushed by life's pitfalls, so it isn't as simple as dividing it up between 'good' people and 'bad' people.

    I'd say that some - such as some here today - who have managed to have a home and not much else, are certainly not in the position of 'leaners', 'wasters' or 'bludgers' - who would be in the absolute minority and you still do not know their life etc so it is impossible to judge - and it is not a matter of those with plenty being 'treated badly'. How are they being 'treated badly' when they already are outside the rules for pension anyway?

    The constant refrain is that pension is a 'safety net' - why then do you feel that those who have more in retirement are treated badly by not being offered a Safety Net that they don't need?
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    4:36pm
    I think everyone should be treated fairly and with equal fairness. Currently 75% of pensioners are home owners and the vast majority have no mortgage. They should be treated the same as non home owners.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:44pm
    You can always receive a full pension as a Right - at which point the government will levy tax on all income above that in accordance with your marginal rate.

    You cannot have it both ways - pension is either an absolute right with anything above that taxed or it is a safety net.

    I've argued the very real difference between the treatment of super recipients and pensioners when it comes to tax. Super recipients get subsisides tax, dividend imputation comes to their fund, and then they pay no tax on super pension - pensioners who work for or receive above pension amount pay tax on pension and income.

    Totally unfair. Even the proposed $75k lower limit before taxing super offers a tax-free threshold of $75k whereas a pension - having pension included as taxable income, has a tax-free threshold of $18,500.

    You call that fair?

    Take it or leave it - Pension is a right but a safety net bounded by rules that cut you out if you already have enough coming in. The alternative is for government to pay all a pension and tax all income above it, or leave everyone to self-fund....

    There are three doors - behind two of them is a hungry wild lion...... behind the third is gold enough for all to get by and some to prosper.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:45pm
    Choose your door wisely before ToJo do it for you.......
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    5:38pm
    Haven't got time to answer everything - KSS - the trouble with 'exporting education' is that it is NOT labour intensive and therefore is not a genuinely productive asset to have in an economy. To function an economy needs money in the hands of as many as possible - that is why you need not only a labour based economy or substantial compensatory packages for those who are not working (!!!) derived from the income earned from what you DO export.

    That was the basic idea behind the idea that technology would take over all the hard work - not that it would kick a huge percentage of the population to the sidelines or under a bus - but would provide an easier life for all with more leisure time AT FULL PAY, not On The Beach (so to speak)...

    I will also add that - in my eyes only - far too much 'education' is in non-viable areas, and has zero 'export value' (maybe extort value for some students(??).

    So I would say that without major structural changes in this country - to some form of socialist thing wherein 5% of the people work in education and resources and they fund the rest (????) - the limited things such as education and resources that are current fare for 'export' will not cater to the needs of the entire population - but will only serve to overfeed the few while the rest starve genteely on the sidelines.

    Sorry - we need manufacturing - and to address that issue we first need to address the spiral of rising costs = rising wages = rising costs = rising wages.....BOTH at the one time - not just 'chop wages'.

    I've invented the GAIA - Great Australian Infrastructure Advance in the Pilbara.... steel-making and associated industries right next to the ore and run by alternative energies.....

    No takers yet.... my finder's fee for the scheme is only $50m....
    fearlessfly
    28th Apr 2015
    1:49pm
    Would some corrupt government department please fund one way tickets to the IS front line for these inept overpaid idealogue turkeys ?
    Peterrj
    28th Apr 2015
    1:55pm
    'The calculations in the report suggest that asset-testing the family home and encouraging retirees to borrow against that home in order to get a pension, could result in $14.5 billion slashed from the pension bill and a $6000 increase to the pension.' Sorry, but that sentence does not make any sense what so ever. How can I borrow money from the value of my home to get the pension??? Aye??? And the promise that the pension will increase by $6,000 which will result is saving $14.5 billion? Aye again??? What is missing from this sentence is merely the truth of the real situation if the suggestion is adopted!!!
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    2:39pm
    Peterrj the money you borrow from your home (the reverse mortgage) IS the pension. You live on the money and don't claim an aged pension to the level of 80% of the value of the house.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:37pm
    Nah - leave the house out of it and let the government pay its dues for pensions paid for in advance for nigh on three quarters of a century through levies on income tax.
    Judy in the hills
    28th Apr 2015
    2:07pm
    While its rather nice having an inheritance for the kids, its NOT obligatory to do that, and if the kids are worth their salt, they would be working and earning their own little nest egg - like most of us did. Unfortunately these days we have many younger ones coming along who have never sought work and just depend on money falling from the sky. All good parents would be trying extremely hard to get their kids through school and eventually (note I said EVENTUALLY) getting a job or jobs to fund themselves. Too many we see around the shopping centres that no one would want to employ; many who come from families who haven't had a job in generations - they cannot ALL be invalids. Many kids wouldn't appreciate money 'inherited' anyway - they'd just spend it as quickly as they could.
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    2:41pm
    And given the life expectancy is currently around 84ish and rising, one would hope by the time you 'go', the kids would have themselves set up nicely thanks due to the fact they would be at least in their 40s!!!
    Patriot
    28th Apr 2015
    3:56pm
    KSS,
    In today's economic climate and much reduced job opportunities, that is nearly impossible unless they were "Born with a Golden Spoon in their mouth!
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:35pm
    General life expectancy is not the overall life expectancy - some will make it that far, many will not. Recently a man of 48 died here ..... so you simply cannot cite 'life expectancy' as a set figure.

    Youth unemployment is astronomical - not even getting their foot on the first rung of funding their own retirement.
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    2:07pm
    I don't go along with the notion that the pension is an entitlement every Australian deserves for paying taxes all their life and contributing to what the country is today because recent arrivals are getting the pension. Recent arrivals only get a reduction in their pension when they decide to live overseas.
    Therefor it must be a safety net and as such there is absolutely no reason why we should pay the pension to multimillionaires.
    bob menzies
    28th Apr 2015
    2:42pm
    Frank - I share your concerns/opinions - reading an article in today's Tele by Costello got me thinking - if the top 2% earners are paying 26% of the taxes and the top 35% are paying 80% of the taxes where does this view that "we have paid taxes all our working life so the pension is an entitlement - you only have to go back 40 years and barely 10%+ were making it to aged pension age - now it is apparently 50% and rising - most aged pensions have probably paid less than say $300k taxes during working life but if they live 25 years past aged pension age may get close to $1m - seems like a good deal if you get it - I don't and I don't care if labor talks about taxing those of us self funded retirees getting over $75k a year - my financial advisor has already indicated several ways to legally avoid it and I am sure all self funded retirees will so again this is another labor thought bubble just like mining tax - will cost more to administer than it will get in. I do not get pension and that is OK would like a seniors health card though. I do not begrudge pensioners but do not agree new arrivals who have not worked for 30 to 40 years in this country get a pension - give them food stamps if we must. I often hear how hard it is for pensioners well my wife's mother and mine both did it very tough and both were better off in retirement on age pension - they lived in country owned a home brought up kids and had virtually no money. There is no doubt well off people structuring their affairs to get at least $1 age pension so they access to cheap medical and all other govn discounts - these loop holes must be closed. .Bytheway during my working life I just finished calculating that I paid close to $1.5m in taxes - and my fist pay slip was $2.38 a fortnight in 1966 - I paid my way
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:51pm
    A good reason to separate the entitlement card form the pension.
    Adrianus
    29th Apr 2015
    12:51pm
    Bob, you make a very valid point. If the pension were only handed to people on the basis of their level of tax paid it may work very differently. I have also paid a lot of tax throughout my working life. Don't know if it was as much as you paid, but in one year I recall paying $65k. Based on your above statistics 65% of workers have paid only 20% of the income tax. I think I now understand the difference between "Lifters and Leaners."
    Radish
    2nd May 2015
    6:28am
    agree entirely with you Frank. Millionaires should be getting nothing even though they have paid taxes like anyone else.

    I cannot see anyone arguing against that surely.
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    6:51am
    Frank,
    Do not forget that those you seem to suggest are LIFTERS have enjoyed a lot of "LURKS & PERKS" in relation to Superannuation & Other (avoiding Tax) and therefore, in the end may not have paid much more if any that those who you seem to refer to as LEANERS.
    Frank it concerns me that you adopt the same ARROGANCE as JOE.
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2015
    7:55am
    Patriot, I must have disagreed with you at some stage for you to continually abuse me? (is that you mick?:) You need to try to focus on what is fair for ALL Australians not just yourself. Try to be a real Patriot.
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    9:52am
    Frank,
    If you're a Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG), maybe this forum is not the place for you! That is not being discriminatory but just "Truthful" as some of us at this forum are attempting to deal with the HARSH realities of Life. We just don't swallow the bullsh*t/propaganda that the Governments & it's corporative allies are "Dishing Out'. Or should that be the other way around?

    I - and I believe many others - am looking at the Age Pension as an Insurance. I know the premium is quite high, but so is the potential "Pay Out".
    We ALL have paid premiums our whole life and now we are here to collect on the “contract” that was agreed upon between US & OUR Government!
    Few of us never got "Across the line" to collect. many of us will collect for some time and a "Few of Us" will collect for a LONG TIME.
    Many of us have been lucky (frugal/smart etc.) enough to become wealthy and, therefore, they have NO NEED to collect on this insurance. That were the initial terms of the contract: “No NEED & collecting it becomes GREED”. Fortunately for them, paying the Insurance Premium was NOT a "LifeStyle Changer" as they could easily afford it! Also, we who now collect, have made many sacrifices along the way for those who do not NEED TO. We have endured sacrifices that directly affected our “Quality of Life” negatively and were a considerable burden but benefitted only them.

    I have paid home home/car insurance for "a LifeTime" and have only made a few insignificant claims and NEVER hope to make MAJOR CLAIMS. The week before I die, should I GO & RAID the Insurance office because they have collected so much of my cash and never PAID UP/OUT???? Especially as, at that stage, I do not need the money anymore as it will not buy/reserve seats upstairs????? All the good looking “chicks” are downstairs though so who is worried?
    There was an agreement/contract in place and this MUST be adhered to !!!!
    NO FINAL PAYOUT without an accident!!!

    Frank why I do not like your attitude is because you make remarks which “invoke frontal Attacks”. However, they are only “Sneakily” injecting them from the side and, like Haniball did, you make a quick incursion/wound and – when the going gets tough, you rapidly retreat. Never will you “support a Sustained Frontal Attack & Defence”.
    In other words, how I interpret that is that: “You are a Tactician who does as much damage as possible to the opposing view but is unable/unwilling/incapable etc. to counter & defeat the opposing “point-of-View” with “Plain Facts”. When proof is asked for – or your point is disproved – you “Play Dead”. YOU NEVER ADMIT when your are clearly -en masse – disagreed with and consider that you “MIGHT” be wrong!
    Additionally, you certainly “Seem to Tow the LNP Party Line”.
    About 6 weeks ago I haunted you for as response to an attack you made on me, my integrity and my opinions. I LITERALLY HAUNTED you but you “Elected to PLAY DEAD”.
    And why then – me included – do you think that many are convinced you're a troll???

    At the moment the tactic is that you “Cry Hard-Done-By” and accuse me of selfishness. A few weeks ago some of your mates tried to invoke action against me to “not react” to my opinions as it resulted in “More Truths (in my opinion)” being published.

    Frank, this is the 2nd time I have explained this to you and I will not perform same again!
    If you want to be treated fairly, “Play-the-Game” and enter into honest & open debate. I am certain that this will meet with responses that do NOT contain negative elements!
    If you make a statement that is not supported anywhere expect it to be “Fiercely Attacked”. If you're defeated on certain issues, “Be a (wo)man and admit”.
    If you're a troll, just P-off. The media is doing a very effective job for the corporations and pollies in Canberra already. They don't need you!

    On this forum I'm not looking for friends! I'm looking for TRUTH instead!
    I think & hope that so are many others!
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2015
    11:53am
    Patriot, you seem like a decent person so I will consider all this abuse and name calling as being completely out of character and as a result of your frustration in having been busy constructing some big posts that are only resonating with nutjobs like TREBOR.
    In case you're interested, I am not a troll, not a member of any political party. My elegance is with Australia. I have lost relatives fighting for this country. I have also served. So I am fiercely loyal to Australia above all the political push and shove.
    I can recognise 2 or 3 who are though. They stand out like a motor on a pushbike.
    Thanks for explaining the rules but I am not asking to be treated fairly or interested in "playing the game."
    As I said, you seem like a decent person looking for the facts, so why all the anger?
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    12:04pm
    Frank,
    No anger at all!
    Wolfman
    28th Apr 2015
    2:07pm
    So....... let me get this straight....If a couple working hard all their working life and sacrifices life style to own their own home, no matter what the value, are now going to be discriminated against because of this. Yet.. another couple who had lived the high life, squandered all their money and own nothing will get more????????
    The value of a home means nothing, weather it's $300,000 or $3,000,000, they are just bricks and mortar until sold. The value of house hold items, Car, Caravan etc are also worth nothing until sold which unlike homes, depreciate in value.
    And with current LOW interest bearing deposits, if anything, the Asset Test values should rise rather than being lowered.
    If the Government wants to prop up most those who have sat around and blown all their money all of their lives, please do not do it with my hard earned earnings.
    What a joke.
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    2:33pm
    I think the idea is to get the pension dollars into the hands of the people who need it the most. Why should a homeowner sitting on a $3m property receive a higher pension than a person who lives in a $50k caravan? The pension is food money.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    5:54pm
    The homeowner in the $3m property should not be getting the pension as they do today.
    peedee
    28th Apr 2015
    2:08pm
    Another idiotic single issue study which this knee jerk government will float. $6000 increase in the pension to bring it to $43,000. Not too bad at all when you consider you have to have $900,000 in assets to get the same amount outside the system. Taking away all the incentives, which the current government seems hell bent on doing, will do nobody much good and we all know what happens in societies where there are no incentives. So we will all trust the banks and their advisors to guide us through the reverse mortgage process!!! What sort of administrative nightmare will this be. Now for my single issue comment.
    The perceived issue is too many pensioners in the future which will blow the budget and too many tax concessions at the moment. Consider if when the current superannuants pass away there is an amount left in super as an inheritance to be passed on. As the money was taxed concessionally on the way into super why not tax the remainder that is to be passed on at a small concessional rate say of 10%. If the person / persons receiving the inheritance opt to put some or all of the funds into their own super then the tax would be discounted to say 5%. Death duties I hear you all cry but remember the old death duties were on funds and assets that had already been taxed. In the above scenario tax at the marginal rate was discounted on the funds going in. So I see a win/ win here. I will not care because I will be gone, my kids will not be too fussed as they will get the family home and any excess money would be a bonus. The Government will win in two ways because they will recover some of the concessions back and if the recipients of the inheritance choose to put it in their super this will reduce their future reliance on the system. I think the current system is brilliant and generally well balanced and I am not one of the rich elites just someone who has worked and saved. I see some tinkering such as the recent Labour policy as being a good thing but then that reinvigarates the argument of how much is enough.
    Anonymous
    28th Apr 2015
    3:00pm
    I agree with much of what you say, Peedee, though I don't think the current system is ''brilliant'' and I do think some changes could improve it dramatically. But essentially you are right that increasing the pension but $6000 makes pensioners as well off as those who have $900,000 in assets (more, probably, when you consider that some of that $900,000 won't be earning as it will be in furniture, cars, etc. or the liquid cash needed to be retained to live on!)
    It's grossly unfair to suggest that people who didn't scrimp and save for retirement should be as well off, or better, than those who made huge sacrifices of lifestyle to try to provide for themselves and possibly to have something to pass on to their children after they are gone.
    Yes, a small tax on super left to offspring would be acceptable. But what I think is being missed here is that if retirees do get to leave something to their kids, the next generation will be less likely to need a pension. Surely taking from today's more affluent retirees to give to those who have nothing is just robbing Peter to pay Paul? Fine if all pensioners were needy through misfortune or disadvantage, but most are needy because they lived better in earlier years. So we reward those who chose to spend up big and punish the savers? Hardly fair.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    6:02pm
    Left over super may already be taxed depending on the tax status of the funds and of the person who receives it. Dependents don't pay any tax but some non dependents will.

    28th Apr 2015
    2:53pm
    The problem, as I see it, Bonny, is that those who lived it up during their younger years will get a higher pension, while those who struggled and went without to save a little to leave to their family will have to sacrifice their hard-earned savings. I see both sides of the argument, and yes, it has merit. In today's economic climate, it might be unavoidable. I certainly support ensuing the minority who are genuinely needy through no fault of their own have a good standard of living in retirement. But the proposal is grossly unfair to those who made huge sacrifices in their earlier life to acquire a home, while others spent their money on costly holidays, nights out, restaurant meals, new cars, expensive clothes, etc. and now put their hands out.

    Golfer, if you study history you will find that today's deficit is due more to Howard and Costello's tax cuts for the rich than it is to any expenditure by Rudd or Gillard. I don't much like the Labor party, but they are not primarily to blame for the national debt. If the obscenely generous tax cuts Howard gave, 80% of rich benefited only the top 20% of income earners, were reversed and superannuation tax concessions made fair as per the Green's proposal, the deficit would be eliminated without hurting retirees.
    marto
    28th Apr 2015
    2:54pm
    When governments get real about the big end of town paying their way I'll be happy to forgo some cash until then they can get lost if its too hot in the kitchen then get out its about time seniors stood up to these Boof heads and said enough is enough i noticed that the president I think of the libs said Abbott the rabbit show call a double dissilusion why does he not because he knows that they will go down the girgler if he had the guts he would do it but he is just all smoke and mirrors
    Chris B T
    28th Apr 2015
    2:58pm
    Means Testing of peoples homes is just that, mean.
    The rediculous tax system that is place for employee's and companies should be looked at first.
    There is only a maximum amount one would pay tax on earnings, as there is No Minimum so you can effectively pay no or at least marginal tax.
    The depletion occurs by offsets, deductions, placement of monies in superfunds, negative gearing and many other avenues to Minimise tax payments.
    Until a threshold is set, tax Minimization to nil can occur.( Refer Kerry Packer at his Tax Hearing )
    This is where tax receipts are fulling, set a minimium amount and you will recover far more in tax receipts than penny pinching from the welfare budget.
    No government of any formulation would consider.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2015
    3:11pm
    The first question which one needs to ask is if the "the Centre for Independent Studies" is truly independent or whether it is a mouthpiece for this most disreputable of governments. The second question is whether or not politicians will apply the same stringent rules TO THEMSELVES.
    Whilst we need some common sense in our system of government we need not to throw the baby out with the bath water and loopholes used by the rich need to be closed, not left intentionally open.
    Pensions is a tough debate but the issue we all face is the sell-out of the country by both sides of politics. That is why we are now facing shortfalls in funding. These are just the results of bad government and living it up whilst the party was in full swing. There will be time to account.
    Adrianus
    28th Apr 2015
    5:20pm
    Yes when you lot had your day money flowed like wine. The party is over.
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    9:58am
    Frank,
    You see what I mean - Just little - annoying - jabs!
    No real facts!
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2015
    11:59am
    I'm sorry, I should be happy about the unions and motor cycling enthusiasts having control over the federal budget.
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    12:21pm
    Mick,
    I - indeed - believe that this organisation also has been infiltrated by the ELITE and now is also "Told what to Promote".
    Totally different from the 80s when professor Geoffrey deQ Walker published his book: "The people's Law" promoting the introduction of Citizens initiated referendum (Direct participatory Democracy) onto Australia.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    3:24pm
    This is one of the better proposals I've seen of late. Discounting the fact that some people wish to take their assets with themselves beyond their graves most people will be better off under this proposal than the current system.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    8:18pm
    I want to leave my assets to my family, not to people I do not know or even care about. Hands off. Australia is rapidly disappearing into a mire of anonymity. Australia has been abandoned by all politicians and it is doomed. Those that have any sense will take their "hard" earned and leave this Country far behind.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    3:38pm
    I can foresee a number of foreclosures - self inflicted ones. That is the intention of all Governments everywhere to reduce the ageing population by stealth.
    Possum
    28th Apr 2015
    4:03pm
    All I can really say, but feel very strongly about, is that the Government in general should be looking at those who are receiving benefits unfairly. For example there are so many claiming a disability allowance for a disability that is not long term or life threatening. If the government took a closer look, and the system was quicker, at those centrelink recipients who have been reported for fraud, they could recoup thousands. I also think we should follow the example of other countries where there is a limit on how many children you can bring into this world per family. Many of our benefit recipients are stay at home parents who just breed to receive. If all this was taken into consideration, the Government could then leave my home along with many others alone. I like most of the below have worked all my life, paid my taxes so I could own my home.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    4:11pm
    That is sensible enough. Government assistance should only be provided for two children in a family. The DSP is the biggest rort ever imagined and many newcomers to this once great Land are getting on the band wagon, without proper assessment ,further eroding the "coffers". In short the majority of people who have reached retirement age should be given a State pension, regardless of assets. This is what any Australian Government should be focusing on.
    Nan Norma
    28th Apr 2015
    4:17pm
    Will the houses of the politicions be counted and their pensions reduced? People I know don't own a house because their money was spent on cigarettes etc. Now she gets a full pension plus a cares allowence because she claims she is "caring for her "sick' husband. These are the people centerlink should be chasing. And there are plenty more out there like them.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    4:20pm
    Unfortunately the Government ( Centrelink) turn a blind eye to these cases.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    4:49pm
    If they are breaking the rules - Centrelink will find them out. I had a discussion with a retired RAN guy about his receiving TPI pension - something for which he copped flak at the RSL - I simply responded that it was none of his doing - the government made that decision so the rest can shut up.

    Same rule here.
    Nan Norma
    28th Apr 2015
    5:00pm
    They've been doing it for years- and more. These type of people are very clever at what they do.
    Paulodapotter
    28th Apr 2015
    5:39pm
    She doesn't worry me at all. Her cost on the public purse is a lot lighter than the greedy who should be putting back into society for the privilege of being able to make a fortune or inheriting same. Would you like to live like her? Too much time is spent bashing the needy/disfunctional cheats and not enough time spent on bringing the greedy to heel.
    KSS
    28th Apr 2015
    8:29pm
    So when you go Paulodapotter and leave all your worldly good to your kids, we can come along and and tell them they are 'greedy and should be putting back into society for the privilege of being able to make a fortune or inheriting same". We could also spend time on bringing them - the greedy - to heel!
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    8:31pm
    KSS the greedy ones are those that just sit back and do nothing to improve their lot. All they are capable of is holding out their cupped hands demanding more.
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    10:59pm
    In that case nan norma - blame the government..... they made the decision, and such decisions are based on presented documents and data....
    CindyLou
    4th May 2015
    6:23pm
    The politicians will not be applying for a pension so Nan Norma's comment makes no sense
    Bes
    28th Apr 2015
    7:55pm
    Yep! We worked and saved...we went through a period of 16% interest rates and had to sell our home, (Only one wage due to illness) so we rented. But we picked ourselves up and purchased another mortgage and after two redundancies managed to pay it off.
    It has been our home for 21 years. I am now 70 and still work part time.
    We were once the 'lucky country' but that was long ago.
    WE are now governed by bankrupt state governments who are selling every public asset they can lay their hands on.....just to survive! (I know...don't try to fix it if it isn't broken...but what if the system is failing and is no longer viable?) We have a federal government who have lost thousands of jobs (car plants and solar) and led by people who are deep in the pockets of big business and can see no further than coal and taxing the Aussie battlers. The Aussie battlers who managed their money and home budgets to the very best of their ability in the very best interests of their families. THE JOB THAT POLITICIANS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!! Being a swing voter don't expect any votes from our family home!
    Dot
    28th Apr 2015
    8:18pm
    Tackle the family home and I hope all hell breaks, living in an old home for the past 50 years, not my problem that the three levels of Government and real estate are working hand in hand for sheer greed and upping the value of our properties. Want to save money, no more foreign aid, every country to take care of it self. No more assistance of any kind for new comers to this country for the first ten years, slash all gold passes for past and present Politicians, no more travel for them as well, use the damn internet like the rest of us do because postage is being priced out. Heads of department pay packets must not exceed Politicians pay. Taxpayers used to able to view all accounts to see where money is been distributed, one could go on and on.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    8:21pm
    I agree with you but alas being sensible like that Dot will get you nowhere. The decline of Australia is well and truly under way. I encourage all those with ambition and drive to pack up and leave.
    Dot
    28th Apr 2015
    8:24pm
    PLEASE READ AND PASS ON

    Subject: Change the Entitlements

    I absolutely agree, if a pension isn't an entitlement, neither is theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn't sustainable.
    Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable! The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over:

    The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in Australia will have this message. This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.

    Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:

    1. Scrap political pensions.
    Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.

    2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.
    A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they're out of office.
    Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.
    Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.

    3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians' retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
    This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.

    4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.

    5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
    i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.

    6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/14.

    The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.
    Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
    Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.
    The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
    ?
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2015
    8:29pm
    I can't find fault with any of your suggestions. If only Australia had political leaders that would work towards this type of equality, then there maybe some hope for this Country. Australia should not complain about dictatorships wherever they reside,as it is one itself, under the guise of democracy.
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    8:53pm
    Didn't all this get changed in about 2005 for all future politicians to make them like the rest of us?
    TREBOR
    28th Apr 2015
    11:01pm
    An honest approach would have been to make it all-inclusive from that date. Wee Johnnie weaseled out of that for his own benefit.
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    2:06pm
    Dot,
    I will pass that on to my Federal Polly who I am having a meeting with tomorrow.
    Ayers Rock
    28th Apr 2015
    8:25pm
    There must a more a smart and fairway and also preventing Australian Government and citizens to be prevented claiming support/taxations / benefits each other unjustifiably. Fairest pillars are nation's robust supportive pillars to live on them. Without fairness, remember, all nation backed foundations and rules may become writings on the ice, and prone to melt down sooner or later. In the world history, there are enormous number of countries whose disappeared from the earth because of the their governments harsh and unfair and stupid behaviors, and in the hardship of times, there were not enough citizens to die for defending their countries, whole nations disappeared for miscalculated reasons in the past.

    I suggest to those when never has thought of such measures written below:

    1. Prevent the pensioner age citizens from merciless banks and financial fund companies to be contacted for a reason of equity of their own house. Somehow, the equity users will go to poor state of that they will be damns of their own such high debts and forced to poverty line in case, by governmental force measures. No such financial exercise is to be conducted by banks or pensioners for their equity reasons. This way may lead to BIG RORT to deceive older citizens somehow to confiscate their hard life earnings.

    2. Instead, this new measure can be considered: Pensioners can be allowed to take upto 1.5 (or 2 times max) more of the normal pensioner allowance entitlements. Single or couple corresponding to their normal defined old age benefits. The 0.5 times different can be channelized by Government organized direct pay home equity system. The benefit is to life long of or till to own-house being sold. Like University fees HELP - SSF (Higher Education - Self Study Fund).

    3. In case of pensioner death, the payments are adjusted to other partner not to become worse of state which may occur because of the partner's death.

    4. When the home owners are dead or live but completely disable to run their life by their own sickness or mental situations, then the government or their heirs or legal carers to can agree with the government to sell/discharge own house. Then the equity debt is deducted from the property selling is done to repay the government. The remaining balance is used by Government old aged care institutions or heirs to look after their needs older people or parents. In case there is no enough money left to cover the long years of the needy older people after the own-house being sold, then the government should subsidize as a major take carer of the old age pensioners till to their end of lives.

    5. Governments should stay firm that no rich(!) old age people should touch their fingers to the old age pension pool to drain. Some of them they may transfer their wealth to their children and seeming they own no remarkable asset or property. Then from the invisible back route, they still get the rents or other incomes from their sons and daughters in additions to their pension payments. To prevents such deceiving, such property ownership transfers should be strictly analyzed, no grey drainage areas should be left to prevent ifs and buts in the rorting scenarios

    6. Allocate more mathematicians to enter the stage and consult them during the law-making how to save old-age pension by doing a fairest system which makes Governments and true old pensioners to be satisfied and happy. While whole universe behaves on its own maths, why not to use our valuable mathematicians especially in making such money figured fair laws.

    Regards.
    Dot
    28th Apr 2015
    8:31pm
    Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers.
    No welfare
    No food stamps,
    No health care,
    Or other government assistance programmes.
    Olbiddy
    28th Apr 2015
    10:40pm
    Just a thought, we have borrowed 80% of the value of our home over a number of years to fund our living expenses, then we need to go into a nursing home. With a massive "mortgage" back on our home, who pays the very high nursing home bond? We have saved the government a lot of money by not having to pay us a pension, will they come forward with it? I won't be holding my breath while waiting!
    Bonny
    28th Apr 2015
    10:42pm
    Not a problem as only those who have money pay nursing home bonds.
    Radish
    30th Apr 2015
    8:41am
    It would appear that the best thing a person can do is not bother about putting any money away at all for their retirement. Just spend it all along the way and let the government (taxpayer) support you in your old age. Only hassle is having to put up with Centrelink :).
    Irishwolfhound
    28th Apr 2015
    10:57pm
    Fine! Take our houses value as an asset if you must- BUT this must apply to all people who are retired. Why should pollies get a pension from the day they retire, at any age they chose, and then be allowed to take another job , and not lose the pension ? Rules for one rules for all!!!
    Bonny
    29th Apr 2015
    12:00am
    Only those applying for the pension get asset tested.
    CindyLou
    4th May 2015
    6:27pm
    How can politicians get a pension if they have such high super benefits...so therefore assets tests etc had no relevance to politicians
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    7:33am
    Problem - Reaction - Solution
    PROBLEM:
    Ever since the NLP has obtained Government they have Fore-Shadowed that Age Pensions were not affordable and that we would have to "Live below the poverty line" and - at the same time enjoy "All kind of Other/further Limitations" to this benefit. They have prepared us!
    A Service that we have been Paying for in our TAX BURDEN our whole life (Due to increased Taxes for that purpose as can be proven via Govt Hansard in the early 1900 when the scheme was implemented). Have to "Go back to Work" in a (Created economy) which has "No Jobs".
    REACTION:
    We - age pensioners of "Moderate Means" - have reacted with dismay/disgust and - generally - have showed our "Disapproval" to the SCAMS proposed as solutions.
    SOLUTION:
    We are now offered the solution to "Cash In" the only assets most of us have slaved for all our lives in order to be able to live a reasonably dignified and quality "Old Age". We are promised that we will/can receive a pension that will lift us "Above the Threshold of poverty" and allow us to "Live a Better Quality Life" (THE LOLLY). Fascinating how - all of a sudden - they are concerned about this!?
    Just "hand Over" your house to the BANKERS and "We'll look after YOU!!!!!
    RESULT:
    Once they have our homes there will be other reasons why they cannot repay OUR MONEY. The Increased welfare for the Aged Pensioners will be "Short Lived" as further descend into SLAVERY will be implemented.

    Some “Real Life” exanples?

    IRAQ
    1 Weapons of Mass Destruction
    2 Uproar & Fear about this as well as Saddham's Dictatorship
    3 Invasion - total destruction - mass human attrocities
    RESULT: Country now in total disarray (worse that ever) but the oil is controlled by the corporatIons & Bankers.

    LYBIA:
    1 Evil Dictatorship, humanitarian problems etc
    2 We need to help to alleviate suffering & help people
    3 Invasion & Total Destruction of country
    RESULT: Country now worse than ever (Totally destroyed) but the Corporations & Banks control the oil!!!

    Both these invasions were ILLIGAL & VIOLATED Human Rights as well as INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS !!!
    WAKE UP & GET OFF YOUR BUTTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    7:40am
    &, Do not listen to the Government Trolls who are promoting this as an "Excellent Idea".
    DO NOT TRUST THEM!!!!
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2015
    7:52am
    What about the ones that have wasted every penny they earned or borrowed and are now bankrupt --they will get help NOT deserved
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    8:03am
    PlanB
    As "Mature Adults" we MUST realise that we cannot "Win every Which Way".
    However, Punishing the GOOD because they have slaved all their lives to make this country what it is (was) because of ONLY SOME who have abused "The System". is NOT the correct solution either.

    Or do you think that we should "Just PUNISH everybody" & hand over the Country to "The Bankers" ???
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    8:06am
    PlanB
    What's your solution in order to preserve fairness for those who have "Slaved All their Lives"?
    Adrianus
    29th Apr 2015
    8:16am
    Yes PlanB that has always been the case and always will be.
    Everyone who is struggling needs a hand up, regardless of their circumstances. We just need to identify those who are really struggling. It appears not too many if 75% of pensioners own their home.
    Kathryn
    29th Apr 2015
    8:08am
    So the government will pay for nannies for people earning up to $250,000, taking the money from pensioners???
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2015
    8:27am
    IMO if you have been earning $250.000 then why the hell would you need to have a Nanny --if you want the Kid then stay home and look after it, if you have to then go back to work once it goes to school --or between School hours as I did and many others
    Patriot
    29th Apr 2015
    8:57am
    Kathryn
    Don't know who you're addressing this to!
    This is "Simply RORTING" of the Highest Degree by the ELITE and should be weeded (Ausradieren as the NAZIES would say) out unconditionally.
    Yes, if we want to apply the POLLIES' formula, it certainly should make payment of Age Pensions Easier.

    They obviously have "Better channels of Communications" with their elected Representatives.
    Or should that be MORE CONTROL OVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    About time we - VERY SERIOUSLY - got into their ears !!!!!
    marls
    29th Apr 2015
    9:52am
    i have worked most of my adult life and paid my taxes. i have earned my pension when i apply for it. where as i know others who have never worked a day in their life and the automatic get it no questions asked. i was in europe last sept and they were horrified to think the old age pension is means tested. also my mother in europe gets, her pension, dads pensions as he is deceased, and she also gets a small pension from another country as my father went to war. and we call australia the lucky country it sure is if you have never worked.
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2015
    9:58am
    Yes marls -- seems that if you waste your money or never work then you get help, if you work hard and pay taxes and pay off your home and do the right thing you are punished.

    I had a dead beat person say to me one day, "you are so lucky you have your own house, you dont have to pay rent" what a blast I gave him!
    Radish
    29th Apr 2015
    10:28am
    After reading this survey I believe the UK will end up with an assets and income test.
    http://www.if.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Can-the-UK-Afford-to-Pay-Pensions.pdf
    marls
    29th Apr 2015
    10:00am
    to the liberal pary, be assured i will never vote for you.
    Adrianus
    29th Apr 2015
    10:36am
    marls, that reminds me of a story.
    A man comes home to see a person setting fire to his house. He quickly calls 000.
    The local fire brigade were quick to respond and managed to save the mans house with only minimal damage. The police were also diligent and had the perpetrator behind bars.
    What the home owner did next will amaze everyone.
    Firstly, he posted bail for the pyromaniac.
    Then in anger he sued the Fire Fighters for wetting his personal effects.
    JohntheGolfer
    29th Apr 2015
    12:03pm
    Once again the government is seeking to shaft those who have worked hard to get ahead, and provide handouts to those who are less likely to have paid a big whack of tax during their lives. I am approaching pensionable age, and might be eligible for a part pension by the time I reach 80. Based on this new idea, my house will have to fund that pension, and I risk running out of money if I live too long. The rules need to remain as they are for people who have set their plans in place and do not have the opportunity regroup.
    worried
    29th Apr 2015
    8:32pm
    We are on a pension and pay private health insurance which gets more expensive yearly, we try to keep this going but finding it hard. A friend of ours is on a pension and does not have health cover even though they were both working and is continually boasting about the medical freebies they have had over the years, perhaps people, trying to do the right thing should have a better go.
    wally
    29th Apr 2015
    11:02pm
    After reading the posts, it is again a case of the same old hamsters running around the same old ideological wheels.

    The problem, as I see it, is whether we can trust the "Sir Humphries" in the civil service to produce an equitable decision in response to ministerial request. The tendency of hammering all the square pegs through the round holes in the name of producing a "one size fits all" solution to this, (and other policy decisions cooked up by the bureaucrats) fills me with dread for the future. We can all be "Squeaky Wheels" in expressing our views on policy matters, but then when the pollies say they are "consulting" with the public, they tend to only hear those who agree with them and sweep everybody else's comments, opinions and suggestions under the carpet with a polite "Thanks, but no thanks". Then they do what they wanted to do in the first place.
    Mike
    30th Apr 2015
    11:43am
    Question. Is Joe Hockey one of the 55 millionaires that paid no tax.
    There was an article in the SMH where he was claiming $288 a night travel allowance every day that parliament sat, even though he just went around the corner and stayed in a mansion valued at $1.5m that was in his wifes name. So the pensioners foot the bill whilst the millionaires pay nothing
    bookwyrm
    1st May 2015
    9:15am
    And he has a bank account in the Caymen Islands! Also I want to know why Tony Abbott gets paid more than the American President! Our pollies are all greedy, corrupt p*gs who never say no to pay rises and perks!
    Adrianus
    1st May 2015
    9:56am
    Politicians get a CPI increase after a review from the tribunal as a matter of course. However, during Labor's last effort in government, when money was flowing down the streets like wine, all politicians received substantial increases. Julia Gillard's salary rose to $481,000, from $367,000, giving her more pay than US president Barack Obama or David Cameron.
    The tribunal president John Conde said at the time that Julia Gillard’s new salary was "not unreasonable" and, "It's necessary to have a salary sufficient to attract and retain people of capacity."
    With the benefit of hindsight his statement was accurate.
    I still think that an Ex PM could command a remuneration package much higher in the private sector. Especially if they had the capability to leave behind some of the bad public sector habits.
    I recall both Rudd and Gillard demanding a much higher pension than the meagre $200k they were about to get, plus all the perks. However, I think their actual incomes would now be more than 10 times that figure.
    Patriot
    1st May 2015
    10:04am
    Frank,
    Now that the LNP is in power, I MUST HAVE MISSED the legislation (introduced by the NLP) that reversed these EXCESSIVE & RUDE increases!
    Or is it in "The Making" now??????
    Have ?
    Adrianus
    1st May 2015
    10:51pm
    You also would have missed Tony Abbott writing to the tribunal requesting a freeze on his and all cabinet minister's salaries.
    As one economist put it recently, we are one recession away from losing our AAA credit rating. Everyone needs to put some effort in Patriot.
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    6:45am
    Frank,
    How about the increases that you were complaining about and that occurred during the reign of Julia & Kevin? DID he reverse them and were the minister's salary increases frozen?
    He can decide to send jet fighters to the middle East without asking the people so, if he were to be serious about his remark, he would have JUST REVERSED/FROZEN them rather than "Make a Statement" that makes him "Look Good???".
    IT'S ALL IMAGE !!!
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2015
    8:01am
    Patriot, I don't recall complaining? I thought I was merely stating a fact? I repeat, I agree with John Conde's remark....."It's necessary to have a salary sufficient to attract and retain people of capacity."
    With the benefit of hindsight his statement was accurate.
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    10:39am
    Frank,
    With skills like those displayed in this YouTube, I would certainly NOT employ him!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ9y1c73-IM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A76vxhE7dXY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpcfy2ZXtew
    True signs of intellect?

    This clip displays the current discussion:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiekYLkMyv8

    And NO, I's not religious. I just have COMPASSION!

    And just another clip of a Tony Interview:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShxmO4C6m0M
    Here he is dealing with Assumptions rather than Facts!

    Than again, one of the corporations may employ him just as a reward for the benefits he provided for them whilst in government.
    I'm sure they'll pay him "Just to stay Home".
    Not Senile Yet!
    1st May 2015
    1:46am
    Most people who own a House that they have worked hard for the money to pay off that house....have already paid Tax on that income if they are wage earners!!!
    So one has to ask the question.....Isn't the government double dipping when it wants to include the Family Home as an Asset to be used to pay someone an income in retirement rather than a Pension???
    The real question at issue here is where is all the extra Tax that was to be raised by paying a higher rate to provide that Pension>>>>????
    Well it has been raided during the 1990's by BOTH PARTIES agreeing to raid it for Infrastructure during a 90's economical downturn!!!
    What new structure was built in Canberra for our Politicians????
    With what money was it built???
    Are people aware that the Infrastructure built throughout Australia....which by the way is only 200yrs old.....is equal and in most cases better than most Countries that are over 500yrs old!!!
    Why do I say that???
    Because we have only 30 Million Tax Payers yet other Countries have in excess of 300Million.
    Are you aware that the Number of Politicians per head of Population in Australia exceeds the number per head of Population of ANY OTHER Country in the Western World and the Majority in the Eastern World????
    In our Society Pyramid...the Top of the Pyramid is full of Politicians.....not only because ours are overpaid (per head of Pop)...but also because our Politicians get more perks than any other Politicians in the World as well!!!
    The Liberal Party is attacking the Working man whilst hitting the Pensioners/Retirees.....but allowing Big Business to not pay THEIR fair share of Tax...thus contributing to our Society!!
    But even more concerning is that they are refusing to address the enormous discrepancies created by allowing EXEMPTIONS to a select few in society that in turn costs the rest!!!
    That is why they cannot balance the Budget....it is not about Cost Cutting in the areas that they wish to cut!!!
    It is about stopping the tax exemptions and subsidies that are inequitable both in Super and by way of Salary Sacrificing in the middle to Upper Salary Level that amounts to tax avoidance at the expense of everyone else!!!
    Why do they choose to ignore these holes in the tax Income Bucket???
    Because they are the force that votes them into Office!!!
    It is a sneaky way of corrupting the system and people by playing to their greed!!!
    Then they snaffle everyone else by accusing the other Parties of Corruption via the Unions or Campaign Funds et etc.
    All Current MP's do not represent their electorate...they have been bought by their Party to do what they are told!!!!
    WHY are YOU voting for these Corrupt Party Puppets?????
    Adrianus
    1st May 2015
    8:26am
    I don't know why you are talking about the rules surrounding the pension in 1908? The pension fund was scrapped 70 years ago.
    In answer to your first question, No the government is not double dipping. Those taxpayers have been well looked after all those years with generous tax concessions and welfare benefits.
    NSY, you cant have it both ways.
    I would like to see those who are well off have a reduction in their pension and those who need it most have an increase.
    Let's raise the living standard of the needy. Like you have stated previously, it's the poor people who make the biggest contribution to the economy. It would be like having a stimulus package that never ends.
    Patriot
    1st May 2015
    9:56am
    Frank,
    Thanks for that useful tidbit of info. Not that I don't trust you but, would you be able to provide details of “Where” in the government hansard I can find the details of that? On the other hand, it is a miserable – dreary – day anyway and I'll start looking for it myself!
    Just let me think, what should I look for:

    1 Confirmation of termination of reversal of initial Age Pension Legislation (hansard)
    2 The legislation passing authority to refund “All so far Collected funds” collected via Taxation implemented for this purpose passed “At The Time”. (hansard)
    3 Legislation passing a “Reduction of the Tax rate” as the scheme is no longer implemented (hansard)
    4 I will also start looking for the “Refund of these Funds” now not to be applied for the purpose they were collected and intended to be used. (old bank statements)

    I am a bit annoyed that – being on a full pension – I could has missed this cheque as it would certainly have “Come in Handy” when we were paying of the modest property we now own (I think???). If I cannot find the refund in my bank statements, I will get onto the Tax Department and investigate what has happened and ask for a “Re-Issue” of this cheque.

    Oops, they might have opened a SuperAnnuation account for me and deposited the Funds in there.
    So I'll also have to do a search for “Lost Super” as this might locate this.
    I certainly could to with the money now as some rennovations/modifications to the house would be a boon as we're getting older. This so that we can “Stave off” going into a home somewhat longer and “save the Government a lot of money”.

    If I cannot find any of the above, would you be able to provide further assistance (point me in the right direction) Frank, or do I just have to assume that this SCAM was never officially & appropriately TERMINATED???
    Patriot
    1st May 2015
    11:15am
    Frank,
    I'm getting frustrated here !!!
    I'v now been looking for "MORE TAN AN HOUR" and cannot any reference in the Govt Hansard.
    Even worse, I cannot find this "Lost Super" or the "Cheque being Banked" !!!
    Really would appreciate a hand as - as a pensioner - I can do with the money !!!
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    10:01am
    Frank,
    Still no response?
    Was what you suggested all famous Bullsh*t? or what am I to believe?
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2015
    12:01pm
    Try looking up Hansard in 1947?
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    12:17pm
    Frank,
    From Hansard early last century i can prove that "Soil Salinity problems" in South Australia were well recognised.
    The Fatcats did not want to hear of it at the time as it limited THEIR profits and Public Tax money would be used later to correct the situation.
    So are the working of politics!
    So, what I'm asking - if it exists - can also be proven from hansard!
    bookwyrm
    1st May 2015
    6:14am
    The country has gone to the dogs since the Abbott goverment got in. Right wing let‘s attack the poor and vulnerable but leave the mega rich alone. A totally corrupt government which has also managed to destroy the ecomony in little over a year and wants to destroy the fabric of Aussie society as well. And they are corrupt. Welfare is not a dirty word. No wonder Malcolm Fraser left the Liberal Party and called Tony Abbott a dangerous man who would do anything for power. Paul Keatin1 said God Help Australia when he heard Abbott had won the election. And now Australia‘s triple A rating is under threat, unemployment is high etc. Well, just try and blame that on old age pensioners!
    Disgusted
    1st May 2015
    10:10am
    Please don't expect the government to be fair about this. They treat assets much more harshly than income. My own home is treated as an asset, as I am living in my car and camping around Australia. If the rent was treated as income, rather than the house as an asset I would receive another $200 per fortnight. Initially they overvalued my home by over $100,000 (further reducing my pension by $150 a fortnight) and it was difficult to get them to adjust the valuation, luckily my neighbour had just sold his place for $100k less than my valuation. My pension is cut by more than the rental income that I receive. I asked if I could just leave my home empty while I was traveling as the pension is much more dependable than the rent. But, I was told it would still be treated as an asset while I am not living there. And my insurance doesn't cover an vacant home. Don't think that it is a mansion, it's just a simple 1 bedroom home kit home, but happens to be in Sydney....
    jessej
    2nd May 2015
    7:48pm
    Why should the kids expect to get anything after you died ? when we oldies have saved and went without so why should the kids expect anything let them save their own money
    Patriot
    2nd May 2015
    8:41pm
    jessej
    I would agree IF the world was still the same as when we were young.
    Unfortunately, WE have allowed massive change for the worse and therefore kids these days do NOT have the same opportunities as we had.
    Whilst I do not believe we MUST leave them anything, it certainly would be "mighty Helpful" for them.
    That is - of course - if they have the right attitude and do not squander it away in no time.
    Fred
    5th May 2015
    8:52am
    tia-maria said Old Joe HOCKEY cant help himself attacking etc etc etc. Strangely I agree with you about the family home it should NOT be counted as an asset imagine if all these homes came on the market at roughly the same time the price would plummet and any gain that the Pollies may have gained would be lost to a large extent. If your RUDD/GILLARD/RUDD free spending government had not squandered Billions of Dollars this idea might not even be being thought of.
    Patriot
    5th May 2015
    10:00am
    Fred,
    The FatCats would do OK though - Woudn't they?
    Fred
    6th May 2015
    7:48am
    Fred
    5th May 2015
    8:52am
    reply

    Patriot
    5th May 2015
    10:00am
    report
    Fred,
    The FatCats would do OK though - Woudn't they?


    Would any one benefit people bought their homes over many years paying interest on those loans no doubt you remember interest rates rates of 18% for a period of time. Now you have paid of your loan and the extra thousands of dollars of interest you have an asset. If your home is counted as an asset and you borrow against it to live the money you borrow will accrue interest so you are again paying interest on something that you once owned outright. The banks will love it.


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