Age Pension indexation

Proposed Age Pension changes announced in the 2014 Budget have been scrapped.

Age Pension indexation

Changes to indexation of Age Pension payments and thresholds announced in the 2014/15 Federal Budget will not be implemented.

The Age Pension payment rate will continue to be indexed to the higher of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) and then benchmarked against Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

The freeze on eligibility thresholds under the income test and deeming thresholds, which was due to commence on 1 July 2017 for a period of three years, will not proceed. These thresholds will continue to be indexed annually, on 1 July each year, by the CPI.

Proposed increases to the Age Pension eligibility age to 70 remain on the cards, as does the cessation of the Seniors Supplement for those who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

How do these measures benefit retirees?
While the scrapping of the proposed changes to indexation to pension payments and eligibility and deeming thresholds is obviously good news, Australians will still have to work longer before they can claim a pension. Until we see an increase in jobs for older Australians, this will simply mean a greater rise in poverty for those who cannot work but cannot yet access the safety net of the Age Pension.





    COMMENTS

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    Peterrj
    13th May 2015
    11:03am
    They giveth the and taketh away ... Just like a thief in the night!!!!!
    HarrysOpinion
    13th May 2015
    2:57pm
    Like Ali (Abbott) Aba and his forty thieves...
    Jurassicgeek
    13th May 2015
    11:34am
    they never giveth in the first place as thy forefathers have squandered the money, so therefore thou shalt remain in poverty for ever
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    10:59am
    Our forefathers didn't squander anything. The Howard/Costello Government gave it all to the rich.
    Mike
    13th May 2015
    11:50am
    Changes to the asset thresholds means that part pensioners who have saved and worked out their retirement strategerys to fit in with current laws will be penalised. However what is worse is that retirees and pre retirees can no longer trust the government. People work and save and work out a retirement strategery and the Government can change the laws at whim. Nobody will ever trust our government again.
    Peterrj
    13th May 2015
    6:24pm
    Mike, I'd like to refute your claim at length and in great detail ...... But I am lost for words! Financial planning is now nothing but a joke!!!!
    HarrysOpinion
    13th May 2015
    12:08pm
    Could some one please point out one Australian politician who is honest and conducts themselves with the highest integrity?
    tia-maria
    13th May 2015
    2:48pm
    HS..............Bloody hell mate? your kidding me is there one....... cheers
    tia-maria
    13th May 2015
    2:48pm
    HS..............Bloody hell mate? your kidding me is there one....... cheers
    PlanB
    14th May 2015
    6:44am
    NO, none are fair dinkum NONE
    Hawkeye
    15th May 2015
    12:40am
    Actually HS, Mr X (Independent SA Senator Nick Xenophon) would come pretty close. He gets so many votes that he had to form a party in order to populate the extra senate seats that he wins.
    Grateful
    13th May 2015
    12:32pm
    While we have very well off yuppies from very very well off electorates, they simply have no idea how the majority of the population live or even think. Most current M.P.s own negatively geared properties, some with several, have enjoyed all the largesse that the mining boom brought and have never ever lived in a genuinely battling family where very many of the older generation had no alternative. Talk about multi culturism, too many of our current M.P.s certainly have a totally different culture to the majority of Australians and so get used to it. Remember those famous words of our P.M. when asked if you can believe what he says and he replied that yes, if it is in writing!!! He done a lot of TALKING and making many promises lately. All words!!!!
    PlanB
    14th May 2015
    6:48am
    And he was not answering the question when asked if this was a budget for an early election ----of course it is! why can't he say YES or NO because he is LYING AGAIN
    Hawkeye
    15th May 2015
    1:00am
    Can somebody please tell me why negative gearing is suddenly being perceived as the big bogeyman. It simply means that the ownership costs are greater than the income received from a property.
    UNCLE FESTER
    13th May 2015
    12:36pm
    Let us put this age for eligibility for the aged pension into perspective.
    The previous government LEGISLATED (it is the law) for an increase from 65 yrs to 67 yrs but this does not come into effect until 1 JUL 2017. The the age qualification increases by 6 months every 2 years and does not reach 67 yrs until 2013.
    The current government has PROPOSED (it is not law) that the age qualification be increased to 70 yrs, but would not commence until 2025 when it also would increase by 6 months every 2 years and does not reach 70 yrs until 2035.
    As the pension is a welfare payment it is paid from the taxes raised out of those who are in the workforce so you either have to have more people working or more people working longer. Our working population as a % of those qualified for the aged pension is dropping and there are not enough jobs available for them anyway so it is imperative that the emphasis be on creating jobs and extending the time people can work.

    Before I end - and the half-empty glass contributors get on the bandwagon - I know it is all Abbott's fault as it is something he has in common with GOD - if it is good or bad it is his fault.
    KSS
    13th May 2015
    12:58pm
    Uncle Fester should your first paragraph end "does not reach 67 yrs until 2023."

    The other thing is that retirement age is NOT legislated. If you have the means (your own or someone else's) you can retire whenever you want. It is eligibility for the aged pension that is legislated. If you don't need the Government pension you do not have to work to 65, 67 or 70! The only other constraint is the preservation age of accessing super fund savings. This varies between funds but is usually from about age 50+

    Having said that. I agree with you Uncle Fester.
    UNCLE FESTER
    13th May 2015
    1:21pm
    Thank you, yes the date should read 2023.
    I was, of course, talking about eligibility for aged pension and haven't mentioned "retirement" at all.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    11:20am
    Uncle Fester, it's not Abbott's fault entirely. Actually, it's mostly down to John Howard and Peter Costello, who gave massive tax cuts to the top 20% of income earners - cuts that we now can't afford. But Abbott and Hockey have the option to reverse those cuts, and/or to address gross inequities in the unfair and unworkable superannuation tax system, and by doing so to wipe out the deficit completely. They've chosen, instead, to attack hard working pensioners who tried to save for their own retirement but couldn't quite accumulate enough to survive years of repeated reductions in interest rates. Yes, it IS the fault of this Government, and anyone who takes time to examine the facts will see that and recognize the obvious solution. It won't happen, because this government is concerned only with looking after the rich, and to hell with the rest of us. Our only defense is to unite against them, and there are enough retirees to succeed. But we need to ensure that people like you are not prejudiced, misinformed, or just plain self-absorbed and therefore unwilling to support a protest.
    UNCLE FESTER
    14th May 2015
    7:05pm
    Hi Rainey, I see you have already pigeonholed me as prejudiced, misinformed or self-absorbed although as far as I am unaware you have no idea who I am or what I believe in. This is the problem with many who make comments on this forum - if there is someone who does not agree with them then they resort to personal attacks. What is your solution for "ensuring that people like you ...." Involuntary euthanasia, send them to Nauru or other refugee camps? My comments only included facts - a difficult concept for many it seems.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    8:57pm
    Uncle Fester, I didn't ''resort to personal attacks''. I said we need to ensure that people like you are not prejudiced, misinformed, or just plain self-absorbed. I didn't say you were any of those things.

    Your comments stated a few isolated facts, but ignored other highly relevant facts, Of course, we need to focus on creating jobs. This Government is doing very badly in that area, and it's quite possible that doing what the Greens and John Hewson and other experts recommend would both restore fairness AND create jobs. Forcing people to work longer isn't going to create jobs. It might be that letting people retire earlier and giving families a viable choice to have one parent stay at home and be a full time parent might free up jobs for those who want them and improve the quality of life for all. What is a certainty, though, is that it helps nobody to force retirees who have saved for 50 years to achieve a comfortable old age to drain their savings or accept a lower standard of living than those who carelessly frittered all their dollars away. Nor does it do any good for the nation to give tax breaks to the wealthy, who don't need them, and punish low income earners for saving by taxing their superannuation at minimal or $0 concession rates.
    What seems to be a difficult concept for many to grasp is that the facts don't support the claims this Government is making. The deficit is growing. Unemployment is growing. Economic growth is slowing. And the Government clearly has no answers except to persecute battlers and try to somehow get the poor to pay for the past excesses of the rich, while they continue to indulge the ever greedy wealthy who fund their campaign.
    Hawkeye
    15th May 2015
    1:33am
    Well said Rainey, very well said.
    I would just like to add that the age pension is NOT, and has never been, welfare.
    This is just a misnomer spread by the government to bolster attitudes such as Fester's in hope that the public will agree with their attacks on it. It started life as a separate fund, which was then misappropriated by various governments over the years. Its funding has been lumped in with the welfare budget by recent governments because there is nothing left of the original funding, even though we are still contributing to that fund as a proportion of taxes.
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    6:56am
    Correct, Hawkeye. And I somehow suspect that in the not-too-distant future, a Government will steal people's superannuation in a similar manner. It's already been predicted. There are hints of stopping people drawing lump sums and limiting the income they can draw - none of which is necessary unreasonable if it's done with due consideration to people's age, life expectancy, individual needs and circumstances, ability to manage their own affairs responsibly, etc. etc. But it never is, is it? It's just a cash grab at whatever funds might be accessible to a greedy and irresponsible government that has mismanaged the economy - usually in a manner that feeds the greed of the wealthy and powerful who fund their election campaigns (and the rich newspaper magnate who spreads their propaganda for them)

    What seems seriously wrongful to me is that many who had superannuation but spent freely now draw a generous pension, while many who had no super, but relied on the tax system to fund their old age (as they were promised it would) are now being denied their entitlement because they were responsible and saved to ensure they weren't totally reliant on the taxpayer.
    UNCLE FESTER
    15th May 2015
    11:11am
    I have made the point intended regarding the eligibility age for pension. I do agree that the way in which to determine who is to govern the country is at the ballot box and, as I remember it, it was the LNP. Which confirmed more Australians voted for them than against them, i.e., the majority. Commentators, such as on this forum, have every right to make any point they wish to make, however I think it is clear that the majority of comments come from those who are not happy with current government decisions which does not necessarily reflect the comments of the majority of Australians. We will not have a chance to change it until the next election so bring it on.
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    11:48am
    I think, Uncle Fester, it's worth pointing out that this Government was elected on the basis of the most horrendous pack of lies ever peddled in Australian politics. Therefore, I would assert that their election means nothing. Certainly the polls currently indicate that the majority are NOT happy with this Government, and it's been confirmed that many who voted for them were deceived and wish they hadn't.

    However, I think it's a mistake to make this a political debate. It has nothing whatever to do with who is governing or which party would be better. It has to do with what is and what isn't sound economic policy.

    If people stopped their blind ''team loyalty'' and focused on facts and the right approach to problems, we might actually get some policy that is BOTH economically sound AND politically acceptable.

    The biggest problem I see in the current debate, though, is that too many people are so selfish that they only look at how policy affects them personally, and not whether or not it is economically sound or fair. No doubt the Government will get away with this wrongful measure because it only affects some 81,000 people, and it benefits a great many. It matters not, to too many, whether it's right or decent or fair or whether the beneficiaries are deserving or the losers are being victimized.

    If we all started assessing proposals on the basis of verified facts, fairness, and economic wisdom - and without regard to personal gain or loss - we might make some progress in fixing the current economic situation.
    Hawkeye
    15th May 2015
    3:13pm
    Fester, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that this government was elected on the strength of a raft of promises made before the election. After the election these promises were all reversed in quick succession, so the votes were gained by fraud.
    I therefore can NOT accept that the current government are the legally elected leaders of this country. They are simply in government by fraud.
    UNCLE FESTER
    16th May 2015
    4:29pm
    Whilst I can agree with many of the points you make my initial posting was just listing some facts about eligibility for the aged pension. The politicizing came after that and I do not want to engage in LNP v Lab v Green commenting as no change will be possible until the next election.
    kinkakuji
    13th May 2015
    1:03pm
    Seems we constantly hear about how the Australian Old Age Pension Plan could run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare and illegal immigration support running out of money? What's interesting is that the first group "worked for" their money, but the second group didn't. Will vote for them in 2017.
    HarrysOpinion
    13th May 2015
    1:36pm
    Can some one confirm whether Halal revenue is taxed by the ATO? Subject to GST? Why not? Seems like a lost opportunity for the government to increase its revenue so it can manage the increasing social welfare expenditures for all Australians rather than allowing all that revenue to enrich the religious organisations who give very little back to the general poor population in this country without religious discrimination.
    tia-maria
    13th May 2015
    2:56pm
    kinkakuji, their hoping mate that all of us retired pensioners will get..... DEMENTIA...
    because we know what D...H....they real are our Politicians
    Pass the Ductape
    14th May 2015
    6:21am
    'How come we never hear about welfare and illegal immigration support running out of money?'

    Dead right HS - or how about the billions we've given to Indonesia over the years....to people who hate our guts!
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    9:34am
    Ductape, the government whinges that it can't manage financially because social welfare is costing 33% of its revenue so instead of saving the billions for future pensioners and social welfare they have given our hard earned taxes as foreign aid to countries like Indonesia who treat Australians and West Papuans with gross contempt. Over 10,0000 Christians have been murdered in Indonesia over past many years. We hear about the atrocities committed by Indonesians in West Papua but not acknowledged by our government. I get these emails from organisations calling for donations to foreign countries such as Indonesia and other Muslim infested countries for building schools and food for their children and I ask myself WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT? Why would I want to support the education and the development of future terrorists? When I hear of Halal money in Australia going to private schools for Muslims, for building mosques and the establishment of Muslim conclaves in Australia where they breed racial genocide, dissent and religious discrimination hatred against Christians, Jews and Aeheists I say tax the shit out of them and give it to the social welfare for all Australians. I also say that any Halal paid by Australian food producers and distributors not be allowed as a tax deduction.
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    7:13am
    Actually, it appears that it's ALL a big lie anyway. Global economic studies reveal that Australia has close to the best targeted and most efficient welfare system in the world and that the cost of welfare in Australia is extremely low. There are obvious areas where we could improve efficiency, but overall the system is NOT unaffordable. More to the point, the aged pension will become less and less costly as the benefits of a compulsory superannuation system kick in, and those benefits are already beginning to trickle into the system. Today's workers will retire with much larger savings and savings will continue to increase from this point forward. But changing the assets test to punish savers will provide a perverse incentive for people to spend their savings before retirement (or give it to their kids 5 years before), thus pushing the cost of the pension UP - not reducing it! The Government obviously hasn't bothered to factor in the reaction it invites to its short-sighted proposals. It has just looked at what is being paid now to whom, but paid no heed to the fact that every action leads to a reaction, and the obvious reaction is for people who will be hurt by the change - and younger workers who know they won't be able to save enough to be comfortable without some pension benefits - to spend to ensure they fall below the new threshold.

    There's another consideration that has been skewed by the envious. It's been claimed that the taxpayer shouldn't pay pensions to people who then leave money to their offspring. Why? The taxpayer subsidizes the spending choices of gamblers, drinkers, smokers, holiday makers, etc. Why not the spending choices of those who want to be frugal and give their kids a leg up? By doing that, people reduce the drain on the taxpayer in future generations. If my saving enables my kids to achieve self-funded status, or my disabled grandchild to live independently, that's a far bigger saving for the taxpayer than cutting off a tiny amount of pension that I might receive under a more generous assets test. But it's precisely because of this short-sighted approach - driven by the politics of envy and by the fact that the current politicians won't be around to claim benefit from initiatives that yield in the longer term - that is causing our economic problems. Howard and Costello never once considered that being heroes by giving massive tax concessions might plunge us into debt when the boom we were enjoying ended. And this government isn't engaging in any common-sense forward thinking either. But what's worse is that it is spreading lies to support its wrongful policies, and sadly a lot of the uninformed populace is believing them.
    Muggins
    13th May 2015
    1:20pm
    Our assets, entirely funds in super, are right on the cut off threshold. We will lose our small part-pension and the benefits of the pension card. We are NOT wealthy and live modestly. My partner has dementia and will ultimately end up in care and part of this 'asset' was going to fund the aged care costs, which at present are $250,000-$300,000 refundable accommodation deposit plus other weekly costs for care. To maintain our 'asset' and not draw heavily on the funds we will need to make budget cuts (just like the government). Will it be dropping Private Health Insurance; ending my partners respite care with Alzheimers (who do a wonderful job); giving-up the voluntary work I do once a week to save on fuel costs; keeping the heater switched off through winter - and so on. My plans for respite to take a short holiday (the first in 2 yrs) will now be cancelled, which will be detrimental to my health and ability to look after my partner at home. So just because we have assets life is not Wealthy and the money had been earmarked for Dementia Care.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    11:26am
    Muggins, I sympathize. But 81,000 people are being victimized by this Government so that they can retain their popularity by giving pensioners more. Our only defense is to aggressively lobby every Senator, Labor party and Green representative, and to write to ACOSS and all other associations representing seniors and tell them what this move really means and where it will lead.

    The irony is that it might not save money. I've done the spreadsheet. Ultimately, those affected will have to spend their savings and then draw much higher pensions than they otherwise would have. And no doubt some will spend their savings quickly so that they don't lose their benefits.
    Dollars over Respect?
    13th May 2015
    1:33pm
    "Oops! Another complete change of direction needed urgently - well...the masses are threatening to oust us...then where will we be?" "About t-u-r-n!" "Forward ho!" "Advance Australia Fair"! "Come on Aussie, come on - have a go now ...WE'VE got things moving!" "It's all good" "...Eh? What doom and gloom?" Methinks there's a timed election brewing!
    PlanB
    14th May 2015
    6:53am
    Yes you are right this was a sweetener --if they get in next time God help us all
    NGE
    13th May 2015
    2:29pm
    I agree wholeheartedly with Muggins. I am in the same situation, retired due to ill health, widowed and own a very modest home. I am now at the threshold and will lose my part pension and any benefits. Approx. $150 per week. I was of the understanding and advice that if I went without and put a little extra into super I would manage ok. I have been using MY MONEY to save the government from paying me a full pension and now I find this has been a waste of time. On comparing my income with a full pensioner I will now get even less than a pensioner. It is totally unfair. Tony Abbott you have NO HEART OR SOUL and I will never vote for you again
    Peterrj
    13th May 2015
    6:32pm
    Dear NGE I am totally sympathetic with your position. But do you think that the other mob will not treat you more unfairly? The Govt attack on the middle class has only just begun, just wait for the next Labor Budget and see how much more economic pain they can cause you? The future looks bleak and a long hard financial winter is just around the corner ....
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    5:33pm
    Actually, Peterrj, the Labor Party has proposed that the assets test be trashed altogether and a single income test be used under which anyone with less than $70,000 in income - REGARDLESS OF SOURCE - would receive a part pension and benefits. Those over 65s achieving $75,000+ a year, regardless of where from, would pay a small tax. Now THAT is fair and reasonable. Giving some people who earn $70,000 a year a pension and excluding others whose income is only $26,000 a year is clearly UNFAIR by any measure, and just because someone has been frugal and saved, shouldn't exclude them from a benefit that is given to people who enjoyed the same or higher incomes but didn't save.
    Squirrel
    13th May 2015
    3:10pm
    I agree with Muggins and NGE, we will also have to drop our private health, thereby making more of a burden on the public health system. That's if they bother to treat us at all. Anyone remember the movie, "Soylent Green". Now living on $32,000 a year till our money drops with no benefits at all. In NSW the CSHC is only useful for prescriptions. We will have to pay out for tests, Drs, utilities etc. because we are Rich!
    LiveItUp
    13th May 2015
    6:13pm
    Why go without? By spending down your capital not just the return on capital you can keep your health insurance and you will drop below the threshold again. Why are you keeping your capital when it's yours to use?
    Peterrj
    13th May 2015
    6:35pm
    'Solent Green' ... Perhaps a look into the future ...... It does provide a solution .... No?
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    2:03pm
    Bonny, the Government claims to want to reduce future aged pension costs. By forcing people to spend down their capital, they grossly inflate the cost of supporting them in future years, and they remove the incentive for younger people to save for retirement. It's stupid economics!
    Fready
    13th May 2015
    7:47pm
    The Government accepted the recommendations made by ACOSS. ACOSS sold out the part pensioners, whom they are supposed to represent. Now 320,000 of their constituents will be worse off.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    8:56am
    Instead of selling out part pensioners. Did ACOSS recommend that Halal revenue be subject to Income Tax and GST? and that any person or organisation collecting Halal not be considered as a Charitable organisation? and that any funds over $1,000 sent overseas without government approval be subject to 70% tax? and that any religious organisation that advocates racial and religious discrimination hatred principles in writing and in speech be refused Charitable organisation status? WHY NOT?
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    11:15am
    Maybe ACOSS could have suggested taking some of the superannuation tax concessions from the rich, that are costing the country half the national deficit. The Government argues that these are giving ''incentives to save'' and will reduce pension costs long term. Hello? The people benefiting would NEVER draw a pension anyway. They are filthy rich! And those who need an incentive and help to save get little or no concessions, but are punished if they do save anyway.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    11:15am
    Maybe ACOSS could have suggested taking some of the superannuation tax concessions from the rich, that are costing the country half the national deficit. The Government argues that these are giving ''incentives to save'' and will reduce pension costs long term. Hello? The people benefiting would NEVER draw a pension anyway. They are filthy rich! And those who need an incentive and help to save get little or no concessions, but are punished if they do save anyway.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    11:15am
    Maybe ACOSS could have suggested taking some of the superannuation tax concessions from the rich, that are costing the country half the national deficit. The Government argues that these are giving ''incentives to save'' and will reduce pension costs long term. Hello? The people benefiting would NEVER draw a pension anyway. They are filthy rich! And those who need an incentive and help to save get little or no concessions, but are punished if they do save anyway.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    12:47pm
    Rainey...You seem to have a bad dose of Rich Envy.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    2:01pm
    I don't have rich envy, Sum1. I have a sense of fairness and justice that is, by the way, supported by a vast majority of people around the world and some of the most eminent world leaders. I believe that generally people should be rewarded fairly for effort. They should get what they work for. But we should look after the genuinely disadvantaged and show empathy and compassion for those who have suffered genuine misfortune. We should NOT be giving obscene benefits to the rich - either at the expense of those who are disadvantaged, or at the expense of those who, despite lack of privilege, work hard to earn a comfortable lifestyle.

    I think what you have is a dose of the arrogant ''entitlement syndrome'' and inflated eog that too many well-to-do suffer from.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    2:27pm
    Rainey...spoken like a true lefty...luxuriate in your own morality and play the tolerance card OH! only if people agree with you right...Rainey...and if they don't they are arrogant and entitled. no more entitled than those who blame everyone but themselves. I was brought up in a rough housing trust area...not what I would call "entitlement syndrome" ...Your howls of discontent have become most tiresome. Resume your medication and have a lie down and when you wake remember Joe Hockey passed down a budget for what he thought was right for the country after years of ineptitude by the greenazzies....He was the treasurer Rainey ...he was not Father Christmas handing out presents as most "entitlement syndrome" "forever needy " whiners always expect.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    8:38pm
    Sum1, if you weren't so selfish and one-eyed, you would examine the logic and facts and recognize that what Joe Hockey is doing is bad for the nation. It reduces the incentive for people to save for retirement and it increases the incentive for young retirees to spend up big to reduce their assets below the new threshold. Whether they do that or not, they will have to draw on their savings to survive and that means they will need bigger pensions later, so the measure is counter-productive, as well as being cruel and unfair.

    I am not a lefty. In fact, I've always voted Liberal. But I'm not one-eyed or blindly loyal, either. I look at the facts. And yes, we've had years of ineptitude - by Howard and Costello handing out massive tax concessions to the rich with no consideration of long term affordability, instead of saving money and investing in infrastructure, as a responsible government would have. The Labor government isn't without blame either, but they did have a GFC to contend with.

    Nobody is asking Hockey to be ''Father Christmas''. And I don't agree with the cries of the ''forever needy'' that they should be entitled to ever-increasing handouts. But that's the point. Hockey is indulging the ''ever needy'' - whether they are needy through disadvantage or needy through being irresponsible - at the wrongful cost of the frugal who earned their comfortable retirement and are now being denied even basic fairness and made to carry an unfair share of the burden. It's not sound economic policy. It's not fair or equitable. And it's not the kind of behavior that we are entitled to expect of a Federal Treasurer - any more than his vile insults and stupid remarks like ''the poor don't own cars or don't drive much'' suggest competence and suitability for the job. In a fair world, he'd have been sacked long ago. But he will collect a huge pension at taxpayer expense as a reward for gross incompetence, while the responsible taxpayers who kept this country going for the last 50 years are denied the retirement they worked and saved for 50+ years to attain.

    John Hewson has explained in detail why we have a budget problem and his explanation shows clearly how to fix it. The Greens have put forward a valid and fair proposal to slash the deficit without causing unfairness and without causing pain to anyone - because all their plan does is reduce obscene tax concessions to the very rich, who clearly don't need them. GetUp has put forward a number of sensible proposals for reducing the deficit in equitable and practical ways. Countless respected persons and organizations have urged a complete review of retirement incomes and superannuation tax concessions. Hockey is having none of it, because his focus is on over-indulging the ''forever greedy'' who pay for his election campaigns.

    As for ''blaming everyone but themselves'' - people who worked and, according to statistics, carefully saved a lot more than most Australians, but who, due to not being born privileged, couldn't quite manage the millions needed to be truly self-funded in a low-investment-return environment have every right to blame others for the fact that they are now being deprived of all that they worked for. They planned, under a set of guidelines laid down by Government and in accordance with the repeated advice and urging of one government after another. And now, through no fault of their own, they are being denied the benefits of their efforts. And the worst of it is that the savings are being given to a lot of people who had equal opportunity but didn't bother to plan or save. Yes, the victims have every right to be furious and to allocate blame.

    But keep on pleading the case for the ''ever greedy''. They have destroyed the ''lucky country'' and ruined the lives of millions. But they will NEVER have enough, and they will NEVER withdraw from their claim that they have a superior entitlement to exploit, steal, cheat and defraud at every turn to further enrich themselves at the expense of those whose enterprise and labor generates ALL of the wealth that the greedy wrongfully lay claim to.
    P-Power
    13th May 2015
    11:48pm
    Pensioners should unite and show them the power we have as a group.
    Vote them out .... no matter what on the next election.
    That is the only way to beat the ones in power is take their power away.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    9:38am
    Australian Pensioners Solidarity...UNITE NOW!
    guyra2
    14th May 2015
    8:44am
    Not sure how long I'll have to be blue faced...to see of any real advantage the budget was to us struggling to exist on the pension as it is......Support of other countries and the halal
    has bled us long enough.....politicians are the only ones that don't suffer....they make sure of that regardless .
    Their thoughts and appearances overseas are paid for by the dubious benefits of the Bludget

    14th May 2015
    10:28am
    The LNP claims to want to encourage people to save for their own retirement and reduce aged pension costs over time. A noble objective! So according to their logic, this is acheived by:

    1. Giving a huge 33c in the dollar tax concession on superannuation to anyone on a high income, who won't qualify for a pension ever anyway and doesn't need taxpayer incentives or help to save for retirement. This is to ''preserve incentive'' for them to save! Budget cost, something in the order of $21 billion I believe.

    2. Give a much lesser concession or none at all to those on lower incomes who might, if encouraged and helped, manage to save so that they only qualify for a part pension. Cost approx $10 billion, apparently.

    3. Victimize and destroy the retirement plans of some 81,000 who did save for retirement, making them far worse off than pensioners who didn't. Message to the young: ''Don't save for retirement unless you are wealthy. Battlers who save enough to be only on a part pension will not live nearly as comfortably as those who spend all their money and collect a full pension.'' Saving, some $2.4 billion (IF it doesn't drive all those affected to go on a spending spree!)

    To be fair, the Government justifies point 3 by saying these retirees are ''wealthy''. Someone can't do math. $550,000 for a single or $823,000 for a couple DOESN'T constitute wealth when it has to last you through 25-30 years of inflation and the interest rates are at 2% and falling! Estimates are that a couple with $1 million of income-returning assets will see their annual income fall to $30,000 from $37,600 from January 2017 (The pension is currently close to $34,000 pa for a couple, PLUS a lot of valuable benefits). A couple with $800,000 in income-returning assets will see their annual income fall from $39,400 a year to $25,800, forcing them to draw more than $8200 from savings to come close to the income of a pensioner, or $25,000 to be as well off as a part pensioner with $400,000 in the bank. Obviously the incentive will be strong to spend up big quickly, but even if they don't, they will rapidly fall below the threshold and draw a much bigger part pension than they would have under the existing scheme.

    And I seriously doubt the Government's projected savings, because I suspect these now poverty-stricken ''wealthy'' retirees will draw on their savings, reducing their capital, so that in future years they need a lot larger pension than they would have under the old scheme.

    That's Hockeynomics, apparently! Meanwhile, as John Hewson points out, tax concessions Howard and Costello gave to the wealthy are costing us almost enough that, if reversed, the deficit would be wiped out. And making superannuation tax concessions fairer would save half the deficit again.
    I used to think it was the Labor Party whose policy were bordering on Communist - but this latest move comes close to the Communist's confiscation of land in China in 1950. Sad thing is, they'll probably get away with it because it only affects 81,000 people, and it gives more to all the irresponsible spendthrifts who didn't save as well as to the genuinely disadvantaged. It makes a lot of pensioners and part pensioners better off - which is good - at the expense of 81,000 who will now be worse off than if they hadn't saved, unless they go and quickly spend up big, wiping out any projected short-term Government savings - which they will no doubt be sorely tempted to do.

    Whether you are affected or not, and regardless of in what way, I urge everyone to please raise your voice in objection to the change to the assets test. It's grossly unfair. It makes battlers who worked hard and saved carefully to try to reduce their need for a pension far, far worse off than full pensioners. And I can't see how it can possibly save the government money long term, because it creates a perverse incentive for anyone except very high income earners to avoid saving much for their retirement.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    11:12am
    Great effort Rayney and many valid points except one. People must stop blaming and / or degrading those who have never been able to save a cent in their life because you don't know what circumstances caused them not to be able to save. You have not lived in their shoes and you have no right to make such judgement.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    11:30am
    I'm not doing that, HS. I understand and sympathize with those who can't save because of circumstances. I grew up very, very poor and married a Forgotten Australian. I know all about struggle. But I also know that half our current full pensioners earned better wages than many who have savings, but chose to be wasteful. And many just cheat the system. If it were only the disadvantaged getting more, I'd be 1000% in support, even if it cost me. But it isn't. And I can identify many undeserving who will be very much better off because 81,000 part pensioners are going to be plunged into poverty.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    12:55pm
    Rainey...."Plunged into poverty" you seem to have no embarrassment when it comes to literary embellishment. When the assets of a married couple do fall below $451000 they will be entitled to most of the pension and the full pension when assets fall to $375000.
    Give yourself a break Rainey ...you are very "whoa is me"
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    1:51pm
    Sum1, obviously you have the ''communist'' mentality that people shouldn't benefit from hard work and saving. It's apparently okay, in your view, for someone who struggled to save $800,000 to be worse off than a pensioner unless they erode their savings. Well, that philosophy does damage in multiple ways. First, it destroys incentive to work and save, thus leading to less responsible management and less people saving for old age, so a higher demand on the taxpayer to fund pensions. Secondly, it transfers costs to the next generation. By forcing people to spend their savings, they have nothing to pass on to their kids to make their lives easier, no way to help their kids through a crisis, and those who have had to erode their savings are worse off in later years so they need a higher pension than they otherwise would have.

    There's no literary embellishment. An income of $25,800 does put a couple well below the poverty line. The fact that they have savings shouldn't influence assessment, because spending their savings only means that their future income will fall further and further. Yes, under current rules they will get a pension when their savings fall low enough. But that's the point. Why on earth would we want to force them to a position of needing a full pension when they could have lived very comfortably on a small part pension for their entire life? It's dumb economics and totally indefensible. And it's not ''whoa is me''. It's concern for a nation that is bein sold down the gurgler by irresponsible political decisions. We SHOULD be fighting them.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    1:01pm
    Great budget Joe, Matias and Tony...Don't have much more to add other than I need to pack for my next overseas trip. To those of you less fortunate or simply the beneficiaries of your life's choices.. well keep up your lack of tolerance for all those that don't agree with you...enjoy your baked beans on toast and remember most people get what they deserve.
    Anonymous
    14th May 2015
    1:56pm
    That's an arrogant and contemptuous statement that indicates a complete lack of understanding of reality and a total absence of empathy. Obviously, you are like the rest of the self-serving ''I okay Jack and bugger you'' lot who are destroying this nation. You simply don't care about what doesn't hurt you.

    People get what they deserve? So people who went without and worked hard to save $850,000 for old age deserve to be victimized and have to drain half of it away in order to give more to people who didn't bother to save? How is that ''getting what you deserve''? And what about people who were born to serious disadvantage. Do they ''deserve'' a lifetime of suffering because they were unlucky enough to be born with a disability or their parents died when they were young. Do people DESERVE to suffer because bureaucrats don't do their job properly and their mistakes cause innocent people to suffer? Your attitude is self-serving and really quite disgusting.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    2:59pm
    I would not call it a "great budget" Sum Zero.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    3:03pm
    Rainey ...a white cockatoo just landed in my yard.....it keeps repeeeeeeating....."You are arrogant...lack empathy...bugger you Jack...you communist...mean spirited..disabled...self serving ...disgusting toad mouth..
    I was wondering if it was yours?
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    3:10pm
    Sum Zero, I think that belongs to Tony. Could you please return it to him, he also wants to know why you are referring to the President of China like that?
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    3:34pm
    Just on your Halal..Muslim comments...could not agree more with you ....remember that it was the ALP that let 50,000 of these 7th century barbarians into this country as so called asylum seekers. Remember the ALP have the first Muslim Fed MP in their ranks...swore allegiance on the Quran of course. Remember that the ALP rely on the Muslim vote for 5 seats in NSW. Remember in the budgets $450m to help stop terrorism. Remember it was Tony that refers to these Allah Kebab goat Shaggers that they are a death cult. Yes and the Greens challenged this comment in Parliament, yes that barely functioning life form that gets into bed with their fellow lefties.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    4:09pm
    I know all of that Sum1 (aca Sum Zero) but not with such hatred as you bellow. It was wrong, short sighted and many Labor politicians fell for the $600,000 investment in Australian real estate purchase trick to let them in. Most of those with that kind of money to spend on Australian real estate settlement were moderate Muslims intererested only in making a buck and living their life in peace. But, not all of them. It's the"not all of them" that encouraged Muslim refugees to flood in to Australia claiming that they were relatives. Once they had the numbers, hello,Halal here we come...Every Muslim in Australia has to pay a levy of 2% of their income to the Australian Islam Council This brings to question are they claiming that donation as a tax deduction to a "charity". One assumes that there are Islamic charities approved by the government so one could allege that the 2% levy they have to pay to Islamic charities is claimed as a tax deduction. This government is crying out for more money but it has no guts to stop these rorts so it targets the weaker sector of the community such as pensioners, disadvantaged, unemployed and university students and then this government puts on their bravado, "oh...look what we done to save Australia " It looks like on the one hand they are protecting our borders but on the other hand they are betraying the taxpayers and pensioners on their own soil. So yeah, I agree with you but not with the level of malice you project. Speaking of malice, I just heard great news from the President of North Korea, he is inviting you to North Korea for a short visit where he will greet you with a anti-aircraft gun salute.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    6:05pm
    No malice..no hatred...but a satirical death invite to North Korea...very much in the mold of those high moral ground crusaders from the left...You are a hand wringing bed wetter with all the guts and character of a melting ice cream.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th May 2015
    6:37pm
    Ha,ha,ha...good on ya.....I'll give you a Sum below-zero for that.
    I can only please one person per day.
    Today isn't your day.
    Tomorrow doesn't look good either.
    NGE
    14th May 2015
    3:32pm
    Rainey you are a gem with great commonsense. I'd vote for you with your caring, thoughtful empathy with all. As for you Sum1, perhaps you should see if you have a heart in that cold body.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    5:45pm
    There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me--I always feel that they have not said enough.

    15th May 2015
    8:28am
    An extract from a recent Daily Telegraph Article:

    Figures from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia show the nation’s 76,000 wealthiest retirees are receiving just over $10 billion in super tax concessions a year.

    There are 24,000 people who have more than $2 million in their self-managed super accounts receiving about $216,000 in tax-free income stream payments each, or $5.2 billion in total.

    “In 2012-13 the 24,000 retired members with balances in excess of $2 million received around $5.2 billion in income-stream payments. A further 51,700 with account balances between $1 million and $2 million received around $4.9 billion,’’ the report said.

    Those who support slashing the incomes of people who managed to save $550,000, or $823,000 for a couple, seem to be ignoring the fact that the multi-millionaires mentioned above haven't been touched. Why is the government hurting the responsible battlers who worked hard and went without a lot in earlier life to try to fund a comfortable old age, when they could easily save billions without causing any real pain, just by stopping grossly unfair tax concessions to the super-rich?
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    8:31am
    And the assets test change will only save $2.4 billion (IF it doesn't result in a spending spree by affected persons that wipes out the savings!), while merely cancelling unfair tax concessions could save $10 billion. Just reducing them to 75% of the current level would save more than the assets test change.

    And some people continue to support this Government and excuse their irresponsible and unfair proposals!!!!
    Sum1
    15th May 2015
    8:58am
    Rainey...you put money away for a Rainy Day...that day has come.... spend your money that, I assume is why you saved it...You do have an incurable dose of Wealth Envy...
    I thought those above $823,000 were ineligible for any pension??
    Those that support this government are those who don't have such a short memory as you and know that the coalition of incompetents on the LEFT are why this country is nearing economic insolvency.
    I watched Struggle Street on SBS...10 kids.. 6 dogs..pregnant drug addict at 21 with third no hoper on the way. welfare dependent. housing trust wreckers yet blaming the Gov. Yes these are the prehensile primates from the low end of the gene pool that you like to splash around with. These are the gormless fools that ensure Labor get another chance to spread their economic havoc and you are in their team...you must feel proud.
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    11:32am
    Sum1, I do NOT have Wealth Envy at all. And I am very aware of the welfare dependency problem. What I object to is the hard-working battlers who struggled to achieve a modest level of comfort being victimized while the very rich give up nothing and the welfare dependent - some of whom are deserving, but many of whom are not - are given more.

    The current problems are NOT the fault of Labor, nor a result of over-expenditure on welfare (although doubtless there's room for improvement in both camps). The problems we face are the result of obscenely generous handouts by Howard and Costello to the wealthiest 20%. Sadly, neither Labor nor the current government have had the guts to address the fact that we can no longer afford this level of generosity. Instead, this government hands out more to the ''low end of the gene pool'' (the welfare dependent) and takes from those who display initiative, enterprise and responsibility, thus driving the growth of a spendthrift/dependency attitude.

    I have NEVER ''splashed around'' with ''gormless fools''. I am a hard worker who has been frugal and diligent all my life. I am proud of what I've achieved despite hideous disadvantage that was in no way my fault. And I object to the ridiculous assertion that someone whose assets are only able to return them half of the income full aged pensioners are enjoying should be compelled to run down their savings in a manner that ultimately will likely cost the nation more - especially given that the savings will be distributed giving more to the ''welfare dependent'' who are thoroughly irresponsible (as well as to the genuinely disadvantaged, who certainly SHOULD be better cared for and for whom I would happily make sacrifices.)

    I'm objecting to bad economic policy, but you seem incapable of comprehending statements of fact that have nothing to do with ''wealth envy''. You don't even know my personal situation, much less have qualifications to judge me. What I have posted refers to government policy and its impact generally - not my personal situation.

    The FACTS are that Australian has - by independent expert assessment by multiple competent assessing bodies - close to the most efficient and well-targeted welfare system in the world and one that imposes more than acceptable costs that are easily manageable given our current GDP. The left is NOT responsible for our economic problems - which I note no longer constitute a ''budget emergency'' according to the Treasurer who expressed panic when it was only half as bad. Our deficit is a result of obscenely generous tax concessions by the Howard/Costello Government, 80% of which only benefited the wealthiest 20%. These are FACTS, verified by independent expert economists who have no political affiliation (and confirmed by leading Liberal politicians!)

    I am not, and never have been, a Labor supporter. I am making an objective examination of a government proposal that is clearly unwise, cruel to those it victimizes, and that I don't believe will achieve its objectives. But even if it does, equivalent or greater savings could be made by much fairer and more sensible means. And it's sad that some people are either too self-serving or too blinded by stupid 'team loyalty' to research, evaluate facts objectively, and come to sensible conclusions that enable all of us to lobby for more responsible economic decisions.

    Yes, I put money away for a rainy day. And like all sensible, responsible Australians, I recognize that I could live for another 30 years and I may have all sorts of unanticipated needs in that time, so I want to preserve my savings sensibly so that I'm equipped to meet those needs. I also want to ensure my savings keep pace, as far as possible, with inflation so that I don't become dependent on taxpayer handouts, but can, as far as reasonably possible, support myself.
    If people whose assets are not adequate to generate a living income are forced to spend their savings now, they are going to join the ''welfare dependent'' queue and be an increasing drain on the State. Additionally, their kids are going to look at their experience and say ''Well, what the hell did they gain from going without holidays and restaurant dinners? NOTHING. So let's spend up big and take a pension later. Why bother to save when it yields no benefit?''

    Keep up the stupid rants and insults, Sum1. It shows exactly what kind of person supports this Government's inept budgets.

    And yes, I DO feel proud that I have the intelligence to research and evaluate and come to sensible conclusions, rather than spluttering nonsense and insults out of gross ignorance.
    Sum1
    15th May 2015
    2:54pm
    There were 100's of measures in the budget that were beneficial to many people in our community but you chose the same old chestnut to vent and slam the Gov. Hockey is the treasurer not Father Christmas. I was wondering with all your negativity that maybe your blood group may be 0 negative?
    Sum1
    15th May 2015
    2:54pm
    There were 100's of measures in the budget that were beneficial to many people in our community but you chose the same old chestnut to vent and slam the Gov. Hockey is the treasurer not Father Christmas. I was wondering with all your negativity that maybe your blood group may be 0 negative?
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    5:37pm
    Seems your lack of comprehension is so enormous, Sum1, that you can't even grasp that this page is about the Pension Assets Test Changes - NOT ''100s of measures in the budget that were beneficial to many people''. If you want to debate the merits of other changes, go to the appropriate pages. And nobody suggested Hockey was Father Christmas. Only that he shouldn't be playing Robyn Hood or Sheriff of Nottingham. He SHOULD be focused on fair, equitable budgeting that is good for the nation.

    That said, this is NOT a political debate. It's got nothing to do with who is or isn't treasurer. It's about an economic policy. Sadly, you don't seem to have the intellectual capacity to grasp that fact.
    NGE
    15th May 2015
    12:06pm
    Well said Rainey. Intelligent, unbiased and stated facts with such decorum and dignity. Ignore Sum1 who shows none of your intelligent debate...only wants to attack you personally.
    Sum1
    15th May 2015
    2:56pm
    NGE...you are easily pleased.

    15th May 2015
    5:42pm
    I trust everyone here - regardless of political persuasion, which is irrelevant - will support the alternate Labor Party proposal to scrap the assets test completely and implement a single income test that gives pensions to anyone earning less than $70,000 a year, and implements a small tax on over 65s earning more than $75,000 a year. It's a fair policy that doesn't victimize savers and doesn't reward the irresponsible who enjoyed high earnings but wasted their money.

    The Liberal's proposed changes to the assets threshold is grossly unfair. It gives pensions to $70,000 a year income earners while denying people who are earning $25,000 a year. It rewards frivolous spending and punishes responsible planning and frugality.

    It is patently unfair by any standard to suggest that someone who saved for retirement should be denied a benefit that is paid to someone else who earned as much or more during their lifetime, but chose to spend it enjoying a higher standard of living.
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th May 2015
    5:43pm
    Rainey & Sum1 ....Not all people will agree with either of you!!!
    Sum1 ...some of your personal comments ...although stated to bait....are nothing short of reprehensible and undignified!!!
    Rainey.....some of what you say about economic management rather than targeting the o/50's makes sense!!!
    But I implore both of you to understand that BOTH the Major Parties
    employ divide and conquer methods that are aimed directly at you both!!!....they want you to disagree and debate with each other....they want you to both take sides with either or Party!!!
    It is how they steal your vote CHEAPLY!!!!
    You take a side and vote accordingly without thinking!!!
    But the truth is staring right at you.....THEY ARE BOTH LIEING ....about having your best interests at heart!!!
    They both put Party Puppets into Parliament to do what the PARTY tells them....regardless of the people!!!!
    Both the Parties have corrupted the Parliamentary System by removing the Debate on each and every CHANGE to be legislated!!!
    They both want total control to do what they like!!!!
    Neither is worthy of a person's VOTE....why???
    Because they have both SOLD it to their Party Caucus before they even win the Seat!!!!
    Get your Brains unscrambled from all the Party Machine Propaganda before you hurl bricks at each other like children!!!
    Anonymous
    16th May 2015
    7:08am
    You are right, Not Senile, but we have to vote. A donkey vote merely allows the masses who blindly follow ''their team'', or vote ''as Daddy did'' to have their way.

    What achieves most is personal letters to politicians, provided they are rational, logical, and based on fact. It often surprises people to learn that our representatives DO listen. I've changed significant legislation twice by writing to politicians pleading a case.

    The way to ensure this particular issue is appropriately resolved is for all of us here, and as many other retirees as possible, to put forward reasons why the current approach is unfair and dangerous and to demand it be abandoned in favor of the proper full review of retirement incomes that so many advisers are saying is long overdue and urgently needed.

    Of course both major parties are lying. Neither cares about the interest of the nation and the majority of its people. But it's been demonstrated clearly, over the last year, that they ARE worried about their popularity ratings, and they WILL respond to people-power when their seats are threatened.

    My major concern is that some retirees are just too self-absorbed and arrogant to give a damn for what is right and fair, or to care about how wrongs hurt others. And some are just not intelligent enough to see that the glib claim that someone with savings is ''wealthy'' has no validity. The politics of envy play hard, sadly.
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th May 2015
    5:52pm
    As for the Budget.....totally Unfair to a target audience of Pensioners....who are unable to fight back!!!
    Everybody that is worthy of mention has told Both Parties that the Super subsidy or tax avoidance....is unsustainable into the future.....way before it became so!!!
    As for cutting tax.......not appropriate when in deficit!!!
    As for the cuts suggested....they are only palatable if they are applied to every sector....namely Tax avoidance via exemptions and subsidies right across the Board with everyone!!!
    No one wants them removed over night.....just scaled back over a ten year period so people can plan to mange their way out of dependency!!!
    It is irrelevant which Party does it.....it is only relevant that they BOTH need to understand that it needs to be done so that the Retired do not take the full brunt of cut backs!!!
    Remember....everything that you now have in terms of infrastructure was paid for by the Retirees and Pensioners that already paid 40-to 45yrs of Tax.
    In short....they have done their hard yards!!!!

    16th May 2015
    10:29am
    Good to see the Australian Financial Review publishing some common sense on this issue. Hopefully Senators will take notice and block this stupid move in favour of the urgently needed overhaul of the entire retirement funding system.

    http://www.afr.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/pension-changes-are-illconceived-20150510-ggy6df
    Sum1
    16th May 2015
    10:33am
    My Super Fund...Conservative Balanced...has returned just over 10.00 pa% over the last 5 yrs.
    To those at $823,00 X 10=$83,000 plus return... only have to draw down 5% of $823,000.
    Before new legislation... these asset pensioners were receiving up to $14000 extra.
    AMWE sit at around $65,000 pa. then these workers have to pay around $15,000 in tax.
    Yes this tax on the worker who generally has a wife and kids must go to who??. yes Rainey.
    This is the guy that Rainey yes that disadvantaged pensioner wants to contribute to his $83000 tax free return pa.
    Bipola? Schizophrenia?...Gotta be something of that nature? ..and so to the psycophants who like to luxuriate in their own morality who follow this perennial whiner.
    Well may you make high moral ground retorts to my colourful comments...can only assume I inherited them from my Labor voting "Daddy" who worked in the mines in Woolongong..
    Anonymous
    16th May 2015
    2:26pm
    Well, that makes it okay then. If YOU are okay because YOU get a 10% return, then it's fine to ASS-U-ME that everyone else is in the same boat, isn't it? That's Hockey-logic, actually. I'm okay and bugger you.

    My neighbor earns exactly $65,000 pa and has one child and a part-time working wife and doesn't pay anything remotely close to $15,000 in tax, and he doesn't have much in the way of deductions much less negative geared property or a family trust. His family live in luxury compared to the standards I've enjoyed all my life - including taking overseas holidays. But even if $65,000 pa wage earners did pay that much tax, it would still be unfair to milk part pensioners with modest savings and small incomes (and many DO have small incomes) while multi-milloinaires pick up $10 billion in tax concessions, $70,000 a year income-earners get part pensions, and some people with both asset-returns and other income don't even have their other income assessed.

    The system is far too complex and unworkable, and grossly unfair, and it needs a total overhaul. And meanwhile, I strongly object to anyone having to give up $14000 of income to gift to people who earned, in many cases, far more than those who are losing, but who either rort the system or frittered their money away. Especially when there is no consideration whatever of the income of the couple losing $14000 or of the special circumstances that might render them in need of pension benefits.

    Nobody is suggesting anyone contribute to an $83,000 tax-free return. Under Labor's proposal, income would be tested. That would be fair. And I'm not a perennial whiner. I am simply arguing the case for fairness and economic wisdom.

    Lucky you to have a daddy who worked in mines in Woolongong. You were far more privileged than my husband or I, and you would have no concept of the disadvantage we have suffered or the struggle we've had. But not being a whiner, and valuing my privacy, I'm not about to tell all here.

    16th May 2015
    2:09pm
    I've got a tip for Bill Shorten. I reckon most of the people who will be victimized by this cruel change to pension rules will be Liberal voters. He just might win a lot of new supporters if he opposes it strenuously!

    16th May 2015
    2:09pm
    I've got a tip for Bill Shorten. I reckon most of the people who will be victimized by this cruel change to pension rules will be Liberal voters. He just might win a lot of new supporters if he opposes it strenuously!
    Sum1
    16th May 2015
    6:30pm
    Do you stutter?
    Sum1
    16th May 2015
    3:24pm
    1. What is stopping YOU from putting money in a Conservative Balance in an Industry Fund?
    2.What all legislation has to be tapered to you..ergo bugger everyone else.
    3. The ATO tax rates are nil to $18,200...19 cents for next $19000 earned and then 32.5 cents up to 80,000.
    Ergo your neighbour would be paying $12,700 in tax the amount you want him to pay you in such hard times of having over $830,000 in assets.
    What would you know about Multi millionaires other that to vilify them? OH! Hawke $77m, Keating $38m, and Rudd $155m...yes all true Rainey.
    If they have paid into Super and got the advantage of the 15% entry (I agree should be 30%) but the Super fund pays 15% on all their earnings...correct Rainey..yes correct.
    If you have above the $823,000 then please refrain from calling yourself a poor pensioner..because you are no longer a pensioner.
    You get a tax free return of $83.000 and only have to draw down 5%.. this is fact just like maths 2x2=4 not an opinion.
    My dad wasn't lucky...he had his leg crushed in the mines and went through 14 operations before he had his leg amputated. Many of his mates died through coal dust inhalation.
    I don't know your circumstances but if misfortune has visited you then I empathise but would also think a few dollars should not be your major concern.
    Just for your information Howard/Costello the great architects of our illustrious years between 1996 and 2007 have not been in Canberra for 8 years.
    I am pretty sure it was that inept back stabbing trio of Rudd/Gillardand Short-on morals Bull Shorton who were in and they didn't seem to address any of your concerns.
    My father was a union man and a Labor man when Labor actually stood for something..Super is not the only thing voters weigh up at election time and I consider a vote for Labor to be akin to TREASON.
    Value your culture a little more Rainey as Labor is hell bent on committing cultural genocide in this country.