Pensioners may lose concessions

Pensioners may lose part Age Pensions and concessions under new rules.

Treasurer Joe Hockey promised in his Budget speech that part pensioners who lose their part pension under the new asset thresholds and pension taper rates would keep their rights to state and territory concessions. However, it seems he didn’t clear this will all states before making the promise.

Under the new rules, which are proposed to commence on 1 January 2017, 91,000 retirees are expected to lose their right to the part Age Pension. Announcing the measures in his Budget, Mr Hockey said, “Importantly anyone who currently has a pensioner concession card will continue to receive a concession card that provides the same benefits, such as subsidised utilities and transport, bulk billing and cheaper PBS prescription medicines. These measures are all intended to provide security and certainty for older Australians in the years ahead.” This may not be the case in all states and territories.

Pensioner concession cards are issued by the states and territories to those who qualify due to a Centrelink payment and many of the concessions, such as those on transport, car registration and utilities, are actually paid for by the states. Having lost $223 million in federal cuts made in last year’s budget, which paid for the concessions, state governments may not be so keen to keep funding the concessions.

Sources for the government agree that while the government can ensure that those affected keep their government issued Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, they concede that it is up to the states whether many concessions remain.

Queensland has already made it clear that it is not on the same page as the federal Treasurer. A spokesman for Queensland’s Treasurer, Curtis Pitt said, “The Abbott government didn’t consult with Queensland or the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services on this issue. The hard fact is that Joe Hockey is cutting services to some of the most vulnerable people in society, leaving fewer people with a part-pension and therefore a pensioner concession card.”

While arrangements vary between states, it is thought that losing such concessions could cost retirees between $1000 and $1500 per year.

Labor’s social security spokeswoman, Jenny Macklin said Mr Hockey must confirm whether or not he has the agreement of the states to continue providing the valuable concessions, “Last year Tony Abbott’s budget ripped $1.3bn from pensioner concessions. This means pensioners will lose their discounts on things like gas and electricity, council rates and transport.

“Extraordinarily, it now appears Joe Hockey wants the states to extend these concessions to seniors who will lose their pension under new assets test arrangements.”

Read more at theguardian.com

Opinion: Respect the boundaries

As with most government policy, the lack of detail often causes confusion and contradiction and it appears that the pension changes announced in the Budget are no different.

In delivering his Budget speech, Joe Hockey has made promises that he simply doesn’t have the authority to make. The lines between state and federal politics seem to be blurred for the Treasurer and his government. Federal government does not trump state and territory governments, their remits are quite different.

In a move to cuts costs last year states and territories lost much of the money they rely on to provide health and education services and of course, provide concessions to pensioners. And while many of the state elections were fought over several platforms, the voting public in certain states made it clear that they were not happy and the Liberal governments were ousted. Yet just this weekend we saw Mr Abbott launch billboards in Victoria criticising the state Labor government for exercising its right (whether you agree with it or not) to scrap the East-West road link. Mr Abbott himself having referred to the November state election as a referendum on whether the project should go ahead. Next he pops up in Western Australia, where Liberal support is waning, promising money for a new medical school. His ‘punish and placate’ modus operandi in full effect.

Yet again it is pensioners and those who have most to lose who get punished by the government’s failure to realise that, as Newton’s Third Law decrees, every action has an opposite and equal reaction. The Federal Government cannot strip money from state budgets and expect them to cover the costs of hollow promises made by a Treasurer floundering to deliver a ‘fair’ budget. And meddling in state politics when you’re not wanted isn’t going to get it what it wants.





    COMMENTS

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    DavidB
    18th May 2015
    10:14am
    Nothing new here. Same Guardian speculation as always, why repeat it?
    Grumpy
    18th May 2015
    12:23pm
    DavidB your comment appears to reflect on the Guardian in a derogatory manner, as though the budget is a good outcome. Assuming this to be correct, you may wish to reflect on the fact that pretty much the whole of the budget changes relating to welfare/pensions is highly speculative as they do not come into effect until 2017, after the next election. There is therefore plenty of time to invoke the changed circumstances clause and cancel them before they become due.
    If my assumption as to your intentions is invalid, my comments remain valid.
    Grumpy
    18th May 2015
    12:23pm
    DavidB your comment appears to reflect on the Guardian in a derogatory manner, as though the budget is a good outcome. Assuming this to be correct, you may wish to reflect on the fact that pretty much the whole of the budget changes relating to welfare/pensions is highly speculative as they do not come into effect until 2017, after the next election. There is therefore plenty of time to invoke the changed circumstances clause and cancel them before they become due.
    If my assumption as to your intentions is invalid, my comments remain valid.
    wally
    18th May 2015
    6:38pm
    My guess is that they don't print Pravda any more.
    bookwyrm
    19th May 2015
    5:12am
    Who said pensions wouldn‘t be touched before the last election? Tony Liar Abbott!
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:02am
    And how has Tony Liar Abbott! touched pensions?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    10:37am
    Are you deaf and blind, Wally. He said ''No changes to pensions'', then he tried to push through a change to pension indexation, and when that failed he changed the pension means test. Those ARE CHANGES. The date that they take effect isn't relevant. The changes were made during this term, so he has broken the promise. But then, he's broken so many and told so many lies that we've all lost count. And some still wear blinkers and can't see what is real!
    wally
    21st May 2015
    6:03pm
    You shouldn't construe thought bubbles and proposed suggestions as deeds done after the fact, Rainey. Neither should you make yourself a hysteria monger and persist in making mountains out of imaginary mole hills.
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2015
    6:30pm
    You should pay more attention to what is actually written in budget papers and to Hockey's budget speeches, Wally. Hockey stated that pension changes would be implemented. He and Abbott expressed great frustration that the Senate blocked them. They weren't ''thought bubbles'' or ''suggestions''. They were intended to be legislated changes and would have been except for the Senate's obstruction.
    particolor
    23rd May 2015
    7:58pm
    All Premeditated "Thought Bubbles" prier to Elections !! :-) That turned into a "Serving Suggestion"
    particolor
    23rd May 2015
    7:59pm
    Prior .. Before the Spilling Police get here !! :-)
    SuzeB
    18th May 2015
    10:18am
    'May' lose concessions. A lot of things 'may' happen. Shorten 'may' actually find a real $100,000 university course.
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    2:07pm
    It should read ''Will lose concessions'', because the some states have already declared their position, and in any case health care professionals have NEVER treated the health care card holder the same way as a pensioner. And many private businesses discount for pensioners also, but NOT for health care card holders.
    Kato
    18th May 2015
    6:13pm
    The WA government announced in its budget seniors will be means tested to quality for concessions. Speculation. NO.And it is increasing the age one can access them.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    9:45am
    I hear they are putting it up to 85 Years Old and must be Accompanied by Your Great Grand Parents when Applying ? :-)
    Kato
    19th May 2015
    11:51am
    Yes Particolor but they don't state wether they have to be alive when you present them.
    Precious 1
    19th May 2015
    3:00pm
    Lose what concessions....only if you trying to hide all your wealth...I think its absolutely appalling what people are doing...I knew one whos girl told him to hide it all and grab as much as you can...is that what is expected then......most of those concessions are never used anyway and indeed not know to many.....that still left 24 thousand hidden un der the mattrass
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    10:48am
    And many rely heavily on the concessions because they have chronic health problems that impose huge costs. Those that will lose them have had their incomes cut in half by falling investment returns and have now lost up to half again through assets test changes, and are down to incomes in some cases 1/2 of the aged pension, but that's okay. The selfish among us just say ''Let them spend their savings''. Some of these people slaved and went without for 40 years to accumulate enough for a comfortable retirement, and now they are expected to just spend it all while those who lived the high life when they were young and didn't bother to save put their hands out for all kinds of taxpayer-funded benefits. This victimization of people who chose to be frugal so that they could have a little more in later life is disgraceful.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2015
    5:50pm
    Rainey, of course it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who scrimped and saved..many would not bother if they had their time over again.
    However, if people want a "bit of the action" they feel entitled to then spend over and above the limits and enjoy the money then you will eventually get the pension when the money runs gets below the threshold/s.

    Isn't that what you worked for all your life; to enjoy retirement...not scrimp and save until you fall off the perch and leave to others to spend.
    buby
    5th Jun 2015
    10:53am
    maybe some Politicans should be means tested before they are allowed to make decisions on Any Means testing????
    buby
    5th Jun 2015
    10:55am
    ''Let them spend their savings''. Some of these people slaved and went without for 40 years to accumulate enough for a comfortable retirement, and now they are expected to just spend it all while those who lived the high life when they were young and didn't bother to save put their hands out for all kinds of taxpayer-funded benefits. This victimization of people who chose to be frugal so that they could have a little more in later life is disgraceful.............. I agree Rainey
    Jackie
    18th May 2015
    10:34am
    Typical LNP shooting from the lip. No consultation or double checking before making a grand announcement. Just more reduction of benefits by stealth, blithely assuming others will pick up the tab.
    Dotty
    18th May 2015
    12:20pm
    Very true ! Dotty
    Dotty
    18th May 2015
    12:20pm
    Very true ! Dotty
    wally
    18th May 2015
    3:34pm
    Jackie. it is more like YLC "shooting from the lip" again. Anyway, Jacqui Lambie and her fellow Senators will save us all anyway.
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    5:55pm
    There will be an election next year anyway so people will be able to vote before these changes come into effect.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    10:50am
    Jackie is correct, Wally. And you are a ''wally''! You have no idea what you are on about. YLC has reported correctly, as everyone who listens to the news and to Hockey's nonsense claims knows.
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    10:47am
    The sooner people who have a million dollars in assets stop being called "pensioners" the better. Get a standard interpretation on "NEEDS" to make that distinction and this topic will never need to be discussed. The ONLY people who should receive that WELFARE payment are those whose sole income and means of support is from a WELFARE, SAFETY NET grant from the taxpayer. and be called "WELFARE RECIPIENTS"!!
    How many people with large assets would love having that "title" to tell their friends and family???!!!! Soon see the "welfare" budget slashed VOLUNTARILY!!!! Think about it Joe!!!

    WELFARE is NOT AN ENTITLMENT it is a NEED.

    "Pensioners" would be limited to those receiving a REAL "pension", someone who derives an income from an investment such as an annuity.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    10:56am
    That's bought and paid for Social security Recipients.... and Pension is an absolute entitlement bounded by rules on income and asset level........

    It is not a 'grant' from the taxpayer, it is drawing on money paid into consolidated revenue via taxes in time of need, as per the rules.

    To even seek to define it otherwise than in accordance with these facts is to fall for the propaganda that a pension (etc) is a privilege that can be manipulated or withdrawn at any time with or without notice, and thus can be used as a political football or even worse - a tool to punish certain groups in society.

    Apart from that you're pretty close.
    LiveItUp
    18th May 2015
    10:59am
    I agree. Any person accessing an income from a pension fund is a pensioner. Any person accessing welfare is a welfare recipient. Welfare is not an entitlement. I keep hearing people say that they don't need the pension but I'm entitled to it so why not get it.

    Those people who access their super (pension phase) before their pension age are technically classified as "self employed" even though they are pensioners. This is why one has to be actively involved in a business to get latest budgets business deals.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    12:04pm
    It's not Welfare - it's Social Security bought and paid for out of taxes, and a pension is a Right bought and paid for bounded by the rules. What is in question here is how those rules are capable of being manipulated or changed to suit any prevailing wind, and that is precisely why there is a need to properly and for all time determine what is and what isn't a pensioner.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/3d68c56307742d8fca257090002029cd/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument


    Straight from the horse's mouth.
    Grumpy
    18th May 2015
    12:34pm
    Trebor is absolutely spot on. The fact that monies which should have been preserved to meet future government liabilities for pensions have been squandered leaving pensions due and payable as a huge overhanging, unfunded liability is not the fault of the pension contributors. In fact even the wealthy would be entitled to the full State pension if funds had been prudently managed.
    Grateful, your comments give me the impression that you are someone exclusively, or almost exclusively dependent on the State pension. Assuming this to be correct, as someone who has gone without all the goodies over the years to garner some funds to provide some small degree of comfort in retirement I somewhat resent the implication that because I have a few assets conserved from better times that I am some sort of "sponger" on the system. I paid top whack taxes all my working life and question why the system has to be rigged to deprive me of my due, the full state pension. (See comments above.)
    Theo1943
    18th May 2015
    1:56pm
    Trebor is right. I started work in Feb 1961 when Menzies was Prime minister and the understanding given was that if you worked hard and paid your taxes the Gov't would be happy to provide you with a pension on which you would be able to live in reasonable comfort until your demise. After working for 49 years I turned 67 and became a pensioner and now I'm a bludger who doesn't deserve the pension I damn well paid for?
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    2:14pm
    Well, of course, pensions should be for those in need only. So people who go without luxuries, manage well financially, and save for a higher level of comfort in old age or so that they can help their children and grandchildren should be punished by being deprived of a pension while those (in many case much higher income earners) who spent freely living the high life are supported from the public purse?

    Trebor is right. We paid our dues. Everyone is ENTITLED to an income guaranteed to be at least equal to the income of pensioners - including part pensioners who have private income as well as their government pension. Nobody should be forced to spend their savings to maintain a living standard while people who squandered their money receive handouts. It would be different if pensions only went to the genuinely disadvantaged. Then they could be said to be WELFARE. When they are paid to spendthrifts regardless of their past earnings, inheritance, etc. they are anything but WELFARE.
    marls
    18th May 2015
    9:50pm
    greatful,
    sorry i have paid for my pension its call taxes and also i like to inform you that a lot of europeans do not pay any tax at all, my sister being one of them she pays no tax on her wages, but she pays into a fund so that she can get the pension in her old age. other parts of the world its the opposite to us, if they dont work they dont get the pension wheres here you work you are penalised and their pensions are not means tested because they worked and earned it
    Alexii
    19th May 2015
    2:31pm
    I fully agree with Trebor, Grumpy, et al. We deserve to geta pension when we have paid taxes all of our working lives. For me, after I "retired" I again worked full time and then a lot of casual work into my early 70's to try to build a bit of a nest egg and it makes me wonder now if all the effort, frugality and saving has been worth it. I should have just spent it on expensive holidays and more on the house and then I could get a full pension. Instead of that, my retirement fund will not give me the value of a full pension and my part pension will be much smaller than at the present. I really think that all people should be entitled to a full pension and that the savings should come from the excessively generous super tax concessions to the well off. They can still be paid a pension as with any of us so they would have nothing to grizzle about. A little bit of equity there.
    Precious 1
    19th May 2015
    3:02pm
    Totally agree Greatful.....hahahah then the s t will hit the fan
    buby
    26th Jun 2015
    5:39pm
    YES Marls its sucks, to think those that have worked hard, are then penalised and taxed. Even their super Is taxed, its SOOOOO wrong. While our Pollies Stick it to us!!!
    Nan Norma
    18th May 2015
    10:58am
    It annoys me that people on pensions can blow $120 a week on cigarettes and continue to recieve a pension.
    biddi
    18th May 2015
    11:35am
    Agreed.
    LiveItUp
    18th May 2015
    11:37am
    Basics card would make this a lot harder and healthier for them.
    Stoker
    18th May 2015
    11:50am
    Nan , when we smoked we had about 50/day each, thats about $45 a pkt now days I believe, we both gave up in '95 and went onto pensions about '97, what you say is right, give up smoking or get a job.
    Alas the same 'identity' can be applied to alcohol also, we should not give up all the past pleasures, but control is essential.

    All the above can be applied to those on welfare or other taxpayer funded tasks
    thommo
    18th May 2015
    11:57am
    i "blow" $75 a week on cigarettes,when i used to go to the pub,i saw many older people,probably on a pension,blow $100 in 5 minutes on a one arm bandit,each to their own.And did you know that health people are worried about how much pensioners drink!!
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    12:04pm
    It's their money and their lungs.....
    tia-maria
    18th May 2015
    12:26pm
    Nan, not everyone goes to clubs and pubs smokes and drinks..........we don't....... smoke or drink and hardly ever go out to the clubs ......personally how can anyone afford to on our pension..............BUT agree plenty do play pokies drink and smoke and............ their the one who go to local charity for food vouches and what ever hand outs the get for nothing..........cheers
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    1:03pm
    Yes Trebor it is "their money and lungs" but it is MY taxes that are paying for their choices along with the health care costs they will incur because of those choices. And then they will have their hands out for more!
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    1:19pm
    KSS, quit your whining.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    1:23pm
    After you Fast Eddie
    Theo1943
    18th May 2015
    2:00pm
    Well Nan Norma, would you be happy to provide receipts of all your purchases for auditing when you pick up your pension? Aha! You bought TimTams with our money, did you? Naughty. Naughty. We will deduct that amount from your next payment.
    wally
    18th May 2015
    3:48pm
    An interesting point, Theo. After watching Struggle Street and the spending choices the "stars" of the show made, Why not issue pensioners with a form of ration card that would restrict pensioner spending to certain shops and items that would limit the amount a pensioner could spend on "unhealthy " products like grog, smokes and processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium and fats. But would the government be prepared to forgo the tax revenue raised from the sale of alcohol and tobacco?
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    11:01am
    You would have to be Kidding Wally !! Would You throw something away that Raked in over $90,000,000 a day ?
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    11:04am
    PS And that's Tobacco Alone !!
    Precious 1
    19th May 2015
    3:03pm
    I don`
    Precious 1
    19th May 2015
    3:03pm
    I don`
    Adrianus
    20th May 2015
    10:45am
    I think the taxes on Tim Tams and smokes should be high enough to cover the Hospital / Medical costs of obesity and smoking related illnesses.
    MITZY
    20th May 2015
    12:57pm
    Nan Norma: It may be true that "SOME" people on pensions do as you say, but when you indicate people on pensions blow $120 per week and still receive the pension then that's a broad statement.
    I'm a full recipient of the single age pension and in all my life time (now 74) have never had a cigarette touch my lips. However, for so very many many years from age 16 to age 55 I worked in government and private enterprise offices and was subjected to other people's cigarette smoke until it was banned a few years before I retired. Not all pensioners are "equal".
    particolor
    20th May 2015
    2:02pm
    Some people wear Blinkers ?? If You go to Hospital whether You weigh in at 450 pounds or Your Lungs are Stuffed ! You Get a Bill !! They don't send it to the Government ! Make Tim Tams 35 Bucks a Packet!! There that should cover it >> :-)
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    8:41am
    If every retired person received a pension regardless of wealth (because we all paid taxes) the country could not afford it.
    Can someone tell me where the money would come from?
    Travellersjoy
    21st May 2015
    9:29am
    It's their money.

    Would you like the government, or me, telling you how to spend your income?

    I think not.
    particolor
    21st May 2015
    9:50am
    That can be taken No ! And would the Government like Us telling them what they can spend Our money on !
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    11:05am
    Radish, you are right that the country can't afford to pay everyone a pension. That's due to mismanagement by politicians, but it's still a fact. But it's unfair to suggest that people who struggled and worked hard but saved for retirement should be denied the benefits of their savings while those who lived it up in younger years enjoy a taxpayer-funded retirement.

    The income test is fair enough, and setting a deeming rate to stop people deliberately investing in non-returning assets (but allowing a reasonable sum for cars, furniture etc. which are necessities in this day and age) would be reasonable. But nobody should be forced to spend their savings to live at aged pension standard. It's grossly unfair.

    Take X and Y, on equal incomes, paying equal tax, with similar family obligations. X works a second job, grows vegetables, makes his own furniture, has a wife who makes the family's clothes. They live frugally, because they want to ensure they have a high living standard in retirement and some money to leave to their kids when they die. That's their spending and lifestyle choice.

    Y goes out to restaurants regularly, has expensive holidays, gambles, drinks, spends heavily on nice clothes for the family. He saves little. Those are HIS spending choices.

    In retirement, X has an ENTITLEMENT to enjoy the benefits of his savings. Why should he be denied a pension because he chose to delay his spending until later life, while the taxpayer looks after Y just because he chose to spend up big when he was younger?

    This is where the current system is grossly unfair. By all means, income test pensions. A fair income test will recognize that those who continue to work should be better off than those who don't, and that those who saved should reap the benefits of their saving. But it can, at the same time, ensure that pensions are affordable.

    BTW> Radish. Actually, pensions in Australia are highly affordable. We have almost the lowest cost aged funding system in the world, and the costs are falling due to superannuation. The problem lies with superannuation tax concessions - NOT pensions. But the government doesn't want to hurt the rich. So they victimize the battlers whose hard work and frugal lifestyle have given them enough that they SHOULD have a comfortable retirement (but many now won't - and they are being deprived of everything they worked and saved for)
    Adrianus
    22nd May 2015
    7:04am
    Denied the benefits of their savings?
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2015
    12:15pm
    Rainey, I can understand what you mean about some saving and scrimping while others blew the lot.

    However, I think very differently from most as I do not think I am owned anything by government and I am prepared to support myself until and IF it gets to the stage I need government help.
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2015
    6:35pm
    Radish, I would agree with you if it weren't for the fact that my taxes have paid for people who lived a much better lifestyle than me to enjoy benefits I never had. And now the savings from denying battlers a tiny part-pension and the valuable concessions that go with it are paying for people who have always been far better off than me to continue to enjoy a higher income than I can achieve.

    Yes, Frank, denied the benefit of their savings. They have saved to attain a given living standard and now they can't achieve that because the Government has shifted the goal posts unfairly, to take from the savers and give more to those who didn't make the effort to save for their retirement.
    particolor
    23rd May 2015
    8:10pm
    That's Lumping !! Some could only Save Tablet Packets and Pill Bottles due to Illness and other Assorted Pains in the Butt !!
    Anonymous
    24th May 2015
    8:22pm
    Particolor, I've repeatedly acknowledged that SOME are genuinely disadvantaged. And I'll happily make sacrifices to help them out. But they are in the minority. My husband and I earned less than the dole for most of our working lives, and struggled to care for a special needs child who cost us a fortune. But we still saved for retirement - by growing vegies, sewing, building our own home, fixing old cars, and going without a great deal. The majority of pensioners were far better off than we were and could have saved more than we did, but chose, instead, to live it up and then put their hands out for taxpayer funds.
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    8:34pm
    So did I ! And never bought anything I couldn't Make !! But always had time for the Elderly and Infirm ! I've always done anything for the Oldies around Here but they have all gone Now !! And I'm the only the Oldy left !! But I get By :-)
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    8:39pm
    All the Newbys here are Welfare Havers ( Yes Please) And wouldn't work on a Decent Dinner ! :-( Let alone Help anyone !
    bookwyrm
    26th May 2015
    4:59am
    I may get lung cancer due to passive smoking, including from the ladies who smoked their way through the work day right next to me in the office! If this was USA we could all sue for everything!!!
    bookwyrm
    26th May 2015
    5:06am
    The Abbott Circus wants us to be just like USA, dog eat dog and no welfare. OK, I think I will save up for a old cheap campavan and park in the posh areas like the overseas backpackers do, when ththe Sir Tones gets rid of all welfare.
    bookwyrm
    26th May 2015
    5:13am
    I hope I will be able to get a swag and food parcels. For safety, we oldies should campavan together only in posh suburbs. We could hang out in nice places like public libraries, shopping malls etc and beg for money so we could have a hot cuppa a day in a nice upmarket coffee shop.
    particolor
    26th May 2015
    9:49am
    Try the Lawns of Kirribilli House !
    Nan Norma
    18th May 2015
    10:58am
    It annoys me that people on pensions can blow $120 a week on cigarettes and continue to recieve a pension.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    12:05pm
    It's their money and their lungs.....
    Dotty
    18th May 2015
    12:29pm
    Personally I don't know how they can afford anything as my sole income is from the aged Pension and I can not afford any of these types of things !!
    Hard enough to pay the rent,Bills and food and keep a 28 yr old Car going and that's my pleasure to be able to drive and get out the house for an hour or so !!
    I gave up the smokes well before I went on the Aged Pension as I knew once on that I would not be able to afford to spend anything that was not essential's !
    Dotty
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    6:33pm
    Yea 'Its their Lungs "..
    And its a bit rugged when they come and Bite You a couple of days before Pension Day !! I think the Government should Shout them a couple of packets, Seeing as how they Slugged them over Half the Price in the first place in "Thank You Very Much Tax "
    bookwyrm
    19th May 2015
    5:02am
    We employ Joe Hockey and he goes around smoking big fat expensive cigars, and rorting us by claiming the $270 a day away allowance while living rent free in his millionaire‘s wife in Canberra. Hypocrites!
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    9:38am
    Peanuts !! What's $1,890 a week between Friends !.. Got a Match ? COUGH! COUGH !! :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:08am
    At least most of the $120 per week the pensioners goes back to the govt in taxes. Maybe if b wyrm speaks nicely to Mr. Hockey, Mr Hockey might share a big fat cigar. I'm not so sure about Mr Hockey sharing his wife with bwyrm, though.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    10:16am
    Either I had a Bad Picture last time or Joe and His Pal were Smoking Tree Trunks ?? :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:19am
    As long as the tree trunks didn't come from old growth forests! Now that would upset our Greenie friends.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    10:46am
    They looked like 2 Churchton Whincehill's Enjoying Victory ! :-)
    Dot
    18th May 2015
    10:59am
    Can't afford to take care of our own TRUE BLUE AUSSIES who have worked hard all their lives, being patriotic to Australia and law abiding, well we can't afford foreign aid, can't afford all refugees receiving all benefits and housing that's been denied to us or also can't afford these pompous Politicians living the life of billionaires.
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    11:14am
    Dot. We COULD afford to pay genuine welfare recipients MUCH more if we weren't topping up rich people's assets who reckon that they are "entitled" to WELFARE!!!

    This country, like no other, "takes care of its own" exceedingly well, with such wonderful lifestyle and benefits. Nobody who lives in Australia "who HAS worked hard all their lives, been patriotic to Australia and law abiding" would be better off in ANY other country that this wonderful land of ours.
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    2:18pm
    True, Grateful. But the irony is that we CAN afford to look after our aged in fine style. We spend less on our elderly than almost any other developed country - much less. We are more prosperous than almost every other developed country. We have mega-billions in superannuation savings and it's growing at a phenomenal rate. Our future retirees will all have received the benefit of employer-funded superannuation and hardly any will retire with nothing.

    We DON'T HAVE a funding problem at all when it comes to aged pensions. It's all a big lie.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    2:50pm
    Who DO we have a funding problem with then Rainey if "We DON'T HAVE a funding problem at all when it comes to aged pensions."
    marls
    18th May 2015
    9:24pm
    dot,
    totally agree with you i am sick and tired of seeing all these people free loading of all us who have worked all our lives, and now to have the govt punish us for being so stupid in paying our taxes
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2015
    6:56pm
    KSS, superannuation tax concessions for the very wealthy are imposing an increasingly intolerable budget problem. We spend less on aged pensions than almost every other country in the developed world, and our aged pension system is rated by global economic experts as the most efficient and affordable in the world. And the cost is falling due to compulsory superannuation. In 30 years, even a low income retiree will most likely have well in excess of $500,000 in his superannuation account.
    particolor
    23rd May 2015
    8:17pm
    Its just a pity that they will need about 2 Million Dollars by them, Maybe a LOT More ? :-(
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    11:01am
    If you really want to know the intentions of the present government, just read their advisory body's manifesto. The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is the worst kept secret that journalists refuse to refer to. This is not because of the lack of veracity of ideology shown by the LNP's advisors, but because it removes speculation, which is the lifeblood of journalism. The IPA stands for rampant capitalism in the belief that by keeping the wealthy richer, the residue of their largesse will trickle down to the less well off. This manifestly ugly and inaccurate ideology is shared by their political front, the LNP. As a result, there will always be an intention to wind back welfare: to make education and good health a privilege, not a right; and to let market forces dominate every facet of society. They don't give too hoots for needy pensioners, asylum seekers, the poor and the unemployable. I've heard it said in the corridors of power, "Well it's their own fault, isn't it?" They grudgingly give their support when they are need of their vote, but only if their vote is significant enough to ensure they win power.
    Nan Norma
    18th May 2015
    11:09am
    Everyone should watch a TV programe The Super Rich an Us. You'll see what Paulodapotter is talking about. Frightening !
    LiveItUp
    18th May 2015
    11:10am
    Even the wealthy themselves are realising that it is not a trickle down effect as they though but that they need the engine room of the middle class to keep things running so that they benefit. Any one person can only sleep in one bed, wear one set of clothes and eat one meal at a time so the economy needs lots of these people doing these things not a few rich people paying a bit extra for them.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    12:07pm
    You also need the engine room of the people who use the services of the middle classes - the spenders. without them nothing moves in the economy.

    Perfectly correct Bonny.
    PlanB
    18th May 2015
    1:07pm
    Yes Nana Norma, I watched that series "The super rich" I knew what was going on but everyone should watch it so many are blind to the truth
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    6:37pm
    Seen it !! Yeah FRIGHTENING !!... But not Surprising !! :-(

    18th May 2015
    11:44am
    ANYTHING GOOD for Aged Pensioners in the last budget does NOT come to fruition until 2017 - IF THEN! If you believe ANYTHING this government tells you then you are VERY naive (in another word, stupid). We have been lied to by the LNP before the last election and after it on just about a weekly basis. This government cares about no one except themselves and their wealthy political contributors. This comment is dripping with venom not because I am a Labor supporter, as I am not, but because I, too, trusted the LNP with what they promised and am throughly disappointed with their hypocritical, conniving, totally irresponsible, and inept way of governing this wonderful country. God help us!
    pom13
    18th May 2015
    11:50am
    I totally agree, the LNP won't be happy until they have turned this once Great country into a Third World Country
    Polly Esther
    18th May 2015
    12:25pm
    Vote them in and then whinge about it being all their fault, silly really.
    Stop voting for them, simple really.
    tia-maria
    18th May 2015
    12:59pm
    Willie Poker, your spot on mate.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    1:06pm
    "ANYTHING GOOD for Aged Pensioners in the last budget does NOT come to fruition until 2017".

    Well until then its maintain the status quo. So what is your problem?
    PlanB
    18th May 2015
    1:12pm
    So true Fast Eddie, this is an election budget to suck people in till they get full control at the next election--which they will not admit to , they are sneaks of the lowest type
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    1:29pm
    PlanB, try to tell the above three that and you'd be better off trying to explain something to the cat!
    sirmikd
    18th May 2015
    7:42pm
    Isn't it a case of " well I'm not voting for that bunch of idiots - next time I shall vote for the other bunch of idiots - and I'm not talking PUP!
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    8:08pm
    Fast Eddie Its Qur'an talk at its best ... You can LYE to the People of a country to gain their Confidence ! Its called "Taqiyya" And once we are in Sufficient numbers You take Full Control !! :-( or is it :-) ?? They learned well from that Co*ic Book !!
    Look it up !!
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    8:10pm
    PS.. And that goes for all Present Parties !!
    marls
    18th May 2015
    9:30pm
    fast eddie
    totally agree its does matter what party we vote for they always change the rule to suit themselves, there are all nothing but liars and full of deceipt and only look after themselves
    Alexii
    19th May 2015
    2:12pm
    I just hope that enough voters are aware enough to NOT vote for the LNP next time around. But I live in fear that Abbott and his mate Hockey will suck enough in to return them and their parties to government.

    Seniors could join the Seniors United NSW party and there is also a seniors party in Queensland. Seniors need a more united front and such parties will help to create such a front for seniors. Hopefully there may even be a sitting Seniors member(s) in the next parliament.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    8:18pm
    I hope the New Senior Member doesn't have a Nanna Nap in Parliament like the rest of those Drones !! :-)
    wally
    20th May 2015
    10:31am
    Or develop "Old Timers'" and forget to turn up!
    particolor
    20th May 2015
    1:35pm
    Or start dribbling on about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Question the Opposition just asked them ,like this lot do ?? :-(
    Dukalook
    18th May 2015
    12:17pm
    Give me a break! What a crap article. When are you lefties going to stop blaming all the world's woes on the current Federal Government and stop encouraging this cargo cult mentality? If labor State Governments want to drop some of the current benefits they provide to their Seniors or Commonwealth Concessions Card holders, let them have the guts to face the music. It's their choice where they make cuts to their budgets.
    Ming
    18th May 2015
    12:40pm
    What do you expect from Labor? they throw money around worse than a drunken unionist, with no idea how to pay for their indulgences other than to raise taxes, even then they can't generate sufficient money to cover their indulgences ie. the mining tax!!!!
    Ming
    18th May 2015
    12:40pm
    What do you expect from Labor? they throw money around worse than a drunken unionist, with no idea how to pay for their indulgences other than to raise taxes, even then they can't generate sufficient money to cover their indulgences ie. the mining tax!!!!
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    1:19pm
    Hey Dukalook and Ming. Take a look at what the very pro-government, far from "leftie" newspaper had to say about this government this morning in my post to KSS below. Give us all a break and open both eyes, "WELFARE" should be apolitical, not condemned to political bias.
    Theo1943
    18th May 2015
    1:30pm
    Hey Ming, why do you say everything twice? Are you Tony Abbott?
    wally
    18th May 2015
    3:57pm
    The people that devised the current welfare system we have copied the "Bread and Circuses" that the ancient Romans laid on for free for the urban poor in exchange for political support. Which political party would the people shown in SBS's Struggle Street be most likely to vote for?
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    5:06pm
    The trolls are at it again. It doesn't take long before party politics become the issue instead of the issue becoming the issue. At least the labor mob don't have star chamber telling them what to do. Everything is obvious, even their dirty washing. I can trust a mob who can't keep secrets, but the mob who hides their true intentions until they smack you in the face with it, I do not trust, like or support.
    wally
    18th May 2015
    6:52pm
    Labor doesn't have a "star chamber" but it does have a caucus . As I recall, Caucus parachutes their favoured candidates into safe seats for pre selection ahead of loyal, local Labor candidates (remember Peter Garrett?), they anointed Bill Shorten as Labor Leader ahead of the Labor rank and file favourite Anthony Albanese and deposed and then reinstated Kevin Rudd ahead of two recent elections. You may trust the faceless ones of the Labor caucus, Paulo, but Kevin couldn't and I for one wouldn't.
    Alexii
    19th May 2015
    2:22pm
    "Hey Ming, why do you say everything twice? Are you Tony Abbott?"

    I think that's incorrect,Theo. Doesn't Tony Abbott say everything three times? I must say we always have a good laugh when he repeats himself like that and also at the way he likes to clasp people's arm with his other hand when he shakes their hand - especially with important and powerful people. With the holding of the arm we wonder if it is a "power" thing with him, or perhaps he's afraid they'll quickly withdraw their hand and he'll miss out on the photoshoot opportunity. It always looks rather ill-mannered. It's a wonder some of these people don't "shirt front" him - but of course they probably have far better manners than Tony has.
    Adrianus
    20th May 2015
    10:56am
    I think that is the first time I have seen someone actually admit to trusting Labor.
    particolor
    20th May 2015
    2:04pm
    Enjoy it Frank ! :-) You will most likely never see it again !! :-)
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    8:45am
    The only answer Bill Shorten had to bring down the debt in his Budget reply speech was to tax superannuation. Good one Bill! The rest was just thought bubbles.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    11:11am
    And any intelligent Australian recognizes that the superannuation tax concessions ARE our budget problem and they need to be modified. It's the attack on pensioners and part pensioners that is unfair.

    And BTW - the Labor Government didn't blow the budget. The current deficit is a result of tax cuts for the wealthy by the Howard Government. They are the ones who spent like drunken sailors, expecting a boom to last forever. And what Shorten is proposing is merely to do what's fair - take back some of those obscenely generous concessions to the rich who benefited in the boom, instead of hurting people who didn't benefit from Howard's generosity and have already suffered more than is fair for the Government's economic mismanagement.
    Adrianus
    22nd May 2015
    9:42am
    Rainey, I know you're just repeating what you've heard Bill Shorten say but do you really believe that nonsense?
    Anonymous
    24th May 2015
    8:25pm
    Actually, I'm repeating what former LIBERAL leaders (eg. Fraser and Hewson) have said, and what world-leading economists and financial modelling groups are saying, Frank. And if you weren't a Liberal troll, you would know that what I'm stating is evidenced FACT. (I wouldn't believe a word that came out of Shorten's mouth.)
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    8:42pm
    Rainey.. Me Either !
    Sorrento Jo
    18th May 2015
    12:31pm
    Life Choices really like the Guardian and Get Up. After all they print the best anti LNP messages and scare stories. Pinch of salt needed for everything.
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    2:20pm
    Sad, though, that they are telling the TRUTH.
    Sum1
    18th May 2015
    5:01pm
    Rainey ...the only sad part is you believe it to be the truth...whoa is me.
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    5:09pm
    All you gotta do is a bit of research. Look at the vested interests. GetUp does not have vested interests other than revealing what others want to keep secret.
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    5:09pm
    All you gotta do is a bit of research. Look at the vested interests. GetUp does not have vested interests other than revealing what others want to keep secret.
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    5:10pm
    All you gotta do is a bit of research. Look at the vested interests. GetUp does not have vested interests other than revealing what others want to keep secret.
    Wstaton
    18th May 2015
    8:47pm
    Is it the truth that Abbott lies not once but multiple times
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    9:13pm
    Wstaton..No!! :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:22am
    What is worse is that Abbott has been accused of suffocating thousands of budgies in his Speedos!
    Anonymous
    19th May 2015
    7:33pm
    Wally, where is the proof of this?
    wally
    20th May 2015
    5:43pm
    Hi Billy. While I'd like to share this with you, my source has demanded strictest confidentiality, so I can't quote anyone.
    Adrianus
    22nd May 2015
    7:08am
    Let's just suppose that GetUp were financed by the CFMEU, would that constitute a vested interest?
    Ming
    18th May 2015
    12:36pm
    You appear to take some pleasure from frightening older people. Yes a lot "may" happen, but please confine your comments to what "will happen", I regret to say you are only too willing to criticize the coalition government, but never a word about why they have to clean up a financial mess, and who created it. Please report facts not fantasy, and in so doing worry people who have no need to be worried.
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    5:14pm
    That's because we know a lie when we see it, Ming. Did you recognise the lie over WMD. Did you recognise the lie over "children overboard". Going further back, did you recognize the lie that the communists were going to overrun our country from Vietnam? You gotta understand a bit about body language before you jettison reasoning as a response to bad decision making.
    wally
    18th May 2015
    6:55pm
    I recall something about a Carbon Tax (promise) that wasn't and then after the election, it was.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    7:46pm
    And now it Isn't again but the Never Never GST still is ??? What a Rolly Polly country we have !! :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:15am
    Hi parti. It makes Oz an interesting place to live, doesn't it? Predictability can be such a bore. I think I remember Howard announced that he'd introduce the GST before he called an election and went ahead with it after he'd won. Unlike a more recent Lady PM.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    10:44am
    If I remember Rightly He said Never a GST ! And once Voted in said Your having it anyhow :-) Just like Julia's Carbonski Tax !! And Tonys "There will be No cuts to Pensions & Bla Bla" They all walk the same path !! But the Kindy Kids they preached to before have now Grown Up I hope ? and will choose Wisely next time ??
    Alexii
    19th May 2015
    2:42pm
    I suppose that all pollies from the various parties lie - it's just that some of them are bigger and more frequent liars than others. Certainly the WMD, the Children Over board, the Never Ever GST, no cuts to pensions - all of them really stand out to me as some of the biggest and most blatant lies in the last several decades. OK - Julia also ran with he carbon tax after saying no carbon tax.
    No wonder so many Aussies are so cynical about whatever politicians say. And yet enough get sucked in by them to vote them in to power.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    8:39pm
    Into Power Yes ! but not what they take it for now ?? ABSOLUTE Power !! :-(
    wally
    20th May 2015
    10:36am
    Promises, according to John H, come in 2 types. They are "Core Promises" and, I guess, "Non Core Promises". Now that is having a bet both ways.
    particolor
    20th May 2015
    1:42pm
    Like buying a Sausage that had been Skinned and Gutted !! :-)
    wally
    21st May 2015
    6:08pm
    I wouldn't go back to that butcher!
    Jacka
    18th May 2015
    12:45pm
    Once again politicians flapping their gums without any idea of what there talking about perhaps the federal governmentall should fund all concessions as part of Centrelink. All States the same. What a silly idea, one size fits all, how would that work ??? Jacka
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    12:49pm
    Another made up article aimed squarely at scaremongering and denigration of the current Government and based purely on speculation.

    I note that no mention is made of the fact that "individual income tax is $190 billion. Social security and welfare spending is $154 billion,” and thus welfare in all its forms is quite simply not sustainable. Further, it has been known for some months that each jurisdiction has different concessions and different amounts for similar concession and even that some jurisdictions have already withdrawn some concessions and others have guaranteed to continue them.

    I note that even the profligate Labor government of Victoria wasting hundreds of millions of dollars is now also Mr Abbott's fault. So exactly what is new in this biased article that does nothing except attempt to demonise the current government further?

    I also note there has been no analysis of Mr Shorten's budget reply wherein he proposed $15b worth of new spending, unfunded, and no savings elsewhere to pay for them. Where is the criticism of that? No it seems the 'journalists', and I use the term advisedly, writing here or quoted here also have selected reading and hearing ability.
    tia-maria
    18th May 2015
    1:04pm
    Hey Mr KSS.........your Liberal party always crying wolf not having enough money mate?..................What about Abbot last week pledging to give these migrants 500 billions to learn Australian values????..........when we need all our hospitals brought up to standards....should be looking after taxpayers of Australia
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    1:14pm
    KSS. I suppose that this is "another made up article aimed sqaurely at scaremongering and denigration of the current government and based purely on speculation"???!!
    Yet if we had any brains, we’d be depressed about the direction the government is this article Troy Bramston tells us why in today’s Australian…(A real red rag paper!!! The government's BEST FRIEND!!!)

    ‘The fiscal challenge facing the nation is the gravest it has been in decades, and is likely to get much worse. The political class seems incapable of recognising this problem or showing any courage to address it. Blaming the Senate has become a convenient excuse for a failure of compelling advocacy and mixing smart policy with clever politics.

    ‘The second Hockey budget earns a place in history as one of the most fiscally reckless in the postwar era. Spending next financial year will reach a whopping 25.9 per cent of GDP. It is forecast to fall only slightly to 25.3 per cent over the next four years. Taxation will hit 24 per cent of GDP next year and continue to rise, up to 25.2 per cent by 2018-19.

    ‘There is no other conclusion: this is a big spending and big taxing government. It makes a mockery of the promise of smaller, leaner and more fiscally responsible government. Spending exceeds all of the Rudd-Gillard years bar one, during the GFC. It even outstrips the fiscally profligate years of the Whitlam government.’

    --In other words, it’s all bread and Circuses in the land of Oz. Meanwhile, there is plenty of dead wood and combustible fuel accumulating. Rome will burn…all it needs is a spark.
    But, we have to look after Tony's and Joe's jobs don't we? Far more important than 24 million people!!!
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    1:15pm
    Tia-maria please stop calling me 'mate' when clearly you are not!

    Actually I disagree with the money going towards teaching people Australian values (and by the way it is $545 MILLION not $500 billion). These values should already be known before migrants arrive in Australia. If you don't know what they are, how can you decide to migrate and live here? The children of migrants have been through the Australian school system and already know Australian values. Some are rejecting them most are not. And for the sake of accuracy, the money is for de-radicalisation programs so not for all migrants at all. Given that with a few recent notable exception, most of those so called 'radicalised' are over 18 and therefore deemed to be adults. Until that is they get into trouble then they are merely teenagers!
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    1:17pm
    Grateful, can we now have the benefit of your analysis of Mr Shorten's budget reply and the expenditure he outlined as well, please?
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    1:22pm
    tia-maria, you haven't a clue what you are talking about.
    tia-maria
    18th May 2015
    1:28pm
    KSS well one thing is for sure KSS you will not have too many mates on this site with your attitude. cheers
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    1:33pm
    Nor you with your personal attacks on other contributors tia-maria.

    Do try to remember that people are still allowed to hold and express their opinion without fear of insults and intimidation from others.
    tia-maria
    18th May 2015
    1:33pm
    Fast Eddie and KSS..........well guys I must inform you both that every one is entitle to ones opinions.........if that's OK with you two????..........KSS sorry I should had said 500 Million...........And to top it off being an Aussie like I am I have a passion to call many Mates.......
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    1:56pm
    Shorten is NOT in government. Did you ever hear even ONE fair dinkum policy from the current government when they were the Opposition? Just let's get rid of the "carbon tax" "that will save the entire economy and $500 per annum for each person". Oh yeah!! Or, kill the mining tax, "which didn't raise any real money anyway "and would be raising zilch with the current iron ore price. Or, stop the boats, which Rudd effectively stopped 2 months earlier.
    I'll reserve my judgement on BOTH parties until there is an election. The current government has had 8 years to come up with their SOLUTIONS and what have they got in their think tank??? SELF PRESERVATION!!! Still haven't got their first Budget passed and this one is already destined for the same outcome. EIGHT YEARS and what???? Would love to have seen how they handled the GFC if a piddling thing like a drop in the price of iron ore has blown their brains.
    Australia's economy still has that very well EARNED AAA rating from the GFC from which the vast majority of the world STILL have not recovered. Do yourself a favour and open both eyes.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    2:48pm
    Grateful so I take that as a no comment on Mr Shorten's plans then.
    Theo1943
    18th May 2015
    2:53pm
    KSS, paraphrasing what Tony Abbott and pretty much all of the previous leaders of oppositions of both colours have said in the past, "It's not my job to tell the Gov't how to govern, only to tell them when they do it wrong".
    Stoker
    18th May 2015
    4:12pm
    It seems to me, reading a number of these comments that there is going to be a 'push' to reelect an ACTU Govt., That should be great but shouldn't we wait till we see how much more he unions are going to push for and the prices increase, pensioners will be better off in prisons with all supplied
    Luchar
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    At first experienced some difficulty following "Grateful's" reasoning in his above post until I realised it was really intended to be included in the "Friday Funnies". First he suggests that the current Government, when in Opposition, proposed not even "ONE fair dinkum policy". He then recalls that for three years Abbott promised to abolish the Carbon Tax, which he did, with considerable savings to households. "Grateful" then recalls Abbott's promise to abandon the mining tax - again, which he has done. "Grateful" correctly notes that it "didn't raise any real money anyway". In fact the money raised was barely sufficient to cover administration costs. What "Grateful" conveniently overlooks is the fact that his Labor mates went ahead anyway and spent the millions it was expected to raise, thus adding to the massive debt inherited by the current Government.

    Then came the punch line in "Grateful's" joke of the week. Still believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, he/she still lives in the fantasy world which believes that Rudd stopped the boats, ignoring the fact that they were still arriving after the current Government took office. At the same time he/she also totally ignores the work done by Hawke-Keating and Howard-Costello, and ignores the influence of China's continuing demand for our iron ore, and still believes that Rudd saved us from a GFC which, in fact, barely affected us in the southern hemisphere, but which somehow saw us with billions of dollars of waste through failed projects, and left us with billions of dollars of debt to be faced by this and future generations.

    Yes, "Grateful", surely a post deserving of consideration for "Joke of the Week"!
    Grumpy
    18th May 2015
    4:59pm
    KSS you are so reliable. You can always be counted on to defend the LNP indefensible and launch a vitriolic attack on Labour based entirely on the dogmatic ragbag of LNP propaganda entirley unsupported by anything resembling facts.
    FACT The lowest tax collections by every LNP government since 1996 exceeded the highest collection of any Labour government in the same period.
    FACT Big business and those with taxable incomes in excess of $180K pa have been on a tax holiday since 1996 at everyone else's expense, particularly health and welfare services. If those vacationers had paid anything like their fair share health and welfare services could be dramatically improved and still be sustainable.
    FACT Attempts by the Labour government to make the LNP's paymasters, the mining and energy companies pay their fair share were frustrated by the mining industry more than ably supported by the LNP (who then had the temerity to complain about how little the tax they had connived to emasculate was raising, before the effects of tax evasion by the miners).
    FACT In the lead up to the last general election the LNP steadfastly refused to outline anything resembling a cohesive sustainable policy framework, disclosing only populist fragments of each of their policies. In response to Abbott's challenge, with no election in the offing Labour has given indications of policy directions which could have a positive influence on the future.
    FACT Abbott is only ever seen in one on one interviews by the commercial channels whose political inclination to the right is well established. He never confronts any serious journalists whose perceptive questioning may make him look even more foolish than he ably manages on his own.
    KSS, in my estimation the only organisation which is ever likely to employ you is that well known font of objectivity the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs, or as it should be more appropriately known the Institute of Private Appropriations.)
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    5:16pm
    Still waiting for my $550 savings from the missing Carbon Tax.... last lecko bill saved $18 - they say - and just recently someone said we need a mining tax - that tax BTW was on SUPER profits way above a certain limit, and had never had the chance to get started.
    Grumpy
    18th May 2015
    5:25pm
    KSS you have fallen into the LNP trap on Australian values. As a long established migrant from the "Old Dart" I have to tell you I don't really know what true Australian values are, other than a few motherhood phrases which themselves are never clearly defined.
    Please KSS, Mr Abbott, give me a clearly defined, detailed definition of exactly what those true Australian values you cherish are. Spare me the usual motherhood statements which are so vague anyone from any background can graft their own values on to them and see themselves as espousing the "True Aussie values".
    adbob
    18th May 2015
    1:15pm
    Here's the real truth:

    http://www.superguide.com.au/how-super-works/300000-retired-australians-to-lose-some-or-all-age-pension-entitlements

    300,000 honest hardworking people (not rich) lose in an unprecedented cash grab.

    $800,000 in savings may seem a lot to someone who has never worked bu it's not much to show for a lifetime of working and paying tax.

    Of course the spongers with attitude (of which this country has rather more than it deserves detest honest hardworking folk.

    The real rich with SMSF balances of >$2million enjoy total tax freedom.

    I tiny sop to the lower end to buy off the poor lobby.

    Here's who really wins:

    The idle rich - total tax emption in retirement
    The idle poor - full age pension - worth massively more than any returen $800,000 of savings can buy.
    The artful dodgers #1 - rich landowning families - no assets on paper - all in a family trust - full age pension for them
    The artful dodgers #2 - gifted assets to family members at age 60 - now theoretically poor - full age pension for them

    Here's who loses:

    Honest Joe (and Jill) who worked and saved.

    Here's the reality. Age pension was always intended to be top-uppable - if not what ever is the point of working.

    Here's the spin - it's only for the needy. Needy my eye. I could name at least 10 people around here who live on benefits as a lifestyle option. After a lifetime of doing that they get full age pension while honest working folk are told to live on their savings.
    Theo1943
    18th May 2015
    1:48pm
    Wow! I like the first bit. The retired public servant on a defined benefit pension of $120,000 a year currently also gets $7,400 from the Age Pension. After 2017 they will forfeit that bonus.
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:24am
    All of the things promised in 2017 depend on the re election of Abbott and the LNP in the next election.
    dougie
    18th May 2015
    1:15pm
    Debbie,
    If the possible loss of concessions is a State Government matter - why are you decrying Joe Hockey ? True as you say he does not hold the remit for the states, they hold that themselves and must wear any repercussion for decisions that they make. You seem to blame Abbott and Hockey for all things that do not meet your criteria. But all Governments must accept their responsibility for their own acts.
    Theo1943
    18th May 2015
    2:58pm
    The Concessions are a State matter, funded with money specifically given to the State by the Fed Gov't for that purpose. The Fed has now cut those funds, so the States also have to cut the funding or cut the money from something else. So yes, the blame is with the Fed Gov't.
    dougie
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    Theo1943,
    It is still the State Government who makes the final decision as to what will happen with their funds. Lets see what the future brings and see who is right and who is wrong.
    dougie
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    Theo1943,
    It is still the State Government who makes the final decision as to what will happen with their funds. Lets see what the future brings and see who is right and who is wrong.
    dougie
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    Theo1943,
    It is still the State Government who makes the final decision as to what will happen with their funds. Lets see what the future brings and see who is right and who is wrong.
    dougie
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    Theo1943,
    It is still the State Government who makes the final decision as to what will happen with their funds. Lets see what the future brings and see who is right and who is wrong.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    5:10pm
    dougie, dougie, dougie, dougie.. you do tend to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat yourself... now I'll only say this once - you only need to say it once. sometimes the internet is sluggish and takes a while to catch up - wait a minute before hitting the send button again.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    5:10pm
    dougie, dougie, dougie, dougie.. you do tend to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat yourself... now I'll only say this once - you only need to say it once. sometimes the internet is sluggish and takes a while to catch up - wait a minute before hitting the send button again.
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:26am
    The Parkinsons must be playing up againnnnnnn.
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:26am
    The Parkinsons must be playing up againnnnnnn.
    Theo1943
    21st May 2015
    1:22pm
    I did that accidentally this morning and the realised that there is a remove option on a post you have made. I deleted the second copy, saves me looking any more stupid than absolutely necessary.
    dougie
    18th May 2015
    1:15pm
    Debbie,
    If the possible loss of concessions is a State Government matter - why are you decrying Joe Hockey ? True as you say he does not hold the remit for the states, they hold that themselves and must wear any repercussion for decisions that they make. You seem to blame Abbott and Hockey for all things that do not meet your criteria. But all Governments must accept their responsibility for their own acts.
    Wstaton
    18th May 2015
    9:05pm
    Dougie,

    As has been mentioned before the money is given to the states from the federal government to give these concessions. The federal government has cut the money so how can the states fund the concessions.

    To continue them the states would have to raise taxes somehow.

    Do people have to keep telling you this.

    Now the federal government can say we are cutting expenses whilst the states are raing them. Cute, talk about passing the buck.
    adbob
    18th May 2015
    1:21pm
    The concession issue is a minor one compared with the cash-grab against ordinary folk with modest savings.

    There is an election due in 2016. This does not take effect until 2017. the best hope is:

    a:That Labor wins
    b: That they stick up for honest working people and don't get blinded by the professional poor lobby - eg ACOSS - a well-heeled and self-interested lobby group who care very little for the real poor.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    3:29pm
    My position is that everyone is entitled to at least the equivalent of pension, whether it be from savings, super or whatever. If a savings fund is returning $30k to a couple, they are manifestly below the pension level, and should be receiving a top-up and pension discounts as well.

    Such things can be determined via an annual return in a very simple way.

    Simple equation.
    Sum1
    18th May 2015
    6:01pm
    My Fund Australian Super...option being Conservative Balanced...has averaged just over 10.00% pa for the last 5 yrs.
    To those on $820,000 X 10% = $82,000 return pa... plus you only have to draw down 5% of your asset amount of $820,000.
    Annual pension from your annuity would be $41,000 with a further $41000 return added to your existing asset of $820,000....now $861,000.
    Prior to this proposed Super Change? retirees over 65 could get a part pension of around $14000 per year.
    AMWE... currently $65,000 pa. these workers then pay $12,700 in tax.
    They generally have a wife and kids and pay full tote odds for everything, but according to many posters on this forum this worker should should pass on his tax on $65,000 pa to that disadvantaged pensioner above who has a tax free Super Annuity return of $82,000 pa.
    Not sure I can fathom what all the noise is about.perhaps a little LNP bashing?
    For those who still think the proposed changes are unfair then for every $100,000 you have above $451,000 you are in fact needing to make 7.8% on your money to break even. Flitter away $100,000 from your $820,000 and you will receive your top up of $7,800 and become a pensioner again. Not all bad news.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    6:53pm
    Please send Flittering Instructions !! :-)
    GRASS 09
    18th May 2015
    1:34pm
    Remember folks that ALL the bad and nasty budget measures of Hockey's last budget are still there. Thankfully blocked by the senate. This is NOT a fair budget because the nasties are still there and be assured there are more to come. Liberals are NOT supporters of pensioners...never have and never will....because their liberal ideology says that people should be responsible for their own financial and economics.......all liberal governments are there for is to create the economic environment for them to do that.
    Check history........name ONE Liberal Prime Minister who ever raised the pension in a budget to a real income, increased medical, gas, electricity ect concessions, or provided a future picture that pensioners can look at and know that they can survive.
    This government thinks that Pensions are SUPPLEMENTS, that is it is a government payment IN ADDITION to what we already have!!!!
    Pensions are INCOME......for the vast majority of US the Pension is our ONLY Income!
    SUPPLEMENT means that it is additional to something already received!!
    Look and listen to what Morrison, Hockey and Abbot say...........WE are NOT entitled to anything more than a supplement....it is on their web sites and in their political manifestos.
    DO NOT TRUST THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:28am
    Look what we got for trusting Kevin 07.
    Poppysmum
    18th May 2015
    1:50pm
    This has happened in South Australia already - Federal funding was withdrawn and Pensioners will lose their concessions for Council Rates, formerly covered by the State government. Funny how we are a Labor state and have to pay dearly for it!
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    2:02pm
    Can't have responsible financial management from a Labor government now can we??
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    2:54pm
    Poppysmum I believe the new Labor QLD government did the same thing (or similar). NSW Liberal Government guaranteed to retain all concessions for pensioners. As I said before each jurisdiction is different and makes different decisions.
    Stoker
    18th May 2015
    4:50pm
    Perhaps if they reduced the public service in Sth Aust, there would a lot of money for all the concessions, yes thats right the public svce has grown to 14 persons per minister,to do what???
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    6:55pm
    To say "Yes Minister" :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:30am
    Fourteen times at that.
    Jackie
    18th May 2015
    1:53pm
    Just watched Joe Hockey on TV all animated about how much they are going to help small (up to $2 million ) busineses buy utes and new tables and chairs, , farmers to put up new fences, and so on. Then he changed to how they want to increase female workplace participation, how terrific that will be - then he added - but of course we will have to find savings for that to happen. No mention of having to find savings for funding the $20,000 asset writeoff for business and farmers, only when it got to women! Also significant as to their sincerity is the fact that business and farmers get this benefit INSTANTLY while the women have to wait nearly 2 YEARS !! Slightly off topic but this governments hypocrisy is breathtaking.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    3:10pm
    Jackie it is PARENTS who have to wait for the child care benefits not just women. I concede that it is mainly women who stop work but they do not have exclusive rights on that. And farmers are women too as are tradies and other small business owners. In fact it is women who are starting small businesses faster than men currently.

    Let's not be sexist about this.

    And let's not forget that it is small businesses that employ most people in Australia, not the 'big businesses'.
    older&wiser
    18th May 2015
    2:19pm
    BIGGEST mistake? - having scrimped and saved all those years, going without holidays, renovations, and new cars, etc. All so that I could try and have a better retirement. I am a single woman, and have watched my sister live off welfare in a gov house, never working (or only working for cash in hand jobs), able to go on a cruise once a year with her other welfare friends. Now I wonder who was the stupid one, and the finger is pointing right at me
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    2:22pm
    Agreed. The message now is spend like a drunken sailor and then put your hand out for welfare. The irony is that the Government claims to want to provide incentives to save for old age. They do it by giving $10 billion to multi-millionaires (so that they won't need a pension!) making those who live on handouts far better off than those who don't.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    2:59pm
    in2sunset, over the weekend it was reported that a single person working full time and earning $80,000 (net $60,000) is WORSE off then a single parent working part time for $30,000 plus receiving welfare payments (net $66,000). How can that be fair?

    As a single too, I sympathise with you.
    Circum
    18th May 2015
    3:45pm
    You are not alone in feeling stupid.We are guilty of having ourselves manipulated into believing that if we did the right thing,retirement would treat us fairly.The system is now broken and the gates of hell are being opened.
    older&wiser
    18th May 2015
    4:44pm
    Yes, I too read about the part-time working mums of 2 kids, being better off than me... Makes my blood boil. I work my butt off and get penalised every way round...My taxes go towards these mums, me having given up SO much... and now to get slapped in the face. I honestly had a little melt down the other weekend. I sat in my house, just me, and thought of all I have given up and missed out on because of govt pushing and prompting me to save for my retirement. I feel like a real idiot - almost feel as though I have been brainwashed OUT of a great life. I have given up my much loved hobby, because I could not justify that amount of money not going towards my retirement. My friends (mostly with a partner) go on overseas holidays and ask me along, but I always have to say no as the single surcharge is too expensive. (again - singles being penalised for not being half of 2). why is it - when I look around - it is not the wealthy people who are enjoying life, but those that live for the day? THAT is my regret.... I have given up so much, so bloody much, and all for bugger all nothing. I am in intelligent, educated woman, but boy, do I feel like an idiot!!
    I get nothing from the Govt - too young for the pension, and they deem me too rich to get Newstart. Why? - because when my contract job ran out 5 months ago, I put aside the annual leave payment to cover my mortgage. but no - I am deemed 'rich' to have this money. And I can't get a job (don't get me started on THAT subject!!) Again, stupid me - I should have taken Annual leave, spent my money - and gone straight on to Newstart. I am not entitled to a cent. Bugger - I am too old to go out and have a kid....
    older&wiser
    18th May 2015
    4:44pm
    Yes, I too read about the part-time working mums of 2 kids, being better off than me... Makes my blood boil. I work my butt off and get penalised every way round...My taxes go towards these mums, me having given up SO much... and now to get slapped in the face. I honestly had a little melt down the other weekend. I sat in my house, just me, and thought of all I have given up and missed out on because of govt pushing and prompting me to save for my retirement. I feel like a real idiot - almost feel as though I have been brainwashed OUT of a great life. I have given up my much loved hobby, because I could not justify that amount of money not going towards my retirement. My friends (mostly with a partner) go on overseas holidays and ask me along, but I always have to say no as the single surcharge is too expensive. (again - singles being penalised for not being half of 2). why is it - when I look around - it is not the wealthy people who are enjoying life, but those that live for the day? THAT is my regret.... I have given up so much, so bloody much, and all for bugger all nothing. I am in intelligent, educated woman, but boy, do I feel like an idiot!!
    I get nothing from the Govt - too young for the pension, and they deem me too rich to get Newstart. Why? - because when my contract job ran out 5 months ago, I put aside the annual leave payment to cover my mortgage. but no - I am deemed 'rich' to have this money. And I can't get a job (don't get me started on THAT subject!!) Again, stupid me - I should have taken Annual leave, spent my money - and gone straight on to Newstart. I am not entitled to a cent. Bugger - I am too old to go out and have a kid....
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    5:06pm
    Wait a minute.. how many of you are feeding and clothing those kids? What if they were your grand-children..

    I have little argument with children getting the lion's share over single working people. That discussion was about 'discretionary income' - discretionary as regards how much to spend on two kids... hardly 'discretionary' when you're paying the bills for three.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    9:05pm
    The point is Trebor, people on welfare should not be better off than those who are working. If they are then where is the incentive to get off welfare and be independent? And where is the incentive for the workers to keep working to pay for all those better off on welfare?
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    9:22pm
    Yes - it's a crazy system in some ways. Just pointing out that the difference was a single with no kids and a single part-timer with two.

    If more people could earn a decent income, such disparities would not appear, but as long as many are at the bottom and few at the top, things will always be topsy-turvy. I don't recommend communism, though.
    marls
    18th May 2015
    9:38pm
    yes totally agree, we who worked are the fools i travelled 4hrs daily to work to see many people i know who have never worked a day in their life reap all the benefits i also have a friend who has been in dept of housing for over 30yrs had only one child and 3 bedrooms the child is now 37 she is on her own still got a 3 bedroom unit with a yard not bad going yes i am the fool to
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    9:55pm
    I feel sorry for her since joining the Goody Two Shoes Party ! She is not allowed to leave the Department of Housing House to anyone when she falls off the Perch !! I'll see if I can have that Changed !! :-) :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:36am
    Welcome to the 21st Century style Welfare State, brought to you (and me) by those well-meaning folks in the Bribe the Bludgers Party. As long as those getting the benefits vote the right way, their political benefactors get to stay in office and keep their snouts in the trough while the gravy train rolls on.
    bohemian
    18th May 2015
    2:56pm
    The example below will demonstrate why a couple with $830.000 investments outside of the family home is not wealthy, as the federal government claims.

    A couple with $830.00 investments outside of the family home, will lose the part pension, under the proposed changes to pension eligibility criteria, if it is passed through the Senate.

    1. $830.000 investment is likely to only return around $25.000 per year in current low interest environment. This amount will fluctuate according to economic conditions.

    2. Without a part pension as a supplement, and needing to draw down from assets outside of the family home to live on, the risk will be, that before long when money is needed most, there will not be enough left to pay for future Aged Care Bonds and other fees. The consequence of whittling down the couples' assets for the remaining partner, still living in the family home, will be even more precarious, who is likely to be totally dependent on the pension and government for living and aged care fees.

    3. Aged Care Bonds in most Australian capital cities are between $550.000-$750.000, and there are also extra daily and other fees required.

    An unintended consequence of the proposed tightened pension eligibility criteria will see many retirees claiming back a part pension much sooner than otherwise, negating the supposed cost savings for the government.

    Savings can be made in other areas to minimise the impact, rather than stripping part pensioners of their hard earned savings, who need it to fund future home care and aged care.

    Do the sums and you will surely agree.

    Please continue to lobby for no changes to the pension, a government policy that has no long term budget benefit.
    KSS
    18th May 2015
    3:06pm
    I agree with you bohemian as I stated many times last week. I do not disagree with the policy per se, only that the thresholds are set too low in today's financial climate for those with income generating investments (i.e. super and cash etc). At the proposed levels retirees will have less than the person on a full pension plus they will also lose concessions that are linked to the aged pension (or part thereof) with the exception of the Commonwealth Health Care Card; someone last week estimated concessions at around $10,000.
    retroy
    18th May 2015
    3:01pm
    Lefties abound at this site aided by the articles author. The floundering is not about a fair budget but that Rome is burning while the opposition parties sit on their hands and have prevented last years measures being implemented.
    So the short fall to the country continues to grow, and now to appease the whingers they bring in some inequitable measures to cut the part pension from those who dared to scrimp and save for what the thought was to be their well earned retirement.
    Now not only the needy will be better off but the bludgers and smokers and drinkers too.
    I very poor out come for the very people who deserved it most, who also probably paid a larger share of income tax while they were working.
    Shame on those who begrudge hard working people their just rewards.
    Grumpy
    18th May 2015
    5:14pm
    retroy, your comments about the opposition parties preventing last year's budget being implemented. Perhaps they do so because those measures are bad policy? Were you making the same comments when "Mr No" Abbott was blocking revenue raising measures proposed by the Gillard government at the behest of his mining company/magnate paymasters. (Read "God under Howard" for justification of the last comment.)
    retroy
    18th May 2015
    9:53pm
    Grumpy
    The labor government were too busy spending other peoples money in the true leftie fashion and had to be stopped.
    Look at the mess they left the country in, and we will not be out of the mess for decades, especially if the leftie trade unionists get back into power. Heaven forbid.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    10:17pm
    I wonder who's money the Righties are Spending to Double the Mess ??
    wally
    20th May 2015
    10:39am
    It's called trying to repay the interest while you make good on commitments made by Labor.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2015
    8:30pm
    Dumb righties can't seem to grasp facts of economic history. Even the most eminent past LIBERAL leaders (including Hewson and Fraser), together with apolitical expert economists and global economic assessment organizations have verified that the budget problem was created by Howard and Costello giving massive and unaffordable tax breaks, 80% of which benefited the wealthiest. Labor always spends too heavily, and doubtless the Gillard and Rudd Governments could have spent less, but the problem WASN'T CREATED BY LABOR. And it can be fixed without victimizing battlers, simply by reversing those unaffordable tax cuts that were granted to the wealthiest 20%. Trouble is, the LNP hasn't the guts to take even a little back from their rich mates.
    Kactus
    18th May 2015
    3:54pm
    These changes are designed to encourage Baby Boomers to spend ,some of their lump sums, so they will become eligible for the pension.
    Peterrj
    17th Nov 2015
    7:38pm
    Kactus, you had better get to the Doctor's real quick. You look like you have a serious problem!!!
    Jolly Claire
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    Such a biased, one-eyed opinion. Have a look at why he may be "floundering" given the obstruction and bloody mindedness of the Senate and the Opposition's failure to pass its own savings therein.There is a lot of conjecture in this article. How about waiting until pensioner remits are definite, one way or the other before stirring more "confusion".
    worker
    18th May 2015
    4:36pm
    Australian citizens the employer of all MPs should start movement to take away the life time perks and forms of pensions the MPs gave to them self when they leave parliament after a few years .
    this then stopped when they leave their employment and brought in line with all others employees saving millions per year that can be used to lower taxation or pay for hospitals etc
    marls
    18th May 2015
    4:48pm
    worker
    totally agree with you if i have to wait until i am 65 for a pension then so should they and they to should be means tested. sick and tired of them sending this country broke because of their greed and self indulgence
    marls
    18th May 2015
    4:48pm
    worker
    totally agree with you if i have to wait until i am 65 for a pension then so should they and they to should be means tested. sick and tired of them sending this country broke because of their greed and self indulgence
    marls
    18th May 2015
    4:48pm
    worker
    totally agree with you if i have to wait until i am 65 for a pension then so should they and they to should be means tested. sick and tired of them sending this country broke because of their greed and self indulgence
    marls
    18th May 2015
    4:43pm
    grateful,
    you have no idea, in europe they are shocked to think that the age pension is means tested
    if you work and pay tax you are entitled to a pension in europe, not only that my cousin living in aust is on a widows pension from italy she has been on it for 10yrs aged 57 her husband died therefore she is entitled to his pension my mother gets 3 pensions an aussie pension, my fathers pension he is deceased, and her italian pension on top of that she also get a very small pension from belgium as my father went to war there, so please do not tell me we in australia a well off.
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    7:01pm
    Mars. Maybe you might be the one with "no idea". those people in Europe PAY for their pensions as part of official government policy. Austraians do NOT pay for a pension and don't say that they have "contributed to it all their working lives and it is an entitlement". They got back from their taxes the great facilities and quality of life that we all enjoy. The pension is and was always intended to be a WELFARE payment for those who have no other means of support. In fact, when it was introduced the eligibility age was 65 and the life expectancy was less than 60, so, really, they didn't intend ANYONE to get it!!
    Please get YOUR fact right before you accuse someone of having "no idea".
    Wstaton
    18th May 2015
    9:14pm
    Thats where you are wrong Grateful. When the pension was first started, taxes were raised to pay for it. The after some years as politicians were want to do it was decided to roll it all into general revenue and of course into oblivion . The tax was still collected and never revoked.
    Grateful
    19th May 2015
    11:04am
    Gee you guys are quick to call someone wrong or having no idea. Go back to the history of the age pension and you will see who is wrong or has no idea.
    From official government information:_
    The Australian age pension was introduced in 1909, and many of its core elements have not changed since that time. The aim of the age pension is to provide an adequate safety net payment to older people unable to support themselves financially in their retirement. Its primary objective is thus the alleviation of poverty. As at March 1997, the single rate of pension was $347.80 a fortnight and the married rate of pension was $290.10 a fortnight for each member of a couple.

    The Australian age pension is and has always been a flat rate non-contributory payment funded from general revenue. It is not linked to previous labour force participation.

    The pension is both income and assets tested; it is thus targeted at those in financial need
    Mike
    18th May 2015
    4:44pm
    I resent the fact that I am called wealthy just because I didn't smoke or drink or played the pokies and we didn't go out much and we saved for a comfortable retirement, now we are being punished because the others who smoked and drank and played the pokies and had holidays and didn't save are now called needy. I planned for our retirement under the current Centrelink rules, and now find the Government can change them at will. Hockey has no morals, and all he has shown is that The Government Cannot Be Trusted to Keep its word. Thousands of retirees who did the right thing, and who planned their retirement will now miss out. Oh why didn't we enjoy life, went out more, spent our money and had a good time. We then would have been rewarded.
    Paulodapotter
    18th May 2015
    5:16pm
    That's bit simplistic, don't you think, Mike? However, I will agree that the plight of needy pensioners are not the government's first concern.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    6:16pm
    I think the Old Age Pension ( Non Politician) comes in at about 1.2 on their Richter Scale !!
    Peterrj
    17th Nov 2015
    7:43pm
    Mike, never a truer word written! If you don't economically qualify for the Aged Pension at pensionable age then you are 'officially' a Rich B! So what's it like to be rich???? Bet you never thought that one day you would be considered to be rich did you!!!!
    seadog
    18th May 2015
    5:29pm
    I am a little sick and tired of all you complainers about "rich People" who have saved to have a little for their retirement. I have worked very hard at times two and three jobs so that my family could live a modest lifestyle - NOTE No holidays every year and a brand new car now that I am 67 years of age. No parties or dining out all the time just good home cooked meals.
    Because I now have close to what is called the limit before your pension reduces to part pension I am being denied for all those who had lots of expensive holidays and partied their life away but did not save for retirement and demand that they get the pension al the while complaining that others like myself have a little money and are considered "RICH" . It is my belief that everyone who reaches the pension age should be entitled to claim the pension no matter how much one has scrimped and saved. To all you whingers stop complaining as even though I and many other have gone without you are getting a full pension whilst we are not.
    Alexii
    19th May 2015
    3:05pm
    Yes, seadog. It's more or less how I feel. Incidentally, part of my savings for many years was to buy replacement cars at gov't auctions - not brand new ones. Now at 74, I hope my 2009 Forester, bought in 2012, will last us for a long, long time as it really worries us about putting out the money from the assets (not huge like gov't tends to think) on another car. Oh to be genuinely wealthy and not have to worry about such issues and to get generous tax concessions along the way.
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2015
    6:51pm
    I agree, seadog. We got our first new car in retirement. We drove 15-year-old cars and fixed them ourselves. We lived in a shed with 3 kids with no running water and no electricity while we built a home with our own four hands, working nights and weekends for 5 years, then we sold it and did it again, and again. We never earned as much as we'd have got on unemployment benefits, having no education and no job training. We spent tens of thousands on care of a special needs child - with no help from Government and no medical insurance because of a bureaucrat's stuff up, and we were robbed by the ATO and denied a disability benefit we were entitled to because of stuff-ups by Government employees. We were forced into early retirement by ill-health. Our savings are a result of tremendous struggle, and now - because we worked so hard and saved for our old age - we are told we are ''rich'' and not entitled to the benefits people who earned three times what we did but spent it on a lavish lifestyle are enjoying.

    18th May 2015
    5:54pm
    Here in WA the yearly seniors allowance is going to be income tested so many will lose out.
    Mr Barnett has generously extended the free travel from 6 p.m. I think it is until around 6 a.m. the following morning.

    I am probably incorrect on the times but it matters not really as there would be very few seniors who would want to travel in the evening and early mornings and in fact there have been letters to the paper here stating that fact. Not impressed Mr Barnett.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    7:54pm
    Goody !! I can sleep on the train all night now ! :-)
    bookwyrm
    19th May 2015
    6:57am
    Well, actually, homeless people do sleep on night trains! They take the train to Sydney and then back to Newcastle during the night for $2.50. For safety they group together in the blue light carriage. Found this out chatting to a homeless man! This is what we have to look forward in the future.
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    9:57am
    Do they have a Soup Kitchen Car on the train now ? :-)
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    5:56pm
    Why did I read all that ? All I saw was something that I already knew !! That the Federal Government doesn't consult with the States anymore before doing anything anyhow !! :-)
    Very Democratic !! :-(
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    6:42pm
    Is the Bloke up the top in the Header waiting for the last Moth to fly out of His wallet for supper ? :-)
    disillusioned
    18th May 2015
    6:57pm
    This government disgusts me. I have scrimped and saved for my retirement, paid my fair share of taxes over my working life, and live in a small home unit in a not fashionable area of Sydney, yet becausd my superannuation scheme has done well over the past few years I am to be reefed off the part-pension under Hockey's new Budget. They attack and gouge money from the elderly, the sick and the Homeless (Haymarket Foundation closing due to funds being withdrawn - thanks, Tony!!). Never again will I vote Liberal!!!
    Grateful
    18th May 2015
    7:04pm
    This will make you even happier disillusioned. Published in that notoriously "red rag" subscription owned by Fairfax.Hmm.
    You won’t hear them shouting it from the rooftops, but multinational tech companies were the big winners on Budget night, effectively given a free-pass to shift billions in fast-growing cloud sales offshore to avoid tax obligations in Australia.
    New measures introduced by the Treasurer on Tuesday evening are supposed to close loopholes that have made it too easy for foreign companies to “aggressively minimise” – or to “avoid” – paying tax on income earned in Australia.
    Joe Hockey’s so-called Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law, unveiled during his budget speech, was also supposed to “level the playing field.” They are supposed to ensure that local companies which pay the appropriate level of taxation in Australia are not put at a competitive disadvantage compared to foreign companies that do not.
    Regardless of Mr Hockey’s intention to stop revenue shifting and level the playing field, for the technology sector at least this proposed legislation will have the opposite effect.
    It is Christmas come early for the powerful multinational tech lobby, and will entrench a systemic rort that is hollowing-out Australia’s home-grown technology sector.
    This is a terrible policy, and one that can only have been crafted by a government that does not believe Australian companies can compete with offshore rivals in this sector.
    Incredibly, it is a bet against Australian innovation, giving foreign companies a ridiculous head-start in any competitive bid in this country.
    Local companies will simply find it harder to compete against foreign interests that don’t pay local tax.
    Perversely, the law will also discourage foreign technology firms from investing further in their Australian subsidiaries. From providing better and more technical support services.
    The cherry-on-top of this weirdly backwards-arsed proposal is that it provides a (hopefully unintended) incentive that will encourage successful Australian companies with offshore subsidiaries – and offshore revenue – to shift their tax domicile to another part of the world.
    That is, Australian-headquartered tech companies that do the right thing and pay tax locally right now may be forced to restructure for tax purposes. In other words, to become a foreign multinational.
    TREBOR
    18th May 2015
    8:30pm
    Yes, Grateful.... it seems the whole game plan is to dismember Australia...

    I launched the phrase 'vultures feeding of the carcasse of a once great country' on another forum.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    8:39pm
    I hope they know what a Carcasse is ? Or they will be reading the dictionary till they are one !!:-)
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    8:41pm
    Sorry TREBOR.I couldn't help it !! :-)
    retroy
    18th May 2015
    9:59pm
    AS an ex meat industry worker would you lefties learn to spell correctly.
    It is a carcase or a carcass.
    There is a delightful place in France called Carcassonne !
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    10:20pm
    A Delightful place during the Mint Sauce Festival !!
    Adrianus
    22nd May 2015
    7:21am
    disillusioned,
    "becausd my superannuation scheme has done well over the past few years I am to be reefed off the part-pension"
    If your superannuation scheme fails miserably over the next few years will you get reefed back onto the part pension?
    marls
    18th May 2015
    9:20pm
    nan norm yes its annoying to see people spend so much on alcohol and cigarettes. but what about how much taxpayers pay for the young people with smoking, alcohol and rest violence, drug abuse. murder, domestic violence road accidents drive by shooting,etc etc most of these crime way out number what is spent on the elderly yet no one complains and a large number of these have never ever worked a day in their life.
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    9:36pm
    I think the Police are Complaining ??
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:46am
    Do not be bitter over missing out in your younger days one the "fun" things the younger generation is getting up to, maris. It is never too late to involve yourself in the "fun free for all" your self! In fact, you could even start today!
    Precious 1
    18th May 2015
    9:39pm
    Many concessions I have never see until I asked at Social Security and actually saw the notices etc...Many many wouldn't even use them even if they saw them I know many oldies and they don``````````````` t even spend much on food as some have relations who cook and give them items etc or go to day care and have a beautiful nourishing meal there some daily and some live in retirement villages etc...there many more reasons...I think our PM has done the correct thing here........
    Anonymous
    24th May 2015
    8:17pm
    So because some don't know about concessions or don't use them and some have relations who give them food or get meals through day care or at retirement villages, that's an acceptable reason to persecute and victimize hundreds of thousands who might actually NEED these concessions, is it?

    I don't get your logic, Precious 1. Seems like a case of ''I'm okay and bugger anyone who isn't.'' A rather selfish attitude in my opinion.

    No, our PM has NOT done the correct thing. He's again attacked the most vulnerable in our community and those with the least viable options to cope with increased costs. This will hit the sick and the disabled hardest, and the very old who don't have relations to look after them and don't have the means to live in a retirement village or to go to day care.
    Precious 1
    18th May 2015
    9:39pm
    Many concessions I have never see until I asked at Social Security and actually saw the notices etc...Many many wouldn't even use them even if they saw them I know many oldies and they don``````````````` t even spend much on food as some have relations who cook and give them items etc or go to day care and have a beautiful nourishing meal there some daily and some live in retirement villages etc...there many more reasons...I think our PM has done the correct thing here........
    Precious 1
    18th May 2015
    9:39pm
    Many concessions I have never see until I asked at Social Security and actually saw the notices etc...Many many wouldn't even use them even if they saw them I know many oldies and they don``````````````` t even spend much on food as some have relations who cook and give them items etc or go to day care and have a beautiful nourishing meal there some daily and some live in retirement villages etc...there many more reasons...I think our PM has done the correct thing here........
    particolor
    18th May 2015
    10:02pm
    After buying all those Lottery Entries there I think it is only Polite to say something !! :-) I don't know what a Concession is ? And even the Seniors Card is Next Door to Useless where I live !! I want a Refund ?? :-)
    Not Senile Yet!
    19th May 2015
    12:12am
    Yep!!! History is interesting when you see the same game being played by our modern Politicians and Political Parties!!!!
    To witness all the Lefties and the Right Wingers ...or is the Whingers....oh nothing like name calling to set everyone at each others throats is there????
    The comments and beliefs on this site actually make Dumb & Dumber look like enjoyable company!!!
    As for all you Lifters and Leaners.....well if the cap fits....wear it!!!
    When a Party Puppet promises to represent you by selling off his/her vote to an invisible Caucus.....be it left or Right.....then it is an act of Corruption!!!
    Why all of you back one or the other makes as much sense as the Donkey chasing the Carrot that cannot be reached!!!!
    HHHEEEEEE HHHAAWWWW!!!!
    Me???? Don't intend to give either of you or your Party Political Propaganda the time of day.......Too one eyed for my liking!!!
    Next election both the Parties are in for a shock.....there will be a massive swing away to the Independants in both houses.....simply as a protest against the Party Smugness!!!
    But you know what.....then to pass any stupid ideas....they might have to negotiate everything dam idea.....in detail....line by line...more than once....in both houses!!!
    True Politics will evolve....they might just have to accept debating every legislated word for a change......and earn their overpaid Salaries!!!
    By the way.....working till your 70 is the MOST stupid idea ever!!!!
    And Welfare is Unemployment.......not Pensions!!!
    bookwyrm
    19th May 2015
    5:09am
    Nasty rorting pollies! Get rich on the back of the ordinary Aussie! Billions of unpaid tax from the top end of town while they attack the poor, unemployed, sick, pensioners, families, single parents etc
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    9:27am
    Don't worry too much about it NSY ! The Mob there now both sides will probably Abolish Elections by then ! Waste of Taxpayers money, Monkeys Swapping Cages is Futile ! Bananas and Peanuts taste the same no matter where Your sitting ! :-)
    Isnt it Great when you Future Proof your own pension with the Stroke of a Pen ? Hear ! Hear !! Well ! off on a Lecture Tour now to the Faithfull to BOOST My Pension !! :-)
    wally
    19th May 2015
    10:48am
    Jealousy is a terrible thing, b wyrm.
    Precious 1
    19th May 2015
    2:57pm
    I oft wonder how Govts in other democratic societies manage some of these in coming people with five wives and 69 children as in one case...I saw in a lcal newsprint once that they housed one family that was so large in a manorial stately home lolol I wonder what Australians in general would think of this if Canberrra suddenly taken over by the onslaught which is not far off as we speak .......Pensions, supplements etc and all the huballoo won t do anything to help then we ll be down to the best scrounger lololol...I really think we should all be greatful and thoroughly enjoy our lives as best we can while we can...nothing lasts forever.......
    particolor
    19th May 2015
    8:47pm
    I'm SERIOSLY Considering taking on 4 Wives, If they can SO CAN I !! We'll have none of that discrimination here !! :-)
    Adrianus
    20th May 2015
    11:05am
    parti, I think Precious 1 was talking about "thoroughly enjoying our lives as best we can." I would choose to rid Australia of the halal tax.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2015
    12:51pm
    Frank, would think getting rid of the halal tax a tough one. When it comes to attracting customers businesses have to cater to all and sundry. Since the tax doesn't detract from the taste of the product,I have no problems with it.
    particolor
    20th May 2015
    2:11pm
    I want a Priest to Sprinkle Holy Water on My food to Counteract the Evil Spell cast upon it Previously !! :-)
    Adrianus
    22nd May 2015
    7:33am
    The Hawke government introduced the halal tax in 1983, with Malaysia before the president became a recalcitrant under the Keating government. Because the tax has nothing to do with the taste of the food Billy then why have it?
    Jezemeg8
    20th May 2015
    3:04pm
    I'm sorry, I resent the assumption that those of us who have no savings and are reliant on 'government handouts' have squandered their money in the past. In my case I brought up 3 children with no help from my ex-husband (of course his story is that he gave me money but I spent it on myself), working 3 part time jobs, a total of 18 hours a day, 7 days a week just so that we could afford the rent on a very modest house plus have some basic food on the table. I have no savings as everything that I earned (and paid full taxes on), was spent supporting my children.
    There was no universal superannuation in those days, in fact superannuation became available to people in jobs like mine AFTER I was forced into retirement because of disability, ie, I began to fall over and sometimes had seizures more often than those for whom I cared for. My 'golden handshake' at that time was a whopping $1000.
    I would have loved to have had the money to squander (as my husband claims I did, funny that I then worked long hours just so that we had enough money for food on the table and a roof over our heads).
    I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, my 'luxury' is a small laptop and a mobility scooter which enable me to stay in contact with friends and family as disability continues to encroach. So please, everyone, 'take a chill pill' as my grandchildren often say, and stop classing everyone reliant on 'government handouts' as having been spendthrifts in the past, there are many like me.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2015
    10:37am
    This is why Jezemega8 I believe all cases should be treated individually. Yours is clearly one that deserves the pension.
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2015
    6:41pm
    Jezemeg8, I have repeated said that I have no issue with giving up a little to give more to the GENUINELY disadvantaged. I believe those with disabilities and people who have suffered trauma or crisis SHOULD be looked after properly. And yes, there are many like you. But sadly you are representative of a minority of pensioners. Most have had far more opportunity to save and far more privileges than a great many self-funded retirees. They DID choose to squander it. And many of those who are now being victimized for accumulating a small savings nest-egg did it very tough indeed, but accumulated their nest egg by working damned hard and going without a great deal.

    I can point to dozens of pensioners who have lived the high life, or who gave their money to their kids before turning 60 (so it wouldn't be counted as a gift by Centrelink) or who plunged it into multi-million dollar houses.
    Supernan
    20th May 2015
    5:18pm
    What ever the subject is supoosed to be, we get back to same old same old arguements !
    Are we entitled to a Pension or not ?

    What I object to most is not the rules about Pensions but the constant changing of & threats of changing of the rules.



    Neither of us smoke, drink, eat out, go on holidays, go to the movies or are over weight. We
    wally
    20th May 2015
    5:49pm
    Hi Supernan. Am I to assume that in your closing statement you list all of the things you do not do. Does this mean we can assume you are happy with your current level of income?
    carmencita
    20th May 2015
    6:02pm
    Too many tiers in government, do not know what the left and the right hands are doing. Polies are only interested in supposedly being seen as doing their jobs for which they are highly paid but do not have a clue to what they're doing.
    particolor
    20th May 2015
    6:05pm
    Please Explain ??
    SuziJ
    21st May 2015
    4:28am
    Before everyone gets too heated about this subject, consider that the measure must be approved by both houses of parliament before anything is enacted, In the mean time, some may think about reassessing where they have their assets. There is also a Federal election within the next 18 months and everything may change.
    particolor
    21st May 2015
    9:44am
    Why does one Party Ram it Down the Throat of another Party for 3 to 6 Years when it took their consent for it to be passed in the First Place ?? Haven't they got something else of Importance to the Country to Discuss in that 3 Ring Circus ?? :-)
    SuziJ
    17th Dec 2015
    12:35am
    Particolor, I am NOT trying to ram anything down anyone's throat. If you are not happy with what's happening in the political arena, please do something about it and not make such inflamatory remarks just because I made a valid argument in regards to politicians.

    I am not a voter of any particular party, and weigh the options given to me and thoughtfully assess which person I would like to represent me in parliament.
    particolor
    17th Dec 2015
    1:08pm
    Ok :-) Well I don't think anything will change anymore ! The name of the Game now is Feed The Fat Cat !! :-) :-)
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st May 2015
    9:19pm
    I wish to state that the Pension was something guaranteed to all working Australians who had paid tax all their working lives....whether they ended up millionaires or not!!!!
    Those that did well do not deserve to be discriminated against any more than those who did not!!!
    As for the divide and conquer method of the pollies....it seems to work well.....either you lot are arguing over which party to blame or which person is entitled to a pension.....more fool the lot of you!!!
    As for the entitlement generation name tag given to the Baby Boomers......it is absolutely TRUE!!!
    We are the Generation that built everything in the Current Infrastructure through our hard work, taxes and then supplying the Government with two if not three time the Tax revenue that it used from our Generation to build every road, train and Port Infrastructure currently in existence. Not bad considering there was only 5 million of us.
    Now they are refusing to give us our entitlement of a Pension with the structure promised.
    They want to cut back on everything.....why???
    Because they raided the Taxation cooky Jar called the Reserve fund for Pensions in the 1990's and never replaced or replenished it!!!
    They raided the Nations Reserve fund put aside to afford the Pensions promised......and refuse to own up to it!!!!
    It was agreed to by BOTH the MAJOR Parties to do so.....against their better judgement to leave it alone until it was needed!!!
    Now they want to plead Poor and Blame each other...and all you mob are getting sucked into the debate.....either to defend your Party or to attack those who are reasonably successful!!!
    Another Divide and Conquer Victory to BOTH Parties....as it distracts the blame from Both of them!!!
    Both Parties are downsizing Government employees but allowing highly paid CEO's to be appointed to each Government Sector along with highly paid second tier Management Teams.....whilst automating everything possible and downsizing their employee numbers!!!
    Really ....come on you guys & gals...a CEO of Aust Post on 6 Million????
    Even the CEO of America Postal Service is only on $500,000....as is the CEO of England's Postal Service!!!!
    My Local Council has a CEO who is paid more than the Premier!!!
    The top end of Government is self appointing all the overpaid salaries by themselves....no one to reign them in.....no one to stop it!!!
    This is a Pigs at the trough attitude to every Australian Taxpayer whether it be at a Local State or Federal Level!!!
    Dose anyone on this sight not understand that the Prime Minister of Australia is paid MORE than the President of America or Prime Minister of England......when it come to Dollars per population that they supposedly serve???????
    This is nothing more than a Corrupt Party System that self feeds all it's mates and party members via appointed puppets that do their bidding!!!!
    STOP voting for THEM!!!
    STOP putting the Parties back into POWER!!!!
    It is quite simple....do not let them brainwash you with the ideal that only they exist and only they can run the Country!!!!
    It is not true.....just as your boss will not fail without you.....the Country will not fail without their Corruption!!!
    particolor
    21st May 2015
    9:43pm
    YER NOT KIDDIN !
    Adrianus
    22nd May 2015
    7:44am
    Well said NSY!
    Precious 1
    22nd May 2015
    10:54pm
    Well said........keep Australia clean and tidy and lets put National Service into structure....men and women.....
    Anonymous
    24th May 2015
    5:57pm
    What gets up my nose is that 85% of "asylum" seekers!! after 5 years here in this country are still on benefits and no doubt will go straight onto the aged pension as well after contributing nothing at all in taxes.
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    7:04pm
    Make that 98 % :-(
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    9:14pm
    2% of them got a Job at the Centrelink Translation Centre !! :-)

    24th May 2015
    8:09pm
    I'm angry that this government keeps attacking retirees. Retirees have suffered more than any other group as a result of falling investment returns, and continue to suffer as returns continue to fall. Moreover, they have less viable options than other Australians for combating the problems that arise from reductions in income.

    Today's retirees have contributed a great deal to this nation, and struggled through some very difficult periods to educate their offspring, pay their taxes, and contribute to building a relatively prosperous nation that survived the GFC far better than other countries. In a work environment that lacked the sophisticated protections available today, many sacrificed their health and now suffer disability and chronic pain.

    This generation of retirees supported past generations of aged folk without complaint, yet we are now being branded ''leaners'' and attacked for merely wanting to take our turn to step back from work and enjoy life to the best of our ability as we age. The Government is not only constantly hitting out to reduce retiree income, but is encouraging younger folk to regard retirees with resentment and contempt. Why? Frankly, I think it's vile and disgusting, and it's enough to persuade me to never support an LNP Government ever again.
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    8:27pm
    Exactly !! We always Look Up to Pensioners when I was Working !! :-) But I've notice now I am One !! I'm a Burden on the Elite ?? :-(
    Jackie
    24th May 2015
    9:03pm
    Now the dust has settled on the budger, its true nature and flaws are clear to see. The Senate is unlikely to pass much of it. So the Libs will have wasted 3 years of our country's valuable time with their antics and posturing by the time we get a chance to get ridof of them. The current Opposition and Greens may not be perfect but they are much more likely to consider the effects on the people of measures its going to have to take. Also have a go at the Big Boys getting off scot free at present.
    particolor
    24th May 2015
    9:16pm
    IDon't know what to say to an almost perfect Speech ? :-)
    bookwyrm
    25th May 2015
    8:44pm
    In WA pensioner concession cuts are going ahead. WA govt blames the Fed govt cutting concession funding to states. I suppose this will spread to other states such as NSW. Life is expensive already on a pension, cutting concessions will make impossibleg
    particolor
    25th May 2015
    8:58pm
    Have You considered Burglary as a means of supporting the Shortfall !! The Government has !!:-)
    disillusioned
    26th May 2015
    2:41pm
    I have trouble with old "Double Dippin"' Hockey (Q&A) cutting off my part-pension when I've paid taxes longer than he's been alive and scrimped and saved for my retirement. I put my money into superannuation, which has done OK, pushing me almost to the current cut-off limit - but I will be chopped off when the new Fed. Budget comes into effect. As I'm 71 and not well, this sickens and frightens me. Hands off my money, Hockey - how about taxing the rich and Big Business instead of the old and vulnerable? You've lost my vote!!!
    AlbertC
    27th May 2015
    3:19pm
    remember the days when the labour party was nearly all catholic and the libs were mixed religions im not catholic but protestant however does it not seem strange that a so called catholic devote should be running the country along different lines to his forefathers like most mungerals they do turn on there masters.
    particolor
    27th May 2015
    3:51pm
    Watch those Mong Generals ! :-)
    Precious 1
    5th Jun 2015
    10:45pm
    Taxi vouchers extremely hard to get some are never ever used ...they could go....unless person legally blind......the amount of fiddling etc going on is what has driven the govt to start cutting down here and there.....I don`t blame them at all...no checking up some even getting stuff and now deceased......what a job checking up on all these people.......we donot realise how lucky we all are living in a free democracy in Australia,,and should be prepared to try and understand why things have to change.....I heard all the excuses you can imagine people working til they drop..my Father did in England and when he died at seventy the Life Insurance came back to Mum and said they couldn't pay out...you wonder why...it said Mum had insured him to the age of 90 not 70..... I wonder who was trying to wrought the system there....UK in 1970...She got onto her Lawyers and they soon had the amount to her she was due..............well things do happen.....
    stake
    26th Jun 2015
    2:01pm
    get rid of jughead
    Tassie
    14th Sep 2015
    5:49pm
    Looks like it's happening.
    Mike Omment
    1st Jul 2015
    8:02pm
    I blame Tony Abbot for this ,don't you Mick
    Happy Jack
    8th Aug 2015
    3:46pm
    You can be rest assured of one thing- this Govt will not legislate in a manner that will impact in any form or way on their wealth or means of increasing it. There are ample examples: being able to sock away large proportions of their income into tax reducing super. Negative gearing, in particular, of a Canberra residence in their spouses name which they live in whilst in Canberra thus allowing the claiming of the very generous living away allowance. Not to mention the family trust arrangements. The age of entitlement is over!!!? you must be joking- only for those not fortunate enough to be in the same financial circumstances as the white shoe brigade! Show a bit of leadership and lead from the front. If we are in the financial strife you claim we are, how about spreading the burden of pulling the nation out of the mire.
    particolor
    8th Aug 2015
    5:01pm
    Here's Mud in Yer Eye Joe !! :-) :-)
    Ming
    17th Aug 2015
    10:13am
    Be thankful for what we get. It is a wonder there is any money available when the government has to borrow more than 90 million dollars a day to pay the interest on the debt that Labor left. Go on put Dracula back in charge of the blood bank and see how we get on, the unions will control the government and may the Lord help us.
    particolor
    1st Sep 2015
    5:49pm
    FFS Get over it ! Big E#ars had a game of Double or nothing AND LOST !! :-(
    particolor
    1st Sep 2015
    5:56pm
    I'm thankful for what I get ! And I couldn't care who was Running the Country ..As long as they are HONEST And Competant, Lying Your way into Power is not My Idea of someone to Back up at every term,You get what You paid for !~ Absolutelly Nothing yet ?? :-(
    casey
    1st Sep 2015
    4:14pm
    if they lose there part pension, wouldn't it put them in the same category as self funded retirees, who receive no concecessions apart from medical.
    thommo
    14th Sep 2015
    3:49pm
    Abbott promised on changes to the age pension at the last election, but has now broken that promise (among many others) and changed the assets test, to the detriment of part age pensioners who retired under prevailing rules, only to have the rug pulled out from under them. This act of treachery, betrayal and bastardry won't be forgotten by the millions of age pensioners at the next election, who will kick this fascist government out of office.
    This LNP govt will never be trusted again. One only has to look at their attempts to put the boot into the old and vulnerable in the 2014 budget, only to be saved by some sensible senators and an outraged public.
    But be assured, if they are returned to govt at the next elections, they'll try and do the same thing again, just what the Tea Party faction of the Republicans are doing to American society.
    Tassie
    14th Sep 2015
    5:47pm
    I'm just sitting hear wondering how things will be under a Turnbull govt.?
    particolor
    5th Oct 2015
    4:31pm
    WHY ? Did something Change ?? :-)
    voodoolady
    5th Oct 2015
    3:33pm
    They also want to get rid of the Pension Education Supplement so they obviously don't want disabled people to get a better education so they can be gainfully employed in a new career which many have to do after a life changing accident.
    particolor
    5th Oct 2015
    4:32pm
    Enjoy the Dumbing Down You are about to receive !!
    Happy Jack
    6th Oct 2015
    10:39am
    You can thank the Greens for letting this through. There's going to be a lot of very, very unhappy pensioners, come next election.
    Torchbearer
    25th Oct 2015
    1:17pm
    We are paying for this idiot and will continue to for years. Are we meant to be thankful to him for taking money from us to give to someone who already has more than enough?
    Grey Badger
    14th Dec 2015
    2:31pm
    I can’t seem to understand how taxing the multinationals will not cause more money to seep from my pocket?
    If we tax them higher they just put up the price to meet their model on returns from investment or leave the country and so remove the service!

    And I understand, rich or poor we all need certain products and services.
    We don’t need fast cars, power boats, overseas holidays, exclusive education and luxury meals, those things that you should only buy with the cash you have left after you have the basics covered. They are the incentive to improve your life, toys to play with, dreams not necessities. The rich need incentives to keep investing their money, knowledge and experience into local businesses and should not be the whipping boys for poor governmental budget fiascos.

    It’s not rocket science; keep the basics, fresh food, basic clothing, power, rates,medicines, basic education (and a return to free TAFE education for our service industries like hospitality, catering and tourism) at a low GST say 5% and a level of 20% for all unessential items.

    What’s wrong with a two tier GST, as long as we don’t get stupid with lists of grey items?
    Green frogs
    15th Dec 2015
    5:07pm
    Remove concessions from pensioners You're Jokeing?? Take from the poor give to the rich politicians yeah!!!! they can have another pay rise on us
    particolor
    15th Dec 2015
    7:46pm
    Its worse than that Froggy ! :-( I heard we wont have a Pension Rise till at least 2021 !! :-( :-(
    Untill they top up their Pay and Perks and Give our Money to the Climate Gods !! :-(
    particolor
    15th Dec 2015
    7:47pm
    PS.. And 71 Billion Bucks for "Reffo's " :-(
    eggles01
    7th Jan 2016
    1:59pm
    who are the real idiot a***holes that insist on putting outdated print into these email newsletters don't they know how to put real and latest stories onto their news print
    Dot
    7th Jan 2016
    11:04pm
    Seniors and elders are for ever the easiest targets and continuously get hit by government scums. But I look on the bright side the way this world is going politicians will get their just rewards, hope to be around to see it happen.
    Boof
    7th Feb 2016
    7:29pm
    I hope that all the bleeding hearts that "stuckvup for the Lib's" at the last call, are the first ones to suffer