Calls to index family home

The CSRI are calling for the exemption status of the family home to be revisited.

Calls to index family home

The newly formed Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes (CSRI) believes it is time to revisit the exemption status of the family home in the retirement income system. Consisting of public policy experts, the committee has challenged in a paper prepared for the National Reform Summit next Wednesday, the current rulings surrounding the family home.

The paper discusses how the case for full exemption is becoming weaker as home and other assets increase in value. It also addresses how that effect on income and consumption could be made up by allowing the Age Pension to continue to be paid and then recovered from the estate.

The paper argues that there is a pressing need for reform and that while there is a risk that because people are living longer, their resources could be exhausted before they die, the current trend is that retirees are living too frugally and are leaving accumulated superannuation pools to their estate.

CSRI executive director Patricia Pascuzzo believes that the first step to improving confidence in the retirement income system is greater agreement on the reform agenda.

Read more from The Australian

Read more from the Financial Review

Opinion: Hands off the family home

The biggest change in many years to the Age Pension system was delivered in the Federal Government budget just four months ago, but that hasn’t stopped the CSRI from suggesting further changes that could affect thousands of pensioners.

The May 2015 changes to Age Pension asset thresholds which will take effect in 2017 will see thousands of pensioners completely lose their pensions, while more than 170,000 are expected to receive an increase.

The newly implemented asset threshold changes are already harsh enough on individuals and couples who own a home, with individuals being allowed assets of just $547,000 before becoming ineligible for a pension. This may seem a lot, but the latest projections show that, for a 65-year-old who is expected to live another 25-30 years, it isn’t anywhere near enough money for a comfortable retirement.

The family home is the one core asset most people work their entire life to own. No matter where it’s located and no matter how much it’s worth, the family home should remain exempt.

What do you think? Is it time to review the exemption status of the family home? Or is the family home the one asset that should always be off-limits?





    COMMENTS

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    Snowwhite
    18th Aug 2015
    11:56am
    Of course the family home should remain off limits.
    Don't the Govt realise that if people have to include the family home as an asset they will just spend up on holidays and get on the pension anyway.
    It's just stupid but what else do you expect from this Govt. as long as they get their huge payouts for a pension they don't care about the rest of Australia's pensioners.
    Hasbeen
    18th Aug 2015
    1:11pm
    Not the government Snowwhite, but some dams fool woman by the name of Patricia Pascuzzo, who ever the hell she might be. Who chose/elected her, & who is paying her to open her mouth.

    She is obviously a lefty, wanting as usual for lefties, to take money off those who earned it, & give it to the more wasteful in the society.

    It is time to cut back on government spending, not gather more taxes to expand spending. It is always the welfare sector wanting more money, but is it to actually give to their needy, [my wastrels], or is it to expand employment for these very well paid bleeding hearts in the "industry".

    Time to stick a rocket into them, & send them back to what ever hole they crawled out of, with MS Patricia Pascuzzo first.
    roy
    18th Aug 2015
    1:15pm
    Absolutely right Hasbeen, nobody spends other peoples' money like a Labor Gov't especially a Union puppet like Palachook.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:03pm
    The family home should be off limits. No arguments there! The income and assets test is tough enough and it will be a case of the pendulum swinging too far if this gets up.
    The question is WHO is behind this and who is Patricia Pascuzzo? Had a quick look and discovered that she has a degree in accounting and has been to Business school. Hardly a "lefty"!! Given that Abbott and his cronies have been wanting to include the family home in the assets test so that most Australians cannot access the pension I'd be willing to bet that Pascuzzo is aligned with THIS GOVERNMENT, not the left.
    For the record longdistancerunner Labor kept YOUR RELATIVES in a job after the GFC so your comment needs to be put into context. And as for 'spending other people's money' please explain about the $8 BILLION a year which taxpayers are putting into the kitty because of the repeal to the Carbon Tax....going straight to the fossil fuel industry?
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    3:04pm
    Hasbeen, there will be ongoing surveys believe me. Then we will be told that the result of these surveys show that the majority want this change. This will be like a brain washing tactic, where to oppose it will be seen as "against" the Nation's interest. It will be a relentless campaign and rammed down our throats until we concede. The recent events regarding another hot topic ( which I dare not mention) is a fine example.
    Sceptic
    18th Aug 2015
    3:35pm
    Had a quick look and discovered that she has a degree in accounting and has been to Business school. Hardly a "lefty"!! Says mick, obviously he has no idea about the inner city Green vote by the professionals. I have no idea if she is left, right or in the middle, and neither do the people who have labelled her. By the way mick, China kept this country afloat during the GFC, not Labor. Be more concerned with the subsidies to the renewable industry, but no new hydro nor nuclear - that actually work and supply base load.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:16pm
    Not really relevant Snow - people can spend their money as they see fit... I beleive the question is whether not they should equally be entitled to sink all their cash into a home they simply cannot use (rather than taking trips etc - no difference you see), and thus derive benefit in that way from a form of investment that they can sell of raise a loan on. The higher the value the higher the loan or profit from it.

    I think the family home up to a reasonable limit for the area in which it resides is acceptable - but stashing your cash into a huge mansion for two and then drawing full pension is as bad as spending up to have nothing.... and gives an unfair advantage.
    GreyViper
    18th Aug 2015
    6:02pm
    Can someone please explain to me the difference between a person who has a $400,000 house and $3 million in investments and a person who has a $3 million house and $400,000 in investments? One person gets the old aged pension and the other does not! Is that fair? I'm dammed if I can see the difference! Just because your investment is tied up in your "family home" shouldn't really make a scrap of difference. It's still an asset which will be used to realize capital at some stage - either now or after you have gone. People shouldn't expect the tax payers of the day to pay you an old age pension just so you can leave a large "some of money" to your beneficiaries. It makes sense to me to include "the family home" when assessing a person's wealth to decide whether they are entitled to a benefit from the welfare budget. Something wrong with my logic?

    JUST SAYING!
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    8:12pm
    The big difference is that the person with 3 million in investments is earning money from them. The person with the 3 million dollar house is not.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    9:45pm
    Actually, Wstaton, that's not correct at all. Many people with assets that area assessed by Centrelink are not earning money from them, and in many cases they can't earn money AND can't sell the asset either - which often creates enormous hardship. A few years ago we found ourselves stuck with a block of land that Centrelink assessed at nearly $400,000, but it was worthless because Council had stuffed up their planning and allowed someone else to obstruct the driveway so it had no access. We couldn't sell the land and it couldn't be used. Thankfully, we won a very lengthy and costly battle with Council and eventually were able to use the land, but in the interim we suffered poverty because we could not qualify for a pension. There are many similar instances.

    Another absurd inconsistency revolves around businesses that operated at a loss. If the owner pays the business debts, the loss is classified as an ''asset'', or the payment as a ''gift'' and the business owner suffers loss of pension benefits for being honest and paying out his creditors.

    While I object to including the family home in the assets test, I think the entire pension system needs a total overhaul. The assets test is grossly unfair and disqualifies people who need and deserve a benefit, while being excessively generous to some who are income-tested. Exempting the family home regardless of value is absurd and unfair. GreyViper is quite right on that point. And the recent change to the ''taper rate'' was total lunacy - because it actually pays people generously to spend their money and it harshly punishes the frugal and responsible.

    The major problem I see in all the recent changes and proposals, though, is that they all seem equally grounded in a belief that the aged, disabled, and disadvantaged should carry the burden of economic mismanagement and global downturns, Why should the privileged remain exempt? Aged pensioners earned their retirement, and it is wrong for the government to be constantly attacking them while talking about reducing taxes and while ignoring massive tax evasion by the well-to-do and global corporates. It's past time to say ''hands off the pension''. Abbott promised ''no changes''. He should be forced to honor that promise. He insists politicians have a right to their promised retirement benefits regardless of whether or not the nation can afford to pay. Aged retirees should have the same rights.
    Abby
    18th Aug 2015
    10:39pm
    Totally agree with you GreyViper
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    7:32am
    Good Lord?! Now Accountants are right leaning? You cannot be a lefty if you're an accountant? You've lost it mick.
    GreyViper
    19th Aug 2015
    11:15am
    I take your point, Wstaton, that it is hard to derive an income from a $3 million house, so I am happy to pay the owners the pension whilst they are still alive but perhaps the money should then be recovered from the estate once they are no longer with us. Maybe some sort of scheme along the lines of the HECS scheme for student loans could be developed so that the people are not forced out of their homes. The fact is that welfare for the aged is costing the federal budget more than 15% of their total revenue and is only going to increase into the future. People use the argument "struggling to pay off their homes" as a reason that it should not be included. Well, I "struggled to pay off my home" whilst also "struggling to contribute to superannuation" for over 40 years and I now live off that superannuation and will NEVER see a cent of money from the old aged pension scheme. I don't begrudge paying tax to help those who need it but I do not support the idea that the "family home" is off limits regardless of its value! It simply doesn't make logical sense. People need to take emotion out of this argument and look at it economically. I don't have the answers as to how it can be done but I am sure that it can be worked out so that it is fair to all!
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    1:47pm
    Maybe Centrelink can do a reverse mortgage on a 1st mortgage basis at a wholesale rate or RBA cash rate. That way if the property is sold the Centrelink has first option.
    Hasbeen
    19th Aug 2015
    8:35pm
    Definitely not Frank.

    I have spent my entire working life supporting no hopers, near do wells & dole bludgers. Surely now I'm retired with no more income than them I can get a rest from paying for them.

    Next these people will want a levy on our tombstones, to pay for the bludgers graves as well.

    Stick the bludgers in a tent city, & tell them took on a campfire if necessary, but it is time for those who pulled their weight for the best part of half a century to get a break.
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    3:37pm
    The difference when I sell my shares (an asset) is I pay capital gains tax on the increase in value (if I make a profit that is).

    When a family home(also an asset but currenlty not assessable for the pension) is sold at a profit there is no capital gains tax.

    Is that fair?
    Adrianus
    20th Aug 2015
    4:17pm
    If Howard is correct about Australia's immediate future being one of sub par economic growth then CGT may not be a concern.
    Tassie
    18th Aug 2015
    11:57am
    Definitely not...why should home owners be penalised for struggling to pay off their homes while their children are growing up and times were sooo hard at 18 percent interest rates.so they can have a better future in their older age...,how shocking to even suggest...too bad for those people who don't pay taxes all their lives like land and water rates...? I can't believe this is even a suggestion....what are we coming to..being penalised fir doing the right thing...humbug...
    tia-maria
    18th Aug 2015
    12:02pm
    A typically Liberal Party...........ripping taxpayers off........... and yes they should be facing fraud charges..........and leave the down to earth honest retired pensioners alone.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:04pm
    Couldn't get it one way so after another. If Abbott is re-elected then this one will be a done deal.
    Sceptic
    18th Aug 2015
    3:38pm
    So mick is now a clairvoyant
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    6:04pm
    I'd say he's pretty on the money. Government always do the old 'run it up the flag pole and see if anyone shoots it down' trick before implementing a new policy with 3-4 years to let it settle so the peasants don't get a chance to revolt.
    Patriot
    18th Aug 2015
    6:28pm
    Sceptic
    I 5think in this case: "He Will prove to be Be if Tony & Joe get back in the next election".
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    6:32pm
    NB. ALL PARTIES want it to happen. One wants the other to do the "dirty" work. If it ever happens no Government will ever repeal it. SO don't blame just one party. They are in collusion on this matter.

    18th Aug 2015
    12:05pm
    You forget to mention that when the govt removed those from the pension who do not need it . It raised the pension for those that do. An excellent move should be more of it. Like stop the double dipping of PPL by civil servants .
    The Government is not suggesting the family home be included in assets test ..It's a discussion point put up by a committee .
    IMO if the wealthy are hiding assetts in their homes to qualify for the pension it should be looked at.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:06pm
    What you ignore Pete is that the wealthy do not need the pension. A few people who are just a little better than the average may try to get it. The issue is that the assets test is already fairly tough and that many AUstralians are locked out of the pension even though they have paid taxes for a lifetime.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:18pm
    Trouble is, Mick, that the wealthy are adept at hiding their income etc and so can still get a pension while enjoying the high life for free.

    Pete, what you said about hiding assets in the home is much in line with what I posted....
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    9:52pm
    Pete, the government DID NOT remove the pension from those who do not need it. It hit out at people who DO NOT have enough money to retire comfortably and punished them for being frugal and responsible and TRYING to achieve self-sufficiency, while rewarding the irresponsible spendthrifts. And at the same time if offered a huge financial reward to those with modest assets if they spent up big - $178,000 extra pension over 10 years for spending $100,000. Since it's almost impossible to earn that kind of return, the incentive is strong for those unfairly attacked by this Government to simply go on a few expensive cruises! Meanwhile, those who really don't need a pension sacrifice nothing at all, and the incentive for younger folk to save for retirement is gone. The change to the taper rate was patentlly unfair, unAustralian, and economically damaging. In the medium to long term, it will INCREASE the cost of aged pensions instead of reducing the cost.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    9:59pm
    The asset(family home) is not being hidden. It is easy to find the market value in any location. No most home owners have made big sacrifices during their working lives and they deserve more than anyone to reap the rewards of their endeavours.
    Radish
    19th Aug 2015
    9:02am
    Spot on Trebor...I personally know of wealthy people getting a part pension...there are many ways to hide assets if you have a smart accountant.

    They are the ones I want to see cut off from the pension. Some go out and buy million dollars homes ...don't say it does not go on..it does.

    There is such a thing as the median price for a home in all capital cities...maybe that could be starting point. Some are higher some are a lot lower...there must be middle ground somewhere.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    9:31am
    niemakawa, that is the problem. A property cannot be accurately valued. The only way to find the true value is to sell it. In Sydney where clearance rates are around 80% a property can go for 15% more. While in Perth with a clearance rate of around 23% you may realise 15% less.
    Tom Tank
    18th Aug 2015
    12:09pm
    We are being driven by "bean counters" whose only vision is economic without any community consideration.
    There appears to be no thought into the reasons why certain things happen but only to penalise those who do not have the resources to protect themselves.
    If the politicians are so concerned over pensions then their starting point should be with themselves and their overly generous "entitlements".
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    4:46pm
    We have to have a good economic base; without it we could go the way of Greece.
    rogerh
    18th Aug 2015
    12:12pm
    Perhaps a modification by defining a threshold to the value of the family home that would be exempt; for example $1.5 million. Don't forget that in many cases "the system" claws back your assets near the end of your life when you may need to go into high care and pay a bond of $350,000 plus. Most people can only find that sum by placing a lien on their house.
    Johno
    18th Aug 2015
    12:32pm
    Good common sense idea....ever thought of going into politics Roger?
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:10pm
    $1.5 million may seem like a lot of dough but try living in Sydney and it soon becomes apparent that this gets you a nice home, not a mansion in Point Piper. Oh yes.....people can move to Broken Hill.
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    8:19pm
    Right there Mick a $1.5million house in Sydney is a $500k house in Adelaide but all other assets are the same one gets the pension and the other doesn''t so has no money to live on. Does this mean they have to move interstate just to get the pension?
    Patriot
    18th Aug 2015
    12:14pm
    I think & Hope that if "The CLOWN in Canberra" want a riot, this is exactly what will produce it.

    Especially after it NOW has been Proven to ALL Australians that the Corporations AVOID the Taxes which - in order to balance the dreaded budget - are required to keep paying the Old Age Pensions and therefore WILL avoid to include the "Family home" in the asset test!.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:11pm
    Quite so. Be assured that this one will stay under wraps until AFTER the next election. Then it will be one of the first cabs off the rank.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    4:08pm
    Mick and ALL parties will support it.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:19pm
    Exactly what I was going to say niemakawa.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:27am
    Quite possibly niemakawa but I recall that the previous Labor governments actually increased pensions whilst the current one is after pensioners as though they were low life tax avoiders.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    9:09am
    mick, the pensions have increased by more under this government.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:36am
    Not by choice.
    Adrianus
    20th Aug 2015
    5:28pm
    mick suppose you tell us which party is giving 170,000 pensioners an increase?
    Johno
    18th Aug 2015
    12:28pm
    No matter what brand of Government is in power, the wealthy will grow wealthier at the expense of the majority. They could easily balance the budget by making the wealthy pay their fair share. However, they won't touch them because of self-interest and looking after their mates! So let's force the pensioners to sell their homes to pay for their retirement. It will happen; not if but when!!
    Hasbeen
    18th Aug 2015
    1:26pm
    Grow up Johno, & do a bit of research before you make a fool of yourself.

    Over 50% of taxes are paid by just the top 10% of earners. That sounds like they are paying their share. How much are you paying.

    Incidentally I am not one of them, it's just I'm not envious of those who have done well.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:17pm
    There are many ways Johno:

    1. end the superannuation tax shelter set up for the rich. Big saving!
    2. force multinationals to pay their taxes IN AUSTRALIA, not a low tax country.
    3. amend the Tax Act so that 'deductions' are better scrutinised and so that the ATO can classify certain deductions as avoidance rather than legitimate when appropriate.
    Your comment Hasbeen is the normal LNP line. Whilst what you say is correct the devil is in the detail. What you fail to disclose is that these taxpayers earn very large sums of money and as a percentage of their gross income they pay less than somebody on $90 000 pa. PERCENTAGES MATE!!! That is what counts.
    Saalbach
    18th Aug 2015
    2:31pm
    Hasbeen, how about providing all the facts. How much do the top 10% earn compared to the other 90%? It might well be that they only pay 20% of their income whereas the rest pay 30% - is that fair? Is it a coincidence that the wealthy are the ones who use family trusts, etc to reduce their tax - is that fair? How much tax does Apple pay in Aust? How much did Kerry Packer pay in tax? I think there is more to the issue that your bland figures.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:30pm
    Hasbeen - I think we need to re-visit the simple reality that the very vast majority of the income of the less wealthy (meaning the poorer lots) is taken up almost immediately in costs of living and is thus exposed immediately to taxation in many ways other than income tax.

    Many people remain stuck on the idea that people paying a higher level of income tax somehow pay all the tax - when the opposite is demonstrably true - as follows:-

    Jo Barista earns $500 a week after tax and spends the lot, including her Centrelink make-up pay to feed her children, just to keep going.

    Joe Barrister (SC) earns $5000 a week after tax (he worked for one day for that - a good week on casual work!), and spends perhaps double what Jo spent - say a grand to live much better.

    Joe is left with $4000 to spend as he chooses - Jo is left with nothing.

    The issue about higher taxes is residual or discretionary income... Jo is exposing as a necessity 100% of her income to taxation other than income tax (every dollar spent draws tax) - Joe is exposing 20%.. the rest is optional.

    I've argued elsewhere against lowering company taxes and fees (I've been an employee, a business owner, and a director at different times) for the simple reason that comjpany tax and fees for operating and licensing make up for the reality that the Kerry Packers of the world, while enjoying every aspect of the billion dollar business, pay little to no income tax.

    Scrap company taxes and the rich will romp to the bank, and the 'flow-down' will be minimal, since the majority of company expenditure these days is on how to 'streamline' and 'mechanise' their operations - meaning cutting staff.
    geofftuke
    18th Aug 2015
    12:31pm
    Certainly homes increase in value - that's just the way it works. Don't forget though that every other thing you can think of also increases in value [read cost]. People will still need a pension to exist. no matter the value of their home as it does not provide any income or profit until sold
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:20pm
    A sliding scale would appear to be sensible. However, it appears that this government is of the opinion that people should sell up the house they have worked all of their adult lives to own and move to a place where houses are cheaper. Charming!
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:35pm
    Yes, mick - agree.. but you'd have to look at it on market value for the area in which you live. A bit unfair to say that Harry Rippoff living in a ten million dollar home (only - not rural property that generates income) in Adelong is comparable to Luigi Strugala living in Blacktown at half a million...

    Does a person with no income who bought in Vaucluse sixty years ago have all that much money? That seems to be the issue, and like many, I find it abhorrent that any government would seek to sustain the only going concern in town at the moment for Oz, the property market, by sucking the life out of people who worked to own a home where they choose, just to sustain that only going concern.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    6:08pm
    Oh - BTW - I was homeless at fifty - rebuilt my life for the fourth time since - I envy nobody who EARNED their way - but I certainly have issues with those who get a free ride.
    Radish
    19th Aug 2015
    9:46am
    Could not agree more Trebor. I get nothing am not envious of anyone who does get the pension but I am damn angry at those who "manipulate" the sytem to their own advantage.

    Then they have the audacity to get stuck into the politicians when they are just as bad.
    rodders
    18th Aug 2015
    12:31pm
    I agree, lay off the family home, having said that with some properties valued in megabucks, perhaps a scale or cut off point regarding equity or value in a home should be considered. Pete has the correct outlook on this in that the government are not doing this (yet) but is only a discussion point within a committee. As for the 18% interest rate Tassie mentioned, I wonder if she recalls it was a Labour government at the time also around the time of the "Banana Republic" comment made by Keating??
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:18pm
    It was.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:37pm
    The thing I love about Bro Paul is that he preached about the dangers of Oz becoming a Banana republic - then lead it straight down the road to Banana Republicanism without Il Presidente to run the show properly.....

    Them Banana Boats are leaving, people, and we are not on them.... the global economy is riding high in the maintops....
    Snowwhite
    18th Aug 2015
    12:37pm
    If pensioners are forced to sell their only asset the family home how are they to fund their nursing home care when the time comes??? Duh the Govt will have to fund it so the Govt will have to fund more and more nursing homes unless they want us on the street. That wouldn't surprise me with this current Fed Govt. Leave things as they are. People have worked hard to own their own home and should not be penalised for it.
    Vivi
    18th Aug 2015
    12:38pm
    As others have said the family home should remain off limits, government has eroded our retirement living enough already. We were proud to be able to support our selves in retirement but have been 'forced' to obtain a part pension. We worked hard & saved for our retirement . I am horrifed to learn politicians can currently clain their pensions at 55!
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:21pm
    ules for some and )different) rules for others.
    Vote Independent and give the bastards a shake. I can't think of anything which will frighten the misfits more.
    Infinityoz
    18th Aug 2015
    12:40pm
    And of course, the articles promoting this nasty change come from the Murdock press. Maybe there is a case for limiting the amount of the family home exemption, but it would have to be a big amount, at least say, 5 million, because once such a policy is implemented there is likely to be no change for decades despite ever-rising house "values". No governement whether Coalition or Labor, is going to index this. And what do you bet that despite loud protests at the time, if a Lib mob brings this in and then loses the next election, the other side will just keep it!
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:22pm
    I suspect you are right. So vote for an Independent and end the nasty game which never ends.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    4:38pm
    I think ive said this before we had two independents supporting the labour Government and look where that left us.
    An independent vote is a waste they generally stand for nothing
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:41pm
    ... and while we're at it there should be no subsidies to big business... if they are so good they can make it on their own.... it is not the business of government to sustain business - it is however, the business of government to pay the pensions due to people who have contributed for fifty years of working life into the Pension Funds (consolidated into general revenue).

    Here it is, people......

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument

    You really should read this to understand the way pensioners have been ripped off here.

    Air strike's coming in... get your heads down, politicians - this is going to be a big one...
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    8:30pm
    We must subsidise big business because they are the lifters so need the money (tongue in cheek)
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:34am
    robbo: I sometimes see your sort of response as the reason why people should not vote for Independents but you miss the whole point that many Independents in the parliament would work. Nick Xenophon would be the perfect example of an Independent doing good. And remember the likes of Andrew Wilkie in the last parliament who tired to get up protections for gambling addicts: a move which was opposed by both sides of politics who were clearly receiving money from the Pubs and Clubs lobby to look the other way.
    If you do not support Independents to fix our broken political system then make a suggestion which would....and which would work. I dare say the silence will be deafening!
    Travellersjoy
    18th Aug 2015
    12:42pm
    Thousands of women, especially single mothers, with no superannuation, struggled to buy a house to give their children security, and themselves in later life.

    Now the banksters want it taxed so they can continue to avoid tax.

    When the corporations and rich leaches sucking our country dry, are paying tax properly ie in relationship to their real profits, then a government can ask me again about taxing pensioners.
    People are only pensioners because they don't have much - unless they are manipulating the system. Catch and tax the miscreants, and leave the strugglers alone.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:23pm
    Well said. Totally true.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:42pm
    So true.
    Oldie84
    18th Aug 2015
    12:45pm
    As usual, rip into the Government and the PM. Can't you just wait to see what measurements are going to be accepted from the report by the CSRI?
    Of course the family home should be excluded, provided you live in it and don't earn income from it.
    At this stage it is only a recommendation.....
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:24pm
    Do you not remember that Hockey actively campaigned for this last year? This is not a discussion paper. It is a policy waiting to be implemented.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    6:49pm
    Just like the GST.
    Aussiefrog
    18th Aug 2015
    12:48pm
    Governments are not running the countries anymore, financials do, they're the ones pulling the strings!
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    6:50pm
    Privatising Government may be a good way to go!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:35am
    One might think that this is already the case.
    Sen.Cit.90
    18th Aug 2015
    12:48pm
    I haven't read 'Mick' for a while. I must now agree with him. Somehow we must get rid of the two Party system and vote Independent.In my opinion Morrison did a good job with the boat people problem; Now he is Social Services Minister he is really going after the (weaker) Pensioners. I've been a LNP voter for years; NO MORE; but definitely not ALP either.
    roy
    18th Aug 2015
    1:17pm
    Hear hear.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:28pm
    I feel a sense of achievement when I see people thinking about the future. We've tried changing governments but it has been clear for some time that both sides are as crooked as a dog's hind leg.
    If you listened carefully before the last 2 elections both sides begged voters not to vote for Independents. Not because they were bad but because both sides fear the end of their unlimited power. Bring it on.
    Well done guys.
    Kaz
    18th Aug 2015
    1:07pm
    COME ON PEOPLE! Leave my home alone (I may need it to fund a nursing home spot!) I worked hard to own it and have no control over whether it goes up or down in value.
    BTW who appointed this committee? Often suggestions such as these are made just to test reactions and then they water them down - we need to say absolutely not, nada, no!
    Dukalook
    18th Aug 2015
    1:16pm
    Let's be realistic about this. A lot more needs to be done to make pensions sustainable and not many of us would be happy with the obvious alternatives like increasing the rate of the GST. I'm in favour of looking at the whole picture, and including some reasonably generous indexed exemption limit on housing needs to be considered seriously.
    Saalbach
    18th Aug 2015
    2:37pm
    Maybe increasing the GST while increasing the tax threshold might be the answer. While we would all pay more at the cash register, we would save on our tax. With the right tweaking, the poorer people would be no worse off, but the rich would pay more
    Golden Oldie
    18th Aug 2015
    3:29pm
    Probably most of the part-pensioners do not pay tax because their income is under the limit due to age. Therefore, they would not benefit from a higher threshold before paying tax, as they do not pay income tax at all. I am in that situation, putting in a tax return for franking credits which are less that $100 currently. Increasing the GST could hurt badly unless I cook only fresh food, and purchased no clothing, used no electricity, phone, water, gas, insurance, petrol, car repairs, appliances and everything else that attracts GST. Home ownership does not necessarily make a person wealthy. The home itself does not create an income, but does have numerous expenses for upkeep, and current inflated market prices don't count unless you sell!

    .
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:47pm
    Saalbach - let me repeat for you what I said to an old Digger mate of mine years ago, when he was trumpeting the virtue of the LNP over the introduction of GST....

    I said - "You realise that YOU are no paying the equivalent of a percentage ofincome tax, when you didn't before, don't you? when a GST or whatever is raised and income tax lowered - that automatically includes YOU as an income tax payer by another name."

    He thought about it for three seconds, and said - "You're right!"

    Abolish the inflationary GST that has given governments BILLIONS to throw at non-issues while ignoring their responsibilities - and which has cause escalation in cost of living with 10% added to 10% every time there is a rise - and get the costs of living back down - then bring wages under control to match.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:49pm
    Golden Oldie - shopping at San Vincent and Sal Vos has its virtues.... I got three sets of trousers that fit in one go... usually I'm too tall and slim to fit into beer gut pants....

    I haven't bought more than $50 worth of new clothes in years..... socks excepted. You need socks...
    Theo1943
    19th Aug 2015
    11:03am
    According to an email from GETUP I got this morning Shell Service stations generated $60 Billion in revenue over the past three years and paid $0 Tax.
    VJ
    18th Aug 2015
    1:20pm
    For many of us, our home is worth a lot less than $547,000. We live entirely on the pension, have no other income, no superannuation stashed away, are not planning on leaving our home to offspring, just need it in case we have to sell up and move to something with less upkeep and now they want to take that away as well!!! Sorry to be such an inconvenience to the government, I'm dying as quickly as I can.
    Adrianus
    18th Aug 2015
    1:30pm
    Is it fair and reasonable for a 70 year old living in a $2m home to get just as much if not more pension than a 70 year old living in a $200k home?
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    2:05pm
    You keep splitting hairs like this and you are pandering to the government's desires to include the family home in the assets test. Be happy you own the roof over your head whether it's worth $200k or $2m or you'll be worse off in the future because of your own jealousies.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:32pm
    The question is: is it fair that somebody living in a $2 million home with nothing else is forced to sell and move to the western suburbs and start all over again with their friends now living on the other side of the city? Horses for courses.
    What is fair is that the pension should cut out gradually and that the family home should not be included until it gets a bit past the Sydney median price...say at least 50% above and indexed against the median price.
    Adrianus
    18th Aug 2015
    2:49pm
    Fast Eddie, you assume that I'm jealous about something. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm happy to see welfare go to those who need it the most. Not to those who simply make a case for it on paper.

    mick, well this government increased the assessment level to $200,000 for which it received your criticism and you believe it should go higher?
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:50pm
    Depends where they live Frank.... read my posts.
    Patriot
    18th Aug 2015
    6:43pm
    Frank
    I think that "Outdoor Loos" are not legal anymore in Sydney.

    That's all $200k would buy!!!
    And that on land the size of a Postage Stamp.

    Don't be rediculous !!!
    Adrianus
    18th Aug 2015
    8:32pm
    So Patriot, you believe city people should get more welfare because they live in the city? That's your system of fairness. You obviously live in the city.
    Patriot
    18th Aug 2015
    8:48pm
    No Frank,
    If they both own their home (and use it to live in rather than derive income from) with the prices of such Real Estate varying to the amount as indicated they should get identical pensions support.

    That is, if the pricing of the home value represents the average (standard/average 4 bedroom home) for that area (give or take say 50%).

    I would suggest that one modest home could be in Sydney and the other might be in Bourke !?!?!?!?

    Where/how did you deduct that I was suggesting paying one more than the other.
    Are you on drugs or something or do you like to confuse the issues a bit?????
    Rae
    19th Aug 2015
    8:39am
    I would think the pensioner living in the 2 million house would need a lot of income to afford rates, insurance, maintenance etc.

    A home you live in is not an asset it is theoretically your largest liability.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    9:16am
    Exactly my point Rae. Taxpayers should not have to fund lifestyles or the "estate building" of others.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:38am
    Lets dismantle the real estate building of MPs first. I'll vote for that.
    lizzier
    18th Aug 2015
    1:35pm
    Fraught with difficulty. We own a very humble abode, which means we have assets in superannuation. Therefore I am in agreement with the home being included in assets - providing an allowance is made that takes account of the average price of a home. After all, my home is a part of my assets. There is not a bottomless bucket of money and we all have a responsibility to ensure (as best as possible) our own lifestyle - even in retirement. So many seem to consider a pension a 'right' rather than a safety net. Yes, this includes the politicians' more generous superannuation.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:33pm
    Maybe TOTAL ASSETS, including superannuation, should be the way to start. That would be fairer.
    Golden Oldie
    18th Aug 2015
    3:33pm
    Mick,for your information superannuation is included in both the asset test and the income test.
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    6:50am
    "Asset Test...

    the value of your Asset Test Exempt income streams is not counted as an asset under the assets test if it was purchased before 20 September 2004

    half the value of your Partially Asset Test Exempt income stream is counted as an asset under the assets test if it was purchased between 20 September 2004 and before 20 September 2007

    income streams purchased on or after 20 September 2007 cannot be classified as Asset Test Exempt or Partially Asset Test Exempt"
    NeDaPa
    18th Aug 2015
    1:38pm
    If the family home is to be included in the assets test, then how about allowing a one time tax deduction for all the home loan interest paid over 40 years. Personally I would be quite happy to put the $1m+ into an allocated pension fund and then not receive a pension until the funds run out; I'll probably die first!
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:36pm
    You realise how you are being nobbled by Australian governments when you go to the US: family homes and holiday homes are tax deductible from what I understand and the tax scale is really low with large amounts between the next rate. Living costs are also lower.
    Don't think that our governments have any legitimacy. They don't. All they have is front.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    6:52pm
    It is the interest on a loan (mortgage) which is tax deductible.
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    8:44pm
    Not sure whether it is the same now but when I bought a house in UK the interest on the mortgage was tax deductible but was limited to a certain value and this only pertained to your home.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:41am
    Yes. Have a read. Its up to date:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2015/02/19/the-loan-interest-you-can-and-cant-deduct-on-your-taxes/

    18th Aug 2015
    1:42pm
    Of course, the family home should be exempt from the assets test. A person works their whole bloody life to have a few easy years in retirement and because of inept government financial management they are then penalised in order to fill the federal coffers. Hockey doesn't seem to know which way is up, and neither does Cormann, nor do they know what a balance sheet is. If you are retired and have money to spend do so and start to bring your assets down so you can get more pension. Go on a cruise, fly somewhere, give some money to the kids, hide it, whatever, but don't let it come into the assets test equation! These politicians would take the gold out of you teeth and they'd sell their mums and wives to get a dollar. The government is pathetic and getting worse by the day. Don't fund them, they are governing by stealth. If you have it spend it and enjoy or hide it! Good luck!
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:09pm
    If this government had the guts to go after the multinationals who are defrauding the tax system of $80 billion a year there would be no need to attack people who have a lifetime in this country and expect to be able to retire without worrying about money.
    This government has no intention of going after the big end of town. That is who owns it.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    2:31pm
    Sad, but true. The government is like the bully at school, always picking on someone smaller, someone who's easier to intimidate and will seldom fight back. Big business, like the tax-dodgers on the news the other night are the ones who "donate" and "contribute" to government funds, declared and otherwise. If you think the Treasury or ATO is going to have a shot at the Golden Goose you are kidding yourself. Yes, this $80 billion would make life easier for most everyone, but the politicians are only interested in themselves during their term in office when they can fill their wallets and secure an unbelievable fat retirement package for themselves. Again, greed, gluttony, hypocrisy, and self-interest are a politician's priorities and the catch words of the two major parties.
    Adrianus
    18th Aug 2015
    2:38pm
    That'll be why high income earners got a tax increase and 170,000 pensioners will get an increase in their pensions.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:39pm
    And that's where the ballot box becomes a weapon for average Australians. Sadly instead of using it to its full potential Australians simply listen to the advertising from the 2 major parties and forget that voting in candidates who are Independents is the only way to end a bad game. When they understand that we have their measure they will fix up their corruption and unaccountable ways lest they disappear altogether.
    Golden Oldie
    18th Aug 2015
    3:40pm
    Independants have their own agenda, and may not make their own policies clear to the electorate. They sell their votes to whichever party LNP or ALP who will support their agenda, and not always to the benefit of the population in general. I don't trust them either.
    Adrianus
    18th Aug 2015
    4:49pm
    I agree Golden Oldie! Labor would also trade their mothers for Green votes as well.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:54pm
    If I stand for election as an Independent, and am elected - do you really think I would 'sell my vote'? I would vote on principle and upon the wishes of my electorate... that's what independents do.

    If an Independent has a broad sweep of agenda - and is responsive to his/her electorate (as they all should be) - how is an Independent a bad choice?
    Patriot
    18th Aug 2015
    6:48pm
    TREBOR
    To get my vote you MUST also have the interest of ALL Australians in mind when dealing with National & International issues.
    THESE MUST GE INTEGRATED INTO YOUR DECISIONS!!!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:41am
    Golden oldie: All people have their "own agendas" but the major parties are pretty well 'owned' by their election funding provider sponsors. Of course Independents may go the same way but it would be easier to shown individual MPs the door rather than a whole Party.
    In the end Independents are a fresh slate who will have a voice...unlike Liberal or Labor where decisions are made by a very small executive and the members vote as they are told, not as they choose.
    World Prophet
    18th Aug 2015
    2:23pm
    Whilst I can understand where they're coming from, in my view it would just become a dog's breakfast. Firstly, if family homes are indexed so that a simple or progressive threshold applies, how can the geographical differences be accounted for.
    A house in the country would be worth far less than a house in Sydney's North Shore, but often the owners have bought it quite a few decades ago, when the difference was far smaller.
    Therefore it tends to make it unsustainable for some pensioners to remain in their homes, where they know their neighbourhood and often have levels of support in place. Also the indexation levels are often not adjusted properly, which leads to a form of bracket creep with eventually the lower end of the spectrum being affected (think of tax, stamp duty, etc.). Inevitably it becomes clunky, with amendments to fix anomalies, and also the cost of management becomes a factor. Finally it is really a tax on thrift, similar to death duties, and as such tends to punish those who have tried (or for that matter succeeded) to put themselves in a position where they can enjoy a reasonable retirement. In my view, it would be more productive to increase policing on the myriad of other benefits that are more likely to be rorted, and streamline the whole benefit system to be more responsive but simpler.
    Saalbach
    18th Aug 2015
    2:42pm
    Maybe those who live in the country and have homes of lower value may also have earnt a lot less than their city counterparts, and therefore have less super etc to tide them over.
    World Prophet
    18th Aug 2015
    2:54pm
    Good point
    Saalbach
    18th Aug 2015
    2:24pm
    It seems the Govt wants retirees to use up all of their assets by the time they die, thus reducing the demands on its coffers. Maybe a better solution might be to introduce a Death Duty payable on estates worth more than $1 million and gift duty on gifts totaling more than $100,000 over the past 20 years. That way, most average retirees wouldn't be affected, but the pollies would then contribute back to the nation, and the Govt could afford to pay a decent pension. Just a thought!
    Sceptic
    18th Aug 2015
    3:52pm
    Of course the Government wants retirees living of super to use up their own assets before they die. That is exactly what super is for. It is not so that people can draw a pension and leave a legacy to those who they leave behind. It is a retirement plan and this does not seem to be understood by so many of the contributors to this site.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    4:50pm
    Yes Superannuation is for retirement funding, but the family home is not, leave that out of the equation. Any residual balance upon death should go to the estate and distributed according to the wishes/will of the deceased.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    9:58pm
    Forcing people to exhaust their assets during their lifetime simply means the next generation will be poorer. How does that make sense? It's time to stop attacking retirees for being frugal and responsible and wanting to leave a small legacy so that their children have it easier than they did, and start attacking the wealthy tax-evaders instead?

    I agree, Saalbach, with your proposal re death and gift duty. That sounds more than reasonable to me.
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    6:54am
    Death duties should apply to all...it would be discriminatory would it not if otherwise?
    It would be a brave government who brought it back in. It was for a time, the policy of the Greens, but I believe it has been dropped.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    2:25pm
    Hands off the family home, for heavens sake.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:41pm
    Use your vote wisely niemakawa. This is when governments sit up and take notice.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    2:58pm
    Mick, if the truth be known ALL political parties want this to happen, just that I suspect Labor do not want to do the dirty deeds. Say the LNP was successful in doing so do you really believe Labor would repeal it?? I think you know the answer to that one!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:45am
    Not being objective there. I agree with your sentiments but given that Labor is a Party that has some empathy for average people I suspect that you might have a chance of getting a bit of fairness. I remind you that under Labor the pension was increased. Under this government it is up for grabs. As in all things we will have to wait for the fat lady to sing............not Amanda Vanstone. Did I really say that.
    pauly
    18th Aug 2015
    2:31pm
    it's about time these so call expert's tried to live and survive on a pension rather than the exorbitant amounts they are being paid. A much better idea would be that all politicians and these executives' on these boards should not be getting any pension and should be made live of their earnings. If they want our homes and assets maybe they should start looking at bringing in compulsory euthanasia at say age 70 with the government getting all monies and assets going to the government rather than family.
    Blossom
    18th Aug 2015
    2:38pm
    This is going to penalise people whose land was worth very little a few years ago.
    In some areas it has risen a lot, partly caused by the value of new homes around them and additional community resources (not all are able to use them) +"so called" road improvements etc. They might be if they were properly maintained not patched (bandaided). The same applies to footpaths, especially pavers. They move about and become uneven sooner than concrete does - not just because of tree roots either.
    Blossom
    18th Aug 2015
    2:42pm
    Because od high density housing, prices seem to be increasing more. Governments and Local Councils are getting more revenue. Gas Pressure in some of those areas is poor as is water pressure and storm water cannot drain away quickly enough in some areas making the risk of flooding even worse than it was before. New drainage in some metropolitan is not satisfory by any stretch of the imagination.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    2:39pm
    Should this system ever be implemented, then at the same time all income derived from all assets owned by a should be absolutely TAX FREE.
    MICK
    18th Aug 2015
    2:44pm
    I am in favour of including ALL assets and ALL forms of income to arrive at eligibility. It is wrong that superannuation income which has been heavily subsidised by taxpayers, should not be included. This does not make sense. But then neither does the superannuation tax shelter for the rich or the refusal to collect the correct amount of tax from multinationals.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    3:46pm
    Isn't that double dipping? Should the family home be included in the asset test, then that will eliminate many from the right to receive a pension. So let these people "fend" for themselves, but do not tax any of their income, that would be fair.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:48am
    Many do not have an income. That is the problem. Got nothing other than an expensive house in a suburb they have lived in for 50 years or more.
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    3:32pm
    After reading all the posts it tells me that those coming behind those already retired should make sure they do "retirement planning" at least 5 years before they retire.

    Too late once you have retired and then find you do not have enough to live on.,
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    2:48pm
    Another option should this system ever be implemented. Allow retirees to transfer, without any penalty whatsoever, 60 -70% of the value of their own home to the "family", with the right to reside in the home until the final chapter. What is left will then be used for living or more aptly "dying" expenses
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:50am
    The pension system already prevents this with the 5 year exclusion rule.
    midnight
    18th Aug 2015
    3:00pm
    Family home exemption? All those holidays I NEVER HAD, all those parties I NEVER WENT TO, all those dinners I NEVER HAD, all those OPSHOPS I BOUGHT MY CLOTHES IN. Honestly! You have to be kidding me. The way this is all heading I should have just partied out, travelled wherever and whenever, smoked, drank, spent all my money on expensive clothes and had a jolly fine time, then retired with absolutely nothing and insisted the government look after my diseased disintegrated body. At least I would have had a good time. Am I now to be resentful because I tried really hard to make sure, to the best of my ability, that I remained healthy, housed, and owed nothing to no-one? Think it through. Take away my home, sell it off to another overseas investor, and then all that I have worked for just leaves the country. What a waste of time that makes it all then.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    4:03pm
    You're midnight, but you see the light. What you have experienced has happened to most of us, I would guess, to one degree or another. The old Protestant Work Ethic has long gone out the window with Joe's cigar smoke. The government takes more money and benefits off the Aged Pensioners and the disabled, makes it harder for permanent residents and citizens to pay for an education, and sells the country's land, mining rights, assets, and domestic property to foreigners to pay off the deficit which was the government's fault in the first place. Why not chase after the $80 billion in dodged taxes by Chevron, Monsanto, Google, etc, etc? Because it' stood bloody hard for the politicians to do their job? They would rather argue about some trivial crap like gay marriage rights while the country continues to go down the toilet!
    Sen.Cit.90
    19th Aug 2015
    11:01am
    Midnight;

    If I could I would shake your hand; You and I have the same, same
    message. I'm sick to the back teeth ( what's left of them) of being punished for my frugal life style.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    3:13pm
    Message for DREW. You are right and the overwhelming number of posts support the same view, Send the results of this "survey" to the Government, opposition, the CSRI etc. Thanks.
    Gilgaloth
    18th Aug 2015
    3:45pm
    Why are we talking about means testing the family, while these Energy Companies have been robbing Australia blind for years.

    In shocking whistleblower revelations last night, ten foreign multinationals shifted $31 billion in revenue in one year to dodge Australian tax.1

    Among the worst of the corporate tax dodgers are the dirty old energy companies.

    These big polluters pay nothing on their carbon pollution emissions and receive enormous government handouts – a whopping $1,712 from every Australian.2 All the while, they're shipping billions in Australian profits to overseas investors, with little to no tax paid into our economy to help fund our public schools and hospitals.

    Well, their day of reckoning is coming with a Senate inquiry likely kicking off next week. But there's a catch: if no one's paying attention, it tells our politicians we don't care and gives them little incentive to take action. These companies could walk away scot-free, while ordinary Australian taxpayers are left to pick up the bill.

    So to show the Abbott Government we mean business, we're doing an Australian first: placing the biggest ad possible in a major newspaper to draw attention to these critical Senate hearings. (We're checking ad prices now and need to book soon.)

    Click here to check out our 'Who's a Dirty Rotten Tax Dodger?' ad and chip in to make sure all eyes are on the explosive hearings into tax dodging by dirty energy companies.

    Here's some of the dirty details we know already. Shell service stations paid $0 tax on $60 billion in Australian revenue over the past three years.3 And a group of multinationals, including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, have allegedly arranged to extract $60 billion in tax free profits from the massive Gorgon gas project.4

    Then, last night's Channel 7 exclusive revealed that:
    • Ten corporations sent $31 billion in profits to offshore tax havens to avoid paying tax in Australia;
    • One corporation alone sent an enormous $11 billion in revenue from Australia to Singapore to avoid paying tax in Australia;
    • Up to $30 billion in tax revenue is lost to Australia thanks to corporate tax dodging each year.5 That's enough to eliminate the deficit and roll back the Abbott Government's massive cuts to our schools and hospitals.
    Last time we checked, Australian workers don't get to ship their wages to overseas tax havens to avoid paying tax. Yet Treasurer Joe Hockey is hinting at GST hikes for everyday Australians, proving that when multinational corporations don't pay their dues, we pay the price.

    Chip in to place an ad in a major newspaper to call out the worst of the corporate tax dodgers and hold our politicians to account over their inaction: www.getup.org.au/tax-time

    Mr Hockey can't dodge immense public pressure to deal with corporate tax dodgers, but it all depends on how much we can crank up the volume on these Senate hearings. Let's make sure that all eyes are on the tax dodging of the dirtiest energy companies next week.

    Thanks for speaking out,
    Daney, Mark, Nat and Alycia, for the GetUp team

    PS - Today, the Senate committee investigating corporate tax dodgers handed down a damning interim report. The report included some key recommendations that would force more transparency on these companies and give regulators new powers to crack down on corporate tax dodging. Whether these recommendations get up will depend on how much pressure the Abbott Government feels to finally do something. If each of us chips in a small amount today, we can shine a big spotlight on the actions of tax dodging fossil fuel companies next week – but we need to act quickly to get the ad space booked. Click here to chip in

    References
    [1] Exclusive: $31 bn sent offshore to avoid tax, Sunday Night, Channel Seven, 16 August 2015
    [2] G20 countries pay over $1000 per citizen in fossil fuel subsidies, The Guardian, 4 August 2015
    [3] Shell pumped $20 billion a year from motorists but paid no tax, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 August 2015
    [4] ATO looks into Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell's $60 bn tax-free windfall, Australian Financial Review, 17 August 2015
    [5] Exclusive: Corporate tax dodge, Sunday Night, Channel Seven, 16 August 2015
    ________________________________________
    GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here.
    Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.
    Authorised by Paul Oosting, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    3:51pm
    Did Channel 7 mention the billions of dollars sent overseas from Centrelink payments
    given to "new entrants" to this Country.? I am sure the figures are available from Western Union.
    Sceptic
    18th Aug 2015
    3:56pm
    GetUp independent. That is the laugh of the day.
    Adrianus
    18th Aug 2015
    4:42pm
    It's as independent as the CFMEU.
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    6:14pm
    Perhaps you could lay that out in detail for us - Frank and Sceptic? You seem to know the ropes - please enlighten us all.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:53am
    Never expect too much intelligent or logical comment from Frank, who supports only LNP doctrines.
    We as a nation are very fortunate to have a group like GetUP. And for the record GetUp will support any campaign you like if it is in the national interest. Unfortunately re-electing this government is not supported.
    Circum
    19th Aug 2015
    9:29pm
    Have to agree with Frank on this one.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    3:57pm
    All political parties should state publicly before the next election their position on including the family home. No ifs or buts but a simple "Yes we will" or No we will not" will suffice. They talk about transparency in Government, well then this will be a true test for them.
    Gilgaloth
    18th Aug 2015
    4:04pm
    Won't help, for a Government of pathological liars to make promises
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    4:06pm
    All parties must be made accountable, not just the LNP.
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    8:57pm
    You bet. The LNP are proven liars.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    9:18pm
    And what was that famous one liner? "there will be no Carbon Tax ........"
    Can you give me the name and the Party please?
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:59am
    I agree with your first post.
    In regard to the comment above would you like to compare lies? Australians have a sense of 'fairness' and the above comment shows none of this. Why?
    In terms of the Carbon Tax: yes Gillard lied. No question. But what comments like the above refuse to concede is that the Carbon Tax HURT NONE OF US. It was directed at the coal industry. Average Australians had adjustments to cost of living increases through generous tax adjustments and the cry from this government of "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax" has been shown to be the lie of all lies as after the repeal prices DID NOT GO DOWN.
    So lets have an honest debate about this niemakawa, not LNP slogans.
    Gilgaloth
    18th Aug 2015
    4:02pm
    The LNP Govt are totally out of touch with who they represent. They think it is Big Business, rather than Australian voters, having paid a lifetime of income tax.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:01am
    The LNP are sponsored by big business so this is where their allegiance is. Follow the money trail. Quite obvious for those who think otherwise.
    Bushy
    18th Aug 2015
    4:12pm
    Why not? What if you live in a small country town where houses are worth about $250,000..does that means if you have $800,000 in other assets you will not be able to get the pension. But if you live in the city with a $1,250,000+ house and with $200,000 in assets you will be able to get the pension...and when you die your assets will still be intact and increased in value where as in the county house prices are stagnant and not increased in value and their savings will be depleted...
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    4:40pm
    Thats spot on Bushy everyone has different circumstances some will always do better than others
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    4:40pm
    Thats spot on Bushy everyone has different circumstances some will always do better than others
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    4:27pm
    Shouldn't it only be the capital gains amount that should be included. That is current value-less Purchases costs / Mortgage outstanding.
    Aussiefrog
    18th Aug 2015
    4:55pm
    There's a new party launching in October, I believe, read their manifesto here ( http://australianlibertyalliance.org/downloads/ALA_MANIFESTO_OG14001R1.pdf ) they are worth a look!
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    9:00pm
    They are an anti Islamic party.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    9:33pm
    I agree with that, Mr Watson.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    9:34pm
    ALA is a viable alternative with vision.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:02am
    Will they behead anyone who wants a pension? Where's particolor?
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    5:13pm
    Off the top of my head - I would suggest that a family home at the market value for the area in which it resides (sic) should be acceptable without penalty. That means that every home would need to be considered on an individual case-by-case basis, and constant upgrades to the market value database installed and utilised.

    A family home worth - for example - five million bucks in an area where the norm is $750k.. should be looked at in a different light as regards pension.

    Just my thoughts there.....
    Priscilla
    18th Aug 2015
    5:24pm
    Instead of making life more difficult for people who have spent their working life paying for their family home, including retirees and all taxpayers, you should be making a stand making sure big companies pay their full share of tax! Money would not be such a problem if big companies were made to pay sufficient tax as others do instead of taking everything off people who have sacrificed to get a home. MAKE BIG COMPANIES PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAX, that is what is needed. I notice the Governments have not rushed to bring this about. It is time for people to stand up and be counted. This cannot go on.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:04am
    Yep. And close the superannuation tax shelter for the rich who are milking it worse than the last dairy cow left on the planet.
    Lyn
    18th Aug 2015
    5:30pm
    The majority of pensioners do not have over the limit assets rather many struggle to exist on s moderate income.
    The family home is the only ASSET that they have. But it is NOT an Asset it is their security where they live. To classify this as an asset is condemning many to a poverty like existence. That is not living.
    Do NOT classify the family home as an asset.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    7:18pm
    Of course it is not an asset. It is the family home and belongs to the family, nobody else. Leave well alone.
    Reeper
    18th Aug 2015
    5:52pm
    I think a few of you who clearly have computers might use them to find out a little more before opening their mouths.
    The CSRI is quote an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organisation committed to improving the adequacy and sustainability of the retirement income system. unquote.
    It isn't a policy organisation, it isn't a government organisation. Have a good read about who the CSRI is and tell them your concerns. They have public forums and will take correspondence from interested parties. And, Patricia Pascuzzo doesn't make decisions on what the CSRI says, she only chairs the organisation

    More
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    6:01pm
    Make your own minds up:-

    http://csri.org.au/about/people/
    Rae
    19th Aug 2015
    7:24am
    Perhaps they might look into the huge revenue that was lost by privatising every income producing taxpayer owned asset.

    Then housing inflation was allowed to get out of control, even encouraged by first home owner grants and rampant bank lending.

    Put a money transfer tax on all overseas transfers. Simple.
    Reeper
    18th Aug 2015
    5:52pm
    I think a few of you who clearly have computers might use them to find out a little more before opening their mouths.
    The CSRI is quote an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organisation committed to improving the adequacy and sustainability of the retirement income system. unquote.
    It isn't a policy organisation, it isn't a government organisation. Have a good read about who the CSRI is and tell them your concerns. They have public forums and will take correspondence from interested parties. And, Patricia Pascuzzo doesn't make decisions on what the CSRI says, she only chairs the organisation

    More
    TREBOR
    18th Aug 2015
    6:02pm
    At fear of repeating myself (ROFL here)... Make your own minds up:-

    http://csri.org.au/about/people/
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    6:03pm
    Of course at this stage I know it is a paper on reform of the pension system. But I also know that any Government will seize the opportunity to implement such changes especially if the "recommendations" come from an "independent source. It is not a matter of if but when. So we must start opposing it now not when it is too late. The family home must never be included in the eligibility criteria for a pension.
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2015
    7:41pm
    Yes, this is a recommendation or "suggestion" by the CSRI on how the government "can get away with paying less money in the form of pensions", and is not to be confused with strategies to be used by the government to "save" - as this word is not a part of government vernacular. It is a suggestion much like the above which will be implemented on 1/1/2017 when the asset test threshold is lowered and the taper rate increased. Whether there is a federal election before then or not, this bit of legislation will not be stopped by either major party as it means more government money to waste, and at Aged Pensioners' expense. Anyone, be it an individual, company, organisation, government, etc who pays for an "independent" review, study, whatever usually gets the "recommendation" they have PAID FOR and WANTED in the first place. Don't be so naive to think otherwise.
    Mok
    18th Aug 2015
    6:21pm
    I believe that the family home should remain exempt, as people do not buy it as an investment and with time prices in all suburbs raise. For instance I started working in Box Hill seven years ago and homes were around the $700,000 mark, now the same homes are selling for $1 million or more. Why should these people be forced to move further out into lower cost suburbs, which will eventually also rise in value. Furthermore they may be moving away from all the transport and support services that may not be available in their new location.
    Adrianus
    20th Aug 2015
    4:03pm
    Mok, it is not exempt at the moment it is valued at $200,000 up from $160,000.
    vincent
    18th Aug 2015
    6:23pm
    The value of a house when included in assessment should be the same across the board. No differential values across locations. Why? a dollar is a dollar and for the information for city slickers, life in the country is a lot more expensive. No competition everything carries higher freightcost and fuel is a large part of expenditure no alternative. When I brought up the poor service delivery with a provider the answer was"you did choose to live there". The same with you lot that wants immediately makes exemptions for Sydney as if that represents the population of Oz.Just suck it and you did choose to live there. It is not a bad position to be in sitting on a pot of gold ie real estate. If you are that concerned just sell it and enjoy it.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    6:25pm
    Only Governments, politicians and those that do not own a "family" home would favour such a change. The latter group in the hope that they will get an large increase in their pension. Dream on that would not happen either.

    18th Aug 2015
    7:00pm
    amazingly our good old labor stooge in these comments, mick, opened his mouth again, love to know how much he or she get paid by the labor party or by his union for publishing using his name, the poison of their labor lefties, just show me one case where the liberals have stated that they would use the family homes to minimize pensioners pensions, one thing I agree on, it is very unusual for a lefty, I go as far to say she or he being a member of the party, to profess being an accountant, seeing the mess labor left this country in on their last term of government,
    I love reading mick's comments, able backed up by trebor's "yes mick agree or so true" at least stand on your own feet, then again it be hard if you are the same person, sorry mick, you are a loser and people are starting to see through you, but then again, fools are born every day.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:11am
    A sick sick comment mate.
    I have stated on MANY occasions that I SUPPORT NEITHER SIDE as both are poison. If I appear to be defending Labor at times it is because of the unfair attacks bordering on dishonesty from posters who clearly have a relationship with the LNP or who are trolls. Oh yes, I do have a social conscience.
    Theo1943
    19th Aug 2015
    11:41am
    Nice troll Heemskerk99. I too love reading Mick's and Trebor's comments. Unlike yours, they show some insight. I just reread your post, you really didn't add anything to the discussion.
    My father lives in a $200K home in a country town on a 2200 metre block. I live in a $650K home. We are both pensioners. Partly because he has no technology other than a simple microwave oven and a TV , his house is cheaper to run than mine. He also no longer has a vehicle whereas we have two. As he is 101 he doesn't get out much and so spends less than we do. Should we be penalised because our house is worth more? We paid less than $200K when we built 15 years ago, is it our fault that land values in our estate have gone from the $63K we paid to over $400K in that period?
    Enquiries190
    18th Aug 2015
    7:03pm
    Agree with the sentiments that the family home should remain unassessable for pension purposes. Remember the changes to Aged Care Facilities legislation and their ability to charge capital bonds?
    In just two years the capital bonds being charged by nursing homes in our Melbourne suburb have doubled. Selling the family home outright would not pay for two capital bonds.
    Catch22: there may not be a family home left to need protecting for pension purposes. I have seen two families having to sell to fund the bonds, and they still have to pay daily accomodation charges.
    superboy
    18th Aug 2015
    7:35pm
    NEVER touch the family home. Any politician who suggests this has a retirement wish.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:12am
    Where you have a problem is when both sides agree. No way out other than voting for Independents then. But will average Australians see this and have the backbone to do it? That is the question.
    yakillinme
    18th Aug 2015
    7:41pm
    Leave family home exempt....
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    9:13pm
    That is the overwhelming consensus
    Thinker
    18th Aug 2015
    8:44pm
    I am fortunate to be a self funded retiree. I don't mind my taxes paying for other person's pensions but don't see why I should be enabling an inheritance for their children. The pension should become an interest free loan to be repaid on death
    Wstaton
    18th Aug 2015
    9:06pm
    Maybe we should bring back death duties surely that would fix the problem.
    niemakawa
    18th Aug 2015
    9:52pm
    Wstaton, we pay more than enough duties when we are alive. No to death duties.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    7:25am
    Thinker, that's right you shouldn't need to fund the pensioners children's inheritance as well. Let them get a reverse mortgage.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    8:11am
    Excellent idea thinker
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:16am
    Your suggestion Thinker ignores what other first world countries do. Why should Australia be the only nation to take everything away from its citizens....now to include the family home, which normally gets the next generation on their feet? It is plain not right and unfair and Australians will not take this one lying down. PUT IT UP FOR THE NATION TO VOTE ON, not politicians!
    cdbstock
    19th Aug 2015
    1:37am
    A reasonable approach would be to exempt the family home up to, say, $0.8M indexed @ cpi - this would not affect the 'battler' (the majority) but would catch those sinking their wealth into the family home & then claiming part pension. This would also reduce real estate prices - it would remove the part pension incentive to purchase a property above $0.8M
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:18am
    Not bad but if you live in Sydney a more reasonable amount would be around the $1.5 million mark. To make it equitable maybe using a media figure (+50%) for a geographical location might be the only way to do this. Not easy no matter what you do.
    Irishwolfhound
    19th Aug 2015
    1:56am
    What an absolute cheek these people have! They retire with a full pension at an early age, can take another high paid job and not lose a penny, but we the down trodden plebs have to spend every penny we have saved! Have a look at the inaugural speech that was made by this committee http://jaf.ministers.treasury.gov.au/speech/007-2015/ and note well some of the comments made ie -Being too conservative in how they draw on their super account balances can lead to retirees living frugally and settling for a lower living standard in retirement.

    It can also mean that for some, much of the money they worked hard to earn and save is left as a bequest, rather than supporting their retirement, as intended. What a bl***y cheek! Pensioners worked hard for their retirement money, either from taxes paid during their life time, or from their superannuations payments. How we spend it is OUR business nothing to do with the greedy grabbing Government! Bring that law in and I hope every one of the pensioners in this country find s a loophole to bequest, gift or just spend their money and draw the pension anyway!
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    7:52am
    You will never be happy while you compare your situation with those who are better off.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:21am
    Have I not said that Frank is a troll? Here we are.....protecting the self given rights of pollies. Ex Mp Frank? Working for the LNP now?
    I'll bite on this post though. You have a right to be pis***d with this (next) attack on average Australians Irishwolfhound.
    Captain
    19th Aug 2015
    8:07pm
    Frank, normally I do not attack others, however, your comment above is ridiculous. Irish wolf hound is saying that politicians have more perks unavailable to the ordinary worker and they want to beggar us the less fortunate. I for one am happy to compare my situation with theirs and I will sleep well at night knowing I am receiving not one penny of govt assisance and believe it or not I am better off and better then them.
    Irishwolfhound
    19th Aug 2015
    1:58am
    Exactly Snowwhite! We will spend it or give it away to charity, or kind rather than let the greedy grasping Government have it!
    PlanB
    19th Aug 2015
    7:21am
    I have not read the other comments but HANDS OFF THE FAMILY HOME!!!!!!!!
    worked long and hard and did without to have my own home!!!!!!!!
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    7:50am
    We all worked long and hard. We all made sacrifices to achieve our goals. But only some of us gave the unions, Independents and Greens control of our Federal Budget. But in the end we all must pay the price.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:27am
    Yes Frank, and you will no need of a government funded pension because you are getting a pollies handout.
    In case you have not noticed in the delivery of your vile spin it is this LNP government which is trying to include the family home in the assets test. This is the second time since being elected.
    As for for comment about why we are in this position I might suggest that the current government has a lot to do with it. Looked at what has happened to the debt since this crew was elected? Thought not. Considered the $8 billion a year of taxpayer money which is being paid to the fossil fuel industry after the repeal of the Carbon Tax? Thought not.
    Troll!!!!
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    9:39am
    Yes mick, they ran it like they run the unions. And when it's time to leave make sure there's a big mess to clean up. Cripes even the Lodge had to have a reno!
    PlanB
    19th Aug 2015
    7:31am
    Home also rise in value and if you have been in the home for many many years -- decades in many cases you should NOT be penalised for that, the Pollies get MANY perks --that are NOT needed but expect us to pull in our belts.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    9:28am
    This is not about 'fairness' PlanB. It is about getting money and getting it from those who do not provide election funding: US!!!!
    WayneD
    19th Aug 2015
    9:47am
    So if you have lived in a house, say in Carlton or Richmond, for 20-30 years and now find yourself on an Old Age Pension, you MUST leave? Just because over the years your home has increased in value you must leave?? Kick all pensioners into small cheap housing away from the more affluent in the community. They don't want to see or be near the old pensioners.
    It's not your fault that the value of the house you live in has gone up.
    The people making these decisions should be ashamed of themselves. Their UnAustralian.
    If you sell your home, after its price goes up, and then buy a smaller, cheaper home, the money left from the sale will affect your pension! and that is how they will cut the cost of pensions.
    Dicktator Abbott has to go! He live in a mansion, supplied by the taxes of pensioners, and pensioners get sent to ramshackle abodes.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    1:36pm
    Many people leave an area which is too expensive. And many of these people don't get taxpayer support. In areas recently affected by severe weather conditions and flooding insurance companies have increased premiums beyond affordability.
    PlanB
    19th Aug 2015
    3:47pm
    No way should centrelink get the home-- we have paid interest AND stamp duty and repairs AND paid taxes through out our long working life!
    Tom Tank
    19th Aug 2015
    4:52pm
    A simple and fair way to tackle this problem is to do have every other developed country has and that is re-introduce some form of death duties payable on the value of the estate.
    Now look out for the response to that suggestion.

    19th Aug 2015
    5:11pm
    here we go again, mick I'll ask the question again, don't give your typical labor answers, when and where has this government stated that our houses were going to be used as a part of our pension?
    as for teo943, you can call me a troll, hope you know what the real meaning of the word is, by the way this is mick's favoured expression when he lacks the brains to answer a normal question, which is often more then not the case, may be you can enlighten me to tell me when this government told us that our houses were going to be used as part of our pensions, yet it was his, mick's, beloved labor party which brought all this woe upon us when they were last in government, God help us if they get back in, we can than say with confidence "GREECE HERE WE COME'
    bookwyrm
    19th Aug 2015
    7:14pm
    The current crop of politicians, all of them, have gone mad, infected by the virus that is called ‘Tony Abbott‘. Doesn‘t matter which party, they are all as bad as each other, with their noses in the trough. Do they think we are stupid? I hope karma prevails.
    Circum
    19th Aug 2015
    10:06pm
    Given that many people see problems if the family home was assessed as an asset for determining pension eligibility and others are worried about being forced to sell,what if..
    1/Every aged person receives the FULL pension regardless of income and assets.
    2/Death duties of say 50% of estate value be introduced.
    Pensioners can live there lives in peace and be treated fairly and equally to others.From an administration point of view,this would save the government megabucks.
    Twila
    19th Aug 2015
    10:48pm
    I wonder how many people who have a $millions mansion would actually be receiving the pension. A mansion suggests that the owner is independently wealthy.

    The problem would be for those people who purchased a home in an area which later become prime real estate. Even a modest house in these areas can rocket up into the $million range.
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    7:05am
    Another way of looking at this is to let people who have lived in their homes for say, over 20 years to be exempt .

    People who have gone out and built or purchased a home for the prime purpose of gaining access to a part pension close to retirement should have their home included in the assets test.
    Adrianus
    20th Aug 2015
    11:36am
    Radish, many pensioners would not have arrived in the country 20 years ago.
    Patriot
    20th Aug 2015
    12:11pm
    Radish (F)
    I've been in this country for 45 years but only build the property (relative modest) I live in now 13 years ago.
    This whilst I have been a "Home Owner for 35 years in this country.
    During those 45 years I have relocated a few times!
    So to be fair, your formula "Would not work" for me due to "No Fault" of my own!
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    3:29pm
    Patriot, you said you built a modest home...so maybe your home is not worth millions of dollars. I am referring to homes at the high end of the scale.
    BJ
    20th Aug 2015
    8:24am
    so if the family home is classed as an asset and you don't receive a pension how are you supposed to survive please explain
    Radish
    20th Aug 2015
    10:11am
    That is up to the person to work out I would think. Can always get a reverse mortage and still live in the home and when you pass on the home would be sold and the bank get back their money.

    Or sell the home and buy something smaller.

    Anyway this is all hyperthetical as it is only in discussion phased and has a long way to go before it ever comes in, if it does.
    Adrianus
    20th Aug 2015
    11:39am
    BJ, you could keep working if your savings run out?
    Patriot
    20th Aug 2015
    12:15pm
    BJ
    Just move to China, Thailand , Phjillipines or Shri Lanka.
    That's where OUR POLITICIANS have allowed our jobs to be transporte3d!!!!

    In the process, "Just educate Frank in relation to these facts - Would you please????"
    Its on the list
    20th Aug 2015
    8:52am
    Does any country include the family home when assessing pension entitlements?
    (And if so how does their system work?)
    Believer
    20th Aug 2015
    1:39pm
    Having read all of these comments, I can see why the government puts out there thoughts first to the people. It actually gives rise to all of you and your opinions so the government can count how many are at each others throats over an idea. It works! No one wants to admit that this or any government is finding information from you all.
    Who ever runs the government, will make sure they keep their entitlements and pensions! I would like to know how many MP's are on a pension and how much and when does it stop because it would stop them from us, the ordinary citizen, attacking each other!
    Believer
    20th Aug 2015
    1:47pm
    Australians that have a home to pass to their children will be the only asset they can pass on because your children and theirs cannot afford a house!
    Cuddles
    20th Aug 2015
    2:54pm
    The family home is already counted as an asset for Age Care costs (if spouse not living in it). It was previously exempt if certain conditions met. Also the initial cost of moving into age care (this can be in excess $500,000) is now included as an asset for the means test for age care costs, where previously was exempt. Both these changes have dramatically increased the costs of age care, well above the full single age pension rate. These changes came into effect on 1 July 2014. Now before you say this is another sneaky change by Abbott, it was actually legislated by Gillard. How many of you knew about this change....how many cared...or raised an eyebrow?
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st Aug 2015
    3:57am
    There is no case at all....they just want to reduce the amount paid in Pensions!!!
    WHY???
    Because both Parties joined together to spend the 4% tax put aside to fund the Baby Boomers' Pensions in the 90's mini-recession!!!
    Then they proceeded to put the extra 4% that they took from everyone into the big black hole called the Budget....which they can not Balance without raising taxes!!!
    The Current Government is raking in MORE tax than ever ....beside GST they have tax on Petrol, Tobacco and Alcohol whereby they actually receive more income than the manufacturers do!!!
    By the Way...what was built in the 90's........oh Yes!.....a Brand New Parliament House in Canberra.....one that is bigger than the Whitehouse!!!
    No.....the Pension is not Welfare.....never Was!!!!
    The present Labour & Liberal Parties decided to Combine Pensions with other Welfare Recipients into one Department......for Administrative savings!!!!
    Now they want to label the Pension as Welfare!!!!!
    Sorry...but not all of us taxpayers are totally stupid!!!!
    The Pension system in Oz was built a long time ago as a reward system for workers who worked hard and paid their taxes over their working life. It was deliberate......It was Funded!!!
    Now they want to dismantle it in favour of you paying for the Super which is controlled by Private Corporations and feeds the Corporate Insurance Industry as well as filling the tax coffer by taxing your returns/profits each year by 15% for them doing nothing!
    No I am sorry....but the Home is bought and paid for AFTER tax.....by most working class people......therefore it should remain exempt!!!
    Putting a limit on it is impossible given the price difference across our Nation.
    However, I have no objection to OUR Government creating a scheme whereby anyone who chooses to sell and downsize in retirement is rewarded by being exempt from ALL taxes to do so and are not penalised by having the money difference used against them in retaining their right to a Pension!
    People forget.....Compulsory Super only started in the 90's...So while those who manage to retain employment for the next 25yrs will benefit......most may not retain that employment till 70!!!
    Also those who are retiring in the next 10 years have less than $100,000 in their Super......some who have been retrenched in their late 50's even less!!!
    Our Retirement Pension System is not and has NEVER Been a Welfare Payment.......The Unemployment, Disability, and Single Mothers Pensions are!!!!!
    However, they were all budgeted for!!!!
    It is the Party Machines who have FAILED to not raid those budgets over the last 20 years that have caused the current dilemma!!
    I say this to highlight the Current Party Machine Attitude of Copying the Defunct and Woeful American System.....that provides nothing or as little as possible whilst it continues to fund it's War Machines and Satellite technology......whilst the unemployed do not even have access to a Health System like Medicare for basics!!!
    Why??? Why Copy something that simply does not work????
    Because they want to copy....copy....copy...out of sheer laziness!!!
    There has been no one elected in the last 30years that has had an original idea of their own.....they just want to copy other broke systems!!!!
    Stop electing them...the Party Puppets are all about greed and selfish values.....stop electing them!!!
    By the Way.....anything that is addictive.....attracts over 100% tax because it is guaranteed tax income!!!!
    Anything that requires registration is auto indexed.....matter of fact!
    Its on the list
    21st Aug 2015
    9:32am
    Does anyone out there amongst all the posters know if any other country includes the family home when assessing pension entitlements?
    You all seem to know about OZ but no-one seems to know how the rest of the world treats this issue.
    Could be helpful.
    Believer
    21st Aug 2015
    11:50am
    Well said! Not senile yet! I like what you said and it is so true!
    I would like the tax system to be like UK! Ordinary people do not have to put in a return. They can work it out in the tax office!
    Its on the list
    21st Aug 2015
    5:49pm
    Judging by the lack of response it seems that NO OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD includes the family home in its pension calculations....do you really think Australia would be the first to try it...!

    21st Aug 2015
    11:32pm
    Surely the first priority is to ensure our children do not have to rely on the taxpayers to fund their retirement so let's fix the super scheme.
    Secondly if the current generation have not saved for their own retirement we should not fund their desire to leave their kids their home.

    The house should be assett that is sold on death to repay the taxpayers for funding a retirement ..
    Adrianus
    22nd Aug 2015
    9:27am
    Pete, I'm beginning to think that many may have saved for their retirement but instead "invested" those tax advantaged funds into a bigger home in order to maximise welfare benefits. Also, Treasury figures indicate that a majority of superannuants still have 50% of their super balance on death. This is a good indication that the welfare payments are too generous.
    aly_rob60
    22nd Aug 2015
    9:42pm
    Hands off the family home! This is something that you work damn hard for, save for and hopefully it has great memories for you and your family.

    Successive Australian governments should be chasing offshore companies who don't pay their fare share of taxes, before punishing it's own people who pay more than their fare share!
    bigjohn
    24th Aug 2015
    4:39pm
    Stop looking at the family home of workers for pension purposes. Look at the greedy politicians who DOUBLE DIP by getting a pension ( way over the top for benefits, determined by themselves ) after they leave parliament and THEN GET A JOB and their pension is tax free. Hypocritical to say the least.
    bigjohn
    24th Aug 2015
    4:39pm
    Stop looking at the family home of workers for pension purposes. Look at the greedy politicians who DOUBLE DIP by getting a pension ( way over the top for benefits, determined by themselves ) after they leave parliament and THEN GET A JOB and their pension is tax free. Hypocritical to say the least.
    BeezNeez
    26th Aug 2015
    9:01am
    One can fairly assume that in most cases someone who lives in a home in one place, worth more than another's home in a different area or even state of Australia has also contributed more to the tax system. If they are eligible for a pension at all outside the value of their home, then they are hardly wealthy, so how can it make sense then that their home be considered-as it would then possible mean that many people would need to sell their homes in order to eat and live! In truth I think the biggest issue with changes to the pension is that the current system encourages people to work around whatever obstacles are in their way in order to qualify...not because they necessarily need or perhaps even want that pension, but they want the benefits that come with it....if we allowed more people to qualify for these without actually needing to be on a pension then it would massively help with that issue right there. Why should a self funded retiree have to pay full price on all their services and transport costs when a comfortable retiree receiving a modest pension as a top up gets discounts on all such services?
    wally
    27th Aug 2015
    8:59am
    What next? Mandatory Euthanasia as a seventy fifth birthday present for the aged and forced sale of any real estate with the government confiscating 50% of the proceeds?