21st Aug 2015
Should over 65s pay income tax?
Should over 65s pay income tax?

Ahead of next week’s National Reform Summit, the Australian Council for Social Services (ACOSS) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA), along with other welfare and business lobby groups are calling on Canberra to remain open-minded about all tax options.

Leading the charge for an equitable and more efficient tax system, other major players, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), Australian Industry Group (AIG), National Seniors Australia and the Council on the Ageing (COTA) are also calling on the government not to rule out changes to capital gains tax, negative gearing and superannuation reform – even though some of these options may, according to the government, already be ‘off the table’.

According to ACOSS Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie, the nation won’t progress unless there is renewed debate about tax reform, including issues such as raising the GST, restoring the personal income tax system for people over the age of 65, and removing the sheltering of income from tax through superannuation.

“The reality is that, as the population ages – and our reasonable expectations of the healthcare system increase – governments will need more revenue to provide this and other essential services,” said Ms Goldie. “Less than one in five older people now pay any income tax, due to their higher tax-free threshold and the sheltering of income from tax through superannuation.”

She also stated that, if the GST were to be raised, there should be clarity in how the extra funds would be used. She believes that the argument for increasing the GST just to lower income tax is a weak one, and feels that better solutions may exist through closing tax shelters, dumping stamp duty for land taxes, and more consistent treatment of investment incomes.

“In this way, governments can raise more revenue, and do so more fairly and efficiently,” she said.

ACOSS and BCA may see eye to eye on some issues, but the think tanks hired to assist with the negotiation process seem to be at loggerheads over superannuation reform.

The Grattan Institute believes in winding back superannuation tax concessions, but the Menzies Institute released a paper which claims otherwise: “Far from being low, effective tax rates on long held superannuation are high, both in absolute terms and by international standards.”

The National Reform Summit will be held in Sydney next week with the focus on fiscal sustainability, taxation, productivity and retirement income.

Read more at Australian Financial Review

What do you think about these ideas regarding tax reform? If you are over 65, do you think you should be paying income tax? How do you feel about reform of the superannuation tax concessions? Now that it looks as if the family home may be included in the asset test, do you feel it right that superannuants and pensioners should be taxed on top of that? What are your suggestions for an efficient and equitable retirement system?





    COMMENTS

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    oceanblue30
    21st Aug 2015
    9:51am
    No way should they pay tax over 65 what a joke
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    10:55pm
    If you earn from investments and business then of course you should, and do.
    geomac
    22nd Aug 2015
    12:51pm
    So when Gina is 65 ( maybe she already is ) she need not pay taxes ocean ? A bit of common sense required. Its not about taxing the pension like a wage. Its about taxing income .
    oceanblue30
    21st Aug 2015
    9:52am
    Get the greedy politicians to pay more tax we are all getting ripped
    Tangosierra
    21st Aug 2015
    10:06am
    Australian and foreign companies send $100 Billion made in Australia overseas each year ; Australia misses out on $30 billion in tax and you want to tax the over 65s??What Rubbish!!
    rtrish
    21st Aug 2015
    10:25am
    Agreed!
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    10:56pm
    Called political negligence.....and fraud one might think.
    Kali-G
    22nd Aug 2015
    6:20pm
    Absolutely!
    mickeymac
    21st Aug 2015
    10:07am
    'Now that it looks as if the family home may be included in the asset test...'

    Where did you get this from? I know there have been discussions about it, but that's as far as it's gone. I think you should be more careful how you phrase things.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    10:57pm
    Average Australians are fair game under this government. So who elected it? Maybe think more carefully rather than be suckered by the media, which has vested interests pulling the strings at important times.
    Tigers
    24th Aug 2015
    6:39am
    So mick, you dont think average Australians are fair game under a Labor Govt? The last Labor Govt nearly sent us broke. Have a rethink before you point the finger again.
    Radish
    21st Aug 2015
    10:19am
    I wish it was a "joke". I still pay tax, medicare levy, private health. Nice thought though no tax for over 65's.
    It will never happen.
    roy
    21st Aug 2015
    7:46pm
    Hear hear.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    10:58pm
    The reality is Radish that SOMEBODY has to pay taxes.
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Aug 2015
    11:08am
    I'm well over 65 and have an annual income of over $100K. Do you think I should be exempt from paying tax?
    Radish
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:32pm
    My response was tongue in cheek Mick....I will pay tax to the day I die and hopefully will never need the safety net of the pension.

    I am not a bludger and am quite prepared to pay (and do) whatever tax is payable.

    Yes, people do have to pay taxes otherwise there would be no pension for anyone.
    KimboOZ
    21st Aug 2015
    10:26am
    Typical - Not only has the contribution to Super allowance for >60 been reduced over the last years, and the available pension is only survival level, they still want to tax >65's.
    If over 65 was tax free, then there would be no need to try to reduce tax through Super-Pension; would encourage more >65's to continue working, and would remove these persons from any Government Pension burden until they can no longer work.
    Focus on those people and companies who avoid paying tax, avoid working and claiming support to ensure the Government are not wasting money, including politicians. Most of them work very hard, and deserve a great package, but when the work finishes, as it does in most companies when you retire, so should your package!
    Happy cyclist
    21st Aug 2015
    10:34am
    Really, why shouldn't people with the same income pay the same tax? If a retiree is lucky enough to be earning, say, $60,000 a year why shouldn't that person pay the same tax as some much younger person who is working 5 days a week and earning the same amount and paying tax? I believe the minimum threshold should be raised, so low earners and low retiree income recipients pay no tax, but once incomes, whether they be for workers or retirees, go above the agreed threshold why shouldn't they both pay tax? We all expect the services that taxes provide us, even if we are retired.
    Rob
    21st Aug 2015
    10:45am
    Agree. The rate of taxation should be the same for every-one based solely on their level of income. People don't stop accessing services just because they turn 65.
    les.61
    21st Aug 2015
    11:16am
    Agree. Self funded under 65 have to pay, why not those over 65 as well.
    Saalbach
    21st Aug 2015
    12:37pm
    Sorry, but self-funded retires don't necessarily have to pay tax. Income derived from Superannuation (eg an income stream) isn't taxed once you turn 60! To me the issue is that those people at or approaching 65 have always been taxed on the basis that that money would help them live once they retire. Changes to Govt policy such as encouraging people to contribute to super, and lower tax rates to stimulate the economy, mean that younger people will have more at retirement. I think the older generations need to have some form of protection to ensure the conditions in force when they started paying tax still apply to some degree. That is, the changes to the system shouldn't affectively be retrospective. The other point to consider is that if those on a part pension are taxed, they will draw down their super quickly, and thus increase the amount of pension they qualify for - the Govt will lose out in the end.
    Radish
    21st Aug 2015
    12:44pm
    Yes, of course a person should pay if they earn over the income limits..no matter what the age.
    Happy cyclist
    21st Aug 2015
    1:28pm
    Saalbach, the world is a very different place than when you and I were young! Things change all the time. I recall my old aunt being thrilled to retire at 60, I am slogging it out till I am 67. Lucky her. We just have to accept change. You'll note I did say that the tax-free threshold for ALL should be raised, so I am proposing that retirees on low incomes would not pay tax, but I still say, if an income is as good or better than workers paying tax, to me it seems only fair that the income is taxed no matter how it is derived.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:00pm
    Retirees over 65 do not pay tax on superannuation used in retirement. They would still have to pay tax on earnings from investment and business. Quite fair.
    sirmikd
    23rd Aug 2015
    9:10am
    It surprises me - no one seems to understand what superannuation is - it is YOUR savings. Imagine if you had money in the bank and when you made a withdrawal you had to pay tax on it as if it was income. Ludicrous !
    Now tax on the 'earnings' of the super fund is a different matter - but lets not forget the tax breaks that do exist for super are to encourage people to "save" for their retirement because that means less pension the government pays out later on.
    So when discussing these matter you have to distinguish between earned income and drawing down on your savings - Happy Cyclist (above ) did not, so the statement " why shouldn't they pay tax - on $60000 PA " is only going fuel discontent with those who do not understand the facts.
    sirmikd
    23rd Aug 2015
    9:10am
    It surprises me - no one seems to understand what superannuation is - it is YOUR savings. Imagine if you had money in the bank and when you made a withdrawal you had to pay tax on it as if it was income. Ludicrous !
    Now tax on the 'earnings' of the super fund is a different matter - but lets not forget the tax breaks that do exist for super are to encourage people to "save" for their retirement because that means less pension the government pays out later on.
    So when discussing these matter you have to distinguish between earned income and drawing down on your savings - Happy Cyclist (above ) did not, so the statement " why shouldn't they pay tax - on $60000 PA " is only going fuel discontent with those who do not understand the facts.
    Peterrj
    21st Aug 2015
    10:35am
    " ... restoring the personal income tax system for people over the age of 65, ..."

    Aye???? What's the tax magic being over 65years of age???

    Please explain? But keep it to being 65 and over.
    mickeymac
    21st Aug 2015
    10:42am
    I thought tax-free status applied to those over 60 who received their income from super. So what's the significance of 65?
    Betty Blue
    21st Aug 2015
    10:45am
    My husband and i paid more than enough tax during our working lives while the millionaires in Parliament sucked us dry for their constant perks and outings. Now I live in a town where there are no buses no taxis and a 6km walk to the nearest bus route and no longer with a driving licence. Would I change places with you Joe Hockey? I sure would!!!!!
    Gee Whiz
    21st Aug 2015
    10:46am
    ACROSS is one of the most disingenuous organizations ever to receive government funding. They constantly belittle the aged and pensioners.

    Their well paid board members and CEO have no idea how hard it is to live on a pension or to work for minimum wage.

    They're like politicians living the good life then trying to tell anyone below their level to tighten their belts and pay more taxes and receive less benefits.

    ACROSS is a waste of tax payer money. It should be disbanded and the money saved put to better use. Preferably to an organization that understands how the average Aussie on struggle street has trouble surviving, and overcoming the constant interference by political idiots.
    adbob
    21st Aug 2015
    11:25am
    It's ACOSS - but you're absolutely right. They just shafted ordinary people by going along with Hockey's latest budget change - which effectively made super/savings over $250,000 (for a single home-owner) worthless - or at least not until you reach the multi-million level - at which point the tax breaks easily outweigh the forgone pension.

    ACOSS is into divide and rule - class war - the sponging class vs the working class - sponging class at both ends of the scale - the idle rich and the workshy. And of course soft jobs for the army of troughers in their endless committees.

    Interesting to reflect on how the advice offered frequently in these pages by "financial advisers" that we all need more super to finance anything other than a bare-bones lifestyle in retirement. Unless you saved millions (unrealistic for the average person) those savings will be (from 1 Jan 2007) worthless. The return on them will produce less income than the age pension they disqualify you from - you will have to spend your savings to live - and when they're exhausted you'll be down to claiming the same age pension as those who never saved at all - and ACOSS supports all that.

    Not to worry - the financial advisers get their fees (the ones they told you about - plus the ones they didn't) and the ACOSS people get their salaries and perks and the support and praise of both the benefits scroungers and the super-rich - so it's all OK.

    BTW the full story is that they got Hockey to guarantee a review of the system - so that'll be more uncertainty for retirees and another committee for them to shine the seats of their pants on - and no doubt trouser some attendance fees.

    BTW the current situation is that seniors who work *do* pay income tax on their earnings. Super rich retirees with unearned income from investments use the super tax breaks in order to pay no tax at all - however vast their incomes.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:05pm
    My limited understanding of ACCOS is that this organisation is batting for destitute Australians who own the shirt on their backs and no more. That leaves most of us out in the cold. There seems to be little recognition of those who have worked for their retirements and no care about whether or not the earnings of this majority is less than the pension or not. Such is the nature of the bastards who we elect to rule the country in a responsible and fair manner. Wolves in sheep's clothing!
    sirmikd
    23rd Aug 2015
    9:30am
    I'm glad this topic came up because my impression of ACCOS they do not have everyday people including retirees interests at heart. Who are these people calling for increased GST,Examination of assets etc etc.? Any increase in GST is nothing but a stepping stone to more GST increases - it should stringently resisted.The Fed and State Govts got a big boost to the coffers when it was introduced AND they manage to spend it - sorry ,waste it just as they will do with any increase now.
    What REALLY needs review is the way we the country spend money. So much duplication between feds and states.So much on uneccessary items - ie Gallipoli celebrations. Even your local council spending money on things you didn't approve.
    I didn't pay my rates to support the local softball team with grants for example - let them campaign for their own funds.No siree ! there is TOO much on the cost cutting side that should be tackled before the govt and the do good organisations come up with ways to get more money from the public. Track records of all parties are abysmal and I'm really beginning to think the whole political system needs a shake up especially in the area of integrity. Any one want to join PUP ? No not what you think - its the Pensioners Upyours Party' ha ha .
    Old Silver Fox
    21st Aug 2015
    11:01am
    This convoluted thinking by the far(looney) left is far too prevalent in our society.....Ms Goldie at her best (worst!). They won't let retirees (particularly self funded ones) live the rest of their lives in peace ... Trying to "save" the spendthrifts at the expense of the planners and savers.
    maelcolium
    21st Aug 2015
    11:57am
    Right sympathy but wrong perpetrator. It's the conservative right not the far left view. Why ACOSS which is considered left of centre would take a conservative right view is beyond everyone. They've lost their mojo I expect with a bright young Goldie leading the charge with her spreadsheets and social engineering tools. I expect she's in career building mode plumping for a plum job in a government quango somewhere.
    Old Silver Fox
    21st Aug 2015
    2:16pm
    Maelcolium, I thought the paragraph..." According to ACOSS Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie, the nation won’t progress unless there is renewed debate about tax reform, including issues such as raising the GST, restoring the personal income tax system for people over the age of 65, and removing the sheltering of income from tax through superannuation" was pretty much left wing diatribe...wanting to tax the self sufficient to help the spendthrifts....!
    jackie
    21st Aug 2015
    11:03am
    GST and other hidden taxes are paid by everyone including over 65s. Increasing the Medicare levy benefit would solve the public health increase.
    maelcolium
    21st Aug 2015
    11:44am
    If the private health insurance rebate was removed and that money put into public health funding this would resolve the public health funding problem and allow an expansion to Medicare services. Private Health premiums would be forced down as private hospital cover would only be needed for the gap. The levy is 2% now and doubling that just seems too high.
    Radish
    21st Aug 2015
    12:45pm
    You would never get into a public hospital if the rebate was removed. The waiting times are long enough.
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    7:32pm
    maelcolium. If every tax dollar was put into the public health system, that would still not be enough for some No there is far too much wastage in the PHS and administration is absorbing most of the costs. The levy is high enough, but I think it should be extended to include everyone (i.e Centrelink recipients) and payable from the first dollar of income.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:07pm
    The real issues are collecting rightful tax from multinationals and ending the Superannuation Tax Shelter for the rich. There would be more than enough money to spare if these happened. Don't hold your breath though.
    Ozetwo
    21st Aug 2015
    11:06am
    Sure, lets bring in more retrospective legislation to worry retirees to death- problem solved. The only area safe is politicians entitlements, they are sacrosanct.
    BrianP
    21st Aug 2015
    11:09am
    Whatever changes are made it is vital that seniors on low incomes are exempted from tax. Otherwise they will be more dependent on Centrelink and Government will be paying out more than it gets from tax.

    The simple solution is to exempt seniors from tax if they are below an income threshold. That way people are encouraged to provide for themselves without depending on Government handouts.
    maelcolium
    21st Aug 2015
    11:40am
    That's effectively what happens now with the seniors tax offset and low income offset. Aged pensioners with $30,000 income pay no tax. Seems reasonable to me.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:05pm
    What absolutely sticks in my craw is the inclusion of the already paid for pension as part of income. I work - I'll be working tonight after a day house building and then a six hour trip for medical treatment for my ex , for whom I am the carer (still waiting on resolution of application - it would pay for her physio and for petrol and that's it - not some free ride), and even though I paid no tax on $32000 last FY - that $32k included my pension, without which I made around $13k, with pension reduction for 'excess' income per fortnight. Way I see it - I should be entitled to full pension without question or reduction as an earned and paid for Right (income tax for fifty years, a component of which is for 'social security' - done that one for you all many times), and then have additional income ONLY assessed as taxable income.

    A fair reading of the realities shows that to be the only realistic interpretation of the rules.

    Compared to the tax breaks received for super, and especially government etc super, which are not enjoyed by those contributing to their retirement via income tax (why wasn't the social security component of income tax placed in the Futures fund and treated the same??), most of whom don't have the option of the sweet ride, and the comparative riches available to fat cats to sit back and enjoy the sweet life after an already sweet life - the amounts involved from working pensioners would be miniscule and, in reality, a waste of time anyway, and speak to a harsh and indeed brutal form of government here in this country.

    If a fat cat can get $120k tax free as super - why should a pensioner who's paid full tax on pension contributions pay any tax either?

    I've just persuaded myself that there should be no tax on those of pensionable age - and I've already stated it should revert to 65 immediately many times - and that that super needs to be reviewed and the triple tax breaks of 15% income tax reduction, dividend imputation for funds, and then free income for life resolved in line with the rest, and all super be treated in the same way as the Futures Fund that is such a sweet ride.

    The reason this will not be done is that it would impact directly on all those 'board members', 'ceos', politicians, public servants and such who derive such benefit from it, including those from organisations such as ACOSS.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:09pm
    So if the Murdoch empire returns to Australia Rupert would not have to pay $1 of tax? He'll be back tomorrow Brian.
    You need to think out your policies if you are to enter politics.
    bartpcb
    21st Aug 2015
    11:15am
    Ms Goldie is a right wing idiot. Even though it's not within the perameters of her portfolio she woud be better to direct her baleful money grabbing eye at religious institutions. Hang on a minute, she can't do that, they can and would fight back. She'll play it safe and go for the old and vulnerable, good right wing policy.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:11pm
    Methinks Goldie was left winger??? Not a bad suggestion though. Scientology and similar cults should be cut off immediately though and other churches should be paying some tax. Not as though they do a lot for anybody else these days.
    Old Silver Fox
    22nd Aug 2015
    10:17pm
    bartpcb, Goldie is LEFT wing. She wouldn't be in the job she's in otherwise...right wingers aren't eligible to apply. Cause she's made a deal with Hockey doesn't make her right wing
    mangomick
    21st Aug 2015
    11:21am
    It was once stated that,"No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity" . I think Sir Winston Churchill said it more eloquently when he said," Taxing ones self into prosperity is like standing in a bucket and lifting yourself up by the handle ...
    The Government at all levels need only to ensure their Departments clamp down and tighten up on all perks rorts and wastage rather than tax, tax, tax. We are already paying more with user pay for this and levies charged for that.
    FrankC
    21st Aug 2015
    11:53am
    I agree on the last two sentences here. and also to what Kimboz said above. When you stop work, so do your perks. When politicians retire, they have put a lot into super , so they should live on their super and savings, like everybody else. Paying retired prime ministers all the perks they get ,like cars and offices overlooking Darling Harbour [Keating and Howard to name two and you can't tell me that location isn't expensive ], IS ABSOLUTE WASTAGE. Perhaps if that was stopped (Shock, horror was the parliament cry) then they wouldn't have to think about increasing GST to 15%, which is the latest I heard on ABC news this a.m.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:15pm
    The problem mango is that average citizens are pursued like a bloodhound after prey whilst the rich and their companies seem to often have special deals. Not fair but that's how the system appears to operate.
    We need taxes to fund public infrastructure but we need a fair tax system. Also, given that infrastructure is more and more being sold off to private industry and overseas investors I would have thought that less money would be needed to finance what is left.
    Lescol
    21st Aug 2015
    11:23am
    All people receiving any income above a certain amount pay tax. End of matter. ACOSS needs a camapign and I suggest aged pensions for all which are non assett/means tested. Neither should they be based upon residence i.e. pensions should be transportable.
    maelcolium
    21st Aug 2015
    11:38am
    Someone on the age pension gets a seniors pensioners offset and a low income offset. So for an individual with around $30,000 income their tax payable is zero. For a pensioner couple that equates to household income of $60,000 tax free.
    It seems to me that this is reasonable allowing for a moderate lifestyle. I can't see any reason to change it, but I do get concerned when I hear ACOSS make sweeping statements. The devil is always in the detail.
    shirboy
    21st Aug 2015
    11:41am
    Why can't the government abolish the GST for pensioners ???
    maelcolium
    21st Aug 2015
    11:49am
    good one!:)
    Anonymous
    21st Aug 2015
    12:03pm
    Give me a break pensioners get a heap of money and concessions as it is and if you are desperate you can line up for food hampers as well.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:10pm
    Already mooted that one, shirboy - produce your Paupers Card and all transactions are GST-free.

    Robbo - you're dreaming again... I'd be happy to line up for politician sustenance money - over $300 a day....
    Radish
    21st Aug 2015
    2:48pm
    A person on a full pension would pay no tax. I cannot see the problem myself.
    Couldabeen
    21st Aug 2015
    4:04pm
    Why? What measurable benefit would that be? In real terms, you should only be paying GST on your power, 'phone and internet (and Council rates).
    The GST on my groceries is usually less than $5 per shopping.
    The GST comes back to the States to pay for services that we all use almost every day. Why should we no longer contribute to their provision? Either us or our family will still be taking advantage of them.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:17pm
    Not a bad idea shirboy. The GST is a tax and pensioners need to be means tested if they are to be taxed. Unfortunately governments do not care and want money from us all.
    Old Silver Fox
    22nd Aug 2015
    10:26pm
    States do alright out of a heap of taxes including stamp duty. Increasing GST is only to give more to the pollies for pork barrelling
    Travellersjoy
    21st Aug 2015
    11:41am
    Some over 65s have socked away a small fortune, using super for wealth management way beyond what any ordinary worker could achieve. Why shouldn't they pay tax?

    Ripping off low income earners by putting up the GST, just to give high income earners another free kick on tax is exactly what I would expect from Abbot et al, minions of the IPA. Nope, nope, nope.

    The IPA are also out there trying to wreck the very successful model of industry super. They can keep their hands off my super, and if I want my super fund to get out of coal and oil, it is my business and my money, not theirs.

    Should low income people pay more tax? Nope, nope, nope.

    Should high income, high asset people, and corporations pay more tax? Yep, yep, yep. No matter how old or young they are.

    Should our tax system be made more progressive? Yep, yep, yep.
    mangomick
    21st Aug 2015
    12:47pm
    What do you call a small fortune exactly? I'm a working stiff and by using salary sacrifice I've been able to put away a reasonable amount of super while my wife and I have raised and educated three kids on a single income .
    When I retire I won't see a pension . Tell me how you see it fair that someone who has been frugal all their lives and isn't sucking off the Government tit should pay tax on their investment income while others who haven't planned for the future can get a tax free, government paid ride through their entire retirement years.
    Where do you see the line being drawn between tax free investment earnings and taxable earnings.
    Old Silver Fox
    21st Aug 2015
    2:28pm
    Spot on mangomick
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    2:49pm
    Not as simple as that mango - there are countless reasons why many people don't have a nest egg salted away. I take it from your post that you never endured the evils of divorce etc and a savage re-start to your life many times over as some do.

    Don't be so fast to point the finger at others - whom you know not.

    You've copped tax concessions on your super - it wasn't just a process of great management on your part without any assistance already (you already got your 'welfare' via income tax reduction) - but of good luck as well.
    mangomick
    21st Aug 2015
    3:32pm
    Point I'm making TREBOR is that using super for wealth management isn't something that is or has been out of the reach of most.
    The "great management " as you put it was by putting more money into super and not peeing it up against a wall or blowing it away in smoke .
    Those same "tax concessions" you refer to are available to everyone.
    Not ever having been divorced isn't good luck...that's the bit you can actually call "great management".....
    Captain
    21st Aug 2015
    9:15pm
    Agree with all you say mango, especially the part about non divorce and great management not good luck. Like everything in this life you work at it and reap the benefits. I now fear that this govt or next will see the benefits of somehow taxing those who have a long, successful and happy marriage.

    The current crop of politicians have forgotten that many retired people worked for many years and paid up to 48 cents in the dollar in tax, bought up children, paid mortgages and saved for their old age. Now self funded retirees are being shafted and vilified by many.

    Leave us self funded retirees alone and go for the big corporations who are moving millions offshore with little or no tax paid.
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    9:22pm
    Although I am not a SFR myself I have empathy for those that through their sheer hard work and endeavours have provided for their "Golden" years. This should not preclude them from receiving Government benefits. SFR should be an inspiration , instead they are used as some kind of punching bag.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:20pm
    Travellersjoy: the issue is governments need to COLLECT tax from ALL multinationals and other companies which use tax shelters. There is a huge amount of tax avoided by these scumbag companies.......WHICH ARE PROTECTED BY OUR LEADERS.
    Old Silver Fox
    22nd Aug 2015
    9:47am
    Again mangomick, I'm with you, these tax concessions (also called "tax evasion" by the looney left) used to grow wealth is available to all...some, usually the ones that think the least, choose to spend not save then bleat that they are hard done by without thinking that they are their own worst enemy.
    THE FORGOTTEN
    21st Aug 2015
    11:41am
    Politicians can access their taxpayer funded pension from the day they are removed from parliament at an election, or leave politics to get a cushy job as an Ambassador or Lobbyist.
    I have paid tax for 47 years and now the ABBOTT/HOCKEY trough dwellers are changing the rules so that my long awaited happy retirement is stuffed. I saved this money to have a better retirement, and in this tax a majority was for aged pensions and dole bludgers, now I will not be entitled. I didn't go out for meals every night or live the high life but was frugal for my future and I am not a millionaire. Let's see the politicians 'share the load' and have the same rules as the workers,like waiting until they are over 65 before having access to a taxpayer fund pension (and funded by the 'FUTURE FUND' for politicians and FATCAT beaurocrats), which rightly belongs to all Australians as it was funded by asset sales of Telstra,and now holds approx. $100 billion. These funds should be available to all aged Australian's on their pension.
    As can be seen from the recent PERKS scandal by Bishop all politicians have their noses in the trough,and should be audited annually. The commission being set up to review politicians PERKS should have only the average Australian on the panel, as they know what is expected by the public. Having 2 ex politicians on the panel is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:14pm
    Have to agree totally - I struggled very hard to make a decent living and retirement against often savage odds... it's in my partial auto-bio which is out ... something very wrong with this country.

    Brilliantly stated about the Futures Fund - sell off the farm and put the money in a bank in the Caymans for the eternal benefit of your selected social groups - any Banana Republic President/Diktator would be proud of that one - thank you so much the revered Wee Johnnie Howard etc.

    We want our money back.

    I like that word 'troughers' - I'll be using that elsewhere...
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:16pm
    It's funny how my past prediction that it would not surprise me for a scandal to erupt of pollies etc shifting government funds to offshore accounts a la Third World dictators.... seems it was happening all along and I missed it.

    My apologies - I was very remiss there...

    We want our money back.
    Couldabeen
    21st Aug 2015
    4:11pm
    Got to correct you on the politicians and their access to their superannuation. One of the changes that Rudd and Gillard put through was that any politician who entered Parliament after 2007 has to wait the same period as any other member of the Australian work force and also the amounts were significantly reduced. I don't recall the detail as it was never going to affect me, but it protected such people as Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard but left out many of the new guard. Maybe they realised immediately that they and many of their Labor colleagues were on borrowed time and would be replaced sooner rather than later and this would make it less rewarding for their successors.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:57am
    Couldabeen - that change could be changed back in a blink of an eye, once the current regime of the 'old guard' are gone, and he 'new guard' - the 'Young Turks' object and make a claim that they are being disadvantaged and discriminated against......

    I think, if we keep our eyes open for a change, we will see just such a move developing.
    Taffy
    21st Aug 2015
    11:41am
    If you were to calculate the average tax a retired person has paid over their working life then why wouldn't there be a case for tax free income for those claiming the pensioon. We would need to be carefull that those " millionaires" who retire with an eagles nest do not rort the system. I am one of those who have not benefitted from a large superanuation and now along with many others face the dilemma of having my savings (non super) taxed. At current interest levels we may as well go back to keeping ouor money under the bed.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:40am
    And all that tax paid at the going rate for the day paid for the massive infrastructure that currently holds the whole system up, Taffy. Those retired have done their bit and paid their share - and they should now be able to enjoy the benefits of what their money built (less political wastage, of course).

    Oh - sorry (tongue in cheek) - we didn't 'earn' that right - it was all paid for out of borrowings of governments for fifty years...

    I'd like one day at that apparently endless pot of money claimed by politicians...
    adbob
    21st Aug 2015
    11:42am
    The less we hear from ACOSS on this matter the better.

    The notion that ACOSS is in there batting for the average person is nonsense - as evidenced by their full agreement with Hockey on his latest reforms - the ones which deprived ordinary hardworking Australians form any value in their savings whilst preserving the tax-breaks of the super-rich and the lifestyles of those who have chosen benefits as a lifestyle option.

    The mantra "the age of entitlement is over" might have been taken to suggest that there would be a crackdown on the "sense of entitlement" (to use a cliché) of benefit scroungers with attitude.

    What it has turned out to be is a renege on the fundamental promise (honoured by the governments of every other country in the developed world) that if you work and pay tax for most of you r life you will be entitled to an age pension - and that if you save some money (from you tax-paid earnings) on top of that you will do a bit better.

    How was this achieved.
    Stage 1: Combine income tax and social security "for administrative simplicity"
    Stage 2: Tip the national pension pot into consolidated revenue
    Stage 3: Means-test age pensions and gradually tighten the net
    Stage 4; Gradually promote the notion that the money you were originally told was going into a fund (even if it's just Australia PLC) to *entitle* you to some support in old age is actually *just a tax* and that the age pension is not an *entitlement* - it's *welfare*.

    Biggest tightenings in stage three occurred in 2007 (abolition of 50% exemption from assets test for complying super products).

    Throughout all this one common factor has been that whatever tax breaks are available you get driven into the arms of the so-called financial services industry - whose lobbyists make sure that things stay that way - so that their clients can skim their outrageous (and frequently hidden) fees from honest people's life savings.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:18pm
    Spot on, adbob.... couldn't have said it better myself.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:45pm
    I ..I.. I..didn't.. didn't.. didn't.. repeat... repeat.. repeat.. that.. that.. that.....

    OH, well... twitchy finger problem....
    Abby
    22nd Aug 2015
    9:32am
    Well said adhob
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    11:48am
    Pension or equivalent via superannuation should be exempt totally (following the rule changes for super that provide an equivalent amount of tax paid as it is accrued) since pension has been paid for already out of income tax. Then there should be the same treatment for income tax as everyone else, same threshold etc, with the proviso that pensioners should not, as a consequence of having paid for the infrastructure etc, have to pay for medical care etc.

    Resolving the dilemna created by successive governments over their handling of superannuation would go a long way towards resolving gross inequities and budgetary issues.
    maelcolium
    21st Aug 2015
    11:52am
    Yes, I've always agonised over why aged pension payments were taxable and yet superannuation payments not taxable (mostly) given the source of both is identical in an economic sense.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:23pm
    I've come to the belief that the super system was set up as it is in order to actually permit the fattest cats to hoard while the rest, struggling at the bottom end, found that their highly trumpeted (by Paul Keating) $300k in a super fund would, after inflation and cost of living rises - actually be nearly worthless. For $300k these days in a bank account you'll get about $6-7k pa..... what a joke.

    ONLY those with the fat wallets actually got any real benefit out of The Great Super Rort - the rest were just cannon fodder.

    I worked out years ago, when I had my own super fund pre-industry (or whatever), that I would be paying out over 70% of my money in fees, taxation and so forth to get what, after inflation, would amount to nearly nothing anyway.

    This was always an operation to fund the fund management, the government and to benefit the already well-off anyway.
    it's me
    21st Aug 2015
    11:51am
    sheltering of income from tax through superannuation.” where do they get off making statements like this, the majority of retired relying on or supplementing their pension with super, have worked hard & went without the extras like overseas holidays etc to put extra into super, relieving some of the pressure on Gov't pensions. Let's chase up the corporations that are paying 0 to 5% tax, also put the pollies on normal pensions.
    TREBOR
    21st Aug 2015
    12:25pm
    They're not discussing Jo and Joe Bloggs, the Working Class, here - they're discussing, in 'sheltering', those with excessive income that they can shelter from tax by putting it into super. Your ordinary person simply pays the fees for a far less proportional benefit.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    11:25pm
    Correct TREBOR. Those who earn large sums of money sit down and think about the alternatives: do they pay tax @ 49% or do they put money into superannuation and pay 15%. Even better is that the money in the superannuation system is then taxed at 15% as well (winning the lottery?) and then withdrawn tax free. What a wonderful investment. Government guaranteed. You'd be a mug to not put your excess money into superannuation.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:48am
    Correct, mick - apart from :- it's 49% - $15% = 34%.

    Still a good cop all round.

    Now - a relative of mine by marriage is a highly placed public servant - he's been in the State system and then moved on to the Federal system, which means super etc is carried over - you have seen him in the papers etc over certain issues.

    He has been able to salt away money into the government super scheme for ages - since he long ago lost the need to pay for costs of living much.

    My point is this - we also need to look at the way the government super for politicians and public servants is handled - and the retention of a massive amount of money in the Futures Fund - for them not for Australia - in a tax haven that returns nothing to this country. Any Third World dictator and family would be proud of that one!

    I worked for the commonwealth and the state at times - the 'word' was that they received lower incomes in return for a highly beneficial super fund - never saw that 'lower income' anywhere. Every job I ever held at State or Commonwealth level was pretty well paid, so I don't know where they got their figures, other than from Prurient Self-Interest Incorporated.
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:59am
    Trebor I think they are what they called defined benefits schemes, they do not exist anymore for new entrants. Remember that the Government superannuation schemes under this system, have never been funded. I would like to know how much the Government is paying out each year in super. pensions plus what the estimated outgoings are for future years for those still fortunate to be in the scheme.
    Rae
    25th Aug 2015
    2:20pm
    There was nothing fortunate about being in a defined benefit scheme. That is sheer propaganda.

    These schemes were compulsory. Payment was made after tax. The returns were abysmal even though the final amount was defined. Something is dodgy about a fund returning only 3% year after year. Retirement dates were locked in.

    The money reverts to fund ownership when a pension is taken.

    Workers in these schemes did not get the 9% after 1992 and so worked for less than other worker's.

    That after tax savings was discounted until 2007 when the discount became only 50% and in 2016 will become 10%.

    The tax rates were 47% with no home buyers grants, childcare rebates or baby bonus included.

    Superannuation is a scam to keep you poor all your life.
    Believer
    21st Aug 2015
    11:57am
    When this government gets big industries, to pay the correct amount and they themselves stop the pension for themselves when they finish in government because they could have saved for it like us, then I would agree. And does anyone want to continue paying tax after they retire? It is hard enough now to understand the system without carrying on in old age!
    Curious
    21st Aug 2015
    12:00pm
    I am very puzzled by commentators who consider superannuation concessions on tax is a tax shelter or a privilege for those lucky enough reaching 65 years of age or over. I thought the original idea is to encourage people to save for their old age, so that in future our old age pension system will not be over burdened. I entirely subscribed to this principle when this concept was introduced in the 80's and I still am.

    In view of the current national budget position, yes we need to consider all options to live within our means. However, changing the principle of our superannuation system will have serious ramifications to the ultimate aim of this system. Particularly, the components of employment have more and more part-time and casual works rather than full-time works. Workers are not winning this battle of a secure future and you want to tax them more. How do we justify this line of thinking?

    If you want to review the superannuation system, will you please have a look at who is making most out of this system. Just take a look at the fees charged against the superannuates per annum. I wonder how much tax per annum these Superannuation advisers pay to our Government?

    It is easy to trot on small and old people but when it comes to the conglomerates of financial institutions, these tough talks has an osmosis to nothing. For those who are in the position to make public comments on this matter, please show some gusts to champion the little people, please.
    Supernan
    21st Aug 2015
    12:15pm
    Where do you get the idea that anyone over 65 does not pay Tax ? Sure, there is a Seniors & Low income rebate which reduces tax due, which means over 65's dont pay tax as soon as other people. But once a couple over 65 reach a combined income of over $75,000, they pay tax like anyone else. Unless they earn their income from their own Super !

    Thats the reason some 65's get out of tax - via Super. If they have Super, they can organise so that it is paid back to them as a Tax Free Income once they are over 65. So once again it is Super laws that need reforming.

    Lots of us have little or no Super & had no opportunity to get any, so if we earn enough, we will get taxed like everyone else !
    Snowwhite
    21st Aug 2015
    12:25pm
    They won't be happy until they tax us to the grave!
    What a joke to tax the over 65's. There are plenty of other options including looking at superannuation long before they tax pensioners over 65!!
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    10:16pm
    That is the real intention of any Government.
    gillham
    21st Aug 2015
    12:27pm
    I still pay tax and I'm 70. Filling out a tax return is traumatic at my age. Alternative, pay some one with pimples $300 minimum
    Sundays
    21st Aug 2015
    12:43pm
    I would love to know who Acoss regard as their target group. It can't be aged pensioners if they want to withdraw the senior Australian tax offset. Do they also want to withdraw other rebates for low income earners eg low income tax offset, do they want to tax disability support pensions, abolish child care rebates? No, I believe that they have no concept of older Australians who worked hard, saved and have modest incomes through investments or superannuation
    Patriot
    21st Aug 2015
    1:24pm
    GST taxes hit those who are the neediest the hardest. $50.00 extra GST tax is a lot of money when you're only earning $500.00 (After Tax) per week and so are forced to spend ALL your money just to make "Ends Meet".
    THAT $50.00 EXTRA WOULD BE VERY USEFULL !!!!!

    On the other hand that same $50.00 GST tax is not a lot of money when you bring home $2500.00 per week and have $2000.00 per week left to spend on "luxuries & Frivolities" after you spend $500.00 on the essentials for living!!! $50.00 GST - Who Cares !!!

    Super concessions are - on many occasions - extravagantly lenient to those who can "Well afford it" and their "Tax Savings" need to be compensated for by the extra taxes paid by those who can least afford it.

    Negative gearing is yet another such SCAMs. Who else gets support in "Their Business" in this fashion than the - usually - Fat Cat Rental Lords???
    Once again, the taxes avoided because of this SCAM MUST be levied from those who has much less ability to pay!!!

    The whole SCAM by the Corporations who - with support of their MATES in the Aust Government - avoid billions of $s by transferring their profits overseas is just deplorable and does NOT NEED elaboration.

    If we correct the above "BITCHES" and still need more money without SQUANDERING the Tax Revenue raised by eradication of these SCAMs, let's put the taxing of the 65s & over back on the agenda.
    Until such time, GOOD BUY to this DICTATORIAL DRACONIAN MEASURE !!!!!
    mangomick
    22nd Aug 2015
    9:55am
    Fat Cat Rental Lords???. Christ aren't you way off the mark. As for negative gearing any one with a farm or running a second business can claim the cost of interest that they are paying to purchase that farm or business as a deduction against their income from their wage paying employment.
    And if it wasn't for Fat cat Rental Lords the publics taxes would go higher as Government would have to fund low cost hosing out of increased Welfare .
    On top of that Fat cat Welfare Lords won't be sucking on the Governments tit when they retire. They will be self funded retirees again saving you a bigger tax hike by Government not having to find extra money in their Welfare budget to pay for them plus they are keeping the building trade going by creating employment.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:10am
    Welfare in advance of retirement, mango? So any discussion of welfare should include all subsidies (an issue raised in another forum I frequent) - and those who are receiving subsidies should stay very quiet about 'welfare'.
    mangomick
    24th Aug 2015
    1:39am
    What subsidies are you referring to. I don't know what planet you and patriot live on but Negative geared houses or farms or businesses don't stay negative geared for ever. Eventually they become positive geared and any assistance that has been received is paid back in spades. And to top it off not only do we pay an increased taxes bill once they become positively geared we get to fund our own retirement and miss out on all the Government subsidised concessions those who get to suck on the Government tit get to enjoy. So please spare me the " poor boy am I routine" I'll be the one funding your nice easy retirement as well as funding my own....
    Gazza51
    21st Aug 2015
    1:50pm
    What really annoys me is that superannuation is COMPULSORY. I would rather have paid down my mortgage with the extra money in my pocket. BUT, having said that this latest proposal would move the goal posts again so how in the hell does someone approaching retirement actually PLAN for the future. I'm not rich and have a modest super balance but I think I'll just take a lump sum, store it under the mattress and get as much age pension as I can (will that be taxed as income??). But then again that's assuming the goal posts won't move again and we know how likely that is.
    retroy
    21st Aug 2015
    3:05pm
    Acoss and all these other groups continue to have their snouts in the trough getting their big salaries and do not produce anything of value which might remotely make Australia a better place.
    They just make statements and pronouncements which are designed to justify their existence.
    If the media and sites like this gave them less air time, eventually they would become extinct.
    professori_au
    21st Aug 2015
    3:10pm
    Unless the 65* are earning income, how can they be taxed on the pension. It is already below the poverty line and the tax on it has been paid several times. Correct me if I am wrong but I understood that originally 7% of your income went towards pension. However it went into consolidate revenue and forgot about and governments have used it for other purposes
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    3:17pm
    The Aged Pensions is a taxable component already. However with an array of tax offsets many pensioners end up not paying income tax. It should stay this way. Income derived from superannuation should remain tax free. Definitely a no to include the family home as an asset as part of the eligibility criteria for the pension. Increasing the GST may have some merit. But can we trust any Government to spend any increase in revenue wisely?. This is more important than the increase itself. I don't think they can. It is starnge that when a "natural" disaster happens especially in our region Australian Governments are the first to offer financial assistance and human resources. Cut back Foreign aid severely as most recipient Nations do not need it. For every refugee or illegal immigrant Australia has to support the UN/IMF should pay a bond to our Government of say $100,000.00 per person per annum. Even this would probably not cover all the costs. No family reunions for those awaiting permanent residence status either. On the local scene stop all Government assistance through tax credits/family payments after the second child. Reduce funding for indigenous communities, bring them into line with mainstream Australia and into the 21st century. Do we really need State Governments, I think not. And of course once Politicians have left their job, they do not receive tax payer freebies for life.
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    3:43pm
    Government should re-introduce a National Insurance Scheme ( similar to most of Europe) A percentage of around 10% deducted from wages/salaries. Then everyone who reaches retirement age will automatically receive a State pension. Private super. can still be available for those who want a little extra in retirement. Start it now not later so the next generations will not have to cope with the issues currently facing retirees
    Anonymous
    21st Aug 2015
    4:16pm
    That has always been a good idea and gives everyone a chance if earn a little more than average you get a bigger pension however if your a dole bludger or any other type of bludger you get food stamps or beg on the streets who cares.
    professori_au
    21st Aug 2015
    7:08pm
    That was what the 7% of your income was supposed to do and look what the government did with it. Instead of putting it into a safe fund that the government could not access it was put into consolidated Revenue The same has been done with super fund. Governments have dipped into them Tell me just how many people have lost what was supposed to be an investment in your future, not to be gambled on quick rich schemes. I would like to know how much of the 7% has been used by pensioners. The reason I say is that of all of the people who were not eligible or dies before drawing on the pensions. Governments fight tooth and nail not to show transparency or accountability for the misuse or even the use of funds that were for a specific purpose
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:03am
    professori_au - I'm warming to you...
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:06am
    profe.... and the Media do little or nothing to expose who is really "rorting" the system. The media is not transparent either and is "guided" by its friends in Politics.
    Gee Whiz
    21st Aug 2015
    3:57pm
    There is already a percentage built into the income tax scale to cover pensions.

    It was introduced as a form of compulsory saving for old age not long after world war two. Or was it WW one? Can't remember. But it is there.

    In fact if i recall correctly Gough Whitlam raided the pension fund during his disastrous term of office to pay down the debt he created.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:11am
    Perfectly correct, Gee - and I'm still arguing with diehards who simply refuse to accept that simple reality, even when I produce government documents online to show that this is the case.

    That money should have been put into the Futures Fund and all contributors (which under our socialist system dictated that means everyone) should have received equal treatment as regards pension.

    Those with much more income had much more opportunity to cover the basics of living and therefore could thrive more greatly on the SAME PENSION. They had no need to pay rent, pay for a car.. literally anything at all, since they had the wherewithal to provide it in advance - and therefore there never was a need to treat superannuation and extra savings in any different way.

    What the government of this country did with its Futures Fund and its treatment of its own employees was to clearly establish a class structure, in which some received excessive benefits, and the rest received the basic - if that.

    Some received extra benefits - other received nothing... and entirely Feudal style of government approach to retirement and even to general living.

    Sorry, lad and lasses - it's time for a consolidation of all super and pension moneys into one account and a reckoning on what each individual is entitled to.... by the same values.
    bobby
    21st Aug 2015
    4:00pm
    If a person is earning a taxable income that person should pay tax. Pensioners and those earning less than a taxable income enjoy many concessions that have to be paid by others I think that is only fair.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:14am
    Since pension is prepaid out of taxable income during life it should be excluded, and it then follows that all other income above that should be treated the same. The reasoning follows that preferential treatment for savings via super - and someone above raised the issue of being taxed on savings.... should not occur and all should receive a pension and then abide by the same tax regime.

    Governments with their super deals and so forth have over-complicated the whole thing.
    Couldabeen
    21st Aug 2015
    4:29pm
    Regardless of age, if your income goes over the threshold, everyone should be subject to income tax assessment and payment.
    The GST is fine where it is and I get the impression that the talk about increasing it is coming from journalists who think that they can drive controversy and get points for it.
    If you shop wisely, you will spend only a dollar or so in your weekly groceries and only have GST on your power, phone and internet. Then we have things like our computers and cars, but they are also only a few dollars a month when amortised over the life of the device.
    All income should be subject to assessment for income tax. By and large income generated by solar panels is regarded as tax exempt and yet we have people boasting of getting either a payment or benefit of over $1000/month. I think that when the initial ruling of tax exemption was made it was thought that very few people would actually enter the schemes with only credits of a few dollars a day.
    There is no legal requirement for anyone to cease employment at 60 or 65 years of age. They were put into the Awards to protect job opportunities for people coming into the working world. If you are self employed or work in a non-award non-Unionised field, you can work until you either drop, are unable to do so, or chose to leave.

    21st Aug 2015
    5:36pm
    whinge, whinge, you were never better of
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:13am
    Please explain....... (doesn't hold breath).... I've been around long enough to know that I've never been better off - ever.
    Anonymous
    22nd Aug 2015
    8:20pm
    trevor, you agree, yet you still whinge, whinge, by your own admission, you have never been better off-ever, start enjoying your life, keep the complaining up to labor mick and his aliasses, after all the labor party and their union mates need all the help to keep the spending of their members fees secret, billy the knive, 40000.00,in a so called donation, labor representative in parliament,thomson's use of members money to visit prostitutes, former labor national president williamson doing a stretch for using members fees and now jackson, 1.4 million to pay back to the members of this union,who are the hardest workers, yet the lowest paid in the health industry, she declared herself bankrupt the day before the court's decision, with other words, good luck if the members will see a cent back of their hard earned dollars paid to the union, why do you think the unions are so frightened of the royal commission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes the liberals lost 1.5 million dollars to fraud, but this did not affect any workers as all donations were given of their free will. It is still a crime, but to diddle the lowest paid workers, who do a great job and I can certify this, as I have been many a time in hospital, has to be the greatest condemnation of the unions .
    I don't think all this be allowed to go on comments, my last comments were cut at the knees, thanks to life choises.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:26am
    I reject your use of the pejorative 'whinge' - I merely point out that it is not all a sweet ride and some actually take a few hits in life. You obviously miss the subtlety of my 'never been better off' phrase.

    Attacking the few thieves within the union movement is invalid unless you equally attack the thieves in the 'business' side - as for donations to parties - look at NSW ICAC and the LNP massacre....

    Citing one or two thieves within the union movement doesn't mean they are all like that. Nothing much has come from the vast expenditure of money in this 'royal commission' - which chooses to look only at rumours of union standover and shady deals and kick-backs - without looking at the undeniable reality that no 'kick-back' could occur without the management doing the kicking...

    Wait for the outcome of all this costly furore - possibly one conviction, and that probably dubious at best.

    So the Libs being ripped off by one of their own is somehow less of a crime than some Union floozey ripping off her union? You mean employees of the LNP will not be affected by a loss of funds - oh - I know - they could just borrow it from the banks like Joe does! Union members KNOW that donations go to Labor and those donations are listed - Labor is not a party I support any more than I support the LNP, BTW.

    Maybe you need to stop WHINGING about unions and start looking at facts for a change. Funnily enough, facts often show that life is not always easy for some - and having the inalienable right to COMPLAIN of wrong done and impending is not whinging.

    Without complaint nothing would ever change for the better, and sometimes the canary in the mine is necessary.....

    Lifechoices cut you off at the knees? Hmmmm.....

    21st Aug 2015
    5:47pm
    They can't be serious about paying income tax on the aged pension!!! Wouldn't it be much simpler to reduce the pension by 20% & save on the necessity to employ 5,000 more public servants in the ATO??? Would some brilliant econemist please explain how you can tax an allowance in order to have enough money to pay the allowance. I didn't see how the Lib/Nats could lose the next election with Shorten working for them, but this would prove me wrong.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:15am
    Your forget the factual figures of fifty years of contribution to one's retirement pension..

    Let me try again - education is a slow progress..

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:18am
    Shorten? Lib?Nats? You mean The Tag Team? they never work against one another - like the 'legal fraternity' their interest is in themselves - not YOU! they'll swing a deal that will land you in prison for twenty years as long as it is a deal between mates......

    (damn - we need emoticons on this site!).

    I need an endless ROFL - PSUFF (that's picks self up from floor)....
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:23am
    Trebor, the uprising is on its way. The people of this Nation have had enough and want real solutions!!!
    Patriot
    22nd Aug 2015
    6:22am
    niemakawa
    I hope you're correct!
    However, I have some fear that the "Deep & Hypnotic Slumber" that many have subjected themselves to may prove to powerful & /or the awakening be Too Late!!!This is one of the occasions when I wish i was wrong!!!
    Dave H Cairns
    21st Aug 2015
    6:43pm
    if you exceed the limit that a pensioner earns then you should pay
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:23am
    Does that include pension, m'lod? Because at this time it surely does...... you work, your pension is automatically included as taxable income regardless of the fact that you have paid income tax to secure it, and it was part of income tax and not in the same league as salting away super (you peasant - how dare you expect equal treatment?). On top of that, your paid for pension is reduced if you earn 'too much'.

    Please explain? Does Paul Keating's pension reduce when he earns too much? Does Julia Gillard's or John Howard's or Peter Costello's, or any other party hack's?

    Not On Your Nelly!!

    Couple of serious anomalies there.....
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:29am
    TREBOR. The media should be asking these questions, but they don't want to upset their "friends". The media is in itself as political party and will only report what it wants the people to know.
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:29am
    TREBOR. The media should be asking these questions, but they don't want to upset their "friends". The media is in itself as political party and will only report what it wants the people to know.
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:29am
    TREBOR. The media should be asking these questions, but they don't want to upset their "friends". The media is in itself as political party and will only report what it wants the people to know.
    Patriot
    22nd Aug 2015
    6:23am
    niemakawa
    Govt has the media "In their pocket"!
    OR SHOULD THAT BE THE OTHER WAY???
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    8:02pm
    I think most will agree that taxes are necessary for the good of the people and the Country. The biggest problem is how Government's spend( real meaning waste) revenue. Increasing taxes is not the answer. Taxes should be lower for everyone to ensure that the economy can operate at its optimum level, which can only benefit all of us. This is the job of Government as they are the guardians of our taxes. Less Government intervention in our lives would be a good start.
    KSS
    21st Aug 2015
    8:40pm
    Part of the problem niemakawa is that people want/expect the Government to provide and pay for more and more at ever increasing rates. The money has to come from somewhere. And reading through some of the comments here, there are those who will not be happy until everyone is brought down to the lowest levels and everyone lives in equal poverty. To have even one cent more than your neighbour makes you 'rich' in the eyes of some regardless of how you scrimped and saved to get it.
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    9:15pm
    “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
    ? Winston S. Churchill
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:27am
    Elsewhere I've sought to develop a base of what government should really be spending money on.... I'm wading through the trolls and the fools.... hard to get people to actually say what they think government should be spending our money on, but at least I make them think - well some, anyway.

    People don't expect government to spend money on fripperies - they just do that without our leave..... and whenever they want to pursue some windmill agenda - we just pay for it.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:31am
    KSS - why do you imagine that everyone being treated equally means poverty for all? If a company offshores $50m in payable tax, and moves are made to ensure that does not happen, how does that 'make everyone poor'?

    If the well-off exploiting loopholes to garner only a half million income from super are brought under the same umbrella and have to pay tax the same as everyone else - how does that mean they will be poor? They'll still have more than most.

    Your entire standpoint is specious.
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:32am
    TREBOR, please elucidate? Not hallucinate!
    Tom Tank
    21st Aug 2015
    10:00pm
    I think the point here is that we need a truly comprehensive overhaul of the taxation system with a review of all options, i e nothing taken off the table by anyone, particularly the government.
    There are so many anomalies and loop holes that allow blatant, legal, avoidance of tax.
    A good starting point would be to change the law so that the intent of the law is given priority in court cases rather than Garfield Barwick's interpretation of the literal wording of the law being the determinant. This interpretation, which established the precedent, is one of the reasons our tax laws are so complex and expensive to administer.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:37am
    Now you're talking what I've been saying for ages. The Prophet John Howard overhauled the tax system so as to 'streamline' it - the resulting paper was thousands of pages long and contained thousands of changes, and meant that ever little thing was open to 'interpretation'. It was a book that changed from being able to be carried in a suitcase to need a small truck to carry - and confused the whole issue of tax overall.

    I've long advocated a minimum of tax regimes and a clear focus on what each tax is intended for - and total accountability**.

    **heard that word so many times....... that it leaves me totally in the dark..... same as 'transparency'.... (emoticon needed)...
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:39am
    Again - Garfie is a relative of mine... irrelevant as that is to the discussion... I doubt we would ever have seen eye to eye...

    There was a movement some years ago for legislation to contain a clear exposition of what it was intended for and what it could do - what happened to that?
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:45am
    TREBOR, in one of my earlier post i said that Income Tax (Personal and business) should be voluntary and that compulsory taxes should be only on the supply of goods and services, No credits for GST inputs so everyone in the chain pays GST not only the end user.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:32am
    Hard to do figures on that, niemakawa - I don't have that kind of energy these days...

    How would voluntary income tax work? Nobody would pay it. Perhaps there is an argument for a single tax on transactions.... GST or whatever and no income tax. I started this discussion by saying that the GST in isolation was not a bad thing - but the hidden traps for the many involved in our taxation system make it unworkable and nothing more than an imposition.
    MICK
    21st Aug 2015
    10:54pm
    And the game goes on with the rich wanting to keep it all.
    No taxes for over 65s? Yeah right. We would be getting Rupert Murdoch back again if this happened and the rich would be rubbing their hands together...again.
    Increase the GST? Just what poor people need....like a hole in the head.
    "Effective tax rates on long held superannuation are high"? Well what else would you expect from the think tank of the rich? The truth is anything other: 15% when money goes into the account, 15% tax on earnings (compared to 49% if not the superannuation system), and then tax free on retirement. No wonder the rich protect this Tax SHelter like the clappers.
    As I said above...the rich looking after their (own) interests again with never a thought for the unfairness of their greed or the fact that they have advantages which average citizens can never match because average citizens do not have large sums of money left over every year to stash into super so as to avoid paying real taxes.
    niemakawa
    21st Aug 2015
    11:47pm
    There are limits on the total dollars you can put into Super. each year. Stiff penalties (tax) apply if exceeded.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:45am
    Stiff penalties meaning that you don't get the concession you were after IF you are caught.. they don't cop a fine or penalty as such. Not getting what you want by a sneaky approach is not a penalty, and paying normal tax is not a penalty (which argues that super contributions should incur normal tax - hello! The individual already pays for Pension (capital intended) via income tax - super is extra savings and should be treated the same as putting it into a bank to accrue interest).

    Often you are on the ball, niemakawa - not this time...
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:47am
    Income Tax should be voluntary, then we will how good hearted everyone is! Taxes should only be paid (compulsory)on consumption of goods and services (all). Simple really.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:51am
    Fair point if the GST was fair and covered all the needs. The reality is that GST and income tax are the same - you pay either income tax that mandates that you can only spend so much (discretionary income), or you spend more on specified items and pay GST - in either case the revenue for government remains the same.

    Haven't got that one right yet - but I will - promise!

    In any case, if GST were not related directly to income tax - why then was there a sweetener of reduced income tax?
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:01am
    But the point I am making is that a consumption tax can be tiered. say from between 10% upto 40% depending on what is considered a necessity or discretionary. Spending habits will more than likely stay the same.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:43am
    Ummm - so we are looking at one tax that covers necessities and then luxuries on a a scale......

    At 3.39am and tired after a night's work - I see your point....

    That's like the tiered system on luxury items..... trouble is that some would find the 'need' for a half million Landhummer rather than a Jeep ($25k) thing around now.....

    You have to keep a close eye on the tax savants....
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:50am
    might work if it was properly engineered and was a near stand-alone tax. I think the problem is that while all taxes add up - there are too many of them... and government of the people should not itself be thew final arbiter of what it should receive.

    Do I get to go to a job interview and say - I want $75 an hour as a start without any credentials? Just an example - but that's what government does.

    I once worked for government - and the area I worked in clearly designated 'legal entities' - if a goverment is a 'legal entity' - where does its power stop and start?
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:58am
    TREBOR, I understand work can be very taxing. Thanks for your comments.
    Irishwolfhound
    22nd Aug 2015
    1:47am
    Can someone tell me if Politicians pay tax? I have searched every corner of the Government departments and can find no mention of them paying tax. Why do they get a huge salary, and get a huge amount of money for expenses as well? Pay for your own cars, etc from your own salary! The rest of the working Australians have to work this way, why not you lot?? Also PLEASE do not tell me about CEO s and Managing Directors getting huge salaries- that is paid for by the investors in the companies!!
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    2:55am
    They get all those allowances because they have to sacrifice their own family life for the sake of us all. In doing so they truly believe they are entitled to these additional benefits. "Normal" families do not have this problem. As for paying tax it is unlikely that they do, but again they will use the same lame excuse. It must be very tough being a politician!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:06am
    Theoretically they should pay tax on income, but you need to look at their 'discretionary income' that is salted away into their very special super fund - two dollars from your purse for every one of theirs for 'service' (LMAO), which is held in the 'Futures Fund' in the Caymans and returns no taxes to the Australian economy.

    Unlike the rest of us, they can live on their perks and their 'electoral allowances' and not spend a cent of salary after tax. What I DON'T know is how much they are allowed to put into their two for one superannuation fund... but simple viewing of the super benefits of past politicians suggests that is anything at all that they wish to put in there.

    I've said it before - if a scandalous and leprous scum-sucking Third World Banana Republic dictator did this exact same thing - it would be universally condemned...... OUR politicians do it, using the funds accrued from sale of publicly owned asset utilities - and not one word is spoken....

    Are you with me yet?

    But I can't tell you how much of their income they manage to hide as costs while still drawing all expenses/costs of living from 'entitlements' as well - i.e. double dipping BEFORE paying tax.
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:12am
    niemakawa - I think you could be right, and they evade all taxes anyway. I'll bet $5 (not a betting man) that you could find that if they put their salary (or residual/discretionary income after deductions often funded anyway by 'entitlements' as above) into super, it will cop a 100% tax reduction and their income will generate zero income tax if exploited properly.

    Their super is a special deal... anyone care to enlighten us as to the details?

    Anyone? $5 for the taking?? What am I bid for this $5 out of my meagre pension?
    TREBOR
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:14am
    For those who don't know - that's two dollars for every dollar they put into their 'super' fund. Try to get that from your fund.
    Baby Huey
    22nd Aug 2015
    6:21am
    When Governments, both coalition and labour, past and present find due to their own incompetence and mismanagement they need more money they always attack soft targets which are not able to fight back.
    The Governments do this through creating uncertainty by constant tinkering of the tax system especially the superannuation system.
    All Governments are corrupt with some being more corrupt than others.
    Dukki
    22nd Aug 2015
    8:28am
    If you are Only on the pension. Then No way Should you be paying taxes. ...".but if you have a business or have a lot of financial assets , then yes I do believe that you pay some taxes,
    Strummer
    22nd Aug 2015
    8:55am
    I'm a retiree and a pensioner and I still pay tax, it's called the Goods and Services Tax
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:35am
    Yes - substituted a la wee Johnnie for income tax - a reduction thereof - but the poisoned chalice was that prior to that you paid NO income tax and so you started to do so by a back door method, on your pension.
    maxchugg
    22nd Aug 2015
    11:21am
    Why worry about it, it won't happen - politics of envy will see to that.
    I, and thousands of others, have contributed to health insurance for almost 50 years, so my health bills are funded by my insurer and not the taxpayer. Yet the politics of envy are ensuring that government subsidies towards my insurance contributions are being eroded as premium prices rise at a much faster rate than the CPI. So any time now I will be forced to drop my insurance at the time when I am most likely to need it.
    In the last 12 months my rebate has been around $2000 for a family policy, expenses have been approximately $25,000. Hardly a bad deal for taxpayers.
    Likewise solar panels. After offering ridiculously high feed-in tariffs, the politics of envy has ensured that the electricity retailer will obtain a greater financial benefit from my solar panels than I do when the feed-in tariff falls to around 5.5 cents per kw.
    Anyone in this country who attempts to make provision for their retirement instead of doing what many have done all their lives and left everything to the taxpayer, has rocks in his head.
    mangomick
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:01pm
    I used to pull my hair out when my young bloke was extolling the "Greens" idea of bringing in Death Duties before they dropped it from their policy objectives.
    Told him that I didn't work shift work all my life and scrimped and saved so I could leave an inheritance for my kids only to end up knowing the Government would help themselves to some easy dollars once I kick it. He seemed to think it would capture the filthy rich but he failed to understand that they have will structure their business to avoid paying death duties just as they minimize their tax burden.
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    3:26pm
    Governments believe that leaving an inheritance to your children/family is unfair, when there are more needy in our society. As it is very unlikely that people will do this willingly they intend to extract your savings/assets by other means; higher taxes for pensioners, death duties, selling the family home when you are old and frail. In reality it is theft by stealth. Time to fight back.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:38am
    Why is it 'politics of envy'? Both the Labor and the Thatcherites ... oh, sorry... the LNP are chopping you off at the knees - same as with everyone else in one way or another...

    Does that mean that our government is a government of envy? I prefer to think they are both incompetent and self-serving and care not one whit for anyone else but their own chosen group.
    roy
    24th Aug 2015
    10:33am
    Trebor. That's a rather childish statement isn't it, Thatcherites?
    Missskinnylegs
    22nd Aug 2015
    4:15pm
    I work part time to supplement my part pension until I decide to leave Sydney and live elsewhere. If I didn't have to pay tax, I'd have more to save and live on, be able to have a better place to live (rent or buy) and rely less on Govt. While we are at it, how about free dental and optical for over 65ers?
    KerryC
    22nd Aug 2015
    4:45pm
    It depends on the level of income. I think a much higher tax threshold is required, however it isn't right for the late Kerry Packer to not pay tax.
    JB
    22nd Aug 2015
    11:08pm
    The N Z system sounds fair. Every one over 65 being entitled to full pension, though paying usual tax on any other income. (Pension amount NOT included in gross taxable income calculation).
    niemakawa
    22nd Aug 2015
    11:14pm
    The kiwi Governments know better and look after their senior citizens. Next some "think tank" will be recommending that those over 65 will no longer be eligible to vote in Federal elections. All political parties would love that one.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2015
    12:40am
    That seems to be the general thrust of the retirement funding debate here.... Kiwis are smart in some ways...
    Not Senile Yet!
    24th Aug 2015
    4:49pm
    Yep...they are at it again.....using non-descript so-called expert panels to tax you even in retirement!!!!
    What a lot of Garbage!!!!
    The only restriction they should place on tax free after 65 should be subject to Assets held/accrued whilst collecting a Pension.....as it has always been.
    If you are working full time.......you pay tax same as everyone else!!!
    If you are collecting a Pension...Government or Private super Pension.....NO TAX!!!!
    However, should you be working Part-time......they should make Private Health Insurance mandatory.....to be eligible for your Income to be TAX FREE!!!!
    That way Medicare Free Expenses are kept for the ones who cannot afford Health Insurance!!!
    As for the rising costs/bills.....ALL Pensioners deserve a better discount on Gas & Electricity!!!
    Medicare % of tax could be increased by 2% instead of the GST to offset rising Health Expenditure but could be earmarked to be Spent on Health ONLY!!!!.....ie not put into the Black Hole that they never Balance!!!!
    Both Parties need to stop selling Australian Land to Foreign Powers....including the USA!!!!
    Make them Lease it for 99 years......but refuse ownership and refuse occupancy based on Diplomatic Immunity from our Laws!!!
    We want the investment.....but should not be selling the land!!!!
    All Foreign Companies need an ABN to do business in Australia Legally......make it compulsory to Pay Tax @ 20% on all income derived within OZ BEFORE Profits can be transferred overseas controlled by the ATO!!!
    No tax paid.....Remove their ABN till it is!!!
    Not exactly rocket science!!!!
    Use that 20% Company Tax for Education/Community Funded Projects and re-training the unemployed to assist gaining employment!!!!
    Stop putting all the tax into the Black Hole that is never Balanced!!!
    Not Senile Yet!
    24th Aug 2015
    4:57pm
    By the Way....WE ARE NOT AMERICA......NOR ARE WE BRITISH!!!!
    WE ARE AUSTRALIA.......We are not Sheep......We want and deserve our OWN fairer ways of taxation!!!!
    We deserve Better than just a copy of failed overseas policies!!!!
    Stop all Parliament funded overseas Jaunts...fact finding missions....that just copycat others' Policies!!!
    Come up with better ones ourselves.....better for US....better for OUR Country.....and better for US ALL in the future!!!!
    Neither Party has come up with a Proper Policy that will allow Young Low Income workers to be able to afford the Great Aussie Dream...owning your Own Home!!!!!
    Time to address that fact.....NOW!!!!
    stake
    26th Aug 2015
    12:29pm
    if a politician offers you something always look to see where his other hand is and it would a pretty safe bet that he would be taking away more than he is giving
    Alexia_x
    26th Aug 2015
    1:55pm
    NO
    nannyalone
    27th Aug 2015
    11:33am
    If the Government didn't keep changing the Superannuation, one would be able to plan for the future. Most older woman didn't start a super plan until later in life after raising family etc so they are at a disadvantage when it comes to accummulating super for retirement. Paying tax after 65 mm..it should difinately be reduced
    worker
    28th Aug 2015
    2:44pm
    whiles on tax reform remove the life time perks and pensions of the Australian citizens employees members of parliament at states and federal levels when they are no longer employed by the Australian citizens as members of parliament

    private companies do not give life time perks and forms of pensions to there past employees.

    monies saved could go towards funding hospitals and or the age pension or both.
    Babs
    17th Feb 2016
    1:23pm
    Who do ACCOS and other groups think they are. I worked until I was 67 and now get a part pension so I should be taxed all over again. My husband and I have always paid tax my husband quite large tax and he was not a well to do business man. Also we have always paid health insurance so why should we not get assistance from the rebate. Because we have always done the correct thing and never lived off the Government - unlike a very large section of the population - we are the ones to now be penalised. Barbara J
    maxchugg
    6th Jan 2017
    11:15am
    People over the age of 65 have generally worked and paid tax all of their lives, and would have made minimal demands upon the welfare system.

    The current system is quite fair where indexation ensures that people over 65 with high incomes do still pay tax.

    What the government needs to examine is the issue of families who have been welfare dependent for several generations.
    Ok
    30th Jan 2017
    11:24am
    I believe that Australia should adopt the AHV system from Switzerland. In Switzerland, everyone pays into a Government run pension scheme. Everyone, irrespective of their income or assets will receive the pension when the age of 65 is reached. If people die, the contributions will remain in the fund to be available for other members of the AHV pension fund. The pension payment is regarded as an income and income taxes are paid. It means that people with a low income, greatly depending on the AHV pension, will pay little taxes and people with AHV pension and a high additional income from business or company pension schemes pay higher taxes.
    The benefit of the scheme is that EVERYONE is assured of a minimum age pension. I found that the large majority of retired people in Switzerland are very well off. Retired people have a lot of funds available and are major drivers of the economy through their spending.
    professori_au
    1st Feb 2017
    10:26am
    A part of the wage tax was supposed to contribute towards pensions, hospital, medical and dental care. If this money had been set aside separately and not put into consolidate revenue then there would have been enough to pay a pension, etc. at a rate far better than we now have. That money was supposedly untouchable except for the designated purpose. Instead our governments have used it for its own agenda. The same occurs with the superannuation. People are not receiving what they should be entitled, because the government changes the rules/laws to suit themselves. Remember, every person will not live to receive a pension,or live long enough to receive the pension for long, yet their contribution is still taken and remains to balance the funds. The only ones whose pension appears untouchable is the politicians. It is time their pensions are brought into line with the ordinary person's pension entitlement. They have rorted the system for far too long.
    mangomick
    1st Feb 2017
    11:05am
    Ok , I think that has been tried and thoroughly bastardized.
    The history of the Dearly departed welfare/Pension fund that has been totally raped and sodomized by our elected representatives. Obviously in the National Interest no doubt.

    1942 – 1943
    As a Wartime measure, the Federal Government gained sole control over Australian Income Tax from the States. Labor Prime minister (Ben Chifley) introduced three bills to establish the National Welfare Fund, to be financed by a Compulsory Contribution (levy) of one and sixpence in the Pound (20/-) on all personal income. (15c in every $2.00)

    Opposition Leader (Robert Menzies) stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate. That it should be shown separately on the Taxation Assessment and paid straight into a “TRUST” account and not mixed with the General Revenue.
    Menzies said “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension.” “It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    1946

    Prime Minister Chifley agreed and established The National Welfare fund as at 1/1/1946. A “Trust” Fund with the Parliament as “Trustee.”

    The Compulsory Contributions (levy) commenced as at 1st January 1946.
    It was shown separately on the personal Tax Assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 and the compulsory levy was properly paid straight into the Special “Trust” fund and Welfare claims were paid out of the fund.
    The balance in the fund in 1950 was almost 100 million pounds.
    1949
    Robert Menzies became Prime Minister and he introduced Bills to amend the acts governing the National Welfare Funds.

    The Compulsory Contributions (levy) was then grouped with the Taxation Assessment and appeared as one amount on the Taxation assessments and was paid as one amount straight into the Consolidated Revenue Account.
    The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced. The Opposition Labor Party had collaborated in this sabotage by remaining silent instead of opposing Menzie’s action.
    1951 – 1985
    The compulsory levy of 7.5% now included in the tax continued to be collected and placed in the Consolidated Revenue Account treated as General Revenue and spent, until 1985.

    1974 – 1975
    Labor Prime Minister (Gough Whitlam) abolished income test for all persons 70 years of age and over and paid pensions to all people over that age.

    1975
    Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser) cancelled the Whitlam achievement of abolishing the tests for all 70 years of age and over.
    1977
    Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser with Treasurer Philip Lynch) transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund Account (approximately $470,000,000) to Consolidated Revenue Account.

    1985
    Australian Labor Government repealed acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts). Thus the funds finally ceased to exist yet the 7.5% levy continued to be collected as a proportion of the Income Tax revenue. It also introduced the (much maligned) Income and Asset Tests, thereby excluding millions of levy and tax paying Australians from receiving Social Services Pensions.
    This money these self funded contributions paid as a percentage of the total income tax collections are today worth far more than the amount of means tested pensions paid out.

    Actuaries have calculated the non-means tested entitlement due to each retiree, today is in excess of $500 per week.

    This surely debunks the politicians claim that the generation are paying a proportion of their current taxes to cover the payments made to pensioners. The obvious short fall has been swallowed by the Government’s Taxation black hole.

    The historical summary above highlights the fact that politicians of opposing political parties each contributed to the agenda to destroy the entitlement as it was intended. It clearly would not have been the will of the people.
    Dot
    31st Jan 2017
    5:34pm
    We.ve paid our taxes while employed just because Politicians have squandered our hard earned taxes on themselves they continually want more, lay off I say looking forward to the day when we the common people have had enough and get even.
    Alan
    18th Apr 2017
    2:03pm
    I find it ridiculous that I can and often do travel overseas twice a year and yet the Government considers me a low income earner! There needs to be a fair tax regime with all (companies and the super rich) paying their fair share. We would not then have a budget problem and the real needs of the community would be met.
    OldCuban
    28th Feb 2018
    1:27pm
    What a nice thought! Pinch me because I am dreaming. It will not come to pass I am afraid.


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