Budget goes a long way to addressing major retirement concern

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Added funds for public hospitals and extra spending on healthcare and aged care have been welcomed by a peak health body, although it claims more money could be directed at primary health care in order to take the load off the public health system.

“What is needed in addition is a wider health agenda: we are looking for both sides to step up and expand primary care and transitional care services outside hospitals,” said Consumers Health Forum (CHF) Chief Executive Leanne Wells.

“With significant levels of extra funding available, whoever wins the election, we urge our political leaders to rethink health spending goals and add a significant investment in primary care reform into the mix.

“We would like to see both the Coalition and Labor devote more funding and priority to primary care that, if delivered effectively, would reduce demand for more expensive hospital care.”

Windfalls for health include $83.3 million over five years towards rural health, $1.3 billion over 10 years for a National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan, $1.4 billion for new and amended PBS listings and $253.8 million for a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

This spending will help the 60 per cent of people aged 65 and over with three or more diagnosed chronic conditions (one-in-four have five or more) plus the one-third of older patients living with chronic pain, which is mostly treated with medication.

In its Budget response on Thursday, Labor announced it would spend $2.8 billion on public hospitals from 2019-25, putting “more beds in emergency departments and on the wards so we can reduce the wait for people sitting in emergency rooms worrying about a child or a loved one who’s hurt or unwell,” said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Labor also said it would invest $80 million towards more MRI machines and licences, meaning greater access to Medicare-subsidised diagnostic imaging.

The YourLifeChoices Retirement Insights 2018 Survey revealed that around one third of the 6694 surveyed said that health was the main reason behind the timing of their retirement, with major concerns such as “having funds for any health-related conditions” and “being unable to take care of myself because of high costs”.

In the face of rising health costs, especially for older Australians, CHF says that a focus on accessible general practice and other primary care services will help all Australians receive quality care regardless of income.

“We also know from our Out of Pocket Pain survey on costs facing patients that there is a need for more support for elective surgery to be available at public hospitals to ensure all Australians can get the quality care they need,” said Ms Wells.

“Importantly this also demonstrates the need for better resourced and integrated health care in the community by GP-led teams to ensure those patients, particularly with chronic illness, get wrap around care from doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other allied health practitioners. Importantly, we need to bring coordinated access to social care services into the mix as these often make a difference to how well people can follow through on a plan of care.

“The focus on primary care development in Australia has been faltering, though there is universal acceptance that it is the best answer for many health challenges of modern times.”

Is health your major concern in retirement? Do you find it challenging to meet healthcare costs? What suggestions do you have for mitigating the high cost of health?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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58 Comments

Total Comments: 58
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    Health is one issue but you would have noticed that franking credits refunds featured highly in the YLC story a couple of days ago.
    Franking credits underpin many self funded retirees because self funded retirees often earn around the same amount as the pension whilst not getting any spart pension or government support.
    I fully understand the anger from some posters about Labor’s announcement but as I have said a few times in the past days I recall hearing Shorten say this would not apply to the retirement community. I am awaiting a response from a please explain I have sent to Shorten’s office and will report back when I get an answer.

    Leon and Kaye: you may wish to contact Labor HQ as well given that as reporters you would get a much higher priority than I. Either way the facts will come out so please hold your fire posters until we get to the bottom of this.

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      Keep waiting
      Shorten knows his policy is a disaster but he’ll never admit it
      The man is willing to bankrupt the country just to be Prine Minister

    • 0
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      Actually Mick, I didn’t realise they were being pretaxed so Bill Shorten has just made me aware of something I should have been claiming.

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      MIck it was bought in to stop self funded retirees from getting heir income tax free so no way what you are saying has any merit.

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      Mick, read through Shorten’s budget reply speech and found no mention of SF Retirees getting the tax imputation credits.

      Crazy way to do things, only creating a double taxation system.

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      “to stop self funded retirees from getting heir income tax free”

      Why should they, OG? Everyone who earns pays income tax – so you want retirees to be exempt, which the very lowest SFRs already are due to offsets and TFT etc… but you want people who are ‘retired’ investors and pulling in a few million a year to not pay any tax?

      Simple solution to that might be that if you have a certain amount in investments, you are an operating investor and not a retiree. Set a ceiling that does not adversely affect those on the lower SFR income levels and Bob’s Yer Uncle…

      Often your non-reasoning is bizarre, OG.

      Please explain? You might have an alternative explanation…

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      MICK, without trying to be ageist, you’ve been around long enough to know that a politician won’t answer a question he doesn’t want to hear. A politician, regardless of the side they are on, will have a swag of excuses for not following through with an election promise. They all do it and I hope that my post doesn’t elicit verse, book and chapter on who broke what promise.

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      Aye, skipper – I raised the issue at the time that Shorten had not mentioned SFRs – he only said pensioners, so I am assuming that is what Mick is trying to resolve with Shorten’s office.

      I don’t think much of the man personally, myself, but I am well aware that a politician rarely makes mistakes in speeches – so if SFRs were excluded… they were excluded. It’s pretty black and white with these characters, and their speeches are carefully vetted and road tested long before meeting the public in the open air.

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      Correct, OM – you can rely on them all to carry a heavy swag of excuses for not keeping promises.

      At least the semi-autistic Howard got close to making an error in admission with his ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ promises, but he did make a few blunders, such as responding that the Iraqi civvies killed had died for a good cause, a comment rapidly buried by the media.

      As they say about UFOs – I know what I saw.

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      More than 300,000 low-income retirees will be spared from Labor’s plan to scrap cash payments for excess franking credits after the opposition amended the policy to exempt full and part-time PENSIONER’S, as well as every PENSIONER who is currently a recipient from a self-managed superannuation fund.

      Those exempted will be 277,000 full and part-time PENSIONERS and 29,000 non-aged PENSIONERS on other allowances such as carers, disability support PENSIONERS, the unemployed and those on parenting payments.

      In addition, another 13,000 SMSFs that have at least one PENSIONER or other allowance as a recipient before March 28 will also be exempted.

      SO if YOU are NOT a PENSIONER (Full or Part) you will not be exempt….unless the Labor Party tweaks the policy down the track.

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      Yep labors franking credit policy is to SLAM average retiree
      He will create a MASSIVE increase in full and part pensioners as all those who worked hard and saved a little for retirement will have their income SLASHED
      The coalition on ke other hand capped tax free super income for the wealthy

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      It seems to me that the ‘ceiling’ then is too low and is clearly intended to capture all SFRs who are not in receipt of part pension. In that case, given the costs, it is certain that some of those lower level SFRs will fall below the rate they would be receiving if they were part pensioners.

      This needs to be addressed.

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      Wow…who let the trolls are out again.
      Sorry guys but I will not have a bar of your lies. Shorten mentioned the franking credits for self funded retirees in his response. The only thing I am waiting for is a clarification as to whether this promise was as heard.
      I heard clearly that ‘no self funded retiree will lose even $1′ of franking credits’. I’ll make a point of this once verified.
      So please stop your lying comments liberal party trolls. Sounds so much like the normal party lies for the mentally challenged.

    • 0
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      Trebor – its just bad policy

      Shorten is an idiot

    • 0
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      Yes Raphael and people are now starting to realise how insane it really is. With over 2 million people affected it alone will lose him the next election.

    • 0
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      Trebor this argument about franking credits has been done to death and some people still don’t understand, if I may give my understanding as I would have been one of those people affected, the franking credits that are paid on behalf of the investor are a legitimate tax refund that applies to every one irrespective of their status ie low income tax payers and retirees are treated exactly the same, you are not getting free investments/income, if you income from shares is above the tax free threshold you do not get your tax refunded, if your income is below the tax free threshold you are entitled to claim that tax back, I am referring to investments outside of superannuation I don’t know how those inside of superannuation are treated as I don’t have any. To give my example my wife and I together get approx $500 a year refund, with this ammount I still fall well below the tax free threshold, Shorten wanted to take this off us, when it was pointed out to him that this was totally unfair and might even cost him a few votes he revised the policy, I fail to see how people think that I am not allowed to claim this tax back that has been paid on my behalf, just the same as anyone else pensioner or not is allowed to claim this tax back, if you earned the money by doing a bit of work paid tax on that income and at the end of the year you fell below the threshold you would be allowed to claim that tax back,

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      Hasn’t seemed to have done the Labor Party any damage though, they are still the better party in the 2 party preferred polls , 2 of which came out last night. MT has gained in the preferred PM survey but no one takes any notice of that, it is apparently the 2 party preferred one that matters the most.

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      Mick, I’m sad to say Retired Knowall is correct on this occasion. Shorten IS bashing low income self-funded retirees. Not only will they NOT get their franking credits, but if they move onto a pension AFTER March 28, they STILL won’t get them. It’s a disgustingly unfair and discriminatory policy that SHOULD lose him the election. And anyone who supports it is SCUM. ALP supporters should be demanding he fix this debacle. He’s stuffed up badly and he needs to make amends quickly. And NO, he DID NOT say no self-funded retiree would lose. He said PENSIONERS and SMSFs with one or more member receiving pensions PRIOR TO MARCH 28 would not lose. That means many who are quite well off will keep their refund while many who are far, far poorer are doomed for life to be taxed excessively.

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      Jim – my concern is the potential for including some of those who are currently under the taxable limit by altering the meaning of dividend imputation and what it is for.

      Those who are already above the taxable limit will pay, and rightly so.

      OG has yet to answer my question about his saying that SFRs should pay no tax… fits with the ideology that businesses should pay no tax…. only the ‘better’ classes or the ‘lifters’ should not bear the burden of living in our society.

    • 0
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      Rainey has it right, and politicians are very careful about their words crafted for them by wordsmiths… they say what they mean and seek to make it sound like they said something else – so when Bill shorten says ‘SFRs in receipt of part pension or where one partner receives part pension will be exempt’… he is saying that full SFRs wil not be exempt and may well be paying tax they would not do under current rules. Alternatively he is saying that ONLY those in receipt of SOME pension will be exempt.

      Mick has done the right thing by asking for clarification – though big Al seems to read that as Mick supporting Labor, which he emphatically does not.

    • 0
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      MICK, do you know the difference between a Pensioner and a Retiree?

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      TREBOR – I received a response from Shorten’s office about imputation credit refunds. You were right on this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Knowall – you are an offensive cuss. Really. Do you know the difference between black and white!

    • 0
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      In all humility – several others mentioned it, too.

      Big Bill needs to look this one over again. – I’m still not entirely sure how and why there is a need for change – unless some of the fatter cats are getting away with something they shouldn’t be.

      I know some people who, having already lost part pension, will be slugged by this one as well. Hardly seems fair or right when you cop the second hit because you copped the first one.

    • 0
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      To allow this to happen to the less well off with an SFR fund smacks of the same kind of long-term policy – of reducing the ‘lesser’ classes or the ‘leaners’ to servitude and despotism via reducing their economic power and personal power as a result, and creating of the retiree community a whipping boy and a cash cow, by creating a ‘generational war’ and forcing them by hook or by crook to sell off their hard-gained assets in order to live. That also fits with the OG ideology that all retirees (except the ‘better’ SFRs and businesses) should be forced to sell off their assets for their retirement

      Two major parties in lockstep again with the same end in mind.

      It’s either that or they are plain stupid and totally short-sighted.

    • 0
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      MICK the LABOR TROLL, it was obvious from your recent posts that you did not know the difference between a Pensioner and a Retiree.
      My posts above plainly explained the Franking Credits Labor Fiasco but you couldn’t or wouldn’t grasp it.
      “Wow…who let the trolls are out again.
      Sorry guys but I will not have a bar of your lies. Shorten mentioned the franking credits for self funded retirees in his response.”
      That was YOUR response from your post above.
      Whenever someone corrects you, or, you go on a LABOR rant, it’s you who are out of order.
      Thankfully most free thinkers know you for who you really are, Shorten will be proud of you.

  2. 0
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    MICK i fully with you and waiting fot the please explain.

  3. 0
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    Australia has a really good health care program except for dental and ancillary care such a physio. So no – I am cheaper than my car to maintain (at least out of my pocket expenses are – what it costs the government is a whole different kettle of fish).

  4. 0
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    No – healthcare is not a concern for most Australians
    We have Medicare and most bave insurance
    Healthcare is free
    This governments proposed increased spending is very responsible unlike Shortens vote buying proposal .
    Add up all of Billy’s promises and he’ll dtriple the national debt in 5 years .
    The coalition plans to have a surplus budget by 2021

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      Well Raphael the Coalition have already done a good job of adding to the Govt debt haven’t they.

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      Don’t know what the latest figures are but up until last year the Coalition had doubled Labor’s debt in the 4 years since they were elected.

    • 0
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      You are so naive
      Labor locked in spending commitments into the future knowing full well we couldn’t afford to do so
      You will get more of the same and worse as Shorten is already promising to lock in billions more in unfunded expenditure to buy votes

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      ‘locking in commitments’ is a characteristic of both ‘sides’ in their endless endeavours to sabotage the ‘opposition’.

      Great way to run a country,eh?

    • 0
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      Raphael – $80 billion of unfunded tax cuts for the rich from the Turnbull government and you post that Labor is locking in unfunded promises? You crack me up but what else can a troll do other than lie?

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      Well Raphael isn’t that exactly what SM is doing?, making promisesd 10 years into the future, who knows, we may all be blown to bits by then, sunk under sea or been taken over by aliens. Also, who knows how many elections could be called before then and all these decions overturned.

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      Health care is a HUGE concern for me, but after I put money aside for health care I knew would be needed (for my partner as well as for me), this stinking vile government declared I could not retire on a pension unless I blow that money before retiring. What a disgrace!

  5. 0
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    Having studied aid programs in the past (among countless other things) it is often the case that a significant proportion of funding vanishes into ‘administrative’ costs and such, and that very often only a very small percentage reaches the ‘coal face’. My favourite example was a work creation program in NYC, where over 90% of the funding went into ‘administrative costs’ and such.

    Since States are responsible for hospitals and such ‘on the ground’ I liken Federal funding to an aid program – and it is clear that a very large amount goes into supporting any number of things apart from actual health care – long before the money gets to the ‘coal face’. Those who ‘white-board’ the funds around cop a huge earner, those who disburse the funds cop a huge earner, those who manage funding at the coal face level all cop a huge earner – no such thing as a one stop shop – the ‘Gauleiter in charge of healthhilfe’ or whatever (a different approach fraught with its own issues) – and then we have the spectre of Captain Hook-nose in Macca Street (in NSW) determining that billions would be better spent on a new fancy facility to suit pork barreling rather than on a genuine extension and renovation of existing facility that are mostly working quite well, and would work better given funding channeled into real work and not make-work for fat cat bureaucrats.

  6. 0
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    Not much point spending more money on emergency and ward beds if there are no more doctors and nurses to service them!

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      Many of our doctors and nurses are already Brits because this government refuses to train our own.
      Bring in more. That is how this country is run and one of the reasons we are heading for a very hard landing.

    • 0
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      Don’t khow many Britts work in our health system, but I know you travel a far bit as I do, if you have ever been to a hospital in the UK you will notice it’s hard to find any Britts working there, seems to be all from overseas, so not surprising if there are a lot of healthcare workers from the UK working over here, I guess that’s the problem with our NHS and the U.K. healthcare systems being amongst the best in the world.

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      Are you serious JIm. Our hospitals are crammed with Britt doctors and nurses. All young and not long out of university.

    • 0
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      What on earth are you talking about, am I been serious, you just can’t help your self can you, if you are not trying to insult other commentators on this site with your derogatory comments, you are also not reading what is written, I clearly stated I didn’t know any, I didn’t say your comments were wrong, I was pointing out how good our healthcare service are, or do you disagree with that statement or is there something else at play here?

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      http://www.
      swnma.asn.au/nurse-graduates-unemployed-or-underemployed/

      “Thousands of nurse graduates continue to complete their degrees only to face unemployment, underemployment and job insecurity.

      Nurse and midwifery graduates are struggling to get work because of a ‘lack of experience’, with employers preferring to hire international workers instead.”

      Plenty of Indians around becoming doctors…. I’ve said before, WADR, they get a leg-up via free education then do a short transition course.

      http://www.heti.
      sw.gov.au/Global/Guidelines-for-the-Supervision-of-Medical-Observers-in-NSW-Hospitals.pdf

      What this means is that despite the number of local graduates, who can spend up to ten years gaining their full ratings, there would appear to simply be not enough. Not too sure about that.

      http://www.medicaldeans.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Table-4.pdf

      I think a lot of the ‘issue’ as regards local graduates is their preference for living in the major centres etc, while many foreign trained are happy to live ‘bush’.

    • 0
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      Maybe we need some form of national apprentice/cadetship scheme…. just musing here….

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      An oversupply of doctors is expected to emerge in Australia this year after a failed bid by the federal Department of Health to end the importation of all overseas medicos.
      At the same time the health department has forecast a projected shortfall of about 85,000 nurses by 2025 and 123,000 by 2030, with a recommendation that nurses be retained on the national list identifying skills shortages.
      In its submission, the health department says the mismatch will emerge this year, run to an oversupply of trainee doctors for available training places of about 570 in 2018 and extend to an oversupply of about 1000 trainee doctors for available training places by 2030.

  7. 0
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    It is time for all of us to rant at our PMs to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!

  8. 0
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    Just read most comments on this article, late afternoon, and once again Mick has hijacked the discussion to push Labor Party propaganda, which doesn’t help anyone. In a constructive attempt to generate some intelligent discussion on health care, I would refer readers to a system the Yanks had in place in the late 1980s early 1990s. They were called HMOs or Health Maintenance Organizations. The principle was quite brilliant – you paid them to keep you healthy. The other side of the equation was that they offered you a financial incentive to look after your own health. So, if you were an over weight smoker, they invoked a financial penalty on your premiums, if you didn’t quit smoking, and shed an agreed amount of weight. As a concept, I say that is brilliant! It means that the individual is made to take some responsibility for his/her own health. How many hospital beds do we have tied up in this country today, right now, as a direct result of people’s gluttony, and or inability to control their addictive personality traits? There you go, Mick, let’s see what puerile arguments you can unload on such a totalitarian concept!!

    • 0
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      Defend the lies and attacks Al, not “push”. Tell no lies and run no government propaganda and I will not post. Deal?

    • 0
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      labor micky put your mask back on it suits you, second computer must be idle seeing your gang-gang is back, double the b.s we have to put up with again

    • 0
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      heemie… I thought you’d learned by now… sorry if I over-rated you. You next annual review will reflect your inability to learn and move forward….

      Stoopid is as stoopid does, as they say down in Green Bow.

  9. 0
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    Given the coalition government stripped health funding, it begs the question how much of the budget funding is reinstatement not extra?
    This mob still wants to give big business and the banks $80,000,000,000 in tax cuts. Franking credits – well there are choices to be made and I want my grandchildren to have access to a good education, I want to access health care if I need it I want much needed infrastructure investment for our growing population. Negetive gearing and capital gains tax needs a complete overhaul. I will lose a little with the franked credits but we are going nowhere with this current mob so Labor will have my vote.

    • 0
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      Me too Chook! We cannot keep going ignoring the attacks on Medicare which many people are unaware of. Education is vital to our country and must be maintained and improved and available to all at each level. There needs to be fairness and compassion not just handouts to the super wealthy.
      Few people realise that companies pay no GST either. It is refunded to them. So unless they contribute some tax they are flying free and clear whilst the lowest paid workers have had next to no pay increases.

  10. 0
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    Say…. where’s heemie to carry on with the usual personal attacks and utter nonsense…..???

    Every time I speak that devils name… out he comes…

    • 0
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      The coalition troll team are thin on for this post but we saw the extent of government money funding corruption of the political system in action after Shorten’s budget reply. They were as thick as flies. Maybe as thick as bricks as well. Most were brand new posters.

      WHO PAID FOR THESE TROLLS TO WORK THIS SITE? Taxpayers? Big businesses? All of the above.

      We need media and troll laws to end the ‘cash for comment’ game. It ruins the ability of genuine posters to discuss the issues. The intended end game! Lie enough, be offensive enough and the good folk will leave the site.

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