14th Dec 2018
How could the Government fix the pension system?
How could the Government fix the pension system?

News of a possible bump in Newstart payments to the tune of $300 a fortnight announced by the Labor Party has reignited debate about Age Pension increases, which may also receive a minor boost.

It has long been thought that the base rate of Newstart was far too low. The current Government has a theory that keeping it low puts pressure on jobseekers to look for a job. It’s a relatively sound theory assuming, of course, there are jobs out there to be had.

The same Government claims that unemployment is at a record low, but while younger dole recipients may have a decent chance of getting work, the job market for older workers is thin. Add to that the recent findings that employers actually adopt illegal practices that all but rule out even interviewing mature workers, and the possibility of older people finding work borders on the impossible.

While the news of raising five welfare payments may come as music to many ears, it does not address the dire circumstances renting age pensioners are in, nor does it solve our housing affordability crisis. There are many renting retirees who struggle to make ends meet. Should a boost to Rent Assistance also be on the cards?

A formula proposed by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods states that increases to five payments can be made by reducing other payments, but would a better way be for the Government to more heavily target corporate tax evaders? According to The Age, if all companies included in the ATO transparency figures report paid their full share of tax, it would add $10 billion to the economy’s bottom line – enough to fund 10,583,541 emergency patients and 829,224 secondary school students, says the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The base rate Newstart payments hasn’t changed in 25 years. The Age Pension base rate has also been untouched since 2009.

Could some of the money collected from improved corporate tax targeting be redirected towards funding Centrelink increases to Newstart, the Age Pension and Rent Assistance, without taking away from single parents and other struggling families?

It’s food for thought.

Today, we thought we’d ask you for your opinion on pension issues. So why not take part in our Friday Flash Poll: How could the Government improve the pension system?

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And of course, we'd love you to share any other comments about the pension system below.





    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    10:42am
    I find the editorial conduct of YLC reprehensible today. First Olga had a story lead in which was fake and now Leon. This story has nothing to do with bringing the family home into the assets test. Another fake lead in.

    The normal spiel from a destitute government waiting for cremation:

    1. A low Newstart makes people hungry to get a job - statistics indicate THERE ARE NO JOBS for many and that the statistics considerably underestimate the real unemployment in Australia because many people just give up and stop jumping through the perverse hoops and others who get a few hours a week and classified as being 'employed'...which they are not.

    2. This government does not explain it has been attacking retirees and is after their assets since coming into office. Also no mention about NO JOBS AVAILABLE for older Australians...but they intend increasing the retirement age to 70, expecting citizens who should be able to retire to exist on drip fed assistance rather than the pension they deserve.
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    11:14am
    Good points there Mick. Maybe the mature age allowance should be brought back in for people over 60 with no assets to get them to pension age. Pointless really to send people in search of jobs that are just not there - wasting everyone's time.
    I do not trust the other mob either when it comes to working till 70. Was Rudd and ALP getting us to slog till 67. Voting for Charlie Brown and his Peanuts makes more and more sense.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    11:58am
    Wasting everybody's time is something the government does not care about because it makes it appear that it is keeping 'bludgers' off payments. The fact that there are no jobs is conveniently left off the script when the bastards front the cameras.
    I agree. Working to 70 is what the bastards want but they refuse to mention that many workers are NOT office workers. After 50 years on the tools most men are simply stuffed and deserve a rest. Politicians want them to die on the job. No pension or medical expenses then required. Next please!
    Retired Knowall
    14th Dec 2018
    1:04pm
    So why do we import Migrant Workers?
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:24pm
    Yes why do we have 1.4 million overseas workers in this country an only 700,000 unemployed? Seems to be like that 700,000 don't want to work. Giver them more money and we will have to import more works as many more people wont want to work either.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:42pm
    That's an ASS-U-Me, OG. How do you know what the circumstances of that 700,000 are? How do you know what they want from life or what curved balls have been thrown that have landed them where they are? You need to walk in their shoes for a bit and learn what life is really like for those you love to judge and condemn. Learn to have a bit of human decency.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    7:29pm
    Well the number of unemployed doesn't change so the or so only one explanation and that is they want want to work.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:21pm
    And why are millions of Australians on drip fed casual work? Not because there are hundreds of thousands of jobs.
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    9:24am
    Ask the Federal Govt Retired Knowall, why they import Migrant Workers.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2018
    2:00pm
    Labor once hated the idea of immigration because they arrived and started work soon after. Australian's couldn't compete with these hard workers. Now Labor wants high immigration? What's going on? Why did Labor change their mind?
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:35pm
    OG can't work out that if you twice as many imported workers as Australian unemployed, the 700,000 are at 2/1 odds to get a job before they even try.

    Lessee now ... 1,400,000 - 700,000 = 700,000 offshore workers even if every unemployed is taken up in work.

    Lock The Gates! We do not live in a 'global economy' - we live HERE!
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2018
    12:38am
    Good comments, MICK. Unfortunately, a troll (not RK) has diverted the discussion fully into Jobs (off topic, even though a good area for discussion).
    Universal Age Pension is a MUST now.
    Ted Wards
    14th Dec 2018
    10:46am
    So pensioners who have paid taxes all their life get $11 increase, Newstart get $300 but the average worker if they are lucky might get a 50 cent increase a fortnight/week, every so many years after taxes. Seems about right NOT!
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    11:59am
    That's about right.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:17pm
    And retirees who paid taxes all their life and are struggling to get by on less income than the pensions have 30% of their income stolen.
    musicveg
    14th Dec 2018
    1:38pm
    One thing to consider is Newstart recipients cannot save money, it all gets spent helping investors with rentals (paying rent), helping supermarkets get richer (buying food), helping energy investors (buying power) helping telcos get richer (phone and internet costs, without these you have no hope of even applying for jobs), so in fact all their money is being reinvested into the economy, will help a lot of people who own business. And don't start on the drugs, alcohol, smokes thing, only a small percentage are like this.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:59pm
    I agree with that musicveg. Newstart is way too low, but any increase needs to be accompanied by a major change in the way we deal with long-unemployment and in better recognition of disabilities (of ALL kinds, including psychological) and special provisions for those who face special challenges, plus special provisions for older unemployed who have worked and paid taxes and are now struggling against age discrimination or with poor health etc.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:26pm
    What can we do with the 700,000 that now don't want to work at all?
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:22pm
    That's your claim OG. Prove it!
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:40am
    Try ending the vicious nasty LIES about them, OG, and giving them a helping hand. You might be surprised what hundreds of thousands DESPERATE FOR WORK will do if you show some respect and give them a fair opportunity. Only the most vile SCUM make nasty assumptions that have no basis.
    Blinky
    19th Dec 2018
    12:43pm
    That's right. Keep rewarding and feeling sorry x people who do not bother to get a job and who are used to live on govt handouts.
    If you worked, you paid taxes and contributed to the country, come retirement age, they put you in the same basket as those who never have!!!
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2018
    9:02am
    I don't 'reward' people who've struggled, Blinky, but I defend those who are being wrongly branded. There are hundreds of thousands out there who desperately WANT a reasonable opportunity to work and make their own way in the world. I know because I've walked in their shoes. When I was finally able to find a way to make a door open, I worked my guts out to try to ensure I would always be self-supporting.

    I have far more time for the struggling unemployed than for the minority of self-obsessed pensioners (and I'm ONLY referring to the self-obsessed, not pensioners in general) who cheer seeing the livelihood of struggling self-funded retirees decimated, and then claim entitlement to ''respect' because THEY worked for decades and paid taxes. (As if self-funded retirees didn't! Oh, no, that's right. Their money fell out of the sky and then they cheated on tax. At least that's what they tell themselves to justify their greed.)

    You are right about the government though. You work and pay taxes and contribute to the country and come retirement age, they want to take it all away and make you dependent on handouts. And the greedy 'entitled' pensioners support that. I guess it makes them uncomfortable to acknowledge that others were more successful, so they want success punished.

    Sorry if it offends, but I will keep defending the unemployed. I know there is a percentage of lazy who don't bother to get a job. But the vast majority WANT a job, and would happily work hard if offered one that was reasonably suited to their ability and health. Not everyone is able to pick fruit. Many simply CANNOT just take ANY job. Very few of those who have never experienced major challenges to find work had to take ANY job, no matter how damaging and degrading it might be. It's way to easy to accuse and abuse when you are walking in better shoes.

    14th Dec 2018
    10:49am
    Something went wrong. I wasn't asked half the questions that I saw responses for. But clearly we have a welfare mentality in this country. Everyone thinks someone else should pay their way. I agree politicians are overpaid and most corporates and the very wealthy pay too little tax, but until we reform the welfare system to respect and be fair to workers and savers, we should not even THINK about increasing the attraction of welfare. We should be focusing on teaching people to accept personal responsibility and helping them learn how to be as self-sufficient as possible, and opening the doors of opportunity.

    This country is being destroyed by the hand-out mentality. A hand up is essential and I would happily agree that taxpayers and the better off should contribute to the cost of that. But taking money unfairly from SFRs to give it to pensioners IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and only the greediest and most selfish would support such a suggestion. Yet apparently a huge percentage do, and I'm seeing very few here oppose Labor's proposal to decimate self funded retirees, but plenty of demands for more than the $1 million or so pensioners get - funded by people they claim should get NOTHING.
    jackie
    14th Dec 2018
    11:09am
    Pensions should be for the poor not people that own properties worth over a Million dollars, super and etc. Taxes are meant to go toward our infrastructure.
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    11:20am
    jackie - a lot of working stiffs in Melbourne and Sydney live in properties worth a million or more. These places were worked for, saved for and cared for and people living in them are entitled to the age pension. Just because inflation has increased the value is not a reason for them to have to shift some place they do not want to move to. People with nothing to show for in life always find ways to spend others' savings.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    11:53am
    OGR - you may want to consider the following:

    1. there are very few jobs because successive governments have sold our jobs to third world countries. Even many who are technically 'employed' are only offered work for a few hours a week....so are not really employed at all.
    2. a report yesterday indicated that one third of wealthy corporations PAY NO TAX at all. Of course their CEOs and management get huge pay packets.
    3. The top end of society is heading to offshore tax shelters to avoid our taxation system.
    4. Multinationals are heading to offshore tax shelters to also avoid our taxation system.

    Attacking those on welfare is a game run by the LNP to avoid scrutiny of the rich bleeding the system dry. The fact that workers are being denied cost of living wage increases, retirees are being savaged and the unemployed continue to be demonised and manipulated in a perverse game to starve them is simply 'politics'. The politics of the wealthy. And you wonder who I keep saying the country is in a class war. Believe it. The evidence is there for all to see.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    11:58am
    'So, Jackie... you think people who work hard and save well should be forced to fund $1 million dollar gifts to people who don't? That's COMMUNISM my dear, and it has NEVER worked anywhere in the world.

    Sorry to break it to you, but punishing people for working and handing out to those who don't is going to send the nation broke and then there's be nothing for anyone - least of all the ''entitled poor people''. And if taxes are meant to go to infrastructure, who pays for pensions? Oh, that's right. The PENSIONERS who worked and paid taxes for decades paid for their own. But apparently the self-funded who worked HARDER and SAVED BETTER and PAID MORE TAXES didn't pay for their own but must keep paying forever. That's greedy!

    Well, bring on the revolt - soon. And let's see how selfish folk like you get on.

    And BTW. Who the hell (apart from you with your wild ASS-U-MEs) said anything about people who own properties worth over a million dollars. People with home units or country cottages worth $300,000 are being deprived of fairness and left with incomes LESS than the aged pension because they were responsible and put a little money aside for old age. Money 95% of the population COULD HAVE and SHOULD HAVE saved for their retirement, but spent living better or buying those more expensive homes.

    ''Pensions for poor people'' creates more poor people - ESPECIALLY when, as in Australia, pensions are paid to people who are VERY well off, but clever manipulators with no conscience. And they are paid for by people who are actually much poorer, but HONEST and having more INTEGRITY.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    12:02pm
    People who work get to own a house and have a life. People who don't live hand to mouth their entire lives, own zip, do not travel and have an existence OGR. There is a price to pay. Read my response above as it puts this into perspective. Tell me if I have it wrong.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:02pm
    Mick once again twisting facts
    Corporations are paying more tax than ever before
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:11pm
    I'm not attacking anyone, Mick. And I don't support the LNP's attack on the disadvantaged. But the problems we have are caused by attacking workers and savers - which Labor intends to do increasingly.

    People who work don't necessarily get to own a house and have a life. Working was an existence in pure unadulterated hell for my partner and me. And we'd have had a house and much better life on welfare. Sorry to break it to you, Mick, but the genuinely disadvantaged are far better off on Newstart than in many of the shit jobs that are all they can get.

    We need a better welfare system - which means we need people to recognize that the only way to have it is to incentivize and reward work. That doesn't mean not having compassion for those who struggle. Rather - it means having far more compassion, but UNDERSTANDING what their real problem is and helping them find solutions, rather than just giving them fatter handouts. And it means educating those who benefit from welfare to understand that it isn't necessarily LUCK that makes others better off and that nobody owes them because they are doing it tough.

    Taking from workers to give to pensioners CANNOT WORK. I agree our tax system is very bad and our pollies are overpaid and we give far too much to the very wealthy. But Labor isn't planning to change that. They are just planning to create more hardship by destroying the rewards for effort.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    12:15pm
    The government stooge is back. Never able to address the FACTS.

    Corporation tax us up but that is because the world economic climate has been improving every year since the GFC. The issue is that ONE THIRD of very very wealthy corporates PAY NO TAX. Here's the link as if you do not know:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-13/one-third-of-australian-companies-paid-no-tax-ato/10614916

    Japanese companies are the worst. They pay tax in Japan so as not to be shamed but everywhere else they pay no tax.
    inextratime
    14th Dec 2018
    12:28pm
    Lets make this absolutely clear. There is a wealth gap between house owners and renters.
    Why, because people who could not afford a deposit on a house pay rent all their lives that pays for someone else's property that escalates in price. House prices have risen by over 25% in the past five years adding millions of dollars to house owners assets for very little productivity gain. Now house owners are whinging about that inflated price of their house being asset tested. On the other hand the poor renter has to put up with ever increasing rentals, unless of course they are able to relocate to whoop whoop. Fair system yeh, right, especially if you own a house and its paid for. Don't tell me that you struggled to pay the mortgage because renters struggle to pay the rent. I bought a house in 1992 for $332,000. Its now worth 1.7 million. What did I do for that capital gain. Absolutely nothing. I have friends who are struggling to pay their rent which recently went up from $450 a week to $490 per week.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:53pm
    Your friends should have bought then, inextratime. Don't give me ''could not afford a deposit''. I have known hundreds of thousands from all walks of life and I've never yet met ANYONE who couldn't have put a deposit on a house if they chose to. It's not easy, but nothing worth doing is. And I'm sick of being asked to pay to compensate people who had way easier lives than I did but didn't make the effort to plan for their own future.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:33pm
    inextratime - I think you are confusing negative gearing (rental property) with a residential property you live in.
    Negative gearing gets taxpayer support. Buying you own home requires you to forgo pleasure and often free time having fun. That's the whole point. I find it unfair that some people expect those who took the punt and living a thrifty life to never be allowed to have any fun.
    Sundays
    14th Dec 2018
    2:05pm
    OGR, sweeping statement regarding pensioners who are ‘clever manipulators with no conscience’. I know a lot of part pensioners who realised that there was a sweet spot where it was better for them financially to spend a little capital and receive a part pension. They also worked hard all their lives and their consciences should be clear. They worked within the rules of the current albeit flawed system. Your choice not to draw down capital, but I don’t understand why you insult those who have.
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    2:52pm
    Good to see Mick pointing out facts to inextratime. We bought our place way back for $42000 with 8.75% interest rates, subsequently going to 16.4% six years later; we managed to keep our place but we did a lot to save money by having a daily log of expenses. A lot of mince was consumed in those days. My mates I met at the end of my shift in the pub, they always had plenty of money because they were granted public housing by the Vic Govt. And now I should feel bad the place is worth a lot more than we paid for?
    Just wonder what would happen today if the interest rates rose to 14%? Cannot have a revolution as Howard took our guns away in 1996, remember?
    Pass the Ductape
    14th Dec 2018
    4:01pm
    That’s right Cowboy Jim.

    A great many people still on the breadline for one reason or another actually own their own home through diligence and sheer dammed hard work. We purchased a block of land many years ago for $17.000 (took five years to pay it off) and over time we learnt the art of building so that year after year we could commit to building our own home - the one we still in by the way!

    These days we still don’t have much in the way of savings, having spent most of our meagre earnings over the preceding years on building materials.

    Now - many years later and because of market forces, our completed house and property is worth around $600,000 - possibly even $1,000,000 in the not too distant future. But we’re still cash poor in the true sense of the word and if the market price of our existing home is taken into account for the asset test, then we’d likely reach a the point where any pension we were due, would adversely be affected, possibly not enough to properly live on.

    Is jackie suggesting that people like us should simply we sell up and try to find somewhere cheaper to live (good luck with that) - just because there are greedy people out here able to afford to pay exorbitant money for existing properties - thus artificially inflating house prices for their own benefit.

    What does jackie want.....an ongoing situation where the poorer among us are always struggling to put a roof over their head, or perhaps they should be out on the street while the rich in this country use the real estate system to get even richer?

    Jackie needs to get real!
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:50pm
    So, Sundays, because people ''worked within the system'' that makes the system okay and excuses folk from supporting demolishing the lives of those who didn't ''work within the system'', but did what the government of the day said we all needed to do for the country to be prosperous?

    All I'm saying is I'm sick of seeing people rewarded for self-interest while those who did what is best for the nation suffer unfairly, and I think it's time people stopped being selfish and focused on acknowledging what's wrong with the system and demanding it be fixed FOR EVERYONE'S BENEFIT.
    Paddington
    14th Dec 2018
    5:40pm
    Lothario, lots of companies and super wealthy people pay zero tax. You can google and get a list. You know that!
    Sundays
    14th Dec 2018
    5:49pm
    I completely agree that the system is broken. There are far too many anomalies and grandfathered rules. However, it needs a lot more than not supporting Shortens Franking policy which affects YOU. All we hear coming through all your threads is how you will be affected and pensioners get something for nothing. It’s disgusting. Most worked hard too. If they also spent some of their earnings making their lives and that of their families easier. Good on them. You only have one chance.

    There are worse retirement policies which really do plunge people into poverty. You personally can use some of your capital, you can get out of shares, you can review your situation. You have choices. You won’t starve or lose your home. Many other retirees do not have your options. Some people here have posted today where I do feel for them because they have no choices. Also, many of us with Super are forced to drawn down, the money will run out. Depending on returns maybe sooner than we think. We accept this as funding our retirement. We also accept that if that happens we can get the pension. Personally, who I vote for will have nothing to do with Franking Credits, much more important issues
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    5:59pm
    ABC and Mick Faldo reporting as the election looms
    The companies that pay no tax are not making taxable profits or have carried forward losses
    As companies use up their losses , they will be paying more and more tax , sometimes well in excess of 30%
    In the long term every company ends up paying 30% of all their profits as tax
    That’s a fact
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:28pm
    I made a comment to someone over 10 years ago. I said if we are not careful we will have a welfare mentality in this country before much longer. Looks like I was spot on as people simply prefer handout to working now.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    7:00pm
    But OG, you supported the very policies that create a welfare mentality. When battlers can't benefit from work and living responsibly, they will decide to exploit the welfare system - and that's exactly what is happening.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:27pm
    Lothario - your comment is the usual government sponsored troll comment.

    You keep making claims about the ABC because your employer seeks to close it down. Here is how the various media outlets rate:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/8vgokb/australia_media_bias_chart/

    You'll see the ABC is centre whilst your media outlets are all right wing. You can run but you can't get away with your ongoing lies. You have no credibility and you NEVER have any proof!
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    9:37am
    A warning Sunday, careful what you reply to OGR, especially if you disagree when any of the comments OGR makes, you get a novel length reply.
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    9:41am
    That comment above should read "with not when".
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:54am
    Sundays, who I vote for will ultimately have nothing to do with franking credits either. It will have to do with honesty and integrity and basic decency. And the Labor Party has NONE. It will have to do with respect for the rights of the majority, rather than buying votes by overindulging the whining minority and funding pity parties. It will be about what's good for the country as a whole - and that is incentivizing and rewarding responsible living.
    Unfortunately, the LNP doesn't do that either. They've lost the plot entirely. So it's down to a choice of minors or independents. But in the meantime, I'll continue to argue that every decent Australian will urge the Labor Party to change their unfair policy and show some respect for the people who are helping the budget by being self-supporting in retirement. If they did, perhaps they would have more hope of winning. And every decent Australian will call them out on their lies and demand that they tell the truth. They are NOT addressing a budget problem or remedying a rort. They are playing a political game, persecuting a group who generally don't support them and bribing a group who do.
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2018
    12:40am
    The article Question was "How could the Govt fix the pension system". The answer is:
    "Universal Age Pension without any tests except Age (65) and Residency (say 15 yrs).

    We have a Broken Pensions System. Unfortunately, the article has generated the usual flood of Labor vs Liberal, Pensioner vs SFR, Renter vs Homeowner, etc, etc, futile battles. Don't you people realise that Labor & Liberals (as well as Greens) just love this divide-and-rule approach - which YLC also follows by defining groups as "tribes"?

    STOP THIS CRAP, YLC members, USE YOUR HEADS, and VOTE OUT ALL 3 of these major parties by using the Retirees combined strength. DEMAND UNIVERSAL AGE PENSION by writing to your MPs, and THROW THEM OUT by putting them LAST in preferences if they don't agree.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    7:20am
    Couldn't agree more, GeorgeM. But it seems some folk are just too attached to the current unfair system and terrified reform might disadvantage them. They support only reform that is to their gain. Happy to endorse Labor's attack on the self-funded if they are a pensioner and exempt. Happy to scream for cashless welfare cards and no increase to Newstart if they are financially secure.

    What we need is to people to stop being so self-focused and taking it personally when someone criticises the system of a policy. Sundays starts jumping up and down and accusing me of insulting pensioners because I say the SYSTEM supports manipulation and rewards people with no conscience. I said NOTHING about the average pensioner who is honest and ethical. Only that the SYSTEM rewards those who are not. And it's a fact that SOME are not. If we don't recognize the FACTS and acknowledge them, we can't lobby for correction of the flaws in the system.

    I'm guilty of getting aggro after an ongoing tirade of pensioner superiority and entitlement, and endorsement of policies that will wipe out my lifestyle, and stupid comments suggesting some ignorant moron in a Labor Party office can tell me how to run my life better so that wrongful political policies don't hurt me. But when I'm not personally attacked for highlighting a problem that has nothing to do with ''pensioners''. but everything to do with the system and those who exploit its flaws, I try to focus on what is good for society as a whole.

    We need a strong pension system. We also need to reward work and responsible living. The only way to do that is to STOP beating up on people for striving to be as self-supporting as possible. Unfortunately, both parties are currently doing the same thing - greedily buying votes by appealing to the selfish and pretending it's somehow ''fair'' to take from people who don't rely on taxpayer support.

    We do have different classes of retirees. On the one hand, we have SFRs who've had a lucky run, and on the other we have SFRs who have successfully battled extreme hardship. We have SFRs who are very well off and SFRs who are really struggling not to drain their savings too quickly. We have pensioners who have had very little opportunity to be anything but pensioners and we have pensioners who could be self-supporting but chose to spend up in their working life and rely on the taxpayer later. We have folk who had good super and folk who didn't.

    The question shouldn't be which group is superior or more entitled. It should be "how can we move the majority into a category where they can enjoy the comfortable and secure retirement ALL Australians deserve". While there is support for policies that attack one group and favour another, there will be division. And the politicians love it. Bill Shorten is making huge mileage out of pitting pensioners against SFRs, and sadly many pensioners are clapping their hands with glee, or finding ways to excuse what is really inexcusable by any decent person's standards. LNP is touting promises to increase pensions, which delights some but is generally being met with disbelief. But on the other hand they are apparently raising the spectre of including the family home in the assets test, and that measure is applauded by those who are sufficiently affluent to never have to worry about a means test.

    '
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    7:34am
    You are right, GeorgeM. We should unite. But politics is about dividing to conquer, and sadly the moment someone tries to highlight a flaw in a policy or system, someone who can't see past blind support for a party or who benefits from the policy or system responds with an attack, twisting words to imply a broad comment about the system or how SOME people exploit it is somehow an insult to an entire class of people.

    We SHOULD all unite to demand a universal pension. But pensioners don't need to, and rich SFRs don't want it because tax would negate the benefit. So ultimately it's only the struggling SFRs who seek it. It's also only the struggling SFRs who seek a fairer means test and who fear Shorten's treachery.

    I doubt we'll EVER get the rich SFRs on board for any reform except reducing pensions and destroying pensioner dignity. So write them off. But how do we get pensioners to support calls for fairness for struggling SFRs? That's my dilemma. I see the ''I'm okay Jack stuff you'' attitude from the well off, and the ''I'm entitled and you're not'' from the pensioner tribe. And the battling SFRs are stuck in the middle, agonising with fear because they seem to be always the target of every cruel change.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    10:06am
    HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A MORON OGR, YOU HAVE LOST ALL RESPECT, STOP YOUR WHINGING, EVERY TOPIC YOU POST THE SAME COMMENTS, WE ARE SICK OF IT. Other people have problems and troubles in their lives but they don't get on here whinging about it but learn to live with it.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    10:55am
    Oh, I'm sorry Misty. I didn't realise that advice came from YOU. Didn't know YOU worked in a Labor Party office. I thought you were quoting some moron employed by the Party who had no idea what my circumstances are and didn't care to find out, but presumed to tell me how to run my life nonetheless.

    Did you perhaps misread - again? Or did you only pretend the advice came from a third party?

    As for whinging - if that's what you want to call it - I'll continue to protest BAD POLICY and GROSS UNFAIRNESS as long as it's not a done deal. If it happens, I'll have no choice but to find a way to live with it, as I've had to live with a million other injustices. But while it's still only a proposal, I'll damned well highlight what's wrong with it and call those who support it on their unfairness whenever I choose.

    I object to all unfairness and injustice. I stand up for the unemployed and the disabled and I'll continue to do so. I'll continue to object to the LNP's favouring of the wealthy and failure to chase tax avoiders. I'll continue to object to OG's arrogance and nasty condemnation of anyone who is struggling and his claim that pensioners should be forced onto a welfare card, and his rude claims about pensioners wasting their money on pokies and cruises (even though some do!). I'll continue to object to a means testing system that encourages manipulation and punishes people who do what's good for the economy - and that's NOT a slight on pensioners. It's a statement about the system, and the lack of integrity of SOME who choose to exploit it.

    And when the Labor Party touts unfair and harmful policies, I'll point out why it's wrong. And if you CHOOSE to take it personally when someone criticizes the party you love, I can't help that. But if you keep justifying an attack that will destroy my lifestyle, I'll keep defending in any way I can - as is my right as a free citizen. You never had any respect for me, Misty. If you did, you wouldn't presume to phone a Labor Party Office and discuss what you THINK my situation is, and then come back and try to tell me how to run my life.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    3:08pm
    WRONG, WRONG AND WRONG AGAIN OGR, I never discussed your situation with BSN'S OFFICE, we only discussed Franking Credits and under what circumstances a person can claim a pension, YOU ARE TRYING TO TELL OTHER PEOPLE ON HERE HOW TO RUN THEIR LIVES IF THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU, WHO TO VOTE FOR ETC.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    3:26pm
    OGR I APOLOGISE, I DID MISREAD YOUR COMMENT ABOUT MORONS but the rest of my comment stands.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    3:37pm
    Its Ok Misty. I think youre a MORON even if Rainey doesnt
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    4:17pm
    Typical Lothario comment, just what I would have expected, obviously never been taught any manners.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    4:26pm
    Pretty much everyone here is telling others who to vote for - or who not to, Misty. INCLUDING YOU. Always pushing the Labor barrow - telling everyone to vote for Short-on-brains. A lot of people here are sick of you touting that message. And I'm sick of your judgmental comments suggesting that people who make the opposite lifestyle choices to those I made have superior entitlement to security and comfort in retirement.

    I'm sick of your ''pensioners'' garbage - because ''pensioners'' are no different to any other retiree. There are good and evil, selfish and kind, spendthrifts and wasters and careful and frugal, lazy and diligent, poor and affluent, honest and cheats... They have no more moral entitlement to anything than any other Australian. The law may favour them unfairly - and the Labor Party and its supporters may have no decency or fairness - but that doesn't make it right. Decent people defend what's morally right.

    Your statement was that I should put my money into an institutional super fund. I would never presume to tell someone how to organize their investments. That's about as personal as it gets - and highly offensive when you don't know the person or really anything about their circumstances. Are you a trained and licensed investment adviser? You do know it's an offence to give financial advice if you are not? That's just one reason why the clown who presumed to offer that advice is a moron. There are plenty of others. How would you feel if I took that advice and lost my savings? Don't answer that. I know. You'd whoop with delight.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    5:08pm
    WRONG, WRONG , WRONG AGAIN OGR, I WOULD NEVER PRESUME TO TELL PEOPLE HOW TO VOTE, THAT IS A CHOICE THAT IS ENTIRELY THEIRS TO MAKE, AND I ALSO HAVE NEVER SUGGESTED THAT ANYONE HAS SUPERIOR ENTITLEMENTS OVER ANYONE ELSE, IF THAT IS THE WAY YOU WANT TO INTERPRET MY COMMENTS THAT IS UP TO YOU.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    8:06pm
    Shouting doesn't make you right, Misty. Yes, that's how your comments read. They offend - greatly. If it's my interpretation that's wrong, has it occurred to you that your interpretation of my comments might be equally misguided? Oh, but no. When you are offended, it's my fault. When I am offended, it's my fault. It would be way too challenging to say ''I'm sorry you are threatened with unfairness and hurt. I agree it' wrong." Nope. Justify the Labor Party, no matter what. Loyalty ahead of humanity.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    10:51pm
    Here you go again OGR, twisting things, I never push the Labor barrow as you call it. what gives you that impression?, just because I don't agree with what you have to say, or rather the way you say it does not give you the right to call me names, oh and BTW you are pretty good at shouting too.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    10:25am
    Like I said, Misty... if my interpretation is wrong, perhaps you should consider that your interpretation of my comments might be equally misguided. I find your comments offensive. I didn't call you names. I merely noted my disappointment that it's apparently so challenging to back off justifying your favoured political party and show some respect and empathy for those who are threatened with unfairness. But again, political loyalty trumps humanity.
    sunnyOz
    14th Dec 2018
    11:41am
    NO BLOODY WAY!!!
    Big Kev
    14th Dec 2018
    11:51am
    I am so sick of people who think the welfare system is handout mentality. In this era of casual employment people need a basic support system to allow them to live. My father lost his father before welfare and they lived off grandmas getting two days cleaning in Hibernian Society homes and living off dripping and 3 day old bread. When my sons contracts are terminated for no reason, it can take up to two months to get work. Newstart hardly covers rent. My daughter has severe health issues but doesnt qualify for disability payment. Each rental lasts about a year then they are required to have a bond cleaner $400 and removalist $100 per hr. Most of my super has gone on helping them with food and moving costs.
    The Australian fair go society has gone to the dogs under this govt. Newstart has not been increased for almost 5 years even though rent and food have gone up much more than CPI.
    TIME FOR A CHANGE!
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:02pm
    The welfare system is a HANDOUT MENTALITY, Big Kev. It should be a HAND UP. It's got nothing to do with how hard some folk had - or have - it. It's about making a better society - mostly better for the neediest, because a HAND OUT never solved anything.

    Giving handouts is NOT giving anyone a fair go. And that's what's wrong with society today. No fair go - because too many HANDOUTS and not enough HANDS UP. And increasing Newstart is necessary, but it won't fix anything. What is needed is a totally different attitude to how we help the disadvantaged and a complete overhaul of a failed system - an overhaul that doesn't focus on cost cutting, but rather on OUTCOMES.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    12:03pm
    Yes. But only because people vote for the bastards flogged by Murdoch and Stokes media propaganda rags, and others.
    Be careful who/what you vote for.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:16pm
    Don't vote Labor. They will create more poor people and ultimately there will be less for everyone. Don't vote LNP because they will keep feeding the over-rich (though Labor will too). Not much choice actually!
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:35pm
    The current batch have not reduced the immigrant intake by much and there are calls for it to up that to 280,000 pa. From an economist of course. Who else could be so brain dead.
    You need to be careful what you wish for OGR. Have a long think about what the current batch have done to Australians, and in particular retirees, during the past 5 years. They're not finished yet.
    Farside
    14th Dec 2018
    1:49pm
    The reality is the welfare system is very uneven, even broken ye. Yet the survey shows more aged pensioners believe they are more deserving of an increase in welfare payments than those on Newstart. So many intent on feathering their own nests yet they call out and accuse their elected representatives for doing the same thing.
    KB
    14th Dec 2018
    2:11pm
    Big Kev Unfortunately the government has made it harder for people with any type of severe health issues to qualify for the disability. You have to fit a category of some kind, They need to get rid of the category of disability, Surely there are other ways of helping your son when he has to move. Use family and friends to help with shifting. Carpet cleaner yes. Surely there are cheaper people to help with cleaning. Employ people through airtasker You name the job am set a price. Make sure you check their ID Never pay until the job is finished. Not all people think that the welfare system is a handout mentality T New start should be increased for people particularly for families while parents look for work
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    5:10pm
    The welfare system IS a handout. That's a FACT. It's not an opinion - nor is it judgment of anyone who receives welfare. It's the SYSTEM that's wrong, because it IS handout, accompanied by deprivation of dignity. It SHOULD be a hand up, accompanied by respect and recognition that most people don't want a HANDOUT. They might NEED it, but they don't WANT it. And they certainly don't want the loss of dignity that so often accompanies it.

    When we get through to recipients that their whinging and demanding more is demeaning them and what they should be doing is showing gratitude for what they have, withdrawing from their jealous assumptions about others and selfish demands for more for this sector or that, respecting those who pay for welfare, but fighting alongside others for a fairer deal for EVERYONE - instead of pushing the ''this lot or that lot need more'' and the 'that lot should get less' assumptions - we might start to find solutions that work for SOCIETY AS A WHOLE.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:38pm
    Rainey - there is no profit in giving people a hand-up to a position where they can only stand on fresh air and promises... they'll only fall down again..
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    4:40pm
    Typical negative garbage from Trebor
    How sad it must be to be you
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:34pm
    Give them a hand up to a position where they can help themselves, Trebor. It IS doable. There are plenty of ways to achieve when you have a little guidance and support.

    My partner played a game yesterday. He challenged me to list 20 businesses that I could start tomorrow and make viable with minimal capital input if I were in good health. Took me exactly 8 minutes. Then he checked the list and added 20 more. The opportunities ARE out there. The problem is that the people who need them aren't equipped to grasp them. And this 'get a job' crap isn't helping anyone. They need support and guidance to MAKE their own job.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:31am
    Wrong as usual, Loathie - it must be terribly sad to be you with nothing else to do and nothing to offer but personal slights....

    How many jobs are you offering today, hero??

    You are a troll and a flamer.. you don't even read what is said, just start an argument... and it's time the management got rid of you, kid.
    Dabbydoos
    14th Dec 2018
    12:01pm
    People with mortgages receive no help, no rent allowance, no help with insurance or repairs. They are worse off than young people on Newstart where maybe 3-4 share a house and each get rent allowance which would cover the total amount due.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    12:05pm
    Not if they eventually own their own home. Ask any retiree about owning your own home. That's when the pendulum swings.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:50pm
    And then it costs a small fortune to live in it, between rates, insurance, maintenance, and massive pension loss.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:37pm
    Correct OGR. It looks rosy on the other side of the coin but you have it down pat. My own not very old home requires average of $2000 pa spent on it and that includes me doing whatever I can. Without I could double that figure.
    Sundays
    14th Dec 2018
    1:45pm
    Yes Dabbydoos, if you have a mortgage and lose your job and are forced onto Newstart there is no extra help. If you’re over 60 it’s even harder to find work. Without Super you could be forced to sell. Newstart is too low, but I don’t agree with rent assistance. Give everyone a decent increase to cover all costs. Give those over 60 a bit more until they can get the pension
    Farside
    14th Dec 2018
    2:48pm
    @OGR, choices have consequences. You say "And then it costs a small fortune to live in it, between rates, insurance, maintenance, and massive pension loss." and yet most retirees choose to own rather than rent. It's not hard for an owner to sell and become a renter if that is the preference.
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    3:01pm
    The reason I still own a place rather than rent is the constant requirement of moving. My sister in Europe lived in the same place for 32 years; now this month she moved in a new place on the same estate because the previous accommodation was considered dated and had to be replaced. She now can stay in her new place till she expires. Under those circumstances I would gladly rent instead of owning. Also there is no asset and income test for the pension and she just is taxed on everything she owns and earns. Much fairer really but in the old days Australia was like that as well - I came here in Nov. 1970 when John Gorton was PM.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:19pm
    Farside, it's impossible to go back in time and enjoy all the benefits we sacrificed to pay off a home and then fast forward and collect a pension and rent assistance. I would if I could, because it turns out all the sacrifice bought me was a lot of stress and a lower income than if I hadn't bothered. Selling now would solve nothing, because the money would still deprive me and I can't now have the things I sacrificed over the past 5 decades. Age and health and grown up kids mean those opportunities are gone.

    All I'm saying is that it's time pensioners and renters stood up for a fair deal for EVERYONE instead of focusing solely on their own situation and ignoring the challenges others face. The system is unfair, unworkable, uneconomical, cruel to many...

    I was the champion of the underdog, but I've changed my views because I'm sick of the greed and selfishness. When I see people acknowledging the unfairness and standing up for a better system for EVERYONE - instead of just for the select few who think they are more entitled than someone else and who trade on unsubstantiated assumptions and anecdotal evidence, I'll revert to my former stance of supporting demands for a better deal for welfare recipients.

    It DOES cost a fortune for rates, insurance, maintenance, etc. And home ownership DOES reduce pension entitlements substantially. And for some, that's a major problem. And some renters are very well off renting. I have a relative who gets rent assistance and a full pension but lives for next to nothing in a house on a farm. The rent they pay (to satisfy Centrelink criteria) is refunded to their children in cash each week by the farm owner. They are supplied with meat, milk, cream, eggs and home grown veg for themselves and their children's families and with cheap fuel for their car - all in return for ''caretaking'' when the farmer is away. I know some who live in public housing very cheaply. I know many who share rented accommodation and pay very little, and loads who live in caravans and get rent assistance to pay site fees that include their power and water - and they live very well indeed. But others renters are very hard up. So anecdotal evidence and assumptions don't cut it.

    I'm with Cowboy Jim. The only benefit of owning for me is security of tenancy. And the system his sister lives under is much fairer and more economically sustainable. Instead of people focusing on selfish wants, we should all join forces to demand reform that would benefit EVERYONE.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:19pm
    Farside, it's impossible to go back in time and enjoy all the benefits we sacrificed to pay off a home and then fast forward and collect a pension and rent assistance. I would if I could, because it turns out all the sacrifice bought me was a lot of stress and a lower income than if I hadn't bothered. Selling now would solve nothing, because the money would still deprive me and I can't now have the things I sacrificed over the past 5 decades. Age and health and grown up kids mean those opportunities are gone.

    All I'm saying is that it's time pensioners and renters stood up for a fair deal for EVERYONE instead of focusing solely on their own situation and ignoring the challenges others face. The system is unfair, unworkable, uneconomical, cruel to many...

    I was the champion of the underdog, but I've changed my views because I'm sick of the greed and selfishness. When I see people acknowledging the unfairness and standing up for a better system for EVERYONE - instead of just for the select few who think they are more entitled than someone else and who trade on unsubstantiated assumptions and anecdotal evidence, I'll revert to my former stance of supporting demands for a better deal for welfare recipients.

    It DOES cost a fortune for rates, insurance, maintenance, etc. And home ownership DOES reduce pension entitlements substantially. And for some, that's a major problem. And some renters are very well off renting. I have a relative who gets rent assistance and a full pension but lives for next to nothing in a house on a farm. The rent they pay (to satisfy Centrelink criteria) is refunded to their children in cash each week by the farm owner. They are supplied with meat, milk, cream, eggs and home grown veg for themselves and their children's families and with cheap fuel for their car - all in return for ''caretaking'' when the farmer is away. I know some who live in public housing very cheaply. I know many who share rented accommodation and pay very little, and loads who live in caravans and get rent assistance to pay site fees that include their power and water - and they live very well indeed. But others renters are very hard up. So anecdotal evidence and assumptions don't cut it.

    I'm with Cowboy Jim. The only benefit of owning for me is security of tenancy. And the system his sister lives under is much fairer and more economically sustainable. Instead of people focusing on selfish wants, we should all join forces to demand reform that would benefit EVERYONE.
    Farside
    17th Dec 2018
    11:12am
    @OGR, as said choices have consequences, in relation to different choices you say "I would if I could" so you cannot be hard on those that made different life choices. However, you do have some consequences that you would not want to change like security of tenancy (which could be addressed if 3/6/9 leases as found in Europe were available in Australia).

    No doubt there are still too many instances of the system failing people and not being caught by the safety nets however it does not mean that everyone's needs are equal. You are spot on with greed and selfish attitudes held by many else there would be more recognition to prioritise those in most need - the newstart and aged pension comparison is a good example. It makes no sense for an unemployed person to get an increase when moving to pension. I cannot envisage the circumstances where reforms can be made that benefit everyone without making offsetting cuts in spending elsewhere or increasing consolidated revenue.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:47pm
    Farside, we would increase consolidated revenue if we removed the penalties for striving and achieving. Encouraging people to divest their wealth because they can be more affluent and secure on a pension than self-funded can only put more pressure on the budget. It's absurd! Most working Australians today have the ability to be at least substantially self-sufficient in retirement, but they don't want to be because the system discriminates against battlers with modest reserves who try to avoid dependency. Allowing people to accumulate savings and retain pension support, but taxing retirement incomes, would drive more spending to generate jobs, growth and tax revenue. It would reduce dependence on pensions. It would increase inheritances, making the next generation more secure and affluent. It would remove stress and thus improve health and reduce health and care costs. It would position us all better to pay for adequate aged care, reducing government costs. The extra paid out to the wealthier in pensions would be more than recovered through income tax on retirement incomes.

    Reforms CAN be made, but what is needed is to take off the blinkers and stop thinking about reversing past reforms or applying small bandaids. Throw the whole system out and start over with a system that offers incentives and rewards as needed to drive the responsible lifestyle choices that enable at least substantial self-sufficiency. The pension safety net remains for the genuinely disadvantaged, but there is no ''them and us'', no loss of self-respect, and no penalty for lifting oneself up and improving both one's own lot and one's contribution to society.
    floss
    14th Dec 2018
    12:04pm
    Lets have a election we are going backwards as we are.No problem if the big end of town paid their taxes all this talk would not be needed.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    12:08pm
    Exactly. There'd be a lot of money to go around.
    Sadly the big end of town is dishonest and morally dead and rich men like Stokes and Murdoch will send their media propaganda machines after any government which challenges the ability of the rich to milk the system and not pay tax.
    DaveL
    14th Dec 2018
    5:49pm
    May be Pensioners with money under the bed disclosed this asset, then there will be more available for genuine Pensioners/ welfare receiptants.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:01pm
    NFI statemtents and lies
    You should be ashamed floss and MICK but then you know no shame
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    7:54pm
    What else would a government fund troll say Lothario?
    Rae
    15th Dec 2018
    8:46am
    A transaction tax that everyone pays. No deductions and no other taxes. Everyone pays when the money comes in and goes out. Tax the money and not the people.
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    9:47am
    What else would you expect from a millionaire Mick.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2018
    9:17am
    Can't denigrate pensioners, Misty, but it's fine to slander millionaires. Don't suppose it's ever occurred to you that some millionaires are decent, hard working, honest, good people?
    Misty
    20th Dec 2018
    9:49am
    Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z
    Dabbydoos
    14th Dec 2018
    12:04pm
    Claimants who still have a mortgage get NO rent assistance, nothing towards repairs or insurance. Claimants on New start receive rent allowance, where 3-4 people share each getting the full amount of rent allowance this covers the whole amount of the rent due.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:38pm
    You'll get to own your own home as long as the current bunch do not make that illegal as well, but renters will always be renters.
    Sundays
    14th Dec 2018
    1:48pm
    Mick, it depends on how long you’re stuck on Newstart. If you can’t pay the mortgage, you’ll lose your home
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    7:55pm
    Of course. We all had to hope we did not lose our jobs whilst we were in mortgage repayment mode.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    11:12am
    Happened to me twice! And if Labor get in, I'll have to either sell up again or drain all my savings and hope like hell I don't continue to cop big medical bills. I'm already dipping into savings to pay the rates, which just keep skyrocketing.
    ronloby
    14th Dec 2018
    12:05pm
    This country would be better off if ALL Bloody governments were to chase the BIG tax evaders for the money sent offshore to avoid their fair share of Tax. If money is made in Australia then taxes should be paid in Australia regardless of where their headquarters are. There are several Pollies who are avoiding paying tax here also if one believes the rumours.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    12:11pm
    Shorten has promised to do so but who'd know if he has the guts to do so. Given his woeful back down on the (so called) terror laws just passed I'm not sure he has that in them, but the only thing worse is putting the current rich and coal government back into the power. That is a guarantee of the family home being put into the assets test and more money being sent to the top end of town.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    12:49pm
    Shorten has shown his hand on who should contribute more to the budget. He's giving $250,000 a year +++ salary earners and pensioners with $3 million dollar homes their franking credits and taking them away from folk with $400,000 homes and barely enough to generate an income of 2/3rds of the aged pension, no hope of increasing their wealth, endless stress, no pay raises EVER, and living in fear of more of this sort of abuse - plus being denigrated by pensioners who seem to think they have a superior entitlement and people who worked and saved are fair game to rob and cheat.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:44pm
    Shorten's proposal is to do away with negative gearing unless on new constructions. The wealthy may go there but the return will make this unviable for them so they'll likely invest in some other product(s).
    I feel your franking credits pain but am hopeful Shorten is not stupid enough to amend this so that self funded retirees do not get a threshold before this law cuts in. He may not won the election unless he does as posters on this website indicate that he has lost a large number of votes from the retirement community. Bad news spreads and many others will also vote against Labor. Shorten is a total dickhe*d if he ignores the feeling!
    Either way pick your poison. Your house in the assets test if the current rats are put back or a loss in franking credits if not. Life is full of choices.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    5:26pm
    The LNP is NOT planning to include the house in the assets test, but all suggestions that doing so MIGHT be considered recognise that it has to be done in a way that doesn't unreasonably disadvantage owners of modest homes.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:02pm
    Companies making profits in Australia are paying huge amounts in coproorate tax and payroll tax
    Not lot mention employing millions who also pay tax
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    7:58pm
    If that is true OGR then WHY does the LNP keep wanting to discuss the matter. Came up AGAIN a couple of months ago.
    This government is both untrustable (think Abbott!) and immoral. The will play this card. Not if, just when.
    You need to remember that rich Australians AND elected officials do not get 'the pension'. They have their own incomes stream. They will come after all self funded retirees in time.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:27am
    I agree the government is untrustworthy and immoral, Mick. But the alternative is worse. Both parties are out to slaughter the middle class and upper working class any way they can, and to feed the rich. The only difference is that Labor ALSO indulges the poor and the pretend poor, creating a welfare mentality - which is why they have more budget problems than the Libs, who ONLY indulge the upper class and is a little less vicious in their attack on the middle class - focusing their abuse on the lower middle class and upper working class.

    Make no mistake. BOTH parties would include the family home in the assets test if they thought they could get away with it.
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2018
    12:54am
    Absolutely correct, ronloby.

    OGR, your last statement "BOTH parties would include the family home in the assets test if they thought they could get away with it." is spot on - based on their track record of taking turns to hit retirees as a Tag Team. Also, once either of them does this, say in a nice way of putting the limit at say $2 Mill, the other party will come alone next time and cut that down to $500K or so!

    Retirees MUST join together and vote OUT all sitting MPs of Liberal, Labor & Greens MPs, by putting them LAST in preferences. At this point in history, there appears to be NO CHOICE left for Retirees in particular. It is also an opportunity for Retirees to be noticed as a key voting bloc if they do this.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:34am
    We're not interested in their employees paying their taxes - it is the tax companies are evading that is the problem...

    If they don't want to operate here they are always welcome to go and leave the market open for someone else who is happy to pay taxes as required.
    indi
    14th Dec 2018
    12:43pm
    Have just been informed by Centre Link, that after selling our home to down size and going for a new build Unit, that has overrun the estimated time for completion,
    and using up the extended time allowed for the moneys to pay for the new home. we will be not only loosing our part pension and medical card .we will have to re-apply after the purshase is completed, which could take some time to be granted .Being too old to have been able to put any into a super fund, from the sale of our home and paying rent for a long time waiting . we will find ourselves with a very small income from whats left of our super and drawing moneys from capital that was to pay for our new home. Downsizing is a trap for the unwarry and a minefield of problems with Centre Link
    Magic Touch
    14th Dec 2018
    1:28pm
    You are right it,s a trap and you were loose most of your money than you do nothing.
    Farside
    14th Dec 2018
    2:57pm
    It's not so much that downsizing is the trap but buying off the plan units. These transactions have been heavily stacked in favour of the developers for the past three decades and the purchaser has little recourse on issues like timing and workmanship if they want to be in the development. I recently sold a large family home and purchased one new unit and built one house. There is no doubt in my mind that buying off the plan has many traps for the unwary.
    Blinky
    14th Dec 2018
    12:44pm
    We are encouraged to put money into our super, only to find we are punished for it because it counts BOTH against our asset AND income test. Because the asset test is so low, they take 3 dollars off for every 1k dollars over that threshold. INCREASE the threshold to $ 600.000 that would REWARDthose who have worked hard to build a better pension and who have paid a lot of tax, as opposed to those who have mostly relied on the x most of their lives
    Blinky
    14th Dec 2018
    12:49pm
    Increase the asset threshold x pensioners. It's way too low. It should be at least $ 600 K. You see? We're encouraged to put money into our super only to find that some of that money ($3 x every $ 1k) is taken away from us when we're over the existing meagre threshold. That would reward those hard-working Aussies who worked, paid taxes and saved some super to build a better retirement nest.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:46pm
    You miss the point that Turnbull reduced the threshold for the assets test to KNOCK AS MANY SELF FUNDED RETIREES OFF A PART PENSION AS POSSIBLE. This was the guy who has most of his wealth in an offshore tax haven to avoid Australian taxes.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    4:41pm
    Correct Mick. And now Shorten wants to finish the demolition job, making those who were pushed off part pensions pay for the rest of their lives for ever having the temerity to save a few quid. And I don't suppose HE has most of his wealth in offshore tax havens? He certainly won't be sacrificing HIS franking credits though, will he. Greedy scum!
    Blinky
    14th Dec 2018
    12:55pm
    Stop helping people who've relied on welfare all their lives. Why not increase the asset threshold to $ 600k? That would reward Aussies who actually worked, paid taxes and built a small super. You see? If you have some super, you easily go over the threshold only to find they take $3 x every $1k over that threshold. It's highway robbery! Do dole bludgers and newstart recipients have a threshold?

    14th Dec 2018
    12:56pm
    The only thing that needs priority fixing is the bloody government!
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:47pm
    Coming soon. Don't throw petrol onto the fire. Please.
    Blinky
    14th Dec 2018
    12:58pm
    Stop helping people who've relied on welfare all their lives. Why not reward pensioners who've built some super by increasing the asset threshold to say $ 600k? If you've saved a little super it's easy to go ovet the existing meagre threshold.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:41pm
    Name them!
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    4:43pm
    You for example Trebor
    Lived off workers hard earned wages all your life
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:35am
    Not worth a reply - just a laugh.... how would you know anything? You're the bludger - you claim to live off the proceeds of the work of others without doing anything yourself...

    YOU are the one living off worker's hard earned wages all your life.... kid.
    BrianP
    14th Dec 2018
    1:17pm
    This flash poll is inadequate and missing the opportunity to receive constructive ideas to improve retirees standards of living and income.

    For example, more freedom for retirees to look after themselves by reducing tax or providing more tax incentives and free retraining so retirees can work from home or run small businesses if they are able to. This would improve their quality of life and allow them to contribute in a useful way as well.

    Those that are unable to do this would still be able to get higher pension rates and the Government would have less people to fund. There are plenty more ideas out there if you were interested in gathering them?
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:49pm
    You are living in a glass palace with mirrors Brian. The issue IS that retirees are at the top of the hit list because they hold a significant amount of wealth.....better known as their superannuation. Can't have retirees living off their investments can we!
    Thoughtful
    14th Dec 2018
    1:19pm
    As usual, I find myself conflicted with the opinions expressed in the article and in the comments section. This is because I have been in the situation of being unemployed at a late age , being forced to sell my house ( which still had a mortgage ) and using my superannuation to live on as I was not eligible for Newstart ( another story but nothing to do with assets ). Hence my opinion that our entire welfare system is flawed, certainly does not encompass every situation and needs tearing down . All of these bandaid fixes are just that. Newstart is not enough for somebody on their own to survive on but making seniors use their assets when unemployed forces them onto the age pension. We need to address the real problem of lack of "real" employment not only for seniors but for young people as well. "Bludgers" is a term I loathe when applied to all unemployed and shows a general lack of understanding the modern world. Whether a home should be included in the assets test or not, how can you possibly put a figure for a threshold given the great variation of house values depending on your location and a fluctuating market? As there appears to be no way to fix our current system, I find myself continually falling back on the idea of an universal pension ( and maybe Newstart - with some strings attached ) and no assets test but normal tax payable for any other income. Then we need to address the real issue of employment. We are kidding ourselves if we are living with the idea that there are enough permanent fulltime jobs to go around. No - a radical shift in thinking is required to address the problems of today's world and I certainly fail to see that coming from either side of politics.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    1:52pm
    Newstart was never meant as enough to survive on. That's who the pension age is being pushed up when older workers cannot get a job and they are then dumped on Newstart. The cheapest option for a decrepit government without a soul.
    Farside
    14th Dec 2018
    2:40pm
    @Thoughtful, I empathise with your circumstances and tend to agree with the points made however I think assets and income should be considered when accessing the welfare safety net. SFRs should not find themselves earning less than the pension and should be using assets top up until a threshold is reached. I am not opposed to the concept of UBI however that has a lot more complexity for implementation.

    The radical shift in thinking is coming in the next decades as millennials seek to redress entrenched intergenerational inequities. The only way to mitigate these changes will be through proper taxation of resources and an overhaul of income taxes and their enforcement, especially with multinationals.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    3:14pm
    "entrenched intergenerational inequities"?

    That's a lomg bow to draw Farside other than the the lack of full time jobs, engineered by the current government.
    You miss a lot:

    1. the bank of mum and dad, apparently the fourth largest lender to genY children so that they can get a home.
    2. the life choices made by millenials who want lifestyle AND a home. That was never an option for boomers. Nor was the 'easy' way of life enjoyed today.

    Whilst I agree with you about going after tax evaders from the mostly left alone big end of town I fail to see how millenials can blame their parents' generation for the ills of the world. They need to sort that out at the ballot box. Not with their parents who are mostly not to blame for the situation millenials find themselves in.
    Taxing resources? Does that mean anybody who has accumulated anything has to hand it back? Will do wonders for inheritances. Millenials better be careful lest they get what they deserve.
    Thoughtful
    14th Dec 2018
    3:41pm
    I was only using my own experiences as an example - not actually complaining. Farside I sincerely hope you are right about the millenials. I do not see how introducing a Universal Age Pension could be a problem. Medicare have our DOB's and bank details. SFR's would have that income over and above.

    Mick - there are intergenerational differences in thinking. I found this out recently when helping my recently widowed elderly mother. And the differences in thinking between us ( nothing to do with the "younger" generation ) were actually surprisingly numerous. We are all coloured by our own experiences and individual thinking.

    If I had the answer to all of this I would be in politics expounding the answers ( and feathering my own nest ) lol.
    Farside
    17th Dec 2018
    11:26am
    @Mick, you need to get out more and listen to mood of the millenials. As a demographic there values are so different to those of boomers and succeeding generations. an impost, they see the bank of mum and dad as a right rather than as a privilege (assuming mum and dad are able to lend to the kids).

    Resources = natural resources, like gas, minerals, coal etc.

    @Thoughtful, the problem with the UBI is not so much as knowing when to apply it but the be the changes that result, for example changes through cuts in salaries and wages to adjust, changes to safety nets, changes to taxes and so on. It is nevertheless one of those good once in a lifetime big ideas.
    Paddington
    14th Dec 2018
    2:14pm
    I chose to take the money from the tax evaders as there are still a lot of companies and super wealthy paying no tax.
    Leave the pensioners alone unless they are also wroughters and few are.
    A home in the middle of Sydney could be run down but still worth millions so leave people alone in their own homes to finish off their lives near family and support.
    Purchasing a multi million dollar home near retirement is a different story.
    We used up all our resources to buy a home 70 k from Melbourne but still has risen in value.
    New start must be liveable for all especially older people with little hope of getting employment.
    Some people still think a country is run like a home budget. It is not.
    SFR are not the only ones who paid taxes. Pensioners did too. One envying the other seems a bit silly to me. Get on the pension if you do not have enough income as it sounds like that would be doable if you are worse off than a pensioner. Part pension must be possible if you are getting so little.
    A single pensioner who rents definitely needs an increase and no they should not have to go and live in woop woop if they do not want to.
    People need access to family and friends and their networks they have spent a lifetime building.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    3:16pm
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-13/one-third-of-australian-companies-paid-no-tax-ato/10614916
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    5:22pm
    Showing your gross ignorance, Paddington. Sure, SFRs can get on the pension - by GIVING ALL THEIR SAVINGS AWAY TO THE TAXMAN AND HAVING NOTHING TO SHOW FOR DECADES OF HARD WORK.

    The system is WRONG. And it's time pensioner stopped making stupid assumptions and supported fixing it FAIRLY.

    SFRs aren't the only ones who paid taxes. They are just the ONLY ONES NOT GETTING A MILLION HANDED TO THEM IN RETURN. You pensioners get all yours back. But you continue with your selfish rants regardless.
    Paddington
    14th Dec 2018
    5:38pm
    OGR, surprise, surprise! You rose to the bait?!
    You are the one denigrating pensioners not the other way round!
    Some of the terms you have used are horrible.
    Who are you going to give it all away to? What consists of it all, anyway?
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:54pm
    The only people I denigrate, Paddington, are the selfish who wish hurt on others and support unfairness. I would NEVER denigrate someone for being a pensioner. I grew up on welfare. I endured hardship you could never imagine.

    I want FAIRNESS. I want people like YOU to stop excusing ROTTEN ATTACKS on good people who deserve better. I want to be allowed to preserve the benefits of having gone without holidays and luxuries to give to my disabled grandson, NOT to greedy pensioners who lived it up and bought expensive houses and DO NOT NEED MY MONEY - but will get it anyway if stinking Shorten has his way. STOP excusing it. Have some decency and stand up for what's FAIR.
    Sundays
    14th Dec 2018
    8:19pm
    How are they getting your money? You paid 46% tax on your earnings perhaps. Or do you mean pensioners will still get Franking Credits from the shares they purchased with their own money. Presumably with the after tax dollars they didn’t spend whooping it up. Yes, you may miss out. The same way those who were over the Asset test missed out, or those who are burnt out but have to wait until 67 to get the pension. It’s not fair but neither are your insults. How are they greedy just because they will be exempt from an unfair policy. Most pensioners did not buy expensive houses, they’ve just gone up in value. Again, not their faul. You don’t want fairness, you want others who you have judged by some ridiculous standard to receive nothing from the Government unless you have approved their deservedness! Please stop.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:45am
    Wish I'd earned enough to pay even close to 46%, Sundays. Never earned more than minimum wage. And I bought my shares with after tax dollars too.

    The greed is in supporting unfair policies - not being exempt. It's selfish to refuse to oppose unfairness because it doesn't hurt you. I opposed the assets test change (which didn't affect me at the time because I was still working). I opposed - and continue to oppose raising the retirement age, though it doesn't affect me.

    I don't want anyone JUDGED at all. And I don't want anyone to have to approve anyone else's deservedness. I just want selfish people to STOP excusing wrongs that hurt others unfairly.

    Labor wants to STEAL from me, while giving to people who have far more. I asked for support to oppose that. All I saw in response was pensioners screaming for more and declaring Labor's policy was quite acceptable, because it WON'T HURT THEM.
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    3:25pm
    Well OGR, I started with nothing. Left school early, had crap jobs but later I was able to go to Uni and while working full time got a degree. Good jobs followed and I paid 46% tax for years. I have a very comfortable retirement due to my own initiative. No hand outs, no inheritances. However, I just cannot understand your stance against pensioners. Those who are able to top up their pension with super you call rorters. I actually don’t hear any pensioner criticising you as much as you do them. I know what the OAP gives people and it’s a pittance. I know how to budget and could manage, but the stress of trying to plan for unforeseen events would take its toll. Good on them.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:46pm
    You are twisting my words again, Sundays. I DO NOT call those who are able to top up their pension with super ''rorters', and I do NOT have any 'stance against pensioners'. I have NEVER objected to anyone getting a pension. I call people like BigBear rorters - people who give millions away and buy a multi-million dollar mansion. I call my neighbours who are man and wife but live in a duplex and claim single pension rorters.

    The vast majority of pensioners have a lot more than the pension to live on. And the concessions and benefits they get add up very nicely also. That's fine. Good luck to them. My objection is PURELY AND SOLELY to the selfish people who insist pensioners are the ONLY ones entitled to consideration and fair dealing. Supporting the demolition of other people's income just because they are not pensioners is SELFISH. Being a pensioner doesn't make it necessary to wish hurt on others, nor to justify wrongs. As for the pension being a ''pittance'' - it's a hell of a lot more than I live on, and more than I EVER HAVE.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    10:54pm
    Lots of shouting in your comments here OGR.
    KB
    14th Dec 2018
    2:26pm
    Aged pensions should be for people living in Australia not for retirees who have decided to live overseas because life is cheaper. Aged pension is meant for retirees who have a modest income not the wealthy. Money needs to be redirected to people who really need a helping hand.
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    3:15pm
    Pensioners living overseas might save us a lot of Medicare expenses, think about that KB. No free doctors visits, subsidised medicines council rates reductions as well as no rent assistance. So I wish them good luck if they reckon the grass is greener in Asia. The only advantage I could possibly see - harder to asset and income test them.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    3:18pm
    That's a bet each way KB. After a lifetime of work perhaps that is a bit tough. Kind of like saying to somebody who has paid their taxes all of their life that they should have everything taken off them because they own something.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    5:18pm
    That's the message I'm hearing, Mick. If you are diligent and responsible, you owe the nation a huge debt and should struggle to live off your savings in retirement, suffer denigration and shunning based on assumptions that you somehow got more than your fair share earlier in life, and accept that you are fair game for every unfair political policy... but if you are less diligent and responsible, you get $1 million++++ dollar reward, courtesy of the taxpayer and the right to a ton of sympathy and to claim ENTITLEMENT because you ''paid your taxes''.

    I'm over it. I paid my taxes too - but I just keep getting shafted. And the ''entitled'' brigade keep demanding more based on their ASS-U-MEs about others. KB, you are an ASS. Sorry! But it's true. Nobody KNOWS who needs a helping hand and who doesn't. They just make wild and baseless ASSUMPTIONS - mostly designed to support claims that THEY should get more.
    BERRYUPSET
    14th Dec 2018
    2:28pm
    pensions Just aren`t adequate enough !They only allow for meagre existence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Farside
    14th Dec 2018
    2:43pm
    aged pension is still better than Newstart yet living costs are the same. If a pension allows only a meagre existence then what sort of existence does Newstart allow? Any pensioner that thinks themselves hard done by should try going a month on Newstart and then choose which they prefer.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    3:19pm
    I wish BERRYUPSET.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:46pm
    More like government ministers should get by on the dole for a month with no add-ons...

    Get up in the morning after a night under a tree in Canberra, wash at the local toilet, walk to Parliament... you know the drill...
    musicveg
    15th Dec 2018
    9:06pm
    Yes Farside, there are very few here who comment know the real reality of living on the meagre Newstart, whether you rent or have a mortgage. And the near impossibility of getting work when you are over 50.
    BERRYUPSET
    14th Dec 2018
    2:28pm
    pensions Just aren`t adequate enough !They only allow for meagre existence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Retired Knowall
    14th Dec 2018
    4:39pm
    When did you realise that?
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:56pm
    And what sort of existence SHOULD they allow for, Berryupset? Better than that enjoyed byt struggling workers and those who paid tax for a lifetime and still saved enough to get NOTHING from the taxpayer, but be cheated out of their income by Labor telling lies about franking credits?

    Why should my children pay for pensioners to have a better existence than I do being self-supported in retirement - and, for that matter, a better existence than a lot of working Australians who are raising kids and paying tax?
    Rae
    15th Dec 2018
    9:13am
    Pensioners are not leading meagre existences judging by observations at the local shops and clubs. They are spending on a daily basis. When that stops then pensions will rise I expect to prop up business once again.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    2:13pm
    I agree, Rae. I'm sure there are some who are struggling, because they have nothing but the pension or because they are very poor managers. I honestly don't know a pensioner (and I know hundreds) who isn't WAY better off than I am - and always has been. I get very tired of the griping - especially from those who refuse to support complaints about the unfairness many of those who don't get pensions are suffering.

    I lost a loved one recently who lived on a pension. She'd had a hard life, and never had much. Darling lady! Every time she saw me she used to say ''Thank you for my pension. I hope life is being as kind to you as you are to me. I couldn't get by without the generosity of taxpayers, and it angers me that some work very hard and don't live as well as I do.'' She said that to every taxpayer she met. When she drew her pension out at the bank, she used to say to the tellers ''Thank you for paying tax so I can have this money every fortnight.''

    Pensioners could learn a lot from her. She lived very well, with people doing all kinds of kindnesses for her because she was so grateful.

    I keep suggesting that if we all joined forces for a common goal, we would all get on better. But the response is always ''pensioners should have more''. Never ''let's ALL stand for a fairer deal for EVERYONE.''
    Ted Wards
    14th Dec 2018
    2:33pm
    Yes the big end of town needs to pay but what about religions?
    Retired Knowall
    14th Dec 2018
    4:40pm
    Yes, they should be taxed, and then charged with Fraud.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:03pm
    Agreed. Especially after the Royal Commission into priests and the corporate structures many religious organisations have taken on including the Catholic Church having poker machine interests.
    Churches or servants of the devil? Your call.
    musicveg
    15th Dec 2018
    9:10pm
    Yes Ted, there are many very wealthy religious groups exempt from paying tax and they own a lot of businesses and properties, that exemption must be looked at because I am thinking there must be a lot of shifty deals with hiding the money. Anyone can start a religion and become tax free too.
    Oznorm
    14th Dec 2018
    2:56pm
    Increase all welfare payments to the level of the minimum wage. Then we will all be in the same boat. Those that are working will have the opportunity to better themselves and earnmore than the minimum. Those on Newstart could be compelled to accept any employment paying the minimum.(In the UK many years ago if you were sent for a Job and did not accept it when offered you would lose your payment). The Aged Pensioners and disabled would be able to live the life that they deserve after working to make this country what it is today. Rent assistance would be nice but may not be necessary if we received a decent living payment.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    3:21pm
    The argument would be 'look at the size of the welfare bill'. It is already significant but would be ok if the top end of town and multinationals paid their taxes as mandates rather than engage in crooked conduct which is 'legal' despite being morally abhorrent.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:45pm
    Wow. And the SFRs can go get stuffed, I suppose, since vast numbers of them could never hope to get anywhere near the minimum wage - or even the current age pension. But let's take their franking credit refunds away and give everyone on welfare heaps more, shall we?

    Lose your payment if you don't accept a job. And what if the job offer is totally unsuitable? The problem with that is bureaucrats have no idea. I've seen men walk off a job that was thoroughly crippling physically because a female boss sat on a veranda with a fan on her, sipping champagne, and screaming abuse at the workers. I saw someone quit because the boss threw pay packets at the employees yelling ''I can't make a profit because I have to pay you bastards''. I've seen an employer put lives at grave risk breaking WHS laws. Did anyone report? Nope! Too scared of losing their benefits. (Yes, it happens here!). I saw a C/link officer assess a 64-year-old with a major back injury, injured shoulders and PTSD as fit for work when he'd never done anything but heavy labouring, and declare he didn't qualify for benefits. You think we should introduce a system that permits that kind of abuse?
    musicveg
    15th Dec 2018
    9:13pm
    OGR it is really sad how people are being treated, the stories are not main news, no one hears about it because people are too scared and also think no one cares.
    Retired Knowall
    19th Dec 2018
    5:37pm
    Yes lets increase the Welfare payments to the minimum wage.
    What are you going to do when you can't fill jobs paying the minimum wage because you can get the same staying at home? Oh I see, raise the minimum wage by some 20% to incentivise the unemployed to get a job. another good Idea.
    But wait, goods and services start to increase due to the increase in Labour costs and we have to Import more overseas workers. Our Entitled Welfare recipients again cry out that they can't manage and demand an increase to the minimum wage.
    Corporations move their operations overseas and our manufacturing jobs disappear..sound familiar?
    But our experts on this forum, most on welfare for obvious reasons continue their dribble.
    Animal Farm In Action.
    chad
    14th Dec 2018
    3:25pm
    Actually i would not exclude any amount from the value of the residential home ,however I would increase the assets threshhold by a maximum of say$750,000.
    Blossom
    14th Dec 2018
    3:39pm
    The average (especially the original family home should nit be asset tested. It is not their fault that its value has risen so much. I know a house that was valued at $37500.00 in 1981 that 5 years ago was valued at over $600,000. The owners are now elderly and don't want the stress of selling and moving house.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:37pm
    Then take a reverse mortgage. Why should someone with a much less valuable home and a little more invested have a lower income and less overall wealth?

    I don't agree with the assets test at all. I think only income and deemed income should be tested if there's any test at all, but the family home SHOULD be included in assessing deemed income, just with a very generous OVERALL threshold to eliminate the current discrimination between owners of expensive homes and others who choose to allocate their wealth across other assets.
    Paddington
    14th Dec 2018
    10:14pm
    What other assets OGR? $600,000 is no longer a luxury home. As stated by Blossom it is not a luxury home the old couple now own. It probably needs work as well after all that time.
    Reverse mortgage? That is a dreadful idea and if the home is in a bad state of repair it would have quite a bit deducted from the $600,000. Once you give the bank a piece of your home they actually own it.
    We were told that years ago. People have lost their homes doing that.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:34am
    But Paddington, you support someone with an even more modest home but self-supporting being deprived. Why are pensioners so PRIVILEGED and those who support themselves a fair target fort
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    11:07am
    Paddington, I don't understand how anyone can think it fair to punish people for choosing a more modest home and trying to be self-supporting. It's not about what is or isn't an expensive home or how it came to be valuable. It's about the fact that people who settled for low value homes and tried to be self-supporting as far as possible are suffering for having done so, and Labor will make them suffer more. It's about the fact that it's NOT good for the country to reward people for being more dependant on the taxpayer and punish those who strive to avoid burdening the younger generation.

    I don't actually think ANYONE should have to take a reverse mortgage. Nor do I think the family home should be included in an assets test. But I think it's time those who benefit from the current wrongful system stopped demanding more for those who already benefit and started supporting calls for a system that is fair to those who have had a raw deal - rather than excusing the Labor Party's further unfair and cruel attack.

    Blossom is arguing that a pensioner shouldn't suffer because their house rose in value. But it's apparently perfectly acceptable for a non-pensioner to suffer because they chose to invest in something other than the family home. So YOUR choice is acceptable and should be rewarded, but mine is not? Is that how it works? Or are you just too obtuse to see that you are being patently unfair?
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    3:53pm
    That’s nonsense OGR. Blossoms example is a house purchased in 1981 for $37,500 as a family home is hardly an investment. It’s now, over 35 years later worth $600k. In Sydney and Melbourne that would be a starter home. I’m sure they would also love all your investments, be grateful they had them and not continually denigrate others
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    4:19pm
    Sundays, how the hell would you know who would love my investments? You make an ASS of yourself with your assumptions. They might actually find that the loss of the pension caused great hardship, given that the investments are not saleable and aren't returning well. But it takes empathy and respect to consider that possibility. So much more satisfying to make assumptions and attack, isn't it Sundays?

    I'm not denigrating Blossom. I'm saying Paddington is patently unfair because he supports assessing investments differently and punishing people for choosing investments other than the family home. The government does as well. It's wrong and it's unfair.

    It's not about the value of the home or how that value grew or didn't grow. It's about the unfairness of the system and the attitude of people who attack anyone who highlights it. Don't dare suggest supporting reform - no matter how beneficial it might be for the majority. Paddington is okay - so leave things as they are and let him continue to attack anyone who suggests lobbying for change.
    moke
    14th Dec 2018
    3:45pm
    I believe a good way to help pensioners would be to exempt them from GST etc just pay the basic price of everything. Most have paid taxes all of their life and just an insurance premium includes fire service levy GST Stamp duty so a bill for $1252.33 includes $166.77 Fire Service \Levy,$104.45 GST & $103.40 Stamp Duty that is only household insurance when other basics are included that alone would help living quality
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:34pm
    Oh dear. Here we go again. 'Pensioners' paid tax, so give them more handouts. Don't suppose the self-funded who are getting kicked in the teeth paid any? No. Stuff them. Just give more handouts to those who are already getting heaps.
    Paddington
    14th Dec 2018
    10:23pm
    OGR, did moke mention SFRs? No, he did not. He/she just put forward some ideas relevant to this discussion as to whether the pension should be raised. Some pensioners are obviously struggling more than others. No one is attacking your money situation.
    Pensioners are not even envious of you because they are too busy budgeting themselves.
    It is not another opportunity for you to bash pensioners which you deny but you keep doing.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:38am
    Everything I read here is about pensioners wanting more, Paddington. And you are among the worst offenders. Excused the Labor Party's unfairness by telling everyone it was okay because pensioners were exempt. Not a thought at all for those who will suffer unfairly because they were a little more responsible with their earnings.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:51pm
    Rainey, Rainey - most people now on pension worked and paid taxes all their lives and still do every time they spend.. there is ZERO difference in principle between SFRs and Pensioners when it comes to paying tax. MAYBE an SFR pays a little income tax.. which means they are already on more than a pension... you need to earn $18,200 + Seniors Offset, which amounts to nearly $35k p.a. before paying tax.

    If you pay more tax on purchases etc, lucky you for having the discretionary income to buy.

    If your total income is spread between two people and is thus lower than dual pension - that is bad management. If, for instance, you cop $35k split - you only get $17,500 each... but you won't be paying any more tax than someone on pension - no income tax on $17,500.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:19pm
    Sorry Trebor, but you are WRONG. SFR's paid tax all their lives also, and now pay indirect taxes from their own money - not from money that's handed to them by the taxpayer every fortnight.

    Pensioners get $1 million of the tax they paid given back to them. Big difference! Huge!

    And how the hell is it 'bad management' to earn less than $34,000 a year on $840,000 - including non-returning personal and household assets, working cash and car? The government says the average return on investment is 5%. On $750,000, that's $37500 minus admin costs (my financial adviser charges $4600 per annum and the accountant and auditor $1100 between them). You only have to have one investment perform poorly to fall below the average - and in case you hadn't notices, the markets are doing very badly right now. Banks and Telstra have fallen through the floor.

    And in any case, $31800 for a couple is a hell of a lot LESS than the pension, even if you don't take benefits and concessions into account.

    Now, if Shorten has his way, SFRs will lose up to 30% of their GROSS returns. Thankfully, my DI doesn't quite add up to $11250 because not all my investments are in shares that pay franked dividends. But I will lose around $8000, reducing my net income to $23800 between two of us. DON'T TELL ME THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SFRs and PENSIONERS. That's BS! There's a difference of around $40,000 a year now, and Shorten will increase it substantially.

    There is only one CORRECT way to assess tax paid over a lifetime, and that's to add up all the tax paid and deduct all the benefits, refunds and rebates received. Most OAPs will end up paying NIL, whereas most SFRs will end up paying hundreds of thousands. My total would actually be quite low, because I never earned more than minimum wage and neither did my partner. We made our money selling houses we built or renovated, and we saved well. But the fact remains that we are now paying indirect tax out of our savings, while pensioners are paying their out of their fortnightly gift from the taxpayer.

    That's fine. I don't have any issue with people getting pensions. Good luck to them. I'll qualify when I my savings erode a little more - but the treacherous Shorten has declared I can NEVER get franking credits because I wasn't a pensioner in March 2018.

    What I have an issue with is people endorsing the Labor Party's unfairness and supporting the demolition of the lifestyles of people who are already contributing more than enough, and who, in many cases, are struggling.

    Shorten isn't taking from people with more than $1.6 million, nor from high salary earners. And he isn't touching the millionaire pensioners either. Only the battlers - poorer SFRs and low wage earners. I think the Labor trolls here could have the decency to acknowledge that it's wrong.

    To justify Shorten's policy on the grounds that it doesn't affect pensioners is PURE SELFISHNESS.
    KeWi
    14th Dec 2018
    4:02pm
    I believe that there is something wrong when a person with $1,000,000 assets can get the full pension when another person with the same amount in assets gets no pension just because of what the assets are - the first has a $1,000,000 house, the other has $1,000,000 cash in the bank.

    So increase the asset test amount significantly (by an amount 'equal' to a house) and then include the home in the test. This way 'downsizers' are not penalised and those with the same total value of assets are treated the same.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:32pm
    Abolish the assets test completely and test the higher of income or deemed income, deeming ALL assets including the house but with a generous threshold, and ensuring there are special provisions for those in difficult circumstances due to having assets they can't realize. The current system is patently unfair and creates hardship for many who are assessed as having assets but in reality cannot convert those assets to cash nor earn an income from them.

    I was at one stage seriously disadvantaged by an assessment that I had a $280,000 block of land, but I couldn't sell it or build on it due to a council planning stuff up. Took 18 months and $180K of legal bills to sort out the mess. Bad luck, says Cnl Centrelink! We say it's worth money so you lose!
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    5:20pm
    Could go along with that KeWi. Live in a modest unit and already I am allowed about $200'000 less in assets than a renter and he gets rent assistance on top. Do not blame the young for not wanting to get on the home-owning treadmill if they get treated like this in old age. Whatever happens to the saving oldies in older years are noted by the children and grandchildren, make no mistake about that!
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    5:28pm
    Correct, Cowboy Jim, which is why the aged pension system is going to continue to cost way more than it should. People will plan to be pensioners rather than tolerate the unfairness the self-funded are suffering. And that will mean more pressure to REDUCE pensions. But pensioners are too selfish to think past ''I want more now so take it off them''.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:06pm
    The system has been tightened too much to the point where it is ridiculous. The current government is cheering because it can pay out less money to retirees and redirect this to tax cuts for the wealthy. It is what it is.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:47am
    But the stupidity of it is that it can ONLY cost more to make it futile to save and reward those who don't. DUMB. And BOTH parties have the same STUPID mentality.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:53pm
    How would you go about determining the value of each individual house?
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2018
    1:05am
    Your confusion is because the Assets test itself is blatantly wrong, and shouldn't be there. It was always a BAD idea, and is now causing excessive harm to some people as well as undesirable behaviour by others. Best to scrap it altogether, or better still scrap all tests, and give Universal Age Pension based only on Age (65 yrs) and Residency (say15 years).

    BTW - trying to include the value of your House is fraught with problems - besides it depending on where you live (may be based on many factors, and not an easy choice to alter for many unlike for Cowboy Jim), and Trebor's point, what is to stop the Tag Team of Liberal & Labor taking turns to tighten it every time they want to reduce the Age Pension bill? You surely know their track record?
    Willfish
    14th Dec 2018
    4:14pm
    I worked for employment agencies for many years, and still do some consultancy in that field. There is never NO JOBS. There is always a turnover of jobs in the job market. In periods of low employment (such as now) those with some marketable skills and/or qualifications can compete for and obtain jobs. The young and those with low education and low job skills will always struggle to find stable employment, even in periods of low unemployment. There are very few who really dont want to work. Unfortunately there are also many who have been unemployed for (sometimes many) years, who are now "deconditioned" (got used to failure and have given up looking for work). Being unemployed is demoralising and leads to many personal and social problems. We need incentives to encourage job seekings, and penalties for those who make no effort to find employment. Unfortunately there are few penalties, and a small minority of unemployment will settle into a lifestyle of not working. It is easy to make disparaging comments about those who are unemployed, it is difficult if not impossible to find employment for everyone, even in periods of low unemployment.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:25pm
    Nice to see a balanced view, Willfish. You are absolutely right. But very few understand the ''deconditioned'' or the demoralising nature of repeated failure. Compound repeated failure with a history of being put down and told you are worthless, and/or a history of suffering social injustice, and it becomes almost impossible to trust either yourself or the system, let alone to believe an employer will ever give you a fair go. We need incentives. We need to be very careful of penalties. It's too easy to misjudge. But more than anything else, we need compassionate mentors who have the ability to truly understand the issues and can offer GENUINE help. That's currently lacking in most employment agencies and certainly in Centrelink, and most definitely in society in general.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:27pm
    We also need to move away from the focus on formal qualifications and introduce ways for people who don't have them to demonstrate their ability. Let's start recognising and rewarding talent, skill, innovation, diligence and loyalty ahead of pieces of paper that really say nothing other than that someone was fortunate enough to be able to sit in a classroom.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:22pm
    No jobs. Then why have we over 1.3 million overseas workers in this country with only 700,000 unemployed? Looks to me like that 700,000 don't want to work. Sure give them more money and we will have to import more workers as many more wont want to work then either.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:48pm
    Obviously skills mismatching and psychological disability is way beyond your very limited comprehension OG. You SHOULD have been unemployed all your life, because you have very little intelligence and no capacity for empathy.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    7:39pm
    OGR I have been unemployed most of my life as I haven't had a job. I have made good use of my time which has certainly paid dividends. Good management is the key where you put money away for the bad times so you can enjoy the good times when they come around again. That's what people should do when they have a job too.

    It is more like people don't want to work in any old job as they have their noses way too far in the air for that.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:08pm
    No OG. The jobs are NOT offered to Australians other than the farm jobs which pay $18 an hour with the farmer then taking money out of that for board and food. Australians are not mugs or slaves.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:36am
    I read an open letter from a job seeker to an employer the other day. He wrote to thank the employer for being the FIRST, after 389 job applications, to actually have the courtesy to reply in any form. No wonder some people get sick of applying.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:54pm
    .. and most job vacancies are filled by people already 'in the business'.... just shuffle from one spot to another.. newbies can't get a foot in the door without experience etc...
    musicveg
    15th Dec 2018
    9:19pm
    Good comment Willfish from someone on the inside, not from someone who 7s looking from the outside and judging unemployed. I would also suspect that many are scared of jobs because they lose confidence in the system, if you end up unemployed again for whatever reason, it takes too long to get Newstart again.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:27pm
    OG, you are NOT unemployed if you are earning a living by investing or in business and not hunting for a job. And it might be good management to put money away for the bad times - but first you have to have money to put away. Try walking in the shoes of those who enter the workforce at 15 with NOTHING and NOBODY to help them, no education, no skills... psychologically damaged by being continually put down because they were born on the wrong side of the tracks, and unable to trust a system that has persecuted their family.

    Try supporting kids on one minimum wage - with medical bills a mile high for a sick child. You don't get to HAVE anything to put away for the bad times. You are lucky if you can manage food and shelter.

    Your arrogance is unbelievable! People like you should be stripped of everything and put in the poor house for a few years. Just might make you human! Probably not!
    Retired Knowall
    19th Dec 2018
    5:46pm
    Fact Check, in general, unemployed Australians were not in competition with the holders of Temporary Skills Shortage visas, who made up less than 1 per cent of the Australian workforce and tended to be at the higher-skilled end of the labour force.

    Where there was less regulation of working rights, visa holders were more likely to work in low-skilled casual or part-time jobs.

    "In general, the Australian social security rules make it very difficult for unemployed Australians to take temporary, casual [or] part-time jobs, so students are not competing with unemployed Australians," he said.

    "The problem for the unemployed is not competition from other workers (Australian or migrant) but their lack of skills."
    rodex
    14th Dec 2018
    4:29pm
    Jus one thing---Make the lazy buggers work for the dole
    Retired Knowall
    14th Dec 2018
    4:43pm
    What about a Green Army?
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    4:53pm
    Just one thing, rodex. How do you define a ''lazy bugger''? Have you ever been on the other side of the equation - DESPERATE for work but suffering abuse, injustice, hatred, denigration, and NEVER EVEN A FRAGMENT OF OPPORTUNITY.

    No. You just judge. Easy to do when you know NOTHING about the person you are presuming to judge.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:10pm
    I would support dole recipients having to work 2 or 3 days a week for the dole. Penalty for not turning up or not doing a fair day's work is unemployment benefits withdrawn immediately.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    2:27pm
    So would I Mick, as long as the work is appropriate and there are no cruel demands on them, and they are treated with respect.

    I knew someone once who was made to work for the dole erecting and dismantling tents for a party hire company. It was hideously hard work and in a very hot climate. The company owner used to scream abuse at the workers all day long. Slapped a water bottle out of the hand of one because ''it's not bloody morning tea time - get back to work''. Wouldn't even allow them to go to the toilet except at gazetted breaks. That kind of thing can't be permitted, but the problem is that when they lose their benefit for not working, they are too damned scared to raise complaint. This is what we need to be wary of when creating work for the dole programs. The concept is right, but unfortunately it only takes a few vile people to make it unworkable.

    I saw the other side of the equation when I visited a St Vinnie's store where someone convicted of minor crime was doing community service as penance. The lady in charge was patiently coaching him, helped him find accommodation, posted a bond, gave him food parcels and clothing, and set out a budget for him. She told him if he kept working when his sentence was done she would arrange some counselling sessions to help him build confidence and identify where his strengths lay, get her son to help him prepare a resume and job applications, and give him a good reference. Two years later, he turned up well dressed and presented a business card identifying him as a rep for an engineering company and he handed her a cheque in full repayment of the bond and value of the food and clothing he'd been given. He said she was the first person who had not looked down on him, and because she believed in him, he had set out to prove himself worthy of her faith.

    OG and Rodex could learn a lot from her.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:55pm
    Politicians work for the dole? They'd never come at that!

    How many jobs can we put you down for, rodex.... and while we're at it - CANCEL CHRISTMAS!
    musicveg
    15th Dec 2018
    9:22pm
    No I do not support work for the dole, too many employers take advantage of it, and it does not give unemployed the confidence to get real jobs, and if the work for dole jobs are there why not just give them a real job with proper wages, work for the dole is another form of slavery and big business profit from it.
    Old Man
    14th Dec 2018
    4:39pm
    Here we go again, the loony left running off at the mouth once more. They argue that pensions/Newstart whatever are too low but won't tell us by how much. They claim that "rich" people shouldn't be allowed to get a pension without defining "rich. They want pensions for all but, of course, not "rich" people. Lies are spread about taxation with mythical "they" are not paying enough tax. Again, these claims are open ended with no real solution as to how much "they" should pay. The government gets a bagging because everything is their fault and the time Labor spent in government and didn't fix taxation is overlooked. I love this site, so unbiased and even handed and a pleasure to come in and discuss logically with others who can see both sides of an argument.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:18pm
    Its like defining the poverty line. It is different for everyone.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:11pm
    You are playing your normal game OM. Never changes.
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    10:01am
    Is OM Lothario in disguise?.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:40am
    No - Lothario/diablo/olbaid is a kid with a serious problem... he's a troll and a flamer.. never really looks at what people says - just attacks them to start an argument.. that's called 'flaming' on the internet, and deserves banishment.

    He vanished as olbaid (reverse diablo) and came back as Lothario - a laughable title suggesting he is a mad shagger of countless women..

    Only a kid would even consider such a name on a serious discussion site... and his mama ain't keeping him under control with his computer....
    kinkakuji
    14th Dec 2018
    4:40pm
    I started to pay taxes in 1957 Newstart and another benefits shoud be a same as then. O.So I paid my dues. Arrived by boat , they told me if you don't work don't eat. Fifty diferent ways you can
    ger money from this government. One pension.
    Cowboy Jim
    14th Dec 2018
    5:23pm
    Came here 13 years later, same deal. Got off my ass and achieved something - them days you had to get out of bed to get a feed. To get any help you had to go cap-in-hand.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2018
    1:28pm
    Oh you dreadful person, Cowboy Jim. Don't you know it's a crime to work and save? Now you must suffer for that.

    14th Dec 2018
    5:29pm
    Labor pork barreling will leave us in over $1 trillion in debt when they get kicked out in 3 years

    Oh and don’t mention the massive unemployment and our budget in tatters
    Leave newstart and OAP pensions as is . We can not afford to pay bludgers and those who didn’t save enormous welfare to live in luxury
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:17pm
    I agree.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:14pm
    The government trolls making their usual nonsense statements.

    What we cannot afford to do is sell our jobs overseas, turn real jobs into casual work and give the wealthy more and more of the national wealth.
    That is what you trolls represent. Miserable souls. May the Lord have mercy on your worthless souls!
    Rae
    15th Dec 2018
    9:38am
    Yes those who did upgrade housing over and over as their investment strategy should actually use that investment money. I chose to buy income producing assets and so get no pension, concessions or any other help from the taxpayers.

    In fact on one investment in super my non concessional amount of 48% is deemed only 10% denying me a concession card just because I chose to create income instead of accumulating fancy stuff.

    The LNP have been bad and the ALP may very well be worse for those who are Independent of taxpayer largess.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:57pm
    Got your workings on that mythical trillion yet???? ..... we're still waiting... though I know you hate to be held up by having to produce facts and not just empty scare-mongering rhetoric.

    I'm surprised anyone continues to respond to your silly posts.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:41am
    Still waiting, bludger who lives of the work of wage earners.... where are your figures to prove Labor policies will run debt up to a trillion....

    No answer?

    I knew not... but everyone else needed to know it to, kid.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    6:27am
    I don't know what level of debt Labor might or might not rack up, Trebor - or where the LNP would take us if they are re-elected. I have no confidence in either side. But I know that you can't make a country prosperous by destroying the middle and upper working class and increasing handouts every direction - and sadly that's Labor's game. The LNP has been at it too, of late. Sad, because they used to be more responsible. No more!

    Labor has always had a handout mentality. It has always persecuted those with initiative and drive. It has never supported practical, common sense solutions to problems. It pretends to care about the underdog, but in reality it does no more than pay lip service to the notion of equality. In Labor's view, equality is the right of the favoured few. 'Rights' belong to the select, not to all, and they are not accompanied by responsibilities. It also favours the immoral and works to destroy the family unit and community values, and its family and community that underpins prosperity.

    We need people to succeed. It may irk us to see Joe Blow with his millions paying fancy accountants to reduce his tax bill, and it's certainly a sad indictment of him - a reflection of his lack of integrity. We SHOULD tax him fairly. But if we take his millions away and give them to Fred Nirk, who has never done anything productive to earn them, we wreck the society. I know it irks poor pensioners to see other retirees with healthy bank balances, but destroying them makes more poor pensioners. Giving generously to people who evidence a specified level of hardship makes more poor people. Single parents and divorced aged pensioners get more, so let's live apart! People with $50,000 less get countless thousands more in benefits, so lets spend $50,000 on a cruise. People who put their money into flash houses get tens of thousands more than people who buy modest homes and invest, so lets take our money out of shares and buy a flash house. It isn't good for society. It isn't good for the economy.

    I suspect either side of politics will drive the national debt to trillions before long, if we let them. I wish I knew how to stop them. I only know that wiping out the ability of battlers to invest profitably in Australian companies will have hideous consequences. And if that's the best Labor has to offer - and it can do no better than justify it with blatant lies and stubborn refusal to even listen to objections - we cannot risk a Labor Government. We need investment for growth. We need battlers to have hope and incentives. We need less dependency, not more - and that can only be achieved by rewarding independence.

    Ultimately, the best thing we can do for the disadvantaged is create prosperity, so there is more to go around. We did it successfully for decades. We built and grew, and welfare provision increased. Labor wants to tear it all down, and in the short term it MIGHT give the disadvantaged more (though their speech on Newstart suggests not!) but in the medium to long term, there will be nothing left to give.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    6:29pm
    Government can improve the pension system by making sure each dollar is spent wisely. So bring in that welfare card ASAP so we can monitor it.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:46pm
    And take away the dignity of everyone who ever fell on hard times. NO BLOODEY WAY. Only the vilest and most selfish SCUM would support that proposal.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:51pm
    Oh don’t be so melodramatic
    The card will help government gather data regarding pensioner spending enabling better planning and assistance to the needy
    Where is the loss of dignity ?
    You mean those who go to the bottle shop will be shamed to used their card but not cash ???
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    6:56pm
    No Lothario. I mean those who can't buy what they NEED because not every merchant can afford to accept cards. I mean those who are embarrassed to have everyone know that they are on welfare and would like to just be treated with respect.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:16pm
    Government can improve the pension system by collecting taxes from their mates (wealthy citizens and multinationals) who can choose to not pay tax. Can't offend the donors to the party slush fund can we.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    4:59pm
    No more merciful beheadings.. throw the scraps for the orphans from the kitchen into a bin... and CANCEL CHRISTMAS!

    OG has spoken.... and it's not welfare here.... use the correct terminology....
    musicveg
    15th Dec 2018
    9:25pm
    Welfare card is not what is needed, that just makes more profit for big business, you won't be able to buy your honey from your local beekeeper for example or go to a farmers market, you cannot buy second hand goods either, how on earth are you supposed to clothe yourself and buy furniture etc.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:35pm
    That would suit elitists like OG, musicveg. They get off on feeling superior and keeping the less advantaged down, out and begging.
    BundyGil
    14th Dec 2018
    6:34pm
    If people think the current government will look after them if they find themselves unemployed, which is pretty much a given as they get older these days or when they retire, must have rocks in their heads.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    7:31pm
    No government will support them as they are a revenue drain like everyone else on welfare.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:17pm
    Nothing near as bad as the wealthy leeches like yourself and other well heeled citizens OG. You ARE the problem.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    5:01pm
    So is every other facet of government spending a drain on revenues, as is selling off revenue incurring strands to 'private industry', OG - but I suppose you just don't want to see that...

    Scrub the subsidies for childcare (which IS welfare) and baby bonuses (which iswelfare) and PPL (which is welfare)... and we'll all be in roses...
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    7:32pm
    Statistics from Centrelink show that people are not spending down their assets so that means that they are getting more than enough already in their welfare payments. No need to increase it at all.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:18pm
    People who have organised their affairs do not need to spend themselves into destitution. This does not mean they are not entitled to a pension top up. THE PENSION IS PAID TO ALL IN OTHER COUNTRIES so spin your 'entitlement' BS.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:37am
    No, OG. It means no such thing. It means they are planning for higher expenses in later life; preserving savings for expected health costs, aged care and household help when they can no longer manage the chores. It means they are conscious that they might have another 3 decades of inflation and uncertain economic times to get through. It means that some of them went without SPECIFICALLY because their children and grandchildren had special needs they wanted to help meet, and they SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE BENEFIT FROM THEIR OWN FAMILY SO THE GOVERNMENT CAN HAND IT TO TOTAL STRANGERS - many of whom have been irresponsible, or are actually much better off, but good manipulators (like
    BigBear, whose unethical conduct you applaud).

    The pension should be universal so that there is strong incentive to work and live responsibly. Punishing people for being responsible is STUPID and IT'S DESTROYING SOCIETY. The national debt is a result of TOO MANY PEOPLE BEING IRRESPONSIBLE BECAUSE THEY ARE PUNISHED FOR DOING WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE NATION.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    5:02pm
    So you'd prefer that those thrown out of work spend down all their assets, have nothing on which to rebuild, and start work again with nothing, and then end up on full pension at retirement?

    You are frankly insane, OG. No sense at all in your comments today... take the pills...
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    6:54am
    Trebor, OG can't stand the thought that others might achieve financial comfort and give their kids a better life. He's an elitist who wants to be lord and master looking down his nose at all the ''inferior'' folk, and able to exploit them for his own gain. He wants the majority to be desperate for the crumbs under his table and willing to do almost anything to get a few, because it feeds his ego and makes him feel powerful. There are, sadly, quite a few in our society like him. Almost all politicians fall into that class.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:43am
    Lord of all he surveys - his computer screen..... (ROFL emoticon)....
    Misty
    17th Dec 2018
    8:54am
    And you told me not to shout OGR, what do you call that in your comments above?.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    10:21am
    I didn't tell you not to shout, Misty. Again you are misrepresenting - falsely claiming I tell people what to do. I merely said shouting doesn't make you right. I use capitals for emphasis. You shouted an entire message. It doesn't make it any more right and it doesn't make me any more responsive to it. But you can shout all you like for all I care. I have no interest in your rants, whether you are yelling or not.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2018
    7:35pm
    The house should be in the asset test and any welfare paid should be a debt upon one's estate. That's fair for all retirees.
    MICK
    14th Dec 2018
    8:19pm
    And there you have it. Straight from the government's own mouthpiece.
    ARE YOU LISTENING OLD MAN? Your proof is complete!
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    5:03pm
    Never going to happen, OG... stop talking rot.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:43am
    We don't have welfare for pensions and unemployment benefits..... try again.
    Mad as Hell
    14th Dec 2018
    9:01pm
    Oil and gas giants paid $946 million in petroleum resource rent tax, up from $845 million the previous year, but down from $1.8 billion in 2013-14 after losses and investments were carried forward. The figure is still a fraction of the $26.6 billion earned by Qatar through its royalty scheme.
    If this hole was plugged Newstart, pensions, NDIS, infrastructure would be full funded.
    This is the elephant in the room, and all we get is political infighting.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2018
    10:02pm
    Stop talking crap

    What’s the corporate tax rate in Qatar ? - 10%
    Payroll tax - NIL

    Personal income tax - NIL

    Why don’t you compare apples with apples
    Mad as Hell
    15th Dec 2018
    12:38am
    The corporate tax rate in Australia is is open for exploitation. One in four of the top companies in Australia paid zero tax last financial year.

    Neither Sydney Airport nor Transurban have paid tax since 2013-14 despite reporting billions of dollars in income. Domino’s Pizza paid only 19 per cent tax, 11 per cent short of the 30 per cent company tax rate.

    For the second successive year transport company Toll paid no tax despite declaring income of more that $5 billion. Foxtel reported an income of $2 billion but only $4.1 million of taxable income.

    Google paid an effective tax rate of 19 per cent on its taxable income of $73 million last financial year.

    Woodside Petrolium paid zero tax last financial year on $944,614,958
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    1:08am
    You have no understanding of tax and are merely regurgitating the garbage you read without using an ounce of your brain

    Don’t understand income , done understand taxable profits and obviously don’t understand deferred income liability and timing differences
    Mad as Hell
    15th Dec 2018
    7:34am
    I know that Australia does not get a fair return for its resources especially LNG.

    Profit shifting and creative accounting makes Australia a haven for minerals and gas exploration or exploitation.
    TREBOR
    15th Dec 2018
    5:05pm
    51% Australian ownership and a total ban on offshore accounting... all jobs to be filled locally first before any imports .... minimum tax of 25% to be paid on profit.

    If they can afford to pay dividends they can afford to pay their taxes.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    5:07pm
    Just shut up and stop embarrassing yourself Trebor
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:46am
    You are the one with that problem, Loathie.... back to your mother's cellar...

    You have offered not one solid fact or figure to repudiate what MAH said - just lunged at him with nasty words and insults.

    You got any fact and figures for us yet, kid? try to disprove the point, not rubbish the man clown.

    Your kind are so easy to pick.... back to your mumma's cellar, boy.
    GregH
    15th Dec 2018
    1:53am
    I support helping legitimate refugees but question the "rights" of people who try to come here illegally. I don't want them drowning but they need to get on the waiting list like everyone else. My sister is a social worker who works with refugee families helping them settle in to Australian society. I was shocked and angry to learn that I get a single DSP pension after working and paying tax for 30 years but illegal immigrants accepted into Australia get a full pension per person in the family even the 3 month old baby! They are also given $10,000 to buy household goods and furniture and then are given everything they need by charities. They are slotted in at the top of the list for public housing as well. There are a lot of really unfair issues here. Issues that HAVE to be fixed. NOW.
    DINGOPOO
    15th Dec 2018
    7:45am
    Most rental accommodation in Western Sydney these days is about at least $2000 a month. The pension is $3664 a month. I was never very bright at school, but l see a significant short fall here. Even with rent assistance, it would be still nice to have something for food. THANK GOD FOR THE SALVO'S.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:31am
    Move to the country. The self-supporting have to live where they can afford to live - regardless of preferences and family and friends. Why do those who rely on the taxpayer for support think they are entitled to more favourable choices than those who accept responsibility for themselves?
    Rae
    15th Dec 2018
    9:46am
    If you can't afford food and bills on $400 a week after rent and rent assistance then where is the money going? You have no rates, insurances, maintenance costs etc which home owners have to pay.

    Or share housing and halve the bills.

    The aged pension was only ever for essentials.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:57am
    Wow, Dingopoo. $3664 a month? I didn't realise it was that high.
    I support myself and a disabled partner on less than half that, and get NOTHING from the taxpayer, and if Labor wins the next election I'll lose close to 30% of that income. But my children's taxes are helping support YOU.
    Paddington
    15th Dec 2018
    11:37am
    And there it is again OGR! Stop judging others. People are individuals and no two have the same circumstances.
    “Move to the country!” You move to woop woop.
    I have a brother and a cousin who do not own a home. Now, my brother does not even have a car. My cousin manages very well. They try to make a few dollars entertaining.
    You and others on here who continually refer to pensioners in such a nasty way to make them feel unworthy should be ashamed of yourselves.
    Pensioners are good people. They are not criminals or wasters.
    They do a great job making ends meet and helping others.
    There are people who have disappeared from the comments because of the disparaging comments aimed at them.
    Everyone should note it is Christmas time and be kind in their comments and refrain from putting down pensioners especially.
    Merry Christmas to everyone.
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    1:07pm
    Dingopoo is that pension amount you say for a married couple?, no single pensioner I know gets any where near that amount.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    1:48pm
    $44,000 a year . That’s bloody ridiculous

    Add all the other benefits comes to $50k

    F me - im giving away my assets and going on OAP
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    1:51pm
    I'm not judging anyone, Paddington. I'm simply making the point that pensioners are supported by taxpayers, and it's NOT reasonable for them to expect to live better than the taxpayers who support them or those who don't get any taxpayer support.

    YOU don't seem to have a problem making self-funded retirees feel unworthy of fairness - shouting about the Labor Party excluding pensioners from their policy as if that makes it okay and showing zero compassion for those who are unfairly hurt by it.

    I didn't say Dingopoo was a criminal or a waster, and I don't know who you are referring to when you say ''they'' are not - because many ARE. Some pensioners are good people. Some are not. Like every group of people, there are good and bad. A lot of self-funded retirees.

    According to Misty, I am some kind of criminal for choosing not to spend my money on holidays or restaurant dinners. According to her logic, spenders are entitled to a $1 million reward from the taxpayer and people who make the choices I made should have everything they worked for taken away. I don't see you telling her to be kind in her comments. Oh, of course, pensioners. Self-funded retirees are fair game to put down and abuse.

    Sorry if it offends, Paddington, BUT I'M SICK OF IT. I think it's vile and disgusting. And I think I have every right to object to a pensioner whinging about not getting enough when he has way more income than I do and isn't willing to make the sacrifices I've had to make. Pensioners are NOT entitled to a better lifestyle than those who pay their bills for them. And yes, they may have paid taxes - but so did the self-funded. In most cases they paid a hell of a lot more. And if you PENSIONERS
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    2:00pm
    Stupid browser keeps shutting down.... If you pensioners WERE good people, you would show some courtesy and respect to those of us who don't get any handouts. And you would stand for fairness. And if you did that, you would find the response far kinder - because kindness begets kindness.

    Me too, Lothario. And then we, too, can whinge and whine about not being able to afford to live where we choose. I sure never have had that luxury, and if the populace thinks it's a pensioner's right, then it's time ALL of us became pensioners. Let's see how well the ''good pensioners'' do then!
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    2:42pm
    Is that $3664.00 for a married couple DINGOPOO?, no one I know who is on the single pension gets anything like that amount.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    2:44pm
    $44k for even for married couple is ridiculously high
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    3:40pm
    Paddington, we are never going to get OGR to move from their obsession with Franking Credits. Focused on pensioner income because OGRs assets are too high to qualify but doesn’t want to draw down on them. His choice. Demanding courtesy and respect from pensioners because OGR doesn’t get handouts. Really? I fortunately don’t rely on Centrelink, but I believe the pension is an entitlement for all Australians. I can’t stand these SFRs who think they are better than others because they made different life choices.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    3:44pm
    Sunday’s - you were probably a public servant
    That’s not work
    It’s being in super charged welfare all your life
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    4:01pm
    Actually, I did spend some time in the Public Service working with good hard working people. Then, I was headhunted by the private sector. Ironically, they paid me a lot more,but it was a lot easier than working in a bureaucracy.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    4:01pm
    Sundays, you obviously don't read very well, or else you have a comprehension problem. I DO draw down on my capital. I have to, because my income is a fraction of what pensioners get. And I also believe a pension is an entitlement for all Australians. I certainly DO NOT think I'm better than anyone else. I just don't happen to accept Paddington and Misty's judgement that they have superior entitlements and I am not entitled to the benefits of my saving.

    I'm sick of PENSIONER SUPERIORITY. Shove it. I worked hard for what I have and I think it's disgraceful that greedy pensioners endorse the Labor Party stealing it. Decent people appreciate what the taxpayer provides for them and respect the rights of others to fairness.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    4:06pm
    Funny how the bat-eyed bigots who love to attack don't even notice all my posts DEFENDING pensioners - objecting to the idea of a welfare card, demanding respect for the unemployed, slamming OG, Adrianus and Lothario for their insults.

    Sad that suggesting we should all unite to demand fairness over franking credits should result in such aggression. If pensioners told the Labor Party this unfairness is not acceptable, Shorten might consider backing down - since he did change his policy to buy their votes. But they are apparently way to selfish to say ''No, Mr Shorten. We don't accept your bribe. We want you to be fair to everyone - not just unfairly generous to pensioners.''
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    4:12pm
    Private sector would never headhunt from the public sector unless it was for political reasons or for inside information

    Hmmm - it’s ok your secrets safe with me
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    4:58pm
    Shows what little you know. Again, I guess your job was somewhere where you didn’t have to work with people
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    8:51pm
    Public service. No wonder you're a Labor Party stooge, Sundays, aggressively defending the Labor trolls.
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    9:39pm
    What garbage you write here OGR, I ALSO AM SICK OF IT WHERE DO YOU GET OFF SAYING I CALLED YOU A CRIMINAL?, I NEVER SAID ANYTHING OF THE KIND SO IF YOU LIKE TO INTERPRET WHAT I SAID THAT WAY I AM SORRY I CAN'T HELP THAT, ALSO WHAT ARE YOU GOING ON ABOUT?, SPENDERS GETTING A $1,000,000 REWARD?, HOW DO YOU WORK THAT OUT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    9:50pm
    Not too smart, Misty? Try calculating how much a couple will collect in pension payments over the next 25-30 years. Well in excess of $1 million - and that's without counting the value of concessions and pensioner benefits. But only if you chose to spend up big and keep your assets below the pension threshold. And if Shorten has his way, many will get a big bonus on top, while those who saved get NOTHING.

    You must think savers are criminals, otherwise you wouldn't condone such unfairness.
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    11:11pm
    Lucky aren’t they. Pity you weren’t smart eneough to organise your affairs better. Then we wouldn’t have to be continually insulted. And to answer the actual question which was do you think the family home should be included in the Asset Test. No! But perhaps a high threshold amount which would have to account for homes in Sydney and Melbourne. Of course, I vote Labor but that’s because of my working class background, but not always. However, this time they are way better than the Liberals who have no social conscience at all.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    12:15am
    OGR very few married couples would be on a pension for 25-30 years, one partner usually dies before the other so would only be getting a single pension and with people working later they would be lucky to be on a pension for 15-20 years. Why do you bring up this subject on every topic OGR?, it seems to me your life is ruled by this bitterness.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    6:50am
    'Social conscience''? Labor has a social conscience? Far less so than LNP I'm afraid. They have screwed workers. They've destroyed community and family values. And now they are trying to change nature. A bunch of hypocritical LIARS who are out to wreck the society by making everything that's good a punishable offence. Don't work. Don't save. Don't teach your children good morals and integrity. And DO NOT accept that sexuality is determined at birth. Force teachers to teach little kids disgusting and dangerous sexual behaviour and to defy both nature and their parents.

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and history is repeating. Sadly, the LNP has joined the Labor camp and is fiddling right along with the Commos.

    LNP looks after the wealthy and is open about it. Labor looks after the wealthy and pretends to do otherwise, and cons poor foolish suckers with their ''working class backgrounds''. I really think they should win, because the greedy, selfish, lazy fools who support them DESERVE the destruction that will result. Let's see how the pensioners get on when there are another half million because there's no gain in doing what's good for the nation. Unfortunately, though, EVERYONE will suffer when they finish the job of destroying Australia. And they WILL destroy it. We simply can't afford to wipe out all the benefits of working and living responsibly. There are not enough folk doing it now!

    The real problem with LNP at the moment is they've gone too far left - toward the Labor camp. They are still open and honest about their favouritism of the rich, whereas Labor does it quietly and lies about it, but they are supporting Labor's demolition of family and community values.

    No, Misty. No bitterness in my life. Just contempt for the people who are destroying what used to be the best country on earth. I hate LIARS. I despise CHEATS. I detest immorality. But as for lifespan - it seems you haven't heard that it's increasing. The reason for raising the retirement age is that people ARE living for 25-30 years on aged pensions. And when Labor finishes destroying the benefit of working and saving and pushes another half million or more onto pensions - not to mention all the extra single parents and refugees - good luck to all who rely on it! You'll need it!

    I came very close to deciding to vote Labor this time because of the LNP's shocking policies of cutting taxes for the wealthy and making battlers pay for it (including part pensioners with very modest assets). But Shorten showed us just how dishonest and treacherous he and his Commo mates are. Sorry, Sundays, but I'll keep exposing his lies.
    Paddington
    16th Dec 2018
    6:18pm
    You know the pension is not $44,000 Lothario! It is less than $36,000 for a couple.
    And it is not $50,000 with discounts. The only worthwhile discount is for car rego.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    8:22pm
    A lot of pensioners couples are enjoying total incomes over $60K a year, Paddington. My cousin is planning to have only $500,000 on retirement because she can easily make over $60K a year with that much and a part pension - increasing twice annually, and SFRs with marginal assets are living on half that with no prospect of increases, but a lot of fear and stress due to both falling investment returns and values and political policies that continually attack them.

    And you and Misty and Sundays attack me for objecting to Shorten taking $8000 of my tiny income, and justify that unfairness by saying ''he's not taking anything from pensioners''. No. But even when I am forced onto a pension because his unfairness forces me to drain my savings, I will STILL be denied the franking credit refunds he's guaranteeing to current pensioners. And you can justify that? It boggles the mind that anyone could be so lacking in respect.

    Discounts are worth thousands. Car rego is certainly NOT the only worthwhile one. There are council rates and water discounts, free licenses, electricity discounts, gas rebates, discounted pharmaceuticals, bulk-billing by doctors and specialists, discounted dental treatment, discounted public transport... it goes on and on and on. And that's not to mention the private suppliers who reduce prices for pensioners - hairdressers for example.

    My cousin calculated a minimum of $3000 a year, NOT counting medical, dentist or pharmaceutical (because it depends on your health. For me, those discounts would be worth gold because both my partner and I have significant health issues) and not counting anything from private suppliers.
    Oznorm
    15th Dec 2018
    8:22am
    Why not pay everyone the same as the minimum wage. which will give Newstart and Aged Pension receivers an increase. Those that are able to find work can then strive to earn more than the minimum' Those that have too much can be heavily taxed to pay for the increase in payments. companies can be made to pay a Capital Gains Tax which will encourage them to expand and employ rather than trying to hide their profits so that they don't have to pay tax on it.
    Centrelink should control the Job Vacancies as they did in the old days. If someone was sent for and subsequently offered a job. If they refused the position their allowance should be stopped. Then there would be no vacancies. If there were no vacancies the Government should employ people to do the Jobs now held by Volunteers at the Min Wage to make it easier for employers to hire experienced labour. Volunteers could then take a break and enjoy their retirement. Leave the housing alone as legislation could cause tremendous problems. Make sure that landlords only charge a reasonable rent to unemployed and pensionersand by giving a rent assistance payment related to their demographic position,
    geordie
    15th Dec 2018
    8:48am
    I don't believe you lot. Have you any idea what cigarettes coast these days. About 30bucks a pack. Doesn't leave me much for a few beers of an evening and the odd bit of medicinal recreation. I actually have to walk about a bit to find the places giving out free meals and stuff. Lifeline want to charge me a couple of dollars for clothing etc. I live in gov assisted accommodation and they want me out of bed before lunchtime.....you don't realise how hard some people have it. I can't get a job because of my bad back and PTSD and adhd and a lot of other things my doctor (free) says I can use as an excuse. As far as extra income, I have to sell my pain Meds on the street. I have to pay $5 for the scrip and can only get a couple of hundred when I sell them. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have to go back to the doctor and tell him I got mugged and get another scrip.
    I could ramble on all day. Unfortunately there is a large percentage of wasters out there rotting the system and taking the money that deserving people are due. Fix the system and people in genuine need would be adequately funded. Unfortunately human nature inspires greed at all levels.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2018
    10:39am
    So sorry for your plight Geordie
    Have you tried rollies . I know they don’t taste the same are not a great look
    Or do a quick dash to Bali every few weeks to bring back a couple of cartons duty free
    MD
    15th Dec 2018
    5:46pm
    Oh yeah, I like your style geordie, very impressive and thoroughly convincing. I SHOULD feel for your plight however, I also feel you may also be having a lend. At least your take throws a different light than that of the gum flappers, lawdy can anyone even begin to grasp what it'd be like having to live with some of this lot?
    And just when we think matters can't degenerate further... along comes GrayComputing!
    GrayComputing
    15th Dec 2018
    11:06am
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER 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.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    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?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    Valerieaj
    15th Dec 2018
    12:19pm
    The costs of renting and the value of the maintaining a family home are so varied between states and between areas. Is it possible to leave them out of the equation??
    Misty
    15th Dec 2018
    12:57pm
    I think Newstart needs a bigger raise then pensions at the moment.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2018
    2:01pm
    Why?
    Sundays
    15th Dec 2018
    4:03pm
    Definitely. Unless you live with mum and dad it is impossible to survive
    MD
    15th Dec 2018
    5:50pm
    Why indeed Adrianus, but then again, why not ?
    Adrianus
    16th Dec 2018
    10:54am
    This is an old ploy of buying votes. Vote for me and I will give you money which I take from people who don't vote for me. In my opinion that is reason enough but the social impact is a greater reason. I think there are several different groups within the Newstart recipients. They should not all be treated the same.
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2018
    12:32am
    The article Question was "How could the Govt fix the pension system". The answer is:
    "Universal Age Pension without any tests except Age (65) and Residency (say 15 yrs).

    We have a Broken Pensions System. Unfortunately, the article has generated the usual flood of Labor vs Liberal, Pensioner vs SFR, Renter vs Homeowner, etc, etc, futile battles. Don't you people realise that Labor & Liberals (as well as Greens) just love this divide-and-rule approach - which YLC also follows by defining groups as "tribes".

    STOP THIS CRAP, YLC members, USE YOUR HEADS, and VOTE OUT ALL 3 of these major parties by using the Retirees combined strength. DEMAND UNIVERSAL AGE PENSION by writing to your MPs, and THROW THEM OUT by putting them LAST in preferences if they don't agree.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    7:56am
    You are right, GeorgeM. We should unite. But politics is about dividing to conquer, and sadly the moment someone tries to highlight a flaw in a policy or system, someone who can't see past blind support for a party or who benefits from the policy or system responds with an attack, twisting words to imply a broad comment about the system or how SOME people exploit it is somehow an insult to an entire class of people, or screaming about how bad the opposite side is and how the evil is okay because they see it somehow as the lesser evil. Never mind that someone might be hurting. Don't for an instant consider supporting objection to wrongful damage to others if it means being momentarily disloyal to your favoured political team, or showing compassion for someone you've taken a personal dislike to for some reason.

    We SHOULD all unite to demand a universal pension. But pensioners don't need to, and rich SFRs don't want it because a fair tax would negate the benefit. So ultimately it's only the struggling SFRs and quite affluent pensioners who seek it. It's also only the struggling SFRs and affluent pensioners who seek a fairer means test. And only struggling SFRs fear Shorten's treachery. Even the affluent pensioners are enjoying his favour.

    I doubt we'll EVER get the rich SFRs on board for any reform except reducing pensions and destroying pensioner dignity. So write them off. But how do we get pensioners to support calls for fairness for struggling SFRs? That's my dilemma. I see the ''I'm okay Jack stuff you'' attitude from the well off, and the ''I'm entitled and you're not'' from the pensioners. And the battling SFRs are stuck in the middle, agonising with fear because they seem to be always the target of every cruel change.

    I decided long ago that all 3 major parties have to go, and I've been writing to politicians for months now telling them why I am putting them last on the ballot paper and why I'll urge everyone I know to do the same. Sadly, the response seems always focused on justifying bad policies by claiming Australia can't afford to fix a broken system. I could write volumes quoting the incredible lies the Labor Party has written to me trying to defend their disgusting policy proposal - and when I shoot the lies apart with EVIDENCE, they stop responding at all.

    We can't afford to keep a broken system, much less to make it worse. But tell that to anyone who won't suffer directly from a proposed change and they'll turn on you.
    Adrianus
    16th Dec 2018
    10:47am
    GeorgeM, I agree with your post. But the issue as I see it is not necessarily bringing a group of people together for the advantage of that particular group. This is exactly why we are in this mess and the politicians will do everything in their power to marginalise groups in order to prevent change.
    In my opinion we can get closer to positive change by fixing the electoral systems at both state and federal level. We saw what happened in Victoria recently. This should not happen in a democracy. We need the AEC to be truly independent and overseen by the high court. We need the state ECs to stop being a department of cabinet and also be a subsidiary of the AEC. This should work for all 3 levels of government.
    Then we need to give the voters back their vote by having a single vote form. I know this is probably too democratic a solution for many voters, but once they realise their vote means something they will put it to good use.

    In order to bring about change, rather than urging people to vote a certain way, why not follow the Muslim lead when they urged followers not to disclose their religion on the census form? So why not urge people not to vote. I think if enough people didn't vote they would get the message that we are fed up.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    10:58am
    A bit like Ms Pea's suggestion to cross out all names, Adrianus. It might have some impact if enough did it, but you'll never get enough to agree to a single strategy. And that means that those who DO vote get what they want and the rest of us have to live with the reality that we chose not to have a say.

    I agree with you - completely. I just don't think we can ever make it work, sadly.
    Adrianus
    16th Dec 2018
    11:17am
    Rainey, we are now conditioned to focus on a single issue with our vote. Who will Newstart recipients vote for in May? It probably wont work with me either LOL. Like you I am afraid of Bill Shorten and his very close strong link with the powerful and wealthy ACTU and CFMEU.
    Adrianus
    16th Dec 2018
    11:23am
    I find it interesting that a union for employees is turning its attention on non employees. I suppose some on Newstart may have been those striking miners who lost their job after 9 months on strike? But the vast majority of the 700,000 unemployed I would have thought are not members of any union?
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    12:23pm
    The vast majority of unemployed are easy pickings for a party that PRETENDS to be for the battlers, Adrianus. Shorten knows most would never vote LNP. He can bribe them - very easily at the moment because they have tarnished their own brand so badly. It's just like he's bribing pensioners - who also aren't in unions - because he knows the majority of pensioners don't see through his web of deceit. They focus on what he promises to do for them, or they vote based on family history ("I vote Labor because of my working class background").

    Notice he's not offering any carrots to self-funded retirees? Because he knows they are much more likely to analyse policies objectively and focus on what's good for the economy and the society. They mostly paid hefty taxes, so they oppose excessive handouts and the removal of incentives to strive. And the Labor Party seems very focused on pushing as many as possible onto pensions and ensuring striving is punished harshly (except if you are really rich, of course. They'd never hurt their wealthy buddies!)

    It was summed up for me a few years back when I was waiting in line at a polling booth and a long-haired grubby looking guy in the booth turned to his mate in the line and shouted ''I dunno who ta vote fa''. His mate - equally grubby and unkept - replied ''Well if ya wanna keep ya dole, ya betta vote Labor. Them rich Libs 'll try ta take it off ya.''

    There was no proposal at the time to reduce the dole or make it harder to get, but the Labor Party spread the myth successfully. They continue to spread lies successfully. It's an art form they have mastered well.

    Union membership is at record lows, but Labor Party support is at record highs, so it's obviously not about unions, but about how a union thug can con vast numbers into thinking that both unions and the Labor government are somehow going to fix all their woes. Do they SERIOUSLY think rich Labor politicians will undermine the wealthy and powerful - themselves and their buddies? They will attack the middle class and upper working class and keep the lower classes down - giving them just enough that they don't strive to get up. Been there. Done that. I didn't want to stay down, but a Labor Government made damned sure it was way easier and more comfortable down there than trying to climb out of the hole.

    The sad thing is that the LNP are as bad or worse - different, but definitely no better. But they are more transparent in their objectives. People KNOW what evils the LNP stands for. When they look at Labor, they see a very thick smoke screen. Unfortunately for Australia, vast numbers don't even try to see through it.
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2018
    3:29pm
    Adrianus, I agree with all you say about the broken election system, however rather than not vote for anyone, and thus letting the non-thinkers choose the candidates, I believe we should all unite to firstly vote OUT all current MPs - that would start Change. The future then is open to further Change. Anything to get out of this Liberal or Labor rule mentality which has failed Retirees in particular very badly.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2018
    4:43pm
    I agree, GeorgeM. Sadly there are vast numbers who will be happy to sell their souls for Shorten's promised pension increase.
    Adrianus
    16th Dec 2018
    5:18pm
    Vote out all current MPs? Nice idea but it is impossible with our current system of preference voting. In the recent Victorian election, all those who tried that strategy but voted above the line actually voted for Labor.
    GeorgeM
    17th Dec 2018
    10:52am
    Thanks, Adrianus, if you agree it's a nice idea, then let's actually try it - ALL Retirees to put all current MPS from Liberal, Labor and Greens LAST in preferences, and put whoever you want as No 1, 2, etc. That will ensure the current MP from these parties loses - it may end up selecting one from the other parties due to other voters, however the 1st objective is to remove the current non-performers, and that can be repeated next time again - till we get a suitable candidate.

    I am not sure what you mean "..all those who tried that strategy but voted above the line.." - that applies to the Senate, not the Lower House - my strategy is for the Lower House which runs the Govt. BTW, that is NOT what happened in Victoria - they had a non-performing, invisible, loser as the Liberal leader who stood for nothing, pitted against a much smarter Labor Premier using all the incumbent advantages.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    10:09pm
    GeorgeM, I agree. But let's take it one step further. Let's see how many we can get to write to every sitting MP and every challenging member of a major party and tell them why we want them gone, and that no matter who wins, we will continue to lobby aggressively to remove every one of them until the two party system is abolished, democracy is restored, and we have a political SERVANTS in Canberra who recognize that THEY ARE OUR SERVANTS - employed by us to do our bidding.

    I hope I'm not misinformed, but I thought that the voter had to allocate preferences. Candidates can say who they hope will be your second and third choice, and their ''how to vote'' cards instruct you who to put second and third, but you don't have to follow their guidance. My understanding is that in House elections, nobody gets your vote unless you put a number in the box next to their name. I think I need to do some study and make sure I understand correctly. I've never been quite so fired up before. Maybe Aussies have finally been pushed far enough that they are losing their apathy?

    For me, Shorten's franking credit proposal was the last straw. I see people who lost $12,000 in the assets test change now threatened with losing another $10K or more a year, just because they worked and saved. And when they are forced onto pensions... what then? Surely Shorten doesn't think the bucket is bottomless? More on pensions surely means less to go around. And more nearing retirement seeing what happens to SFRs will surely lead to fewer trying to retire self-funded. They'll all be spending up or buying flash houses to attain pensioner status. And what happens when hundreds of thousands can't profit from share investing? Where do companies get capital to grow? Even if it didn't impact me, I'd be aggressively opposing it because it seems to me it's a dangerous strategy and one that could do untold damage. I've been opposed to the LNP's policies for some time, but when Shorten finally showed his hand, I decided both parties just had to go. Now it's a question of how many we can persuade to co-operate to oust them. There has to be a way.
    GeorgeM
    17th Dec 2018
    11:36pm
    I agree with your comments, OGR. However, as different people have different issues, the bottom line is that none of the 3 major parties are working for anyone - simply bribing groups of interest to them. So, rather than all of us fight each other here (based on specific issues which can't be resolved or agreed here), I think the better solution right now is for all Retirees to write to their MPs, DEMAND Universal Age Pension, and make it clear they will be voted out if they don't agree. This MUST be followed up by action to that effect - using the Preference system as explained by putting that MP LAST in preferences to select anyone but that person. I already wrote to my MP (from a major party) some time ago, guess he got bowled over and avoided the issue totally in his response - I will do my bit to give him the sack!

    I sincerely hope many more Retirees will heed this call for action by them.

    Yes, they ARE our SERVANTS, not masters, and we MUST exercise our authority to get rid of them if they don't work for us. Can't be more simple!
    Misty
    18th Dec 2018
    12:13am
    OGR not everyone relies on FC to fund their retirement, I am sure if there are any changes then people who are nearing retirement will adjust their investments accordingly.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    7:54am
    There you go again, Misty, with your totally uninformed assumptions and stubborn refusal to pay any attention to the facts, much less to show any respect for people who ARE reliant on franking credits (and there are hundreds of thousands of them). NOT EVERYONE HAS THE SECURITY OF A PENSION EITHER, and not everyone is homeless or battling to pay rent, but that doesn't make it okay to refuse empathy and support to someone just because their situation isn't 'everyone's'.

    Did you bother to read GeorgeM's comment? ''Simply bribing groups of interest to them'' - knowing full well, sadly, that selfishness prevails and many of those who aren't affected will 'be sure...'' of some garbage BS that makes it alright for other people to suffer hurt - as long as it doesn't impact those who accept the bribe. Why don't you stop ''being sure'' of something you cannot possibly ''be sure of'', because you know nothing at all about what other people can or can't do. Or do you get your kicks out of compounding other people's fear and hurt? It sure seems so.

    If you bothered to read my comment, Misty, it was more about the impact on pensioners and economic growth than about those who rely on franking credits to fund their retirement. I am concerned for the damage the policy threatens to the economy - and therefore to ALL Australians, most of whom wouldn't have a hope in hell of ''adjusting'' anything - largely because they don't have any investments to adjust! But you are right about one thing. Those nearing retirement WILL adjust to GET THE PENSION, even if they don't need it. And that's what's so harmful about Labor's policy. Bribing pensioners can only result in more people ''adjusting' to be pensioners so they too can be bribed.

    I remarked on what tipped me over the edge to take action. I don't give a damn which party others prefer or why, or what particular policy or feature of the system they want changed, as long as there is something that angers them enough to support demands for a universal pension, and for politicians of all persuasions to recognise who they are paid to serve.

    This SHOULD be about all of retirees, future retirees, and the taxpayers who support retirees. It's sad that some see this forum as an opportunity to peddle their politics and continually make comments they know will inflame.

    Yes, I agree GeorgeM. We need to unite for a common goal of a universal pension. And we need to get rid of every politician who is either too spineless or too ignorant to recognize why it's the best approach to guaranteeing security and comfort for older Australians. Nobody should have to spend their winter years fearful of being deemed to have $1 too much and thus a target for attack, or being found out buying their grandchild a gift, or worrying about yet another shift of the goalposts wiping out all their carefully laid plans for their old age and depriving them of fair benefit for years of hard work and frugal living. And a system that invites people to manipulate to get a pension they don't really need is economically unsustainable. Australian workers deserve better than to have to fund dependency because independence is punished.
    Misty
    18th Dec 2018
    9:45am
    Same old, same old responses OGR, not worth replying too.
    Adrianus
    18th Dec 2018
    10:26am
    Misty you need to educate yourself. Why does Bill Shorten think it is ok for some people to receive Franking Credits and not others? Why do you think its ok Misty?
    Misty
    18th Dec 2018
    10:54am
    We are the only country in the world who has this FC, time to get rid of it altogether.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    1:51pm
    Also the only country in the world with means tested age pensions - INTRODUCED BY LABOR, Misty. Also survived a global recession far better than any other nation - possibly BECAUSE of franking credits boosting investment in growth.

    Educate yourself a little Misty. You are making a fool of yourself with your Labor propaganda and no attention to the FACTS of the issue.

    I have no problem with abolishing franking credits when the pension is made universal so people who worked and saved get a fair go, but Labor is keeping them for the wealthy and the greedy pensioners who accept bribes.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    1:55pm
    Same old bigoted crap, Misty. Your poor son. You are supporting forcing him to pay more tax to support hundreds of thousands more pensioners who only wanted a few thousand in tax credits to remain independent, but instead will claim tens of thousands in pensions and aged care costs - because of the GREED AND SELFISHNESS of Shorten, his mob, and his dumb supporters who can't figure out what his real game is and why his policy is so wrong.

    Some us actually care about the economy.
    Misty
    18th Dec 2018
    2:30pm
    Same old CRAP reply from you OGR and also Adrianus, just what I would have expected, more insults and just more ranting and raving about the greed and selfishness of pensioners, get over it the both of you.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    5:57pm
    When the cap fits, Misty....

    You know, ''we are the only country in the world.... '' would be absolutely the STUPIDEST reason to change something.

    Firstly, Labor is totally inconsistent. If we have to do as the rest of the world does, we have to make a lot of changes ahead of FC, because we are VERY different in countless ways.

    Secondly, before we copy anyone, we need to be sure they have a better solution. Inept fools are very good at being copycats, because they are too dumb to have original thought. Can't come up with anything new, so regurgitate failed old policies (yes, we had Labor's FC policy years ago. It was evidenced wrong and harmful and fixed - with great benefit to the economy. Now morons want to wind the clock back, based on outdated data that is not even remotely relevant anymore because the problem Labor eludes to is already fixed.)

    Thirdly, ''because someone else does it'' says ''I don't have a sensible reason so I'll just waffle on with rubbish about what other people do, without having the faintest clue why or whether it's wise''. It just says you aren't intelligent enough to debate the pros and cons of an issue. And it's dangerous. If others jump off a cliff, do you copy them ''because they did it''? Let's adopt the American health system too, shall we? They are different, so we should copy them. Never mind that their difference is a disaster!

    Our whole company tax structure is different from other countries, Misty. Changing FC won't make us like other countries at all. And nobody with a brain would want to mimic nations that are in far worse shape than Australia.
    Adrianus
    18th Dec 2018
    7:21pm
    Rainey, " You know, ''we are the only country in the world.... '' would be absolutely the STUPIDEST reason to change something."


    The motivational force of commonality is strong on the Labor side. LOL. Quick, someone give me a dacor scuba reg!
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    9:46pm
    Adrianus, I heard an apt comment yesterday. A Labor voter who was rather poor observed that several wealthy men were sleeping with prostitutes. So the Labor voter advised all his mates that they all needed to sleep with prostitutes, because ''that's what the rich do, so it must be how to get rich''.

    Sounds about as intelligent as Shorten's (and Misty's) idiotic reasoning that we should change FC because 'we are the only country...'. It really is about as stupid as stupid can get.
    Misty
    19th Dec 2018
    1:16am
    Resorting to insults again OGR and Adrianus, I really feel sorry for you both.
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2018
    9:04am
    C'mon Misty :), where's your sense of humour? Y'know Australia is the only country in the world which is a continent? That may not sit too well with Bill Shorten?

    It's a fact that people generally behave in accordance with the expectations of others and for someone to continually invoke this theory that "everyone else is doing it so we should too," is frankly quite insulting. If you're not insulted by that then nothing anyone posts on here will insult you LOL.
    Misty
    19th Dec 2018
    10:10am
    LOL to you too Adrianus.
    MacI
    16th Dec 2018
    8:54am
    My first point about the 1.4 million people who are entitled to work in Australia is that there is no reliable statistics on how many actually work, or even seek work. It is not even known how many are family members who are below the working age.

    My second point is that of the 1.4 million around 650,000 are New Zealanders and 400,000 are overseas students. Overseas students contribute a significant amount to our economy so we would be cutting off our nose to spite our face to deny them the right to work. Would we deny the right of our New Zealand cousins to work in Australia?

    My third point is that many of the jobs taken by overseas workers are jobs that Australians will not seek. Overseas workers are more likely to take low paying, difficult jobs and are more likely to move to where the work is.

    Politicians like to bandy around statistics to suit their political advantage. As most of us know most of what they say needs to be taken with a grain of salt and certainly deserve close scrutiny to get to the truth.
    Misty
    16th Dec 2018
    9:49am
    Great comment Macl.

    16th Dec 2018
    11:16am
    Fixing the pension system is easy. Stop punishing people for being as self-supporting as they are able. Stop reducing pension payments every time someone saves a dollar. Stop attacking people for achieving marginal self-sufficiency. Stop punishing people for being honest about relationships.

    Encourage and reward self-sufficiency. Abolish means tests and pay everyone the same pension (subject to age and sensible residency rules), then tax retirement income. The tax should more than cancel out any advantage to those with substantial wealth or income. When the reward for manipulating to appear poorer than you are is removed, more people will accumulate wealth and more people will pay tax. The huge cost of policing the pension system will be slashed and Centrelink resources diverted to helping younger folk in need. Younger Australians will benefit by (a) knowing their super will work for them in old age, not disadvantage them; and (b) enjoying a bit of inheritance to help them along the path to financial security. We'd have less stress on older folk and therefore far less health issues - reducing health and care costs. More spending would generate indirect tax revenue, jobs and business growth. More investment would help business growth.

    If this was implemented correctly, it would provide a boost to the budget as well as delivering enormous social improvement. It's working fine in other countries - countries that DON'T have our superannuation system, which is already reducing dependency on the aged pension but is being undermined by means tests that encourage people to reduce their retirement savings.
    BOLOGO
    16th Dec 2018
    8:45pm
    Many aged pensioners are still paying off their homes because of adverse life events ie divorce, I'll health etc. Also have large costs for prescriptions as they age. All trying to survive on an inadequate aged pension causing social isolation as well, having no money for outings. Single pensioners also disadvantaged by high power, petrol and water costs. Add to this, Health Insurance, car and home insurance and rates. A slippery slope to homelessness!
    Fair Go
    18th Dec 2018
    4:11pm
    Know a family - mother aged about 77, 3 "kids" in their fifties, all living together in government housing, kids have never worked in their lives, all getting welfare, one getting "carer's" allowance for a mother who incidentally is fit enough to clean her man friend's home once a week (she gets paid for this). They are doing okay, as their combined welfare payments add up to quite a sum. This surely is wrong.
    Blinky
    19th Dec 2018
    12:35pm
    I already posted a comment referring to super being an oxymoron because:
    1. If you have a BIG super, you dont need to worry about it because you dont need a govt pension.
    2. If you dont have a super, you get the full pension, plus other benefits.
    3. If you have a SMALL SUPER, you are stuffed, because super counts towards your asset test and you are very likely to get A REDUCED PENSION, while you hoplessly see the govt helping itself to some of your own money, and I say it's your own money because if you didnt have a super you'd get a full pension!
    How do we fix this?
    A. Increase the pension by all means.
    B. Increase the asset threshold so people with a small super are not disadvantaged.
    C. If you dont want to increase the so meagre asset test, DO NOT count the first $ 100k in super as an asset! This would benefit those with small super ($ 500k or less), which is probably the bulk of the Aussie retirees and would encourage people to salary-sacrifice into a super fund.

    I am not asking to give pensioners with a small super a handout, because super money is their own money.
    I am saying: REWARD people who've worked hard to have some super DO NOT PUNISH THEM INSTEAD.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2018
    9:14am
    Absolutely right, Blinky. It is never going to be socially or economically beneficial to punish people for striving and achieving.

    We also should recognise that what is ''big super'' depends on a very broad range of needs, circumstances and capabilities. Some here boast about being able to achieve high % returns. Good luck to them, but we can't all be financial wizards and we shouldn't have to be in old age. Some are lucky to have minimal needs - good health, for example, or long-term security due to being in defined benefit schemes or having gold cards or whatever. Others genuinely need more because they struggle with investment risk and/or have high needs.

    The assets test is a fake assessment of wealth and should be abolished. People who have earned and saved should be entitled to the benefit of their efforts, not to have to drain their savings compensating for unfair deprivation of pension income in old age. But the common view today seems to be that it's a crime to have superannuation or savings and it must mean you got more than your share at some point or cheated on tax, so you have to hand it all over for the government to waste, while those who don't strive are given handouts and those who are blessed with huge wealth are not required to make any reasonable contribution to society.

    We need a universal pension and tax on retirement income. There is no other way to restore equity and economic sustainability - other than maybe assessing only the higher of income or deemed income over a generous threshold (and including the family home). The latter, though - while a million times better than the current system - is still complicated and has potential for causing unfair hardship. Universal pension is by far the best option. If only all of those who would not directly benefit could be sufficiently fair and respectful to support the idea!
    Geminiwoman
    22nd Dec 2018
    11:33am
    If our Governments stopped spending so much of our taxpayers' hard earned money to other countries in "overseas aid", keeping so called assylum seekers instead of sending them back, and shelling out money to people for grants for sometimes stupid ideas, as well as still paying ex prime ministers who don't need the money, there'd be enough money to fund our hospitals, schools, retirees and job seekers easily, including keeping the costs of necessary utilitities down. Whilst there is a need to keep newstart at an amount to encourage people to look for work, as you all say, the work has to be available and at the end of the day, the pittance that newstart is now, is not nearly enough for anyone to exist on. Then, there are the multitude of people who should be transferred to disability pension because they are simply unable to work, but because of the crackdown on disability pension, they're left out and forgotten. Yes, I agree completely that there are a lot of bludgers out there who refuse to work, but there are also a lot of genuine people who are doing the best they can on an amount of money which makes it almost impossible to pay for means to travel to look for work. I have always said, and still say, that when a person is admitted to parliament, it should be mandatory for that person to be forced to live on newstart or even a pension, for at least 3 months and see how they manage.
    Misty
    22nd Dec 2018
    1:30pm
    I agree with your suggestions Geminiwoman.


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