11th Sep 2018
‘Inadequate’ pension rises will buy an extra coffee a week
Author: Janelle Ward
feeling cold

Pay rises have been announced for almost two million retired Australians who rely on the Age Pension, but the increases are unlikely to help them make ends meet, with the Benevolent Society labelling them “inadequate”.

From 20 September, single age pensioners will receive an extra $8.70, taking the fortnightly pension and supplement from $907.60 to $916.30. Couples will each receive an extra $6.60, increasing from $684.10 to $690.70 per fortnight for pension plus supplement.

In March, single pensions rose by $13.20 per fortnight and couple rates went up by $9.90 per fortnight.

The September increases will amount to an extra $4.35 for singles each week and an extra $3.30 for each member of a couple, barely enough for a cup of coffee in most states.

Benevolent Society Advocacy Campaigner Joel Pringle told YourLifeChoices that the increases helped pensioners keep up with increased expenses but did not amount to a “material increase”.

“The pension, in itself, is inadequate for too many people who rely upon it, especially those in private rental, and this indexation does nothing to alleviate that,” he said.

“It doesn’t take much to go wrong for people to be struggling. If they lose their house or never managed to achieve ownership, or if they have unexpected medical costs, or become single, for example.

“That’s the reality for many people who are trying to get by on the Age Pension.”

Mr Pringle said that while he believed the twice-yearly indexation should remain to keep the pension in touch with cost-of-living expenses, the base rate should be decided by an independent and evidence-based process.

“We need to get the politics out of the pension,” he said.

Simon Biggs, professor in social policy and gerontology at the University of Melbourne and member of the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s research and policy centre, said there was evidence through the Brotherhood’s social exclusion monitor that many older Australians fall into the most disadvantaged groups.

“There is clear evidence that large numbers of older Australians are falling into disadvantage and poverty,” he said. “Opportunities for them to lead active and healthy lives are increasingly challenged.”

The exclusion monitor found that 38 per cent of people aged over 65 – twice the rate of exclusion for other age groups – experience social exclusion. The Brotherhood argues that economic growth policies which focus on employment and social services are the best way to help people to fully participate in society.

YourLifeChoices 2018 Retirement Matters Survey found that many older Australians resorted to a number of strategies to make their income go further, including taking fewer or no holidays, not using heating or cooling, not eating out or buying takeaway food, not going to the dentist and going only to doctors who bulk billed.

Mr Pringle singled out rental costs as the single biggest challenge for older Australians and the biggest indicator of financial distress. “That’s why an increase to Commonwealth rent assistance, which is received by 272,000 people on the Age Pension, is so critically important to relieving poverty for people relying on the Age Pension for a decent standard of living,” he said.

YourLifeChoices has been a strong advocate for an increase to the base rate of the Age Pension since the last increase in 2008. Put simply, those who rely on a full Age Pension, particularly renters, live in poverty. These are the Cash-Strapped retirement tribes as benchmarked by our quarterly Retirement Affordability Index™.

It is for this reason that YourLifeChoices supports the Benevolent Society’s ‘Fix Pension Poverty' campaign.

The Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Service Pension and Carer Payments are indexed twice a year – in March and September.

Payment rates are linked to the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), whichever is greater. The CPI measures changes in the prices of a fixed ‘basket’ of goods and services. The PBLCI measures spending changes in households where the main income source is a government payment and is designed to check whether their disposable incomes have kept pace with price changes.

Are you happy with the increases? Will the extra dollars assist your fortnightly budgeting challenges?

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    COMMENTS

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    sunnyOz
    11th Sep 2018
    10:13am
    Might cover an extra coffee a week... but what about the other side of the coin? Cost increases in everything. Between increases in all insurances, rates, power, petro, etc - still going backwards.
    jackie
    11th Sep 2018
    12:58pm
    That’s right a cup of coffee is not the problem. At every 7/11 they cost $1. The actual increase won’t cover the increase in the cost of living.
    Kathleen
    11th Sep 2018
    10:19am
    It is not a cup of coffee unless you are talking about cafe coffee. If you can afford to eat out you are financially okay or budgeting poorly. A cup of tea or coffee at home is not even one dollar. Choices can be made to manage whatever income you have. Maybe some renters are struggling especially single ones so affordable housing should be constructed. Helping people budget might also be good idea. People who have raised big families like we have have known harder times.
    roy
    11th Sep 2018
    11:23am
    So so true, well said Kathleen.
    KB
    11th Sep 2018
    11:25am
    Kathleen My parents had a large family and survive on one income . I budget and allow coffee as a treat My one luxury per fortnight. Cost of living keeps increasing so the government must take this into consideration.A cup of coffee cost $.3.70 I only eat out on special occasions birthdays and special event days
    Kathleen
    11th Sep 2018
    11:47am
    KB, $3.70 for a cup of coffee out is unusually cheap. I have seen a cheap teabag in a pot and charged far in excess of that. I know places charge more like $5 or $6 for a cup of coffee. I like tea and buy nice tea for home, far nicer than is served in cafes. You are not having regular cafe outings so no need to be defensive. You budget for that and it is your choice. My argument is the rise is more than the cost of a coffee. It is about choices. We don’t drink alcohol either. So if you have to include that in your budget at the risk of nice food it seems silly. One restaurant meal equates to nearly the whole week’s food shop.
    One needs to budget for Christmas and for holidays. Choices and balancing!
    missmarple
    11th Sep 2018
    12:32pm
    I am a single renter in rural vic, where every thing is more expensive than in bigger towns or the city, so the measly increase doesn't even scratch the surface, no choice where to shop etc, petrol and so on
    brainstraina
    12th Sep 2018
    2:36pm
    Kathleen, you 'got it in one'.
    jackie
    11th Sep 2018
    10:30am
    Compare the increase to what our politicians give themselves and see the injustice. I love how NZ's Prime Minister put her salary down. That would never happen with our pigs in the trough.
    Alexii
    11th Sep 2018
    10:54am
    But jackie, the poor people in parliament have to look after themselves so they don't starve.
    roy
    11th Sep 2018
    11:24am
    Malcolm Turn bull took no salary as I understand it.
    Kathleen
    11th Sep 2018
    11:51am
    They work extremely long hours and are away from home for much of the year.
    I don’t begrudge them $200,000 per year. I would not give up so much for any amount of money.
    All the free time we enjoy now is more valuable than dollars and we get by!
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    12:15pm
    $2.5m a year is the effective salary including perks..... not bad. Maybe a twelve month tour in some war zone would show them what real hardship can be..... not just holding a meeting or two and still finding time to run their own chores etc on Perks Expenses Inc... like NYE parties with mates, footie finals, and buying an extra unit or two....

    Don't tell me about their hard work.... I don't believe them... and a total salary package of $200k is enough for them to pay their own personal bills and not dig into the taxies money for everything.

    They are not royalty and should not be treated as such.
    Kathleen
    11th Sep 2018
    12:30pm
    Maybe Trebor you should attach yourself to one as you have no idea of the reality of the work involved.
    $2.5 m is ridiculous! They are working when they visit overseas. It is not their money and is accountable.
    When parliament sits the day is up to 16 hours long. A few days are even longer as they cannot leave until something is sorted.
    Some travel from the other side of Australia or the far north. They leave behind their own family.
    No, they are not saints but it is not an easy job or over the top paid.
    Private enterprise pays more!
    jackie
    11th Sep 2018
    1:05pm
    Roy I You confuse Turnbull with that other billionaire Trump. He takes a dollar for his salary. Turnbull purchased his position for $1 bill because those amazing money managers called the Liberals have a bankrupt party. Turnbull gave himself and politicians a hefty pay rise just at the same time penalty rates were taken away from working Australians.
    roy
    11th Sep 2018
    2:30pm
    jackie, I understand that Turnbull took no salary whilst in office, one of us is wrong or misled.
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    2:32pm
    You are correct roy. Its these LnP bashers who constantly spread lies
    roy
    11th Sep 2018
    2:42pm
    Thanks olbaid, the ALP are a bunch of liars from top to bottom especially Shifty Shorten.
    Kathleen
    11th Sep 2018
    5:15pm
    Turnbull is not far right. That is why he has been overthrown. He did not need to collect his pay as he is very wealthy. At the moment he is in New York in his own place. He is not a bad man. Neither is Bill Shorten. There are some horrible ones in there though like Abbott and other far right ones. What was done to Turnbull was vicious. The behaviour in LNP at present is shocking.
    Did anyone watch Q and A last night?
    It was wonderful. Students were the main panel with one labor and one national party politician.
    Young people want global warming addressed. They want the children off Nauru. They want more women in parliament. They had a strong sense of right and wrong.
    A young boy grilled the national party pollie which was quite funny.
    They really liked Penny Wong.
    A fifteen year old amazed everyone. He was informed, well spoken and very wise for his age.
    Two youngsters were young liberals but they would not vote for the present government.
    This could expand the way a few set in their ways on here start to think and develop a better informed mindset and outlook.
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    5:24pm
    Kathleen - the kids on Q&A just regurgitate what their left biased teachers at school feed them.
    Don't worry, when they go out into the real world they soon shed their yucky socialist layers
    roy
    11th Sep 2018
    5:50pm
    Hear hear olbaid and as for Shifty Shorten not being a bad man, all you ALP fans, Google Bill Shorten Union bully boy and Adulterer, se if that opens you eyes a bit.
    Old Geezer
    11th Sep 2018
    6:18pm
    Q and A last night was a good example of kids spoon fed BS by their teachers. Just remember teacher have led a very sheltered life being the education system all their lives without any real life experience at all. I found that I had to re-educate my kids every night when they came home from school. If they got put on detention for their different views on life I soon put their teachers in their place.

    It was a good laugh but nothing of substance.
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    9:15pm
    I've done more hours than they possibly could and under very stressful conditions. Pollies are nothing special.
    jackie
    12th Sep 2018
    11:13am
    Kathleen you have to be joking. You think all that nasty mud slinging during Parliament is work? How many of the slobs sleep on the job because they are full as boots? Throw the lot out and make them get a real job.
    jackie
    12th Sep 2018
    11:19am
    roy....Malcolm Turnbull was the highest paid politician in the OECD...This link will tell you.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/burmese/en/article/2018/05/27/pm-malcolm-turnbull-highest-paid-politician-oecd
    brainstraina
    12th Sep 2018
    2:56pm
    Yes Jackie, I do agree that it's unfair that politicians etc are able to increase their salaries by tens of thousands. I have not ever heard them thanking the taxpayer for taking those hard-earned contributions. Should the populace not have a say in the increased amounts to be paid - much of the time and quite a few of those taking the increases are not doing too much for the money. Parliament question time is a joke; where many have not even the courtesy to listen to a Prime Minister speaking. Any Prime Minister deserves respect. He/she has a huge responsibility for comparatively small remuneration. Those members in the Parliament have a great time, heckling/cat-calling, and; what for?? They don't know or care what is being said! Some even have a little snooze. Some have private conversations among themselves. They are seriously over-paid. It's disgusting.
    Kathleen
    14th Sep 2018
    1:29am
    In reference to Q and A, the students were able to be more objective than some who comment on here. They were better informed and able to express ideas and opinions far better than a handful of people on here. The fifteen year old had his own thoughts and views and was more mature than many adults and a few who write the same static opinions over and over here.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    1:50am
    Oh Kathleen, dear dear Kathleen
    How mistaken and naive thou art
    Alexii
    11th Sep 2018
    10:53am
    We'll be able to get a couple of cups of coffee a week for each of us from Shell or 711 service stations. The cafes are too expensive and it's only on the very odd occasion we buy one there - and only very occasionally from the service station too as we take a thermos with us.
    brainstraina
    12th Sep 2018
    3:03pm
    I guess the cafe owners are making their living and their overheads are huge. They really are only for those who are well paid and able to afford the waste.
    patti
    11th Sep 2018
    11:15am
    Certainly not enough to keep up with rising living costs. However, imagine being on Newstart. Could you live on $275 a week, as they are expected to do? it was introduced as a temporary payment between jobs. The reality is that there are not enough jobs to go around for each person, but if you can't afford your rent you should get two jobs - right??
    Sundays
    11th Sep 2018
    11:57am
    Newstart is a joke. Ok if you are a young person living at home, but if you have a family I can’t imagine the stress. You’re right patti, despite the rhetoric of jobs and growth there aren’t eneough jobs. Despite purporting to be a Christian, Scott Morrison s heartless
    musicveg
    11th Sep 2018
    8:01pm
    And many over 50 year olds are stuck on Newstart until they turn 67! without the hope of every getting a job ever again. It is a disgrace that is has not kept up with inflation, 24 years since any increase! 700,000 unemployed, 200,000 jobs available, and they will not take the over 50's because of insurance risks. All this while there was $220 billion tax cuts to high income earners and large corporations. They cannot find a measly amount of money to increase Newstart so people can feed themselves and keep a roof over their head. That is more than heartless.
    dmoore
    11th Sep 2018
    11:44am
    Doesn't seem much much but if it was reduced by that amount there would be an uproar!
    Oznorm
    11th Sep 2018
    12:01pm
    Perhaps we should supplement our pension and register as a charity then the pollies could donate to a worthy cause, at least donate one days salary. I don't drink coffee only water but I wouldn't say no to a $20 increase in rent relief not much to ask for when you see the amounts wasted or misappropriated by the Gov.
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    12:21pm
    A donation of $40 a day would go well since Julia Banks reckons she could live on that ..... an extra $280 a week to the charity.... if a politician could live on $40 a day they won;t feel it leaving their wallet/purse, will they? It's nothing....
    Rosscoe
    11th Sep 2018
    12:22pm
    I'm still waiting for a increases to my pension that that will equate to the $2,000 pa they ripped off me and others when they made changes to superannuation. Cheating federal government that we have at present.
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    12:36pm
    Just wait till you lose your franking credits under labor
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    4:05pm
    You won't lose franking credits unless you are getting a double whammy..... you have to pay your way at some point....

    The alternative is to do away completely with franking and make everyone pay their own tax as it falls, instead of 30% being lodged with the ATO against your OVERALL tax burden.
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    4:08pm
    Aaah Trebor Hood. I've explained this to you before.
    All the countries who did away with or reduced imputation credits went on to offer alternatives to eliminate double taxation of corporate profits in the hands of shareholders.

    But as usual ypu continue with your left wing biased nonsense
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    9:17pm
    Here's a little song I wrote,
    You might want to sing it note for note,
    Pay Taxes - Be Happy.

    If it were not a con job, it would not be there, and most countries don't have it.
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    11:30pm
    http://junkee.com/dividend-imputation-bill-shorten/150551

    https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/australias-obscene-dividend-imputation-debate-about-who-is-poor-20180319-h0xnun

    https://www.solepurposetest.com/news/smsf-alp-stop-imputation-credit-refunds/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwz93cBRCrARIsAEFbWsh0mQDWCdGAfkz8YGDKKDwEvAAwBI0LbDjV-cxNa2cLvshUlDtFN8caAs2dEALw_wcB

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2018/mar/18/labors-dividend-tax-policy-is-smart-bold-and-dangerous


    Might help...... probably not.
    Rae
    12th Sep 2018
    8:59am
    olbaid it's not much different than those who receive pensions with 48% non concessional that Centrelink now deem to only be 10%. Some lose up to $10 000 income and all their concessions.

    It's not double taxation but it's having taxed money disallowed as having been paid.

    The time to complain was back when they passed that Legislation and broke the No Disadvantage Rule in Legislation. I complained and from the politicians I spoke to it was obvious a party policy and they had no idea of the reality, how the pensions worked or the consequences of doing away with a tried and true method of ensuring fairness through preventing disadvantage. This was why grandfathering had always been applied prior to 20014/15 budgets and why Hockey was moved out pronto.

    You and I are fair game now I'm afraid and no whining about the disadvantage as it no longer applies.

    The term Fair should be struck from a lot of legislation and commissions controlling labour as there is no fairness. Get some more income and the bastards just up the prices anyway. Been going on for around 4 decades now.

    If you lose your franking that won't be fair either. Just another disadvantaged group nobody cares much about.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th Sep 2018
    6:43am
    Trebor, I see you are still grossly misled and being horridly unfair over franking credits. THE ONLY DOUBLE WHAMMY IS THE BLOODY RIP-OFF THE SFRs ARE SUFFERING. Many of them would be delighted with an increase in their income of a few dollars. Instead, some are getting HALF the aged pension and being threatened with losing up to 30% of that.

    Yes, sure they can drain their savings to compensate for the unfairness, but what's the point of saving for retirement if the government takes 100% of the benefit to give to whingers who didn't save and complain about handouts not being enough?

    Okay, that's not nice, and it's unfair. Some of those on pensions did it very tough. Well so did I. And so did a lot of SFRs who are now being abused, cheated, and threatened with having their entire nest egg wiped out for the benefit of others.

    I have great empathy for those who are struggling, but I'm heartily sick of the selfishness and greed of those who refuse to recognise the unfairness to SFRs and refuse to stand up for the rights of those of us who are still contributing to the nation's coffers many years after reaching OAP age.

    Once again, Trebor, since you seem incapable of comprehending:

    Part pensioner with total $60,000 a year income KEEPS FRANKING CREDITS.

    Wage earner on $120,000 a year KEEPS FRANKING CREDITS.

    SFR couple with $850,000 savings that they paid high tax on at time of earning, has $100,000 in non-returning assets (liquid cash, car, furniture, etc), and $750,000 earning a measly 5% if they are lucky (and not without risk!) is living on $37,500 a year and LOSES UP TO $10,000 OF THAT UNDER SHORTEN'S BS NASTY UNFAIR CRAP POLICY. So they have $27,500 a year to live on (if they are lucky!) and they take $10,000 a year from their savings to prop up the $60,000 a year (plus benefits) pensioner and the $120,000 a year salary earner. And both the latter are getting a nice tax benefit while the SFR gets NOTHING.

    THE ONLY DOUBLE WHAMMY IS THE HIT ON THE STRUGGLERS. You are fast losing my respect with your unfairness on this issue.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th Sep 2018
    2:53pm
    Trebor, today I spoke with someone who will retire in 5 years. Guess what he's doing? He's GIVING all his money to his kids so he can get a full pension. Why? Because dumb idiots think it's clever to steal the savings of the guy who COULD have been self-funding in retirement if only ARSEHOLES hadn't supported proposals to STEAL their franking credits.

    See, this guy COULD retire self-funded. He'd have an income of about $50,000 a year to share with his wife. That's income that he EARNED by NOT taking cruises and dining out and buying expensive cars and clothes. It's income he saved FROM AFTER TAX EARNINGS by going without things others took for granted.

    Now you and your ilk think that because he did that - and he can potentially save the government $1 million over the course of his retirement BECAUSE HE DID IT - he should now have his income slashed to $40K a year. Still not bad, you say? Except he can give most of his savings to his kids now and enjoy an income of $60K a year on a pension WITH FULL BENEFITS. And arseholes won't be constantly attacking him and calling him names and supporting proposals to steal from him because HE'LL BE AMONG THE PENSIONER-ELITE, not the hated SFRs.

    His franking credits are NOT a rort. They are a refund of tax taken from earnings that are NOT TAXABLE, because his earnings are too low. If he earned the same amount by any other method, he'd pay NO TAX. But because he earns from investing to help AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES GROW, boosting the AUSTRLIAN ECONOMY, he's being ripped off.

    Now STOP JUSTIFYING THIS AND START SUPPORTING DEMANDS THAT SHORTEN WITHDRAW FROM THIS HIDEOUSLY DAMAGING AND GROSSLY UNFAIR BS.

    And Mick, sorry - but I CANNOT VOTE LABOR, despite hating the LNP. Labor introduced the grossly unfair and damaging assets test and now wants to crucify everyone who worked their guts out to fail it and be self-sufficient. Nobody with a brain should excuse that. It's IDIOTIC. It's UNFAIR. It's economically destructive.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th Sep 2018
    3:04pm
    BTW> This guys' franking credits MIGHT cost the government $360,000 over 25 years in retirement. The pension he'll draw will cost $1.16 million. Now, if just 300,000 Aussies choose the same strategy as him in response to Short-on-Brains and his bat-eyed supporters, that will COST the nation some $240 billion over 25 years. And that's if ONLY 300,000 do it. It's far more likely, given the idiotic policies of BOTH major parties, that the number will run into the millions of retirees.

    11th Sep 2018
    12:31pm
    $916 per f/n and they still whinging

    That’s excluding rates , pharmaceuticals , public transport and other discounts

    Make that $1,200 per fortnight

    My poor tax dollars
    Kathleen
    11th Sep 2018
    12:52pm
    You two are classics lol!
    Devil’s advocates and pot stirrers rolled into two for the price of one!
    LOL
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    1:52pm
    Just telling it like it is.
    It's the leaners who stir the pot wanting more money, even though they live well on the OAP
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    4:06pm
    Those leaners put all their money back into the Australian economy - the only black holes are when offshorers take it away without paying their dues...

    Time for the Offshore Cash Movement Tax... you pay 30% on entry or exit of your dollars...
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    4:09pm
    Dumbest crap I ever heard Trebor Hood
    Downright idiotic
    TREBOR
    11th Sep 2018
    11:38pm
    Nonsense - let's take the example of Ebergeezer and Evergreener.... Geezer is has excess discretionary income - Greener is on OAP.

    Geezer has just been traveling around the world, spending like a sailor... Greener has been saving for a year to take a two week holiday in Australia.

    Ebergeezer has spent most of his holiday money Offshore, thus there is no taxation returning to treasury with each purchase and transaction - Greener is still here - barring Offshore companies spiriting the money away - all of Greener's money when spent on holiday will return into the tax cycle.

    Simple really.... not one thing 'idiotic' about it..... those on the lowest incomes contribute a greater percentage per capita back into the Australian economy than those on higher incomes... the higher the less back into this economy.

    Get used to it..... it's coming back to bite you.

    Even the DSP at the club who blows all his/her cash contributes all of that back into THIS economy, where it cycles through the tax collection system and returns to Treasury.

    When Geezer buys a dinner in Paris - it goes into the French economy...
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2018
    11:45pm
    Like I said before - only an absolutely moronic government wud implement such a policy
    Economic suicide
    Even Shorten isn’t that dumb
    You’re on your own on that one Trebor
    Used to give you the benefit of the doubt . Looks like I over estimated
    jackie
    12th Sep 2018
    11:25am
    olbaid....Get your facts straight.....$907.60 a fortnight which includes the lot NOT $916.00 without the extras.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2018
    2:42pm
    I get more value for my money in Paris and elsewhere in the world than I do back here in Aussieland so I think I'll do a lot more of it.
    1984
    11th Sep 2018
    1:07pm
    One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he
    asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money
    from you, I'm doing community service this week.'
    The florist was pleased and left the shop.
    When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a
    'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
    Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill,

    the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing
    community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.
    The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank
    you' card and a dozen doughnuts waiting for him at his door.
    Then a Member of Parliament came in for a haircut, and when he went to
    pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from
    you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Parliament
    was very happy and left the shop.
    The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen
    Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.
    And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between
    the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.
    trood
    11th Sep 2018
    10:02pm
    so true billy!
    Rae
    12th Sep 2018
    9:04am
    Brilliant Billy. Thanks.
    alinejordan
    11th Sep 2018
    1:33pm
    it pays for my rate increase exactly! can't complain.
    bandy
    11th Sep 2018
    1:57pm
    I understand your comment miss Marple I too was renting in rural Victoria it was not a happy experience Isolated cost of living clicky locals (although friendly)only lasted 5 mths & moved overseas things have improved,Not everyone can do this(move overseas)it also has its problems but you can afford a coffee a day(around a Dollar)at a cafe.
    Old Geezer I would love to meet you in a dark ally & put you straight on life in general it seems not everyone is as fortunate as you so stop being so negative & say something constructive for a change
    George
    11th Sep 2018
    3:11pm
    Excellent article, Janelle. Unfortunately, a lot of the diversions are from trolls & dodos who don't understand the seriousness of the issues, and want to talk about coffee prices!

    The only comment I would make about this article is that the agencies quoted should promote an increase in the Base Rate of pensions (as YLC has noted), not focus on just the Renters, as Homeowners also are affected by the many increasing costs for energy, health, as well as house maintenance.

    I would also suggest that the agencies should stop pitting one group (or tribe) against another, and instead push as hard as possible for Universal Pension (from Age 65, and Residency say 15 years) without any Tests, with income above that taxed suitably with some allowance for Super savings.
    That is the only fair solution for all retirees (including the part-pensioners and SFRs).
    Yes, and make that non-political as noted by Joel Pringle.
    GrayComputing
    11th Sep 2018
    4:56pm
    It is time for all of us (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?

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

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

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

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

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    DEMAND: NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!

    Please help yourself and others today and every day, pass this demand on to all government, opposition and independent MPs and senators who could help us to get a fair deal on pensions
    floss
    11th Sep 2018
    7:33pm
    Our local liberal party person as been kicked out for fraud and is line for a pension of some $140.000.per annum,your comment the greed is good group.
    roy
    11th Sep 2018
    7:56pm
    Don't forget the Labor Ipswich mayor.
    I do love Champagne socialists. In Britain they forget their roots and take Lordships when offered, that make me puke, as I said Champagne Socialists.
    Rae
    12th Sep 2018
    9:11am
    They should not get the pension if kicked out for fraud. A public servant kicked out only gets the amount they paid in after paying tax and loses their pension if found guilty of anything.
    musicveg
    11th Sep 2018
    8:06pm
    Not keeping up with inflation but every little bit helps pensioners, try being on Newstart for many who are not able to get pension until 67, it is a disgrace that they keep ignoring the many people struggling on Newstart and cannot afford even to leave home to look for the jobs that are not even there for them, 700,000 unemployed but only 200,000 jobs available.
    Rae
    12th Sep 2018
    9:18am
    This is where Government should be finding jobs or creating them as they do in Singapore.

    Nobody there just gets to stay home and receive money. The Government jobs are unpleasant enough to inspire searching for alternatives but they are still jobs.

    Planting out ridge lines with trees and clearing weed infestations all over come to mind.

    I do wonder a bit though. I couldn't keep a cleaner I was paying $100 for 3 hours easy work and we can't find handymen at $30 an hour to do simple maintenance.

    A lot of people simply don't want to do anything that requires a bit of exercise.

    I'm up ladders today oiling my wooden cabin as I refuse to pay thousands for painters for slapping oil onto logs. I'd happily supply materials and $30 an hour though cash. Can't find self contractors at that price.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2018
    3:09pm
    I too often find myself up ladders etc doing work that I should get people to do but if I don't do it it simply doesn't get done. The chimney pot fell off my wood heat in the last wind storm so I had to climb onto the roof and put t back. Lost count of the number of trees I have had to cut down as the tree loppers are simply not interested. Whole house needs repainting but I can't even get quotes to do it so looks like I got myself another job.
    George
    12th Sep 2018
    9:45pm
    Yes, musicveg, Labor stupidly increased the pension age to 67 without assuring jobs were available! With Libs then attacking part-pensioners with their nasty Assets test changes, the only real solution now is for all to push hard for Universal Pension from Age 65!

    OG, you didn't have a house, remember? Or if you do, maybe it is just the scrooge in you who doesn't want to pay a reasonable wage to an honest tradie to do the painting! I have never had a problem getting a tradie - the only problem usually is who do I give the work to after assessing their capability claims! Aussie tradies are usually good, you need to be a good employer.
    Old Geezer
    13th Sep 2018
    11:45am
    I can't even get quotes so it is quicker for me to do it myself instead.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th Sep 2018
    6:47am
    You can't get quotes because everyone in your district knows you are a nasty, mean Scrooge who won't pay and can't treat others with respect, OG. The tradies are begging for work. They will come running for anyone willing to pay a fair price for a good job and prepared to treat them with courtesy.
    Crazy Horse
    11th Sep 2018
    9:04pm
    The miserly increases are only happening because legislation put in place by previous governments require it and Morrison can’t stop it.

    The last substantive increase to the pension occurred under Labor as will the next one.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2018
    2:43pm
    It wouldn't surprise me to see a Labor government cut the pension.
    Boysen
    11th Sep 2018
    9:09pm
    We can forget the extra cup of coffee a week, that $3.30 , we will be receiving more, will have gone into paying higher bills. It will not be enough for those either!
    Hairy
    12th Sep 2018
    7:52am
    It’s not about coffee it’s about quality of living . Yes struggle use tea bags twice. cheap biscuits, don’t go anywhere, sit in your chair or stay in bed so you don’t waste energy and have to eat.stay home and be a miserable aging dying fast pensioner.god forbid don’t spend perceived tax payers money and be happy.what a sick miserable mob of humans we have in this society today.check out the deal our then prime minister in 1942 set up for pensions. And suck sesive governments raped and pillaged the fund like a pack of entitled theives.we paid for our pension .you are being lied to and have been conned into believing we are pariahs.
    Rae
    12th Sep 2018
    8:36am
    My entire working life has been pay rises followed by price rises. In real terms I earned the most way back in 1974 and price rises have made a mockery of income increases ever since. I've no doubt this rise will increase a few prices too.
    Someone will say, pensioners have more money let's put the price up and they will.

    Back when Hawke and Keating signed that Prices and Wages Accord I think the prices part of it was disregarded.

    Until some control of prices occurs ordinary workers are never going to get ahead in real terms ( including inflation).

    All that automation and productivity needs to flow not only into coffers but into price cuts in my opinion.

    This rise doesn't help self funded retirees at all. In fact it could lower their real incomes considerably depending on who decides whoopee I'll put my prices up.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2018
    2:38pm
    With inflation and price rises you are like a dog trying to catch his tail but never gets near it.
    Adrianus
    13th Sep 2018
    8:12am
    In my opinion the best way to bring down prices is through competition and less government intervention, Free Trade and lower taxes. For far too long Australian consumers have been asked to pay more because of a flawed protectionist attitude. The car industry was a classic example. Our taxes were paid to the car makers, unions, employees, which only served to hike the price of cheap cars to consumers. Australia needs to show some trust in the free market and strengthen the powers of the watch dogs.
    Adrianus
    13th Sep 2018
    8:18am
    If this government can reduce the cost of power by 50% then that would give pensioners a real boost in cash flow. The latest increase is $113 pa, but a 50% reduction in the cost of electricity could amount to 5 times that amount.
    brainstraina
    12th Sep 2018
    2:34pm
    As for purchasing a cup of coffee; NO WAY. It is the worst case of money-wasting. It does happen for me, maybe 3 times a year. Certainly not a regular occurrence. The increase in pension is neither here nor there. It may cover the weekly broccoli consumption for myself. So, thanks to the taxpayer. I'll take it.
    Adrianus
    13th Sep 2018
    8:23am
    Is the question "are you happy with the increases?" ? Or should we be asking "why is the government artificially increasing the cost of electricity?"
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    14th Sep 2018
    7:06am
    Maybe instead of whinging that the pension is inadequate, some of you should start defending the rights of SFRs, because if Short-on-brains gets his way, there will be such a spending frenzy to qualify for the pensions that the PENSION WILL GO DOWN dimwits!

    Think about it (if you are able!) 300,000 lost a huge chunk of income in the assets test change. Now they are being threatened with losing another $10,000 or so a year. What are they going to do? Might as well buy an expensive house or spend $200,000 on a world cruise and qualify for the pension, because you can have $500,000 invested and achieve an income of $60,000 a year (for a couple), and keep your franking credits and your assets. No point having more. The government just takes it all. So when people STOP saving for retirement, and we have 500,000 or so extra pensioners, what happens then? The government screams that the OAP is costing too much and must be reduced across the board.

    Wait for it. It's coming. In fact, I suspect it's PLANNED.

    The smart money is yelling for a better deal for SFRs, so we have fewer pensioners and part pensioners drawing less, and then there will be more to go around.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    3:57pm
    I agree the more self funded retirees we have the more money there will be for those on welfare.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Sep 2018
    6:12am
    Yet you support attacking SFRs whose income is so low that they need to spend up big to get on the pension in order to avoid either living in poverty or losing 110% of the benefits of saving????

    You make no sense, OG! Brainless!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Sep 2018
    6:13am
    Oh, sorry. Forgot for a minute. You are an LNP troll supporting a government for the rich only, and one that ensures anyone who tries to rise above their station is crushed.
    ME
    14th Sep 2018
    4:36pm
    hi to all, I'm a pensioner single, and I rent a house, I can live on the pension quite well, you just need to watch your spending, the loan that you can get help if any major things that come our way, I can still put $50 per fortnight away for a raining day, we get 2 free trips in Victoria per year sometime 4, I also have a small veggi patch and make my meals for a fortnight and I freeze them, meat and three veg per day, My daughter takes me out for lunch once a month and I have her to my place for lunch once a month, I'm having a ball.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    4:40pm
    Thanks for you post ME
    Most people who say the OAP isn’t enough are lieing and just plain greedy
    Others just have never learnt to live within their means
    Bad habits like smoking and drinking and eating fast food doesn’t help their spending or their health either
    Well done ME
    People like you deserve every dollar the taxpayer provides pensioners
    Jannie
    15th Sep 2018
    2:24pm
    I can only assume you do not have a car, have no insurance cover, no animals, do not buy clothes, no outings like to the movies, don't use electricity or gas only when necessary, no phone or internet, the list goes on. Yes if you live in the past you can survive.
    Jannie
    15th Sep 2018
    2:25pm
    My comment was directed at ME.
    Mez
    17th Sep 2018
    11:45am
    The pension formula based on the CPI appears to be outdated and obviously does not cover modern day lifestyles and needs.
    A new formula needs to be calculated to prevent increasing numbers of age pensioners becoming homeless or living in inadequate conditions like those in caravan parks!
    The Rent Allowance is substandard and has failed to keep up with the skyhigh property prices and also needs to be jacked up because even together with the pension is very meagre to enable a decent living standard by today's standards!
    A major revolution is needed NOW!
    The Gap
    5th Nov 2018
    11:27am
    The 690.70 includes supplements. The figure quoted states $690.70 plus supplements, if only


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