Age pensioners are well-off

One in ten Australians living on the dole cannot afford a substantial meal each day

One in ten Australians living on the dole cannot afford a substantial meal each day, one in eight cannot afford prescription medicines and one in 20 cannot afford to heat their homes. This research has come from a review of the pensions, commissioned by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in 2008. Although these figures were listed as a reference in the final report, the research itself was never published.

The research compares ‘deprivation rates’ among seven groups of Australians. These groups are:

  • Low-wage workers
  • Newstart (dole) recipients
  • Aged pensioners
  • Veterans' pensioners
  • Disability pensioners
  • Parenting payment recipients
  • Self-funded retirees


It shows that self-funded retirees are the least deprived. After self-funded retirees, the next best-off group is those receiving the Age Pension. Where 1.4 per cent of aged pensioners are unable to afford medical treatment if necessary, the proportion of those on the dole in the same position is 22 per cent.  Where 0.7 per cent of Age Pension recipients cannot afford a substantial meal each day, the proportion of Australians on the dole in the same position is 10.3 per cent.

The report was careful to state that these results do not imply that the Age Pension is adequate—they simply show how inadequate the dole and other government pensions are.

To find out more read The Age article Revealed: dole recipients too poor to buy food, medication or heating
 

Comment – Let’s be honest, it’s a handout

At least one in four pensioners is living below the poverty line. It is important to keep that fact in mind when discussing the inadequacies of the dole for two reasons. The first is that it shows how critical the situation with the dole is as, of those receiving a government payment, aged pensioners are better off than every other group, except those who are completely self-funded.

The second is that those on the Age Pension may be better off than those on the dole, but they are not well-off. Having a quarter of a demographic below the poverty line is nothing to cheer about, even when you show people how much worse the situation could be.

I feel conflicted about the dole. On one hand the idea that a group of Australians is living in such extreme poverty is sickening. Australia is a wealthy, economically stable country. It is unnecessary (in theory) for any Australian citizen to suffer in this way. Our government has chosen to spend its money on projects other than welfare, as can be seen in the Age Pension rates. Other economically equivalent countries provide an Age Pension (or similar program) which is worth 25 per cent more than we offer our pension-age Australians. So ours is not a system which helps those who need it most, and that is a very sad realisation.

On the other hand the dole, unlike the Age Pension, is a handout. It is given to people who need money not because they are in some way prevented from working, but because they do not work. While I understand that some people are incapable of holding down work, whether because of an emotional issue, a mental problem or an addiction, not everyone fits into this category. There are also those who very simply do not want to work. Those who will not work.

Newstart allowance, or the dole, was never meant to support people in a long-term fashion. It is designed to tide people over until they can once again work for a wage and stand on their own two feet. If we increase the handout aren’t we removing the incentive for these people to support themselves?

Is this point of view too harsh? Should we be providing welfare for all Australian citizens who need it, or should we redefine ‘need’ from ‘wants a handout’?





    COMMENTS

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    sirrom50
    29th Aug 2012
    11:32am
    So the mighty politicians all think they are doing it tough on their salaries. Especially Bill Shorten and his ministerial payments of around $ 330, 000 a year plus all his bills for his electorate office paid for by Government. Airfares when travelling around, car driver, stamps, phone, etc. Just wish they would come down a live on about $ 15,000 for 6 months and pay all their own bills out of it and then tell us that we do are not doing it tough. I am only on the Disabilty Pension and so is my wife.
    Coversharvey
    29th Aug 2012
    11:42am
    It is amazing that our political maters, say they can't survive on $300Kpa when a pensioner couple earn just on 30kpa which some 100 times lower than the disadvantaged political masters.
    Who is kidding who?
    1 in 4 pensioners may have been ok, but since the introduction of the "Carbon Tax" and with increasing cost of living (food, utilities etc.) I would say 3 in 4 pensioners are now having a very tough time maintaining a basic lifestyle.
    Kohleria
    29th Aug 2012
    11:49am
    Interesting comment.
    Care to elaborate as to just how the "Carbon Tax" has already affected your cost of living?
    Honest appraisal please and don't just parrot selected Pollies or Shock Jocks.
    I'm waiting to hear carbon tax blamed for "my team" missing the Grand Final.
    ozimarco
    29th Aug 2012
    2:13pm
    As pensioners are being fully compensated for the effects of the carbon tax, this shouldn't be an issue for them. There are, of course, other factors driving up the price of power but these shouldn't be confused with the carbon tax. It looks like Tony Abbott's scare campaign has been very successful.
    retroy
    29th Aug 2012
    4:25pm
    Math or arithmetic was not where you excelled Coversharvey !

    The multiplier is 10 not 100 and you got an extra handout from the Govt to cover carbon tax.

    It is tough however.
    Irishwolfhound
    29th Aug 2012
    11:44am
    Totally agree ! The welfare payments were meant to just fill a temporary gap, to help people until they can find work. Age pension is a payment people have paid for with their taxes. This was money was held in a fund separate from all the other monies until Mr Fraser took it and put it into General revenue so he could spend it! But why would anyone try to find work when they can get $1000 a week on welfare because they have a wife and children? The payments to unmarried mothers also just encourage them to go out and have more children to keep the money coming in. Those who do not have work should be made to fill any position that is available to them, in their area, and that they will be able to do. Trolly collecting, cleaning, shelf stacking, anything that will help them get back into the working ethos.
    ozimarco
    29th Aug 2012
    2:16pm
    I agree, too. Dole payments should never reach a level where someone can happily live on them without feeling the need to go and look for work. They are meant to keep you alive why you look for another job.
    petersm
    31st Aug 2012
    12:22pm
    Suggest you Centrelink's rates before making statements such as '$1,000 p.w. on welfare' - you are way, way off the mark.
    Dole payments are well below the poverty line, and I challenge anyone who thinks it is a hand out to try living on it for a year - see how you go paying rent/rates, insurances, utilities, transport, medical care, food, clothing, schooling costs.
    Sadly, in many instances the jobs are just not available, and once you are in your late 30's, employers just don't want to know you.
    grahami2006
    29th Aug 2012
    11:53am
    Totally agree with all the above. I am on aged pension and still need to supplement it with casual work which I guess I will have to do until I don't need to anymore if you know what I mean.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    11:58am
    What serious transparent socialistic government would conduct an in-depth demographic analysis of those on social security payments of any kind and then not publish the results - that is absurd for a start [where is the 'accountability' here?] plus you cannot compare apples with oranges !!

    If someone wont work yet clearly are capable of work then the only sensible answer is some kind of 'enforced' labour and/or being penalized by loss of 'handout'. That already happens with 'volunteer' approved activities - http://www.volunteering.com.au/become_a_volunteer/centrelink_information.asp

    That some regional areas have high unemployment like the fruit growing seasonal picking and the mining industry not able to get remote area workers seems absurd but people cannot be forced to leave their preferred place of residence. Centrelink takes a dim view of relocating to an area that has lower work prospects. Conscription would be such a 'hot potato' I cant see any government game enough to introduce that !!

    The Aged Pension has such broad parameters it is a joke - some have huge homes, the latest cars, boats, all the modern gadgets, travel overseas regularly and have large investments yet still get the full $755 per fortnight [they may 'volunteer' the prescribed hrs per week]. Those at the other end of the scale that have to rent accommodation [get rent allowance] suffer on $755 per fortnight. This needs reform badly - but by whom ?
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    2:22pm
    aquatrek

    Are you for real????? If you work part time on the aged pension you have to report fortnightly, have a cut in pension. If you have money and assets that is scrutinesed. The people you describe must be concealing monday and assets to be getting the full pension. Boy I would l ike to know what sort of aged pension the people you describe live on, it is not the one I receive. One has to live a very simple and strict existence. I have to think before I go to the city, let alone have a holiday. Caring for a home,having repairs made, keeping warm, having an elderly car, keeping it registered and serviced leaves barely enough to keep warm, feed pets, and feed oneself. Op-shops are where most buy their clothes. I don't think the people you know are reliant the pension and if they are not they would not be getting the full pension, pitiful as that is. Most have paid taxes for over half a century, often for community facilities they have never used.
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    2:25pm
    OOps I meant - concealing money, not monday. Darn keyboard, it should know what I meant and corrected it!!!!!!!!!!! Cannot depend on anything these days. :0)
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    4:38pm
    I dont make outrageous stupid ill informed statements MEK. I have direct personal knowledge of a REAL family who live that way. Go and check out the upper limits that you are allowed to have yet still receive the full aged pension - your eyes will fall out of your head. Plus I have been on Newstart and I have 'volunteered' within the last 5 years and I am now on the aged pension. I also watch every penny so I am also REAL.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2012
    5:42pm
    MFK, You obviously don't know the system at all. You definitely can work part-time and still get a full pension.. check it out mate, ring Centrelink.

    Are you a smoker? Or a drinker? No.. I don't want to know, but I found it terribly difficult to live on the aged pension until I stopped smoking (after being a heavy smoker for 47yrs); suddenly I had more money than I needed and now live comfortably on the aged pension even saving for extra things that I want, rather than need.
    I'm not saying that I wouldn't like more, but I've proved to myself that I really can survive well on what I get now from the Government.
    fpbsix
    29th Aug 2012
    7:26pm
    YOU ARE JOKEING, i have a( 21yr old car) a (75 yr old federation style house) which has 11 stairs front & back . I have Ostio & Rumitoid arthritis, NOW when i get my groceries , i put them up 3 steps & go up 3 steps & up another 3 steps & go up another 3 steps .until i get to the top .& I AM ON =the waiting list which is 5 years for a lift ,WHICH I AM supposed to save $5,000.00. PLEASE TELL ME HOW ?also i have many other sickness .
    Jen
    31st Aug 2012
    1:22pm
    fpbsix, I am so sorry to hear that. If I lived near you I'd give you a hand. Please check out the help in your area, for shopping, small repairs and additions (like ramps, rails etc.) that might be available. Your local Council should be able to help. I cringe that people are suffering so much in Australia just getting their groceries inside.
    FrankC
    31st Aug 2012
    9:44pm
    Where on earth did you get that figure of $755 per f/n. That is a mystery to me.
    Irishwolfhound
    29th Aug 2012
    12:17pm
    I think the welfare payments will be getting much smaller soon. The number of people that are entering this country, as 'refugees' is getting too big for the welfare system to handle.
    This year's rate is 1000+ per month so far this year. The costs for these people are wide reaching; from the initial housing and placement, to the amounts given to Indonesia to stop the illegal boat people, by providing boats to stop them, paying for the refugees in their detention camps. I have searched the net to find out the employment figures for refugees - but they seem to be invisible! Perhaps someone can show me the right place to look? At the present rate we will be totally broke in just a few years.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    12:31pm
    Angry Anderson - when in power - will stop them !!! Lets hope that the next Coalition [mixed bag of whoever can be bought off] government leaves out the Greens otherwise we will be having them as permanent house guests LOL
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    2:30pm
    Did either of you see Go Back Where You Came From" on SBS last night. it runs over three nights, tonight, tomorrow and then a special Insight on Friday night. Excellent program. Angry Anderson and Peter Reith are among those who take a walk in the shoes of the refugee. One would hope, perhaps in vain, they may come out the other end along with the shock jock also on the show, with a more compassionate and humane attitude to refugees. Last night they went from looking embarrassed to terrified. Easy to make cheap shots at refugees when you are in a blessed country, behind a desk, with a meal waiting and a warm bed at the end of the day. I think our anti-refugee mouths will find they have feet of clay when in the situation some of these folk have been in before coming here.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    2:39pm
    MEK: If you were really deeply interested in the refugee/asylum situation then you would also have watched the following Dateline program on Sri Lanka - a country I spent a month in when the war was still in progress. There are literally hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, predominantly Tamil both in Sri Lanka and Indian camps, who have no generational future whatsoever. Yet Australian tourism adds are a frequent TV enticement -duh. These refugees, all quietly confidant of boating to Oz illegally, are a direct by-product of a generational ethnic war. Oz cannot take every refugee otherwise the very Oz society itself will deteriorate. Compassion, respect etc are all well and good but Oz is not a refugee 'camp'.
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    2:45pm
    Aquatrek

    Thank you for your comment. I am indeed deeply intersted in the refugee situation. I saw Dateline fleetingly as I was at that time on SBS online watching the interview and questions given the young woman participant. I intend to watch Dateline online. I appreciate what you have said. We cannot take all, but we can take a lot more than we are currently doing. Conversely there are a few "fair dinkum" Aussie yobbos we could happily ship elsewhere to make way for some people prepared to add to this nation not just take from it. :0)
    Jen
    31st Aug 2012
    1:32pm
    Irishwolfhound, here we are talking about the trials of living on the age pension and you bring up refugees. Somehow if these refugees lived as well as most of our age pensioners, they wouldn't give two hoots about risking their lives to come to Australia. How mean-spirited to not want to help to our utmost, people who've endured lives so deprived, so harsh, that we can't even begin to imagine it. Australia doesn't take anywhere near as many refugees as other Western countries, per capita, so let's at least do as well as those other countries and do it with a warm and open heart. We CAN afford it. My only concern is for those refugees who live outside the law once in Australia. We should reserve the right to send them home if they are found to be disobeying our laws. My two cents.
    noddy45
    29th Aug 2012
    12:57pm
    Lets forget the carbon tax for now it as not affected anyone a great deal just yet only Mr Abbott trying to scare everyone a job he do's very well, but for a polli on $300,000+ to say he cant manage is an insult to all Australian pensioners, Mr Shorten should try and live on the pension for 6 months not just 1 week or 1 month lets see how he struggles then.
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    2:40pm
    Noddy I agree, they have no idea.
    walr
    29th Aug 2012
    4:53pm
    noddy, sorry can't agree, I think Shorten's remarks prove the point for us. If he can't live on his salary then surely it makes us look as poor as we are.
    Remember, in a lot of cases we didn't get super or the opportunity to save for our old age. In our case we managed to own what we had when we retired,so, we expected to be alright. Sorry the car now needs replacing, and maintenance on the house, so it looks like we will be borrowing on the house to repair things.
    Great isn't it, the banks had us most of our life and they are going to get us again.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    5:03pm
    Did our Drew ever 'publish' his media stunt attempt to live like a pensioner ?
    rtrish
    31st Aug 2012
    4:24pm
    I don't want to label Drew's week as a media stunt. I saw it more as a genuine attempt to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. I am looking forward to seeing his article and had hoped to see it earlier.
    rosemaryjune
    29th Aug 2012
    12:58pm
    People who are self-funded retirees, have reasonable funds (classed as an asset) and own their own home often get no pension at all OR concessions. I was made redundant prior to deeming age so have had to pay tax on the funds I have been living on from my Super. I have been unable to get another job because I couldn't pass the medical. It wasn't that I didn't want one.
    I pay full price for my medication. I did manage to get a small concession on my council rates this year by applying under the Seniors card rules via a State Govt. Dept. However because my Birthday is in Sept. when the full amount was due in 1/9 last year, I didn't get a concession for the installments due after that. It will be interesting to see if I get any on my ESL this year.
    Like my now late father said some years ago, you pay tax on your wages, on the interest in your bank account (on the money you have already paid tax on), then you are hit when you start living on your super. He always said It seemed there was little incentive to save for your old age but he did anyway.
    Touchy
    29th Aug 2012
    12:59pm
    Until there is decentralisation, we in the country areas, no matter where in Australia, will always have young members of the community on the dole. Our children, unlike previous generations, are now part of the technological age, and as such, do not want to farmers. If there were jobs in the country areas, such as Government Departments, both State and Federal, we could halve the dole rate in the "bush" areas overnight. It is this current batch of "Dole Bludgers" that rae the "Lost Generation". Shame on us.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2012
    2:36pm
    Excellent idea - decentralisation - was once done - needs to be again.
    Would make jobs and of course no need to worry about distances between departments etc for reporting or even talking in meetings with the technology to video conference and of course the internet - making it even more attractive to governments to sell off inner CBD buildings for a new one built in country area on less expensive land and all the employees moving out would add to the community to improve schools etc as well as turnover in retail area. A plus plus.
    Meanwhile back in the cities would ease the prices of houses over time as people move out leaving them up for sale - meanwhile maybe renting etc and could even bring down house prices over time too.
    Lots of pluses there so do suggest it to all MPs say by email and by letters to the editor etc - only people power wins today particularly since all the pollies are in election mode - only 12 months to go.
    BrianP
    29th Aug 2012
    1:00pm
    More priority is required by politicians, to introduce policies that have a beneficial effect on the social fabric of our society. The gap between 'Haves' and 'Have nots' is increasing, more people are falling into poverty and social behaviour is getting worse (muggings, house break ins, theft, etc), as people become increasingly desperate. Thought should be given to ways to provide extra financial incentives to people so they can provide more income for themselves. This would reduce the burden on social services.
    fpbsix
    31st Aug 2012
    5:40pm
    yes there are many of pensioners who do try to help themselves by taking the Hand Made products & selling them at the markets. which gives them usually enough to buy more meterials to make more HomeMade products , as its the only Entertainment a lot of Old Aged Pensioners can Afford .& they seem to have made many friends at the Markets ,
    Kali-G
    29th Aug 2012
    1:49pm
    He is the same trade union heavy, whom helped to destroy indusrties and propagate industrial unrest by the union ( read Mafia) now he is on a huge payout from Gillard and Co and bleats on...... shame shame shame. Lets get Labor!
    particolor
    29th Aug 2012
    1:53pm
    YAY!!... I've saved up 60 cents now from my Pension Rise of 10 cents a fortnight!!! I'm going to buy a Postage Stamp with it !!And send an Old Post Card of Bondi Beach to Cristmas Island ...YAY!!!!
    Well you needed something to Brighten your day ! Didnt Ya???
    kino
    29th Aug 2012
    2:24pm
    As an age pensioner, married to a younger wife, who can not afford to get a job because we live 102 km from the nearest town, I am on $1500 a month To go shopping once every 3 or 4 weeks cost us over $25 in petrol a round trip. Centrelink insist on her looking for work, but we can not afford to go into town more than once a month. It is a struggle to say the least. The lady at Centrelink said she can not help that we live so far away and can not afford the petrol. The rules say My wife needs to look for work.
    noddy45
    29th Aug 2012
    2:30pm
    Don't expect sympothy from Centrelink, they are only interested in what you can do for them not what they can do for you, if your wife was a crackhead then she would get help from them, otherwise you are on your own.
    MAC22
    29th Aug 2012
    2:47pm
    For a start, there are just too many people who do not work for their monies, and look for handouts from Centrelink. Disability people (no fault of their own), the aged (it happens to all of us) and returned servicemen, should all qualify for pensions when required, under the present rules. Those who are on "drugs" including alcohol, and do not work, should not be paid unemployment benefit after a particular time limit of being out of work. Also the benefit paid to women who have a child or continually are pregnant to qualify for baby bonus and a benefit, this should be cancelled. Encouraging under age teenagers, and other women to become pregnant for a payout is beyond my comprehension. There is a no win situation here for our nation, and discourages young people to become working and honest citizens of our nation. We require a strong nation of workers and volunteers to keep our country having strong growth and a job for all. No work after a certain time frame (including volunteering) reduce their payments until they no longer are eligible. When this occurs, finally they may see the light and work for a living instead of bleeding our generous country dry.
    Boof
    29th Aug 2012
    3:01pm
    Aged pensioners might be well off compared to people on the dole.Richard Branson is well off compared to the bloke who picks up our garbage. Wait till everyone gets their next coouple of Electrical Bills. It has nothing to do with the Carbon Tax. It has gone up one third in the last 18 months and is going to go sky high. The greedy CEO's and Board members of these PRIVATISED ELCTRICAL COMPANIES, who have been hired to do the State Governments Jobs for them, (Infrastructure), are finding it very hard to keep up with the petrol prices for their $240,000.00 Audi Series ones' and 4wheel Drive Pitt St. Rove Rangers'.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    3:29pm
    Sir Richard Branson employs thousands of people whereas you employ at least one person to remove whatever you dont recycle LOL
    Supernan
    29th Aug 2012
    3:25pm
    I would agree with drug addicts/alcoholics not getting support provided there was compulsory treatment. At the moment there is a real shortage of rehab places & lots of weird rules before such places can be accessed.
    I agree the Baby Bonus is crazy & that it does encourage underage/multiple pregnancies. Thanks Peter Costello !
    Most people on the dole that we see, also have heaps of kids - which means they get enough extra dole payments - so they get enough to live on & don't want to go to work.
    I think Work or Volunteer for the Dole is the way to go. Know a few people who built successful businesses using skills they learned with the old scheme which operated about 30 years ago.
    It's bad policy to give people something for nothing unless they are hurt or genuinely unable to work & hopefully the Disability Insurance scheme will help these.
    In the future there will be less aged pensioners as Employers now have to pay Super for their staff. However this worked against us - having to pay our Staff's super we could not afford to pay our own ! Not looking forward to living on an Aged Pension ! !
    Fiona
    29th Aug 2012
    3:58pm
    Unless there's some kind of compulsory detoxification program for drug addicts it's not going to be much use cutting off their payments. Already there's an increasing number of robberies of older people and I can imagine it getting worse if they are desperate for money.
    robmur
    29th Aug 2012
    4:18pm
    What a rediculous statement to say aged pensioners might be better off than somebody on the dole. The dole receiver has at least an opportunity to get employment and paid a respectable wage. Of course many dole recipients are not interested in work. It isn't appropriate to compare aged pensioners with dole recipients. Aged pensioners, like myself, are doing it tough. The latest council and water rates have risen a staggering amount. The cost of electricity and gas have also risen considerably. Poor Bill Shorten, he can't live on $300,000+. My heart bleeds for him and his poor financial state. It is now time for the federal government to really have a look at the aged pension and the rising costs associated with living. Cost of living, with the carbon tax helping to push the cost of everything up, isn't being considered when it comes to a pension rise. A $9 a week to off set the carbon tax is a joke. Australia is a wealthy country and nobody should have to exist in such poor situations that forces them to go without food, medication and heating/cooling of their homes. Neither major political party when in government has really understood the plight of aged and often needy citizens of this Australian society. Once you are on the aged pension, in the government's eyes you are on the scrap heap. Pity.
    FrankC
    31st Aug 2012
    9:37pm
    I agree Rob. The government is too busy giving $1.092 to Indonesia , of all paces, so that they may improve their services to the plebs there, rather than helping out those Australians that have made this country great, well did make this country great those that put them in their position that they are in now. Perhaps if the government didn't set up stupid jobs like supervising Vanuatu's road system and then pay a tax free salary of $443 p.a, they might be able to look at that and see the inequality of that sort of rubbish and the standard of living that pensioners face. I saw figures a couple of years ago showing that refugees get more than pensioners get. The figures were mind blowing.
    FrankC
    31st Aug 2012
    10:40pm
    I made errors in that reply.That should read $1.092billion, and the tax free salary of $443K p.a. In the year 2011-2012 the government is providing $4.3 billion in overseas aid, which they want to increase to $8-$9 billion by 2014-2015. These figures are available on the internet.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    4:29pm
    Its time for a new Seniors political party - TSP:
    TheSeniorsParty@hotmail.com
    and get chatting with Henry
    'we' can make a change
    retroy
    29th Aug 2012
    4:31pm
    I remember going to HK in the 80s and there was no unemployment benefit or social security payments for any thing, and guess what, they did not have unemployment.

    Private charities looked after the destitute and every one else found a job.

    Its just too easy when 105,000 are said to be permanently unemployed in this country.
    Irishwolfhound
    30th Aug 2012
    1:55am
    We were there just a couple of years ago - and we had a little old lady, bent almost double with arthritis, selling hair pins and matches. She was there all day and into the late evening. I think some of our welfare recipients should take note of how lucky they are !!They have it really easy here in Australia!!!
    Millie
    29th Aug 2012
    4:51pm
    My understanding of the carbon tax is that pensioners got a one off compensation payment.
    However, the tax will continue to go up.The impact hasn't hit us yet, but give it 6 months.
    businesses will pass on higher energy costs, everything will go up.
    they should have increased the consumption tax instead, so only those that spend money on non essential goods, which is your choice to buy, get taxed.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    5:00pm
    Dont be silly Millie [tongue in cheek] - applying common sense to an environmental fiscal farce wont work. Ju-liar said that the calculations were all based on some 'average' Joe Blow - not pensioners. So you have hit the nail right on its logical head - pensioners WILL be affected by the stupid policy impact. Dont spend that $200 too quickly now !!
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    5:10pm
    There will be a further lump sum payment to pensioners in Marh as I understand the plan.
    Sylvia
    29th Aug 2012
    5:47pm
    I cannot understand why every one gets the maternity benefit, for every pregnancy, maybe for the first to buy large items, but these days one has a choice when to have children, years ago we had to have what we got, and had to manage ..so we did, but now it seems when we have the choice to have our children and every child should be a wanted child,do people really need to have incentives to have them?, surely this is wrong?
    Everyone talks about carbon tax, global warming, but no one mentions over population? The baby consumers are going to use cars and need keeping warm ,be fed and clothed, cared for educated (we hope), there don't seem to be enough jobs now to keep us all employed, so really do these pay outs help in anyway at all, or are there going to be generations living on welfare?
    All I am saying is there has to be a better way, before the whole world is bankrupt, we can't keep taking, we have to be responsible for ourselves, and make sure the people elected to run this country are the best we can get, because at the moment they are not too hot! either party!! We need some good men and women, and if Mr Shorten would up my age pension enough to have the heating on longer I would willingly sit here and try to think up some answers!
    esther
    29th Aug 2012
    5:48pm
    hi my husband is on the pension
    i work 2 hours a day if i work any longer hours they take the money off me as well me
    so i can not earn any thing more to help pay the bills we have a small morgage which is better than paying high rent if anything real marjore happens we just cannot afford the bill
    i just wonder why all the rufages are getting more money than us they get even things we can not afford etc cig and booze i do none of them even going out for a meal for lunch can not do it nay more,
    i still think the person on the pension should not be pentiized if there partner is trying to work. i only wish the goverment would live a year on the same wage
    isobel
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    6:08pm
    You can earn about $145 per fortnight and beyond that you lose 50 cents for every dollar earnt. No sliding scale - a straight 50% goes to the government. Now that's what I call a brilliant social incentive to keep those past the aged pension age in the part-time or fulltime workforce - not.

    I cant wait for the next Carbon Tax compensation payment - might use it for an overseas trip to Bribie Island or even further offshore to Straddie.
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    6:17pm
    nope - just made a snap decision - I am going to go 100% against the borrow borrow doctrine that I am constantly fed on this illustrious blogging forum and actually SAVE it for a rainy day [that seems to ring a bell deep deep in the inner sanctum past memories grey cells]. Must see if I can find my olde Commonwealth [good ring to that] money tin with the slot on top. Probably be worth a small fortune on the heirloom 2nd hand goods auctions nowadays !!
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    5:56pm
    Did our Drew ever 'publish' his media stunt attempt to live like a pensioner ?
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    5:59pm
    Where is Penelope "Penny" Ying-yen Wong nowadays - she is/was the Finance Minister ?
    Taskid
    29th Aug 2012
    7:00pm
    aquarek

    She was on Lateline last night. :0)

    29th Aug 2012
    6:14pm
    Shorten not able to live on 300.000.-- plus, just show you who are the parasites in this country, he never did an honest day's work in his life, become an union official through the ALP and never look back!!!!
    aquatrek
    29th Aug 2012
    6:20pm
    uh uh - blasphemy !!
    maggierose
    3rd Sep 2012
    4:37pm
    There is no more dangerous species on this earth, than a union boss turned politician.
    maggierose
    3rd Sep 2012
    4:37pm
    There is no more dangerous species on this earth, than a union boss turned politician.
    Abe
    29th Aug 2012
    7:39pm
    Dear Henry is waiting for all you whingers to contact him and join the seniors' party. When we get enough people to show the governments we mean business then maybe we can get better raises in our pensions. Write to Henry Latorre at 'theseniorsparty@hotmail.com' with your 'expression of interest'. We need as many as possible. If you don't do something for yourselves the government won't, so come on everybody, let's kick some ass!!
    lowflyer
    29th Aug 2012
    7:46pm
    If these goons think that pensioners are well off they should try to live on this amount for a Month. They would then fiind that along with rates power phone and maybe a car plus insurance for their house there is very little to spend on food and certainly they don't go out to Resturants.
    I cannot remember when I last had a holiday or went out to a Resturant where I paid.

    Just try it you dummies
    sirrom50
    29th Aug 2012
    10:06pm
    Wow i made the first comment about Politicians should try and live for 6 months on the pension and no one cared to comment on it. Yet somebody later said the same thing and virtually got attacked for saying it. I really think some of you have not tried to really live on the pension only and pay all your bills plus rent, etc. If i could get a $ 20 a week rise in my Disability Pension it would make a great difference instead of the mere $ 1.70 rise that i got in March this year. Then again the politicians got a $ 15,000 raise and since then a further raise and they still get all their ELECTORATE bills paid. If i wanted to travel i have to pay for it. Maybe they should be paying for their own airfares to & from CANBERRA when Parliament sits and see how much it costs them. Also pay for their own hotel accomodation instead of the Government paying for them and then getting a living away from home allowance on top.
    Michael
    29th Aug 2012
    11:17pm
    Nine dollars a week is indeed a joke! It's nearly two dollars too much. You have been taking too much notice of our opposition misleader.
    Michael
    29th Aug 2012
    11:20pm
    Comment was meant for Robmur!
    AlbertC
    30th Aug 2012
    6:50am
    i like a lot of other pensioners live solely on the pension as does my partner we live with no other payment but the pension if we are lucky after paying your rent and other bills that seem never ending we usually have about $10 dollars left and only because we are forced to go with some other things we might need like new cloths house linen ie towels ect. incidentaly i or my partner do not smoke or drink. i get a little peeved off when i know that a lot people brag about how much money they have and that they buy a new car every 2ND year with smirks on their faces. these are the ones that should not be on a pension and another thing that erks me is seniors card for over 55 you get pollies on it executives bank mangers and a.lot more who do not really need them get these % cuts it should be for over 65 not 55 and be not working at all.and paying pension increases linked to cpi is a killer you loose about 1 third 0f your pension it is only a benefit to the landlord where is the justice in that, have a nice day.
    Taskid
    30th Aug 2012
    2:33pm
    I can relate to what you say AlbertC
    Pines
    30th Aug 2012
    11:01am
    We had to decentralise 35 years ago because my husband's Employer did. I am very happy we did because I love where we live. We had to sell our first home and pay the mortgage out, then buy a new home taking another mortgage. When my husband retired we finalised that mortgage. His Super was not huge because at that time Employers did not contribute the much larger % that they now do. It was heavily taxed, which vexed us greatly given tax had already been payed in the beginning. By the time the mortgage was payed out of it there was not a great deal left for investing to assist with the pension. We no longer receive the extra money because the Super has run out. All this is in answer to the people who say we have big homes, cars etc. We paid for any assets we have, but they cost a lot to upkeep plus rates and insurance and all the other extras. Our home now needs lots of things repaired but we cannot afford it. We are like most aged pensioners "Assets rich but cash poor" We neither drink nor smoke. We have not had any sort of holiday for over 15 years. I get so angry at people who say pensioners are well off... Not so long ago certain sections of the population were complaining because they earned too much to get the child care assistance, some of them earning more than $150,000 per year. I think they should get their priorities in order. Added to this we would be a lot worse off if the Liberal gov were in power as they rarely gave pensioners anything, and seem unlikely to change now if you listen to people like Joe Hockey.
    robmur
    30th Aug 2012
    3:10pm
    Response to Michael from robmur. I'm not listening to the Federal Opposition, I'm working from facts. Pensioner couples received $380 in June or $10.10 per week. The Federal Government estimated in June the spending rise/affect of the carbon tax would be $9.90. Now what are we going to do with the extra 0.20 cents the government has been so generous to give us? This amount is to last until March 2013 when the amount will increase to $510 per annum or $9.80 per week. This amount in March is actually 0.30 cents per week less than what pensioner couples received in June 2012. Now I don't know which genius worked all this out, but the genius is a fool because the increased costs on the price of food, council rates, gas, electricity, water and transport to name just a few, has far outstripped the government's carbon tax compensation. My $9 figure was little out until I got your response and went looking for the real facts about this crazy, useless tax which has become a total burden on our society.
    Michael
    30th Aug 2012
    4:08pm
    You are correct, that was the original government estimate. The estimate has been recalculated by independent sources as closer to seven dollars and twenty cents.
    Michael
    30th Aug 2012
    4:11pm
    Robmur
    it is good to see you normally rely on facts rather than the federal opposition!
    kenlow
    31st Aug 2012
    10:17am
    I have enjoyed reading all these comments, both the accurate and the sadly inaccurate ones, but the one thing I have learned over my 82 years of voting and participation, because I do believe in Democracy simply because its the only system of government that works for the whole population, is it requires a great deal of participation from everybody, starting at a very young age. There are many parties and movements in this world who are hell bent on continually working to enslave both politically and economically, the weak and vulnerable in their communities to serve their own selfish interests and their belief in how this world should be managed. No amount of comment or argument will deter these forces except a well informed, active and determined electorate. This truth is displayed
    daily throughout the world by the media for everyone to see and grasp.
    aquatrek
    31st Aug 2012
    10:31am
    and thats where the trap lies - one cant always rely 100% upon that media with its spin spin spin and Labour even wants to impose censorship on it so that only what the media is told to report on is allowed - now that is indeed a crazy ideological smokescreen imposition upon a free democratic society !!
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2012
    3:09pm
    That is because of course our PM was once the secretary of the student Communist party. As a swinging voter - well usually end up these days voting Liberal because only 3 choices Green Red or Blue and at least the Blue keeps the country in it once they pay off the Red's debt always run up during their terms in government. As for Green - loony tunes as they make no sense - saving trees not jobs but saving water but open borders with 35 million under UNHCR looking for a place in the sun.
    student
    31st Aug 2012
    12:11pm
    from the first post to the last ... we all have responsibilities no matter what our income. And kenlow and aquatrek, I do wish more people thought rationally and logically like you. I am sick of reading gumbles and 'poor-me' comments. I may not have a lot of physical stuff but by golly I have oodles of love and joy in my life. The sun still comes up every morning, and I am so glad :) (and I am grateful for my Disabilities Pension every fortnight!!)
    maggierose
    3rd Sep 2012
    4:51pm
    Must say I agree with you, there are so many places on this earth, where people die of hunger and illness every day, because there is no welfare system at all.
    I manage on my pension very well, although I am one of the fortunate ones who own my own home, patrol is an issue because I live semi rural, but that is my luxury and I make sure I can always "have fuel will travel". I have cut out all junk food shopping, buy fresh vegs and fruit, grains, not a lot of meat, and another favourite luxury, atlantic salmon. one piece will make three meals, with lots of vegs and salad. So planning, making lists, and changing your style of living from champagne to beer style, with an occasional splurge IS attainable....
    I also sponsor a child, and a pet rescue group monthly, so if you DON'T pay rent, you have NO reason to whinge.
    Sorry, that all read as so self rightous (sigh) not meant to, its just that some folks just still try to live as they did on a working wage, I know because I have friends who do, and are always broke and worrying....
    kenlow
    1st Sep 2012
    8:30am
    In response to Aquatrek 31/8/12, that is precisely my point, I am not advocating swallowing all the hype and bias from the media, or politicians and scientists in grasping the truth but doing the hard work associated with finding and grasping the truth is the duty of everyone claiming to be a democrat and is part of being well informed, determined and active.
    tomob
    1st Sep 2012
    9:07am
    A lot has been said and written about the ups and downs of living on the aged pension. One point of advice I will offer to all is never have a wife who is younger than you and able to work. The amount my pension has been affected is that up to 50% is taken because my wife earns more than $1000 per fortnight, most fortnights, this is because under Centrelink's calculations we are not individuals we are a couple. The senior management of Centrelink continue to tell us that we are better off because of this. My pension as far as a tax return,from Centrelink, was $8159 for the year 2011/2012 equivalent to $150.00 per week our rent is $285.00 per week so my wife with her "huge" income has to contribute at times up to $270 per fortnight allowing us to live is taken from the balance.
    So don't take too much in thinking that you will live too well on our pension.
    sirrom50
    1st Sep 2012
    11:01am
    Yes once you are married you are deemed as a couple. If you are engaged you are deemed as a couple if living under the same roof. I am just wondering what their interpretation would be if you get divorced and still live under the same roof.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2012
    3:14pm
    Something nasty there as you say. Discrimination is rife when you are old enough for the pension. I have always thought it should be one base pension for each person and add on for the disadvantages faced. For example harmer and other think renters are worse off and home owners in the clover completely ignoring that Monday morning after say cold water or backed up loo and disaster to come - renter rings the Landlord to fix the home owner has to find the money some where - either having tried to save or by reverse mortgage etc. With the Left in power the renter is favoured over those who struggled and went without to buy a place for their old age.
    maggierose
    3rd Sep 2012
    5:00pm
    My husband and I got a legal seperation in 1990, and continure to share the house, with him one end and I the other. Centrelink accepted this as living seperately, when I applied for my pension, and so far we have not been deemed a couple. As this arrangement was acceptable to them back then, its up to them to let us know if they have changed the rules. My husband has a disability following a serious accident, and he cannot afford to move out to rent alone. He does minor house maintenance in lieu of rent.
    Maybe it depends on who you deal with at centrelink......more further out you go from the city the nicer they seem to be..
    grumpygran
    1st Sep 2012
    12:22pm
    You've all missed the point folks. This research dates back to 2008 when couples received one and two thirds the single pension - then it became one and a half times the single pension - with the cut in 2009 (by Rudd) and the finishing it off (by Gillard) in 2010 the cut is just under $7,000 A YEAR!! 23% to be precise. Then the latest cut has been to the single pension where they now tie it to the couples cut pension, instead of the reverse, and singles receive 66% of the couples . The covert workings of this government never cease to amaze me!!! Gillard gives herself a $75,000 RISE - no doubt to increase her lifetime pension of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year FOR LIFE!! As many of you have said let a pollie try to exist (not live) on any of the pensions and they wouldn't survive. They live in an ivory tower with no semblance of reality - imagine if all couples (and now single pensioners) had the extra cash that's been taken away over the past three years - this was the security past generations had to actually have a funeral fund, replace the old frig., repairs to the old house - but all that's gone now with this mob of thieves!! Don't forget either that 3% of the increase in electricity bills goes to pay the solar panel rebate - how many pensioners have solar panels - the greedy take from the needy again!!!
    toot2000
    1st Sep 2012
    1:12pm
    According to the Labor Party site, they have delivered the biggest increase to the single age pension in more than a hundred years, more than $100 a fortnight for single age pensioners, and more than $76 for couples.
    travelman
    1st Sep 2012
    12:44pm
    I believe that Australians do not know what poverty is, I mean real poverty. I do understand it is tough for some particularly if they live in capital cities, high mortages, high rents or/and have credit debts. Too many Australians have a 'handout' mentality and too many pensioners have created their own financial burdens while they had jobs and without giving thought for their retirement. I was one of the latter but, thanks to my mum, I received an inheritance and bought a nice, real cheap house in the country not too far from a city.
    I also visited Haiti last year and I saw REAL poverty, so bad I do not think any Australian, including myself could live with. In Port-au-Prince I found a woman and her nephew living in a tent city of some 500,000 other people. This woman and the child was my real reason to go to Haiti and I went with photos of them as well as their names. They had been in this camp for twentytwo months without any beds, utensiles, showers or cooking facilities or electricty. When I took them from that tent camp I said, "Bring all your possessions, you are coming back to my hotel, I will get you a room until I can find you a place to live." They each picked up a tee-shirt, their only possession. I had to fight back the tears and again later when I said goodnight to them, the little boy with his one leg lay grinning with happiness as he lay on his first bed since the earthquake 22 months ago. I don't want thanks for doing what anyone would do; I just want us to get our goverments to wake to the state our county is in, the vast difference between rich and poor. I want us, you and me to stop whingeing about what we don't have and start doing our part to make our lives better and also help to make our country better for all. Do that then we help others beyond our country. My inheritance is gone but I still help that woman and her nephew and others. I budget my pension, shop for the cheapest prices, live within my means and soon, at the age of 75, start a job. I get so angry sometimes at the way some of us behave but I feel so happy at being able to go to Haiti and learn. Travelman
    grumpygran
    1st Sep 2012
    1:45pm
    toot2000 Maybe the following will clarify the situation!! Yes they did increase the single pension in 2010 BUT

    Pensions – tax by stealth

    Robert Gottliebsen, Election 2010

    Published 7:44 AM, 10 Aug 2010 Last update 10:15 AM, 10 Aug 2010

    I have just realised that I and other journalists have made a serious mistake. As a result of believing Canberra spin, we thought pensioners had been well looked after by the Labor government. Now, with the help of accountant Robert Parry, I have looked past the spin and discovered pensioners have been treated very badly. There is probably no major group in the community that has been treated so harshly.

    I am not sure how many pensioners read Business Spectator regularly, but I am sure many readers (including me) know a lot of people on the age pension and a lot who expect to mix their pension with retirement income. As a result of the government's decisions of the past year or so, would-be pensioners and, where possible, pensioners, will need to reassess their strategy.

    I can hear the reaction from the ALP spin doctors: “Mr Gottliebsen, get your facts right? The Rudd/Gillard government lifted the single pension from $599 (with allowances) a fortnight in July 2009 to $672 a fortnight in September 2009. And then on March 2010 the single pension with allowances rose to $701 a fortnight – that’s an increase of 17 per cent in nine months. No government has ever done that before.”

    If only that was all that was done. To fund much of the outlay on the increased single pension, the government made a series of other changes:

    – For as long as I can remember a pension couple received 167 per cent of a single pension. In other words the additional person received two thirds the single pension entitlement. This has been slashed to 150 per cent, so the extra person in a couple gets only 50 per cent of the single pension.
    I am not sure how many pensioners understand what is happening to them because all they hear from the government is that they are better off and the Opposition has not twigged to the effect of the structural changes. If Tony Abbott wants the pensioner vote he should restore the traditional 167 per cent relationship between couples and single pensioners. The spin promises a benefit. Reality takes it away.
    grumpygran
    1st Sep 2012
    2:54pm
    toot2000 Forgot to mention before (and you won't find this on the labour site} - NO government has ever taken money off pensioners - only this lot - give pensioner couples an increase (or so it would appear!!) when you've already cut the pension by nearly a quarter - I don't think so.
    Pines
    1st Sep 2012
    3:11pm
    Where do you get all these figures, I can clearly remember quite a lot of single pensioners going to Canberra during the Howard Gov. time protesting because the single pension was so low and poor. I think you're looking at the Liberal years through rose coloured glasses. They had a huge surplus and even the shock jocks of radio and TV were stating that Howard should use some of this surplus to give Pensioners, single in particular more because they were struggling. At least be fair and don't juggle the figures to prove a point
    toot2000
    1st Sep 2012
    3:50pm
    According to Labor

    "We have improved pension indexation so the pension keeps up with the rising cost of living. We have introduced a new Pensioner Living Cost Index that better reflects the basket of goods that pensioners buy, and have included this, along with the regular CPI and a benchmark to wages to the pension indexation formula. The Labor Government has also increased the single pension from 25 per cent to 27.7 per cent of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings, and will keep the benchmark at this higher level.

    Federal Labor believes that the age pension is a foundation of Australia’s retirement income system. Three out of four Australians aged over 65 receive a full or part pension. The age pension needs to provide seniors with a decent standard of living, and that’s what our pension increase and changes to indexation will help achieve."

    http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/achievements/more-help-for-pensioners/
    Pines
    1st Sep 2012
    3:55pm
    Thankyou for that toot2000, at least someone is telling the truth, but I'm not sure grumpygran will believe it
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2012
    3:41pm
    Of course that is off of a Labor site and it is not exactly the same as the one on the actual Centrelink payment site. Because the age pension under Howard was entirely tied to the Male Average Wage which is always higher than any CPI or other benchmarks. I have lost the link and they have now changed the whole site again anyway. But did look into it before and it came out that the rises will of course be less and they untied it from the MAW in 2007 as soon as they came to power. Point being in spite of the fact they are supposed to represent the working man and woman - they done represent the retired workers who now draw the pension and why.
    Well maybe because it is this - Julia Gillard said 'the age pensioners don't vote Labor anyway'. Wrong of course many still do.
    Plus Toots2000 already discussed this on the meeting place and of course they have as Grumpy Gran said altered the way the pension is paid.
    And of course Gottliebsen is right in that the tax take now is larger with 50c in the $ when before 40c and highest rate from ATO is lower.
    Sneaky goings on indeed. Murky too as very hard to work it all out.
    Someone said they also now do income tax as a 'couple' which again if true is very sneaky and why - well for years couples wanted to do their tax this way so gains made for them when on has a lot higher wage but neither of the majors ever agreed but here they are once again sneaking in for seniors because of course gains more money for the government to spend on their own higher salaries and perks whilst cutting services.
    toot2000
    1st Sep 2012
    4:29pm
    As a pensioner, it's important to find out what party is more sympathetic to our cause, I'd like to see some data on what John Howard did for pensioners, then maybe we can work it out.
    Nautilus
    1st Sep 2012
    5:27pm
    Maybe you are both missing the reality at the foot of what you say, which is that none of them will give you even the time of day. Unless you have them over a barrel and they need that extra few percent to get their bums on seats, that is.

    So it is back to what innes says about people acting in their own best interests and forming a party or power bloc. But pensioners vote according to habit. Although there is the history of getting burned sometimes too.

    It is circular. Unless the circle is broken that is and voting for the impractical Greens protest party delivers worse outcomes.
    Pines
    1st Sep 2012
    8:19pm
    Agree somewhat Nautilus, but I am not one who votes from habit. I am 75 and have always been a swinging voter and just in case you think I am an avid Labor voter, I have voted the Liberal party in for a major part of the time.

    I know what you say about all the Pollies,that they are all the same, might be right. I just think that of the two major parties Labor does more for the needy and underpriviledged.
    I have family members who thought we were going to be in dreadful place when Labor got in and were devastated, but I don't think they have done too badly when you consider most other countries.

    Toot2000 says we should see some data on the Howard gov in regards to pensions but how do we get fair assessments when most of the financial experts say different things... It seems like there are very few unbiased reports coming out and I end up getting confused by who to believe
    Nautilus
    1st Sep 2012
    9:14pm
    Hi Pines.

    I agree that historically Labor has been more concerned with welfare. I don't think that recent Labor governments have upheld the traditional ideals. Labor under the influence of the feckless Greens is a train wreck.

    The Howard government and the Labor governments that followed have squandered the billions from the minerals booms.

    At present I am more concerned that governments control wastage of money allocated. The federal bucket of taxes leaks like a colander. To mix metaphors there are too many snouts in the trough. Populism overrules prudence .
    toot2000
    1st Sep 2012
    9:51pm
    What did John Howard do for pensioners?
    toot2000
    2nd Sep 2012
    12:11pm
    I found an article in the Daily Telegraph dated 24 October 2007 which read:

    John Howard yesterday pledged to increase the Utilities Allowance received by two million pensioners from $107.20 to $500 a year. It will be paid in two instalment each year in March and September beginning in 2008. The payment increase was a recognition of the fact that while the economy was strong "there are some Australians not enjoying all the opportunities delivered by our current growth and prosperity", Mr Howard said. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/howard-chases-the-grey-vote/story-e6freuy9-1111114710109
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2012
    4:21pm
    Howard did and brought in the pension supplements in the first place which Labor has carried on but again they have again sneakily altered it making it hard to compare. He did pay the $500 too. But when Nautilus says they both squandered the mining boom money - well Howard did start off the middle class welfare saying all should share and of course the baby bonus which most agree is stupid in a over populated world. And the benchmark for this handouts are so high $150k I think for Tax benefit A and Tax Benefit B for those on welfare when children's monies now make it that a loss to go out to work and living off the dole with 3+ kids means a more comfortable life hence the cars and PayTV dishes on public housing with low rents too. I expected Labor have not cut out any of it have they now? I did expect them to stop the baby bonus but no.

    I am also disappointed too that every time Julia goes overseas she hands out a few more of our millions which imo should be kept for those here at home. Charity begins at home.
    Nautilus
    2nd Sep 2012
    12:19pm
    toot, "What did John Howard do for pensioners? "

    Nothing that will ever convince a person who is a dyed in the wool Labor supporter. But then the same could be said of a LNP or Greens supporter. The 'other side' for those who joust on those terms.

    What I was saying above and it is a consistent theme of mine when this subject is discussed is that it would be more fruitful to break new ground, to move this whole discussion onto a new platform. This argy bargy between supporters of political parties gets nowhere anyhow.

    Quite obviously the prevailing view of ageing much change, if only because more people are surviving much longer. Very few people can get to the end of a career at 65 to fall over the line for a pension. Or can look to automatic support of government and the community because they have put their lives into raising whole and healthy children who are good citizens and likely cared for elders as well.

    Permanent jobs have gone. Employment is intermittent for at least half of the population and people make many transitions through life (think of women for starters). The very concept (and value!) of marriage and the 'traditional' family is challenged. The State and 'friends' are suggested as substitutes. Many more people have chosen the single path, whether having a child or not. Extended families are seen as quaint cultural traditions of migrants.

    The days of limiting discussion to 'pensioners' (by and for pensioners), the pension and pensioner benefits are gone. But I have posted at length on the subject several times before and I propose not to give myself the task of going over it again. It is there for any who are interested. Perhaps there is some way to search.

    I will leave the thought that whether it is deserved or not there is a body of opinion in society that workers should not be burdened with lazy old buggers with sense of entitlement living off the pension for longer than they were at work, if indeed they ever worked for long at all. The 'Boomers' in particular have been bracketed by columnists, and by politicians too, as an advantaged population who have lived off the fat of the land and demand a continuing free spin for lief on the pension that spans longer than working careers.

    None of that bodes well in a culture that is already known for not valuing or showing respect for the aged.

    Restrict the discussion to pensioners and party politics and get what is already coming for you. Because excluding broader discussion and wider participation is a recipe for ending up with an insistence of privately funded welfare and support (ie charity) with government grudgingly being responsible for basket cases.

    Health is the same. It is over-burdened. That will not change. Since no government is politically able to restrict health services in any way -where the persistent druggie or hopeless violent alcoholic has equality of services and outcomes and over-consumes expensive treatments and hospital beds- limitation takes the form of unavailability. Hence the ramping of ambulances.

    But the ears have walls and I will be seen as lateral or worse, having to repeat what I have said before. I will leave it at that.
    toot2000
    2nd Sep 2012
    12:32pm
    Just trying to cut through the spin Naut, looking for the truth.
    Nautilus
    2nd Sep 2012
    2:04pm
    Hi toot. As usual I went outside of what you said as a poster to make more general comment. I know your heart is ion the right place and your intent good. Me too :)

    I keep harping on the need to challenge the stereotyping of the 'aged'. There is a sharp edge developing to the constant criticism of the aged and carping about the aging population in the media, and by politicians who should know better. No use ignoring it. Some is brought to attention in the OP. It must be confronted, soon.
    suanne
    2nd Sep 2012
    12:24pm
    i spose it depends on what kind of food one eats and what time of the year it is in regard to heating etc.i don't eat or buy expensive cuts of red meat.it is mainly chicken and fish and pasta . i buy everything in bulk even tho i live alone. i als get an advance on my pension every 6 months with which i fill my food cupboards and freezer .it doesn't leave alot for clothing but in my case i am fairly small and slim so i buy alot of clothing in the childrens' dept of kmart .
    sirrom50
    2nd Sep 2012
    1:15pm
    How can you get an advance every 6 months ? I am sure you can only apply once every 12 months.

    2nd Sep 2012
    2:19pm
    If you do a little checking sirrom50, I think that you will find that suanne is correct. I think you may also find that you can actually do a top of the remaining ceiling within the 6 months.

    2nd Sep 2012
    4:47pm
    This is a letter to the Editor - from a local man who once was a highly placed Public Servant in Canberra in Treasury.

    Quote: I find most of the letters to Editors and on other forums statements that we should have saved for our pensions to be slightly insulting - and of course ignorant.

    Pensioners have been saving for their retirement since January 1st 1946 when the government established the National Welfare Fund (now Centrelink).
    The purpose of these three bills was to have each worker in our country pay 7.5% of personal income into a retirement fund that was not part of consolidated revenue.
    The balance of this fund in 1950 was 100 million pounds and in today's reckoning that would be about 2 billion dollars.
    When Bob Menzies cane into office he amended the act in 1949 so that the 7.5% went into consolidated revenue.
    So much for Parliament being the trustee to our retirement fund.
    Paul Keating repealed the acts of the National Welfare Fund which, from then on, ceased to exist.
    But the fact remains we have all still be paying the 7.5%, per pensioners have been responsible for their retirement and are entitled to it. (That 7.5% is still being taken in your income taxes today) :Unquote.

    This added to other research and of course this posted on discussions in the Meeting Place on this Seniors forum makes for a challenge to find out the truth.
    http://www.sosnews.org/newsfront/?p=262

    The original 1909 Pension Act was set up to make a fund for pensions for workers once aged and the Pension Fund itself was closed in 1950 by Menzies not Fraser as someone said earlier, transferring the funds - around 2.5 billion in today's currency to General Revenue so the then government had the use of it. The 1909 Act was replaced in 1946 by the by The National Welfare Fund Act and that was repealed in 1985 and replaced by current act. All the time from 1909 a levy on income taxes paid by workers has gone into paying for their future pensions so the current campaign started back in the 90's when the Reserve bank Governor stated that the baby boomer's 'were stealing their children's inheritance" and also 'pushing up prices in cities living in millionaires mansions - when in fact many had lived in same house for years paying very small amount in pounds and it wasn't until the early 80''s and Multiculturalism brought in by Fraser and pushed on by Hawke that prices started to hike for homes due to thousands of incoming refugees as year as well as other migrants coming for skilled jobs. And no working class person really had expectations of wealth in inheritance up to then anyway he put that thought into their heads and then probably a softening up for a death tax the Greens love. Also greed is good started about then with Gordon Geeko - poor older people now suffering from they should have saved - when they were told they were in fact saving for their pension.
    .
    And how one earth having once had a scheme to pay for the age pension did any of the governments just stop worrying from what 1946 new act or 1950 when they 'stole' the Pension Fund right up until 1985 when Paul Keating first muted a mandatory super to pay for pensions.

    Did they genuinely forget or it is just a bit of a con because they think the older people will just lie down and do nothing but grumble and still vote them back in? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Remember back to when John Howard gave the SFT the same concessions as the age pensioner saying they had paid for it? Later making a big thing of saying the pension is a safety net - who were the back room boys who made him correct that then? Maybe Liberals have faceless men too!
    Abby
    3rd Sep 2012
    9:43am
    It is most unfortunate that the Politicians turned what was reserved for the seniors of Australia into a SLUSH fund for their own purposes.
    toot2000
    2nd Sep 2012
    10:21pm
    Three out of four Australians over 65 receive a full or part pension, which is a staggeringly high burden for any government. The Henry Tax Review wanted the government to tighten up pension eligibility by stopping payments to people living in homes worth more than $1.2 million. The question is can our country afford it and if not, something will have to change.

    3rd Sep 2012
    2:41am
    Thank you for that information BigVal. I never have been able to find any record of the National Welfare Act actually being repealed.
    rosemaryjune
    3rd Sep 2012
    9:44am
    Re Unemployment Benefits - my brother searched for a job for 3 weeks after being retrenched (he had only been working at that place for 2 years of payment was minimal) before he applied for benefits. He was asked why he didn't apply immediately. Simple - he wanted to find a job - not claim a benefit. On one occasion he took a 2 day job (he knew that was all it would be). Married 2 young children - one only a few weeks old, after declaring the small income he received they deducted as fair amount from his benefit. Taking into a account travelling costs, he was worse off financially than if he had not worked at all. Many families with 2 children needing extra professional care or with ongoing medical expenses get far higher money on benefits than they can earn. Those with 3 or more children definitely get more on most cases.
    aquatrek
    3rd Sep 2012
    10:03am
    The USA did exactly the same - had a separate fund for social welfare then let it all slide into mainstream revenue. USA now owes billions to the Chinese. Looking well forward Oz taxes will have to go up and keep going up otherwise just borrowing more will have a greater adverse effect in the long run. Actions recently taken to maintain the status quo [the mining and carbon tax] may be 'reality' guises to start the trend. The long awaited national dental scheme will add further burden to the budget so expect further tax hikes. There will also be further forced increases in superannuation contributions [both employer/employee]. Despite these measures it is a 'catch-up' race as the population ages and the mean workers age contracts.
    John
    21st Feb 2014
    11:01pm
    I draw your attention to the ‘Welfare Act 1946? and it’s repeal act of 1985.
    In 1944, Labor Prime Minister (Ben Chifley) introduced 3 bills to establish the ‘National Welfare Fund’, to be funded by a compulsory Contribution (levy) of 1/6 in the pound (20/-) on all personal income. The Opposition Leader would only give bilateral support to these bills if the funds collected were held in a separate account and not general revenue. Prime Minister Chifley agreed and established The National Welfare Fund as at 01/01/1946. It was a ‘Trust’ Fund with the federal Parliament as ‘Trustee’. The compulsory contribution (levy) commenced as of this date. In 1950 the fund held almost 100,000,000 pounds. From this date onwards when Menzies was Prime Minister the levy was grouped with the Consolidated Revenue Account. The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced. All governments from this date raided the fund for general expenses and in 1977 Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser transferred the balance (Approx. $470,000,000) to the consolidated Revenue Account.
    In 1985 the Labor Government repealed the act of 1945 thereby finally ending the National Welfare Funds Act. However, the 7.5% income tax levy was not repealed and to this day continues to be collected as a portion of Income tax revenue.
    All persons in Australia who have paid personal income tax since 1946 have contributed to their age pension and as such the Age Pension is fully funded. It is not the fault of the age pensioners if the governments over the years have squandered their pension funds for general expenses.


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