Aussies happy with tax levels

Australians are generally happy with the amount of tax they pay.

According to the results of a recent survey conducted by Per Capita, the attitudes of Australians towards the amount of tax they pay have changed for the better in the last three years.

In 2012, 35.7 per cent of Australians believed they either paid the right amount of tax or didn’t pay enough; whilst in 2015, 52.8 per cent of the 1413 adult Australians surveyed felt they paid the right amount or not enough. Only 37 per cent of survey participants currently believe they pay too much tax, compared to the 50 per cent who felt that way in 2012.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 61 per cent believe the tax system favours the wealthy
  • 15.3 per cent thought it favoured those on welfare
  • 75.9 per cent felt that big business didn’t pay enough tax
  • 5.7 per cent believe that small business pays too little, with 43.9 per cent feeling they pay the right amount of tax
  • 51.9 per cent would be willing to pay more tax for better health and aged care services
  • 35.7 per cent would be willing to pay more tax for better schools, universities and TAFEs
  • 34.5 per cent said they’d be happy to pay more tax for better public transport
  • 50.7 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds believe they are the most overtaxed
  • 54.4 per cent of those earning more than $200,000 a year also felt overtaxed.

According to Per Capita executive director David Hetherington, the most striking finding was that more than 60 per cent of respondents believed the tax system favoured the wealthy.

“In my view, I think we do need to address some of the unfair features of the tax structure to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share including looking at super tax concessions and negative gearing,” said Mr Hetherington.

Read more at News.com.au

Opinion: Share the load

So, Australians are generally happy with the amount of tax they pay however, the tax breaks for the wealthy and big business still rankle with many.

Negative gearing is one mechanism which remains under the microscope, although it is interesting to note that the split of those surveyed who wish it to be axed altogether (19 per cent) almost matches those who don’t (15.8 per cent). And while 39 per cent thought it should be restricted, 25 per cent didn’t have a view point, meaning that a quarter of the population either don’t care about negative gearing or simply don’t understand what it means. Of course, it’s important to realise that negative gearing doesn’t only relate to property and any changes to the tax measure could affect those who use it for other investments, such as shares.

It’s perhaps not surprising that, from those surveyed, there was little support for working longer to fund retirement, with 36 per cent instead agreeing that increased contributions was a better way of boosting retirement savings. While there is a growing call to end superannuation tax concessions for the wealthy, 23 per cent of those surveyed thought that additional tax concessions may help alleviate retirement funding shortfalls. Maybe taking from the rich and giving to those less wealthy would make our superannuation system more equitable?

With over 75 per cent agreeing that big business isn’t paying enough tax, it seems that the government can no longer ignore the need to chase such companies for payment. This was highlighted last week with news that American Express has effectively paid no tax on its Australian operations for seven years. How can this be? Your guess is as good as mine.

While discontent with these issues may be expected, what is possibly most pleasing is that, as a nation, we still see the benefit of investing our tax dollars in education and health care. To be able to access better education, 36 per cent of those surveyed would be happy with higher taxes and 52 per cent would gladly pay more in tax for better health care.

With the government currently collating responses to its call for submissions on its tax white paper reform, the message seems to be clear – Australians are happy to bear their share of the tax burden but would like the system to be more equitable. Big business needs to stump up its fair share of tax revenue and the government cannot continue to shy away from the need to make our superannuation system fairer and more sustainable for all, not just those using it as a tax avoidance measure.

Do you think you pay enough or too much tax? What tax measure(s) would you like to see introduced or indeed, abolished? Or do you feel that our tax system is actually working quite well?





    COMMENTS

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    15th Jun 2015
    10:22am
    It's a pity we can't trust the Abbott Government to respond appropriately to these findings, because they spell out very clearly what Government policy should be. I think the tax system has always been weighted heavily in favour of the rich, which is not such a bad thing if the social services system balances that inequity. But when health and education funding is attacked and a select group of lower-middle-class battlers are victimized by a cruel and grossly unfair change to means tests for the aged pension, but rich retirees are excluded from any obligation to contribute to the budget problem and those who saved less are given more - seemingly directly from the pockets of people whose hard work and careful planning SHOULD have given them security and comfort in old age - the skewing of the tax system to favour the rich becomes problematical. And when we hear that people will be expected to work until they are 70 because retirement is too costly for the nation, yet tax evasion won't be tackled seriously and there will be no changes to tax on superannuation or to negative gearing, it is clear that the Government has lost the plot completely.
    What I did find heartening is that the majority of Australians are willing to pay for better health and aged care services. Clearly, then, the Government's vicious attack on the aged is not supported by the majority. It is clear from these findings that the Abbott Government's attacks on health funding, education funding, and retirement funding are not in response to public demand, and are not meeting the approval of the majority. That's a good thing. We can only hope the message eventually gets through to our elected representatives and they recognize their obligation to stop pursuing their own agendas and start responsibly representing their electorates and supporting the changes the people want.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    11:29am
    It is the middle class that use a lot more negative gearing than the rich. Take that away and you will have a shortage of rental properties. Who does not hurt?

    The change of the assets test was a good thing as it stops people assessing the pension when they have assets they can use instead. Now the house needs to be part of the asset test for the pension as this is the most inequitable part of the pension system. The pension is welfare that should only be given to those who have no other means of support.

    Superannuation needs to left alone as it keeps people out of the pension welfare system.

    The rich already pay for better health services as they access the third tier of our health system. Yes we have a third tier to our health system that is a user pay system that most Australians will never hear about let alone use. How do you think the rich get the best treatments in the best hospitals? They pay for it and don't rely on health funds or medicare.

    I think the rich already pay enough tax and that there are too many people in Australia relying on the welfare system.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    11:54am
    The change of assets test was NOT a good thing, Bonny, because it denies people who worked hard, lived frugally, and paid their share of tax a benefit they are morally entitled to and transfers the benefit of their saving, very unfairly, to people who, in many cases, lived it up when younger and didn't bother to save. People who saved should not be denied the comfortable lifestyle and security they EARNED, while other classes of retirees are either made better off or at least not hurt at all by policy changes. The pension ISN'T WELFARE. It's an entitlement that was paid for by contributing through an early version of the superannuation system. It's not the fault of the contributors that a previous government stole the money, and the contributors shouldn't be denied the benefit they earned and paid for. And what you are saying is contradictory. If you attack savers and reduce them to be worse off than spenders, you remove incentives to save and drive people INTO the pension system. Conversely, if the rich were asked to pay a little more, they would still never qualify for pensions, and would retain a much higher standard of living in retirement than pensioners. They don't need incentives. It's the class of people that is currently being victimized that needs incentives - and they've been taken away. Many who suffer will splurge on world trips etc. to qualify for a pension, and many younger folk will say ''what the f... was the point of Mum and Dad's hard work and sacrifice. Might as well live it up now and get the pension later, because there are no rewards for being responsible.''

    Superannuation won't keep people out of the pension system if the laws continue to over-indulge the wealthy with tax concessions and punish the hard-working savers who couldn''t quite achieve self-sufficiency, but went without a great deal to accumulate their assets. The latest changes force the savers who couldn't achieve self-sufficiency to drain their assets way before the time when they really need to fall back on them. And apparently we can't afford to help low income earners - who NEED help to fund retirement - because we are subsidizing fat cats who DON'T need help. That's NOT keeping people out of the pension system.

    As for too many people relying on welfare - I agree! Substantially because the Government can't run the economy to ensure there are jobs for Australians, and partly because they let too many immigrants in to bludge on the system. I welcome immigrants, but they shouldn't be entitled to welfare until they have worked and paid taxes in Australia for at least 20 years. If we can't pay pensions to our own aged, we can't afford to be generous to immigrants.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    12:03pm
    I disagree one should spend their own money before they get the pension.
    Is it fair that one can buy a $5 million house and get the full pension?

    Why don't these people spend their excess money by getting a bigger house or luxury tours etc?

    I think it is disgrace that people access the pension and leave lots of assets behind when they die.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    12:15pm
    Bonny it appears easy enough to see where you fit in the spectrum and you also demonstrate that you have no grasp of history whatever.
    The pension was always designed as something everyone was entitled to on reaching pension age. The question of entitlement has only been changed as the result of incompetent government (of all colours) looking to cover their incompetence by raiding people's entitlement to government funded superannuation, or restricting its availability. Properly managed every person above pension age should be entitled to the full pension, from Gina Rinehart down! They paid for it in their taxes.
    Bonny, the super system only keeps the wealthy out of the super system. Limiting the tax benefits of the super system above the level needed to enable everyone to have a modestly comfortable retirement would mean more appropriate benefits for the masses at the expense of the wealthy few who have enjoyed a tax holiday at everyone else's expense for the last 20 years.
    Bonny the rich pay for their healthcare? Only the amount beyond the Medicare benefit which is available to all. Your comments would only be valid if the rich patients and their treating doctors formally forewent the Medicare benefits. Is this what you are asserting happens?
    The rich do not and have not for 20 years paid anywhere near their FAIR share of tax. I have analysed the ATO stats and can supply a copy of the analysis if you wish. My analysis shows that for the progressive nature of the tax system to remain fair to all the top rate of tax should be about 65%, not its current 47%, or other forms of "wealth" tax applied.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:29pm
    You are right, Grumpy. The top tax rate should be higher. And the rich don't pay for their health care. They get the same subsidy as anyone else. They only pay for the extra care they demand over and above what is available to the poor.

    As to the pension system, you have it all upside down. The people now being attacked are NOT the people who bought luxury houses or took luxury tours. Those people ARE still getting the pension. It's the HONEST ones who struggled to save and didn't use loopholes to reduce assets who are being attacked. And it's those who used the loopholes to reduce assets who will leave money to their kids. Those currently being attacked are being denied lifestyle NOW, while living. A couple with $825,000 is expected to drain their savings or live on as little as $21,750 a year and no benefits, and a ''millionaire couple'' has to drain savings or live on $27000 a year, while a couple with $400,000 get $36,000 PLUS benefits and can take $20,000 from super, giving them a total income potentially excess of $60,000 a year counting the value of benefits. Which couple is most likely to leave money to their kids?

    And what is most unfair about this is that the couple with $400,000, or $250,000, probably earned more than the ''millionaire'' couple but either plunged it into the family home, gifted it before turning 60 (likely to their kids), or spent it on living it up. Your approach simply denies the savers the benefit of their savings and says that those who work hardest and are most responsible should have their assets confiscated to give to people who were less responsible and hard working. How can anyone suggest that is fair?
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:30pm
    Sorry Grumpy, I meant to say Bonny has it all upside down, not you.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    1:20pm
    Bonny speaks as a true person who obviously has enough not to worry, so we can discount his/her input here. Try it when you've got nothing to show for a lifetime of work but the injuries and insults of office here in Oz.....

    Since Pension is not welfare, but is Social Security fully funded by a lifetime of work and paying tax via other methods, and is therefore a Right, there is zero argument for anyone having to spend their money etc first before getting it.

    That is the end of that discussion point.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:25pm
    Bonny, you say "'I think it is disgrace that people access the pension and leave lots of assets behind when they die.'' Let me put a question to you.

    Take three people who all earn roughly the same income and have roughly the same life opportunities. A and B grew up in comfortable homes. C grew up in poverty and saw parents suffer terribly in old age due to having too little money. So, A spends up big on clothes, cars, annual holidays, etc., and retires with $200,000.
    B is a gambler and drinker, and spends freely and retires with $100,000.
    C, having an innate fear of poverty, lives frugally and saves carefully, retiring with $600,000.
    As well as fearing poverty and wanting to be secure in old age, C also wants to ensure his offspring don't ever suffer poverty. He wants to sure up his own comfort first, but if there are savings left when he dies, he hopes his children will benefit substantially from his hard work and careful saving.

    Now please tell me why the hell A and B have a superior entitlement to a pension than C? Are you telling me that people who act responsibly and who choose to use their income to fund a more comfortable retirement and to help their kids be better off should be punished for that choice while those who spend up big in their working life are entitled to a reward?

    Your attitude is seriously unfair and a disincentive to responsible planning and saving (and therefore economically destructive). If it's fair for big spenders to get a pension, savers who had no better opportunities in earlier life should be rewarded equally.

    Conversely, however, D earned a huge salary and had generous superannuation. Much of his super contributions were concessionally taxed at 15%. For 30 years he enjoyed a discounted tax rate on earnings in super, saving 30% (or possibly more at times) on tax. Now, politicians claim (and you seem to agree) that he should continue to reap benefits by paying no tax on the huge returns in his super fund in retirement and no tax on the income he draws (funded by those returns) and should be free to leave his fantastic wealth (accrued with massive tax benefits) to his children, while C (who didn't get the tax concessions - so hasn't imposed on the public purse yet) is punished harshly for daring to save a little to try to make his kids better off than his parents were. (Note that C's children are probably going to see no benefit in saving so they will spend up big and claim a pension in old age, since being responsible gained their father NOTHING!)

    Frankly, Bonny, I think your argument is a lot of BS, cruel, unfair in the extreme, and stupid economic policy.
    NGE
    15th Jun 2015
    1:35pm
    I agree entirely Rainey. Please enter politics. We need some decent people
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:45pm
    Sorry, NGE, I'd never survive in that pit of vile vipers. There's no room for decent people in politics. Only the greedy, selfish, dishonest, and unethical get on in that environment.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    2:31pm
    Nothing unfair about asking people to use their own assets to fund their retirement before asking for a government handout. It's unfair to ask the Australian public to pay for your retirement when you have assets that you just want to leave to your kids. Guess what they won't have any trouble spending it.

    Unfortunately I don't fit any of those categories. Closest one however is C.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    2:55pm
    **Face Pal D'Or** . it's not a handout - it's a paid up and paid for
    Right.....
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    3:14pm
    The $5m house is the reason for the assets test.... the current argument is that the assets test is too low in the current market and affects only those who don't quite have enough.

    Why is there no assets test on politician super? If they don't need it - they don't get it, and they get back the indexed amount they put in.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    3:36pm
    Politicians super has nothing to do with welfare. It is just part of their job package like any other job. The pension is welfare paid for out of the taxes of the rest of the country.

    $5 million house is not counted as part of the asset test...therein lies the problem. If it was included in the assets test then it would be a much fairer system.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    4:27pm
    I agree with your comments Bonny. Yes, politicians get a good salary package. Anyone can apply to be a politician...it is just a job...anyone can apply. Look at Jackie Lambie and the poo thrower whose name escapes he (have heard so little of him since his election)...so no point in trying to bring them into the argument re pensions.

    It is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Something has to be done about really expensive homes being owned by pensioners. We all know the rorts that go on with them. Kids pay the rates and help Mum and Dad out with expenses with the full knowledge that eventually they will inherit the home which will probably be worth a darn sight more than $5 million when they depart this earth. Mum and Dad get the full pension because they only have the one asset...their expensive home.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    5:11pm
    You keep persisting with the '''pensions are welfare'' lie, Bonny, but it is a LIE. They are NOT WELFARE. And I don't know why you keep on about the $5 million dollar house. I've never argued that a $5 million house should be excluded from the assets test, but I'll certainly continue to argue that Morrison's proposal to tighten the assets test is cruel and unfair. It attacks the hard-working savers who HAVE A RIGHT TO BENEFIT FROM THEIR ENDEAVOURS and it makes those who squandered their money better off than responsible workers. That's economic stupidity!

    I don't get it, Bonny. You seem quick to defend the snout-in-the-trough rich saying we need incentives and rewards, but the same argument doesn't apply to the less well-off who are currently being unfairly victimized. People who DIDN'T enjoy the huge tax concessions the rich get and couldn't save enough to be self-sufficient in old are ARE ENTITLED to the pension.
    Anyway, the policy is stupid. Its forces people to drain their savings in early retirement and be far more heavily dependent on pensions later, when they might need specialist health care or residential aged care. If they were treated fairly in earlier retirement, they might well be able to pay for themselves later and the total cost to the taxpayer would be much less. And what they leave to their kids reduces their children's need for a pension. The benefits of people's careful saving flow down to the next generation if they are treated fairly, and that ultimately increases the self-sufficiency of the population as a whole. Under the current stupid system, I can put $5000 through the poker machines and lose it and it doesn't affect pension entitlement, but if I give $5000 to my daughter to pay for specialist care for her special needs son, so that he won't grow up dependent on the State, I lose pension benefits. How idiotic is that?

    As for politicians - their pensions and benefits are paid for by the taxpayer, so they ARE WELFARE. The only difference is that they, unlike the rest of us, are in a position to make laws that make it look like their payments are something else. Ultimately, it's down to terminology that is determined by the haves for the benefit of the haves and rules made by the haves for the benefit of the haves. And the have-nots suffer unfairness on two counts - first being denied what they are morally entitled to receive, and secondly having to put up with lies to try to justify what is morally inexcusable. To suggest that after 40+ years of slogging it out at work for wages that are an insult when you consider what CEOs and politicians claim to be worth, EVERY WORKING CLASS AUSTRALIAN IS ENTITLED to a pension. It was promised as part of their reward for a lifetime of work, and it was paid for by a tax levy that ensured the funds were available to provide it. It was NEVER deemed ''welfare'' and NEVER intended to be means tested. Get your history right, Bonny, and stop spreading untruths to try to defend wrong-doers who are cheating Australians out of their entitlements. There is no defense. History proves the entitlement exists. History proves we bought and paid for it.

    I tend to agree that very expensive homes should be included in the assets test if there is to be a test. But nobody who has less than enough to fund a comfortable retirement should be denied a pension, and under no circumstances should a pension ever make someone who didn't save better off than someone who did. As for spending savings, if I chose to save while someone else chose to spend, why should I be deprived of the benefit he gets? You never answered that question, Bonny, because you simply can't come up with a logical argument.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    6:13pm
    All pensions are part of the welfare system which is a fact.

    People with over $1m in assets should not get a pension so I agree with cutting back the assets test. I would also like to see the house included in the assets test. If I had $1m in assets I would not ask for the pension because that's enough to live comfortably on. Even $800,000 is enough to live comfortably on. I really can't see what the problem is with this other than greed. It's the same with nursing homes the more you have in assets the more they want before they will give you a bed. You get the same bed whether you pay nothing or a million.

    Health care is only expensive as you want it to be. Most healthcare in Australia costs very little so that should not be a problem.

    I just can't understand why people go without themselves only to leave their assets to their kids that treat it like a lottery win in most cases. Why not spend it and enjoy it yourself or with your family while your are still alive. That's what we do and the kids love it.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:15pm
    **Face Palm D'Or again** The Pension is NOT 'welfarte' - it is a bought and paid for social security right bounded by rules.

    What is your argument for continuing the current job agreement for politicians as is, while everyone else in a similar position reaps no such benefits? Limited term contracted employees do not enjoy munificence for life....
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    8:27pm
    Health care is VERY expensive in Australia, Bonny. I've been quoted $286 to see a specialist with only $73 back from Medicare. Physio costs $86 a visit, with no Medicare rebate, and many people need visits every fortnight. And don't even think about needing surgery, because the costs can bankrupt you unless you go public and potentially die on a long waiting list. Anyone who says health care costs little has obviously never experienced serious illness in their family and has no compassion for those who have.

    As for going without to leave money to their kids, that's a choice. Why should people be punished for it just because YOU make a different choice? You really are very selfish and arrogant. You insist anyone who doesn't think as you do should suffer financial hurt. You have no idea why others think as they do, or what life experiences have led to their outlook on life, yet you presume to dictate how others should live. It's really disgusting!

    As for pensions, you still refuse to answer my question. Why should a person who takes their overseas trips and lives the high life in earlier life be rewarded with taxpayer dollars while the person who decides to save to enjoy benefits in later life is denied those benefits and punished for being frugal? Where is the justice in that? I have friends who went around the world at age 55 and claim a pension. Why should someone else be denied a pension just because they delayed their spending age 68? Maybe they were caring for a loved one and saving the taxpayer money by doing so? But you presume to judge them and decide their entitlements. How disgustingly presumptuous!
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    8:43pm
    Every generation stands on the shoulders of the one before.... I would most certainly hope my children and grand-children get that opportunity from my two busted shoulders etc. What a person does with their assets is their own business... what matters is at what point should a cutoff be in place to preclude those with excess assets gaining something for which they have no need.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    8:50pm
    I agree Trebor, absolutely. But while someone earning $74,000 pa can get a part pension, and someone who earned millions can get massive tax concessions that cost the country billions, it's grossly unfair to suggest that someone who saved a modest amount - but way less than experts say is needed to fund a comfortable retirement - should be denied. The test should be income-based, not asset-based, but with sensible deeming rates applied. People who save should be entitled to keep their savings. Those who spent get pensions. Why should those who had no more opportunity or income but chose to save be denied?

    The assets test is way too low in today's low interest environment. I totally agree with cutting off people how are able to earn more than they need, but NOT cutting off people who then have to drain their hard-won savings which, in many cases, they only have because they went without luxuries others enjoyed in earlier life.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    9:23pm
    I agree - one pension for all funded into that Sovereign Fund via the income tax proportion and a specified amount from superannuation - then everyone gets the same pension and is taxed on the income derived from savings.

    Budget crisis solved in one.

    It would be nice to be able to sort people out into 'wasters' and 'savers' - but that is not always the case. We've had relentless application of affirmative action to cater to 'equal employment opportunity' for decades now - and it doesn't work. How do we say that those cut out of any real opportunity from such programs (as an example) are 'wasters', when they never got the chance?

    How do we say that those who live in a depressed work area are 'wasters'? Because we see them in the pub drinking two schooners to drown the pain of nothingness for a while?

    I agree that those who saved should not be punished for doing so - and this is clearly the position for those in the middle with a home etc worth much more than when they bought it - and that is why a full review is needed of the entire process of super/savings/assets.

    That is why I advocate a ceiling on super and stuff and advocate a Sovereign Fund out of the reach of grasping hands.

    This is a good link:-

    http://aodproject.net/about/our-board/33-john-hewson-chair.html

    Let me try a figure off the top of my heaqd:-

    If I earn an average of $50k a year for a working life of fifty years - and pay 20% income tax overall - I've contributed $500,000 in tax direct via income tax.

    If 20% of that is dedicated to pension - I've contributed $100,000 to retirement via income tax.

    Not much on the face of it, but if we apply 'loss of opportunity' and indexation and the profit that could be generated by even a simple saving of that amount - it is considerably higher (ask a mathematician - I'm not that good).

    Hard when you look at it in that way - since the maximum I would anticipate here is about $250k.... not much in government paid for super via income tax, and not enough to generate income above pension level, thus needing a top-up.

    Again this is a pool thing - we need to know precisely what percentages are involved in social security, and how much that would generate as an investment.

    Anyway - add to that the super contribution of 9% of salary - another $4500 a year, or 225,000, and it starts to look not so bad....

    Investment in Australian infrastructure of that Sovereign Fund is a very difficult return to calculate and covers many variables....

    A complex issue.. but one that does need to be addressed.

    (BTW - on another forum a 'right wing' contributor said I posted nonsense - he claims to be a maths teacher... LMAO)...
    LiveItUp
    16th Jun 2015
    3:59pm
    One thing wrong there Labor has already spent your taxes plus a lot more. Nothing left so you will have to rely on the generosity of the current taxpayers which is welfare by another name. If the current taxpayers don;t contribute enough then someone has to miss out.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    9:26pm
    LABOR didn't pend all our taxes, Bonny. A succession of governments wasted money. Liberals are actually far more wasteful than Labor, and certainly the Howard Government was the most wasteful we've had thus far. Fraser stole the Welfare Fund that was meant to pay for pensions. That said, our social security system is close to the lowest cost and most efficient in the developed world, and our total pension bill is very low relative to GDP. We can well afford to pay pensions to everyone who is currently entitled, on the current terms, and in fact to increase them a little. And that is FACT.
    worker
    15th Jun 2015
    10:25am
    Crap we the lower and middle income Australian citizens are over taxed we paid federal , state and council
    individuals with big monies and large business fined ways to not paid there far share along with MP to how find ways have not paying their share .
    what a joke the only employees in this nation that receive forms of pensions and on going other perks after they leave or are removed from their job the employees MP of the Australian citizens.
    No employee should be payed by there employer after leaving or removed from their job therefore the removal of this self created greedy perks by MP would assist in the lowing of tax
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    10:59am
    Need some help on grammar worker.
    I do agree with your sentiments and our pollies and top public servants should have their greedy snouts quickly removed from the feeding trough and be put on an accumulation superannuation scheme..........JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE NATION.
    But just like our federal pollies DOUBLING their salaries in a 3 year period fairness and equity is never the issue and they all wear the same brand. Ask Ted Mack.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    11:23am
    worker its true. We all pay a reasonable share of tax. The problem is really what the government does with it.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    1:21pm
    ooh grammer natzi.... (jus t thought I'd fee d you there)...
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    2:01pm
    Totally agree, mick - everyone should get the same super deal - in this day and age of part-time casual and contracted work, there is zero argument for giving politicians a free feed on termination of their short term contract. No other person with a contracted position with an option of renewal or otherwise gets that deal.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    3:46pm
    GOVERNMENTS Frank!! Both waste...although some also work on the future rather than shifting money to their buddies.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    10:10pm
    It is telling mick that you assume it is Labor wasting our taxes.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:13pm
    Frank - darling - he said 'governmentS' - that's all of them... you dig? Mick and I agree that both the turkeys we have running the show are worthless...
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    10:56am
    An interesting survey. Unfortunately those surveyed need to travel and find out how much other nations tax their citizens.
    Not unsurprisingly Australians rightly find the ability of the richest amongst us (individuals and corporations) to avoid paying a fair amount of tax as obnoxious. every Australian has the expectation that if poor and middle Australians can be taxed to the hilt then those at the top of the tree should NOT have special privileges to opt out of the same tax system.
    It is no wonder that Australians are angry with this government for refusing to stop profit shifting from multinationals, refusing to close the overseas tax shelters enjoyed by some of our wealthiest citizens and closing down the Superannuation tax shelters which has been so badly abused for so many years by upper middle class citizens and the rich. SO WHO IS THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT WORKING FOR? And also what does Labor intend doing about these issues?
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    11:21am
    mick, take off your Labor hat for a moment and consider the attitude of the Aussie. Many people like to think they are one step ahead of the ATO. It may not necessarily be the case though. By the way before you get too angry with this government ask yourself what Labor did about profit shifting in the 6 years they held office? Apart from whinging that is?
    Jen
    15th Jun 2015
    11:41am
    Frank, I have no idea, I'm not a huge fan of Labor but the fact is, Labor are not in government, the Coal-ition is. So, more to the point, what are THEY doing about it? No, I mean "DOING" about it? I've heard the talk about what they might do. Nothing yet? Won't hold my breath.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    11:57am
    Actually, Jen, they have frequently said they WON'T do anything about the issues that concern most Australians. They refuse to review superannuation tax concessions and they have said they won't address tax evasion by multi-nationals. Labor has actually put forward some good suggestions for reform, and GetUp put forward a very carefully researched set of alternatives to achieve a better budget outcome. The LNP has done nothing, so far, but attack the vulnerable and introduce grossly unfair measures that hurt the poor and middle class but leave the rich well alone.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    12:46pm
    I am with Jen Frank. Whilst I agree that Labor also did nothing the point Jen makes is pertinent: WHAT IS THIS GOVERNMENT DOING ABOUT IT other than sabre waving. We need action!
    Whilst you continue on with your paid trolling for this government you conveniently ignore other issues where Labor DID work for average Australians. Labor DID put legislation in place after several collapses and attacks on average people from these behemoths so that they could not continue to cannabalise ordinary Australians. This government repealed that legislation.
    If you want the moral high ground then please show what the current government has done since coming to office other than plunder average Australians. And now the next Murdoch orchestrated smear campaign is under way........... And you wonder why I suggest people vote for INDEPENDENTS with a Labor preference.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    11:15am
    I cant understand why Labor is so void of ideas, as to rehash the negative gearing debate? Particularly after they were self anointed as the party of ideas.
    The Keating government gave it a try in 1985 and rapidly reversed tax concessions on costs/ losses due to a rapid rise in rents during the period.
    Jen
    15th Jun 2015
    11:35am
    Only yesterday, I read an article that (what you said) is completely untrue. Rents did not rise because of it. I'll try to find it again.

    Anyway, I for one won't be quietened about the irregularity between what the wealthy should but don't pay, as opposed to the expectations of low income earners to take a disproportionate responsibility in fixing the deficit (which has grown outrageously in the 2 years of Abbott government and which in part, is because of corporate welfare and avoidance of tax by wealthy individuals.)
    Batara
    15th Jun 2015
    11:57am
    Frank, need to take the blinkers off mate. Labor is actually outlining a plan that I for one find quite attractive. Did you not hear Bill Shorten's speech in reply to the budget in which he announced some new policies? Have you not heard the Shadow Treasurer speak on plans to control the rotting of the tax system? The conservative rump is forever rubbishing Labor for not having policies, but when policy is announced it is ignored. Give both sides a fair hearing mate.
    MITZY
    15th Jun 2015
    12:17pm
    The rapid rise in rents in 1985 were mainly in Sydney and partly in Melbourne, the rest of the country/states were not unduly affected. The same is the case now. Sydney is/has become a "global" city where the rest of the world want a piece of the action. It is now on a par with Paris, London, New York, etc. etc. for the world's richest to buy it up. The rest of the country/states are not unduly affected, and we seem to have a repeat scenario of times gone by. Once again the rich with "smart" accountants are buying up Sydney's metropolitan region, its harbour and approx. 15 kms surrounding the CBD etc. through trusts/negative gearing and even appointing "others" being Australian citizens to buy properties on their behalf. If matters continue to proceed the way they are, average Aussies with average earnings will never ever be able to own the "Australian dream".
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    12:47pm
    Personally Frank I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY AN OBVIOUS GOVERNMENT SPONSORED TROLL LIKE YOU IS PERMITTED TO KEEP POSTING. Common decency should put an end to it.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    1:24pm
    Got to give the market time to settle down and for people to realise that their interest in their investment properties are not met by shutting the doors. I'd suggest that any lowering of rental availability under the Keating change was a glitch that frightened the minnows in government.

    Suggestions that cutting out a loss to taxpayers via paying for a poor business investment are spurious. Once the market settles down and people realise they can no longer buy into a dead horse that costs the taxpayer billions to support, housing will begin to develop elsewhere under a better regime.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    2:32pm
    On ABC Brisbane Radio, 19 September 2003, the Prime Minister stated he had no plans to change the policy on negative gearing, and the then Leader of the Opposition also stated there were no ALP plans to change the negative gearing policy (ABC Radio 7 July 2003). Both cited the adverse effect on the rental market if the negative gearing policy was changed. Again in March 2005, in an address to CSR in Sydney, the Prime Minister stated that the Government has repeatedly resisted a call to remove negative gearing because it would be counter-productive. He said, "I couldn't think of anything more calculated to discourage investment in housing of a cheaper variety and which is available for rental."

    On 4 November 2003, the Commonwealth Treasurer stated in the House of Representatives that, "One of the consequences of investment in housing is that rents have been falling in Australia. According to the CPI, they fell 0.7 per cent in real terms up to the September quarter of 2003 and over the past two years have fallen 1.6 per cent. TD securities and the Melbourne Institute estimate that rents in Melbourne have fallen 11 per cent in the five months since May 2003. The point I want to underline is that that actually works in favour of renters." He added, "We do have empirical evidence that making the taxation treatment of investor housing more onerous works against renters. It was tried in 1985. In the two years from June 1985 to June 1987, when the Keating government changed the taxation treatment of investor housing, rents across Australia rose by 37 per cent. During that period, the average rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney rose by 57.5 per cent. So the one thing we know is that changing tax treatment to work against investor housing, whatever effect it has on house prices, most certainly works against renters."
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:00pm
    Another advertisement frank?
    The negative gearing debate needs a SENSIBLE solution. No government can simply say 'its over tomorrow'. Clearly the immediate effect would be properties on the market as investors then have to declare rent as income whilst not being able to offset against interest (an expense). A suggestion for your slogan chanting and repetitive boss Frank is to gradually lower the amount of interest deductibility using:
    1. full deductibility for incomes (of the owners) under $100 000 pa. No reduction in deductibility over time.
    2. for incomes above $100 000 pa reduce the deductibility of interest by 10% pa
    3. for incomes above $150 000 pa 20% pa
    4. for incomes above $200 000 pa 30%
    Of course your mate Joe will be unhappy with that. Understood. And of course the fine print would need to be vetted carefully so that those who stand to lose one of their cash cows cannot get around them. Arm's length clause?
    In the end what needs to happen is of course what has not happened for the past 20 years as population has been shooting up: more residential building to keep up with demand. Oh that's right.....your mate Tony claims that this is up to the states. Yeah. Cheap way out, as normal.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    6:21pm
    If you abolish negative gearing you just hurt the middle class and the renters. Rents will go up as supply dries up because the middle class will stop buying properties to rent. Negative gearing is used mainly by the middle class not the rich. I'm old enough to have seen the desperate people queuing up to rent houses and the rent price auctions that happened in order to secure the properties. This happened it is not fiction.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    8:34pm
    Evidence says otherwise, Bonny. When negative gearing was abolished in the past, rents DID NOT increase across the nation - but only in a couple of select locations. If negative gearing is abolished, investor demand for properties reduces and logically that results in reductions in property prices so houses become more affordable. If houses are more affordable, rents go DOWN - not up. And that has been evidenced in the past. In any event, if rents did increase, abolishing negative gearing would provide a huge budget saving, some of which could be spent to subsidize rents and provide more government housing. The current tax system simply encourages investment in businesses that run at a loss, and makes the taxpayer pay for the business losses. On the one hand, you want to deny people aged pensions to save the taxpayer money. On the other, you want the taxpayer to prop up losing business ventures for middle class and rich people so they can make long term gains - at taxpayer expense. You make no sense at all!
    Jen
    15th Jun 2015
    8:35pm
    But but but...If negative gearing is abolished, won't the price of houses come down as the investors rush to divest and move to other investments, and then, won't the renters (well, many of them) be able to afford to become owners, the whole point of the exercise? Am I making this more simple than it is?
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    8:39pm
    Batara I am looking forward to hearing his speech in August.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    8:56pm
    MITZY, Have you noticed what happens to res real estate in Australia? It fluctuates by rippling from Sydney. Sydney ripples to Melbourne and Brisbane then all 3 locations ripple from those centres. I have seen this for 40 years.
    MITZY
    16th Jun 2015
    12:40pm
    There's no real estate ripples where I reside. The only ripple is the ocean waves along the far south coast of NSW and they don't cost a penny or a cent to enjoy!
    Anonymous
    19th Jun 2015
    7:23pm
    “It is not often that nations learn from the past,even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it.”
    ? Henry Kissinger
    jaybee
    15th Jun 2015
    11:26am
    Those earning big salaries complain that they pay too much tax. However, as pointed out by Ted Mack in the 2013 Henry Parkes Oration (well worth reading), CEO’s salaries have increased from 6 times the average salary in the 1980’s to around 160 times the average salary. They then complain that they pay too much tax! Who set these salary levels? The CEOs did. Worse, politicians salaries are then set using these big salaries and perks as “guidelines” even though most of them don’t have suitable qualifications or experiences. If the CEOs & politicians salaries were reasonable instead of being grossly greedy, then they would have a case for being overtaxed.
    Given their obese salary packages & perks, they DON’T pay their fair share of tax.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    12:21pm
    Spot on jaybee. By claiming their salary levels are fair and justified CEO's are claiming they produce as much as 160 other workers. OK. Let's watch them physically do so to prove their worth, even if they do it for just 1 day!
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:38pm
    A friend whose daughter works in a senior role in a bank complained that she was working 60 hours a week because the CEO had cut staff to increase profits. When profits increased, it was the CEO who got the massive pay rise. This is so wrong!
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    12:48pm
    Agreed. I guess Frank might blame Labor for that too.
    marls
    15th Jun 2015
    5:09pm
    spot on jaybee,
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    9:01pm
    jaybee, forget about the CEO salaries. These people are mobile and standards of remuneration are global. Focus instead on the public service wages. Under Labor the PS grew, it paid much higher wages and the PUBLIC SERVANTS did a lot less work, preferring to gate keep and contract the work to someone else.

    15th Jun 2015
    11:34am
    I don't mind paying taxes provided they are used by the federal government the way they should be. As far as I am concerned taxes are being improperly used and allocated when they go to fund unemployed deadbeats who can work but refuse to because of colour, country of origin, race, or phoney "Mediterranean backs". If the rich are able to use legal loopholes to reduce their tax (like Hockey and his rent scheme) so be it, although I don't think this is setting a good moral example, especially by a person like the "cigarman" who is the Federal Treasurer and pulls a stunt like this. Claiming rent for living in a house that your own wife owns is not something that a person who controls the country's purse strings should do when they expect those in a lower income strata to tow-the-line and not cheat on their taxes, Centrelink benefits, etc. In order to have credibility and true and influential authority in one's position respect is the first requirement, and Hockey, nor Abbott, has it, and won't because of their hypocrisy, deceit, and indecisiveness. If this puts a cat amongst the pigeons, good! Let her rip!
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    11:39am
    I have no problem with Joe Hockey renting his wife's house after all if he didn't rent it then someone else would and he would pay the rent elsewhere. There is no difference here. There are more pollies than Joe that are doing this.
    Jen
    15th Jun 2015
    11:47am
    Bonny, there's truth in what you say, but if Joe Hockey stayed in a hotel (which, I imagine is what the taxpayers are paying for) at least those hotels employ people, who in turn pay taxes and everyone benefits. This way, only Joe Hockey and his wife benefit. Why am I not surprised?

    I actually don't blame him for wanting to stay in his own house...but why should the taxpayers fund it for him? I'm sure he's not the only one on this lurk though.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    11:56am
    Do you really think Joe cleans his own accommodation? Me thinks not so I still can't see any difference. To me it's just part of his job nothing more.
    Batara
    15th Jun 2015
    12:01pm
    Bonny, I spent many years in the RAAF and there was a living away from home allowance paid if justified. However, you could not claim that allowance if you lived in your own house. Does that not make common sense and seem right to your senses of fair play? Personally I think Joe has a hide to claim that allowance while living in his own, or his wife's, house.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    12:07pm
    Joe's living away from home is justified as it's not his home. No one should be required to pay for more than one house because he has to live away because of his job. That's where it is not fair.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    12:29pm
    Bonny, "as it's not his home". Interesting legal point...if Smokey Joe and his wife decide to divorce, in your opinion would Smokey Joe be entitled to claim half of the $2m home as part of the property settlement? If no, then your argument has minimal merit. If however, as I suspect, he would be demanding $1m as his share then your assertion is wrong i.e. it is half his home, and any claim for the allowance is wrong.
    MITZY
    15th Jun 2015
    12:36pm
    Joe Hockey would not be living in his wife's house as his "home-away-from-home allowance if there was not an advantage to his wife for him to do so. The laws should be changed in so many different instances so that unfair advantages didn't occur quite so often. But nothing will change because the representatives we put in parliament to do "our" bidding, bid only for themselves.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:39pm
    There is no justification for what Hockey is doing. It's unethical and immoral. I don't care what the law says. A politician who rips off the public that way should be sacked.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    1:04pm
    Do you really think that if you were a MP that you wouldn't use the rules as they stand? Nothing unethical or immoral about that.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:23pm
    Rainey, I have said the same above in regards to Hockey's moral and ethical behavior. Morals and ethics are not a part of the majority of politicians' fibre, while monetary greed seems to be as innate as the practice to squirm around having to truthfully reply to a question when the real answer may do them political harm. Politics fosters a breed of person who has great financial aspirations, very little work ethic, is untrusting and untrustworthy, has a prowess for double-talk, and will not give you a straight and reliable answer about anything. Am I cynical? Yes! Elderly (old) and seen a lot? Oh, yes! And fed up with being lied to and treated by politicians as if I was ignorant? Yes, that mostly!
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:31pm
    Agreed Fast Eddie. You are not cynical at all. You are absolutely correct.

    And no, Bonny, I WOULD NOT abuse a position of public trust. Unlike the vile creeps in politics now, I DO have morals, ethics and integrity. And Hockey's behavior IS unethical and immoral in the extreme. If he had any integrity, he would both refrain from taking wrongful advantage of the law and work to change the law.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    2:42pm
    Rainey, if this guy even TRIED to change the law he's currently extorting my whole attitude towards him would turn 180, but this won't happen as he would then alienate all his hypocritical political mates who have their own snouts in the same taxpayer-funded trough. We are pushing uphill I'm afraid, mate, but if we stop we would only be joining the ranks of the apathetic who are agreeing with this immoral behavior by their silence.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    2:57pm
    It's a family home... discussion ends.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    3:01pm
    It is a family owned home not on the rental market..... if it were it would be advertised and then occupied by a full rent payer from the public.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    3:50pm
    No it's not his family home as he can only have one family home.

    It is probably negatively geared where he pays market rent so that his wife can get all the deductions that go with owning an investment property. Maybe it's set up like a holiday rental where cleaning etc is also included in his rent so that the maid is paid for with tax payer dollars too. It makes no difference to me as it's just part of his job like any other job.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:04pm
    Bonny, "Nothing unethical or immoral about that." i.e use of rules as they stand. Not even if your mates had a hand in framing rules which suited them? Or controlled the interpretation and application of the rules? Come on!
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:05pm
    Fast Eddy, you are right on the money!
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    5:16pm
    Bonny has odd standards. Someone who worked their guts out for minimal pay for 40+ years should be denied a pension because they lived frugally and saved, so forced to live on their savings and not put their hand out for taxpayer's money, but Fat Cigar-Smoking Joe is entitled to take thousands from the taxpayer immorally by claiming he has to pay rent to his wife. Bonny, you are full of it! It's called being hypocritical, or, in more common speak, talking BS! Frankly, your double standards are sickening.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:22pm
    So if I own multiple homes and say I spend my time between them all - am I entitled to a dodge? Do I get a tax concession for my holiday home or whatever you want to call it?

    It is a second family home - not a rental property. If it was on the market and Joe was paying a rental for it - fine - as is - it is a second family home and not entitled to any other consideration.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:25pm
    I love it when politician's flunkeys argue on their behalf and thus allow the holes in their argument to be aired publicly for a change.

    Thus far we see no reason to provide sustenance for a politician living in a family second home rent-free, and we see no reason to provide politicians with an after-politics income for life since they are only short-term contracted employees and unless they have a significant need, we need not pay them handsomely as currently exists.

    We also see that there is a need for changes to rules in many ways - including those that currently benefit politicians, so as to accord with what the rest of the community gets.

    Goose and gander....
    Chris B T
    15th Jun 2015
    11:39am
    When taxing Individuals, Small Business, Companies and Corporations there is only a maximin amount of tax to pay (Which Never Happens).
    The amount of taxes to pay can be reduced to Zero. Clearly a minimun amount or % needs to be implemented.
    You can still have negative gearing, just not reduceing the tax paid below a set point.
    Combined Taxes of Federal, State and Local Governments we pay way to much.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    11:47am
    If you don't make any money how can you pay any tax?
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:19pm
    It's not the people who don't make money who pay no tax, Bonny. It's people and businesses that use loopholes to make it LOOK LIKE they didn't make money, when in fact they made a motza.
    MITZY
    15th Jun 2015
    12:37pm
    Well put Rainey, and I guess it will never change?
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    12:39pm
    Tax is just another game with rules. Same with Centrelink. I have no problem with people who play by these rules but I do have issues with the big black economy that is played outside the rules.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:41pm
    Oh, I see, Bonny. So now you are saying you agree with persecuting honest people and letting dishonest people rip off the system, as long as the dishonesty is within the rules that the dishonest and corrupt make? I guess the battlers who suffer unfairly are to blame for their own predicament, because they CHOOSE to be honest and moral. Anyone making that choice deserves what they get? Yes?
    MITZY
    15th Jun 2015
    12:52pm
    My cousin was a small business owner in suburban Sydney and later in a country town and in those businesses each and every year she and her husband paid no taxes. However, running those businesses, they still managed to buy 125 acres of virgin land in the country in the late 1960's, build a home; race a couple of horses as a hobby owner then and now - after being retired from business nearly 10 years ago; take 9 overseas trips the first one in 1977 and the last one in 2013 and another one expected to take effect in 2016-17.
    So, how did they manage to do all that if they didn't make any money in order to pay no tax? Smart accounting, and there's just too much of it going on to the detriment of this country's future well-being and future infrastructure. There are plenty of people working for a living, but too many of them not paying their fair share of taxes. When has this scenario ever been any different and when will it end? Never, the powers that be will ensure it endures. Its been going on for centuries world-wide.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    1:00pm
    There is nothing dishonest or immoral with playing the game by it's rules. Anyone can do this not just the rich. It's called education.

    With a lot of small businesses the cash just disappears not that is dishonest and immoral. ATO knows this an now it is what people do with this money that alerts the ATO to start digging.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:42pm
    Rubbish, Bonny! Morals and honesty are not governed by man-made rules designed specifically to benefit some sectors and disadvantage others. Honesty is about speaking the truth and respecting the rights of others. Morals are about acting with decency and respect for others. Just because something is legal DOES NOT make it okay. And education that teaches people to ''play in the grey'' isn't okay either. What hurts decent, hard-working people or advantages some people over others, other than by way of reward for honest, productive endeavour, is WRONG, and nothing can make it right.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    3:07pm
    Yet you view it as dishonest and immoral to change those rules?
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    3:31pm
    No you just change if the rules change or more likely well before the rules actually change.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:22pm
    Bonny, you have issues with "the black economy which is played outside the rules".
    Do you have problems with employers who deliberately pay workers well below award wages thereby:
    -Reducing their own wages bill
    -Reducing their liability for compulsory super levy, thereby guaranteeing those workers will be forced on to state pensions earlier i.e. transferring the pension cost to others?
    All of which is happening everyday, mostly to those workers already condemned to being the most lowly paid. Added to which they are in the same group whose jobs will be first to go in a downturn none of their making, putting them into that priivleged group of Centrelink recipients, you know those victims this governmant loves to blame.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    4:33pm
    I do have issues with employers who underpay their workers. I used to employ people but scaled things back and increased technology so that I could do it all myself. How many other people or businesses are doing the same? Reason being it's just too expensive to employ people.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    5:56pm
    People can only play by the rules.
    MITZY
    16th Jun 2015
    11:49am
    Well in the case of my cousin the cash just didn't disappear it was made use of in those 9 overseas trips and lots of other ways too. After retirement off they went to Europe for a few months sightseeing etc. came back home and spent approx. $200,000 on subdividing 20 acres into four 5 acre blocks out of the 120 odd acres they owned. Three of the four blocks have sold so far netting considerably more than the approx. $200,00 spent on developing. Now, if they had paid tax on their earnings while running those businesses, they may have not been able to do what they have done? They now partake of a part aged pension (about 2/3rds of the married pension) to which they have not even contributed any tax dollars during their working life-time. As much as I love my cousin and have a great relationship with her and her family, what they have been able to "take" from a crooked legal system that needs "emergency repair surgery" to avoid this type of tax evasion makes them "leaners" and they and others like them higher up the ladder of fortune as well as big business and multi-nationals etc. not paying their share of taxes is draining the funds necessary to sustain a decent pension for those who desperately need it into the future.
    Pablo
    15th Jun 2015
    11:59am
    Instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul, which is what so many people are advocating (normally the "Pauls" of the nation, a little bit of equity would be appreciated. I am in no way rich, but I don't get an age pension because I worked hard all my life and saved for my retirement. So the ATO says I have to keep paying tax to support all of those dole bludgers and single parents who walk around with their hands out all the time. This doesn't mean all dole and single parent recipients are bludging but there are certainly a high proportion who are. Retirees need to be treated fairly rather than saying that the problems in our economy are the fault of the retirees who have worked hard all their life and deserve some respect in retirement. I am so sick and tired of the welfairy attitude in this country that promotes the Robin Hood mentality!
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    12:10pm
    I too dislike the Robin Hood mentality whether it be retirees, the rich or who ever. One person can only sleep in one bed, wear one set of clothes etc at a time so why do they need to pay for more beds than they need or more of anything then they need?
    Batara
    15th Jun 2015
    12:22pm
    Pablo, sadly many who worked hard, people who raised a sweat through honest work, did not accumulate wealth as you have been fortunate enough to do. Superannuation is a relatively recent institution, so there are still many wage earners in the retirement phase of their life who did not have an opportunity to accumulate sufficient funds to live on through their life. As for your swipe at welfare recipients, pretty standard for the privileged class to think that way. Never having needed to search for where the next meal will come from and never having been out of work for extended periods. The society is not robbing Peter to pay Paul - it is caring for those who can't get a good job that pays well.
    Batara
    15th Jun 2015
    12:27pm
    Bonny, your contribution has me stumped. I have no idea what it means. Do you mean that welfare recipients should have one set of clothes? What happens when they get dirty? Do they go naked while washing their one set of clothes and waiting for them to dry? Perhaps you are saying the rich pay for the one bed they sleep in, so why pay for another so some poor bludger can have a bed. Is that your meaning?
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    12:47pm
    Pablo, you are partly right, but the system IS robbing Peter to pay Paul. The latest changes to the assets test force someone with far less than they need to live comfortably in old age to give up benefits and live on next to nothing so people who lived the high life in youth and didn't save can have a big fat income - tens of thousands more higher than the income of the saver. That's robbing Peter to pay Paul. So is giving welfare to people who don't try to find work - and there are many - and to the welfare cheats. Thankfully, though, our welfare system is quite well targeted and the statistics say we don't spend much at all on bludgers or cheats. It's still more than I'm comfortable with though!

    The worst robbery is the tax concessions to the super-rich and allowing multi-national corporations to escape tax obligations. That is certainly 'robbing Peter (every working tax payer) to pay Paul (the over-indulged rich).
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    12:53pm
    Good post Pablo.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    12:53pm
    If a couple has over $800,000 in assets they have heaps to live on not next to nothing. You have the capital to spend not just the income it generates. Anyone that has that much money and puts their hand out for a pension is greedy as far as I am concerned.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:30pm
    Bonny, all your above comments contradict one another. You are living by double standards and appear to be rather confused. Have a re-read and you will (hopefully) understand the remarks to your comments made by others.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    1:34pm
    So if someone with $800,000 in assets at age 60 spends $600,000 travelling the world, gambling, and dining in fine restaurants, they SHOULD get a pension at age 65, but if someone else with the same $800,000 at age 60 elects to leave it in the bank and live frugally because they want a more comfortable old age and to leave a bit to their kids, they SHOULD NOT get a pension but be denied the benefit of their responsible spending choice? That crap, Bonny!
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    2:04pm
    At 60 now you can give it to your kids as it's over 5 year before you will qualify for the pension. If you want the pension you have many choices. Why not enjoy yourself and travel the world or whatever instead of leaving your money in the bank and dying a miserable old soul.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    2:07pm
    Nothing contradictory about me. In a nutshell the pension should only be able to those who have exhausted their assets and the house should be included in those assets. Leave the super system as it is because those people are not a burden on the government in their old age. It's that simple.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    2:51pm
    Bonny, what you are saying is totally inane and punishs those who have worked towards a comfortable retirement in their later years in a democratic country. Your comments belong to a socialist way of life in a welfare society. You have got to be trolling.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    3:05pm
    No just realistic in that why should people collect a pension so their kids can spend up big once they have departed. Reminds me of the kid that keeps asking when their grand parent is going to kick the bucket so they can all go to Disneyland. This is very wrong.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    3:08pm
    No problem - we transfer all super plus the percentage of tax paid for social security into one basket, and we pay everyone the same.... tax free....
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    3:44pm
    Good thing I only have a small percentage of my assets in super then. I better use them up so I can enjoy my share of the spoils then.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:03pm
    Bonny: sounds good in theory but inflation is the problem. We are already seeing inflation eat away at savings..which are taxed when actually being eaten away by inflation. All we need is another wages explosion and $800 00 will become $400 000 in the period of a year. And then down the track its gone.
    I wish it were that easy.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    4:20pm
    Inflation is not a problem with assets growing faster than inflation plus any tax payable. I can't see a wages explosion happening in a low interest environment with a recession looming any time soon.

    Anyway if inflation is the problem then it's better to spend it now as one gets more value for their dollar. Or buy assets that keep pace with inflation. I actually owe the bank more money than I currently have in cash as I realise that having money in cash is discounting it's value.

    I have no problem with people leaving assets to their kids provided they are not double dipping on welfare (the pension).
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:35pm
    Pablo, largely agree with your sentiments, but must disagree on your proportions. On closer analysis I believe you will find that a Pareto relationship applies to "dole bludgers" etc ...80% of welfare recipients want work and to get off benefits, however the system works against them by their jobs being vulnerable, or no work being available. At last count ABS stat reported in May showed 720,000 looking for work when there were only 140,000 vacancies. However the remaining 20% are trying to grab 80% of the benefits pie!
    I have observed first hand a single mother of 3 (as the result of a very nasty divorce) who lives in an area where work is very hard to come by. She has taken a cleaning job 40kms away. On my arithmetic what she gets paid for the hours she works and the cost of the travelling make her employment not financially viable. Yet she still does and would be better off staying at home on full benefits. No one says much about the benefits trap which results in a greater tapering of benefits than the increase in earnings which results in those who work losing out by working, unless they luck into very lucrative work.
    The Coalition government is very big on vague condemnatory statements, however when you start looking at specific cases their justification for "dole bludger" bashing evaporates into Scotch mist.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    6:00pm
    Bonny, if assets were growing faster than inflation,and returns on assets were adequate to fund lifestyle plus keep pace with inflation, your argument would make sense. As neither is true for those victimized by Morrison's stupid idea - ie. returns on $500,000 (or $825,000 for a couple) are NOT adequate to fund lifestyle, let alone to keep pace with inflation, your argument is as flawed as the proposal.

    A couple with $825,000 will have to draw down $60,000 to be as well off as many pensioners. Given that $100,000 is likely to be in non-returning assets, their returns could be as low as $21750 pa, so their balance could deplete to $786,750 in the first year. That's certainly NOT keeping up with inflation Bonny! Investment advisers tell me that in the current environment you would have to be incurring high risk to get better than around 8% return - 7.5% nett is considered good. Even at 8%, the assets are still reducing year on year, and inflation will leave these ''wealthy retirees'' (who are certainly NOT wealthy!) struggling a decade or two from now.

    For that reason, the Labor Party's proposal that the income be taxed rather than attacking people for having assets is much fairer and more sensible. Nobody should have an issue with paying tax on an income that is more than they need to live comfortably. But forcing savers to drain their savings in early retirement is counter-productive and economically unsustainable, as well as being totally unfair.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    6:03pm
    Bonny, I find it unbelievable that someone could object to a hard working Australian taking a small pension in retirement and leaving a little to their kids, but at the same time could excuse greedy Smokin' Joe bleeding the taxpayer of thousands paying rent to his wife so he can make his kids multi-millionaires at taxpayer expense. That's hypocrisy in the extreme!
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:28pm
    In that case we must be sure to capture your fair share of tax through other means.....
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    6:41pm
    I object to people taking the pension not because they need it but because they can and then leave their kids a lottery win. There needs to be some sort of cut off point for getting a pension and no matter where it is it won't be fair to everyone. I know of an old lady in a nursing home that gets a pension just because she can and then just gives it away to her grandkids who themselves have big incomes themselves. Meanwhile she chases the biggest interest rate she can as a game to beat the deeming rate. Now that is just stupid.

    I have no problem with Joe or any other pollie as that is part of their job package like any other job. In fact I;d say they are poorly paid when compared to some executives. Maybe that's why we get the pollies we do.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:51pm
    What if we, their employers, just told them that the rules they set up for themselves no longer applied and new and fairer rules would henceforth apply?

    They still want to play by the rules?
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:54pm
    Me? Anyone who felt that not being subsidised in majesty and having to actually perform public service without all the perks, can leave now and not come back.

    These are the kind of people we do NOT want to attract to politics. Politics should be a calling - not a fat cat career....... you do it out of real concern for real issues for the country as a whole - not just some pitiful agenda of your own.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    7:04am
    Couldn't agree more, Trebor.

    And Bonny, who the hell are you to decide who needs a pension and who is only claiming it to leave their kids a ''lottery win''. There does NOT need to be a cut-off point in terms of assets. It should be INCOME based, so people who save in earlier life are not denied the benefit of their saving to favour people who didn't save. However, deeming is reasonable to ensure assets are not locked away as non-returning just to get a pension.

    If assets are to be tested, then the limit should be set with regard to current interest rates and to age, so that savers are able to benefit reasonably from their savings and younger retirees aren't forced to drain their savings when they may have high needs for those savings later.

    It has already been determined by actuarians that a couple needs over $1.5 million at retirement to live comfortably without a pension, so obviously the asset limit for a couple aged around 65 should be over $1.5 million. Alternately, the limit should be set such that it equals the the total of full pension + benefits + a generous allowance to ensure savers are better off than pensioners and there is an incentive to save.

    I don't agree with a means test at all because we all paid for our pensions and therefore should all receive them, but if a test is necessary, it should not discriminate unfairly against savers or in favour of income-earners (as it now does). If X and Y both earned the same and paid the same taxes, then X and Y are entitled to the same pension, regardless of what they chose to do with their money. It is just plain unfair to suggest that because X saved and Y didn't, Y is entitled to be supported by the taxpayer in old age and X isn't.

    And when it comes to politicians and senior public servant pensions, the same rules should apply as apply to the masses. The key word here is ''servant'''. If you are in there for the money, you are not serving and therefore not qualified to do the job. Quit and leave an opportunity for someone who wants to serve the public. There are plenty out there who would gladly take on the role WITHOUT the obscene benefits - but just for a fair day's pay for each day they work.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    9:03am
    Bonny you are making a lot of sense. Rainey is just being a little too dramatic and makes absolutely no case. I wish Australia was wealthy enough to continue to pay welfare for an old couple with $800,000 in the bank and living in a house valued at $765,000. But unfortunately, due to mismanagement, waste and pork barrelling we are now haemorrhaging and heading into recession. If only Paul Keating could have stepped in with his familiar line when Rudd and Henry were plotting their political course. Now, Gerry has more thoroughbreds and we are still spiralling toward recession.
    Bonny it is a waste of time talking sense to some on here because some are paid to adopt the opinion of their employer.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    11:21am
    Frank, Australia IS wealthy enough to pay pensions, and the proof of that is that Abbott promised ''no cuts to pensions''. He knew the condition of the budget when he made that promise. He also promised paid parental leave, obviously concluding the nation could afford it (though he changed his mind on that one, proving incompetence!). He might have left the carbon tax and mining taxes alone (cutting them DID NOT improve the economy and certainly didn't reduce costs). He might have chased tax evaders or addressed the many tax rorts that make the system unfair. He might have actually let the money-saving measures proposed by Labor (which the LNP said were clearly ''fair'') pass, instead of reneging on his promise to let them pass the House after the election. He could adopt at least some of the long list of money-saving and revenue-raising measures proposed by GetUp. But no. He CHOOSES to victimize people who have worked their guts out for 40+ years but couldn't make enough to be self-sufficient in retirement, while allowing the rich retirees to escape unscathed and giving more to those who chose to fritter away their wealth during their working life.

    As for your claim that some are ''paid'' to adopt the opinions of the employer, that's a typical ASS_U_ME - an ASSUMPTION that makes you a prize ASS, because you have no supporting evidence. I'd love to have an employer, or be paid by anyone, and I'm guessing most on here complaining about this Government feel the same way. Only those doing well would even contemplate supporting this government, because it attacks everyone who isn't.

    I made a strong case for fairness, and so far not one person has been able to counter it. I can also make a strong economic case, because if someone with $900,000 in assets is forced to reduce their savings to $400,000 to draw an income adequate to live on, in 30 years time that person will be poverty-stricken. Given that a room in an old age home now costs about $500,000, it will by then likely cost $2.5 million, and the Government will have to stump up the money for that because the poor old pensioner will have been impoverished by short-sighted economic measures. It's likely that half the people affected by the tightened means test will simply go on that world cruise they denied themselves in earlier life, and come back to claim a pension larger than they otherwise would have ever needed, since they are now seeing that the winners in this country are those who spend up big and then put their hands out, and the big losers are those who act responsibly in accordance with the recommendations and advice of successive governments to save for old age.

    Younger folk will see no benefit in saving or investing in super, so the proportion of retirees needing pensions will dramatically increase. Meanwhile, we keep lining the pockets of multi-millionaires with ridiculous tax concessions and ask them to contribute NOTHING to the economy.

    If we adopted the approach of taxing incomes well in excess of what is reasonably needed for comfort in retirement, we would reap higher revenue without any of the negative consequences of Morrison's thoroughly stupid thought bubble.

    We will continue to spiral toward recession because demand is falling, and demand will continue to fall while a stupid treasurer cuts incomes of spenders constantly and scares everyone with his dire predictions of disaster. The rich don't increase consumption when their incomes are increased marginally. The poor and middle class do. So the way to fight recession is to increase taxes on the rich marginally (they are so wealthy they wouldn't even notice the impact, but hear them scream anyway because they are greedy!) and give more to those who consume. Generating demand generates revenue that reduces debt and creates jobs that reduce the demand on social security. It's a simple, common sense formula. But Hockey and Abbott are too self-serving to implement it. And that's the sum total of it.

    We have plenty of money to pay pensions. There was half a billion dollars in the pension fund when Fraser stole it. With interest and additions, it would be worth enough today to pay EVERY retiree $500 a week. And despite our national debt tripling under this inept government, it is still very low in both historical and world comparison terms. You are merely reiterating Hockey's blatant lies. Surely you don't believe them? You couldn't be that dumb, could you?

    On one point, I'll agree with you. Bonny's talking is a waste of time, because she makes no sense and she contradicts herself constantly.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    1:17pm
    The biggest argument I see with regard to negative gearing is that it is absolutely a tax break for going into a business to lose money over the long term but not IN the long term, and then there is insufficient recouping of the tax conceded once that business is wound up via selling of property etc.

    That seems to me to be a very valid argument for not demanding that the taxpayer support a loss 'industry' which benefits the few, while detracting from investment opportunity in other and more viable areas AND upsetting government balance of revenue/outgoings by distorting them.

    Would/should a bank loan money for a business (and that is what it is pure and simple) that it KNOWS will lose money for years? If it would not do so (try asking some time for another business opportunity), why then should the government be forking out taxpayers money to sustain people who've deliberately gone into a business that loses money?

    (fine print - because it benefits government members greatly - ho, ho, ho)...

    Pension age must immediately revert to 65 - I turn 66 this week and let me tell you, the aches and pains are escalating daily. You'll never see a politician who supports this cruelty doing a hard yard at 66..... so fork 'em!

    As for long term retirement planning - this has been done to death here (and elsewhere) and now we need to start to apply pressure to government to start the mandated changes... I suggest a single national super scheme, with a mandatory percentage of investment in Australian jobs and infrastructure, and under strict controls and out of the grasping hands of politicians of all bents.

    If you like - a National Sovereign Fund that will provide for all the people fairly, including those booted around from pillar to post in the 'jobs' market these days.

    Should be a ceiling on your personal investment in that fund, from your tax and super contributions etc, and after that it is deemed to be excess savings and you pay taxes as required. On retirement age for whatever reason, the ceiling amount (not the same one, but a calculation on a fair living) will be free to all, and all earnings above that will be subject to income tax with all retirees treated equally.

    Handled properly (don't hold your breath) such a fund should generate enough for everyone to live reasonably in retirement. If you've got more, good luck to you but you pay your own way, and it must be off your own bat over the years, and not off the taxpayers, many of whom will then be vilified and even penalised for being pensioners only.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    1:58pm
    I for one would not contribute to a National Soverign Fund. Any indication that super is going to be nationalised will see the rich and educated out of their super very quickly.

    Leave super as it is.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    2:04pm
    Tough times for the rich, bonny? My heart weeps....

    You are free to opt out of a national scheme, and pay tax on your income from investments in full... no problem.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    2:15pm
    Many of the educated rich only put into super the bare minimum they have to now. There are lots of other ways to save tax without the constraints of super. Changing super will have very little impact on the rich but it will hurt the middle class.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    2:36pm
    You see - the thing you still fail to see, Bonny and a few others - is that Pensions have been paid for out of a portion of income tax since around 1920, and are thus an unassailable Right. My plan of simply moving that allocated portion of income tax plus mandatory super contributions into a sovereign fund, and then paying everyone the mandated ceiling on retirement out of it, is really little different from the current situation - other than that this fund would be kept out of the grasping hands of politicians who thrust it into consolidated revenue, and then see this huge pile of unallocated loverly ready for spending - as if there is no tomorrow.

    Literally.

    Point is - once you receive your allocated 'ceiling' from this fund - all your income above that is taxable as income, since it is income pure and simple derived from savings, and is thus treated the same for everyone. No more triple dipping to benefit mega super hoarders and then punish pensioners who work for a few extra dollars by taxing their pension plus income as one.

    Every gets the same treatment...... love it or leave it.. and the benefits are that there is mandatory investment in AUSTRALIA.....
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    2:52pm
    Also there is a distinct comparison here with the Medicare Levy... you are already paying into this sovereign fund (that you never see due to political chicanery), via income tax - then you are salting away your money into a super fund as well, thus rendering yourself out of the running for the Pension.

    In other words, like the Medicare levy - by having more than a certain amount, you pay for bothy private and public...... although in the case of super you get to triple dip in the taxation coffers (conveniently helps out the poor suffering politicians there).... in the caswe of the Soverign Fund you will be contributing to that fund with your portionb of income tax plus mandatory super - you will receive a specified amount from it tax free on retirement, and then your investment in savings along the way will be subject to scrutiny annually via a tax return.

    Everybody happy but the rich - my heart bleeds for them.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:09pm
    TREBOR: I think you are missing the finer points of investing in real estate. The 'losses' are only being subsidised by taxpayers and in the end the person who has invested is hoping that there is a good capital gain for the investment. If it were not so then people would not invest in rental properties. Given some of the tenants out there why would you want to put yourself through that sort of pain...and cost.
    Just remember that pulling the interest deduction will have one result: a heap of property hitting the market at the same time and prices of real estate going down. I do not really believe that any of us would want that either. Nor do I believe that renters who suddenly have nowhere to live would be happpy either.
    Choices can seen so simple....until you look at the flow on effects.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:39pm
    Trebor, you know the old saw:
    "Everything aches, and what doesn't ache doesn't work!!!"
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    4:52pm
    History tells us that Keating got rid of negative gearing and within 2 years brought it back again.
    Why go down the same path again??
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:35pm
    So all those housing investors will just shut their doors? I think not - no revenue - no ability to pay mortgage = repossession.

    As I said before, a glitch in the market - and we must already all know that there is insufficient housing to go around now , and that was the situation then - does not mean that there is a sudden decline in housing available.

    You are being mislead here - the supply of housing did not change - look for other reasons such as thousands of country people forced to go to the cities, and immigration raising the pool of potential renters.

    It will NOT be some sudden decline in the same level of available rentals.

    Applying NG to new construction only might work.

    I say again - why should the taxpayer subsidise a losing business for decades in the hope that one day it will produce a return - at which point it will not repay the investment paid by taxpayers?

    You want to invest? Go it alone without my hip pocket supporting you to eventual riches.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:38pm
    You may add in lack of real opportunity in the country, as well as lack of viable development land in the major city areas. Each development further afield from CBD incurs a penalty of costs in travel etc, and such developments have little to no business infrastructure involved in them - but are the same old dreaded 'dormitory' suburbs that lead us to Claymore near Campbelltown etc.

    SSDD - no solid answer other than full employment... another issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
    surfer
    15th Jun 2015
    1:21pm
    Now with all this discontent and unfair tax systems in OZ there is one solution. Take your pennies and run. This country cannot continue with its inefficiency in the work place where it takes far to many to do the job of one. We are like siamese twins. Get rid of mobile phones in the work place except for the supervisor. Make supervisors more accountable for the work. This place under the money owed and with such decline in manufacture and mining can only end one way and that is down. So head for other places where it is much cheaper to live. Property is not ridiculous to buy. And you won't get continually ripped off. Not a very lucky country now. Add to all this and our welfare system cannot continue the way it has. Far too many rorting the system including people from Mediteranean countries. We are ruled by the pharmasuitical companies and the fuel companies that continue to rob us. Far too many young people not working. We have become a joke. All politicians can do is feather their own nests. Just dead wood including all the state politicians which we cannot afford. Duplication is ridiculous. We cannot afford this and should only have a federal government for our very small population.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:11pm
    A fair bit of truth but governments of both persuasion have the solution: sell of more of the nation and borrow forever. That'll do it Tangles!
    Perhaps taking your money and running is the best solution but where do you go?
    surfer
    16th Jun 2015
    6:00am
    Hi Mick, The steaks are good at Vanuatu. So are the fish at half the price as is everything else.
    Chris B T
    16th Jun 2015
    8:27pm
    What about the Damage From The Last Cyclone.
    Vanuatu will be Basket Case For Years.
    Our Northern Friends Have Weather Issues As well.
    surfer
    17th Jun 2015
    4:32am
    Hi Chris BT You obviously don't know much about Vanuatu. Go and have a look.
    Chris B T
    17th Jun 2015
    2:04pm
    The Vanuatu Foreign Aid And Appeals Are A Scam.
    The Devastation Was Very Limited And The Coverage Of Outer Islands Didn't Happen.
    Nice to know not to ever Donate To Bleeding Hearts Scams.
    Thanks For The Heads Up.
    surfer
    18th Jun 2015
    12:57pm
    Hi Chris Not so my friend. I was there during the cyclone and got evacuated back to Brisbane by Globemaster. Many outer islands were destroyed. I saw the damage for myself, so please don't go on about what you know nothing about. Get your facts right. Who are you talking to??? Some ignorarmus.
    Chris B T
    18th Jun 2015
    6:54pm
    Your Post What.
    The steaks are good at Vanuatu. So are the fish at half the price as is everything else.
    My Post.
    What about the Damage From The Last Cyclone.
    Your post reply.
    I was there during the cyclone and got evacuated back to Brisbane by Globemaster. Many outer islands were destroyed. I saw the damage for myself, so please don't go on about what you know nothing about. Get your facts right. Who are you talking to??? Some ignorarmus.
    I think you covered it very well.
    surfer
    20th Jun 2015
    5:58am
    Thankyou Chris, You are a true gentleman.
    Judy in the hills
    15th Jun 2015
    1:41pm
    Hi Fast Eddie and the rest of you who think the same: You had better look at today's papers and listen to the news to check other information if you think Joe Hockey is the only guy paying rent to his wife when he lives in 'her house' in Canberra, etc. etc. This morning a list of all politicians who do exactly the same was publicised (but of course they are keeping particularly quiet about it at the moment). So Joe is the one admitting what the system is. The others are remaining terribly quiet, hoping they don't get the same publicity. Its obviously a system that's been going on for a long time - and it wasn't stopped by Labor during their last round of dubious "management". So please do look for the whole story. I don't happen to agree with it either ..... the word racket springs to mind. But it needs EVERYONE in Canberra and elsewhere to change the system.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    2:11pm
    Thank you, Judy. I'll find the article shortly. These people are thicker than thieves, their silence being similar to omerta when it comes to selfishly "playing by the rules" when someone else is footing the bill for their game. Just the thought of what else we don't know about "pollie's perks" sickens me.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    2:27pm
    Judy, it was the same with postage allowance years ago it used to be $6k pa for federal MP's. They didn't buy stamps and put the money in their pocket.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:14pm
    Judy: you know the saying about "nothing corrupts more than ultimate power". THAT IS WHY WE NEED A FEDERAL ICAC. Political parties avoid this like the plague. I wonder why.
    Frank, as normal, changing the subject. I wish I knew what you were being paid.
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:41pm
    mick, slight correction...."Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely"
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    8:49pm
    mick a lot less than you. You're the one buying houses in Canada and Japan. I cant even afford a handyman's delight in Zeehan.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    1:55pm
    As for paying tax - the tax system is manifold and income tax and GST are just the tips of the iceberg. The simple reality is that for the very vast majority - all those with little to no discretionary income, every cent they earn finds its way back into the tax system - with every purchase you pay tax, and the cycle continues for every dollar until that dollar approaches zero (work it out in percentage for each transfer)...

    What is the dete4rminant here is the RATE at which tax dollar returns to the government - something that was masisvely accelerated using the GST (VAT or whatever), using the (in my eyes) totally flawed and false assumptions that:-

    a) government knows best how to handle our money for us

    b) government having greater revenue would mean greater opportunity for government spending in 'needed' areas (you define those for yourself)

    The biggest trouble with b) is that rather than there being an ACTUAL rise in government revenue in real terms - all they are doing is recycling the same dollars over and over again at an accelerated rate. The real outcome from this has been a proliferation of government spending in areas of no genuine need, often to the detriment of specified social groups (such as White Men missing out over affirmative action etc) and society as a whole (via reduction in Rights involved in paying Petra to rob Paul) and a resulting inflation created by there simply being too many paper dollars going around without real value.

    Causes of rising costs of living have been discussed relentlessly here - primarily the MADIF (Manhfdatory Dual Income Family) and the perception (false) that all family units are capable of spending that amount of money - meaning the family unit of the single person is forever chasing a pay rise out of need, which then flows on to the MADIF occupants, leading to an endless round of the same over and over while prices rise to meet the MADIF's 'ability' to pay.

    Dead End Street.....

    Dumping the GST and reverting the family unit to a single entity for taxation would be a start, and would force the government to fiercely review its spending and priorities.

    Like the settling down of the investment property/negative gearing market with the withdrawal of negative gearing to a losing business - it will take time and much pain for these things to re-settle into some form of sanity.

    Many have suffered that pain already - primarily those with little or without - now it is only meet that those WITH take their turn in the barrel.

    (argh, aye - them's be revolutionary words, there!)...
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:18pm
    You miss one very important fact: because we buy almost everything from CHINA much of what you spend ends up IN CHINA. This is why the destruction of manufacturing by both sides of politics in Australia has had us on a downward spiral. The money which would have gone around the DOMESTIC loop now finds its way into other countries and WE HAVE TO EXPORT TO BALANCE THE BOOKS. The trouble is WE CANNOT EXPORT and the books are not balanced. So we borrow. We all know where that ends up.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:43pm
    Thanks, mick - for telling me I left out one major issue. You are correct, of course. Without writing a book every time it's a little bit hard to cover all the issues involved in the current decline of Australia.

    That's why we have forums (fora) and a multitude of contributors.
    jaybee
    15th Jun 2015
    3:50pm
    A politicians job package is NOT like any other job. And their super is NOT like anybody else’s super. Both are like the pension; they are paid for by the taxpayers. Their pay & super is well above anything in a comparable country. The PM gets paid a lot more than the President of the US & the PM of Great Britain and that’s before all their other perks including super.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    3:55pm
    Disagree it's just another job package that is necessary to attract a certain type of person to the role.

    We all know Australia has been the most expensive country in the world to live in for the last 4 years so it's not unreasonable our PM gets paid more than other countries.

    I have no problem with the salaries of our politicians. It's not a job I would want myself even for many times what they get paid.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2015
    4:25pm
    jaybe: Incorrect. The PM does not get paid more than the president. Secondly CEOs in even a two bit company earn a lot more than the PM. Thirdly, if you expect pollies to cop the flack they get for the woeful job they do then you have to pay them something, and given that some are gone within 2 terms you have to pay better than the average wage.
    The real issue is that pollies need to pass an IQ test of some sort as some are so blatantly stupid that you would not trust them to run a chook raffle. ANd then you need to make it illegal for business interests to 'buy' politics....who naturally want to be paid pack with 'favours' once their charge is elected. Stiff jail sentences need to be the deterrent!
    The problem we have is that rorting has become a way of life for these shysters. So who is going to hold them to account given that the media often has vested interests and a particular barrow to push?
    marls
    15th Jun 2015
    5:13pm
    i agree our politician receive far to many perks, and benefits.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:50pm
    So the PM is entitled to a cost of living excess above countries with a lower COL - but the unemployed are not?

    Interesting...
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    8:44pm
    Bonny is an elitist, Trebor. She endorses any rort going for the privileged. Politicians should have it all. The rich should keep their unfair tax concessions. Multi-nationals should be left alone. But heaven forbid hard-working battlers be treated fairly or given a leg up anywhere. No. Take everything they have and treat them with contempt. And to hell with the unfortunate. Their only entitlement is a miserable ''welfare'' handout when in dire circumstances, and even then she condemns them as ''bludgers'' and ''cheats''.

    Taxpayer dollars must never be wasted on ordinary strugglers, but should be given out in bucket loads to the privileged who have no need of it - like to Joe to pay his wife rent and to people who can afford negatively geared properties and in tax concessions on superannuation for the wealthy. THEY should get taxpayer-funded handouts, but certainly NOT the worker who struggled and saved for 40+ years and now feels entitled to a comfortable retirement.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:30pm
    Yes - Dear Joey has $100 a day more to pay his wife for nothing than an unemployed 'leaner' gets for seven day's survival.....

    If HE had any honour - as was requested of you if you were in his position - he'd refuse the money.

    I'm sorry... Joe, Tony, Julia, Kevin and the rest.... that's H - O - N - O -U - R - got it?
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:37pm
    Oh - honour. I quit the Commonwealth Public Service at a time when I could have retired on 2/3 of my income indexed for life. Nice dollars and around maybe $1200 a week today tax free.....

    I chose not to..... a Man does not do that for 'stress' caused by affirmative action....

    Then I relied on my government to hold sacred my Army medical records..... they lost them....... and I have no call on a higher pension than I now receive.

    Honour... loyalty.. integrity... courage? These are words we use to justify defending something of value in society - some use them as throwaway lines at parties where they mock the fools that live by The Code... but deep down where they don't like to look in those moments of sweaty no sleep at 3 am when they face themselves and KNOW they did wrong so many times - they NEED us there..... they WANT us there....

    Me? I just do what's right by me...
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    7:15am
    Bonny, " it's just another job package that is necessary to attract a certain type of person to the role". So what type of person is it meant to attract? Greedy, self-serving vipers who have no concept of reality, no concern for the nation, no respect for the people, but are only there to line their pockets and look after their privileged buddies' unfair interests? Because that's what we are getting with this ''job package'' that is currently being offered.

    "Pay peanuts and you get monkeys'' is commonly shouted in response to demands for reductions in benefits. Frankly, I think we'd be a hell of a lot better off with monkeys running the country. You can't get any worse than the greedy idiots running the show now.

    There was a time when we didn't pay politicians, and we had a lot better than we have now. Not so very long ago, we didn't pay local councillors. It's only since we started paying them that I've seen the corruption and evil that I'm seeing in our local council now (and I'll bet it's rife in most!)
    TREBOR
    16th Jun 2015
    11:29am
    Hire monkeys and you get piles of monkey doo-doo.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    11:50am
    Better than what we are drowning in now!
    Grumpy
    15th Jun 2015
    4:45pm
    Congratulations to Debbie McTaggart for stirring up one of the liveliest debates for some time, one which has drawn as much reasoned argument as any I have seen lately. However some of the welde on "die hards" such as Brissie Girl seem to be MIA.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:46pm
    She'll Be Back!
    Gee Whiz
    15th Jun 2015
    4:56pm
    Most of these comments are dirty on people who have scrimped and saved all their lives to give themselves a good level of living in retirement.

    Now because they did the hard yards and have a bit of cash as well as a house that has appreciated in value over time as most houses do, commentators and Joe Hockey want to penalize them.

    Well you cant have it both ways. If government Keeps interfering with the savings of retirees they will simply stop saving, apart from super, enjoy themselves now and go on the full pension in retirement.

    Nobody has said anything about how people with some post retirement capital contribute to the economy. That's why they saved. To spend it during retirement. And most of it attracts all types of taxes, including the GST.

    I'll bet Joe Hockey hasn't done his homework on just how much these people contribute to the economy.

    We should all live high off the hog like Joe. A multi millionaire and will retire with a superannuated pension that the average Australian can only dream about.

    Get off their backs Joe and get a real job.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    5:17pm
    Well said, Gee Whiz.
    marls
    15th Jun 2015
    5:18pm
    any politician living in the wife home (family home} should not be entitled to rent allowance after all the tax payer is not entitle to any rent assistance owning your own home. politician problem is greed upon greed, whilst expecting the tax payer to tighten their belts just so the politician can bleed more money out of the taxpayer
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    5:41pm
    He has to stay somewhere and gets an allowance no matter where he stays so it makes no difference where he stays. Lots of other pollies also own homes in Canberra and get the same allowance.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:47pm
    Rules set up by those who benefit from them are about to change.....
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    10:52pm
    marls, an employee who is required to work away from home not only gets an accommodation allowance but meals and incidentals as well.
    This is just another political spike and you have been caught. Hook ,Line and sinker!!
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:42pm
    Those allowances are nowhere near as overly generous as our politicians feeding out of the public trough.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    7:32am
    And they became more generous during the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd experiment.
    MITZY
    16th Jun 2015
    12:28pm
    I guess Joe and the others also partake of the meals and incidentals from the Parliamentary dining areas including the wine cellars and we are paying for it all once again. We've certainly overfed Joe! However, the private individual partaking of accommodation, meals and incidentals etc. is putting the moneys received from his employer back into businesses making a living and "possibly", I say possibly, paying taxes and giving something back, unlike the "leaners" in government.
    marls
    15th Jun 2015
    5:21pm
    Bonny
    this is the only country in the world that means test the old age pension. I worked hard for my money and i paid my taxes and my children and i went without. and what i do with my hard earned money that i have paid tax on is my business other countries if you DONT work you dont get the pension this is the only country that has it back to front, no incentive for people in the future to work.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    5:48pm
    Agree there is no incentive for people to work or save.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2015
    6:04pm
    Yet you defend policies that further reduce incentives, Bonny. You make no sense at all!
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    6:49pm
    So in other countries the savagely disabled from birth get no pension or support?

    Right..... I prefer to think we are better than that....
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    11:00pm
    marls, if you remove welfare then you have some incentive to work. If you increase welfare then you have no incentive to work. You have inverted the logic. By your reasoning I owe you money because you don't work?
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:43pm
    No - your government owes her a living because she CAN'T work or is no longer designated as being able to. It's called 'retirement'.... though not in the way used in
    Blade Runner.....
    Hoss
    15th Jun 2015
    6:32pm
    Suggest everybody goes to this website - http://www.theirfairshare.org.au/compare-your-tax-rate
    LiveItUp
    15th Jun 2015
    7:14pm
    Gee I paid less tax than the large multinational. Sounds fair to me.
    Adrianus
    15th Jun 2015
    8:32pm
    Hoss, I see what you mean. But you would be surprised at how many people Labor will con with that.
    TREBOR
    15th Jun 2015
    11:45pm
    I looked and I don't see how Labor could con anyone with a figures of 6.8% for me - a pensioner - and 1.9% for a multi-national......

    What are you missing this time?
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    7:51am
    No, you wouldn't TREBOR.
    "A large tech firm paid only 1.9% tax on $6 billion revenue"
    They are very careful not to call this cash flow "profit," but instead preferring to call it revenue. Why???
    So they only paid $114,000,000 tax? What does that tell you? It tells me that they achieved a profit of $380m and absolutely nothing else.
    Just another way Labor antagonises those weak minded enough to develop their sense of greed, hatred and envy. This sort of niggling development of class warfare only serves those who have something to gain. Shorten and his union buddies are masters at agitating the not so alert masses while they are busy feathering their own nest.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    8:48am
    And the current LNP are masters of deception to justify feathering their nests and those of their rich and privileged mates at the expense of the general populace, Frank. Neither party can be defended. It's just that the LNP's class warfare is against the middle and working class and in favour of the haves, wheres Labor tends to favour the have-nots and wage war against the middle and upper classes.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    9:04am
    What is interesting, Frank, is that it's far from just the Labor Party saying multi-nationals don't pay fair taxes. It's also many Liberals, Independents, members of minor parties, the media, independent economists, global economic advisory and assessment organizations... etc. etc. etc. Can't ALL be wrong. Even Hockey admitted there was a problem with multi-nationals not paying fair tax. He just added that he wasn't going to do anything about it. Well, actually, he initially said he would address it, then changed his mind. Seems Abbott and Hockey do a lot of that, plus contradict each other and other Ministers. It really is a comedy show! I have typically been an LNP supporter, I don't much like Labor and I detest Shorten, but I've never seen a more dishonest and disorganized government than the one we currently have. They are an embarrassment and a danger. They ARE destroying the way of life Australians know and value, and they have no scruples. Anything goes as long as it benefits them and their elite buddies. Honour, service, integrity, national interest... none of those values are respected by this mob. Rudd and Gillard and their crew were bad, but I'd have them back tomorrow in preference to the current mob of vipers and fools.

    Global economic experts who have no vested interests are saying repeatedly that we need to address inequality to fix what is wrong with the world. It's common sense really. If you destroy incentive and grind everyone but the top 5% down while transferring 95% of the wealth to 5% of the populace, you are going to have a big problem. The 95% are eventually going to revolt. We may be an apathetic lot, but everyone has their limits, and I think we are starting to see the average Australian getting close to theirs. The protests and demands for justice are getting stronger. Eventually, politicians will have no choice but to listen.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    10:31am
    Rainey, the fact that you would rather have Rudd and Gillard back speaks volumes. You cannot see me but I can assure you I am shaking my head in a melancholy disbelief. I may watch more of the Killing Season tonight. I haven't been able to watch more than 10 minutes so far. That's as close as I get to deliberate self harming by the way.
    I just think it takes a special talent for a group of people to think we are so stupid to believe Kevin Rudd saved Australia from the GFC. Had he done so then he would most certainly be lacking in Labor values? And worthy of being sacked by his own party.
    If Rudd had saved us from the GFC by the school halls/pink batts method then the word has obviously not yet reached Greece. Have the Greeks not thought of the Henry/Rudd/Swan method of economic stimulus?

    mick, you were there recently. Have the Greeks heard of how Rudd steered us away from the GFC?
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    10:58am
    Frank, the LNP Goverment has not acheived ONE SINGLE THING THEY PROMISED. They have broken every promise made. They have failed on every single economic benefit they promised to deliver.

    The school halls and pink batts were unmitigated disasters as a result of stupidity in government, but the stimulus was applied in a targeted fashion in two countries and those are THE ONLY TWO COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD that did not go into recession during the GFC.

    Abbott and Hockey promised reduced unemployment (it's increased), reduced deficit (it's tripled), no changes to pensions (they've been slashed), paid parental leave (cancelling that was actually a good thing, in my view), more help for low income families (they are getting less), lower taxes (they've increased)... the list is way too long, but they have failed dismally on every single undertaking. And they can't even make up their minds what they want to achieve. Hockey said falling interest rates signaled a sick economy, then when rates fell he said it ''was a good thing''. He excuses poor housing affordability by saying ''get a better job'' (ignoring the fact that there at least 800,000 fewer jobs than job seekers). He excuses fuel price rises by claiming the poor don't drive.

    Yes, I'd rather Rudd and Gillard back. They were hopeless moronic incompetents, but they were less so than the current crew, and that's for certain.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    4:23pm
    Rainey, you need to contact your people at the ABC to set them straight. The "fact checker" has the government leading in the promises department.
    And another thing, what is wrong with getting a good job??? Especially one that pays well??? Of that 800,000 jobless, probably 180,000 where illegal immigrants.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    4:46pm
    You sound just like that idiot Hockey, Frank. Everyone should just work longer, earn more, get more education, drive less... As if everyone has the opportunity. Only a selfish idiot could make such statements. I know many native-born Australians who would give anything for a job offer. This government has driven up unemployment, driven up taxes, driven up the deficit, and spread doom and gloom. Leading in the promises dept. Only if you are stupid enough to believe Abbott's lies. Oh, sorry... leading with the most FALSE BULLSHIT PROMISES THAT THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF EVEN TRYING TO KEEP. Yep. You got that right.
    gilstamp
    16th Jun 2015
    9:26pm
    Frank, Greece is not in control of their money supply. They cannot influence their own economy because they are tied to the euro. Australia can utilise its own spare capacity by monetary stimulus whenever it likes. Recession is not something that we should just watch happen.
    Tomaso
    16th Jun 2015
    6:32am
    Bonny, say no more.
    TREBOR
    16th Jun 2015
    11:32am
    Hear, hear. I'm-a with Don Tomaso.
    LiveItUp
    16th Jun 2015
    3:54pm
    Ha Ha
    Peterrj
    16th Jun 2015
    11:51am
    LOL. I don't have a taxable income so I don't mind one bit of the tax rates go UP!!!
    LiveItUp
    16th Jun 2015
    3:55pm
    Most people over 60 with super pensions that pay no tax would agree with you.
    Peterrj
    17th Jun 2015
    10:36am
    Bonney, then they bring out the thumb screws by changing the Pension and Tax Rules every year. We are all going to get it in the neck sooner or later. Just wiat till we all see the next Labor Govt Budget... We ain't seen nothing yet. Party hard now as the hangover is a coming!!!

    16th Jun 2015
    12:19pm
    At last some common sense on the proposed assets test changes. Labor has confirmed it will oppose these unfair and extremely discriminatory changes, which are also clearly economically destructive. That means the Government will have to get the Greens to agree, and the Greens have sensibly said ''only if there is a comprehensive review of retirement incomes''.

    Once again this Government has demonstrated incompetence. Thank goodness we have responsible Senators to protect us from their stupidity.

    To be clear, I favor changes to the pension system to ensure it both remains affordable and that it looks after the most disadvantaged well. If that disadvantages me personally, so be it - as long as the changes are FAIR, NON-DISCRIMINATORY, and ECONOMICALLY SOUND. Morrison's proposal was precisely the opposite of what is desirable on every count.
    LiveItUp
    16th Jun 2015
    3:56pm
    Just wait to they get into government it will be a different story then.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    4:15pm
    When you are dealing with Labor and the Greens what you need to do is take what they say with a little scepticism. I guess that's the case with all Politicians but more so with Labor. Rainey, I know many millionaires will be counting on a pension after the next election but those with modest amounts will be counting on a pension increase too. Who deserves it most?
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    4:41pm
    Who deserves it most, Frank? Those who worked hardest for it and who, despite their hard work, couldn't get to a level of self-sufficiency given the pathetic interest rates in today's world. I have no issue at all with means testing INCOMES, or taxing retirement incomes fairly. But I have a major issue with denying people the reasonable benefit of their work and sacrifice while those who didn't make the sacrifices are generously rewarded. It's about fairness and economic common sense, Frank. You punish the workers and savers and favor those who didn't save, you remove the incentive to save and you increase future pension costs dramatically. If you let people benefit from their saving, you provide incentives for responsible financial management and hard work, and future pension costs reduce.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: If X and Y earn the same and pay the same tax in working life, but X takes world trips and dines out and Y puts his money away for the future, why should X be supported by the taxpayer in old age and Y be forced to use up his hard-earned savings just to survive? That's not just discriminatory, it's stupid economics, because it declares responsible financial management futile and says ''Spend it all now and put your hand out later, folks, because unless you are rich, there ain't no benefit in being financially responsible.''
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    5:23pm
    Rainey, welfare is not a reward of any kind! It is a helping hand to those who need it the most. If it were a reward for those who have done well financially, then Allan Bond would have been on a full pension. YLC would not agree with your take on this.
    X will be well aware that his super, which his employer paid all those years, is not to be blown on world trips and dining out. Also Y should not be envious of X because people who save spend more than those who don't, because they have more to spend.
    LiveItUp
    16th Jun 2015
    7:03pm
    Agree welfare is not a reward for hard work. With the asset test there has to be a cut off limit. To me even $800,000 is too high as with earnings and capital it would take quite awhile for someone to use that all up in living expenses. At $50,000 per year that is more than 16 Years. I really can't see what the problem is with lowing it to $800,000 and I expect it will be lower further in future years,
    LiveItUp
    16th Jun 2015
    7:22pm
    Greens have announced they will support government's pension changes.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    9:29pm
    No they haven't, Bonny. They have said they demand a full review of the entire retirement funding system, which is something the Government has tried to avoid.
    gilstamp
    16th Jun 2015
    9:38pm
    Bonny, do you think that we should be dead in sixteen years? The asset limit should be set at the reasonable earning rate for the asset to equal the current pension. This should not include the principal residence which cannot be used for earnings. A maximum value could be set (currently $1.5million seems reasonable).
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    9:41pm
    Frank and Bonny, I never suggested welfare was a reward. But people have a right to maintain their savings. Welfare is a substitute for lack of INCOME - not something you withhold because someone saved but give to those who didn't. To do that is just plain idiotic because it drives a spendthrift/dependent mentality.

    I'll say it again - in speak hopefully even you can understand. Government says ''Please save for your old age. We want you to be responsible and try to be self-sufficient.'' Successive governments have said this, and tried to implement programs to support saving. So now what you (and the LNP) are saying is they should turn around and add "If you squander all your money on extravagant holidays etc., or give it away before you turn 60, the taxpayer will support you comfortably in your old age, and you'll get a bunch of freebies and discounts to enhance your lifestyle. But if you do as we ask and be responsible, you will get nothing and have to drain your savings just to eat.''

    What's the logical response? Spend it all, guys! DO NOT SAVE. DO NOT BE RESPONSIBLE. If you are retired and have savings, go on a world cruise. Blow the lot. If you are not retired, spend and gift.

    Only a very stupid politician would agree with sending such a negative message! It guarantees higher pension costs in future years.

    The income test is ridiculously generous. I have no issue with it being tightened. I have no issue with including deemed returns on assets in the income test. But an assets test should be structured such that it takes age and the current rate of return into proper account and ensures that those who saved enjoy the benefit of their savings and are not left worse off than those who didn't. That's not just basic economics - it's plain common sense!

    Unlike many - you two included - I am no pushing a political barrow or concerned with my own situation. I am concerned with ensuring that the system is fair, non-discriminatory, and economically sound. Morrison's proposal meets NONE of those criteria. It is stupid, discriminatory, unfair in the extreme, and economically destructive.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    9:48pm
    "Greens strike deal with the Government to support changes to aged pension."
    This headline article appeared on ABC 2 hours ago.
    Look, when you are talking about the ABC be a little cautious about what they convey. As we found out with statin drugs. But I watched Richard di Natale on the news and he certainly indicated he wants to regain some respect for the Greens.
    Adrianus
    16th Jun 2015
    9:52pm
    Rainey, has dumb obedience ever helped you solve a problem?
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    9:58pm
    BTW. Bonny. You are hopeless at comprehension of both facts and mathematics. Firstly, $50K a year will not be nearly enough after a few years of inflation. Ten years from now, assuming just 2.5% increases per annum, the pension for a couple will be more than $50,000. Secondly, many of those affected will live for another 30+ years. That is why $800,000 is deemed by experts to be INADEQUATE to fund retirement for a couple. The suggested figure today is $1.5 million. And any assets limit should NEVER be lower than the amount required to fund a comfortable retirement. If one hasn't enough to be self-funded, then quite clearly they need and should be entitled to a pension.

    When the money is all gone and the health costs start to bite, or one or the other of the couple needs residential aged care or extensive home help, then what? The reason they saved is so they could afford that. Your stupid idea leaves them penniless at the precise time they need money most! Now if they sacrificed holidays, nice clothes, dinners out, and entertainment to ensure they had that buffer for when they need it, they are entitled to feel very pissed off that they were cheated out of the rewards of their efforts, while others who enjoyed the high life and didn't think of tomorrow are looked after from the public purse.

    The politics of envy is alive and well though. Anyone who didn't bother to save will always be quick to claim that they have a superior right to a benefit and those who saved should be screwed to provide it. Odd that you two, Bonny and Frank, seem to carry on about the wealthy having a right to the rewards of their endeavours, but you are quick to want to screw anyone who worked and saved but didn't achieve wealth. Typical socialists! Kill the middle class. Stifle anyone who strives to improve their situation. Protect the wealthy elite, but grind everyone else down to a common level of hardship and misery. That's actually the Communist mantra. You would both do well as leaders in a Communist regime.
    Anonymous
    16th Jun 2015
    9:59pm
    It's not about dumb obedience, Frank. It's about what's good for the national economy. And clearly Morrison's proposal IS NOT.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    11:58am
    Rainey, it has become very clear to me that you and many others do not give a hoot about the poor amongst us. Whether they are bogans from Struggle Street West Sydney, Illegal economic immigrants invited by the last government, or just decent Aussies who have lost their way and in need of a hand up. I don't wish to distinguish between any who really need some help, because it does not matter how they got there. The fact is they are in that position and if society does not show a helping hand then they are more likely to become more anti social.
    That is what is good for the nation!
    That is what is good for the economy!
    Clearly Morrison and Abbott know what they are doing!
    Anonymous
    17th Jun 2015
    12:12pm
    WRONG WRONG WRONG, Frank. You couldn't be more wrong. What I care about is fairness and incentive and not grinding those who battled to pull themselves up in the world back down to the level of those who didn't. What is good for the nation is just that - fairness, incentive, and rewards for endeavor. Take that away and pension costs go through the roof. Morrison and Abbott are STUPID. They are driving a generation of Australians who see no point in striving, so will happily wallow in their poverty and keep putting their hands out for more. That is NOT good for the economy at all. Thank heavens you aren't running the budget! But then, those who are are displaying just as much incompetence.

    This measure is guaranteed to do two things: It will INCREASE pension costs overall and increase the number of people reliant on a pension, and it will INCREASE the number of poor and disadvantaged retirees.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    12:36pm
    Rainey,
    How will this new measure,
    1. Increase pension costs?
    2. Increase the number of pensioners?
    3. Increase the number of poor and disadvantaged retirees?
    Anonymous
    17th Jun 2015
    1:07pm
    Ah, durh, Frank! If people are punished for saving and planning, they will not do it. The message here is ''spend up big. Waste your money and you get a pension plus benefits. Try to save and you will be screwed.'' What will people do in response? Not save, that's for sure. Spend up big, or give it away, and put their hand out for the generous pension and benefits. More pensioners. Higher pension costs. More poor and disadvantaged retirees when those who felt compelled to spend suddenly encounter the costly health issues their savings were intended to equip them to deal with.
    Dumb, dumb and dumber! Anyone who can't see that shouldn't be allowed to vote.
    Geez, even Bonny is urging people to spend. Read her posts. And I've seen plenty saying their response will be to take a world cruise and blow a few hundred thousand OVERSEAS, WHERE IT DOESN'T BENEFIT AUSTRALIA. Then they'll come back and claim the pension they were always morally entitled to.

    It really is astonishing that politicians can be so stupid and short-sighted as to not see the writing on the wall.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    7:47am
    Rainey I dispute your assertion that people will have this perception.
    "The message here is ''spend up big. Waste your money and you get a pension plus benefits. Try to save and you will be screwed.''
    Your writing on the wall is just graffiti. People are not dumb enough to throw away $100,000 to get $7,800 are they? Well maybe there are some who do it now? But that doesn't mean the number of dumb people will increase because of the great work Morrison is doing. I am waiting to see this guy walk on water next.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:11am
    Frank, people who scrimped and saved, going without the pleasures others enjoyed, are to be punished harshly for it. Many WILL decide it's time to enjoy those pleasures, since the taxpayer is funding a better lifestyle for those who did and do.

    Morrison is a fool. The proposal he put forward is grossly unfair and will drive a lot more pensioners into poverty, meaning that the Government will enjoy short-term gain for long-term pain. Imagine the costs of residential aged care in two decades. It costs $500,000 now for a decent room in most facilities. When retirees who saved are ground down to having only $375,000 and room costs soar to $1.5 million, the Government has to pick up the tab. It's dumb! Only a fool would think this was smart.

    The Labor Party has put forward a fair and sensible proposal that creates long-term sustainable increased revenue flow WITHOUT plunging anyone into poverty and without discouraging younger Australians from saving. I would make the threshold lower, personally. But any Australian who objected to paying 15% of income over and above what they need to retire in reasonable comfort ISN'T an Australian. In this nation, we have always subscribed to the principle of ''a fair go'' and decent rewards for hard work and responsible endeavour. To punish people for saving for old age isn't just STUPID, it's un-Australian. And it will ultimately destroy this great country as it removes the reward for hard work and responsible planning and declares that if you are not filthy rich - in which case you get a host of tax concessions from the public purse - you MUST be poor in old age.

    The aged pension IS NOT WELFARE. It is AN ENTITLEMENT that past Government guaranteed to Australian workers, funded by an early version of the current superannuation scheme. It SHOULD be recognized now as an entitlement for everyone who needs it to sustain a decent lifestyle and maintain the rewards of earlier endeavour.

    There is NO BENEFIT in Morrison's proposal. It means more poor aged people. It means higher costs to the taxpayer in the medium to long term. It means aged people feel disrespected and lacking dignity because their income is branded ''welfare'' and they are told they have no entitlement to the little comforts of life after a lifetime of contributing to economic growth, and they have no right to enjoy the rewards of their earlier work and saving.

    The proposal to tax retirement incomes modestly over a generous threshold generates sustained long-term increased revenue WITHOUT stripping people of their dignity and self-respect and WITHOUT plunging more old people into poverty. It increases fairness, instead of persecuting a select group who have already suffered more financial hurt than any other group of Australians. It avoids disadvantaging the sick, disabled and educationally under-privileged who saved a modest nest-egg for old age. It stimulates continued growth.

    The claim that pensions are ''welfare'' and superannuation is ''your money'' is wrong. Superannuation tax concessions come from the same public purse that pensions do. The well off get the concessions. The poor get pensions. The difference is one of privilege only. To deny people pensions because they saved is to say that the rich are entitled to generous gifts from the public purse, and the poor are entitled to minimal sustenance from the public purse, but the middle class and those who save diligently are entitled to NOTHING and should be persecuted. It's CLASS WARFARE OF THE WORST KIND.

    This shouldn't be a ''party politics'' issue. It should be a decision based on economic common sense and fairness. Every Australian should be proud to contribute fairly to the economy and to ensuring a fair go for all and incentive for endeavour. To tax every retiree a little on that part of their income that grossly exceeds what they need for a comfortable lifestyle is not going to hurt anyone, but is going to create ongoing revenue. To persecute a select group who have already suffered more loss than any other group and who, in many cases, now can't afford to give any more is un-Australian.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:45am
    BTW. Frank, I'n not suggesting anyone ''throw away'' $100K. I''m suggesting they buy themselves some of the pleasures they denied themselves to accrue those savings, because otherwise they are being denied any benefit from the savings.

    And it's not $7800 they are getting in return. It's $7800 times however many years they live, plus the amount of the six-monthly increases that will apply.

    Clearly, you are very bad at math and financial management, or you would realise that if we continue at just 2.5% inflation, spending $100,000 now nets the asset-tested pensioner nearly $176,000 over 10 years, whereas putting it in the bank at 3% (assuming interest rates don't fall further, which they probably will, AND assuming they don't have to draw on the capital to live, which they almost certainly will given the loss of pension) will only net them $30,000 over the same decade. Now, if they quietly gift half of that $7800 to their children, recording it as spent on cash living expenses (which I'm sure many pensioners are doing and Centrelink could never hope to prove it even if they knew which pensioners to watch), their kids will have $88,000 PLUS accrued interest to help Mum and Dad in old age, whereas if the pensioner kept the $100,000, they would only have the initial $100,000 at best (because they have to draw the interest to live on with no pension benefits) and they will probably have less than that because they will have needed to draw the capital to live on given the loss of benefits.

    I don't understand how people with far more education than I can be so blinkered and dumb as to not see that smart economics demands people spend their $100K, and doing so will impose a huge cost on the taxpayer - NOT net a saving.
    Gee Whiz
    17th Jun 2015
    12:10pm
    I'll be happy when politicians are on the same level playing ground as the rest of us and not before.

    Pollies are the only creatures on the planet that are so morally corrupt they believe they can steal from the taxpayer and its quite alright.

    Joe Hokey is a prime example. He claims travelling expenses while staying in a house in Canberra that is owned by his wife. Not only that, he rents out rooms to other politicians who also claim travelling expenses.

    Hockey claims he is doing nothing wrong and operates within the guidelines. But they made the rules themselves. The old Dracula and the blood bank syndrome.

    Once politicians become morally corrupted its open slather with taxpayer money for their own use. They then have the temerity to tell us how we can use our own savings.

    People will suffer under the new changes brought in by the budget. But funnily enough it won't effect politicians. Strange that!
    Judy in the hills
    18th Jun 2015
    12:50pm
    Unfortunately its not news to find that the rich are getting richer - that's been life since Adam was a boy. If you are rich you probably have a good job, have rich friends and rich contacts. You have more power than the ordinary guy or girl and you make sure you use it to your advantage. I think it would be ideal if the lower income people could decide on the politicians pay packets, just like they (the politicians) can decide for the rest of us. BUT its not going to happen like that is it? No political party on earth is going to vote to even out the money available. You are living in a dream world if you think anything is going to change. I am not saying its good the way it is, just that things are the way they are, and they aren't going to change anytime soon. Maybe a set percentage of one's total worth should be paid in as tax - would that make things better? We are not likely to find out I feel!
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2015
    1:21pm
    Judy, I agree. Another valid reason for the rich getting richer and the poor not keeping pace is one of simple fact.
    The poor have only one way of making money and the rich have two.
    As a society our problem is that many people do not understand this, because if they did there would not be as many poor people.
    cdbstock
    19th Jun 2015
    11:10pm
    Why not a 'Transaction Tax System:
    TRANSACTION TAX

    INTRODUCTION
    1. The current federal tax system is far too complex
    2. The ever increasing amount spent for online purchase less than $1000 per item results in ever decreasing GST revenue - & it’s too costly to impose & scrutinise GST collection on these items
    THE TRANSACTION TAX SYSTEM (SIMPLIFIED)
    1. A 4% (say) tax on every monetary transaction – no exception
    2. For example: transfer of wages from employer to employee; payments for groceries etc; all repayments onto credit cards; all payments for items purchased online; transfer of funds from a transaction bank account to a term deposit account; all payments by cash, cheque, credit card, debit card, etc
    IMPACTS
    1. Gov’t must pay all benefits from consolidated revenue – visible budget allocations
    2. No annual tax return
    3. Much reduced ATO size
    4. No unproductive tax accountant/tax lawyers & support staff
    5. Catch all online purchase/sales
    6. No difficulty as currently experienced in determining which items are subject to GST
    7. Large reduction in size of the ‘black market’ – it’s just not worth it at 4%
    8. Encourages vertical integration to minimise tax
    9. Reduction in State/Territory taxes – negotiable
    10. Simplified accounting requirements
    11. Politicians are able to promise grants, payments, reduction in the transaction tax rate etc – all from budget
    PROBLEMS
    1. Politicians will want exceptions to gain votes
    2. Substantial legislation required
    3. Need to have transitional arrangements – eg: adequate notice to enable IT developments; industrial arrangements; calculation of the required tax rate; public education arrangements; lobby groups; - but transitional arrangements are feasible
    4. Increased auditing of: individuals; corporations; ‘not for profit’ organisations.
    Cdbstock
    April 2015
    stake
    21st Jun 2015
    8:12pm
    get rid of abbott
    surfer
    22nd Jun 2015
    2:26am
    Get rid of Shorten, his head is too big. Thank God for Abbott
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:13am
    Get rid of Shorten. I agree! But because we need someone who can win the confidence of Australians to get rid of Abbott. He's the most dangerous and inept politician we've ever seen (and I've always been an LNP voter) and he's destroying this country. God help us all if he wins another term.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:20am
    Trouble is surfer, when the unions decide to turn on Bill Shorten, Labor will only have Albo to replace him. I think the ABCs "The Killing Season" will be a long running series. I predict Albo to be the star of the next few episodes, with the lead support role given to Sam "Dashing" Dastyari. If you liked "Revenge" you will love the Killing Season.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:32am
    Some Aussies are dumb enough to watch ''The Killing Season'' and believe the propaganda. Some Aussies are dumb enough to believe politically-influenced media propaganda and history generally. It astonishes me that so many can't see political bias and understand that they are only hearing what the writer wants them to hear, and not the FACTS.

    It always amuses me to watch historical documentaries from periods of history that I, personally, witnessed. The distortion of history is just amazing. We worship cowards and traitors as heroes because some biased person changed the story. People believe total nonsense about the past (like that all ''baby boomers'' were privileged and got free education and very cheap houses, for example, and that only Aborigines were stolen and heavily disadvantaged - not whites, Chinese, Irish, Greeks, Italians, etc.)

    I guess we'll never be able to take the coloured blinkers off the fools who wear blue, red or green shirts and barrack blindly for a team without bothering to think about their current policies and performance. There will always be a huge number who see politics like football - just a game in which supporting ''MY TEAM'' is all that matters, and to hell with how much damage results to the nation as a consequence.

    I wish voting was limited to those who pass an intelligence test!
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:48am
    Rainey your Labor bias is showing. Typical of the Labor elite, they always think they are the smartest person in the room.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:08am
    Frank, I'm anything but biased to Labor. I've been a staunch LNP supporter all my life - until now. And I despise the current Labor Party leaders and disagree with a lot of their policies. But I support what is sensible and logical, based on analysis of the facts. And it's very clear that persecuting people who worked and saved but could not achieve self-sufficiency in old age, while over-indulging the rich, isn't sensible or logical, let alone the Australian way. Morrison probably had noble intent. He just got it wrong because he cannot see that the superannuant who draws a lump sum from his super tax free is NOT the typical middle-income battler. Nor can he see, obviously, that there's a fairer way to address that problem.

    It's the LNP elite who think they are the smartest people in the room, and are determined to maintain class structure by ensuring that anyone who endeavours, but isn't rich, is ground down and stripped of the benefits of their efforts, so they can never migrate closer to the privileged class. Heaven forbid that someone be able to rise about the station they were born to! Not rich? Grind them down to ensure their poverty.
    It's NOT the Australian way. It's never previously been the LNP way. But it's very clearly this Government's way, and we need to be rid of them. I don't know what to replace them with, because we don't have much choice, but we can't afford to keep going down the current path with an inept government that isn't acting in the interests of Australians.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:05am
    Rainey many people would disagree with your assertions of unfairness and,
    "persecuting people who worked and saved" ,
    "over-indulging the rich",
    "ground down and stripped of the benefits of their efforts",
    " an inept government that isn't acting in the interests of Australians"

    These sound like the emotive ravings of a millionaire about to lose their welfare? You're a staunch LNP supporter who has suddenly seen the light but at the same time despises Labor? But nobody else has a better plan? We need to think of other people not just ourselves.
    How can you ask the hard working families to pay more tax because retired millionaires need more welfare? Many of these workers are doing it tough to get a leg up because of the steep rise in the cost of living. Many young families are struggling Rainey.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:30am
    Frank, my concern IS for the young families who are struggling, AND the pensioners who have only $400,000 to last them through 30+ years of retirement - and the kids who will be burdened with their care when they run out of money because the Government is doing something that will cost taxpayers MORE.

    My proposal SAVES money for the government. I'm NOT anywhere near a millionaire, and if I was I'd be happy with measures that stopped those with more money than they need from getting pensions. But the requirement to retire has been calculated by experts at $1.5 million, NOT $823,000. The proposal is based on false claims and incorrect mathematics.

    You obviously suck at economics. I am OPPOSING GIVING $146,000 bonuses to asset-tested pensioners who take a world cruise. I'm urging the Government to adopt a plan that INCREASES revenue WITHOUT discouraging effort and responsible planning, so that we all end up better off over the long term and the Government wins.

    Labor DOES have a better plan, and both Labor and I ARE thinking of other people -and of the future of Australia.

    You can't help people on welfare by measures that will INCREASE the tax bill. Only an idiot like Morrison could suggest that screwing people so that they decide to spend their assets and take a bonus makes economic sense.

    A small tax on income is sustainable long term and nets extra revenue WITHOUT hurting people unfairly and WITHOUT encouraging people to spend up on luxuries and claim fatter pensions. Do the math, Frank, if you are capable.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:40am
    Sad that the blinkered bleeding hearts here just swallow Government propaganda and Greens' misguided and incorrect claims instead of examining facts.

    It's NOT ABOUT giving the disadvantaged more. It's NOT ABOUT taking pensions from millionaires. IT'S ABOUT ECONOMIC COMMON SENSE.

    You don't help the disadvantaged by screwing those who saved, removing incentives, and paying people to be financially irresponsible. Wake up Australia!

    The country is being run by idiots who can't do math, and the bleeding hearts are supporting them because they can't see past the fog the idiots create with their myths about saving money to give more to the poor. When you deal in facts, you see that the proposal is hopelessly flawed and CANNOT achieve the claimed aim.

    I don't know if the Government actually has a secret alternate agenda, or if they are just stupid, but anyone who supports the proposal isn't supporting helping the disadvantaged. NOR are they supporting taking pensions off millionaires.


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