Backbenchers target pension cuts

A group of liberal backbenchers are pushing to scrap planned cuts to the pension.

Liberal MP Andrew Laming told Fairfax Media yesterday that a group of government backbenchers have been pushing for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reconsider legislation changes which may reduce the pension. The change in the indexation of the Age Pension is the last of four policies that the small group of backbenchers identified to the Coalition leaders in January as policies requiring change. The introduction of a Medicare co-payment, the paid parental leave scheme and defence pay rises below the inflation rate, have all been axed.

“It's no secret that over the last two months a group of Coalition backbenchers have been squarely putting a couple of policies in front of the leadership – four of them in fact, and this is one of them.

“It's also the last of the policies that backbenchers demanded to be changed over the last month and the fact that it's in [Social Services Minister] Scott Morrison's hands means most of us believe he will find a way to fix it.

“I'm not speaking on behalf of the backbench. I said that a very small number of people who first identified the issues back in January put this as one of the top four issues to be addressed and it's the last one to be addressed.” Mr Laming said.

Mr Abbott indicated on Monday that it wasn't his intention to back down on pension changes, “We flagged in MYEFO [the Midyear Economic and Fiscal Outlook] that the CPI indexation of pensions would not be something that would continue indefinitely, it would be something that would be in place until the budget returned to strong surplus,” Mr Abbott said.

Read more at www.theage.com.au

Opinion: Backbench identify bad policy

It’s refreshing to see members of any political party care more about creating strong, responsible policy, rather than toeing the party line. Liberal MP Andrew Laming and his small group of fellow backbenchers who continue to exert pressure on their party leaders, are symbols of moral progress and sense.

It’s clear from the dysfunctional nature of the political scene since, that this Coalition government took power, that the views of the party have come second to the beliefs of those in the core leadership group, with the Prime Minister constantly reverting to ‘Captain’s calls’ on key decisions. Hopefully, the last few months’ decisions signal a change in the way this federal government finishes its first term in power.

Why not tell the Prime Minister how you feel about the planned changes to the age pension and join more than 47,000 Australians that have already signed the YourLifeChoices-GetUp petition to protect the age pension. Please add your name by signing the petition.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    BB1
    10th Mar 2015
    10:07am
    I'd like to sign the petition but not it is being organised by Get Up. So therefore I wont be signing it until this is changed.
    Mamacrystal
    10th Mar 2015
    10:33am
    I just clicked the link and it definitely a Get Up petition that I sign....try again
    Meanwhile ...this article is 12 months old but shows me where I think changes need to be made! http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/end-of-entitlement-culture-must-start-with-mps/story-fnbcok0h-1226835322064
    Anonymous
    10th Mar 2015
    11:18am
    I am of the same view - the article is from the Age - extremely anti Abbott and only supports left wing ideas - as for GetUp - whata waste of space.
    ghoti
    10th Mar 2015
    12:11pm
    How childish not to sign a petition you agree with because you don't like the petitioner!

    Bob: how do you define "left wing"?
    Polly Esther
    10th Mar 2015
    12:12pm
    Will someone please explain to me, who or what is 'GetUp' and what they represent, before I attempt to sign the petition.
    It sounds like what one says when they mount a horse.
    MICK
    10th Mar 2015
    12:33pm
    I find it hard to believe that anybody other than government trolls would demonise the GetUp group.
    Given that most of the mainstream media is 'owned' or controlled by the rich this group put issues on the table which are in the public interest. So who else is doing this?
    The Great Barrier Reef betrayal so that the coal industry could get its port whilst the reef died: taken up by GetUp
    The attack on medicare (co payments): taken up by GetUp
    And the list goes on and on.
    The GetUp group is made up of hundreds of thousands of Australians who do not accept bad government. THAT IS WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT AND ITS PAID TROLLS ARE TRYING TO DISCREDIT GetUp. Personally I think that we should all be putting in a few bucks so that they can do more.
    KSS
    10th Mar 2015
    12:58pm
    Mick put your vitriol away. Willie Poker asked for an explanation of Get Up. Others merely voiced their own valid opinion of Get Up. An opinion just as valid as your own.

    What you gave them was accusation and insult.

    Spend your money where you want and give others the same discretion.
    Polly Esther
    10th Mar 2015
    1:17pm
    The drivel you write Mick, says much more about yourself than it does of the people you abuse. All I did was ask a question, of anyone, and I had to get you.
    I, unlike you, admit that there are some things I know little or nothing about. No one, including you, knows everything about anything. Hence the questions I ask. You once said that you stood for an Independent seat in parliament. You did not get voted in. No wonder, most people get their hackles up when abused. At the end of the day though I forgive you because I think somehow that you know not what you do.
    Wstaton
    10th Mar 2015
    1:38pm
    Now what's vitriolic about stating what getup has been doing. Kiss I think you are showing your paint again. The other commentor stating that not if Getup without any explaination why I think is more to the point.

    The statement by omission is more or less making people think it is dodgy.
    Patriot
    10th Mar 2015
    2:05pm
    mick,
    I do not see any statement in your post that SHOULD be perceived to VITRIOLIC! JUST the FACTS!
    That is - of course - if you're not filthy rich & attempting to make Quick Zillion$$$ at the expense of the environment or the "Non-Elite" class of Australians.
    There are those who resort to "Name Calling" style of Bullying when the discussion DOES NOT go their way. Just tactics?

    Whilst I personally do not support EVERY ACTION initiated by GetUp, I certainly have proven to myself that they - generally - are travelling in "The Right Direction" and are therefore - in my humble opinion as a non-elite Australian - very worthwhile supporting.
    ghoti
    10th Mar 2015
    4:04pm
    Where, KSS, was the "accusation and insult" in mick's post?

    Willie Poker: you asked a question and you received a detailed answer. Where was the abuse?

    GetUp has more members than the LNP and Labor Party combined. It gives voice to thousands of ordinary Australians who think, for example, that the Great Barrier Reef is worth saving. How, bob menzies, does it deserve your dismissive "whata waste of space"?
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    4:57pm
    Ghoti.

    Opposite to right wing. Pretty hard to define when you purchase a kilo of wings.
    mangomick
    10th Mar 2015
    7:14pm
    Willie Porker.... info below as taken from their website...Don't know about you but they seem non political to me. It's virtually grass roots democracy in action. They initiate petitions on issues that are deemed important to society and you are free to opt in or out in supporting those issues.
    GetUp is one of Australia's largest campaigning communities, with a membership of over 600,000 people. We're an independent, grassroots, community advocacy organisation that seeks to build a more progressive Australia and hold politicians to account.
    Members take action on matters which are important to them.
    Governments don't like grassroot organizations that can garner opposition to some of the changes they try to make that will impact disadvantaged groups in our society detrimentally.
    tia-maria
    10th Mar 2015
    7:17pm
    KSS........you need to re-read Mick answer................to Willie Poker
    Jen
    10th Mar 2015
    7:34pm
    Signed.
    particolor
    10th Mar 2015
    7:58pm
    I'm glad its Pittance Day tomorrow ! :-) I wasted the last one on Bills !! I haven't got a Brass Razoo left :-( I'll buy Food with this one ! :-) My Stomach thinks My Throats Cut !! ..
    Hawkeye
    11th Mar 2015
    11:16am
    KSS and Willie Poker,
    What a disgusting pair you are.
    Can you please cut out the accusations, insults and drivel from your posts.

    And leave Mick alone. He answered Willie's question truthfully, wit no insults or accusations that I can see. But I'm not biased.
    Hasbeen
    10th Mar 2015
    10:39am
    I guess this means it is not only this author, but a few backbenchers & a lot of pensioners, who failed arithmetic in primary school. The pensioners have an excuse, a lot of them didn't get much time at school. The country couldn't afford it then, & won't be able to again shortly.

    With this attitude we will continue dancing on the Titanic our economy is becoming, right up to the iceberg.
    MITZY
    10th Mar 2015
    11:10am
    Hasbeen: Why put good money into an industry that is leaving the country in a couple of years time?

    There is an article today on ABC online indicating: CAR INDUSTRY: Abbott Government reinstating $1 Billion in funding to car manufacturing. It is to be announced today in Adelaide by the Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane. It indicates the "slashed" funding in last year's budget is to be reinstated. At the time it was slashed, Abbott stated: "We don't want to see 'corporate welfare'. What we want to see is a country which has got the economic fundamentals right". !!

    How can this excuse for a government treat the pensioners of this country in such an insulting manner by reducing their pensions over time and yet reinstate $1Billion to the car industry?

    The car industry in South Australia and Victoria will be exiting this country in a couple of years time and these two states will be adversely affected with job losses as well as the loss of jobs with the submarine building being basically coming from overseas? All these job losses will coincide around the time of the next election. The man is trying to save his skin at every turn.

    Wouldn't it be better to do the right thing by the pensioners that have worked and paid taxes all their lives than to hand $1billion dollars to the car industries who are leaving our shores, the profits of which they do make, always leaving the country also?
    Anonymous
    10th Mar 2015
    11:21am
    MITZY - I agree with you - I am at a loss as to why Abbott and his team would put money into auto industry - its a waste - some said its to try and win back voters in SA - if so its a disgrace - if this money is available give it to pensioners.
    KSS
    10th Mar 2015
    12:34pm
    WoW! When the refusal of this Government to continue to prop up a failed foreign industry - car manufacturing - and the consequent withdrawal of the foreign based industry announced, there was an absolute outcry on this site from those bemoaning the loss of jobs, the loss of the Holden car and the failure of this Government to protect Australian workers.

    How things have changed in just a few months!

    Now we have people here whinging because of a rumoured reinstatement of funding to prop up that same industry, one assumes saving the lost jobs, the lost Holden car and the protection of the Australian Worker in the process.

    And why? Because any extra funding should go to pensioners!!!! Why not schools, or hospitals, or medicare, or the Armed Forces, or the national debt, or childcare, or mental health' or any number of other worthy causes?

    And this because of a rumour about which we have no detail. For goodness sake you can't have it all ways. This is just another example of the 'Mr Abbott haters' proving once again "he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't." There is simply no pleasing some people.
    MICK
    10th Mar 2015
    12:35pm
    The answer bob is that IT EMPLOYS AUSTRALIANS. So what is worse: sending ALL of the cost of building a care to an overseas labour market or keeping some of it here where every dollar earned by a worker in the industry goes around OUR economy, not that of another country. In the end a car costs us either way. At least if we have jobs those people are not on the dole costing us much much more. Simple mathematics bob!
    Hasbeen
    10th Mar 2015
    2:53pm
    Agree with you there Mitzy, It makes no sense to prop up the wages of a lot of overpaid process workers, for an extra year, when the industry is going anyway.

    I'll admit this government do make some strange decisions, but the rabble in the senate won't pass most of the things we need to do, if our Titanic is to avoid hat iceberg.

    Unless we sit on our green & lefty element, & start harvesting our oil, both shale, & under the southern barrier reef, & get serious about mining uranium, we are going to have to cut government spending by a massive amount.

    Without one or the other right now, I doubt we will be able to give my kids even 75% in real terms, of what we get now at pension age. Far to many of us, & our pollies get a headache when they even think about math. Those following us are going to pay dearly for our self indulgent spending on ourselves.

    I live like a king on the pension, but then, I never did like touristy type holidays, clubs, pubs or restaurants or take away, which probably makes it easier to manage.
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    11:26am
    Hasbeen: Well said. Nice to get a reply with good comment. The story certainly built during yesterday with great varieties on how many millions were involved!

    I'm not a greenie by any means, but unsure about a lot of the mining elements. We need another "pie", every time we build up something (even now the IT industry) it lends itself to being shipped to shores afar because of the greed by the innovators etc. for personal wealth. There has to be a lot of ideas not coming to fruition because the innovators aren't backing themselves because of the uncertainity they feel in our economy. Governments have frightened them and us with scare campaigns so the country and its people seem to me to have lost their confidence to march forward.

    I seem to have had a similar lifestyle as yours as to where to spend my hard-earned wages and where to save. Cheers.

    KSS: Why shouldn't that car money be put into the "kitty" to pay the pensions as they currently exist. The pensioners (the genuine ones living entirely on the age pension and no other means) don't need a "reduction" in their pension they just need to keep pace with the ever increasing cost of living. Lots of pensioners of our age have not been as fortunate as the ones of the future will be. Not much point in reiterating what has been said hundreds of times before regarding the lifestyles/opportunities etc. of people living in the 1930's to the early 1960's before the "booms" occurred.
    It's fine to think that all the institutions you mention should be considered, take the Armed Forces for instance. At Christmas my 2nd cousin was back here after a few overseas postings, Afghanistan, included. He and so many others he works with couldn't understand the stance from Jackie Lambie push push pushing for a better pay rise for the armed forces. He said the majority of them were quite happy and already generously reimbursed and were prepared to go along with the increase they were to receive. He indicated they felt that along with the high income earners and the politicians that were to earn less for the next two years they were treated fairly. Note the politicians and high income earners were penalised for 2 years only whereas the pensioners were to be legislated into infinity! i.e. before Scott Morrison came to the fore and is asking for suggestions to "replace" what is currently proposed. Medicare is still under scrutiny for co-payments according to the Health Minister and not completely dead,buried,cremated, as indicated by Abbott. Child care is an issue, but currently families get other payments for having children, much more generous than their predecessors. They won't be badly treated as child care will replace maternity and family payments. And, these families the majority of them are still going to work and earning money and getting their normal "pay rises", they are not going backwards. In fact many of them live in McMansions which they will be paying off until or into retirement - not a bit like their parents or grandparents.
    Not much point in worrying about the national debt is there, there's now no ceiling to it!! and with all the spending in what is considered to be the wrong directions nobody now believes there is anything to worry about re debt/deficit (myself not included)). Hospitals/schools/Medicare/(not necessarily mental health) are still receiving their budgetary moneys and lets face it some schools get more than others and hospitals need efficiency measures much more because there is so much waste. The doctors admit to the lack of efficiency. If the government can keep giving more and more to corporate Australia who should be able to stand on its own abilities, make profits and survive, why shouldn't the pensioners of today be treated "fairly"? Even many of the rusted-on Coalition supporters are now Abbott haters, because of this "unfair" budget.

    It's not that we want it all ways (as you say) it's not that there is no pleasing some people (as you say) it's just the fact that there was not a whisper of the majority of the items in this "unfair" budget spoken about whilst they persuaded the voters of this nation to elect them. They don't have a mandate as they keep telling us to do anything they please, they have done a good job with stopping the boats, however I'm not so sure about abolishing the mining/mineral taxes, there's no $500 reduction in my energy bill, it hardly varies from one quarter to the next.
    Thank God for the Senate we have got .... somebody has to put the brakes on.
    Blossom
    11th Mar 2015
    1:24pm
    They should be supporting the components manufacturers to adapt their equipment
    to produce other items. There are a few who have a good future if they can make a big enough profit now with which to make the changes. Some do a small amount of other products but don't have enough equipment to make it viable at the moment.
    Kactus
    10th Mar 2015
    10:39am
    I don't get all this indignation about indexation.
    What about the pension changes introduced on 1/1/2015 that are targeted at pensioners born after 1949?
    Aren't they much more severe than any change in how pensions are indexed?
    There has been very little information about how these changes impact on new pensioners.
    They are referred to in questions 2 & 14 on Centrelink's "Details of income stream product" form SA330.1412.
    ray from Bondi
    10th Mar 2015
    10:54pm
    the sheep do not complain

    10th Mar 2015
    11:04am
    Abbot needs to GO for good!
    I found it absolutely disgraceful for such a wealthy country to cut pensions while corrupted politicians live comfortably for the rest of their lives after politics. Make them stand in Centrelink queues when they loose their cushy jobs; maybe only then will they understand the less fortunate, especially those in their sixties, who worked hard all their lives for the little pension they get.
    MICK
    10th Mar 2015
    12:36pm
    He's going HKW.
    wally
    10th Mar 2015
    7:55pm
    Moe "Widhin' an' Hopin'" HKW. Trusting the politicians to look after what they get after they have warmed their parliamentary seats for a sufficient amount of time to get well and truly on the gravy train for life, is like trusting the wolves to look after your sheep. To continue with the farming metaphor, the horse has not only gotten out through the barn door, it has jumped the fence and is long gone.
    MICK
    10th Mar 2015
    12:27pm
    You can always tell when an election is coming. Given that this government is on very shaky ground and that a whole pile of government backbenchers are worried about getting the boot the game is simple: put anything unpopular (or wrong) on hold and then, if they won the election, put the boot in as hard as they can on day 1.
    The storyline never much changes no matter which side of politics it is.
    Patriot
    10th Mar 2015
    2:11pm
    That's exactly the problem

    Sweeten them up before the election & convince them to vote for you again!

    Then - on day one - HIT THEM HARD!!!
    LiveItUp
    10th Mar 2015
    12:36pm
    I agree with that the pension be linked to the CPI where do I sign a petition to support this?
    particolor
    10th Mar 2015
    1:08pm
    At Liberal Party Headquarters !! :-(
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    11:39am
    Bonny: Why do you wish to be paid your pension based on CPI.

    Currently your pension is calculated on "28%" of average male earnings.

    Going forward the proposal is it will be paid on CPI (Inflation) basis and the increase of the pension will reduce it to 16%. Not sure of the exact figure but currently 28% of average male earnings is about 1.1/2% higher than CPI(???).

    Bonny: Go back to the top of this page and read what this discussion is about. Once you've read it you will be signing the "GetUp" petition .... the more signatures the better.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    12:37pm
    I think that each and everyone should heed my posting of yesterday. Seniors are a large part of the government voting sector. Let your local MP know that you will not be supporting him at the next election or if in NSW Mr Baird unless he changes his mind on this action. Leave us be.
    Individual action to your MP with a request that he pass your thoughts on to the Minister will cause someone to listen. No need to use Get Up at all. I have already posted my email to my MP. Do the same or don't complain.
    KSS
    10th Mar 2015
    12:47pm
    Dougie, please do not confuse Federal politics with State elections. NSW has gone from performing 8th out of 8 States and Territories to first and leading all States and Territories in the last 4 years. NSW is creating more jobs than any other state, has recovered more than the rest of Australia and you want to punish Mr Baird for your dislike of Mr Abbott? Mr Baird has not reduced any benefits to pensioners despite the reduction of funding from the Federal Government, so why would you urge people in NSW to vote against Mr Baird because you disagree with Federal policies concerning 'Seniors'.

    Some perspective please. Punish Mr Abbott at the next Federal election if you must but do not blame Mr Baird for your distaste of Federal politics.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    12:55pm
    KSS
    You are so right and NSW has done well but Canberra cannot afford to lose it. Hence use a feather to smite the Feds and you may just scare a result out of them. Usw whatever ammunition you may have. Fear is a problem for politicians.
    Kactus
    10th Mar 2015
    12:56pm
    Yes, with two more sitting weeks before the NSW election, collateral damage will probably only get worse.
    KSS
    10th Mar 2015
    1:07pm
    So Dougie, do I understand that you are more than prepared to risk the future of NSW, risk the loss of all the gains made over the last 4 years, ensure the loss of new, desperately needed infrastructure and the jobs that will go with it and install Mr Foley of 7 weeks experience in Government, simply to 'hit out' at Mr Abbott?

    WoW! Very insightful.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    2:03pm
    KSS

    Not insightful. Read my post "hit with a feather". In as much use the threat not the action. I like Baird and believe that he has done well for NSW and certainly has acted to repair the Labor damage. Abbott cannot afford to lose NSW so vote as you will on 28th March but at least let Canberra know of our displeasure and maybe they will change their minds. Those who have fought for and achieved should not be passed over.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    2:03pm
    KSS

    Not insightful. Read my post "hit with a feather". In as much use the threat not the action. I like Baird and believe that he has done well for NSW and certainly has acted to repair the Labor damage. Abbott cannot afford to lose NSW so vote as you will on 28th March but at least let Canberra know of our displeasure and maybe they will change their minds. Those who have fought for and achieved should not be passed over.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    2:03pm
    KSS

    Not insightful. Read my post "hit with a feather". In as much use the threat not the action. I like Baird and believe that he has done well for NSW and certainly has acted to repair the Labor damage. Abbott cannot afford to lose NSW so vote as you will on 28th March but at least let Canberra know of our displeasure and maybe they will change their minds. Those who have fought for and achieved should not be passed over.
    KSS
    10th Mar 2015
    2:05pm
    So hollow threats then? Sure that will work! (Not!)
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    3:26pm
    KSS.

    Maybe I would have in a past life made a good pollie. That seems to be the way they act and only back off when the community expression of disdain is strong enough. Lets see if it works. NB. My local MP has already responded to my email.
    tia-maria
    10th Mar 2015
    7:24pm
    dougie, I thought I like Baird too??.........but I would not trust him as far as I kick him......he will sell off more access......and be very careful dougie........ it may be looking at private sell off of our hospitals....than all seniors will be in trouble big times..................Every thing our great and great grandparents did to make our country for what it was.............BEEN SOLD OFF BY OUR POLITICIANS......AND TO OTHER COUNTRIES......
    wally
    10th Mar 2015
    7:59pm
    Watch out tia. Baird wants to seize your home and possessions, flog everything off to foreigners and send the proceeds overseas to his real Boss, Rupert in New York. Ain't that right, mick?
    KSS
    10th Mar 2015
    9:07pm
    tia-maria, Mr Baird is selling off nothing -that is Mr Foley's scaremongering at work. As Mr Baird said to Mr Foley the other day, "Do you know what a lease is?"

    The hospital you mention will be run by private operators for 20 years then revert to state ownership. In that 20 years, they MUST provide all services to public patients. They must not deny any public patient access to the treatment or facilities they may require.

    As for the 'poles and wires', these are to be leased to private operators NOT sold. They too will stay in the ownership of the state. Mr Baird has already said he will not offer the lease if he does not get the price he wants. This is unlike the previous Labor Government who sold off the generators for far less than they were worth. And by the way, Labor also tried to sell not lease the poles and wires but the unions stopped them. For Labor to be critical now of the LNP doing what they attempted is disingenuous to say the least.
    At least Mr Baird has stated up front exactly what he intends to do, how much he expects to get and what he intends to spend it on. Like it or don't like it, vote for it or not, your choice. But Mr Baird has clearly stated what he wants to do. Unlike Mr Foley who has been in his job as opposition leader for 7 weeks, has never held a portfolio or ministry and now wants to run NSW with no stated policies except to reverse all infrastructure decisions already made by the current Government including the Westconnx and Badgery's Creek airport!
    tia-maria
    10th Mar 2015
    9:55pm
    KSS and Wally, just cant get through to some of you like yourselves??????...........rest my case.........you never learn until its far too late.................
    Patriot
    11th Mar 2015
    8:13am
    tia-maria
    Although I do not know the NSW case with Beard, IN GENERAL, you are correct.
    Politicians would sell their MOTHER's for a bit or chewing gum if this item was needed to support their "STATUS" amonst their peers.
    They have "No Conscious Bone in their Body".
    BEWARE . . BEWARE . . . BEWARE!!!
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    12:04pm
    KSS: Now we've paid for all the gold-plating which cost us more than the carbon tax (and as we know the abolishment of the carbon tax has not reduced our electricity charges it was the "gold-plating" that did it) we have decided to lease this asset to the corporates and forego millions maybe even a billion of ongoing dividends to the people of NSW ongoing. I like Baird and he has done a good job, even though he has not been Premier very long either - not a year yet (although of course a bit longer than 7 weeks). I liked his predecessor O'Farrell moreso and he has to be rewarded just as much for his efforts in putting NSW to the forefront of the States, he did it with a lot less pomp and skiting than Baird. To me he was punished out of hand for a bottle of Grange Hermitage. There has been worse indiscretions from so many other NSW pollies on both sides. I'm a little concerned about all the promises and the costings as there seems to be so many of them. What do we have going forward if NSW doesn't want the poles and wires leased.
    There are whispers that come post-election day (if re-elected) more IT jobs are to go overseas? Maybe it would be prudent (not sure if it is in place or not) that we had audited figures to say what the state of the finances are close to the time of elections so that pollies promises could be analysed and assessed by experts.
    tia-maria
    11th Mar 2015
    5:15pm
    wally a bit slow mate you don't get it????????
    Kato
    12th Mar 2015
    12:28pm
    Baird will be the opposition leader after the election so he wont have to worry. his treatment and response to the Lady who was gang raped told Listeners more about his character than all of his policies combined. The only one's who disagreed with the caller are complicit with that form of treatment against women.
    Yer man
    10th Mar 2015
    12:40pm
    Can this B government get anything right first time? Time for a leadership change or maybe just leadership. What has happened to the conservative side of politics in Australia ? Little wonder the backbenchers are worried. May have to get out into the real world to look for a job .
    particolor
    10th Mar 2015
    1:05pm
    My God one term can worry one !! :-( And the L E N G T H of that Dole Queue at Centrelink is Daunting to say the least !! :-(
    LiveItUp
    10th Mar 2015
    1:07pm
    Changing the jockey or the horse is not going to fix anything. Australia has become too dependent on welfare and a pension should only be enough to pay for the basics. Unfortunately Australia is no longer able to afford to pay it's large welfare bill and this just gets worse into the future.
    particolor
    10th Mar 2015
    1:13pm
    The Pony Express used to change Horses on the run !! :-) But half the time the Rider got an Arrow in His back !! :-(
    Stop the Goats !! :-)
    Kato
    10th Mar 2015
    3:03pm
    How does it get worse into the future there is no mention that thirty percent of pensioners will die over the time frame mentioned. A percentage of baby boomers will be self funded' a percentage will be part funded' all because of super being enforced. So less pensioners.
    wally
    10th Mar 2015
    8:05pm
    Yerman, In case you haven't noticed, the last time Australians got anything right was the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    12:35pm
    Bonny: A bit thoughtless to think people with no other assets/income could live on a reduced age pension to cover just the basics! Low income workers (manual labour) are always the first out of work in hard times that's why there are so many without jobs. Some of these workers are in and out of jobs all their lives. Current pensioners of this stature will not be more or less in numbers in the years to come under the current report, therefore many will not need government assistance because these more fortunate workers, many never out of a job all their lives, will have enough or nearly enough superannuation to cover their "basic needs" plus some.

    Scaremongering is causing this country to stagnate, nobody is willing to use the entrepreneurial bones in their bodies to create new ideas and bring them to fruition. We need this government to stand up and deliver one of its key election promises being to help create more and more jobs. All we get is bickering and more bickering, leaks and more leaks, spills, (possibly more spills?) lies, broken promises, back-flips, slogans, the current one being "we are getting on with business". What business? Monkey-business?

    Changing the jockey and the horse could definitely change things, this doesn't mean changing the government the electorates voted for, it needs fresh blood at the very top positions. PM/Treasurer first and a reshuffle and then get down to business for the next 18 months so we have a clear picture as to whether we wish to turf out a first term government!

    Go and look at the ABS figures and see the projections to 2050. This is all scaremongering the more the pollies think they can cover the eyes of the population with this type of rhetoric, the more they can give themselves, high-worth individuals, big business, miners, banks, multi-nationals draining this country of tax revenue for the benefit of their head offices in shores afar field.
    Anonymous
    11th Mar 2015
    3:52pm
    Bonny, Australia's dependence on welfare won't be fixed by cutting the pensions paid to the poorest of our aged population. There are plenty of other, much fairer and more practical ways to fix the deficit. As for welfare dependency, what is needed is better incentives and a better understanding of what makes people dependent. Generally, it's a sense of hopelessness - that endeavour gets you nowhere and/or that you've been dealt with very unjustly. That feeling is likely to be grossly compounded by cutting pensions because it will hurt those who have never had much opportunity or who have experienced crisis with little or no recognition or support. While battlers see the rich indulging themselves and the top income earners declaring a measly $19000 pa. taxable income by using all kinds of tax loopholes, those who are disenfranchised by the system will throw up their hands and say ''I'll just live on welfare.'' Why should welfare cheats have a conscience when rich tax cheats don't? We need to look after the disadvantaged better, increase services and opportunities, and make the rich pay their way. The way to reduce welfare dependency is to create an inclusive society. Cutting pensions while leaving middle-class and corporate welfare alone and letting the rich get away with tax evasion is doing precisely the opposite.
    Dollars over Respect?
    10th Mar 2015
    1:36pm
    It seems to me that the LNP are 'begging' to be voted out! Every new budget 'solution' is a hotchpotch of bad (irrational) decisions. If they cannot get an acceptable, fair budget together, it's time to give someone else a try - already! But who....there's a challenge? Compulsory super has not been in place long enough for the bulk of current retirees to have saved enough over their working life, so that they can be self-sufficient in retirement. Divorced/women/sole parents...and even some men who have found themselves in dire circumstances for any number of reason? - tough chedder! Thus, it's just plainly 'wrong' (unfair/unjust) to attempt to move the goal posts now! Any changes to the official pension entitlement age/assets needs to commence from the date that compulsory superannuation was introduced....simple! For sanity's sake, don't even 'suggest' reducing the minimum level of compulsory super contributions - how's that going to fix the situation for future retirees? ...just WHO sits around Cabinet's budget brainstorming table?? Imbeciles? We desperately need some 'quality' government!
    Kato
    10th Mar 2015
    2:47pm
    This is just more over the top response from the Treasurer. Perhaps Mr Hockey could take a reverse view of the situation. Does he feel more under attack than all those on welfare support, child care, aged pensions etc. who he has accused of being ‘learners’ and therefore the subject of his punative policies? His attack on those less fortunate says much about the man

    10th Mar 2015
    3:04pm
    Pensioners get far too much and far too many people are on it who shouldn't be. If you can"t live on it cut down your expenses as everyone else has too.
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    1:59pm
    Agree, too many pensioners are on the pension who shouldn't be on it. Even a former Liberal P.M.(McMahon) many years ago managed to get on it by taking advantage of taxation law that probably still exists today. Likewise many others since.
    Pensioners who have been in and out of work at the lower end of wages/salaries are subjected to labour markets where downtrends in economies force them out of work. These people are at the lower scale of wages and the first to be retrenched before the "big wigs" running the businesses are ever affected.

    If you were a government employee (public servant or the like) all your working life you should be able to manage off your superannuation and minimal life savings in retirement as what you earned and received at the time was appropriate.
    My father and father-in-law retired at age 65 one in 1965 and one in 1970. Both passed away at 90 and 91 years of age, one worked in office and one in Darling Harbour Goods Yard. Both managed to have holidays (mainly camping), lived different lifestyles to people today, lived through depression etc. Wives didn't work until children were around high school age and when they did in menial tasking most of the time. They managed to continue a similar lifestyle in retirement as they did whilst working.

    Others working (one wage earner so many years ago) in and out of labouring jobs, production lines etc. no superannuation, no savings because of lack of full-time employment, will never accumulate a lot of finances like others in comfortable job situations. Whatever they had saved was eaten away whilst out of work.

    Therefore, those pensioners assessed by Centrelink on their income/assets of which they have little "do not get far too much pension".

    As in the past, as in the present, as in the future, the wheel keeps turning and the people on it get on it and off it and the status quo prevails.

    There will never be a "fair" government because the ideology of the people running these governments is so diverse (Labor/Unions and Coalitions/Big Business/Farmers). They are not there for the good of the country and its inhabitants, they are there to get what they can, retire early, take-up positions elsewhere and pat themselves on the back mistaking their good fortune for good management. We can't even get rid of them when they do eventually retire as they are still opinionated.
    Me being opinionated towards them thinks this:
    If they decide to go and get another job after they retire from the public purse they should not be allowed to draw from their government superannuation until they reach retirement age, just like the rest of us. AND, AGAIN, if they get another job after retiring from the public purse they should be stripped of all those lurks and perks such as free travel, offices, cars, etc. etc. All perks to cease.
    After all, they are earning money. There is no need for those perks.
    When I retired the buck stopped there and then.
    If they are entitled to these perks, so am I. I worked probably just as hard as they did, I paid my taxes to pay their wages and their perks.
    Politicians, as far as I am concerned get far too much..................for too little.
    Supernan
    10th Mar 2015
    3:27pm
    People talk about Super as though everyone get Super paid by their employers. Well, Small Business is one of the biggest employers in Aus. And most operate on low profits. So by the time they pay compulsary Super for their Staff, there is very little left for their own Super.

    By the time they pay off their house, car, educate their kids, pay Public Liability & Life Insurance & pay Income Tax, putting money into their own Super is unachievable. Most work till they are 70, sell their business at below value & make just enough to fail the full pension test.

    So after working hard, paying their own way in life they & paying thousands in Tax, they need a part pension. Suddenly they are treated as if they are asking for the moon ! The Treasurer calls them lazy & says they should have provided for themselves & shouldn't expect to be helped. Well, if he worked the hours we have worked, he might get a policy right for a change. If the rich paid the Tax we have paid, there would be no economic crisis - even millionaire Clive Palmer says he pays no Tax at all & says its wrong ! But no, its all the oldies fault !
    Young
    10th Mar 2015
    3:34pm
    Well stated Robo.
    Now I will probably be called a government troll.
    I will not be posting any more comments on this site as certain individuals delight in insulting remarks.
    Anonymous
    10th Mar 2015
    3:40pm
    Don't worry about that Browny the insults are only coming from insecure people you are allowed to have your own opinion as this is a free country . ( ask the pensioners)
    Patriot
    10th Mar 2015
    5:38pm
    ROBO,
    Do you REALLY think this is stlll a free country?
    bandy
    10th Mar 2015
    3:39pm
    I received a letter from the "the Hon Tony Abbott MP"on October 2014 stating & I quote:
    There have been claims that the Government is cutting pensions.THIS IS NOT TRUE.
    There are no cuts to pensions.
    I want to reassure you that the pension will continue to rise in March & September.
    End of quote.
    So there you have it straight from the horses mouth I'm sure they wont break that promise?????
    Robo get a life
    Anonymous
    10th Mar 2015
    3:44pm
    I have a good life bandy oh? and where do I go to line up for the pension
    Kactus
    10th Mar 2015
    4:39pm
    No good ringing Centrelink unless you like listening to elevator music.
    If you take the trouble to go in personally, they can't get rid of you quick enough.
    So I'm not really sure where you go to line up for the pension.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    5:03pm
    Kactus,
    There are a lot more people ringing Centrelink than there are staff. Many of the calls are either abusive or confused and some of the callers are beyond belief. So do not critisise those who want to help you and will help you if you let them. Critisise the Management or the Government not those in the snake pit to help you. They will if you help them.
    dougie
    10th Mar 2015
    5:03pm
    Kactus,
    There are a lot more people ringing Centrelink than there are staff. Many of the calls are either abusive or confused and some of the callers are beyond belief. So do not critisise those who want to help you and will help you if you let them. Critisise the Management or the Government not those in the snake pit to help you. They will if you help them.
    Kactus
    10th Mar 2015
    5:21pm
    dougie,
    I'm not surprised to hear that they are under duress.
    Even their web site seems to be designed to frustrate you, as much as possible, so that you eventually give up in despair.
    They should apply for a job running the horse racing.
    There you can do whatever you like without fear of any repercussions whatsoever.
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    1:10pm
    bandy: We all got that letter, I've still got mine too. Thank goodness for your ???? The rhetoric from the horse's mouth is naught but a cynical whinney!
    Its not quite what it reads like, is it?
    Yes, its right that we will still get our pay rises in March and September each year, but he forgot to add the rest of the sentence.

    It should have said:
    QUOTE: I want to reassure you that the pension will continue to rise in March and September, but the calculation of that rise will be based on CPI AND NOT 28% OF MALE AVERAGE WAGES.
    Bandy: Under the "anticipated" change, if passed, your pension will rise by 16% instead of 28%. Calculate your losses and in about ten years time or more you will be getting thousands of dollars less than you should.
    Justsane
    10th Mar 2015
    5:38pm
    Surely Mr Abbott meant to say: "....that the AMWE (Average Male Weekly Earnings) indexation of pensions would not be something that would continue indefinitely,..... rather than ".....that the CPI indexation of pensions would not be something that would continue indefinitely,....".

    If the CPI indexations are not going to continue, where are the Pension increases every March & September going to come from?

    It is a case of the Prime Minister having mixed up his words, and being quoted verbatim in the article above.

    Right now, the Age Pension is linked to both the CPI and AMWE, and pensioners get whichever increase is the higher. The whole policy is about cutting out the AMWE indexation in 2017, and linking pension increases to CPI only, which will result in lower pensions in the future.
    Justsane
    10th Mar 2015
    5:59pm
    Sorry. I didn't mean "lower pensions in the future" in actual monetary amounts as compared with now, but lower pensions than would be the case if the age pension were still linked to both the CPI and the AMWE, instead of just the CPI.
    bookwyrm
    10th Mar 2015
    6:38pm
    I hate this government, continually attacking the aged, the sick, the disabled and poor while they are laughing all the way to the bank on taxpayer money, rorting the system for all it‘s worth and getting their payrises. What hypocrites! I want to know why our PM has a bigger salary than the American President. Also they shouldn‘t be allowed to touch their super and entitlements till same age as everybody else. AND why don‘t they all take a paycut if the economy is in such a bad shape as they keep bleating on. The economy was in pretty good shape till this lot got in!
    bookwyrm
    10th Mar 2015
    6:52pm
    I‘ve signed this petition.
    Kactus
    10th Mar 2015
    7:31pm
    "The economy was in pretty good shape till this lot got in! "

    How very true!
    ray from Bondi
    10th Mar 2015
    10:53pm
    that should not be MAY REDUCE but WILL REDUCE
    carmencita
    10th Mar 2015
    10:58pm
    I signed the petition. It doesn't matter to me who organised it. What I want is result. When the pension is indexed just on CPI the increase will just merely be around $3 dollars. With prices going up, it hardly covers the cost of increases in essentials.
    bartpcb
    11th Mar 2015
    1:09am
    Abbott couldn't care less about the penisoners. He's the one pushing the 'Intergenerational gap' debate hoping to divert the blame for the hardships that his policies are inflicting on the younger members of society, from himself to the older generation. And they are dumb enough to fall for it. He will stigmatise the oldies much the same way Hitler stigmatised the Jews. Hopefully the oldies in society will wake up and collectively remove him from power.
    Patriot
    11th Mar 2015
    8:20am
    BARTPCB
    Agree, they learned well from the Nazies.
    After all, they exported most of the Nazies to the USofA & Russia afte the war was finished. (Operation Paperclip). Obviously we got some to!!!
    This then started the education campaign to continue "The REICH" with "the same tools" but - in the beginning - slightly different tactics.
    Wonder why their are no trustworthy & viable alternatives to vote for.
    They are they ALL TOXIC!
    Kato
    11th Mar 2015
    11:39am
    Figures released over the weekend by Australian National University show that Mr Abbott's planned cuts would drive the age pension down from 28% of average weekly earnings to a shocking 16% by 2055. Australia hasn't seen the pension below 20% of average earnings since 1965.2

    These cuts will hit full, single age pensioners the hardest, the majority of whom are women with no superannuation – individuals already living below the poverty line. Once again, this Government is placing the Budget burden on those least able to afford it.

    It's evident the backbench is readying itself for a big push against pension cuts, with one backbencher telling reporters yesterday, "I will certainly be putting the case of my many pensioners to the party room and to the prime minister". 3 With Mr Abbott already stepping on eggshells and eager to please, now's the moment to add fuel to backbench's fire.

    Will you write to your Coalition MP, to give them the powerful constituent stories they need to make a compelling case in the party room?
    References
    [1] - Liberal MP Andrew Laming says missiles and 'torpedoes' aimed at Abbott's pension policy, ABC News, 9 March 2015.
    [2] - PM shifts on age pension time bomb, The Australian, 7 March 2015.
    [3] - Second Liberal backbencher warns Coalition about age pension policy, The Guardian, 10 March 2015.
    [4] - Liberal MP Andrew Laming says missiles and 'torpedoes' aimed at Abbott's pension policy, ABC News, 9 March 2015

    https://www.getup.org.au/stop-the-cuts
    MITZY
    11th Mar 2015
    5:00pm
    Kato: Agree, I've done my bit earlier today and written to my pollie through GET-UP. Yesterday, I also filled in a form with a lot of detail on the website of Jenny Macklin the previous Labor Minister for this portfolio. However, when I hit the submit button I got the same form back and no acknowledgement that the letter I sent went through. I just thought it is best to hit the pollies on both sides. I think it got lost somewhere in her website, or maybe she cut me off!?
    Kato
    12th Mar 2015
    12:21pm
    Mitzy' I sent it to The local Labour member and Independents with an addition. speak and act like the Incumbents. And if you are frustrated with the state of the senate now. You haven't seen anything yet.
    Not Senile Yet!
    12th Mar 2015
    12:34am
    No one here is getting the basics......neither Right Wing (Liberal) nor Left Wing (Labor) ......have your or my best interests at heart let alone the Country!!!!
    They ONLY have THEIR PARTY POLICIES.....which are either TO LEFT OR TOO RIGHT.......but do not engage with what the Average Tax Payer wants.
    It does not matter which Party is in Power or who the Leader is that they elect.....because they can only do what they are told .....by their Party!!!!
    Stop arguing about Left or Right Wing Viewpoints.....Stop arguing about who dis what in the Past.....Start asking about why YOU give YOUR VOTE to a Party Puppet who refuses to listen to anyone but their Party Machine???? Why are you continuing to support these Corrupt Party Machines by giving their Puppets YOUR VOTE.....when neither can Balance a Budget and both BLAME each other for all the Mistakes....yet take no responsibility for SELLING your Vote to a Party Machine!!!!
    Wake up!!!! YOU need to change how you Vote if you want to change the outcome!!!
    The Caucus of Both Parties has continually broken the promises that they made PRIOR to being Elected.....Neither is WORTHY of being re-elected into Power!!!
    STOP Voting for Puppets that have SOLD OUT to be elected.....YOU need to change how you Vote.....to make them accountable!!!
    Only Silly People keep doing the same thing (voting for Puppets) and then expect a different Outcome/Result!!!
    Well informed people know that if you want to change the outcome/result....You need to change what YOU are doing to get it!!!
    So STOP switching from the Reds to the Blues (Labor & Liberal) and send BOTH a strong message by Voting for NEITHER PARTY next election....regardless of Federal or State Level!!!!
    Vote for an Independent and put the Big Parties Last!!!
    Then sit back and watch how quick the Party Policies change to get your vote back!!!!
    As for the Letter stating that Pensions are not being cut.....outrageous Lie on paper and in print......totally scurrilous of any Leader to make such a Blatant Lie in print and expect the average person not to see as such!!!!
    And to think that the Pensioners he is demonising paid the tax that built his New and Comfortable Workplace in Canberra....Shame on him.....but worse still....shame on any Taxpayer who believes what he is doing is ok!!!
    Fready
    12th Mar 2015
    1:20pm
    What a bunch of whingers we are. Do you realise that a couple on the full pension are now receiving as much as a self-funded retiree couple with $1,000,000 in a term deposit.!!
    Spitfire
    13th Mar 2015
    9:23am
    Some of the comments and banter recorded below appear to match the type of acid vitriolic behaviour which comes out of the mouths of our government.
    That comes from the current elected rabble of deadbeats on both sides of the House of Representatives and the Senate in Canberra.
    In regard to pensions and superannuation the perfect way to commence any review would be to start with the exorbitant super and pension that government ministers and members of parliament receive, and the associated perks in return for performing like a bunch of out of control school children.
    If they dare let them lead by example, I doubt any of them have the moral fibre to do so.
    Usually when this topic is raised they elect to give themselves an increase in salary, what type of society can continue to support these poor examples of so called leaders.
    Spitfire
    13th Mar 2015
    9:28am
    Some of the comments and banter recorded below appear to match the type of acid vitriolic behaviour which comes out of the mouths of our government.
    That comes from the current elected rabble of deadbeats on both sides of the House of Representatives and the Senate in Canberra.
    In regard to pensions and superannuation the perfect way to commence any review would be to start with the exorbitant super and pension that government ministers and members of parliament receive, and the associated perks in return for performing like a bunch of out of control school children.
    If they dare let them lead by example, I doubt any of them have the moral fibre to do so.
    Usually when this topic is raised they elect to give themselves an increase in salary, what type of society can continue to support these poor examples of so called leaders.
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th Mar 2015
    3:42am
    The Petition by Getup is inappropriate.....it only targets certain members of the Current Government Party!!!
    If getup want to run a campaign against the Pension Cuts....They should call them what they are......A Direct Discrimination against all Seniors.....that contradicts the Age Discrimination Act which forbids such an attack by Law!!!!
    Furthermore it should be aimed at all Politicians...regardless of Party.....calling for them to Vote the idea down immediately and find another solution to balance the budget!!!
    Lastly it should point out to Both Parties.....that a full restoration of all benefits to Seniors is required before any Senior will give either Party some consideration before the next election!!!
    Most Seniors would then Gladly put their name to it....plus I might add....so might a lot of their Children who are the ones working and raising the next generation!!!
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th Mar 2015
    3:42am
    The Petition by Getup is inappropriate.....it only targets certain members of the Current Government Party!!!
    If getup want to run a campaign against the Pension Cuts....They should call them what they are......A Direct Discrimination against all Seniors.....that contradicts the Age Discrimination Act which forbids such an attack by Law!!!!
    Furthermore it should be aimed at all Politicians...regardless of Party.....calling for them to Vote the idea down immediately and find another solution to balance the budget!!!
    Lastly it should point out to Both Parties.....that a full restoration of all benefits to Seniors is required before any Senior will give either Party some consideration before the next election!!!
    Most Seniors would then Gladly put their name to it....plus I might add....so might a lot of their Children who are the ones working and raising the next generation!!!
    Justsane
    15th Mar 2015
    7:12pm
    NSY, The Petition by Getup targets only members of the Coalition because the Labor party, the other parties and most of the independents are going to vote against these pension changes anyway.