20th Mar 2017

The PM rejects reports of cuts to the Age Pension

The PM rejects reports of cuts to the Age Pension
Leon Della Bosca

Age pensioners had cause for concern over the weekend, after a News Corp article incorrectly claimed that the Government would cut Age Pensions in the next Budget.

Malcolm Turnbull quickly took to Twitter to deny the claims and reject the report “outright”.

“A report today that the government is cutting the aged pension is false and we outright reject it,” he tweeted.

“We assured the journalist too, but she insisted on writing the story.”



“I can assure all aged pensioners the measure reported will NOT be in the Budget.”

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the article was “citing a departmental document, in regards to minimum payments in the welfare system” and that the leaked document was “no more than a suggestion put forward by a department and immediately rejected by the Government, as the journalist responsible for the article was advised.”

“A minimum payment floor will not be applied and there will be no change to current rules that provide pensioners on the taper rate with a minimum payment of approximately $50 per fortnight,” said Mr Porter.

The article, written by Annika Smethurst, National Political Editor of The Sunday Telegraph, claimed that a leaked document revealed that the Government was considering cutting welfare for those earning less than $20.02 a fortnight.

The proposal to cut all welfare payments below $20.02 would mainly affect pensioners who had reorganised their finances in order to receive a pensioner concession card.

If the move were to go ahead, many pensioners would lose concessions on expenses such as motor vehicle registration, drivers’ licences and council rates.

The article also started another spat between Mr Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten.

“And sadly, I can also assure you that you can always rely on Bill Shorten to lie,” tweeted Mr Turnbull.

To which Mr Shorten replied in a tweet of his own: “Your government. Your costing. Your cuts. Stop blaming everyone else.”

Mr Shorten called Mr Turnbull’s attack on him a “tweet meltdown” and said it seemed that was the way the PM ended every public conversation.

“Mr Turnbull is showing, I think, signs of pressure. If you can’t cope with the pressure, you shouldn’t blame Labor. Instead, he should focus on the needs of everyday Australians. That’s my focus.”

Read more at The Australian

Opinion: Why are we even discussing cuts to pensions?

The writer of this story may have jumped the gun a little, but the fact remains that talks of cutting the Age Pension were on the table, revealing that the Government still has its sights set on reducing or removing financial support from those who can least afford it.

Why the Government is still trying to milk what it can from pensioners is beyond comprehension.

There is speculation that, this week, the Government will announce the scrapping of the Energy Supplement, which will mean $14.10 less per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year, or $21.20 less per fortnight for couples (around $550 a year).

The Government is prepared to offer corporate tax cuts worth tens of billions, but it’s still looking at the idea of removing financial support from the lowest-income earners in the nation.

It’s more proof of a Government focused on looking after big business at the expense of everyday Australians.

Mr Turnbull should be commended for immediately setting the record straight. This not only set pensioners’ minds at ease, but was also a savvy political move that limits Labor’s ammunition as they head into the last two weeks of Parliament prior to the May Budget.

However, using a costing made by his Government as a launching pad for a personal assault on Bill Shorten seems unnecessary and illogical. Why is it that Liberal Party mistakes are somehow consistently blamed on Labor?

Regardless of the outcome, the Government still seems to be aiming at the little guy, instead of targeting the big end of town. The proposal to cut the Age Pension may have been knocked back, but it should be a cause for concern that it was even discussed.

Do you wonder why a proposal to cut the Age Pension is even on the table? Is the Liberal Party becoming more a ‘party of pension cuts’? Should Twitter be used as a medium for communication by our nation’s leaders?

Related articles:
Company tax cuts not the answer
Meidcare rebate freeze to be lifted
Australians tired of rigged system





COMMENTS

To make a comment, please register or login
fearlessfly
20th Mar 2017
10:29am
In my view that stupid sensationalist journalist should be immediately FIRED !! There needs to be MUCH MORE accountability for journalists who think they can just write anything they choose as long as it gets a headline. Jeez the media make me see red !
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
11:19am
Wait until the gutter TV press get into this one.... throw in a couple of dole bludgers sitting around... hit a few pensioners in big houses....

“The television business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side…”

Dr Hunter S. Thompson
Eddy
20th Mar 2017
1:12pm
Another pre-budget leak to gauge the reaction, seems to happen every year. Or it may have been a ploy by the government to distract attention from something else, possibly the penalty rate fiasco or maybe their proposed anti-union corruption laws, or something else we haven't heard about yet. Polititions are a shifty lot.
Don't vilify the journalist who wrote the story he/she was doing the bidding of the government, that is what we can expect from the Murdoch press. Seems the politicians were too ready with their response depending on the public reaction.
KSS
20th Mar 2017
1:42pm
Eddy, penalty rates were NOT of this Government's making. Mr Shorten can take full credit for that.
Gra
20th Mar 2017
1:54pm
And you believe something that came out of Turnbull's mouth? Big mistake, only after it has proven to be true should anything he utters be accepted as so.
Eddy
20th Mar 2017
2:11pm
KSS, what else is Mr Shorten responsible for?
I am afraid my grasp of politics in this country differs from yours. If I was to sheet any responsibility for the so-called Fair Work Commission I would go back to the Howard government's "Workchoices".
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
11:58am
Shorten's mismanagement put the iceberg in the way of the Titanic.... Gillard had the wheel of the ship.... Rudd was the navigator.... all three caused WWI, II, Korea and Vietnam etc.... Labor forced the poor businesses offshore to save money... Labor encourages big hairy subbies to stand over major building corporations etc .....didn't you know?

EVERYTHING wrong with this nation now is Labor's fault - so the LNP keep telling us instead of getting something positive on the table for a change....
George
21st Mar 2017
2:03pm
Absolutley disagree, fearlesfly. The journalist should be commended for bringing this leak out into the open and forcing a response from the PM. This Govt is hell-bent on attacking the pensioners, and any measures in that direction are entirely feasible. Not that Labor cares either as they opposed reversing the foolish & disgusting chabges to the assets test from Jan 2017.

The only sensible solution to pensions is to pay all who paid taxes in Australia for say 20 years the full pension without any tests, and then tax all income above that. Any Political Party game to take this up, or indeed support a fair go for pensioners (as the Liberals have abandoned them)?

Indeed, funding is not a problem for any social measures if Australia enforces an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) (USA has had since 1969 which forced Trump to pay $38Mil tax in 2005) of say 15% on gross income for all Large Companies and rich individuals after disallowing all shifty deductions, Even Canada has the AMT, what the hell have our so-called Labor and other parties been doing???
HKW
24th Mar 2017
7:14am
They are testing us.
Should there be no reaction they would surely go ahead with it.

To our Government:
Gentlemen!
BE CAREFUL!
johninmelb
20th Mar 2017
10:38am
The keys words in this article are NEWS CORP. Remember that before you start another fire storm here about pensions, which we have well and truly done to death.

Why are people still reading MURDOCH GARBAGE??? The only thing Turnbull needs to do now is completely shut down the GUTTER MURDOCH PRESS in this country. It is not needed.

Rupert doesn't live here anymore, he is not an Australian. We don't need him or his garbage. He has done more to destroy this country than any Liberal politician, and that's saying something.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
11:17am
Ah - I get it - the theory is that Mudrock's press wants Tony back and Malcolm gone.... and would be happy to destroy the Liberal party to get that...
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
4:10pm
For me the key words are as spoken by Mr Turnbull:

“I can assure all aged pensioners the measure reported will NOT be in the Budget.”

So does it mean there will be other measures affecting pensioners in the upcoming budget? The chances are high considering that not a week seems to go by without one political party/media bringing up the subject of the aged pension. Maybe Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten categorically state that the aged pension will not be reduced or tampered with for the next 10 years at least. I will not hold my breath!!
Paddles
20th Mar 2017
11:11pm
johninmelb

Jeeeeeeeeesus...........Melburnians are not renowned for their erudition or reasoning powers, but for you to infer that Rupert Murdoch actually takes an active editorial role in the production of his newspapers, is ludicrous.
Paddles
20th Mar 2017
11:11pm
johninmelb

Jeeeeeeeeesus...........Melburnians are not renowned for their erudition or reasoning powers, but for you to infer that Rupert Murdoch actually takes an active editorial role in the production of his newspapers, is ludicrous.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
6:56am
Of course he doesn't - he merely dictates the line his editors will take and if they fail - it is the journalistic gulag for them!
johninmelb
22nd Mar 2017
2:46pm
There is ample evidence that Murdoch has always taken an active editorial role in his newspapers - as did his father before him.

We had lectures and tutorials, and I wrote essays for my university Journalism studies on this very subject, way back in the early 80's.

Murdoch was not alone in this, the Packers did the same thing when they owned newspapers.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
11:09am
I'd like to see the article.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
11:32am
Just Google it as there are numerous version of it all over the web. ABC even has one.
neil
20th Mar 2017
11:28am
What a moron of a journalist, lies, lies & more lies. Whoever she is, she needs to held accountable for her lies and maybe Murdoch needs to be held partly resonsible. SOOOOOO tired of all this "fake" news crap. You would'nt pee in their ear if their brain was on fire would you.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
11:31am
I disagree as it is a good idea.
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:23pm
You would think so, OG. Arrogant, cruel, self-opinionated and very NASTY. You love to see others hurt.
KSS
20th Mar 2017
1:43pm
You are very free with your insults today Rainey!
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:47pm
Nope. Just fact, OG. Only the facts.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
2:36pm
Smethurst looks like she needs a good spanking.... or a tickle with that feather....

http://future.arts.monash.edu/journalism/wp-content/uploads/sites/88/2016/03/Annika-320x427.jpg
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
2:58pm
So Rainey it is OK with you if I sell everything and buy a house worth many millions so I get the OAP plus all the benefits?

Interesting idea that one.
Slimmer Cat
20th Mar 2017
3:15pm
Old Geezer we know many who have done it.
We keep ourselves and support people who we know have the same assets as ourselves, but we have the assets in shares and support ourselves, they have the assets in a very large house and claim welfare benefits.
GreyViper
20th Mar 2017
3:17pm
I agree Old Geezer. There is probably some merit in this idea. The fact remains that welfare consumes about one third of all revenue raised by the government (doesn't matter who's in power) and the largest part of that is the OAP. I believe we need to do more to help those at the bottom of the scale but those at the top of the scale need to spend more of their own wealth instead of relying on the tax payers to support them so that they can ultimately leave their funds to their estate.
Here's an idea! (and I expect to be howled down by the usual suspects.) How about if you receive funds from welfare then when you pass on some of your estate is used to repay your welfare debt! Now scream about that idea!
Slimmer Cat
20th Mar 2017
3:25pm
If you receive funds from Welfare the money received should be refunded in full from your estate at the end of life. If you don't have an estate then you are truly a receiver of welfare.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
3:26pm
GreyViper I agree and have be saying for quite awhile that any OAP should be raised as a debt upon one's estate. Same goes for all those HECS debts that the old generation are accumulating as well. Our kids have to pay them back so why not them?
RosePerth
20th Mar 2017
6:20pm
In actual fact, if you've "reorganised" your finances and assets so that you only receive $20.02 a fortnight in pension, I would suggest that you probably are wealthy enough to not need the concession card. That card should be for those who really NEED it....they are usually the ones who don't have enough funds to be able to make use of a financial advisor who can guild them through loopholes.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
7:21pm
I agree RosePerth.
Paddles
20th Mar 2017
11:17pm
Grey Viper and those who immediately follow............

As a group I congratulate you as you are a breath of fresh air in a miasma of small minded self interest........Bravo!
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
7:15am
RosePerth, you obviously have no comprehension of financial management. The whole problem with the stupid assets test change is that it crippled couples who are far from well-to-do and left them in a position where they will struggle in old age, despite having planned and saved carefully to avoid that struggle. Many have incomes of less than half the aged pension. And you suggest they don't need concessions! Sure, they have savings, and when those savings are gone, their gone! What will $200,000 in today's money be worth in 30 years time? That's about the time many of these battlers who saved will genuinely need old age care, but the nice accommodation they saved for - going without restaurant dinners and holidays for so many years - won't be affordable because they were forced to struggle so that gamblers and wasters could have more taxpayer dollars.

Jealousy is a curse, and that curse has driven a communist philosophy in a country that once hated the very idea of communism. Now, it's fine to take everything away from those who work and earn to give to those who don't. And some fools keep asking why there's a ''welfare mentality''. OMG! What do you expect people to do when they are robbed of all benefit of endeavour? We are governed by morons, and sadly there are far too many dumb sheep endorsing the stupid policies that are destroying this nation and voting for the morons.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
11:09am
Rainey those affected by the assets test changes are no different than the rest of us self funded retirees. We have to pay full price plus extra for those who don't and have to provide everything for ourselves from our investments and if not enough income we have to use our capital. The OAP should only be given to those who have no other means of support and a couple with $820,000 have more than ample to provide for themselves.

I really don't think the government has gone anywhere no far enough as people should be providing for their own old age and not relying upon the taxpayers.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
2:48pm
So OG, my daughter asks what the hell is the point of working and saving. I buy a house. It takes me 30 years of hard work to pay for it. Then the stinking government and selfish bastards in society want to take it off me because being exploited on low pay so the bastards can get rich means I don't have enough to survive old age without help. I save, and the stinking government and greedy bastards who exploited me for 50 years want me to hand over all my hard-won savings to the taxpayer and have nothing to show for my work. Why the hell bother? My daughter says ''welfare sounds good''. Why let the bastards exploit you and then steal everything you managed to acquire despite being exploited? What is the point?

Honestly, the people who carry on with this communist crap must b moronic. If you don't let people enjoy rewards for effort, they won't exert effort. Then the nation is STUFFED.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:15pm
My kids happily see the benefits of becoming fully self funded and are well on their way. They see how well I live and just love that I have managed to live now for over 3 decades without a 9 to 5 job and that I can take off and do whatever I want anywhere in the world with just a tablet and mobile phone. They certainly don't feel like they are being exploited and are happy to do what it takes to get what they want. Your daughter sounds like it is just an excuse for not doing and getting what she really wants and is taking the easy way out. That is her decision and has nothing what so ever to do with the government other than she is luck enough to have a welfare safety net to fall back on.

I certainly haven't been exploited or had anything taken away from me and if the truth was to be known I have done better since this government came to power. I do like the way they are doing the hard yards and cracking down on welfare so that only those that have no other means of support get it. However they have a lot further to go.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
5:23pm
And that's the point OG. Only the privileged who get to your level enjoy the fruits of their labour. Don't you see that taking it all away from people who DO NOT reach that lofty height but DO strive and get part way destroys incentive and drives a welfare mentality.

The world isn't all about you! You have been fortunate. Good luck to you. Your kids are fortunate. But you are nasty and disgusting to take the vile attitude you have to others. My daughter is NOT looking for excuses. She has had a very rough time with a seriously disabled child and a disability of her own. And she is seeing that having been crippled financially by circumstances we had no control over, but having worked out guts out for 50 years to try to overcome disadvantage, we are being screwed over and denied any benefit from all our hard work. And she's angry. Rightly so.

Rich creeps just don't want to get it, because they are selfish, self-serving, greedy, nasty and cruel. Lucky you to not have been exploited. I was. My partner was. Our parents were. Because we were deprived of opportunity by war. And now we are being screwed over by the very bastards who benefited from the sacrifice that cost us so much. It's sick and disgusting!
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:55pm
Rainey if they paid for excuses you would be worth a fortune. Wow you would think I have had it easy well no at all. I have preserved when the going got tough and wasn't one to give up. I have had more battles than many have in many lifetimes but I haven't given in. I know the rules and play the game whatever it is. If I don't know the rules I find out what they are before I do anything. I then don't get screwed as I know what they are trying to do and how to play their game too. I too have a disabled child and today he is so good at what he does he writes his own pay cheques. It wasn't always like that and took a lot of effort to get to where he is today. I also have normal children who are also successful in their one way. They now look up to their broker and think well if he can why can't I?

Rainey I never take no for answer and I don't allow the word can't to bee used in my family. I also don't allow anyone to use the word can't in negotiates either. I just say the word you should be using is wont and that soon gets results for me. People just hate the word wont.
Rainey
22nd Mar 2017
2:47pm
OG, if you stopped thinking you know everything and blaming long enough to LISTEN to others and consider that maybe you are NOT as knowledgeable as you think you are, you might actually LEARN SOMETHING OF USE. But you are just too disgustingly egotistical.

Your accusations are nasty, baseless, unfair, and cruel. You are university educated. For a start, that makes that you 1000 times more privileged than I am. I don't give up either. I dragged my family out of abject poverty and got 3 kids thru uni - even one with a major disability, who now is a school teacher. It cost me over $150,000 to get her where she is - with both my partner and I on subsistence wages and off work a lot due to major health problems. But if I retired tomorrow, I wouldn't qualify for a pension. I own a nice home, and I have a healthy savings balance (badly needed with a disabled partner and huge health bills and care costs looming) The problem is, though, I never learned to ''play the game''. I was taught to be scrupulously honest and that hard work paid off. It DOES NOT! I never had the opportunity to learn about investment. Until a few years ago I couldn't dream of investing in anything. I was battling to keep food on the table. My investment returns are low. My partner has a paranoid fear of risk due to trauma in earlier life, so we stick with safe, low return investments.

You are disgusting to be so judgmental. I avoid negatives also, but it's not easy to be positive when you are being screwed over at every turn and the list of injustices you've suffered would fill a dozen books.

I'm not about to relate my personal story here, but I can assure you you have lived a VERY privileged life by comparison and you don't know what hardship is. If you did, you wouldn't be so judgemental and cruel. It has nothing to do with a positive attitude. Mine is as positive as it gets. I've even worked my way into a job that requires an advanced uni degree despite not even having a high school education, and I'm succeeding at it and admired by workmates, so don't brag to me you horrible nasty man. I'm better than you in every way.

But I understand what REAL hardship is, and I understand justice and common sense ways to fix what's wrong with this country. And unlike you I have the decency to care about making things right. While you play your filthy games and gloat and skite about winning, I think about the people those disgusting games disadvantage and about how to change the rules so good people benefit as opposed to nasty creeps who learn the rules.
Old Geezer
22nd Mar 2017
9:21pm
What a lot of rubbish Rainey as if you have enough assets not to qualify for the OAP then you aint done it hard at all. You just have just convinced yourself you have.

I didn't put any of my kids through unit because it was a waste of money and time. Yes it was fun having all those years at uni myself but it didn't equip for a job at all. One profession I have no time for at all is school teachers. They have no idea of the real world and we let them teach our kids. That's why education is failing so badly in our country today. Lots of useless theory and no practical or world experience. I'm glad none of my kids are teachers. One of the grandkids wanted to be a teacher but I talked them out of that quick smart. Early education teachers are even worse as they imaginative little kids and turn them into the factor workers of the future. Problem is we have no factories for them to work in.
musicveg
22nd Mar 2017
9:54pm
I agree OG about the teachers. My son went to kinder but then we chose to homeschool, he amazes me everyday, not like other teenagers. Very productive, he teaches himself most things, like how to use programs on computers for his electronic designs, great at building things etc. He has a great eye for detail, fantastic memory, a lot of patience and self-discipline and doesn't bother with social media etc. I am hoping that he will find work in the field he is interested in but worried that not having the so called qualifications will hold him back.Teachers are more like dictators, though I have heard about some schools that are changing their ways slowly.
Rainey
23rd Mar 2017
12:10pm
OG, you are the nastiest person I have eve come across. How dare you call me a liar? You know NOTHING about me or how I managed to accrue savings. As it happens you are TOTALLY 1000% WRONG WRONG WRONG. I suffered horrendous hardship - hardship most Australians couldn't even contemplate let alone survive. A Centrelink social worker told me she had never, in 40 years in her job, come across anyone who had suffered a fraction of the hardship I had endured and she was stunned that I had survived it so well. She actually asked would I consider running classes in family budgeting. I declined, because very few could cope with the rigorous workload I shouldered for 50 years.

As for putting my daughter down - that's disgusting. She happens to be an excellent teacher who is very aware of the real world - having had a very diverse range of experiences and worked in several other jobs, struggled to overcome serious disability - despite family poverty and disruption - and studied intensely to find the most successful methods of helping her own disabled child. She is a beautiful, courageous and loving person - something you would never appreciate with your vile selfish egotistical attitudes and contempt for the rights of others.

I don't agree that university was a waste of money because I struggled all my life because I didn't have a degree, and my children have done well because they do have that precious piece of paper. I don't put much store by university education. I believe I am smarter and more capable than 90% of graduates, and I believe I've proved it. I believe university closes minds, sadly. But not having that piece of paper can impose major disadvantage that nobody who has it could ever hope to understand. It's okay if you have the resources to be self-employed. But every employer asks for that precious piece of paper.
Old Geezer
23rd Mar 2017
5:01pm
All the people I know who have done it hard are still doing it hard on the OAP. If you can accumulate wealth you have not done it hard at all.

I put all teacher's down not just you daughter. Most are so far up themselves that they simply just won't listen and it's all the parents fault when things go wrong. It is never their fault that they took no notice of what the parents said and did what the parent was trying to avoid happening as the parent already knew the outcome of such actions. Most have no idea about the reality of children at all. I had a daughter and a son at the same school at one time and the principal said to me one day are you sure they are brother and sister? Until my daughter went to the same school I was branded a bad parent where in fact it was bad teachers doing the wrong thing by my son.

As an employer I never took much notice of any wall paper I was shown. I just had a series of tests and questions that weeded out the good from the bad. Most people with wall paper have just done the time and it is debatable if they ever learnt anything. They think they are good but when put to the test many others run rings around them.
Rainey
24th Mar 2017
3:51pm
All the people you know are NOT ME. I know dozens who have done it very hard but accumulated SAVINGS (NOT wealth! I am NOT wealthy!) It's precisely BECAUSE they do it hard that they save. Those who have it easy don't see the necessity. They don't fear poverty because they've never experienced it.

You are just so full of yourself that you can't accept that a handful of people you know don't represent society.

As for teachers, yes, some are very poor, and some are brilliant. My daughter happens to be a very caring and hard working teacher who takes enormous pride in her work. But it's your way to brand everyone with the same brush. Just because you know someone who did xxx, everyone in the world must be in the same category. You are really, really stupid. A narrow-minded, nasty egomaniacal bigot. It's time you learned some respect for others.
Old Geezer
24th Mar 2017
7:15pm
I just say it how I see it and not put the blinkers on and paint a rosy picture where there is not one

Rainey if you had it half as bad as you say you would be still struggling in poverty and getting the full old age pension. To get where you say you are you would need a lot more positives things in your life than negative things. Successful people make a lot more mistakes than normal people but they also have a lot more successes than the norm too.
Rainey
26th Mar 2017
4:35pm
OG, you are know-nothing idiot who lives in a dream world you have created. You are thoroughly ignorant, exceedingly rude, and very nasty. You have no idea about other people's lives, but you trade on stupid baseless assumptions and you are far too arrogant to ever listen or pay attention long enough to learn the true facts - so you just go on waffling like an ill-informed brainless ignoramus insulting everyone and gloating about your own good fortune. Your comment is moronic in the extreme. What would you know about how people's circumstances evolve? Only a totally ignorant moron would suggest that someone who worked incredibly hard to overcome poverty didn't experience hardship. That's a ridiculously ignorant and idiotic claim from someone who has been far too privileged to understand what hardship is.

Today I spent time with a lady who told me her father's story. He ended up a wealthy man. Her widowed mother is now, at 88, very well to do. But the hardship they endured is the stuff of Dickens' novels.

I know a lady who retired at 60 on a pension with nothing to her name but a tiny 30-year-old dilapidated cottage in the ''cheap'' part of a remote country town, worth next to nothing. She never once ''struggled'' on a pension. She saved. By the end of her life, she didn't qualify for a full pension any longer. The fact that she achieved that didn't negate the hardship she had suffered, and only a completely insensitive idiot would suggest it did.

Being born into abject poverty, orphaned in infancy, abused in childhood, deprived of opportunity and education, starting work at 14... none of those things necessarily mean you retire poor. In fact, they often drive you to work harder than others do and live more frugally. Having to spend $100,000+ on therapies and treatments for a disabled child, enduring chronic illness, having a disabled partner... all those things make life hard, but they don't necessarily condemn you to lifelong poverty. But working in a dirty, extremely dangerous, physically and mentally taxing job 50 hours a week and then working a second job and building your own home while living in a shed with young children and no plumbing or electricity is HARDSHIP, but any realistic standard of judgment, and only a vile, nasty creep with neither empathy nor respect would suggest otherwise.

Shut the hell up, OG. You are disgusting - ignorant, rude in the extreme, insensitive, and thoroughly offensive. And very stupid also, because I have explained over and over and over that the $450 a week homeowner cost results from pension policies. It's got nothing to do with spending on a property. But you are obviously too dense to comprehend basic English.

Thus far you have accused me of stupidity, dishonesty, greed, and selfishness. You have said my disabled grandson should die, and you've ridiculed and insulted my daughter for her choice of career. You are thoroughly horrid in every way.
Rainey
26th Mar 2017
4:35pm
OG, you are know-nothing idiot who lives in a dream world you have created. You are thoroughly ignorant, exceedingly rude, and very nasty. You have no idea about other people's lives, but you trade on stupid baseless assumptions and you are far too arrogant to ever listen or pay attention long enough to learn the true facts - so you just go on waffling like an ill-informed brainless ignoramus insulting everyone and gloating about your own good fortune. Your comment is moronic in the extreme. What would you know about how people's circumstances evolve? Only a totally ignorant moron would suggest that someone who worked incredibly hard to overcome poverty didn't experience hardship. That's a ridiculously ignorant and idiotic claim from someone who has been far too privileged to understand what hardship is.

Today I spent time with a lady who told me her father's story. He ended up a wealthy man. Her widowed mother is now, at 88, very well to do. But the hardship they endured is the stuff of Dickens' novels.

I know a lady who retired at 60 on a pension with nothing to her name but a tiny 30-year-old dilapidated cottage in the ''cheap'' part of a remote country town, worth next to nothing. She never once ''struggled'' on a pension. She saved. By the end of her life, she didn't qualify for a full pension any longer. The fact that she achieved that didn't negate the hardship she had suffered, and only a completely insensitive idiot would suggest it did.

Being born into abject poverty, orphaned in infancy, abused in childhood, deprived of opportunity and education, starting work at 14... none of those things necessarily mean you retire poor. In fact, they often drive you to work harder than others do and live more frugally. Having to spend $100,000+ on therapies and treatments for a disabled child, enduring chronic illness, having a disabled partner... all those things make life hard, but they don't necessarily condemn you to lifelong poverty. But working in a dirty, extremely dangerous, physically and mentally taxing job 50 hours a week and then working a second job and building your own home while living in a shed with young children and no plumbing or electricity is HARDSHIP, but any realistic standard of judgment, and only a vile, nasty creep with neither empathy nor respect would suggest otherwise.

Shut the hell up, OG. You are disgusting - ignorant, rude in the extreme, insensitive, and thoroughly offensive. And very stupid also, because I have explained over and over and over that the $450 a week homeowner cost results from pension policies. It's got nothing to do with spending on a property. But you are obviously too dense to comprehend basic English.

Thus far you have accused me of stupidity, dishonesty, greed, and selfishness. You have said my disabled grandson should die, and you've ridiculed and insulted my daughter for her choice of career. You are thoroughly horrid in every way.
Farside
26th Mar 2017
8:23pm
@Rainey, you state "the $450 a week homeowner cost results from pension policies. It's got nothing to do with spending on a property." OK, so you are not suggesting the homeowner is $450 out of pocket as a result of spending on the primary residence. Your gripe is homeowners are not receiving $450 each week from the taxpayer whereas non-homeowners are receiving a benefit of this amount?

On what basis should homeowners receive this benefit?

You say that you have explained over and over and over in basic English but your message is not cutting through; the onus is upon you to make your point more clearly and provide the legislative support to back up your contention. To paraphrase one of our politicians, please explain.
Rainey
27th Mar 2017
10:44am
Why should a renter who partied and holidayed while a battler was struggling and going without to pay off a home now get $450 a week (plus rent assistance) more than the battler, while paying only $300 a week (or less) rent for a better house than the battlers owns. That's the more relevant question. It stinks. It's unfair. It's cruel. And it's a huge disincentive to endeavour and doing what's good for the country.
Rainey
27th Mar 2017
11:39am
Sorry, $300 per week from the taxpayer plus rent assistance. So many renters actually get more than it costs them, while homeowners struggle to pay rates and insurance and maintenance costs. It's a harsh penalty for having worked hard and gone without for 30 years to pay off a mortgage!
Rainey
27th Mar 2017
11:42am
The other $150 a week covers rates, insurance and maintenance - if you are lucky!
Farside
27th Mar 2017
11:50am
@Rainey, I still do not understand why you bang on over the $450 (plus rent assistance). Simply repeating the assertion ad nauseum makes it no clearer.

Now the question you ask over whether it is better to own or rent has been studied at length. In many cultures home ownership is a dominant personal goal but in others it remains a choice. Renting is not just for the poor; there are wealthy people that have no need for welfare support (in fact they support others who would otherwise be on welfare) yet prefer to rent.

Briefly, the homeowner has significant benefits such as security, freedom to modify and decorate, freedom to own pets, equity, stability and privacy. These privileges are valued at $200,000 for social security purposes.

The tenant on the other hand has benefits such as higher cashflow, flexibility, freedom from maintenance or repair costs, and no ownership costs like finance, insurance and rates.

It might surprise that there are many low income households that rent. Often they have also struggled and gone without but unable to accumulate the deposit let alone service a loan. It is a sweeping generalisation all renters take holidays and party their meagre earnings away. Congratulations to you that you were able to scrimp to save a deposit and service a loan. It is naive and condescending to claim those who have not been able to do so should be further downtrodden because they did not purchase a home.
Farside
27th Mar 2017
11:55am
@ Rainey, ok so renters receive $300 per week allowance and the owners are out of pocket $150/week. The reason renters receive the $300 is for accommodation to keep them off the streets; this is pure welfare however I tend to agree they should not receive more than the rental paid.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
11:30am
I've seen various versions of the article and I agree with the proposed changed. I think it is gutless of out PM not to endorse it. After all it will only affected those people who are wealthy and have arranged their affairs just to get the benefits.

Also it is a stupid idea giving anyone that gets a mere dollar in the OAP full benefits. Those benefits should only be given to those who get the full pension. It is simply not fair on the rest of us that have to pay full price plus extra to cover all those discounts given to wealthy pensioners.

Come on PM show some leadership and make the hard decisions.
maelcolium
20th Mar 2017
11:58am
Why do you subscribe to this site? You have no interest in issues relating to real pensioners and all you do is act as though you are a shill for the conservatives.

If you don't need to stay abreast of issues affecting pensioners then just stay away from these sites. Go and have a coffee with people in your own situation so we don't have to put up with your mindless comments.

Come on. You show some leadership to your contemporaries and piss off.
Rae
20th Mar 2017
12:21pm
I'm a real pensioner and get no concessions or government payments either. It sucks!

If we did get a few concessions we might be able to join the OAP in coffees and cakes.

Right now self funders are too scared to spend money on unnecessary luxuries as this Government thinks we are the pot at the end of the rainbow.
Hasbeen
20th Mar 2017
12:28pm
Yes Old Geezer, If you are not a lefty bludger, but have some interest in what the country can afford, you are not in the right place.

Just ask maelcolium
KSS
20th Mar 2017
12:45pm
maelcolium, are you saying that this site is only for those on a government pension? Or that anyone NOT on a government pension cannot know the 'real pensioner'? Perhaps you might like to take a new look at who this site is targeting:
From the website:
". ...... About Seniors has followed [the] initial concept of providing independent, up-to-date information for those approaching retirement, in retirement and their families. ........ To streamline the process of publishing the magazine, website and associated enewsletters and to allow the focus to remain on independent and current information for a broader range of readers, those 45+, About Seniors migrated to its new branding, YourLifeChoices – for fun in your 50s, 60s and beyond."

So if you look carefully the readership is targeted at those 45+ approaching retirement, in retirement and their families. Pretty sure Old Geyser would fit that profile. He just has a different life perspective and no less valid than anyone else.
Gra
20th Mar 2017
2:01pm
My question is "How can someone who is not receiving a pension be called a pensioner"? A person may be of retiring age and not in receipt of a pension, doesn't that just make them a "Retiree"?
If people are so well off they don't qualify for a pension what makes them think they have the right to call for benefits that those less fortunate receive be cut?
Perhaps Old Geyser should change their nom de plume to Old Lemon.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
2:56pm
So maelcolium and co it would be OK if I sold everything and bought a house worth many millions so I could get the OAP plus all the benefits?

If you want to call it what it is then the OAP is not a pension but welfare given to those with no other means of support. By taking a pension form my SMSF I am a real pensioner in the true meaning of the word. A real pension is a payment made from a source of capital. There are no sources of capital from which the OAP paid.
Slimmer Cat
20th Mar 2017
3:20pm
Well said OG. I note that the word WELFARE has started to appear in the press in relation to the OAP.
GreyViper
20th Mar 2017
3:49pm
Once again Old Geezer I'm with you. I also receive a payment from my superannuation fund as a fortnightly PENSION. That's not my words, that is what the fund, and the government, refers to it as. Apparently, according to some, unless you are receiving payments from the government (read the current tax payers) you are not allowed to be referred to as "a pensioner". Also, according to some (maelcolium), you and I are not even allowed to subscribe to this site or have any say in how the taxes that we pay are distributed to others. That's right people, not only do I fully support myself and my spouse, but I am still contributing to the pool of funds that goes to support a lot of the people who comment on this site. Surely that gives me some right to make comment here!
Gra, that's a fairly narrow minded attitude. Just because we don't receive an OAP or some other government pension does not make us any less 'pensioners'. It's just that our pension comes from a different source. When you say "so well off they don't qualify for a pension" I guess you are referring to the OLD AGE pension. Well, as mentioned above, that is simply one type of pension. It's not the ONLY pension and you then question our right to comment on how the government spends the taxes it receives. Well, seeing as how I contribute to those taxes I believe that I have a perfect right to question how they are distributed because it has a direct impact on my standard of living as well. Not just on those receiving the OAP!
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
4:17pm
GreyViper I too have to take a certain percentage of my super each year as a "pension" so that my super stays in the "pension mode". I just draw out one annual payment but could draw it out weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc. It just makes the paperwork simpler for me and the super fund pays not tax on the interest earned whereas I do.

Yes I'm a pensioner too.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
6:06pm
Pension is not welfare - it's a return on a lifetime investment in this country and just reward for putting up with the shenanigans of politicians and the boss type... and the carping of those with enough not to get it...
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
6:07pm
TREBOR, exactly. I would even go further and say it is a return on investment.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
6:22pm
@TREBOR, niemakawa – what do you find so objectionable about the term 'welfare'? Pretty much any definition of welfare covers the notion of promoting the basic comforts of life to people in need. In 2017 the aged pension is welfare, as are low income supplements, disability, unemployment and associated benefits. Arguing history and trying to reframe the definition of a government paid pension is a pointless exercise.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
6:33pm
Rubbish the OAP has nothing to with what you did, how much you earned or how much tax you paid. It is welfare given to those who have no other means of support.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
6:41pm
OG that maybe true for a minority. Many who are receiving the full aged pension is a direct result of their poor budgeting our overspending in their working years. Why is it a right for these people but not those that have actually saved and in many case paid higher taxes.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
7:04pm
Few people have sufficient foresight during all stages of their working lives to anticipate the circumstances they in which they find themselves upon reaching retirement or having it foisted on them. Haranguing them over past decisions is pointless as they cannot be thrown out on the streets for having squandered opportunity.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:13pm
Farside. Don't encourage them they get enough of that from all the other do-gooders. You seem quite happy to "harang" those that have done the right thing and have their assets taken/stripped from them which they want to use as a supplement to their entitlement to enjoy their latter years. In my view there is no different when the spending occurs.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
7:27pm
@niemakawa - I just hope if you get your way then the destitute and desperate on the streets are in your community rather than mine.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
12:42am
Farside, I have seen with my own eyes how well the so-called destitute and desperate are cared for, quite well I would say.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
7:02am
Then we'll slice and dice you with the 'excessive value of home' being included in your assets test, OG.. better stick with your fantasy writing...

when you're dealing with 'government' here - they are very good at playing 'the long game' - they'll entice you to sell up all assets, put it into a big home worth many times the local market, then drop the clanger on you of saying you have too expensive a home and the excess over and above local average (or whatever) is viewed as disposable asset and you should sell to get some cash..... and they'll chop your OAP either way.

That's one reason you and many others should divest yourselves of this nonsense of including the family home and/or demanding a payback for pension already paid for over a lifetime of contribution to this nation and its revenues.

The only payback any government doing those things openly would be the scaffold.... it's time fraudulent and scheming politicians were held criminally responsible for lies and fraudulent activities, and also should be subject to action to recover for damages from their policies and their legislations.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
7:03am
I'd say a just reward and compensation for putting up with fifty years of political shenanigans is double the current pension.................
Farside
21st Mar 2017
7:44am
@TREBOR, double the current pension for those who need welfare support is a laudable goal although I wonder what spending in the national budget would have to go by the wayside to fund this largesse. Presumably this would see the social security and welfare budget increase from a third to nearer half of total spending. What falls by the wayside?
HS
20th Mar 2017
11:44am
"Mr Turnbull should be commended for immediately setting the record straight" ? Are you kidding? His iron clad promises are absolutely worthless! Maybe not in this Budget - but watch what happens to the age pension in the lead up to the Budget following this one- They turned the lives of innocent 40,000 or more welfare clients into a living nightmare with their - 'robo-debt' - fiasco. This government has no credibility. Arrogant prevaricators. Pilferers of their government expense accounts.
Tom Tank
20th Mar 2017
12:12pm
Is this another case of the Murdoch Press putting pressure on the government to do what Rupert, or Tony and his cohorts want?
Then again it could be a floater to assist the government to gauge the reactions.
The way politics and the media are enmeshed it is difficult to be sure. Perhaps this is part of the cosy deal made between Murdoch and Howard when our Laws were changed to allow Rupert to relinquish his Australian citizenship so he could own media interests in the U.S. as a U.S. citizen.
Prior to that change in the Law only Australian citizens could own media outlets in this country.
Be prepared for more changes to our media laws.
Rae
20th Mar 2017
12:23pm
They need $50 billion for submarines and $50 billion for business tax cuts. That money has to come from somewhere.

The LNP was created to destroy the welfare state so deliberately working towards that outcome is no surprise.
dweezy2176
20th Mar 2017
12:32pm
$50 billion for submarines was the excuse .. the "poodle's" seat was the reason .......
Paulo
20th Mar 2017
1:36pm
In a previous Post you mentioned that you had a nickname of Rabbit, was it because you RABBIT on a lot (continue talking about something that is not interesting to the person you are talking to or about things you know nothing about)
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
7:04am
Now, no, Paulo - keep it civil.......
pedro the swift
20th Mar 2017
12:38pm
Wether the article is fake news or not I suspect the Turnbull gov would love to cut pensions and all other s welfare payments to the bone. They are ONLY interested in looking after big business with their tax cuts even if most of them pay almost no tax at all..
I would suggest that negative gearing be abolished and ONLY losses/cost from investment be allowed as a deduction.
I would even go so far as to completely abolish ALL deductions against income and reduce the tax rate to suit. This would make tax accounting obsolete and free up huge areas of the tax department. NO more filling out tax returns.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
4:37pm
You care certainly looking after business with your statements.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
4:37pm
You care certainly looking after business with your statements.
looney
20th Mar 2017
12:38pm
Same boat as you Rae. What about another approach start at the top not at the bottom.But as we know a bully always picks on the weak.
looney
20th Mar 2017
12:49pm
Murdoch papers not in our humble abode.This excuse for a man has sold his soul to the devil.
KSS
20th Mar 2017
12:53pm
"The proposal to cut all welfare payments below $20.02 would mainly affect pensioners who had reorganised their finances in order to receive a pensioner concession card." I doubt there would be any contributor to this site that could disagree that this does in fact happen and is in fact actively encouraged by those assisting with planning for retirement. And why wouldn't you when the access to other 'discounts' are available as long as you have $1 of government pension? Many self funded retirees actually have less income than those on a government pension yet are not able to claim the rebates and discounts e.g. rates, car rego etc.

Why are we still forking out the Energy Supplement when the carbon tax it was to off set was abolished a couple of years ago? I agree this payment should be stopped. It is compensation for something that does not exist.
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:26pm
So you are claiming energy costs reduced? Dream on fool! They skyrocketed. The Energy Supplement is far more necessary now than when the carbon tax was in place.
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:26pm
So you are claiming energy costs reduced? Dream on fool! They skyrocketed. The Energy Supplement is far more necessary now than when the carbon tax was in place.
Rae
20th Mar 2017
1:29pm
The other discrepancy is the one that allows superannuation to stay in accumulation for the partner under pension age but not counted as an asset so the full age pension can be claimed, along with the card, by the over OAP partner until the younger spouse hits retirement age.

This can achieve a full pension for a few years and is recommended by advisors.

The very large saving pot is totally ignored by Centrelink.

I've been a widow for the past 32 years so I can't get away with that either.

I don't blame people who play using these rules. It saves their self funded retirement a few years of payouts all for 15% tax on returns.
KSS
20th Mar 2017
1:35pm
Rainey please re-read what I actually said and not what you think I said.

If you want to make a case for an increase in the pension that is one thing. But to insist on keeping a supplement that was intended to off set a carbon tax when that same tax was repealed is quite simply ridiculous. The supplement needs to go.
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:47pm
If the supplement goes, needy pensioners suffer increased poverty. This government is NEVER going to increase the pension. They are focused on CUT CUT CUT CUT and CUT AGAIN! Who cares what a payment was meant for or is called? IT IS NEEDED BADLY, so leave it alone!
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
3:07pm
I agree KSS. That energy supplement that should have gone with the carbon tax. I'm glad it has gone for new OAPs.

Rae there is another loophole that many on the transition to retirement pension are now using too. They are getting a second job and when they resign from it they have met a condition of release. So they keep their normal job and no longer will have to pay tax on their transition to retirement pension after 1st July.

Rainey none of those affected by these changes would be in poverty unless they want to be. As they don't get the full pension they have lots of assets that can be used. Look somewhere else for your poverty stricken. The young family that struggle to make ends meet and it is a disaster when their fridge breaks down.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
6:11pm
KSS/Rainey - two populists separated by a common language....

Government bears full responsibility for sky-rocketing of energy prices, due to its failed policy of privatisation and the consequent need placed on the end user to fund too many supplier superstructures all the way up to head of the board. Replaced a single supplier with a hydra-headed monster....

My view is simple - you stuffed it - you fix it.....
Farside
20th Mar 2017
6:44pm
@TREBOR – "My view is simple - you stuffed it - you fix it....." is an admirable sentiment and works well enough in the commercial world and backyards everywhere. The problem is when the solution simply becomes another hit on the available pool of government funds. It then becomes a case of you stuffed - you fix it and damn, I pay for it.

You are right in identifying the greed with flogging off the monopoly utilities without regulation but recriminations achieve little. We need some pollies who can take a long term view and put us on the path for the most cost effective solution rather than a bandaid.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:06pm
Farside. "Pollies can take a long term view". With a 3 year term for a Federal Government that will never happen. They are all feathering their own nests during that time , hiding away somewhere until the next election is called then they pop out again hoping to muster enough support for another 3 years.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
7:22pm
@niemakawa - sadly you are right. Three year terms in the lower house are a joke and no sign of them changing soon. In the absence of change a better way might be to have something like the RBA where professional civil servants take decisions based on long term guidelines.

[Elsewhere I have advocated four year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms and six years in the upper house with a maximum of two consecutive terms. No politician can be appointed to a government paid position within two years of leaving Parliament.]
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:31pm
Farside. I agree with your last comment.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
7:07am
A genuinely good government would have no need to fear a three year term.... they'd get repeat terms so any concerns would be purely academic.

Governments are booted out for their failures - not for their success stories.
sirrom
20th Mar 2017
12:55pm
Hello all you scaremongers. I am sure no government will cut pensions. This would be political suicide and I am also sure it isn't on the radar for the Liberal /National coalition- who are concerned for peoples welfare unlike to big talkers false promises from the opposition.
As for cuts to big business - this is not for their benefit - it is a very well thought out plan to increase business people's ability to employ more people and production etc. Unlike Labor who like to throw money at people to buy votes.

p.s. agree that journalist needs a good dressing down - it only makes The telegraph look foolish- she was told it was suggerstion from a dept -which was turned down- I am sure there are a lot of suggestions made from politicians as well as the department - it gets the thought processes going - most of these would be automatically kicked back out the door. Come on journalist - you aren't making a respectable name for your self doing this sort of reporting.
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:34pm
Um, where have you been, blind man! They HAVE CUT PENSIONS. And they will again. There has been constant discussion about doing so.
KSS
20th Mar 2017
1:41pm
Rainey they are simply asking those with retirement savings in super to actually use those savings to support their retirement and that is not unreasonable.

I do agree though that the lowering of the cap to the new lower levels may be too low given the current interest rates and returns.
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:45pm
And only a fool believes cuts for big business create jobs and production! Look how executive salaries have soared with ever-reducing tax takes from big business! And unemployment has risen. Business hires the labour it needs to produce what it is able to sell profitably. End of!

The way to stimulate jobs and production is to enable more people to BUY. That means focusing on INCREASING welfare and lower wages, not cutting at the bottom end to load up at the top.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
3:28pm
Rainey if you get more income do you spend more money? I certainly don't.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
7:09am
When people are already on the breadline, OG, they will buy a little more bread if they have a little more....

Go live on the street for a week with $244 in your pocket and get back to me.....
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
2:17pm
I doubt I'd spend that $244 Trebor as I spend very little on myself.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
4:00pm
We are not all miserable mean scrooges like you, OG. Yes of course those who have less than they need to support a comfortable lifestyle will spend more if they have more.

You are VERY privileged if you can live on less than $244 a week, OG, because that means someone else is providing for most of your needs. It is NOT possible to rent accommodation, pay for power and food and transport and medical costs on $244 a week.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
4:00pm
We are not all miserable mean scrooges like you, OG. Yes of course those who have less than they need to support a comfortable lifestyle will spend more if they have more.

You are VERY privileged if you can live on less than $244 a week, OG, because that means someone else is providing for most of your needs. It is NOT possible to rent accommodation, pay for power and food and transport and medical costs on $244 a week.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
4:03pm
KSS, you are mistaken. The government is NOT asking those with retirement savings in superannuation to support themselves. Super is only ONE of the forms of asset that costs savers their pension. Many who were crippled by the changed assets test have NO SUPER. The government is punishing people who went without creature comforts to acquire PERSONAL SAVINGS for old age. And yes, the change was way too harsh. The taper rate should NEVER be set to make people worse off in income terms for having saved. That is destructive and stupid.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:21pm
Rainey it costs very little to live when you get your power from the sun, grow a lot of your own food and use you own wood for heating. I currently don't have any medical costs and any I do are bulk billed. I don't take any poisons so no chemist costs. So it costs me very little to live.
Rainey
23rd Mar 2017
11:59am
Well good for you, you selfish egotist. I also get my power from the sun. I grow some food, but can't grow a lot because I'm allergic to insect bites and I can't find a way to garden without getting eaten alive. I've tried everything!

My high costs result from family circumstances and yes, I could abandon needy children and grandchildren and reduce costs, but that would put a huge burden on the taxpayer to support families that would fall apart if not for my support. I also have high health cost for both myself and my partner resulting from childhood deprivation and abuse - something you presume to KNOW didn't happen, you disgusting maggot! You know NOTHING. You are just a hideously horrible individual with a super-inflated ego and no brain.
Farside
23rd Mar 2017
12:33pm
@Rainey - have you ever considered the possibility that your particular circumstances and its long list of hardships is not the normal experience and indeed possibly something only a manageable minority have endured? Accordingly, you might do well to resist the temptation to project your particular needs on wider society and try to consider other perspectives before launching the usual spray of epithets and rage ("mile-long upturned nose" was a new one). The first step to empathy is understanding the other person's point of view. There are others who have experienced hardships and misfortune who are able to have a conversation without resorting to personal bias.

Assuming you are hypersensitive to insect bites and covering up is not possible have you tried hydroponics for growing food?
Old Geezer
24th Mar 2017
11:03am
Farside many of us have endured lots of challengers in our life but we don't hang out our dirty washing like Rainey does. Most of what she says is imagined not real as she would not be in the financial position she is today if things were half as bad as she says. She has had more good fortune than bad fortunes in her life otherwise she would not have rose above poverty. If she is not eligible for the OAP then she is in the minority not the majority. To get above the minority she must have had a good balance in favour of good fortune over bad.
Rainey
24th Mar 2017
3:59pm
Oh, there he goes again. The great know-all GOD OG who presumes to know about other people's lives and circumstances but knows NOTHING AT ALL except how to be vile and disgusting and insulting.

You are a disgraceful person, OG, to suggest that you know more about me than I do and accuse me of imagining hardship. You are absolutely 1000% WRONG, but you will never learn that because you are too full of your own importance to ever consider that the world might not be exactly as you IMAGINE it to be.

No, Farside, I haven't tried hydroponics but I intend to look into it when I return from the trip I am leaving on next month.

I agree the first step to empathy is understanding the other person's point of view, but it's impossible to empathize with a nasty narrow-minded person who continually rants as if he is the world expert on everything and has not an ounce of respect for anyone - not even enough to acknowledge that their circumstances and life experiences may differ from those he ASSUMES are universal.

I do try to understand other points of view, and no, the hardships I suffered are not the normal experience, but I know a lot of people who have experienced great hardship and I see the massive flaws in the pension system and I feel I have every right to point them out without a nasty creep constantly claiming to know more about my circumstances than I do and wishing hurt on people.

OG should learn some empathy and respect for others. His God complex is offensive.
Rainey
24th Mar 2017
4:04pm
BTW OG, you haven't the faintest idea what my ''financial circumstances'' are. I am not eligible for the OAP because I still work, but my finances are none of your business any more than how I achieved my current situation is. My concerns are not about my personal situation, but rather the good of the country.
Old Geezer
25th Mar 2017
5:09pm
Rainey I don't want to know what your financial circumstances are. If they were good I do wonder why you are still working in a job.

I also am concerned about the good of the nation and I don't think the current welfare mentality of people is good at all. People have it too easy and can get welfare way too easy and that needs to change.
musicveg
25th Mar 2017
5:27pm
What are people supposed to do starve? Or rob the rich? Everyone knows there are not enough jobs anymore. This all started in the 1990's when jobs went overseas. For everyone working there has to be at least 12 who don't. You need first hand information from those who struggle to get work, feed the kids, etc. What needs to change is the greed from MP,s CEO's etc who are well overpaid with too much money. And multi-national companies that don't pay their fair share of tax. Just remember all welfare payments are fully spent keeping the wheels turning, it is all spent on food, petrol, rent, and etc. No-one on welfare goes on holidays. If you take this money away how can they have a chance to better themselves if they struggle to eat and pay all the bills? I can see how Rainey is frustrated with you but I don't want to say some of the things he does, this is supposed to be a place to voice your opinions without attacking one another. Please get educated on the real problems of our society, that is greed.
niemakawa
25th Mar 2017
5:48pm
@musicveg. Your point about the jobs is a valid one. I wonder if the politicians have any plans drawn up for when ROBOTS are introduced more and more into the workplace and replace the need for human intervention. How will people cope then, not only pensioners but much of the workforce? Maybe they know something we don't!!!
Farside
25th Mar 2017
7:23pm
@niemekawa, automation and technology like AI are projected to reduce workforce participation below 50%. Many futurists describe people moving in and out of the workforce during their working years and a renaissance for those others out of the workforce in creative pursuits, self-improvement and research.
never give up
20th Mar 2017
12:55pm
I'd suggest that the lies promoted by Shorten at the last election for instance, re Medicare which was a total scare, is now being played out again. Surely a government must raise all options re cost savings, but the reporter was told its not going to happen but reported it anyway. Now we have Little Billy fanning another lie. He truly is a deceitful man on so many fronts and issues. Dear Lord. .save us from him as a PM.
KSS
20th Mar 2017
1:08pm
never give up and then there's Mr Shorten's disingenuous bleatings on the Independent Fair Work Commission's (a commission Mr Shorten set up and hand picked the Commissioner) ruling on weekend pay rates when his own pay negotiations with fast food outlets delivered pay that is LESS than the new rates yet to be enacted. No wonder he lied about accepting the ruling of the 'umpire'. The new weekend rates are higher than the workers in the union get! And further Mr Shorten allowed those same fast food outlets to import foreign workers on 457 visas (visas meant for skilled workers in industries with a labour shortage) at the expense of employing Australian workers. So Mr Shorten endorses and actively encourages giving local and unskilled jobs to foreigners at lower rates of pay! Not a murmur here though.

Your prayer may be all that Australia has.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
2:40pm
Gee - with all that LNP support, why is Medicare going downhill fast? Must be Labor's fault....

Both 'sides' are guilty of the 457 rort.
Old Man
20th Mar 2017
1:00pm
The writer of the opinion piece is a tad biased methinks. Rather than calling the reporter out for telling untruths, the opinion suggests that she was correct but just ahead of the announcement. Then the writer comes up with a speculation that is wrong. How do we know it's wrong? The government has already dealt with this issue.
johnp
20th Mar 2017
1:17pm
They have to cut the old aged pensioners to fund their own luxurious lifestyle, perks, travel etc etc
Cat
20th Mar 2017
1:17pm
I heard in the news that the energy supplement was supposed to increased in the new year, and no sweeping pension cuts only a change in assets threshold that would only affect wealthy people from receiving a full pension but hey would still likely receive a part pension - was all of that fake news?
Rainey
20th Mar 2017
1:32pm
Only a totally ignorant fool believes the assets threshold change only affected wealthy people. What codswollop! It devastated younger retirees who responsibly planned and saved for comfort in their later years and now will face hardship in the old age due to getting no benefit whatsoever from savings that, in many cases, were hard won through major personal sacrifice.

$820,000 is NOT a lot of money for a retiree couple with a modest home and maybe 30+ years yet to live, with inflation and increasing health and home maintenance and care needs. The fact that others DIDN'T save that much should not be used as an excuse to deprive people of the benefits they earned through their hard work and sacrifice. Far too many who have less are where they are because they were extravagant during working life. Gamblers, drinkers, extravagant holiday-makers and party-lovers get handouts from the taxpayer, but responsible battlers get screwed over and selfish or ignorant folk condone it, swallowing LIES LIES LIES told by the privileged and the power brokers.
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
2:42pm
And a lot are there because of being short-sheeted by governments going all the way back to the 1980's, Rainey, and have been done over so in many, many ways.

Beware the beer and skittles mentality.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
3:15pm
Rainey $820,000 is a lot of money for someone with nothing. Just ask the young family that struggles each week to make ends meet.

Had a fellow call in the other day who is struggling on the basic OAP and he would love to have $820,000. His struggles have created all sorts of hardships for him and his wife including his wife having a mental breakdown and being placed in a mental hospital.

Any retiree couple with $820,000 are looking good from where I am sitting especially since they have the safety net of the OAP to fall back upon when they draw down their capital.

I have now sorted out the financial affairs for 3 people who have died in nursing homes and all of them have accumulated wealth since they went into those homes. All of them paid different bonds which had no relationship to what assets they had.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
5:35pm
The fellow who called you wouldn't love to have $820,000 at all, OG, because he'd be worse off than he is now in income terms and broke again very quickly. Why is he so hard up? He's had all sorts of struggles? He hasn't had 1/100th of the struggles I've had, but I saved BECAUSE I had hardship and wanted to escape it. Fat lot of good it did me. Greedy bastards take it all away.

A retiree couple with $820,000 and maybe 30 years to live is likely to do it very tough in a few years if they have high health and care costs and can't earn good returns. You have no idea what you are on about. You work on stupid assumptions with no basis in fact.

How will a couple have anything to fall back on when they are forced to drain it all to compensate for not getting any pension or benefits. Only an idiot thinks you can drain your savings and still have them.

I can point to a handful of rich people who died in nursing homes with more than they went in with too. Just as I can point to folk earning $200,000 a year. That has NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH THE ISSUE. I can also point to people who are struggling on $20,000 a year and NO concessions, and draining their life savings rapidly, with the prospect of severe hardship ahead because of an unfair pension system. And only the nastiest person on earth would ignore their plight and carry on as you do, OG. You are disgusting.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
9:20pm
Rainey you really have no idea. All those 3 people who died in nursing homes were pensioners and not wealthy people at all.

That fellow who called in to see me who struggles to make ends meet on a full pension has had some real struggles in life some of which would send chills down your spine. They certainly did that for me.

Why do people need money in old age? I'm yet to meet anyone that really needed a lot of money in old age for health or other reasons. We are lucky in Australia that that sort of thing doesn't happen to people like it does in other countries. That hardship is only in your mind as their is no substance to it.

Those people struggling with $820,000 in the bank and no concessions only have themselves to blame. You save for retirement and the idea is to spend it in retirement not continue to save it so your heirs can spend it instead. So people need to do themselves a favour and spend it on themselves for their needs and enjoyment. The government knows that people are not spending their capital from Centrelink's statistics so they only have themselves to blame for the changes in the asset test. So the government is not to blame but the OAPs themselves for these changes.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
9:25pm
@OG. Heirs are the rightful owners of inheritances. Those assets should remain in the family and not handed out like confetti to people who have done nothing to save for their retirement to supplement the age pension.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
10:41pm
Inheritances don't always go to one's heirs the way you wish them to. Remember that child you left out of your will? Well all they have to do is say they live in poverty and the court will give them the lion's share. Nothing to stop that executor of doing what they want not what you wish. Wills are only guides nothing more.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
11:12pm
@niemakawa – I understand why you believe "assets should remain in the family and not handed out like confetti to people who have done nothing to save for their retirement to supplement the age pension" and indeed have some empathy with the view even though it tips the scale from self-interest to greed and selfishness.

For what it's worth, and the law if more on my side than yours, I have no objection to singular pursuit of personal values so long as you use your assets to fund your needs and enjoyment in retirement; anything left for a legacy is a bonus.

I wonder though whether you can understand an alternative point of view.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
11:25pm
A Farside. It seems you are a fair minded person. So I put this to you. Anyone receiving an age pension should be allowed to give, without penalty by the Government, one half of their assets to a family member at anytime during the retirement. This would be would be fair to compensate those that did actually save to supplement their pension and provide for their family at the same time.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
11:39pm
@niemakawa, I think there is room to raise the gifting allowances from $30,000 per five years however the law provides ample time to rearrange assets before applying for the aged pension. The 20% of retirees who are self-funded retirees can gift assets to family members at any time without penalty.
Rainey
24th Mar 2017
3:43pm
I don't agree the law provides ample time to rearrange assets before applying for the aged pension. It depends entirely on personal circumstances. Some folk are fortunate and can gift to family before turning 60. Others have children in circumstances that prevent that. I could safely gift to my children now, several years over retirement age, but I certainly couldn't have done so before retiring. The problem with the pension rules is that they unfairly favour successful manipulators and certain fortunate people in particular situations, and they heavily discriminate against people in other circumstances through no fault of their own.
Farside
24th Mar 2017
4:19pm
@Rainey, I think five years is plenty of time for most people to determine financial arrangements ahead of retirement, especially those looking for some aged pension, but I accept there may be those with particular circumstances who slip through the cracks. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and it can't be helped.

As you know there is a substantial allowance for contributions to an existing disability trust for severely disabled dependants outside of the gifting allowance although I recall you previously mentioning your daughter and grandchild did not have sufficient disability to qualify. As far as I am aware there is nothing to prevent wealthy retirees from gifting at anytime to Centrelink recipients so long as the gift is declared to Centrelink.
Rainey
26th Mar 2017
4:56pm
Farside, whether the system is likely to be changed or not or what you think of it should not deny me the right to express my view nor is it the case that because you think you know more than I do and claim the right to put me down, you are automatically right.

Yes, bad things happen to good people. And when good people endure a lot of bad things, leaving them challenged to cope, they should be helped by society - not penalized for having been hard working and frugal and denied the right to enjoy the proceeds of their endeavours. A man who saves for that surgery he knows he will need at age 75 or the special care he knows health issues resulting from severe hardship in his past shouldn't have to gift his savings to the taxpayer to hand out to people who didn't strive so hard. The system is WRONG and it needs to be changed, and it will only be changed by people shouting how wrong it is. Those who defend it deny the population the opportunity to contribute to a better way.

I will continue to condemn unfairness and inequity and suggest better policy - not for my benefit, but because the only way to make things better is to speak out about injustices and highlight the current flaws and potential areas for improvement.
niemakawa
26th Mar 2017
4:59pm
@Rainey you are on a roll today, out there with a vengeance.
Farside
26th Mar 2017
8:33pm
@Rainey, I have not denied you the right to express your view, no matter the manner in which you choose to express it. We clearly do not agree on what is required to form better policy and your expressing your view as it is tainted with personal bias does little to persuade me. Obviously it is my mistake but I thought you were arguing for your own benefit from a point of avarice rather than benefitting the wider community. By all means fight the fight of the keyboard warrior but maybe ask who is listening and are you using language that might influence them?
Mad as hell
20th Mar 2017
1:23pm
This government with the help of the Greens HAS cut pensions to 330000 retirees as of the January 2017 even after promising there would be " ...no cuts to pensions..." on the eve of the 2015 election.

I don't trust the LNP, GREENS and now Labour won't repeal the 2016 legislation on Pensioner Assets Limits. No wonder voters are turning to minor parties.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
3:19pm
It was a great move by the government and thanks to the greens for supporting it. One can only wonder why these people were on the OAP in the first place? Nothing but greed from the people that lobbied for this in Howard's time. Yes I personally know who they were.
Mad as hell
20th Mar 2017
3:33pm
No Old Geezer changes to the Pensioner Assets Test was retrospective legislation.
Negative gearing is bad policy but I would not argue for retrospectivity.
I'll never vote Liberal or Greens in any election be it federal, state or local.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
4:04pm
It was not retrospective legislation at all. There was more than 18 months before the legislation became law which was more than ample time.

I for one would not like to rent if negative gearing is abolished. Many people like me are cashing in properties in the current boom as there are simply better investments available and the boom is not sustainable in the future as interest rates stabilise back to normal. Without negative gearing the building industry will collapse and rents will skyrocket when demand outstrips supply.

By the way most people don't negative gear but positively gear instead. Negative gearing is negative cashflow whereas positive gearing is positive cashflow.
Mad as hell
20th Mar 2017
5:42pm
Negative gearing on property is a policy failure as it does not meet its objective of affordable housing.
With over 2 million investors speculating on capital gain thus pushing affordable housing out of reach policy needs to change.
When politicians of all persuasions have 2.5 houses geared on average I don't see more misery for pensioners.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
7:04pm
How do you know the pollies have houses negatively geared?

I never negativity geared property myself as why make a loss when you don't have to? I always positively geared them so that I got some cashflow out of them.

I also owned property when they abolished negative gearing before and it was just awful with so many people wanting to rent a property. They were bidding each other up with the weekly rental and offering to pay the whole of their lease up front.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
7:15pm
@OG - "Without negative gearing the building industry will collapse and rents will skyrocket when demand outstrips supply.

By the way most people don't negative gear but positively gear instead. Negative gearing is negative cashflow whereas positive gearing is positive cashflow."

Surely these statements are in conflict. If indeed most positively gear then there is only a minority that negatively gear so rents should not be adversely affected. If rents go up then there will be more construction and they will soon fall. The widely referenced increase last time this was attempted was largely restricted to Sydney.

You're a brave man to talk about interest rates returning to normal any time soon. Many countries have been in low interest rate environments for more than a decade, sometimes two.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
7:37pm
Farside your comments indicated that you don't understand negative or positive gearing. Negative gearing takes money out of your packet where as positive gearing puts money in your pocket. Positive gearing takes advantage of non-cash property write offs as well as the cash ones. Idea is to have more non-cash ones than cash ones.

Interest rates have already started rising in the US and like historically high interest rates they will return to normal. I haven't looked at 30 year bond yield curves for awhile but it wouldn't surprise me to see them already turned up.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
11:44am
Positive gearing only works when you're over-fat already, OG - you can't write off what you don't own, and I see no way in which you can mortgage an investment property, pay the bills and repairs and so forth and then accept lower than mortgage payment rent and 'positively gear' anything.

Any genuine rundown of costs of running the business will show it in the red, not the black, and negative gearing merely applies loss to personal income used to top up the business.

Which leads us all the way back to - why is a government supporting and condoning and even promoting a business that will continually cost money, and which will not recoup that money foregone at sale time due to concessions on capital gains?

I see massive room for overhaul here....
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
1:08pm
It has nothing to do with accepting lower rents. Rental properties have cash and non-cash items that can be written off. Unless it had a positive cashflow then I didn't buy the property. I could never see the sense in investing in anything that lost me money. That is I would never negatively gear.
Eddy
20th Mar 2017
1:47pm
Reading the responses on this subject I am reminded of the famous quote from Abraham Lincoln; "you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time". It is as true today as it was in the 1860s.
The quote from Santayana paraphrased as "those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" also springs to mind.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
4:46pm
Humans are no more educated or enlightened than the first cave man.
grounded
20th Mar 2017
1:53pm
News.com - Murdoch Press, Fairfax Press, ABC, SBS, Guardian etc., etc., etc., - All Prized Scum!

Labor, Liberal, Nationals, Greens, Xenophones, One Nation, Independents etc., etc., etc., - All Prized Scum!

Humanity - More Scum!

Myself - Tired of Associating with Scum!

The Answer - Let's all go to our respective Churches, and Talk to our respective Gods....Hahahaha and Lol!

Me - I'm off to pray to my God.....The Almighty $! Am I the only honest commentators here?
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:39pm
You're grounded!!
looney
20th Mar 2017
2:23pm
Wow the W.A . state election disaster has sure bought out the liberal party unpaid spin doctors in force.
moke
20th Mar 2017
2:34pm
When will this IDIOT TURNBULL wake up to the fact that not all pensioners had access to superannuation or veteran affair money. Some of us have to make do with the pittance that the government call (living allowance) or pension, while they sit on their big behinds at government house indulging in the best food and extras available, take rent allowances when they own their own homes etc etc one could go on with the PERKS they allow themselves while some of us live a very meagre life and are quiet until something like this hits the headlines. He may deny it but there is generally no smoke with out fire, so where did the idea come from????????
Vonveevee
20th Mar 2017
2:41pm
I am 70 and still working full time. I cannot afford to retire as all I would get is the old age pension, and I cannot live on that. 90% of my super went in the GFC, so hardly have anything.
I have worked all my life and never asked anything even though I had a tough time as a single parent.
So many muslims with multiple wives seem to be thriving on handouts and I will get a pittance. I dont own a home either...I wish they would get real!
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
3:44pm
Vonveevee the people this article is talking about are those that taken advantage of the rules and upsized their house, bought new car, caravan, funeral fund, given away any excess cash 5 years before their retirement age so that they can get $1 of OAP plus all the benefits of the concession card.

Most would have got caught out with January 2017 asset changes but some have gone on spending sprees since and have readjusted their assets so they still qualify for $1 of OAP.

That is why the concession card should only be given to those on the full OAP.

Meanwhile you have the other group who are in reality not as wealthy as those that have reorganised their affairs to qualify for the OAP but now have to live on less income with no benefits.

This article shows one way of addressing this inequality.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
5:13pm
OG the inequality is that non-home owners are left virtually unscathed without proper examination of their past and current spending habits. All those 65 and over, working or not, who do not receive an aged pension should nonetheless be entitled to the "concession" card.
Sundays
20th Mar 2017
6:06pm
There is technically no one only getting $1 of OAP. There is a minimum rate for the Pension Supplement plus the Energy Supplement. You can get zero of actual pension but still get these supplements,( and the pension card). I think they should all be rolled into the OAP, but certainly not cut out completely.
Raphael
20th Mar 2017
6:15pm
90% of your super went with the GFC?

Pull the other one.

Your super has more than recovered with the boom that followed
Farside
20th Mar 2017
6:33pm
@niemekawa - do you propose to punish folk for their past and current spending habits?

It's meaningless to harang or punish free spenders years after the event due to passage of time and without reference to the circumstances of the time. By all means encourage welfare recipients to learn about budgeting, even attend a compulsory course, and provide them with the necessary support but it would be unfair to deny them access to the same level of welfare anybody else in their present circumstances is entitled to.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
6:37pm
Farside, but this is what is happening to homeowners and those who exceed the assets test limit. They are being punished because of their budgeting skills. They are the ones being denied their entitlement.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
6:47pm
@niemakawa - if this were the story of three little pigs then two of the porkers become dinner. It might be unjust but you cannot do that to people.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
7:13am
Rafe - if the fund went west leaving no trace but a nice waterfront home for the CEO or head of board etc... how would Vonveevee recover in a boom with no asset left, and only current income and contribution to re-boot with?
Raphael
22nd Mar 2017
5:24pm
Trebore - you have a wonderful imagination

How many superannuation funds went bust in the GFC due to rorting or otherwise

You are full of it
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
4:13pm
The journalist should be summoned and held to account if it can be proven that her reporting is incorrect.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
4:19pm
Nay it's an awesome idea. Give him a medal for bravery.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
4:43pm
OG I said "if the reporting is incorrect". Now that would be real bravery, would it not?
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
4:48pm
Definitely!
Fairness
20th Mar 2017
4:21pm
While it may well be the case there will be no cuts to Age Pension in the Budget, there is probably no guarantee cuts can't be made at other times! A "Review" of various policies can happen other than at this time.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
4:59pm
This is the thin end of the wedge, so to speak. All sides of politics want to reduce the aged pension and/or cancel it altogether for some. The recent change in the taper rate is a fine example. How long will it be before this is increased again? Of course on the hit list and a favourite of all the mainstream Political parties is the "Homeowner". But nothing is ever said about non-homeowners most who would have been able to buy a home during their working lives, but preferred not to, are left unscathed. Many in this group would surely have been high income earners but used their disposable income to enjoy life before retirement. About time these people were targeted, through their tax returns and work history and even spending habits(maybe)for the past 20 years once claiming an aged pension.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
5:22pm
Many of those non-home owners have had to sell their homes to go into nursing homes.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
5:33pm
OG what about the rest ( the majority) of the non-home owners (those that never owned ). These age pensioners need to be targeted as I mentioned earlier.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
5:40pm
Why? With the cost of housing if they bought a house then they would have little left with what they are allowed under the asset test.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
5:47pm
OG Non-home owners have a higher threshold. This should not be the case. They need to be targeted and their tax returns , income for the 20 years prior to retirement, examined to establish what they did with their money. It is the non-home owners that are over-burdening the system.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
7:16pm
Rubbish home owners get a lot better deal with the OAP than non-home owners. Yes they get more but that extra wouldn't in most cases cover their rent. I have rented houses for years and I know about how the sums work out. Best way to fix it is add the house into the assets test.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:18pm
OG. Never. If they do all rent assistance should be abolished for non-homeowners, who always seem to get the best deal, before and after retirement.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
7:26pm
Not the ones I have seen wanting to rent my houses.

Had a fellow here the other day and he is on full non-home owner pension and he and his wife just cannot make ends meet even with rent assistance. They only rent a unit in a mobile home village as rents elsewhere are out of their reach. They feel the only way they can survive is get a housing commission house.

Home owning OAPs have it way easier in most cases than non-home owners. Many families now build granny flats in their backyards just to give their grandparents a home.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
10:11am
You are full of it, OG. Homeowner retirees find owning their own home costs them up to $450 a week. Renting is MUCH cheaper. I can rent a better house than I own for $300 a week and it I were not working I could claim a part pension (which I couldn't claim as a home owner) plus rent assistance.

Home owners DO NOT have it easier in far too many cases. We have a ridiculous punitive system that discourages responsible planning and endeavour. Yes, it can be tough for renters in some cases, but in many cases homeowners are WORSE off.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
10:55am
Well Rainey I certainly wouldn't want to live in anything that one could rent around here even with rent assistance. It doesn't cost $450 a week to own a house as I rent them out for less and still make money. They cost me less than $100 a week to own.

The sooner the house I put in the assets test the better so that this inequity can be fixed. Also the sooner they make the OAP a debt to be repaid from your estate the better too.

Although I agree with this proposed move to stop people goes far enough.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
11:07am
@Rainey, seems you might be in the minority arguing home owning pensioners are worse off the non-homeowner pensioners. What are you spending money upon such that ownership costs exceed $20,000 per year?

It seems obvious that pensioners unable to afford owning a home then perhaps they should sell and either downsize or rent. The asset test values homeownership at $200,000 not to protect one type of asset for the purposes of inheritance or funding aged care in the waiting room years but because pensioners need somewhere to live.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
11:55am
Agree an extra $200,000 would hardly buy you a palace to live in more like a small shack somewhere where no ones wants to live.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
4:21pm
Farside, you obviously have no idea about economics. It has nothing to do with spending. Take a look at the difference between the assets threshold for homeowners and non-homeowners. A retiree can lose up to $15600 in pension benefits by owning a home. That's $300 a week. Add rates, insurance, water, home maintenance... It easily adds up to $450. And that's a cost imposed on a couple whose income might be $25000 a year or less, because they saved for their future, while the gamblers and drinkers and holiday-makers are handed $34,000 a year, a host of concessions and freebies, and rent assistance. And then some idiots wonder why so many find welfare appealing!

In no time at all, the responsible saver has been forced to spend all their savings and has nothing left to show for 50 years of hard work and frugal living.

The problem with this country is the morons making decisions have always been rich and privileged and they don't have the brains to comprehend the consequences of their decisions. And their supporters fall into the same category. Rich, privileged, arrogant, and content to remain ignorant , but point the finger at others and imply their complaints are baseless.

Like OG, you obviously endorse communism. Not filthy rich? Then sacrifice everything you worked a lifetime for and be poor. Heaven forbid you be allowed to enjoy the fruits of your labour if you weren't born privileged or hit with the lucky stick!

People who worked hard, sacrificed and saved for old age - planning responsibly - are now being told ''sell your house and give up your lifestyle so that the gamblers and wasters can be supported and the spoilt brat X and Y generation can have more. Its'disgusting. And it has NOTHING to do with protecting anything for inheritance. That's the domain of the rich. The rest of us just want comfort in 30 years time when we need aged care. But the bastards have taken all hope of that away. After 30 years of inflation, we'll be on poverty street.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
4:21pm
Farside, you obviously have no idea about economics. It has nothing to do with spending. Take a look at the difference between the assets threshold for homeowners and non-homeowners. A retiree can lose up to $15600 in pension benefits by owning a home. That's $300 a week. Add rates, insurance, water, home maintenance... It easily adds up to $450. And that's a cost imposed on a couple whose income might be $25000 a year or less, because they saved for their future, while the gamblers and drinkers and holiday-makers are handed $34,000 a year, a host of concessions and freebies, and rent assistance. And then some idiots wonder why so many find welfare appealing!

In no time at all, the responsible saver has been forced to spend all their savings and has nothing left to show for 50 years of hard work and frugal living.

The problem with this country is the morons making decisions have always been rich and privileged and they don't have the brains to comprehend the consequences of their decisions. And their supporters fall into the same category. Rich, privileged, arrogant, and content to remain ignorant , but point the finger at others and imply their complaints are baseless.

Like OG, you obviously endorse communism. Not filthy rich? Then sacrifice everything you worked a lifetime for and be poor. Heaven forbid you be allowed to enjoy the fruits of your labour if you weren't born privileged or hit with the lucky stick!

People who worked hard, sacrificed and saved for old age - planning responsibly - are now being told ''sell your house and give up your lifestyle so that the gamblers and wasters can be supported and the spoilt brat X and Y generation can have more. Its'disgusting. And it has NOTHING to do with protecting anything for inheritance. That's the domain of the rich. The rest of us just want comfort in 30 years time when we need aged care. But the bastards have taken all hope of that away. After 30 years of inflation, we'll be on poverty street.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
5:23pm
@Rainey, your imagination is running away from you. I have not advocated communism in any sense but if that is your concern then maybe you should check into that hostel while you have some faculties about you (for what it's worth I can recommend one that provides quality dementia care).

It is not communism to want safety nets for those who need it while expecting those that do not to pay there way; that is how a society functions rather than everyone for themselves or the greedy wanting to share the social security welfare paid to the needy. Nor is it communism not to want to pass an excessive welfare burden onto future generations. And it is not a binary world; there is a world of difference between filthy rich and poor if you open your eyes and see it for what it is.

As for the economics jibe, I suspect my qualifications in the discipline far exceed yours else I would have read your published papers reflecting your views, and I have not. On what planet does a retiree lose $15,600 by owning a home? Surely you are not suggesting the opportunity cost of rent assistance be paid to homeowners when in fact the majority of pensioners own their own homes. This is why the CIS and others maintain 98% of pensioners would be better off if the value of the family home above a certain threshold was included in the asset means test.

In 30 years your pension may well be 28% of AWE leaving you unable to afford the so-called "comfortable" standard of living but seriously, would you care?
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
5:26pm
BTW Farside, you have it all upside down. The system IS DESIGNED for the privileged to leave an inheritance, and stuff the battlers. The $450 a week applies NO MATTER WHAT VALUE YOU HOME. Even if it's a $50,000 fishing shack in the corner of a caravan park! If you are screwed by the unfair assets test, you pay the crippling cost of home ownership. But if you were lucky enough to be able to buy a $2 million home and keep minimal other assets, your heirs will be handsomely looked after by the taxpayer.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
5:35pm
OG why didn't you offer your property for rent to that couple at a reduced amount?
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
6:12pm
No I couldn't niewakawa as I have now sold it. I very much doubt the new owner will be as generous as I was with my rents.

Rainey we won't leave as heirs as big of inheritance as those on the OAP will as we have to pay our own way until we die. We will have to spend our capital on our needs if we don't generate enough income. The privileged are the ones disadvantaged by the current system not those on welfare.

I also haven't bought that multimillion dollar shack yet so that I qualify for the OAP so my heirs will not be looked after as well as if I did.

That $450 a week as explained before Rainey is a furphy nothing more. If it costs $100 a week on the OAP then I would be even surprised at that.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
6:29pm
@Rainey, I do not advocate welfare support for those with assets to pay their own way or having taxpayers subsidise their heirs.

I consider it unfair for a couple in a $400,000 home and $700,000 assets to receive no support while their neighbour in a $2,000,000 home and $200,000 in assets receives full support. This is why the home above a threshold value should be included in the asset means test. Modelling shows 98% of pensioners would be around $6,000 better off if this was to happen.

I think the current system is broken and does not serve its purpose. If I had my way I would look at a three-pillar system like that in Sweden but as a minimum pay all a pension and tax it with normal income.
Rainey
23rd Mar 2017
12:20pm
Thank you for agreeing the system is broken, Farside. That has always been my point. Sadly, people like OG can't think past ME ME ME ME ME. My focus is not on myself. It's on the system and the general public affected by it. I highlight flaws and request reform for the good of the nation, not personal gain.

Yes, if my income is 28% of the AWE and my savings are all gone in 30 years I will care, because I planned and budgeted for quality aged care in my final years, and I think it grossly unfair that anyone be denied what they went without to save for while those who didn't bother to save get handouts.

A system that imposes a cost (whether notional or otherwise) of $450 a week to live in a home you spent 30+ years paying for while those who partied and holidayed (or manipulated by buying an expensive house or giving their wealth to their kids) are provided with a home a taxpayer expense is guaranteed to result in major social and economic problems for the nation. It's unfair, and it destroys incentive, so it fails it's purpose.

What Australia needs is more people who, like you and I, look objectively at the flaws in the system and potential for improvement, rather than arrogant self-serving egotists like OG who can't think past ''I'm okay and I'm going to make nasty assumptions about others because it suits my selfish purpose to do so.''

We can all manipulate to get around the system. The point is that a system that encourages that is a bad system and should be changed. The ''OAP is welfare for the needy only'' cry is stupid, because there is no way to determine correctly who is and isn't needy. Need is subjective. It can't be determined by merely looking at current asset levels and income. We need policy makers with much greater vision to see past the simplistic nonsense that is currently driving decisions.
Farside
23rd Mar 2017
1:01pm
@Rainey - at your age you should not be worrying about notional costs, track the cash and there is something very wrong if your costs of home ownership are $450 per week. You are critical of others having a selfish outlook yet you show extreme personal bias in projecting your viewpoints.

The aged pension and other forms of welfare are intended for those who need it, no ifs or buts or excuses. Need is not subjective and has been defined rightly or wrongly but the thresholds and tapers are there and have been for a long time. What you are identifying is there needs to be an appeal mechanism for those who find themselves in extenuating circumstances that distort the intent of the thresholds.

You should also recognise the "simplistic nonsense" you deride has been providing a world class welfare support network that few other nations offer. Is it best available? Undoubtedly no, and as I have said I think it is broken even though it has served us well enough to date however the fact remains that nearly one third of the Federal budget is spent on social security and welfare with more than 50% of households receiving one of more benefits. It is unsustainable, especially with rising education and health costs, an ageing population, declining workforce participation, technology disruption etc. It's time to build a 21st century welfare system.
Rainey
24th Mar 2017
6:25pm
You obviously don't have much comprehension, Farside. The $450 a week cost is not anything any individual home owner can control. It's a result of an unfair pension system that punishes people for paying off a home and rewards renters. It's not selfish to want to retain the rewards of hard work and saving rather than hand it all to spendthrifts.

If I were selfish I could quite easily claim a full OAP with rent assistance and all concessions, simply by giving all my savings away and selling my house to my kids. The system would richly reward me for doing that. But if I try to be self-sufficient, I suffer heavy penalties. The system is broken, and it needs to be fixed. Not for my benefit, but for the benefit of the nation. We need to restore fairness and equity, incentives, and rewards. Of course we have to provide modestly for those who have little or nothing - whether through their own fault or otherwise - but if we punish people for being responsible we end up with a lot more who have little or nothing. That makes no sense.

The welfare budget is unsustainable, yet the government's latest focus was improving '''wealthfare'' (child care rebates) to families earning $185,000+ a year, at the expense of those earning $52,000 a year. That's why our system is stuffed! It's nothing to do with the aged pension. It's handouts to the wealthy and failure to collect taxes from those who cn afford to pay.
musicveg
24th Mar 2017
6:50pm
Spot on Rainey about the handouts to the wealthy and failure to collect taxes, whilst they keep going on about not having enough money for welfare, education and health. Improving the society is of benefit to all including the rich because it will affect them as more people get desperate, turn to drugs and violence and rob the rich and destroy things that the government then has to fix.
niemakawa
24th Mar 2017
7:00pm
@musicveg@Rainey. Whether a person lives in a shack, a $200,000 or 2 million dollar home is irrelevant. It belongs to them and only them they must have the right to leave their assets to their heirs. I certainly do not want mine to go to people like you. Just because yoy have failed to save for an easy and fun retirement does not mean you can leech of others to fund your latter years. I as have most paid taxes and a pension is not welfare but an entitlement. The sooner you learn and understand that the better. You are only fostering others not to save as in your misguided belief you think others will support them. Tough luck I do not want to help anyone like that. BTW I do not have a 2 million dollar home but do not resent those that do, they deserve a pension as much as the next person.
Old Geezer
24th Mar 2017
7:07pm
Rainey I have no idea what you spend your $450 on a week but the figures on the place I live in work out at $44 per week.

Why not play the game and rearrange your assets to get he OAP? There is nothing selfish in playing the game by the rules. Save you suffering those heavy penalties for being self sufficient. I too could buy a multi-million dollar mansion and claim I live there to but I prefer to invest my money elsewhere and make a lot more than I would get on the OAP plus all the benefits.

What handouts to the wealthy? They pay the majority of our tax revenue today. I don't get any handouts at all. Families under about $60,000 now actually get more back in welfare than they pay in tax.
Farside
24th Mar 2017
7:10pm
@Rainey, you are all over the shop with contradictions and wishful thinking in your own special reality. You are at odds with the legislation and hold those who don't share your point of view in contempt. Unfortunately for you it is what it is and unlikely to swing in your favour any time soon.
musicveg
24th Mar 2017
7:19pm
niemakawa, I am not retired, so don't assume what I do. I live week to week. OG, the handouts to the wealthy are by subsidies to oil, gas and coal mining etc. And the majority of multinational companies do not pay their fair share of tax. In fact a lot of them don't pay any at all.

Here is some interesting info:
http://www.sstuwa.org.au/news-home/2017/m/tax-concessions-wealthy-deny-adequate-funding-disadvantaged-students
Old Geezer
25th Mar 2017
7:15pm
Well I don't get any subsidies for oil, gas or coal mining. Foreign companies don't pay tax here because it is cheaper for them to pay it elsewhere in the world. Our company tax is way too high at 30% and it needs to be 15% instead if you want these multinationals to pay tax here.

I don't think Gonski is a good idea either as it does nothing to enhance the education of our students. All it tries to do is make elephants climb trees. Far too much money being wasted on these students that could be spent more productive elsewhere. Scrapping Gonski is a good idea.
phantom
20th Mar 2017
5:30pm
Another Shorten leak, now he will say that Macomb is going to cut the pension. True or Not he will use this in his scare campaign. It's like penalty rates, Labor had their own men on the committee and he promised he would back the decision then backflipped because it's worth votes.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
5:35pm
99% of politicians have no integrity and all they can see is next "voter".
TREBOR
20th Mar 2017
6:16pm
Shorten backed the independence of the committee - he did not ever say he would therefore agree with everything they came up with.

Told you before - I support the independence of NRL referees - doesn't mean I agree with their every decision on-field.
Barbara Mathieson
20th Mar 2017
5:33pm
These cuts affect the seniors who already have quite a few funds. They are simply trying to keep their concession card. Be aware seniors please and don't jump to conclusions that your pension is being cut. Be 'savvy' guys!
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
5:37pm
All pensioners and self funded retirees should be entitled toa "concession" card.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
5:41pm
Only those on the full OAP should get the concession card.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
2:42pm
You are right Niemakawa. But OG just wants to grind anyone who is not rich into hardship. Then the fool wonders why people see no point in striving and just go on welfare.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
4:07pm
@Rainey – you have it around the wrong way. It is @niemakawa and a few others that want to plunge some retirees into hardship (specifically those who did not save and squandered their wealth on good times). My reading is OG argues the income support (or welfare) should be paid to those who need it rather than those sitting on accumulated assets. It is worth noting the Government expects roughly 80% of retirees to receive some income support over the next 30 years.
http://www.ncoa.gov.au/report/phase-one/images/chart7-1.png
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
4:30pm
@Farside, so you advocate that those who did not save or squandered their wealth on good times are more entitled to a pension than those who did the opposite. As I may have mentioned before do not encourage those that failed to invest for retirement. There should be more effort by any Government to look more closely at the tax returns, income, assets that were disposed etc during the previous 20-25 years before retirement for those that are receiving the full pension. This should particularly apply to non-home owners who get preferential treatment through high thresholds. The family home is sacrosanct and must remain so.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
5:38pm
@niemakawa, I have no problem with Government checking to ensure that assets have not been hidden but if someone lived according to their means while putting away compulsory savings for future retirement then so be it. The fact their income at that time in the past enabled them to enjoy life's luxuries is their good fortune. For the lucky few this can continue throughout their careers but for many this phase is transitory and any number of circumstances like a GFC, fund collapse, illness, business decline etc could see them unable to afford the high life and insufficient savings for retirement. I see no point in punishing those who have done the right thing but now find themselves reliant upon social security safety nets.

The modelling suggests most pensioners would be around $6000 better off if the proportion of the family home above a threshold was included in the asset means test. It is unfair for someone in a $400,000 and $700,000 in assets to receive no support while those in a $2,000,000 home and $200,000 receive full support.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
5:45pm
@Farside. Those that have a 2 million home is there good fortune is it not ? They should be able to use it to enjoy life's luxuries in retirement or give a helping hand to their children without being penalised through the pension system.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
6:19pm
What about those in the $2 million house that are only there so that they can get the OAP and it's benefits?
Farside
21st Mar 2017
7:36pm
@niemakawa, there is no problem at all with those in the $2,000,000 homes enjoying their good fortune. I object when they put there hand out for government welfare while those with half the means go without. On principal I object to taxpayers subsidising their lifestyle so they can leave assets as inheritances.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
9:14pm
@Farside . But those that squandered or spent their "good fortune" without considering the long term consequences can put their hand out and receive a full pension. No I do not want to subsidise these people for their careless spending habits in the past. So you want the prudent to pay for those that have not been. You seem to have double standards when it suits. My assets do not belong to anyone but me and I certainly do not want hem wasted on people I do not know or do not care about. It is my choice whom inherits my estate or whatever is left when I die.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
10:36pm
Sorry to say niemakawa but a will is only a guideline and it is up to whoever you nominate as executor to either follow them or do what they wish. You don't really get a choice who inherits your estate.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
10:45pm
OG. I think you are exaggerating somewhat. Wills can be contested but in most cases the executor will ensure that an estate is dealt with according to the wishes of the testator. Can you give me incidences where an estate has gone to the general public (the Government) against the wishes of the deceased.
Farside
21st Mar 2017
10:52pm
@niemakawa - yes, people in need should feel they can put there hand out for support while they need it. While there is nothing inherently wrong with being selfish, it does not create the sort of community I would want to live and raise a family.

One of the drivers behind super is compulsory saving for retirement so provided people saved in the good times then their day to day spending is less relevant. Being miserable and jealous of others enjoying life worked for wowsers and puritans so live and let live. What represents waste is in the eye of the beholder however I have no problem with you and your asset-rich-cash-poor ilk keeping your assets to yourselves provided you and your dependents do not also put your greedy hands out for taxpayer support. The fewer folk reliant on taxpayer support the better.

I'm not sure where you see a double standard. The past cannot be changed and if someone's circumstances changed and they need support then a little charity does not go astray. Perhaps you would think differently if it happened to your children or you knew some once prosperous people who lost fortunes for one reason or another, often outside their control, and now find themselves impoverished in their twilight years.
Old Geezer
23rd Mar 2017
3:43pm
I know of one family of six kids whose mother died leaving them an equal share of her estate. One of the daughters had her mother change her will and make her sole executor a couple of weeks before she died with a hand written will. The daughter paid off all her own debts out of her other's estate and then divided the rest by 6 so they all got equal shares. One of the beneficiaries wanted to contest the will but the rest would not support him. Now the one who wanted the will contested was far wealthier than any of his siblings and he saw how unfair it all was and so was only going to contest the will so that his siblings got a better deal. So he said stuff you lot as it is of little benefit to me taking the time and effort to contest this will without your support. It would have made a big difference to his siblings but they didn't want to pursue it.
Rainey
26th Mar 2017
4:42pm
niemakawa, for one OG is right on the subject of wills. They are not worth the paper they are written on if a former spouse, de facto or greedy child chooses to challenge. Over $100,000 will go to lawyers and courts are quick to rip up the will and re-distribute. I know of a man whose drug-addict sister ignored her father for 30 years while he cared for his disabled dad. She challenged the will that had left most to him as payment for all he did for his father, and because she ''needed money for drugs'' she got 75%.

In another case, a woman left her estate equally divided between four children, but the youngest was an alcoholic who didn't own a home and the court gave him 60% plus his legal costs, with the balance going in legal fees for the executor to respond to his claim and the other three ending up with nothing.

It happens all the time. The Family Provision Act is a disgusting law that lines lawyers pockets and denies people the right to distribute their estate as they see fit. And executor are put through hell in the Supreme Court only to find they have no power at all. The greedy are given a loaded gun to fire at will.
niemakawa
26th Mar 2017
4:50pm
@Rainey, yes I agree in part, but generally those cases are the exception rather than the rule. The Family Provision Act needs to be abolished or re-written to ensure that estates are passed on to the intended recipients. As for lawyers well what can I say!!
Barbara Mathieson
20th Mar 2017
5:33pm
These cuts affect the seniors who already have quite a few funds. They are simply trying to keep their concession card. Be aware seniors please and don't jump to conclusions that your pension is being cut. Be 'savvy' guys!
Rainey
26th Mar 2017
4:48pm
Sorry, Barbara, but you are swallowing government propaganda, and you are quite wrong. This government is trying to cut pensions. Many who have already suffered very unfairly are far from well-off. In fact, many are far needier than others who are drawing pensions. Manipulation and cheating is the name of the game under our stupid system. You are punished harshly for honesty, integrity, hard work and frugal living.
niemakawa
26th Mar 2017
4:57pm
@Rainey it is what is called the lowest common denominator. Superannuation will eventually supplant the age pension and will be controlled by Governments: No lump sums, Periodic payments, similar to the age pension, residual balances upon death will go directly to the Government. There will be no difference between an aged pension and one derived from superannuation, except in name only. The Government already chipping and chipping away at super. Anyone that can't see what are their intentions is naive to say the least.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
5:46pm
There is no doubt the leaked document revealed that the Government was considering cutting welfare for those earning less than $20.02 a fortnight. Journo publishes the leak. Turnbull promptly ended further consideration and tried but failed to keep a lid on it to avoid public outrage. End of story. So it's not happening, at least for now and so chill people and stow your rage.

What would have been a more interesting spin on this idea is changing target demographic and refusing deductions and rebates for people who have purposely but legally arranged their tax affairs in order to minimise tax (e.g. transfer pricing, discretionary trusts, tax havens) or obtain advantage (e.g. negative gearing, capital gains tax reduction). Not likely to see this happen either but what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

The system is broke and needs to be rebuilt on a basis of equity according to need.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
5:53pm
All income should be taxed from the first dollar, at a flat rate. GST levels adjusted (tiered) to a basic rate and a higher rate for so-called luxury goods.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
6:09pm
@niemakawa – I appreciate the attraction of flat tax rate rather than progressive tax rates however it cannot be effectively implemented in isolation. It needs to be set at a sufficiently high rate and offset with the safety nets to catch low disposable incomes to capture adequate funds. The safety nets provide greater transparency than progressive taxes. In an ideal world the flat rate should also apply to capital gains tax and supplemented by equivalent corporate, land and resource taxes.

The best GST is a single rate with no exceptions together with rebates for those caught in the safety net. If the GST rates are high then it only fosters a "black" or cash economy and this helps nobody.

There are also many changes required on the expenditure side and greater transparency so taxpayers are aware of how their money is spent.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
6:24pm
Farside, most countries who impose a consumer tax (GST/VAT) have a tiered system. The current tax system in Australia has far too many loopholes
Farside
20th Mar 2017
6:53pm
@niemakawa - I understand many countries implemented tiered GST systems, not always from the beginning but from political expediency. Indeed I have worked in more than a few of them and negotiated audit settlements with the government agencies. All of these countries have issues dealing with enforcement and the cash economy. I still argue the most effective consumption tax is a flat rate with no exceptions; this avoids the issues surrounding definitions of use and identity.
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
7:19pm
Just buy a new vehicle over about $65,000 from memory and you get charged taxes upon taxes and then some more. Last vehicle I bought I paid for all the extras separately and saved a lot of money. If you have them added to the sale price you pay lots of tax on them. Salesman told me I was the first person that had done this and was going to suggest it to other people who buy cars off him.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:29pm
Farside, OK I will go with that, but absolutely no concessions for anyone and of course payable from all sources of income starting from the first dollar. In essence such a rate should never be more than 15%. Furthermore everyone should be entitled to the aged pension and the income and assets tests withdrawn.
Farside
20th Mar 2017
7:34pm
@niemakawa - 15% would be too high. It needs to be low enough so as not to encourage avoidance. Absolutely no exemptions and applies to all consumption events.

I agree everyone should receive an aged pension or dividend that is assessable in their hands. I am watching the experiments with universal income with interest.
MICK
20th Mar 2017
7:34pm
You know you are in trouble when the Murdoch Press is after you.
Despite denials this government will in time cut pensions. It just needs either to be re-elected or have some pretext to do this.
The writing has been on the wall for some time and no amount of denials changes the behaviour of the worst government this country has ever had. Those who voted for it believing the lies the media ran at the last two elections will deserve the next round of the class warfare being run by this lot. Enjoy the ride. It isn't going to get any better with the chant of 'budget repair' as more and more money is handed to the rich. THAT IS THE ONLY GAME PLAN THIS LOT HAVE.
niemakawa
20th Mar 2017
7:38pm
Labor will do exactly the same given the opportunity, so expect no different from them. There is virtually no distinction between either party, both promote the Globalist view, which can only be detrimental to the Australian people.
Cruzisuzi
20th Mar 2017
7:46pm
Methinks it's the government defining the old age pension as welfare in a desperate bid to grasp as much money as they can to balance the budget. It is an entitlement for those in transition for those tax payers who genuinely paid taxes to receive an old age pension . They have not had the time to accrue superannuation to support their retirement . The government should hang their heads in shame knowing full well these people do not have the funds to support a reasonable standard of living in their retirement years. Time to rethink that the high end of town should be paying their fair share of tax to support Australia, ie mining royalties, big corporations and business. Small business is already paying their way!
Old Geezer
20th Mar 2017
10:01pm
Yes it is welfare and always has been welfare.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
3:37am
OG it is not welfare it is the dividend due to all that have worked and paid their dues.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
10:50am
Well niemakawa where is my dividend for all my work and dues? No where to be seen so it is not a dividend due to all that have worked and paid their dues. Hence it is welfare and nothing more.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
11:49am
You don't qualify since you've had your sweet ride, OG.... move on... we can always pay you the OAP and then review fully your transactions and your assets and deem a value attached to them for taxation from zero dollar as above....

Which would you prefer?
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
11:53am
But I don't need welfare Trebor like others on the OAP think they do by doing what they can to get what they can. There in lies the problem. Too many people on welfare that simply don't need it.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
4:06pm
And you think you are God Almighty, OG, and qualified to decide who needs what. Just because you are rich you think you have the right to dictate what others are permitted to have and to ASSUME you know about everyone else's circumstances. You haven't the faintest idea, but you are so full of yourself that you can't even consider it a remote possibility that you might be WRONG IN YOUR WILD ASSUMPTIONS. Your attitude really is obnoxious and disgusting.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:25pm
NO Rainey I am right and I see why every day. People are greedy and it doesn't matter how much they get it would never be enough.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
5:28pm
You are not only DEAD WRONG, you are also the nastiest individual I've ever come across. You are describing yourself, not others. You have no idea about others because you are too self-centered to look outside yourself. All you see is your own vile greed, but you project it on to others because its makes you feel good.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
6:04pm
No Rainey I am alive and kicking and will be to the day I leave this mortal world. You are the one who is wrong not me. I hear all the dob stories too but I certainly don't take them as the gossip truth like you do. When are you going to learn that people do this for their own selfish reasons and benefits? I learnt that one many moons ago.
Rainey
22nd Mar 2017
2:50pm
You believe what suits your vile purpose, OG. You wouldn't recognise truth if you fell over it. I am right. You are just too nasty to see reality.
Old Geezer
22nd Mar 2017
9:27pm
At least Rainey I can work out what is a sob story and what is genuine.
Rainey
23rd Mar 2017
12:26pm
No, you only THINK you can. You make stupid assumptions that have no validity at all and then congratulate yourself and tell yourself you are right. You are NOT. You are an egomaniac know-nothing. Your WRONG assumptions make you a prize ASS.
Old Geezer
25th Mar 2017
5:06pm
Of course I can Rainey. It aint that hard.
Rainey
27th Mar 2017
11:44am
There are none so blind as those who will not see, and none so deaf as those who will not hear. (And none so stupid as those who will not listen and learn!)
Bushlady
20th Mar 2017
8:30pm
Hello all, I want to go on a cruise, so I was wondering which one should I be looking at. Please, Not a dirty ship Please, I couldn't stand it, I would have to jump off. Regards Tee.
Bonny
20th Mar 2017
9:25pm
Sorry to say they are all germ ridden floating death traps. Go at your own risk.
Flindersbar
20th Mar 2017
9:35pm
Yes,shoot the messenger. If they thought about it, they intended to proceed except dadadada, it might backfire ,so nah we had no notion of doing, as the Yanks "yeah right"
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
12:38am
No smoke without fire, it will be resurrected as something else in the budget. The modern Governments have no time for the elderly so it will be "murder" by stealth.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
11:51am
Look at the stupidity that keeps rearing its ugly heads - 'put the family home in the assets test and leave millions with no food', "force pensioners (but nobody else who's had a sweet ride) to pay back pension out of their inheritance funds, thus creating a generationally divided society between the 'betters' and the 'lessers"...

How stupid can anyone get.... sounds like we need a Benefits Tax for those who've done well... they've had their run - now they can pay back in retirement.... pay tax on all assets....
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
4:33pm
TREBOR , what do you actually mean ?
Farside
21st Mar 2017
5:42pm
@TREBOR, who are the "millions with no food"?
musicveg
21st Mar 2017
3:34am
No Twittering should be left for the birds not used by politicians. Turnball seems to want to be cool like Trump. But he is only cool to big business who he likes to subsides and wants to take from the poor to give to the rich for the rich to get richer. Do we want our minimum wage to go down to $10? Those on lower incomes spend all their money and keep the wheels turning.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
10:57am
It is already happening. Just ask our young people that are getting grossly underpaid by their employers. Fairwork has just put out an app for them to record their hours of work to make it easier for them to pursue their proper wages.
TREBOR
21st Mar 2017
11:54am
Not done legally, though, OG - which is what some even here are advocating so we can have future generations dependent on Social Security during working life and in retirement - and then take it all back from their estate.

Way to go, people - create endless generations of second class citizens and Social Security dependents instead of paying them the right wage for a full-time job in a full jobs economy and ensuring that the current escalating economic divides are slowed down by cutting back the fat cats, getting rid of privatisation, and chopping the rorts that some enjoy.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
12:58pm
I just can't believe they are more concerned about penalty rates than making sure people get paid what they are entitled to be paid. OK it's not legal to under pay people but they seem to be getting away with it. I have had 2 cases in last couple of months that I have sort redress from employers who have just paid up when sent a letter. I often wonder how many they get away with under paying.
musicveg
21st Mar 2017
1:24pm
When no one complains because they are afraid of losing their job, no where to go for advice, and no help from the government. Just like people who get away with anything that is illegal, unless they get caught nothing happens. Same as all the cash in hand jobs if you know someone who knows someone.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:58pm
I agree musicveg. I didn't realise how bad it was until I had those 2 cases so did some further investigation. The biggest problem behind it all is debt and especially credit card debt. Without a job even if it doesn't pay as it should they are in deep trouble. Takeaway that debt and they then have choices. It's these choices that makes employers do the right thing.
looney
21st Mar 2017
9:31am
Welcome back Mick you seem to know what this bunch is up to, no good as usual.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
4:32pm
And you expect Labor to be different?
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
4:02pm
Again those who have worked and saved during their lives are being penalised. Full pensions for all is the best incentive.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:07pm
Rubbish I haven't lost anything or been punished in fact I have done better since this LNP government came to power.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
5:10pm
OG I am happy for you. At least you agree me " Full pensions for all is the best incentive"
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
5:38pm
Yes, OG, and you are so selfish and self-serving that you think only YOU matter. It's all you ever talk about. You are a very sick and pathetic creature.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:43pm
Ha ah Rainey form your comments I guess that I have hit the nail on the head as they say.
Rainey
22nd Mar 2017
2:48pm
You couldn't hit a nail on the head if your life depended on it, OG. Your ego is so huge you can't see past your own mile-long upturned nose.
Old Geezer
22nd Mar 2017
9:08pm
Well what can I say Rainey other than those poverty stricken friends of yours are nothing but whingers.

Mmmm I better put the axe away as well then. Then again got to cut some wood for the winter as it's the cheapest way to keep warm when the sun isn't shinning.
Farside
22nd Mar 2017
9:16pm
@OG – Only a "mile-long upturned nose" rather than the usual spray of epithets and rage. Perhaps the end of your verbal jousting is nigh?
Old Geezer
22nd Mar 2017
9:23pm
Ha ha I just wish I could see my nose.
niexfu
21st Mar 2017
5:20pm
Squeezing the pensioners that worked and paid thousands of dollars in taxes to give good pension to people that never gave anything to this country is disgusting and that's going to be the downfall to the liberals in the coming election, stupid ill be any pensioner that vote for liberals after the way that we are treated.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
5:22pm
I agree with your sentiments. Full pensions for all retirees, abolish the income and assets tests.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:23pm
Anyone affected by any of the OAP changes has ample to live on without the OAP. So you really have nothing to complain about other than your own greed.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
5:33pm
OG so being successful in life and prudent in spending makes a person "Greedy". Too many bludgers in Australia, at the behest of successive Governments, starting with Gough in 1972 when he gave payments to single mothers from the public purse. Since then the carrots have been given out freely by all Governments without notion of the long term consequences. I paid my dues throughout my life even during periods of unemployment and I am entitled to a full pension whether or not I have accumulated assets or have other forms of income. Tax everyone from the first dollar.
Rainey
21st Mar 2017
5:37pm
Saving for old age makes you ''greedy'' in OG's world. Heaven help us if people like that make decisions about the pension system. He is SICK.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
5:42pm
No saving for old age does not make you greedy. Putting your hand out and taking for the public purse when you don't need it does make you greedy. Saving money for old age and not spending it in old age but collecting welfare instead also makes you greedy. People should be required to spend their own money before collecting any welfare which includes the OAP. If you have money you don't get the dole so why should you get the OAP if you have money?
Farside
21st Mar 2017
6:06pm
@niexfu, don't hold your breath waiting for pensioners to change their voting intentions. More than 60% of those 65+ vote LNP on a two party preferred basis.
Old Geezer
21st Mar 2017
6:13pm
and for good reason Farside.
musicveg
21st Mar 2017
6:21pm
niemakawa: Your comment about Gough in 1972 giving out money to single mothers sounds negative to me and uncalled for in this topic. This was the best thing that ever happened to women to free themselves to look after children without staying in abusive or unhappy relationships.Look at what happens in countries where there is no welfare for single parents, kids running wild and unsupervised while parents have to seek income. And the money they get now is still not enough because a lot choose to stay and get abused because they still cannot find a place cheap enough to rent, and if you don't have anywhere decent to live how are you going to get a job. We need more housing support for single parents not less. And why bring carrots into the picture, I love carrots!
musicveg
21st Mar 2017
6:23pm
Farside: I suspect they voted LNP because of all those promises that were made that pensions would not be cut.
OG: What good reason?
Farside
21st Mar 2017
6:51pm
@musicveg, I suspect they have been voting that way since the days of Menzies for aspirational reasons.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
9:17pm
@musicveg. I make no apologies for my comment as it is factual. It is not my fault that women make bad choices when it comes to relationships. Women in general need to think a bit more before falling "head over heels" so to speak. I do not want to pay for their mistakes and failures in life.
musicveg
21st Mar 2017
9:56pm
Wow niemakawa you are really cold hearted. So you never made any mistakes in life? Sometimes the men who these women marry start off really well but might change once a few years have passed and the women is left looking after kids. You don't even seem to care about the innocent children, that is what it is about, supporting the future generation so they grow up to be healthy and productive citizens.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
10:04pm
@musiveg. Yes I have made mistakes of course, but have never expected others to pay for them. Mollycoddling children and putting them in cotton wool is not supporting them. They will be stronger and healthier if the constant need for attention was not so prevalent.
musicveg
21st Mar 2017
10:16pm
So basic needs for every child is not what they deserve? It has already been proven that children who don't receive basic health and care will not be stronger they will be weaker in mind and body therefore will end up a burden on society. I just don't get your way of thinking, sorry.I think as one of the more wealthier countries we can do better than say in Africa or India where there are lot's of children left to fend for themselves without food, shelter or protection. Your money would not have to be used if the government knew how to budget properly without giving away tax breaks to wealthy corporations and making them pay the tax that they don't pay by hiding their wealth.
niemakawa
21st Mar 2017
10:28pm
@musicveg . Yes basic needs of course, schools, health. Anything over and above these basic needs is not the responsibility of the taxpayer but that of the parent(s). Toughen them up that will make them stronger in the long run. Not everyone can have or achieve the same things in life, which people like you seem to believe is everyone's right. Not going to happen, so get used to it.
MacI
22nd Mar 2017
8:24am
This opinion piece by YLC is so loaded against the government and pandering to negativity that I have to wonder what is the author's agenda. Is it to stir up the troops? Get them raging and venting against the government and all worried and agitated about their future. Let's have a bit of balance and positivity rather than making mountains out of the pre-budget speculation and political shenanigan mole hills.
Ripped Off Granny
22nd Mar 2017
4:59pm
my bank balance is going down and so is my pension. I have worked all my life since the age of 12yrs and have kept the dole bludgers in the fashion to which they have become I am going to live on the streets so I can get more money. sell my house and car and GIVE it to my kids.
Farside
22nd Mar 2017
5:14pm
@Granny – it's a free country and there are no rules to prevent you joining the ranks of the homeless. Your children will thank you for your sacrifice and maybe offer you a room and board. Choice is a wonderful thing.
niemakawa
22nd Mar 2017
5:14pm
A good idea. Time to get your well earned dividend from your investment. Give the money to your kids they are much more deserving than the hundreds of thousands of bludger in our society.
Farside
22nd Mar 2017
7:24pm
@niemakawa – go for it and without delay. Join with Granny and liquidate your assets, give them to your kids and then pound the streets looking for a homeless shelter. Maybe then you might understand the plight of those around you and why a little charity is not such a bad thing. Better still, since it would be yours and Granny's choices to live on the streets, you could give your bed in the shelter up for someone who truly needs it and did not make the choice you have done and look for a comfy bridge or bench. I will give you the heads-up though that you might want to have a conversation with Granny about how you are going to get more money before you embark on your nihilistic adventure as the gifting rules will lock you out of the aged pension for five years. Ready to walk the talk? I thought not.
niemakawa
22nd Mar 2017
7:50pm
@Farside, I think I know a bit more than you do about charity and how charities operate and the users of many of these organisations. Many users are abusers of these services others' good intentions. Some may live on the street but very few do. The charities themselves need a good shake up as the ones with whom I have had dealings are far too generous and providing resources ( from Government and public donations) to those that have no need. Many are drawing some form of taxpayer benefit at the same time with all the other add-one. I strived hard and paid all my dues during my working life and m still doing so. All the assets that I have belong to me and I will continue campaigning for pensions for all retirees, regardless of their wealth. Many who do not have any assets is a result of their own imprudent and wasteful spending and don't care a less attitude. They are no more deserving of a full pension than I am. What I do with my money and assets is of no concern of Governments and it has no right to discriminate against me and so many others by reducing their pensions or discontinuing them altogether. A pension is a right for all. As for the gifting rules they are a sham and you know it. Yes once I have freely and rightfully given my assets to whom I wish, I may well be knocking on your door for some charity direct from you. Granny too.
Farside
22nd Mar 2017
8:22pm
@niemakawa – I have seen scammers. I have also seen charities create dependencies to helm the feel good rather than truly helping to improve the long term situation. The difference I think is I come from the perspective it is better that a few of the undeserving slip through the cracks rather than those who truly need support.

I applaud your wealth as a reward for endeavour and have n issue with your desire to pass it onto your heirs. Consequently, you won't get much of an argument from me on the gifting rules as I think they are clunky and part of the broken system. But in the spirit that you and Granny would still be affected by them and unable to receive welfare support, then should you walk the talk, by all means come knock on my door for some direct charity, preferably sooner rather than later as I am about to downsize my life and rid myself of stuff.
niemakawa
22nd Mar 2017
8:45pm
@Farside. Thank your for the offer. I wish you well in your "downsized" life and sincerely hope you will be happy in your new home. Good luck. I appreciate your comments you always have a perspective that is welcome by me.
niemakawa
22nd Mar 2017
5:17pm
Age pensions for all . No assets and income tests.
Raphael
22nd Mar 2017
5:25pm
Agree
Old Geezer
22nd Mar 2017
9:25pm
I suppose we could carve up the welfare budget and the OAP would be about half what it is now so that people like me could have some extra money to invest.
Farside
22nd Mar 2017
9:29pm
other side of the equation is that all income would be taxed from the first dollar, so giveth with one hand and taketh with the other. Nevertheless the universal basic wage experiments show potential.
Old Geezer
22nd Mar 2017
10:09pm
Fairside one can always just have the OAP as their only income. Shouldn't be that hard to organise.

Do you know why we have such a high tax free threshold? Saves a lot of work for the government not having all those small returns. Threshold used to be a lot lower but with low income rebate you didn't pay any tax until you income was about $20,000. They just made the threshold higher and low income rebate lower to cut down on all the paperwork associated with low income returns.
Farside
22nd Mar 2017
11:03pm
@OG, yes I understand you can have a zero rate etc in a progressive tax system. Since you have other sources of income I was simply making the point the rates would be adjusted so that your after-tax was little changed. If I recall from my old tax days it was around $4k in 1980 - the ITAA was much simpler then.
Old Geezer
25th Mar 2017
5:05pm
An ordinary taxpayer doesn't not have to pay tax until their income is just over $20,000 now (threshold plus the low income rebate).
Fairness
23rd Mar 2017
4:02pm
I am not convinced that the only time pensions and other allowances are reduced/raised etc is in the Budget!! Time will tell I guess!!!
DogLover
25th Mar 2017
10:56am
Sounds as if OldGeezer is happy for our taxes to pay for politicans luxurious lifestyle and retirement but not for older Australians to live a decent retirement. And what if his children or grandchildren desperately wanted to go to university or become a school teacher!
Old Geezer
25th Mar 2017
5:04pm
No problem with pollies being paid what they do get paid and in fact I think they are under paid for what they do.

No I won't pay for my kids or grandkids to go to university especially to become a school teacher. I also discourage them from taking on that HECS debt as it is simply not worth it knowing that they may never get a job to use it. Today unless you have at least 2 degrees you have little hope of getting a job using your degree. There are simply too many over qualified people in Australia for the number of jobs available for them. These HECS debts also limit our young people's ability to get a loan to buy a house.

I also think it is disgusting that our seniors can now go to university and clock up big HECS debts knowing that they will never earn enough to pay them back. It's about time these debts were to be paid from their estates just like they have to be repaid now if you leave the country permanently. I know retired people who have spent years at university just because they are bored and can for free.
musicveg
25th Mar 2017
5:33pm
So you are happy that your taxes are being spent on pollies wages and want to pay more! What a joke, they have it far too good, with first class everything and all those extra benefits. They are definitely not underpaid!
Farside
25th Mar 2017
7:18pm
@musicveg, how much is the right amount? What qualifications and capabilities would you want to see? Broad statements like "far too good, with first class everything and all those extra benefits" is tending to avarice. In my experience every politician from local gov to fed has been well intentioned even though their visions are different. I am thinking you might not be aware how many hours pollies put into their work.

That's not to say some changes would not be beneficial. For example, I would like to see pollies superannuation and related matters such as access the same as those applicable to ordinary citizens. I would set pollie remuneration in the pre-election period for the following term and limit annual increases to CPI. I would limit lower house members to three consecutive terms and upper house to two consecutive terms. I would set travel allowances and arrangements at the same level as senior public servants. Politicians found to commit serious breeches of governance and ethics rules would be summarily dismissed with loss of benefits and the next placed candidate in the most recent election called up to take their place. Retiring or sacked politicians would be ineligible for any government paid jobs or roles relating to their ministerial portfolio or committees for two years.
musicveg
25th Mar 2017
7:27pm
And what of the pensions that retired and sacked politicians? Do you think it is fair what they get and for how long?
Farside
25th Mar 2017
7:36pm
@musicveg, equity suggests you might just have to suck it up for those on existing pensions however I have no problem with designing a transition process to bring them inline with contemporary rules. It can happen as we saw with loss of the gold card; it is a matter of will and doing what is just. The pollies thought it ok to interfere with our social security entitlements and payments and the super arrangements so what goes around comes around.
Old Geezer
25th Mar 2017
8:02pm
A pollie entering parliament today has the same pension rights and conditions as the general public with their super pension schemes. Gone are the days when they retire they get the pension for the rest of their lives. You can't compare their pension to the OAP as the OAP is not really a pension but welfare. So they have already fixed their own pension system.
Farside
25th Mar 2017
9:17pm
@OG, I think musicveg was talking about those already receiving PCSS benefits and those who will still benefit, although this number is falling. Joe Hockey's appointment to US Ambassador was enough to irritate everyone but the most die-hard LNP supporter. I think there would be room to transition these PCSS and other benefits like retirement allowances etc to the orthodox arrangements where they cannot access pensions from super (and in the case of pollies all related service benefits) until retired from the workforce.
musicveg
25th Mar 2017
9:38pm
Yes I was talking about those already receiving, and what pains me is that they continue to take taxpayers money whilst having more money than the average pensioner. This is the greed I am talking about. This is the welfare we need to curb first rather than take from those who are already living below the poverty line.
DogLover
26th Mar 2017
1:55pm
I was at a dinner party last night where most of the guests are current serving politicians. Most commonwealth with some in the senate, some in the house of reps & a few others. I asked the question "are you overpaid, including all the benefits such as travel and allowances, for the work you do?" Everyone of them agreed and said they would never say it publicly.
musicveg
26th Mar 2017
3:47pm
OG thinks they are underpaid.

Also from the SumofUs website and petition:

"In four years, Australia is set to become the world’s top exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), overtaking Qatar. But while it’s projected that Qatar will get $26 billion in royalty revenue from LNG in 2021, we’ll collect zero in PRRT for our LNG exports."

How about we wake up to the fact we are throwing money away, this is what I am talking about helping the rich get richer and taking from the poorest of the country.
Farside
26th Mar 2017
8:48pm
@musicveg, you are right in that we are throwing money away, even Qatar can win $26B, however the issue here is not the pollies but the community who did nothing to influence them and the consequent outcomes. Where was community support for resource rent taxes when the industry arced up on the issue during the twilight of the resources boom? Meanwhile the states have greedily harvested royalties to spend in capital cities while ignoring regional development and infrastructure. In many cases it is too late to change contracts without raising the spectre of sovereign risk and we do not learn from 50 years of experience.
Bushlady
26th Mar 2017
2:50pm
When did the Libs ever, I say ever do anything for the pensioners? But, if you are a ' old Goverment Pensioner' you get everything. Why in the hell don't they cut some of those outrageous payment to the retired pollies they would never spend that money in a life time. We, as pensioner are consistently going through theses threats.


Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles