Budget 2016/17 – what would you ask the Treasurer?

If given the chance, what would you ask the Treasurer?

Next Tuesday, YourLifeChoices will be heading to Canberra to take part in the 2016/17 Federal Budget media lockup. As well as enabling us to get all the Budget 2016/17 news to your inbox quicker, it also gives us the chance to ask questions of Treasurer Scott Morrison on your behalf.

While changes to negative gearing, the capital gains tax discount and GST are notably off the table, we’re keen to learn more about how retirement income policy may change. Superannuation is the hot topic and we expect a major announcement about how the retirement saving vehicle will be affected. We know the Government is looking to change the concessional tax rate on contributions, but what else is on the cards for our beleaguered superannuation system?

The Age Pension has taken a beating at the last two federal budgets, although many of the proposals made in the 2014/15 Budget, thanks to the Senate, have not become law. However, last year changes to the asset test thresholds and the taper rate for the Age Pension were announced and thanks to bipartisan agreement, these will take effect from 1 January 2017. So, what can we expect this year? The reintroduction of legislation to increase the Age Pension eligibility age to 70 shouldn't be ruled out and we wait with bated breath to see if the family home remains outside the Age Pension asset test.

Asking questions at the Treasurer’s media scrum is no mean feat, but we’re more than willing to voice your concerns should we have the chance. So, what would you like to ask the Treasurer? Simply leave your questions in the comments below, we’ll choose the best three and see how we go.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    gonebush
    27th Apr 2016
    10:40am
    Are the pensioners going to get an overall rate rise in the pensions and l dont mean the indexation pay rises we get twice a year March,September just a lift in the rate, the last one we got was when Rudd was in power
    Chris B T
    27th Apr 2016
    10:49am
    Minimum Thresholds For All so minimising Tax Receipts Below a Predetermine Point wont occur. None of this Bullshit close to zero.
    Most Importantly You Earn Here Pay Taxes Here or Piss Off, WE DO NOT NEED THIS TYPE OF SCREWED UP TAX COLLECTION SYSTEM.(No Collection for some)
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    11:51am
    Yeah Chris. End the cheating.
    Polly Esther
    27th Apr 2016
    11:09am
    How he will feel when voted into opposition.
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    11:52am
    Good one. I'd be willing to bet Turnbull will bow out of politics and Morrison will become the new leader of the razor gang.
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    2:05pm
    He won't be in opposition so that a silly question.
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    9:25pm
    Spoken like a true troll Bonny. Blah, blah, blah.........
    tisme
    27th Apr 2016
    11:19am
    will the carer bonus be affected /wiped out. after getting 2.95 an hour lots of carers need the bonus
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    27th Apr 2016
    11:28am
    How many people will be left living below the poverty line?
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    11:53am
    Answer: as many as this government can destitute.
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    2:18pm
    What is the poverty line?
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    6:19pm
    You need to do some study, Bonny. You are clearly illiterate on the subject of poverty, inequity, and its effect on societies. I recommend the Challenging Wealth and Income Inequality Course from Futurelearn. Might open your eyes a bit. (Doubtful. I think your blinkers are welded on!)

    Poverty is relative to average national income. It has nothing whatever to do with the ability to afford basic essentials. It is a measure of income and assets relative to national averages. And when too many people are too far below the national average, we see exacerbation of all kinds of social problems from poor general health, poor child health and poor mental health (including more addiction) to increased unemployment, crime and civil disobedience. EVERY member of society suffers - the rich more, actually, than the poor, though they are typically slower to recognize the problems and will try to attribute them to other causes because they refuse to accept that their unfair material wealth is problematic for society.

    It's interesting that the problems created by poverty are not typically more prevalent in poorer countries than in richer countries. It is relativity (or equity) that determines social health, not absolute national wealth.
    mangomick
    27th Apr 2016
    11:46am
    I'd like to ask ,"if no one,i.e businesses and farmers were allowed to claim back their GST and if GST was put on all goods and services including food just what would the GST rate be. Seems to me a lot of farmers and small businesses claim back all their GST on many things they buy , many that aren't really just for their business and they can also minimise their taxable income so they do not pay any or very little Income tax as well. One would think that If the GST was put on every thing and no one could claim their GST component back then the GST rate and personal income tax rate should reduce drastically , a lot of rorting of the system would be avoided and the Governments fiscal position would be greatly improved.
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    11:58am
    You always have to have a way out for those who are in the know to rort mango. Same as legal documents.
    I was once given the task of rewriting a very bad Body Corporate Bylaws for unit holders. What astounded me were the number of holes in the existing document. When I asked our lawyer 'why' the answer came back 'so that there is an out' and unintended consequences did not bind users to a document. Well whuppy do.....
    Tax laws are clearly written so that they CAN be abused. It stinks. And the crooks amongst us always find the holes.
    Anonymous
    27th Apr 2016
    12:49pm
    MICK, all new laws that are enacted will have areas where unintended consequences are inadvertently written in. These are usually found over time and amended. I disagree that tax laws are written so they can be abused and I also don't agree that people who find legal loopholes are crooks.

    Mangomick, you seem to have a bad grasp of how the GST actually works. Everything that is manufactured, sold, bought or used, with some exemptions, is subject to GST. If there wasn't a system where GST could be claimed back then the 10% would accumulate and each time a product was traded it would be 10% higher in cost. The system of claiming back means that a product will only attract the 10% to the end user.
    Sceptic
    27th Apr 2016
    3:52pm
    Tax avoidance is criminal MICK, tax minimisation is legitimate. I imagine that at some time in your life you were earning income for your labour and filled in a tax return. Did you not claim tax emptions on whatever you could. If so,under your classification you are a crook.

    Well responded to mangomick, Old Man. It is incredibly annoying the number of times people on this site make accusations about rorting, etc. with a complete lack of understanding about the subject.
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    9:29pm
    Old Man: my observation does not deal with unexpected occurrences. It deals with intentional holes. My lawyer explained that this was not a mistake.
    Your take on GST may not be totally accurate either. Is the 10% on the original price or the final price? That is what, I suspect, mangomick was alluding to.
    Sceptic: the line between tax minimisation and tax avoidance is a pretty thin line and is in the eye of the beholder.
    mangomick
    27th Apr 2016
    9:49pm
    Old Man I'm quite aware how GST works . The point I am making though is if I have a small business or farm. I might buy a item that is for private use but I might say it is for my business . I as a small business owner can now claim back the GST component and you as an ordinary working stiff have to pay the 10%.
    As an example a guy who my daughter worked for did water testing. He had a big boat that he bought as was able to claim as a tax deduction even though he didn't have to go out and sample any water out on the water. What's stopping the same guy from buying equipment for home T.Vs computers etc and claiming back the GST portion that he initially paid for the items. I am just referring to GST on the end product to be paid by everyone then you might find the GST rate could come down considerably and everyone will be treated equally.
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    10:17pm
    In order to get a refund of GST one must be able to justify that the item was required for the running of the business.
    Anonymous
    27th Apr 2016
    10:58pm
    MICK you are losing credibility in this forum. Do you honestly think that your claim of deliberate holes in tax law would not have been picked up by the media? Just because a lawyer purportedly told you doesn't make it a fact. My take on GST is 100% correct, just do a BAS statement and you'll get a better understanding. There is no fine line with avoidance and evasion and it does not need the eye of the beholder. The difference is clear enough to allow authorities to prosecute evasion.

    Mangomick, I bought a Ferrari and told the tax office that it was used in my job as a brickie. They, of course, believed every word without question. Same as the hearsay guy who bought a bigger boat.
    mangomick
    28th Apr 2016
    3:32am
    Old Man hardly hearsay. He was openly bragging about it. You must be very naïve to believe that small business operators and farmers aren't cheating the system or that the tax Department even has the manning or where fore all to keep on top or audit every individual business. You only have to take a look at tradies . Many are driving brand new 4X4 s with all the off road gadgets bull bars whinches fancy wheels and tyres etc so that their 4X4 is decked out fully for camping and openly admit they claim it as a tax dodge even though in their business they never go off road. It's no different to people with small properties putting down on paper that they have bought and sold their $30000 worth of cattle so they can write off their losses on their farm against their PAYG wages. The same cattle are passed back and forth amongst each other so they meet the criteria for writing off farm losses ie the interest on the hobby farm. Then they go and buy their power tools and even their small tinnies etc for their personal use and claim the GST back and claim the tools as a business expense which minimises the PAYG tax they should have paid from their wages from their employment.. Old Man It is probably best if you keep your rose coloured glasses on as you have no idea what is happening out in the real world.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:20am
    Old Man: I was actually referring to specifically 'Contracts'. If you believe that Tax Law is written to be foolproof then you are on blond planet mate. Tax Law is influenced by the big end of town and there are more outs in it than a Swiss cheese. Australian tax laws are the laughing stock of the developed world and the reason why so much tax evasion occurs is because the loopholes are well known and intentionally not fixed. The same reason we can have a PM with a tax haven in the Cayman Islands which is well known as being a tax evasion place.
    I may get it wrong occasionally but I do live in the real world.
    MICK
    27th Apr 2016
    11:50am
    I would love an answer to:

    1. Why this government does not make all offshore Tax Shelters illegal given that most are used for little more than tax avoidance.
    2. Why this government has not changed tax laws to (retrospectively) claw back taxes from multinationals as well as IMMEDIATELY close the door on their ability to transfer profits out of the country?
    3. Why this government has since day 1 tried to increase taxes for average Australians whilst at the same time pushing tax cuts for the richest amongst us? And no....an answer of 'creates jobs' is not a response as jobs are created by forward thinking politicians, not politicians engaging in Class Warfare.
    4. Why is this government not creating REAL JOBS....ones which bring money into the nation without having to sell off the country to foreigners and other nations?
    5. Why does this government no apply the same rules to politicians as it does to wage and salary workers: no benefits taken until retirement age reached?

    I bet the smiling assassin (Morrison) will not answer one of these. But good to ask before you are thrown out of the room. The predictable outcome. DO IT! That way YLC will get national coverage. Great business decision!
    Golfer
    27th Apr 2016
    3:01pm
    And then put the same questions to the opposition for their responses.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:22am
    Answer: the opposition is not in government at present. When it is then the above questions will be for it to answer!
    Frank
    27th Apr 2016
    12:13pm
    Given the numerous submissions to the Senate by organizations concerned with the welfare of migrants, coupled with the huge outcry from aged pensioners, will the government now decide to retain the 26 weeks portability provisions rather than pursuing the wholly unfair and discriminatory 6 weeks imposition it had intended to legislate?
    Anonymous
    27th Apr 2016
    4:45pm
    ditto Frank. Has this passed to law yet?
    Kactus
    27th Apr 2016
    12:15pm
    Why can't the amount of tax, foreign companies pay, be based on the GST revenue collected on their products/services, regardless of how they are structured in relation to their offshore parent company?
    Sceptic
    27th Apr 2016
    3:54pm
    Tax is not paid on revenue, but on profit. That is revenue minus costs.
    Kactus
    27th Apr 2016
    8:24pm
    I didn't say it was paid on revenue if you'd care to read it again.
    GST is calculated not on profit but on the price paid for goods & services and is therefore paid by the consumer.
    Pamiea
    27th Apr 2016
    12:30pm
    I heard that from 1 July that all blood tests scans etc are no longer available for pensioners thru Medicare. Is this correct cos I find it alarming and scary should we pensioners have to pay?
    KSS
    27th Apr 2016
    1:29pm
    No it is NOT correct. More scarmongering.
    Play Fairly
    27th Apr 2016
    2:25pm
    Pamela, this is true from what I read. I went to have both a blood test and a scan. At the Pathology location I picked up a glossy brochure with a tear off petition on the back. At the radiology practice there was a clipboard with a similar petition. I made enquiries with my local member, who said it was "scare tactics"....just as KSS has said.
    I have now heard that the Federal Govt. has indeed removed the fee that it gives the service providers as an incentive for them to bulk bill patients. Given the number of services these providers give each day, and rising costs in their areas of medicine, they will be unable to bulk bill any longer. Whoever in the current Govt. thought that this was an excellent idea to "save money" had very little compassion for people who need these services just to stay alive; e.g those on Warfarin.
    My thoughts at the present point in time is that printing and distribution of glossy brochures/petitions by a Pathology provider to petition the Govt. not to take away the incentive payment would have been extremely expensive. Surely they wouldn't have done this for nothing.
    Looks like the petition has fallen on deaf ears. Our local TV news channel has reported bulk billing is to stop from 1 July 2016.
    Rae
    28th Apr 2016
    8:23am
    Spare a thought then for the self funded retiree paying full costs while trying to manage on 23 000 a year income.

    The tax concessions for medical expenses have been slowly whittled away by the LNP government with barely a mention in the media. It has been going on for the past few budgets in fact so the ALP as equally as petty minded.

    For example the limits placed on medical expenses were claimable over a certain limit but that has been scrapped. My daughter paid over $6000 for assessment and treatment of a dyslexic child and could not claim any of it due to budget changes.

    Crush the ill and give tax minimisation to the well off.

    I would ask about the unfair tax minimisation afforded by transition to retirement for higher income earners. How much does this cost and can we save by scrapping it.

    If you want to save for the future it should not be excessive tax minimisation and should be fair in that all workers can do it.

    Transition to retirement only benefits a certain class of worker and is not available to many so does not fit the fairness test as far as I can see.
    Ayin
    27th Apr 2016
    12:50pm
    Will this budget lead to genuine leadership from the Government?
    Will this budget align all Government pensions and give them the same treatment ie age of entitlement etc.
    Will this budget seek to redeem global corporate taxes owing in this Country?
    Will this budget cut external aid completely at least until the budget is well and truly in surplus? It is sheer fiscal madness to be paying huge interest on money we are giving away?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:22am
    This budget will be an 'election' budget. Paid Parental Scheme????
    ex PS
    1st May 2016
    4:49pm
    MICK is right, this budget will be designed to get votes and as soon as they get in they will furnish the reasons why they can't keep their promises.
    Just like last time we voted for them.
    Nadine
    27th Apr 2016
    12:51pm
    1. Concur with Mick re plugging tax loopholes for company tax!
    Go after them & their legal advisors.
    Just heard 170 companies are in ATO sights for circumventing loopholes recently plugged. Legal fraternity are benefitting from this... finding ways their wealthy clients can avoid.

    2. when is dental care to be considered PRIMARY health care treatment ESPECIALLY for elderly?!
    It is long recognised that ability to chew & eat food properly is essential for food assimilation and nutrient absorption. In the long run, recognition of dental treatment as primary health would undoubtedly save on the overall Health Budget.
    Apart from the ageing process, drugs can affect mouth health.
    Oral health was not the key factor in my youth, that it is today.
    A visit to the dentist was one to be feared.
    I came across this pdf govt doc: http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6442455334
    from 1999! Almost 20yrs later, nothing has changed.
    One of the findings therein:
    Older adults’ use of general health/physician services is the highest of all age groups (over age 5 years) in the population. However, older adults’ use of dental services is the lowest of all age groups (over age 5 years).
    BTW: I would like to see a more recent update to the stats.
    Personally, I think this is a MAJOR issue that needs addressing.
    Not Senile Yet!
    27th Apr 2016
    1:08pm
    Why can't ALL MP's once elected be free to Vote on any proposed legislation as was intended in the Westminster System?
    Surely THE PARTIES are guilty of Corruption by making them Party Puppets who are NOT ALLOED TO DISAGREE without penalty from the Party.Is this not making Mp's a bought vote?
    Which Party are prepared to Reverse all the Cuts made to the Aged Pension as a Nroken Election Promise and find alternative ways to save money?
    When will there be a Penalty for Broken Election Promises?
    When will All MP's Super have the SAME Rules as everyone Else?
    Why can't ALL CORPORATIONS Pay a Minimum of 10% Tax in exchange for there ABN Numbers and Ban Corporations from Operating Off Shore to avoid paying Tax?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:23am
    Because they are not elected with their own money. Once they accept election funding they are 'owned'. Then comes payback!
    Alexia_x
    27th Apr 2016
    1:17pm
    I would like to know why politicians get an enormous retirement "salary" while pensioners get a meagre amount of pension hardly enough to live on.
    Are politicians the chosen ones? By whom if not themselves? Are the rest of us not human or are they superhuman?
    Haven't they save enough from the huge salaries they get in their "working" life to be able to receive the same pension, or less, than the rest of us? And what about their houses, farms, investments, etc, is that not enough and shouldn't it figure as income?
    We all have worked hard and make a contribution of some sort, as well as paid a lot of taxes (and still do) and yet it seems we are dismissed as if we do not deserve a just pension and they deserve the lot .
    I would like to ask the treasurer those questions but unfortunately nobody will and I will not be there to do it.
    In reality many of those people have done nothing good for the rest of the country and have been in their positions to become rich, a desire that is overwhelming with most of them and to abuse the privileges they get for being dictators to the rest of us.
    I will never indeed vote again for anyone in this country, come what may.
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    2:21pm
    Politicians like many others in this country have super as part of their salary package. This has nothing to do with welfare including the age pension.

    So should we just pay them more instead of the pension being part of their salary package?
    Anonymous
    28th Apr 2016
    7:56pm
    NO. We should pay them what they are worth, based on what they do for the nation. A good way to measure this would be to assess the improvement in living standards of the poorest Australians. Maybe make politician's TOTAL salary package (including retirement benefits) a multiple of the aged pension? Or perhaps a multiple of the basic wage. Or don't pay them at all. We would get far better quality people if they were paid far, far less, I think!
    Alexia_x
    27th Apr 2016
    1:19pm
    Remember the French Revolution? It will happen here soon.
    KSS
    27th Apr 2016
    1:31pm
    Not for me. I'm gluten free and don't eat cake!
    MD
    28th Apr 2016
    7:43am
    Very droll KSS, but I like it -- both the cake and the comment.
    MmtuMoja
    29th Apr 2016
    10:02pm
    I don't eat cake either. But, I'm partial to knitting!
    Hoss
    27th Apr 2016
    1:42pm
    Why does infrastructure (roads, railways, hospitals, schools etc.) come out of current budget (i.e. paid for by current taxpayers) when it will be used by future generations as well as this generation ? With interest rates so low would it not be much better to build infrastructure from borrowed moneys. Every company runs on overdrafts, every house or most have a mortgage. most people have a credit card, - all of these are DEBT. What's so wrong about our country having a DEBT. There will always be more and more people to pay for it.
    So much for DEBT. What about DEFICIT? It's larger now than under Labor before the last election when DEBT AND DEFICIT DISASTER was the coalition slogan. More like DEBT AND DEFICIT DECEIT. This time it's JOBS AND GROWTH. Ask Morrison where are the jobs coming from.
    Sceptic
    27th Apr 2016
    3:57pm
    Aren't you talking about State not Federal issues?
    Oars
    27th Apr 2016
    4:57pm
    If you are really serious about building up on DEBT- then you have not been part of the melt-down like over the last 8 years. The GFC was exactly that- with the Debt being well outside the guidelines of borrowing. More concern to me is how the existing folk will live within their means. That is the immediate problem.
    Rae
    28th Apr 2016
    8:38am
    Yes and the billions in dividends from all our profit producing assets will cover the interest won't they?

    Just joking.

    But yes Oar there will need to be a tightening everywhere as our means are not what they once were.

    For forty years we have been using debt to fund lifestyle but with wages and incomes declining even faster than over the past few decades I suspect we are in for a massive change to discretionary income ability. This will also lower tax take very quickly.

    We could ask The Department of Debt(Treasury with no treasure) when the next recession is predicted and how they plan to manage it.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:26am
    You are correct Oars. The developed world is immersed in debt and the school of thought is still that the whole financial system is going to implode. What has happened in history in the past is that currencies are reset, what that means to us. It won't be pretty.
    Play Fairly
    27th Apr 2016
    1:51pm
    My main concerns are:-
    1. Pathology & Radiology tests not being bulk billed from 1/7/2016. Pensioners & unemployed citizens cannot afford the necessary diagnostic tests to ascertain and treat major illnesses.
    2. Including the value of my home in the Assets Test is something that concerns me, and on fairness , including the value of my car, (the only means of transport in a rural area with no public transport).
    3. Disability Pensions for those seniors on the cusp of reaching Aged Pension age, and who are ill and receiving chemotherapy and/or radio therapy, are not considered to be eligible to receive a Disability Support Pension. Instead they are put on New Start Allowance, and required to do a "Job Assessment" interview, which is absurd. Anyone currently undergoing chemotherapy and suffering any major illness needs our very strong support and consideration. Mr Morrison, would you like one of your aged relatives with debilitating illness to be insulted in this way??? Could they survive on Newstart? ...and pay for their Nuclear Scans & Blood Tests??. I think the additional financial worry is something they can do without.
    4. The notion that elderly people should reverse mortgage their homes to be able to receive an Aged Pension is totally absurd. It should never be forced on taxpayers who have paid their taxes all through their lives.
    5. Don't sell Australian agricultural land solely to feed overseas countries. That will cause further domestic shortages of beef, and cause shortages of milk. Overseas live cattle exports have caused shortages & price increases, and the number of dairy farms already purchased by China are solely for consumption by their own people overseas.
    6. Overseas Aid by the bucketfull should be considerably moderated, at least until our country is in better financial shape. Charity begins at home. We vote in you politicians, and pay you very handsome pensions, as an incentive to put Australian citizens first. I am appalled that we have people in Australia living in their cars because of lack of affordable housing.
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    2:08pm
    When are they going to fix the home ownership inequity and include it in the assets test?
    Rae
    28th Apr 2016
    8:56am
    About the same time they work out how to fix the income tax inequity and can justify going after one class while ignoring another.

    Personally I would like to ask what think tank is looking into a very small transaction tax and if that would simplify things and make the tax take equitable?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:29am
    Another post from out government Bonny?

    The real question should be when are they going to make multinationals and the rich pay the right amount of tax and when are they going to close tax shelters so that tax and liabilities cannot be walked away from. Your normal government sponsored crap is about the small change and the ongoing efforts to transfer the problems created by the wealthy onto average Australians. Shame!
    Gonfishing
    27th Apr 2016
    2:11pm
    I would like to know if the government will consider changing trust laws for taxation so the income is taxed in the hands of the income earner rather than distributed amongst family etc to take advantage of 2 or more tax free thresholds
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    2:17pm
    That's what trusts are for to distribute income in a tax effective e way.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:29am
    That is how it is supposed to work Gonfishing.
    Gonfishing
    29th Apr 2016
    9:10pm
    Yes, If you only use it to share your income with family members etc. My concern is mainly with large businesses using a myriad of trusts (up to 200 in some businesses) to move profits around to avoid paying appropriate tax. Peter Costello tried to address this when he was the treasurer but the business community quickly shut him down.
    Chez
    27th Apr 2016
    2:26pm
    Please leave our family home alone when deciding on our pension, especially for those who are already pensioners and if they do need to use it give them plenty of notice that it's going to be taken into consideration for when people retire and apply for assistance, don't do it to us baby boomers who worked so hard and went without for so long so that we would have our home to enjoy in our retirement!
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:30am
    Do not vote for the bastards and this will not happen. The best way to communicate that it is not on.
    Rae
    28th Apr 2016
    2:48pm
    Chez after what they did last year to self funded retirees who gave up at least 9% of income, and much more if defined benefit workers who didn't even get the 9% ,nothing they do would surprise me.

    The promise of a nice retirement reward for a long life of working, saving and paying taxes was a great big fat lie.

    There has to be ways around anything they plan though to cater for the wealthy so the trick is to find the loophole.
    Chez
    27th Apr 2016
    2:32pm
    Why are we giving money to other countries and taking in refugees in if we are so short of money, the govt should be looking after our own people first, making sure they have food, shelter, medicine after all it was their forefathers who made this country what it is today, don't accept refugees or foreigners if they cannot pay their own way, stop giving Centrelink handouts to them, charity starts at home!
    Oars
    27th Apr 2016
    5:00pm
    Charity starts at home- unless you are a politician who spends other peoples money to get a free meal at U.N. If all those do gooders took in at least one refugee AND PAID FOR THEM out of their own pocket- there would be less overseas spending. And our own poor buggers would have a bit to live on.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:32am
    Correct Chez. Is it the do gooders? The same ones Sarah Hanson-Young gets in front of the cameras and cries "the poor people" as our own way of life slowly slips away from us and future generations? You bet.
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    3:13pm
    Why do we need $50B worth of submarines?
    Longterm thinker
    27th Apr 2016
    3:34pm
    Great question. Is this approach to defence going to be obsolete before receiving them? Better spent on the NBN perhaps?
    LiveItUp
    27th Apr 2016
    3:47pm
    They are offensive weapons not defensive so why do we need them?
    MB100D
    27th Apr 2016
    4:16pm
    We are an Island Nation....and the Best form of Defence is Offence.
    Oars
    27th Apr 2016
    5:02pm
    To pay German and Japanese technicians to show us how how to SINK our money !!! Get it- Sink our money.
    Rae
    28th Apr 2016
    9:00am
    I'm wondering if it will be possible to build them in time for WW111.

    I think they have left it a bit late.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:35am
    Yes Rae. The question is do we trust Indonesia going forward and will China attack us when we realise that we have to ask that it gives back the fertile farming land we have let the Chinese government buy? Idiot politicians have a lot to answer for and their descendents will suffer along with the rest of us. It is a disgrace that future generations are being sold out and that Australians are more concerned with the weekend football game than bad policy.
    PlanB
    30th Apr 2016
    8:45am
    LOL they will be obsolete B4 they are even started. Same as the Planes on order and they are lemons anyway!
    ex PS
    1st May 2016
    4:53pm
    Don't worry Longterm we will probably spend that much and more when we have to replace the NBN with modern technology. And it will not be too long in the coming.
    Longterm thinker
    27th Apr 2016
    3:23pm
    How in the long term does this budget address intergenerational fairness (including the issue of climate change, infrastructure asset manangement, borrowings and superannuation) and social equity and opportunity (including health, education and taxation)?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:37am
    Budgets rarely are designed to be forward thinking. AUstralia has a long history of following, not leading. Expect the budget to be an election budget and worry about the first budget if the current government were to be re-elected. It will be savage on working Australians!
    sooty
    27th Apr 2016
    3:54pm
    How do they expect to get the budget passed if parliament is dissolved for a double dissolution?. There will be nobody in Canberra to debate or pass the legislation. And, should the government change I could not imagine the new government going along with the proposed budget
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:38am
    Yeah. But then this is a budget for re-election. Expect any promises to evaporate after the election is done and dusted. Remember the last election?
    Oars
    27th Apr 2016
    4:53pm
    Ask these blokes how they make funding available after the Lr Party squandered the lot, leaving us all a huge National debt. I want to know, as I will try the same trick with my pittance. I am absolutely serious. These blokes must be magicians.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:41am
    And ask Australians how many of them lost their jobs during the GFC which crippled every other first world country on the planet? You can't have it both ways Oars. And for the record please have a look at what has happened to the budget since the current government has been in office.
    Your blatant right wing posts ignore the facts. Well right wing rusted on followers always ignore the facts.
    Sapper
    27th Apr 2016
    5:35pm
    Will proposed expenditure exceed expected income?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:41am
    Always. This is Australia after all.
    Clementine
    27th Apr 2016
    5:49pm
    Thankyou Mick. Your 5 questions demand answers.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:42am
    It would be nice but lets not hold our breath.
    Missskinnylegs
    27th Apr 2016
    6:15pm
    I have to work part time in order to meet my few financial commitments and Govt takes all my part pension except $50 a week towards rent. No point moving to cheaper location as the work is not there. I'd like the amount we can earn as a pensioner - on full or part pensions - to rise quite a bit - before Govt takes it from us. Also I am so fed up with the dole bludgers - Australian or otherwise and those that know how to rort the system.
    cvmoar
    27th Apr 2016
    6:48pm
    Surely elderly Australians deserve to receive assistance in their later years. What is wrong with the current government? So disappointing!!!!!
    Kitty
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:44am
    Answer: the current government is owned by the rich and their big business interests....who provide it with election funding so that it will do their will. That is for lower taxes (or none at all) and for pushing the labour market into serfdom.
    cvmoar
    27th Apr 2016
    6:48pm
    Surely elderly Australians deserve to receive assistance in their later years. What is wrong with the current government? So disappointing!!!!!
    Kitty
    Cruiser
    27th Apr 2016
    7:35pm
    Please explain why we should believe anything proposed given the track record of multiple broken promises. I foolishly voted for the existing government at the last election based upon what they promised to deliver. Was I a sucker ???
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:46am
    You now understand Cruiser. Many other Australians do not and are easily taken in by deceit and slick TV promotions from a media which is for the most part controlled by the big end of town.
    Spread the word.
    Teddyboy.
    27th Apr 2016
    7:50pm
    Libs only know one reform and that is tax cuts. There are many things they could do but none will affect the wealthy or the tax dodgers. End the rorts by the businesses that claim to be churches, end different tax systems for the wealthy and stop subsidising schools that already have excellent facilities. If you make a profit here then pay the tax on it here.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:46am
    For the rich........
    Needy
    27th Apr 2016
    10:53pm
    Why are pensioners given a raw deal so often? I would like to see 10% taken off all Polititions wages and given to the pensioners. Polititions never have any sacrifices made by them in order to get the Budget reduced. It is about time they put their hand up and went without for the sake of the country.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:47am
    Simple. Pensioners are at the end of their lives and do not for the most part have any will to fight back. So they are an easy mark when they should be the formidable force they could be.
    Needy
    29th Apr 2016
    10:44am
    Now answer the part about pollies making sacrifices. This is a typical answer to a two part post. I knew you wouldn't reply to the second part. Pollies never make sacrifices.
    Lively
    28th Apr 2016
    12:49am
    The reduction to the Asset Test thresholds from last years budget was too severe. Is the government going to adjust them back to a fairer level?
    I believe these changes to the Asset Test thresholds should have been phased in over a longer period instead of all in the one change.
    As an example the threshold for a single homeowner, currently $783500 should have been reduced to $700000 from the 1st January 2017 and then to $625000 from the 1st January 2019.
    The taper rate therefore would increase from $1.50 to $2.00 on the 1st of January 2017 and to $2.50 on the 1st Of January 2019. Indexing the thresholds would continue as they are currently.
    The other thresholds, ie couple homeowners and non homeowners and single non homeowners would also be adjusted on a similar basis.
    A longer phase in period would also have been an option.
    As interest rates are at record lows the income earning capacity for retiress receiving a full or part Age Pension is limited and is forcing many retirees to take more risk than is necessary with their investments. This also creates a sequencing risk for retirees.
    Therefore a cut to the Age Pension as a result of last years budget is an additional cut to anyone relying on this income to maintainan an adequate standard of living.
    So I would again ask the Treasurer if he will be reversing his policy re the Asset Test thresholds in this years budget in the interest of fairness.
    Lively.
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:49am
    The reality is that this government really came after the middle class AGAIN. The rich generally have their own retirement investments and these were left untouched by this blatant rich man's government.
    Rodent
    28th Apr 2016
    11:02am
    Lively

    In relation to your Question - Is the government going to adjust them back to a fairer level?
    I believe the short answer is clearly NO. I and many others have said in various posts these changes are UNFAIR, which they clearly are. My view is there is much more to come. Why do I think this way?
    There are 3,518,176 "people " affected by these Jan 2017 changes, BUT the average savings for Home Owner Couples is $ 1055, and for Non Home Owner Couples its ONLY $10, and for Home Owner Singles its $1162, and finally for Non Home Owner Singles is ONLY $4
    JFYI Labor Party has NO pension Policy for the Election as I write this, other than its initial opposition to these changes when the Bill was introduced into Parliament
    Anonymous
    28th Apr 2016
    7:59pm
    What I want to know is how the government plans to make up the massive losses that will result from this huge disincentive to saving.

    Have the IDIOTS in Treasury yet grasped the obvious that you can't REDUCE the amount paid out in pensions by applying a penalty for striving to be self-sufficient and offering a huge reward for reducing your savings?
    Oldman Roo
    28th Apr 2016
    10:38pm
    There is , as always , more nonsense to the Abbott - Morrison Pension reform that are punishing those who saved in order to live free of welfare , I can only call it a short sighted quick fix that will be exposed for what it is when " the chickens come home to roost " and part Pensioners will be forced to spend their savings and come back for a larger share of the Pension . Not so clever , considering they were telling us they would have to reduce Pension payments . Further more , totally ignoring how part Pensioners are going to live with the all time low Cash rates , that appear to get lower still , just demonstrates their cruel and heartless treatment of the less fortunate in life .
    Only recently , I recall a speech by one of our top Politicians along the lines that WE have to tighten our spending , instead to tell the truth and say YOU will have to tighten your spending , and for Politicians and the wealthy it is living in splendour as usual .
    FM
    28th Apr 2016
    12:52am
    Kay Fallick has absolutely no right to provide the results of that pathetic survey posted on this site to the smh as something that represented the opinions of older Australians. The survey was not a random survey. It could be taken by anyone who logged on to the site and there is no way of knowing whether those who responded were retired or not. It was poorly designed with the questions concerning the family home constituting push polling. Those who considered including the family home in a means test for the pension suggested that home values be set at a level that would not affect them personally. They would be happy to have someone else’s home counted and see them lose their home or pension. It is totally inappropriate for Kay Fallick to presume to speak for retirees or to present this poorly designed survey as indicative of their opinions. It seems Life Choice editors are pursuing a personal agenda to promote cuts to pensioners' incomes and sounding out people for political parties. They were quick to invite Simon Cowan on to push his agenda of reverse mortgages on the family home but did not report the response given to that that to the SMH. To MIck and others who regularly post on this site it is time to shut it down.
    MD
    28th Apr 2016
    7:54am
    As I see it, you've presented something of a conundrum here FM. Will endeavour to come back to it later - duty calls, I must obey !
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:56am
    Your serve FM belies the fact that politicians generally quote 'statistics' and 'studies' without divulging any details about these. Turnbull was caught out on the 7:30 Report in the past week. WHen Leigh Sales asked him what study he was referring to he had no answer other than the normal BS you get from government ministers when they are held to account.
    Your call to shut down the site is clearly straight from Liberal Party election HQ FM as this government wants all propaganda and no discussion other than its own rhetoric. This is what happened with the ABC. They wanted to flog it off to commercial interests because the ABC aired BOTH SIDES.....and the government did not like being held to account.
    I am in favour of rigorous discussion FM. Not censorship to help the government slease back into office.
    MD
    28th Apr 2016
    3:58pm
    As I see it: Kay Fallick serves in the employ of YLC to invite/vet comment from all contributors to this site.
    This site is in the public domain and as such, it's accessible to all who wish either to view or submit comment, individuals therefore (the viewers & commentators) having been invited can respond as each sees fit. Now as I understand it , from the moment a post is submitted & thereafter received/registered - administration is entirely the responsibility of YLC. Obviously we are unlikely to see any post marked 'IN CONFIDENCE'
    Although the "pathetic survey"; as you choose to describe it, is your opinion (and I can respect that) the due response belies your claim, regardless of whether it is/was "random".
    "Push polling" ? What (constitution) determined this - yours' , the Australian Constitution ? You obviously had the authority to represent "those" whose "home values would not (be) affect(ed)" Or you are a clever clairvoyant.
    Then immediately thereafter denigrate Kay Fallick for (her) "presumption to speak for retirees" & etc. Well hello !
    I could continue in this vain however I may already have 'worn out my welcome'.
    Everyone/anyones' contribution is welcome, whether each of us agrees is irrelevant. At least we might better understand ourselves when we are open to another's views/opinion.
    If in doubt, don't shout, gently go your own way . Or switch to another site.

    In closing and in response to "leave your question";
    Q. Will the current Budget,and indeed future/forward estimates of the LNP reflect the DUE CONSIDERATION, first and foremost, to those retirees who have worked, paid taxes and lived in this great Country for their entire lives.
    MB100D
    28th Apr 2016
    7:12am
    Tax earnings over $80K within Super when in Pension phase
    Tax Religious institutions.
    Stop paying for retired ex PM's after 3 years.
    Faith/Hope
    28th Apr 2016
    8:02am
    Should politicians be eligible for such huge pensions immediately & for the rest of their lives while voting aged pensioners are living below the poverty line?
    MICK
    28th Apr 2016
    9:57am
    No.
    MmtuMoja
    28th Apr 2016
    4:06pm
    Why are you spending $50 billion to keep 2800 ship /submarine jobs plus some jobs in steel and component manufacturers when $500 million thereabouts would have likely preserved 24,000 car manufacturing jobs plus thousands of steel and component manufacturing jobs?

    Australia has managed with six submarines (only four of which can be staffed due to submariner shortages) for years. Why can't we manage with say eight and spend the rest of the money on public health, education, research and development, the CSIRO and infrastructure such as geothermal, tidal, wind and solar power generation?

    28th Apr 2016
    8:09pm
    I'd like the Treasurer asked if he has yet grasped the true implications of the STUPID and DESTRUCTIVE change to the taper rate/assets test, and how does he plan to make up the massive losses to the government that will result from this huge disincentive to saving.

    Have the IDIOTS in Treasury yet grasped the obvious that you can't REDUCE the amount paid out in pensions by applying a penalty for striving to be self-sufficient and offering a huge reward for reducing your savings?

    In case Moron Morrison hasn't yet figured it out, he is offering a 7.8% return indexed to inflation for every extra $1000 an asset-tested part-pensioners SPENDS. Given that they likely currently earn between 2.5% and 7%, and the government optimistically says the average is 5%, anyone who receives a part pension or is just over the new threshold and holds onto their savings is making a major charitable donation to the government and losing out personally. A financial adviser told me recently that 96 out of 98 of his clients who will lose pension benefits in Jan 2007 due to taper rate changes have already booked expensive cruises and will be spending up big overseas and returning to claim full pensions.

    Meanwhile younger Australians are reducing their savings and planning to spend or gift money well before retirement because they see that their incomes will be far higher if they have less assets.

    I'm guessing Moron Morrison will tell you what he said in his letter to me - that he thinks Australians will continue to save regardless of any perceived personal detriment, as they understand that doing so is better for the nation!!!!!!

    Now that really is moronic! It's not a PERCEIVED detriment. It is a HUGE REAL DETRIMENT. And Australians typically don't consider the nation's benefit above their own. Morrison should know that! If they did, he wouldn't have a tax collection problem. Everyone would be lining up to pay MORE TAX. But aside from that, unlike Morrison (apparently) intelligent Australians see that the move isn't good for the nation at all, and will drive the cost of pensions through the roof over time.
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2016
    7:06am
    Do not raise the pension age beyond 65 / STOP cutting medical / stop upping the Uni fees /
    Play Fairly
    29th Apr 2016
    9:24am
    Good summation 'Plan B' 3 primary policies any decent society should have in place.....
    - Don't flog the workers till they drop dead,
    - Don't make medical expenses unaffordable so they die sooner, - - Don't financially restrict the numbers of professionals needed to keep our society whole.
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2016
    10:05am
    Thanks Play Fairly, also meant to add Do not take away penalty rates
    Justsane
    29th Apr 2016
    11:37pm
    To Debbie McTaggert: The changes to the assets test thresholds and the taper rate for the Age Pension did not have bipartisan agreement. Labor voted against the changes. The changes got through because the Greens voted for them with the Coalition Government.
    phaxer
    30th Apr 2016
    11:07pm
    Scott Morrison you had a career as a senior executive in tourism and property and now you determine the monetary value of an Australian pensioner. Personally I don't think you are qualified for that position. Even the PM has made an extraordinary statement that a tradesman on $100,000 per annum is not a rich man. That equates to $1923 per week. Which means that pensioners on $433.50 are 4.44 times less richer than a man who is not rich. WTF. This means that we have deliberately been made poverty stricken by our own Government. We don't owe you - you owe us for our contribution in maintaining this country as a prosperous and safe place to live through hard work and military commitments I was called up during the Vietnam war the year you were born. Give us a fair go. The last pension rise I got went on the rise in health insurance, with the exception of 25 cents. Less than a quarter litre of petrol.
    PlanB
    1st May 2016
    7:00am
    HEAR HEAR phaxer
    ex PS
    1st May 2016
    5:07pm
    You don't get it phaxer, you wasted all your money on food, lodging and other non essentials like looking after your family. Some of you even had the temerity to buy your own home, how are the rich folks going to feel superior if you have a decent standard of living.
    You have no right to complain, just take whatever pension the government throws to you and be thankful, after all no one promised you that after you had outlived your usefulness you would be looked after. It's like medieval times where the population was deliberately kept poor so as to be easily controlled.
    I have news for this government and the one that will probably come after it.
    YOU HAVE OUTLIVED YOUR USEFULNESS AND WE WILL NOT LOOK AFTER YOU WHEN YOU ARE GONE!
    SusieQ
    8th May 2016
    2:21am
    why must I work 40 hours before my employer has to pay into my super fund.
    Susie Q
    also has everyone forgotten how much debt was inherited form Labour in 2009?
    PlanB
    8th May 2016
    7:41am
    SusieQ, seems YOU have forgotten that Labour pulled us out of the GFC and if they had NOT spent the money WE would have STILL been in deep Shit, also take note that the Liberals have got us into MORE debt since they have been in and they have done NOTHING.

    FGS give credit where credit is due.
    PlanB
    8th May 2016
    8:10am
    For those that said the cut to medical is wrong --not from what my Pathology and others have told me

    Sign the petition here

    http://www.dontkillbulkbill.com/


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

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