20th Apr 2016
Budget wishlist 2016/2017 – What older Australians want
Author: Kaye Fallick
words saying budget 2016 in bright colours on a white brick wall

In April this year YourLifeChoices website once again surveyed its 140,000 baby boomer (aged 50-70) members to ask which measures, relevant to retirement income, that you would like to see in the upcoming Federal Budget. With 5.5. million Australian baby boomers either in retirement, or likely to be so within the next 10-15 years, such policy is of critical importance to our future income prospects.

But even we were surprised by the strength of your response, and your willingness to change policy to better serve all Australians, not just a privileged few.

Budget wishlist 2016/2017 – What older Australians want received 3946 responses to 21 questions.

A summary of the top level responses follows.

As most commentators have noted, in an election year when the gap between parties is narrowing, the May budget will be all important in demonstrating to voters that the Turnbull Government can deliver effective policies to manage the economy and that this economic message is on song – particularly in the wake of Mr. Turnbull’s speech on the night he replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, declaring “You can trust me to deliver a stronger economy”.

Perhaps the most surprising result in the survey, and contrary to expectation, is that the family home is no longer considered sacrosanct when it comes to the Age Pension assets test – with 60 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing that a home valued over $2.5 million should become part of this assessment.

Older Australians are not as averse to change nor overly protective of all retirement assets and tax advantages as much current ‘generational warfare’ hype might lead us to believe. Supporting last year’s poll on the same question, 67 per cent of respondents believe that it is important or very important to change the current concessional rates of tax on superannuation (Q.5), with a majority (Q.6) supporting both a 20 per cent rebate (suggested in the Henry Tax Review) and a lowering of the upper limit (Labor Party policy).

The legislation, proposed in Budget 2015, to increase the age of access to the Age Pension from 67 in 2023, to 70 by 2030, remains unpopular (Q.7), with 68 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. The difficulty of retaining regular employment, or being rehired after job loss is most likely a factor here.

Most respondents (55 per cent) believe that our current retirement income system has NOT allowed them to have a reasonable income in retirement (Q.12). 

And an overwhelming majority of 82 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed that an urgent review of this retirement income system is necessary (Q.13) before further changes to the system are instituted. This would mean a ‘root and branch’ approach which includes tax, super and the Age Pension, rather than tinkering with individual elements. 

Although not directly asked, in answer to ‘What do you believe is the single most important change to retirement income in the budget’ (Q.21), many suggested that an increase in the rate of the Age Pension or cost-of-living pension increases are required and others called for a re-instatement of the legislation lifting the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) to 12 per cent.

In order to help the Government and Treasury better understand the challenges of life on a fixed income in retirement, a summary of the Budget wishlist 2016/2017 – What older Australians want survey results has also been submitted to the Treasurer, Scott Morrison.

Click here for the full summary


Opinion: Family home can be assessed

This is big news and took us completely by surprise. The conventional wisdom is that your home is your castle and safe from any assets test. Not so, you told us.

The question asked in our survey was:

The family home is currently exempt from the the assets test for an Age Pension. Should properties valued at $2.5 million or higher have at least part of their value included in the assessment?

And 60 per cent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that this should be the case. A supplementary question, If you disagreed with the proposal above, is there another dollar value at which the home should no longer be exempt? was even more interesting. Of the 32 per cent who had disagreed with properties valued at $2.5 million or more becoming, at least, partially assessed, 50 per cent stated that it should always be exempt (i.e. just 16 per cent of all respondents supported this policy). Of the balance who disagreed, a surprising 19 per cent feel homes worth more than $1 million, should be included, 19 per cent set the bar at $2 million and 8 per cent said it should be $3 million plus.

Who’d have thought?

What did not come as a surprise is the age of entitlement to an Age Pension.

Consistent with last year’s YourLifeChoices Budget survey response, an overwhelming 68 per cent disagree with the Turnbull Government pushing ahead with the plan to change the age from 67 to 70.

As Homer Simpson would say, D’oh!

Of course we don’t want to have to work longer to get access to what most of us believe is an entitlement after a lifetime of paying taxes. Those who can work longer - and wish to - are able to keep going. But those who are retrenched, unwell, or unable to continue in their careers due to physical limitations or lack of job opportunities should not be punished and dumped on inadequate New Start payments for the sin of growing old. This legislation is still hovering and it is clear that our members are vehemently against it being passed into law.

And another surprise is the strength of support (82 per cent) for an immediate review of retirement income, including tax, super and the Age Pension, before any further changes are made. This supports the 55 per cent response stating that Australia’s current retirement income system has NOT allowed you to achieve a reasonable retirement income, providing a dignified life in retirement.

Let’s face it. A system which was once described as ‘world best practice’ by the World Bank is now broken – and needs bi-partisan support to fix it, fast.

What do you think? Is it time to put the home on the line when it is worth $2.5 million or more? And should the Age Pension age remain at the legislated 67 by 2023? Or is even this a bridge too far? What other messages should be shared with Mr Morrison pre-Budget 2016?

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    COMMENTS

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    Hobbit
    20th Apr 2016
    10:02am
    I'd like to see corporations pay their fair share of tax. At the moment the big companies are paying less tax (15%) than a hard working nurse. If they pulled their weight the nonsense about old age pensioners rights might end.
    jackie
    20th Apr 2016
    11:12am
    I totally agree with you. Greed is the cause behind most things.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    12:56pm
    Funny how that is not staying on the front page. Just like Tax Shelters.
    One aspect of the current government has been loud and clear: attack the bank accounts of the poor, ignore the rorts of the wealthy and their big business interests and give lip service to understood corruption at the top end of town which has not intent on being addressed.
    Whilst the family home should have a fair value before being used as a reason to not pay a pension the threshold, if adopted, needs to be indexed for both inflation and the median value of residential real estate otherwise $2.5 million will suffer from bracket creep disease and will be used to given nobody a pension.
    Golfer
    20th Apr 2016
    1:13pm
    It's not new that corporations have been avoiding tax. It has been pretty much forever. The Labor government had their 6 year window to address the situation and at a time (Post GFC) when a major reform was needed. But alas not one iota of a reference or review.
    So let's not kick LNP wholly; they're both to blame.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:19pm
    Of course the real question what are THEY doing about it? Add to that the Tax Haven revelations and we need action. Not coming! And Turnbull has a personal tax haven in the Cayman Islands....presumably to not pay tax either.
    I don't think that I am being unfair especially given that the current government has come after average Australians whilst trying to give the big end a 10% tax cut.
    libsareliars
    20th Apr 2016
    3:31pm
    Agree with Hobbit and mick. Vote LNP out!
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    3:57pm
    Golfer they were too busy building asylum seeker detention centres and renovating houses. Does anyone still have their $300 set top box? If so what do you use it for?
    particolor
    20th Apr 2016
    8:00pm
    Funny how you said that Frank ! :-) I just given one today in the box and in mint condition :-) I didn't get one when they were handing them out ? :-( Later on a friend dropped in for lunch and told "Me that's one of those Government Boxes !" AND IT WORKS ! :-) It also Records ! :-)
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    8:11pm
    Ha Ha Ha!
    Good for you :) What a bonus. :)
    Supernan
    20th Apr 2016
    10:28am
    Totally agree with Hobbit. Also stop rich people paying reduced tax if they put their own money into their own Super. It simply deprives taxpayers of tax that could be used for Aged Pension & Health Care & allows them to retire with huge amounts of money in retirement which taxpayers have funded.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    12:57pm
    The rich do not have need of taxpayer funded handouts as they can fend for themselves. This cohort has already put away funds for its retirement and has no need of a top-up.
    Retired Knowall
    20th Apr 2016
    4:43pm
    How has the Taxpayer funded my retirement if the account was built with my after tax money?
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    9:13pm
    By escaping the marginal rate (48%) which should have been paid by a high income earner. And then to add insult to injury any earnings of the fund for that money is also taxed at the same 15%. Why do you think the wealthy loved superannuation. It was a way of bypassing the tax system.
    Retired Knowall
    21st Apr 2016
    7:25am
    Wrong again Mick, my super is from AFTER TAX earnings and my fund pays the same amount of tax on earnings as everybody's account. Super is not the preferred investment strategy for the wealthy (Which I am not), I believe you will find it holds less than 40% of their portfolio.
    I agree that earnings within the super system should be taxed the same as any other income, but I think you will find that if tax is applied at say 30% of any earnings over lets say $80K, people will withdraw their funds from their account and invest it elsewhere.
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2016
    8:55am
    My preferred solution is for no fund income tax and a universal RBL like we once had but more generous say at 30 x average wage. Amounts above should have no concessional treatment.
    If a person is down on their luck and out of work for 12 months, he pays no income tax, but we tax his retirement savings at 15%???
    Retired Knowall
    26th Apr 2016
    8:04am
    It's time to Tax the Profits of the Religious Institutions.
    They like every other Business Sell a Service, (Albeit a Dodgy One) and should pay Tax like every other business.
    The argument that they receive money from their faithful that is already taxed is a nonsense as I pay a plumber with my after tax money and he declares that as income.
    Happily retired early
    20th Apr 2016
    10:38am
    Who would trust our politicians to keep the family home taxable at homes above 2.5 million, the next time they are looking for more cash they would reduce it to 1.5 million and so on until everyone who owns a home would be paying it. Once you introduce a tax on the family home it will be there forever and subject to change ..... count me out I don't trust them
    margie
    20th Apr 2016
    11:50am
    Yes Happily retired early, the politicians can never be trusted and also homes, even modest ones can be assessed at a very high rate simply for being in a desirable neighbourhood. Homes that were once in the middle of nowhere are now surrounded by new estates and consequently have risen in value, despite being ordinary family homes. You may sell for a high price but of course you then need to purchase another home and that will also be expensive, and why should you be forced out of your much loved and hard come by home. Never believe a word that dribbles out of a politicians mouth.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:58am
    I don't trust them either, Happily retired, but neither do I think it's reasonable to deprive X of pension benefits because they have $825,000 worth of assets (and only a $200,000 home) while Y gets a full pension with $300,000 worth of assets and a $2 million home.

    There has to be a better way than giving people huge incentives to over-invest in their home (which drives housing costs up) and huge disincentives to save and invest (which the government says we need to do to improve the economy).

    The current system is destructive both economically and socially, and will plunge the nation into further economic difficulty. We would be far better served to shift the current focus on short-term savings and focus on a system that is sustainable long term.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    12:57pm
    Read my post above. Indexation needs to be incorporated or no deal!
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    1:02pm
    But why are owners of other assets less ''entitled'' than owners of lavish homes, Mick? Indexation is essential, but ALL assets should be regarded equally, INCLUDING the family home. Those who accepted modest accommodation and struggled to save, then took a massive hit to their income when returns crashed, deserve some consideration. They should not suffer while owners of lavish homes are looked after.
    Play Fairly
    20th Apr 2016
    1:37pm
    I don't trust them either. I have the utmost contempt for this government. From 1 July Pathology and Radiology tests bulk billing is to cease. A new government is to be elected on 2 July.....one day too late. Just wondering, will this legislation still be able to be enacted on 1 July if we have a caretaker government declared?

    As a society we have a duty to care for those who are aged, and more so, those who are sick and elderly.

    Just a warning for any seniors who are on the cusp of reaching retirement age....if you succumb to any life threatening illness and are fighting to stay alive, Centrelink will put you on Newstart Allowance and will give you to a "Job Assessment Interview" (even though you are ill and receiving chemotherapy and radiation). Absolutely absurd and unfair to say the least. You WILL NOT BE GIVEN A DISABILITY PENSION and will remain on Newstart just like a young jobseeker. The reason given by Centrelink ....almost parrot fashion style is..."the legislation states that the condition must be treated and stabilised before you are eligible". The weasels responsible for drafting this legislation, and those who approved it, should be held up for public ridicule. Not many people, (only those unfortunate to be not quite retirement age and be diagnosed with cancer) would be aware of this. A massive Enquiry into current Centrelink legislation, and the operation of Centrelink is needed to point out some of its most obvious failures.
    Hasbeen
    20th Apr 2016
    1:45pm
    I agree completely. This is simply a use of envy to catch the envious.

    They agree to others, [the rich of course], paying more tax, but as you say, shortly there after the value of home it is paid on will be reduced so they too can pay this tax they only meant for others. I sometimes wonder how these people can be so dumb & so easily conned.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:21pm
    Agree Rainey.
    Hasbeen: kidding right? The tax scale is a sliding scale. The more you earn the more you are supposed to pay. Some common sense needs to be brought to play with homes.
    Janus
    20th Apr 2016
    10:57am
    I suspect that pensioner and especially self funded retiree will be either comprehensively ignored or further penalised this budget. I will NEVER support both Liberal or Labor again after they kicked us in the guts with the lowering of the asset limit so that thousands of people who scrimped and saved to have a good retirement suddenly lost the pension, because of a change in the goalposts. Liberals suggested it, Labor supported it.

    I suspect they think us old folk are too addled to think or to remember.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:16am
    I agree Janus. But it's time for a complete overhaul of the system.

    The current approach rewards irresponsible spendthrifts, cheats and connivers, punishing honest and responsible savers and planners who can't achieve very high asset balances, and gives far too little to the GENUINELY needy. It offers no incentives for responsible efforts to move as close to self-sufficiency in old age as possible.

    Those hurt by the changed assets test had already suffered seeing their income cut in half (in many cases) by falling investment returns. They are now cheated out of fair benefit for years of hard work and sacrifice, while people who ploughed their money into family homes, gifted generously 5 years before retirement age, or spent like drunken sailors receive an increased benefit.

    Of course we hear much ranting about NEED, but that all BS also. The current system deems someone aged 65 who, having suffered grave disadvantage in earlier life, saved aggressively in anticipation of high health costs and care needs in old age FAR LESS NEEDY than a 90-year-old who has $300,000 in the bank; much, much less needy than the owner of a $3 million dollar home with $300,000 in other assets, and fit and healthy; and of course much less needy than the high income earner who spent their $500,000 inheritance going around the world half a dozen times.

    NOTHING in the current system prioritizes - or even considers - genuine need, much less fairness.

    As for the family home, $2.5 million is way way way too high! The entire value should be assess same as any other asset, but the threshold raised substantially. People who have modest homes and other assets should not suffer discrimination.

    A far better solution would be to abolish the assets test and test income/deemed income only. That would be much fairer, and give people a decent incentive to save - which is what they need to do if we are to solve our economic problems.
    THE FORGOTTEN
    20th Apr 2016
    12:38pm
    Well said Janus. Governments come and go,but need Baby Boomers to cover their $ billion blunders without retribution.Time for Gen. Y and Gen. ME to step up, be adults and save for their future like we did.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:00pm
    Yeah. Can't recall if Labor supported this but guess who brought it in and who had a whole pile of other legislation to attack the working class? Luckily this did not get through. God help us all if the government gets another term and has numbers in the senate.
    Sundays
    20th Apr 2016
    1:12pm
    I don't think that is right Janus. My recollection was that is was the Liberals with support from the Greens, and not Labor who passed the legislation to lower the Asset threshold. Agree it is a very bad decision though
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    2:27pm
    The Greens actually instigated the change, and their support was essential to getting it passed. Labor opposed.
    Rae
    20th Apr 2016
    4:01pm
    How about the defined benefit people who handed over their non concessional savings only to be told the 47% non concessional amount was now going to be classed as only 10%? That is a whole lot of tax they paid for nothing and forgoing the 9% everyone else was earning for years into the devil's bargain.

    At least the retirees affected from 2017 can alter their affairs but the defined benefits people can't as they signed away the savings for an annuity style pension with no redress.

    The only example I can think of would be the worker who saved after tax and then when pulling savings out of the bank were told that 90% of it was now classed as income and had to be declared as income to centrelink. No deeming rate just 90% of the money classed as income once again even though it had been fully taxed.

    It would be interesting to know
    a) how many of the 42000 lost part pension and what they now have to live on and

    b) how many are now converting their lump sum into cash and thus joining the retirees spending up assets to qualify for a full aged pension.

    Unfortunately the unions insisted workers be in these funds but now have wiped their hands of any responsibility for the consequences.
    Janus
    20th Apr 2016
    5:01pm
    Thanks for the correction, guys! I guess my level of addlement is higher than I thought. However, I still do not want to support any of the major parties, even the Greens.

    Again, I find myself voting AGAINSt candidates, leaving someone that I might not want to support, but is the lesser evil.

    I am actually intrigued that so many (on this page at least) are not rabid Liberals like us oldies used to be. Maybe the beaten dogs will rise up and snap at their masters?

    Fantastic, all of you, for having your say.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2016
    8:49am
    Rae, unfortunately many who lost their part pensions due to the assets test change don't have realistic options for altering their affairs. My financial adviser told me I could sell my house and buy a much more expensive one (risky with pending further policy changes, and highly undesirable as I love where I live), separate from my partner (undesirable), blow a lot on an expensive cruise or other luxuries or gambling (risky, as I might need it later - though it will disappear gradually anyway), or gift generously and suffer 5 years' loss then restoration).
    Only those a few years out from retirement have realistic options to vary their affairs.

    I know many who lost their part pension who have incomes less than $25,000 a year, with no benefits. My neighbour has just confirmed $23,500 p.a. for a homeowner couple.

    My financial adviser says that of 98 clients he has who were affected by the change, 96 have confirmed plans for an expensive cruise - and NONE of those will be spending much in Australia, so the theory that consumption will rise to generate profits and tax may well be full of huge holes.
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2016
    9:18am
    Rainey, if you can afford to hire a financial adviser to plan welfare maximisation strategies, then you aren't too badly effected.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2016
    1:07pm
    I wish I could AFFORD to hire an adviser, Frank. I sought a free one-off consultation on the advise of Morrison, who claimed advice could help people who were impacted by changes. He was wrong!
    Rae
    21st Apr 2016
    1:47pm
    Yes Rainey I have a friend who sold out of superannuation built a million dollar home and now gets the full aged pension and benefits.

    She is actually better off by $150 a fortnight plus the discounts of around $80 a week than her investments returned and no worries about share crashes, vacancy rates or bond bubbles.

    The brand new home in a preferred location is lovely.

    Check out the options with your accountant of gifting an annuity or trust structure for your dependent and living frugally for the five years until the aged pension cuts in. It might just give you the peace of mind you deserve.
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:01am
    Thanks Rae. I will do that.

    20th Apr 2016
    11:09am
    WHATEVER you may want in regards to a FAIR ANYTHING with the current government you will NOT get it. Whatever you current HAVE or are GETTING the current government WANTS. If you don't believe this have a look at taxes which are more than likely to increase, forecast increase in the GST, new lower threshold for the Age Pension assets test, proposed alteration to the solar rebate scheme, etc, etc. If you doubt any of this it is about time you wake up to yourself.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:17am
    You are right, Fast Eddie, sadly. This government has got to go. The worry is ''who the hell do we replace these greedy, inept self-serving idiots with?"
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:26am
    Rainey, I don't honesty know, and that's the scary part. The Mature Australians Party may be worthy of a look at. The one thing that is certain is that I won't be voting for the LNP OR Labor. A wonderful country going down the toilet because of political ineptness and greed. A real shame.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:48am
    Well Rainy and Fast Eddie if you vote for any other than the main parties it is a wasted vote because its a certain that one or the other of the main party is getting in to Govern.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    12:01pm
    That's the problem, robbo. I don't like Labor, but I feel I might have to vote Labor this time in order to get rid of this destructive neoliberal-thinking government before they destroy society completely. The trouble is, I doubt that Labor will be much better.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    12:06pm
    Rainey, this is the general feeling of the people I have spoken to. There is as little political talent here as there is in the U.S.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:05pm
    Spot on Eddie. You only have to look at who has been under attack for the past two and a half years.
    Your post robbo is the normal misinformation. The reason voters need to vote for Independents is firstly to send a very very clear message to the bastards who behave like God in the main parties, and secondly to start a movement. Of course one does need to be careful to only vote for an Independent whose preference goes to the major party you want as I have notice there have been quite a few Independents spring up who appear to be dummy candidates doing nothing else other than shovelling votes to the Liberal Party.
    Finally if we had a parliament of Nick Xenophons then WE WOULD HAVE A PROPER GOVERNMENT. This is what many of us forget. INdependents are not owned stooges like we have in the current government.
    Rae
    20th Apr 2016
    4:04pm
    Unfortunately Rainey when democracy fails as badly as it seems to be doing the end result is usually a dictatorship. I really hope it doesn't come to that.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    9:11pm
    I've been saying that since Abbott was lining up for the title by flogging off the ABC or closing it down. The current government concerns me as the front bench are made up of types who tick all the boxes. The sooner these people are sent out of politics the better. I'll start making plans to leave Australia if they are re-elected as that would be a dangerous start down that long road of slavery and I will not stay for that one.
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    9:36pm
    Good!
    particolor
    20th Apr 2016
    9:53pm
    I think Frank agrees with you Mick ? He's coming with you ! :-)
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    10:15pm
    Frank can take the Titanic particolor. I would not want to be on the same boat as a person who sells out their country.
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2016
    9:30am
    No parti, I will go as far as the dock just to make sure he is good to his word, for a change. Leave me out of the debauchery in Colorado.
    particolor
    21st Apr 2016
    1:48pm
    Trump for POTUS ! :-)
    Lescol
    20th Apr 2016
    11:18am
    Cut the nonsense. Predictable consistency is needed. Give all people of retirement age the full pension and tax all income in the current normal way. Simple. This gets rid of the bureaucracy associated with monitoring the current ineffective system and puts everyone on an even footing. Also you are not punished for saving to fund your retirement as is happening in the current political climate.

    I am a swinging voter: I am not into parties; just policies; the only way to ever change things is to ensure a formal vote and mark the incumbent (government) last. That sends a message to many.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:58am
    Agree completely, Lescol.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:07pm
    If you could get the multinationals to pay the proper rate of tax and if you could close down the rights of our rich cheats to send their profits to offshore tax shelters then this could easily happen.
    This is the solution and we need to pressure both sides to stand up in front of the cameras and promise to do this. Neither side will...especially the current lot who continue to try and cannibalise average income earners so that they can give their rich mates a 10% tax cut.
    Rae
    20th Apr 2016
    4:16pm
    Yes Lescol and that would be a huge boost to the downtown economy.

    I wonder how much money is squirrelled away and not in circulation.

    It would make sense to save secretly and thus have the benefit of welfare and cash if required. Hindsight is a wild beast and I suspect a lot of future retirees may not be as honest as we chappies have been to now.

    I'm totally self funded but due to experiences also have a safe deposit with the bank in case of financial system failure which I have experienced a time or three.

    It would have made sense to have used a family trust structure and secreted larger amounts and then received a welfare pension and the discounts.

    It isn't so much the fortnightly payments but the worry of health costs if I need treatments and medicines. I pay full costs like any working person but I'm not working. THere are no concessions for people like me at all.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2016
    8:52am
    Get Up have just launched a campaign to make changes to tax laws. They say the recommended changes have been successfully implemented in other countries and would put millions back into aged care and health and create a further $2.4 billion in savings. This is just through closing two significant loopholes used by rich corporations.
    maxchugg
    24th Apr 2016
    12:02pm
    I am a swinging voter too because I am in no doubt about the truth of the old adage that power corrupts. I am convinced that the longer politicians remain in office the more they lose touch with the realities of life as experienced by the majority of wage and salary earners.
    The best reality check for the politicians would be to cause them to value their jobs by ending their wonderful retirement packages. If they lose their jobs they should have no pension entitlements until they reach retirement age so they have the same concerns about security of employment as everyone else.
    I also believe that if our current PM achieves his objective of returning to government with control over the senate, all but the wealthy are in for a few horrible years. I will be voting for the Liberals in the house of reps and for Labor in the senate. In the following election I will almost certainly vote the other way round.
    particolor
    24th Apr 2016
    4:45pm
    Max that was good to read ! Especially the Polly Perk Retirement part ! That was a (CHIP) Keep the Baskets Honest :-)
    Crafty
    20th Apr 2016
    11:30am
    I think if the house is included in the assists test it should be at some percentage above the average price for the state. In Queensland it is near $500k, times this by 200 - 300%. As Sydney and Melbourne house prices are more costly, it would be fairer across the nation.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    11:51am
    Who gets to value the house
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    12:16pm
    robbo, probably the Valuer General, as with a property which is subject to Land Tax.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:08pm
    There would have to be a fair figure in each state, not city.
    Mamacrystal
    20th Apr 2016
    11:44am
    Absolutely!!
    Mamacrystal
    20th Apr 2016
    11:46am
    This was in response to Hobbit's earlier post....who knows why it detached itself and posted here!
    Aussie
    20th Apr 2016
    2:25pm
    No matter what happens you still beautiful so have a beatful life
    Chris B T
    20th Apr 2016
    12:01pm
    Taxing and collecting of taxes off everyone, personal, business and corporation's should have minimum thresholds set.(This Bullsh** method at the moment collects Little in Taxes)
    This way avoiding paying a resonable tax can be collected with out this obscene avoidance.
    Corporations earn here, pay taxes here or Piss Off.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:09pm
    Here, here.
    Old Man
    20th Apr 2016
    12:06pm
    What a lot of rubbish. All the survey has done is to highlight Australia's Tall Poppy syndrome. Our house would be worth 2.5 times more if it was just a few suburbs away and that is a matter of geography, not a sign of wealth. Values come and go depending on position and whether that position is favoured by buyers.

    As to big companies paying their fair share of tax, can those who complain about it please give a solution instead of just parroting the Labor line? The ATO has some of the best tax investigators in the world and those companies that are continually named by people who have no proof would have been investigated. None of those big companies has been prosecuted which means that they are paying their legal tax commitment.

    I am not rich (I have yet to hear a definition of what "rich" is) as I receive an age pension nor do I have any rich relatives. My opinion is based on the fair go that Australians are supposed to be known for.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    1:06pm
    The point, though, Old Man is that if your home were worth 2.5 times more, your children would inherit 2.5 times more at the expense of taxpayers who are children of people who were deprived of pensions despite having much, much less.

    Who should fund whose retirement and whose inheritance is the question here. Sorry, but I'm angry at being forced to fund the inheritance of kids of pensioners who have 3 times more wealth than I do, just because I didn't sink mine into an expensive house.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:13pm
    Nothing to do with "tax investigators". everything to do with holes in legislation which, like superannuation deductibility, was highly likely put there with a full understanding of who was going to milk it. No accident!
    Solution is to fix the legislation, make offshore tax shelters illegal as this is blatant tax evasion and to increase the fines and be able to go back 10 years and hit the crooked multinationals hard.
    As for the family home there should be a limit where its value cuts off the pension. People who own $5 million homes have no right to ask for a pension as they could quite easily fend for themselves.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    2:29pm
    Mick, according to some here, people with a $1 million home can fend for themselves. Where do you draw the line? People with $823,000 in other assets are deemed able to be self-supporting, regardless whether or not those assets are returning and at what rate. Why should the owner of a million-dollar home be favoured?
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:27pm
    Whilst I have self interest in your comment Rainey my take is that the value of the home to be taken into account needs to be balanced with the ability to support yourself. If a person has a million dollar home and nothing else then clearly it is unfair to not give this person a pension. If a person has a five million dollar home and nothing else there may be room to say sell the house, buy a two million dollars house and live off the invested income which you have freed up.

    Personally, I think the whole argument is a sham as it detracts from the real game: collecting the right amount of taxes from the rich and using them to properly finance society. We are already seeing this government try and separate private education, hospitals, etc. and expect taxpayers to fund public institutions whilst the rich counterparts get a heap of subsidies.
    Annie
    21st Apr 2016
    2:32am
    Rainey once again we totally agree. There must be a total asset base that is non discriminating no matter how individuals or families have saved and invested. Some have houses that have gone up in value, others shares and savings and other collateral that have increased. Others have lost over their working life, often through no fault or planning of their own. It must be equitable no matter what the choices were or are. This includes politicians not being on a lifetime pension after I think two terms. The majority of Money made by companies in this country should stay in this country.
    THE FORGOTTEN
    20th Apr 2016
    12:26pm
    Janus has hit the nail on the head. I have never been wealthy yet after working, saving and paying tax for over 48 years (and still will be after retirement) I now face a retrospective change to my Super which reduces my assets limit which I saved for a more comfortable life in retirement.Instead of making these changes retrospective,why not make them from Budget announcement forward,like all other tax related changes.? Why did I not spend every penny and cent I earned and be eligible for a full pension.? Most Baby Boomers were advised when starting work to contribute to a Pension fund and save for their future. After all the tax I have paid,like many others who saved for their future, I am probably not even allowed the 'interest' or 'bonus' on the 48 years tax I have paid for Bludging Corrupt Politicians Pensions and Perks,dole bludgers and aged pension for those who made no contribution for their future or tax . I have also been paying the medicare levy since it was introduced and made no claims,as once again I saved to pay for private health insurance.
    Morrison is so smug about hitting Baby Boomer tax payers and savers,yet he and his corrupt cronies walk away with Huge Taxpayer Pensions paid immediately they are kicked out, or conveniently retire at the most opportune time, for maximum Pensions and Perks. Why are their Pensions treated different than the ordinary Australian who have to wait until retirement. They also then 'find' work as Ambassadors (Lucky Joe),Government Consultants or Corporation Consultants, while still receiving their Pension and Perks.
    Current news from Gen. Y (who have produced Gen. ME) is that Baby Boomers are making life difficult for them because WE are making things too difficult for them in house purchases and living in general. I wish I could have lived at home with my Gen. Depression parents into my 30's (instead of leaving home to work at 16) contributing nothing to living expenses,and expect to be assisted financially after spending every cent on Booze,Drugs,Overseas holidays and good times. Time for the current crop of 'adults' to contribute to their own future.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    12:59pm
    So right, The Forgotten.

    Yesterday, a girl called me recruiting members for the Greens (fat chance!). She told me she was 26 and had no hope of ever owning a home. I asked why and she told me the ''Baby Boomers'' had pushed property prices sky high and out of reach. I asked what sort of house she wanted and she said she needed near new, brick and tile, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, double garage, on a large block, and that would cost around $650,000 in the area she wanted to live. I then told her how hard it was for us to buy a 30-year-old 2-bedroom worker's cottage that needed extensive renovation. We were repaying 40% of our net income for years, and then interest soared to 18%. She hung up on me!

    I didn't even get around to explaining that clothing, household necessities, cars and furniture were all many times more costly relative to wages back then than they are today. Goodness, I just bought a new fridge and lounge suite and they cost EXACTLY the same, in dollar terms, as the first ones I bought back in 1973!!! Nor did I get to tell her we didn't have a holiday for 25 years and in all that time probably ate in a restaurant 4 times.

    So many selfish Gen X and Y just like to blame and believe lies. They have no interest in the truth. Nor are they prepared to do the hard yards the way we did.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:16pm
    The issue is at what house value do you have enough to be able not take a pension. My house certainly is not anywhere near that figure but I have made investments so that I would not have to depend on the government. I could have probably bought a much more expensive house and claimed to be cash poor and got the government to then support me. That is what some rich people do. It's wrong!
    KSS
    20th Apr 2016
    1:26pm
    Point of order The Forgotten, Mr Howard who reduced the pensions of MPs. Parliamentarians elected for the first time after 9 October 2004 already have to nominate a complying super fund (the default fund is AustralianSuper) into which they get 15.5% contributions paid by the 'employer' - The Government. They can sacrifice up to 50% of their salary - not including any other allowances. They cannot withdraw that super until they are 55.

    So an MP who serves say one or two terms in Parliament and leaves at say age45 would have to wait 10 years before they could claim that super. In the meantime, they would need to work or live off other savings since their super would be off limits. Just like the rest of us albeit with a greater dollar value than most.

    Of course those who were first elected before 2004 get a more generous pension scheme altogether.
    Golfer
    20th Apr 2016
    1:54pm
    Forgotten, brilliantly said. Too exuberant with statement about government and corrupt cronies but right on the money regarding retrospectivity and the impact on recently retired workers.
    Bren
    20th Apr 2016
    12:53pm
    Is it possible that the 60% of respondents who......either do not own a home or do not own one whose value exceeds $2.5 million??
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    1:00pm
    Maybe, or maybe 60% of respondents are unselfish and see that the current system is grossly unfair to those who own a modest home but invested responsibly in other assets.
    Retired Knowall
    20th Apr 2016
    4:54pm
    Or maybe the 60% were so entrenched with a welfare mentality that they can't escape their gross envy and Hipocracy
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    7:55am
    There is no ''gross envy'' or ''Hippocracy'' involved in wanting to see improvement in a system so that it's fairer, more sustainable, and better serves the national interest.

    Only someone who hasn't the intelligence to consider the flaws in the current system and how they might be addressed would continue to launch such vile attacks on others who contribute to debate.

    As for your constant disgustingly wrong judgements of me, you couldn't be more wrong in your assumptions, and you merely prove yourself - over and over - to be A PRIZE ASS (with apologies to Asses - I'm sure they are far more intelligent than you, and they are certainly much nicer!)
    Adrianus
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:12am
    So Rainey? Are you the 60%?
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:13am
    Isn't it interesting that the selfish arrogant egotists who took liberal advantage of every tax minimization strategy available to dodge their obligation to pay their way during working life now talk about ''welfare mentality'' and condemn people who never had a break in life, never had access to any tax reduction strategies, but want to be treated fair in their old age?
    Adrianus
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:21am
    Rainey, you make far too many assumptions.
    Retired Knowall
    26th Apr 2016
    8:18am
    If you are advocating that people sell up and buy a more expensive house or spend their savings just so they can be supported by the Tax Payer.....You Are A Loser.
    Instead of wishing things were easier.....Make yourself stronger.
    I started with ZERO, at 69 still working and will never rely on the Tax Payer to fund my life style.
    I don't mind paying tax, (over $60K last year) except when I read your dribble about how tough life is. If you lost the Pension,who's fault is that? Oh that's right, The Government, those nasty business people, the Refugees, everyone else but YOU.
    FM
    20th Apr 2016
    12:56pm
    The simplest way to ensure that retirees have certainty and security in retirement is to have a universal pension that is not means tested, as is the case elsewhere in the world. This can be paid for, as it is in the UK, US, NZ and Europe etc, from a specified level of contribution made during one’s working life that is invested for that purpose. Those whose contributions fall below the required level due to limited employment because of poor health or for other reasons are ultimately subsidised as is the case now with the pension. Superannuation savings in excess of or separate from what are needed to provide this pension are available to individuals as their additional professional superannuation as is the case elsewhere.
    The ongoing attacks on those with little income for retirement because previous Governments have not made provision to ensure that taxes collected for that purpose were allocated to providing a pension need to stop. There is no more justification now for including someone’s home as a criterion for getting a pension than there ever was. Only those who know they will not be affected are advocating that and are keen to set the value at which the home would be included above what would affect themselves. Fortunately the vast majority of retirees who would not be affected by the inclusion of the family home are not advocating that for others. It is a relief that some of the people who contribute here do not make policy.
    We could have an assets test as a criterion for paying salaries. Politicians were not paid a salary up to the late 1800s. As we are going back to that era in determining aged pensions we should also go back there for the method of determining political salaries.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    1:11pm
    I agree with much of what you say, but NOT the part about houses, FM. It is patently WRONG to suggest that someone should enjoy a full pension and leave an expensive home to their kids while someone else with a more modest home suffers because they saved and invested in other assets.

    If the assessment of the family home were done correctly, it would NOT discriminate against anyone other than owners of expensive homes, and the latter would have concessional loans to ensure they had money to live, but would repay a little from their estate rather than leaving taxpayer's money to a minority of privileged offspring.

    I certainly agree with your last paragraph about politicians' salaries. Great idea!
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:29pm
    I want to leave my kids something Rainey. every generation deserves a leg up and I have never subscribed to the (sick) media line of 'spend the kid's inheritance.
    The issue is a fair compromise for retirees somewhere between being screwed by a government with no conscience and rorting the system. Human nature is what it is and some will abuse any concession they get.
    If the family home needs to be on the table then make the threshold high enough and index it fairly so that people are not picked off like flies so that wasteful and dishonest governments cannot simple take, waste and redistribute to the already wealthy.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    2:33pm
    Yes, Mick, that's what I've been proposing. Include the family home but put the threshold high enough and index it fairly. I am disgusted when people like Bonny tell me ''you can spend your capital'' and ''you shouldn't be able to keep it to leave to your kids''. Why? I went without luxuries to save it. Why shouldn't I decide what to do with it? Why should I have to subsidize the lifestyles of people who enjoyed the holidays and restaurant dinners and nice clothes I went without, and the inheritance of kids whose parents sank their money into million dollar homes, while my kids miss out because I did what the government said we should ALL do - save!
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:31pm
    Rainey: I am not sure if Bonny is really a Frank avatar. I know Frank has a couple and caught him out before. Don't take anything 'Bonny' says other than with a very large grain of salt.
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    4:07pm
    Rainey, I seem to recall Gillard saying "we wont give you the pension if you spend your money." If you believe it's your right to save your money and die with it then surely you wouldn't deny the rights of those who wish to spend?

    MICK, you are being disrespectful of some posters.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    9:59pm
    Frank, I have never denied anyone the right to spend. My complaint is that I'm being denied the right to save.
    Snowwhite
    20th Apr 2016
    12:59pm
    I agree with you happily retired early. I own a very modest home worth less than $500,000 but I don't trust any of the politicians. Once the home is counted in your assets it will always keep coming down to raise revenue whichever party is in power. Our homes are our castles and should NEVER be counted in our assets. It's about the only thing so far the Govt can't get their hands on.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    1:12pm
    So, Snowwhite, you are happy for your kids to subsidize the retirement of wealthy home-owners with multi-million-dollar houses?

    Sorry, I object strongly to my kids being deprived of their inheritance so that well-to-do homeowners can leave mansions to their kids.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:31pm
    The kids are not subsidising multi-million dollar homes Rainey. The rich are having a bet each way and it is the big end of town which wants it all: low or no tax, dodgy deductions and then a pension with no thresholds. Put the blame where it belongs.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    2:36pm
    Mick, my kids ARE subsidizing other people's kids' inheritance, because I have to live on my capital while people who sank their capital into expensive homes get full pensions. They get to leave their pricey real estate to their kids, while my kids get nothing because I had to run my capital out to live.

    The blame is on the government, and, yes, the big end of town, but also on the manipulators and connivers who gift and buy expensive homes to get around pension means tests.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:33pm
    Life is about luck too Rainey. Some people gambled and the dice came down in their favour. What irks us all is when the rules are set to favour those who do not need to be on the public purse. There is actually a whole industry out there setting people up for that. The ability to structure affairs so that you end up pulling a pension when you can well do without one is wrong and would be shut down if we had governments who cared about the nation rather their own election prospects.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    10:07pm
    Sure, life is about luck, Mick. Nobody in the world had worse luck than my partner and I. That I can guarantee you! But we managed to save by sacrificing lifestyle, intending to enjoy a better lifestyle in retirement. Now that better retirement lifestyle is denied us in order to give more to people who always had far more than us but spent it freely.

    I agree that setting people up for pensions artificially is wrong, but equally it's wrong to deprive people of their savings while the spendthrifts who had far more luck and lifestyle are looked after from the public purse.

    We need to be very careful how we assess need and how we measure assets, and we should take some account of how assets were acquired. Super may have been intended to fund retirement, but savings accrued by going without were NOT intended to benefit the taxpayer or other retirees. Those who struggled to build savings so they could enjoy a better standard of living in retirement, or so they could leave something to their kids, should not now be denied the benefit they worked so hard for.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    10:18pm
    I can sympathise. Most of what my wife and I have built has been from incredibly hard work, deprival and saving rather than spending. I understand how you feel. My take is that there is a level of wealth where the hand needs not to come out. That's all.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2016
    1:02pm
    Oh, I agree with that Mick. The question is where that level should correctly be. I don't think it's reasonable to simply fix a dollar value, with no consideration of age, health, or special circumstances. A 90-year-old couple with $823,000 and a home would undoubtedly have far more than they need. A 65-year-old with huge health issues and needing $80 a week in medications plus home help and special care and facing potentially 30 years of inflation and nil earnings is in an entirely different situation.
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2016
    2:04pm
    Hang on? A 65 year old with huge health issues is facing 30 years of inflation? You almost got me on that one Rainey :)
    FM
    20th Apr 2016
    1:05pm
    The concern about the poll taken is that many of the people who contribute to Life Choices are not necessarily retirees. They are logging on to push a political agenda. The poll cannot be seen as representing an unbiased random sample of retirees. Some of the questions especially those relating to the inclusion of the family home in an assets test were ambivalent and led to push polling. It is not something that should be presented as representing the views of retired people.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:32pm
    Really? Maybe!
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    2:45pm
    Yes MICK, take note.
    Aussie
    20th Apr 2016
    1:24pm
    Wowoeo ...all this comments ..all good but Bronwyn Bishop gets $250, 000 x year pension
    I will love get only $50, 000 x yesr
    Total injusted to us ....we sleep on a car and eat pet food to survive but our politicians retire rich ....
    We already contribute big time for over 45 or 50 years of hard work ...

    Totally wrong ...I have to live overseas to be able to sleep on a nice bed
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    1:34pm
    We do not get anywhere near $50,000 pa....but can stretch a dollar like a rubber band.
    Pollies have introduced their own scheme and they do not care what the family home is worth. Try to bring in Estate Duties (coming!) and you'll see them squirm.
    Aussie
    20th Apr 2016
    3:02pm
    I only have a full pension reduced to 818 dollars x forthright - no Assets - No Home properties or rentals and no Super.
    All I have is $818 x forthright That is why i am looking to live overseas with dignity and happiness.

    I only wish I get 50K a year
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    9:52pm
    Why do you have so little, Aussie? My partner and I had no education, a special needs child who cost us three houses worth of medical and special care, chronic illness, work accidents, and up until age 50, never earned more than the minimum wage (and mostly less than unemployment benefits, due to working only part tine or casual!), then were forced into early retirement at 56 due to ill health, yet we own our home and have enough in the bank to be worried about asset test changes. If you worked hard and contributed for 45 or 50 years, how did you end up with nothing to show for it?

    Excuse me for asking. I'm not prying, nor being judgmental. I'm just genuinely curious. I feel really sorry for the underprivileged battler, and I wish pensions were higher. But I'm confused why so many who earned many times more than we did are so hard up now.

    I know some Australians faced genuine crisis and lost all their savings, but I suspect most enjoyed a much more lavish lifestyle than we could ever dream of - which is fine, except that some of them now think it's fair that we should have to drain our hard-won savings to live and not be allowed to enjoy the benefit of all those years of sacrifice.
    FM
    20th Apr 2016
    2:17pm
    Hi Rainey The reason retired people should enjoy a full pension regardless of their assets especially their home is because they have contributed for that pension during their working life time. This is what happens in other countries. If they have a house they have also contributed their after tax dollars to pay for that unless they have had an inheritance. People should have the dignity of at least an aged pension in retirement without having to fear eviction to pay for it, as people with State and other forms of superannuation now have. Our recent Governments have been extremely remiss in not ensuring this. Most people down size as they get older. If they need greater care later in life they have some resources left to pay for it. They should not be forced out of their homes prematurely and their resources used up. The bill to pay for later aged care will be much greater if fewer people can make a contribution and it has to be covered entirely by the Government. We are assuming that people with expensive homes are relying on the aged pension. This is probably not the case to any great extent. The value of the home would have to be in the low to modest range to affect significant savings.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    2:37pm
    I agree, FM, that a non-means-tested universal pension is the best solution, but since it probably won't happen, I'm suggesting other approaches that would be better than what currently exists.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:38pm
    Do you think it fair that those who have abused the tax system should keep it all? That seems to be the expectation.
    Lescol
    20th Apr 2016
    3:47pm
    Yes, cut the nonsense. Give all people of retirement age the full pension and tax all income in the normal way. Simple.This gets rid of the bureaucracy associated with monitoring the current ineffective system and puts everyone on an even footing. Also you are not punished for saving to supplement your retirement as is happening in the current political climate.

    I am a swinging voter: I am not into parties; just policies; the only way to ever change things is to ensure a formal vote and mark the present government last. That sends a message to many. cheers.
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    2:34pm
    I will be looking in the budget for anything that will promote jobs and growth. Anything that will help to stimulate the economy. It's a pity the NBN costs are not included, surely it must be getting close to $90b and rising? I would also like to see some caps on tax concessions for very high Superannuation balances and contributions.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    3:43pm
    An add from the government again.
    The reason why the NBN cost is so high is because Turnbull butchered it. Now we have paid more than the original price and have a dodgy generic NBN. This is what happens when a business owned LNP government decides it knows better than the experts. Of course now we have the trolls trying to blame Labor.
    Be game troll Frank: call for the multinationals to be taxed at the going AUSTRALIAN TAX RATE including back taxes. And then demand that all tax havens are declared ILLEGAL.
    You response will undoubtedly show readers who owns you ex Liberal MP. Just a troll for the Party!
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    3:53pm
    Sorry not contributions. I mean retirement phase distributions.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    4:40pm
    labor mick calls frank a liberal troll, what are you micky mouse, an independent troll, yes doo'h, redder than red and the brains to go with it.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    4:41pm
    should really read the lack of brains.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    5:02pm
    You left out the 'Bonny' avatar Frank. Got the heemskerk one though. Schizophrenic!! Sadly the average IQ of all 3 still does not make double digits.
    sooty
    20th Apr 2016
    4:01pm
    Anything about the budget to me seems a waste of time. If parliament is dissolved for a double dissolution, then who passes the budget bill? Should a new government come to power they will demolish most of the previous treasurer's plans.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    4:12pm
    Of course this bunch think they are going to be returned. Not happening. Most likely there will be some incentive to gain votes. I can hardly wait.
    roy
    20th Apr 2016
    6:13pm
    Vote independent not that Stan Laurel love child Bill Shorty, he makes me laugh so much every time I see him on the box.
    Retired Knowall
    20th Apr 2016
    4:40pm
    Mick do you realise that the median house price in Australia for 2015 has been reported as $660k. ?
    What would happen if the property bubble bursts an the median price drops to $450K ?
    So be careful advocating to use the Median Price value.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    4:43pm
    shows labor mick's lack of brains!
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2016
    6:18pm
    himjerk, don't you really think you're over-doing it a bit? You contribute nothing but nastiness in all your comments, targeting not the subject matter but individuals who have their say regarding the topic. You appear to be a lonely, nasty old knobhead without a single friend - and I can understand why. You are truly a pathetic person.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    8:31pm
    Indexation against VGs work both ways.
    Also I indicated a bit earlier on that governments could not just come up with a national median price as Tasmanians would be unfairly hit.
    What I was trying to say Retired Knowall was that we all need to be wary of governments who may seek to misuse legislation.
    Having given the matter a bit more thought I guess many retirees might move to cheaper housing towns and states to maximise their pensions but maybe that could be a positive as well because that would free up capital.
    Who said 'life wasn't meant to be easy'?
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    8:32pm
    A rather appropriate comment Eddie.
    flanjam
    20th Apr 2016
    4:57pm
    thank you Play Fairly, you have just highlighted something for us in the journey called Cancer diagnosis and treatment. 2 operations in less than 8 month, one block of radiation done and heading towards chemo and radiation mix next week for 7 weeks. You have just highlighted to us why my sick husband must keep on working (65 next year). This is just not fair and does not help an ill person to heal. thank you again for your comments. We wish you well again soon.

    20th Apr 2016
    4:59pm
    All these comments below bashing corporations over the amount of tax they pay are frankly bizarre, and show a total ignorance of how things really work. I make an assumption that many readers, if not all, have some sort of superannuation. Guess where your super money is invested in people - these corporations that you want the %&@# taxed out of. The result - your returns (from Super) will go down, and you will be worse off! (Which is what Shorten and his socialist numb skulls want, so they can have more control over you!). Wake up oldies, and realize what is actually happening - and stop bleating about BHP, banks and others!
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    8:57pm
    Comment above not from me!
    I hear what you are saying Big Al and there is some truth in it. FYI we own shares in some pretty big corporations but you need to understand that some of these organisations pay their CEOs and directors huge amounts of money as well as share deals which have no justification in the real world other than manipulation of companies.

    The tax system of many countries have been under increasing attacks from multinationals who buy governments with election funding donations (Liberal Party) and then rape nations. Indeed the UK and Hong Kong have just introduced legislation to outlaw the behaviour of these crooks. Australia? Do you really expect a PM with an offshore tax shelter to change the status quo????

    I doubt whether shareholders would be badly affected if the companies they 'owned' stopped cheating the countries they operated in. At any rate I would be happy to forgo a cents dividend if I knew these mongrels were operating in an honest manner.
    JOHN T
    20th Apr 2016
    6:50pm
    I have a suggestion that would not be popular but could bring a bit of fairness in to this crazy world. MY suggestion is as follows. Increase all pensions aged and disabled and carer bring all payments up to the basic wage and review the same way. To pay for it reduce all Senior public servant and policitians wages by 10% and Bank Ceos by the same until they could prove they are worth it.
    Not Senile Yet!
    20th Apr 2016
    7:26pm
    There was Never an Assets Test until Governments added it to save money and cut costs on Aged Pensions.
    WHY?
    Because ALL Australians qualified by paying tax!
    7% was put aside into a Fund to finance this!
    In 1990 Both Parties agreed to access the Billions in same fund ...Malcolm Frase was PM!
    They spent the money!####*******// $$$÷×+÷
    They replaced it with Compulsory Super....but never accounted for where the Billions was spent!
    But by no surprise....a Bigger & Better Brand New Parliament House wasbuilt in Canberra!!!!!
    Now they are pleading broke and attacking the Aged Pension by Labelling it Welfare?????
    Just a bunch of lies.....never in history have they had more tax on everything as well as the GST!
    VOTE THEM ALL OUT.....THEY ARE JUST A BUNCH OF LEGAL CROOKS!
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    7:54pm
    What have you got to complain about? You have a set top box in the garage, pink batts in the roof and fast internet. So what? Now you want a higher pension? You should have thought of that.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    9:06pm
    This government was happy to repeal the Carbon Tax (cost $8 billion a year to the taxpayer) and the Mining Tax.
    Add to that the extra cost in the NBN due to Turnbull butchering the original well thought out and costed model and Royal Commissions every time this bunch get into office.
    Now that mineral prices have tanked, we have no manufacturing industry to speak of and import everything and we have the perfect storm.
    Next move is to come after average citizens whilst talking up tax cuts for the rich. So here we are folks.
    Anybody who helps vote this lot back in is a mug and needs to spend time looking at the above.

    Frank: you sir are a total d*ckhead! Go and post some more crap under the other names you use.
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2016
    9:33pm
    MICK that carbon tax was not a tax on profit. Abbott saved a lot of jobs by getting rid of the carbon tax as he promised.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    9:46pm
    Yeah right Frank. So that is why a whole pile of coal mines in Queensland closed down after the repeal of the Carbon Tax. I call it BS!
    Global prices determine the jobs, not a few small dollars of tax. The CEOs of these companies are not exactly poorly paid either so spare me the bleeding hearts nonsense.
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2016
    8:14am
    Have a look at Whyalla Steel Works. At the end of the resources boom Labor decide to put a tax on them. If you want to cripple an industry then there's no better time to strike. When the iron is hot!
    The LNP in opposition opposed it naturally.
    What happened next would exemplify the stupidity of having a Labor Government.
    Labor then gave Whyalla $600m and proceeded to make a joke of it. We saw Craig Emerson's impersonation of the skyhooks song. At that time I thought if I switch on the news and see that idiot singing about people's hard luck, I will get rid of the box.
    Labor uses money to keep people quiet.
    Like the $1m they gave that independent for getting Gillard over the line.

    20th Apr 2016
    7:34pm
    Not Senile Yet reckons Malcolm Fraser was PM in 1990 - hate to contradict you old fella, but Bob Hawke was PM in that year! Try 1980 for Mal the trouserless! You may not be senile - yet, but you certainly are dyslexic!
    MICK
    20th Apr 2016
    9:07pm
    Be kind Al.
    particolor
    20th Apr 2016
    8:12pm
    Well Retired Accountant friend of mine told me a Year back that the Old Age Pension is about $180 a Fortnight on the Slack side for living with dignity ! :-( He's Self Funded by the way ! Now he's Informed me its slipped back to about $200 :-( :-(
    FM
    21st Apr 2016
    12:20am
    For the people concerned about what they will leave their children and grandchildren, surely one very important legacy would be a well functioning retirement system where they could expect to be treated with dignity in old age and have right to a pension for which they have contributed without being abused or threatened with homelessness for a meagre payment. This was what Curtin, Chiefley, and Menzies had in mind when they set party politics aside to set up a National Welfare Scheme to ensure that everyone received an aged pension. When the legislation was passed in 1946 Robert Menzies stated that the Scheme was:“an equitable scheme of benefits on a contributory basis” and “being a contributory scheme it would preserve self - respect, keep the fund solvent and dispense with a means test which required an applicant to ‘prove his poverty’”.
    All of us who have retired have paid into this scheme throughout our lifetimes. Many of us who have other superannuation will receive little of nothing from it but we cannot grudge a basic pension to those who were in jobs which did not allow them to contribute to other superannuation schemes and we should not let present politicians forget that they have stolen our super.
    The current discussion is generally entirely contrary to the spirit of the three aforementioned Prime Ministers. It undermines the self respect of anyone getting a pension or part pension. Sadly even other pensioners are in for the kill. This is cruel and vicious to people in their 70s to 90s + who have tried to make some plan to provide for whatever time they have left according to the limited means they have within the framework that was in place when they retired.
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:15am
    You are so right, FM. We SHOULD be fighting to preserve the benefit system Curtin, Chifley and Menzies had the foresight to work towards. It's disgusting that our current government wants to undo that good work for the benefit of their rich and privileged cronies. They are destroying everything that is good about Australian society, and its our children and grandchildren who will suffer.
    Adrianus
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:25am
    They will suffer a whole lot more if we don't get the budget balanced and have a positive trade balance.
    FM
    21st Apr 2016
    12:26am
    The great 'Debt and Deficit Disaster' has not caused our politicians to doubt the country's ability to pay the Highest political salaries in the world. This is the first time we have had a Government that cannot manage basic expenditure. Other countries that had major problems after the sub prime banking crisis are not trying to rob their pensioners. That is only happening in Australia.
    roy
    21st Apr 2016
    9:00am
    Vote independent.
    roy
    21st Apr 2016
    9:00am
    Vote independent.
    roy
    21st Apr 2016
    9:00am
    Vote independent.
    particolor
    21st Apr 2016
    1:45pm
    This also Isn't Mick :-)
    FM
    21st Apr 2016
    1:36am
    I agree MICK. They are emphasizing debt and deficit which isn't a disaster but overlooking the balance of payments problem due to outsourcing so much manufacturing and industry support. This may increase company profits but causes serious Balance of Trade problems.
    None of this is an excuse for targeting pensions. It took a lot of social effort to get an aged pension put in place. We should make our contribution by taking a stand in handing on a strong system to the next generation.
    MD
    21st Apr 2016
    12:46pm
    Yes, the home should be 'on the line' but subject to indexation PLUS a 'Grandfathering Clause ' to accommodate the past/current retirees.
    Pensionable age to remain @ 67, although some individuals will deem it too early and others too late.

    Tax, in all it's many and varied forms is required by most everyone of working age (although questionable let's say 16 to 67) and then some.
    Forgive the bleedin obvious; & as previously mentioned, some individuals pay more tax than others as a consequence of their higher earnings. MOST contributors herein seem unanimously to think that this privileged group avail themselves of all/any/every tax dodge, concession, privilege, shelter or haven that are non accessible to the less fortunate. Based on the premise that ALL retirees have 'paid their dues' then doesn't it follow that this same 'privileged' group are no less entitled to an age pension?
    That the privileged few may have been a tad more discerning in deciding when or where to invest their 'savings' and thereby realize a more comfortable retirement does in no way mean they should either be excluded or penalized for their good fortune. Maybe it's a matter for the individual's personal conscience & ethics - but then don't we all find convincing argument in defending OUR standards whilst at the same time condemning others theirs ?
    Another point of order is - in a good many of these posts, how many tend to compare their lot versus (their perception) of those better off. Why is it, when people have a 'barrow to push', they whinge that everyone else's barrow is lighter ! Yes, some are more successful and the rest who ; whether due to circumstances (within or beyond their control), bad decisions, "luck" or any one number of life's knocks, envy those few overlooks the fact that there remains many more less fortunate still. Anyone can (and too many do) trot out their personal hardships to justify an attack on those better off. Maybe they need remind themselves to remember the multitudes behind them who, given the opportunity might step on/over them to claim the dizzy heights of those they lambaste and in so doing, show little compassion or have no compunctions how they achieve it.
    Adrianus
    22nd Apr 2016
    10:27am
    Good post MD!
    Chris B T
    21st Apr 2016
    1:01pm
    Oddest of all things about Australian tax system is no one or any business, corporations has to pay taxes.
    With all the Fancy accounting ,shifting of funds, deductions, rightdowns and negative gearing.
    No taxes needed to be paid, if taken out of earnings returned after completing the tax paperwork.
    Just a minor inconvience until money is refunded.
    There needs to be Minimum Thresholds Set and EARN HERE PAY TAXES HERE "SIMPLE".
    ;-{
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:00am
    Almost right, Chris B T. But the poorest DO pay taxes - not a lot, because their income doesn't permit, but workers who struggle to get by are the ONLY citizens who can't escape tax because they don't have the money to pay to find fancy loopholes or engage in minimization schemes. They even pay more tax on their super than the well-to-do under our crazy back-to-front rebate laws.

    The arrogant egotists here who keep accusing others of ''a welfare mentality'' (Yes, I refer to ''Retired Knowall'') have taken advantage of all sorts of tax minimization strategies, but they condemn folk who didn't have access to any of those benefits but want a small retirement benefit in old age. DISGUSTING!
    Chris B T
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:28am
    Rainey
    Until minimum Taxing Thresholds are set and as you say crazy back-to-front super tax rebates, are checked it will be more of the same.
    No one is asking for unrealistic Taxing System just a Fairer Taxing System for All.
    old-age worker
    22nd Apr 2016
    9:13am
    Well, here I was thinking I was alone in my thinking.
    Like the survey said, how wrong I was!
    Great responses. Really down-to-earth thinking.
    NOw my point:
    This next budget will be VERY soft.
    It has ONE PURPOSE - TO WIN VOTES.
    Once Mal and his mates are in power, in BOTH HOUSES it will be a free-for -all.
    This is a do or die budget.
    Can you imagine his his mates at the big end of town letting him get away with the things he has promised us?
    There is no way! Unless he has made a committment: Once in power, in both houses, he will do their bidding.
    This is what he does. It's his raison d'etre.
    JOHN T
    22nd Apr 2016
    10:38am
    Totally agree lets make sure Mal and his cronies do not get elected and the Senate is strengthend
    particolor
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:09pm
    I haven't read anything truer than that lately OAG !!
    The last 20 odd years have set This Once Beautiful Country on a very Steep Down Hill Run :-( :-(
    particolor
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:11pm
    And anyone who wants to argue with that, Go Ahead and tell us all about it !!


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