Growing political support to fix pension poverty

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Australia is far from the ‘lucky country’ for those age pensioners who are living in poverty. They make up one-third of 1.5 million older Australians whose main source of income is the Age Pension, according to OECD data that compares pensions expenditure and ‘liveability’ across 33 nations in its annual Pensions at a Glance reports.

The information corroborates the widening gap between retiree ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ revealed in the quarterly YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index™ (RAI) which measures household expenditure by retirement ‘tribe’ – Affluent Singles and Couples, Constrained Singles and Couples, and Cash-Strapped Singles and Couples.

Measured since March 2017, the RAI reveals a widening gap between ‘affluents’ who own their home and are self-funded in retirement, ‘constrained households’ who also own their home, but live on a full or part Age Pension, and the ‘cash strapped’, those who live on an Age Pension but are renting.

How bad is Australia’s OECD pension poverty ranking? With 36 per cent of Australians living on less than half of the nation’s median household income, Australian pensioners are the second worst off in the world, beaten to this dubious distinction by South Korea, where 50 per cent of older people live in poverty. The OECD average is 12.6 per cent, so there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to the base rate of the Age Pension and rental supplements in this country.

Which is why The Benevolent Society’s ‘Fix Pension Poverty’ campaign is worthy of support. A not-for-profit and non-religious organisation formed in 1813, The Benevolent Society maintains that the Age Pension is not keeping up with the real costs of living. And that the 1.5 million older Australians who rely on it as their main income source are being denied a decent standard of living.

The Benevolent Society maintains that the substantial deprivation pensioners suffer includes going without food and heating, ignoring the need to see medical specialists and skipping medications to make ends meet, with some even mashing food to avoid the cost of visiting the dentist.
When YourLifeChoices references the RAI costs of living in retirement by retirement tribe, we can support the Benevolent Society’s contentions.

On 26 March, the campaign received strong support from independent MP Rebekha Sharkie (now subject to a by-election due to dual citizenship concerns).

In introducing the bill, Ms Sharkie stated, “I believe that the base rate of the Age Pension should be subject to the judgement of an independent tribunal and review, to consider in depth whether at its current level it is adequate enough to keep age pensioners secure and in a position to prosper.”

Ms Sharkie introduced a motion that called on the Government to:

  • establish an independent tribunal to assess the base rate of the pension and determine the best mechanism for annual review
  • increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance to reduce the gap between age pensioners who are home owners and those who are renters
  • establish a round table to review services provided to age pensioners.

In addition to Ms Sharkie’s initiative, two Labor MPs – Graham Perrett and Chris Hayes – also supported the motion. Ms Sharkie said she was looking forward to the Government’s response and called on the Minister of Social Services The Hon Dan Tehan to take action.
YourLifeChoices website supports The Benevolent Society’s call for the establishment of an expert Age Pension tribunal to review pension rates and provide a fair and decent standard of living for older Australians.

Age Pension facts

  • The Age Pension is a universal means-tested payment. It is universal in that eligibility does not depend upon prior contributions.
  • As of September 2017 (latest available data): In Australia, there are 1,552,340 full rate Age Pension recipients and an additional 931,669 part-Age Pension recipients
  • More than 70 per cent of the older Australian population receive the Age Pension, with 60 per cent of this number on the full Age Pension.
  • The qualifying age is increasing from 65 to 67 by 2023

On 1 July 2017, the qualifying age increased from 65 years to 65 years and six months. After that, it will increase by six months every two years, reaching age 67 by 1 July 2023.

The Coalition policy is to increase the qualifying age further to age 70, but since the ‘zombie measures’ of 2014, this policy has not been passed by Parliament.

Current amount of the Age Pension

Per fortnight

Single

Couple each

Couple together

Maximum basic rate

$826.20

$622.80

Maximum pension supplement

$67.30

$50.70

Energy supplement

$14.10

$10.60

Total

$907.60

$684.10

$1368.20

Per week

$453.80

$684.10

Per annum

$23,598

 

$35,573

Household expenditures, as measured by the YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index, December 2018 quarter:

Cash-strapped – full or part Age Pension, renting

$22,593

$35,954

Constrained – full or part Age Pension, in own home

$23,644

$42,614

Affluent – self-funded, in own home

$42,447

$74,254


Possible rental supplement (for people without dependent children)

If you’re …

Fortnightly rent is at least:

To receive the maximum payment, your fortnightly rent is at least:

The maximum fortnightly payment is:

Annual

Single

$120.20

$299.93

$134.80

$35,04.80

Single, sharer

$120.20

$240.02

$89.87

$23,36.62

Couple, combined

$194.60

$363.93

$127.00

$3302

One of a couple separated due to illness

$120.20

$299.93

$134.80

$35,04.80

One of a couple temporarily separated

$120.20

$289.53

$127.00

$33,02.00

Can you relate to the notion that more than one third of Australians on a full Age Pension are living in poverty? If you can, how would you like to see this changed? Or do you believe that the current rate of the Age Pension is adequate? 

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297 Comments

Total Comments: 297
  1. 0
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    Tony Abbott dropped the pension supplement when he was PM but the states took over the payment. From what i understand, as from the 1st of July, 2018, those still getting the energy supplement will lose it.

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      No Beachyi that’s not right. If you were getting it before 20/3/17 you still get it. Those who qualified for the OAP after that date miss out

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      No one should get it after 1/7/2018 as we no longer have a carbon tax. Scrap it for everyone on welfare.

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      Yes – we’re back to the age of the First and Second Class Pensioners – the one I fought Howard over before his political demise – and he lost.

      It doesn’t take long for those sucking deeply of the top layer of fat in Canberra to come up with the same old nightmares for the peasants over and over again.

      We need a dramatical change in the outlook of politicians and parties in this nation – or a complete change of all of them.

      Where’s Rafe to demand that the peasant pensioners downsize – still waiting on a response to my question yesterday:-

      WHY should it be mandatory? Lay it all out for us chapter and verse….. WHY??

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      There was no Carbon Tax, OG – it never raised a cent and had no impact on the economy.

      Now that great government is whining that it has insufficient revenue (its own fault), and is picking away like the vulture it is at those with the least.

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      Whether or not there was a carbon tax is irrelevant. What is relevant is that electricity and gas prices have continued to rise, therefore there is NO grounds for removing a subsidy that was intended to help meet the increased costs.

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      It was bought in so that those on welfare got subsidised for the carbon tax so no carbon tax no supplement. It is as simple as that.

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      The Age Pension is not welfare, OG, how many more times do you need to be told? It has become the politicians’ personal piggy bank.
      Check back. When the pensioners get a cut in pension a few days/weeks later politicians get a large salary increase which, incidentally, increases their pensions.
      A universal pension would take that hefty slice of cash out of politicians’ pockets and put it back in pensioner’s pockets. You’d hear the politicians’ screams of rage from one end of the globe to the other.

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      OAP is nothing but welfare and anyone who thinks otherwise is just kidding themselves.

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      OG, it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CARBON TAX. The tax didn’t increase prices and ostensibly removing it didn’t reduce them. So the supplement is needed as much as ever and only a miserable miserly monster would suggest otherwise.

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      OGR it was bought in so those on welfare would not be impacted by the carbon tax. So no carbon tax no supplement.

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      And it’s removal was an act of FRAUD. Plain and simple. There was NO saving by removing a tax that never really existed in the first place. Any claim of saving was a lie, and any attack on incomes by claiming saving was FRAUD.

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      Agree so the supplement is also fraud as well. Get rid of it for all those on welfare.

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      No, the supplement was never fraud. It was an honest and fair payment to assist with the rising costs of power. It’s needed. It’s justified. And only a vile and disgusting inhuman monster would suggest it should be scrapped.

  2. 0
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    The aged pension is too complicated when without warning or explanation my aged pension regular payment was extended from the regular 14 day period to a 16 day period and was reduced by $121.37 from the 14 day period payment. Nothing had changed. When I tried to get the answer to why this has happened all I got was a letter with my new aged pension details on it. No answers to why this has happened. It appears that it could be another episode like the overpayments debarcle that they would not admit to until it went before the ombudsman. Maybe someone here can inform me of any changes over the last 2 weeks. I received my normal regular payment on Tuesday 29 May then I received a payment of $303.43 on the 4 June so I checked my.gov.au and it said my next payment will be on 14 June which is 16 days from my last payment and that it will be for $424.80 so when you add these together they come to $728.23 which is $121.37 below my regular payment of $849.60 so has anything changed.

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      No changes Russell unless to your personal circumstances.You’ll have to ring them and be prepared to wait. The line for older Australians is often quicker. Our part pension was cut recently because our super fund provided the wrong info to Centrelink. Fixed quickly though

  3. 0
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    I’m in carer pittance ( payment ) poverty, the govt pays me 3.50 an hour to care for how ever many I have to and I will soon move to age pittance poverty

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      It seems silly doesn’t it. If you’d chosen to work and use government carer services it would have cost the government more.

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      Government pays me nothing to care for my partner.

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      You’ve got too much income, by your admission, OG.

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      No matter what my income is I still have to look after my partner and I get nothing for doing so.

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      No Trebor, carer payments are not subject to the income or assets test. If OG does not receive carer payments it can only be because (a) he has not applied for it or (b) his partner is not sufficiently disabled or infirm to qualify for the payments. It may be that OG is a man of principle and refuses to accept any government ‘welfare’.

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      Then clearly your partner does not need looking after, because carers ARE paid, regardless of income and assets. Those with limited means get more, but ALL genuine carers receive a benefit. Stop whinging and start paying attention to the issue – which is that POVERTY in Australia is at unacceptable levels. And all decent human beings want that addressed. All you do with your ranting, OG, is show yourself to be a contemptible and disgusting monster with not one ounce of humanity.

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      How is it, Tisme, that companies can be fined big bucks for paying below the minimum rate of pay but the government is allowed to do it?

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      OGR no not everyone gets paid to be a carer as you have to apply for it.

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      So what’s your problem with it then?

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      Why would you expect to get paid for caring for someone you love OG, “In sickness and in health”, remember.

    • 0
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      Maybe I am not married so didn’t take that oath at all.

  4. 0
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    Up the top with politicians wages and entitlements, down the bottom…

  5. 0
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    I am living reasonably on the single pension but then I own my own home. I have always thought that the rental assistance paid to non-home owners was inadequate and should be increased. Young couples are finding that they will possibly never own their own home and the likelihood of living in poverty is only going to get worse.

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      Unfortunately, bobby, if rent assistance went up rents would go up by the same amount so renters would be no better off. There would have to be safeguards in place first.

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      And there is no practical way to implement safeguards. The bottom line is that rent assistance is not a solution to a complex problem. Many homeowners are as badly off as renters – or worse. It’s not JUST rent that the problem. It’s far more complex than that. The system needs a total overhaul and as many here keep saying, the ONLY sensible solution is to abolish means tests and get in step with other countries that show respect for their aged. Or at least abolish the assets test. While saving is detrimental, there will be less of it and more poverty. When saving is rewarded, more people will be self-sufficient, spending will rise to drive growth and jobs and revenue, and there will be more to provide housing for those who genuinely need it.

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      Unfortunately a rise in rent assistance activated an immediate rise to the rent even in goverment housing.so in one hand and handed to the other.a total waste of time.universal pension is way to go. I will swap mine for any of the pollies who have put in 53 years of hard work,but that would be an impossible find now wouldn’t it

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      That has seemed to be a consistent response to any rise in worker or pensioner payments in Australia. The landlords and business people just immediately take any increase so people can never get far ahead unless they all stop spending together and break the system.

      It’s just all so stupid and greedy but very Australian.

      Wonder what will go up now the lowest paid get a 3.5% rise?

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      Everything! Necessities by substantially more than 3.5%.

  6. 0
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    I have to live on the DSP, which pays the same as the AP.

    There’s very little left each fortnight after paying for essential expenses (rent, phone, electricity, food, insurances), to be able to put any savings away for the ‘just in case’ expenses of having to replace white goods, or do major replacements (tyres, battery, etc) for my 12 year old car.

  7. 0
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    The age and disability support pension rates are not keeping pace with the costs of living. This cohort of citizens all too often need additional medications and in home supports to maintain a very basic standard of living. Provider co-payments further erode their meagre income to provide for orher life basics. What about our farmers who are penalised for owning more than 5 acres of land -classed as an asset beyond the principal place of residence. Age and disability mean the land is no longer income producing but costly maintenance must still happen to comply with land control regulations. For those people it becomes a choice between putting food on the table, medical and community care and treatment, land rates and regulatory compliance. Combine this with the everpresent drought. No wonder rural suicide seems the best way out!!

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      We know that one – we sold the property to move up-coast to warmer climes. Now the rates are sucking away cash anyway, especially huge water rates from zero consumption, and the water is vile…. wouldn’t even consider brewing beer or wine with this garbage they call tap water.

      When I rinse my teeth pre-brushing, I get a half-gag reflex instantly… now that’s bad water….

  8. 0
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    Australia’s STOLEN Aged Pension, this will open your eyes to our politician’s lies, “The Aged Pension.” Well, it certainly was collected, but it amassed such huge amounts, this government and those preceding, couldn’t help themselves and have spent billions of it over the years in a manner they had no right to. “the money earned by the people themselves through hard work and often deprivation ( as a legislation obligation part thereof was collected by the Tax Department for this very purpose ) was in fact and still is, collected as a tax originally, specifically and intentionally so as to fund, “The Aged Pension.”
    To dispel some misinformation currently being promoted by Party Politicians and their spin doctors and lying ex Ministers, listed here are some historical facts every Australian, especially the young who are under the miss-guided belief and/or assumption that they are funding the Aged Pension from their current hard work; They Are Not, they’re funding their own Pension Fund; a fund that governments have no intention of paying and to add insult to injury, legislate to force you to pay into a Super Fund to boot.
    1939-1945 – WORLD WAR II
    1942-1943
    As a Wartime measure, the Federal Government gained sole control over Australian Income Tax. Labor Prime Minister ( Ben Chifley ) introduced three bills to establish the National Welfare Fund, to be financed by a Compulsory Contribution (levy) of one and sixpence in the Pound (20/- ) on all personal income.
    1946
    Opposition Leader ( Robert Menzies ) stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate. That it should be shown separately on the Taxation Assessment and paid straight into a “TRUST” account and not mixed with the General Revenue.
    Menzies said “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension.” ”It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    Prime Minister Chifley agreed and established The National Welfare fund as at 1/1/1946. A “Trust” Fund with the Parliament as “Trustee.”
    The Compulsory Contributions (levy) commenced as at 1st January 1946.
    It was shown separately on the personal Tax Assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950
    and the compulsory levy was properly paid straight into the Special “Trust” fund
    and Welfare claims were paid out of the fund.
    The balance in the fund in 1950 was almost 100 Million Pounds.
    1949 Robert Menzies became Prime Minister and he introduced Bills to amend the acts governing the National Welfare Funds.
    The Compulsory Contributions (levy) was then grouped with the Taxation Assessment and appeared as one amount on the Taxation Assessments and was paid as one straight into the Consolidated Revenue Account.
    1951-1985
    The Compulsory levy of 7.5% now included in the tax continued to be collected and placed in the Consolidated Revenue Account treated as General Revenue and spent, until 1985.
    1974-1975
    Labor Prime Minister ( Gough Whitlam ) abolished income test for all persons 70 years of age and over and paid pensions to all people over that age.
    1975
    Liberal Prime Minister ( Malcolm Fraser ) cancelled the Withlam achievement of abolishing the test for all 70 years of age and over.
    1977
    Liberal Prime Minister ( Malcolm Fraser ) with Treasurer Philip Lynch ) transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund Account ( approximately $ 470.000.000 ) to Consolidated Revenue Account.
    1985
    Australian Labor Government repealed acts No. 39, 40, and 41 of 1945 ( The National Welfare Fund Acts ). Thus the funds finally ceased to exist yet the 7.5% levy continued to be collected as a proportion of the Income Tax revenue. It also introduced the (much maligned) Income and Asset Tests, thereby excluding millions of levy and tax paying Australians from receiving Social Services Pensions.
    This money these self funded contributions paid as a percentage of the total income tax collections are today worth far more than the amount of means tested pensions paid out.
    Actuaries have calculated the non-means tested entitlement due to each retiree, today is in excess of $ 500 per week.
    This surely debunks the politicians claim that the generation are paying a proportion of their current taxes to cover the payments made to pensioners. The obvious short fall has been swallowed by the government’s Taxation Black Hole.
    The historical summary above highlights the fact that politicians of opposing political parties each contributed to the agenda to destroy the entitlement as it was intended why ?
    When it clearly would not have been the will of the people.
    While Party Politicians are controlled by a few people who are hidden from public view yet are open to Manipulation and Outright Corruption , there can be no certainty of the payment of pensions.
    Only a majority of truly Independent representatives can bring about a change from Government under corporate control, to Government for the People, of the People, by the People.
    Just because a cabal of political miscreants become so GREEDY and they change the way a tax looks in the Ledgers,
    IN NO WAY REMOVES THE FACT THAT THIS TAX IS TILL COLLECTED AND IS SO COLLECTED STILL TO THIS DAY TO PROVIDE FOR THE SUPPLY AND CONTINUATION OF THE OLD AGE PENSION.
    A STIPEND TO THE ELDERLY CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY WHO HAVE WORKED FOR DECADES OF THEIR LIVES TO BUILD A NATION AND HAVE FROM WORKING DAY ONE OF THEIR LIVES, BEEN PAYING 7% PLUS OF THEIR TAXES DIRECTLY TOWARDS THIS PENSION.
    The old age pension is not a privilege;
    Is not a right;
    Is not a gift;
    Is not even welfare;
    The Old Age Pension is an asset;
    Owned and accrued by each Australian Citizen who has funded this asset from their very own purse.
    The governments of the day were employed to amass, secure, invest and manage a fund that in its first 5 years bulged to almost 100.000.000 Pounds ( am amount in that day that equated in that day in this day’s dollars and cents, to approximately AU $240 million give or take a million or two ).
    They did amass, secure, invest and manage and the figures were colossal and frightening to them and hence they conspired to hide them back into the Consolidated Revenue Bucket and to this day, the bucket has been brimming with a 7.5% tax collected specifically and only, for the Old Age Pension.
    Now young Australians ! You are not paying for the welfare of Baby boomers, you are paying for yourselves, new immigrants, the needy in society requiring social services and welfare, dole recipients and the bludgers, – BUT YOU ARE NOT PAYING FOR THE OLD PENSION OF ELDERLY AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE WORKED ALL THEIR LIVES IN THIS COUNTRY AND PAID THEIR DUE FAIR SHARE OF TAXES. Nick Minchin on the Tony Jones ABC TV Program Q & A 11/09/2008 stated quite clearly that funds were not, have not and are not collected and held in a bank account waiting for the government to pay it out in the form of the Old Age Pension, or words that meant, “exactly this.”
    As an ex Australian Federal Government Finance Minister, this man knows that this statement on that television program, was a blatant lie ( and he said it with a look of sincerity on his face, the ability of doing so obviously a political prerequisite ).

    The ALP & LNP They found the Loophole in the Original Legislation that allowed them to Legally Access that Pension Retirement Trust Fund!
    Labor & Liberal had to both agree for it to be legal!!!!
    Guess what the Carrot was for Labor?
    LNP promised to Build a Brand New Parliament House in Canberra FOR All Politicians!
    So Labor took the Bribe and agreed!
    Legal Theft by BOTH PARTIES!
    Conditions agreed upon….
    No MP from either party is to ever admit or discuss that deal before death!
    No MP will answer any questions on the Subject…they walk away or change the subject!
    Sworn to Secrecy!
    GREATEST LEGAL THEFT OF BILLIONS BY ANY GOVERNMENT EVER!

    • 0
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      Rubbish the OAP is welfare paid to those who have no others means of support.

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      Thanks for supplying the information again, Rocky2, useful for those not listening earlier to understand how BOTH major parties have stuffed the Australian Age Pensioner and STOLEN their contributions by acting as a Tag Team.

      Scrap the Special Politicians Pensions – this won’t happen unless they are ALL voted out, and NO MORE are allowed to get to their Minimum 8 years on the seat to get their fat, undeserved, untested, Minimum 50% of Base Salary as Pensions.

      Hence, all Voters (Retirees, in particular, Age Pensioners even more so) MUST NOT allow these creeps to get re-elected – vote them all OUT (put the current seat-warmer last in Preferences)!

    • 0
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      Rocky2 we should have rioted when they sacked Whitlam and kept it up especially when Fraser stole the welfare fund that PAYGs finance.

      I didn’t recall being told about it by the media at the time. Bit like the bail in legislation I expect.

      Anything to save their own tails at worker’s expense.

    • 0
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      very well researched & said

    • 0
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      Yes – we’ve been through that, Rocky – thanks for putting it all out there for everyone.

      OG – your reasoning, as usual , is false – OAP is not given to those with no other means of support – it is a right of everyone – but currently bounded by an assets and income test.

      You simply whine because your politics of envy dictate to you that you can’t bear to see someone getting an income that you don’t get… as usual Thatcher was half-right, but utterly failed to have an inclusive view of reality, so you can forget your neo-Thatcherite whining.

      Pension and unemployment benefits are a bought and paid for right.

    • 0
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      Nope welfare is not a right or an entitlement at all.

    • 0
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      If you are right, OG, then all pensions are welfare because if you took away everyone’s non-OAP pensions, ex teachers, ex nurses…ex anyone who’s retired, the majority would have no means of support.

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      Triss the OAP is not a pension in the true sense of the ward as there is nothing backing it unlike other pensions.

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      Nor is there anything backing half the other ”pensions” paid securely to the more privileged, but nobody is attacking them. There WAS money backing the OAP – a HUGE amount of money. It’s hardly the pensioners’ fault that it was stolen by fraudsters.

    • 0
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      Very true, OGR, and now government has the gall to tell taxpayers that pensions and pensioners are a burden when the real burden is politicians’ criminal act.

    • 0
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      Thanks for that report, Rocky. It’s very comprehensive. Perhaps you should, if you haven’t already done so, submit it to all there newspaper and media outlets in the country.

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      OG you are right and that is a total disgrace. Perhaps we do need to rise up and pull the Government down and insist on our welfare fund being restored and the aged pension being reinstated as an entitlement.

      You keep telling us the truth about the theft of it and you’re right of course. This lousyy LNP government hates workers with a vengeance spiteful and corrupt.

  9. 0
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    Apart from the obvious answers that it is a disgrace that only South Korea is worse than us in supporting our aged citizens, there is also a glowing discrimination against married individuals (not couples).
    Those married “individuals” ARE equally “individuals” as a single person, yet they are paid only 75% of what a single person receives, $500 per month less!!!
    That “two can live as cheaply as one” went out with the dark ages, married people DO enjoy basic individual activities and contributed equally to EARN that pension payment. That disparity in payments is an insult and highly discriminatory.

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      Grateful – you have overlooked the fact that a married couple only pays one lot of rent/mortgage. Just one gas bill. One electric bill. The rates are the same on a property whether it is a couple occupying, or a single. Otherwise your argument has some merit.
      I know plenty of unmarried couples, who don’t declare their relationship to CentreLink, and thus benefit from two single pensions. So there is unfairness in many ways, not just the way you are inferring.

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      It’s getting harder for singles to live alone. Perhaps the solution is to share house with another or to move to a cheaper area.

      Before driven into poverty by unaffordable rents or home costs ie rates, insurance, maintenance.

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      Good comment, Grateful, it’s nothing but a nasty rule to cut back pensions for couples. Also, encourages break-ups, and fraud as Big Al has noted.
      Big Al, why do Politicians get their fat, undeserved, unfunded, untested huge pensions without looking at whether they have a partner (always a matter of doubt as per Barnaby) or not, or whether they have other Assets / Income or not? Protected species?

      So, NO tests, and Universal Pension with only Age (65 yrs) and Residency (say 15 yrs) is the way to go. And, scrap all Politicians Special Pensions so that they also follow the same rules if they want OAP.

    • 0
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      With true respect Big Al. The point that I am trying to make is that married or single, they should be treated equally as they are both “entitled” under the regulations deeming entitlement, and have both “earned” the right to be granted a pension just for being an Australian citizen who has paid all their taxes and contributed to the community throughout their lifetime, thus deserving to be treated as that single individual regardless of their race, creed or marital status.
      And married couples eat and drink twice as much food and drink, use twice as much hot water, twice as much clothing, twice as much for treats such as a rare coffee with friends at the coffee shop or a movie, twice as much public transport costs, individual medical, pharmaceutical and dental expenses and personal hygiene items, separate hobbies, just to name a few.
      It definitely encourages fraud and certainly discriminates against marriage. How ironic and hypocritical is that?

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      That’s a good thought for builders or downsizes, Rae. It can’t be that difficult to split a four bedroomed house into two separate areas and each renter will have a lower rent.

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      Yes, Grateful, and married couples often need a larger home and consume more lighting and heating to allow the partners to occupy different rooms – or should they not be allowed to have privacy and pursue different activities just because they married? Many genuinely NEED to run two vehicles for valid reasons.

      I could live on 1/4 of my current income if my partner wasn’t around. I have a partner who suffers PTSD and cannot live in confined spaces, so needs a stand-alone house with no close neighbours. I could live very happily in a small home unit or even a caravan if single. I could eat far more cheaply if alone, but I am hardly going to buy, store, cook and eat a whole different set of foods while sitting across the table from someone I love.

      Mean people – who do not have to tolerate the harsh conditions imposed on others – are quick to support any measure that might feed their greed by reducing taxes marginally. But nothing is as simple as they pretend. And it IS mean and disgusting to be continually demanding that the aged be further deprived. We earned a much better deal than we are receiving. We deserve respect. Other nations have no problem looking after their aged far better than we do. What’s wrong with Australia? To consumed by GREED among the privileged, it seems!

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      Rae, the Qld Govt is piloting a scheme matching singles on the OAP who want to share accommodation. All the participants are fully vetted. I think it’s a god idea

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      Yes Triss and was an original idea for those dual villas built all over.
      I can’t believe the cost of those villas now in a lot of areas.

      Too many people want to live in the same desirable spots.

      I always thought the motel arrangement a good idea as a type of boarding house with paid management who cooked for maybe up to a dozen residents. Joint dinning room, kitchenette and recreational facilities including an outdoor area with BBQ and seating.

      Subsidise with the rental grant and say $200 of each persons pension a week. $3400 a week should run the place surely as public housing for the elderly.

      There are barely viable motels all over the country that could be bought and renovated to suit.

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      .. and a disabled person with some problems needs heat control all the time… here I’m often amazed to hear the air conditioning going on a cool night…. it’s nothing for ‘the other room’ to go from heater to air con in one night.

      Some people cannot control body heat, and all that adds to costs, and as people age, these things become more prevalent.

      Just one example of how costs can add up.

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      And some with mental disabilities cannot live in confined spaces or close to others. But I suppose – regardless that their mental disability was caused by abuse by the State – they should just be forced to suffer, for the convenience and morbid satisfaction of the privileged who get their thrills from seeing others in pain.

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      I see a rather discriminatory anomaly in paying married pensioners less. When it comes to tax, they are treated individually! Rather unfair!

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    It’s not enough. I agree rent assistance should be increased but at the same time research into average costs of running a home should occur. Rates, insurances, repairs and maintenance are not cheap. Can’t compensate one sector at the expense of another

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      But that is exactly what they have been doing lately.

      Compensating working mothers now at the expense of single retired people.

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      Spot on, Rae. I’ve laid out before what ‘welfare’ actually is – and it’s not paid for Pensions and Unemployment Benefits.

      Welfare is PPL, childcare subsidy, and a host of other things that are not part of the Social Security budget. You can throw in tax concessions for corporations and a host of other things as well – as many have been doing here for ages.

      No wonder society is become a wasteland for the many – the bottom line these days is the dual income family – all market prices are based on the expectation that both parents in a family are working – and thus unless you have a massive single income or two good dual incomes, you simply cannot compete.

      The pension should be calculated at the going rate for the Dual Income Family to make it fair. Take the total male AWE and the female AWE :-

      $3072 x 27.5/100 = $844.80 pw……… $1689.60 pf.

      Nearly double the current amount, and closer to what is actually required to get by these days.

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      Sorry – that calculated figure was:-

      Total M/F AWE = $3072, calculated at 27.5% of REAL AWE for the MADIF (Mandatory Dual Income Family) = $844.80 a week.

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      Again – on this nonsense of including the family home in the assets test – if that is to become the case, compensation should be paid for all the costs of procuring, maintaining and extending etc that asset. If it is to be treated as an asset – it should be treated as an asset from the date of purchase.. and all costs deducted, or at the current time, all costs refunded on an indexed basis before chopping away at pension rights.

      These loudmouth politicians and their tame mates can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine….

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