8th May 2019
ALP plans to restore Centrelink staffing, protect pension
ALP plans to restore Centrelink staffing, protect pension

We’ve heard from the Greens and the Coalition about their plans for older Australians. Today, the Australian Labor Party shares its policies and plans to address your top five concerns.

•••

Increase the base rate of the Age Pension; consider a universal age pension
Labor established the Age Pension – and only Labor can be trusted to protect the household budgets of pensioners.

The Liberals promised “no cuts to the pension”. But this was a lie. In every single budget, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has tried to cut the pension or increase the pension age to 70.

Labor fought every one of these pension cuts tooth and nail.

Had it not been for Labor, pensioners and approaching retirees would be far worse off.

The difference is clear. Labor will always protect the pension and deliver better health services for pensioners.

Address climate change
Labor will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change.

After six years of rising electricity prices, chaos and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.

Labor is committed to working with business to reduce Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero pollution by 2050.

We are also committed to 50 per cent renewable energy in our electricity mix by 2030. Renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner – it is the smart thing to do.

Healthcare: better access to medicines and diagnostics, universal dental care, improved private health insurance subsidies
A Shorten Labor Government will deliver the biggest cancer care package in Australian history, with a $2.3 billion investment to slash out-of-pocket expenses for cancer patients, which includes eliminating all out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic imaging, with up to six million free cancer scans funded through Medicare.

Labor will also establish a landmark Medicare Pensioner Dental Plan – giving up to three million older Australians access to free dental care.

This will mean all age pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders will be able to access up to $1000 in dental services for free every two years.

More incentive to work past the age pension age without being financially penalised in terms of pension entitlements
Labor supports Australians working for as long as they want, and we support the extended pension work bonus.

From 1 July 2019, both employed and self-employed social security pensioners over pension age will be eligible for the Work Bonus, and able to earn up to $300 per fortnight from work before this income is assessed under the pension income test. Additionally, the Work Bonus maximum accrual amount will increase to $7800.

Easier access to Centrelink resources and quicker responses
Labor will establish 1200 new permanent and full-time Department of Human Services staff around the country, improving waiting times and services that Australians rely on.

It’s clear that Centrelink is in crisis under this Liberal Government.

The Liberals have cut or outsourced thousands of Centrelink jobs, leaving it understaffed and under-resourced. In this time, Centrelink call and payment wait times have skyrocketed.

Labor will ensure that people can receive assistance when they need it – not be pushed further into hardship by long and uncertain waiting times.

What do you think of Labor’s policies? Do they address your concerns? Which do you think will most help you?

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    COMMENTS

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    Cowboy Jim
    9th May 2019
    10:11am
    Working to the age of 70 was certainly mentioned in politics but has remained a rumor whereas the fact that we now have to work till 67 was announced out of the blue by Labor's Kevin Rudd. So I trust neither side, whatever anyone says, asset and income tests will be tightened further. The only way to win is to become a politician as they seem to be protected from any future cuts. No option for me as a dual citizen.
    tactful
    9th May 2019
    10:21am
    Then Cowboy Jim, say nothing at all as you are NOT a true Citizen of this Country, if you were you would renounce any other Citizenship.

    Raising the eligibility age to 67 yrs is not any different to USA, UK, France, Norway etc., I did note that the countries that have 60 to 65 yrs as retirement ages are also very small with some being considered 3rd world.

    If you have enough money to retire earlier then go for it and do not claim a penny from the Government. Age Pension IS NOT A RIGHT, it is a benefit a burden on the tax paying population of Australia.

    All monies used to fund Welfare, Defence, Family Services, etc come from people like me, a taxpayer.

    So stop you whingeing and moaning if you are getting an Australian Pension consider yourself bloody lucky, because if i was in Parliament dual citizens would not be eligible.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th May 2019
    10:33am
    If you take out all the dual citizens out of this forum they would not be many people left. Does not mean that you have to claim it, most people only find out when they stand for election like we keep on seeing this time round.
    Personally I would like to see only Australian-born politicians in Parliament. Renouncing your citizenship is not final as you can claim it back at a later stage.
    SFR
    9th May 2019
    10:49am
    Tactful you are talking rubbish in every way possible. Must be a ON voter.
    Rosret
    9th May 2019
    11:34am
    It was Keating's idea to have this self funded retirement scheme where trillions are heading out of the country to foreign hedge funds in fees and profits.

    The Labor party is about taxation to fund massive welfare projects. Which is very considerate of them. Let's hear about essential infrastructure projects to fund the baby boomer bulge that is going to be an ever increasing problem for the next few decades.

    As they say, we need to grow the pie not eat it.
    cupoftea
    9th May 2019
    11:52am
    CJ I like what the Irish did If your work is sitting on a seat all day like public servants etc you will retire at 70, if your a manual worker ie bricklayer you retie at 67
    cupoftea
    9th May 2019
    11:52am
    CJ I like what the Irish did If your work is sitting on a seat all day like public servants etc you will retire at 70, if your a manual worker ie bricklayer you retie at 67
    jackie
    9th May 2019
    12:20pm
    Cowboy Jim...Rudd was overtaken because of his lack of Labor values. He should have been a Liberal with his arrogance and China grovel.
    Adrianus
    12th May 2019
    8:55am
    Cowboy Jim, Labor raised the pension age because they have a problem with money management. They always think the solution is to get more money from us. :(
    Adrianus
    12th May 2019
    8:55am
    Cowboy Jim, Labor raised the pension age because they have a problem with money management. They always think the solution is to get more money from us. :(
    Farside
    12th May 2019
    7:28pm
    Adrianus, showing a little bias there? It may surprise you that both sides of politics acknowledged the need to increase the pension age and voted accordingly. Indeed the LNP feels 70 is appropriate, which is why it has not reversed the pension age to 65 and only scrapped its plans in 2018 to increase it. Rest assured pension age will eventually increase to 70 regardless who is in government.

    And you are wrong when it comes to the side of politics that gets most money from us; fact is that since 1995/6, the top 14 years have been LNP and the lowest six years have been ALP. Go figure, facts matter more than opinion.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-02/fact-check-is-tax-to-gdp-lower-now-than-howard-years/9705324
    tactful
    9th May 2019
    10:12am
    What a load of utter rubbish. Labor have always said this and done NOTHING!!!!.
    Last time Labor were in power they even looked at privatisation of many of the functions of Centrelink, including payments. They also did this with Medicare for the bulk billing processing. No one was interested due to all the constraints and legislation involved.

    Trust Labor, I would trust the devil first.
    SFR
    9th May 2019
    10:52am
    Looking & introducing are 2 totally different things. However this LNP load of rubbish has lied & betrayed retirees from day one for the past 6 years.
    Trust ALP, possibly,
    Trust LNP, never in a million years.
    Tactful credibility, non whatsoever
    Fliss
    9th May 2019
    12:40pm
    tactful . . . . Got to agree with you. Would trust NLP WAY before ALP!
    Knows-a-lot
    9th May 2019
    1:34pm
    How foolish, Fliss. The LNP have stuffed this country.
    Paddington
    9th May 2019
    4:08pm
    LNP consists of one guy at the moment, grinning and blustering and bullying his way to the 18th! Most LNP are invisible. To present them would be a sour reminder for the electorate so hide them away lol. People hopefully have long memories, actually don’t need them to be too long lol whilst Labor has Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek and some excellent guys who present a united front. People are growing more anxious about the environment as well so Greens will be a strong backing for Labor.
    Alexii
    10th May 2019
    9:13am
    Hey, Tactful, I don't trust any of them especially in regard to pensions.
    Mrs Hedgehog
    9th May 2019
    10:36am
    Bring in a universal pension for all who have paid taxes for at least 10 consecutive years or more and the extra bumbling staff and all the equipment, offices and infrestructure for Centrelink won’t be needed and it will cost the nation far less for a better result and happier retirees. Labor just likes to spend, spend, spend to turn us into a broke third world country.
    SFR
    9th May 2019
    10:54am
    It's a far fairer system for all & will save the taxman billions, & those pensioners earning an income will pay taxes same as everyone else & those that are still feeling hardship can apply for additional welfare
    Theo1943
    9th May 2019
    1:10pm
    Yes, then they can get rid of most of the Centrelink staff as they not be needed.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    3:04pm
    Yes, only the very poor on the dole and the very rich can afford Labor. They introduced the triple tax, you pay over 30% when you work, you pay another 30% on your dividend earnings and when you spend the rest, you can pay another 10% in GST. Labor invented the over 70% tax! Shortens triple tax!
    Greg
    9th May 2019
    4:22pm
    Ok - most people pay around 25% in income tax.
    GST was brought in by the Liberal Government

    So what the hell are you talking about.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    6:09pm
    Ok, those who pay 30% income tax are not paying 30% on franked dividends.
    GeorgeM
    9th May 2019
    9:19pm
    Correct, Mrs Hedgehog, SFR and Theo1943, Universal Age Pension is really the only sane option currently after the 2 Major parties have managed to completely stuff up the system, punishing the savers and earners.

    It should also be noted that Labor is peddling a lie when they say "Labor fought every one of these pension cuts tooth and nail.". In fact, they sat on the fence in the Senate when the Asset Test changes were being considered, and then voted against it only after the Greens decided to support the LNP ensuring the changes would pass. Further, they have refused to reverse those changes several times, so we know that they actually supported those pension cuts. Tricky hypocrites!
    Not a Bludger
    9th May 2019
    10:43am
    Tactful - how right you are.
    Labour trot out this sort of rubbish with constant monotony.
    Nothing precise, nothing factual, nothing practical and no costing whatsoever.
    SFR
    9th May 2019
    10:55am
    No he's not & neither are you
    Knows-a-lot
    9th May 2019
    1:36pm
    NaB can't even spell Labor correctly: typical LNP troll.
    KSS
    9th May 2019
    1:42pm
    KaL no NaB can't be a 'troll'. Trolls would get the spelling right - rookie error!
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    3:18pm
    Yes, I agree.
    Not a Bludger
    9th May 2019
    4:33pm
    Precisely my point - Labour cannot even spell correctly and, it seems, neither can you lot.
    Sen.Cit.90
    10th May 2019
    4:56pm
    Check your Dictionary; Labour is the correct spelling of the word, the ALP have simply left 'U' out of? Before I'm accused of being an LNP troll by some! you a wrong.
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    4:34pm
    You are a thick lot, aren't you?
    Australians spell the word "labour" meaning toil, work & child-bearing.
    Americans, (& the spell check on most computers) spell it as "labor" "harbor", etc.

    The Labor Party has always been spelt like that, to distinguish the two meanings.
    Farside
    13th May 2019
    5:23pm
    ummm Hoohoo, ye have made a booboo; the Labor Party has not always been spelt without the 'u'.

    In fact historically 'Labour' and 'Labor' have been interchangeable until relatively recently. It was founded as the Australian Labour Party in 1908 but many preferred the modern spelling Labor. Some attribute this change to the influence of American-born King O'Malley. The Federal Conference resolved to use Labor in 1918 however there are examples of spelling Labour as late as the 1950s.
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2019
    6:04pm
    Not enjoying this piece of humble pie, despite how hard I earned it!
    My only excuse is, I was born after the 1950's.
    greygeek
    9th May 2019
    10:44am
    We paid taxes for a combined 99 years, not dual citizens and have had to fight for the age pension. How many "Fat Cats" who have been in Parliament can claim that they and their spouse paid taxes for the same amount of time, entitling them to their "golden handshake"?
    Neither Major Party gives a toss about the Aged in Australia.
    johnp
    9th May 2019
    10:58am
    Agree with greygeek. I fought for the age pension and lost, now in my 70s and just generate enough income to survive on about equivalent of centrelink aged pension. Politicians receive non-means tested pensions and perks which are exorbitant and not available to the plebs.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    11:51am
    Why do so many self funded retirees gripe about being forced to eke out an existence when they have the resources to improve their quality of life but choose not to spend them?
    Greg
    9th May 2019
    2:17pm
    Yep agree Farside, I don't whinge, I just use what I have.
    GeorgeM
    9th May 2019
    9:50pm
    Agree, greygeek, time to turf out as many of them as possible.
    3 Million+ Retirees (being around 20% of the electorate) can make a difference, noting that 44 (out of 151) Lower House seats are currently on Margins of less than 5%. At least, vote OUT all the non-performers!

    The best thing to do in the current situation is to be assign preferences very logically & purposefully - I recommend a strategy as follows:

    Put as No. 1 for your favourite candidate (supporting Retirees preferably),
    Put your No. 2 as the alternative one who you think can win and who may be acceptable to you,
    Put all extremists at the end (including opportunist Independents claiming to be able to fix Climate Change), and
    Put the remaining in between such that the sitting Major party MP is definitely below the alternative Major party candidate (just above the extremists).

    If enough people do this, you will a) know you did your best, b) hopefully the useless sitting MP will lose their seat, and c) maybe even your preferred candidate has a chance to win.
    SFR
    9th May 2019
    10:46am
    Good to see positive policy with initiative
    MICK
    9th May 2019
    10:56am
    Self funded retirees earning less than the old age pension may beg to differ on this story.
    It is wrong that Labor seeks to remove franking credits from those who earn less than the pension whilst leaving them in place for those who pay tax, no matter how small that is.
    maelcolium
    9th May 2019
    11:37am
    You are wrong again Mick. The ALP has exempted pensioners from the removal of franking credits. That' full or part pensioners.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    12:40pm
    Mick, and those few self funded retirees earning less than the pension should be spending some of their resources to lift their quality of life.

    It seems there are fewer affected by removal of franking credit refunds than the noise might suggest.

    https://theconversation.com/its-hard-to-find-out-who-labors-dividend-imputation-policy-will-hit-but-it-is-possible-and-it-isnt-the-poor-116370
    MICK
    9th May 2019
    1:39pm
    maelcolium - I think you are talking about retirees who are on the pension, not self funded retirees who receive not $1 of pension. That is the problem. They are a target.
    Allowing those who earn sufficient income to actually pay tax to access franking credits whilst denying those who are struggling is not a good policy. More like what you might expect from a top end of town government.
    Old Man
    9th May 2019
    2:46pm
    I agree with you MICK, only aged pensioners are exempt from this rotten attack on those who have carefully followed the rules and are now about to have their income reduced. Those who suggest that if income is reduced it will make one eligible for a part pension don't understand the system. Eligibility for an age pension has two criteria; assets and income. A person could have assets over the threshold which include shares to provide an income but if the income is reduced, the assets remain. The proposed tax is supposed to attack the "rich" but will disadvantage retirees more than it will disadvantage the "rich".
    MICK
    9th May 2019
    3:50pm
    Correct. Its a bad move and likely comes from the next generation believing if you've got a quid you should spend it looking after yourself.
    My only question is where do I send the bill for the many thousands of hours of work and time it took to gain the assets my wife and I have and also the time taken to manage them. These are not things the average man did, who in most cases lived life to the full. That's probably the unfairness.
    Whilst I wish Labor to put this current government out of its misery I'll be looking into getting an Independents Party going if Labor abandons average people and the Fair Go it says it intends to implement. What the voter puteth in the voter can also puteth out.

    Bill beware! Don't sell out the nation like the current despots have done!
    Captain
    10th May 2019
    1:31pm
    Mick and Old Man, Shorten also said that any SRF who is not in receipt of an aged pension as at March 2018, will never receive their Franking Credits even if they receive aged pension at a later date.
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    5:23pm
    Labor's proposed changes to franking credit refunds will affect 4% of the population.

    The irony is that under Labor, it'll be the very rich, greedy ones who have organised their affairs (Family Trusts!) so that they DO receive maybe only $1 of OAP per fortnight, which qualifies them for a Health Care Card, discounts on transport, shopping, movies, car rego, Council Rates, etc., etc., AND THEY'LL ALSO GET FRANKING CREDIT REFUNDS, because they pay some tax.

    Meanwhile, the well off SFR may be caught in the FCR net (only if they're not paying tax) yet they are not as rich as those others mentioned above.
    Many reasonable SFR (I have 5 siblings in this category) are perfectly happy that they shouldn't receive Franking Credit Refunds, the revenue sourced from working taxpayer's contributions, when workers on the same income as they are not able to access these perks.

    I think older Australians have to consider what incredible advantages we've had, compared to younger working Australians. For example:
    - We had free University education, while they have debt even before they've started their careers.
    - We had jobs for life if we so chose, while young people have to deal with an increasingly casualised economy with very little income security. This also means it is very difficult for them to secure a mortgage.
    - We were able to buy real estate, which in many cases (mine for example), has set me up for life. After buying our first (cheapest in town) home, we didn't have to work any harder to increase our wealth - we just let the real estate boom make the money for us, increasing our equity so we could buy the nice home we still live in.

    But some older people are just plain greedy, & it's usually the very richest ones.
    bob menzies
    13th May 2019
    9:06pm
    Mick - your old sparring partner here - you are correct in your understanding re franking credits for self funded retirees - one point not addressed was a circumstance I know of - when I was working and getting a very high salary I transferred my shares to wife who stayed home to look after kids - I did this because the franking credit refund was greater than the tax deduction I got (and I was on highest tax bracket as I was on the highest earnings.
    I have friends who manage their own self funded arrangements and they could lose more than $9k a year - I am a little more fortunate as I only stand to lose a little over $3k as I have spread my investments.
    What I don't like most about this proposed policy is that industry super funds and union funds will be exempt - it should be all in no exemptions
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    11:46am
    All this argument about franking credits - which I do not receive, by the way - demonstrate a clear misunderstanding of the subject.

    Franking credits are made available to people who have received dividends WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAXED. Removal of the credits then, is double taxation.

    Some also seem to be supportive of Labor removing the subsidy for private health premiums. The cost this financial year is estimated at $6.5 billion made available to around 11 million people. So what will happen to the "saving" of $6.5 billion when an additional 11 million people stop meeting the cost of their medical treatment and rely upon the public system where they will pay nothing?

    The politics of envy are destroying our nation!
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    11:46am
    All this argument about franking credits - which I do not receive, by the way - demonstrate a clear misunderstanding of the subject.

    Franking credits are made available to people who have received dividends WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAXED. Removal of the credits then, is double taxation.

    Some also seem to be supportive of Labor removing the subsidy for private health premiums. The cost this financial year is estimated at $6.5 billion made available to around 11 million people. So what will happen to the "saving" of $6.5 billion when an additional 11 million people stop meeting the cost of their medical treatment and rely upon the public system where they will pay nothing?

    The politics of envy are destroying our nation!
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    1:55pm
    maxchugg, the dividends received have not already been taxed or had tax paid on them. They have been paid from company profits that have been taxed. The paid dividends carry a franking credit that can be applied against the recipients income so the dividends are only taxed once.
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    3:40pm
    Farside, we have a difference of opinion. I think the Stock Exchange agrees with me:

    Franking credits and the system of dividend imputation were introduced to stop company profits being taxed twice. Previously, a company would pay tax on its profit and then sometimes distribute this tax-paid profit to shareholders, who would pay tax again.
    Shareholders now get a tax credit for tax the company has already paid in Australia. This means companies with revenue solely from outside Australia usually do not give out franking credits because they would not have paid tax in Australia.

    https://www.asx.com.au/education/investor-update-newsletter/201805-how-franking-credits-work-and-who-benefits.htm?icid=O~C~~~~investor-update-lee~ASX~~201805~~

    Also, the ATO also appears to have come down on my side:

    Dividends paid to shareholders by Australian resident companies are taxed under a system known as imputation. This is where the tax the company pays is imputed, or attributed, to the shareholders. The tax paid by the company is allocated to shareholders as franking credits attached to the dividends they receive.

    https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/investing/in-detail/investing-in-shares/refunding-franking-credits---individuals/
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    3:40pm
    Farside, we have a difference of opinion. I think the Stock Exchange agrees with me:

    Franking credits and the system of dividend imputation were introduced to stop company profits being taxed twice. Previously, a company would pay tax on its profit and then sometimes distribute this tax-paid profit to shareholders, who would pay tax again.
    Shareholders now get a tax credit for tax the company has already paid in Australia. This means companies with revenue solely from outside Australia usually do not give out franking credits because they would not have paid tax in Australia.

    https://www.asx.com.au/education/investor-update-newsletter/201805-how-franking-credits-work-and-who-benefits.htm?icid=O~C~~~~investor-update-lee~ASX~~201805~~

    Also, the ATO also appears to have come down on my side:

    Dividends paid to shareholders by Australian resident companies are taxed under a system known as imputation. This is where the tax the company pays is imputed, or attributed, to the shareholders. The tax paid by the company is allocated to shareholders as franking credits attached to the dividends they receive.

    https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/investing/in-detail/investing-in-shares/refunding-franking-credits---individuals/
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    5:45pm
    not so maxchugg, I agree with the explanations given by the ATO and ASX however I disagree your interpretation and am confident it will make sense to you if a challenge ever reaches the courts. You should read the explanatory memorandum to the original legislation, it is consistent and the principles are clearly stated.

    You quoted "Franking credits and the system of dividend imputation were introduced to stop company profits being taxed twice", in other words the profits are taxed one time only. Please note the original legislation did not mention company profits going tax free, which is what happens when tax refunds are given to non-taxpayers.

    This principle is why the ATO explains the franked amount of dividends paid or credited to a non-resident are exempt from Australian income and withholding taxes i.e. taxed once. Franking credit attached to franked dividends cannot be used to reduce the amount of tax payable on other Australian income and a refund of the franking credit is not available.
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    6:43pm
    Farside, you state that“the dividends received have not already been taxed or had tax paid on them. They have been paid from company profits that have been taxed. The paid dividends carry a franking credit that can be applied against the recipients income so the dividends are only taxed once.”

    Somehow you want to argue that the dividends have not been taxed while admitting that they come from company profits that have been taxed. By what process of logic do you argue that removal of access to franking credits will not amount to double taxation?

    Also, if someone else pays your tax bill for you, does that make you a non-taxpayer?
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    6:43pm
    Farside, you state that“the dividends received have not already been taxed or had tax paid on them. They have been paid from company profits that have been taxed. The paid dividends carry a franking credit that can be applied against the recipients income so the dividends are only taxed once.”

    Somehow you want to argue that the dividends have not been taxed while admitting that they come from company profits that have been taxed. By what process of logic do you argue that removal of access to franking credits will not amount to double taxation?

    Also, if someone else pays your tax bill for you, does that make you a non-taxpayer?
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    10:43pm
    correct maxchugg, the company profits have been taxed. The dividends distributed to investors have not had personal tax paid on them and are taxed as investor income. So as not to tax the company profit twice, the grossed up dividend is assessed as personal income and a franking credit for the amount paid by the company is credited as tax paid.

    I'm pretty sure you know whether or not you are taxpayer. Who pays the tax bill is regardless so long as the tax is paid.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    11:23am
    Most retired people will be at least $120.00 worse off when Labor gets in. This is the amount most retired people will lose to the Labor regime from having their franking credits stolen. I am sure that many people with SMSF funds are not how much they will lose. We are going to stop our private health insurance and let the taxpayer pick up our bills from now on.
    maelcolium
    9th May 2019
    11:35am
    Franking credits stolen? That's an outright lie. The ALP has guaranteed that all pensioners will be exempt and continue to receive their franking credits Most retired people don't get franking credits - it has been quoted at 50,000 in the next decade of 2.5 million pensioners will be affected.

    I'm sick of hearing this nonsense about pensioners tax - don't you realise how much this LNP Government has taken away from aged pensioners by stealth?

    Check the facts here

    https://theconversation.com/its-hard-to-find-out-who-labors-dividend-imputation-policy-will-hit-but-it-is-possible-and-it-isnt-the-poor-116370?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%209%202019%20-%201304512168&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%209%202019%20-%201304512168+CID_a66c19be91ec6b48d539eae8cfb68baa&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Its%20hard%20to%20find%20out%20who%20Labors%20dividend%20imputation%20policy%20will%20hit%20but%20it%20is%20possible%20and%20it%20isnt%20the%20poor

    and stop spreading lies.
    Kas54
    9th May 2019
    11:55am
    I so agree with maelcolium Please get your facts straight and stop fibbing and scaring people
    Also Lucky you to have health insurance so many Pensioners cannot afford that choice soglad you can.
    jackie
    9th May 2019
    1:17pm
    Ok...Get over it, you need to cut back on greed, not food.

    Australia can no longer continue to fund welfare to the rich introduced by your John Howard.
    Greg
    9th May 2019
    2:27pm
    "most retired people" haha, did you talk to all of them, millions of people. I don't believe there are that many who will be affected and the ones that are can spend down some of their investments to finance their life. If the FC affects them so much they must have a large amount invested to get that much FC in the first place.

    Just a lot of whinges who have had it too good for too long, all thanks to Howard splashing money around when the country was awash with money from mining. He gave away so much in benefits and now trying to pare them back is near impossible.

    And if you have investments in shares they are a risk, and this is one of those risks coming home to roost, there's no guarantee that companies would keep paying dividends or how much anyway, play with fire and you can get burnt.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th May 2019
    2:55pm
    Got rid of the shares and still pay private health. These SFRs should just join the common people, get a part pension and use their money to keep health insurance. Use your money wisely not foolishly and if you use a bit more on yourself your pension payment goes up. If you cannot beat them join them!!
    Now I have no problem looking up share markets and can concentrate on the form guide if I want to. My mates are all part pensioners and some are on the full pension (not ideal) but mostly we are happy and grumble a bit about the pub putting the price up every 6 months. Not a bad life overall as long as the health holds out - that's where the private health insurance comes in. A lottery one pays into but hopes not to win.
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    5:39pm
    Ok, are you really complaining about just $120? Is that pw, pf or pa?

    Whatever, as maelcolium states, you must be fairly rich if not receiving Franking Credits is going to affect you.

    And I wonder, will you really give up your Private Health Insurance?
    Most people as entitled as you can't bear the thought of mixing with riff-raff commoners. Imagine if you were put in a hospital ward in a bed next to a poor person, or dole bludger or someone who serves coffees on Sundays (who've lost Sunday penalty rates because of the Liberal "regime" policy)? Oh the indignity!
    Rosret
    9th May 2019
    11:27am
    They don't just need to restore the staff numbers. They need to fix the software program that is so badly flawed - along with myhealthrecord, school cloud reporting systems, the census etc.... Are they? Doubt it.
    maelcolium
    9th May 2019
    11:46am
    When was the last time you were in Centrelink? Have a look and you will see rows of empty desks. If you do visit and finally see someone you get directed to their phones to make a call or told to contact them through a computer which they also will provide. They are not allowed to take certain queries that the powers that be decree can be dealt with over the phone or on the computer.

    When did you last try to phone Centrelink? You wait for an hour to talk to a contractor who takes a message and promises someone will contact you in ten days. In the said ten days you receive an an email with their phone number on it to ring them. So you hop on the merry go around again and I guarantee you the same thing happens again and again.

    Centrelink desperately need more educated and informed staff to handle the increasing number of enquiries.
    sunnyOz
    9th May 2019
    12:35pm
    They DO need to restore staff numbers! Agree with maelcolium...I go into my local CL office and I have never seen more than 5 out of 14 desks being used at once. The office actually echoes.Also need better trained staff. A few months ago, I was being 'served/helped' by a staff member who had been in his job for over 20 years (I asked him). But I had to explain to him about the work bonus. Even then they gave me wrong information and took weeks to sort it out, and that was only after my pushing and making a pest of myself. What concerns me even more is the fear of them coming back to me in years to come with a Robo Debt. They made so many mistakes, I actually gave up my casual job as I did not trust them, especially when my accountant, and a friend who works in finance, told me CL were underpaying me. I don't believe a word of what BS says. Just saying anything to make people 'feel' good.
    jackie
    9th May 2019
    12:35pm
    Rosret...You need to continually update the software programs on your own system too. I do acknowledge they do regularly have glitches in their systems. I could be because they are using cheap IT Labour.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    12:48pm
    sunnyOz, not much chance of you being chased by a robodebt call provided you keep Centrelink informed of changes in circumstances, which was the root cause of most calls. I suspect any future campaign will have better oversight and management of flagged cases before resorting to robodebt.
    Kas54
    9th May 2019
    11:47am
    I will be backing Labor as they are more concerned with Pensioners than The Coalition and yes the Aged Pension was introduced By Labor. Pensioner Dental scheme fantastic ideas as is restaffing Centre Link. As for so called pensioner tax that is not true a Lie told by Liberals. It is not a tax at all. It only effects those who receive dividends ie franking credits and it is money for nothing. Oh yes it will effect me but I still totally back it as why should I receive this handout that is costing tax payers so much. I am convinced the Labor party will always be there more for Pensioners especially those who are not self funded.
    jackie
    9th May 2019
    12:32pm
    Kas54...I voted yesterday for Labor.

    I am so over Australia's regression during the past 6 years.

    Liberal cutbacks to the poor and tax cutbacks to the rich have tripled our debt. The sheer arrogance and ignorance by the entire Liberal Party members are sickening.

    A Government that can't take responsibility for its own actions instead of using blame games and denial will never move Australia forward.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th May 2019
    4:01pm
    depends how much you get in franking credits, mine were $700 and I never claimed them. Now have sold the shares, Labor does not want me have any and I play the game. Different for SFRs who rely on them because they retired with that income in mind. I feel sorry for them and for them I hope ScoMo gets back in. Doesn't affect me much as I have never trusted the advice before I retired. Was told I could be a SFR and then GFC arrived and that was after I retired. Now I just make do with what I have got and any benefit coming my way. Bill's dental payments I do not need as my insurance pays those bills and I do not have a waiting line at the public dental hospital. Many people today with dental problems never wanted to waste money on dentists during their working lives. "As long as I got one tooth left in my gob so it looks good when I smile!!"
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    6:40pm
    Cowboy, only those SFR with tax free self managed super funds. They rely on them because we subside them. Read some of the submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry. Lots of stories on cutting back on overseas holidays and selling holiday homes. The SFR I feel sorry for are the ones with same amount of shares in their own right and not a super fund. They have to pay tax and although they can offset the Franking credit, they don’t get it all back.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    6:47pm
    don't worry too much over the plight of the SFRs, every change has winners and losers. The losers just have to dust themselves off and make the best of the cards dealt them. Many seniors have had to adjust to a new reality after the GFC and the gamut of life events they did not anticipate happening to them.

    That said, if SFRs have the resources to spend to improve their circumstances then they are still doing better than pensioners, and have the full knowledge the safety net is there if/when they need it. I am confident it would be more valuable to affected SFRs to wind back the reduction in the assets test and increase in the taper but nobody is asking for this.

    Who was it who said "reduce support to pensioners with higher levels of assets who have greater capacity to support themselves"?
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    6:00pm
    Cheers to you Kas54 - if only more people were like you!
    Unfortunately for the Liberal Party, their only policy is self interest. Thank heavens there are many people out there who are concerned about Australian society & other Australians, not just themselves.

    And well said, Jackie "I am so over Australia's regression during the past 6 years. Liberal cutbacks to the poor and tax cutbacks to the rich have tripled our debt. The sheer arrogance and ignorance by the entire Liberal Party members are sickening. A Government that can't take responsibility for its own actions instead of using blame games and denial will never move Australia forward." You hit 10 nails on the head!

    Australia can't afford more of this Liberal ineptness & arrogance. We need leadership to be forward-looking, not clinging to the past & only batting for the wealthy while wedging out the common Australian. We could become the lucky country again - shared by ALL Australians. The Liberals' vision is for a nasty, grasping, us vs them USA-style society, but we are so much better & richer than the US, on every level. Let's save that, not follow the sheep into a USA nastyland.

    Vote 1 Australia! (not One Nation & definitely not Clive Palmer's UAP - they'll just hold us back).
    Dongers
    9th May 2019
    12:32pm
    Typical leftist article by a Leftist publication!
    PatrickRM
    9th May 2019
    1:18pm
    Leftist? What a load of tripe. There are far more right wing commentators on this site than any other I’ve been reading in the past few years.

    The authors are just stating the facts as put forward by the major parties.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    6:06pm
    Left is a state of mind and subject to how far to the right you stand. To the alt-right fanatics the liberal Liberal is a hardline socialist.
    musicveg
    9th May 2019
    11:07pm
    Dongers: Typical comment by a rightie.

    PatrickRM: seems to be a few more of late, maybe paid trolls?
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    6:08pm
    It's the only thing the hard righters have left - to scream out "Communist!" & "Socialist" & "Labor regime!".

    Like rats on a sinking ship, the LNP are very desperate now. They'll say absolutely anything (including blatant lies) to frighten people into voting for them. I suppose they consider it's not a lie if it's spoken by a troll - they're just doing their job.
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    12:35pm
    All these policies resonate with me, and Centrelink definitely needs an overhaul
    musicveg
    9th May 2019
    11:08pm
    I agree and bring back the CES too, outsourcing to job providers has been a huge fail and a huge cost for taxpayers.
    wallyvan
    9th May 2019
    1:24pm
    Unfortunately it is highly likely that the new government, after the Federal election next week, will have its own problems getting any non-bipartisan legislation through the Senate. We, Age Pensioners, will probably need to wait for quite a while before any real significant improvements to our financial circumstances come by the way of any governments' generosity or surplus funds to spread around for us old chooks! We will still live in hope and dream as best we can together.
    Paddington
    9th May 2019
    3:51pm
    If you are a pensioner, you get the dental gift for a start. If enough Greens get through they will support these measures as well as they go even further than Labor on issues that help poorer people.
    Hopefully, not too many of the far right emerge who only care about big business like Palmer or hate on minorities like Pauline Hanson.
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    6:22pm
    Paddington, that's the big fear - that people disillusioned by the two major parties/coalitions will vote for crazies like ON & AUP (One Nation & Clive Pamer's United Australia Party). Giving them your preference might end up being just as harmful, especially in the Senate where they will block any forward-thinking legislation.

    Clive Palmer is promising everything to everyone. "Stop selling Australia to overseas interests" he says, and I agree with him. "Act on Climate Change", he says, and I agree with him. But he still wants to squirrel his profits overseas & avoid paying tax & he still hasn't paid out over $70million to Australia & workers from his nickel mine. He has no intention or policies that even suggest he'll do anything about Climate Change. He's a charlatan & a fraud - I just hope people don't get sucked in by his false advertising.

    I will be voting & preferencing the Greens, Labor & Animal Justice Party. That way none of my preferences will filter down to the LNP, ON or AUP.
    musicveg
    13th May 2019
    10:15pm
    I agree with you HooHoo, Clive Palmer is one big lie, he is preaching all this stuff but he always fell asleep in parliament meetings the last time he was in, and if he can afford to spend $40 million on adverts he can pay the workers. I am thinking along the lines of your voting choices too, but I also have a couple of smaller parties I like as well, they are less known but if you look up some of the parties there are some good policies. Also there is a new system called flux, look up voteflux.org, an interesting concept.
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2019
    6:13pm
    Thanks, musicveg. I always fill every square below the line on the Senate voting sheet, so every extra bit of knowledge about small parties is helpful. I will look up voteflux.org
    KSS
    9th May 2019
    1:31pm
    The problem with Mr Shorten is that he changes what he says according to the audience he has at that minute.(Adani flip flopping is a good example when you compare his utterings in VIC and QLD).

    So according to this article he will "Increase the base rate of the Age Pension""and "consider a universal age pension". What else do you expect him to say when approached by an organisation reportedly representing pensioners? Go to the ALP website and look under the pensioner policy and NEITHER of those things are mentioned at all. The only mention is a single sentence at the bottom of a long whinge about the NLP and it says, and I quote:

    "A Shorten Labor Government will protect the pension."

    As always, no detail how he will do this of course. But trust him!

    Although it seems to me that by the time he has finished moving the goal posts of current SFRs, preventing future investors from doing what he and his own frontbenchers have already done (with their multiple negatively geared property portfolios) and taxing other superannuants into oblivion, he will need to raise the pension base rate AND introduce a universal pension because everyone will be on it anyway.

    However, there is no danger of him doing either because like most of his promises, they are just vote catchers and people will nearly always vote for their own hip pocket.
    Arvo
    9th May 2019
    1:38pm
    Check out his history of division voting in parliament and see how many times he voted against age pension increase when in opposition!!!
    Captain
    9th May 2019
    5:22pm
    KSS, the Labor response did not say they would consider a Universal Pension.

    If they did introduce a Universal Pension, I would vote for them. As it is they intend to take away Franking Credits from SFR's and let pensioners and others keep the Credits. A discrimatory policy that may result in a High Court challenge. However would the Senate pass such Legislation?
    Knows-a-lot
    9th May 2019
    1:32pm
    The only sane vote is for the ALP. The LNP need to be turfed out, that's for sure.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    3:01pm
    Great
    , you must be very rich to have enough money to survive Labor!
    Arvo
    9th May 2019
    1:34pm
    "Consider a universal age pension". Really? So what has Labor been doing over the past 6 years that they still need to CONSIDER once they are in government???? What a joke! Get real Shorten.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    2:59pm
    Yes, where is the money coming from? Easy, re-introduce inflation by inflating the massive Public Service again. Inflation ensures that everything becomes dearer and the Labor plan is to harvest the extra GST collected form higher priced items and from workers moving into a higher tax bracket. The old tricks with a younger audience. Every retired couple will be at least $120.00 a week worse off.
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    3:14pm
    Ok, how did you pluck that particular figure from thin air?
    Greg
    9th May 2019
    4:29pm
    Sundays - Ok just throws out numbers without backing up his/her claims, has done it elsewhere.
    GeorgeM
    10th May 2019
    12:10am
    Arvo, Labor did not say they would "Consider a universal age pension" - that was part of the Question.
    Labor ignored that question altogether - I don't think it's in their genes, as they like to target all benefits and thereby buy votes.
    KSS
    9th May 2019
    1:40pm
    Why is the Work Bonus being reported as an ALP policy when it was brought down by the NLP and merely 'supported' by Mr Shorten. Again this is not on his website under policies for pensioners. Check it here yourself:
    https://www.alp.org.au/policies/standing-up-for-pensioners/
    Nobby
    9th May 2019
    2:03pm
    They keep talking about increasing the pension age to 70, and it was the ALP increased it to 67. We are all lagging behind cost of living, a 2% increase of very little ... is very little. The last increase I got was I think $1.88 a week whoop-de-do

    The problem I have with them changing the aged pension age is that it probably should have started with people born in the 1960's perhaps even 1965. Not on people who thought they only had a few years to go. I do not get my aged pension till I hit 66.5 years.

    For those that have served their country in the Military, Police, Nurses, Emergency Services should have a discount on when their aged pension starts, perhaps it should remain at 65 no matter when they were born, or drop to 60.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    7:02pm
    How did you receive the CPI increase in the pension if you do not get your pension until you turn 66.5?
    BundyGil
    9th May 2019
    2:06pm
    BS cowboy

    Former treasurer Joe Hockey announced the plan to lift the pension age from 67 to 70 in his controversial 2014 budget in a bid to help fund the cost of the ageing population.

    The Senate has refused to ever agree to legislation to formalise the change, but until today the Government had stuck to the policy.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th May 2019
    3:00pm
    Wonder whether cigar Joe is gonna make it to 70 himself.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    7:07pm
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dumped the plan to raise the pension age to 70 ... Change to pension age never passed the lower house therefore never went before the Senate.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-05/scott-morrison-scraps-plans-to-raise-pension-age-to-70/10202678
    Old Man
    9th May 2019
    2:28pm
    How much does all of this cost? Shorten won't release the costings on climate change and uses the worst excuse for not doing so. His claim that "to do nothing will cost a lot more" is straight out of the Greens playbook and is meaningless. If businesses are forced to pay for pollution the additional costs will be added on the the products which will have one of two outcomes; consumers pay more or the business becomes uncompetitive and closes with a loss of jobs.

    There was a dental scheme which Labor closed in 2012 and was not re-commenced. The previous scheme was for $4000 per person. The new scheme is welcomed but $500 per year won't go very far to alleviate the backlog of problems. Is the cancer care boost a con? We read that anyone who is getting cancer treatment already has access to bulk billed MRI's and scans.

    What does "increase the base rate of pensions" mean? Did I miss the amount that pensioners will have added to their existing pension? Is this another "review" matter?
    GeorgeM
    9th May 2019
    9:45pm
    All good points. I really can't see why retirees with their vast experience of both Major parties would get sucked in by such drivel from either of the Major parties. While the Liberal non-answers were addressed the other day, some Labor policies seriously need much more rigorous critique:
    a. Emissions target increase to 45% by 2030 (may even go higher if Greens get the balance of power in the Senate) - should destroy the economy.
    b. Age Pensions increase - no way, after they find the existing dumb policies combined with their own extravagant promises for several targeted measures results in NO MONEY.
    c. Franking Credits issue of attacking lower-end SFRs rather than the rich who will continue availing of the Credits - will ensure more SFRs will alter their plans and get on the Age Pension - with further pressure on the pension budget. Rest assured that Bowen will destroy the economy and send it into Recession, just like his mentor, Keating, did.
    d. Radical gender ideologies - one can be sure Tanya will come out of hiding after the election and join up with the Greens (as they are similar) and destroy the Christian and moral aspects of the Australian society. All those who have children and grandchildren and who wish to stop this nasty shift in morals should be seriously concerned (e.g. so-called Safe Schools program, along with support from the Govt to enable gender transitions without parental approval, etc. Note that now parents of 14-year olds don't have rights to even view their My Health Records).
    e. One can also expect Tanya to force change in the Refugees policy (again with Greens asking that as price for their support in the Senate).
    f. If they wanted Dental to be part of Medicare, why don't they simply make it available to all? Otherwise, are they now building a 2-class system in Medicare, one for the selected target group (pensioners and Govt Health Care card holders) and one for the rest? Does this mean Universal Medicare will die soon under Labor? SFRs - watch out!
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    6:37pm
    Bad news for you, Old Man - Labor has now released their costings & with a bigger surplus than the LNP's! Not surprising really, as Labor won't have to give $billions away to multinationals & big business in tax cuts, as the LNP have been threatening they'll do.

    And how did Morrison reply? All he could say was "their figures are lying!", like his aren't?

    Of course, they're all guessing & cherry-picking numbers from statistics to suit themselves. Who can honestly say what the future holds? You'd be mighty rich if you could crystal ball tomorrow's markets, let alone for the next 3, 5 or 10 years.

    I have found it very unedifying to hear the Prime Minister of Australia screaming "Lies!"
    Farside
    13th May 2019
    8:30pm
    Hoohoo, you must have noticed that key growth assumptions used in the budget and PEFO have been downgraded by the RBA less than a month after the ink dried: GDP and consumption growth down 25 points, GST receipts growth down 35 points. Is it any wonder Frydenberg will not release a sensitivity analysis of the forecast budget surplus? Morrison is either ignorant on the economy or deliberately lying to mislead voters.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    2:41pm
    Yes, we have lies, big lies and Labor promises! I think most of you remember when we were promised by Labor never ever to have a carbon tax? Every pensioner will be at least $120.00 worse off under Labor as he will introduce high inflation 'by increasing wages" and getting all workers into a higher tax bracket.
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    6:32pm
    Still, love to see how you get the figure of $120? Every economist, including the Reserve Bank says wages are too low, and I’m sure struggling families whose wages have not even kept pace with our very, very low inflation will agree
    MarkAdel
    9th May 2019
    3:00pm
    Is this a Labor advertisement?
    Tell us where the money is coming from? I suspect a massive debt is coming.
    Selective people getting wage increases, selective diseases getting priority. What The???
    Tell us how your pollution targets will help the world? Australia hardly makes a dent in, so called, climate change.
    It’s Labor bowing to the loony greens and unions. They won’t ever get my vote.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    4:41pm
    Labor will beg, steal (mainly from workers and retired people) and borrow when in power. ALL the Labor regimes, beside Keating, just borrowed and borrowed and in the end someone else got voted in after a few years and had to pay off the debts. Labor acts like a small child in a pantry, it will take all the sweets and let someone else do the clean-up. Bill Shorten has only been able to show how he will be financing about 30% of his promises! Where will the rest come from?
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    6:57pm
    Not true, ok. Labor will be saving $$$billions by not giving away huge tax cuts to big business & multinationals, as the LNP have been threatening they'll do. Much of this money will immediately slip overseas, with absolutely NO BENEFIT TO AUSTRALIA OR TO AUSTRALIANS!

    The question is: where is the LNP going to find money for THEIR election promises, considering so much of our taxes (yes, taxes paid by working Australians & small business people like me), going to huge tax cuts for multinationals & big business?

    Truly, the LNP have lost their claim to be the better economic managers, especially considering they have TRIPLED OUR DEBT. Unless you still believe the "trickle-down-to-the-peasants" lie.
    Over 40 years ago I learned in my Year 11 Economics class, the Multiplier Effect is far greater when money is in the hands of the poorest, who will spend it all in their local shops, which is especially beneficial in rural & regional areas, where stimulating the local economy is SO VERY IMPORTANT. But in the hands of the rich, any extra money they receive will likely be saved or spent on an overseas holiday, & Australia's economy will miss out.
    musicveg
    13th May 2019
    10:17pm
    ...or kept in tax free havens.
    Ming
    9th May 2019
    3:23pm
    They will need plenty of new staff as I like many other self funded retirees will be on the pension when Labor takes away our payment of our franking credits
    Paddington
    9th May 2019
    3:52pm
    Ming, how much will you lose?
    Are you entitled to Senior Health Card?
    If you are reduced to the pension won’t you be better off?
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    7:16pm
    Really Ming? It seems you will be in rare company if you are losing much. Most SFRs losing refund on franking credits will still exceed the assets threshold.

    https://theconversation.com/its-hard-to-find-out-who-labors-dividend-imputation-policy-will-hit-but-it-is-possible-and-it-isnt-the-poor-116370
    Mal
    9th May 2019
    4:19pm
    How does Labor intend to fund this?
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    4:42pm
    With your money, the money of other retired and working people. There is no other way!
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    7:08pm
    But the Libs are giving away $billions as huge tax cuts for multinationals & big business. So the money Labor will save there will be more than enough to pay for their election promises.

    As a working & small business person, I absolutely resent my taxes going to those who don't need it, like multinationals & big business. I want my taxes to pay for Australian services like education, health care, TAFE, public transport & renewable energy infrastructure. It'll improve all our futures & bBring back some fairness to our society, instead of kowtowing to the big end of town (which also lives & spends overseas). Go Australia!
    musicveg
    13th May 2019
    10:18pm
    Check out the Australian workers party Hoohoo.
    Returned Serviceman..
    9th May 2019
    4:22pm
    Had my daily laugh reading so called adults espousing the benefits of labor over LNP or vice versa they are both there for there own benefit only and if you have not woke up to this by 25 years old you are either stupid or just plain silly.
    floss
    9th May 2019
    4:24pm
    About time the decline of C.Link was planned by the LNP.I think the Labor are genuine in trying to fix a broken system.
    ronnieb
    9th May 2019
    4:26pm
    What a huge amount of codswallop on this site. It is so full of trollsi need an interpreter to tell me exactly what it is that people are saying - or should that be "trying to say"?
    I have no idea who the NLP is (it's probably code for the LNP but why get it wrong in the first place?). Everybody seems to be talking about Shorten's lack of costings for various promises. But wait, has the Government given even ONE costing that anybody could trust. With all the pork barrelling going on by the Government it would take many, many enquiries to chase down the full cost they have already spent on unnecessary (or at least lower priority ) projects. And what has happened to the National Debt in the last 6 years? It's now up around $600bn. If the Government had to prepare a Balance sheet it would be declared bankrupt. No care and no responsibility, that should be the LNP mantra. With people like "smokin Joe" around (who will return to Australia later this year after finishing the grass tennis court at the Washington DC Embassy house at a likely cost of several million US$), the man who shut down the jobs of more than 100,000 Australians in the automotive industry. The industry that John Button put back together after it was "broken"by the LNP in the first place.
    Find something to do with your time guys, but don't fill this site with dreams and fictitous nightmares.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    5:48pm
    Just look at the recent history of Australia and find a single Labor regime which was able to improve the lives of ordinary Australians? Labor is really a record holder, it managed to lift home loan interest rates to over 17.5%, it managed to lift inflation and unemployment to record levels. Labor also managed to increase our national debt to record levels. If anyone wants a new record, they must vote Labor. Bill Shorten just invented the triple tax and he will tax every retired person by a total of over 70%!
    Brissiegirl
    9th May 2019
    5:06pm
    We need Labor to get into power so they can be quickly thrown out - 3 years will be more than enough time to get Australia into horrendous debt. Sort of like going to the dentist to suffer a root canal procedure in order to feel better. The only good thing will be if enough resistance to Labor's mad spending and nutters gender policies can be sourced via independent senators. Wait and see. Three years of Shorten's rude style, embarrassingly representing Australia as a person who verbally replaces every "th"with "v" should make us a laughing stock. Electric cars requiring 3-phase electric lines up and down every street into $7,000 recharging devices into our homes in 10 years? Hilarious.
    Ok
    9th May 2019
    5:51pm
    Yes, people do forget! We will have the same circus with the same clowns as when Rudd the Rude wrecked our economy. Bill will do even better and he will make the debt and takes even higher.
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    6:28pm
    Ok, given the debt has doubled under the Liberals that is a wild claim. No one as arrogant as the current Liberals. As for your statement re electric cars, are you related to Michaelia Cash the screeching budgie? I’m sure she said something similar and she has a lot of credibility. Not.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    7:42pm
    Ok, it is clear from this and your other posts that you lack a basic grounding in economics and history. You claim Rudd wrecked the economy. Yes Rudd was a cock, yet Australia was one of only eight countries to be given AAA rating by all three major credit rating agencies in 2013.

    This achievement was never attained during the previous 11 years of LNP Howard/Costello government. They screwed the pooch spending the windfalls from the mining boom and emergence of China on ideological follies. Luckily, the current LNP government has managed to maintain but cannot claim to be be economic masters by any means. They do not even acknowledge the weakness in the present economy.

    And debt, don't make me laugh; remember the “budget emergency” and “debt and deficit disaster”? Well, net debt was A$175B in 2013 and is forecast to increase to A$356B next month. This is low by international standards however our political masters seem intent on dumbing down this conversation to that of a home budget, something running a government able to print currency is not.
    Paddington
    9th May 2019
    9:14pm
    Sundays, and Michaela Cash is missing in action lol like many other LNP members. OK, you sounds like someone else.
    I think people keep changing their IDs on here lol but what they say remains.
    OK, $120 per week every retiree will be worse off according to you. I guess you are on about the franking credits again.
    ardnher
    10th May 2019
    10:07am
    agree Brissigirl...let Labor back in..people have short memories of the last time but if they want to go through it all again..go for it. wont bother me which lot are in personally.
    ardnher
    12th May 2019
    6:57pm
    some do not know the difference between State and Federal governments...many
    sadly lacking in political nouse in this country.
    Hoohoo
    16th May 2019
    5:57pm
    ardnher, are you referring to Labor's lack of unity & elected Prime Minister back-stabbings? Hello? The Libs are wearing that crazy crown now!

    Also, do you remember the free world democracies all suffered a Recession after the GFC? Kevin Rudd single-handedly saved Australia from that hardship by spending, not severity measures.

    Turnbull screamed from the sidelines that Australia's economy would crash & burn if the government propped up the poorest people & stimulated the economy that way (rather than the Liberal way - giving handouts to the rich so that it might trickle down to the peasants). Turnbull threatened that the share market would crash - an act of treachery in my opinion, as we all know that share markets are very susceptible to scaremongering of this sort, especially coming from very, very wealthy individuals.

    Yes, Australia went into debt, but at least we had something to show for it. The Liberal government has since more than doubled that debt, with nothing to show for it but stagnant wages & some of the poorest workers losing pay without Sunday penalty rates & increased domestic violence.

    The Liberals cannot claim to be the better economic managers any more. They're great at looking after the rich end of town, but simply useless at creating a decent, fair society.
    Charlie
    9th May 2019
    5:29pm
    All pre-election promises, take as grain of salt and sweep off table.
    Joy B
    9th May 2019
    6:50pm
    I would like to see a party actually keep their promises then I would be more inclined to vote for them.
    Mandy
    9th May 2019
    10:10pm
    I am worried about about all this talk about real action on climate change? We will not change the climate if we shut down all carbon emissions but we will destroy our economy. Most of the fossil fuel is burnt in the northern hemisphere. Is Labor planning to stop all coal exports? Other countries are lining up to take that market.We must stop talking about per person carbon emission and consider Australia's total carbon emission and do not forget that as Australia is a an agricultural exporting country we take carbon out of the atmosphere and export it mainly to the northern hemisphere. Much as we Australians love to take the lead, in this case we should follow. When the northern hemisphere cuts their fossil fuel consumption, we will cut ours.
    GeorgeM
    10th May 2019
    12:28am
    The calculation of our (Australia's) effect on the CO2 levels is as follows:
    CO2 in the atmosphere = 0.04%,
    Human contribution to CO2 levels in the atmosphere = 3% of the above,
    Australia's contribution to CO2 levels = 1.3% of the 3% above, i.e.
    .04% x .03 x .013 = 0.0000156% of the CO2 in the atmosphere.
    As a result, the Chief Scientist advised that there would be no effect to the climate even if Australia fully shut down!
    It's very much a con industry pushed along by vested interests who have gains coming out of such climate-based industries.

    Note also, that compared to Australia's 1.3% contribution out of all countries as noted above, China contributes 30%, USA 15% and India 7% - all these major polluters have refused to be bound by any targets for emission reductions under the Paris accord at least until 2030.

    Reminds one of The Emperor's New Clothes story - when he was actually naked!
    This would all be really funny, except that we have major political parties running this line and planning to hit the people with massive changes to help the climate (not likely) which will hurt most the people on fixed and low incomes, including retirees.
    Paddington
    10th May 2019
    12:35am
    Mandy, you won’t have an economy to worry about if we don’t get on top of climate change. Even if there is the slightest chance that global warming is real we cannot afford to ignore the warnings from the scientists any longer.
    Mandy
    10th May 2019
    10:09am
    Paddington I have been an environmental scientist for over 50 years and during that period I have heard many scares. We were going to run out of oil before the end of last century and then there was the rare metals scare etc etc and not to forget the y2000. There are some problems we can do something about. When I started work in South Africa many of our rivers were so polluted that there was no life and in many places there was the stink of sulphides. Even some of the surf zone was dead. We managed to get the laws changed to force the polluters to clean up their act and the environment recovered surprisingly quickly. All I am saying is lets fix the things we can fix,
    Hoohoo
    13th May 2019
    7:28pm
    Mandy, farming only helps reduce carbon emissions if it plants trees (not plant annual crops or clear felling trees), & if it stops cows from farting.
    Farming also adds heaps of nasty chemical pollution into the environment (& your food).

    Mandy, we EXPORT loads & loads of carbon to the northern hemisphere. Where do you think all our coal & gas is going to? That carbon never appears on Australia's ledger of carbon emissions BECAUSE IT'S BURNT OVERSEAS! Trouble is, we only have one atmosphere in this world & Australia is stuffing it up big time. We are the culprits!

    You are in total denial. Australia, with all our renewable resources (if only our governments would harness them), can & should be a leader, not a follower. We can make money from renewable energy just as easily as we can from fossil fuels, without wrecking our future.

    The trouble is too much fossil fuel interests buying governments with huge donations. It is bribery & it is criminal!
    ardnher
    15th May 2019
    3:56pm
    totally agree with your comments Mandy. All we will do is ruin our own economy and for what a paltry drop in emissions which do nothing at all re the overall climate change problem.

    still waiting for Perth to be a dustbowl and run out of water...this was supposed to happen some years ago according to that great "scientist" !!!!!!! Tim Flannery.
    musicveg
    9th May 2019
    11:15pm
    Seems to be quite a few new right winging trolls here today......telling lies........exaggerating........etc.

    I would say welcome to YLC but not enjoying their comments.
    Paddington
    10th May 2019
    12:32am
    Yes I think a few paid trolls and some that say the same thing under different names.
    Elizzy
    10th May 2019
    2:02am
    Tactful, re your comment to Cowboy Jim. If a social security agreement exists between Australia and any given country, that country pays a part pension to their citizen and Australia tops it up after means testing, so dual citizens are actually less of a drain on the Australian public purse.
    Elizzy
    10th May 2019
    2:02am
    Tactful, re your comment to Cowboy Jim. If a social security agreement exists between Australia and any given country, that country pays a part pension to their citizen and Australia tops it up after means testing, so dual citizens are actually less of a drain on the Australian public purse.
    Cowboy Jim
    10th May 2019
    7:55am
    Correct, Elizzy. Do get a payment once a month from Europe for the 2 years I worked there, arrived here at 22 years of age and certainly have the minimum 35 years of work up in this country. By the way C/Link does assist with claiming the age pension from overseas because they will have to pay me less as you so aptly stated.
    ardnher
    10th May 2019
    10:04am
    get the child care fraudsters to cough up the millions they have pocketed (raid this week...one guy was getting $30,000 a week and another woman had $35,000 in her purse when home raided) and there would be more money in the government coffers.
    I hope the full force of the law comes done on all of them.
    musicveg
    10th May 2019
    3:27pm
    Yes, wasn't it shocking, how can they do this? Considering so many innocent people got caught up in Robo Debt but they can't catch the real criminals? Why subsidies do not always work.

    10th May 2019
    7:38pm
    Bill Shortens wife could not trust him and she knew him better than anyone else but he cheated on her got two woman pregnant while still married.i read the interview given to a journalist by Kathy when shorten was drunk an high on drugs when she accused him of rape Kathy was young and stupid for putting herself into this position but that doesn't excuse him of what he done to her . during the court case shorten was looked after by his x union police mate.Kathy gave this bloke the name and address of witnesses but was told they couldn't find them To me this sounds very suppisicous. Kathy has been refused access to the court files what are they protecting . Kathy wrote to the labor party asking for help and the letter was ignored.obviously to protect shorten .l believe what kathy said in this interview so shorten should be bought back to court without the protection of his union mates.
    How can we trust a bloke like this to run our country
    musicveg
    10th May 2019
    8:03pm
    How can we trust if any of this is true? And I suppose all the other politicians are perfect human beings too.
    Greg
    10th May 2019
    8:36pm
    Cool story, don't believe everything you read/hear/imagine.
    Farside
    10th May 2019
    9:40pm
    Really Dinkum, you want to go there – a claim made on Facebook in 2014 going back to the young Labor conference in 1985 when Shorten was 19. The police investigated and concluded nothing to prosecute almost 30 years on. For most people that was the end of it, except of course for the Herald Sun, the complainant and the conspiracy crowd in their foil hats eager to believe. And guess what, nobody cares what they believe when the conspiracy has as much credibility as Morrison's Engadine Maccas story.
    SFR
    11th May 2019
    12:21am
    Fair Dinkum, your post has been passed on to the AFP, ALP head office & Bill Shortens office.
    Adrianus
    12th May 2019
    9:06am
    Bill Shorten wants to use taxpayers money to give wage rises to private sector workers.
    Bill Shorten wants to use taxpayers money to cover costs for some privately insured patients, those with cancer. Why shouldn't MediBank Private and other insurers pay this cost from their profit?
    Australians are being asked a question..do we want a union boss to run the country or do we want a Prime Minister?
    Adrianus
    12th May 2019
    9:06am
    Bill Shorten wants to use taxpayers money to give wage rises to private sector workers.
    Bill Shorten wants to use taxpayers money to cover costs for some privately insured patients, those with cancer. Why shouldn't MediBank Private and other insurers pay this cost from their profit?
    Australians are being asked a question..do we want a union boss to run the country or do we want a Prime Minister?
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2019
    6:20pm
    Haha, Adrianus, a Prime Minister would've been great, but for the last 6 years all we've had are Liberal PM's who can't govern without their colleagues stabbing them in the back.
    They've achieved nothing but distrust in democracy. Turf 'em out! They've been given too many chances already!
    ardnher
    14th May 2019
    7:04pm
    it would appear that Bill Shorten wants to take over setting of wages/salaries...frightening thought in my opinion.

    stabbing in the back is not the sole province of the Liberal Party is it....remember Rudd/Gillard/Rudd and who stabbed them in the back..the one and old Bill Shorten
    Hoohoo
    17th May 2019
    8:31pm
    The only reason The Liberals won government (with Tony Abbott at the helm) is because they, (backed up by far right wing media propaganda) bagged Labor to death about cutting down their own sitting Prime Ministers AND THEN THEY PROCEEDED TO CUT DOWN ABBOTT, TURNBULL & that's how we got MORRISON, who was NEVER voted in as Prime Minister in a general election.

    It's unbelievable that the Liberals have done exactly the same as Labor did, after accusing LABOR of unstable leadership!!! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! At least Labor have learnt their lesson - I hope Morrison et al is about to learn HIS lesson in tomorrow's election.
    maxchugg
    13th May 2019
    5:13pm
    Judging by the commercials currently flooding the TV ads section, Labor are the real big spenders here, closely followed by Clive Palmer.

    At least Palmer funds his advertising from his own pocket, Labor's funding comes from union members, even those who are Liberal supporters will be contributing, whether they like it or not.
    musicveg
    13th May 2019
    10:20pm
    And Liberals ads come from where?
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    6:25pm
    Musicveg,to the best of my knowledge, Liberal funding for their advertising does not come from Labor supporters.
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    6:25pm
    Musicveg,to the best of my knowledge, Liberal funding for their advertising does not come from Labor supporters.
    maxchugg
    13th May 2019
    5:13pm
    Judging by the commercials currently flooding the TV ads section, Labor are the real big spenders here, closely followed by Clive Palmer.

    At least Palmer funds his advertising from his own pocket, Labor's funding comes from union members, even those who are Liberal supporters will be contributing, whether they like it or not.
    ardnher
    15th May 2019
    3:47pm
    yes, I have often wondered how unionists who are Liberal voters feel about having their fees support Labor. lived next door to a blue collar worker who always voted Liberal which surprised me..
    grumpyoldwoman
    14th May 2019
    11:02am
    You should NOT have to go on Newstart if you have spent a good many years looking after a spouse as a full-time Carer and you are not pension age. The last thing a long term Carer needs or wants in the first few years of "getting use to" their partner not being there anymore and adjusting to life no longer as a Carer is to worry about being able to pay bills, etc. and looking for work....give me strength! NOPE the above does nothing to help me in the future!
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    2:00pm
    if caring is a job and you are not pension age then surely you would be unemployed or retired once you stop providing the care? If unemployed then Newstart, as pov as it is, is the appropriate welfare. If retired but not eligible for pension then you need to be self-funded.
    grumpyoldwoman
    14th May 2019
    2:30pm
    Not all of us had the years to save enough, to be "self-funded" retirees! Some of us were busting a gut to pay the house off before we retired and the rest of our money went into "self funded" medical bills for the last 15 years....and so on it goes. NOT all of us have the good fortune to be "self-funded" retirees! Not everyone has the same set of circumstances in life and therefore some consideration for those just getting by trying to hang onto the home they worked so hard for. That's all they have! Not to mention all the up keep they have to save up for in case the hot water service goes bang etc. etc. etc.
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    3:21pm
    Grumpy, my comment was not intended to be judgemental; rather stating the obvious that if finished a carer role and not eligible for a pension then the choices are Newstart or self-funding. People finish carer roles and experience loss at many different stages of their working lives however this should not be an excuse for fast tracking the pension before being eligible.

    Paying medical bills, home maintenance, etc are tangential to the comment about not having to go on Newstart.
    grumpyoldwoman
    14th May 2019
    4:32pm
    Thankyou for your comments, I understand that you were not being judgemental.....but in closing......EVERY PENNY (CENT) counts when it comes to absolutely everything to sustain a 'reasonable' standard of living. I for one, have absolutely NO idea what the future holds for me as we do not have investments etc., they went west to pay for being able to live and be able to get a pension and government and local council help looking after medical situations. Yes we had it all mapped out to look after ourselves and NOT depend on a pension, but when things get rough, the Government says sell your assests and then we will help you if you are under the threshold....that was some years ago and now we are stuck in a position we did not want be in! Now, no investments living on pensions and luckily we own our own home.....for now! We consider ourselves lucky as there are others in worse trouble. Good Luck to all those of you in similar situations, keep on keeping on and maybe.....things might get better :)
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    6:03pm
    Grumpy, I can empathise with your circumstances more than you know. I have had to downsize to free up assets and still have a decent wait before any pension consideration is possible. Prior to GFC things were rosy and after it was one thing after another.

    My comments were in the context you were not yet retired "a full-time Carer and you are not pension age", which is why I presented the two options: Newstart if unemployed or living off savings. Since you are on the pension and thinking of these matters then you will appreciate how much better off it is to be a pensioner than on Newstart. My inlaws are currently filling in the two years before they become eligible for pension after caring and receiving Newstart.
    grumpyoldwoman
    14th May 2019
    6:15pm
    "My inlaws are currently filling in the two years before they become eligible for pension after caring and receiving Newstart." Oh dear, I wish them nothing but the best of luck and good fortune for the future they deserve it. Best wishes Farside
    Farside
    14th May 2019
    10:49pm
    Thanks Grumpy, they are counting the days to when they move onto the pension and have a 50% increase in income. Life on Newstart is tough for the young, but I think even tougher on older folk trying to keep a household together.
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    11:16am
    Some time ago David Suzuki made an appearance on the ABC ‘s “Q&A” in which he admitted that “he didn’t know there was a pause in warming for the last 15 years, he didn’t know how global temperatures are measured, and he didn’t know that cyclones were not increasing over the Great Barrier Reef.” Yet he wanted politicians jailed for “denying the science”. “You bet!” he exclaimed, but then admitted he hadn’t thought that through either.

    Now we see Richard DiNatale in similar vein, wanting to close down all newspapers which do not support his radical ideas on a variety of subjects, climate change being just one. Unable to defend his position with evidence, DiNatale wants to silence his critics with measures which would be familiar to people not living in a democracy.

    The late Bill Leake was hounded to his death when he fell foul of policies espoused by the Greens, more recently we saw Peter Ridd fired for presenting evidence which the Greens would prefer to ignore, a couple of days ago a worker was fired for asking Bill Shorten an awkward question. Then there is the ongoing campaign to close down Sky News which is seen as right wing, but solid support for the ABC which continues to provide, at public expense, heavily biased reporting in favour of the extreme left wing of politics.

    We are told that “the science is settled” but it isn’t even science. Scientific method requires that only when every possible effort has failed to destroy any hypothesis does that hypothesis become scientific fact, and even then the status of fact is lost if it subsequently becomes possible to destroy the theory – i.e. matter cannot be created or destroyed was modified when the atomic bomb was invented.

    Finally, of all of the nonsense, the greatest is that these people are interested in democracy. “By their fruits you shall know them!”
    maxchugg
    14th May 2019
    11:16am
    Some time ago David Suzuki made an appearance on the ABC ‘s “Q&A” in which he admitted that “he didn’t know there was a pause in warming for the last 15 years, he didn’t know how global temperatures are measured, and he didn’t know that cyclones were not increasing over the Great Barrier Reef.” Yet he wanted politicians jailed for “denying the science”. “You bet!” he exclaimed, but then admitted he hadn’t thought that through either.

    Now we see Richard DiNatale in similar vein, wanting to close down all newspapers which do not support his radical ideas on a variety of subjects, climate change being just one. Unable to defend his position with evidence, DiNatale wants to silence his critics with measures which would be familiar to people not living in a democracy.

    The late Bill Leake was hounded to his death when he fell foul of policies espoused by the Greens, more recently we saw Peter Ridd fired for presenting evidence which the Greens would prefer to ignore, a couple of days ago a worker was fired for asking Bill Shorten an awkward question. Then there is the ongoing campaign to close down Sky News which is seen as right wing, but solid support for the ABC which continues to provide, at public expense, heavily biased reporting in favour of the extreme left wing of politics.

    We are told that “the science is settled” but it isn’t even science. Scientific method requires that only when every possible effort has failed to destroy any hypothesis does that hypothesis become scientific fact, and even then the status of fact is lost if it subsequently becomes possible to destroy the theory – i.e. matter cannot be created or destroyed was modified when the atomic bomb was invented.

    Finally, of all of the nonsense, the greatest is that these people are interested in democracy. “By their fruits you shall know them!”
    ardnher
    15th May 2019
    3:46pm
    i think DiNatale is a dangerous man and I would hate him to have any more sway than he already has.
    Adrianus
    15th May 2019
    4:56pm
    If Labor believed in democracy then Albo would be leader not Bill Shorten. Labor want us to vote with our emotions and not be bothered with facts and budgets etc because we aren't smart enough to analyse those meaningless details. How does that make you feel Australia?
    Farside
    15th May 2019
    10:37pm
    Albo will get there Adrianus, it's just a matter of time.


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