The Coalition’s plan for older Australians

The Coalition responds to your five major election concerns.

The Coalition’s plan for older Australians

Almost four in 10 of YourLifeChoices members feel overlooked by the major parties, according to our Friday Flash Poll: Who do you trust?

With the number of older voters steadily increasing year by year – 300,000 more voters aged 70 and over enrolled to vote than there were for the 2016 election – surely the major parties would focus on attracting votes from this cohort?

YourLifeChoices has been monitoring the issues that matter most to over 55s. From our own research through surveys and polling, we know the top five issues of concern include the need to:

  • increase the base rate of the Age Pension; consider a universal Age Pension
  • address climate change
  • gain better access to medicines and diagnostics, universal dental care and improved private health insurance subsidies
  • develop incentives to work past the Age Pension age without being financially penalised in terms of pension entitlements
  • gain easier access to Centrelink resources and have quicker responses.

We presented these findings to the three major parties – the Greens, Liberals and Labor – for comment. Today, we hear from the Coalition ...

•••

Increase the base rate of the Age Pension; consider a universal Age Pension
Since the Coalition was elected, pensions have increased by $117.80 per fortnight for singles and by $177.40 per fortnight for couples combined.

The Coalition also opened up the Pension Loans Scheme to all older Australians with securable real estate owned in Australia, including full rate pensioners of Age Pension age and self-funded retirees, so a pensioner couple on maximum rate can boost their retirement income by up to $18,150.60, without impacting on their eligibility for the pension or other benefits.

The Morrison Government has provided $365 million to make a one-off Energy Assistance Payment of $75 for singles and $62.50 for each eligible member of a couple to around five million income support recipients, including those on the Age Pension.

Address climate change
Climate change is a global issue that requires a global solution. The Morrison Government is committed to Australia playing its part in that global solution to reduce emissions. Under the Morrison Government, Australia’s emissions are currently at their lowest level on a per capita and GDP basis in 28 years. Australia contributes to just over one per cent of global emissions.

The Morrison Government’s 2030 target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels is responsible and achievable. This target will see a reduction in emissions per person halve by 2030. This is one of the strongest efforts among G20 countries.

You can read more about the Morrison Government’s plan for the environment here: https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan/environment

Healthcare: better access to medicines and diagnostics, universal dental care, and improved private health insurance subsidies
The Morrison Government’s Long-Term National Health Plan is providing Australians with access to quality medical care, record hospital funding, affordable life-saving medicines and breakthrough research for new drugs and treatments.

Our goal is to make our health system even stronger and to ensure it is the best in the world.

By keeping our economy strong we will ensure the essential health services that Australians rely on, such as Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Medicare funding is at record levels. Almost nine out of 10 Australians who visit the doctor have no out-of-pocket costs with GP bulk-billing rates at a record 86 per cent, up from 82 per cent under Labor.

We are keeping the cost of healthcare down by increasing funding for diagnostic services such as MRIs and PET scans to detect breast cancer.

In partnership with GPs, we will improve options for more flexible care to meet the needs of patients and to keep them healthy and out of hospital with a $1.6 billion package to strengthen primary care.

Australians have access to the latest medicines through the PBS – with reduced costs on more than 2000 new and amended medicines listings since 2013, thanks to an investment of $10.6 billion. These medicines are saving and changing lives.

Record funding will be provided for public hospitals with an additional $31 billion from 2020–2021 to 2024–2025 to employ more nurses, doctors and specialists, delivering – in partnership with the states and territories – more surgeries and medical services.

You can read more about the Morrison Government’s plan for health here: https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan/health and here: https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan-strengthening-australias-world-class-health-system

More incentive to work past the Age Pension age without being financially penalised in terms of pension entitlements.
The Coalition extended and expanded the Pension Work Bonus from 1 July 2019 to:

  • include self-employed pensioners; and
  • increase the Bonus from $250 to $300 per fortnight, with the maximum accrual increasing from $6500 to $7800.

The Work Bonus increases the amount an eligible pensioner can earn from employment before it affects their pension rate.

You can read more about the Morrison Government’s plan to support retirees here: https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan-support-retirees

Easier access to Centrelink resources and quicker responses
The Department of Human Services’ (the Department) Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Programme is changing the way the Government delivers welfare payments now and into the future. Improving older Australians’ experiences with the Department is a top priority.

The Department will continue to invest in new technology to deliver improved Centrelink and Medicare services for all Australians.

The Government is committed to making it easier for all Australians to access Centrelink services, and in 2018–2019 provided $50 million to the Department to target call wait times and improve service delivery.

Wait times on the Department’s phone lines are being reduced as a result of our investment in an additional 2,750 call centre workers – who are now on board answering calls and the results are speaking for themselves.

To read about our plan for a stronger economy and a more secure Australia, visit: https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan

What do you think of these responses? Do they address your concerns? Do you have any other questions for the Coalition? Let us know in the comments section below.

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    8th May 2019
    10:21am
    The coalition only has one plan for retirees: kick them off any pension and make them eat their house. Its been happening for the past 6 years and my prediction is that the family home will be put in the assets test if this lot get back in.
    Nerk
    8th May 2019
    10:44am
    They want 40% death tax on the family home, so what can be done is that offer vendor finance to your children, they pay weekly and you draw it out of the bank and give back the cash to them, then they put it back in, do it over and over till paid off, you only pay duty, well if asked about where it has gone say you have a nasty gambling habit.
    thommo
    8th May 2019
    11:15am
    Mick, It's time we had a Pensioner's political party, representing us.
    There are several million age pensioners and I can't understand why this large number of voters can't influence the major parties to treat pensioners fairly and decently.
    The better idea is to introduce a universal age pension. Just get the big end of town to pay it's fair share of taxes...The tax system would sort any inequalities and it would get rid of the micro management of pensioners by Centrelink and save a fortune in admin costs...
    johnp
    8th May 2019
    11:31am
    Agree 100% with thommo !!
    Aussie
    8th May 2019
    12:56pm
    Yes thommo ...agree we are a lot and we really can make some damage to any party ..... for sure.....
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    12:56pm
    won't take long for some enterprising folk to turn Nerk's idea into a business opportunity
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    1:11pm
    thommo, johnp and Aussie, the demographics are in your favour if they could only organise. You likely don't need as many pensioners as you might think to achieve your ends. There are enough seats on less than 5% margins to change the government. Therefore you would only need around 5,000 voters per electorate who would not have voted for the incumbent to vote as a bloc and affect the result, and then repeat this in other electorates.

    One challenge you have to overcome is tradition and apathy, roughly 50% more retirees vote LNP than ALP and few change their votes from one election to another. Retirees are also over represented in votes for the other right wing parties and candidates and so bleed preferences to LNP.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    3:08pm
    The family home will go on the asset test never mind which party gets in. It is that or a healthy inheritance tax. It is the case in most countries I know of and I am going thru that at the moment from Europe. The excuse is always: we are all getting older and we need more money! Since there are no jobs any more in ordinary industries like it has been pointed out in these columns many times, the young ones do not earn enough money to pay enough taxes to get the funds - hence death duties is a given. So set up the family before you kick it but then the Commos (greens) might get you anyway. Bionjorno Sr di Natale!!
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    3:40pm
    OK Mick you are right but it is not only the Libs that want you spent the money you have at present. Labor's philosophy is the same - do not build up nest eggs for the next generation! Not many countries have tax exempt housing for taxation purposes. My old place still has an asset tax (not very high) and your house's equity is always counted. I am sure our politicians look overseas for their woeful inspirations.
    Alexii
    8th May 2019
    5:44pm
    Hi Thommo, see my posts further down the page re Seniors United Party of Australia (SUPA). If we get enough of us putting a 1 in Column U of the NSW senate ballot paper then we'll have that much needed voice in parliament. If we don't get those votes then we will continue to have no-one representing seniors.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    6:41pm
    Good thinking, Nerk.. the ex and I between us have five kids (not together) - we're up-pricing and downsizing to suit her needs primarily, and will have a mortgage of $550 or so fortnightly - transfer it to them, they pay $110 each, and there are no 'death duties' etc.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2019
    8:42pm
    thommo, johnp and Aussie, you are quite correct.

    3 Million+ retirees (around 20% of the electorate) do have power to change the results if they join in and turf out the rabble (Liberal, Labor & Greens) who have repeatedly attacked the retirees. Note also that 44 out of 151 seats in the Lower House are on less than 5% Margins so such a group strategy can make a difference to the results.
    Choose whoever you like as the 1st preference, but ensure you vote the current MP of any of these parties LAST (or just above extremists).
    Agnomen
    8th May 2019
    10:50am
    Why does the article keep referring to the ‘Morrison Government’ instead of the Coalition? Implies a lack of front bench depth.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    11:10am
    Agnomen....That's because the Morrison Government runs the show. The Nationals, One Nation and United Australia Party are sidekicks.
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    1:14pm
    and if media exposure is anything to go by it appears Morrison is the only one out there campaigning ... where are the next LNP cabinet debating their policies? The election strategy is for a presidential campaign behind Morrison and kick the rest to the sidelines.
    libsareliars
    8th May 2019
    4:04pm
    I think the rest of them are in witness protection Farside. With the likes of Barnaby, Dutton, Price and so on it's no wonder.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    5:36pm
    43 Ministers out of 76 seats tends to make the pool rather shallow, don't you think? Then there is the question of the real ability of those 'ministers'....
    Paddington
    8th May 2019
    10:53am
    Well there is no need to make anything up or exaggerate about death duties or taking the family home etc they have shown us they are broken. Lots have been hidden and not on show for this campaign. In fighting and back stabbing is enough to lose this election. Far right pollies making this mob look heartless and stupid.
    The evidence is enough without making it up lol!
    Karl Marx
    8th May 2019
    11:01am
    6 years of lies, out they go
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    11:17am
    SFR....What a disgrace Morrison is when he can't admit we are in a deficit.

    He made an absolute fool of himself on the 7.30 report with Leigh Sales. No wonder this Government wants to privatise the ABC.

    Murdoch can't cover up for them here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpHLu2jJTuc
    Arvo
    8th May 2019
    12:59pm
    jackie- It's a known fact that we are $4 billion in deficit, it was announced in the Budget speech by the Treasurer. - Why can't people understand that the Budget is a prediction of a surplus for the 2019/2020?
    What's so hard to understand? What are you and the likes of Leigh Sales harping on and agitating about?
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    1:23pm
    Arvo is right to say the 2019/20 budget is a predicted surplus however that does not fit with the narrative of "being back in the black" and "returned to surplus" as if these are current events that Morrison, Frydenberg and Birmingham repeat ad nauseam. This is what Leigh Sales and others are raising.

    If you think there is nothing in this the I urge you to ask your Lib candidate for the budget sensitivity analysis as there are already many doubts with respect to the assumptions underpinning the budget forecast. All is not what it seems if you look beneath the marketing gloss.
    Arvo
    8th May 2019
    2:02pm
    Farside-"being back in the black" and "returned to surplus"--- for 2019/2020 !!! ---

    2017/2018 =$29.3 billion deficit Budget prediction
    2018/2019 =$14.5 billion deficit Budget prediction ending with a $4 billion deficit for the fiscal year.

    That is the narrative!
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    5:38pm
    Forward estimate guesswork.. pie in the sky... never happen...
    Ok
    12th May 2019
    3:13pm
    We all know that we have lies, big lies and Labor promises.
    mitch1945
    8th May 2019
    11:25am
    Is it correct that since the Coalition has been in the pensions have increased the amount quoted per fortnight?
    Dave R
    8th May 2019
    11:39am
    Probably true as pensions increase with inflation twice a year.
    These were normal machine rises not any special action by the LNP government.
    Neither Liberal nor Labor is offering any rise in pensions but at least Labor is going to review the very low Newstart allowance and increase it by whatever the review comes up with.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    12:42pm
    Here's the link to confirm the statement of the increase in pensions, mitch1945. The method if calculating the biannual increase was changed by the Coalition and has meant that Labor's 6 years didn't increase the pension as much as the Coalition's 6 years.

    http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/5/2/2/10

    Dave R, I note that Labor is going to "review" a number of items which is a whole lot different from a policy to act. Remember the conversation Shorten had with the worker in Townsville who was earning about $250k? He told him that the new tax schedule for "rich" people earning more than $180k would be looked at. O'Connor then stated that Shorten was just being polite. Is that the sort of "review" that Labor will carry out?
    Tom Tank
    8th May 2019
    5:33pm
    Anyone earning $180,000 per year is truly in the rich category and should be paying an appropriate amount of tax.
    Tom Tank
    8th May 2019
    5:33pm
    Anyone earning $180,000 per year is truly in the rich category and should be paying an appropriate amount of tax.
    Chris B T
    8th May 2019
    11:34am
    Promises, how we will improve living standards, increase real living wages, improve medicare with a dental component and raise the OAP and other vulnerable people allowance.
    None of which would ever happen under either party.
    I still remember No Carbon Tax, then There will be no changes to OAP.
    Broken Promises with no cost to Government, so how is a Major Cost Impost To Government going to be acted on once Elected.
    Which Devil do you chose (That is the only Printable word that comes to mind)
    We are at their Mercy and they know it well.
    SO SAD.
    Mad as Hell
    8th May 2019
    11:41am
    The LNP fooled me once. They stole my part pension. I’ll never trust anything they say again.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2019
    8:45pm
    Absolutely!

    I noticed that in their responses above, they could simply have responded, No, No, No, No and No!
    The only exception (achievement) could be that they increased the pharmaceuticals on the PBS. Not a lot of benefits for 6 years in power!
    ronloby
    8th May 2019
    11:55am
    How can the LNP say they are giving more money to Hospitals, Medicare and Centrelink when they have taken heaps of money off them. It looks like they are copying Labor's ideas about funding these 3 key areas. As for pensioners, LNP will never help them which is very obvious by the way we have been treated lately.
    mike
    8th May 2019
    11:56am
    Turnbull promised to reinstate the pensionner Concession card to all those who lost it due to Hockeys changes, but that turned out to be a lie, he chopped it off after just one day. Numerous letter have been written to Mr Gee ( Calare) but all the seniors have received from him was insults, lies, and inuendo. Mr Gee and the Liberals have shown they have no regard for seniors and retirees, they couldnt care less about them. However, Shorten is 10 times worse and his Retiree Tax grab will devestate retirees, so much as I hate to admit it, I will have to vote for for the incompetent mr Gee ( Calare), just to keep Shorten and the greens out.
    ancal
    8th May 2019
    12:19pm
    Mike, Shorten only 10 times worse?? More like 50 times worse, especially the Franking credit! Watch for capitol gain tax on your home and the tax on super. Having done tax for 35 years, I agree negative gearing needs looked at, but only removed from second and more than one property. Neither party says that.
    Sundays
    8th May 2019
    12:50pm
    Mike when you say Retiree Tax Grab do you mean abolishing Refund of Franking Credits for those In SMSF in tax free pension mode?

    This does not affect retirees who don’t have shares. It does not affect retirees who are pensioners, it does not affect retirees in Industry or Retail funds.

    Nothing changes for retirees who have a signficant share portfolio in their own name. Often elderly, the dividends are their main income but they must pay tax if over the threshhold. When they complete a tax return they have to Gross up and add in the Franking credit plus any bank interest. This Gross is taxed at marginal rates, and only then can the Franking credit be used as an offset to reduce tax. Their refund is typically 25% of those with SMSF.

    I think,eneough of us have been subsidising this largesse
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    1:29pm
    Mike you do what you have to do and then try to convince yourself you did the right thing. You acknowledge voting for incompetence so where is the sense in that?
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    1:37pm
    I like Ancal's idea to only remove negative gearing on second and subsequent properties. This still enables first home buyers to rent somewhere cheaper while using tenants to help repay mortgage. It would be good to see this idea adopted.

    Cannot agree however with his statements on the franking credits, especially for someone who has done tax for 35 years and should better understand the principles of double taxation and its effect upon company capital management.

    Ancal is being disingenuous in relation to capital gains and super taxes as he is well aware that these will eventually be on the table and are already being modelled by think tanks and academics on both sides of politics.
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    2:02pm
    On Q&A Bill Shorten said no one on the pension will be effected by the changes in franking credits. Franking credits have been a gift that was put in place and is now no longer affordable, no other country does it so why continue? You should be happy that this money will be better spent on health and dental care for seniors. Why be so greedy?
    Paddington
    8th May 2019
    2:56pm
    And, musicveg, never supposed to be permanent.
    The guy in the audience said his wife was okay with him losing $7,000 and he seemed pretty laid back about it too.
    Others on Facebook who are losing it have said something similar. Some understand.
    Bill also said he can understand people not liking losing it though.
    Maybe with so much notice given people should reorganise their finances?
    Same with negative gearing. Lots of notice as it does not come into effect until next year. Some people have probably been buying up this year.
    It is not on new properties either.
    Choices mean some win, some lose, but the losers should never be the poorest and sickest.
    Sundays
    8th May 2019
    11:58am
    Well you know its spin when they claim to have improved Centrelink wait times. More staff supposedly but are they properly trained?
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    2:03pm
    And are they going to be outsourced? If you look up proudtobepublic.org.au you can read more.
    ancal
    8th May 2019
    12:12pm
    Sorry Mick, but I am sure that is not quite true. We have to look at things a little different then just give political views. All pollies don't give us a fair go but they ALL spend our taxes in a wasteful manner.
    ancal
    8th May 2019
    12:12pm
    Sorry Mick, but I am sure that is not quite true. We have to look at things a little different then just give political views. All pollies don't give us a fair go but they ALL spend our taxes in a wasteful manner.
    ancal
    8th May 2019
    12:12pm
    Sorry Mick, but I am sure that is not quite true. We have to look at things a little different then just give political views. All pollies don't give us a fair go but they ALL spend our taxes in a wasteful manner.
    neil
    8th May 2019
    12:25pm
    I tried to contact Centrelink yesterday, couldn't.

    Neil.
    neil
    8th May 2019
    12:25pm
    I tried to contact Centrelink yesterday, couldn't.

    Neil.
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    2:04pm
    It can be quicker to drive to an office.

    8th May 2019
    12:35pm
    Again, no promises to increase the age pension other than the regular 6 monthly adjustment. At least the Coalition hasn't announced any plans to disadvantage pensioners. Labor is taking away franking credits for SMSF users and has plans to reap more tax from super funds.

    The Greens are not a force to be reckoned with so perhaps not a lot should be said except they want to bring back death duties. Shorten should have taken Richardson's advice and gone on holidays because he has damaged Labor's chances with his inability to answer the questions on climate change costings. It appears that Labor will still win but the margin they had expected may be reduced. It is hoped that Shorten doesn't have to sign an agreement with the Greens to govern after what the Greens forced Gillard to do by backflipping on the carbon tax. If the Greens get a foothold, death duties will be on the table. Shadow Assistant Treasurer Leigh is also on record wanting death duties to return.
    Paddington
    8th May 2019
    5:30pm
    What a load of codswallop
    Nobody is bringing in death taxes
    You don’t need to make up stuff. There is plenty that is actually proven and visible.
    Paddington
    8th May 2019
    5:35pm
    https://greens.org.au/tax-facts?gclid=CjwKCAjw_MnmBRAoEiwAPRRWW9P0OEqz-IUYUsgrVwd9Env6utSxyn0YDDdxfgdHDWKRAmGL_VXnuhoCB-cQAvD_BwE
    See the line where it says no inheritance tax etc.
    Needy
    8th May 2019
    12:36pm
    The main problem with pensions is that the pollies get too much pension. Take this away from them until they are pension age and we would have a lot more money in the coffers.
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    2:05pm
    I agree and they should be asset tested.
    floss
    8th May 2019
    12:41pm
    Must be a election soon as the LNP. has woke up we exist , perhaps they would like our vote I don't think so.The actions of Tony and Joe have not been forgotten.Pensioners and Retirees have now got a chance to show their displeasure.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    12:49pm
    Gee floss, by your measurement the actions of Rudd and Gillard should not be forgotten nor should Shorten's role in destabilising Labor. Rudd, Gillard, Hockey are no longer in the Parliament and Abbott is a back bencher with no input into policy making. Can't we all move on please?
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    1:57pm
    fair point Old Man, but since Turnbull is also not in Parliament, should we be judging LNP performance since August 2018 only and overlook the previous five years?
    luddite
    8th May 2019
    12:52pm
    Neither of the major parties are looking after the pensioner. The current government stole our part pensions and concession cards, then replaced them with medical concession cards. If the Labour mob get in they will steal more from us. WE should have a pension for all. We really do need a pensioner party to keep these politicians honest. We need a couple of people in the senate, just go along with the majority in the house of reps. but when something involves the pensioner get involved. The big problem is finding "a few good men".It is time our politicians and the younger generations remember who built this country to what it is/was.
    sunnyOz
    8th May 2019
    1:03pm
    There is currently a 'Restart Job Subsidy' to encourage employers to hire senior workers. Read this just recently -

    A federal government program designed to get older Australians back into work has been branded a dismal failure, with only 1700 people joining the scheme meant to benefit 32,000.

    All parties do not want to address any matter relating to seniors! Just hoping we will pop off and die.
    robmur
    8th May 2019
    1:31pm
    Can't say I've seen too many Labor frontbench saying very much. It might be the Morrison Government but is also very much the Shorten Opposition. "If we win the election then my front bench", says Shorten. Where are they, who are they? The party leaders have always done this, front and centre. Go back to the ALP launch. Who was on stage? Just Shorten. The ALP luminaries - the Front Bench were sitting in the front row with Rudd. Gillard and Keating, all looking happy, bur ready stab one another in the back as they did six+ years ago..
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    2:00pm
    what mushroom have you been hiding under?
    Misty
    9th May 2019
    10:26am
    At least the ALP luminaries were there, will we see Mr Turnbull AT THE lIBERAL lasunch on Sunday, I very much doubt we will.
    robmur
    8th May 2019
    1:31pm
    Can't say I've seen too many Labor frontbench saying very much. It might be the Morrison Government but is also very much the Shorten Opposition. "If we win the election then my front bench", says Shorten. Where are they, who are they? The party leaders have always done this, front and centre. Go back to the ALP launch. Who was on stage? Just Shorten. The ALP luminaries - the Front Bench were sitting in the front row with Rudd. Gillard and Keating, all looking happy, bur ready stab one another in the back as they did six+ years ago..
    Paddington
    8th May 2019
    3:02pm
    OPEN YOUR EYES THEN
    robmur
    8th May 2019
    1:31pm
    Can't say I've seen too many Labor frontbench saying very much. It might be the Morrison Government but is also very much the Shorten Opposition. "If we win the election then my front bench", says Shorten. Where are they, who are they? The party leaders have always done this, front and centre. Go back to the ALP launch. Who was on stage? Just Shorten. The ALP luminaries - the Front Bench were sitting in the front row with Rudd. Gillard and Keating, all looking happy, bur ready stab one another in the back as they did six+ years ago..
    robmur
    8th May 2019
    1:31pm
    Can't say I've seen too many Labor frontbench saying very much. It might be the Morrison Government but is also very much the Shorten Opposition. "If we win the election then my front bench", says Shorten. Where are they, who are they? The party leaders have always done this, front and centre. Go back to the ALP launch. Who was on stage? Just Shorten. The ALP luminaries - the Front Bench were sitting in the front row with Rudd. Gillard and Keating, all looking happy, bur ready stab one another in the back as they did six+ years ago..
    robmur
    8th May 2019
    1:31pm
    Can't say I've seen too many Labor frontbench saying very much. It might be the Morrison Government but is also very much the Shorten Opposition. "If we win the election then my front bench", says Shorten. Where are they, who are they? The party leaders have always done this, front and centre. Go back to the ALP launch. Who was on stage? Just Shorten. The ALP luminaries - the Front Bench were sitting in the front row with Rudd. Gillard and Keating, all looking happy, bur ready stab one another in the back as they did six+ years ago..
    cupoftea
    8th May 2019
    2:03pm
    I just read this I didn't know Murdoch owned YLC
    cupoftea
    8th May 2019
    2:03pm
    I just read this I didn't know Murdoch owned YLC
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    2:12pm
    I think most retired people have had it good for too long. My mum is on a full pension and only owns a small house and a car, has nothing spare in the bank, and just manages to make ends meet. Her friend has superannuation from her late husband plus part pension, she is off to Alasaka for a holiday, she goes at least once or twice a year. She also has money to help her kids out. Stop being so greedy and give the money to who really needs it, and that is all those older people stuck on Newstart with no prospect of jobs. Raising the retirement age was and is cruel for those who have to stay on Newstart until they can get a pension.
    Returned Serviceman..
    8th May 2019
    2:24pm
    Cry on the other shoulder if she has super and a part pension no one gave her the super they put money in during there working live no super guarantee for most of it and if she manages to travel good luck to her.
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    2:29pm
    My point is my mum's friend does not need the part pension, that should be going to the needy.
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    3:05pm
    well said musicveg. There are an increasing number of older folk on Newstart doing a couple of days volunteering each week because they cannot find a job and not eligible for the pension.
    Returned Serviceman..
    8th May 2019
    3:20pm
    It matters not whether she needs it or not she qualifies for it and gets it,I agree increase the Newstart allowance. CEO's of companies do not need there huge salaries take it of them and give it to the needy or take it of politicians with there salaries and generous superannuation. If she was to use her money in a way you could not see would you say she dosen't need it,but she goes on trips so she dosen't need it. I go on an overseas trip by putting $50 of my pension each fortnight so by your idea I do not need it, but I choose to go without other things to do this so should it be taken of me?
    Sundays
    8th May 2019
    3:48pm
    Musicveg, I agree with you on Newstart but not at the expense of part pensioners. Some people spent their money early on and have nothing left now. Others are spending it in old age. We shouldn’t judge as to who is the most deserving.
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    7:31pm
    but Sundays you are judging as to who is most deserving between Newstart and other welfare recipients ... "not at the expense of part pensioners", well either that or you are not doing a good job of hiding your feelings.
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    7:49am
    Farside, Newstart must be increased. The only people who can live on it are young people living with their family. Everyone else is in abject poverty.

    I don’t believe that Pensions are welfare whereas Newstart is meant to be short term assistance. Get companies to pay the correct rate of tax, wind back tax breaks for the wealthy, wind back some of the politicians’ perks, look at wasteful expenditure, investigate the rorts in the Not for Profit Sector. That should pay for increases in Newstart, no need to cut pensions to pay for it.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    10:39am
    Sundays, I don't disagree that Newstart should be increased without affecting part pensions. But, if push comes to shove, to paraphrase your comment - do not increase Newstart if it means not giving something to or taking something from part pensioners.
    Sundays
    9th May 2019
    12:18pm
    Yes, because it’s not a choice that needs to be made. Increasing Newstart should just happen regardless. Part pensioners have already suffered a reduction with the lowering of the Asset test, and they are using their own money to top up the Pension.
    Returned Serviceman..
    8th May 2019
    2:19pm
    Morrison Shorten, Shorten Morrison it doesn't matter a S--- pensioners will get nothing from either. But parties are from Shorten's big end of town look how many of his mp's are millionaires and have negative geared properties and the coalition is the same.
    Andy
    8th May 2019
    2:32pm
    climate change is a scam even world leaders have said so any government wasting money on it now are complete idiots even the real so-called global warming is now being called global cooling by the experts what the world needs to do is concentrate on the real human problem global pollution
    Incognito
    8th May 2019
    3:38pm
    Explain that to the millions who are suffering already, and those who have lost land in the Pacific Islands to rising ocean water, and the ice shelves lost in the Artic.
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    7:34pm
    addressing global pollution is an equally important issue Andy, but which experts are calling "global warming" "global cooling"?
    Misty
    9th May 2019
    10:33am
    Did anyone see the PM of Fiji yesterday speaking about how Climate Change has affected his country, John Alexander, a Liberal MP TOLD THE PM TO TELL THE PEOPLE TO JUST MOOVE TO HIGHER GROUND, well the PM said they had already mooved their homes further inland 3 times which is very upsetting to people who have lived in those original homes for many years. Climate Change is REAL, just ask the fsarmers.
    Rosscoe
    8th May 2019
    2:33pm
    This "article" is just an ad for the LNP! and pensions have not increased by the amounts stated.
    Rosscoe
    8th May 2019
    2:33pm
    This "article" is just an ad for the LNP! and pensions have not increased by the amounts stated.
    Jaz
    8th May 2019
    3:49pm
    So and what about the over 90,000 part pensioners wiped out completely from getting any money at all simply because the value of their property increased and the sooo helpful coalition decided to decrease the allowable assets by around $30,000 for a single person. I now exist on at least $3,000 per year LESS than the aged pension or that was a couple of years ago and is probably even less now that the pension ahs increased and my income has not.
    libsareliars
    8th May 2019
    4:02pm
    Well said Mick, agree entirely
    libsareliars
    8th May 2019
    4:02pm
    Well said Mick, agree entirely
    libsareliars
    8th May 2019
    4:02pm
    Well said Mick, agree entirely

    8th May 2019
    4:52pm
    The LNP don't give a damn about pensioners, but are pork-barrelling like drunken sailors out of desperation to retain power. They won't. It's only a matter of a few days now before the vermin are turfed out, thank God!
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    6:47pm
    No Budget Emergency, you say? How odd.... I could have sworn we had one here somewhere..... look under your desks everyone... we've lost a Budget Emergency somewhere....

    8th May 2019
    5:33pm
    Der Koalition plan for Pensioners... der Konzentrationslageren.... chust choking... ha.... ha... ha.....
    Alexii
    8th May 2019
    5:36pm
    We have the Seniors United Party Australia who have NSW candidates in the Senate election. You can vote for them by putting a 1 in Column U and then number the other columns as you wish. You won't change the government but you could give Seniors a much needed voice in the Senate.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    6:20pm
    I read right through - sounds on the mark... I always prefer to meet personally before making up my mind about people, and I like to know about their background.
    Alexii
    8th May 2019
    6:49pm
    Hi Trebor,
    Its hard to meet in person the senate candidates as they can come from anywhere in the state. You can go to the website to see whatever is there. Then I suppose you can always contact the candidates if you wanted to o so.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    9:22pm
    The policies, on reading, seem very close to my own.. the nearest one is a few hours driving away so it's a bit hard pre-election, and also moving house this weekend, not to mention health that keeps me awake all night at times.

    I'll see what I can do...
    Anonymous
    9th May 2019
    8:53pm
    Reasonable option, Alexii, in the absence of any stronger proponent e.g. for Universal Age Pension which is not in their list of policies. Still good as one of the options for the Senate.

    Also, a serious threat in the Senate to be noted is the likely balance of power as it could be the Greens, who may then force their extremist policies on Labor, as they did to Gillard with the carbon tax.

    I would also consider UAP for both Senate & the House of Reps (as they are in every seat) - the latter especially for those who normally vote Liberals, but simply cannot now due to their dastardly attack on retirees with the 2017 Assets Test changes.
    Alexii
    8th May 2019
    5:41pm
    I'm a member of the Seniors United Party of Australia (SUPA) and they have been distributing the information below. I hope that Life Choices members might put a 1 in Column U in NSW senate ballot paper to help give Seniors a voice in parliament.

    "There are many “seniors” in NSW and people who are not seniors now but will become seniors at some time in the near or far future or have relatives who are seniors.

    The SENIORS UNITED PARTY OF AUSTRLIA (SUPA) aims to represent seniors in the next federal parliament. The following information has been put out by SUPA:

    “Voting for the Seniors United Party will not change the government, but it will give you a voice The Seniors United Party was formed 5 years ago in order to give Seniors a louder voice because we all felt that the major parties were leaving us behind and no longer listening to us. We have developed policies in 4 main areas that we believe impact Seniors the most - Health, Aged Care, Income and Housing. We represent all Seniors - both self-funded retirees and pensioners plus those approaching retirement.

    We realise that we will never be large enough to form government but we do believe that Seniors can have a strong and loud voice in Senate and the Upper Houses of every State. Please go to our website and look at our policies and our core philosophies and think about joining us: https://www.supa.org.au Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook. com/SeniorsUnitedAustralia/

    Voting for the Seniors United Party will not change the government, but it will give you a voice “For a fairer & better life for Seniors” HEALTH Medicare – Basic Dental Coverage National Strategy on Elder Abuse National Seniors Mental Health Strategy AGED CARE Adequate Funding for Aged Care National Palliative Care Scheme National Dementia Strategy INCOME No changes to franking credits Stable Eligibility Rules for Aged Pension Stability in Super Rules for Self-Funded HOUSING Retirement Communities Ombudsman Affordable Rental Accommodation More Social & Community Housing.”

    To give SUPA a chance, write 1 above the line in Column U and then write in the other numbers of your preferences in other columns.
    Butch
    8th May 2019
    6:00pm
    Obviously the $50 million to improve call times & services hasn't got through yet. We have been waiting for over 4 months for a renewal on a healthcare Card
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    6:29pm
    Will Bill fix it or sell it off as a non-viable disaster? One of the ways of forcing a sale of such things as Colonel c'Link is to run down its actual services, and then, by having disposed of the talented staff etc as superfluous, the cost of resurrecting it is 'too high', so sale is the only way 'forward'.

    It's how 'governments' work when they have an aim in mind.

    Every one of these 'policy thrusts', for example medicare freeze and affirmative action - EVEN IF EVENTUALLY CUT OFF - has a backlog that will take often generations of effort to set right again. Halting the medicare freeze will not resolve the current sky-rocketed cost of attending the doctor unless you are fortunate (I get mine free), and doctors will simply raise the price every time there is a rise in rebate - and once affirmative action has held sway for the near forty years it has, for example in the commonwealth public service, it has become so entrenched, and its beneficiaries now deemed to be 'better' due to their 'outstanding success', that it is like getting rid of cancer.

    Once in place a 70% majority of one kind in teaching, public service, and an even greater imbalance in banking and a few other areas of work, will be impossible to restore to (gasps) Equality!

    I have always opposed affirmative action due to its inherent injustice and group inclusion or exclusion = group rewarding or group punishment - and I am now totally exonerated for my stated position when I resigned from the CPS over the MANNER of its implementation. Like a former father-in-law, a former British army Major and wartime Ghurka battalion commander, and later a CEO, I resigned over principle first and foremost.
    Roy R
    8th May 2019
    6:46pm
    Actually Thommo, pensioners should take a lesson from minorities such as homosexuals and Aborigines. Look how how much airtime they get. The ABC RN really pushes their combined boats. These minorities learned how to manipulate the system so why can't a pensioner political party. After all, the Aborinines (Indos?) and the Homosexual population only adds up to less than ten percent oid the population. The Aboriginies are 2.8% of the population but receive 7% of the bufget expendatature (2016 Census). If thay can do it, why not pensioners?
    Anonymous
    8th May 2019
    6:51pm
    Gray Mardi Gras and demands for sexual rights and equal marriage rights and surgery on demand and handing over of of sacred sites and preferred oceanfront property and let's call Father's and Mother's Days Invasion Days or something?
    pedro the swift
    8th May 2019
    7:30pm
    The govs plan for older aussies(both parties)? Since you are no longer paying tax(retired) we will gradually reduce your income(pension), syphon off your capital(house and super) and hope that you succumb rather quickly to exposure and starvation.
    Thats what the Inuits used to do to older people who could no longer chew hides to soften them to make coats etc. let them walk out into the snow and disappear!
    Anonymous
    9th May 2019
    9:48am
    Do not tell the pollies about the Eskimo solution for the oldies. They might reckon it being a good idea. The Bushmen in the Kalahari as well as some Abo tribes had a very similar scheme in years gone by. However, they never paid taxes during their life time either. I feel a bit short changed by having paid in all this time and I have to fill all these forms in just to get something back.
    If voting could change things it would be illegal.
    Misty
    9th May 2019
    10:35am
    I am going to vote today, hope the best party wins.
    4b2
    9th May 2019
    11:08am
    How many GPs bulk bill SFR's? None that I have found.
    Misty
    9th May 2019
    11:55am
    Both our surgeries bulk bill everyone.
    Farside
    9th May 2019
    12:56pm
    there are plenty out there 4b2, you need to look harder. Try https://healthengine.com.au/appointments/bulk-billing-gp
    Adrianus
    10th May 2019
    8:42am
    Who do you trust? An interesting question. We often use that word in the wrong context when considering our emotional relationship with politicians. And as such, trust should be defined in our belief that they will do what they say they will do.

    With this in mind I think Scott Morrison has a clear advantage over Bill Shorten. I think Scott will deliver on most of his statements. While I see Bill only really determined to deliver on "Climate Change spending" and "the disadvantaging of retirees by removing their Franking Credits."
    Farside
    10th May 2019
    10:59am
    Trust is an interesting question. Much has been said about Shorten's union background but Morrison has escaped similar scrutiny despite being sacked from Tourism Australia in 2006 after 19 months in the job by the LNP Minister Fran Bailey. The auditor general had expressed serious concerns in relation to the agency's governance after a series of audits and a review ordered by the PM & Cabinet.

    The auditor-general found information was kept from the board, procurement guidelines breached and private companies engaged on contracts worth $184 million before paperwork was signed and without appropriate value-for-money assessments. Does this lack of transparency sound familiar? It was a hallmark of his pre-polly career as a lobbyist, party hack and agency executive (credentials??) and has continued in parliament. Secrecy as Immigration Minister "on-water operations" to hide activities. The $443 million grant to The Reef Trust – Great Barrier Reef Foundation Partnership (Partnership). What about the $80 million Murray-Darling Basin water buyback? Or the $185 million reopening Christmas Island? The shady rushed approval of Adani's groundwater plan.
    Adrianus
    10th May 2019
    11:28am
    Farside is there anything in your personal attack which leads you to develop a lack of trust/faith in Scott Morrison being able to deliver on his promises?
    How about Bill? What has Bill said which leads you to so heavily rely on him doing what he says he will do? Forget about him striking a deal with Donald Trump to take more of the economic migrants on Nauru. It wont happen.
    Misty
    10th May 2019
    3:41pm
    Adrianus, this is no personal attack on Scott Morrison, all Australia should be told SM'S previous job history anf ket him answerf any questions asked of hom, people are all too quick to run the Opposition Leader down but won't hear a word against their Coalition mates.
    Farside
    10th May 2019
    4:02pm
    Adrianus, thanks for asking.

    From my previous comment I guess you realise I have little confidence whatsoever in Morrison's character. I expect he will pursue his own self-interest and ideology with disregard for for truth and collateral damage. I am disappointed that Frydenburg has embraced the same populist mediocrity and flexible integrity that have been the hallmark of Morrison's career. I tend to be wary of folks who get by on who they know rather than what they know.

    Notwithstanding Bill's union background which already marked him dodgy in my book, I decided Bill has a trust deficit after he knifed Rudd and then Gillard. It matters little where your politics lie but I don't think I am alone in thinking loyalty is not his strong suit. Trump is a toad and I cannot seem him taking the economic refugees unless he sees a better deal in it for him, which is unlikely while there is no good answer to his question of why should he take them if Australia won't?
    Adrianus
    10th May 2019
    8:42am
    Who do you trust? An interesting question. We often use that word in the wrong context when considering our emotional relationship with politicians. And as such, trust should be defined in our belief that they will do what they say they will do.

    With this in mind I think Scott Morrison has a clear advantage over Bill Shorten. I think Scott will deliver on most of his statements. While I see Bill only really determined to deliver on "Climate Change spending" and "the disadvantaging of retirees by removing their Franking Credits."
    jzb
    10th May 2019
    2:57pm
    You won't have a house, or anything else for that matter, if Labor wins! As far as global warming
    ; it's a big hoax and the sooner people wake up to it the better!
    Misty
    10th May 2019
    3:38pm
    Rubbish, just this week the PM of Fiji attacked John Alexander MP for telling him to tell the people of Fiji to moove to higher ground because their island is beoing overttalen by rising sea waters and the PM told him in no uncertain terms that they had aleary mooved to new dweellings further Inland 3 times because of Climate Change.
    Incognito
    10th May 2019
    3:41pm
    Misty jzb is just another paid troll. There are a lot of new ones leading up to the elections.
    Adrianus
    12th May 2019
    9:24am
    The message is clear. Move to higher ground and increase Australia's foreign aid budget so that we can send more money to Fiji for solar panels and wind generators.
    If only we knew of this solution many years ago? Tasmania would still be part of Victoria.
    Rosscoe
    12th May 2019
    10:08am
    This LNP government has cheated older Australians over the last 6 years.
    Rosscoe
    12th May 2019
    10:08am
    This LNP government has cheated older Australians over the last 6 years.
    Farside
    12th May 2019
    11:29am
    Roscoe, it's a matter of perspective; roughly two thirds of older Australians are not concerned and will vote as they have always done. It seems the changes to the pension means test are easily forgiven.
    Ok
    12th May 2019
    3:09pm
    Every age pensioner couple will suffer under Labor to the tune of about $120.00 a week. Relying on a small SMSF and age pension, most people will supper a lot under Labor. Labor is great if you are very rich or if you are unwilling to work. Labor has no choice but to take more from "oldies" otherwise they would not be able to achieve the planned massive increase of the Public Service.
    Karl Marx
    12th May 2019
    3:27pm
    So where does your figures of $120 a week come from, that's $240 per fortnight for every pensioner. Be very interested to see how these figures are calculated.
    Ok
    12th May 2019
    3:12pm
    If you think that Labor is any better than look at their past performance. Stupidity is to repeat an action which ends up in a bad outcome. Voting Labor has NEVER done anything good for Australia. How do you think it will be different this time?
    Karl Marx
    12th May 2019
    3:29pm
    The performance over the last 6 years has robbed pensioners & retirees.
    Farside
    13th May 2019
    2:54am
    Ok, assessment of past performance depends upon the selected criteria and objective consideration. Many historians would disagree with you citing Labor's extensive social and economic reforms that laid the foundation for many of the benefits and services enjoyed by modern Australia.
    Ok
    12th May 2019
    3:12pm
    If you think that Labor is any better than look at their past performance. Stupidity is to repeat an action which ends up in a bad outcome. Voting Labor has NEVER done anything good for Australia. How do you think it will be different this time?
    Karl Marx
    12th May 2019
    3:29pm
    OK wrote Stupidity is to repeat an action, say no more
    etc1
    13th May 2019
    10:52am
    I really don't know who to vote for. For the first time on my life I feel there is nobody standing that will be good for us retired folk.
    Farside
    13th May 2019
    5:01pm
    etc, the system does not allow you to sit on the fence. If it's hard to decide then ask yourself if your current member represents your local interests well in Canberra; if not, then vote someone else in that is passionate about local issues. If you cannot decide your senate preferences then vote for a centre leaning independent.
    Incognito
    13th May 2019
    10:04pm
    Go to Australia Votes ABC website it might help you decide after you answer all the questions. Also there are many minor parties that are not getting any airplay or advertising out there because of limited funds, why not look at who is running and google each party, I have found some really interesting ones.
    ex PS
    13th May 2019
    8:42pm
    I don't waste my time worrying about paying tax, they all put their hands out to take them from us. It is more important to me how they spend them. I will always choose the side that spends taxes on those who need help, not those who want more profit.
    Trickle down theory is a myth.
    Dermot
    14th May 2019
    12:42am
    Any idiot voter can believe Scummo at their peril !!!


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