Crisis looming for tax system

Now is the time for action on our complex and unsustainable taxation system.

Crisis looming for tax system

Ken Henry, the man who lead the 2010 review into Australia’s tax and payment systems, has declared that now is the time for action on our complex and unsustainable tax system.

Dr Henry’s review made a number of recommendations aimed at simplifying our complex taxation system and streamlining welfare payments to help cope with a burgeoning ageing population. The extensive review was carried out under instruction from the then Labor Government and, while some recommendations were taken forward, many were not, being deemed at the time not to be critical.

Speaking yesterday at the Australian National University, Dr Henry expressed his disappointment that more had not been taken and implemented from the review. "The tax review that I was associated with – that I had the pleasure of leading – it identified a number of medium-term challenges confronting the Australian economy and it identified pathways for future tax reform," he said. While he stated at the time of the review that there was no urgent need to move at that time, he said we were now approaching crisis time for the tax and transfer system, "We're getting much closer to that point at which we should acknowledge that ... there is an imminent crisis ahead for the tax and transfer system and therefore there is a strong case for developing a comprehensive tax and transfer reform package."

The Coalition Government has promised another review of the tax system, which will include GST, although the Prime Minister has promised no changes in the Government’s first term. Dr Henry urged Tony Abbott to revisit his ‘comprehensive’ 2010 review. "It covers all elements of the tax system, obviously not the GST, and it covers the entire transfer payments system as well, there's a lot in that document I think," he said. He added that reviewing and changing GST was inescapable but that the Government would need to get the public onside before any major changes were made. "I think it's very important that a government does have a mandate if it is going to effect large-scale reform," he said.

Read the full article at

Opinion: Too many plans…

It seems everyone has a plan on how to restructure the country’s tax and welfare system, but how do we know which is the right one?

Dr Ken Henry is urging the Abbott Government to revisit his 2010 review of the tax and transfer system. It was only four short years ago, however, that many of the recommendations were deemed not to be urgent enough to require action. The Government-implemented Productivity Commission has delivered its report on the state of the country’s finances. And, while we’re not privy to what’s been suggested, ‘leaks’ suggest that means testing of superannuation and a review of Age Pension eligibility age are hot topics. Finally, forecasters at Deloitte Access Economics have also had a go at balancing the books, but have opted to target the indexation of Disability Support Pensions (DSP). Suggesting that the DSP should be indexed to inflation, as with the Newstart Allowance, rather than wages growth, would save the country $2.4 billion over the next four years. 

Australia’s welfare system is in for a major overhaul, of that there is no doubt, but how does a government tackle such a sensitive, ticking time-bomb and come out unscathed? For sure there will be no glory in getting the country’s balance sheet back in the black if those on fixed incomes and heavily reliant on government support fall deeper into the red. And while most of us are accepting of working to 67 years of age before we can even consider retirement, how many will be putting their hands up to work to 70 or beyond?

The Labor Government addressed the issue with Ken Henry’s extensive review in 2010, but failed to act, albeit because many of the items were not yet on the critical path. Yet we’re now being told action is needed quickly. Surely four years can’t make that much difference in the long-term planning of a country’s finances? And now the Abbott Government is faced with the same dilemma; act on the recommendation of the Productivity Commission and make changes to enable Australia to have more sustainable tax and welfare system, but risk being an unpopular, one-term government.

As the Government prepares to deliver its first budget under Treasurer Joe Hockey’s watch, let’s hope all reviews have been carefully considered and action is forthcoming, because sometimes it’s the not knowing exactly what lies ahead which is most difficult to live with.

Do you support the need for change in the welfare system, even if it means working longer, or reduced social security payments? Is it time to stop having reviews and start acting, or can we simply never have too much information when making such difficult decisions?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Mar 2014
    Once the Currency of a Nation is issued by Commercial Interests (The International Bankers) as "A Debt to the Citizens" it is impossible for a nation to have the books return to Balanced.
    Such is evident with ANY country in the world at this present time!

    SACK the International Bankers and force our pollies to issue the currency of Australia in accordance with the Principles of the Australian Constitution!
    Such might take a revolution though!?
    12th Mar 2014
    Good point - the 'internationalisation' of currency, under whatever flag, is an unmitigated disaster.
    12th Mar 2014
    Easy solution, cut ex politicians perks. Current
    Pollies salary 's, and consolidate council's .
    Hitting the Disability pension is a cop out.
    12th Mar 2014
    I'm wit you Patrick. We should also bring politicians and Public Servants superannuation.into line with the rest of the nation. Another massive saving.

    Perhaps some brighter intellectual may start a Superannuation Party to do just that.
    12th Mar 2014
    Those areas are only relatively small cuts - but are necessary - one superannuation system for all and no politician draws pensions without disability until the mandated retirement age. That'll reduce retirement age to about fifty - another issue I've raised elsewhere, since a genuine sharing of GENUINE prosperity (not enrichment of the very few at the expense of the very many) - should mandate that you work hard for 25-30 years and actually have some healthy time left for life.

    I think - (refer me) that Cubans actually do better there than we do... though I hate to say it.
    12th Mar 2014
    Reading now - shot out......
    12th Mar 2014
    Page 2:- " The retirement pension is equivalent to 50 percent of av-
    erage earnings during the highest five of last ten years
    of employment".

    Now that would put me on around $130k a year now instead of $20k - a crying disgrace.
    12th Mar 2014
    If we are to work longer in order to qualify for a pension, then the term of being a member of government should be longer in order to qualify for their perks.
    A 4 year term of qualification is a joke and would make politicians do the right thing or face uncertainty in their employment longevity!
    12 continuous years of being in elected to government before they qualify for any perks!
    12th Mar 2014
    Good start Bes. Think of it this way - do YOU get to work somewhere, lose your job, and then get your super payout for life? Then you do a Bob Carr and go on and do it in another 'government', and cop multiple hand-outs for life?

    Not on your nelly! You WAIT until retirement age, then you are hounded and bounded by all the rules and can't draw the cash as you want even though it is YOUR cash) without being penalised in some way. And YOUR super hand-out isn't indexed so you can live comfortably ever after... you will most likely need to supplement your pitiful superannuation income with a part pension anyway, and thus cop the scorn and assaults form those you've enriched with your taxes over the years - who have no real idea what they are talking about, and only really care for their own personal comfort.

    Time for change.. BIG change.
    12th Mar 2014
    There are currently 150 MPs in the House of Representatives and 76 senators in the Australian Senate. A total of 226 in the 'Government'. Federal back-bench politicians' salary rose to just over $195,000 last year. Shadow Ministers sit just under $250,000 rising to $360,000 for the Opposition Leader and $500,000 for the Prime Minister. (see detail here: Add to that various perks and allowances ( and whilst is may seem a lot, really it doesn't add up to that much in the bigger picture.
    Yes I would like to be on that much money but do you seriously think that taking it away would put much back into the economy or even improve pensioners income? Compare what Grappler claims just above - his salary at the height would have been $260,000. Comparable don't you think in terms of numbers?
    Politicians are an easy target and yes we should keep an eye on what they are getting/doing. But to think that their salary, entitlements and superannuation are responsible for the pension rate is ridiculous. Australia has a population of just over 22 million and an income (in 2012) of over $1.5 trillion. In the bigger scheme of things the pollie trough is a mere drop in the ocean.

    But yes they should wait for their super until they retire like the rest of us.
    12th Mar 2014
    In 1992 I was earning $100k+ - which translates into $260k - I've also cited previously (somewhere) that my then superannuation over thirteen years equated to about 10% of what one well-known politician received as a cash handout for thirteen months in a seat.

    Now you work that one out. Comparing chalk and cheese when discussing superannuation for the peasantry and superannuation for their rulers.
    12th Mar 2014
    I was on the equivalent of what a pollie takes in and did at that time - but without the perks and without the super. That $100k then would translate to roughly $260k now (me without perks), which also gives you some idea of how massively costs of living have risen in the past twenty years or so.
    12th Mar 2014
    KSS, Tony says thanks and your bonus is in the post.
    13th Mar 2014
    KSS, you make me so angry, you and Aqua are the most unprincipled posters on this forum, albeit that I still suspect that you both are a PAID voice pieces. You defend the outrageous pay and perks of politicians. You defend the outrageous tax rebates to Murdoch. You defend that Billionaire Miners are excused from paying tax. But in your view the millions on Disability Support Pensions are the real cause of any problem. I suggest you have earned your Bonus's from Tony.
    13th Mar 2014
    Good on ye moorlands.
    Sock it to them!!
    12th Mar 2014
    Principles of Aust Constitution.What's that and does it solve anything?
    Freezing Polies pay would be popular might give them another 3 years
    They stopped the boats what more do you want?
    12th Mar 2014
    Stopped the boats? Do yo understand the basic international law of refugees? Intercepting boats on the high seas is an act of priracy, and any asylum seeker has the right, under International Law and under treaties to which Australia is a signatory, to request asylum at the point of interception, and then be processed with the ultimate aim of being re-settled, if found to have a genuine case, in the country from which he/she requests asylum.

    Pretty clear cut - please don't derail discussion of the economic mis-management of Australia with interjections on boats and the criminal acts of the current Australian government against their occupants.
    12th Mar 2014
    All (illegal) entrants attempting to gain access to Australia without using due process are found to have been able to enter another country in order to do so!
    Travelling through however many other countries to accomplish getting to a welfare state.
    Upon entering Australian waters they are found to have NO papers if identification.
    They have become refugees from the country of their last landing prior to attempting to enter Australia. Therefore they are ILLEGAL and therefore jeopardize the chances of REAL refugees going through due process. Labor dismantled the legislation that was in place and opened the flood gates and in doing so causing untold numbers of deaths in the process!
    12th Mar 2014
    They are not citizens of the countries they have passed through - which almost universally do not accept them as citizens anyway. Having no papers is not an issue in claiming asylum status - in fact the rules and regulations are designed to cater to the simple reality that in fleeing a country, a person is unlikely to hold current papers.

    Take an example of say - Iran. Mahmeek Bagladaneesh wishes to get out to save life and family, under threat of immediate execution on accusation of not following the Koran rigidly - you think the Mullah Bureau of Islamic Oversight is going to give him valid and current papers?

    He FLEES with the shirt on is back and whatever he can carry.....

    I have a lady friend who teaches Malaysian culture to refugee children - they receive no assistance and no money to live in Malaysia - and are a despised minority in many arenas.

    And we of Australia? Are we 'better' for rejecting the legitimate claims to asylum of the many who seek to come here and instead treating them as criminals? The right of an asylum seekers to request asylum status from any qualified officer (immigration etc) at any port of entry or piece of sovereign territory is iron-bound.

    Any person has the right to request asylum seeker status on entering sovereign territory of any nation signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees. The chicanery of the current 'government' here in not permitting them to board Australian warships at sea (sovereign territory of Australia) and then request asylum status is just that - chicanery. Even the exclusion from boarding parties of 'certified officers' who may accept requests for asylum is a calculated piece of chicanery.
    12th Mar 2014
    Let us not sidetrack the issue here any more - but think on this:-
    12th Mar 2014
    I have to wonder is "The Grappler" another pseudonym for Mussitate because their rantings are eerily similar.
    Their constant reference to "asylum seekers" is merely emotive when the people to whom they ascribe that description are, in fact, ones seeking a better life style and prospects for their family.
    Finally, the relationship of that topic to the one that should be under discussion in these pages, utterly escapes me.
    12th Mar 2014

    "Fight the FACTS" rather than attempting to discrediting the person.
    If you cannot do that, your agrueing only degraded the conversation.

    PISS OFF!!! If you have to - as others do - make it personal.
    12th Mar 2014
    Totally agree with Patriot there. You are off in dream land there Paddles - seems an appropriate name. I have no clones and am nobody's clone. If you have no understanding of the legalities or otherwise of refugee issues - which I've studied at university level - best you stay silent.

    Address the issues and not the man, or you are defined as a troll. Get used to it.
    Pass the Ductape
    13th Mar 2014
    The.Grappler - you seem to be under the impression that the so-called boat people are asylum seekers, whereas they are far more likely to be welfare seekers. Big difference!
    12th Mar 2014
    The Disability pension is one area that should not be touched - yes I agree that something has to be done - but not to touch the money that is now presently given to people on the Disability Pension, Newstart allowance and also on the aged pension. I agree that one should look at the pensions of some of these Politicians that are on long term pensions because they served in Parliament for a number of years, this needs to be attended to immediately. Also look at the perks that are going to be given to these managers of banks, Telstra etc. who are being paid money that is absolutely crackers for doing a position, time to leave alone pensions and the people who are struggling to make ends meet on small amounts of money each fortnight. Also look at the difference in the amount of money there is between the married couple and the single pensioners many people are living as two single people in the one house getting single pensions investigate this.
    12th Mar 2014
    The Disability Pension is not just a hand-out - it is very difficult to get and only goes to cases of genuine need. Thus all this rabbiting on of morons in government seeking a handful of votes form the Redneck community members is a nonsense. The 'Right' has always launched jihads against 'those disability bludgers' every time they take office - yet the numbers of DSP actually grow every year.

    Thus the whole 'issue' is an essential non-issue and is nothing more than the product of some neo Dr Goebbels pushing his barrow.

    I also confidently predict that with the raising of the retirement age, the DSP numbers will soar again, since many of that age (which does not, of course, include politicians whose 'superannuation' is designed to set them up for life while yours is designed to be a supplement to a pension) are not full of health, vim and vigour.

    This is historically proven by the simple and undeniable fact that when older women were forced into the workforce rather than on widow and mothering pensions, the numbers of women on DSP grew proportionately.

    So the whole argument over 'DSP or not DSP' is just a political plaything and a football to be kicked at the faces of the disabled watching on the sidelines in order to scare them needlessly over nothing.

    12th Mar 2014
    Simple comment. Firstly - who ever said that government itself actually needs all the money from taxation, and secondly - who ever said that government needed the level of control over its own people that such massive control of the revenue cycle hands to it?

    The biggest problems with government and taxation are that:-

    a) governments here have viewed the whole revenue take as a 'slush fund' from which to draw whatever they feel they would like to do at any given time - depending on their 'ideology' (or want of). Thus they tend to splash out heaps of cash into areas that are not properly those of government (read 'social engineering projects endless' and add).

    b) Taxation is not under effective control and permits far too much leeway for multi-national corporations. Elseswhere I've cited an example of Jo and Joe Bloggs and their mortgage, car payments etc - and how it would NEVER be considered kosher for Jo to borrow money from Joe to pay the bills - yet any company group can do just that - with, say, Hole Ripper Inc borrowing from Ripping Holes Corp (a subsidiary of Hole Ripper) to fund a new HQ etc, and then copping a massive tax dodge for doing so.

    Jo and Joe get no such privilege - and all funding for their headquarters (home), vehicles for business etc, (they are all in the business of making money to get on and to feed their shareholders) comes from their own backs.

    Thirdly - I also point elsewhere the inflationary impact of such endless taxations as GST, 'user pays' and so forth as being one root cause of the current massive cost of living of Australians - and thus of the current demise of Australia on the world scene. You may add to that the focus on our overly complex tax system and the generated need, therefore, to have armies of drones and clones to work it all out.

    My ex (and I don't totally agree) advocates a single tax system on all income - company, international, and personal - perhaps through banking deposits. I'm open to your thoughts on such an issue.

    My view is that government needs to be looking carefully at the areas into which it currently pours our gold (and remember that even the unemployed pay tax on every purchase - there are no 'tax bludgers' at street level), and determine exactly what they have done wrong for the past thirty + years.... or maybe they could just ask the ordinary Australian for a change.
    12th Mar 2014
    We live in a democracy where smarter people pay
    Less tax,e.g Apple. Maybe we should employ smarter
    Govt employees to work out how to intercept the
    The corporate tax avoiders, so we get enough for all.
    What the underprivileged get is pittance compared
    to the income of the corporate tax doggers.
    12th Mar 2014
    I've cited elsewhere that the biggest 'Black Holes' in Budgetland are from the offshoring of massive amounts overseas - not internally. As Supernan rightly says below - as usual the handing of a dodge to some big company means the littlest people will foot the bill.

    If all 'legal entities' were treated equally as genuine 'legal entities' for taxation purposes - as before Hole diggers would not cop a dodge for borrowing from their sibling to build a mega HQ, same as Jo and Joe do not cop a dodge for building Bloggs Home HQ (etc).

    ALL are in the business of making money to get by - all should be treated equally.
    12th Mar 2014
    Like the Roman Catholic church and Hillsong. Think of the money that would appear if they paid tax instead of being absolved from paying it. The was mentioned on the TV as being the richest religious organisation in the world.
    12th Mar 2014
    Much as an emotional response to the indoctrinated approach I have to religious things (not a religious person - just commenting on the society into which I was born and was then raised) - I have to agree.

    When I cite 'legal entities' as being those responsible equally for taxation - I cannot - perforce - exclude religious organisations.

    I make an exception for genuine non-profit organisations - though I note that many of those are organised to ensure a income for their directors etc - rather than being a genuine non-profit organisation.

    I dunno - maybe non-profits should be controlled by an independent person or body...... separate issue - but only commenting as regards tax liability - with the proviso that all pay tax anyway, depending on expenditure - the only question is what percentage of income is paid in tax.

    For the unemployed - tax is 100% of income due to taxation with every purchase. I have argued this simple arithmetic elsewhere - and have been opposed on the basis of a 'taxpayer' is in reality a 'net taxpayer' - a category which seems to exclude property hoarders and business people, who feel that their effort in providing income to themselves requires that they get a tax break.
    12th Mar 2014
    My husband is retired Tax Accountant. We ran our Accountancy Practice for many years. Yes the system needs major reform. The wealthy are really advantaged by the system as it is. With their Family Trusts, Private Companies, etc they are able to manipulate the system so they pay very little tax. If the wealthy pay so little tax, guess who ends up paying the Taxes needed to run the Country ! !
    12th Mar 2014
    I don't know , but I am sure "Our Tony " will ensure it is fair? he did promise " For ALL Australians " Choke, Snigger, Splutter, Vomit.
    12th Mar 2014
    I have only read up to this part so far.....
    "burgeoning ageing population" -
    Dr. Ken Henry is dreadfully misinformed so hie "THEORY" must be incorrect.
    Last year I started counting all the people that I know as a child - they are all dead today
    Then I counted all the teachers I had, had - most are dead today
    (I did 2nd year high school)
    The parents of my friends - all dead
    Some of the bosses I had had - all dead
    Some of my neighbors - dead
    Peter look like he won't be around much longer
    Trevor passed away a little while ago he was just a few years older than me.
    Some of my dear friends - dead
    Dr. Henry are you listening to the Australian Bureau of Statistics ?
    You can't rely on them they can't count for peanuts.
    12th Mar 2014
    Funny how you think of someone still being alive & well-
    I bumped into a friend - hadn't seen her for 12 ish years
    Yack-a-di yack - "how are Barbra & Barry , still bl, bl ,bl," I asked
    Barry passed away years ago & Barbra died several years later
    Bill has gone
    Zinnie - was only 7 years older than me.
    Ian is very ill
    Manoli passed away last year
    Barba Ionais left us.
    13th Mar 2014
    Nightshade," Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee ". Just make sure before the bell tolls you have spent all you have, Abbott and his mates will make sure they enjoy what you have left.
    13th Mar 2014
    dont leave out Juliar and Krudd
    13th Mar 2014
    Aqua, my quotes come from memory, yours come from looking it up, PHONY.
    12th Mar 2014
    Q:- WHY

    I wonder why the coffers are empty ?
    The ghosts of the Australians are costing us a fortune
    It is disappearing into the ether
    Get it ... ha ha ha
    12th Mar 2014
    Who let the imbiccile do such a thing
    12th Mar 2014
    Being unemployed is not all it's cracked up to be
    It won't be long before Australian take to the streets because the want their jobs back
    Apparently - Joseph Benedict Hockey said something like "Oh, the will be some unrest " in a speech that he gave to the Wall Street mob.
    Maggie Thatcher has a couple.

    12th Mar 2014
    Oh - and the point of discussion of politician superannuation as compared to peasant superannuation is this:-

    Are these people LEADING by example.....

    .. or do they simply see being appointed by the Australian people to a position of leadership as being a gravy train for themselves first?

    It's all a question of LEADERSHIP - and whether or not we are actually allowing people to run this country when they have no ieea of even that basic requirement.

    LEADERSHIP means being first to answer the call and first out the door in a combat drop.... how about it Tone? Any politicians lining up at the door to take a drop or even a postponement in their massive super?
    12th Mar 2014
    The people who are running this country indirectly (but they are firmly in the seats behind the scenes) are the Bankers and the inductrialists.
    Whilst PEOPLE enforced the Magna Carta (Common Law & Heabius Corpus) in 1215 nothing has changed. We - the people - are still serfs to the elite!
    The ELITE is still in charge and we, the people, are the slaves.
    This indirect government is enforced via the Public Service and other govt. organisations who eventually instruct the Pollies.

    The Pollies are "SLAVES" & "SLAVE MASTERS" at the same time.

    They are the slave to the Bankers & Industrialists and they are the Slave Masters (executioners) to us.
    They do not require any brains as they simply "Following Orders"!
    In fact, having brains - as a pollie - is a distinct disadvantage. Just think back to the time when Barry Jones was in government. He was a highly educated and extremely intelligent man.
    However, he achieved little because he followed (with a high level of integrity) his personal convictions for the benefit of the Aust. people.

    Join the Seniors party now is we're going to have a chance to beat the Bastards!!!
    We might not have the tools, but we'll have the numbers.
    12th Mar 2014
    When Age Pensions were introduced, the Aust. Govt made a promise to "Pay Out" at 65 until the person died.

    If the Aust Govt renegs on this now, they also should reneg on the Super of ALL the POLLIES that are now drawing and will be drawing in the future.

    Fair is Fair!
    Or would this hit too close to home?
    12th Mar 2014
    the perpetual whingeing on this topic is surely evidence of national inbreeding.
    quote "We - the people - are still serfs to the elite!" those being apparently "the Bankers and the inductrialists". Since when did the 'serfs' have a clue on anything ? The "elite" use their brains to study and work hard to better themselves and in doing so better society. The inbred "tall poppy" syndrome dictates that the serf's will whinge from the cradle to the grave; meanwhile, while residing in one of the best countries on the planet. Just ask Mussitate.
    12th Mar 2014
    You are perfectly correct, Patriot. Magna Carta as designed was to benefit the feudal lords and barons and was in no way intended to encompass the needs and requirements of the peasantry. This continues to be the case here and now despite our endless utterances about being an 'egalitarian society' and a 'democracy'.

    The concept raised of business and the vast differences in taxation between 'business people' and the ordinary person are an excellent reflection of the continuation by other means of the feudal system - wherein the 'peasants'/'serfs' (whatever) worked to offer their portion to uphold the living of the lords.

    I see little to no difference in our current taxation systems.
    12th Mar 2014
    On the issue of aged pensions - you are again totally correct. I've posted figures and documents from 1948 onwards that show clearly, by the hand of government itself, that it raised taxes in order to incorporate a higher level of welfare and so forth. Thus - as I have argued time and again elsewhere an here - an aged pension is a Right - bought and paid for in advance - and no government has any right to grab at it or to even raise the age at which it will be accorded.

    You may add to that those with genuine disabilities, who our government has taken on as a responsibility - on the basis that any government worth its salt will take care of those least able to take care of itself.

    I hold no brief for any 'side' - Left or Right or anything else - in 'government' - I seek simply to be an honest purveyor and arbitrator of truth. If I am wrong - you may say so - but I seek nothing for myself in any of these things that I do daily.
    13th Mar 2014
    Aquatrek, I suspect that because of your absense of rational thinking, which is a proven and obvious result of inbreeding leading in many cases to insanity, that you should investigate your family background?

    12th Mar 2014
    cutting out email notification....
    12th Mar 2014
    I was thinking paper cost more ?
    Do you get all the EXTRA information on EXTRA pieces of paper in almost ever bill mail out ?
    33 billion people in Australia
    If only 1/2 get the rubbish I get - we are talking money.
    But first I think that those at the top need to tighten their belts & no more restaurant meals 3 times a day for starters
    Breakfast in the kitchen before work & a cut lunch from home every day is sufficient don't you think ?
    12th Mar 2014
    Well said - I was running backwards there - it all stems from the news report last week that the Rabbitohs had defeated South Sydney in the season opener - still trying to get my mind around that one.
    12th Mar 2014
    Who has identified that the 'system' is in crisis or is about to be ?
    Add to that the issue that its very funny [cynical] that the Henry study didnt even look at GST - that being the fundamental transfer of taxed revenue to the states.
    Population stats clearly show the increase in the aged so how about voluntary euthanasia at 85 ?

    Over the past two decades, this group increased by 160%, compared with a total population growth of 30% over the same period. In the 12 months to 30 June 2012, the number of people aged 85 years and over increased by 20,400 people (5.1%) to reach 423,700. There were almost twice as many females (274,800) than males (149,000) in this age group which reflects the higher life expectancy for females. In the year ended June 2012, the largest increases in the number of people aged 85 years and over occurred in the Northern Territory (10.2%), Australian Capital Territory (6.4%), followed by Western Australia (5.9%), Victoria (5.5%), New South Wales and South Australia (both 4.9%), Queensland (4.6%) and Tasmania (3.0%).

    Over the past two decades, the number of centenarians increased by 204%, reflecting an increase in life expectancy for both males and females during the period. In the 12 months to 30 June 2012, the number of people aged 100 years and over increased by 430 people (14.1%) to reach 3,479. There were more than four times as many females (2,808) than males (671) in this age group which reflects the higher life expectancy for females.

    Its quite obvious that the females are killing the male species off so that they can live the good life on the insurance payouts and single pensions.
    12th Mar 2014
    Don't forget the Big Lie that women retire on less superannuation than men.

    Women retire on the benefits of their old man's super plus their own that is in accord with whatever they've EARNED over a lifetime same as everyone else (apart from politicians) - then usually the old man dies first, and they inherit the house, the super and everything else as a single person.

    That explains the endless queues of old ladies playing pokies at $5 a shot...

    I think this is an issue that needs a good looking over as well..
    13th Mar 2014
    Voluntary Euthanasia? Please don't put ideas into Abbotts pea brain.
    Nan Norma
    12th Mar 2014
    The disability pension needs to be reviewed. Some people are very cunning claiming mental illness. They know the rules inside out and know how manipulate the system.. I've witnessed this personally. I agree politicians perks should be tapered. It's time banks were brought into account with their huge salaries. Unemployment is a difficult one. Genuine people suffer for the ones again that cheat the system. Four unemployed young healthy men share a house. Small rent. Elderly disabled widow next door can't mow the lawn, offers to pay them in cash to do the job. "Na, too hard"
    Nan Norma
    12th Mar 2014
    The disability pension needs to be reviewed. Some people are very cunning claiming mental illness. They know the rules inside out and know how manipulate the system.. I've witnessed this personally. I agree politicians perks should be tapered. It's time banks were brought into account with their huge salaries. Unemployment is a difficult one. Genuine people suffer for the ones again that cheat the system. Four unemployed young healthy men share a house. Small rent. Elderly disabled widow next door can't mow the lawn, offers to pay them in cash to do the job. "Na, too hard"
    12th Mar 2014
    I'm amazed that this can happen - but I think it is an 'outcome' from the current welfare mentality - which - I will remind you - stems originally from our political phantasms who feel totally entitled to ride at whim and will endlessly on the public purse.

    I think these young men - and many others and young women as well - now see things as :-

    "Well - the Guv made the policies - let them pay the pipers!"
    ... something that they are clearly shown day in and day out when our politicians grab again and again into the welfare trough of 'entitlements'.

    I say again - let them LEAD by example instead of trying top push the herd along.... you dont see very far ahead when you are pushing hard on the rumps of the entire herd....

    You understand what is this LEADERSHIP.

    Politicians all talk about it, and mutter darkly about 'end of entitlement mentality' - then suck deeply of their own entitlement mentality from the same trough they are saying needs to be demolished if we are to be a viable country again.

    Capisce? Nobody will believe that what they do - under such statements - is anything more than just another imposition by force from a position of privilege which mandates zero understanding of the issues involved..
    12th Mar 2014
    Tax is only one part of the pie. Over payment of welfare put other countries into hock, and we are tumbling into the same hole. Why do we spend $700Million for aid to our past enemy, when the boys at home are left out in the cold. Most families use the "look after the home fires first, then see if there's any change to go out spending. As a nation, (not just this silly party v party political hate scenario), we should wake up to reality, and stop thinking that a "lucky country" means we are exempt from the global slow-down or have to work. Forget the 1960's politics. They are dead and have no place in our modern world.
    12th Mar 2014
    the monetary 'taxation' merrygoround hasnt ceased since the ancient churches levied a tithe or the landlord wanted his bucket of apples for allowing you to grow veg or the Jews lent money with interest added on payback. Taxes provide an income to those 'in charge' so that 'services' can be provided to the societal cohorts.

    Politics do not change - libertarians want to let the economy run 'free' whereas the socialists want everyone to play on the same field but to not benefit more than the next player - including the team captain. The first model leads to fascism and genocide whereas the latter has been tried and failed many times over due to population growth and globalization among other aspects.

    So who has declared a taxation crisis [Debbie so that she has stirred up the mud as is her job or Henry so that he can be gainfully employed] and why ?
    13th Mar 2014
    AQUATREK. Please stop trying to convince us oldies that you are intelligent by using your "Plagiarized "quotes.
    13th Mar 2014
    Your whole discussion convinces me that you have ample Money & Arrogance.
    Unfortunately, you seem to have little tolerance & compassion!
    For instance, "societal cohorts" is just one term used that certainly - to me - indicates and vindicates the above statement.
    After all, we all must be considered to be individual rather than "Part of a Herd" with a "Herd Mentality".

    Our current system purposely (in my opinion) does not provide people & Family Units with the financial & emotional security they need: "All will be OK tomorrow" is doubtful as the rulers keep "Changing the rules".
    Instead it promotes a highly competitive and "Dog eat Dog" mentality where "All is fair in Love & War". It simply promotes greed where one party gets all and the majority has nothing!
    Co-operation rather than competition assures dignified & worthwhile communities for ALL rather than establishing "total Control" for a "Ruling Class".

    And, by the way, you don't have to be religious to have compassion!
    13th Mar 2014
    Patriot - One who loves and defends his or her country - Your monicker is evident of your being a luddite as globalization combines all nations as never before. It contradicts your individualism affirmation and confirms your needing to belong to the 'herd'.

    I am a pensioner living on only the aged pension so I do not have 'ample' funds and that clearly demonstrates your inability to assess another correctly. Arrogance is what you see when you look in the mirror. Then there are your ill informed criticisms: 'Societal cohorts' is academic phraseology which illustrates your lack of understanding and application of the English language. Your professed 'individualism' is implicit in libetarian values and contradicts your socialistic 'herd' leanings. Your final 'paragraph' is full of childish emotional metaphors that have no bearing on the topic.

    The liberals reformed the tax system by using the GST. All modern governments use a similar mechanism to raise revenue. The main issue in Australia is the 3 tiered administration system - Federal, State and local. Many studies [and I recently did such in a Masters] have shown that enormous amounts of public monies are wasted in such a system. So in my opinion, while tolerating misinformed debaters and showing intense compassion for the residents of this country, my suggestion is to remove the middle or lower tier of governance as a reform measure. Apparently local councils are not legitimate bodies in the legal sense yet they act as if the law is their only tool. The other reformation measure would be to make the administrators accountable for their actions. For example the deaths in the failed 'pink batts' fiasco. Jail Rudd and Garret.
    13th Mar 2014
    "Surely four years can’t make that much difference in the long-term planning of a country’s finances?" What an extremely naive comment.

    Look what Labor did to the deficit and loan position in those four years!
    13th Mar 2014
    Do we take that as a compliment to the Labor Party? are you acknowledging that their responsible debt versus equity policy saved Australia from the GFC?
    13th Mar 2014
    About time Tony Rabbit saw to People like Gina's tax got paid imagine that would help the economy by a few million per annum. Plus a few have already stated the most obvious cut the pollies perks and ex pollies should have enough of their own money to pay for their flights etc. without us giving more to pay for them.
    Tom Tank
    13th Mar 2014
    The usual spiel we get from the Pollies these days is to compare the country's finances to household finances. This is of course overly simplistic but for the purpose of this exercise if we stick to that model it is obvious that what is going out should match that what is coming in. The current Government appears to only be addressing what is going out with a concentration on Welfare payments.
    A good hard look is needed at what is coming in and we are told it is not enough to cover outgoings but it is widely accepted out taxation system is in a mess.
    Surely the tax system should be overhauled as the number 1 priority before using the knife on outgoings.
    The ordinary punter has to pay their full whack of tax but, as been well explained earlier big corporations are paying zero and our wealthiest are similarly favoured by the system.
    The question is has any political party got the guts to fix it properly because to do so will mean standing on the toes of those who fund their election, particularly the Libs.
    As a matter of interest while wages increased by 55% over the last 10 years pollies salaries increased by 90%. They should be showing an example if times are as tough as they say and freeze their salaries and only be able to access their superannuation at the same age as the ordinary person.
    13th Mar 2014
    JFK attempted to "Fix It" by signing Executive Order No: 11110 which meant that $1,000,000,000 dollars was to be printed and issued to the American people without interest thereby bypassing the International Bankers.

    He certainly got "slugged" with a considerable penalty! Public Execution in the Streets of Dallas!
    He knew how to fix the problem!!!!!

    14th Mar 2014
    Henry's review was flawed as it did not , under Labors instructions , include GST
    For an example of what can be achieved look at NZ. Under a right wing givernment
    14th Mar 2014
    HI Pete - the lefties on here just dont get it. Since federation the terms of governance have been 66% liberal and the remainder socialist. If any of them actually lived in a socialist regime they would be the first to seek asylum
    15th Mar 2014
    Perhaps we should scrap preferentials? and make it "First past the post" isn't that is what Democracy is all about?
    15th Mar 2014
    Aqua, I don't dispute your figures because of lack of analyses, but if your figures are true then that may be the reason that we are so far behind the rest of the developed world. I yesterday visited Queensland, whilst crossing the road instead of a little red man it showed a timer telling you how long you had to cross. Wow such innovation? I first saw that during a Baltic cruise ten years ago, this was after landing at Heathrow in a fog laden snowstorm also ten years ago, (visibility nil ! no chance of diverting to Brisbane as Sydney flights do today) . As I say I am not disputing your 66% claim but it sure explains a lot.
    15th Mar 2014
    I have to butt in here, I have just watched a totally Literate and Coherent report on the Malaysian Airlines mystery from the Malaysian Prime Minister, (to whom English is a second language). What a contrast from Tony Abbott who has trouble uttering a sentence without repeating, ah repeating, ah repeating, perhaps the Prime Minister of Malaysia is a better "Suppository "of the English language than Abbott?
    Nan Norma
    15th Mar 2014
    It doesn't matter who the prime minister is, we always seem to want to put them down Why?
    15th Mar 2014
    I cannot recall Personal attacks on Prime Ministers other than those from the "Rabid Right ' Nan. Sure Labour attacks Liberal policies as is their right. But Abbott introduced personal attacks on the Leaders, IE, his Juliar, Krudd, name calling which is schoolyard bullying. Unfortunately with the "Football Team Mentality ",of Australians (which Abbott has tapped has into) the (who cares give us another beer and a smoke) coupled with " Labour infighting'" appealed to the Australian voters.
    16th Mar 2014
    I think it is ridiculous to expect everyone to work to 67 and beyond when youth unemployment is so high. Work until you die, only option is to self-retire.

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