16th Jul 2018
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Crisis for over 55s “only going to get worse”
Author: YourLifeChoices
Crisis for over 55s “only going to get worse”

Being able to pay for a roof over your head shouldn’t come at the expense of feeding yourself or being able to buy medication you need to stay alive, and yet that is the situation in which thousands of older Australians find themselves.

YourLifeChoices research shows that of the 5561 who responded to the Retirement Affordability Index 2017-18 survey, more than 53 per cent of those on the Age Pension often run out of money before their next payment.

Of the 3339 homeowners who took part, just over 54 per cent say they wouldn’t be able to meet weekly expenses if they didn’t own their home.

Of those who rent, many are left to choose between food in their mouths, freezing through winter or foregoing important medication in order to pay rent. Some simply won’t be able to afford to do so for much longer.

Academics and housing providers warn that homelessness is on the rise, particularly for those aged 55 and over.

On the heel of this warning, and with projections that the nation’s older population will double in coming decades, comes the call for more money to be injected into affordable housing for the elderly.

A new report to be launched today by Senator Doug Cameron will call on policymakers to urgently address the problem.

At last count, there were 18,625 homeless people aged over 55, but there could be more, as the Census only takes responses from those with a fixed address.

Renters aged over 65 are struggling to make ends meet, many paying more than 30 per cent of their income on accommodation costs, an increase of 42 per cent in the past five years. In some cases, rent can take up to 70 per cent of an older person’s income.

“This situation is only going to get worse,” warned Debbie Faulkner, the deputy director of the centre for housing, urban and regional planning at the University of Adelaide.

“They tend to pay their rent first and go without their health needs, their pharmaceutical needs or even food.”

And these are the ‘lucky’ ones who still have a roof over their heads.

Brian Lipmann, who founded a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged older Australians, says the homelessness situation is getting worse.

In the 30 years since he opened the Wintringham Specialist Aged Care Centre, which provides housing for around 1800 people aged over 50 on any given night, he says evidence of elderly homelessness has never been so bad.

“We now have 1900 people on our waiting list,” said Mr Lipmann.

“A lot of those people have never had anything to do with homelessness before.”

Common causes of homelessness for older people include domestic violence, the death of a partner and elder abuse, he says.

People who can’t even afford to rent are joining billowing queues for public housing. In Victoria alone, around 4000 people are on the list, with that number growing weekly. According to Council of Homeless Persons chief Jenny Smith, around 23,000 people aged over 55 requested help from homeless services.

“Due to the chronic shortage of affordable housing, the best those people are offered is a short stay in a refuge, rooming house or caravan park,” said Ms Smith.

“This type of marginal accommodation has a devastating impact on the physical and mental health of the elderly.”

Aged-care homes are not an option either.

“The Age Pension isn’t enough to pay private rents and the current aged-care system is designed for those with property and assets,” said Mr Lipmann.

And contrary to stereotypes, most homeless older Australian have done the right thing all their lives – working, paying taxes, raising families – only to find themselves struggling at a time when they should be looking forward to a peaceful retirement.

“At the time of your life when you’re the frailest and sickest, to be faced with trying to find a feed or trying to find a place where you’re not going to be bashed or robbed or raped is terrifying,” he said.

Experts are calling for bipartisan support to help solve this crisis before it’s too late – if it’s not already.

Do you struggle to make ends meet? Do you know someone who does? Is owning a home pivotal to a manageable retirement?

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    COMMENTS

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    Lou Lou
    16th Jul 2018
    10:18am
    Yes I’m in this situation where I’m paying $410 a week
    Out of the full aged pension I have some savings but how long they will last is anyone’s guess. The $132 f/n
    Rent ass is rediculous in this day and age. When average rents are $350 and above. If the government wanted to help those that don’t own a house and have to rent
    Then make the rent asst according to the rent not one price fits all. That would immediately take pressure of thousands of Australian pensioner who are renting we shouldn’t have to pay more than 30% of our pension for a roof over our heads .
    MICK
    16th Jul 2018
    11:25am
    Not a surprise to most pensioners or retirees Lou Lou.
    It is well known that the Australian pension system has been taken over vested interests. Whilst there are tax cuts for the wealthy, who have been going ahead at the rate of knots in the past 10 year, anybody who is not a high income earner is on the target list. Retirees probably on the top of the list.
    Pensions in comparable countries are higher than ours and the pension is not an entitlement in these countries. Our low life big end of town puppet government has made it thus here.
    Expect nothing from this lot other than the next attack if it is put back in. I am waiting for the family home to be brought into the assets test and death duty to return. That's where this lot will end up....with more tax cuts to the wealthy playing international leap frog to justify the unjustifiable.
    Hope you survive. Vote accordingly and pass on the news so that the coming propaganda election campaign fails.
    Cowboy Jim
    16th Jul 2018
    2:24pm
    Yeah Mick - very easy for a bloke with nothing, got a few of them around here wanting the house included in the assets test but not one of them has one. In my situation: I have to pay $2200 council fees and the same amount in body corporate money per year. The place is rated as minimum and if it was included in the test I would be forced to rent and the Govt would pay me the $132 per fortnight as mentioned above in rent assistance. How would that help?
    There are of course mansions where you would have a point, Mick. But when a modest dwelling is included you would shoot yourself in the foot. With death duties you would open up the good old children's expectation of an inheritance and the kids certainly would not vote for them.
    Concerning overseas pensions they ARE an entitlement and not welfare, we paid in all our lives and we will get the pension. Also there is still the age of 65 not 67.
    Maybe a capital gains tax is needed on the family home when sold and if the Govt would allow the young buyer a tax deduction on all the rates, body corps, insurances, improvements and repairs like it is the case overseas it would be fully justified. Mick, I lived in both places and I do not pick the raisons out of the cake, there are differences.
    One could possibly prevent superannuants cashing out their money before turning 67 and possibly force them to take an annuity so preventing them ever getting an age pension. See how that would go down in your Socialist Paradise. I had a fear of that happening years ago and spent my super well before reaching 65. There is not a continent where I have not been.
    Your ideas will encourage more people to do what I have done and that does not help the country - but I do have good memories.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Jul 2018
    10:29am
    Lou Lou, I synpathize, but why are you in this situation? I know some end up this way through no fault of their own, but we have all had 40+ years to plan for retirement.
    I worked my guts out and went without things most considered absolute necessities to pay off a home. Now I would be better off renting! Why the hell should renters get big handouts while people who worked their butts off and went without to provide for themselves are bashed and beaten? Like Mick, I pay huge rates and water bills, big home insurance costs, significant maintenance costs - then lose out in pension entitlements and rent assistance. Ultimately, it costs many homeowners more than $500 a week to live in their own home.

    More handouts to renters is NOT the answer, and NO NO NO NO NO rent assistance should NEVER be relative to the rent you pay, because that lets unconscionable people choose expensive accommodation at taxpayer expense.

    We need more government housing. We need better assessment of why people need assistance so that it goes to the deserving first, not the irresponsible or selfish. We DO NOT need to further disadvantage people for doing what's good for the nation and reward irresponsible lifestyle choices. (Not saying you were irresponsible or are undeserving, Lou Lou. I don't know your situation. But I do know hundreds who SHOULD own a home but were just too selfish to make the sacrifices required, and now want fat handouts to compensate for their own failure.)
    SuzeB
    16th Jul 2018
    10:37am
    I'm in an old over-55s block where demolition is planned - supposedly 2019. The rent is still good, because it's so old. I can't imagine being able to afford to stay living in my area when we eventually get our notices to vacate. I'm researching outer areas, but even the glamorised sheds in people's backyards are expensive.
    tisme
    16th Jul 2018
    10:46am
    I pay 680.00 per fortnight rent I get 1000.00 I practically live on egg on toast while caring for a daughter with disabilities. yeah we get the disab pension but that doesn't go far with all the disability /health expenses ah to live in the lucky country ( where ever that is )
    lynndi
    16th Jul 2018
    11:21am
    Owning a home is pivotal to surviving living on a pension. Whether that be a small unit or house. Not all pensioners are created equal , divorce , illness retrenchment, there are many reasons why people are in this situation. They are good people , but in bad positions. I see judgement all the time against people not preparing for retirement. Well that's how it is, (Take off your blinkers) not all can ever afford a home, don't have family assistance, don't get that perfect job the list goes on. With private rents being so high, that fact is people need assistance. People have pride and don't ask for much , a safe place to sleep and a daily meal. Well alot dont have this. I go to a food bank once a month and I hear this story over and over . Renters and pensioners with no funds can't survive. I pay a mortgage and I am broke before the next pension day to, I couldn't live if I had to pay rent .
    Ginty 01
    16th Jul 2018
    11:26am
    How come you never see any homeless so called refugees. If they did exist I'm sure it would be all over the news.
    Jem
    16th Jul 2018
    11:36am
    Good point Ginty! There would be a real fracas from the do gooders if that happened, but nobody gives a rats for the likes of you and I...
    Triss
    16th Jul 2018
    12:11pm
    That is so right, Ginty. We seem to have a government that panders to the "let 'em all in" brigade and bends over backwards to convince the world that we're the big hearted Aussies.
    When we have so many homeless it's no shame to admit we have a problem. We're full to saturation point. We don't have enough full time jobs for everyone to be able to pay rent or mortgage so it's no use being big hearted. When we can't house and give jobs to our own it's not clever or compassionate to have an open door policy.
    Hasbeen
    16th Jul 2018
    2:31pm
    Now you are talking.

    We need a restriction on any form of public housing that requires minimum of 5 years as a tax paying citizen, or minimum 10 consecutive years residence to be eligible for any form of housing assistance.

    It is disgusting that do-gooders want to help foreigners more than our own.
    musicveg
    16th Jul 2018
    10:14pm
    Maybe because they are staying with family Ginty, or are lucky to have been provided Government housing that they share with 10 others.
    The other problem with pubic housing is that there are far too many people who can now afford to live in other rental properties and are allowed to still stay in their public housing house at very low rents no mater how much they earn. This is what needs to change, those who have public housing need to provide income reports to see if they still qualify.This will free up housing for those who really need it.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2018
    8:27am
    Yes music veg. People do need to live where they can afford the rents and large public houses should be available for families with single tenants catered for in apartments or hostels.

    Moving is a hassle. Perhaps some help with that could be provided.

    I still think that buying some motels that are unviable would be a good start in providing emergency housing.

    It seems inflation has gotten away in some areas and the Government is not able to deal with it at all.

    What happened to all the money from the sale of those public housing properties around Sydney Harbour?
    Triss
    17th Jul 2018
    8:58am
    Probably shunted into the Future Fund, Rae, like the sale of Telstra, to pay for politition’s pensions
    Noodles
    18th Jul 2018
    11:11am
    Re sale of public housing Sydney.
    The governmet there has built brand new apartment buildings and the people they moved out of the old buildings have been rehoused and from what I have seen on TV they are very happy with their new lodgings. Pru Goward was on tv not that long back and I saw some of the new tenants interviewed.
    BrianP
    16th Jul 2018
    11:44am
    I have been trying and failing for 10 years to get people to join their efforts together on this.

    The best idea I have come up with (but governments won't listen) is that government should introduce a levy on big business. Combine that with government grants and provide money for low cost housing in large numbers. This would be a permanent way of providing homes for both elderly and low income families.

    The only way I think we will get government to listen is if we form large numbers of people supporting the idea. This is where I have a problem - we Aussies just have not bothered to put our names to this worthy cause. Where are you when we need you?
    Triss
    16th Jul 2018
    12:17pm
    I'm here. Unfortunately government get more for themselves as individuals by giving tax breaks, etc they'll get nothing if they build housing for people with no money. It's like I say, don't let millionaires into positions of power, they will only make policies which boost their own bank balances.
    MICK
    16th Jul 2018
    12:26pm
    You forget Brian: the government has made TAX CUTS rather than a levy.
    KSS
    16th Jul 2018
    12:48pm
    Yet more demands on businesses BrianP? Keep it up and there will be no 'big business' to pay for anything!
    Triss
    16th Jul 2018
    8:26pm
    Would that be so bad, KSS? Big business killed the small businesses and created unemployment and high prices. Perhaps if big business died we’d get all our high street shops opened and run by individuals instead of chains. Tradies working for themselves instead of someone else.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2018
    8:30am
    Yes Big Business, mostly foreign owned, is a problem now. The balance of trade is looking very shaky and small businesses can't compete on price. It's been a price war going on a long time now. Look at petrol and diesel prices. That's what happens when all the small local owners are forced out of business.
    George
    17th Jul 2018
    4:14pm
    BrianP, you are correct that big business should pay more but not just for this reason. As GrayComputing has noted in a separate comment, if Big Business paid their fair share, we could even triple the pensions paid here and also pay it as Universal Pension without tests and without Centrelink admin / abuse. We badly need a Minimum Tax system here to force companies to pay their minimum fair share.

    Have a look at the article below which compares our Corporate taxes with that in other countries, and also note that they pay an effective tax rate of just 10.4% here!!!
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/verrender-corporate-tax-cuts-who-wins/9052600
    musicveg
    17th Jul 2018
    5:17pm
    Thanks for the link George, a really interesting and informing article. I can see how the average Australian can get confused with the Government saying we need to lower corporate tax but the figures speak for themselves. When they are actually only paying 10% and only on the amount they feel like paying after they lowered their profit margins and put their money in overseas tax havens. They are truly ripping off Australians after all they use all the infrastructure that is available and paid by tax payers. More people need to read this article.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    20th Jul 2018
    11:01am
    Goodness, don't try to tell Raphael (now calling himself ''Anonymous'') or OG that corporate tax is actually 10.4%! They are screaming that it has to be slashed to 15% immediately. Perhaps it should be RAISED to 15% across the board, with no scope for avoidance or reduction? That might help the economy.
    KerryJ
    16th Jul 2018
    12:19pm
    I am in a situation where I own a house and am looking for a trustworthy roommate in her 50s. Do people in their 50s use realestate.com.au to look for flatmates? If not, where could I post it so that people would see? I think we could do something ourselves to at least reduce the problem - if we just share information.
    SuzeB
    16th Jul 2018
    3:02pm
    There are share sites. Google 'flatmates'.
    Jacky
    16th Jul 2018
    5:30pm
    Absolutely great idea. But the thought of it not working and having problems because you pick the wrong roommate is a real worry. But on the bright side, there are lots of over 50's that need a roof over their head and would be fantastic roommates. I wish you lots of luck and hope it turns out to be very successful.
    Cowboy Jim
    16th Jul 2018
    6:43pm
    Maybe the 50 plus senior citizens clubs would be the way to go KerryJ we have one in the neighborhood, easier to check bona fides than do searching on line. Make sure they have their share of contribution not just excuses. I have been there.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2018
    8:34am
    Make sure you have a legal tenant agreement drawn up and signed. I'd try a 3 month trial with option to renew after that for 6 month periods just to cover yourself and your property. Don't forget to sort the insurance out either.

    I grew up in a Boarding House mum ran in Sydney and all the tenants bar one were terrific. That bad one was got rid of very quickly as the lease had an out clause in it.
    Noodles
    18th Jul 2018
    11:15am
    Don't know why a group of females or males for that matter band together and build a home with a central lounge area and kitchen and their bedrooms leading off.

    A group of ladies in Perth have done this and it is working very well for them.

    You could have a legally binding document drawn up in the event of death.
    mogo51
    16th Jul 2018
    1:03pm
    I survived on the aged pension and a small superannuation pull down each year, always try to make it less than what it has earned, just to try and maintain some future support. But it is not enough, so I became an expat in Asia and not really pleased about that. As I am a proud Australian.
    But perhaps I am being foolish, because the Government sure as hell does not care about me and all the others that struggle from week to week. Where is the credits for being a natural born Aussie as opposed to a person who migrates somehow to Australia and immediately gets it all laid at their feet?
    Did I do something wrong along the way or should I have rowed a boat onto Sydney Harbour and held up a refugee sign. Why are we not caring for Australians first?
    KerryJ
    16th Jul 2018
    1:18pm
    That's a false dichotomy. People are people. We could do both, but our government's priorities are not on ensuring vulnerable people have the services they need. Australians first? What rubbish!
    Kathleen
    16th Jul 2018
    1:50pm
    Mogo, unless you are Aboriginal then you are also a migrant or offspring of one. I don’t think we can be proud of how we have treated people seeking asylum. Just look at the children behind fences on Nauru. Compared to European countries we have been abominable at rescuing war torn refugees.
    As for the present problem with poor people in Australia and housing that is a separate issue and requires the building of appropriate housing that is affordable.
    There is no us and them only we!
    inextratime
    16th Jul 2018
    2:30pm
    Kathleen,

    There are around 25 million refugees around the world from war torn countries looking for somewhere to live. At what point do we draw the line ? When do we say we cannot take anymore ? The queue is long and we currently allow around 180,000 refuges in every year. Already this is causing problems which are well documented. And if you want to know what happened in Europe I suggest you read a book entitled "The Strange death of Europe" by Douglas Murry.
    SuzeB
    16th Jul 2018
    3:08pm
    Kathleen, there are no children behind fences. And my ancestor had no choice, thanks. People who've been here all their lives, especially those who've worked all their lives and for various reasons find themselves short of a dollar in their latter years should take precedence.
    musicveg
    16th Jul 2018
    10:20pm
    inextratime, we do not let 180,000 refuges in every year these are LEGAL paying immigrants, and the only political party I know that wants to reduce this to 70,000 is the Sustainable Australia Party.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2018
    8:41am
    This is all propaganda. Immigrants are not supported above Australians at all. Refugees arrive in small numbers and are supported as they are offered refuge. Even on Nauru and Manus they have shelter and food.

    Australians in crisis can access emergency assistance although it needs to be increased as does everything due to the huge population growth going on that the Governments seem unable to deal with adequately.

    Perhaps a blind faith in the private business model is proving to be a failure for our Government.

    The Public Service needs sorting out and the IPA ring ins given the boot in my opinion. Blind ideology can destroy Nations.
    Hoohoo
    21st Jul 2018
    5:57pm
    The elephant in the room is the huge rents charged to people in the big cities (see my reply to jonboy near the bottom of the page).

    But what can be done? Move to the country? Nice idea but there are no services like public transport here & a shortage of doctors & other services.

    Make migrants move to the country for the first 5 years? They would create demand & therefore more jobs, but in the meantime, the pay is rubbish! I know someone who is the Manager of a large retail chain store in a local shopping centre - she's paid the minimum adult wage! At least she gets to choose her staff, the only payoff. So no-one wants to go to the country because there are very few jobs, with terrible pay anyway.
    Not a Bludger
    16th Jul 2018
    1:49pm
    Firstly, I wouldn’t believe anything that the moaning glaswegian, Senator Doug Cameron,puts his name to.

    Secondly, the age pension is a safety net not a life style payment - a distinction apparently missed by those referenced in the article above.

    As one who pays the taxes from which the pension comes, I am prepared to support the former but certainly not the latter.
    KerryJ
    16th Jul 2018
    2:06pm
    Firstly, David Cameron didn't do the research nor is he the only person or source quoted in the article.

    Secondly, the vast majority of people seeking the age pension paid their taxes in turn. They aren't bludgers.

    If you resent ensuring vulnerable people are decently looked after - you're not a justice warrior.
    Triss
    16th Jul 2018
    5:23pm
    You’re not making sense, Not a Bludger. If the pension is a safety net why are people going hungry on it and/or homeless? Surely that means it’snot even near to being a safety net.
    Cowboy Jim
    16th Jul 2018
    7:18pm
    Most of us do not want to be Justice Warriors, also we do not want economic refugees coming here to sit on welfare. A week on welfare here is better than a full month's work where a lot come from. As well for some reason they are never homeless like we have that are born here.
    Rae
    17th Jul 2018
    9:01am
    Cowboy they live dozens to a house and work for a pittance to get ahead. Australians don't or won't live like this.

    This was deliberate policy. No point crying after the event.

    We have been living beyond our means for decades and we chose this path when most voted Fraser back in the 70s. It's far too late to change that now.
    Noodles
    18th Jul 2018
    11:23am
    The aged pension is an entitlement IF you pass the income and assets test...it is not available to all.
    Hoohoo
    21st Jul 2018
    5:54pm
    The elephant in the room is the huge rents charged to people in the big cities (see my reply to jonboy near the bottom of the page).

    But what can be done? Move to the country? Nice idea but there are no services like public transport here & a shortage of doctors & other services.

    Make migrants move to the country for the first 5 years? They would create demand & therefore more jobs, but in the meantime, the pay is rubbish! I know someone who is the Manager of a large retail chain store in a local shopping centre - she's paid the minimum adult wage! At least she gets to choose her staff, the only payoff. So no-one wants to go to the country because there are very few jobs, with terrible pay anyway.
    Jannie
    16th Jul 2018
    2:24pm
    The government just wants us to die..............................
    Nerk
    16th Jul 2018
    3:08pm
    Wants us to die?, not until after 70 when they can squeeze just that little extra out of us.
    Paige363
    16th Jul 2018
    2:36pm
    On top of housing there is the problem of the sick and elderly not being able to attend hospital or medical appointments out of their towns due to transport and cost issues. A lady I know had to travel to the city by car, then train, then tram and then have to walk to her appointment. This is a lady who required a knee replacement. Why are there tax cuts for the wealthy when our sick and elderly are in so much need?
    Triss
    16th Jul 2018
    5:26pm
    There are tax cuts for the wealthy, Paige363, because they are the ones running the country...into the ground.
    Jannie
    17th Jul 2018
    11:12am
    I just got back from the clinic where my doctor is, I was told he was on leave and only 2 doctors available, all booked out. I do not have a spleen so I have a low immune system. I caught a bug 3 weeks ago cannot get rid of it. I am so upset we cant get to see doctors when we need them. Infrastructure has broken down completely. Stop any more coming into the country, I feel it is already too late. Please somebody do something, we need a strong leader. Alas nobody has the balls to speak the truth, only poor Pauline, who was right all those years ago.
    Noodles
    18th Jul 2018
    11:20am
    I recently had to go to Perth for day surgery. Made arrangement with St Johns Patient Tranfer Service. Husband and self were picked up at our door (we were the only clients) and it cost us $70 return. A journey of over 85 kms.

    There is no way I would have caught the bus to Perth, then catch another bus and then walk to the hospital and do the same after having a full anaesthetic.

    There are other services out there where pensioners pay even less than that. You just need to do your own investigations or ask your doctor.
    GrayComputing
    16th Jul 2018
    3:02pm
    It is time for all of us (that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    Also contact opposition and independent MPs (today) who could help us to get a fair deal on pensions

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    Cowboy Jim
    16th Jul 2018
    3:03pm
    Maybe Mick could add car ownership to his radical agenda. As well as including the family home in the asset test we could go a bit further and say no pensioner should have ownership of private car transport. When pensions were introduced hardly anyone had a private vehicle. The idea is just about as silly as asset testing your home. I suppose I should support it since I gave up my car some time ago and I take public transport.
    patti
    16th Jul 2018
    4:12pm
    You forgot to mention those in their own home, still paying a mortgage. May be better off, slightly, than those who rent, but after paying council and water rates, Body Corporate fees if in a unit or duplex, plus funding home maintenance it works out about the same. I am OK now my mortgage is paid off, but budget still has to be carefully balanced. Renters are starting to advertise for others to share accommodation, but that's not something I would like to do. Politicians have no idea how hard it can be. At least Doug Cameron is starting to do something.
    Magic Touch
    16th Jul 2018
    5:16pm
    Patti i am with you always had to think which to spend before i use the money even buy food for the table other wise the balance it,s out because no saveing. If you fall sick you will had it to find money to buy medicine, so it not good to live in this old life. If i can,t live on i will write a letter that i can,t live it, because of this government force me to die.
    dreamer
    16th Jul 2018
    5:59pm
    You are so right Patti I own a duplex but I still have to pay strata fees water rates insurance council rates and it all adds up and Doug Cameron he does stand up to be counted see him in the senate he gets my vote all the time
    Knows-a-lot
    16th Jul 2018
    5:29pm
    Well of course! What else could one expect from the incompetent and nefarious Lieberal Party?
    Jim
    16th Jul 2018
    5:39pm
    The usual biased comments from the labor stalwart, you know the one that favours voting for independents but continues to push the labor scaremongering, instead try responding to the article, I have stated many times in this forum that anyone who is struggling with somewhere to live should be provided with at the very least a roof over their head, rent assistance goes nowhere near to assisting people who are renting in the open market, we should look at going back to providing housing Commision homes for those who are on low incomes, neither of the major parties have even suggested this. Housing Commision homes were dismantled by the greiner government in NSW it was that government that decided that people should pay the market rate for private accomodation, governments of all persuasions have done nothing to reverse that decision, tell all your reps both in federal and state governments that you will give your vote to whoever brings back affordable housing, don't hold your breath waiting for either of the main parties to come to the party. If you think that shifty Shorten will help you are dreaming, he has already made his intention Known, as I stated the other day our local MP has already admitted in her monthly newsletter that franking credits are still part of Labors policies, if you don't believe me have a look at Noreen Hay's latest newsletter to the voters in the Illawarra.
    Cowboy Jim
    17th Jul 2018
    10:14am
    People who have to maintain their own homes do a lot less damage to their place than people who are given cheap housing provided by the tax payer. A reason why no-one in the private sector wants to build places for rent even with Govt encouragement and help. No different in the large housing estates in Europe some of which have become no go areas in the UK and in France.
    Noodles
    19th Jul 2018
    6:21am
    No way would I own an investment property. These days you are playing Russian roulette when you rent out a home...your property could end up a drug house; be totally trashed by bad tenants and the list goes on. Iknow of people this has happened to and they could not wait to off load the property.

    Better to put money into good quality shares.

    Without private investors the burden will fall even more on taxpayers to provide public housing.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Jul 2018
    10:22am
    Like bank shares, Noodles? Or Telstra? They were all considered the best security for retirement once.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Jul 2018
    10:22am
    And if Shorten has his way, shareholders will be in really big trouble!
    Noodles
    20th Jul 2018
    9:45am
    I bought my CBA bank shares at $5.40 ...doing very well...now $75.
    I have no complaints whatsoever.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    20th Jul 2018
    6:37pm
    Lucky you, Noodles. Those who didn't have the opportunity to buy shares until much more recently have good reason to complain. Why do the fortunate always boast about good fortune and dismiss the very real issues faced by others. Selfishness is NOT a virtue.
    musicveg
    20th Jul 2018
    6:58pm
    Making money off an evil bank too.......
    Cowboy Jim
    16th Jul 2018
    7:56pm
    The poor and needy will always be with us - Jesus, 23AD
    Possum
    16th Jul 2018
    8:42pm
    Can't register to vote if you are "homeless" suits the Federal Coalition
    MD
    16th Jul 2018
    9:10pm
    Must be losing my marbles, didn't a story last week disclose a number of pensioners that expend less than incomings ?
    Obviously this lot is the lamentable flip side of that story.
    Sure thing; as someone else said - " Not all pensioners are created equal , divorce , illness retrenchment, there are many reasons why people are in this situation." Maybe all valid, but then no guarantees were ever given and some people can be (and often are) their own worst enemy. I could give many reasons for that claim but it's not a wise move to tread on a crocodiles tail.
    Although the argument re purported favouritism shown to refugees may have some degree of substance it's anyone's guess whether these folk arrive here destitute or are economic opportunists enticed here as a result of feed back from their fellow brethren already established here and livin the dream.
    Were the gubbermint to build bedsits for the homeless and destitute then my guess would be the resultant caterwauling would immediately make demands for 'we deserve better'.
    Funny thing about social goodwill & charity is that most folk expect it to be made available to them - on their own terms. "A bedsit's no good for me, where am I gonna sleep the grandkids? " or "Why would you (Housing Authority) offer me a bedsit two hours away, most of my family live here." And so it goes.

    Could be an opportunity exists to set up an old hag in a cave somewhere, advertise it on social media as the oracle of delfi and everyone can consult the pith-eeah for advise.
    Obviously it's anyone's guess how you go about it if you can't make ends meet yourself.

    Now I'd better push off or I won't make the line at the soup kitchen.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    20th Jul 2018
    11:29am
    MD, I keep saying it, but the government and its advisers are too stubborn and stupid to get it - NEEDS BASED WELFARE CREATES NEED!

    You pay rent assistance. There are more renters wanting more assistance. You offer choice of subsidised accommodation, you have people being ridiculously and unreasonably choosy. You pay means-tested pensions, there are more people with less than the threshold demanding bigger handouts. It's a given that people will manipulate to achieve the best possible position in life for themselves.

    When the idiots running this nation wake up that giving EVERYONE over retirement age the same rate of aged pension, concessions and health benefits and NOTHING MORE, we will have hundreds of thousands more retiring owning their own home and with savings, simply because there is no advantage anymore to reducing your wealth. Then introduce fair taxation of retirement income, and everything works. We have simplicity, no stress on retirees, no policing or huge administration costs, and adequate revenue from tax to cover the modest cost of supporting our aged (which is currently HALF what other nations spend, and falling - and would fall more over time as the incentive to cry poor to get benefits is removed!)

    I am not without sympathy for those in genuine hardship through no fault of their own, but they are a tiny minority. Everywhere I go, I hear ''poor me - I need more handouts'' from people who gambled, drank, smoked, partied, holidayed lavishly, and never gave a thought to tomorrow. Worse, most of them eat junk food, still smoke, and have an expensive pet. Their answer to every comment about pension poverty and homelessness is ''take it off X and Y and give it to me. It's not fair that they should have more than I do''. Newsflash, people. YES IT IS FAIR. They worked harder and saved better. They DESERVE to be rewarded.

    Now, given that there are folk who have suffered genuine hardship or disadvantage, I would support a minimalistic scheme to support them adequately - BASIC, NO CHOICE accommodation in government housing for ONLY as long as it is genuinely essential. Structured opportunities to earn a little on the side. Education on budgeting and living cheaply.

    I would also support fair compensation/aid for people who suffered genuine disadvantage as victims of crime, through significant birth defect or serious genetic health problems, significant workplace accident or motor vehicle accident in which they were not at fault. Most of those situations are already compensated, but those who have been unable to secure fair compensation should receive something. And we DO need a better deal for carers, but we also need more diligent assessment to ensure the person they are caring for really does NEED significant care.

    It's really a no-brainer. But sadly, there are no brains among the powers-that-be - just greed, meanness, and a passion for restoring a class structure that puts them and their buddies among the elite few and lets them look down on and abuse the rest.
    musicveg
    16th Jul 2018
    10:30pm
    Rent assistance has not kept up with rental increases. People living in public housing who now have good incomes are still allowed to live in their public housing house. Fix these two things for a start. And of course increase newstart and pensions so those people can afford to live. If people are forced to eat cheap unhealthy food, live without heating or airconditioning they are more likely to get sick and then there is more pressure on our health system. I want to know which political party will do something about homelessness and housing affordability, is it the Sustainable Australia Party, I hope so. Check out their policies.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Jul 2018
    10:33am
    Abolish rent assistance. Stop punishing people for working hard and sacrificing to buy a home and rewarding irresponsible lifestyles.

    Raise the pension so that everyone can afford decent accommodation from a basic pension and make the pension universal so there's no penalty for working and saving. Then tax income above the pension level. Simple! Everyone gets a fair deal and there are strong incentives to do what's good for the nation, instead of penalties for sensible lifestyle choices and rewards for being a burden on the nation.

    No, I'm not being unsympathetic to those who are genuinely hard up through no fault of their own. I know there are many and I sympathize, which is why the pension should be adequate that everyone can afford decent accommodation. But the stupid system we have now is grinding far too many into poverty by punishing people for doing what's good for the nation and rewarding people for doing what's bad for the country. Rent assistance should NOT be needed. And nobody should be worse off for owning a home.
    musicveg
    19th Jul 2018
    6:24pm
    Never thought about it that way, we would not need rent assistance if newstart and pensions were adequate and cheaper rentals were available. And I agree those who have their own home should not be suffering like some of them are just to pay bills, maintain their home and buy food.
    Noodles
    20th Jul 2018
    9:49am
    Maintaining a large home as you age is very hard and expensive and that is why we have downsized.

    So pleased we did.

    I hope that anyone not yet retired takes heed of what is said on here and plans for their retirement well ahead of it occurring.
    Marian
    17th Jul 2018
    12:35am
    The is one of the most rude system against the on citizence who ever you say the system never stop abuse pensioners Australian citizence & Human Rights
    Rae
    17th Jul 2018
    9:10am
    What human right says people must be given housing and money Marian?

    I'll bet a lot of immigrants came here expecting the dream they had been sold. It was a lie. Get over it. The system doesn't abuse anyone. We the Australian people chose this system when we voted for it over and over.

    People obviously are okay with it or wouldn't keep choosing it time after time at elections.
    Jannie
    17th Jul 2018
    11:24am
    Rae the problem is there are no alternatives, we are stuck with the two major parties. We need a leader who cares for our country and its people, not some pussies who just love the votes from the influx of migrants. But sorry to say most migrants do not even know why we have to vote. Go figger.
    Noodles
    19th Jul 2018
    6:34am
    People often point to Sweden, Norway etc for their excellent medica/housing/ pension schemes.

    In Sweden personal income tax can be as little as 29 per cent of their pay, but most people (anyone earning over AU $69,000) will pay between 49 and 60 per cent through a combination of local government and state income tax.

    Wouldn't there be outrage here if people had to pay that in taxes!!
    But if you want what Sweden has, it has to be paid for and people there are apparently quite happy to go along with paying these high taxes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2008/nov/16/sweden-tax-burden-welfare
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Jul 2018
    10:21am
    What's wrong with paying 40-60% tax if your income is over $69K a year and the government provides for your health, education, care in times of crisis or sickness/disability, and a comfortable retirement?

    The problem in Australia is pure GREED. ''I want it - and I don't see why I should contribute to anyone else having it when I am fortunate enough to have it for myself without government help.'' It's a vile and disgusting attitude that is destroying our society.
    musicveg
    19th Jul 2018
    6:28pm
    Yes getting all that for free would probably work out better for a lot of people, instead of it going to private enterprises. You have to pay for it either way, but at least if we had a system that looks after ALL people not just the privileged. I wonder if Sweden have less crime, less mental health and drug problems.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    20th Jul 2018
    11:08am
    Not sure about Sweden, but Denmark has a similar tax and welfare system to Sweden and has the happiest people in the world - and yes, much less crime, drug addiction and mental health problems. It's common sense, really. Drug addiction begins with mental health issues. Crime is driven by mental health issues. Remove financial stress and social unrest caused by class structure and poverty and you have better mental health, and the problems caused by poor mental health are going to reduce - naturally!

    Trouble is that in countries like US and Australia, the stinking vile privileged prefer to claim (falsely) that financial hardship, mental health problems, etc. are the FAULT of people who lack intelligence or capacity to make sensible decisions. They would much rather play the blame game to inflate their own egos than tackle a problems their greed and selfishness has caused.
    geordie
    17th Jul 2018
    9:11am
    Good reply MD. I work in the homeless sector and most (I say most not all.) are a spoiled bunch of miscreants that wouldn't say please or thank you to save their lives. Complaints of, I'm only on $590 a fortnight and can't afford to eat, when they spend at least $25 a day on smokes. Shop at the servo around the corner, where chips and sugar drinks are at a premium price rather than walk 10 or 15 minutes to a Coles or Wollies. Even when they are provided accommodation cheap or free, they trash the place in weeks and move on. I have seen numerous times homeless people refuse accommodation because it's too small, not enough bedrooms, too far from the sea front, and not in the area they want to live. It bodes well for Australia that we do provide for the homeless and elderly ( who haven't planned or provided for their retirement years. After all, most people have had 40 odd years to plan, it not like old age is a surprise. The time that people could livie on a pension have gone. Mostly because the tax system is screwed. If every one paid the tax that they were due to pay there would be plenty to help those that NEED the help.
    Jannie
    17th Jul 2018
    11:16am
    There are genuine people out there geordie. It is upsetting that there a few that ruin it for everyone. God help us when we need to go into a care facility, I will struggle as long as I can at home.
    GrayComputing
    17th Jul 2018
    12:36pm
    Dear Geordie So you are using 3% of societies miscreants as a sound base a pension policy for the 97% rest of us.
    What a ridiculous approach.
    If this governments stops giving our taxes away in the hundreds of Billions to the banks and non tax paying companies and the super rich, who are the real societies freeloaders, then finally we could all get a tripling of a NON ASSET tested pension and be free from al Centre-Link's hassles and intrusions.
    That way we would have finally have a decent life.
    MD
    17th Jul 2018
    1:10pm
    Exactly - just what I alluded to earlier, someone else is to blame, a pension required on your terms: "free from.....hassles and intrusions". And you "would finally have a decent life." To which I'd say - as long as someone else exists to pick up the tab no doubt.

    As geordie said, "most people have had 40 odd years to plan, it not like old age is a surprise."
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Jul 2018
    10:17am
    Have to agree with Geordie and MD that there are a lot who just didn't bother to plan or are unreasonable in their expectations or irresponsible and even abusive in their behaviour. But also that the system fails the minority who are genuinely in dire straights through no fault of their own.

    GrayComputing is right. We SHOULD have a decent means-test-free aged pension that covers all the necessities of life adequately. We paid for it. The money is there if it hadn't been stolen. And if taxes were levied responsibly and everyone paid their fair share, there would be more than ample. A comfortable and fulfilled retirement is the best incentive there is to working hard and if the government stopped bashing retirees and started telling younger Australians (with genuine intent to honour the promise) that they needed to care for retirees well, and their turn would come, we could have a healthy, happy nation.

    There are simple solutions to our economic woes. Greed ensures they will NEVER be adopted.

    MD, mostly someone else is NOT to blame, but we SHOULD have a pension ''free from... hassles and intrusions''. That SHOULD be the right of every aging citizen in a developed nation. And yes, younger Australians SHOULD pay - those that can well afford to, and there are plenty of them. Their turn SHOULD come if the nation was governed responsibly. How we treat our aged speaks volumes about the quality of our society and the integrity of its people, and Australians are not looking good.
    jonboy
    17th Jul 2018
    4:58pm
    Wow The Government has THIER figures of homelessness, BUT they don
    t include homeless people who don't have a fixed address!! I live on the road and I see numerous men and women living in cars even ?
    jonboy
    17th Jul 2018
    5:02pm
    In Aus the Government in it's wisdom allows the well off to buy MANY houses using negative gearing, at taxpayers expense.
    Not only that but the Guvernment then turns around and gives a rent allowance so that rich Landlords can charge BIG rent and make even more money.
    And when it comes to mug workers trying to buy a house, NOTHING!!
    Noodles
    20th Jul 2018
    9:53am
    If investors get out of the property market the pubic housing lists would be even longer but hopefully the price of homes would drop.
    Hoohoo
    21st Jul 2018
    5:42pm
    That's a very good point, jonboy.

    And to Noodles, most property investors keep their newly bought asset deliberately vacant for the first 6 or 9 months for "renovations", so that they can call it their principle place of residence & avoid having to pay Capital Gains Tax when they sell it. Meanwhile, they actually live very comfortably in their harbourside mansion, "owned" by their spouse.

    This is one of the main reasons why there's a housing shortage in Sydney & Melbourne & also serves to hike the rents up even further.
    musicveg
    21st Jul 2018
    3:20pm
    Here is an interesting article for Universal Benefits Scheme:

    https://greens.org.au/magazine/why-naysayers-are-getting-ubi-all-wrong?utm_source=civi&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=greenmag&utm_content=bodyarticle2

    Yes it is on the Greens website but it is still worth reading even if you do not support the Greens.


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