Dear Mr Morrison, here’s what we want to see on 3 May

Here’s what real Australians would like to see in Budget 2016/17.

older couple looking seriously into the camera

Dear Mr Morrison …

We know it’s hard to keep in touch from the corridors of power so here’s what real Australians would like to see on Tuesday.

We realise that this is a very late submission on Budget 2016/17 and that the ink is probably already drying on the documents which will be distributed on Tuesday 3 May, the contents of which will be revealed at 7.30pm that night.

But we feel it is really important for politicians and policy makers to be able to feel the pulse of ordinary Australians, particularly when your jobs force you to experience a more cloistered life in the corridors of power in Canberra.

YourLifeChoices, established since 1999, has 140,000 baby boomer members who receive daily enewsletters on matters of importance in retirement and in the planning stages leading up to retirement. Every year we survey our members on a range of topics, including likely changes to retirement income policy in that year’s Federal Budget.

This year’s results contain some surprises. With more than 4000 responses, it is 99 per cent statistically accurate, so we believe you will be interested to learn that the family home is no longer sacrosanct when it comes to the Age Pension assets test. But if you revive the legislation to lift the age of entitlement to the Age Pension from 67 (2023) to 70 (2030) you will be going against the wishes of the vast majority of Australian baby boomers.

So below is a summary of the responses to this survey. We are happy to take questions or add clarification on any point.

Our recommendations and comments on behalf of older Australians are as follows:

Overview statement on Australia’s retirement income system

Australia’s retirement income system is fundamentally flawed. Letting market forces largely control the superannuation savings of a majority of the population has seen a widening poverty gap in retirement. Put simply, those who own their own homes in retirement will at least muddle through. Those who do not are condemned to live in poverty for the 25-30 years they will probably spend in retirement. The oft-quoted Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard gives a false picture of income needed in retirement. It assumes all retirees, whether experiencing a modest or comfortable lifestyle, fully own their own residence. This is far from the truth, with recent CPA research confirming that the percentage of boomers hitting retirement with a mortgage is rapidly increasing. CPA Australia – Household Savings in Retirement 2012 notes an average debt of $117,000 for those aged 60-69, not retired and $55,000 for those who are. If interest repayments on $55,000 of debt are included in retirement expenses, then even more Australians are living below the poverty line than is currently understood. We know the OECD states that one third of Australians in retirement are living in poverty, we know that the Age Pension as a percentage of GDP is the third meanest in the OECD nations and we know that fees on superannuation are the third highest in OECD nations. It is well documented that the top quintile of households benefits most from the generous tax concessions on superannuation – put simply, the more you earn, the more you can put into a tax-free structure, the more you save, the more you have later in life. So our system benefits those who need it least, the most. And those who need support the most, the least.

YourLifeChoices Budget 2016 recommendations

  1. Removal of generous superannuation tax concessions by lowering the upper limit for concessional tax from $300,000 to $250,000.
  2. Funding for an immediate ‘root and branch’ review of all aspects of retirement income policy is urgently needed. Such a review should be a bi-partisan process which covers the Age Pension, superannuation and taxation matters.
  3. Adoption of agreed changes to make our retirement income equitable for all, rather than high wealth households.
  4. A moratorium on changes to retirement income policy and superannuation in particular for a minimum of five years, following above recommended changes becoming legislation
  5. A review of the base amount of the Age Pension, with an increase for those on the full pension, in particular support for those renting.
  6. No change to Age Pension entitlement age from 67 to 70 until an improvement in the opportunities for older workers to gain employment is realised. Currently the average time for an older worker to become reemployed is a disheartening 483 days. For all jobseekers, the average is 294 days.
  7.  A consideration of including at least part of the family home in the assets test for an Age Pension if that home is valued at $2.5 million or more.
  8. Funding for an exploration of a government-backed equity release scheme to help retirees supplement their retirement income.

Thank you for taking the time to consider our feedback and recommendations.

What do you think? Has YourLifeChoices correctly summarised the situation of many retirees? Does this accurately represent your point of view? Or do you have a different perspective?

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    COMMENTS

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    Happy Jack
    29th Apr 2016
    10:06am
    I'd like to ask the treasurer how many properties he and his immediate family are negative gearing and if they are has the Governments decision to continue with this dodgy tax dodge been influenced by their property holding's.
    Tigers
    29th Apr 2016
    10:38am
    Why would you want to ask that question? He's entitled to own as many properties as he likes, just like you. One must contain their jealousy of others and tardiness of poor planning in life.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    11:01am
    It's not necessarily jealousy or tardiness of planning that motivates Happy Jack's question, Tigers. I think we have a right to know what personal vested interests and benefits might improperly influence political and economic decisions.
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    29th Apr 2016
    11:04am
    Happy Jack's question is valid. Our politicians are supposed to be OUR "Representatives"; their outrageous pay packets are supplied by We the People. The vast majority of Aussies do not own investment properties, ergo the vast majority are not being represented in this matter. And no, this is not a matter of jealousy; it is a matter of utter contempt for self serving parasites on the public purse, who are clearly more interested in serving their own interests than the people who pay them.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    11:24am
    You can find out most details of all politicians assets by looking at the documents relating to political declarations.

    I think a few jealous people on this blog or some who were too stupid to take advantage of legitimate tax deductions.
    Farside
    29th Apr 2016
    11:26am
    Happy Jack, I have looked carefully at the tea leaves and can confidently predict the answers to your questions, which I shall now share with you:

    Q1 - how many properties?
    A1 - none of your business, but plenty and buying more for my grandkids

    Q2 - have these influenced your thinking on negative gearing?
    A2 - nope, still love it and thinking of increasing the rebate on capital gains tax.

    Hope that helps.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    11:38am
    Only an envious person would think such things really matter.
    Robin7
    29th Apr 2016
    11:43am
    Our current crop of pollies cannot separate their decisions for the country from their own vested interests.

    Turnbull's own electorate has the highest "rebates" given out for Negative Gearing of any electorate within Australia.

    the Reality is that "envy" has nothing to do with Negative Gearing.
    Negative Gearing is currently all about Tax Avoidance.

    Labor's plan is to make Negative Gearing all about building new houses.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    11:49am
    You have run the "jealousy" banner a few times robbo and you miss the point. Your "legitimate tax deductions" spiel is the normal rich man's response and is reminiscent of the pharmaceutical industry called before the senate recently to explain its tax avoidance behaviour. The response was that they complied with the law. Yeah right!
    Your "deductions" are not available to wage and salary earners and are there to be milked. So please let's avoid the self righteous BS.
    HarrysOpinion
    29th Apr 2016
    11:54am
    Rainey, I agree with your comment, " I think we have a right to know what personal vested interests and benefits might improperly influence political and economic decisions".
    HarrysOpinion
    29th Apr 2016
    11:54am
    Rainey, I agree with your comment, " I think we have a right to know what personal vested interests and benefits might improperly influence political and economic decisions".
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    12:09pm
    Get a grip of yourself Mick of course tax deductions are available to all salary and wage earners and it doesn"t matter how much you earn and how much you have.
    Mick you need a lesson in tax law before you send your usual Labour crapp.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    12:25pm
    What a lack of thought your reply shows Tiger, the majority of people do not have the finances to negative gear multiple properties, usually through no fault of their own, you cannot compare wealthy people or politicians with the average working person.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:38pm
    Tax avoidance is illegal. Negative gearing is not.
    Chris B T
    29th Apr 2016
    1:29pm
    Whats the Differance Between Tax Avoidance and Tax Minimisation they achieve the same outcome.
    Just the Same with negative gearing.
    Earnings and expenditure from that earnings group togethere.
    Not this Expenditure Grouped with Unrelated Earnings.
    Change this and see how many remain with this System.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    2:12pm
    Bonny Tax Avoidance is legal according to Malcolm Turnbull, he said so on radio this morning, it is Tax Evasion that is illegal.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    2:21pm
    Tax avoidance and even legal tax reduction is IMMORAL.

    As for anyone having access to tax minimization, what utter idiotic crap some people spruke! Of course in theory we all have access to the same legal minimization methods, but if you have a low income, you don't have the money to pay for smart advisers, much less to invest in schemes. The poor pay the full weight of tax imposed by law because they have no realistic escape from it. That was part of the thinking behind progressive taxation, but selfish morons now want to lie to themselves to justify their greed and deny that the rich impose an unfair burden on society.

    I'd rather an honest ''bludger'' any day than a self-serving wealthy person who steals community resources daily, in big dollops, and uses immoral methods to escape fair obligations to support the civilization from which he/she benefits. At least the ''bludgers'' are honest, and their take from society is miniscule compared to what the greedy rich tax evaders steal from their neighbours.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    2:44pm
    It's not lack of understanding, robbo. It's not earning enough to lose even a single dollar on a negatively geared property. If you had ever been genuinely hard up, you might have some understanding, but clearly, like most, you think $45,000 a year renders someone ''hard up''. For many, it's a dream income - way above anything they've ever been able to achieve.
    Grateful
    29th Apr 2016
    2:54pm
    robbo. Try telling that to a young couple trying to have a family and to buy their own home?? What is THE greatest contributor to the unbelievable rise in the cost of housing since "our time"?
    NEGATIVE GEARING and the massive taxation incentives given to do so particularly from the (salvation) Budgets of 2003 and 2004.

    All of this talk about altering negative gearing would "hurt Mums and Dads" investors is absolute garbage. The only Mums and Dads who can now afford to get into negative gearing are those on very significant salaries, way above the average wage and/or SMSFs that can borrow money to gamble on property with money for which they have already been significantly benefited with the very generous taxation benefits for superannuation investments. I.E. Double dipping!!!
    Try explaining and justifying that to your grand children!!
    Gra
    29th Apr 2016
    3:25pm
    Yes, it's amazing how the partners of politicians all manage to buy an investment property in Canberra. What isn't so amazing is how defensive politicians get when asked about them rorting the system by staying in the "investment property" when parliament is sitting and having the taxpayer cough up more than $200 per day to pay off their partners mortgage.
    I think they (all politicians, both state and federal) should have to disclose what investment properties they and their partners own. If they want to invest in property, good for them but if it is actually an investment then they should have to put full time tenants in, not have the taxpayer pay off the mortgage for them.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:27pm
    WoW! Just Wow!
    Gra
    29th Apr 2016
    3:39pm
    Robbo if you're going to have shots at people about their IQ, don't demonstrate your own low IQ by spelling Labor (as in Labor Party) labour. Last I knew crap was spelled just like that, not with two p's.
    If you're going to be a Liberal troll at least try not to make all Liberals look like they are only semi literate.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    4:16pm
    Gra no doubt a free loading bludger what sort of welfare are you on and all of you family as well no doubt a labour leftie as well (how do spell loser).
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:16pm
    robbo: seriously? Are we on the same planet mate?
    Give the "jealousy" crap a rest.
    Thanks for the advice. Been there. Done that. Got the scars to prove it. Now retired and do not have the hand out. Nor do I complain endlessly about my hard lot. What about you?
    Out of interest sake where did you get YOUR university degree from? I have one ....... for what it's worth but doubt you do. Please keep your insults to the facts and I'll try to do the same.
    Cheers.

    Funny Gra. Thanks.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    4:34pm
    University of Melbourne Mick Bachelor of commerce still registered in
    some areas if I need to work . Had no money Mick had to do it part time and pay my own way (heaven fobid)
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    6:04pm
    Robbo no need to be insulting when replying to another member's comment just because you have a different opinion, is it possible for you to get your point across and still be polite?, I will wait and see.
    mangomick
    29th Apr 2016
    8:08pm
    This argument that people who buy a property to negative gear are holding out young buyers is simply B.S. You might be able to make that argument where the property is auctioned but any place which is listed with a set price i.e 99% of houses in regional areas, it's first in best dressed.
    Where do you reckon rents would be today if Australia didn't have negative gearing and the 50% capital gains tax on the profit when sold. You have only to look at the rise in investment properties when John Howard changed the rate of capital gains. If all those properties weren't built there would be a massive shortfall in housing available for rent today and rents would have sky rocketed.
    Gra.... As a side note to a previous post of yours. Crap probably should be spelt with two Ps . As it is short for the man who many mistakenly believe designed the toilet. Mr Thomas Crapper
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:03pm
    Whitlam paid for mine robbo.
    I was grateful that something was done for the working class. As I keep banging away you would not get a coalition government to do anything for ordinary Australians unless there was a lot of dough in it for the rich. That upsets me.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    10:25pm
    According to the Register of Members' Interests, the Treasurer owns 1 property at Dolans Bay, the family home. Gee, it's not rocket science people, it's all on the public record.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    10:35am
    Misty you are right but if you have a look at the comments Gra had a go at me so I replied as I have to you .
    Don"t worry about Mick and me we go way back and always let our opinion be known in what ever manner necessary.

    Keep in mind Misty this sight is not for the faint hearted but could be subject to bullies.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    10:37am
    Robbo, lots of folk studied part time, but NOBODY who was genuinely disadvantaged got a uni degree except through free education or scholarships. The vast majority of genuinely disadvantaged never got to finish high school. Many never even started high school! I know folk who repeated 6th class 3 times until old enough to legally start work.

    Your arrogance and ignorance is showing mate. And your uni degree doesn't impress me. I know how easy it is for anyone who has the luxury of time and funds to sit in a classroom to get a worthless piece of paper that declares them ''competent'' at something they actually probably know very little about.

    You did NOT go to Uni of Melbourne with ''no money'', part time or otherwise. And your posts tell me that your perceived knowledge of commerce in the real world is grossly distorted.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    8:29pm
    Looks like we have lots of useless bits of paper Robbo.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    9:38pm
    Pretty easy to (normally) tell who has the IQ for a "bit of paper" Bonny. From what I have seen of your posts I am thinking more in the line of toilet paper maybe. Am I on the money or is the time of day playing havoc with my logic......
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    10:43am
    Rainy I know nothing would impress you but I ask how many of you and your bludging family are on the Governments money meaning welfare once a bludger always a bludger which no doubt you are.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    2:21pm
    Another prize ASS in the group, Robbo. Stupid assumptions prove your uni degree means nothing. You obviously didn't even learn the basic rule of life - NEVER make assumptions about things you know nothing about. Research first!

    Not one of my family have EVER been a ''bludger'', and NOBODY in my family is on welfare. NOBODY! Got that! In fact, my partner and I worked 2 and 3 jobs most of our lives, rarely enjoying a weekend of leisure, and I'm still working well after retirement age - though admittedly most of what I do now is voluntary and unpaid: work that assists the community and society in general.

    My children are all professionals. One works only part time due to having a disabled child, but her husband is in the military. One is a widower who COULD live very comfortably on a supporting parent benefit, but chooses to run his own business instead and does very well. And the others are self-employed in successful businesses and paying high taxes.

    If we go back a generation, a widowed mother worked until age 60, despite having the option of a pension. A war veteran worked until age 60, never drawing a cent of pension entitlement. And not one of my partner's 10 siblings, despite having no education or opportunity and all growing up in poverty, have EVER been unemployed.

    APOLOGY ROBBO? (I won't hold my breath!)
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    2:43pm
    Just to clarify - before someone jumps on me claiming contradictions: Having been forced into early retirement by ill-health, we lived on savings for years. As my health improved, I moved back into part-time work, from home, flexible hours. Some of it is paid. Most of it isn't. I do a lot for charity.

    Now, however, we DO intend to claim welfare. We plan to take a costly cruise and come back to claim an aged pension. Why? Because after working so damned hard for so little and and sacrificing so much for so long, and suffering all manner of injustices, I am disgusted at the way this government and a large sector of society is treating retirees and at the STUPID attack on people who save and big rewards for those who didn't. I'm sick of being accused, abused, insulted, and used after giving so damned much. I'm sick of contributing to an economy that is being sent down the gurgler by greedy, self-serving and totally inept neoliberal thinkers.

    ''If you can't beat 'em, join 'em,'' the saying goes. Well I'm gonna do just that.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    2:48pm
    Oh, and to avoid even minimal dishonesty - my partner DID live on welfare for a large portion of childhood, in an orphanage. Through no fault of his.
    Will38
    29th Apr 2016
    10:20am
    You have not listed the issue of negative gearing. Though I have an investment property I do believe this generous concession distorts the home property market. More and more young people are living with their parents, some even into their thirties, in an attempt to accumulate enough capital to afford their own house. Unlike some Europeans, most Australians do not want to be lifetime renters. There must be a way of gradually adjusting the present concessions so that dramatic changes downwards to property values - as predicted by some (scaremongers?) are not realised. Bill
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:44am
    Avoid the government orchestrated scare campaign Bill. Same before the last election. It was the Carbon Tax then...which worked too well and is now wanted by the rest of the developed world.
    If prices start to move down some investors may choose to sell. This may result in a slight fall in values but first home buyers will likely then flood into the market.
    In the end property investment is a long term investment and most will take the rent return and grin and bear it. As with buyers of property it is always the last in who suffer the most as those before them have accumulated sufficient equity to make it all work.
    I would be ignoring the government scare campaign. Just trying to stampede the herd again.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    11:36am
    Even though some people are envois of those who take advantage of negative gearing it does serve a purpose in that it subsidises the price of rents. Take it away and then a lot of these investments will lose their attractiveness and stop further investors entering the market. Result rents will rise to their true value.

    Labor's proposal of only allowing negative gearing on new dwelling is a recipe for the slums of tomorrow. Dwellings will be built just for investors at the lowest cost in order to get maximum rents. I certainly don't want to see the suburbs of Investorville around my area.
    Robin7
    29th Apr 2016
    11:38am
    proven
    :- negative gearing pushes house prices up and contributes to aussie houses being among the most expensive in the world,
    :- Gen X, Y and Millenniums cannot afford to buy a house, they are outbid by people looking for investment properties,
    :- over $4billion in taxes is written off into negative gearing,
    MORE than the money spent on University and TAFE funding!

    :-Labor's plan is negative gearing can only be used on new houses,
    Proven
    :- this Will lead to more house construction, reduce the number of families living in shelters or in their cars, (because there are no houses for them to rent)
    Robin7
    29th Apr 2016
    11:39am
    and will NOT cause house prices to fall.

    The LNP have absolutely NO modelling that shows house prices fall as a result of Labors proposed changes.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    11:54am
    The reality and theory on this one are poles apart.

    If negative gearing pushes up house price why does the top end of house prices rise more than others? House prices are high in only certain parts of Australia so if negative gearing is the problem why aren't they high all over Australia. No it's not negative gearing it's demand and supply causing high house prices in certain areas. Unit prices have fallen quite a bit in certain parts of Sydney now because of an oversupply with negative gearing being a constant.

    Where do you think that $4 billion is going to go if it is not allowed to be written off? Rising rents.

    Will investors want to buy these new dwellings that have little resale value? Maybe some uninformed ones but most investors want appreciating assets and not something with little appreciation.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:00pm
    House prices rarely fall except for forced sales. Simple reason is that people want a certain price and will just sit and wait for that price.

    If shares were only valued twice like houses when you owned them the same would apply. I can never understand why people buy bargains in everything else in life except shares.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:53pm
    Bonny: your first bit avoids where necessity and rorting intersect. Negative gearing does provide a purpose but for the rich betting on the share market it has no justification whatsoever. For residential houses common sense should dictate a place where the subsidy cuts out. The rich would entertain that happening though and they fight tooth and nail for the policy to not be touched. So what else if their political party going to do............
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:58pm
    For the record Bonny I doubt whether you have witnessed a crazy (share) bull market in your life otherwise you could not have posted the nonsense above. The herd pushes up prices...until the herd gets out. Then the bottom falls out of the market.
    House prices may have always gone up in our lifetime but we now have close to the most expensive real estate on the planet. Not even banks reinflating the bubble is going to be able to hold it at some point in time. But who knows when that is. My guess is it will coincide with a number of catastrophic events occurring in Oz and in the financial markets around the planet. Please file away so that you can have a go at me down the track if it does not happen!
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    2:39pm
    Mick I have been bargain hunting the stockmarkets through the ups and downs since the 1970s. I also have been bargain hunting the real estate markets too.

    Now out of real estate market and have reduced exposure to the stockmarket as I'm now in maintenance mode with my investments.

    If your catastrophic event happens so be it. I'll survive it on my country estate where I have water to can grow enough food etc but will you?
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    4:19pm
    Just been listening to some financial journalists and they are saying that Bill Shorten's negative gearing policy is not being received well by the electorate.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    6:09pm
    Don't know what electorate they were referring to Bonnie but early this week they had a poll on Sky News Foxtel, that told a different story, roughly 68% if I remember correctly were in favor of it.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    6:56pm
    Things change quickly in politics.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:06pm
    Not my prediction Bonny. From a couple of very reputable sources who have got it right for decades (not Stephen Keene!).
    You post sounds like utter BS and I do not believe a word of what you consistently write. Neither do others. Methinks you are Frank!
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2016
    8:13am
    Bonny, of course it wouldn't be received well by the electorate. It is a nonsensical approach to an issue which doesn't exist. His tobacco tax is not getting any cheers either. Laurie Oaks has found a gaping $20b hole in Bill Shorten's spending funding.
    Lookfar
    29th Apr 2016
    10:30am
    Good Work Kaye, perhaps not 100% perfect but a good summation of many issues imho.

    Will, would not dramatic changes downwards in property values help those who currently can not afford a house? and as eleswhere pointed out, if all prices go down and you sell your house to buy another, the new one will have gone down also so no worries.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:39am
    Wonderful article Kaye. A breathe of fresh air to read facts rather than government propaganda from a couple of posters who are little more than representatives of the government massaging opinion. The mainstream media is also for the most part aligned with the government spiel so not much real information there either.
    YLC might consider plastering this information online or in the Saturday papers so that many readers get the chance to read what they fail to understand. This also serves the purpose of educating the politically and mentally challenged and giving them an understanding that Australia is engaged in class warfare with the current government batting for the top 1% only.
    You need to run for office Kaye. Got my vote.
    particolor
    29th Apr 2016
    11:30am
    Yes I noticed the Masseurs jump in Immediately ! :-) :-)
    cockyhockey
    29th Apr 2016
    11:00am
    These guys have got absolutely wrong or perhaps they do not understand.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    12:30pm
    What do you mean by that comment cockyhockey and who are the guys you are referring too?.

    29th Apr 2016
    11:21am
    Any email, posted letter, etc sent to a politician's office does not mean that politician will personally receive it, let alone read it, and far less that he/she will positively act on it's content, other than grunt, smile, frown, or gag.
    Taxpayers, for the most part, are interested in how their "government contributions" are used and are how their own lifestyles and futures are affected by government decisions. But, what taxpayers, for a large part, don't realise is that the government does give a damn what their electors want and that politicians are a selfish lot only interested in themselves and nothing else other than being re-elected to their comfy positions.
    A sad, but true, fact of life.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    11:30am
    Ditto. That is why first termers need to be chucked out if they do not perform and the instant superannuation after 2 terms needs to be changed as well. We need pollies with long term super plans. There is not reason to reward 2 termers with what they get. That needs to be reserved for those who serve out 3+ terms, and only able to be accessed when they hit retirement age inline with the rules which apply to the rest of Australians.
    Farside
    29th Apr 2016
    11:33am
    the politicians that will pay attention are those sitting in marginal seats that might swing on as few as 100 votes. Time for all voters to take a strategic approach and do whatever it takes to make their electorates marginal, and ideally elect an independent who will vote in the interests of the electorate and the nation.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    11:52am
    I live in hope Brian. Voting habits are indeed hard to change but maybe more pain from the current crop will see a future shift to Independents so that we get real government again. Not overdue.
    jeffr
    29th Apr 2016
    12:07pm
    According to Malcom Turnbull he reads and answers all his own emails as shown in this reply to me :- Dear Jeff,



    The scheme they have for allowances for politicians staying in Canberra is a per diem amount regardless of where you stay – under your car, in a suite at the Park Hyatt, or in a flat of your own. It’s a good system, and so its really Joe’s business where he stays.





    Also, I do my own emails.



    Regards,



    Malcolm
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:01pm
    Jeff: I had a couple of replies from Turnbull when he was a nobody. Not 100% sure even then that they were from him.
    If you think Turnbull is answering emails now then you are dreamin' mate. He has people to do that. At best he may quickly read to make sure his aids are not shooting him in the foot.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    2:11pm
    jeffr, your naivety surprises me, too. Politicians all employ their own lackey, or two, to read and answer correspondence with standard, non-biding, fence-sitting replies. You will get no definitive answer to any of your questions, proposals, suggestions, whatever and to think otherwise you are sorely deluding yourself. Come back to the REAL world, mate.
    jeffr
    29th Apr 2016
    2:46pm
    Eddie and Mick, Sometimes naive and I often dream but when it comes to politicians I would trust them as far as I could throw them. Eddie, I also believe the REAL world is being overrun by the greed of the 1% .
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:09pm
    You are cracking me up jeff."

    "when it comes to politicians I would trust them as far as I could throw them." You might want to edit methinks! Unless your middle name is Hercules.
    Pymble
    29th Apr 2016
    11:33am
    Why not send your Open Letter to the Opposition also? Maybe they might be interested enough to take notice of some of the survey results.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    2:51pm
    None of the major political parties are interested in taxpayers' opinions, only their vote. Surveys AND their DESIRED results are both paid for by the the initiator wanting them, and to think otherwise you are like putty in a politician's hands.
    Jacka
    29th Apr 2016
    11:44am
    I believe the amount a person can have and still receive a part pension should be increased not decrease. a couple with 1 million dollars is not rich $30,000 a year bank interest if you're lucky. The. Pension is a lot more than that with all the extras. Similarly a single person. The poppies need to open their eyes and start living in the real world. Jack's.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    11:54am
    Good post. Agree.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    11:56am
    I agree you can have whatever assets you like and still get the pension. However it should be paid back when you die like any other debt as your pension is a debt to society.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    12:33pm
    No Bonny it is not, if you have paid taxes all your life and through no fault of your own end up with a government pension, or part pension, I do not see why it should have to be paid back
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:48pm
    It's the only fair way to do it.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:02pm
    Is that like Death Duties Bonny? Don't worry....they are coming back. Just takes a financial meltdown.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    2:41pm
    We already have death duties. It is called probate.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:06pm
    If I was not aware that I was dealing with the mentally challenged I now am.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    6:57pm
    What are you mentally challenged Mick?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:08pm
    That requires a mirror Frank.
    JAID
    1st May 2016
    8:33am
    Jacka, that seems an accurate assessement to me. A couple living off the interest from 1 million may not find life easy. At the same time it does seem a lot of money and I wonder what sense it makes that we lumber future taxpayers with the full cost of supporting us when at least a million could be reduced from that bill.

    A method of management of that if found would broaden opportunity generally for later taxpayers with the only ones worse off would be the recipients of the couple's will. Why would we fund their windfall?

    Where one can maintain the independence of self-funding well and good but we do have a lot who cannot and limited funds to go around. True, we have paid tax but where that has not been spent on roads, infrastructure and other things we deem worthwhile we only have ourselves to blame for any waste; not the future.

    I do agree that regardless of funds or assets held we need to find ways of ensuring satisfactory existence for all and if that means supplementing incomes above a present ceiling that is fine by me but finding a mechanism for attaching the supplementation to the future garnering of residue wealth to similar value sounds somehow fair.

    Were this able to be reliably applied (and it does sound difficult,) perhaps we could be a touch more generous with the family home or farm or whatever letting it with its sentimental value more likely to be able to be handed down.
    Nadine
    29th Apr 2016
    11:52am
    Concur with Mick re gr8 succinct article.
    [altho would have liked to see -ve gearing mentioned]

    I suggest you try for a guest appearance on 7.30.. that will get some airing.
    I'm sure if you provide them with survey summary, then you can be prompted for input on -ve gearing attitudes. Such a strong response (400k) is a loud voice that needs to be heard, and to counter some of the younger gens claims of 'not fair'.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:05pm
    Thanks Nadine but the government power brokers would be gasping for air if anybody had the hide to tell the truth on national TV. And the media interests would be working overtime to reprogram the masses lest they discover the facts.
    Thanks for the kudos.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:35pm
    Nadine not really a very loud voice at all.

    YLC has 140k subscribers and only 4k responded to the survey (about 2.8%) - it says in the article. Sorry your 400k is a flight of fancy (or just a couple of misplaced zeros).
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:09pm
    I have been wondering about that too KSS. But then lots of people sign up, come once and never return.
    bletch
    29th Apr 2016
    11:54am
    The stopping of apension if a person is overseas more than 6 weeks and thus telling Australian's where they can spend their pension is the straw that broke the camel's back I'm afraid! That should have been listed as well.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:44pm
    Wouldn't it be nice if retired politicians had the same rule applied to their retirement benefits....as soon as they left politics. Rules for some, different rules for others.
    freed1948
    29th Apr 2016
    3:13pm
    agree with that. Once your pension has been approved you should be able to spend it WHERE YOU LIKE.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    6:58pm
    If you don't live in Australia why should the Australian taxpayer pay for you to live where they get no benefit from your expenditure?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:11pm
    Many other countries pay a pension even when their citizens immigrate. Nothing new and especially if you have worked for 40+ years in Oz.
    mIKER
    29th Apr 2016
    11:57am
    Tigers and all other supporters of negative gearing ignore the fact other tax payers are subsidising the purchase of property or shares by others, and get no personal benefit from their contribution. It is not a question of envy or jealously to object to negative gearing, just an expression that it unfairly advantages a few over the many. For example at an auction persons who can negatively gear have a buying advantage over those who can't; and they do so with tax payer funds. So it might be legal, but it isn't fair.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:37pm
    Disagree persons who negative gear do not have an advantage over others at an auction. They like anyone else can only borrow up to certain percentage of that property. The person with the most advantage is a cashed up buyer with funds well in excess of the value of the property.

    You will also find that investors will only bid the price up to a certain price as beyond that it is not viable to own that property.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:43pm
    Agree Miker. Negative gearing did/does have a purpose but it is milked like everything else governments do and the well off have this down to an artform.
    mIKER
    29th Apr 2016
    2:07pm
    Sorry Bonny, but you clearly do not understand the principles of funding a home (or shares) purchase. If both parties can afford to buy a particular property the one who is negatively geared has the advantage that their interest payment is subsidised by other taxpayers, therefore they can pay more to own the property.

    In simple terms taxpayers give money to persons sufficently affluent to purchase a property via negative gearing, its a government hand out with your money; then they get a massive discount on CGT when they sell the property at a profit. Again its money given up by Government that could have helped fund schools or hospitals. Its that simple.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    2:53pm
    When I was buying and selling properties I had available many times the borrowing capacity required to funds those properties. Whenever I was outbid it was by a someone that was emotional enough to want that property at any cost. So yes investors may have an advantage in that their interest is deductible but most investors find themselves outbid by others with emotional interests. Investors do their sums and an investment needs to stack up and beyond a certain price it doesn't so most will not buy even at this price and definitely not beyond it.

    Investors also have to pay tax on their gains home owners do not. So it is more expensive for an investor to own a property.

    If an investor doesn't use these sort of rules then he will need more than just lack to be successful.

    I get that most people here do not really understand what it takes to be a successful investor.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:04pm
    More nonsense Bonny.
    Home owners do not CURRENTLY pay tax on gains but this is a ONE HOME ONLY deal. Investors can own 100 homes. Some do.
    Only you do not understand how to properly invest. Just more gah gah.....zzzzzzzzzzz
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    4:39pm
    No it can be many home owner deals that are tax free.

    You are right I don't understand how to invest properly according to your rules. Too old to change my ways so I'll just keep my rules instead.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    7:59pm
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................
    Big Willy
    29th Apr 2016
    11:58am
    Young Kaye,
    The flaw in your argument is that any legislation is usually aimed at the lowest common denominator. Do you really want rewards from effort and success distributed to lazy or failed individuals?
    Government largesse should only be given to those who cannot be responsible for their predicament (there but for the grace of god go I).
    Besides, any Budget measures are the least of the issues we have with either of our major parties. A bit of honesty and common sense from both parties would be a goof start!
    Does that sound a tad cynical?....Sorry.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:41pm
    Come on Willy. Those who do well reap the benefits. Even if they were to lose up to 40% in tax. The issue is do we as a society let the real grubs use dodgy accounting schemes to cheat, or send profits offshore to nil tax Tax Havens?
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    2:41pm
    The problem with your theory, Big Willy, is that nobody is qualified to assess who is ''lazy or failed'' and who ''cannot be responsible''. All attempts at such assessment result in gross unfairness and cruelty that drives poverty, mental and physical illness, crime, hurt to innocent children, etc. etc. etc. It goes on and on. Furthermore, such attempted assessments tend to reward thieves and cheats richly.

    As for redistribution of rewards for effort and success... I think we are currently seeing the rewards for effort and success stolen from earners to redistribute to privileged leeches! The rich are currently taking far more than they earn, while battlers receive a thousand times less than their contribution to society is really worth.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:02pm
    And the gap between rich and poor has been growing for several decades. The rich do very nicely...but no amount is ever enough.
    Rational
    29th Apr 2016
    12:06pm
    In any legally constituted organisation, including corporations and volunteer based associations, board and committee members are required by law to declare any potential conflict of interest when voting on a motion and may even have to abstain from voting or possibly even discussion on the topic. I fail to see why our elected representatives should not be subject to the same standards and be required to declare potential conflicts of interest. It is not inconceivable that a politician's vote on an issue might be influenced by his personal financial situation - such receiving significant benefit through negative gearing.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:39pm
    You might have nobody in the room left to vote Rational.
    Supernan
    29th Apr 2016
    12:17pm
    Can understand people taking advantage of the Tax laws. But those who make the laws should not be able to make laws to benefit themselves while blaming Pensioners for needing support. As I keep saying : get sick of being called Baby Boomers. Most of those over 70 are war babies. Our fathers served over seas & many came back to no jobs. So very few of us grew up with a silver spoon or got help from parents or inheritance.

    There was no super paid by employers. We paid interest rates around 20% on our modest homes. Those of us in small businesses suddenly found ourselves having to pay super for our already highly paid staff - so couldn't afford our own super.

    Expected to retire on sale of business & interest earned. Hey presto GFC made businesses hard to sell. Interest rates on savings are laughable. How could we have planned for that ?

    Worked till 71. Still working part time at 73/74. Live on part pension, tiny interest earnings, part time job & pay major expenses out of small amount of money in bank.

    So now they want to cut our part pension & say because they gave us a few years to plan ahead we'll be ok ! How ? Cant work more, have to retire soon ! How can we plan ahead !
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:38pm
    It is tough Supernan. Tell me about it.
    Blossom
    1st May 2016
    5:13pm
    22% interest in 1983 for a first home loan in SA.

    A young relative of mine built their first home on a small block of land 2 1/2 years ago for approx $330,000.00. They are paying almost $400.00 per WEEK. If they weren't both working if would be an impossibility. I don't know about other states but in SA if you have more than one property (even if it is a very cheap block and vacant) the Land tax is still horrific.

    I am wondering of interest rates are the same for an investment property as they are for first home.
    Blossom
    1st May 2016
    5:14pm
    That was a house and land package, not the price for just the house.
    Yutcha
    29th Apr 2016
    12:23pm
    I believe that negative gearing should be abolished. Whilst being interviewed by Leigh Sales earlier this week, Malcolm Turnbull stated that the law of supply and demand should govern what happens in our housing market. Okay then. Abolish negative gearing and let supply and demand dictate the home buyers and home renters market. Perhaps then more Australians will be able to enter the first home buyers market! My understanding is that no other OECD country has such generous negative gearing concessions. In fact few other nations have negative gearing of housing properties. So I too would like to see the abolition of negative gearing added to the list of Your Life choices Budget 2016 recommendations.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:30pm
    ....and watch house prices rise and rents skyrocket.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:37pm
    I saw that interview Yutcha. The one where Turnbull kept referring to research. Eventually Sales had a gutful and asked him what that research was. No answer. Just lies substantiated by more lies.
    Whilst negative gearing helps average Australians get on their feet (good) it is milked to death by the rich. Around 75% of benefits go to the rich which is only a small part of the population. That is a pretty damning picture!
    I would like to see negative gearing have a threshold and tied to gross income. That avoids the rich using their creative accountants to qualify and leaves support where it is needed. At the same time the cost to the government would drop to one quarter of what it is now. A win/win. But the rich are not about to let that one pass.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    3:18pm
    I saw it too. Very bad journalism on by Leigh Sales letting so many untruths go without correcting them.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:01pm
    No untruths Bonny. That mantle belongs to the interviewees who refuse to answer the questions asked and then role into tirades of anti Labor venom. A familiar tactic by now. Not buying.
    Leigh Sales is one of the few interviewers who go after the lying bastards but is finding the current government ministers a handful. They are something else.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    4:14pm
    Find her interview style terrible so rarely watch her.
    Rae
    29th Apr 2016
    4:35pm
    I believe transition to retirement is a far worse tax rebate for a very few higher income earners who can access it than negative gearing.

    These people not only get tax free income but a tax deduction for saving money into their fund.

    It is not accessible by low income earners who can't afford it or by defined benefit scheme workers who get no tax rebate at all because they don't get the concessional tax treatment other workers enjoy.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    4:48pm
    Transition to retirement was a good idea in theory but it has be used by some as a tax strategy while having a full time job. However the limits on what can be put into super have made this strategy very limited for the large income earners. I see no reason why people on ordinary incomes shouldn't use this strategy.

    Income earners paying more than 15% in tax can gain by using this strategy. That is still quite a low income. Most defined benefits schemes are already so much better than a lot of the other super schemes anyway.
    MICK
    2nd May 2016
    9:45pm
    Don't tell me Bonny.......you watch the 7 and 9 bias which reminds me of the Murdoch Press commentary. I thought so.
    GoldenOldie
    29th Apr 2016
    12:27pm
    Forgive my cynicism, but regardless of the accuracy of this article, it is not going to change what the government hand down in the upcoming budget. Its too late for a start, and for another it would require a major campaign to influence policy as outlined in the article (assuming it even reaches the Minister past all those public servant filters). It would be more effective if individuals or local groups lobby their local MP (and other candidates) using this information; it is an election year after all!
    Happy Jack
    29th Apr 2016
    12:31pm
    Just let me say, Tiger! There's a fair chance that I would buy and sell you many times over. I have no need to be jealous of greedy politicians. What I have amassed is by shear hard work, not by living off the unfortunates in this country who are unable to purchase a home of their own because this Lieberal parlaughamentry party govt is pandering to their voter base with tax concessions. What a joke when tens of thousands of young Australians are renting, unable in a lot of cases to save for a deposit because they are paying high rents and Tumbles Turntable gives as an example to legitimise negative gearing, poor Joe Blow who needs to negative gear to provide his daughter with a house. Smacks of hipocracy to me and ranks with the made Abbott putting up Uni fees whilst receiving free enrolment for his daughters degree.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:45pm
    HECs debts have crippled our kids and now they want to take away the only way some of them can ever own a house. Negative gear a house and stay at home with Mum and Dad until they have enough equity to buy a house where they need to live. Some also rent with others doing same thing so that they all can get ahead.

    Another tactic that the banks are promoting is a guarantee over Mum and Dad's house instead of a deposit. Mum and Dad then have a risk that if the kids default they too lose their house and then go on the pension at retirement age. I'd much prefer to negative gear the house myself then give such a guarantee.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:32pm
    Good post Jack. Perhaps this rich man's government would be happy if people just gave up and went on the dole en masse.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    12:39pm
    Interesting comments but nothing changes does it.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    12:46pm
    Nope the ink is already dry on the budget papers as they would have been printed over a month ago.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:29pm
    Only if you agitate and do not back down Misty. Of course the best way to send a message is via the ballot box. That is it's purpose.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2016
    8:20am
    It does, actually Misty. If people speak out loudly and repeatedly, in numbers, things DO change. The LNP dropped the proposal to raise GST. The Senate blocked some bad bills because voters told Senators they would be voted out if they passed those bills.

    We CAN force legislative changes. The problem is that Australians are too apathetic. Way too quick to say ''nothing changes'', instead of putting pen to paper and letting the politicians know how we feel.

    And the ballot box is too little too late! They change policy when they FEAR voter backlash - not after it happens.
    Kaz
    29th Apr 2016
    12:51pm
    After all the comments I read, I don't think everyone was happy with the family home being included in the assets test. I think there was a qualifying statement with that and can see you included that - hopefully he reads all the way to the end!
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:28pm
    As long as there is a big gap where 'rich' starts and everybody else ends then this would be unfair. From what I have seen of the current government expect unfair.
    Ozetwo
    29th Apr 2016
    12:57pm
    Sadly the letter has little chance of effecting policy.The recommendations will never happen under a Liberal government particularly with a hardliner like ScoMo. Generally they look down their noses at people who have not accumulated enough to live very comfortably in retirement and have no will to assist those worse off than themselves. At the same time expect them to make all the right noises about representing all Australians.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:27pm
    Inconvenient facts are always ignored by politicians.
    However, unless people and organisations push against the will of those who own the game expect serfdom to arrive at the doorstep. Already knocking.
    Frank
    29th Apr 2016
    1:17pm
    I see the unfair and discriminatory proposal to change the portability provisions affecting our rights to remain outside of Australia beyond 6 weeks was not raised and, despite some 130, comments to a previous post I raised, about the issues that passed the Lower House and reached the Senate.
    Am I to assume the portability proposals were debated and were rejected in the Senate or didn't get listed? If the latter why wasn't the letter written to the Treasurer saying that the migrant community and many, many, aged pensioners want clarification on whether the government has come to understand the opposition to the portability changes and decided to drop the unfair legislative proposals?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    1:25pm
    Won't worry people on a parliamentary pension Frank. So don't worry about it.
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2016
    8:47am
    MICK not all of us are in your position.
    Belle
    29th Apr 2016
    1:36pm
    With respect to Kaye Fallick and the family home as an asset for the pension. I wonder if she has thought that there may be situations where as well as not being fair and causing distress to people with disabilities, the govt would certainly lose out financially.
    We have a Sydney house worth more than $2.5 million dollars some of the value of which is in the attached "unit" where our two disabled sons live, with the other part intended for rental when we are no longer here, so that they will need much less support from the government. Has Kaye any idea how much it costs to house two people in say a group home or in government provided housing and how hard this is to get anyhow? We have saved the government that by providing for our sons in advance at great personal and financial sacrifice ourselves. Put this together with the fact that one son is a foster son who is now middle aged and has been with us since he was 10. The costs to the govt. for him would have been considerable. We could easily have used the money spent on this house to live a much better lifestyle and ended up with a house under $2.5 million in a much less safe and familiar environment. Leave the family home alone
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:10pm
    The trouble with any policy is that there is always a few people who end up worse off. Statistically you are more than 2 standard deviations from the mean. Sorry, I know that probably is a meaningless statement.
    The $2 million figure is not law and it may move upwards a little. Common sense as long as it is not manipulated by the big end of town. Good luck. You are doing a good job and I thank you for not taking the selfish option.
    Rae
    29th Apr 2016
    4:47pm
    There will need to be consideration for situations like yours Belle.

    Perhaps some form of trust or requirement that dependents receive the estate before the government does. Probable a simple exercise to ensure no dependent is forced onto the streets when someone dies.
    Scrivener
    29th Apr 2016
    1:41pm
    Ahh! Did you send this to Bill Shorten?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:11pm
    Feel free Scrivener. A good idea. I often cc correspondence to government to the opposition. That way information reaches both sides of politics, as it should.
    thommo
    29th Apr 2016
    1:47pm
    Well Kaye, you forget to mention the reinstatement of the assets test for the age pension, which, as it now stands, will result in several hundred thousand retirees losing the part-age pension altogether as from 1.1.17.
    Most, if not all, of these part age pensioners took the irreversible step to retire based on the rules current at the time (especially before 1.1.15), only to have the rug pulled from under them by Abbott and Morrison (and the LNP generally) in the 2015 budget, after promising at the 2013 election that there would be no such changes.
    These changes are an act of gross betrayal and treachery, and those adversely affected will reek their revenge at the upcoming election.
    When you seek changes as above, you should make it you business to speak on behalf of all retirees, not just a select few.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:12pm
    Remember how you feel when you are at the ballot box in July thommo.
    Kaye Fallick
    29th Apr 2016
    2:15pm
    Hi Thommo,
    this is an interesting point, well made. The changes to legislation have worked against many retirees which is why we recommend a bipartisan review and at least a 5-year moratorium on any agreed policy changes. So we certainly agree moving the goal posts is damaging for those planning or in retirement. But it is also worth noting that we are summarising responses from a survey which went to our full 140000 membership. so that is the group whose views we are sharing. We could never aim to represent the 7 million who are in retirement - and so individuals such as yourself are very important in this debate. We will send a link to this page to the key finance, super and human services ministers and shadow ministers so they too can benefit from your thoughts. Warmest, Kaye
    Rae
    29th Apr 2016
    5:06pm
    Thommo we should mount a campaign and all turn up to register for work on the 1st of January claiming we can no longer survive on savings. We would not get newstart but it would certainly stuff up the unemployment figures and the employment agencies.

    Someone needs to send some information to Cassandra Goldie who was the main instigator of this change. I'd like to know what ACOSS is going to do for the tens of thousands of new poor retirees they have helped create.

    This change is going to flow across the country in the form of reduced spending, lack of insurance, resistance to rate increases and general unhappiness with government because it is so blatently unfair to hard working and saving retirees.

    It could also seriously affect confidence and belief in the superannuation system.

    You would be mad to save non concessional amounts for instance as they are classed as income when withdrawn by defined benefit pensioners and that little change has the potential to be extended to all non concessional amounts deposited into super funds.

    People have really not had time for these changes to sink in but when they do superannuation as a tax minimisation vehicle will be left far behind discretionary trusts, SIVs and family corporate structures. Superannuation is only a forced tax minimisation structure nothing more and there are other structures far less risky as far as sovereign risk is concerned.

    Wouldn't take much to really turn people of Superannuation as it changes for the worse every single budget and to tell the truth the returns are pretty damn ordinary after fees and charges etc these days.

    A million dollars in super saved through frugality is unlikely to get you any more than the aged pension with the concession card benefits. Doesn't make any sense to delay gratification if there is no gratification at the end.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    7:00pm
    Have you seen ACOSS's submission to the budget? It sure makes interesting reading.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:05pm
    Kaye: the only bipartisan agreement I can recall was on the matter of parliamentary salaries. I understand Labor has signed off on a few bits of legislation from the current government but when Abbott was in opposition not one!
    Whilst you suggestion is sensible I think that it is 'theory' rather than 'reality'.
    The political system was never designed to operate like it currently does and what is happening in all first world economies is similar to Australia. And one wonders why we are all in the doo doo.
    4b2
    29th Apr 2016
    2:08pm
    Seems like we have split audience today on this issue of negative gearing. My question is this; what other investments can I make and negative gear against my personal income? Investing in property should have the same framework as any small or medium business, including interest at commercial rates and expenses deducted as any other business enterprise.

    As our current prime minister uses tax havens I am assuming this can no longer be considered a tax scam.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:17pm
    They do. Borrow money to buy shares and you are able to deduct the interest. Same for every investment as long as it is purchased with the intention of gaining income. Anybody got an update on that?

    Great point about using Tax Havens. The best way to get them closed down immediately is if wage and salary earners put their investments into them. Sadly tax is taken out of PAYG income before workers get it so the powers that be will not let you do it. Only set up to benefit the rich my friend!
    4b2
    29th Apr 2016
    2:11pm
    Why are aged pensioners treated differently than self funded retirees? What I am finding more and more is if you do not have the Pension Card you are not entitled to many of the pension concessions on a range of items. SFR's are not all wealthy, but have a modest income for a limited period.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:19pm
    Good point. I agree. Not fair at all. Like being denied twice.
    Anonymous
    29th Apr 2016
    2:25pm
    After January 2017, vast numbers of SFRs will be far, far worse off than pensioners, yet denied any of the benefits pensioners receive. It's grossly unfair, but worse than that, it's a huge incentive for SFRs to reduce their assets, which will drive pension costs up. The Treasurer is not at all smart. Heaven help us all if that kind of gross economic mismanagement continues.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    3:50pm
    Rubbish Rainey. They have hundreds or thousands of dollars they can live on that full pensioners do not have.

    The Treasurer is very smart and realises that the government is giving people a pension that do not need it but is just nice to have. These funds will be better used for things that are needed in our society. It is good finance ial management to direct these dollars where they are needed.

    You can spend down your assets if you like and I doubt that this will worry the Treasurer.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:58pm
    "The treasurer is very smart"? Ha, ha, ha. Did you mean to say devious Bonny?
    Clearly another advertisement from your sponsor.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    4:17pm
    Definitely a smart move on his behalf. Seems like he has given the majority of pensioners a rise with only a few missing out.
    Rae
    29th Apr 2016
    5:30pm
    Would those things "needed" include childcare fees which we were quite able to pay for on far less income paid to families earning high incomes, transition to retirement tax breaks for high income earners to build super, paying for speculation on property by using interest only loans to avoid paying taxes?

    There are a lot of 'needs' and one of them is a level playing field between welfare dependents and those supporting themselves often on quite low incomes not much above the aged pension.

    If a self funded person becomes ill they will need to spend down Bonny because as you know that $6.40 script may cost them $132.00.
    Not much of a level playing field there when the Federal Reserve and the Director of Debt(Treasurer with no treasure) keeps suggesting lowering the interest rates and the Business leaders won't invest any more because there isn't any money going around.

    They keep talking about "helicopter money drops" while pulling billions out of the pockets of those living on very small incomes who do spend if they have money. It doesn't make much sense to me Bonny. You might be able to see the reasoning damned if I can.

    The current economic funk means the old rules are kaput now and it is time to justify why young people paying a measly 4% interest on the mortgage and very low taxes starting at $18000 deserve a break but an ex worker after 45 years with high taxes, high interest rates and recession after recession doesn't.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    6:07pm
    I don't agree with childcare or maternity leave payments either. If you have children you don't have them for others to bring up it is as simple as that. If people don't supply housing for those who can't afford it what do they do live on the streets? If the government doesn't want to invest in low cost housing then negative gearing is used by private investors to provide this subsidised housing. No problem with that.

    Welcome to the real world of a real self funded retiree where those $6.40 scripts are $132.00 and sometimes more. Problem is most don't work anyway. Yes we are asked to pay more to subsidise those on welfare and that can be many thousands a year. That is not a level playing field but as we live in a now welfare society then we just have to pay it.

    Interest rates like lots of other things move in cycles and we now are now in a low interest rate cycle. That has nothing to do with the government. As a self funded retire you have to just move the cycles and be able to make money where you can and not just do the lazy thing and leave you money I the bank. Banks just love it as they then use that money to make good profits.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    2:15pm
    Bonny, you really don't get it, do you? You CANNOT save the government money by punishing people who save and discouraging planning for retirement. The change to the assets test will DRIVE PENSION COSTS UP UP UP UP UP. It can have no other result.

    I calculated, for a friend, that by spending $25,000 on a luxury cruise, his pension increase over 10 years would more than recover the total cost of the cruise plus any return he could earn on it, and he'd be far better off than if he kept the money. Now creating that situation is just plain STUPID. Another affected retiree will see his medical costs soar to $250 per month. Do you seriously think he won't want to dispose of $100,000 quickly rather than see it slowly fritter away while his healthier mate, earning $70,000 a year, retains pension entitlements?

    As to this CRAP about saving taxpayers money - and it WON'T - many of the affected pensioners quite rightly object to looking after younger Australians on high incomes, living in luxury homes (acquired with first home owner grants), with university degrees (the cost of which was subsidized by government), and drawing child care assistance. Affected retirees, in many cases, received minimal education, no first home owner grant, no childcare assistance, no maternity or parental leave, no superannuation tax rebates (because they had no super!), no negative gearing or capital gains tax savings (because they couldn't afford investment properties). They paid 17.5% interest on home loans. They paid higher taxes than the young pay today. And I think they are entirely justified in feeling entitled to benefit from the savings they acquired by GOING WITHOUT LUXURIES in earlier life. NO, BONNY, THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO GIFT THE BENEFIT OF THEIR HARD WORK AND SACRIFICE TO YOUNGER TAXPAYERS WHO ENJOY BENEFITS THEY NEVER HAD. And they won't! They will blow it all on luxuries, or hide it under the mattress, and claim fatter pensions than they otherwise would have. I know couples who are separating to get around the means test changes, and they will claim double what they are receiving now. I know 60-year-olds who are gifting hundreds of thousands to their kids - but would NEVER have done that if the current thresholds were retained. As I said elsewhere, 96 of 98 clients of a certain financial adviser have already booked luxury cruises. They will return to claim full or near full pensions, although they currently only receive about $100 a fortnight. They are angry, and they are out for revenge, because their trust was betrayed.

    However, if there WERE savings from changing the assets test (and there are none!) and those savings were used to increase disability pensions and pensions for the very needy aged, or improve the quality of and access to aged care, I suspect the vast majority of retirees would withdraw their complaints about losing out. Am I right, Rae?

    The point is that there are no savings. NOBODY benefits from this cruel and UNBELIEVABLY STUPID change to pensions except a few with hundreds of thousands in the bank whose incomes will rise by $30 - an increase that will most likely evaporate due to halting indexation increases for 3 years. And the change multiplies the unfairness in the current system 50 fold.

    It really boggles the mind that fools continue to rehash the same dumb argument after it has been disproved over and over and over again, instead of reading and considering the FACTS.

    ""The Treasurer is very smart'', Bonny? If it's smart to sell out the nation and drive the national debt sky high for the sake of BUYING a few votes from short-sighted greedy fools, then yes, he's smart. Personally, I don't want that kind of ''smart'' leading the nation. And I sure hope those who made minimal gain from his conniving will be ethical enough to see through his lies and vote against the LNP.
    Rae
    30th Apr 2016
    5:27pm
    In a nutshell Rainey. It isn't about the money at all but the unfairness and injustice of the thing.

    The savings made from betraying retirees trust will be squandered as you say and that is what irks most of us.

    I was never going to get anything from the taxpayer anyway but like Fern in Charlotte's Web it is the injustice that I'll fight every single time.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    9:14am
    I completely agree with your point of view Rainey. Older Australians in most cases did do it tough and the 'reward' they are now receiving reminds me of how soldiers were treated when they returned home after the Vietnam war. You sort of feel used when governments take at the time and then reward with deceit.
    As I have said many times on this website readers need to vent their anger by NOT voting for this morally corrupt rich man's government. That is the ultimate response and I am confused that some people just don't get it.

    29th Apr 2016
    2:15pm
    I'm disturbed that Kaye purports to represent those surveyed despite the survey being seriously skewed and restrictive and therefore not capable of accurately assessing opinion. I responded to the survey, but nothing in her letter to the Treasurer accurately reflects my responses, even though she would no doubt claim that my responses (if she analysed the individually) supported her statements entirely.

    I think she should have paid less attention to a ''survey'' clearly designed to attract certain responses, and far more attention to the comments made in debates on this forum. As it is, the Treasurer is going to be sadly misinformed. Not that it's likely to matter. I doubt he has any interest in us retirees anyway other than finding more ways to strip us of our assets reduce our incomes.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    2:23pm
    Unless I have read it wrong looks like a link to this discussion will be included. Perhaps posts will actually be read and digested.
    The grubs who routinely ignore the public need to get the message that the public is not as senile as they would like to believe. And of course the ballot box awaits us and no amount of propaganda on the commercial networks or lies from the government are going to sway some people from casting their decision. Bring it on.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:47pm
    Get real MICK. You seriously think anyone will click on a link in an unsolicited open letter containing a list of demands for inclusion in an event that is already decided much less actually read the letter in the first place to notice the link?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:56pm
    And you believe that the jerks in power do not want to see how voters are feeling? How else can they modify their campaign and find more lies to tell the electorate?
    I guess they already know as the trolls would have reported back to Party HQ.
    particolor
    30th Apr 2016
    7:51pm
    While they are back there could they tell them that Even my Cat is on Rations this Fortnight !! :-( :-(
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:09pm
    Put it on a Disability pension.

    29th Apr 2016
    2:34pm
    Kaye, I note Thommo's reference to the changed assets test to kick in Jan 2017 and your response.

    I hope the Treasurer does read this page carefully and notes that this change to the taper rate is a serious error on the government's part and one that will drive pension costs through the roof in the medium to (not very) long term.

    The government has decided not just to betray the trust of hundreds of thousands of retirees to whom it blatantly lied to secure votes, but to sell out the future of the nation by offering a huge financial reward for NOT SAVING FOR RETIREMENT and harshly punishing anyone foolish enough to hold on to assets after retirement age. Of course the result will be pension cost blowouts. A financial adviser told me 96 of 98 clients to be affected by the change have already booked expensive cruises and will spend $150K on average overseas and return to claim pensions. And why not? 7.8% return, indexed to inflation, for SPENDING rather than saving, when saving nets probably less than 5% and often as little as 2.5%, is VERY attractive. Add in pension benefits, and the self-funded retiree with less than $1 million in returning investments is likely to be far, far worse off than most pensioners. Why hold on to savings.

    It beggars belief that anyone in power could believe that this dreadfully cruel and unfair hit at savers could benefit the nation.

    As to fairness, it hit only a segment of retirees who are not well-to-do, typically struggled and sacrificed to save, and have already lost half their income to falling investment returns, while not hurting the rich at all, giving more to the moderately comfortable, and giving NOTHING additional to the genuinely needy. It also encourages and rewards cheats and immoral behaviour such as excessive gifting and over-investment in the family home, while punishing the honest and responsible who strive to minimize their imposition on the taxpayer.

    It was a dishonest, immoral, cruel, patently unfair, and economically and socially destructive move that urgently needs to be reversed pending a sensible review of our appallingly flawed retirement funding and pensions system.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    3:03pm
    I think the change is the taper rate is a good idea. A couple with over $1million do not need the pension. Yes it is nice to have but they have enough capital for needs until they get back to a level where they qualify for the pension.

    I also agree with them spending it on themselves because why save it for others to waste after your death. Go on those expensive holidays and enjoy your retirement.

    There is now a big incentive for people to retire early as they can spend down their assets and get the pension at their retirement age. Therefore it is a good idea to change the pension entitlement age to 70.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:05pm
    Rainey: my wife often laments that savers have been made a target even though self funded retirees save the government huge sums of money. She cannot understand why people on average incomes who save for their own retirement are come after so savagely.
    My response is that this is a monstrous government preying on most average Australians so that it can hand the rich their much demanded tax cuts...when they already have more than they will in many cases ever need.
    We are (all) involved in Class Warfare, initiated by the current government. I implore people to use the ballot box wisely.
    Oldman Roo
    29th Apr 2016
    3:20pm
    Rainey , Congratulations for the most accurate and realistic assessment of the complete mess that Abbott - Morrison made with their Pension Reform . Unfortunately I believed them with their election promise but I have a long memory and will not believe the Liberals again . And I hope many part Pensioners will feel likewise .
    While I think Kaye,s letter is still too mild for the thick hide of the Politicians , I dare her to follow it up with your detailed comments to convey just what we really think .
    jeffr
    29th Apr 2016
    3:26pm
    Excellent post Rainey.

    If nothing is done about this betrayal before Jan 2017 then I will also be booking a cruise,purchasing solar batteries etc: to get within the legislated $367000 asset limit. On saying this I would much prefer a sensible government legislating to reverse this idiotic and lunatic decision and therefore keeping what little money we have in Australia.
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    3:30pm
    Don't hold you breath waiting for a change of government to reverse this decision especially a Labor government.

    It would not surprise me to see these entitlements tightened further if we have a change of government.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:53pm
    Another message from your sponsor Bonny?
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    3:57pm
    Yep Mick I just wish they would pay me for once.
    Oldman Roo
    29th Apr 2016
    4:16pm
    Bonny , please go away and stop glorifying your Party and let us unfortunate victims lick our wounds . At this point in time there is also no need to be scaremongering about Labor . They will still have to state their position on a number of issues before the election and if they choose not to , there will be a few honest Independents to choose from .
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    4:23pm
    Nothing to do with glorifying anyone but just what I see will happen because put simply there just ain't enough fuel left in the tank for very much let alone giving pension back their pension that is just nice to have.
    Oldman Roo
    29th Apr 2016
    4:45pm
    Bonny , Of course it was expecting too much for you to accept the reality that your party is governing for the wealthy and Politicians , including people like you . Sure , there is not enough left in the tank when it is generously gifted to the wealthy , I am certain your views would change 100 % if you had to live on the pittance we are going to get . The arrogant view of the modern day Liberals is really what the Pension problem is all about .
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    5:07pm
    Not supporting any political party and already living on very little what is your point Oldman Roo?

    Haven't you seen the debt our government is in? Unfortunately debt needs to be paid back with interest.
    Oldman Roo
    29th Apr 2016
    7:32pm
    Bonny , if you have not got the message yet , you never will , or maybe you are one of the great pretenders , possibly under instructions " if you can not convince them , confuse them " .
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:17pm
    Love it Oldman Roo. I am thinking that Bonny is not the real deal anyway. I keep seeing 'Frank' phrases show up but do agree that we are seeing an attempt to divert discussion of the facts to throwing BS around like confetti. That'll fool 'em Tangles.......
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    9:30am
    Bonny's illogical nonsense certainly suggests political bias, because nothing she says makes sense!

    Spend up big before retirement? We are supposedly trying to reduce the cost of supporting the aged?

    Oh, but then she adds, change the retirement age to 70. Clearly, she wants all the hard workers killed off before pension age, and the wealthy and greedy living over-indulged to a ripe old age.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    7:34pm
    Bonny, the debt would be very easily and painlessly repaid if the government merely reformed tax on super and went after rich multi-national corporates currently paying no tax and closed the tax rorts of the super-rich.

    There is absolutely NO necessity to attack pensioners, and doing so will merely exacerbate the economic problems we face, because the change to the taper rate will drive pension costs UP, and take money out of circulation, thus reducing profits, job growth, and taxation revenue.
    MD
    29th Apr 2016
    2:59pm
    This submission; regardless of what any one person thinks or suggests is, at the very least, a positive summary of retirees' collective mind-set. 'Anything's better than nothing ' may allay the detractors. I await the due response with bated breath, I also feel a case of the (turning) 'blues' may beat a reply.

    I also have a query re a submission point :
    "Recent CPA research confirming (more) boomers ----- with a mortgage" & etc.
    The media would have us believe that this same demographic constitutes the majority of 'speculative buyers' that have availed themselves of the current favourable interest rates to purchase a second (or more) house/property. Does this mean this same group are inclusive within the CPA findings ? And as a good number of posts (for/against) have mentioned - what percentage of this same group enjoy negative gearing .

    My point being, there exists an extremely broad spectrum of "retirees", some within self confess to varying "advantage" & others lament their sorry lot by comparison. This situation is far, far from being simply black and white but rather has many shades of grey through its' entirety .

    If anyone, regardless of race, colour, creed or political affiliation thinks any one candidate/party has a universal panacea to satisfy each & every individuals' expectation, well we should prepare for disappointment, that way any minor gain or windfall may well be a blessing. Remember, "Today's hero is oftimes tomorrow's bum" .

    Well done YLC. Go sick em !
    Lookfar
    29th Apr 2016
    3:40pm
    A lot of this discussion revolves around fairness, Austalians are usually pretty fair minded, - sayings such as 'fair crack of the whip' etc abound, so comments like Tigers' that if one has more and another less, bad luck you are jealous, is just a neo-Liberal preaching.
    Basically if you have two working families with two kids, one has two houses, the other none, the fair thing is the one with two to give up one to the one with none, most of us feel this, but the laws seem to make it impossible to enforce, they keep that second house in the greedy grasp of the family that has two.
    You may talk about the tiny minorities "rights" to have as much as they want and damn the rest of us, but basic needs like houses should not be subject to such self serving attitudes, possibly a law such that 'money may not be made by speculating in housing' could be appropriate, - after all, housing by itself does not produce anything, it is just a place to live, and one which we all need, - it should be divorced from the commercial economy.
    Rights are to do with basics, - food, clothing, freedom from oppression, housing, education, health, etc, - having endless money is not a basic right, never can be, as it involves taking from everyone else, ie depriving them of that same right, Rights are what we feel we are all equally entitled to, not some special interest group whose only need is to have, dominate, take, and feed on the rest of us like a Wolf or Tiger, - beware Tiger, how many Tigers are there left in the world, they are nearly all gone, - do you really really want to stay a Tiger?
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:41pm
    The devil is always in the detail MD.
    No policy will ever cover 100%. Never does.
    The prevailing issue is the unfairness of a government wanting to send money to the rich who need it least whilst at the same time wanting to increase taxes on working Australians to pay for this sort of nonsense.
    We all understand the game. And nobody believes that this Howard leftover government will honour any promise it makes between now and polling date is living in dreamland.
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:51pm
    lookfar: the way I look at the world may be slightly different to you but I do not view owning 2 houses as the real issue.
    The real problem how people amass their wealth and whether or not they pay the correct amount of taxes along the way. This is where the 1% and I lock horns: they believe that being crooked is ok because they have put laws into place which allow them to avoid the taxation system whilst I consider this as corruption at work.
    Agree or disagree as you may but equity, a level playing field and honest government are the issues where effort and success are rewarded with fairly obtained wealth, not by a perversion of power.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:55pm
    Lookafar what you are in fact saying is lets punish the family with two kids who made different choices and were able to amass the investments they have because the other family with 2 kids didn't make the same decisions and haven't got the same investments and that's not fair!

    At least 50% of those with investment properties are NOT from the so called 'wealthy' at al. They are just normal hard working people who have made choices and decisions to benefit themselves and their families. A VERY small 2% of very wealthy hold the remaining 50% of housing investments. I am sick and tired of people on this site whinging and whining about those who have worked hard to afford what they have for no other reason than they don't have the same.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:55pm
    Lookafar what you are in fact saying is lets punish the family with two kids who made different choices and were able to amass the investments they have because the other family with 2 kids didn't make the same decisions and haven't got the same investments and that's not fair!

    At least 50% of those with investment properties are NOT from the so called 'wealthy' at al. They are just normal hard working people who have made choices and decisions to benefit themselves and their families. A VERY small 2% of very wealthy hold the remaining 50% of housing investments. I am sick and tired of people on this site whinging and whining about those who have worked hard to afford what they have for no other reason than they don't have the same.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    9:17am
    KSS: whilst I totally agree with you on this there are however ways of cutting out the big end of town. They would still invest but not collect the subsidies. Is that not how a civilised society works to ensure that hard working average citizens get a toe into the game?
    JAID
    2nd May 2016
    10:04am
    When considering ownership of multiple dwellings, while it may not suit the most laissez-faire of us (often I may include myself somewhere around that area) government could consider the value of multiple dwelling ownership. Value from the perspective that (near enough to) all australians wish to see everybody with a roof over their heads. Value also relating to the quality of life that housing provides.

    The question then remains what value would multiple dwelling ownership bring to the cause of ensuring a roof over all heads and the quality of that roof.

    When that is answered mechanisms such as negative gearing, public housing, first home ownership grants and any quirky little tricks we may use can be assessed in fairness to the public will and capability.

    In favour of multiple dwelling ownership may be factors like the immediacy of affordable provision (where purchase would not be possible otherwise.) Also capability for maintenance appropriate to longevity of the resource could be considered and there must be others.

    Against that ownership would be the long-term affordability of the resource compared to other mechanisms for purchasing and upkeeping it. There would be others.

    Without any scientific investigation into this my impression is that there would be other ways of ensuring a satisfactory roof over every head at lower cost to the end-user than to support multi-residential ownership. That may be complicated by it's effect on the quality of liberal democracy and freedom of enterprise as multi-residential ownership is currently one of the most approachable means of joining and enjoying the benificence of capitalism. Care is needed but that does not mean that there are no alternative opportunities arising out of the basic question of how best to use housing.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:27pm
    A pretty pointless open letter serving only to massage feel-good self-interest groups without actually doing anything to effect change. Way too little way too late!
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    3:52pm
    This is the sort of comment one might expect from the government too KSS. Why does that not surprise me.
    Read the above again. Look at the stats., not that the glaring obvious would be of interest to you.
    KSS
    29th Apr 2016
    3:56pm
    "not that the glaring obvious would be of interest to you."

    Or to you MICK.
    Lookfar
    29th Apr 2016
    6:57pm
    KSS, how am I saying the family with two houses should be punished? - They can't live in two houses, it is the family with no house that is being punished.
    The point is that housing should not be part of the economy in that people can gamble with house values, buying and selling as if the house itself did something, like a company.
    I have read some articles claiming the Oz house market is 400 to 500% over valued, just like the Australian currency, rich immoral people are gambling with it and taking zero care for the damage they are doing to the coming generation who can't afford a house nor to have their jobs sold overseas.
    The paradigm is not working, time for a big re-think!
    Rodent
    29th Apr 2016
    3:56pm
    Dear Kaye- if you are in fact reading these comments

    Having contributed a lot of detailed Information about the Unfairness of the Proposed Asset Test changes due 1 Jan 21017 directly to Debbie .... at YLC I am a little disappointed that some aspects of what I provided to YLC in multiple Emails have not been taken up or given any mention.
    I understand that my Emails were in addition to my Survey response , however the unfairness of these proposed changes was worthy of some comment. Did you ever read the detail of what I provided to YLC?

    Just as a point of interest I can confirm that I have sent some of concerns to Scott Morrison, (in his past role) and did receive a reply but ONLY from DSS on his behalf.
    I recently wrote to Christian Porter, after no reply telephoned and was rudely told he doesn't reply to normal people- was further advised to go through Local Member.
    I then sent My email to local Liberal Candidate, she replied, apologised and said she will get me an answer to my concerns, I am waiting
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    4:19pm
    KISS Rodent. Did I say that..........chuckle. Sorry mate, sometimes I get a bit carried away.
    Not Senile Yet!
    29th Apr 2016
    4:47pm
    You are ALL missing the arguement here!!
    Negative Gearing has helped build housing.
    No one wants it removed completely......just to stop the Wealthy Investors that are now RORTING THE SYSTEM!
    BY THAT.....I mean they no longer need the taxpayer to subsidise them.....that is wronful use of our tax that we ALL pay!
    Limits do need to be put in place.....just as an Asset Test for Pensions access!
    Removal completely is a nonsense....but limits are required....in other words.....it needs regulation to Stop Abuse!
    Listen to Malcolm's own words....You must live within your own means.....it applies to everyone....top of town as well!
    As for difference between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion.....Avoidance is legal through loop holes not closed....Evasion is where you go Off Shore so the Oz Tax simply does not apply!!!
    Our PM knows this onlytoo well!
    The issue is not about the Legality....The issue is about why it is not Illegal???
    Rae
    30th Apr 2016
    9:32am
    No the wealthy investor can still claim the interest on buying a rental property. Labor has carefully worded the policy that way. I can still buy rental properties and claim the interest from my investment incomes.

    Corporations, trusts, SIVs etc can still claim interest mayments on investments.

    It is only wage and salary earners who will be no longer able to get ahead by using gearing to buy investment assets.

    Keeping them in their place is what it used to be called. Once a scullery maid it was pretty hard to become a housekeeper.
    Not Senile Yet!
    29th Apr 2016
    4:47pm
    You are ALL missing the arguement here!!
    Negative Gearing has helped build housing.
    No one wants it removed completely......just to stop the Wealthy Investors that are now RORTING THE SYSTEM!
    BY THAT.....I mean they no longer need the taxpayer to subsidise them.....that is wronful use of our tax that we ALL pay!
    Limits do need to be put in place.....just as an Asset Test for Pensions access!
    Removal completely is a nonsense....but limits are required....in other words.....it needs regulation to Stop Abuse!
    Listen to Malcolm's own words....You must live within your own means.....it applies to everyone....top of town as well!
    As for difference between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion.....Avoidance is legal through loop holes not closed....Evasion is where you go Off Shore so the Oz Tax simply does not apply!!!
    Our PM knows this onlytoo well!
    The issue is not about the Legality....The issue is about why it is not Illegal???
    Rodent
    29th Apr 2016
    4:54pm
    Dear Bonny perhaps a poor choice of words?

    Not sure you are correct with these comments- Definitely a smart move on his behalf. Seems like he has given the majority of pensioners a rise with only a few missing out.

    Facts are 3,534,807 Pensioners will see no change
    171,658 will get more money
    91,378 will lose the Part Pension TOTALLY
    235,756 will receive a REDUCED Pension
    Of course these are only numbers aren't they, perhaps from your perspective they are not even real people. Try telling that to someone who actually needed and relied on the Pension to exist day to day .
    LiveItUp
    29th Apr 2016
    5:02pm
    Looks to me like only a small number have been effected by this change.

    Those losing the pension completely must have hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets that they could use so I really can't see how other than it's nice to have they are effected.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    9:26am
    Just maybe those hundreds of thousands of assets were accumulated through enormous sacrifice BECAUSE the holder KNEW they would be needed to fund needed health care and home help in their later years, and to fund a satisfactory level of aged care (as opposed to the disgustingly poor level of care the government provides).

    Oh, but of course hard working battlers should not expect to enjoy any reward. They should hand it to the spendthrifts who blew their savings on expensive holidays and gambling. So says Bonny!

    Why? Well, so that this disgustingly inept and unconscionable LNP government can buy more votes.
    Rae
    30th Apr 2016
    9:37am
    Bonny did not say that Rainey. Read her words carefully.

    And if the assets are used to support aged care then they won't be there for the banks or government.

    In fact it might just prompt the government to do something about the rip off required to access aged care in Australia.

    The aged hospitals and retirement villages have been taking the homes of the elderly for two decades now with barely a mention in the media or government.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    7:14pm
    It is disgusting what some of those aged care facilities ask of people for a place in their nursing homes. Many are forced to sell their homes to pay for a place but no one ever seems to worry about this.

    Centrelink should not be able to tell them how much a person can afford to pay. This has made it difficult to negotiate with some facilities for places in their homes.

    Aged care can be a big rip off.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    7:38pm
    OMG! This from the nutcase who said part pensioners should be forced to spend their capital and home-owners to borrow against their houses and when they need aged care, they can rely on the government!

    Bonny, do you EVER actually THINK about the garbage you write?
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:13pm
    Yeah Rainey. You get this all the time from 'Bonny'. I remember not too long ago Bonny said that she was going down to Centrelink and then you get the BS about being self sufficient. More likely Frank getting Alzheimer's.
    Snowwhite
    29th Apr 2016
    5:37pm
    Robbo surely you know it's a well known fact that only highly intelligent people vote LABOR. At least seeing you consider yourself superior learn to spell.
    Misty
    29th Apr 2016
    6:25pm
    Ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto Snowwhite.
    Flindersbar
    29th Apr 2016
    6:33pm
    Robbo is out to dinner or tucked up in his feather bed.
    In Outer Orbit
    29th Apr 2016
    6:42pm
    At least you're trying Kaye (perhaps more than will be felt for the 97% who didn't contrbute to the survey?).

    How about recommending creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund to end the boom and bust in public finances. If Government set aside the resources to weather the down turns, public services in all forms could be sustained, with far greater long term stability. ie pensioners and every other potentially vulnerable group would no longer have to be bled every time the economy dips. These funds work superbly for every country that has created them to date - contrast those oil producing nations which have failed to do so with those that have a fund - eg Russia vs the Saudis. Saudi Arabia's economy is 90% oil dependent, and they are keeping the wheels turning despite the price crash, and will still be in business when the up-cycle returns. Norway is another example - that country will remain rich via North Sea Oil revenues set aside into Sovereign Wealth for many generations into the future. In contrast, the UK has just blown every oil dollar and future generations have relatively little to show for it.

    I'd say there's no point dickering over negative gearing, or any other policy tinkering, while the whole ship continues to be sailed straight towards the ice bergs. Like many economies, Australia's needs a root and branch re-think. If only....
    Lewi
    29th Apr 2016
    6:47pm
    rs of age why doe w ehave to live in poverty no money for operations my wife is getting blind because we don't have money fo cateract operation waiting time 4 years by that time is she blind thanks mr Morrison
    Play Fairly
    29th Apr 2016
    9:49pm
    I am disappointed that Kaye's letter made no mention of the Government's removal of the Medicare funding incentive for pathology & radiology providers. Surely affordable healthcare issues are more important than negative gearing. If you are not in good health, money becomes a secondary concern.
    Lewi
    29th Apr 2016
    6:53pm
    part of my comment was missing we are 77 years of age live on pension only of 1317 per 2 weeks and find it very hard to dowe need an extra 100 per 2 weeks to make ends meet and have the luxury of a cup of coffee somewhere
    MmtuMoja
    29th Apr 2016
    9:47pm
    Corporate Tax Evasion $30 billion per year
    Finance & Insurance Fraud $6.5 billion per year
    Welfare Fraud $0.48 billion per year
    I know which problems I'd be introducing very strong legislation to prevent and if necessary punish!
    MICK
    29th Apr 2016
    10:21pm
    Thanks for that clarification. I hope that readers take careful note and ask this crooked government WHY it is after retirees rather than the corporate sector?
    I can already see the 'this is where jobs are created response. As if the corporate sector ever created a job because it was good Samaritan!
    FM
    30th Apr 2016
    1:19am
    I agree Rainey. I was horrified when I saw this submission. I will read it more carefully tomorrow and have a response for the Treasurer. While part of the written submission has advocacy value it is a smoke screen for the real agenda which is to promote the inclusion of the family home in the assets test. The points listed at the end would serve to further stress and impoverish retirees. Advocating a review to change rules for people who are retired and had only limited options to save for retirement is unconscionable. Points 7 and 8 are particularly worrying and reflect an agenda being pushed by YLC, to include the family home in the assets test forcing old people to sell or take out reverse mortgages. This was evident from the fact that immediately after this push polling survey was completed, where some people said they would be happy to have the homes of other people counted as an asset for the pension as long the threshold did not snare their own, Simon Cowan was featured to push his reverse mortgage agenda. The responses of contributors to Simon Cowan were ignored.
    There are old people in beach side suburbs particularly in Sydney getting a pension or part pension whose very ordinary homes, which were inexpensive and remote when purchased, are now worth in the vicinity of $2.5 million, many two bedroom units are worth that. They are trying retain their independence as long as possible before entering aged care. It is enormously stressful for people in their late 70s and 80s to know that someone is advocating that they lose their income. Selling a home and buying another is one of the most stressful things anyone can do yet we want to foist that on the frail aged.
    Sundays
    30th Apr 2016
    8:49am
    I agree with you. This submission does NOT represent my views in points 7 and 8. I feel this is YLC using us to push their own agenda. There is also no mention of the winding back of the proposed asset thresholds from 1/1/2017 which are an ill conceived plan which will do nothing to decrease the number of pensioners even though the govt hopes it will
    *Loloften*
    30th Apr 2016
    4:51am
    Let's all remember that the majority of age pensioners do not choose/nor want to be it's recipients & not b/c they didn't work hard & save for many decades. Life throws many of us unexpected expensive curve balls over the decades. Count your blessings if u haven't had any yet as may still have 'em - don't criticise those struggling on pensions who have. Stick to trying to get Pollies to curb their spending, greedy income increase, benefits, huge retirement payments & perks (for life) accessible even if still in 30s after serving a single term. Barack Obama has less benefits/income than does our Aus Prime Minister - how ridiculous is that? Perhaps fix it by voting in a few more Independents in both Houses.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    7:06am
    I have had more curved balls than many would have in more than one lifetime so that is not an excuse for not being able to save enough for retirement. As I am not looking for sympathy I will not disclose all the details of my misadventures in life and also because I don't like to dwell on the past but look positively towards the future.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    10:31am
    Bonny, that's the most arrogant, self-serving and ignorant, unintelligent argument imaginable.

    You have no idea what challenges others have faced, and you are certainly not qualified to make the ridiculous unsubstantiated claims you make here.

    Lots of people deflect curved balls and overcome huge challenges. That says NOTHING OF VALUE about those who, for whatever, reason, find themselves struggling financially in their twilight years.

    Vast numbers of retirees were wasteful, over-indulgent, lazy, careless, and irresponsible. Vast numbers behaved in a manner that was destined to ensure financial challenges in later life. That's a given. Just as it's a given that many who struggled against unbelievable odds achieved admirably. I did!

    But to presume that all who reach their twilight years ill-equipped financially to be self-sufficient is the height of contemptible narcissistic arrogance, and reflects a gross lack of intelligence, lack of perception, and lack of vision - as well as the lack of empathy that is classically associated with narcissists.

    And what is worst about you is that your hypocrisy. On the one hand, you claim that every retiree should have achieved self-sufficiency, and on the other you assert that we should all go on spending sprees and blow our capital and then rely on the state for age care. It is mind-boggling to see how someone who asserts superior intelligence and financial savvy can make such thoroughly idiotic and contradictory arguments!
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    11:12am
    Yes I am a realist and know that people just make excuses rather than do what it takes to achieve their goals in life.

    I know that my mindset is not one that is influenced by anyone especially the media or advertsing. I don't do anything without learning the rules on how to play the game .

    If that is also all those things then so be it.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    2:26pm
    You are NOT a realist, Bonny. You are a narcissist. You assume that because you have been able to achieve certain outcomes, anyone who couldn't - regardless of the unknown challenges they faced - is undeserving and ''making excuses''. That's a vile and disgusting attitude taken only by sick arrogant people whose only interest in life is in themselves.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:19pm
    Good post Loloften. We ALL need to focus on this government doing everything to avoid taxing the rich and the multinationals. In addition I do not believe that ANYTHING will be done about Tax Shelters where some Australians sent their money.
    Retirement 'pensions' are a drop in the bucket and have only been trotted out to distract Australians from the real game: the cheating rich who milk the system and avoid tax liabilities to fund our nation.
    If the rich do not want to pay tax then they should move to their tax shelter. Then any Australian income would be taxed at the highest marginal rate. Deal done!
    Jolly
    30th Apr 2016
    7:05am
    All very nice. But it has not defined the fundamental issue that the Superannuation industry is a farce. If you only rely on the SGL you will not have enough in retirement. We need a National Pension Scheme funded by the population and paid at retirement, and because it is your money you should be able to earn more anyway that is available to ensure a comfortable retirement. Then we would have none of this Centrelink rubbish interfering in our lives. To fast track this National Pension Scheme anybody with current Super investments can put this amount in to there Pension Scheme. I left England in 1970 after working for about 6 years and paying contribution, I now receive a small UK Pension.
    Unfortunately we don't have any politicians with any fortitude to to take money from the Super Funds and deny there mates on the boards of the retail funds and the union toadys on the boards of the industry funds there lucrative incomes. Power to the people, viva the revolution.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    7:11am
    My super would be withdrawn tomorrow if such a scheme were to be introduced into Australia. I have told my kids not to put any more than they have to into super because I think super will be nationalised before they reach retirement age. Such a scheme favours the bludgers in our society and would be much worse rhan what we have now.
    Jolly
    30th Apr 2016
    7:38am
    Bonny, we don't have anything NOW. People are not educated enough to be able to receive a decent pension from the SGL. I have an SMSF that I manage with the help of ESuperfund. But I do all the investing and research. The kids of today wont put the effort in. A bit like you lot on here, all you care about is how many rentals the Treasure has. Give me a break. I bought a Defence House with my wife and brother in law, we rented it back to Defence the rent was guaranteed 365days per year. When we sold we made a small profit that I put in other areas and the negative gearing was very welcome. So it is possible if you start young for an SMSF and control it, buying a rental property and plan what to do with the proceeds. About the pension scheme - you are deluded!! The bludgers will always have it there way and isn't it about time that the rest of us had it too.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    9:59am
    Bonny's argument is so hideously illogical, because while objecting to favouring ''bludgers'' and making society ''worse'', she aggressively supports policies that encourage ''bludging'' and irresponsibility and drive the cost of aged pensions up dramatically! And this from someone who claims intelligence and financial savvy! Weird!
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    11:05am
    I disagree I support only giving the age pension to those who really need it not the those to whom it is just nice to have. Remember the age pension is paid for by us taxpayers and there is nothing more annoying that to see pensioners day after day playing pokies and wasting our money in numerous other ways. We see it as they play while we toil. A two tiered society those on welfare and those who pay for that welfare.

    Not to mention those trips to Disneyland after a relative dies.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    5:10pm
    Bonny, you'd have to be a complete idiot to think the current pension system favours those who NEED support. It's the pokies-playing wasters who are most generously indulged under our current system. The responsible battlers are the ones being left out in the cold and denied fair reward for their hard work and frugal living. The neediest are getting miserable crumbs. Those with health issues are completely abandoned. The high earners are over-indulged obscenely. There is NOTHING in our current system that even pretends to favour the needy or to be fair.

    If you object to taxpayers funding waste, then for pity's sake wake up yourself and recognize that the ONLY way to stop that is to endorse incentives and rewards for responsible planning and saving. The policy you support is ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED to send more pensioners into the clubs and pubs and onto cruise ships, drive more pensioner investment in the real estate market (pushing younger Aussies out of the market), and increase the total pension bill by billions.

    You CANNOT cut pension costs by rewarding wasteful spending and punishing savers. It simply can't be done!
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:22pm
    Only the last part appears to be wrong jolly. What we don't have is politicians with the ba*ls to require the rich and their big business interests to pay tax. Apparently paying tax is for workers....whilst the bastards use our roads, hospitals, airports, etc. What part of that do this low life swill not understand?
    Rodent
    30th Apr 2016
    8:14am
    Bonny

    I noticed your reply to my comments, which were -Those losing the pension completely must have hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets that they could use so I really can't see how other than it's nice to have they are effected.

    Based on your flawed logic, please explain this, as from 1 Jan 2017
    A Single Home owner with Assets of $550k get no pension, and a Single Non Home Owner with Assets of $750k gets no pension, and a Couple Home Owner with Assets of $850k gets no pension BUT for the same Asset Figures an Non Home Owner Couple at
    $550k receives $29,655, and at $750k still receives $20,602 and above all at $850k is still paid $12,802 in pension.
    My view is this is outcome, as simplified above in my comments is most unfair, the changes to the thresholds only made the results worse
    Sundays
    30th Apr 2016
    8:58am
    If these figures are correct Rodent, then it is like including the family home in the asset test by default.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    9:23am
    The whole concept of depriving people who saved and invested wisely, planning their retirement in accordance with government recommendations at the time, and rewarding those who spent freely, gifted generously (usually with strings attached that benefit them later) or over-invested in the family home to dodge the means test is grossly UNFAIR and seriously flawed.

    Furthermore, the notion that asset value determines need is absurd. How can anyone concur that a 65-year-old with a further life expectancy of 30 years and suffering expensive health conditions is as ''wealthy'' as a 90-year-old in fair health but with a life expectancy of only a few more years just because their assets level is the same? How ridiculous is it to suggest that a disabled or sick 65-year-old home-owner couple with $823,000 to live on for the rest of their lives is less needy than a healthy couple who have only $300,000 in assessable assets (because they cruise the world annually!) but can continue to earn $70,000 a year?

    The entire system is seriously flawed and the flaws both disadvantage the honest and responsible, and provide a powerful disincentive for saving and responsible planning, thus ensuring the costs for the state to maintain the pension system will increase and therefore the government's capacity to fund adequate support for the genuinely needy will decrease.

    We've already seen the priorities of the LNP reflected in the fact that cruel and unfair savings created by changing the assets test were not used to increase pensions for the needy. They instead were used to give more to those with a few hundred thousand in kitty. No changes were made to means tests on incomes, and the really well-to-do SFRs gave up nothing. Only the battlers who saved and planned honestly and responsibly suffered - losing up to half their income in some instances.

    Bonny, you are full of it! Your argument is one motivated by ignorance, selfishness and contempt for the attitudes and behaviour that this nation needs to pull us out of economic malaise.
    *Loloften*
    30th Apr 2016
    8:55am
    Bonnie, it's definitely a reason why some ppl need the pension, don't look for sympathy - our "curve balls" undisclosed. We bought 2 investment properties when our kids were young, took advantage of negative gearing, pd CGT when sold (discounted as no Realtors/advertising needed) to our kids in their early 20s to get 'em into the housing mkt asap. No comment on why our PM earns more/has more perks et al for life than does Barack Obama!?
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:25pm
    And why Pm has a tax haven. Obviously he feels sorry for the islanders and wants to give a few a job.........

    30th Apr 2016
    10:16am
    I am intrigued and puzzled! I have posted my reasons for objecting to the economically damaging change to the pension assets test on this site repeatedly, and on countless other forums and discussion and social media sites. I've written to every politician, of all political persuasions, and to bureaucrats, lobby group leaders, known political agitators, etc. etc. etc.

    There must be hundreds of thousands, by now, who have read my argument on this topic.

    So far, NOT A SINGLE ONE has put forward any economic or mathematical argument to counter my logic. NOT ONE!

    Yes, the likes of Bonny have argued based on the politics of envy, shallow rhetoric about ''millionaires don't need pensions'' (funny, many who lost were nowhere near millionaire status!), and blatant lies about saving the taxpayer money (but with no attempt to substantiate such claims - because clearly they CAN NOT), and a clearly snobbish mentality that we shouldn't encourage working class battlers to strive, much less to enjoy the benefits of hard work and frugal living.

    I've been rudely insulted and accused of all manner of greed, selfishness, envy and self-interest. (Funny, because those accusations come from people who know nothing about me, and my friends would laugh hysterically and assure the accusers that they couldn't be more wrong about my character or motives.)

    NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has come up with a valid economic or national-interest argument to counter my assertion that the change to the taper rate was STUPID AND DESTRUCTIVE and will impose major cost increases in the cost of funding aged pensions and aged care.

    PLEASE, Kaye Fallick, put my argument to the Treasurer and the PM, along with my challenge to present me with just one valid, logical argument that supports their wild claims that this cruel, unfair and destructive policy change will have ANY economic benefit.

    Put it to them that if they cannot successfully substantiate claims of economic benefit, taking due account of my assertions that it will discourage saving and thus increase dependence on the State, they should REVERSE IT IMMEDIATELY. Before it does further economic harm. Before it drives even one more retiree to book a cruise, order expensive home renovations, make large monetary gifts, hide money under the mattress, or start pumping one-armed bandits in the Clubs. Before it incites even one working Australian to reduce contributions to super and restrict saving for old age. And before it incites one more retiring citizen to lie to Centrelink or engage in either blatantly dishonest or ''grey area'' schemes.

    Arguments motivated by jealousy, greed, snobbery, resentment, narcissistic desire to see others hurt or disadvantaged, etc. don't cut it. Neither do LIES. Let's address the reality. Maybe - just maybe - the LNP can evidence the superior economic management they claim. To date, their performance has convinced me only that they are liars whose motives are entirely contrary to the national interest. Either that, or they are grossly incompetent and so inept that they belong holding STOP/Go signs on the highway rather than running a country. (My sincere apologies to the more intelligent and far more ethical road workers out there! I greatly appreciate the valuable work you do to keep us all safe.)
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    10:20am
    In fairness, I should add that the Greens are equally incompetent, having put forward and supported the policy change.

    Thus far, Labor have not responded to my request to confirm intent to reverse the policy, but they HAVE declared and evidenced their strenuous opposition to it at the time it was debated, and subsequently.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    11:20am
    Rainey from your comments above one must assume that you will be affected by the changes to the assets test in 2017.

    If that is the case you must have hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets that you can use to live on instead of pension until you spend it down to the level at which you again qualify for the pension.

    This is simply not someone who the taxpayers should be paying their taxes to support.

    It may be unfortunate that your nice to have pension has been reduced or scraped but why should you use your money now instead of it given to someone else to spend afer you die? it's your money so you should be spending it.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    12:38pm
    Oh WOW, Bonny! Have you never heard the saying about ASSUMPTIONS? They make a prize ASS out of the ASSUMER!!!

    Who said ANYTHING about my personal circumstances? But of course if you can't make a logical argument, rant on with BS and personal attacks and insults. Good strategy! Shows how inept and biased you are.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but my position on an ISSUE OF NATIONAL INTEREST has NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH ME. It IS about NATIONAL INTEREST and the ECONOMY. And my argument was about costs to the country and economic impacts. Which is why it's so bitterly disappointing that people continue to blather on in favour of a destructive policy, yet cannot present even the most minimal logical argument to substantiate claims that the policy has merit. (Because, of course, it doesn't!)

    Furthermore, only a fool would suggest that who taxpayers pay taxes to support should be determined SOLELY on the basis of assets, with minimal or no regard to living costs, special needs, age (other than over age pension age), life expectancy, income, value of unassessed assets, debts, or any of the other multiple factors that determine overall financial status.

    You've responded to my posts repeatedly, and always with the same nonsense. Why should people not use their money now? Because they'll NEED it later, and they will impose a far higher cost on the government then than the total cost they would have imposed if allowed to retain their savings and plan their retirement as they did before the rug was pulled out from under them. Because you shouldn't ENCOURAGE AND REWARD irresponsible spending and PUNISH savers and planners if you want people to save and plan. Because it's idiotic to suggest you can save money by making hard working frugal living retirees worse off and more likely to be needy in future years. Because you don't improve an economy by saving pennies today in a way that and wastes pounds tomorrow!

    As to giving it to someone else after death - in my case it would be to a disabled grandson, and thus save the government a fortune in disability pensions and special care costs. In other cases, it would be to kids who won't need a pension because Mum or Dad was able to give them a leg up. Sad that the selfish begrudge some struggling young a hand up to maybe achieve their potential and avoid the financial struggle their parents endured.

    As I said, NOBODY has yet presented a single ECONOMIC or MATHEMATICAL argument that counters my claim that the policy change is ECONOMICALLY DAMAGING and will drive pension costs up.

    And certainly your illogical green-eyed waffle and wild and invalid assumptions do nothing to suggest my assessment of the policy change is incorrect. In fact, they support the assertion that the policy is wrong. If it were not, you wouldn't have to resort to wrong assumptions and personal attack to counter my argument.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    3:44pm
    Nothing illogical about saving money by having less people on the age pension today and having less qualify for it in the future. All they have done is changed the line in the sand. Those people above that line now have to provide for their own retirement so it's just a matter that more people will now be providing for their own retirement.

    There is a safety net now at which if ones assets fall they will be able to qualify for the pension again. So they will still have more than enough to meet their needs in later life.

    I for one cannot see a problem other than people who had a nice to have pension no longer have it.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    4:17pm
    Are you completely dense, Bonny?

    If you offer someone who is currently earning less than 5% on their savings 7.8% indexed to inflation to SPEND that money, they are NOT going to hang onto it. There will be MORE people on HIGHER pensions, not fewer. Very few will strive to provide for their own retirement when they are savagely attacked and cruelly deprived for doing so!

    Your argument makes no sense at all. It's baseless, illogical, and just plain STUPID.

    Yes, there's a problem, and if you can't see it, you are bat-eyed! The problem, Houston, is that the government is rewarding people for NOT saving for retirement and punishing people who do save, so people will STOP saving and the cost of pensions will skyrocket.

    You would have to be somewhat moronic, I think, not to get that very simple and obvious concept - especially when it's explained in depth.

    To reiterate, since you obviously can't comprehend simple English and can't do basic math:

    If a homeowner couple has $500,000, earning 5%, they are receiving $25,000 per annum in investment returns. Under the changed assets test, they will lose $9750 in pension entitlements for having $125,000 over the threshold. That $125,000 earns them only $6250, so by spending $125,000 on a cruise or home renovations, they increase their income by $3500 per annum, increasing twice annually (unlike their investment return, which stays static or falls)

    The situation is far worse for the couple whose assets exceed the cut-off, because they also lose thousands in pension benefits. It's also far worse for the many who can't achieve 5% return.

    To suggest that there will be fewer people on pensions and a lower pension cost as a result of this policy is to suggest that all retirees who accured more than around $375,000 in assets are idiots who can't figure out that 7.8% indexed is a lot better than the 3 or 5% reducing investment return they are currently receiving. I don't think they would have more than $375,000 in assets (in addition to owning a home) if they were that financially illiterate.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    4:52pm
    And again, I repeat, NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has come up with a logical economic or mathematical argument to counter my claims. NOT ONE!

    Lots of emotive rubbish from people like Bonny, who seem to enjoy seeing people hurt for no gain whatever or who simply rant to satisfy their ego, but NOT ONE SENSIBLE ECONOMIC OR MATHEMATICAL RESPONSE.

    Over to you, Mr Treasurer. Please justify the hurt you are inflicting needlessly and irresponsibly on those retirees who did what the government urged them to do and tried to reduce their imposition on the public purse. Please quantify the massive additional cost to the government when most of those retirees respond to the generous offer of 7.8% indexed to inflation to SPEND UP BIG, and younger Australians reduce their savings in response to evidence that savers will be harshly punished and big spenders rewarded.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:30pm
    Rainey: see you are passionate about this. I know the feeling when one is stone walled. Frustrating. Keep battling and remember the Japanese (Chinese?) story about drops of water falling on a rock. Just give it time.
    As for Bonny....yeah, a dead loss. I still reckon this character is Frank after a few beers. Not worth the time of day as you only ever get nonsense.
    Pamiea
    30th Apr 2016
    12:33pm
    Can someone please explain to me why average Joe Blows vote liberal. I just don't get it. Is it because their father did? I worked for partners of large law firms earning around $1million a year. I understand why they support the Liberal party but the average Joe Blow doesnt earn anything like that and probably closer to $60-70,000. Please explain. Thanks
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    12:43pm
    I did, for a while, because I subscribed to the myth that the LNP were better financial managers (they clearly are NOT! That IS a myth) and that Labor was for the workers and unions (which was probably true in my earlier years, and for sure I resented the fact that workers were compelled to join unions and their member dues funded the Labor Party's election campaigns.)

    Now, I struggle to know how to vote, because BOTH parties are really a disaster. The minors and independents don't have enough clout to do anything of worth, and many of them are radical ratbags or self-interested idiots anyway (as are most politicians!).

    Really, it comes down to: we don't have any valid choices in this crazy pretend-democracy.

    I'll vote Labor next election, because I believe its essential to get rid of this LNP. But if the LNP ever returns to its earlier Liberal values, I MIGHT reconsider my loyalty.
    JAID
    30th Apr 2016
    1:51pm
    It does not matter to me whether people choose to vote one way or the other. Their choice. Whether one is earning a million or 5% of that we need an agile active and resliant economy to make even the 5% likely. We should see it as important that an income suitable to provide desired opportunity (whatever a reasonable level of that may be) is a likely result of our vote whatever way we go.

    Whatever you might think the past standing of governments in economic terms, what they can do to generate activity in various climates is vital to the economic welfare of all.

    Just the same, we need not run away thinking that because captains of industry may get millions and others a few tens of thousands that the few tens is not something which should require serious application, it is still a lot of money for nothing. We use this type of thinking to set the salaries and 'entitlements' of those the government pays and the result is a large handful of the working public getting paid unrealistically high incomes for work achieved or responsibility held compared with another large handful outside that prevail. The millions a few make are a small total compared the millions of difference in this area.

    The differential between the highest and lowest seems way out of whack to me but regardless of the major party supported the notion that we need wildly free-wheeling incomes (outside the public service) to encourage enterprise is a value held sacrosanct.

    I suspect that a community brought up with less of Happy Jack's envy and greed but also with a far smaller differential could be just as enterprising and at least as happy.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:35pm
    Pamiea: now there is a good good question. It defies logic that voters are too blind to see that Liberal = rich folk and vested interests. But yet average people listen to the TV propaganda and vote for the bastards even after they have been done over. If it were not so then irrespective of how big a dill Bill was they would use a conscience vote and send the current government to Davey Jones' Locker. But I suggest it will be close. God help the mentally challenged if they put this crowd back in as this is when the real pain will begin.
    Morrison might be offering a few crumbs in tax cuts A DAY BEFORE THE ELECTION but mark my words he will decapitate average Australians after the election. We only need to remember what happened when Abbott got in: all bets off!
    Pamiea
    30th Apr 2016
    12:33pm
    Can someone please explain to me why average Joe Blows vote liberal. I just don't get it. Is it because their father did? I worked for partners of large law firms earning around $1million a year. I understand why they support the Liberal party but the average Joe Blow doesnt earn anything like that and probably closer to $60-70,000. Please explain. Thanks
    Alex
    30th Apr 2016
    1:19pm
    Yes Rainey It is good that many of us who contribute here are doing so not because we are personally affected by the changes to pension rules but because it is unfair and unconscionable to single out vulnerable aged Australians for severe cuts to their meagre incomes and to place all the burden of 'Budget repair' on the people who can least afford it and have no possibility of replacing lost income at a time when there is no return on savings/investments. The changes to the taper rate that you mention are particularly unfair. It takes the rate back to where it was 10 years ago. However the value of money has almost halved since then due to inflation. To keep pace with inflation the rate should be half what it was 10 years ago, which is what it was before it was changed.
    The people I know who are affected by the changes are extremely stressed and try to cope by not thinking about what is happening. They have lost hope and self esteem. Sadly it does not seem that those running this website are concerned with anything other than having the family home included in the assets test.
    Rae
    30th Apr 2016
    5:57pm
    When the Americans were stressed by the GFC they did not pretend it wasn't happening. They snapped all their wallets and purses firm;y shut and scared the hell out of the government, business leaders, media and everyone who hadn't expected it.

    Empty malls, restaurants, hotels, casinos. Scared them into action.

    Worked a treat and was the only thing that did. Before that millions losing their homes did not cause much concern but shut down the economy and attention was soon focused on the problem.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    2:28pm
    I think the problem we have, Rae, is that the government has successfully pursued the ''divide and conquer'' strategy. They set young against old, telling the young ''rich millionaire pensioners'' were costing the taxpayer too much. They set pensioners against part pensioners, claim they'd have to reduce pensions if ''millionaires'' kept drawing part pensions. And of course they didn't have to set the privileged Bonny's and Franks against the battlers who had struggled to save a few dollars. The envious and self-serving were ALWAYS against anyone getting tax dollars, and only tolerate pensions for the ''needy'' to try to appear not too inhuman.
    Rae
    2nd May 2016
    10:56am
    Yes Rainey but I suspect it won't help them one bit when the system collapses under the weight of the bond bubble and the nonsense of consolidating wealth in a few hands creating a cash flow drought everywhere else.

    Further removing discretionary spending funds from those most likely to spend, creating the need for property sales and destroying any faith in the Superannuation system further increases my belief that those making decisions have no idea of consequences nor human behaviour throughout history.

    Or it is far worse than I expect and the very big crash is eminent.

    ANd you are entirely right in calling it a deliberate tactic to create envy and anger and fear through propaganda. Despicable.
    Misty
    2nd May 2016
    11:14am
    Well as usual looks like only the big end of town will be looked after in tomorrow's budget, $80,000 per annum + to get tax cuts, supposedly the average wage, 2 of my sons earn well below that amount as do most of the workers in my country town and of course companies are getting a tax cut too. This is supposed to encourage growth and jobs but I can't see that happening any time soon, families and pensioners below the $80,000 will probably curtail their spending and if this is the case I can't see business employing more people, probably putting people off if anything. Most business will be looking after their shareholders before anything else except maybe it will advantage small business.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2016
    9:08pm
    Just more evidence that this stinking government governs exclusively for the well off, and to hell with the rest of the country. Heaven help us if they aren't voted OUT.
    Alex
    30th Apr 2016
    1:30pm
    Bonny perhaps you would like to tell us how someone living below the poverty line all her life became so wealthy as to be now in the top asset/income bracket in retirement. Perhaps you could tell people about the curve balls you overcame. It could provide a salutary lesson for others.
    Misty
    30th Apr 2016
    2:09pm
    That's something we would all like to know Alex, perhaps Bonny will enlighten us and maybe we can all pick up a few tips from her.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    3:56pm
    What I'd like Bonny to explain is why she is so malicious as to want part pensioners with more than a few hundred thousand in assets to suffer very unfairly for ZERO real benefit to anyone, but with the strong likelihood that the policies that cause their suffering will also cause the nation to suffer higher debt and higher welfare costs?

    And why does she keep ranting about people with a few hundred thousand not needing a pension, yet endorse giving those with less than about $300,000 an pension increase that doesn't flow to anyone with minimal or no assets?
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    5:00pm
    That has already been explained Rainey.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    5:17pm
    No, it absolutely has not, Bonny. All I've seen is malicious BS that makes no sense whatever, has no basis in fact, and is totally unsubstantiated - but suggests narcissism, selfishness, arrogance, and a malicious delight in seeing other needlessly hurt, for no gain to anyone.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    5:19pm
    Believe me you don't want to know about those curved balls. I sure don't want to write about them and bring back those awful memories. At times it seemed that I had just got over one and then had another one come along.

    I guess I learnt as a young adult that disasters are only disasters if you don't have the finances to deal with them. So that started me saving for a rainy day. Now once you save for a rainy day for some reason that rainy day stays a sunshine day so my rainy day fund just increased. I then started to find other ways other than paying heaps of tax and provisional tax. It then started to dawn upon me that I was only getting paid so my boss could make money so when I was earning enough on from my rainy day money I left and started working for myself. Now a few decades later I find myself a self funded retiree still living below the poverty line.
    Misty
    30th Apr 2016
    5:52pm
    Well Bonny if after all that you are still living below the poverty line all I can say is you didn't gain much by doing what you did so all I can say is I haven't learned anything positive from Bonny's life journey so far.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    6:55pm
    Old habits are hard to break Misty. I live the way I do by choice which has nothing to do with my wealth or income.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:46pm
    Alex: the answer to your question is most likely BS. Bonny is a distraction so don't expect anything you read to make sense.
    JAID
    30th Apr 2016
    1:34pm
    I agree with Tiger, political decisions require national spirit, what any individual does within the law is not pertinent to future decision making only the generalised trends, effect and proposed outcome.

    We certainly should do or say what is required to maintain honesty and we should attempt to vote in representatives who support policies we think best for the nation. The time for our decision regarding personal metal is at the ballot box.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:50pm
    The ballot box is indeed the tool to get rid of those who would abuse and use us. Sadly the media is a player, not just an observer.
    With the media being in the hands of the rich and their big business interests you can see why voters are fed the poison they take in, believe and then act on. Sickening, but that is the way the system works.
    Your post has merit but the system is tainted and controlled.
    KB
    30th Apr 2016
    1:34pm
    I propose one house per person as investment so other people can invest as well as for our children who want to purchase a house for tjeir futures.
    Not Senile Yet!
    30th Apr 2016
    1:47pm
    THE PEOPLE WHO VOTE Labor or Liberal believe in what the Party Declares are their intentions...ie election promises....not understanding that they have NO legal obligation once elected to adhere to those promises!!!!
    Examples are too many but Mr. Abbott stands out as he deliberately chose to use the WE ARE BROKE line and then attacked or cut everything in site......whilst also removing funding to the States.....then started declaring spending on the Credit Card for Planes, Armoured Vehicles, Rockets and then Submarines worth Billions and Billions!!!!
    Donkey Cards are issued by both Parties at elections.....and sadly the donkey use them....copy them.....because they are too lazy to find alternatives!!!
    If you are a Believer....Politics or Religion.....no amount of logic will change your view!!!
    So the Believer Donkeys vote for Their Party!
    What they fail to see is that they are electing Party Puppets who are Unable to Debate with the Party in Parliament.....they have to agree/vote yes with their Party even if they disagree......because they have sold their vote to the Party to get in!!!
    Winning an election is more about focusing on getting people to use the DONKEY CARDS!!!
    Swing voters never use them!
    They make up their minds based on who can stand up to the Parties in the Senate to stop them getting complete domination....thus forcing compromises.....in legislation!
    Both Parties want to Control the Senate and make it a Rubber Stamp instead of a house of review!
    John Howard achieved it and immediately introduced Work Choices......because no one could stop him!!!
    Saving 12 to 25 Million on Cuts to Aged Pensioners whilst ignoring Corporate Tax Dodgers to the Value of BILLIONS is not a good look for either Party......stinks of corruption!
    Labelling those that built the Nation's infrastructure....every road, electricity pole/wire, telecommunications infrastructure, dams, gas pipes, trains, buses, airplanes etc both Public and Private .....and the list is endless but includes the New Parliament House in Canberra......as Welfare Recipients or Leaners......just because they are now retired and on an Aged Pension (that was promised to their generation as a return for higher taxes) is an Absolute Disgrace to BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES!!!!
    The Name Calling and Labelling to make People inhuman and unimportant is outrageous given that this is 2016 and we have Anti-Discrimination Laws that apply to you and Me but NOT to the Governments.....they gave themselves exemptions!!!!!
    To deliberately label a human refugee as a Que Jumper or Boat Person is a deliberate Name Calling exercise to make them NOT Human!!!
    Sadly a lot of people fall for this Propaganda....fall for the fact that they are charged with an Offence under our laws but not allowed to use our Laws to defend themselves!!!
    T hide the fact that more three time the amount of people que jump by flying in on legal documents and then simply disappear is an act of dishonesty!!!!
    To spend million of tax payers money building Prisons....that is what a Detention camp is!!!......in off-shore places to hide them from the public.....and then ban reporters....make doctor sign non-disclosure papers......and the nurses is like the Nazi's did with the Jews.....hide it...hide it....hide it...then deny people access or knowledge!!!!
    Blatant Bastardisation of Australia's ability to question anything that is being done is wrong...truly wrong!!!
    Yet Both Political Parties adhered to this Policy!!!!!
    Why would you vote for them??????
    Because as a citizen you simply do not care or you do not want to know!!!!
    Well... that is exactly how you loose a democracy........you simply don't give a Sh....t!!!!
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:53pm
    What you missed Not senile yet is that the bastards in power at present came after average Australians with a vengeance I have never seen before. The rich were spared and promised tax cuts. And yet some voters still hold to the big business puppets. Unbelievable.
    Rodent
    30th Apr 2016
    2:29pm
    Dear Sundays

    The figures are correct. I just tried to use this as an example. There is certainly a BIAS towards the NON Home Owning Couple. Following is my letter to Christian Porter - note the last two paras in particular.

    Dear Minister

    I am writing to you after noting your recent comments about Fairness and Equality as reported in the Canberra Times -6 Jan 2016 when talking about Public service Pension –defined benefit changes –you are quoted thus

    "What we are trying to do is have a system that treats people consistently and equally."

    I realise you were not the minister when the Pension changes were passed in Parliament last year, but you are now . Like some many other Pensioners I am concerned about the Fairness and Equity of these proposed changes. I also note that our PM is very much on about Fairness and Equity- I doubt these changes would pass his test?

    I would like you to please examine the Excel Spreadsheet attached. It attempts to paint a picture (with Data) that shows the impacts of these changes in $25,000 increments across all Customer Types, Ie Home Owners, Non Homeowners, both Singles and as Couples.

    I draw your attention to the Pension amounts paid currently, and as they may be in Jan 2017 across all Asset Values, and across all Pensioner Types

    Of particular concern is the Pension amounts to be paid in Jan 2017 for Non Home Owners COMPARED to Home Owners, both Single and Couples for the SAME asset values. Its very clear that Non Homeowners are very heavily advantaged by these changes , as an example please look at the $550,000 Asset Value line where a Single Home Owner AFTER these changes receives NIL Pension, and a Single Non Home Owner receives a very small increase pa, and a Couple Home Owner has a Pension LOSS of $3400 , while the Couple None Home Owner receives the SAME pension amount.

    And at $850,000 - Asset figure the Non Homeowner Couple , after Jan 2017 will receive approx. $12,500 pa in Pension, and all other Pensioner Types with this Same Asset Figure will receive NIL PENSION!! there is no way that’s fair or equitable, (no matter the number of Pensioners involved).

    The further up the Asset Scales you go the more the anomalies are apparent and the more distortions exist

    The Liberal Govt justified this by saying this – in the Fairer access to a more sustainable pension doc - complete with spelling error the following

    “Pensioners who do not own their own home will also benefit by an increase in their threshold to $200,000 more than homeowner pensioners. This increases the gap between homeowners and non-homeowners thresholds by more than a third, recognizing there higher living costs”.

    Given that almost all the Non Homeowners are entitled to the CRA payment of approx. $128 pfn, this additional Increase in the threshold is excessive in the extreme. There are some additional savings that could be made by further reviewing these changes, specifically the Threshold for Non Home Owner Couples, where the Threshold was increased by $142,000 which is much more in % terms than any other Category

    A considered reply would be very much appreciated please.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    4:40pm
    I wonder just how much higher the non-homeowner's living costs are? I know folk who are renting for as little as $200 per week for a three-bedroom home on acreage. Sure, that's not the typical pensioner, but there's no differentiation based on location or house type. So the homeowner with a $200,000 home suffers the same loss as a homeowner with a $3 million home.

    Consider, for a moment, the cost of home ownership. Around $4000 pa for rates, $1000 for insurance, and potentially $5000 or more per annum (averaged over many years) for maintenance. There's $10,000 - or the $200 per week that some renters pay. Add the pension loss and loss of CRA payment, and you can afford quite substantial rent costs and still be way better off in income terms than the homeowner.

    Compare a homeowner couple with a modest $300,000 home and $500,000 in assessable assets with their renting counterparts who have $800,000 in assets. Both have the same wealth. The homeowner couple incurs maybe $10,000 pa. in ownership costs, plus loses $9436 in pension benefits. The renter gets an additional $128 p fn CRA. So the renter has $22746 extra to cover rent costs, or $437.76 per week. Nice deal for those who can obtain a cheap rental at $200 or $250 per week!

    There's no fairness in our pension system at all. It's a disgraceful mess that is so difficult to administer that Centrelink is floundering and can't keep up with the workload. It's causing hideous hardship for some and undeserved windfalls for others, and every change makes it worse. It needs discarding completely and rebuilding from the ground up by someone with some common sense!
    Sundays
    30th Apr 2016
    7:34pm
    Thank you Rodent. Your letter to the Minister is very comprehensive. I will very interested in the response. Sadly, I don't think they are smart eneough to get it. By the way, the changes to defined benefit pensions did not treat people consistently and equally. For a start those receiving military defined benefit pensions are exempt, but not police officers, and nurses. The changes were deliberately targeted at public servants who seem to be easy targets with no understanding of the years spent in contributing their own after tax income into the schemes.
    Rodent
    30th Apr 2016
    2:45pm
    Dear Not Senile Yet!

    re this tiny comment, in a large post today
    Saving 12 to 25 Million on Cuts to Aged Pensioners whilst ignoring Corporate Tax Dodgers to the Value of BILLIONS is not a good look for either Party......stinks of corruption!

    The Government claims that they will save $2.4 Billion over the 4 year Period ending 2018/19- With the changes not coming in until Jan 2017 the bulk of these savings going forward are in the last two years only. My calculations, based on their numbers and Pension as Sept 2015 (last time I did it)was that the real savings are ACTUALLY $2.38 Billion Each Financial Year starting July 1 2017 . It will be INTERESTING to see what actual Numbers are the Budget next week, including forward estimates etc
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    3:59pm
    But how much of that $2.38 billion will evaporate because part pensioners will upgrade or renovate homes, take costly cruises or otherwise indulge themselves to reduce their assets, separate from partners, etc?

    And how much will pension costs rise by as the consequences of discouraging younger Australians to save kick in?
    Rae
    30th Apr 2016
    6:06pm
    Well that is a couple of billion not being spent in the local economy. It is also the lost dividend from the sale of Telstra. Every single year.

    So aged pensioners pay because of a dumb sale of a public asset.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    7:20pm
    No, Rae. Aged pensioners pay because idiots in power can't do math, and stupid voters can't see past their twisted noses to recognize that taking $2.4 billion from pensioners CANNOT save the nation money.

    First, there is the disincentive to saving and responsible planning. There's the huge reward for spending up big, gifting, or hiding money under the mattress. Vast numbers of affected pensioners and future retirees will simply restructure their affairs to claim bigger pensions than they otherwise would have. Aged care costs will soar as more pensioners reach advanced ages penniless. Investment in super will reduce as younger Aussies recognize that saving for old age doesn't pay off.

    Then, as you correctly point out, there's the reduced spending in the local economy, which means reduced business profits, reduced job opportunities, higher unemployment, more reduced spending, reduced GST revenue, reduced income tax revenue... and on and on the cycle goes! The more you take out of the economy, the more the natural multiplier effect impacts negatively on the economy.
    Rodent
    30th Apr 2016
    3:28pm
    Dear Bonny don't want to come between you and Rainey and your interesting interchange BUT I need to contribute this.
    Firstly apologies - in advance if you have answered this point before. As a Non Age Pensioner did you say that you had read the 77 page Simon Cowan Doc -The Age Old Problem of Old Age Fixing the Pension.
    Its clear that you believe that the Home should be included in the Assets Test, so do many others. I don't totally agree. Simon Cowans numbers in the doc for the Scenarios 1 to 6 rely heavily on the use of some form of Reverse Mortgage. Its my belief that most mature Couples or Single Home owners, having in most cases paid of their Mortgages would not want to enter into another mortgage late in life, despite the fact that they might numerically receive additional Income. The Doc basically means the Pension assets Test, as it currently applies would be non -existent, and that a new form of Deemed Income test would apply to all Pensioner Types.
    He has the resources to model his assumptions and produce and outcome that meets his expectations, or what he wants to achieve. I honestly cant see that its balanced enough, and certainly does not consider the Increased Debt verses Increased Income.
    Just as a point for ALL TO CONSIDER -Even if people were to include the Home, above $2.5Mil in the so called Assets test, why would that ever be relevant? Using the CURRENT Assets Test Tables it would be irrelevant - UNLESS the assumption is that because a person has a home worth that amount they have a deemed Income that would exclude them from the Pension. Home Values and Incomes are not always directly related. As we know many People/Pensioners are so called" Asset Rich, but Income poor.
    Don't get me wrong their are many opportunities for change, just watch what happens after the Election, when Scott Morrison , who I call the "Smiling Assassin" actually gets the go signal!!
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    4:57pm
    Unfortunately the home exemption is a way some people are now arranging their assets in order to qualify for the age pension.

    Do you think it is fair that a couple trades in their modest home for one worth many millions to qualify for the pension? How do they maintain such a home? Tell the kids that they are preserving wealth for them by buying this home so the kids then pay the maintenance and any other expenses. Meanwhile they get the full pension which becomes their spending money as the kids pay for everything else. Want a new car then get the kids to pay after all they have a big inheritance coming.

    Then you have the couple who just keeps their modest home and their assets are assessed so they get no pension.

    This all sounds a little unfair to me.

    So like a lot of things the few doing this is multiplying and this strategy is a loop hole that needs to be closed.

    So how do you close it? One way is to include the home in the assets test.

    This is also not helping our housing crisis where we have people living in houses that are way too big for their needs whereas the sensible thing to do is downsize to something that is more easily managed. The exemption of the home has in fact changed the behaviour of people to irrational instead of rational. In some circles being a non-pensioner is an outsider as there are only so many times you can leave your pension card at home before people become suspicious.

    Reverse mortgages can be very different to ordinary mortgages or lines of credit as the provider knows that they may not get their money back for some time and the amount will grow. If you know the rules and are happy to accept them the they may be the answer.

    How the home would be included in the assets test and how it would be assessed is unknown. Would just the value above a certain level be added to a person's assets and then deemed? Would you just have one asset test for all pensioners? Lots of question no answers.

    As with a lot of other things some smart people just spoil it all for everyone by exploiting loop holes.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    5:12pm
    And some very dumb people spoil it for everyone by supporting stupid policies that encourage and reward irresponsible behaviour and punish people who do what's good for the nation. Astonishing!
    Misty
    30th Apr 2016
    6:00pm
    Bonny if a couple trade their modest home for one worth many millions they obviously have plenty of money and don't need any government help, though why on earth anyone would want to do what you suggest beggars belief.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    6:49pm
    I really don't understand it either Misty but I know of people doing just that. Personally I'd rather the freedom of having the cash and not just relying on the income from the pension.

    Sometimes I think that because all their mates are pensioners they will do what it takes to join the welfare club. To me it's being irrational.

    I visited one of these people a couple of weeks ago and they had a new BMW in the garage. So I said I liked their new car and then they told me that their kids had bought it for them. That left me wondering what value they put on that car for Centrelink or did one of the kids own it instead.

    Living in an area of professionals and retirees one gets to know quite a few of these people and it doesn't take much to work out why they have retired to such an area.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    8:59pm
    Bonny: at long long last something posted by you that is worth discussing. Whilst your scenario is plausible and whilst there may be some people using this strategy I am not sure we are talking about more than a handful. First: the pension is not exactly a lot of money. Second: unless the kids are high flyers themselves how are they supposed to pay mum and dad's way? Third: the trust between family members today is low. Throw in partners and you have a toxic mix. Do you really think kids would bankroll mum and dad today when they cannot afford their own house?
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    9:14pm
    Some of their kids are the professionals living in this same area.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    7:19am
    Mick, I live in an area inhabited by moderately comfortable retirees, most of them at least substantially self-funded. ONE family out of 200 I know personally, is doing as Bonny says. They are European immigrants who owned expensive property in Europe. They gave the property and hundreds of thousands to their kids in return for an undocumented agreement that the kids pay all their bills in retirement. Then they plunged $1.5 million into a house and claimed a full pension. Not yet content, they are now ''separating'' (to opposite ends of the same house) to try to claim two single pensions which ''we recently realized would give us more income''. Disgusting!

    It's noteworthy that their daughters won't marry. They have male ''partners'' - very wealthy partners. Both the girls and their partners are very high income earners. But everything the girls got from their parents is isolated in their names only. A percentage of joint earnings go to jointly held assets, and a percentage of each partner's income is isolated in his/her own name. There's no trust in this family (except between mother and daughters), but there's plenty of insurance!

    But this is an isolated case, and I agree with you that given the risks involved and the challenges many younger Aussies face, it's unlikely the strategy would be widely used.

    We will NEVER stop all the rorts. There is no perfect world. Just as we have to choose between leaving the genuinely eager unemployed to starve or paying peanuts to a few bludgers, and abandoning any support for the disabled or supporting the odd faker, we have to choose between allowing retirees a dignified old age or leaving some struggling aged to die a premature and painful death from cold or starvation.

    Personally, I'd far prefer to support a small percentage of cheats than to abandon fairness and decency.

    Sadly, Neoliberal thinking prevails in our society today, and it declares everyone deserving of their status in life. If you were born disadvantaged, you somehow deserved a life of misery. If you were born rich, you deserve to growing wealth and power. It's a sick mentality, and it's destroying the world. Australia was a great country, and the LNP was quite good at running it, until Neoliberalism took over.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    9:51am
    Rorts can be sorted if there is the will and if government use the courts to go after crooks. One of the problems we have with the courts in Australia is that rich folk generally have a different sort of 'justice' to poor ones. I understood that years ago when John Singleton got off a speeding charge from driving like 80 Km/h over the limit on the M5. No fine, no demerits, no record. The lawyer: Chris Murphy. Since then I have seen this sort of thing play out again and again. The point being that the courts have to give FAIR rulings when crooks are brought in front of them. Not decisions based on either class or who the lawyer is.
    As I have said many time on this website the current government is only interested in filling the bank accounts of the rich and increasing taxes for other Australians to fund it. Why do voters even give the bastards a hint of support? Beyond any sort of logic.
    LiveItUp
    2nd May 2016
    12:05pm
    So Rainey since I was born disadvantaged and into a poor family I deserve a life of misery. I think I might just have broken the mould on that neoliberal thinking.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2016
    9:00pm
    You weren't born disadvantaged, Bonny. You don't know what disadvantaged means. Poor isn't disadvantaged. It's far deeper than that. If you'd ever been disadvantaged, you wouldn't have your vile and disgusting selfish, egotistical, self-serving attitude. You would know what hardship means and have some empathy and respect for the disadvantaged. You would have some basic decency, instead of being a nasty, judgmental bitch who blames and wishes hurt on everyone who hasn't been as fortunate as you.
    You are the classic neoliberal. Your thinking is EXACTLY in line with their stinking philosophy.
    Tomaso
    30th Apr 2016
    4:31pm
    Hang on a minute, are we all forgetting Bronwyn, retired $200,000 a year pension, and free travel /perks etc, rest my case.......
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    4:58pm
    Where are they Tomaso?
    Chris B T
    30th Apr 2016
    5:10pm
    Open Question.
    Whats the Differance Between Tax Avoidance and Tax Minimisation they achieve the same outcome.
    Just the Same with negative gearing.
    Earnings and expenditure from that earnings should be group together. This is not a business, but a very Divisve Tax Minimisation which favours the ones with a higher disposable income.
    Not this Expenditure Grouped with Unrelated Earnings.
    Change this and see how many remain with this System.

    30th Apr 2016
    5:45pm
    Another way to look at the UTTER STUPIDITY of the taper rate change:

    If you and your partner aged 65 were both in good health at retirement, had $825,000 in savings (doesn’t have to be super) and owned your home, and you were offered by the government the opportunity to buy a tax-free lifetime guaranteed inflation-indexed pension of $34,923 pa for $450,000 (= $825,000 – $375,000), would you take it?

    Note: This pension yields an internal rate of return of 10%pa tax free using my earlier assumptions of Australian mortality, inflation and reversion to surviving partner.

    This clearly presents a massive arbitrage opportunity for retirees against the government. As I said, I suspect we will find more full pensioners in short time than the government expected as retirees desert the no-mans land. Why wouldn’t you
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    5:49pm
    The above was sourced from http://www.superguide.com.au/how-super-works/age-pension-assets-test-changes-comments-from-readers, and there are several other comments and examples there that further evidence the major flaws in Morrison's dumb policy.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    5:59pm
    That's why the house needs to be added to the assets test.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    6:05pm
    This has already been happening with retirees just above the current line in the sand. Nothing has really changed other than it will be a lot harder for retirees just above the present line in the sand to qualify for a pension. All that has happened that the line in the sand has been redrawn and different people will be doing the same things.

    That said there are more of them near the new line in the sand so it will become even more obvious that the house needs to be added to the assets test.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    6:13pm
    And yet another example (for the Bonny's who really don't get it!):

    Assume a 65-year-old homeowner couple has $823,000 in assessable assets, earning 5% per annum, and they expect to live another 30 years. We'll assume an inflation rate of 2.5% for the purpose of the exercise.

    If they retain their savings and accept the resulting pension loss, and assuming no change to the taper rate over 30 years, they earn a net total of $842,813 on the extra $450,000 they would need to spend to qualify for a full pension.

    If, however, they spend $450,000 on home improvements or luxury cruising, and qualify for a full pension, they receive $1,533,214 over that 30 years. In other words, they gain $690,400 by spending $450,000 (or hiding it under the mattress). If they choose to spend the whole lot on cruising, the taxpayer will not only pay for their cruise in full, but reward them with a $240,000 bonus!

    And those numbers don't count the huge pension benefits that they will enjoy if they dispose of $450,000, which add many, many thousands more to their bonus.

    Bonny, I'd really like to think you could put up a sensible argument to disprove these figures, because I hate to think our Treasurer is so daft and inept that he can't grasp the fact that his dumb policy change will cost taxpayers heaps. But STILL nobody has managed to refute my argument with anything other than emotive clap-trap and unsubstantiated (and incorrect) rhetoric. It's sad, really!
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    6:17pm
    Adding the house to the assets test might represent a small improvement in the current situation, Bonny, but it does NOTHING to address the UTTER STUPIDITY of offering 7.8% return to spenders who can't earn that much for saving.

    Yes, a lot has changed from the previous situation. The previous taper rate represented a 3.9% return. Most retirees with savings above $375,000 CAN attain 3.9%. They CAN'T attain 7.8%.

    You know, Bonny, when I first began reading your posts, I thought you might be rather financially savvy and intelligent. Obviously I was wrong!
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    6:24pm
    Please, please, please, Kaye Fallick, send these examples to the Treasurer and ask him has the Treasury really thought these changes through, or were they just a knee-jerk response to a ''thought bubble'' or a stupid and ill-considered assertion that ''millionaires shouldn't get pensions''?

    We desperately need a government that can manage an economy sensibly. Bashing retirees who saved in a way that encourages and rewards irresponsible behaviour and dishonesty and provides huge disincentives to saving is NOT sensible economic management.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    6:41pm
    Same thing is already happening Rainey just change your figures to the existing asset rules.
    Anonymous
    30th Apr 2016
    7:43pm
    No, it isn't,Bonny. Because 7.8% happens to be DOUBLE 3.9%. Or did you fail math dismally?

    As I said earlier, most retirees CAN achieve 3.9%, so there's no gain from reducing assets below the threshold. They CANNOT achieve 7.8%, so they are forced to find innovative ways to reduce their assets and claim more pension benefits.

    Sure, there are cheats out there now, but there are minimal incentives to cheat. By doubling the return rate for spending up big, the government is ensuring that people cannot afford to save.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    8:23pm
    Theory is one thing so let's see how it all works out in reality. I'll see some of my financial advisors mates next week and put the question to them.

    It is not going to make any difference to my saving or spending habits. Not too sure why people cannot achieve 7.8% because I just checked my stats for this financial year and even though it has been a bad year I'm already above 7.8%.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    9:25pm
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    7:55am
    Bonny, again you use the narcissist's argument of pointing to YOU. No consideration for the circumstances of AVERAGE Australians. No. Everything in Bonny's world is about Bonny. Nobody else matters, so why bother with silly little FACTS? Just counter FACTUAL argument with crap about your personal circumstances and what benefits YOU. What a sad individual you are!
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    9:36am
    BTW. Bonny. According to Treasury, the expected average rate of investment return is currently 5%.

    30th Apr 2016
    8:38pm
    as usual we see again these questions by life choices being hijacked by the normal left wingers, happy jack, did not tell us how many properties he and his family owns, rainey, refuses to show his interests in the market or show how many donations he used to minimize his taxes, of course mick has to put his beak in, in his own words, how bad it is to be living on the pension, yet he travels all over the world, that is if you believe him, if life choices put up a travel article he be the first to find something wrong with it, see the offer to visit tasmania, as for hs, refuses to show his or her's vested interests and benefits, as for misty, always the same excuses, no fault of their own, my question whose fault is it!
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    9:33pm
    Hey Frank the Liberal Party crank. How's it going? No friends here? Maybe start throwing out your normal anti Labor spew. Might get a few bites.
    Thanks for the kudo. Love it. Sorry you are so jealous. Must be tearing you apart.
    Yeah, I get to do a bit of travelling. About time after only having been on a plane once until I was early 50s. Having worked harder than you ever did in your miserable life and having gone without for such a long time whilst people around us lived it up I might possibly be entitled to a few trips. Sorry it causes you such discomfort Frank. You must be a tormented person.
    Do yourself a favour: get out of politics and get a life. You might just turn into a human being again.
    Misty
    30th Apr 2016
    11:35pm
    Sorry heemskerk99 it must be terrible to go through life with no compassion or thought for others less fortunate then themselves, what do you know about other people's lives and what their circumstances are?, please refrain from sweeping statements like that one above Mr Rightwing you know nothing about how other people live.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    7:50am
    Sorry, germskerk, I missed seeing your question. Happy to answer.

    I have NEVER claimed a donation to minimize taxes, although I have made some generous donations in recent years to organizations that support the seriously ill and needy children. Those donations were made when I was living on personal savings with no income, and therefore no tax obligation and no deduction.

    I have NEVER claimed a superannuation tax concession (never had enough super or income to qualify) or capital gains tax benefit. Have never owned a negatively geared property (couldn't afford to). I have claimed the odd legitimate business expense as a tax deduction, but having been forced to live off savings for the past decade, I never benefited from the cash handouts most Aussies got from the Labor government. Nor did I ever get a first home owner grant, child care assistance or any sort, parental leave of any kind, or any of the other hand-outs or hand-ups many Aussie's benefited from. Nothing! In fact, I was cheated out of thousands by the ATO making an error that took years to have rectified (with no compensation), and I was cheated out of medical benefits for a special needs child by a government bureaucrat's stuff-up, resulting in having to pay the equivalent of the cost of 3 modest houses for medical treatment out of my own pocket. I was also cheated out of an inheritance from my late father by government bungling, and my partner grew up in an institution due to parents being cheated out of veteran benefits. So I owe the taxpayer NOTHING. In fact, if there were any justice in the world, my partner and I would be paid millions in compensation for the appalling hand we were dealt by a stinking corrupt government and inept bureaucrats.

    And we are not, now, able to claim an aged pension either, because we committed the terrible sin (apparently!) of living very frugally and saving for old age, knowing that due to early deprivation we would suffer health issues in later life and would need funds to pay for proper treatment, care, and home help. But this stinking government has cheated us out of our right to use our own savings to fund the comforts we will need in later life. And according to people like Bonny, that's perfectly okay. We have no right to benefit from being frugal in past years. We should hand all the benefit of our sacrifice to the pokie-paying, partying, world-tripping pensioners who enjoyed all the luxuries we missed out in working life, but didn't bother to put much aside for later.

    Well, guess what Bonny and germskerk99? We are taking a very costly cruise. We will spend our savings abroad. And we'll come back to claim a full pension and benefits that we NEVER would have considered asking for if we hadn't been shafted by this stinking government and insulted and falsely accused by people like you - people who no sense of fairness, who trade on wrong assumptions, and who can't do basic math.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    9:56am
    Rainey: the two posters you mention are not real posters. Gust trolls sent to to cause havoc and disseminate the government's propaganda.

    Be careful not to blow the lot on cruises. Coalition governments may well change the rules again to force average citizens to sell their homes. That is the sort of bastards the rich have put into power and you can bet your bottom dollar that is where policy is coming from. As I repeatedly say follow the money trail. The place is leads to is the place running the show.
    thommo
    30th Apr 2016
    8:43pm
    TO RAINEY regarding your comments which I quote below..
    "I am intrigued and puzzled! I have posted my reasons for objecting to the economically damaging change to the pension assets test on this site repeatedly, and on countless other forums and discussion and social media sites. I've written to every politician, of all political persuasions, and to bureaucrats, lobby group leaders, known political agitators, etc. etc. etc.

    There must be hundreds of thousands, by now, who have read my argument on this topic.

    So far, NOT A SINGLE ONE has put forward any economic or mathematical argument to counter my logic. NOT ONE!

    Yes, the likes of Bonny have argued based on the politics of envy, shallow rhetoric about ''millionaires don't need pensions'' (funny, many who lost were nowhere near millionaire status!), and blatant lies about saving the taxpayer money (but with no attempt to substantiate such claims - because clearly they CAN NOT), and a clearly snobbish mentality that we shouldn't encourage working class battlers to strive, much less to enjoy the benefits of hard work and frugal living.

    I've been rudely insulted and accused of all manner of greed, selfishness, envy and self-interest. (Funny, because those accusations come from people who know nothing about me, and my friends would laugh hysterically and assure the accusers that they couldn't be more wrong about my character or motives.)

    NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has come up with a valid economic or national-interest argument to counter my assertion that the change to the taper rate was STUPID AND DESTRUCTIVE and will impose major cost increases in the cost of funding aged pensions and aged care.

    PLEASE, Kaye Fallick, put my argument to the Treasurer and the PM, along with my challenge to present me with just one valid, logical argument that supports their wild claims that this cruel, unfair and destructive policy change will have ANY economic benefit.

    Put it to them that if they cannot successfully substantiate claims of economic benefit, taking due account of my assertions that it will discourage saving and thus increase dependence on the State, they should REVERSE IT IMMEDIATELY. Before it does further economic harm. Before it drives even one more retiree to book a cruise, order expensive home renovations, make large monetary gifts, hide money under the mattress, or start pumping one-armed bandits in the Clubs. Before it incites even one working Australian to reduce contributions to super and restrict saving for old age. And before it incites one more retiring citizen to lie to Centrelink or engage in either blatantly dishonest or ''grey area'' schemes.

    Arguments motivated by jealousy, greed, snobbery, resentment, narcissistic desire to see others hurt or disadvantaged, etc. don't cut it. Neither do LIES. Let's address the reality. Maybe - just maybe - the LNP can evidence the superior economic management they claim. To date, their performance has convinced me only that they are liars whose motives are entirely contrary to the national interest. Either that, or they are grossly incompetent and so inept that they belong holding STOP/Go signs on the highway rather than running a country. (My sincere apologies to the more intelligent and far more ethical road workers out there! I greatly appreciate the valuable work you do to keep us all safe.)
    Rainey
    30th Apr 2016
    10:20am
    report In fairness, I should add that the Greens are equally incompetent, having put forward and supported the policy change.

    Thus far, Labor have not responded to my request to confirm intent to reverse the policy, but they HAVE declared and evidenced their strenuous opposition to it at the time it was debated, and subsequently"
    You have set out quite clearly the errors of this government with the changes to the assets test, and you should be commended for persisting with your argument, as the governments intention was obviously to pursue it's class warfare on the vulnerable, especially aged pensioners.
    By the way, Bonney is obviously an LNP Stooge.
    cheers, and keep up the good work.
    LiveItUp
    30th Apr 2016
    9:30pm
    Umm I've been tossing up whether to help out my Labor candidate friend or my Green one on election day. I doubt if the LNP candidate will have me anywhere near his camp.
    MICK
    30th Apr 2016
    9:35pm
    Ahhh. Some long posts today. Good to see passion.
    Bonny....you crack me up. Second time I have used that one today.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    7:00am
    Thank you for your support, Thommo. Nice to know some here have the intelligence to understand how absurdly illogical and economically and socially damaging the taper rate change is. And yes, class warfare - but consistent with the stinking neoliberal thinking that has become popular among the well-to-do and has been adopted by the LNP.

    I used to vote Liberal - until neoliberalism took them well away from their roots and beliefs.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    7:22am
    Still waiting for that intelligent response, Thommo. Still nobody can counter the mathematical or economic argument. And nobody can argue fairness either, except to make nonsense claims that people who struggled to save should live off their savings so those who enjoyed a more lavish lifestyle and didn't save can get bigger handouts (hardly a ''fair'' argument!)
    Happy Jack
    30th Apr 2016
    10:38pm
    Well, blow me down, germsjerk69's come out from hiding. Four days ago, germsjerk69, I enquired of yourself and your offsiders 'hanky waving franky' and 'tacky tackful' whether the Lucy Turnbull who is on the board of directors of the Grattan Institute, which has called for the abolishin of negative gearing, is indeed the wife of tumbles turntable. Please respond ASAP . I await your response in trepidation.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    10:02am
    Always good Jack when some people can see the players for who they are and what they are on this website to achieve.
    We need more posters like you so that the vermin crawl away and the adversarial posting which has developed ends. I live in hope that factual discussion and argument return.
    Happy Jack
    1st May 2016
    10:50am
    The question's been answered Mick. It was revealed this morning on the ABC program, The Insiders, that Lucy Turnbull, a director on the board of 'THE GRATTAN INSTITUTE' is indeed the wife of our current Prime Minister, 'Tumbles Turntable". One wonders if Lucy has made an issue of our Treasurer, Moaning Morrie making disparaging remarks about her Institution and asked TT for an explanation as to why MM has questioned the bonafides of her organisation. "I Would love to be a fly on the wall in the big house"
    P.S. germsjerk69, hanky waving franky and tacky tactful can have the day off- the question they refused to respond to has been answered thanks to the ABC and their very informative program, 'THE INSIDERS'.
    Have a good day.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    12:02pm
    I think that was common knowledge Jack. Given most of the people sitting on the Grattan board I have no faith in the organisation to be other than a mouthpiece of this government and its rich funders.
    Linda
    1st May 2016
    11:31am
    Agreed that negative gearing makes homes cost more, and if there are not enough rentals to go around, then rents can be very high, while expenses like upkeep and maintenance can run at a loss while the rent remains high. Who among any of us can peer through the mess a complicated system of finance, property, tax, and old age pension that is currently in place and see simple solutions? I think there is no one solution but a suite of solutions to improve the incomes of retired people and offer some stability of income.

    These days, perhaps the very wealthy know one way or another they will be able to manage because the size of their fortunes is large enough to take a hit of some sort.

    Mostly there are average people, some on full pensions, some on part pensions. Folks who own their own home have to be able to afford the maintenance and upkeep to keep a home safe and secure to live in and they have to pay rates and utility just like everyone else.

    It does seem that negative gearing could be tweaked, to avoid it being a factor in inflated house prices, which at the moment make owning a family home out of reach for many young hard working Australians.

    Someone worked hard on that survey. I attempted to take it and decided it was asking too much personal information that seems too private to share so I opted out of the survey.

    I too think jealousy features in at times, and if the system worked better then perhaps that would not feature so much in discussions. This business of pitting one lot against the other does nobody any good, it is a bad look.

    Why not basically think and talk clearly about what we want. A vision is a good thing, for me it is one where folks are managing and able to be involved in communities and have safe shelter and decent food, clean water and so on.Young people can see a viable future for themselves, and oldies can live their end of days free of distress about what the government might decide to do next.

    Too often jealousy on every side just creates a bad feeling, while looking at the systems at work, and trying to find setting points that are fairer and more beneficial for all might bring up some ideas worth exploring. That requires looking at many factors, and is a very complicated exercise.

    I suspect the real estate boom is mostly caused by foreign cashed up buyers coming in and bumping up prices. The higher prices do seem to trickle down, while higher profits and low taxes for the wealthy end of town, do not seem to trickle down in a similar fashion.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    12:11pm
    The system is not benign Linda and unless one recognises that the rich have nearly all of the benefits then it becomes an exercise of the blind leading the blind. And of course we have our Franks, Bonnys and heemskerks here to muddy the water and prevent people from seeing the reality of what is our financial system.
    Maybe there is a little jealousy but I more suspect that some people who have seen the light are not happy with being done over by unfair governments....mostly owned by the big end of town.
    I agree that foreign buyers are pushing up the cost of real estate to Australians, but if Australians did not sell to foreigners that would never be an issue. The reality is that governments are supposed to protect the nation from falling into the hands of foreigners but they do not give a damn as long as the money is flowing in. The most detrimental policy of all has been the sale of our best freehold (= gone forever!) farming land to foreign governments, specifically the Chinese Communist government which will NEVER ever relinquish title to this land. And the idiots we elect turn a blind eye as they sell out future generations!
    WHo said life wasn't meant to be easy? Yeah...a coalition stooge.
    jeffr
    1st May 2016
    3:04pm
    Linda,

    My eyes were certainly opened regarding Negative gearing having watched Waleed Aly on the"Project" You can still see this video on line and it is well worth watching.
    Alex
    1st May 2016
    11:35am
    Just a reminder of how Seniors were targeted in the last Budget.
    IF YOU NEED MONEY, ROB A PENSIONER has been the philosophy of the Liberal Party’s Budgets, supported in some measure by Labor, the Greens and some Independents.
    The cuts made in the last Budget seriously affected people who retired on small to average incomes.

    They were as follows:-
    2016: - Many people on small Defined Benefit Pensions e.g. nurses, police, teachers, transport workers, public servants, firemen and paramedics lost up to $10,000 a year depending on the value of their pensions.

    Seniors with low incomes who received the Seniors Supplement, designed to partly compensate for the impact of the GST, lost this.
    These changes were supported by the Labor Party.

    2017: - Retirees with income from small lump sums over $188,000 per person per couple or $250,000 per single, which at present all time low rates of return yield approx. $5,640/$6,000 p.a., lost thousands of dollars a year. This is due to the doubling of the taper rate from $1.50 to $3.00, taking it back to where it was 10 years ago. As the value of money has halved in that time due to inflation it is now effectively half of what it was 10 years ago. In addition, Deeming Rates are set higher than the official cash rate.
    The effect of these rules are that a couple with combined assets of $550,000 ($275,000 per person) lost close to $15,000 p.a.
    These changes were supported by the Greens and a number of Independent Senators.

    In addition, there were cuts that particularly affected the sick and frail aged including: -
    • Removal of the rental exemption on the former home for aged care residents.
    • Means tested contribution applied to Self Funded Retirees for Aged Care Accommodation
    • Means tested contribution applied to Self Funded Retirees for Residential Aged Care
    • Tighter Commonwealth Seniors Health Card eligibility criteria
    • Reduction in Medical Insurance Rebates
    • Increased costs for Home Support Services

    The only coherent opposition to these cuts came from Independent Senators.
    Much is made of the increasing number of retirees but the reality is that more people than ever have retirement savings and only require part pensions.
    Governments have known for decades what retirement numbers will be, what superannuation people will have and cannot say they are taken by surprise. The forward planning at times has been to take money out of superannuation not to put it in.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    12:17pm
    Thank you Alex. Another reason why WE NEED TO ELECT INDEPENDENTS. It's not rocket science despite some posters still clinging to their (football team) political party.
    Australians need to stop listening to the lies and propaganda peddled by most of the commercially owned media outlets and start thinking about who is benefiting from the attacks on average citizens. It certainly is not 'the nation'.
    As I always say: follow the money trail! The by far greatest benefits nearly always end up in the bank accounts of the rich. Why does it never change?
    ex PS
    1st May 2016
    1:37pm
    Time to start thinking for ourselves, if a retiree votes for either of the so called major party's they are voting to lessen their standard of living.
    The only way to make the government take any notice of us is to give them a scare.
    FM
    1st May 2016
    1:22pm
    Rainey, thank you for your efforts to get the changes, that so seriously disadvantaged retirees with small lump sum and defined benefit pensions, rectified. The cuts made robbed them of several thousands of dollars a year leaving them with incomes equivalent to the aged pension or less after years of contributing money they could not afford to superannuation.
    This unprecedented attack on Australia’s aged population was justified by a propaganda war of hate speech; you could say a Jihad against retirees, waged for months in the lead up to the last Budget. Self-funded retirees with small retirement incomes were represented as millionaires receiving welfare. The attacks, initiated by the government, gave licence to a range of commentators and newspapers to heap abuse on older Australians. It was a contest to see who could most effectively dishonour the elderly. Foremost in this was John Daley of the Grattan Institute. The argument for severe cuts to seniors’ incomes relied strongly on the wedge politics of pitting older Australians against young Australians and self funded retirees against those on the pension.
    It is important that we do not get drawn into this type of wedge politics which is unfortunately evident in some posts that characterize people who receive an aged pension as undeserving. Many people worked in jobs such as office, retail, hospitality and maintenance jobs where wages were below average and for organizations that did not have superannuation schemes other than the 7.5% taken in tax that the Government now does not recognize. They did not spend money on luxuries or travel but struggled to cover the bare necessities from week to week. It is absurd and offensive to demonize them “as pokie-playing, partying, world-tripping pensioners who enjoyed all the luxuries we missed out in working life, but didn't bother to put much aside for later.”
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    1:34pm
    The last paragraph says it all FM. Always horses for courses. Sadly average Australians generally are the targets of the current rich man's political party.
    Please let's vote the bastards out.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    1:34pm
    The last paragraph says it all FM. Always horses for courses. Sadly average Australians generally are the targets of the current rich man's political party.
    Please let's vote the bastards out.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    2:08pm
    FM and Mick, I don't for an instant look down on or demonize battlers. My statement was addressed at that portion of the retired population who were, in fact, ''pokie-playing, partying, world-tripping pensioners who enjoyed all the luxuries we missed out in working life, but didn't bother to put much aside for later''. And that's a significant portion of today's pensioners - though certainly not all, and I have deep sympathy for the genuine battlers who are struggling to get by with nothing other than the pension.

    Please don't think, for an instant, that I don't sympathize with low income earners who had no super. I am one of them! My partner and I earned less than the dole for most of our working lives. We had super for about 8 years in total, before being forced into retirement by ill-health. For 7 of those years, our combined contribution was less than the admin fees. We were hit with a BILL for administration costs. We had to appeal to the government to require the fund to write it off. Instead, they carried it forward, so the one year that super contributions exceeded fees, we lost the excess to the carried forward debt!

    We supported a special needs child who cost us the equivalent of 3 houses - out of our own pockets. And having grown up seriously deprived, we suffered a lifetime of health issues and were forced to retire at 55.

    Please don't suggest, for one instant, that we don't know what it's like to struggle. We went 25 years without a single holiday and with only 4 dinners in restaurants (all extended family celebrations) in all that time. We made ALL the clothing for the family, grew vegies, repaired our own car, built our home (living in a shed for 5 years with 3 kids), made our own furniture, and worked weekends and nights to get by.

    Almost ALL of the workers you refer to, FM, earned many times over what we did over a lifetime. But I don't begrudge them a cent of their pensions. What I do object to, strenuously, is that many who really were (and in some cases still are) ''pokie-playing, partying, world-tripping pensioners who enjoyed all the luxuries we missed out on in our working lives'' are out there shouting that people like us SHOULDN'T get pensions because we saved. I resent the fact that one poster here objected to not being permitted to live in Thailand on a pension, claiming he couldn't get by in Australia, yet he admitted to earning $180,000 a year in working life. What the hell is he doing stealing taxpayer's money in retirement?

    And I resent the fact that the likes of Bonny suggest that those who spent up big and have little left SHOULD get pensions and those who saved for their later years SHOULD NOT, regardless of the relative earnings and earlier lifestyle of the two groups and regardless of the source of savings.

    When will full pensioners stand up and shout that the government should not be attacking retirees with modest savings but not sufficient assets to earn the equivalent of a pension plus benefits?

    What angers me is that so many whose earnings were many times ours are now shouting that we shouldn't get a pension because ''we are lucky''. Luck had NOTHING to do with it. If pensions were allocated to the ''unlucky'', we'd be getting millions in handouts!
    FM
    1st May 2016
    1:27pm
    I agree MICK.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    2:44pm
    Yes. Please let's vote the bastards out!
    FM
    1st May 2016
    2:44pm
    I see where you are coming from Rainey but full pensioners were not in any way instrumental in the cuts that were made to the incomes of self funded retirees. This was purely a political initiative with advocacy from self appointed representatives of pensioners like Cassandra Goldie of ACOSS and affiliated organizations. They argued effectively that if pensions were to be maintained self-funded retirees should pay for it similar to the ideas Kaye is floating. We cannot blame pensioners for not being heard on this matter. It has been almost impossible for those affected to get a hearing as you have demonstrated. It is of great concern that workers who are preparing for retirement have been bamboozled into letting their retirement security be swept away without a word of protest. Many have had the ability to protest through organizations such as unions but have not.
    MICK
    1st May 2016
    3:25pm
    Guys. Let's recognise that the attack on retirees is just a diversion as the government wants us to not focus too hard and too long on the real issues: tax avoidance by big business and their wealthy rich stakeholders and the workings of a government grinding away at taxing average citizens whilst trying their best to lower the corporate tax rates for the richest people in the country.
    We need to not be at each other's throats but focus on the real issues. The above ARE the issues to attack and a lying deceitful government needs to remain in the crosshairs until it becomes history.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    8:38pm
    Agreed Mick. FM, I was not implying that pensioners were in any way instrumental in the cuts, but rather that the Government used them - by lying to them - and rallied support from many of them who were entirely deceived into believing the cuts were fair and justified.

    There have been many comments on YLC by full pensioners supporting the cuts, because they have been deceived and used in a ''divide and conquer'' strategy - as have workers. The bottom line is that the truth of the issue is obfuscated by wild claims about ''millionaires not needing pensions'' (no admission that the cuts affect people with less than half-a-million!) and unfortunately, as is typical in our society, those who aren't hurt really don't much care about truth and justice.
    Rae
    2nd May 2016
    10:15am
    ACOSS have no right demanding Self funded retirees pay for the funding for pensioners. The website states they are representing low income earners and those in poverty while by the actions of 2015 it appears they are bent on creating poverty for those retirees not on the government welfare rolls.

    What has Goldie got against people who save to try and help themselves? This years statement is yet another attack on those living frugally to provide for themselves. Yet not once have I heard ACOSS question the very low, stagnating and falling wages of the poor. If ACOSS fought for equity rather than attack hard workers it would be a good start.

    Nowhere have I heard one representative of any super agency or supposed representative of the worker, including unions, question the appalling returns of defined benefit schemes.

    How was it possible for mostly public servants to pay such a large after tax contribution for so many decades and supposedly have a decent employers contribution as well to end up with a lump sum around the $450 000 mark. Either the money was being invested in dud funds or something very strange was going on indeed.

    All you hear is this bleating about what a fine thing it is but never a word about the failure to achieve any compounding over such long time frames.

    Where did the money go? And if this is the best returns the best funds can deliver then there is no way Superannuation is ever going to provide for a comfortable retirement. Not ever.
    LiveItUp
    2nd May 2016
    12:19pm
    I too was appalled at the returns on my super back prior to 2000 as it was going nowhere. It was barely enough to make a SMSF feasible after fees but I thought even I could achieve a better return.

    To cut down the fees I worked out how to establish my own SMSF by doing nearly everything myself. I then found a retired friend who could audit it for me.

    Today I still manage it myself but I employ an accountant super expert that does my accounts and arranges my audit.

    I was shown so super returns a few days ago that I was told were good. If those returns are considered good then I agree with you Rae that super is not going to provide a comfortable retirement for many people.
    MICK
    2nd May 2016
    9:30pm
    The reason super is not going to be sufficient has little to do with management and everything to do with limited resources from working Australians paying their mortgages and just living. In case you have not noticed ordinary citizens do not have all the structures and outs designed specifically to assist the wealthy. That is a club.
    FM
    1st May 2016
    5:17pm
    Hi Mick What I am trying to say however imperfectly is that we are all in this together. Hopefully we will have a united front in voting this lot out. We also need to keep in mind what Rainey has been so passionately advocating that we keep asking for a reversal of the changes made in last year's Budget especially those to the taper rate that, as Rainey has explained, is entirely unfair and will force more people on higher levels of pension more rapidly than would otherwise be the case.
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2016
    3:16pm
    I would like to see those hard working higher income workers stop paying that extra "budget repair tax" and if that means we have to stop some welfare to $millionaires then so be it!
    MICK
    2nd May 2016
    9:34pm
    Budget repair? The Hockey invented lie? There was never a "Budget Emergency". Just a fiscal repair. Check out 7:30 Report tonight. Your man says so.
    The issue is not that high income earners do not work hard. The issue is they avoid paying their fair share of tax and push it on to hand to mouth Australians. I dare say are standing in that queue too Frank with an ex pollie pension.
    Alex
    1st May 2016
    7:10pm
    FM
    I wholeheartedly agree we should all be campaigning actively as Rainey is to have the changes in Budget 2015 that affect self funded retirees with modest defined benefit pensions and lump sums reversed.
    Misty
    1st May 2016
    7:30pm
    Good luck with that.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2016
    8:44pm
    We don't need luck, Misty. We need a united front. We need for ALL retirees to send a strong message to the government that we won't tolerate its attack on ANY sector of retirees - no matter whether we are individually affected or not.

    Plenty of SFRs stood up for pensioners when indexation cuts were mooted. Where are the protestors now?

    There's a popular rhyme about remaining quiet when they come for XXX and YYY and ZZZ, because you are not one of them. And at the end, there's nobody left to speak when they come for you.

    Write to your local member and LNP candidate. Write to the Treasurer. Write to the Minister. Tell them we won't stand for more of their lies and mismanagement. They need to reverse their economically devastating policy NOW.

    People-power can move mountains, but only if people stand together and make their voices heard.
    Misty
    2nd May 2016
    1:29pm
    I don't mean that we should do nothing Rainey I just don't think the government will even listen, let alone take any action, we can always try Get Up. Causes.org to name a couple to help get our message across as well as all those you mentioned.
    Alex
    1st May 2016
    11:16pm
    Perhaps we would be more likely to have success Misty if we focus on one thing, the taper rate, to start with as Rainey was doing. Labor have said they considered the increase too drastic and were open to reversing it.
    jamesmn
    2nd May 2016
    12:24pm
    take note that just because this idiot of a treasurer and I use the word loosely is putting through a budget does not mean it will get passed by labour the greens and the independents this liberal government is exactly the same as previous government's they propose and make statements on what they are going to do they propose to give money to schools/hospitals etc and then after a election they take it away the current health minister Susan lay would not have a clue how to run a chook raffle let alone anything else to do with funding for schools/medicines/or hospitals don't let anyone forget what the liberals have cut .
    MICK
    2nd May 2016
    9:37pm
    And also let's remember what happened at the last election: Abbott chopped a whole pile of promises as soon as the election was done and dusted. I fully expect the same to happen again were this bunch of misfits to be re-elected. If a model works then it is always reused.
    Adrianus
    2nd May 2016
    3:12pm
    You know what? I think you've got to hand it to Bill Shorten and his union mates for the way they can press that jealousy button in lefty voters. It must be an illness to have that sort of envy?
    MICK
    2nd May 2016
    9:40pm
    Very few posters have demonstrated any jealousy Frank the government crank! What gets up the noses of hard working AUstralians is when the wealthy avoid their taxes and when the wealthy set up all sorts of ways to thieve money whilst at the same time get their government to introduce new taxes to make up the difference.
    If you have no idea of what that is called I'll tell you: CLASS WARFARE. And it's on with your government Frank.
    Your posts remain an abomination of deceit.
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2016
    8:03am
    You're right MICK. How could you possibly envious of the rich as you call them, because you are much wealthier than those workers you despise. Have you always been this dishonest?

    3rd May 2016
    8:14am
    I think the assets test needs a total rethink, and perhaps should be age-related (if it is to be retained). A person with $400,000 at age 90 is a hell of a lot richer than a 65 year old with the same savings. The 65-year-old is likely to be very poor by age 90, and unable to afford the health care they need, if they are forced to live off their savings. But someone aged 90 is much better placed to live off savings without suffering detriment.

    The current assets test is hideously unfair and damaging. It's going to make a lot more retirees dependent on the State, because it punishes saving and deprives younger retirees of assets they might desperately need twenty years from now when the inflation has reduced their nest-egg to a quarter of its current value.

    The current system rewards irresponsible behaviour and punishes behaviour that is good for the country and leads to more people being self-sufficient.

    I am getting very tired of claims of ''superior economic management'' from politicians who can't see that giving retirees 7.8%++++ to WASTE the hard won savings that are only returning 3 - 5% is going to drive pension costs way, way UP. If that's good economic management, heaven help us if we ever see bad management again! The ''adults are in control''. No. Offering big rewards for being extravagant and then asking for handouts is typical of a child's mentality - a very selfish, irresponsible and uneducated child!

    Good economic managers don't boast about a small saving today and ignore a massive increased cost tomorrow. They don't save pennies to spend pounds.


    Morrison, for goodness sake do something to evidence RESPONSIBLE management.
    LiveItUp
    3rd May 2016
    6:34pm
    I think people with savings only earning 3-5% are being lazy and irresponsible. Banks are clapping their hands that they can get money so cheaply and the will get it cheaper in the future too. Put money in the bank is not being responsible it is being lazy.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2016
    6:47pm
    Because, Bonny, you are an elitist snob with no compassion, empathy or respect and no understanding of the real world.
    The people who are earning low returns are people who were denied opportunity and education; people who suffered abuse and deprivation in childhood and lost their capacity to trust because of the horrific injustices they suffered at the hands of government, while privileged a---holes turned a blind eye and didn't give a damn!
    Some of them lost because of collapses of investments, fraud, etc. Some lost because of sheer bad luck.

    Only the lowest kind of human being judges people they know nothing about and scorns those who are not as advantaged. You really are a sick person. I feel sorry for you. It must be horrid going through life with no capacity to respect others.

    What hope is there for this world if it's governed by self-serving pricks who rule exclusively for the benefit of the privileged and make decisions based on assumptions that everyone who isn't as fortunate as them is ''lazy'' or ''irresponsible''? No wonder the country is in a mess!
    jamesmn
    3rd May 2016
    10:29am
    hey frank you are way out of touch or are one of turnballs mates including himself that don't pay the right amount of taxes and expect the pensioners to pay for all of their properties taxes that they DO NOT PAY.
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2016
    11:01am
    jamesmn, you may think it's a good idea for the CFMEU to be in government, but I don't. I guess that makes me out of touch.
    Misty
    3rd May 2016
    11:34am
    What a lot of rubbish you write here Frank, typical LNP Propaganda line, well I have got news for you and the rest of the Union haters, OK I agree there are some bad apples in all unions just as there are in all organisations, the churches and banks for eg but you can't tar them all with the same brush just because of a few. Australians are much wiser then you think Frank and far more educated now with the advent of Facebook,Twitter, IPhones and Tablets and will make up their own minds about what is true and what isn't. The unions have helped many people over the years and most of our working and pay conditions now have been the resuts of union intervention, especially for the little people who don't know how to go about bettering their conditions. CFMEU in government RUBBISH FRANK, Bill Shorten is wise enough to have learnt his lesson there especially after that taxpayer funded RC he went through, courtesy of the LNP.
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2016
    12:26pm
    Misty you have a view and I accept that, but I don't accept your assumptions. Firstly I am not aligned with any political party. Secondly, I don't hate the unions and I believe they have a role to play but they need to be accountable like any other organisation. Thirdly, the churches and the banks don't have aspirations to govern the country. Fourthly, I have no understanding of the collective wisdom of Australians, certainly not as much as you do. Fifthly, the CFMEU were having a big say on policy when in government previously, they actually chose the party leader, their man Bill Shorten. Bill Shorten just yesterday said he is a union man and if elected will run the country like a union boss. LAWDEEE!! Don't you get the news where you live?
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2016
    12:33pm
    Misty, the union's class warfare is not working.
    Misty
    3rd May 2016
    1:25pm
    Sorry Frank that statement does'n't work anymore either another LNP Slogan and Bill Shorten never said he would run the country like a Union Boss, I did hear what he said and he is a union man so what?, as I said before anyone who doesn't think Labor learnt their lessons from all the previous carrying ons obviously has their head in the sand and certainly doesn't know how Labor thinks these days. Maybe you should get a twitter and facebook a/c Frank and then you can keep up with what is happening in the real world these days.
    Chris B T
    3rd May 2016
    4:27pm
    Don't you feal all fuzzy inside about the Cash Rate of 1.75%
    I be very surprised if any good comes of this except more tempting negative gearing and tax minimiseing.
    ;-{
    Misty
    3rd May 2016
    5:22pm
    Yes Chris and more people taking out loans they probably can't really afford, see all the misery this will cause when interest rates go up, young families losing their home and often marriages as well.
    LiveItUp
    3rd May 2016
    7:47pm
    Interest rates are likely to stay low for years as the world wide inflation stays low and even worse we go into a period of deflation.
    Chris B T
    4th May 2016
    8:29pm
    Bonny
    There is no crystal ball gazing here, But for the sake of the over stretched that you are right.
    Just 2% rise would have some very worried.
    If you can predict the market then good for you.
    ;-(0)
    Misty
    4th May 2016
    8:43pm
    And who knows what will happen to the world economy if Donald Trump becomes the next President of the USA I just cannot believe that the American people could be so stupid to keep voting for Trump and here I was thinking they were an intelligent nation.
    Adrianus
    5th May 2016
    7:52am
    Australia voted for Rudd.
    JAID
    5th May 2016
    9:00am
    Despite the world being electronically close we remain a long way away. Mr. Trump impressed me about the same way as you Misty. Mr. Obama appeared fresh and sane though I know americans on both sides of politics who judge him much more miserably than I.

    We look at other's politics, they feel it and are immediately responsible for their decisions. Should Mr. Trump succeed our best response will be to give him and his electors a clean sheet judging if we wish on deeds rather than our developed image of him.

    Frankly, I don't think americans have an easy choice at all. My estimation of Ms Clinton is so low that I would probably be pleased that the US system would permit me to cowardly not pick between them.
    Chris B T
    5th May 2016
    9:33am
    Misty
    Russia has Puttin
    Syria has Assad
    Australia has a basket full of Rabbits.
    ;-(o)
    Misty
    5th May 2016
    10:24am
    JAID we may be a long way away from the US but so much of what they do and say affects the rest of the world and DT certainly will do that if he becomes the next President and follows through on what he has already said which is what I am judging him on, nothing else.
    Happy Jack
    4th May 2016
    10:34pm
    Misty! A country just absolutely chockers full with lovely people, but a bastard a nation. Sorry to say that our country, if the selfish bastards in this country get their way, will end up the same.


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