28th Mar 2017
Renewed calls for the family home to be included in the assets test
Renewed calls for the family home to be included in the assets test

Renewed calls for the family home to be included in the assets test have been made by the former Abbott Government’s Commission of Audit leader, Tony Shepherd.

As we reported yesterday, businessman Tony Shepherd claims that future generations will suffer from a so-called ‘budget drain’ caused by retiring baby boomers.

Alongside his claims that the Age Pension is unsustainable in its current form – as disputed by Kaye Fallick yesterday – the prominent business leader suggests that the family home be included in the pension assets test, to avoid a ‘bubble’ in the cost of social welfare.

“It is an option and one that we originally proposed over a certain value. I think that’s just one example of the sort of things that may have to be done,” said Mr Shepherd.

The report, created on behalf of the Liberal Party-linked Menzies Research Centre, precedes the 9 May Budget – one which Treasurer Scott Morrison suggests will either make or break Australia’s AAA credit rating.

Mr Shepherd believes that including the family home in the pension assets test “may have to be done” to repair the budget and “get growth going again”.

Read more at The New Daily

Opinion: Family home means more than money

Tony Shepherd doesn’t seem to realise is that what he is suggesting means more to most Australians than mere money and budget repair. The family home is an emotional investment, not just a financial one. It is the centre of family life, the house of memories, and is just as important for the wellbeing of many retirees as the monetary value of the property itself.

Baby boomers and older Australians have worked hard all their lives to save money and build assets for a comfortable retirement. Many have bought houses in Melbourne and Sydney, in suburbs which have risen in value over time.

Now, there may indeed be a solid argument for including houses over a certain value in the assets test, but that should only include people with assets over a certain amount.

However, there are those who have poured their life savings into owning a home, who are, or will be, relying on the Age Pension as a form of retirement income, because they have little wealth apart from their house.

Under the new asset test rules, a couple with a house and assets up to $375,000 can receive a full Age Pension, but those with a house and assets over $816,000 receive nothing.

If the home were to be included in the assets test for a couple – expected to live between 19.5 and 22.3 years in retirement – based on the ASFA Retirement Standard, that $375,000 would last them around 9–10 years for a ‘modest’ retirement; and that’s assuming they fully own their home. So, they’d still be relying on an Age Pension in some form.

Many people are asset-rich and cash poor, so if they fully own a home (over a certain value) that is included in the assets test, they’ll have to sell it to receive some form of retirement income.

What Mr Shepherd’s suggestions prove is that he is so far out of touch with ordinary retirees that these implications may never have crossed his ‘business’ mind.

Adding the family home to the assets test may be an option, but it needs to be carefully thought through, otherwise many older Australians could suffer undue hardship in retirement.

Should the family home be included in the assets test? At what value do you think it should qualify it to be assessed? What value of assets apart from the family home should be allowed before the home is included in the test?

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    COMMENTS

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    Star Trekker
    28th Mar 2017
    10:40am
    The first $200,000 is already included in the assets test. That is the difference between the non-homeowners and homeowners asset limits.
    jackie
    28th Mar 2017
    11:32am
    An ALP Government first introduced Australia to the Aged Pension in 1909 and Invalid Pension in 1910. It stated The value of property, both real and personal, owned by a pensioner could not exceed 310 pounds and applicants were not permitted to deprive themselves of property in order to qualify for the pension. Ever since then the Liberal Party has tried to abolish them including fair work rights, public education and health care. Here is the link to the historic evidence of the pension assets test.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/online/Aged3
    Star Trekker
    28th Mar 2017
    11:42am
    I am not debunking the evidence of pensions. I am just stating the difference in the assets test for homeowners and non-homeowners. The first $200,000 of the family home is included in the assets test.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    4:29pm
    $200,000 would buy you a place for a tent in todays market so your argument has no legs.
    Star Trekker
    28th Mar 2017
    5:12pm
    Talking before your brain is in gear.
    That land would be the family home.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:01pm
    Git a relationship wit' de lend, bro....
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:06pm
    @STar Trekker, true it can be argued the $200,000 is included in the assets test; the question is whether the balance should also be included. If the 1909 means test equivalent was applied the $200,000 would preclude pension eligibility.
    MICK
    29th Mar 2017
    6:13am
    Leon: whether people choose to believe it or not it should be starting to dawn on even the intellectually challenged that the government we currently have is coming after all but the top 5% of Australians for as much cash as they can squeeze out of them.
    The Hospitality Industry is first cab off the rank and these working church mice are having their pittance now eroded but other industries are in the sights of this despicable government as well.
    Retirees have already been savaged once and now Shepard, a despicable right wing lackey, and his masters are coming after the family home so that Australians can be forced off the pension and then need to sell their homes in order to survive. What Shepard will not tell you is that Australia is well down in the international pension stakes already and well behind countries we would not expect to be behind. And now this business owned government is coming after retirees. AGAIN.
    I hope that readers who are still thinking the current lot of rats running the country have any merit sit up and take notice. Your vote is what keeps this pack attacking average Australians and it is about time we all stood up against the common enemy. If not then watch your money and your house go to the wealthy because the already rich want everything you own as is the case in the US where the top 1% owns 90% of everything.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    9:32am
    Not much value in going after the top 5% as there is a lot more to be gained by targeting the other 95%. It's s numbers game. $10 paid by all the top 5% is peanuts compared to $10 paid by the rest. Anyway the top 5% already pay for more tax than about 50% of the rest of the population.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    9:51am
    you're scaring the kiddies Mick. Pensioners will likely be the beneficiaries from once again including the home in the assets test. It will come down to the thresholds and the taper and we don't know what these will be. It does not mean the elites will own 90% of property. Even now, more than 60% of US homes have been owned by occupiers since the 1960s.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:16am
    Who said anything about $10 from the rich? They were going to pay proportionate to income.... on a sliding scale including deeming for assets....

    'beneficiaries'? Don't expect me to hold my breath, Farsie.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    12:00pm
    @TREBOR - it would be a hard political sell, even with our current system, if the needy were not seen to benefit from the change but I share your scepticism to a point. Nevertheless, it does not mean we should not make the effort to get good policy in place.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    3:41pm
    It's not good policy - the entire retirement package system needs an overhaul to get in line with the 21st Century.... the current system is shattered beyond belief and the gold ships are being pillaged and plundered by pirates in suits of all kinds.

    answer:- Get the slaves to dig more gold.....
    MICK
    29th Mar 2017
    7:04pm
    It's the normal diversion tactic from the normal posters TREBOR.

    What the well to do and their government do is defraud the tax system. THEY have a government working for THEM doling out the money like confetti and the rest of the nation is not happy about it.

    Troll on Bonny, etc. but your BS always avoids talk about generous tax cuts for the wealthy and attacks on everybody else. That is where the real game is.

    You want to fix the debt? Really? Easy. Avoid tax cuts for those who have n need of them. Tax multinationals at the going rate. No outs. Ban offshore tax havens. No debt! Can't have any of that can we!
    OlderandWiser
    30th Mar 2017
    11:35am
    What $200,000 buys is irrelevant. It's what it costs that counts. A homeowner at or near the assets threshold can lose $300 in pension PLUS any rent assistance that would be payable as penalty for having spent 30+ years struggling to pay off a house, while the happy renter takes huge handouts and may well not be paying high rent at all.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    1:06pm
    @Rainey - I don't know a homeowner near the threshold but how does one lose a $300 pension plus rent assistance. I would have thought the taper would ensure a transition so the main concern would be loss of benefits.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    4:52pm
    Rainey a home owner doesn't have to pay $500 or $600 per week in rent so your $300 per week loss is of no significance in reality as the non-home owner needs a lot more than that just to pay their rent.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    4:57pm
    @Old Geezer. That is the non-home owners problem. not mine. Most had choices but failed to buy a home and spent without thinking of the long-term consequences. You won't get any sympathy from me.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    5:05pm
    @niemakawa - and what about non-homeowners who lost their house and assets due to events outside of their control or non-homeowners who never had sufficient means to buy a house despite working two or three low pay jobs?
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    5:09pm
    @Farside, there would a very small number in that classification. The vast majority of non-home owners made a choice and they must live with that.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    5:17pm
    @niemakawa – I don't know the numbers but suspect they are not as small a number as you think. Regardless, they must live with that??? I have no issue with them being provided with support. I am guessing the wastrels you want to deny support to might actually be the small number.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    5:26pm
    @Farside. Keep guessing, you may get it right one day. Do you really understand the long-term repercussions of including the family home in the asset test? Look at what Governments usually do once they introduce a tax or levy or whatever you would like to call it. Their eventual aim on this particular issue is that a large part all estates will go to the Government. This will apply whether or not a person receives a pension. Death duties by another name.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:47pm
    We already have death duties. It is called probate.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:59pm
    @niemakawa - I don't own a home but that is out of choice of a better option. If I was eligible for the OAP I'd be classified as a non-home owner. I'm actually thinking of buying a McMansion and declaring it as my home so I can qualify for the OAP. Then that house will be tax free and have tax free gains for my heirs. I'll just put in in mothballs so that it does not get damaged by people living in it. With such low interest rates and markets now getting top heavy it is looking like a good option for me now.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    6:17pm
    @Old Geezer I highly recommend that you put a substantial amount into a family home. I will repeat, although the Government ,and a few Government whips on this forum, consider it, wrongly, to be welfare a pension is a basic human right. So take advantage while you can. The back-lash so far against the recommendation to include the family home will most certainly frighten the hell out of the bunch of politicians lurking around the halls in Canberra,who will all be ducking for cover. So it will be a long time coming if at all.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    6:29pm
    @Old Geezer. Death duties in Australia were abolished some 40 years ago. Turnbull, in November 2015, did indicate that they may be resurrected.
    Old Geezer
    1st Apr 2017
    12:18am
    I fully intend to die penniless so death taxes will not be a problem. The state can even pay for my funeral as well.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    10:43am
    IF they include the family home it would be the very last time these Bastards are in government, let THEM take a cut in their perks, what they get for a lifetime is ridiculous and they don't have to wait till they reach a certain age -- and they can also have another WELL paid job into the bargain!
    I know who are leaner here and it is NOT the Pensioners!!
    Play Fairly
    28th Mar 2017
    3:03pm
    Plan B, you are 100% correct. I would add that the overall lack of decency of this so called 'government' is appalling.
    They are like a pack of hyenas, preying on those who are old, sick, or disabled. Their own greed far exceeds any supposed concern for Australian citizens whose interests they swore to uphold when they took office.
    Mad as Hell
    28th Mar 2017
    3:54pm
    Agree with you Plan B except the LNP and GREENS lost me with the changes to the Pensioner Assets Test.
    One rule for Them and another for Pensioners.
    Check out this little gem .....

    "Greens leader Richard Di Natale has defended using taxpayer funds to fly his ‘manny’ to Canberra.

    SARAH MARTIN
    The Australian12:00AM March 28, 2017

    Greens leader Richard Di Natale used taxpayer funds to fly his “manny” to Canberra with his wife and children as part of a $1500 trip the au pair joined while on a ­cultural exchange program in Australia.

    The Victorian senator, under fire for paying foreign au pairs $150 a week for 25 hours’ work, along with food and board, claims he broke no rules using the entitlement to pay for his British nanny Benjamin Whitbred to travel with his wife and children from Melbourne for a four-day trip to Canberra in May 2015.

    A spokeswoman from Senator Di Natale’s office said it was within the rules for both his wife and au pair to travel using the taxpayer-funded family allowance as his wife was working during the visit.

    “The carer was a designated person with significant caring ­duties as per the rules of travel, who supported Richard to care for his children while both parents worked,” the spokeswoman said.

    According to Department of Finance records, taxpayers footed the bill for three return flights from Melbourne to Canberra at a total cost of about $1400.

    A $103.60 Comcar fare was also claimed under the family travel entitlement as part of the trip.

    According to Department of Finance rules, MPs can designate someone other than their spouse or dependent child to access the entitlement if the person has “significant caring responsibilities” for a person “substantially dependent on the senator or member” or “for the senator or member’s spouse/de facto partner, nominee or ­dependent child”.

    The employment “invitation” sent to the au pair, which outlined the terms of his engagement, said he would provide “limited help” for the leader’s two children while on an exchange program to “experience family life in Australia”.

    Senator Di Natale has dismissed criticism of his au pair ­arrangements, saying the nanny was paid above the minimum wage once living arrangements and PAYG tax of $37 a week were taken into consideration.

    The senator, who has overseen a slump in the party’s primary vote since he took over the leadership in May 2015, has railed against the use of taxpayer-funded entitlements by MPs, and has suggested it is leading to voter disaffection with politicians.

    On former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s use of entitlements to fund a helicopter charter to Geelong, Senator Di Natale said the public was angry at the “level of abuse that exists around the issue of parliamentary entitlements”.

    “People have never held politicians in lower esteem than they do at the current time, and it is in part because some people in this place seek to use their entitlements, those that allow us to do our job, in a way that furthers their own personal self-interest,” he said.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:05pm
    Well sniped, Mad as... mind you - my kids had a a rather large ex-soldier as their 'manny' when they were young...

    This 'entitlements' business is way past it ... and it seems none are exempt from rorting as required to suit themselves.
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:12pm
    @PlanB, inclusion of the primary residence in the assets test will have little influence upon the survival of the LNP government. How many affected by the inclusion and living in a marginal LNP seat will change their vote?
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    8:45pm
    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission

    For a starters make corporations pay their taxes, there will be plenty of money for pensions.
    gadsby
    28th Mar 2017
    10:27pm
    Dont worry Di Natliea knows a good rort when he see's one.Green or no Green.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:50pm
    When people realise they are better off with their home included in the OAP tests then they will think it was a good idea and vote the LNP back in. Very few people will be adversary affected by this most will be financially better off.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    5:58pm
    @ Old Geezer. That may or may not be true, but as what has recently happened with the reduction in the upper limit for assets and the increase of the taper rate to boot, a sure as night follows day the "few" will become "many".
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    8:56pm
    @niemakawa - the change in the taper rate simply restored it to what it was before Howard-Costello changed it in 2006.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    9:01pm
    @Farside, so it is still an increase or are you that naive? They could have done better and actually reduced it then everyone would be happy. The allowable assets also should have been increased then even more people would be ecstatic, knowing that their rights are being preserved.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    9:21pm
    @niemakawa, of course they could have introduced the reforms to the taper without also dropping the limits and softened the blow but it would be unlike the LNP to miss an opportunity to smack a soft target.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    9:28pm
    @Farside, that's better, you now realise that it is wrong include the family home. Reality has hit you at last, great!!!!!!!!!!!
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    9:57pm
    @niemakawa, what are you smoking? The family home should be included in the means test.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    10:04pm
    @Farside, I thought you has let you guard down by your previous post. I knew you just love bludgers, the ones that have let opportunity pass them by, and now expect the home-owners to bail them out. Not in my lifetime, I am glad to say.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    10:10pm
    I have no love for bludgers, it's just you and I disagree upon who is a bludger and who is not.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    10:15pm
    @Farside. To condemn home-owners the way you do , knowing that many non-home owners have done little or nothing to help themselves, it is obvious that they are bludgers and you support them. Eat some humble pie sometime and admit.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    10:45pm
    @niemakawa, why would I condemn homeowners, especially since I have been one almost my entire adult life. Your definition of non-homeowners as bludgers is amusing. I have met more than a few homeowners I would describe as bludgers.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    11:23pm
    @Farside this topic has been exhausted , just concede defeat with your arguments and move on. Go to the topic " Cashless society" that will definitely get you frothing at the mouth, you never know you may have better luck there. Cheers.
    Needy not Greedy
    28th Mar 2017
    10:50am
    That would be the straw that breaks the camels back, these bastards have got a fixation with hammering the pensioners into the dirt, no wonder the pricks have spent 17 million upgrading security at Parliament House, if they go ahead with this it won't be the Muslims they have to worry about!!!
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    10:56am
    Darn right there Needy, thats for sure!
    HDRider
    28th Mar 2017
    1:39pm
    Well said that man!
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:59pm
    They do not worry about the muslims so much as they brought them here to protect the globalists mob of politicians in Canberra, exactly as is happening in Western Europe. They will use the muslims to control and stop any insurrection by real Australians.
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:37pm
    @Needy, are you a special kind of stupid? What is it they will have to worry about if they go ahead with this? Do you really think your threats carry any weight?

    @Niemakawa, "use the muslims to control and stop any insurrection by real Australians" ... oh my, you really have drunk the kool-aid and down the rabbit hole. It's sad that there are so many once proud but now scared boomers jumping at shadows.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    8:28pm
    @Farside I hope they come for you first. I am right in my assessment but people like you still believe I the tooth fairy. BTW you will not be missed, Australia only needs strong ones who love their Country.
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    11:55pm
    @niemakawa - don't worry about me if they come. I have lived with many cultures including muslims. Lucky for you the danger is in your imagination and you won't have to rely upon dad's army to save you and the other paranoids. The appeal to patriotism is a last resort argument used when you have no logic left and hope emotion will persuade others to your point of view.
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    12:17am
    AFarside. Fortunately I listen to facts whereas you apparently ignore them . Patriotism brings self-respect, a source of well-being, strength in conviction and fairness. You use language that you believe will make others feel guilty because they do not follow your views. I am proud and fear no danger in my imagination or elsewhere. It is your emotion that seems to cloud your judgement on reality. That is your choice of course and I will not try to persuade you to think otherwise. But let others have their viewpoint without insulting their intelligence.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    2:01am
    @niemakawa - I do not seek to suppress your point of view at all. On the contrary I prefer you to express it so it can be held up for scrutiny. If those expressing similar views to your own are also patriots then I think you will find qualities of self-respect, contentment, strength in conviction and fairness are not defining characteristics. You say you fear no danger and yet you believe the government is using muslim " to control and stop any insurrection by real Australians". How about laying some of those facts of yours upon me. :D
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    2:37am
    @Farside, whilst I enjoy reading your replies to my comments, I am happy and content with my characteristics which are rounded, sensible and all encompassing. Those that have similar views would undoubtedly have these same defining characteristics as I do. Obviously you are not patriotic from what you have said, but that is your choice and you must live with that. I will not condemn for such. The facts are there for you to see but maybe you have been blinded by your empathy towards muslims, the followers of a degenerate regime and political ideology, which is islam. this regime forbids certain acts which in our society are acceptable and you would be well aware of what these are. Yet our own Government turns a blind eye to this. Our public schools have banned certain practices that are traditional to Australians so as not to offend muslims. Many of our food products are now Halal certified , but why the need if muslims make up only 2% of the population. You mentioned that you have lived among muslims, fair enough, but do you really trust them unconditionally?
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    3:03am
    To get back to the topic of the family home, as with most other people here, I do not agree with the prospect of including it in the asset test. The pension is not only a right but the Government has the obligation to give the pension to all retirees regardless of any assets or income.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    3:52am
    @niemakawa - "blinded by empathy to muslims". really? I lived in Malaysia for three years and have travelled widely enough and lived among jewish, indian, mormon and other groups on five continents that I see things I like and things I don't pretty much everywhere.

    This has nothing to do with the topic but since you asked I don't extend unconditional trust to any religious group, and that includes muslims, christians, buddhists etc, however I am prepared to cautiously extend trust to most people regardless of their religious and cultural beliefs in the absence of good reasons not to. People for the most part tend to share many common values although I admit there are many cultural practices that I abhor and many that I admire in all societies. I have seen first hand in Africa where muslim support groups have helped the poor in a strictly christian country own houses, build ivillage infrastructure and educate children far more than christian charities and various do-gooder groups.

    Halal labelling is simply a recognition for many exporters whose products also go to neighbouring islamic nations like Indonesia and Malaysia. It is often more cost effective to build this into their processes for economies of scale.

    I am not across what has been banned at public schools however I know that many claims in relation to muslim practices have been found unproven or to be hoaxes. That said, I would happily deport the imams and their supporters inciting violence and disruption. My children went to public and private schools during the past two decades and experienced no issues with islamic interference. Same could not be said for god bothering, politically correct, interfering do gooder hypocrites. You might be surprised to learn that Islam does not have an exclusive on fundamentalist whack-jobs who seek to oppress others with their own particular brand of belief. Reading these forums should be enough evidence the vox populi is a broad church.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    4:01am
    @niemakawa - the aged pension is not a right, it is welfare intended for those who need it, which for the next 30 years will still be about 80% of us because there will not be enough money saved in superannuation. As to whether the pension should be universal, I agree it should be universal and taxed as income just as much I think the primary place of residence should also be included among assets, although what would be the purpose of an assets test?
    buby
    29th Mar 2017
    9:18am
    * Many of our food products are now Halal certified , but why the need if muslims make up only 2% of the population. You mentioned that you have lived among muslims, fair enough, but do you really trust them unconditionally?*

    OH hell NO never in a million years. not after what i been researching about them? LOL HEll NO
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:21am
    Just don't go around calling people names... that chops your credibility...
    libsareliars
    29th Mar 2017
    1:39pm
    I agree with you Plan B - these greedy bastards need to be gotten rid of and soon. Go chase a few corporations for their unpaid taxes before you pick on the most vulnerable and get your own snouts out of the trough too.
    margie
    28th Mar 2017
    11:00am
    I am so sick of this constantly coming up. The bloody government did not give me any help in building and paying off my home, no first homeowners grant, and no cut in stamp duty. I worked long hours, went without a lot of what I and others of my generation called luxuries and today are considered necessities, I'm speaking theatre room, ensuite, study, two and tree car garage etc. I built in an outer suburb with a small old time grocers and milk bar, had to drive out for most things. Sheets at the windows, did the garden from scratch over years, no driveway until it could be paid for. Now this country town is a part of suburbia and prices have increased for my small three bedroom, one bath, one car home and these parasites want to penalise me, simply because I have the audacity to be alive at retirement age. Should I move myself into a home for the aged and go about dying as quick and quietly as possible? Yes I do receive the pension as when I worked there was little to no super for many years, I also raised children through a divorce which meant very little (none actually) money to save for retirement. I have managed to pay off the home and live modestly and think I have the right to my home without these greedy money grabbers with their high walled mansions and luxurious holiday homes moving in and taking the little I and others have. Keep your filthy mitts of our homes.
    heyyybob
    28th Mar 2017
    11:28am
    Yes indeed Margie - you have summed up, succinctly, the situation/story of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Australian retirees. 'They' had better tread lightly down this path, 'cos a hell of a lot of us will leap out of the bushes and bite their arses off if 'They' go there !!!
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    12:51pm
    ..indeed, margie - and beyond here be dragons for this lot of vultures...

    They spend all their days fixated on pensions and unemployment benefits - as if these are the only 'burdens' on the budget - time they grew up and got out of their stupid, school kid privileged mindset - before we do it for them.

    How dare they assume they have some right to dictate to us?
    Rae
    28th Mar 2017
    3:07pm
    Yes TREBOR if the likes of the Menzies Club and LNP, supposed business economic wonders spent at least as much effort to raise revenue we wouldn't have a revenue problem.

    It is all lose/ lose with the emphasis on not having instead of having.
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:42pm
    @Margie, unless you have been exceptionally lucky and your outer suburban DIY shop reno is worth a motza, you are unlikely to be adversely affected by its inclusion in the assets test.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:01pm
    We can afford to pay pensions, the Government just wants to give it to big business;

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    sunnyOz
    28th Mar 2017
    10:12pm
    Margie - heavens, I thought I had written this under an assumed name!! EXACTLY my same thoughts & feelings. I too worked my butt off to own a small plain little house, and now they bloody well want to penalise me for it! My sister is the bludger of all time - single, 2 kids to 2 different dads, government house, never worked (unless cash in hand), smoked like a chimney, and now is on a Disability Pension. So self inflicted. But seems SHE has done it the smart way! I too never had first home owners grant, childcare rebates, tax benefits, etc. I honestly have to ask myself if I have been the stupid fool and worked and saved and paid off a house, instead of spending my money on travel, cars, going out, etc. I sacrificed much - many the time I turned down going away on cruises or holidays with friends, concentrating on paying off my home. Now they bloody well want to PUNISH me for trying to have some security in my retirement! Hands off you bloody grubs... Stop targeting the poor and elderly. Start in your own back yard to curb costs.
    gadsby
    28th Mar 2017
    10:40pm
    Good onya Margie.
    buby
    29th Mar 2017
    9:21am
    WELL Said Margie :)
    margie
    29th Mar 2017
    11:06am
    The problem Farside is once the government puts a price on the home, it's a very short hop and jump before that price is lowered and not a thing anyone can do about it. You give these grubs an inch and they take, take, take the proverbial mile.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:23am
    Totally true, margie - some numbah crunchah will one day get hold of it and figure out the then-current system is 'too generous' - that's the way to boil frogs. When that becomes Gospel after endless repetition in the media - there is nothing you can do about it....
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    11:51am
    @Margie, TREBOR - I know ... just because you're called paranoid it does not mean someone is not out to get you, but you can't forever keep jumping at shadows. It must be a struggle going through life with a glass half-empty outlook fearing conspiracies to rid you and your family of your hard earned wealth. There is no robber baron looking to steal your hard-earned. You should applaud the intention to reduce the number of asset rich retirees putting their hands out for welfare rather than spending the assets to fund retirement and so reducing the welfare available for the truly needy.

    Please put the boiling frog story away; it is a tired cliché and just isn't true. If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will (unfortunately) be hurt pretty badly before it manages to get out -- if it can. And if you put it into a pot of tepid water and then turn on the heat, it will scramble out as soon as it gets uncomfortably warm. http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=758865
    libsareliars
    29th Mar 2017
    1:41pm
    Spot on Margie, they can rot in hell before they get my house!
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:00pm
    There ya go again, Farsie - discuss the issues and not the people present valid views. Once you realise how government thinking works, there is no turning back....

    Can anyone deny that once any legislative jackboot is in the door - the doorway is always pushed wider? Get your mind around which is the cart and which the horse here, and you will be on the right track.

    There are other ways of reducing the number of OVERLY asset rich retirees instead of slapping a burden on all retirees.

    Then apply the same reasoning to politicians and their ilk and their retirement packages.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    5:26pm
    @TREBOR, you mean the the "god bothering, politically correct, interfering do gooder hypocrites" and "fundamentalist whack-jobs" I mentioned? It is a coincidence you think those might apply to people on this site. The first referred to some parents at my sons' school and the second argued against Islam being the only religion with extremists. I did say the vox populi on this site is a broad church but that is hardly derogatory.
    TREBOR
    31st Mar 2017
    2:21am
    ". just because you're called paranoid it does not mean someone is not out to get you, but you can't forever keep jumping at shadows."

    Your comment...

    "the "god bothering, politically correct, interfering do gooder hypocrites" and "fundamentalist whack-jobs" I mentioned"

    Where is that?

    I've never mentioned anything about religious schools or anything similar.........

    You seem to be carrying on two different arguments at the same time....
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    2:29am
    @TREBOR - no, I just did not know that you were referring to the paranoia trope. I thought you were chastising me over another comment in response to niemakawa in another thread. That said, now that I know it was the paranoia expression you took umbrage at your retort is clear. Nevertheless, I still think your fear of the government tends towards the dark side.
    Aquarian
    28th Mar 2017
    11:17am
    The family home should be included, but the assets test figure should be raised by one million dollars.
    Knight Templar
    28th Mar 2017
    11:43am
    That amount would cover the median price of most homes in Sydney. Pensioners who live within 15 kilometres of the CBD would lose their pensions.

    It's about time Mr Shepherd stopped picking on vulnerable retirees. Perhaps he might like to donate his not insubstantial salary to the government coffers to prove that he is willing to accept the financial sacrifice he expects of retirees.
    Tinker
    28th Mar 2017
    4:29pm
    And how do you calculate so there is parity between housing markets?
    1 million dollars in most capitals would never be reached, so these retirees get a full pension and those in Sydney and Melbourne get a penalty? And what about assets needed for aged care, again a disparity between states. Reverse mortgages are good for the banks, how do they justify a difference of 3% in interest rates compounded for the life of the loan. Mr Shepherd may be a business man but has he ever taken the time to understand the retirement system?
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:54pm
    If it all becomes too hard to define an algorithm for calculating the inclusion value of homes in an asset test then the government should just impose a tax over the the unimproved land. This makes the threshold value for inclusion irrelevant for maintaining equity between locations. If the occupant has insufficient cash to pay the tax then it could be held over as a tax debt and repaid from the owner's estate.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:33am
    Maybe the government - in the absence of any clear and demonstrable NEED to do anything - should just butt out of people's private property. we are not servants of the State here.

    Plenty of other avenues to be cleared up first before considering any NEED to touch people's private dwellings in any way.

    Your position pre-supposes such a 'need', when it does not exist.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    12:07pm
    @TREBOR - but the need does exist. Our 20th century tax system has become unweildy, complex and unsuited to its intent to the extent it is broken. It's time to build a tax system for the 21st century and for that all cards are on the table.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:01pm
    At the current rate Wun Mill-Yun Dullahs will become Two Mill-Yun Dullahs in five or six years.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:02pm
    Not the need to take that specific route, Farsie - there are countless real avenues of taxation that desperately need to be overhauled - and none of those benefit the 'lower classes' who make up the majority.
    mikecrook
    28th Mar 2017
    11:19am
    While I do not support inclusion of the family home in the assets test, there is certainly an argument for a more equitable distribution of the nations assets, perhaps a maximum cap on both assets and income. After all, who needs a billion dollars. I am sure Gina would be happy to donate more to the country that allowed her to make a fortune.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    2:48pm
    You do have to be joking ? re Gina -- she will have us all working for a bowl of baked beans. She is a greedy grabbing bitch.

    Also Turnbull had a hide saying that Shorten crawled up the backsides of the rich -- what do we see the Libs doing -- kissing Gina every chance they get especially Abbott and that half-wit Joyce
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:05pm
    Gina and all the other big corporations don't want to pay much tax at all, they are the ones who really run the country:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    mike
    28th Mar 2017
    11:25am
    We live in a small country town and our home would only be worth approx. $200,000, and because we both worked and saved all our lives, and planned for our retirement under current Centrelink laws, we got caught in Bastard Hockeys changes. Yet we know of people with 2 and 3 million dollar homes that are exempt. Bastard Hockey that called disabled and pensioners rorters, yet he himself rorted the travel allowance,that paid for a Canberra mansion that he openly boasted he bought through fraud.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    2:51pm
    Hockey also has a farm in Nth Qld of which he uses the tax payers money to visit quite often and HE talks of US being leaners -- the smirking SOB!
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    8:37am
    Those of us denied our share of the spoils might actually end up being the lucky ones mike.

    With self serving bastards in government and equally sychophants such as Shepard toadying to the wealthy I'm happy to keep right out of having anything to do with them.

    If they do this I imagine the property market will dive as plenty of very wealthy ex business owners and self employed bail out of the Centrelink system. Those who are not required to pay the 9.5% of their income into super for example so have plowed it into expensive homes to avoid tax.

    It will certainly save about 1% of GDP but I'd predict at least a 8% to 15% fall if they do it just on the economic carnage that follows.

    The fact that so many ordinary people actually were able to buy and own houses is killing them. Not supposed to be that way. Only the deserving lifters should own anything.

    Once betrayed doubly cautious.
    buby
    29th Mar 2017
    9:24am
    YEs PlanB, that bastard,Should Never be allowed to come back to australia. and if he manages to slip in, He should be sent to prison asap!
    Rosie
    30th Mar 2017
    10:49am
    You're absolutely right Mike. We are in the same situation, penalised for trying to do the right thing about 8 years ago under the relevant centrelink laws then. One decision made by a lot of wealthy fatcat politicians can change the average pensioners life forever. I remember "no changes to pensions" by Abbot meant absolutely nothing.

    All I can say is BEWARE of any politicians promises, what they say should be ignored. They have no inner moral compass , just keeping in power and keeping that politicians wage coming in is their main agenda.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    12:41pm
    @Mike, are you saying you were stooged when the asset means test limit for homeowner couple was reduced from $1,178,500 to $816,000 in Jan 2017 resulting in you having too many assets to qualify for a part pension and benefits?
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    4:06pm
    @Farside, it should have been increased and the taper-rate decreased
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    4:06pm
    @Farside, it should have been increased and the taper-rate decreased
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    4:23pm
    @niemakawa - are you presenting the case for "what should have been" or what actually happened to Mike?
    mike
    28th Mar 2017
    11:25am
    We live in a small country town and our home would only be worth approx. $200,000, and because we both worked and saved all our lives, and planned for our retirement under current Centrelink laws, we got caught in Bastard Hockeys changes. Yet we know of people with 2 and 3 million dollar homes that are exempt. Bastard Hockey that called disabled and pensioners rorters, yet he himself rorted the travel allowance,that paid for a Canberra mansion that he openly boasted he bought through fraud.
    Play Fairly
    28th Mar 2017
    3:53pm
    Yes Mike, I believe that if you have worked all your life and have paid your taxes, if you are fortunate enough to live to retirement, the Aged Pension, under our Constitution, is a right. Irrespective of what monies you may have saved for some little luxuries in retirement, it should not have ANY bearing on eligibility to receive a full pension.
    As far as Hockey goes, you are right about him. His ignorance in calling sick and disabled people, and unemployed workers, "leaners" just shows what a "wonderful" statesman he was!....no wonder he got shoveled off overseas. He is not going to like the close scrutiny that will occur regarding his expenses when he is recalled following the downfall of the coalition government.
    Simo
    28th Mar 2017
    11:27am
    I do not agree with the Family home being included inthe Assets test unless the Gready Politicians have to be Means Tested TOO to be able to get any Government Money .
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:57pm
    @Simo, huh? what money do you want means tested?
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    8:44am
    I think the $400 a day loading should be means tested if we are so broke we need to rob the elderly, sick, disabled and unemployed simply because they bought a dog box in the sticks 40 years ago, back in days when workers were respected and cared about.
    fedup
    28th Mar 2017
    11:28am
    That would be so wrong especially for elderly Australians, they have worked hard all their lives for their home and how stressful it would be for a say a pensioner at the age of 70 to seel their home and start all over again, Shame on you Australian government !!!!
    Play Fairly
    28th Mar 2017
    11:23pm
    Fedup, you are right. Perhaps we need to initiate an online campaign to petition both the Prime Minister and the Shadow Prime Minister to think very seriously about the gross unfairness and lack of moral decency that applies to any decision to include the value of the family home when assessing eligibility for the Aged Pension.

    I quite often receive Change.org petitions, which allow each petitioner to write a reason why they are signing a petition, should they wish to do this in addition to signing the petition.

    I have seen huge numbers of signatures in support of some petitions, and much has been achieved in this country by support given by signatories to Change.org petitions.
    libsareliars
    29th Mar 2017
    1:46pm
    Sounds like a good idea Play Fairly I would certainly sign it.
    Teddy
    28th Mar 2017
    11:35am
    The government has no money and never has had any money. Welfare must be paid by current taxpayers, your children and grandchildren, who it is hoped are in the workforce but cannot afford to buy a home because they are paying high taxes to support welfare payments and pay the interest bill on money borrowed to prop up the system.

    All the sentimentality linked to discussions of 'the family home' assumes this was my grandmother's home- it was built by her husband during their two year engagement,she was carried across the threshold as a bride, raised four children in the home and died at 94 in the marital bed.This was a family home. This quaint picture of the 'old days' now extends to encompass the house the family never actually occupied. In some cases it is the one we bought with the sale of the family home topped up by superannuation that could have supplemented a welfare payment. These are assets- bricks and mortar.
    Renny
    28th Mar 2017
    11:49am
    Not sure what your point is. I like many got nothing from anyone including government to help me buy a house. We weren't able to afford it until our late thirties and we managed to pay it off through hard work. The Super thing was dropped on most in their fifties and many women have never worked because that's how it was. I also don't see why your home should be part of the assets test ever. If you were living in say Annandale in Sydney you were able to buy cheap. It's now worth a fortune. Not your fault and why should you be penalised for staying in your own neighbourhood. Honestly. Fed up with the whining generations. So thanks to all who bite Luberal for all f thus. They've destroyed employment and the economy, stoken our kids futures, and are trying to destroy us. And why do they forget that most behind us will have super. The burden on taxpayers is actually decreasing. Even though numbers are increasing. It's all BS.
    Renny
    28th Mar 2017
    11:49am
    Not sure what your point is. I like many got nothing from anyone including government to help me buy a house. We weren't able to afford it until our late thirties and we managed to pay it off through hard work. The Super thing was dropped on most in their fifties and many women have never worked because that's how it was. I also don't see why your home should be part of the assets test ever. If you were living in say Annandale in Sydney you were able to buy cheap. It's now worth a fortune. Not your fault and why should you be penalised for staying in your own neighbourhood. Honestly. Fed up with the whining generations. So thanks to all who bite Luberal for all f thus. They've destroyed employment and the economy, stoken our kids futures, and are trying to destroy us. And why do they forget that most behind us will have super. The burden on taxpayers is actually decreasing. Even though numbers are increasing. It's all BS.
    Slimmer Cat
    28th Mar 2017
    12:19pm
    It is Tax payers who pay for welfare not the government as government would not have money if nobody worked. Your children and grandchildren are going to be the ones to pay off the debt created by paying welfare to people who should be keeping themselves via investments be it a house or shares. A tally of what is taken in welfare from the government should be kept and at the end of life should be returned to government. We worked hard all our lives and are not entitled to welfare and are still paying tax which goes to people who should be looking after themselves.
    Slimmer Cat
    28th Mar 2017
    12:39pm
    Rennie- Those coming behind will have super BUT in the next 50 years still will not be able to support themselves and will still be dependent upon, as least, part welfare, so the numbers are not decreasing but increasing as more boomers come unto welfare.
    john
    28th Mar 2017
    12:52pm
    Problem there Teddy is that the government did have money it had a special fund, in fact both sides of the argument Lab and Lib both agreed to raiding that fund. WHEN ANYTHING IS SAVED FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE , EVEN IF ITS YOUR NEED TO SAVE AND BUY A ROLLS ROYCE , my friend , whether it is extravagant or not, it is your entitlement to buy that extravagance, Teddy you can buy your Rolls because you endeavoured to work save and buy.
    For every Australian that fund was set up for under certain conditions for every one smart or silly that worked a life time , got a PENSION. They raided it and squandered it. So don't carry on about what is owed what is owned when both sides of politics rheemed the Aussies out of their retirement fund. I don't have the details , but someone on here several months ago wrote a long article about the fund that was robbed from Australians ,my house is my asset, not the governments, I worked for it, I own it and I have paid all the taxes and cost over my life to own it,I have also paid taxes I have also paid for super as well as the match up the company helps with in super, so I've paid my way , and the two major parties in this country , have swiped mine and everyones ENTITLEMENT!
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    12:56pm
    And those currently working would not have grown to adulthood without their parents - what IS the point of all you people so desperately seeking to isolate pensioners from the rest of the community?

    I never once disputed the right of any of my elders to their pension when I worked - now I expect the same treatment.

    And it's Social Security - not welfare. Welfare is the philosophy or intent of Social Security.

    And for the umpteenth time - we ALL pay tax - get over it.
    heyyybob
    28th Mar 2017
    1:28pm
    You are right Trebor. There must be some interesting 'dinners' when some of these young sit around their parents table and discuss how selfish their parents are etc etc...........BUT they won't bitch so much when the folks kark it and leave their goodies for them :( Bloody hypocrites !! Then they will be able to pay off the huge mortgages on their 4 b/room, 2 bath/room, 3 car garages and clear their credit cards etc etc :(
    Slimmer Cat
    28th Mar 2017
    3:53pm
    Don't know about you heyyybob but we were born in the early 1940's. So we're not sitting around our parents table but sit at a table along with others born in the same era and we do discuss how the boomers have got it so lucky that they all seem to be on welfare whereas we are all keeping ourselves.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:10pm
    Politics of envy writ large - someone might be getting something I don't....

    Slimmer - I doubt heyyybob was referring to you... though where you get the idea that boomers as a group are on Social Security is beyond me. To arrive at any consideration of your personal situation we'd need to know one hell of a lot more than what you've put about.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:14pm
    Yeah but some big corporations are tax cheats:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Ted Wards
    28th Mar 2017
    11:40am
    What about the fact that many families are co-sharing these homes and it is their home, despite who owns it? What about all the grandparents who are raising their grandchildren? What about the fact that less than 5% of the aged population actually receive support from the government and have earned the right to their home and their pension? Its time to make the Government accountable. They do all these things yet few protest. They wrought the system blindly. I still haven't seen a figure on how much it cost tax payers to transfer to the new aged care CDC system and NDIS? I reckon with all the mistakes, all the department changes, consultation, printing etc, it has cost us billions of dollars without any services being delivered or improved. The pension is only the tip of the iceberg! Wait until you want some help around this home!
    Rosret
    28th Mar 2017
    12:51pm
    hehe - I hear you. That's when it's time to take the dog for a walk and try not to read all these articles.
    Savta
    28th Mar 2017
    11:45am
    Sickening! Pensioner bashing by people who go for the easy targets to try and fix this economic mess knowing full well that they have enough money to enable them to live the high life for the rest of their lives! Is it any wonder we have to "get creative". I've worked all my life and paid my fair share of taxes in all that time! I've brought up children who all have jobs and pay taxes. My grandchildren are all on the road to being productive, contributing citizens. I don't have a clever accountant who will cheat the system for me nor have I established family trust funds or hidden money in overseas bank accounts or investments. I have, however, worked hard to put a roof over my head, help my children establish homes of their own and have accumulated a bit of super for the benefit of myself and my husband when we can no longer work. I was going to use most of my super to pay off the mortgage on my house but I'll be buggered if I do that now. If the bank owns most of the house, even with the ridiculously high prices of real estate in NSW, the equity I have in the house will be minimal! There are so many other ways of raising revenue and getting the economy back on track but these bozos are unwilling or unable to do anything other than try to shaft the pensioners! Sometimes I feel like just leaving the planet so as not to have to suffer the humiliation and despair of a life of poverty that will be forced on me by politicians and their mean spirited, comfortably well off, little advisers!
    KSS
    28th Mar 2017
    1:35pm
    Just remember you don't get rent allowance to pay the mortgage!
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:14pm
    Yes - those of us with a mortgage should receive mortgage/rental assistance.....
    in2sunset
    28th Mar 2017
    10:41pm
    Savta, oh so Damn right.Target those at the end of life's road and just hope and pray they die quick so the Gov't can save money. Like you, I really have to question the feasibility of simply existing on this earth as opposed to living. Just sitting around waiting to die holds no joy for me.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:36am
    Get 'em when they're tired and worn and aching, and were just beginning to think they could enjoy the warm sun and a few sunsets in peace....

    What an absolute bunch of bastards....
    Tib
    28th Mar 2017
    12:00pm
    Baby boomers are still a sizeable part of the community . Vote these bastards out. Forever!!!
    thommo
    28th Mar 2017
    12:12pm
    Tib..I agree with you.
    Retirees and pensioners have had a gutful of this lousy government, and they'll get voted out of office at the next election, but in the meantime, we need support in the Senate to stop the erosion of our age pension entitlements, and ensure the big end of town start paying their way.
    Rosret
    28th Mar 2017
    12:58pm
    Are you voting the baby boomers out?
    Tib both parties are going to squeeze the baby boomers because there are too many of us and not enough tax payers.
    We are costing a fortune in medical expenditure. Take a look at all your friends and family and work out how many would have been dead now if they had been in their 60s during 1960-80. I can think of lots. - That's the impact our generation is having on society. We are not living better - just longer.
    We are delaying our children's inheritance and we are spending what money we do have on extended time in nursing homes. (We being a generality)
    Newslug
    28th Mar 2017
    12:02pm
    When I was a kid in primary school. Back in the 50's and60's we were taught that we pay taxes so the government will look after us in
    Our old age. What happened to that deal? Ian now 68. I kept my end of the bargain. Why is it that overpaid politicians can break a solemn vow and change the. Goal posts? We live under the westminstersystem of government, which is based on the Magna Charta. Which proclaims "a mans house is his castle". It seems the push is now to kick us out of our castle via the back door of imposing taxes on
    Our castles so
    We can no
    Longer afford them. Any good legal people out there like to check the constitutionality of such a tax?
    john
    28th Mar 2017
    1:32pm
    What happened to that deal?????????????? Labor and Liberal stole that deal.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    4:32pm
    I was never told that at all. I was told if you don't provide for your own old age no one else will.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    8:37pm
    @Bonny so you include non-home owners and those that have no assets in your assessment.
    Retired Knowall
    30th Mar 2017
    11:19am
    You are being looked after....it's called the PENSION.
    Tom Tank
    28th Mar 2017
    12:04pm
    I wonder why Shepherd didn't suggest correcting the distortion in property values created by Howard and Costello with negative gearing and reduction in capital gains tax for property investors?
    Could he be a property investor himself?
    If the Libs tackled the inequalities, created largely by themselves, in taxation and generosity to the well heeled that would go along way to correcting any budget problems.
    Of course pig might fly.
    libsareliars
    29th Mar 2017
    2:00pm
    "Could he be a property investor himself?"
    Of course he bloody well is! They all are, just look at all the pollies they all own 3-4 houses at least. They are a greedy, nasty lot.
    Taragosun
    28th Mar 2017
    12:06pm
    How could the Government put an arbitrary figure on the value of the family home for the WHOLE of Australia. Every State has different values, every City in each State has different values, every suburb has different values and even streets have different values. And what about the Country where, generally, values are far below our City counterparts.
    Sen.Cit.90
    28th Mar 2017
    4:08pm
    Yes Taragosun, I agree; I own a unit in a Retirement Village, if/when I sell, I will have to pay an exit fee of 30% plus some refurbishing. How will people like me be assessed. I'm already penalised for saving to make up the 30% for when I need to buy into a full care facility; at age 88 living alone,that time is approaching fast.
    Taragosun
    28th Mar 2017
    4:17pm
    Yes Sen.Cit.48 I didn't think of that scenario. I bet the Government also has not considered it!
    Waiting to retire at 70
    28th Mar 2017
    12:08pm
    Tony Shepherd pontificating from his palatial home on Sydney's North Shore (with a view of Malcolm's 'harbour-side mansion') continues to do the libs bidding in order to get another paid gig with the LNP government.

    Your softening-up, bully boy tactics won't work here Tone ... things have changed. Go back to construction/development.
    Rosret
    28th Mar 2017
    1:05pm
    You can't kick the messenger - it doesn't work. Yes, they have been more successful in life than most however, not knowing Tony Shepherd's life story, are generally responsible for employing several personnel. They pay into their super funds, sick leave, a salary etc.

    However, what we do have to ensure is that they keep their hands out of our private super funds and don't go assessing the family home the way they did in the 1990s where it caused sooo much grief and hardship.
    WTF
    28th Mar 2017
    12:10pm
    Is this just another sounding board mission on behalf of SCO MO and his upcoming budget? Lets throw a line out (renewed push / idea o include house in assets) and see if it gets smashed to the degree it has in the past..... Is constituent opinion wavering perhaps?

    It's not just a spending problem... it's a revenue problem as well. If they put so much energy in to collecting what is rightfully due to go into the coffers (I'm taking company tax and so called religion enterprises tax).... how would the revenue side of things look then ?
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    1:00pm
    And return to these shores the $130Bn stolen to create the Futures fund to guarantee their personal pensions for life.
    Star Trekker
    28th Mar 2017
    4:21pm
    why not use some of the futures fund to pay the deficit. The saving in interest would pay pensioners
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:17pm
    Right on Star Trekker (gives Retiree Power Salute)....

    It appalls me that any government could be so craven as to ensure their own retirement funds by removing a huge amount of money from the Australian economy.. and it also appalls me that the 'opposition' whimper not one word.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:48pm
    Yep, they are trying to distract us from their mates not paying their taxes:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Young
    28th Mar 2017
    12:20pm
    Why should be living in exclusive suburbs live in homes worth over 3 million dollars (many much higher) and be entitled to a pension?
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    4:18pm
    They deserve to. Paid their dues, presumably you did and are receiving a pension on that basis. At least you recognise as an entitlement which of course it is for all, regardless of the value of their home.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:55am
    That's why assets and such were included in the first place.... however, it is fairly safe to say that a home owner in an exclusive area has some hidden assets, don'tcha think?

    Those are the ones that need looking at fully and properly.
    Old Fella
    28th Mar 2017
    12:31pm
    Most Retirees who have a home , have enjoyed seeing the value of that home rise with inflation. Some still have a mortgage to meet others not. Should a family sell their original home , after Legal costs, selling costs and other numerous financial costs the need for accommodation remains and the consequential lessor net cash values remaining generally dictates a downsizing to alternate inflated priced accommodation, be it far less desirable than the home you sold. Additionally I doubt there is much self contained housing accommodation in the populated areas of the Nation available for $375,000.00. Also while Lip Service is paid to the risk of a housing bubble burst no authority ever includes this potential impact on asset tests. Lets be loud and clear, Good Government secures the Health, Education and Defence of its people through cooperation and assistance of the people it governs. This Government and other recent Governments have failed in this basic task. Time to remove , replace and reeducate those who serve only self interest and a privileged few. Provide them the same meal as the general populace , they currently are all to FAT,
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    9:27am
    Old Fella I suspect if the figures were done that value in the home would be a great whopping capital loss.

    Interest payments, rates, insurance, maintenance, renovations etc have to be considered as well as depreciation over time.

    Shepard may be on an audit committee but trying to pretend a liability is an asset is untruthful isn't it.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    10:53am
    @Rae - I think you are confused as to what is an expense, asset and liability and don't get me started on depreciation. Have a chat to your accountant.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:59am
    Perfectly correct, Rae - if the home is to be considered an asset, then all costs that went into its purchase etc over the years need to be included in the calculation - on the basis of real dollar value for the day at its current equivalent (indexed).

    This applies to property investors, who also get concessional CG etc - so the same would have to apply to the home owner.

    Here's a starting yardstick:-

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/wages

    Then we could look at comparative rises in property cost etc...

    I'd suggest that the government get its money back from Shepherd and just get on with the real issues of tax dodging.

    This one's dead in the water now....
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    No Farside I'm not confused.

    If we apply ordinary accounting schedules to the family home over time then the same sorts of capital depreciations would occur.

    And I can discount all those costs from a rural asset investment or a rental property so if the family home becomes an asset under the test then the same expenses should be able to be subtracted from the ledger.

    I talk to my accountant quite a bit actually.

    You guys want your cake and to eat it as well.

    You want workers to pay for everything to do with the home including interest rates on the mortgage and then to apply some crazy price valuation 50 years later, ignoring all the costs involved and inflation and force the sale of those homes.
    john
    28th Mar 2017
    12:35pm
    For me disaster. Simple.
    I am in a worse spot than I was a year ago, cash poor asset not so poor, and I have reapplied for part pension etc. Not expecting any thing , but its not easy, and I suspect bean counters have no idea of reality of having just enough and not enough in an on and off situation of bill paying and just living.
    Maybe its me I might be the dill, but try all aspects to make a go and things do not always go right.
    Then penny pinchers in government come up with something else to frighten the average person with.
    If its not pension difficulties it is something like private health price rises, which are almost criminal.
    So I think we have a situation where this government is aiming all guns at the least who can afford it!
    julies
    28th Mar 2017
    12:39pm
    What next? Shirt off you back? Stop political entitlements for all pass and present pollies then we will be saving this country money!!!
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:50pm
    And also get corporations to pay their taxes:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Sunflower
    28th Mar 2017
    12:42pm
    This is downright disgusting! We've worked hard for what we have, which is very little, but do own our home. If they bring this into asset testing, people will be forced to sell their homes to live - what then??? Public housing - what a joke!!! These politicians are so out of touch with how real people live. What THEY receive is criminal. Walk a mile in our shoes - see how you like that!!! This government is doomed.
    Oh & don't get me started on what other welfare recipients receive as opposed to pensioners!!!
    jennyc355
    28th Mar 2017
    12:45pm
    If the family home is to be included,,what point would there be for any one after a certain age to own a home..might as well rent and then claim rental assistance ,,, just like a lot are doing ..Going to be a bigger burden then some one owning there home..Owners get little help in maintaining the family home other then rates deduction..The older people worked to pay for their home , got no help ..leave the family home out of assets ...
    Slimmer Cat
    28th Mar 2017
    12:52pm
    Those of us who are not on welfare but are keeping ourselves get no reductions in our rates.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    1:17pm
    Well - Slimmer - I've long argued for the equal treatment of RETIREES, but if you've got that much you can't really complain. A pensioner still only get $20 odd and has to pay all bills out of that.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    1:17pm
    That's $20k odd - damned finger....
    ZIPPY51
    28th Mar 2017
    12:45pm
    Once again pennsioners are being attacked by governments who have mismanaged the economy, wasted billions on subsidies for renewable green energy schemes and brought unproductive migrants and refugees to this country. If the government cut its waste and overspending, cut the entitlement and salaries of bloated public servants and politicians by 25% and abolished foreign aid the, country would/ may reach surplus in 2 years.
    We need a prime minister with balls who does not sell us out to the Chinese.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:51pm
    More like if the government just collected the taxes owed to Australia:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Rosret
    28th Mar 2017
    12:47pm
    Somehow there has to be a difference between the person who has lived in their home where real estate prices have rocketed out beyond warp speed and those who are deliberately upgrading their home using their superannuation and then claiming the pension.
    I am not sure how they would go about checking this. The easier formula is to give absolutely every pension age person a base pension awarded on years worked in Australia and whatever you save above that is yours to enjoy.
    I wonder how many older people would form a new relationship if they knew they could keep their single pension? - That might free up a few homes.
    They do it in other countries and I am positive it would save considerably on Centrelink infrastructure and policing. I wonder how much their faulty Centrelink software cost them.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    12:47pm
    There is no solid argument for including the family home in the assets test - the family home may be all some pensioners have apart from a small car etc, and even suggesting that ownership of a $1m home means they are above pension limit is absurd.

    The ONLY discussion open on this issue is where a house is over-valued for its area.

    Discussing owners v non-owners is meaningless anyway, since the value of rent in no way approaches value of a house, and furthermore, any government that wishes to put in such a ludicrous idea must also include cost of upkeep and mortgage as a reduction.

    Assets testing politician pensions is a far better idea.
    Supernan
    28th Mar 2017
    12:47pm
    Like someone already said, home owners already get penalised in assets test. non hom owners are allowed $200,000 more in assets than we are. We aren't even Baby Boomers but war babies. So had even longer with no benefits. No first home or baby bonus or family supplements.

    We bought this house & 5 acres in early 1970s on a dirt road & had to pay for power to be connected & pay a guaranteed amount on power for 2 years before they would connect us. Didn't see Gov racing to help there either. Supplied our own water, sewerage, telegraph poles, access track. No help with that either.

    Since then the area has expanded. They built a hospital, put in electric trains, extra schools, shopping centres. No doubt it has increased the value. Now they want us to sell it. So where do we go ? Away from the hospital, Drs, chemists, shops & our son & family nearby ? Just as we're in our mid 70s & need all this nearby ? Away from our neighbours who we know would always help in emergencies. Away from our garden with trees we have planted as saplings, where we can sit outside & hear birds we have seen raised. This is our haven & very definitely our family home.
    Brissiegirl
    28th Mar 2017
    1:15pm
    Value of the family home? It would be impossible to calculate. Some would be penalised for their home being in Melbourne and Sydney. Some would be penalised because it is in better condition than a similar version a few streets away. The only time the real market value of a home is known is the day it is sold. And just try forcing people to downsize, possibly unable to find something equally as comfortable or close to family, friends and services. This is an idea repeatedly pushed by people suffering from green-eyed-monster syndrome.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    1:20pm
    Don't forget the reality that it could well force many to seel, thus feeding the gluttonous appetites of the investors who are part and parcel of government these days and are a protected species.

    Time for some massive changes, methinks.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    2:40pm
    They have no trouble valuing second homes or holiday homes so I can't see a problem valuing houses. Aren't real estate agents now bound to value a house within 10% of it's worth now?

    We are in a classic propert boom that come around about e6very 10 years and only thing different from this one is the numbers. It has gone on longer that I thought it would be it's legs are getting very wobbly now. One move big move up and then it a big slump I reckon from what I have seen of previous ones. Sharemarket will then move into it's own bubble that will eventually burst nad we will have a recession. Then it all starts over again.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    2:45pm
    the difference with this property boom to those that have gone before is the low interest, low wage rate environment, globalism, reducing average household size, ageing population and employment uncertainty.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:05pm
    You can't eat a property boom......... unless you are a protected species investor....

    28th Mar 2017
    1:18pm
    I cannot believe I am living in the same country as the whingers who have posted comments about this article. Get a grip you poor old pathetic souls. Firstly, I can find no evidence that the first $200,000 of the family home is included in the assets test - as some respondents are claiming - that is bulls... Secondly, tell me who benefits from the ever increasing value of family homes whilst you old codgers draw on the tax payers purse? Your beneficiaries - correct? So while all of society is providing an income to you in your later years - your kids (in the main), are quietly praying you hold on as long as possible so they can cash in, big time. Where is the equity and fairness in that? Look at the bigger picture you sad old twats!
    4065
    28th Mar 2017
    1:36pm
    Take your own advice and look at the bigger picture. The government is trying to cut spending so there's more money in the budget, Instead of just looking at making cuts, how about concentrating on raising more money. For example instead of reducing pensions why don't they look at cutting negative gearing on investment properties? Is it because most MPs own investment properties and they already get the most generous aged pension via their lifetime remuneration - which by the way is not means tested at all. And by the way, when children inherit a family asset the government collects a tax on that too. Grow up.
    Brissiegirl
    28th Mar 2017
    4:14pm
    I didn't ask for the value of my home to increase. If the government banned overseas buyers, particularly cashed-up Chinese who are out-bidding and out-offering the vast majority of left-behind Australian buyers, all our homes would be worth less. I couldn't care less if the value of my home dropped to half. It is investors who would lose out on that score. And so what if we want our kids to benefit from what is left over from our hard work and sacrifices to pay off our homes so we are not burdens on taxpayer funded housing? It is natural that we give to our own and some of us see the family home as a refuge for our kids during their tough times. Maybe you Big Al would like to see the incentive to slave away paying off and maintaining a home done away with, such as penalising people for spending their disposable income on a home that increases in value through no fault of our own. If we would be penalised in old age because all our spare dollars went into our homes, maybe the attitude should be: forget buying a house and simply rely on government housing, drive more expensive cars, take holidays, regularly eat out, don't make sacrifices to pay off a home for our old age. I'm suspicious about people who want to see home-owners pension-penalised. It just sounds like they've done everything, been everywhere, seen everything chose to spend on things the rest of us went without, and now they don't own a home, their jealousy is all they have left. GREEN EYED MONSTERS. Plain as the nose on their faces.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:54pm
    Why not collect the taxes owed form large corporations who are tax cheats:
    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    9:38am
    I suspect when the figures were done just about all family homes held over 20 years would show a capital loss regardless of some imaginary "value" placed on them.

    The Central Banks have flooded the world with debt and that has caused huge asset inflation. Simple as that. It will correct. This time is not different.

    Whether it be bonds, shares, houses, CDOs whatever the Bears are beginning to growl.

    I agree with musicveg. This talk of welfare is 3% of GDP but the Corporations are walking away with 40%, paying no tax and nothing is said about that at all.

    Raise some revenue you fancy business people. Earn you keep.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    11:06am
    @Rae - taxes from corporate sector in Australia is roughly 60% that of other OECD countries, largely because of our tax mix. Focus on the 40% is simply moving the deck chairs. It's not that the 40% are doing anything illegal but that they have arranged their affairs to minimise global tax payments. We should be taxing them on earnings contribution from Australia however our 20th century tax system is broken and unsuited to the needs of the 21st century.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    12:00pm
    Punishing pensioners is moving the deck chairs - what is the point here?
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    1:00pm
    Farside corporate profits rose 20.1% in the last quarter. The place is booming and the government wants to cut pensions and wages. Makes no sense.

    That was 40% of GDP.

    Less than 3% of GDP is spent on all welfare and Social Security. This is a petty push to terrify the elderly and distract from the money flowing out of the country un taxed.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    @Rae - I am aware of the numbers and agree the welfare spend is affordable. My contention is the wider system is broken and needs to be rethought. If the government is able to tax the share of corporate earnings generated in Australia by those 671 companies it could potentially increase overall tax receipts. What will become an issue then is whether it results in increased payments or tax cuts for others. Given total direct taxation as % of GDP is already comparable I don't think we will be increasing taxes to become one of the highest taxing corporations in the OECD. Thus it will become a matter of winners and losers as they shuffle the deck chairs.
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    1:29pm
    You are correct Farside. Neoliberalism actually demands winners and losers. That is what is basically wrong with the ideology.

    Yes the wider system is certainly broken.

    We had the best redistribution arrangement in the world, a fine universal education system and a medical system the envy of the world. It was affordable. Our asset base and revenue base paid for it nicely.
    And they stuffed it. Sold it off or contracted it out, privatised it letting on the privateers to rake of the profits.

    Turned a seriously good home ownership record into a speculators field day.

    I don't see the solution but frightening retired pensioners and cutting minimum wages certainly isn't going to fix the mess.

    It is nasty bullying in my book.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    2:43pm
    I agree Big Al why should us taxpayers support these people who are more than double dipping the system.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:08pm
    Would you like salt and pepper with my shorts, Big Al? They're very tasty.... and you whining kids have to eat something since you can't do a real day's work for an income.

    You need to stop listening to all the idiots who rant on about how the generation that provides your education etc opportunities are just an silly bunch of old codgers living it high on your back.... you lived off ours for god knows how many years, and in far finer style than we did at young age.

    **Hush, but I just walked a mile in his shoes, and over the stony track of life there is no way he can catch me to get them back**
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:10pm
    Big Al didn't mention double dippers, Bonny - he slagged all of us - and I take it he is going to refuse any inheritance from his parents etc... (ROFL emoticon implied - damn this joint needs some emoticons .. hint, hint)....
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    5:51pm
    @Big Al - buddy, you can't find "evidence that the first $200,000 of the family home is included in the assets test"? You only had to ask because it is right in front of you. Look at the difference between the asset means test thresholds for homeowners and non-homeowners in the DHS tables and ask yourself what is the difference between these groups. Simple, and you're welcome.

    That said, in the scheme of things that $200,000 means little to your principal arguments. The fact remains that asset rich multi-million dollar homeowners can keep their homes to pass wealth to their heirs and receive aged pensions rather than spend the asset to finance their retirements. On the other hand, retirees with half the value in assets can miss out altogether - hardly fair.
    PlanB
    30th Mar 2017
    7:10am
    @Big Al, just because YOU are hoping your parents drop off and leave you a stack, does not mean to say all others are like that.

    Also you are NOT paying for us pensioners, it was we now Pensioners that paid extra taxes when we worked to pay for the pensions we get NOW, so know what you are talking about and get your facts straight.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    8:07am
    @PlanB - "it was we now Pensioners that paid extra taxes when we worked to pay for the pensions we get NOW" .... um, maybe for a wee while but any extra tax you feel you paid back in the day would have been consumed long before the National Welfare Fund was formally consigned to history in 1985, more than two decades after it was folded into consolidated revenue and became little more than an accounting exercise. The Menzies Government merged the social services contribution back into general income tax in 1950. Since that time, Australia has had no specific tax levied to pay for social security benefits. Any belief the 7.5% levy continued to be collected as a proportion of PAYE income tax is mistaken.
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    4:12pm
    @FGarside all taxes/levies collected go into general revenue, but that doesn't mean that part of that is not apportioned for pensions for everyone. There is nothing in the tax law that says otherwise.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    5:21pm
    @niemakawa - there is no budget appropriation for pensions for everyone. While you only need to make basic age and residence requirements to qualify for the aged pension, eligibility to receive payments is subject to a means test. These are not detailed in tax law but S1064 of the Social Security Act.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    5:21pm
    @niemakawa - there is no budget appropriation for pensions for everyone. While you only need to make basic age and residence requirements to qualify for the aged pension, eligibility to receive payments is subject to a means test. These are not detailed in tax law but S1064 of the Social Security Act.
    TREBOR
    31st Mar 2017
    2:28am
    "there is no budget appropriation for pensions for everyone."

    ..not since OUR Futures Fund was consolidated into (gasps) ... consolidated revenue.... and then became the plaything of political parties.....

    People Power, People........
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    2:35am
    @TREBOR - the national welfare fund remnants were swept up and consigned to history a working lifetime ago. Time to let it go and move on. There is no love in Canberra to bring it back although a national welfare fund run by an agency under the auspices of RBA, independent and untouchable by the government of the day would be a good thing.
    Dancing Queen
    28th Mar 2017
    1:22pm
    I live on my own and downsized three years ago into a cheaper, smaller villa and something that is low maintenance hoping to stay here until the kids cart me to the nursing home. What does the Government want me to do ... live in a tent?
    gadsby
    28th Mar 2017
    10:46pm
    Well the short answer is YES,Danncing Queen,but they would like you to take all your furniture with you,there not that "heartless".LOL
    in2sunset
    28th Mar 2017
    10:48pm
    Answer? - Yes. I am similar, just how much down grading can you do? Stupid, stupid fool I've been...should have stayed living in a govt house, and used all the money I put on my mortgage to live it up!!! What a fool I've been!!!!!
    4065
    28th Mar 2017
    1:26pm
    If the future of the budget is in such dire straits why don't the politicians look at things like reducing the level of negative gearing on investment houses? Is it because many of them own investment properties and would stand to lose out? After all, with the generous retirement allowances enjoyed by MPs they're not too worried about reducing the aged pension, but when it comes to negative gearing they don't want the government's hand in their pocket.
    Brissiegirl
    28th Mar 2017
    4:23pm
    If you've ever been to an auction you would see what the problem is. Chinese buyers who have no qualms about paying $100,000+ over the value/advertised price of a home. It doesn't matter what the bid from Australians, the Chinese just wait quietly and tack another $100K on without missing a beat. And yes, some MP's have multiple investment properties. Those of us who have paid off homes have nothing to gain by the increased value of housing with the resultant screaming by the usual Green Eyed Monsters that people in $1M houses should be made to move. But where do they move to? The continual plugging of this idea is insulting, it reeks of a very poor understanding of the complex dynamics of retirees and it will never work because it would be a bureaucratic nightmare on top of an electoral smashing. Expecting pensioners to move house in old age can cause enough stress to be the final nail in their coffins.
    martel49
    28th Mar 2017
    1:26pm
    I do not receive a pension as I have to be self funded, I do not agree that the family home should be included as an asset because if it was then maybe a lot of people may not bother to own a house at all. That would mean that there would be more people entitled to the old age pension. Why is it that baby boomers are blamed for all the financial problems Australia has, we had to pay for pensions that our previous generation received and many of us are still paying for the generations that followed us by way of our taxes..
    BillF2
    28th Mar 2017
    1:26pm
    So who benefits from Tony Shepherd's suggested changes to the Assets test? Certainly not the average punter, who, under the current test, would find himself/herself totally excluded from a state pension. In other words, through Grand Theft Canberra, there will be an even greater transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich to help compensate them for their total incompetence in managing the economy, and maintain them in the style they feel they are entitled to. It appears Gordon Gekko has many followers in Australia, and Tony Shepherd is their spokesman. What is just as disturbing is that the news media actually report this economic crap as though it were financial wisdom, when it should never make the pages of the newspaper or on-line media.
    Pop47
    28th Mar 2017
    1:27pm
    Baby boomers pensions ,well our governments have had 50 years to figure this out with all their so called highly paid experts yet at the eleventh hour they are still trying to figure it out and as usual beating up the pensioners again No future planning at all Govt too busy being PC
    HDRider
    28th Mar 2017
    1:43pm
    I'm sure if the scumbag Lib's messed with the original idea of the ALP on pensions etc and hit us oldies, the Union's would have to come out swinging with a general strike. The Govt know they'd be in hot water, this report was only a payment to a mate of the Liberal Party, he probably needed some holiday money.
    Joy Anne
    28th Mar 2017
    2:07pm
    That should not even be considered you load of parasites. What about the money for each night in your wives homes you claim for each night $273.00 This should go first. Turnbull all you are doing is destroying pensioners but not taking note of what the people are saying. STOP ALL RETIREMENT PENSIONS AND PERKS. Reduce your salaries by 10% instead of giving yourselves 3 % for next 3 years. You have done nothing for this increase. The people should have a vote if to increase your salaries and perks or not. This should not be anyone else's decision. Turnbull and LNP all you have ever done is SELL off Australia to the Chinese and arse licking Muslims and giving them everything and changing all our heritage and laws to make them the winners. Hate you and I hope you don't last long.
    Knight Templar
    28th Mar 2017
    6:51pm
    Let's have an identical income and assets test for politicians. After all, their lifetime fully indexed pension is paid by the taxpayer and is inarguably, a form of extremely generous government welfare unsurpassed by anyone in the private or public sector!

    It's about time legislation was amended to require politicians to contribute to a superannuation fund under the same conditions mandated for the rest of the Australian workforce.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    9:57pm
    There are better ways to increase income for the Government try collecting taxes from big corporations who dodge paying:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    dougie
    28th Mar 2017
    2:37pm
    when will people - commentators learn that many suggestions are put forward by so called "Think Tanks" and which are generally discarded without a thought by the Government of the day. Some may have some bearing and parts used but seldom the entire thought bubble.
    Who in business has not attended a "brainstorm" session from which either some or nothing has been taken up but then sometimes just a glimmer of an idea is developed.
    Why do commentators immediately go in to overdrive stirring up trouble worry and concern among the elderly over probably nothing and this applies to either or any party in Government or Opposition or in fact on the cross benches. Please be realistic.
    Rae
    28th Mar 2017
    2:53pm
    Nothing would surprise me. The Tory, Land Owning, Gentry have stolen our homes a time or two before.

    When there is nowhere else to go there'll be rebellion.

    Having millions of house owners with no income and forced to sell to the wealthy for discounted prices is obviously the outcome desired by cronies of the business lobby.

    Tony Shepard needs to get out of those Ivory Towers and take a good look around.

    They want a Generation war but I'm thinking a Class war would be better.

    99% vs 1%. Even the young property developer rich kids can't wait for the carnage.
    KB
    28th Mar 2017
    2:54pm
    Unless a retiree and has other substantial income to live on that that is where it should stop. Leave pensioners and low income people alone.
    floss
    28th Mar 2017
    2:56pm
    Don't look at me I did not vote for the L.N.P.I have always known what a pack of bastards they are. If you are a pensioner and voted for this mob you are only getting what you deserve. If you think this is bad think what will happen if they get another term in Government.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    2:58pm
    Plus let us NOT forget the fact that most of these Government SCUM went to UNI for FREE Kids today have to pay $100.000
    Brissiegirl
    28th Mar 2017
    4:25pm
    The Labor government introduced HECS and consecutive governments have increased it. That's a perfect example of why the public should never succumb to the introduction of any new tax.
    chris
    28th Mar 2017
    3:09pm
    in capital cities (as we know) the family home is valued at a much higher rate than would an equal home in a rural center. But both are just that, a family home. The same rule applies if the home owner decides to downsize. The smaller property will be more expensive than an equal one in a rural center. It won't matter whether it is in an over 55 village or not. I think that Mr shepherd is getting a bit hung up on dollars and cents instead of common scense. After all he has retirement pending by the look of him in his photo, But his position is no doubt way above average on the rungs of the financial ladder.
    Juno
    28th Mar 2017
    3:11pm
    Hi, I wonder if it will ever be possible for these Public Service Exorcist types to do
    something constructive for Aust instead of trying to find any means to bleed retirees
    dry and tax families out of all hope for the future. Send these charlatans to
    Centrelink or Medicare, You will never hear from them again, apart from the
    screaming that :we wus robbed: Adrian
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:16pm
    NEVER-NEVER-NEVER. When will these people ever learn.
    tams
    28th Mar 2017
    3:19pm
    Once again we see all the same complaints forthcoming without any details of what is being considered.
    What about if the cap on the family home is $3.0m.
    How many of the commentators below actually believe a person owning a home worth $3.0m should get an aged pension of $877 p/f.
    Let's get the facts right. Today's tax payers pay for today's pensions. In the 2000's those paying tax paid for the age pension.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    3:25pm
    If a person has been in the home for many years it could quite likely be worth 3 Million if it was in the middle of Sydney or such WHY then should they have to move out when they may have bought it for $40.000 many years ago OR EVEN LESS once you get to a certain age the last thing you want to do it up stakes and MOVE and why should they their friends and Family maybe around them and that where they WANT to be --- it might be different if they have JUST bought a place worth $3.000000
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:28pm
    Pensions for all regardless of the value of the family home. That is their right. I ask why should those that spent their "nest egg" over many years before retirement . They have already enjoyed the fruits of their endeavours, and those that were less frivolous in their spending habits want theirs now during their retirement years. Why should people receive rent assistance or subsidised public housing, with virtually no other overheads to consider. The family home is sacrosanct and will remain so.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:30pm
    read: Why should those that spent their etc ..... receive special treatment when it comes to the age pension. They are no more deserving as far I am concerned.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    12:03pm
    Never forget that many HAD to spend to stay afloat in this modern disaster of government and economies, both national and global.
    Dabbydoos
    28th Mar 2017
    3:38pm
    My daughter and granddaughter live with me, I own my small 3 bedroom unit. I receive a full pension. Should the house be included in the assets test I would be forced to sell my house and live on the proceeds. Eventually both my daughter, who works in Aged Care and my granddaughter who hopes to attend University, would find themselves homeless.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:53pm
    Be careful what information you give on these forums. There are a lot of stooges and jealous people circling around waiting to pounce. They know who they are!!! Good luck with your family and may good fortune be with you.
    Ruben
    28th Mar 2017
    3:39pm
    Thank you Star Trekker-I have been saying for a long time in this forum that the family home is already included in the asset pension test- only to be ridiculed - there are 2 tables in the test -one for home owners the other non homeowners with different threshold rates for each one- of course the family home included in the asset test-however there is no differentiation between a $1M dollar home or a $250K home in the test
    Bes
    28th Mar 2017
    3:42pm
    Nothing but encouragement from the pollies then?
    It is hypocritical that the politicians who have been responsible/irresponsible in the past, of allowing and/or lobbying for huge intakes of (illegal) immigrants and refugees now call out our ailing and overloaded welfare services.
    They now pick the easiest target…the one’s who worked and saved and were able to pay off a mortgage….sometimes on only one wage.
    The Pensioners of Australia.
    Of course this was a time when a 3 x 1 and one car sufficed.
    The concept of a Welfare System was firstly envisaged to being viable based upon the population and the tax paying electorate.
    The numbers of aged and retiring number of ex taxpayers were replaced by new young people working and paying tax.
    Over the years, we have seen a steady influx of non-taxpaying people allowed into our country.
    Higher numbers of which, were introduced under the persuasion of certain governments.
    We are now facing the consequences of those decisions.
    The government of the day and our welfare system is now faced with the burden of the number of taxpaying people who work being almost equalled by those who do not pay tax.
    Border controls and the steady hand of economics have been ignored, but are essential.
    Because we have a Welfare System it is wrong to fantasise under a cloud of sentiment, that a country can open its doors without facing the burden of cost to tax payers into the future.
    As the saying goes the chickens (baby boomers) are coming home to roost. Unfortunately along with them are MANY MANY others.
    The welfare landscape has now changed.
    (One could call it Cuckoo Land I suppose, based upon natures phenomenon of a bird that expects others to raise their young.)
    But many remain to be Cuckoos and live in YOUR nest!
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:56pm
    Call them by their real title "Freeloaders" who come here, do nothing and expect to be given all and sundry on demand.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    10:08pm
    Refugees using our welfare (if they don't work which most prefer) is costing far less than unpaid taxes.We open our doors to multi-national companies who reap the land of resources only to pay any or very little tax, the land wasn't even theirs to begin with so how are they allowed to make trillions of profit without giving back to Australia:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Handyman
    28th Mar 2017
    3:46pm
    In reference to BIG L
    Information from Human services and readily available online:-
    ASSETS TEST FREE AREA FOR FULL PENSION
    A single homeowner is allowed $250000 in assets and a single non homeowner is allowed $450000 before their pension payment starts to reduce.
    Couple homeowners are allowed $375000 and couple non homeowners are allowed $57500 before their pensions start to reduce.

    This would be the magic $200000 you fail to see!! $200000 extra asset allowance between homeowners and non homeowners.
    The point missed so far is that non homeowners also have an entitlement to up to single non homeowner $132.20 per fortnight and couple non homeowners $124.60 per fortnight.
    OlderandWiser
    28th Mar 2017
    4:45pm
    And this results in a cost of $300 per week for some to live in the home they spent 30+ years paying for PLUS the cost of rates, insurance and maintenance etc, while renters receive rent assistance despite often incurring a total rent cost of well under the cost the homeowner suffers.

    The system is totally broken. It provides strong incentives to be irresponsible and to manipulate and punishes the honest, the frugal, and the hard working harshly. Of course welfare is unaffordable. Greedy fools create and feed a welfare mentality, then whine about the cost it imposes.

    Wake up and reform the system to be fair and provide incentives and rewards for responsible behaviour and penalties for manipulation and carelessness and we might solve the problem without devastating needy retirees who have an emotional attachment to their homes.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:02pm
    @Rainey nicely put, but a bit too lenient and polite on the irresponsible ones who are screwing the pension system. It is not the Home-owner, that is for sure.
    mikecrook
    28th Mar 2017
    4:11pm
    Pity to see a few xenophobic comments, looks like some people have a fixation. They need to take lessons in humanity.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    4:19pm
    What is xenophobic, in your own words please.?
    mikecrook
    28th Mar 2017
    4:11pm
    Pity to see a few xenophobic comments, looks like some people have a fixation. They need to take lessons in humanity.
    Mad as Hell
    28th Mar 2017
    4:16pm
    Tell them they're dreaming

    28th Mar 2017
    4:20pm
    Tony Shephard is spot on.
    Its time to take the emotive argument that your principal home should be excluded.

    Set the threshold at national average price of a home or some other reasonable threshold
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    4:22pm
    They should not give any concessions to non-homeowners in that case. No rent subsidies.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    5:14pm
    Why not? If people can't afford rents then they would be on the streets. If you own a house you are streets ahead of those who don't. Stop being envious if thise worse off than you.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:23pm
    @Bonny, what rot. Home-owners have many expenses to maintain the home, as you well know. Preferential treatment of non-homeowners is discriminatory. Most are in that predicament through their own volition.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:55pm
    Careful, Rafe - you'll be trampled in the crowd going the other way... that's democracy for ya.....

    Niekie - a good argument for paying home owners housing/rental assistance..... I could do with a little kick....
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    10:19am
    Only after capital costs have been worked out as per any other asset. Most homes would be carrying substantial capital losses over time. Some won't but I suspect those home owners don't claim an OAP or social security welfare. Corporate welfare is something else entirely.

    Then return Capital Gains tax on all gains including the home when sold without 50% discounts which obviously has decimated revenues.

    Why should the held family home be disadvantaged to suit speculators?
    floss
    28th Mar 2017
    4:26pm
    Bes you are correct ignore Mikecrook he and his thinking are part of the problem.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    4:27pm
    About time we ended this inequity in the OAP. The sooner it happens the better.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    4:35pm
    Jealousy on your part as it is with many posters here, is more like it. If it wasn't for the home-owner you would all be poor. So be thankful for their contribution to continue enjoying your subsidised life style.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    5:10pm
    I do own a house and I hopefully I will never qualify for the OAP as things eould have to get very bad for evryone if that was to happen.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    6:28pm
    @Bonny but have you mortgaged your house to support you financially in retirement. ?
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    9:39am
    No I have never had a mortgage on my country estate. I paid for it with cash a long time ago.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    12:06pm
    Ah - a drug dealer - that explains it... all.....
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    2:30pm
    There are much better businesses than drug dealing and since I only pick the best no drug dealing for me.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    4:13pm
    Ah - a Tax Concessionist then... eve worse - at least drug dealing is an honest business...
    Ginaus
    28th Mar 2017
    4:29pm
    unsustainable.... stop increasing your wage and definitely stop paying muslims benefits, stop bringing in thousands of them..... stop foreign aid... and there will be enough money....
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    4:39pm
    I would encourage people to visit their local Centrelink office,an eye opener.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    10:11pm
    So you would prefer all refugees just die? This is costing us far less than what we don't get from corporations who dodge tax:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Marlo
    28th Mar 2017
    5:00pm
    The family home should be included. The level of assets would be raised so that those with a house to a certain value would not be affected. But why should someone who owns a house worth, say 2 million, get an aged pension? If an aged person has a $2million house but no money to live on, then they could have a caveat placed on the home to repay their receipt of the pension when that house is sold or left to family.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:05pm
    An what about the non-homeowners, the ones that are really abusing the aged pension system why should they come out unscathed ? You nor anyone else has the right to steal from the home-owner what they have striven for in life. To support this initiative your are aiding and abetting theft.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    5:07pm
    Everyone should be given a debt when the get the OAP to be paid from their estate. That's the easiesy way to fix this problem.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:10pm
    @Bonny. So on that basis if a person dies and has no assets to repay their debt, then surely that debt must be passed on to their family members, not other taxpayers or pensioners.
    Bonny
    28th Mar 2017
    5:12pm
    Others can not pay you debts under most circumstances. Just like if you die with nothing the state pays for your funeral.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2017
    5:17pm
    We paid bloody taxes when we went we went to work to PAY for our pensions THAT was the DEAL!!!!!
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:18pm
    @Bonny, you have made a contradiction in your argument. First you say others cannot pay your debt, yet you expect home-owners to pay the debts of these people. The cost of a basic funeral costs around $7,000.00 but a lifetime of receiving a pension will add up to much more, yet you expect other taxpayers (home-owners) to pay this debt, No just not on. Pass it to the family even if it takes a few generations to pay off. I do not want to pay from my estate for these people, thank you very much.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:19pm
    @PlanB of course it was and still is.
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    6:01pm
    We live in a democracy, Bonny, therefore politicians and bureaucrats, many who have been on pensions for decades
    and have certainly used up any super they paid in, should also pay back their pensions on their death.
    Let's go further. Folk who have ever been in receipt of child benefit, maternity benefit, unemployment benefit,
    sick benefit should have a running total and pay it all back on their death.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    6:08pm
    @Triss, yes that should be the case, truly equitable . I am sure all the detractors ,who insist the family home should be included, would agree, they just love the word "equitable" so now they can enjoy it .
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:57pm
    Sorry, Bonny - it's been explained to you before that the Pension is a bought and paid for right and will never be a debt to the State. Rather the State can fulfill its debt to Pensioners by raising their pensions in line with politicians.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    2:28pm
    A state funded funeral is just the necessary body disposal nothing more so no where near $7000. Gee I could build a bonfire and burn a body for peanuts. That's all people really need all this other stuff is so unnecessary.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:26pm
    You Indian, you - the Guv spits up seven grand to put you in the ground.... and it's a closed shop on this body burning...
    Rodent
    28th Mar 2017
    5:26pm
    Hey OG where are you? your favorite subject!!!
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    5:33pm
    Yes, I wondered that. We've missed you, Old Geezer.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:58pm
    He'll be along to tell us all about it from his expert point of view.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    2:36pm
    fair go, his feelings are possibly hurt after the last time he was on here. While OG might have strong opinions from time to time, there is no doubt he is a sensitive soul except where teachers are concerned. It would have come as a shock for someone to say he had a mile long upturned nose. Show a little empathy people.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:27pm
    I hope he hasn't taken the honourable way out... we need a little counter-balance to any argument.....
    Old Geezer
    30th Mar 2017
    4:35pm
    Been busy looking a house to buy so that I can get the OAP. Apparently if I buy a expensive house I can get the full OAP plus all the benefits.
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    5:30pm
    Is there a lack of logic in using a home to lower the pension? If you don't own a home you get a rent subsidy. If you own a home you don't get a subsidy so saving the government that money. If your house is then included in the assets test you're being hammered twice because you don't get a subsidy and a portion of your pension is removed as well.
    My logic says that because non-home owners get a subsidy and home owners don't then the house has already been assessed as far as a pension goes.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:42pm
    Of course that is the case. Your logic is spot on. Those pensioners that want the family home included in the assets test think they will get more pension as a result. They must be demented to assume such, as that will not happen. It is a push by Government to steal money from home-owners.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    7:59pm
    I'd suggest, rather, that the costs of owning a home are considered in the same light as Rental "assistance - in which case why don't home owners get mortgage assistance and/or housing cost assistance?

    Plenty of anomalies going the rounds....
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    10:38am
    That's my argument for working out fair value after costs are included TREBOR just like all the other assets included in the test. I barely break even with my home after 45 years when I add depreciation and inflation into the sums that subtract interest payments, rates, insurance, maintenance, etc just like you do for all other assets counted in Centrelink or tax returns.

    i've seen the averages and I still reckon my home is a great big liability really. I would have been better off selling it and buying Commonwealth Bank shares at the float. The $42000 it cost to build in 1973 would be equal to how much now in real terms. Subtract all costs over that time frame.

    Big Capital loss. Which is why this is a stupid idea. OAP are not the speculators with the million dollar property portfolios on interest only loans.

    What a mess!
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    11:30am
    @Triss - home ownership is valued at $200,000 for aged pension eligibility. This is equivalent to average $10,000 per year in current dollar terms over 20 years of retirement. Homeowners dissatisfied with this bargain can always sell up and line up with their renting brethren to collect rental allowances.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    2:24pm
    OAPs get much cheaper rates than the rest of us so that's your rental assistance. Cheaper rego and many other benefits us fully funded retirees pay full price plus extra to cover others paying refuced rates. Everyone should oay the same.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:28pm
    So a retired politician on $300k tax free a year should get a host of freebies?
    Dot
    28th Mar 2017
    5:33pm
    Billions of our hard earn cash is flooding out in foreign aid, millions more to those who have come here in the past decade plus, from Africa and middle east in welfare, baby bonus, family allowances, rental assistance, free health and more and who the bl--dy business man is targeting is us who have worked for every speck of dust without any assistance from the government, why do you think little johnny had the buy back guns it's to protect the politicians and not us the law abiding citizens. World wide politicians are corrupt, looking forward to the day when their blood will run due to their corruption.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    5:37pm
    Agree with your comments. This is the biggest fraud happening in our society today, yet the politicians do nothing to stop it. You may ask why. Well to me it is quite obvious they want it. Nothing will get in their way, they hope. Little do they know.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    10:15pm
    I don't think it is millions of refugees coming her and what else do you want for them? to die? Yes politicians just care about making money for their investments mainly in dirty energy why these corporations are allowed to dodge paying tax:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    12:09pm
    The greatest bleeding of the economy is into offshore enterprises and the 'global economy' and into the 'business' class, in which many politicians have interests and even stakes - the end user pays for it all in every way.
    Blossom
    28th Mar 2017
    6:23pm
    I know a couple who bought a house-land package in an outer suburb in the early 1980s for under $30,000. That house is now worth over $300,000 even though it needs considerable renovations/repairs. It is a basic standard 3 bedroom home, no ensuite on what is now considered an average size block of land. In the inner subarbs the same house built in the 1950s which in 1980 was worth approx. $38, 000 was worth $540,000.00 in 2012. Their asset value has changed because of the increase of new courtyard homes around it.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    9:48am
    All houses have gone up like everything else it is called inflation. Even the OaAP is many times what it was back then. It is price of houses today that is important and is a big untapped source of wealth that could help support the OAP system. Why not have people pay back their OAP after they die as they have no need for it after they die. The next generation should not be given a lottery win paid for by taxpayers.
    marls
    28th Mar 2017
    6:35pm
    The gvt needs more money to pay for the thousands of invaders coming in all on welfare
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    6:39pm
    Yes and there are more and more coming. The Government is very quiet on that issue. Do you have any spare rooms because that will be the Governments next target. ?????????????/
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    10:19pm
    Invaders? Are you talking about refugees? We are all refugees! And we are all invaders of this land which was already owned and very well looked after by Indigenous people. There is more money available which the government doesn't want to collect because they have investments in dirty energy industry:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    11:04pm
    Invaders are the so-called refugees, it has been well documented.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    11:29pm
    Niemakawa where are these documents I would like to read them.
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    12:20am
    I am going by your last comment " We are all invaders" so you must know.
    PlanB
    29th Mar 2017
    6:44am
    Refugees / Immigrants ? all the same, Aussie is a huge area BUT very little is able to be inhabited -- we have not enough water / nor infrastructure, there is a certain amount of people we can support NO more!
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    10:00am
    There is a limit to the number of people that Australia's resources can support however it's not that there should be a halt to growth but rather how we should grow. This will require rethinkng what our cities mean to us. The urban sprawl must stop; it helps nobody in the long run. Australia's urban areas have amongst the lowest densities of any developed city. Increased density would reduce housing costs and infrastructure expansion requirements. At the same time it would increase the effectiveness of established infrastructure and make new infrastructure more cost effective.
    Kaz
    28th Mar 2017
    6:43pm
    Stop talking about it. They say things like that to get you used to it. I paid for my home over decades of working with my after tax dollars and it is my home - not an asset I can realise as I must live somewhere!
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    6:48pm
    That is the point, they want you to "hock" your home to pay for your pension. Just not on . Fight for your right and entitlement to a pension regardless of the value of the family home.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    9:49am
    It is coming.
    Needy not Greedy
    28th Mar 2017
    6:56pm
    If the mongrels bring this in then Flame Throwers are the answer lads, they worked in the 1940's when used to drive and fry to a crisp enemy soldiers and sympathisers out of their hidey holes and would work just as well driving these arseholes out of their Canberra Temple, and reading this blog I don't think many baby boomers would piss on them to put out the flames!
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2017
    7:15pm
    Should change your name to Greedy Not Needy
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2017
    7:16pm
    Problem is Greedy People stash their wealth in their home and put their hands out for OAP
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    8:43pm
    @Raphael. No you and your ilk are the greedy ones and not only that you want to steal from the home-owner in the process.
    PlanB
    29th Mar 2017
    6:48am
    Raphael, many have had their homes for MANY decades and they would have gone up in value -- as they darn well should -- that should not be counted as an asset and made to force people to sell, if you have a home you should be able to keep it !
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    10:17am
    Raphael is right that people would "stash their wealth in their home" until the home is included in the assets means test once again. Some may have bought homes decades ago but many are recent buyers. The issue is not about forced sales but eliminating cross-subsidisation and rorting of the welfare system. Cash poor retirees living in expensive homes should not expect taxpayer to fund them while cash rich asset poor retirees go without.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    12:12pm
    Nonsense - only this with heaps of discretionary income already 'stash' their money into their house so they can obtain an OAP. In that case they are easy to ferret out through a simple review of their tax records over the years.

    Most people don't have any opportunity to 'stash' their cash in the family home. It's costing a fortune to renovate this house for the ex's disabilities and to improve its comfort zones... is that 'stashing' income in the home?

    Hardly.... it's necessity...
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    12:22pm
    @TREBOR - renovation to adapt an unsuitable house for a disabled person is indeed expensive. This is why I sold my house and I am building a smaller house that is more suited to the needs of the disabled.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:30pm
    Nearly there after spending a pot of gold - not going back now. At the moment I'm job-hunting to top up the travel fund that was depleted. Tough old bastard....
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    6:17pm
    @TREBOR, I know where you're coming from. Good luck with the job hunting. There is not much love for tough old bastards in today's job market.
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    7:29pm
    The primary residence may well have been the centre of family life and the house of memories for many retirees however retirees should not expect the taxpayer to subsidise such sentimentality.

    Cash poor retirees wishing to stay put need an effective mechanism to release equity in the house to enable them to live out their days however it would be preferred they be encouraged to downsize. Household occupancy is falling and there is a demand for well located family homes occupied by elderly singles and couples. Recycling these houses would ensure continuing demand for established infrastructure like schools, parks, sports facilities, shops and services. The alternative sees these facilities rapidly decline and one or two people rattling around in a largely unoccupied home. Waiving stamp duty on transition to a smaller home is welcome.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    8:12pm
    It's not sentimentality - it's Lebensraum....
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    11:24pm
    @Trebor - "Lebensraum", really - expansion to justify nazi ambitions? Boomers are well past the need of large family homes for lebensraum by the time they reach retirement. If we are honest it is sentimentality and greed that wants the taxpayer to keep them in their high value homes.
    Eddy
    29th Mar 2017
    10:25am
    Farside, my wife and I worked hard for our modest 3 bedroom (which is currently a 2 bedroom plus sewing room), we like it and intend to stay here until we either die or are no longer capable of living independently. Others may feel differently and good on them.
    One suggestion for consideration is that any OAP paid out be a charge on ones estate, recoverable after death. That way the OAP could still be funded without too big a burden on the taxpaying population. I don't suggest this should be applied immediately or retrospectively but should be a consideration for the future. The assets/income tests could be eliminated. In the modern age of computers any transfer of assets and income to defraud he system could be tracked by ATO/Centrelink.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    11:17am
    @Eddy, of course you should be able to stay in your home if you wish, which is why I fully support a government regulated equity release scheme that will achieve what you propose. My issue is with people who want to use their home as a source of future wealth transfer while putting their hands out for welfare that really should be going to the needy.

    Universal pensions and basic national incomes would largely do away with means tests however we are not there yet.
    Eddy
    29th Mar 2017
    12:24pm
    Sorry Farside, I may have misjudged what you meant. I am rather sensitive on the subject of my house after hearing some commentators and politicians refer to 'us' as selfish if we do not sell up and downsize.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:31pm
    I just like the way Lebensraum rolls off the tongue - Living
    Space.... not an unreasonable concept.... I was waiting to see if any would pick it up.....
    Handyman
    28th Mar 2017
    8:37pm
    I think many seniors are retaining their homes because they see the value in their property being able to fund their move into aged care ....when it happens. If assets are increased by inclusion of the family home in the total asset value, and subsequent reduction in pesion eligibility....folloed by reduction in assets how does one fund aged care later in life?
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    9:52am
    People need to understand that you get savevage care if younare rich or poor. Rich pay poor don't. It is the biggest gripe of residents in age care I hear it all the time.
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    10:54am
    Yes Bonny the wealthy are pissed off that ordinary workers have homes. They never did before now did they? Plan after plan to get those houses back into the "right " hands will continue. One way or another all this nonsense of ordinary workers getting uppity will cease.

    And how dare they consider handing anything to their heirs. Only the deserving rich have proper heirs from proper schools and all that.

    And we know those ordinary heirs don't deserve anything. They'll just blow it going to Disneyland. The wealthy heirs do so much better blowing it on yachts and trophy homes in fancy places.

    The rich I know have almost permanent states rooms on the Queens or hire nurses and housekeepers.They do not go into nursing homes.

    Paid for by the Country Estate Trust of course. Why pay taxes when you can have servants and claim for them. Right?
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    11:23am
    @Rae, nobody objects to ordinary workers owning property or leaving inheritances for their heirs. The objection is to asset rich retirees putting their hands out for welfare rather than using their assets to fund retirement. This steals the welfare budget from the 80% who do not have the means to fully fund their retirements.
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    1:45pm
    They are a problem Farside but this less than 3% of GDP cost isn't a big issue. Certainly not to the extent the LNP are making it out to be.

    They need to start raising revenue. Business people who can raise corporate profits by 20% should be able to sort a bit of extra billions into the Treasury surely. They get paid enough.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    2:24pm
    @Rae, I agree there is a revenue problem but there is limited scope to raise more revenue from direct personal and corporate taxes without bumping up against the ceiling tax-to-GDP ratio that enables Australia to be favourably compared with other OECD countries. The system is broken and not suited to either the the prevailing economic environment or the emerging future environment with its sustainability challenges, reduced workforce participation, disruptive technologies, globalisation and an ageing population.

    The 3% GDP spend on welfare is not a source of disagreement but it is part of a larger conversation as to the national budget priorities.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:33pm
    All property and position and control of wealth for the good of all should be vested in the rich, who have proven themselves to be responsible and reliable - and the lolly-gagging peons can rent it back in perpetuity..... they only need sufficient income to pay their rent and eat a basic good diet.........

    Shades of the good old days of capitalism two centuries ago.....
    Handyman
    28th Mar 2017
    8:40pm
    I am hopeful that all you people who are fired up about this issue remember how they felt when the next election comes around. Some sort of organisation is needed to use joint power to let pollies know how we feel.
    gadsby
    28th Mar 2017
    10:32pm
    Realy Handyman ,do you think "back flip Bill will be any different".
    PlanB
    29th Mar 2017
    6:51am
    You can bet your life I will NEVER forget these lot EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    10:22am
    Hearts and minds of pollies will only changed when there is an alternative candidate supported by organised resistance in marginal seats.
    Aquarian
    28th Mar 2017
    8:46pm
    I have no issue with a family home valued over a certain amount being included in the assets test. A maximum value should be set that is regularly reviewed. Any amount over that value should be incuded in the assets test. Otherwise the "rich" simply make sure their assest are tied up in the family home and that way they can qualify for the pension.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    8:52pm
    Regardless of assets or income everyone must qualify for the pension.
    Dot
    28th Mar 2017
    9:37pm
    Read somewhere that there will be an extra one million refugees or migrants every three years added to this country which is stone broke in other words in a decade an extra three million human termites eating up taxes.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    9:49pm
    The Globalists are forcing this upon us. Labs/Lab/Greens all part of the plan to flood this Country with so-called refugees. They care not about the long-term consequences of their madness and will persist with the notion of multiculturalism which is an abject failure everywhere. Some politicians in Europe have warned that 20 million Africans will be settled on the continent in the next five years. Australia will follow suit but to a lesser extent in numbers. The Government is now planning to accommodate these people so the money has to come from somewhere and they are targeting home-owners. At least there are some caring politicians in this world, Trump for instance. We need a leader with similar sentiments, so bear that in mind come the next election.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    10:22pm
    Where do you get your information? This is propaganda!

    There is heaps of money available in collecting unpaid taxes from corporations that have never paid or very little:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Ripped Off Granny
    28th Mar 2017
    9:39pm
    Suddenly my home is being asset tested. I have a car but no other assets, is this correct? I have not had the fluctuation in my pension before this and my savings have dwindled. Why is this now happening?
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    12:14pm
    As someone said - this is all wind and piss to distract the public from the real issues of taxation of the rich etc....
    gadsby
    28th Mar 2017
    10:13pm
    What a horrible country ,this has turned into,from a personal point of view ,im 66 still run my own business ,and enjoy pretty good health(touch wood)some of my friends who are the same age ,arent so lucky,but they get by on their pension and the small amount of super ,they accruded.
    Why does this character Sheppard seem intent on harming folk who's working life is behind them,and arent capable of working full time again.does he tell his elderly father (if he's got one)to go out and find a job.of course he doesnt.

    This guy isnothing more than a fixer,doing the governments dirty work he is putting the idea out there so the government can sit back and see the reaction,if its not to bad they will probably run with it.after all i wont affect them personaly.

    Trouble is its only a band aid solution ,if they cant control spending taxing the most vunerable isnt going to help them dig there way out of the hole they got themselves into.
    maybe bringing in 1000s of refugess here and throwing them on welfare ,would be a good place to start,but then again they dont want to lose face in front of the international community(oh this is Australia,weve got plent of money),some one should remind theses people "charity begins at home"we voted them in to look after Australians ,they work for us.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    4:50pm
    It is simple if you get welfare it should be paid back when you die.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    4:52pm
    OG, of course for everyone. So those that do not have assets then the debt must be passed to the family of the deceased. Simple as that.
    musicveg
    28th Mar 2017
    10:23pm
    It is all scare tactics by the Government to distract us from what is really going on:

    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/corporate-tax-inquiry-submission
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    11:05am
    Totally agree.
    Linda
    28th Mar 2017
    11:19pm
    This is just another way to hit the oldies, and homeowners. It is not good enough that via the lurks and perks they have locked out the young folks from owning a house, now, they want to make it impossible for the oldies too. Meanwhile the cashed up migrants, and the wealthy go untouched in comparative terms. And these same turkeys expect to be re elected. They are also looking at ways to take away the health card, I gather. It is not our fault if the home we have increased in value due to circumstances we as individuals did not create, instead, it was created by law makers and governments.
    Linda
    28th Mar 2017
    11:26pm
    If a person has been in the same home for 20 or 30 years, it will have increased in value. This is not hiding assets in real estate, this is having a home that suits one's needs. Selling costs money, buying costs money, moving costs money, and then after that money is lost, there will not be as much left in the assets test, but a home will be lost, one that was paid for, while working and paying taxes. If one invests in real estate, that is a different story. At our house our home is not seen as an asset, it is shelter in an increasingly nasty world.
    PlanB
    29th Mar 2017
    6:53am
    DArn right Linda
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    10:28am
    @Linda - a government regulated equity release scheme would enable you access to additional cash without having to sell your home. You should not assume everyone would make your choices however because family accommodation requirements change after 30 years in the same home. This is where incentives like waiving stamp duty come into play.
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    11:09am
    Yep this is definitely a banker's wet dream. Reverse mortgages. A mortgage going in and one coming out. More debt. Yah!

    More money to add to the billions in profits each half year.
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    11:56am
    @Rae - I would not be reluctant to let the bankers in on equity release. The banks' reverse mortgage products leave much to be desired and are frequently unsuited to the needs of vulnerable borrowers. The mortgage on the way out would be settled against the estate so the books would be cleared.
    Rae
    30th Mar 2017
    8:56am
    Farside if you believe the Government will set up a reverse mortgage scheme worth heaps in the form of home confiscations and then not sell it to the lowest mate bidding for it then you haven't been watching the game for the past 20 years or so.

    We don't have a proper government just a few bunches of scheming scoundrels.
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    4:16pm
    @Farside all reverse mortgage products leave a lot to be desired. Steer away from them. The Government should know better than to promote such products. But as with not only the Libs but all major political parties in Australia all are morally and ethically bankrupt.
    Leave my home out of the equation.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    5:09pm
    @niemakawa - agreed re reverse mortgage which is why I and others talk about equity release arrangements being administered by a government agency so funding is cheap and it is not for profit.
    PAYEdmydues
    28th Mar 2017
    11:35pm
    I've no issue with family home being included in assets test providing this is targeted above a sensible value say $2 million. Of course I'm not concerned with balancing the budget.
    PlanB
    29th Mar 2017
    6:58am
    Quite a lot of homes might fall into that value if they have been owned for decades -- and why should people be forced to sell I had a home in Sydney built in the 50s cost about $5000 then but if I still had it -- I do not, but my neighbours are still there --would be worth at least a Million -- maybe more now
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    3:14pm
    That figure of $2 million has been doing the rounds for some time now. Theynwill bring it in with a high figure so that very few are affected and then either let inflation catch up to it or once in they can adjust it.

    What would be the value of that $5000 in 1950 be today? 100 times plus some would be my guess.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    3:14pm
    That figure of $2 million has been doing the rounds for some time now. Theynwill bring it in with a high figure so that very few are affected and then either let inflation catch up to it or once in they can adjust it.

    What would be the value of that $5000 in 1950 be today? 100 times plus some would be my guess.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    3:20pm
    $1m today was worth $5000 65 years ago.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:35pm
    Yes - it's all part of the equation of costs of living v income..... doesn't change in reality, only in figures... a bit like people as they grow older.......
    FEDUP
    29th Mar 2017
    4:41am
    In 1976 I lent my mother $16,000 to purchase the Housing Commission house we were living in after my father died. Instead of purchasing the house, which was to be left to me, she remarried, and used the money for a new home elsewhere in Sydney. That Housing Commission home is now worth over $1,000,000 on todays market. I have nothing near that amount of money, but it shows just far out of step Tony Shepard is when he is doing his sums. The Sydney, Melbourne market for houses is so far in excess of his $375,000 to be irrelevant to his mathematics. If he has an Economics degree, maybe he should put new batteries in his calculator, because his figures just do not add up. Also, just for my tuppence worth on the political scene. What about the rural areas, where you can buy a house for less than a $100,000 are they going to be the only pensioners in Australia if the family home is included? Leave the family home alone or cap it at $1,000,000, if you can afford that price you can afford to not have a pension.
    PlanB
    29th Mar 2017
    7:04am
    I agree FEDUP but even if the home is worth $1.000000 if they have lived in it for ages -- that will be the case I say leave the bloody home alone.

    These Bastard pollies can get their pension while still able to get another well-paid job and also whilst owning MANY properties AND travelling to them on OUR money.
    Liverpool Anne
    29th Mar 2017
    11:02am
    When I was married in 1962, we saved and bought land for $1200 and build a house for $10500, which, after a divorce, was sold. that same house sold for $930,000 last month.
    Good job I am not still living there, as that amount would be added to whatever meagre assets I have. I worked hard as a single mother, educated my children to professional level, never had overseas trips and holiday. Paid of my house etc, only to be penalised in my old age.
    All elected members should be forced to live on a Pension only for at least 2 months, just to get an idea of what it is to struggle. The older people of this country, older than me, were the ones who built it, and they are the ones who. like the rest of us, being squeezed into the grave. Shame, shame, shame on the greedy and most times, wealthy pollies, who keep giving them selves free access the public money.
    Eve
    29th Mar 2017
    1:06pm
    Tony Shepherd, (and I don't believe he doesn't know this) wants a society where no-one except the wealthy gets to own their own home? Take this proposal to its logical conclusion and no working or middle class kids get to inherit any property, while the rich (with their massive taxpayer supported superannuation) get their property investments subsidised by the tax payer through negative gearing. Rich kids will get their parents' properties intact (none of these bastards' suggestions ever mention taxing large inheritances). So Tony Shepherd, have you actually thought through the implications of your proposal, or are you just a rotten sociopath?
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    2:18pm
    No one should get a handout from the government if they have tne means to support themselves. If the rich support thrmselves why shouldn't they hand on their properties intact. If however you take welfare OAP from government then why shouldn't you pay it back from your estate. The rich already pay the majority of tax now so the OAP should not be just given to people never to be repaid. Same with HECS.
    Rae
    29th Mar 2017
    4:27pm
    Yes Bonny. What we need now is a huge rise in wages and salaries so all can support themselves adequately. Let's use some of the huge profits being made to do so.

    Surely business with the 40% GDP can afford the 3% Social Security gets. And that 20.1% increase in business profits could allow a little slack for a wage increase or two. We have had three quarters now of profits rising and even you said 8.7% wasn't enough of a return in this booming economy.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:36pm
    Pensioners are supporting themselves - every day they pay taxes and they have paid taxes for fifty years to earn a Pension.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    5:37pm
    I love this kind of argument - when the tin tacks are down, some stand or fall over the sharp points.....
    Farside
    29th Mar 2017
    5:57pm
    @TREBOR, you might choose to not recognise it but there is nothing in the law of the land that makes a retiree eligible for aged pension after paying taxes for 50 years. Such claims are little more than wishful thinking.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    7:02pm
    Been disproven times many......
    OlderandWiser
    30th Mar 2017
    11:13am
    Rich superannuants DO NOT support themselves. They collect more in tax concessions than it costs to fund pensions, so why do the rich and privileged whinge and whine and claim pensions should be repaid on death but the thieving rich bastards should keep their ill-gotten gains?
    Old Geezer
    30th Mar 2017
    5:31pm
    Rubbish Rainey it costs much more in welfare than any concessions people get for super.
    Eve
    30th Mar 2017
    7:18pm
    Bonny - you completely missed the point that the rich get to dodge huge amounts of tax through negative gearing, loading up their superannuation, not paying tax on the income from that superannuation, establishing family trusts, etc. So they get plenty of 'hand-outs' from the government, and they have much more means of supporting themselves. And that's why if we are being asked to sell our homes to pay for our retirements, then rich people should be paying taxes on their inheritances. I don't like either idea, but at least it would be fairer.
    Farside
    30th Mar 2017
    7:41pm
    @Eve - to be fair, if you own your own home and did not negatively gear, max out your super or set up an investment trust after paying out your mortgage then that was your choice and there is nothing wrong with that. Others willing to take on more risk might have chosen to negatively gear in your circumstances. We are told that nurses, police and teachers are widely represented amongst those who negatively gear as are many of the elites. These are not hand-outs.

    I do not support negative gearing outside the class of asset, and I would prefer it not be allowed on existing property so it is channeled into productive capacity, however rich envy is a weak basis to argue for changes.
    Eve
    31st Mar 2017
    11:56am
    Farside, you also missed my point. The logical conclusion of Tony Shepherd's view is that all money and property will become concentrated with the very wealthy who are not particularly affected by the inclusion of the family home for the purposes of supporting their retirement. But the proposal has a very serious affect on those (many) people who do own their own home, but did not have the resources to 'choose' to max their super, set up an investment trust or negatively gear their purchase of property.

    Smarmy condescending comments are similarly not a basis for justifying public policy proposals with poor outcomes for so many Australians.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    1:24pm
    @Eve - I disagree with your proposition that all money and property will become concentrated with the elites exclusively as a result of Shepherd's suggestions. Concentration may happen however there will be a host of influences. The wealthy tend to increase their wealth through investing and would limit the exposure to residential property.

    What is preventing homeowners after paying out the home mortgage from paying surplus funds into investments, taking margin loans etc to grow their wealth?
    Eve
    4th Apr 2017
    12:54pm
    Farside, I agree that Tony Shepherd's suggestion alone will not concentrate all property in the hands of the wealthy. But add this to the proposed $100,000 degrees (at a time when knowledge is so much more valuable), 500 - 800% increases in TAFE fees, cuts to medicare, the casualization of the work-force, part-time employment as the norm, while maintaining generous tax concessions for the wealthy, are all significant contributors to the concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few, as demonstrated by the fast increasing disparity between the very rich and most of the rest of us.

    As for the investment matters, I would point out that the Great Depression (and many since) was directly attributable to people borrowing far more money than they could afford to lose. Given the large household debts Australians currently owe, I'm not sure borrowing more is such a good idea. So you see my disenchantment?
    Farside
    4th Apr 2017
    10:42pm
    @Eve - I understand your reasons for disenchantment however there are some immovable forces coming along like the rise of the millenials, the ageing of the boomers and their eventual demise etc. that will temper and moderate the negative forces.

    People have borrowed beyond their capacity to repay since the dawn of money lenders more than two thousand years ago. Back in the day banks used to minimise the chances of this with home loans by limited repayments to 30% of after tax income or insisting upon mortgage insurance. In those days household debt would definitely be a cause for concern however the unknown is how long this low growth, low interest rate environment will last - Japan has been in it for twenty plus years.

    That said, I would not encourage my kids to take on large household debt faced with the employment uncertainty facing them today.
    Bonny
    29th Mar 2017
    8:33pm
    Houses are just bricks and mortar. I recently visited a house I lived in for many years and there was no memories there for me at all. So the house being more than a house is complete rubbish.
    OlderandWiser
    29th Mar 2017
    10:29pm
    So because YOU don't form an emotional attachment to a home, nobody else is entitled to, Bonny? The world must operate according to YOUR dictates, and other people's thoughts and feelings are irrelevant? I have previously noted your narcissism. This is just more evidence of it.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Apr 2017
    10:45am
    No Rainey it is normal as one age not to form close attachments to material things including houses. Materials things don't seem to matter as there are more important things to worry about.
    Mad as Hell
    3rd Apr 2017
    11:10am
    So true OG. Thank Mal for the $125, I'll be able to buy 33 cans of Pal.

    29th Mar 2017
    9:37pm
    what a load of uncouth, uninformed, uneducated comments from those who only have their own priorities at heart, reading some of the so called, by their own words, more educated ones, just to name a few, ha, ha, trebor, labor mick the masked one, even shorty the labor leader is game enough to show his face, plan b, never comes up with a plan to get Australia into the black that would be asking to much of this brainless anti Australian person and then reading the comments of the likes of mad as hell or needy but not greedy or those of libsareliars, it just shows the lack of presenting a logical and acceptable compromise, as they state it is either my way or the highway, what hope Australia got with this selfish attitude displayed in these so-called pensioner columns, why don't life choises come out honestly and state lifechoises is a labor orientated organisation, I got no beef with that but at least be honest and upfront instead of attempting to cover up your attempt to get rid of the liberal government, after all we only ask for honesty which is sadley missing in both parties!
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    10:43pm
    Everyone has a selfish streak even you although you may not recognise it. What is wrong in looking after one's self interest, their close family members and , money. It is because of our selfishness that Governments impose taxes ( excessively, I might add) to at least provide a basic living standard for those that cannot look after themselves adequately for numerous reasons. Having said this the term bludger still applies today but alas there are far too many that are in this class and abuse the goodwill of the people (taxes) of, course with the assistance of the Government ( They just love to spend ). If there were no taxes do you really believe people would donate to the cause. Yes selfishness is an inherent part of being a human being so accept it.
    MICK
    30th Mar 2017
    3:00am
    Spoken like the true liberal party troll you are heemskerk. As always slinging mud at those who hit on the facts and never coming back with a sensible argument. Just Liberal Party propaganda to get your employers re-elected.
    The facts are basic. This government is after average and poor citizens and working its butt of to enrich those who are already wealthy, who rort and legally defraud the tax system endlessly and who have no need of tax cuts. Shameless!
    Mad as Hell
    30th Mar 2017
    8:51am
    Yes all we want HONESTY, " no surprises, no excuses, no cuts to health, education, pensions, ABC and SBS"

    When the LIBERALS broke their election promises they lost my support.

    I will never ever vote LIBERAL or GREENS in any election local, state or federal.
    PlanB
    30th Mar 2017
    9:23am
    Yes Mad as hell, they have lied from the start and IMO that alone should be enough to have the scum chucked out -- there are so many smirking elitists there I am over the LOT of them, you only have to look at Morrison's evil face and see the likes of that horror Michaelia Cash etc etc every darn one of them hard hearts and faces the lot of them -- plus we don't need to know what a heart Julie Bishop has after her role at Hardy's
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:46pm
    Things change so they are not lies at all. Just changes.
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    10:25pm
    313 comments so far. I will start afresh. If the family home is included in the asset test ( which I do not support) what will be the affect on the existing asset limits for singles and couples? There surely would have to be a floor so once assets have been reduced to this level then the full pension will be made available to those that qualify on other grounds. There will need to be a significant over haul of the current income and asset upper limits. Until such projections and figures are made available to the public the whole matter is rather up in the air. Why can't these "think tanks" and other experts liaise with the Government sit down and work out how they want the system to operate with examples. Publish them and then put it to the people at election time. Each party can come up with their own costings and savings.
    MICK
    30th Mar 2017
    6:35am
    Do you think the current government wants more or less from average Australians niemakawa? That pretty well tells the story.
    Given that Hospitality workers who enjoy poverty wages have already been cannibalised and that retirees have already been hit with new asset tests and that the Fair Work Commission is now moving to the next industry where do you think this is going?
    Let's face it tax cuts for the rich need to come from somewhere and Turnbull NEVER stated where this was coming from, nor will he. It is coming at the expense of those who barely make the weekly budget work.
    Rodent
    30th Mar 2017
    8:17am
    Dear Niemakawa

    You comments are very much on the ball. Like you I don't agree, but its really because all the so called experts that promote this change don't really understand how the CURRENT income and Assets Test actually works. Its simply not possible to create a ceiling figure , say $2mil and then just assume the current tests will apply. It will not work. One of the other main proponents of this change, who is often in the Media is Simon Cowen from the Centre for Independent studies. He at least has done some useful work on the subject. Refer -The Age Old Problem of Old Age-Fixing the Pension April 2015. BUT some of what he wrote makes no practical sense.

    One of the reasons for his efforts was to make a case that Age Pensioners could be approx. $5900 pa BETTER off and the Budget could save $14.5 Bill, but all this was using Reverse Mortgages etc.

    I wont bore you with more detail, but just ask these questions
    How many current Pensioners own a $1 Mill house, a $2 Mill House or greater- see if anyone here can find the answer. Maybe Bonny knows the answer?

    Even if this came to pass how do you make up for the current Dollar advantage in pension paid of a Non Home Owner verses a home owner. Plus many other un answered questions
    OlderandWiser
    29th Mar 2017
    10:42pm
    Yet another ill-thought out, hastily conceived ''bandaid'' that - like the assets test change - will cause more problems than it solves. The pension system is broken. It needs a total overhaul. Two facts have to be accepted in order to fix the problem:
    (1) that younger Australians have to pay for their parents' and grandparents' retirement - one way or the other. There is no magic bullet - no money tree. Either they pay through taxes funding pensions or they pay by the loss of any hope of inheritance which will leave hundreds of thousands more struggling to buy a home in years to come. Further, the cost of aged care will skyrocket if retirees are continually slugged and forced to drain their income prematurely. Many plan to sell their family home to fund aged care. Punishing homeowners more than they already are (and the penalties can be very severe already) will reduce the number who can fund their own aged care accommodation.
    (2) that the only way to end the welfare mentality that is driving costs up is to recognize that you have to maintain incentive and reward in the system. It has to be more advantageous to have savings and a home than not to. Currently, the penalties for struggling to buy a home and save for retirement are harsh. That drives a welfare mentality and extensive manipulation and cheating.

    At the risk of upsetting many, I think the family home should be included in the assets test, but the issue is not whether to but rather HOW TO without causing major hurt and unfairness. It should be included because it's patently unfair that a couple with a $2 million house and $300,000 can draw a pension while a couple with a $300,000 house and $1 million cannot.

    One idea I considered was to abolish the assets limits completely but total ALL assets (home included) for the purpose of assessing a deemed income, then test the higher of deemed or actual income, allowing low-interest loans to those with high assets and low income, repayable from their estate. The current income limits should remain so that those with modest assets are supported adequately. This system would be much simpler and very much fairer, and would encourage rather than deterring saving for old age.
    MICK
    30th Mar 2017
    6:39am
    Not a bandaid solution Rainey. This is well thought out Liberal Party policy. This is deliberate targeting of all workers as this is how the rich are going to get their obscene tax cuts.
    See it for what it is. The rest is just noise until people start to see what the game is and who the lemmings being led to the slaughter are.
    Rae
    30th Mar 2017
    9:51am
    How very convenient for the King Kong in the Room. That great big, ugly as sin, Bond Bubble we've blown. Yah let's keep borrowing. Yah low interest loans, reverse mortgages. We have collateral but our kids are permanent casuals and can't borrow. Up to us to keep spending next century's money today.

    Perhaps the world is going to end soon because that is the only reason you'd do this sort of thing.
    BElle
    30th Mar 2017
    3:46pm
    it has been economically proved that paying ALL retirees a basic pension and doing away with the Assets Test and all it administrative nightmare logic is a saving -- not a cost.
    Any savings, be they Superannuation or personal savings should be a bonus to those who have taken care of their finances and are rewarded with a more comfortable retirement. The injustice and lack of incentive in the current garbled and ever changing Aged Pension system is an appalling mindset by Governments in Australia, of all persuasions.
    Superannuation benefits the Financial Industry and does little to assist in retirement income for the average wage earner.
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    4:02pm
    @Belle, Yes I have made many similar comments on related topics in the past. A basis pension for all regardless of income or assets. Then start from there and those that need further taxpayer funding can make an application for additional financial assistance.
    Radish
    31st Mar 2017
    8:25am
    I see nothing wrong with a person owing a $50 million dollar home and getting the pension.

    Great way to hand down your assets to your kids...whoopee.

    Sorry all you people who have over the upper limit of $800K or whatever it is in cash/shares...you miss out.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    4:20pm
    Yes it's an awesome idea that $50m house as it will double every 7 years or so and all the gain is tax free. Now you know why I am looking for a multimillion dollar abode even if I don't live in it.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    5:43pm
    Say a home owner loses their house because of fire, but the home was not insured , should this be considered a deprived asset?
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:45pm
    Only if the home owner set fire to it.
    Radish
    31st Mar 2017
    7:46pm
    I also think everyone should get a basic pension; it would stop all the conniving to hide assets to get the pension.

    NZ can do it why can't Australia?
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    9:51pm
    @Radish, I agree re universal pension however NZ is not comparable situation. Perhaps in time we will unification of fiscal and economic policies but don't hold your breath.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    4:40pm
    Some may remember this story. Very apt I would say The last line is exactly what will happen to any Government that tries to blow my house down. It is mine, mine alone, not to be stolen by others. " Hush little baby don't say a word......"


    “THERE was an old sow with three little pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune. The first that went off met a man with a bundle of straw, and said to him:
    'Please, man, give me that straw to build a house.'
    Which the man did, and the little pig built a house with it. Presently came along a wolf, and knocked at the door, and said:
    'Little pig, little pig, let me come in.' To which the pig answered:
    'No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.' The wolf then answered to that:
    'Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.'
    So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the little pig.
    The second little pig met a man with a bundle of furze and said:
    'Please, man, give me that furze to build a house.'
    Which the man did, and the pig built his house. Then along came the wolf, and said:
    'Little pig, little pig, let me come in.'
    'No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.'
    "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.'
    So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at last he blew the house down, and he ate up the little pig.
    The third little pig met a man with a load of bricks, and said:
    'Please, man, give me those bricks to build a house with.'
    So the man gave him the bricks, and he built his house with them. So the wolf came, as he did to the other little pigs, and said:
    'Little pig, little pig, let me come in.'
    'No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.'
    'Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.'
    Well, he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and huffed; but he could not get the house down. When he found that he could not, with all his huffing and puffing, blow the house down, he said:
    'Little pig, I know where there is a nice field of turnips.'
    'Where?' said the little pig.
    'Oh, in Mr Smith's Home-field, and if you will be ready tomorrow morning I will call for you, and we will go together, and get some for dinner.'
    'Very well,' said the little pig, 'I will be ready. What time do you mean to go?'
    'Oh, at six o'clock.'
    Well, the little pig got up at five, and got the turnips before the wolf came (which he did about six), who said:
    'Little pig, are you ready?'
    The little pig said: 'Ready! I have been and come back again, and got a nice potful for dinner.'
    The wolf felt very angry at this, but thought that he would be up to the little pig somehow or other, so he said:
    'Little pig, I know where there is a nice apple tree.'
    'Where?' said the pig.
    'Down at Merry-garden,' replied the wolf, 'and if you will not deceive me I will come for you at five o'clock tomorrow. and get some apples.'
    Well, the little pig bustled up the next morning at four o'clock, and went off for the apples, hoping to get back before the wolf came; but he had further to go, and had to climb the tree, so that just as he was coming down from it, he saw the wolf coming, which, as you may suppose, frightened him very much. When the wolf came up he said:
    'Little pig, what! are you here before me? Are they nice apples?'
    'Yes, very,' said the little pig. 'I will throw you down one.'
    And he threw it so far, that, while the wolf was gone to pick it up, the little pig jumped down and ran home. The next day the wolf came again, and said to the little pig:
    'Little pig, there is a fair at Shanklin this afternoon, will you go?'
    'Oh yes,' said the pig, 'I will go; what time shall you be ready?'
    'At three,' said the wolf. So the little pig went off before the time as usual, and got to the fair, and bought a butter-churn, which he was going home with, when he saw the wolf coming. Then he could not tell what to do. So he got into the churn to hide, and by so doing turned it round, and it rolled down the hill with the pig in it, which frightened the wolf so much, that he ran home without going to the fair. He went to the little pig's house, and told him how frightened he had been by a great round thing which came down the hill past him. Then the little pig said:
    'Hah, I frightened you, then. I had been to the fair and bought a butter-churn, and when I saw you, I got into it, and rolled down the hill.'
    Then the wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he would eat up the little pig, and that he would get down the chimney after him. When the little pig saw what he was about, he hung on the pot full of water, and made up a blazing fire, and, just as the wolf was coming down, took off the cover, and in fell the wolf; so the little pig put on the cover again in an instant, boiled him up, and ate him for supper, and lived happy ever afterwards.”
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    4:54pm
    With all these leaks folks it looks like we now know what is coming in the May budget.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    4:59pm
    And with the dissent shown here, a pension for all. It is our right.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:31pm
    That will be the day as I have no rights to welfare at all it seems.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    5:37pm
    @Old Geezer. you will if you fight for them. BTW do not confuse the aged pension with welfare, they are not the same thing, the former being firstly your right and secondly an obligation of any Government.
    Old Geezer
    31st Mar 2017
    5:43pm
    Yes the OAP is welfare as it is not a right or an obligation for the government to pay it to everyone. People like me continue to pay taxes and get nothing in return and will do so until the day we die. Meanwhile we pay for everything in full without any discounts except for some minor ones because we are seniors. Things like a free cup of coffee at the Golden Arches or Hungry Jacks.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    5:55pm
    @Old Geezer that is good enough reason to vehemently protest against including the family home as an asset. This issue should be left alone until the next GE campaign. Then and only then all parties must clearly and categorically state their position on pensions overall. To bring such an important change, a detrimental one in my view, into the equation mid-term of any Government is treacherous to say the least. Once in it stays and the opposition will not repeal it even if they whinge about it now.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    9:08pm
    @niemakawa – some will protest the inclusion of the family home in the asset test but most politicians will recognise it as a long overdue reform.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    9:20pm
    @Farside, so let these politicians put this in their manifestos come next election time and be open and honest with the people. Do you think they would? Lets see which party(ies) has the political will to do such a thing. If they have any integrity then they would. At the money they are covering each others' backsides as no party wants to take responsibility for implementing it through an election promise.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    10:02pm
    @niemakawa, the government that introduces change will be voted out if the change is sufficiently unpopular. There is no need to wait until elections to introduce changes.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    10:09pm
    @Farside of course there is a need to wait until the next GE. Should the unlikely happen and the current Government introduces the change, and they are voted out, the next Party in Government will not repeal it. So It is very important that they include such a change in their election campaigns. if they have the political will to do so?. I think you know the answer to that one.
    Farside
    31st Mar 2017
    10:25pm
    @niemakawa, it's unimportant to wait for the next election. The incoming party will repeal if there is sufficient political momentum to do so but it's unlikely they will respond to a noisy minority.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    10:31pm
    @Farside Don't be ridiculous, you know full well it would not be repealed. As for a "noisy minority" going by the comments posted on this topic it is quite evident that the majority oppose such a change. It is a safe bet that the wider community would not agree with it either. So of course it is of utmost importance that any such proposal must be included in an election campaign. You do not want that because you know it would fall flat on its face. Home-owners deserve better and will eventually win the day.
    niemakawa
    31st Mar 2017
    10:37pm
    @Farside, we have exhausted this topic, so concede defeat and move over to the topic "Cashless society" . Maybe you can do better there. Good luck.
    Radish
    5th Apr 2017
    5:17pm
    Same old, same old arguments whenever pensions, or assets tests are brought up.

    Waste of time even talking about it; nothing will be achieved the government of the day will do what it wants.
    niemakawa
    5th Apr 2017
    5:24pm
    @Radish, somewhat a defeatist attitude.
    Mad as Hell
    5th Apr 2017
    5:43pm
    I guess " ....no cuts to pensions, eduction, ABC, no surprises....." wasn't a core promise.


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