Could family home exemption be a victim of stimulus package debt?

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Scrutiny of the family home and its exemption from the assets test for the Age Pension has again intensified.

A leading taxation expert has suggested including the family home in the assets test as one of several measures to pay for the COVID-19 stimulus packages.

Professor Robert Breunig, who leads the Australian National University’s tax and transfer policy institute, says that if the tax system is not reformed, the burden of the coronavirus repayment will fall on young people.

He has suggested several measures, including an increase in the goods and services tax (GST) – ruled out earlier this week by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg – and higher land tax to stop the debt burden of the $214 billion COVID-19 response unfairly penalising young people.

Prof. Breunig says Australia’s tax system is “antiquated and not well set up to encourage growth in the economy”.

He told Guardian Australia the tax system had “generated inequality between young people” – who pay income tax and GST – and older people who have experienced “a huge run-up in their wealth” from buying houses and benefit from “tax-free income from their superannuation”.

He says fiscal stimulus and lower interest rates to combat economic crises “pump money into the economy” in a way that drives up asset prices such as shares and real estate, exacerbating wealth inequality.

He supports an increase in the GST because it “has the extra benefit of taxing people’s accumulated wealth as they spend it”.

“We should also switch from stamp duty to land tax to better capture the value of increased asset prices and make it easier for people to buy and sell houses,” he says.

“Another option is to include owner-occupied housing in the assets test for the Age Pension and introduce a government-run reverse-mortgage program to help people spend their assets while alive.”

The notion of including the family home in the assets test for the Age Pension has been raised by other academics and retirement income specialists, particularly in the lead up to the government’s Retirement Income Review, which was expected in June.

Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson says there is a case for including the family home in the asset test for the Age Pension and that it is “the right thing to do”.

Economist Sean Corbett concurs, but with a condition. He told YourLifeChoices that the value of the family home – above a certain threshold – should be assessed, but only after better products became available to enable people to access the equity in their home.

Personal finance specialist Noel Whittaker says: “The pension is welfare, and welfare expenditure is increasing by eight per cent per annum – way above national income. To any reasonable person, it would seem unfair that a couple can live in a $4 million house, have the boat and the cars owned by the kids, have $200,000 in super and still get the full pension.”

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist with The Australia Institute, says that including the family home in the assets test is not a yes or no answer. He believes there should be a cap on the value of the home before it affects the pension assets test but that the location of the home raised significant problems in establishing a cap.

A YourLifeChoices Flash Poll, Should the family home be part of the assets test?, drew a strong response, with an overwhelming 85 per cent of the 2481 respondents adamant that the family home should not be part of the Age Pension assets test. Ninety-six per cent of respondents said they either owned their home outright or with a mortgage.

However, when asked whether the home should be part of the assets test in future, 45 per cent were unsure, 26 per cent said yes and 29 per cent no.

To the question “If yes, when do you think this might occur?”, 37 per cent said “not in my lifetime”, 18 per cent said between five and 10 years, 16 per cent within five years, and 11 per cent within three years.

Most responses were highly critical of the concept of including the family home in the assets test for an Age Pension – and many were critical of the assets test generally.

Meanwhile, Mr Frydenberg told ABC’s Insiders the stimulus debt “will be paid back in the years ahead” by growing the economy.

Deloitte Access economics supports the concept of shrinking the debt though economic growth, saying austerity “rarely makes sense”.

“We’ll be borrowing about an extra 10 per cent of national income,” it says. “If we choose not to pay back a single cent of that, the growth in our economy over time will halve to about five per cent of national income in 18 years, and then halve again to 2.5 per cent in a further 18 years.”

Deloitte estimates that – given the record low borrowing cost – the annual interest bill on new borrowings will be $1.6 billion, which could be paid by raising the Medicare levy from two per cent to 2.14 per cent.

In light of the country’s debt, have you changed your mind on whether the family home should be included in the Age Pension assets test?

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RELATED LINKS

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Family home provides retirees with the means to take care of themselves: Sean Corbett.

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Economist Sean Corbett tells how the Age Pension system must change.

Written by Janelle Ward

200 Comments

Total Comments: 200
  1. 0
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    Why does the gov not look at removing negative gearing and increasing capital gains tax on rental properties instead. After all you can only live in one house, anything more can be seen as being greedy. Maybe look at franking credits as well.
    NZ politicians have voted for a 20% reduction in their salaries during this crisis yet Canberra remains silent

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      That would lead to even less properties available to rent.

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      Retiring Well – it may also lead to building houses that people could afford to buy thereby reducing the rental demand. The massive appreciation on houses prices is one of the factors in the growing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. We are one of the few countries that has the investment allowance so its not exactly indispensable.

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      As can be seen in the current crisis most people live form pay to pay with no savings so have no hope of every buying a house. Less rental properties means higher rents.

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      It’s easier to blame older Australians than offshore gas giants like Shell, Chevron, and BP who are cheating Australians like us out of billions of dollars by exploiting an outdated, broken mining royalties system.

      We are letting the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations dig up our precious natural resources for free.

      It’s a broken system, Australians stand to miss out on $480 billion over the next two decades. That’s more than six times the entire health budget.

      And this is the best the Professor Breunig can do?

      Even Japan raises more taxes from imported Australian LNG than we do.

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      Not too sure I want to own an off share gas company in the present economic climate myself even with the royalty scheme.

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      NO, our parliamentarians haven’t remained silent re reducing their own wages. Scomo has said it’s not going to happen, they are all working harder than ever and he’s not going to cut wages. At the same time he announces that parliament is going into recess until August! Figure that one out!

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      Nationalise it all and see…….

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      I believe you are 100% wrong about rental properties, Retiring Well. At the moment (during COVID-19) there’s a glut of rental properties because people who own more than one property can no longer short-term rent out to travellers via airbnb, Suddenly they’re not getting any income at all from their excess properties, so they’ve released them to everyone for rent. The great thing about this is that those who have always rented out long-term, and who are offering 12 month leases, have an advantage over these others.

      FINALLY, there’s real competition in the rental market and rents are coming down.

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    Noel Whittaker is offensive when he says people on the age pension are welfare recipients. I have paid my taxes over my lifetime and now the pension is given to me to assist me in my retirement. And if you are complaining about people living in 4 million dollar houses and have the boat and cars in the kids name, well change the laws but I don’t believe that scenario is indicative of most pensioners.

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      Well said Snowflake

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      Noel Whittaker is right the pension is welfare and it is only paid to those who have no other means of support. It has nothing to do with how much tax you paid at all. Many have paid lots of tax but no pension for them.

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      You are correct Snowflake but those who have arranged their affairs to ensure they do qualify for a part aged pension, thus giving them a Health Care Card, while living a 4 million dollar home are rorting the system.
      There are often statements made accusing people on welfare and pensions of rorting the system while many wealthy people are sitting back doing very well indeed because the system is geared toward them.
      We are living in an age of inequality and perhaps this pandemic just might see some adjustment in that. Hopefully that will be the case but don’t hold your breath.

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      You are correct Snowflake but those who have arranged their affairs to ensure they do qualify for a part aged pension, thus giving them a Health Care Card, while living a 4 million dollar home are rorting the system.
      There are often statements made accusing people on welfare and pensions of rorting the system while many wealthy people are sitting back doing very well indeed because the system is geared toward them.
      We are living in an age of inequality and perhaps this pandemic just might see some adjustment in that. Hopefully that will be the case but don’t hold your breath.

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      Retiring Well. Believe it or not, most of the pension goes back into tax revenue via gst etc.
      The fact that there is not a national pension scheme where everybody gets it is simply to prop up unemployment stats via the huge number of people employed in sorting out who gets what.

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      I flagged this issue a while back in a post called An End to the Age of Entitlement. Many rely on equity in the family home to sustain a modest lifestyle. I can see it ending. And worse yet, because of the coronavirus accumulated debt, little compensation will be offered. For example, if stamp duty was replaced by a land tax, it would be a windfall for a government of the day. You would hope that in way of compensation, pension payments would increase. I can’t see it happening.

      The reality is, this current government largesse must be recouped. 1 in 7 of Australia’s population in 2017 was over the age of 65. When I was a teenager, my old man hounded me to ‘get a job’! Now, I can hear my kids preaching the same mantra. Happy Days.

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      If you’re right, Retiring Well, why do we give pensions to former politicians most of whom are multimillionaires and most certainly have other means of support.

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      Pollies don’t get welfare pensions. They get an entitlement the same as many do in private enterprise.

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      Snowflake is correct when he says he, alongside all of us, paid taxes throughout our working live–in my case big taxes. But Snowflake assumes the world is just, which it isn’t.

      Scomo declares we must all make sacrifices to defeat this malaise.

      Not one politician that I know of from all sides of parliament has suggested ‘taking one for the team’. The BASE SALARY for a minister is $211, 250 per annum. Where is Pauline? Where is Barnaby? Where is Albo?–all strangely quiet. And yet if they took a 50% pay cut until 2021, ministers would still have more than most of us to live on.

      It’s not about the money, but the show of leadership in sharing the community’s concerns, fear, and suffering.

      I dunno? Am I the only sceptical voice here, or does anyone else believe pollies should show a modicum of compassion by salary sacrificing in this time of hardship?

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      $211250 is peanuts compared to what many would earn outside politics. Why take 10% of what you can earn for nothing other than prestige.

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      It isn’t an entitlement, Retiring Well. They decided themselves what they could fleece off the taxpayer and what they did was corruption, not an entitlement. Deciding that they would work 8 years in Parliament and then get a huge, indexed pension for life is not an entitlement it is paid for by the taxpayer.
      Private enterprise entitlements are paid for by the firm but the politicians so called pensions are paid for by the taxpayer who never would have agreed to that outrage.

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      I stand corrected. Our friends across the ditch in the Ardern government will all take a 20% pay cut for the next 6 months. Now, that is leadership. While the New Zealand has a population of just 4.886 million, they so far have only 9 deaths from coronavirus with only 6 new cases overnight.

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      Ah – so now politicians take a huge drop in pay by coming into politics to help out the peasants? Can you prove that – or is it just pie in the sky?

      Can’t see a branch secretary of a party making more than an MP, let alone a minister – but the way these things are done so as to secure the most income… well.. who knows? Even the Union honchoes – fearless guardians of the workers – cop huge salaries and perks.

      Just another day in business paradise…

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      Retiring Well, your words “$211250 is peanuts compared to what many would earn outside politics.” are the words from a rich person, speaking up for other rich people. You are living in an elite, entitled bubble if you think $211,250 pa is peanuts, by any comparison.

      Personally, I’d prefer to see teachers, doctors, nurses, police, tradies and people from working classes in politics, because they’re the only ones with some insight into the struggles of the majority of people they’re employed to represent. Of course we need smart people to represent us, but who’s to say these workers can’t be smart?

      If a you think $211,250 pa is peanuts compared to what you would earn outside of politics, then bugger off out of politics – we don’t need you to represent us. In fact, you’re a liability as far as being any good at being ‘representative’.

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    Here we go again, let’s flog the pensioners and “welfare” recipients, instead of targeting the mutinational profiteers who have been screwing this country for years and paying virtually no tax. Of course they do pay those annoying obligatory political donations to keep the wheels greased.

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      Exactly right

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      Spot on. Gutless wonders in government – or have their hands out and in Murdoch’s pocket.

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      Just buy Australian and they don’t make any money.

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      My manufacturing business has been destroyed by the policies from the LNP. Cheap Chinese imports have eaten us alive. I emailed Andrew Robb when he was Trade Minister, complaining about the effect from the loss of local jobs in my Region should I shut shop, in the midst of him negotiating a trade agreement with China and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). He suggested I close my factory in Australia and set up in China. Easy fixed!

      The next thing I learn, he’s suddenly left politics for mental health reasons yet is immediately employed privately, successfully negotiating the sale of a 99 year lease for the Port of Darwin, to the Chinese Government! Oh yes, these type of politicians know which side their bread is buttered! Now I see why you, Retiring Well, think $211,250 pa is peanuts compared to what you’d earn outside of politics. Now I see who’s really running our country. Now I see why it’s well worth these politicians taking a paycut of $211,250 pa (+huge perks and First Class international travel) so then they’re set up for life outside of politics afterwards.

      Don’t tell me their lavish pension isn’t paid out from the public purse (Internal Revenue) any less than the Old Age Pension is.

      How can Australians buy Australian when we’re forced to shut down our Australian manufacturing sector?

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    why not get rid of negative gearing and capital gains exemptions AND the assets test exemptions in exchange for an increase in welfare payments and low income support? And while at it reintroduce a progressive tax system and dump the planned tax cuts.

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      Pensions are NOT welfare. And income tax is only one of the government’s income streams. Company tax could provide far more if multi-nationals paid their share.

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      Age pension is welfare. If you get rid of negative gearing and CGT people will just invest overseas instead of Australia. Demand will mean increased rents as the rental supply dries up.

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      Retiring Well – was your previous handle ‘old geezer’ ? Your band wagon has a familiar smell.

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      Hasn’t happened before – won’t happen again. If there is no unwarranted profit to be made out of both Concessional capital gains and negative gearing – the market will not dry up – it will alter to fit the new rules – most likely meaning more HOMES will be on the market and fewer ‘investments’. Those who currently own ‘investments’ will either sell them off or play by the rules… the number of houses on the market will not alter.

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      No there will just not be enough homes built to satisfy the rental demand and rents will skyrocket.

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      Seriously? So all those people – all that demand, will not have an impact on the market…?

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      Unless returns from rentals increase significantly then people will not invest no matter how much demand. Properties are hardly worthwhile with negative gearing and current CGT.

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      Ah yes, Old Geezer, you said earlier “buy Australian” and now you’re saying “invest overseas”. Rents are coming down, OG/RW, as the rental market is being flooded with Airbnb empty houses during COVID-19 and bans on travel. Some of these people with more than one home will probably decide to sell them if they won’t rent them out long term, which will bring down prices of homes for sale. They might even start a housing market crash.

      There are more than enough homes to rent – there’s no need to build more, unfortunately for builders and housing developers.

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    Socialism regularly rears its ugly head with bleating about opportunities to rip off those who went without, slaved, saved and maintained their family home as a roof over their heads in retirement! The family home certainly limits reliance and costs associated with welfare housing. It’s insulting and rude to describe pensioners as welfare recipients. For just a few years, having done the hard yards for previous decades, pensioners are returned some income that they cannot earn in old age. This is another bull…. socialist/academic opinion that will never go anywhere while pensioners have a vote because they will rid themselves of any government that proposes the ones who worked and paid for the family home should therefore be financially punished.

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      Well said Brissiegirl Whittaker is so out of touch and just rude to those that have helped build this great Country

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      That is not Socialism but purely a means to trying to restore some degree of equality which has, over the last 20 years, been significantly affected.
      Those of us who have worked hard to get what we have managed to put together are being ripped off by the money manager types who have had the wherewithal to arrange their finances to minimise tax.
      They have ended up having accumulated much more wealth than they need in retirement in order to pass on to their children. This preserves, and builds, the inequality in Australia today.

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      That is not Socialism but purely a means to trying to restore some degree of equality which has, over the last 20 years, been significantly affected.
      Those of us who have worked hard to get what we have managed to put together are being ripped off by the money manager types who have had the wherewithal to arrange their finances to minimise tax.
      They have ended up having accumulated much more wealth than they need in retirement in order to pass on to their children. This preserves, and builds, the inequality in Australia today.

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      If they want to include the family home in the asset test, they will have to abolish rent assistance, & public housing for the “Ne’er-do-well” to re balance the equation. You can’t rip it off those who went without to provide for their retirement, while still handing it out to those who are too slack to do it for themselves.

      The best way of saving money would be to cut back by about 60% on universities & their gross waste. Surely there is some better way of guaranteeing a pen pusher job in the public service, than a useless university degree in a non discipline.

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      There’s no such thing as “equality”except under socialism where everyone becomes equally poor. Nothing is equal. Some people have more, some people have less according to how they manage their lives. Some people are well, some people are unwell and it is the unwell people who deserve “welfare. That’s how it goes.”

      The government could begin paying back the debt by cutting the squillions $$$ we give to the corrupt World Health Organisation, the United Nations and all the numerous grants they dole out to UN subsidiaries and a myriad of overseas charity agencies that squander the money. A lot of our overseas aid ends up in countries run by corrupt despots.

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      “rip off those who went without, slaved, saved and maintained their family home as a roof over their heads in retirement” is not socialism, it’s the capitalist way

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      Can someone explain how their Tax over their lifetime paid for their Pension.

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      cheeky Care Bear asking trick questions … imagine the outrage if age pensions were only paid up to the pv of taxes paid during lifetime

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      Ah dear me Brissie Girl you have got another rant about Socialism in again. Addressing issues of inequality is not Socialism in fact it can be classed as Christianity. Having major inequalities in a country, as is happening here, actually damages the economy. Trickle down economics does not work and if many people in the community lack sufficient disposal income they can’t buy anything other than the bare essentials and businesses shut down due to a lack of buyers.

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      Ah dear me Brissie Girl you have got another rant about Socialism in again. Addressing issues of inequality is not Socialism in fact it can be classed as Christianity. Having major inequalities in a country, as is happening here, actually damages the economy. Trickle down economics does not work and if many people in the community lack sufficient disposal income they can’t buy anything other than the bare essentials and businesses shut down due to a lack of buyers.

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      Dear Tanker, excuse me? An opinion is not a rant. You do your opinion no good whatsoever by attempting to put someone else down by directing rubbish talk towards them. I could make a joke about your uninformed comment re trickle down economics and businesses shutting down due to a lack of dispos(able) income (do you hold a university degree in economics?) but simply read what you have to say, and accept or dismiss it. In this case, dismissal is the most polite response possible.

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      Brissie Girl, that is not Socialism, it is Australianism, – Australians, being doers, have a definite feeling for equality in the work place, a boss who will never get his hands dirty is not respected.
      You should recall that the legislation requiring every worker to contribute 7% (ot was it 8%?) of their wages towards the Pension Fund was enacted in the 1940s, and is still happening to this very day.
      Sure, Menzies slimed his way to spending our pension money on other things, – like the mackenzie ‘sports rorts,’ – seems a real tradition in the libs, – although to be fair the labour party at that time supported Menzies in that theft, – but whatever the re-naming we are still paying that same money specifically legislated for our retirement.

      However you can justify that in your conscience is beyond me, but in my opinion, it is Betrayal.
      Sure that the workers hadmore money in the Pension fund than they did must have infuriated those greedy politicians, – they haven’t changed a whit you will notice today, but they could have spent lots of that money on hospitals, old folks retirement villages etc. – each with a trust dund to keep it going forever, – that would also have stimulated the economy and been a significant reduction of Govt spending.

      What is really interesting about this act of politicians is what happened with the GFC, the which Rudd extricated Australia from with his largesse.
      – Look at America, they survived by QE, quantitative easing, by paying not just Billions but Trillions to the ‘too big to fail’ banks, – had they paid only a tenth of that amount to all the people who were suddenly losing their homes, dreams, etc. after a lifetime of work, the GFC would have finished much sooner.

      And who were blamed? – the poor people of course, the ones all the lenders conned into thinking that now they could have their own house, and signed up, only to find that the people who had provided their finance were gone, and their houses were suddenly worth much less than they had paid for them, so they had no choice but to walk away.

      If the choice is between the lying theiving banks, – who create money every time they make a loan, and a touch of ‘socialism’ in Australian culture, you know what every decent Australian will choose.

      Of course Murdoch, etc. will try to trick you to choose them, but surely you can be smart enough to see through their lies?

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      Brissiegirl, I agree with your opening comment that it’s insulting and rude to describe pensioners as welfare recipients.
      I also agree with you that people who’ve worked hard and done without luxuries so they can pay off their home mortgage shouldn’t be penalised in retirement, compared to those who never saved and did without.
      But I still believe in social justice and that means people who weren’t given the same opportunities as me should be given a safety net. I don’t think you should call this Socialism though – just a good old Aussie fair go.

      I don’t believe the family home should be included in the assets test but if your own home is worth more than $1.5 million, then maybe the excess should be counted as an asset to be included in the assets test. Does that sound fair enough? The average family home wouldn’t be affected at all and if it is, then cop the excess ffs, because you’re rich!

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      If we had a ‘fair go’ or ‘Australianism’, we wouldn’t be persecuting people who saved to fund their own retirement and handing out to spendthrifts and bludgers. How can anyone justify reducing the pension entitlement of someone who spend 40 years paying off a home while handing out more to someone who chose not to bother? Similarly, how can anyone justify the current situation where many self-funded retirees have to live on an income significantly lower than the age pensioners receive, or drain their savings prematurely and end up poor despite all their hard work and sacrifice. Meanwhile, the genuinely hard up struggle because too much is paid out to manipulators who don’t have genuine needs.

      The current system is appallingly unfair and economically harmful, and adding the family home to the assets test can only make it worse. The assets test should be abolished. It’s is patently unfair. If it were abolished, there would be no incentive for people to overinvest in housing, and the unfair favouritism of people who sink millions into a family home would end. A much better solution would be either a universal pension and tax retirement income, or an income/deemed income test only with ALL assets over a very generous threshold counted for deeming. That way, it wouldn’t matter whether people chose to invest in the family home, a caravan or motor home, boat, shares, or money in the bank – they would all be treated equally, as they should be!

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      If we had a ‘fair go’ or ‘Australianism’, we wouldn’t be persecuting people who saved to fund their own retirement and handing out to spendthrifts and bludgers. How can anyone justify reducing the pension entitlement of someone who spend 40 years paying off a home while handing out more to someone who chose not to bother? Similarly, how can anyone justify the current situation where many self-funded retirees have to live on an income significantly lower than the age pensioners receive, or drain their savings prematurely and end up poor despite all their hard work and sacrifice. Meanwhile, the genuinely hard up struggle because too much is paid out to manipulators who don’t have genuine needs.

      The current system is appallingly unfair and economically harmful, and adding the family home to the assets test can only make it worse. The assets test should be abolished. It’s is patently unfair. If it were abolished, there would be no incentive for people to overinvest in housing, and the unfair favouritism of people who sink millions into a family home would end. A much better solution would be either a universal pension and tax retirement income, or an income/deemed income test only with ALL assets over a very generous threshold counted for deeming. That way, it wouldn’t matter whether people chose to invest in the family home, a caravan or motor home, boat, shares, or money in the bank – they would all be treated equally, as they should be!

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    Well, here we go again with the family home being included in the assets test for pensioners. I note that the person suggesting this is an academic who is not in receipt of an age pension and will probably never get the age pension because of the generous super schemes endowed by universities.

    Firstly, the young have always been responsible for paying taxes that support, inter alia, age pensions. As Snowflake points out all of us paid taxes during our working life which went to a government to pay the bills necessary to run Australia. Back then we were the “young” who supported the retired people who helped build this great country. Our generation added to that building and it’s our turn to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

    Matt Grudnoff is correct when he says that the location of the home raised significant problems in establishing a cap. This really is the only impediment for including the family home in the assets test as the postcode is the main reason for the value of a home, not whether the home has 3 or 4 bedrooms, ensuites or a double garage and carport. No government will be able to establish a cut-off for the value of the family home which will be fair to everyone.

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      Well put Horace.

      How easily they forget we were once the young who carried the main tax burden – although in times past the rich did not get off as easily as they do now. We seem to have a new class of capitalists who ride above the rest of the society and care for no-one but themselves and their bank accounts.

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      Had grandparents and grandparents in law – never even thought about their receiving a pension – it was their right.

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      I agree with you, Horace. I did a bit of research on the ‘three bed with a bit of garden’ house I live in.
      For the same house on the Gold Coast I would have to pay an extra $50,000 – $60,000, Melbourne an extra $100,000 – $150,000 and in Sydney and extra $2 – 300,000. And it’s no good pollies saying move and get a cheaper place because the moving costs are horrendous, and as you get older you need to be near family and friends.

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      Regardless of postcode, if your own home is worth more than $1.5 million, then maybe the excess should be counted as an asset to be included in the assets test. That sounds fair enough to me. The average family home wouldn’t be affected at all and if it is, then cop the excess ffs, because you’re rich!

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      One way of calculating the value of the home is to remove the value of the land and positioning of the home. The land is the value of lacation which is greatly increased due to government planning and restrictions of available land. You cannot live on a bare block of land. Council restrictions and lack of amenities such as water and power make this so.

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    There is no debt – the stimulus money will be re-absorbed into the taxation system in short order, apart from the bits of it that are, as usual, hoarded by offshore adventurer freebooters, and those who freeboot in areas that pay no tax.

    Taxing the retiree twice for a home bought and paid for and on which all taxes have been paid during working life will not resolve the problems of government. Like any other asset bought and paid and taxed for, it should not be included in any assets test.

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      Well thought out, – thanks Karen, and also for pointing out that retiring well is OG, – sometimes I am a bit too trusting and Trolls fool me.

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      There are far worse sins than to be too trusting, Lookfar. The meek shall inherit the Earth, it is said – I just hope she isn’t too raped, pillaged, fracked and polluted by the time the meek inherit.
      Or maybe it means that when the Earth is done with modern, destructive humans, she’ll be returned back to the peoples who have truly valued their country and sacred places?

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    Well said. Plus footballers could do with less pay, as well as bank managers, CEO’s etc

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    Here we go again, softening everyone up by talking about it….

    Well I dont give a hoot about it….. do what you will…..I am sick of worrying about it… bad enough trying to stay alive during this pandemic, maybe they will release the virus into the wild here and bring in DEATH TAXES….as all the oldies will be croaking it…..

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      Such a cheerful bastard, Panos! And don’t give them ideas! Even the Libs will be desperate to find new streams of income now. How about the government skimming off 10% of your Super when you croak? You won’t need it when you’re dead, will you?

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    Usual response. Conduct a survey to ask people who should pay more tax, and everyone says someone else should. There are loopholes in the aged pension system that you can drive a truck through. Those in million dollar houses scream they are entitled to the pension because they paid income tax all their life. Negative gearing and franking credits are just tax avoidance schemes (and yes, I get franking credits). If the government was serious they would first plug the holes in the tax system that allow multi-nationals and large corporations to avoid tax, then close the loopholes available for the wealthy, then having set an example, start closing the loopholes further down the line. If they had the guts, which they have not.

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      Whilst I agree with most of what you have written, Willfish, the fly in the ointment is the word “wealthy”. I have not been able to get anyone to give a definition of the words “wealthy” or “rich”. Can you help?

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      Horace Cope – Wealthy is any couple having over $860.000 in assets as they will get NOTHING from this government.
      They worked and saved so as not to become a burden on this country.
      This article is just another attack on pensioners and the elderly.

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