Unemployed older Australians fear further pension age increases

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Federal Government plans to reintroduce legislation to raise the pension age to 70 by 2035 has many unemployed older Australians terrified of future pension age increases.

In July, departing Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan warned of the ageing revolution crisis and highlighted the additional hurdles that older Australians have to climb to gain employment. Widespread discrimination against older workers, including ageist mindsets, were exposed in the National Willing to Work report, recently released by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT Executive Director Jenny Mobbs believes that older candidates are too often missing out on jobs. COTA claims that the Federal Government’s recruitment practices, which require candidates to disclose their age, reinforces the problem.

“The selection panels in the public service can be quite a young group of people, and they don’t want their mum or their dad walking in and taking over in the workforce,” Ms Mobbs said. “Younger people don’t like to work with older people who’ve got much more experience because they feel threatened.”

COTA and various other organisations offer seminars for older workers on how to get interviews and re-enter the workforce, as well as how to compete with younger candidates for jobs. Many participants are ready and willing to work, but there is an overwhelming frustration with the number of knockbacks received.

Are you currently looking for a job or have gone through the process in the past year? If so, please share your experiences in the comments below.

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56 Comments

Total Comments: 56
  1. 0
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    Continued information affirming that this government has retirees on the hit list whilst turning a blind eye to the big end of town which can avoid its tax and do as it likes. Interesting development in Ireland yesterday where the Irish are going to force Apple to pay their taxes and I wonder if our lot will adopt their business as usual attitude or follow.
    Either way this government continues down its road of budget repair by the masses and tax cuts and/or no taxes for the rich.

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      Actually Mick you are quite wrong on the Irish forcing Apple to pay back tax. The Irish Government have joined forces with Apple to appeal the decision made by the European Commission.

      It is this type of interference by the EU/EC in internal State affairs that has created the climate in which Brexit succeeded.

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      Here we go again, “the big end of town” gets it daily mention from Mick of the left. Please be more specific Mick, name names, tell us how much tax they should pay, tell us how much they are avoiding. It’s all well and good to have an opinion but its always better to back an opinion up with facts.

      KSS is correct, the EU has decided that the Irish shouldn’t run their own country and have interfered once again. There is much argument whether the EU can actually make such a decision. The Irish have chosen to give tax relief to a number of tech companies to attract their business and are collecting PAYE taxes from the thousands of employees in those companies.

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      “The Irish Government have joined forces with Apple to appeal the decision made by the European Commission.”
      – Is this the new Irish joke of the year?-

    • 0
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      No HS, the Irish are considering an appeal and a link is here;

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-apple-ireland-idUSKCN116136

    • 0
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      what else can you expect of labor stooge and union troll mick, would not know if it was day or night unless shorty told him!

    • 0
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      Not what I heard last night KSS. Of course there are two sides to the coin because the Irish have attracted big business with its tax haven and fear that what blew in with the wind may just as fast disappear. This is of course at the heart of the real issue, that multinationals play one country against another to get the deal they want. What the world has not come to grips with is that this is a cartel in operation where we all forgo services in our own countries to feed the monster companies and their wealthy CEOs, Directors and shareholders.

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      What in gawds name have the bleedin Irish and their rotten apples got to do with our Govt considering an increase to retirement, facts or no facts. C’mon boys, this entire repetition of same old ,same old clap trap strikes me as cut & paste, day in day out. Surely you consider that we are just as capable of comprehending fresh info as you are equally capable of disseminating it ? Go outside and shoot the breeze, it may clear your heads enough to consider a new perspective. With respect.

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      The only thing rotten apples are good for is making cider.

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    Pension age increases to 70 by 2035 may be achievable as the Manufacturing Industries will all be lost by then. I cant see in the future or now many 50 year olds working the hard manual jobs such as road works and other hard labouring jobs (except for owners, foremen or supervisors). There are many mature workers who have worked in these areas for many years and may not be qualified, or have the interest for retraining.
    The youth unemployment rate is also an issue, if the younger people cant find work quickly after finishing their academic years the become a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. Refreshing the workforce with younger workers is a benefit for all of us. Older workers should be able to make their own decision when to retire, governments should not change the age fro accessing the pension unless they can guarantee positions for older workers. They can make a stronger contribution by reintroducing the Employer Superannuation Contribution increases which successive Coalition Governments have put on hold.

    • 0
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      The whole point of retraining is that it is regardless of previous qualifications so not being ‘qualified’ is a false argument. More likely people have no interest in doing so as you suggest and that is no argument if they want or have to get a job.

      Youth unemployment is an issue in some areas it is true. Yet even then there are jobs available but the youth just won’t do them. That is why backpackers get jobs in areas like the HUnter Valley in NSW. This area has over 20% youth unemployment yet the growers cannot find workers!

      Older (and indeed younger) workers have always been able to decide when to retire and they will be able to do so in the future. The only difference is that if they are expecting to apply for welfare – the age pension – then they have to play by the rules and they will have to be self supporting until they meet the new qualifications which may include a new minimum age of 70.

      And for goodness sake we are talking 40 years away. People should be will versed in saving for retirement given the compulsory super will have been in operation for over 50 years by then in fact all workers will have been contributing to it by 2035. There should be very very few who still need the safety net of the age pension by then.

      We also don’t know what jobs will be available in 5 years time never mind in 40 years. Children starting school now will have jobs we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Just as kids today are in jobs that didn’t exist when we were at school. We simply cannot judge the future based on what happens today. Society and the workplace are changing and we have to change with it or be left behind. Hanging on to the past through misguided nostalgia won’t help anyone (Holden car anyone?).

    • 0
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      KSS it is 2016 now and 2035 is only 19 years away, not 40.

      Retraining people aged 50 and above was suggested as an option to consider, but think about this: the 50 or older job applicant who has completed re-training is still less likely to obtain a job if they are competing for jobs against younger, but more experienced candidates. E.g. the 55 year old former factory worker who completes retail training still has to compete against 20 somethings who have been working in retail since high school. The older applicant will still be disadvantaged, despite their current skills training. Nothing beats recent “hands on” experience when it comes to job hunting.

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      4bt: splendid suggestion that the government should not be able to deny a pension to workers unless they can guarantee a job for them.
      Some people may be able to self-support from an earlier age by accessing the bulk of their superannuation until they reach the retirement age of 70.
      But to just make a blanket qualification of 70 for the pension is cruel and unworkable. Most tradesmen are doing hard time from about 45 on, crippled with bad backs and knees. If only out of respect, the government should acknowledge that there are large numbers of manual workers who are simply incapable of continuing beyond mid-life and to what can they be re-trained when our youth will be occupying the jobs.
      Most manual labourers are men, (I don’t see many women laying concrete, climbing into roofs doing electrical work, laying bricks, lifting heavy cargo) so they don’t expect much thoughtful consideration on this issue. If it were women in these hard yakka jobs, just imagine the outcry over expectations they do hard yakka until 70. They would be yelling and screaming to every influential pro-women’s in the country, every politician, the Minister for Women. Protected species imo.

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      “the younger people cant find work quickly after finishing their academic years”
      – Generally, those with completed academic years, who can’t find work in their field of studies, do find it difficult to find work because employers feel that they are not experienced . The same academic qualified graduates seeking work in other fields are considered either under-qualified and in many cases over qualified with no practical experience.
      In situations like this the government should introduce a support plan where these candidates can get 6 months experience at no cost to the employer and supporting the candidate’ cost of living with 6-months Newstart Allowance during the initial internship. If the intern qualifies with the employer to be engaged full-time then the government should provide a bonus of $5,000 to the employer.
      I’m not sure how the current incentive of $10,0000 to employers is working out to encourage them to hire more people.

    • 0
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      There is big supermarket in the town near me that employs lots of older women. I actually find them frustrating as they are way too slow. I could put groceries through a checkout twice as fast even at my age. It is enough for one to want to try out those self service checkouts. Then again that is putting people out of work.

    • 0
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      OG I too thought that but on inquiry found it was the old technology that only scanned at a certain rate. The Coles was revamped and new checkouts put in and the speed of the service increased. They want you to get frustrated and work for them for nothing.

      I get annoyed by having to serve myself, do my own research, print my own bills etc these days.In fact in many cases I fail to see why I wouldn’t just shop online. The local department store for example now has no available staff, one poor lady trying to guard the front of the store against thieves and a self serve in the middle. No way will I shop there now. Just greedy.

      Once there were actually people answered phones too when you rang a business not a machine that puts you into a queue mostly with appalling music on tap.

      I’m surprised businesses aren’t going backwards faster as they move to using machines instead of workers.

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      Old Geezer, there is a mix of young and mature checkout operators where we shop and although some, not all, of the mature workers tend to be a bit slow, they more than make up for that with some conversation. I’d rather wait a bit longer and be acknowledged as a person rather than watch a young person be quicker at scanning and the only conversation is about whether we have Flybuys. I am loath to use self service checkouts because it destroys jobs. The savings don’t come back to the consumer because the market sets prices but goes to shareholders.

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      Old Geezer- It’s opinions like yours that confirm why employers in general don’t want to employ older people. There will be a lot more older people on the Newstart Allowance competing for jobs that younger people should / will win. Older unemployable people will be left out to hang dry on Newstart unable to survive in paying rent, transport and buying food. Then what? Will those in poverty begin a life of crime of stealing? Will they invade your home to rob you because you made your wealth? The people who have joined the Apex gang are a classic proof of what will happen. Wish you luck Old Man hope you don’t get robbed.

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      I loathe grocery shopping so I want to be in and out as quick as I can. I don’t want to talk to anyone and make an outing out of it I just want to buy groceries. It has nothing to do with speed of the scanners as the young kids have competitions to see who is the fastest. Last I heard a 14 year old girl was the front runner.

      I seem to cause havoc everything I go near those self service checkouts. I couldn’t get assistance one day so left everything and walked out of the store after cursing that stupid machine.

      I used a self service checkout once to buy a $2 bottle of milk. So put in $2 in change and it told me I was 5c short. They got my money back to prove it. Only problem was it was a very different combinations of the coins I had put in. So I gave the assistant 5c and she asked me to put it all back in. I said no it can’t count. She put it all back in and it was again 5c short. I told her to put in the 5c and left the store.

    • 0
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      Fair go OG, you can’t complain about paying people for not working and then decide to not employ people because of age. It makes life a bit hard. It seems to me that if it was raining $50.00 notes you’d complain they weren’t $100.00 notes.

    • 0
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      Rubbish all I am saying is that people need to be able to do the job not just give them a job and let the public suffer because they can’t do it. Even at my age I could do a better job than most of the older people they employ.

      Money means very little to me now as I have more than enough to see me through to my department form this mortal world. I really couldn’t care about money falling from the sky as it would be nothing but a hassle picking it up knowing that is was not mine and I would have to do something about it.

  3. 0
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    I am 60+ and was looking for work for over six years applied for hundreds of jobs in management continually knocked back. Awhile ago I applied for a job as a manager with Avon it is full time income with car plus achievable bonuses on top, looking after their representatives in the field.
    Avon is a company that looks at the experience that comes with age and at a recent conference was surprised to see that at least three quarters of the people employed by them are 55 plus in age.
    So next time that rep comes to your door with the Avon brochure support her, and buy your everyday products like shampoos, skincare, fragrance etc from a company that supports the older workers by employing them.
    Avon is a major sponsor of the Breast Cancer foundation and Domestic Violence so money spent goes towards these causes.
    Avon was started 130 years ago and still going strong it gives young mums and older women the opportunity to make a little money on the side or a lot of money by building a business without the overheads.
    We need more non judgemental businesses to employ the experience and not just the DOB.

    • 0
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      Problem with Avon door knockers is that they are self-employed and get paid commission on the sales they make, monthly (?). It is a tedious job and it involves the agent to pre-buy the merchandise and do so monthly (regularly). Also, the Avon is like a pyramid structure, the more you sell a commission is paid to your sponsor up the ladder. You also have to attend regular meetings with the sponsor to get “pumped-up” and make commitments that may not be able to be achieved. The whole game with Avon is creation of sponsorship through which the merchandise is channeled. If you don’t succeed sponsoring other people into the chain – to create your own sub-pyramid structure – you will end up wasting a lot of effort and time for no return plus you will get a dose of depression. This is not employment. This is not security of income. There is no superannuation, no holiday or sick pay.

    • 0
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      Nice unpaid advertisement Blue. HS, you have described something that sounds like the harder you work, the more money you make and say it like that is a bad thing. My mate left a good job to assist his wife with her Avon business and they are both doing well and are very happy.

  4. 0
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    More and more jobs will continue to be replaced by technology and robotics. Governments are aware this is the reality of the future in an ever populating world. They won’t be able to sustain an ever increasing welfare dependant society due to lack of jobs and birth control. Governments will need to change our entire monetary social structure for us all to live. The Venus Project would be a great solution but too many rich don’t want to let go of their power. https://www.thevenusproject.com/the-venus-project/

    • 0
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      The Venus project aims to re-design our culture….well if what we are seeing in the West with our culture being re-designed by force-fed multi-culturalism, and incompatible religions, then I doubt it will get very far.

  5. 0
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    …”Many participants are ready and willing to work, but there is an overwhelming frustration with the number of knockbacks received. Are you currently looking for a job or have gone through the process in the past year? If so, please share your experiences in the comments below.”…..

    My experience was that I found myself out of work aged 55 after my partner got too sick to continue working in our sole trader business and I don”t have the skills to work the business alone. Nevertheless I felt confident I could obtain work as an office administrator and wasn’t worried about finding paid employment – after all I had worked as a secretary and personal assistant before we started our own business and I had current skills and recent experience. Shouldn’t be too long before I was working again, thought I.

    I applied for mainly office work but also cleaning and hospitality jobs too and although I was invited to at least 2 interviews per month I just couldn’t get a job offer until eventually I was offered casual industrial cleaning work which I did for about 4 months but it was so physically demanding that my husband asked me to quit because he was worried I would have a work accident as I was always so tired. It’s now been 9 months since we stopped working our own business and we have decided to draw our Super and live on that rather than claim Newstart.

    Worst case scenario would see us drawing down around $30K a year, from Super until we qualify for the pension. Best case scenario would see one or both of us finding work so we can save our Super for later.

    • 0
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      This is happening to far to many now. They are forced to draw down super and end up on a pension. Superannuation was never designed to be used as an unemployment payment. It is blatantly a failure by government and the reserve bank to fulfil a very important function. The maintenance of full employment.

    • 0
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      I believe you are eligible to receive New Start if you work as a volunteer for eg In a Red Cross shop, volunteer ambulance officer, Salvo’s etc: you have to work 3 days a week. This work can be very rewarding knowing you are assisting the community in which you live.

    • 0
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      I have been drawing a pension from my super since I turned 55 rather than have my fund pay tax on the earnings. That tax saved was income I didn’t have to earn elsewhere.

    • 0
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      I’m sorry to read your story East of Toowoomba. I had difficulty finding full-time employment when I was made redundant because of my age. I only started to get interviews when I left my age off applicaions and I could sense the mood when I walked into an interview room. The reasons for my refusal were many and varied but none of them ever mentioned age. I was under qualified, over qualified, just the person they were looking for but a better qualified/more experienced person was offered the position.

      Because my wife was working part time, I was ineligible for Newstart so occasionally had to dip into my super. I would strongly suggest that you claim Newstart and use your super to top it up now and then. I’m not sure about jeffr’s advice, I know that volunteering was allowable in lieu of applying for a number of jobs but you’d need to confirm this. I hope your husband has fully recovered but, if not, you could apply for a DSP. Good luck.

  6. 0
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    Actually I’d like to see all self funded retirees who lost part pensions or will lose part pensions register for employment. It would certainly make a statement and stuff up the stupidly inaccurate employment figures.

    After all if your income falls you should be able to return to work to make up the difference.

    I have found that my contract work stopped abruptly when I hit my 65the birthday. Perhaps something to do with insurances etc. The economy did take a dive then too so it could be that. I can manage fine without the work but I do miss the interaction that the odd stint of work provided.

    • 0
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      Also, you can’t get Income Protection Insurance once you hit 65.

    • 0
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      Why would you want income protection insurance anyway?

    • 0
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      I don’t need income protection as I am self funded using both superannuation and private income. I don’t need to work.

      I still think we as a very large cohort are not using our power well.

      Even if a few hundred turned up to register for work it would be a statement. A few thousand even better.

      I think I’ll do it just to see how the experience goes. I read the book ‘The Short Goodbye” about the total uselessness of the current employment industry in Australia. Well worth a read.

      Sometimes it is well to consider the needs of others. An old buddhist monk I trained with in meditation and understanding Dharma explained that Grace was achieved by being eternally grateful for all the countless blessings received and Compassion by helping others to share those blessings as well.

      Being able to see through the eyes of those Others is a bonus.

    • 0
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      We do volunteer work Rae and I was amazed to find out that I wasn’t allowed to change a light bulb because OH&S (or whatever the name is now) has decreed that over 65’s are not allowed to climb a ladder. Who makes these rules and what is their justification?

    • 0
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      HS your also no entitled to workcover after your pension age

    • 0
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      maris- As pension age will be 67 and later 70 I don’t get your statement.
      Perhaps you meant that once you go past 65 and have to work to 67 during that period you are not covered by Workcover. Well this bloody government better change this and enforce a ruling that all workers over 65 have to be covered by Workcover up to their retirement age.

    • 0
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      Old Man by law you have to get a licenced electrician to change a light bulb so nothing to do with climbing a ladder. It’s one of those rules that have never changed like the one that says a taxi must have a bale of hay in it’s boot.

    • 0
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      Unfortunately Old Man, there are people out there that are always looking for someone to pay for their retirement, if the council leaves a crack in the pavement and someone is not paying attention trips and breaks a leg out come the lawyers. Organisations can not afford to trust that individuals will not sue them.
      If a case came to court where a 65+ year old was allowed to climb a ladder the jury/magistrate would be asked to consider whether it would be likely that a person of that age would have a fall and what the consequences of that fall would be.
      Depending on the makeup of the jury, I would guess that in all likely hood the organisation would be found to be at fault, this could send them broke, as being a volunteer you may not be covered by the insurance.

  7. 0
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    There is more to life than working until you drop. There are not enough jobs to go around now for all age groups, Not one size fit al Working is dependent on how fit you are and if you have other obligations to fulfil The aged pension should be available for people on low incomes not for the rich. I agree with HS.

  8. 0
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    I worry more about pension cuts for aged pensioners. They were around & paying taxes after WW2. I have never been given anything extra by the Govt. Am 73 now. I think aged pension should be seperate from any other pensions. Returned from acrive service aged pensioners are going OK with the DVA. I think that would be about what all aged pensioners should be on. Some of us were in speciallised employment. Some in support jobs. Etc. Nonetheless, we may not have been able to contrtibute in the regard our frontline soldiers did. But. We all have to live & feed our family now, all the same & are finding it hard. Some of us cannot work or even walk anymore.

  9. 0
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    What in gawds name have the bleedin Irish and their rotten apples got to do with our Govt considering an increase to retirement, facts or no facts. C’mon boys, this entire repetition of same old ,same old clap trap strikes me as cut & paste, day in day out. Surely you consider that we are just as capable of comprehending fresh info as you are equally capable of disseminating it ? Go outside and shoot the breeze, it may clear your heads enough to consider a new perspective. With respect.

    • 0
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      Maybe if those rotten apples paid their fair share of tax an increase in retirement age would not be needed.

      I don’t use Apple products myself. However I do use Samsung ones. Did you know that Samsung products are priced differently in each country? They price their products at a price point the people can afford. That’s why you can import Samsung products for less than half what you pay here in Australia for them.

  10. 0
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    And whilst I’m on my soap box: any Govt consideration to increase retirement age seems to unfairly burden those that, having laboured to a point in life and thus earned the privilege of retirement, the Govt then attempts to ‘pull the rug from beneath their feet’. That’s gratitude for you.
    Fine, well in so doing then spread the associated drain (that we seem to be responsible for) across the population. How or why is it that school leavers – never having been employed – in most cases, apply for Newstart (dole).
    If oldies that have been – or those that will be – affected by bureaucratic brain snaps, then why hasn’t anyone considered that conversely an increase to the age of ‘entitlement’ (for school leavers) is warranted. Why should retirees who; having carried the can to the night cart for the bulk of their lives, then be the sole demographic that is required to clean up the mess – a mess of the guvmints making whatsmore.

    • 0
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      School leavers do not get Newstart as you have to be aged 22 or over to qualify for it.

      So when you kid leaves school you lose you family allowance payment and they can only get youth allowance if they are enrolled in approved course. Therefore as parents you hav to pay their way until they get employment.

      You though OAPs had it tough. These kids get nothing.

    • 0
      0

      A very reasonable question.

      Personally I think a lot of these austerity decisions aimed at retirees are coming from the IMF and Central Bankers.

      It will be interesting to hear the brain snaps of Morrison and Cormann after the coming G20.

      I believe all retirees would be wise to save as much discretionary money as possible as a buffer just in case. It wouldn’t hurt to go missing from the shopping centres for a month or so. It might just slow the attacks down when businesses start missing retirees money.

      Aged pensions have been cut in many countries recently.

      Medical tests are increasingly not covered by either Medicare or insurance and are a hefty new cost that should be budgeted for.

      The days of spending every dollar each fortnight and expecting the taxpayer to fund the lack of discipline and saving are over.

      No one knows the effect the including of Chinese money in the SDR basket will have on the value of Chinese money. If it lifts it and the Aussie dollar falls then a lot of things will become much more expensive quickly. Best to be prepared.

      We are being made the sole demographic because of the belief that we are rich and have a victim mentality which precludes any attempts at protest.

    • 0
      0

      Makes no sense, if you don’t increase the employment rate, increasing the Pension age is useless, you are just putting more people on Jobstart.
      In other words re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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