Retirement review the perfect time to assess the family home

Terms of reference offer the Government a chance to scrutinise such policies as the treatment of the family home.

Retirement review the perfect time to assess the family home

The nature of the Government’s retirement income review offers a unique opportunity to assess the impact of including the family home in the Age Pension assets test, says Heffron SMSF Solutions director Martin Heffron.

Mr Heffron believes the terms of reference of the retirement income review – establishing facts rather than making recommendations – offers the Government a chance to scrutinise such policies as the treatment of the family home on inter-generational equity, fiscal sustainability and efficiency, without political pressure.

“The generous treatment of the Australian family home for tax and benefit purposes is one of the most fiscally unsustainable policies in Australia,” Mr Heffron said. “It has many negative consequences and contributes to the sharp increase in homelessness we see in our city streets every day.

“Thankfully, there is nothing to stop the panel from reporting on the factual impact of this treatment on the sustainability of our current retirement income policy framework. I wish them well in their important work.”

 


Mr Heffron also hopes the review will clarify terms such as ‘retirement income adequacy’ as the range of opinions of what was adequate for individuals could open the review up to criticism and confusion, reports Money Management.

While the review’s terms of reference specifically focus on the three pillars of retirement income – a means-tested Age Pension, compulsory superannuation and voluntary savings – ownership of the primary residence has long been considered the de facto fourth pillar of Australia’s retirement income system.

The rapid increase in property value over the past few years has led many to argue that the family home should be included in the assets test. However, the Federal Treasurer has all but ruled it out.

More important than including the home to the assets test, says Per Capita’s Emma Dawson and Myfan Jordan, is to increase assistance for renting pensioners.

“Renters in the 55–64 age cohort have risen from 14.7 per cent to 21 per cent in the past 20 years alone,” they said in YourLifeChoices’ September edition of the Retirement Affordability Index. “Worryingly, this includes former homeowners forced out by mortgage foreclosure and life events such as family breakdown, ill health and unemployment.

“The most immediate solution is to increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) for those in receipt of social security payments.

“The retirement income review provides us with an opportunity to think more broadly about what makes it possible for Australians to live a good life in retirement. If that is our collective goal, we must shift how we think of the home, away from its role as merely a financial pillar of retirement income.

“Having a place to call home, one that cannot be taken from us, is perhaps the greatest source of security there is. Providing that to all Australians should be the fundamental aim of retirement income policy.”

Do you think the treatment of the family home in Australia is a “fiscally unsustainable policy”?

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    COMMENTS

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    PJ
    9th Oct 2019
    9:50am
    Good luck with with that if the Franking Credit Refunds couldn't even be agreed upon!!!
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    11:04am
    One has to get to more than 50% of the population renting and then the Government can bring that on. Have not really a problem with including the family home as an asset. It is currently assessed at $205'000 and my joint is only worth about $375'000.
    50 years ago in Melbourne I was working with Greek immigrants living in Commission Homes and buying their houses in Greece. Maybe that lurk will come back if family homes are included in Australia. Overseas they cannot be counted.
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    12:37pm
    Increasing rent assistance will help renters but it will be more welfare going toward the rich. It’s bad enough public money goes to negative gearing, business to employ workers, Franking credits and etc. Public housing would be a better solution for renters and the homeless. I think the home should be included as an asset when it’s value is high because they cost a lot more than a pension to maintain.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    1:11pm
    Should rents be capped? Should house prices be capped?
    KSS
    9th Oct 2019
    1:36pm
    For the record jackie, if you are saying that people who own houses and rent them out are all rich, you are sadly mistaken. Most people who own a rental property, own just one and most are average income earners like teachers, police who work hard for that property. There are tjose that work hard to afford the house but can't afford to actually live there. They rent elsewhere themselves.

    Yes there are spme who own a proprty portfolio, just as there are those with significant share portfolios or art collections, or gold bullion or heck even a sucessful business. But that doesn't mean they are all rich - far from it in fact.

    Please do not conflate people's hard work and sacrifice with proflagacy.
    Blinky
    9th Oct 2019
    5:42pm
    Hopefully, the govt will sticks to its guns and not include the family home 8n the asset test.
    Hopefully , the govt will not listen to idiots who come up with nonsense like this!
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    7:54pm
    They have no choice, Blinky - we will not permit them .
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    9:19pm
    KSS the majority of politicians negative gearing several properties each. The average negative grater owns several properties. I am against people that own several properties they prevent others from buying one and inflate rents which contribute toward the homeless problem. Investing in art does not harm the vulnerable
    KSS
    10th Oct 2019
    7:05am
    So what jackie? I have even heard stories of 30 year olds with significant holdings like 6-7 houses and/or apartments round the country. That does not make the truth any different. The vast majority of people with rental property are normal people in normal jobs working hard and building their future. And I cannot agree that the few who do own more than one property are stopping others from buying or that they push up prices. Are you seriously saying if all those with more than one property sold up thus making the house available to someone else that the pensioner who currently rents or the homeless person sleeping in your local park will jump in and buy it? Of course not. It would not make one skerrick of difference except that the current renter would be out of a home!

    Put the green eyed monster back in its box and get real. Some people own property others don't. Fact of life.
    TREBOR
    10th Oct 2019
    10:08am
    So the banks bending over backwards while doing a double front backflip to offer 'investment' loans to buy another property on virtually zero real equity in one property, thus leading to serial house hoarding - does NOT raise the market price? Does not create a shortage of HOMES available as opposed to houses?

    That's the plan!! More money to the banks in a win-win situation.
    thommo
    9th Oct 2019
    10:03am
    Frydenberg has ruled out including the family tome in the assets test. But if they eve chahange their minds, they will also have to get rid of negative gearing and franking credits inter Ali's, if they want to talk about fiscal sustainability and equitable fairness.
    AND politicians will have to stop rotting the system also and live more frugal lives like the rest of us .
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    11:23am
    Franking credits are a with holding tax so no need to change them at all. Negative gearing is also easily continued too so nothing to be gained there either.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    12:28pm
    Then there is no issue with abolishing franking credits entirely.... should straighten out a few tax problems..... make it easier for people with franking credits not 'not make mistakes'....
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    12:41pm
    I agree Thomson’s. There is more welfare for the rich than ever which is contributing to more poverty.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:44pm
    But the rich still benefit with both franking credits and negative gearing by simply doing things differently.
    Tanker
    9th Oct 2019
    2:53pm
    The point is that only the rich really benefit from franking credits and negative gearing because they can afford to do things differently compared to the rest of us who haven
    t got their wealth. The less well off can get a wee bit but nothing like the rich. Look at Dick Smith's statement recently.
    If you put the case, for franking credits, that tax had already been paid on that money therefore it should not be taxed again then should a business selling you something not have to pay tax on what you buy because the money you pay had tax already paid on it as your income tax.
    That was all part of the Howard/Costello welfare to the well off.
    Tanker
    9th Oct 2019
    2:53pm
    The point is that only the rich really benefit from franking credits and negative gearing because they can afford to do things differently compared to the rest of us who haven
    t got their wealth. The less well off can get a wee bit but nothing like the rich. Look at Dick Smith's statement recently.
    If you put the case, for franking credits, that tax had already been paid on that money therefore it should not be taxed again then should a business selling you something not have to pay tax on what you buy because the money you pay had tax already paid on it as your income tax.
    That was all part of the Howard/Costello welfare to the well off.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:18pm
    Thank you, VCBB, for your support for a full review of tax manipulation.... such a bill is unlikely to receive bi-partisan support for the simple reason that all party's representatives use these things themselves... so it won't even get partisan support from the 'left', who are doing so very nicely, thank you, under our current system that permits tax manipulation.

    Good to see you admitting that the rich 'do things differently'... because they can... and that is a very clear reason why their rorts should be stopped and dried up.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:21pm
    Franking credits have not had tax paid on them already - the franking component is withheld tax, and must be included in the full dividend for tax consideration.

    Ergo - abolishing franked credits would not alter one thing by one cent....... apart from the fact that some are obviously adept at circumventing their income so as to appear to receive none - an impossibility.

    Hence the call for a minimum tax etc.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    3:23pm
    Labor's negative gearing and franking credit policies were not going to affect the rich at all. They were only going to affect those you call the rest of us. Dick Smith's case is no longer available so it is not relevant at all.

    So it's OK if I have franking credits earn $100,000 and pay not tax but if I only earn $20,000 I pay the equivalent of 30% tax on that income? I don't think so. That is why we have such a fair franking credit system now.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    3:26pm
    If you abolish all franking credits what incentive have companies got to use shareholder funds instead of just borrowing the money instead? None. We will then have highly geared companies paying interest instead of tax. No money in that for our tax revenue.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:01pm
    So no it's not a withholding tax, and now the combination of the franking plus the cash component paid no longer constitutes the share payout?

    Are you now pointing out one way in which a sneaky advantage is taken from paying dividends?

    If Company A pays a dividend simple of $1 - dividend = $1.
    If Company A pays a dividend simple of $0.70 and 30% franking - dividend = $1.

    Tell me the difference?

    The difference between an unfair advantage to the rich and the nil advantage to the poor is .... (wait for it)... the way the rich have every opportunity to structure their income so as to not pay tax.

    Ergo - it is long overdue time for a full review of such allowable practices - and retaining or abolishing franking of a portion of dividend makes not one iota of difference to the honest shareholder/taxpayer.

    Perhaps you could explain how it is that companies that are essentially 'insolvent' year after year continue to pay handsome dividends.....

    Now - to the family home - so now are you advocating that loan repayments of this 'asset' should be tax deductible so as to ensure that at retirement time, the value of that family home can be taken into account as an asset?

    How many free runs do you want the fat cats to have under our antediluvian system of different taxation for companies and trusts on the one side, and individuals on the other?
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:04pm
    If your concern is that some are hoarding income in their years heading into retirement so as to procure pension - by putting their cash into their home - then I take it you support the view that all should be required to keep full records of expenditure on the home for 10-15 years before retirement? For scrutiny and correct allocation of pension rights?

    How many people actually have the opportunity to hoard $10m (your figure) into a single home?
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:06pm
    What we are talking about here is the difference between a super fat cat and the past girlfriend of mine - a Maltese lady single mother from Sydney's west, who worked to own her home on part-time......

    So now you want to punish her because her small home on a tiny block is worth over a million, by taking the food money from her purse?

    Where you bin, Laden?

    I promise you I will march on Canberra if they try this one on.
    BigAl
    9th Oct 2019
    10:08am
    I am sorry but I have to disagree with including family home in the asset test. If you work hard all your life and pay off your home you deserve a reward!!. Why cant the younger generation learn how to save and pay off a home like the older generations. I remember when saving 20% for a deposit was mandatory and when interest rates were 14%. We have too many people going on welfare - now about 8M. Its about time the government started to address some of the fundamental issues instead of dropping interest rates to appease borrowers - a failing education system, too many on welfare, too many chronically ill 8M, what happened to the self reliance and resilience of the 1950s?
    Paddington
    9th Oct 2019
    10:48am
    We may have been frugal but jobs were aplenty. You could walk out of one job into another in the sixties. There really is no comparison. Young ones now have part time jobs and have to try and find extra part times jobs. Youth unemployment is very high.
    As a retired teacher I know that our education system is not failing. Needs change all the time but that is an exaggeration. Government shutting down the Tafes was a mistake for sure. Pushing young children before they have readiness causes gaps in their learning to read especially. The early years should be at their own pace not a set one as readiness is a huge part of the learning.
    The last part of your comment is a bit exaggerated as well.
    I do agree with the .75 interest rate being a mistake. What should happen is raising Newstart and giving a boost to the poorest pensioners. In other words, to the people who will definitely spend it.
    BigAl
    9th Oct 2019
    10:59am
    In the 50s and 60s only men worked. They received a fair days pay for a fair days work. Unlike today with price gouging everywhere. Try and get a plumber out for under $300. Today both partners work with an average salary of $80 000. Child care is paid for and interest rates on a loan now 3.5%. Kids stay at home until they are 30!! How good does it get and they still cant save!!. Dropping the interest rates only pushes up house prices. More nonsense!! The education system is broken. Teach budgeting and investment in the schools and stop the welfare nonsense!!!!!
    Rae
    9th Oct 2019
    11:05am
    Interesting interview recently of a family who moved into a terrace rental in Balmain to be close to a good school.

    Who wouldn't want to live in Balmain or Rozelle if living in Sydney. Similar Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.

    Renting in very desirable areas for lifestyle and then not owning a home is a lifestyle choice. Instead of the high life some savings in case of adversity and for retirement would be sensible.

    I would have loved living in Balmain or Bondi but couldn't afford it. We built in Ettalong when it was the sticks. And commuted for long periods and it wasn't much fun. No rewards either. Not even a concession card.
    Farside
    9th Oct 2019
    11:10am
    appeasing borrowers is the last thing on the mind of the RBA when it decides to drop interest rates.

    I agree there was good discipline from the banks to require a 20% deposit and limit loan repayments to a third of after take home pay but it was these restrictions that pushed people to building societies where they could borrow on as little as 5% deposit by taking out mortgage insurance. Since then the time required to save for deposits in terms of equivalent monthly pay has increased considerably, as has the amount to be borrowed. Low interest rates have added to the challenge for new borrowers to save their deposits.
    Paddington
    9th Oct 2019
    11:14am
    So Big Al you know nothing about education. Some subjects include money matters. Children in primary school are taught to save via bank accounts. What you are describing is the job of parents by their example. Children read if they see their parents read and the same goes for money matters. They should learn that in the home. Maybe our generation failed to teach the next generation who are now in charge of the following generation.
    Sweeping statements without any facts make no sense. Just expressing what you see personally is not what happens in every home.
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    12:48pm
    BigAl, if you work hard all your life and acquire an expensive home you should have healthy savings for self retirement instead of getting welfare. The pension has always been welfare for the poor not the rich. Downsizing could help because it costs a lot more than a pension to maintain an expensive property and home. Only the rich can maintain wealthy properties, cars and lifestyle not pensioners. There are plenty of legal tax loopholes for them. That’s welfare too.
    Sundays
    9th Oct 2019
    1:13pm
    Jackie, expensive homes in Sydney or Melbourne are due to rising prices. People who live in them are not necessarily rich. Why should they be forced to sell up. No, the pension has not always been welfare for the poor as has been pointed out on this site before. Research history. Also, there are many pensioners who spent up during their life but now retired are crying poor. There has to be some reward for hard work. What should be looked at is more suitable public housing for the homeless
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    11:35pm
    BigAl, how dare you be so condescending toward the young people of today. They have it much harder than you ever had. Australians could pay off a house on one wage back in your day. You had job security for years. Those are things that young people of today can never do.
    Tricky
    9th Oct 2019
    10:11am
    Please to see there is going to be a review of Deeming rates on cash term deposits and the hypocrisy of the government.
    Buggsie
    9th Oct 2019
    10:17am
    What sticks in my throat is that I do not qualify for a pension because I have too many assets - in fact, I am only a few thousand over the asset limit. My home is valued at about $500,000. A friend in Sidney does qualify for the pension even though her home is valued at $2.5million. Where's the balance? Why is one asset counted and not another? The sooner the pension assets test includes the family home the better, as far as I am concerned.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    11:09am
    Just wonder what kind of assets you possess to get you disqualified from the pension. As it stands now the inclusion of your home will still not get you the pension - you have even more assets.
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    11:59am
    That’s why a universal pension is necessary, Buggsie. A basic, no frills pension to keep you from going hungry and, throughout your working life, you save for your own comfort and luxuries in retirement. Practically nil administration from the government purse.
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    12:54pm
    Buggsie possessing a lot of assets should not be a problem. The are accumulated in life as an investment against poverty. When times are hard they are sold. I agree with you the woman with the expensive house should not be entitled to a pension because such a home to run costs more than a pension. She should be downsizing. For her a pension loan against her home would benefit everyone.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    1:15pm
    You've got it backwards, Buggsie - all paid out of post income tax money assets are YOURS in entirety.... and should never have been part of any assets test.

    This is the result of different rules for business and different rules for people who work for a living - all created in the time when ONLY business and well-to-do people had the vote.

    Been telling yez for a while now that those days are past.. gone with the wind... and it is time business and the well-to-do were put under the same tax system as those who work...

    As I said - imagine if a business could only purchase assets out of post tax income, then those assets were used to reduce income, then were used again to reduce income when sold.......

    So ... why is it so different for ordinary people?

    Anyone awakening yet...
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:22pm
    **coughs** I meant reduce income via taxation or mandatory reduction for having the asset = tax.
    Rusty
    9th Oct 2019
    10:18am
    Another report destined for the dustbin , maybe they should get a report done by someone ther than an overpaid bureaucrat
    Red 13
    9th Oct 2019
    10:41am
    These blasted Liberals have to go, we cannot afford these dangerous hypocrites anymore. Next election they have to go!!
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    11:11am
    The blessed ALP tried in May but we thought otherwise. Get used to it, Red 13!
    arbee
    9th Oct 2019
    12:17pm
    Read the article, this was proposed by someone who is not part of the government. Also, this was part of labours platform previously, even if they do deny it now.
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    1:01pm
    Red 13, the liberals have realised the constant attacks on poverty and welfare for the rich is making a larger deficit and will never fix it. If welfare can’t be had by the poor it shouldn’t be for the well off as well. The well have paid taxe all their lives just like the poor. The well off have benefited from tax payer money more than the poor tax payers always.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    1:17pm
    A stooge, arbee.... stooge... a schill sent to the auction to put in a false bid so as to ramp up the price....
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:45pm
    I bet they win the next election too.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:08pm
    What a disaster for this nation and shows the true paucity of genuine political talent and simple ability in this nation... Poor Fellow, My country.

    You are forcing me to stand...
    Wake Up
    9th Oct 2019
    10:51am
    You either have a full asset test including the family home or none at all
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    12:07pm
    That’s not feasible, Wake up. The same house in Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Deception Bay, etc would have a range of $300,000 - close to $1 million.
    Wake Up
    10th Oct 2019
    9:33am
    So what, Australia is a free country & its Your Life Choices how you retire.
    If not justifiable to say I want a $1 million house and an Old Age Pension to hand down to my children.
    While the other retiree has a $300,000 house & $1 million in super & no age pension.
    Wake Up
    10th Oct 2019
    9:40am
    And just for the record I don't vote for the self entitled Liberal, Labor or heaven forbid The Greens.
    Moo
    10th Oct 2019
    11:24am
    @Wake Up, are you suggesting those that own a house in a more expensive area should sell up and move somewhere cheaper? But what about their families?
    Say those in Sydney are forced to sell up and move to Adelaide. They will hardly ever see their family and won't have that support network in their old age. Their kids and grandkids meanwhile won't have their parents/grandparents around. And all the while the Adelaide natives get to stay put in the family home, surrounded by their friends and family.

    Never going to happen anyway - the Adani thing cost the ALP the last election due to not picking up a handful of QLD seats. Imagine how many seats either party would lose by proposing the major taxpayers - NSW & VIC - don't get a pension while the states they subsidise get subsidised even more!
    Wake Up
    11th Oct 2019
    9:51am
    Are you suggesting that the children of someone who owns a million dollar property & receiving a Old Age Pension deserve to inherit that asset more than the children of someone who has a $300,000 property & is self funded.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    11:41am
    Deserving ain't got nothin' to do with it - it's not the choices of any possible inheritors that their family home is in a growth area or not. Luck of the draw. Being self-funded in no way affects the value of your home as an inheritance - it just is.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    11:47am
    If they're self-funded they have other assets to pass on... the person with the $1m home may have none.

    It is not right or possible to demand that everyone be precisely the same, and even if you change that you will still have some serious imbalances. As long as assets are earned by honest toil including honest taxpaying they are the property of the owner exclusively, and not of the state.

    What needs to be looked at is trusts, family companies and all such that pay o tax, yet pass on huge assets. good old olbaid/diablo/lothario claimed to be running a family company, getting the fat of the land, drawing a salary and car etc, and not paying one cent in tax, and his company doing the same.

    If that doesn't wake you all up, nothing will. Company rules were (once again) set up when only the well-to-do could go into them, and only the well-to-do had a vote - those days are gone.... and the pipers must be paid ... and all must be treated equally for tax on earnings.
    Wake Up
    14th Oct 2019
    10:59am
    Looks like the only fair way is to sell the house the caravan the 4wd & upgrade to a more expensive property in the CBD. Stop holidaying in Australia & collect some Old Age Pension to spend on Overseas holidays. Now that will get us out the shit.
    Wake Up
    14th Oct 2019
    10:59am
    Looks like the only fair way is to sell the house the caravan the 4wd & upgrade to a more expensive property in the CBD. Stop holidaying in Australia & collect some Old Age Pension to spend on Overseas holidays. Now that will get us out the shit.
    Hasbeen
    9th Oct 2019
    10:53am
    This is just a ploy to get much more of our money into managed funds, where they can get a rip off percentage for themselves.

    Too much more of this stuff will have me starting to look for no asset test at all, just to get the elderly out of the clutches of such people.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    15th Oct 2019
    11:14am
    I would never invest in managed funds myself as they are nothing but legal ways to fleece people with lots of hidden fees,
    lynndi
    9th Oct 2019
    11:07am
    The family home should be included in the assets test. I agree with Buggsie. There isnt a balance between rich and poor.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    11:17am
    Could be included like overseas, you pay tax on it. However, all costs, including mortgage rates, insurance, repairs are tax deductible from your income. A lot of envy is displayed on the present comments - 40 years ago quite a few friends decided never to buy a house because they wanted a life free from saving, scraping and doing without. Today they own nothing, getting the full pension but look back on a life full of travel and good living. You cannot have your cake as well as eating it.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:47pm
    That's why there is not a lot of difference between the assets of home owners and renters they both have expenses where the rates are included in rents etc.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:24pm
    .. and seeing that the cost of repairs etc to an owned home are not tax deductions, the home is clearly not an asset .....
    Rae
    10th Oct 2019
    7:17am
    The rich don't get the aged pension anyway so it won't affect them. It will affect those who upgraded homes instead of saving for income and it won't affect those who chose to rent and enjoy travel, high living over the working decades. I don't think that is fair.

    Possibly looking at income over a lifetime and taxes paid as they do in the US.

    Then consider adversity.

    Perhaps its not the taxpayers responsibility to bail out every mistake people make.

    I watched people who earned far more squander it on private schools , home upgrades, boats, frequent car buys, trips and club visits several times a week. They are rewarded with the aged pension.

    Jackie is right about extreme wealth. But an asset test won't change that. What it will do is make very sure just about everyone loses their home and those very wealthy get to own everything.

    Non home owners jealousy could ensure poverty for all if they don't think carefully about why they didn't choose to buy a home and what sacrifice ordinary workers who do own homes made to achieve that outcome.

    The rich have several houses and over a million in savings , often a million or more in cashflow and capital gain each year. They don't want the aged pension. They also don't want to pay tax. Cutting homeowners off the aged pension will suit the rich very well indeed.
    ex PS
    10th Oct 2019
    11:04am
    It allready is. The pension for home owners is less than that for renters. If you Asset test homeowners it will be classic double dipping.
    Why do we seem to be advocating the punishment of people who have lived responsible lives in order to buy their homes?
    We are destroying the desire of people to achieve in this country.
    I guess it is easier to drag others down rather than lift ourselves up.
    hyperbole
    10th Oct 2019
    4:01pm
    The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

    The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.

    A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like the grasshopper, are cold and starving.

    The ABC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video of the squirrel in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.

    The Australian press informs people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.

    The Greens, the Labor Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Housing Commission of Australia demonstrate in front of the squirrel's house.

    The ABC, interrupting a cultural festival special from St Kilda with breaking news, broadcasts a multi-cultural choir singing ‘We Shall Overcome'.

    Bill Shorten (leader of opposition) rants in an interview with Laurie Oakes that the squirrel got rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his ‘fair share’ and increases the charge for squirrels to enter Melbourne city centre.

    In response to pressure from the media, the Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel's taxes are reassessed
    He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders, for the work he was doing on his home and an additional fine for contempt when he told the court the grasshopper did not want to work.

    The grasshopper is provided with a Housing Commission house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile.
    The squirrel's food is seized and re-distributed to the more needy members of society - in this case the grasshopper.

    Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.

    The local authority takes over his old home and utilises it as a temporary home for asylum seeking cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Australia as they had to share their country of origin with mice.

    On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of Australians' apparent love of dogs.

    The cats had been arrested for the international offence of hijacking and attempted bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchards instead of salmon whilst in custody.

    Initial moves to make them return to their own country
    Rae
    11th Oct 2019
    8:35am
    Haha sounds about right hyperbole. How dare the squirrel work hard and get the benefits himself.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    11:49am
    If only it were that simple - if only thee was true reward for true work and loyalty - I for one would be retired with millions if that were the case...

    But we live in a time when the squirrels are more likely to be robbed by their landlords and the boss squirrels or booted out of the nest at winter time...
    Horace Cope
    9th Oct 2019
    11:10am
    The question is: "Do you think the treatment of the family home in Australia is a “fiscally unsustainable policy”?"

    No, I don't believe that the family home should be included as an asset when assessing eligibility for an age pension nor do I believe that such treatment is fiscally unsustainable. We are in a transition period with compulsory super and the full effects won't be seen until all workers have had their full working life enjoying compulsory super.

    Some may argue that as we have all paid taxes that we should be entitled to an age pension without any conditions but our taxes paid for those who had retired and our retirement is being financed by those now working and paying taxes. We are fortunate in that since we were born that medical advances have allowed us to live a longer, healthier life than our parents but the downside is the cost of pensions being paid longer.

    The present system of eligibility seems fair because the family home is excluded and allows for a reasonable amount of assets before the pension is lost. Those assets can be converted to cash or drawn down to be used to live on with the end result being that eligibility for pension is available. As more and more people retire with the benefit of compulsory super, less and less of taxpayer funds will be needed to pay pensions which may make the paying of pensions sustainable.
    Mark
    9th Oct 2019
    11:11am
    The family home is already included in that home owners are assessed differently to non-home owners in relation to pension.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    11:19am
    Thank you for pointing that out, Mark. Quite a few people just do not get that.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    11:27am
    Not too many here would have a house of that value now either.
    Knight Templar
    9th Oct 2019
    12:01pm
    Absolutely correct Mark.

    The principal residence is already assessed when a homeowner applies for a pension. The asset limit for a homeowner is significantly lower than the test for a non-homeowner.

    For example, for a FULL age pension, a couple (combined) who are homeowners have an asset test limit of $394,500. A non homeowner is entitled to a FULL pension with assets as high as $605,000. A $210,500 benefit.
    KSS
    9th Oct 2019
    1:14pm
    I agree. And don't forget that the renter can also apply for rent assistance, but the home owners have no recourse to extra help with the costs of maintaining their home - even though these costs can exceed the annual rent non-homeowners pay.
    Horace Cope
    9th Oct 2019
    5:39pm
    As renters are raised I find the statistics above misleading because it shows an increase of renters in an age group (55-64) that doesn't qualify for an age pension.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:10pm
    Indeed, Mark - I trust you will have noticed I am acting to remove it entirely from any assets test, along with any bought and paid for after income tax assets that recoup no income for the owner and which have not incurred tax deduction along the road to their accumulation.

    (Torture that prose long enough and it will yield up the truth)....
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    11:22am
    The LNP is for business, them selves first then business what ever they do is not for the worker they will only change any thing as long as it benefits the people that think like them profit profit profit and they will change things that can not be reversed nothing they do surprises me I never put them there
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    11:22am
    The LNP is for business, them selves first then business what ever they do is not for the worker they will only change any thing as long as it benefits the people that think like them profit profit profit and they will change things that can not be reversed nothing they do surprises me I never put them there
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    11:25am
    To me it is not Ok for a couple to won a $10 million house and get the full OAP plus benefits. It's a great way to keep and increase family wealth without paying any tax too.
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    11:37am
    vcbb that is yet to come just like they do in america
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    11:37am
    vcbb that is yet to come just like they do in america
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    11:38am
    Not too many here would have a house of that value now either (to quote you from your post above). Maybe count houses above 1.5 million bucks. Give people a full pension and take the money back out of the estate after their passing. So the argument about not wanting to move from the neighborhood is no more. The kids would get a million less in inheritance and that would be justified.
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    12:12pm
    I’ve never seen a competition with a $10 million house as a prize.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    12:19pm
    Triss - I think VCBB meant the word "own" not won with regards to $10 million.
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    1:19pm
    Whoops, yes that does put a different slant on it, Cowboy Jim. Mind you I reckon the complete pensions entitlements should be overhauled. Turnbull lives in a house worth $50 million and has multi millions on top and there are plenty of former politicians who are multimillionaires. They should not be drawing from the taxpayers as well.
    KSS
    9th Oct 2019
    1:48pm
    Triss Triss, Triss! Mr Turnbull was a very sucessful lawyer and businessman long before he went into politics. He owned his honme for years before entering Parliament. Yes he is a wealthy man but he did not draw his salary all the time he was in Canberra.

    Does his personal wealth mean he is out of touch with ordinary people on average wages? Quite possibly. Does the value of his home affect me? Not in the slightest. But then that's the difference between you and me. I am not jealous of those who took risks, worked hard and profited from their business skills.
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    3:04pm
    My, such arrogance and smugness, KSS. Sorry to burst your hoity-toity bubble bubble but jealousy is not something I suffer from. Yes, Turnbull donated his salary to charity but wasn't it to the Turnbull Foundation?
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:11pm
    When all else fails, subvert discussion into personalities and claims of personal attributes ....
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:12pm
    Did you hear that Bill Shorten slept with another woman while married?

    Well - I'd rather judge him on his performance in another arena.... politics ...
    jackie
    9th Oct 2019
    11:37pm
    KSS, Turnbull was born with a silver spoon. He had a pampered life and was not good at anything. He was fortunate to be born into money. That's his only claim to fame.
    KSS
    10th Oct 2019
    7:47am
    jackie I must say I do admire your never ending ability to concoct your own version of history. For the record:

    Mr Turnbull's father was a hotel broker, his mother was a radio actor, writer, and academic. His mother left him and his father when he was nine. he was sent to Sydney Grammar Prep school as a boarder. He then went to Sydney Grammar High School on a partial scholarship.

    Hardly born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    He holds three degrees (Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Bachelor of Law (both from Sydney Uni) Bachelor of Civil Law (Oxford Uni). He was a Rhodes Scholar. He worked as a Barrister, started his own law firm, established an investment banking company, worked for Goldman Sachs as MD. He bought shares in internet service provider OzEmail and sold just before the dot com crash turning his $500,000 shareholding into $57m.

    He had his share of tribulations too, he was investigated by HIH Insurance royal commission whilst at Goldman Scach but the commission found no adverse findings against him or Goldman Sachs. He along with 8 others settled later litigation over the HIH collapse in undisclosed payments.

    He did not succeed in entering politics until 2003 after three previous attempts in 1981, 82 and 83!

    Thing is, he is very very good at several things (political leadership sadly is not one of them). He was not born into money at all, he worked hard, took risks and yes had some luck along the way. You don't have to like him, (personally I don't) but please, get your facts right before making such claims.
    Mad as Hell
    9th Oct 2019
    11:32am
    PUT THIS UP FOR REVIEW


    We export more gas than Qatar, but get scant benefit from it, thanks to our "better economic managers".

    "Australia is on track to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas by 2020, but is expected to only earn $600 million in 2018 - the same amount of revenue the government earns in beer tax every year - compared to Qatar's $26.6 billion."

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/staggering-90-billion-lost-in-resources-tax-20180305-p4z2uv.html

    We can thank smiling John Howard for locking us into bargain-basement export prices for decades ahead.

    "By 2015, it was being called the worst deal ever done. The Chinese by then were paying about one-third the price for Australian gas that Australian consumers themselves had to pay ... and they were guaranteed to continue doing so."

    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/how-australia-blew-its-future-gas-supplies-20170928-gyqg0f.html

    We'd have no problem funding "Labor's reckless promises" if the Libs stopped running brainless scare campaigns like Abbott's "GREAT BIG NEW MINING TAX", and finally whacked on some decent export royalties instead of devoting all their energy to pinching pennies from the unemployed and disabled.
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    11:49am
    MaH you are so right I worked in the gas industry
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    11:49am
    MaH you are so right I worked in the gas industry
    Travellersjoy
    9th Oct 2019
    11:45am
    Great if you have enough money for a self managed super fund.

    What abut those of us who cling by our fingertips to our home as a defence against extortionate and insecure rental properties, probably owned by self managed super fund holders, and against homelessness.

    I am really really tired of all these grand ideas that treat all pensioners and retired people as if their circumstances are similar.

    Who is going to pay for the extra resources needed to look after us when we are homeless, depressed, without our lifelong support networks and in poor health due to these stupid ideas. Not all those people hanging on to franking credits like grim death, that's for sure.

    Why don't you get opinions from experts with a wider view and no barrow to push?
    Eddy
    9th Oct 2019
    11:54am
    I agree in principle to including the family home in an assets test. The problem is how to differentiate between market values in diverse localities. For instance a recently built 2 storey 4 bedroom modern brick mansion in one locality can be valued less than a 70 year old 2 bedroom fibro house, with outside laundry and toilet on a quarter acre block, in another.
    One answer is to get rid of the assets test by adopting a proposal that ones retirement should be funded by the assets, including the family home, one accumulates during their working years. Therefore any aged pension should be regarded as an interest free loan against those assets which is to be repaid as part of probate of a will, in the case of a couple the probate of the last living member. Any excess left over would go to the heirs. If the heirs want to retain assets such as the home or cars etc then they should pay market value for them. Why should the public purse, ie taxpayers, subsidise their inheritance.
    This would allow retired persons to access the OAP without any qualification other than age. If one chooses to be self funded and not take an OAP then they will have no bill to repay, their entire estate will be passed to their heirs. If they have insufficient assets then the balance of the bill will be waived. While I acknowledge there are issues and problems with this proposal it is arguably no different in principle to the HECS currently levied on the young to fund their tertiary studies.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    12:13pm
    I agree.

    HECS debts should also be repaid from estates as well as it's wrong our young people have to pay them back but not our old people going to uni for mostly recreation.
    Cowboy Jim
    9th Oct 2019
    12:16pm
    Good idea Eddy. I would sell the house and rent, spend most of the proceeds down to about $400'000, then get the pension and rent assistance as well. Might not have anything to leave behind but I would have seen all the best places in the world.
    Would not have to repair house and garden maintenance is out of my mind. Would gladly sign over the title of my modest house to the Government for a life long full pension. Better than a reverse mortgage by far.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    12:18pm
    That's exactly what they want you to do to stimulate the economy.
    Knight Templar
    9th Oct 2019
    12:19pm
    Eddy, the family home is already included in the assets test.

    If we are to accept your argument, then perhaps we should mandate that the financial assistance received by those on welfare, unemployment and disability benefits and former students with outstanding HECS fees etc is recovered from their estates.

    At least pensioners have paid taxes over a life time. Where do you draw the line?
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    12:23pm
    Yes, Eddy, if the same rules apply to ex politicians, judges, bureaucrats, etc most of whom never came close to saving as much as they are creaming from the taxpayers. Let’s stop believing that pensioners have to repay the debts caused by useless governments and grasping bureaucrats. Let’s start believing what we are...elders with enough life skills and experience to be treated with respect.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:14pm
    What makes you think older people are going to uni for fun, OG? I'm thinking of going back to finalise my counter/terrorism etc studies - at 70 I can still be of enormous use to this nation - just not running them hills ...

    You go, Triss.....
    Eddy
    9th Oct 2019
    9:15pm
    Good to stimulate a discussion. The answer to funding retirement in the future without undue burden on our younger taxpayers is very complex. My suggestion may not be the best solution but if it stimulates rational discussion it is a start, we may come up with a better retirement model. I think one thing is certain, we cannot keep the current model of OAP and/or superannuation indefinitely, it will become unsustainable.
    TREBOR
    10th Oct 2019
    12:23am
    Roll it all over into a single roof structure which deals with all retirement funding... same rules for all - you get a pension and are limited to what you can put into super.... after that your money i no business of the retirement packaging system...

    It's up to the ATO to keep track of all the other chicaneries the better-off get up to to hide their income...

    The problem is not with retirement packaging - it is the abuse of retirement packaging by those who can abuse it... the rules need to be tightened and the tax deduction and manipulation via structures such as com0anies and trusts need to be fully addressed.

    Canberra Rules - if it is 'tax effective' it is not paying tax that others with the same amount are... how could that be right?
    Kaz
    9th Oct 2019
    12:08pm
    Drop franking credits, THEY are unsustainable. My home is my home and it’s unfaur to call it an asset for tax purposes. I paid for my home over many years after I paid tax. You start doing this, what will be the unintended consequences? What’s happening in Aus? It used to be a country we could be proud of...
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    12:16pm
    It is not franking credits that is wrong with our super system. It's the no tax after 60 on super that is the problem as it only benefits the wealthy.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    1:19pm
    Not franking credits per se - the way they are (mis)handled in calculating tax liability is the problem.... easier to simply abolish them.... same -same anyway... since it's only a with-holding tax.....
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    4:42pm
    Franking credits are not mishandled as they are treated the same as PAYE and PAYG with holding tax which is the only fair way. Not refunding them is taxing low income earners more than many high income earners.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    4:42pm
    Franking credits are not mishandled as they are treated the same as PAYE and PAYG with holding tax which is the only fair way. Not refunding them is taxing low income earners more than many high income earners.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:14pm
    Then why are they a tax advantage? Please explain???
    Rae
    10th Oct 2019
    7:35am
    The income streams Triss hates are still taxed for those over 60. It is only accumulation super that is untaxed up ti $1.6 million.

    How is it unfair for the saver who bought shares to actually get the income they saved for but fair for the saver who upgraded house after house to get an aged pension.

    Bit of double standards going on there.

    Companies shouldn't be paying tax on behalf of shareholders anyway. They aren't employees. It's just a method of making treasury look better. Just pay all the dividend and let shareholders sort their own tax liabilities out.

    I agree with Bear on this. The wealthy were not going to be affected but retirees who self fund would have lost income and been forced onto aged pensions. Changing the rules to force people to prop up business through mindless consumption is not fair in my opinion.

    Simple solution is to sell all Australian shares and but overseas companies that have capital gain. That's hardly taxed at all. Not so good for Aussie business though. They'll have to use debt instead of equity and still won't pay any tax.
    maelcolium
    9th Oct 2019
    12:12pm
    Hang on a minute. This is the opinion of an SMSF executive saying the non assessment of the family home is the " most fiscally unsustainable policies in Australia" ??

    What about franking credits and negative gearing which is the cornerstone of SMSF portfolios of which this parasite has an interest in maintaining. Did this self interested financial propeller head consider for a moment the fact that he has an absolute conflict of interest? He should keep his trap shut and ignored.

    This is just another financial planner talking crap in order to protect their own industry. The Government has said they will not consider a change to this policy and will be held to account as they know full well that retirees would vote them out in a heartbeat.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    12:15pm
    It is not franking credits and negative gearing that is wrong with our super system. It's the no tax after 60 on super that is the problem as it only benefits the wealthy.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    12:25pm
    The promise was already made that the family home would not be included in the terms of reference... if these swine go back on that, I will organise a protest....

    I repeat - ANY asset bought and paid for out of honest work is the property of the owner exclusively6, and has no part in any assets test.... to include any asset bought and paid for is double taxation, since all such assets were purchased out of after-tax income.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    12:35pm
    P.S. I stipulated times many in the past that this means non-income bearing assets... if you have shares you pay tax on the income, and jeez, you already got the asset purchase as a tax deduction... same applies with serial housing or other business ventures.... you pay your taxes...

    Furthermore - it is absolutely unconscionable that a government would even consider taxing assets purchased with past tax income already by including them in an assets- then taxing them again by refusing pension in the event they are sold and produce cash... triple taxation. Taxed on the money used to purchase initially, taxed by pension reduction for owning it later, taxed for selling it and cashing it in at a reduced price.

    I'd like to see those rules applied to business transactions.... watch that space for howling to the rooftops.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    12:27pm
    Somebody do us a favour and shoot Heffron.... not that I'm one to advocate violence - but there IS a limit...

    Just another stooge put up by the LNP to stir the waters and see what reaction comes out.... and besides... who asked him? Where do these characters get off making a strut on the national stage over issues in which they have zero concern?

    Who's coming to the demo?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    12:43pm
    Why? Mr Heffron is right in what he says.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    1:20pm
    Only if you turn 180 degrees backwards, OG. Other than that he is completely right....

    So - is he offering to pay tax on his family home when he retires tax-free?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:56pm
    No why should he pay tax on his home when he retires if he hasn't put his hand out for welfare?
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    3:10pm
    Ah, but Trebor's right, he might well receive welfare before he retires...unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, etc.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:27pm
    Why should anyone else pay tax on their owned home via a reduction in pension? If the peons are to be taxed on their owned home, then so must the lairds...

    Not hard to work that out... the law does not permit discrimination... (come back) ...
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:29pm
    Actually, Triss - it doesn't matter if he didn't - if the family home is to be treated as an asset for some, it must be treated as an asset for all - and if it is treated as an asset that does not incur tax deductions, and some are taxed in retirement via pension reduction - then those not on pension should pay a tax simple on their own home as well - to balance and attain equity and fair dealing.

    It simply cannot work both ways.....
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:22pm
    (failure to come back) OK - the law does permit discrimination in some ways - not only in its reading but in its usage... for example affirmative action still holds sway on some mythical basis after forty years - obviously those who receive it are, as a group, not capable of boot-strapping themselves.

    That is why I put out the dissertation on the chasmic differences between legislation, law as handled in courts, and Law (Itself)... often the first two do not accord with the last, and thus are essentially illegal .... domestic violence laws are one such, since they require zero proof of any wrongdoing to insert a penalty before a court....

    Put simply, any bunch of self-interested clowns - be they Nazis or Stalinists of Mugabeists - can raise their hands in unison (the nodding clowns) and pass a legislation... unless properly challenged and tested before the appropriate court (something that few have the wherewithal to do, hence my requirement that all legislation be fully reviewed by the highest court as a matter of course), the courts will handle this as law (small l) ... meantime the Law continues, and bearing as it does basic requirements of rights before Law, is often in conflict with these legislations and laws as practiced.... hence these legislations and laws are Illegal until properly tested before the Law - which is itself essentially a Magna Carta of the basic rights of citizens - and those rights may not be broached by legislation or law unchallenged...
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:23pm
    Welcome once again to Around The World with Trebor.... the program for all thinking men and women of Australia and the Civilised World....
    marls
    9th Oct 2019
    12:31pm
    No other civilised country in the world means test the aged pension
    Rae
    10th Oct 2019
    7:46am
    Entirely so because it isn't fair and discriminates against savers but benefits spending on consumables.
    DavoWA
    9th Oct 2019
    12:35pm
    One thing that Mr Heffron seems to have overlooked and that is that people of pensionable age area GROWING segment of the population. GREY Power is on the way back as a political force. It would be a brave politicians to made an enemy of this cohort. Bill Shorten discovered that.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    12:44pm
    Self funded retires are growing at a faster rate and most would agree with this article.
    Sundays
    9th Oct 2019
    1:05pm
    I’m self funded and I completely disagree with this article. I’m tired of the barrow being pushed by some that Pensioners should have to use the equity in their home to fund retirement when they worked all their lives to gain some security. Given, that Australia spends less on Pensioners than other countries, it is hardly unsustainable. I’m also sick of people who could have bought a home but chose not to being jealous of those who own one. It’s all green eyed politics. I would love to know how many people on the full OAP own a $10m home. Not many!
    older&wiser
    9th Oct 2019
    5:48pm
    I'm with you on your comment Sundays...I have always been single, and have worked bloody damn hard to buy a small but comfortable little house that is my home. Now on Aged Pension with very minimal super, and I still have a small mortgage to pay. I did not go overseas for holidays (for that matter, did not even go on holidays), my car is 19 years old, and op shops love me as that's where I do most of my shopping.
    BUT - my gold medal award winning sister age 60, has done it all totally different, and with what appears to be the better way! She has constantly complained that I (being the only single sibling) must be wealthy to be able to afford to buy a house. No - I just got off my butt and worked! She has always been on welfare - first as single parent, then on DSP for self inflicted lung damage due to chronic smoking. Has had a 3BR govt house since early 20's. (so no maintenance costs: even got new outside blinds installed as the afternoon sun was too glaring). Would only take on casual jobs if it was cash in hand - which were many. Goes off on a cruise every year with her group of fellow welfare mates. When my parents passed away, she was left a larger chunk of the estate because she was the only one of 4 siblings that did not own a house. Not enough to buy a house, but enough for her to go overseas for 2 months, buy a new car, get some plastic surgery, etc. etc.
    I absolutely abhor any notion of adding the primary residence to the assets test. I don't care how much the home is worth. What a nightmare bureaucracy department that would create! Home valuations are highly subjective - a house in Double Bay might be smaller than a house in Chareleville Qld but I can guarantee they wouldn't come close to being valued the same!
    ex PS
    10th Oct 2019
    11:15am
    I am self funded and will never agree to the family home being asset tested further.
    The way this government is mismanaging the economy, I may be looking for a part pension one day. I will use this ENTITLEMENT if neccessary.
    After all, like most working Australians, I contributed to the system that funds it.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    1:10pm
    "Do you think the treatment of the family home in Australia is a “fiscally unsustainable policy”?"

    It's not their policy to decide.............
    JoJozep
    9th Oct 2019
    1:16pm
    Well, What can I say? Firstly, who the hell is Martin Heffron. I bet he is CEO of a company making a killing on retirees back through "Managing their funds" and getting a nice slice of other people's funds (around $250,000-$350,00 per year). I bet my house he has more assets than he knows what to do with, so killing other people's dreams of owning and having security in their homes is of no consequence to him.

    Come on Leon, why do you post comments from these lowlifes?

    Most of my life, I worked two jobs, as did my wife. We put three children through university and paid off our mortgage when interest was 17%. We paid millions in taxes.

    Now you feature this crawling, money hungry toad, out of the primeval woodwork, who I have yet to see how his life started if not with a gold spoon in his mouth, a silver spoon at the other end.

    If our house is an asset, how about I claim all the mortgage repayments (as in America), rates, several major renovations, maintenance, insurances, sewerage, repairs etc., for 50 years. Owning a house even with the mortgage paid off, is not free. The government (read existing taxpayer) will need to kick in hundreds of thousands of dollars well above the part pension we would get otherwise.

    Why is Mr. Heffron jealous of people owning their own homes? Why can’t people who worked day and night to survive and own their own homes pay once, rather than losing their pension or part pension for which they paid taxes all their lives?

    Who’s fault is it too many people are on welfare and pensions are unsustainable into the future? Oops! do I hear the present and past governments? How much of that was caused by government policy and mismanagement?

    Who collected our taxes and put nothing away for the future?

    Why is our common wealth being splashed around to satisfy some politicians ego and win elections?

    Who spent billions of our money on stupid defence contracts?
    China could wipe us out in three days with their nuclear missiles, and the only survivors would be those in the 12 submarines we ordered from France.

    Who gave tax concessions to big business, falsely claiming we would all benefit from the trickle down effect. Corporate greed knows no bounds, and the profit god is hard at work making sure only the few in charge make more millions in salaries. Nothing trickles down the line Mr. Treasurer and you know it.

    Who stifled our population increase and throttled our migrant intake, reducing the number of workers and stifling the economy plus reducing the available pool of present taxpayers. Who spent taxpayer billions every year keeping these potential taxpayers in detention? Well Mr. Hutton, please explain!

    Who miscalculated our demographic development? Blind Freddy could see as our health improves, we live longer, there will be more dependants and need more government assistance to survive?

    So Mr. Heffron, what do you propose to do to fix this gigantic government/business mess?

    Did you manage to make some brief headlines, at the expense of millions of retirees? If you can prove to me you started with nothing, worked hard all your life, paid your taxes, raised a family and moved ahead, I would say your rights to a pension should be unassailable, and the better the pension the better the reward for your hard work.

    If on the other hand, you just want to have an ego trip and raise a storm in a teacup,
    Then shut up and mind your own business, as no doubt you already do and are doing very well out of it.
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    1:26pm
    Hey, well put, JoJozep.
    Knight Templar
    9th Oct 2019
    1:32pm
    JoJozep. Well said.

    Regrettably, your common sense consideration of this issue, appears to elude many readers.
    JoJozep
    9th Oct 2019
    1:16pm
    Well, What can I say? Firstly, who the hell is Martin Heffron. I bet he is CEO of a company making a killing on retirees back through "Managing their funds" and getting a nice slice of other people's funds (around $250,000-$350,00 per year). I bet my house he has more assets than he knows what to do with, so killing other people's dreams of owning and having security in their homes is of no consequence to him.

    Come on Leon, why do you post comments from these lowlifes?

    Most of my life, I worked two jobs, as did my wife. We put three children through university and paid off our mortgage when interest was 17%. We paid millions in taxes.

    Now you feature this crawling, money hungry toad, out of the primeval woodwork, who I have yet to see how his life started if not with a gold spoon in his mouth, a silver spoon at the other end.

    If our house is an asset, how about I claim all the mortgage repayments (as in America), rates, several major renovations, maintenance, insurances, sewerage, repairs etc., for 50 years. Owning a house even with the mortgage paid off, is not free. The government (read existing taxpayer) will need to kick in hundreds of thousands of dollars well above the part pension we would get otherwise.

    Why is Mr. Heffron jealous of people owning their own homes? Why can’t people who worked day and night to survive and own their own homes pay once, rather than losing their pension or part pension for which they paid taxes all their lives?

    Who’s fault is it too many people are on welfare and pensions are unsustainable into the future? Oops! do I hear the present and past governments? How much of that was caused by government policy and mismanagement?

    Who collected our taxes and put nothing away for the future?

    Why is our common wealth being splashed around to satisfy some politicians ego and win elections?

    Who spent billions of our money on stupid defence contracts?
    China could wipe us out in three days with their nuclear missiles, and the only survivors would be those in the 12 submarines we ordered from France.

    Who gave tax concessions to big business, falsely claiming we would all benefit from the trickle down effect. Corporate greed knows no bounds, and the profit god is hard at work making sure only the few in charge make more millions in salaries. Nothing trickles down the line Mr. Treasurer and you know it.

    Who stifled our population increase and throttled our migrant intake, reducing the number of workers and stifling the economy plus reducing the available pool of present taxpayers. Who spent taxpayer billions every year keeping these potential taxpayers in detention? Well Mr. Hutton, please explain!

    Who miscalculated our demographic development? Blind Freddy could see as our health improves, we live longer, there will be more dependants and need more government assistance to survive?

    So Mr. Heffron, what do you propose to do to fix this gigantic government/business mess?

    Did you manage to make some brief headlines, at the expense of millions of retirees? If you can prove to me you started with nothing, worked hard all your life, paid your taxes, raised a family and moved ahead, I would say your rights to a pension should be unassailable, and the better the pension the better the reward for your hard work.

    If on the other hand, you just want to have an ego trip and raise a storm in a teacup,
    Then shut up and mind your own business, as no doubt you already do and are doing very well out of it.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:41pm
    Problem is I can have a $10 million house and get the full OAP but if I have a $2 million house and $8 million invested I get nothing. Tell me how that is fair?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:41pm
    Problem is I can have a $10 million house and get the full OAP but if I have a $2 million house and $8 million invested I get nothing. Tell me how that is fair?
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:09pm
    Well said!!
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:10pm
    Your house doesn't return you money - your $8m invested does - and if you didn't have the $8m anyway - you'd be living in a $2m house.

    Pay taxes on your income.. you can't eat a house.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:27pm
    Covered that one for you above, VCBB- read back.... oh here:-

    If your concern is that some are hoarding income in their years heading into retirement so as to procure pension - by putting their cash into their home - then I take it you support the view that all should be required to keep full records of expenditure on the home for 10-15 years before retirement? For scrutiny and correct allocation of pension rights?

    How many people actually have the opportunity to hoard $10m (your figure) into a single home?
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:06pm
    What we are talking about here is the difference between a super fat cat and the past girlfriend of mine - a Maltese lady single mother from Sydney's west, who worked to own her home on part-time......

    So now you want to punish her because her small home on a tiny block is worth over a million, by taking the food money from her purse?

    Where you bin, Laden?

    I promise you I will march on Canberra if they try this one on.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    10th Oct 2019
    11:14am
    If I invest my $8 million in my house it does earn me a nice tax free income plus the OAP. If my house doubles even 7 to 10 years then that is a lot better than I get with my money in the bank by about 10 times. So I'd be a fool to not buy a $10 million house.
    ex PS
    10th Oct 2019
    11:21am
    VCBB, if I could rip a piece of guttering off my house and use it to pay for groceries I might agree. But of course we can't, but we can draw money out of an $8 million account and buy what we want.
    I am surprised that such a basic principle of finnance has to be explained to a grown man.
    JoJozep
    9th Oct 2019
    1:38pm
    The question proposed in the statement is loaded with innuendo. Yes under our present policies, the pension as we know it, is under sustained attack, adding the fiscal home into the equation will of course reduce the effects of the attack, so we might as well abolish the pension altogether and make all present taxpayers happy. So why are we paying taxes at all?

    The bulldust that comes from such loaded questions knows no bounds. If it's researched properly, with all the good and bad points presented then the debate should end there. Why we (the older generation), bothered to pay taxes so we could be looked after in our old age is beyond me.

    How about the present government (read taxpayers) pay back all people over 65 the taxes they paid over the past 50 years or so, and let us decide how to spend our own money.

    Well Mr Heffron, the silence is deafening.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    3:14pm
    Coupla things - even pensioners and the unemployed are taxpayers... they pay with every purchase etc. Even a beer at the club costs you tax. so the rest of them can STFU and pay their way the same as we did for years/decades.

    The house was not treated as an asset for tax deduction during its payout lifetime - it cannot be treated as an asset now or ever - same applies to all other assets honestly acquired. If I buy a Windbag or a boat, I receive no tax deduction for doing so - ergo - it is not an asset and should not be included.

    Jeez - I'm about to start building an aircraft in the shed (a classic that!), how much is that as an 'asset'? In order to create of it an 'asset', how much tax deduction wil I get along the way? ZERO! So I say ZERO assets in the asset test, apart from those that reap income, which carries an obligation to pay income tax.
    Captain
    9th Oct 2019
    4:39pm
    If we go down the path of the home becoming an asset then it should have depreciation applied to it according to Australian Acounting Standards . Therefore after 40 years the home has been fully depreciated and is no longer an asset (no matter what the actual value is).

    Problem solved. Now get rid of these idiots who are just out of school and still wet behind the ears and jealous of those who actually worked for 40 plus years to accumulate the assets that they have, paid taxes for those 40 plus years AND paid the previous generation's pensions without a murmur.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:28pm
    Captain! Right on ...
    Rae
    10th Oct 2019
    7:58am
    Exactly Captain. It's actually a liability if you just build or buy and hold as it costs money and makes no income.
    JoJozep
    9th Oct 2019
    1:38pm
    The question proposed in the statement is loaded with innuendo. Yes under our present policies, the pension as we know it, is under sustained attack, adding the fiscal home into the equation will of course reduce the effects of the attack, so we might as well abolish the pension altogether and make all present taxpayers happy. So why are we paying taxes at all?

    The bulldust that comes from such loaded questions knows no bounds. If it's researched properly, with all the good and bad points presented then the debate should end there. Why we (the older generation), bothered to pay taxes so we could be looked after in our old age is beyond me.

    How about the present government (read taxpayers) pay back all people over 65 the taxes they paid over the past 50 years or so, and let us decide how to spend our own money.

    Well Mr Heffron, the silence is deafening.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:48pm
    The taxes you have paid in the past have nothing to do with your pension at all.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:30pm
    **sighs** someone else re-explain it to him....

    Under the Social Security Act - Pension RIGHTS are available to all equally, meaning a person may never have paid income tax to earn it.... how about, for example the born paraplegic in a wheelchair who cannot work?

    Expose 'em on a hillside?

    Again - Pension under the Social Security act is a RIGHT..... what we are discussing is the nuts and bolts of it.... not its reality...
    ex PS
    10th Oct 2019
    11:25am
    No TREBOR, everybody knows that the government has a Pension Payment Tree, they don't use taxes to pay for Pensions, they just pick the gold leaves off the tree and use that to pay for Pensions.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    4:34pm
    Not our fault that government ring-barked the tree...
    ex PS
    15th Oct 2019
    8:55am
    But they make up for that by the vast amount of fresh fertilizer they seem to be able to produce.
    Chris B T
    9th Oct 2019
    1:50pm
    How would the Government Purse cope when homeowners decide to sell before entering the retirement phase or gift to family member for life time rental agreement.
    Then there is the option to buy multiple "Apartments On Wheels" and travel to and from around this large county. Still be able to claim Rental Assistance.
    No need for tow vehicle just use what ever option you like ie. car,train(subsidised),bus,plane,the choices are many.
    Best to leave this as SoMo phrase "Thought Bubble"
    {;-(0)
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    1:54pm
    It already happens.I know of two people where he own a house and she owns a caravan. They get assessed separate as she says she lives full time in the van and he lives full time in the house. She gets rent assistance when they take the van away for weeks on end and stay in van parks.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:31pm
    .. and you know differently how? If you have concerns, dob them in on the hotline...
    Baby Huey
    9th Oct 2019
    2:13pm
    If any government or political party has the balls to put the value of owner occupied residences into the asset test they will have to deduct all after tax inputs including interest, stamp duty, etc. paid and improvements made over the period of any occupied residence owned. No government would be capable of fairly and equitably make an assessment. I could see a class action against the government of the day by anyone over 65.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    2:21pm
    They put cars in the asset test and you pay all those things on cars too. No different except cars depreciate.
    floss
    9th Oct 2019
    2:38pm
    Phoney Tony said there will be no changes to the pension system, the Libs have gone all out to screw any one on a pension from day one.I am a fully self supported Retiree but I still think Pensioners are under attack from the Libs.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    3:13pm
    Nothing compared to what the alternative wanted to do to them.
    midnight
    9th Oct 2019
    2:44pm
    What a really dumb, hardly thought through idea. So, punish those of use who saved and worked for our homes, which when we do die will go to the next generation, our children, anyway. So, let's sell all our homes to some overseas investor, who will charge exorbitant rents, or put the rent so high it won't be rentable and then claim Negative Gearing, meanwhile any rent from the property will be going out of the country as well. Throw all the oldies out of our homes, our safety, our security, our neighbourhoods, then punish us because we made a 'profit' out of the sale of our homes, then once all the money is gone push us out onto the streets to live in our cars. People will suffer emotional stress, lose a grasp on memories that give joy to life, have to move away from established neighbourhoods and friendships, and in old age, attempt to begin their lives all over again. Talk about punishment. Why is it that Governments never think either laterally or literally,.. let's bring on the physical and emotional break down of our seniors and then deny them any medical assistance unless they have full Health Insurance. Ugh!!
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    3:17pm
    You're right, midnight. We downsized a while ago and, after all that claptrap by government that the elderly should sell their homes to allow young families into the property market, our house was bought by an invester and rented out to a young family.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:32pm
    At least the home before this one went to a young couple striving to escape the rat race in Sydney.....
    Aussie
    9th Oct 2019
    2:53pm
    If the Family home is taken into consideration as an asset then the government will have to find more rentals for the elderly to move into as the first thing to go will be the home. The help given with the rental will need to be increased and I thin k you will find in thew long term there will be more elderly that become homeless. Seems to me the government advice bodies want us to die earlier in life by giving us a miserable end at retirement.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    3:16pm
    I doubt it as most elderly will fight to keep it no matter what. You only have to see what happens when they go into nursing homes.
    Knight Templar
    9th Oct 2019
    3:26pm
    How many times does it need to be said:

    Ownership of a principal residence (family home) IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION as an asset in assessing pension entitlement. Why do readers choose to ignore this fact!

    Please read previous comments.
    Curious
    9th Oct 2019
    3:23pm
    The question of 'Do you think the treatment of the family home in Australia is a “fiscally unsustainable policy”?" should be reconsidered. The question should be what will give a typical retiree a comfortable retirement? This is because life has given us many choices such as the preferred lifestyle, local of his/her abode, climate requirements, medical/hospital care, family supports, and above all financial independence.

    In the last six years, my best friend had been suffering from severe asthma after his retirement. It is disheartening to see him weathering away every winter in a hospital. Although he has a good superannuation for his retirement. Good health money can't buy! I took him to Cairns, visiting one of my old friends there. On his first arrival in Cairns, my best friend experienced a big relief from his asthma. Since then I persuaded him to escape to Cairns from every winter. Over the last six years, he hasn't had an asthma attack and any worries of hospitalization. He loves the climate, the amenities offered in this beautiful regional city, the friends he makes, the entertainments, the beaches and the overall community of Cairns. He was so in love with the place, he bought an apartment for his winter hideaway. He is now more than half a man he was. He came alive and enjoy his life.

    That weren't just the benefits he got out of this move. The cost of his apartment in Cairns is a fraction of that of his Sydney home. He has money left to buy a decent car for his convenience. He has a variety of choices for clothing. Because of his social activities, his dining-out with friends is more frequently than his medical appointments. Speaking of which, he just received a clear bill of health from his doctor today. At this rate, he is going to enjoy his retirement for many years to come.

    Recently, I have been sick and he took me to Cairns for recuperation. When I recovered, he told me that he prepares to stay in Cairns permanently, a very happy retiree.

    Although his Sydney apartment is valued many folds over that of his Cairns apartment, in the end it is the lifestyle and health dictate the happiness of this particular retiree.

    I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you.
    Mikko
    9th Oct 2019
    3:28pm
    No government would be crazy enough to try it on. They want to be around for more than one term regardless of what some economists may claim about "sustainability". Homes would be sold and young people would miss out on a family inheritance.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    4:30pm
    Yes they will be just bringing it in at a high end amount and then gradually reducing it like boiling a frog in cold water. If people can be conned about climate change then they can be conned about anything.
    ollie
    9th Oct 2019
    4:20pm
    They want to save the tax payer 6 billion by including the family home as an asset but frankin credits costs the Australian tax payer 8 billion annually and rising and correct me if i am wrong but only 8% have frankin credits
    VeryCaringBigBear
    9th Oct 2019
    4:28pm
    Over 50% of the population have franking credits but only the poorest 8% of people with them would have affected by Labor's unfair policy.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:36pm
    So 48% are tax thieves? Shorten said clearly that pensioners would not be affected in any way - but he did not manage to put across the simple reality that there is, as above, no real difference between a frank credited dividend and a dividend simple... UNLESS YOU ARE CHEATING ...

    so what needs to be fully looked over with a fine tooth comb is the opportunities for hoarding away income to avoid tax... but abolishing franked dividends would be a good move so as to ensure that no "mistakes" are made by shareholders and their accountants.... such as somehow confusing the two..... and confusing company tax with tax on income derived from dividends...
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:36pm
    Sorry - 42% ... sad.. sad... that anyone could be so low to procure a few filthy dollars...
    ollie
    9th Oct 2019
    9:07pm
    Very caring bear I dont know where you get your figures from it is no were near 50% the 8% would not have been affected by labours policy but it is a fact that more than half of people that steal from TAX PAYERS using Frankin credits earn over 180000 per year that is a fact and it is not sustainable within the next decade it will cost the tax payer over 20 billion dollars per year
    Captain
    9th Oct 2019
    10:01pm
    Trevor and Ollie, please remember that Labor's Franking Credits Refunds were to be stopped for everyone, then changed to Pensioners would continue to receive the refund, then changed so that taxpayers could use them to offset against their income.

    So in the end, the watered down policy would only affect those retired people without a pension, who, by saving for their future, were going to be penalised for playing by the rules.

    How many billions were going to be saved by the original policy that affected perhaps 10 miliion plus Franking Credit recepients , then compare that to the paltry 800,000 thousand recepients who would be discriminated against under the watered down policy.

    Downright idiocy for changing the policy to some instead of all
    ollie
    9th Oct 2019
    11:45pm
    Sorry captain the fact is this country cannot afford hand outs like this we now are the only country in the world who have franking credit like it or not it is only a matter of time before it stops and the sooner the better when New Zealand went into recession they stopped it we are not far from a recession get ready
    Rae
    11th Oct 2019
    8:43am
    Yes ollie but stopping credits just for one particular group was discrimination. Just cancel credits for everyone. Let companies distribute dividends and then let shareholder sort their own taxes out with the ATO. Retained profits can then be taxed too at company level.
    Franking is purely to make the tax take look better than what it actually is.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    4:35pm
    Rae and I are in accord here and it is the correct answer - simply abolish franked credits and take care of your own tax. That way no 'mistakes' can be made that somehow benefit people, and you'll still get your full dividend.
    Bill
    9th Oct 2019
    4:27pm
    Let us not be silly boys and girls. It WILL happen it is just a matter of time but it WILL happen and while I'm at it.I don't see why there should be any sort of deeming, assets or anything. The old age pension to my knowledge has been paid for because we all, legal employees, paid a social security tax. Oh yes we did and for those still working do. It is collected in your income tax, PAYE/PAYG so no matter who we are or who we may think we might be, we are in my view, all entitled to it.
    It is no govt hand out. It has been paid for by individual contribution. and before wqe get all hot and bothered. Read what I wrote. I don't think that I am wrong in any way.
    We ALL deserve the full pension (whatever that is and I am sure that it was set down in legislation) and we are only being churlish going on about the value of homes, franking credits (yep, that means the tax was paid by the companies on your behalf) it was easier and cheaper for the govts to collect and there is no he/she gets more than me annnnnnnnd could those people who have nothing better to do than daily write crap to these articles keep to the topic to be discussed.
    The decision has been made and this judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into, so there!
    TREBOR
    10th Oct 2019
    12:42am
    That is why it needs to be taken out of the hands of the scoundrels called politicians, and also of their mates in the super funds, Bill - and put under the control of an absolutely independent body ...

    That continuing tax component plus the Future Fund plus what is already in super funds would fill the one-stop shop's coffers nicely, thank you.... and would form a single large lending bloc for this nation and genuine infrastructure etc.

    The government could apply like any other company.....
    Hobbit
    9th Oct 2019
    5:02pm
    The younger generation needs to be reminded that whatever they impose on us, will one day be imposed on them.
    Blinky
    9th Oct 2019
    5:36pm
    Here we go again, threatening Aussie pensioners!!!
    Pensioners who own their home do so because they worked and paid taxes, why would Mr Heffron punish them x doing so?
    How would including the primary home 8n the asset test help those who are renting?
    How is that unsustainable Mr Heffron. Please explain!!!
    The govt always has had money to help refugees, asylum seekers, and dole bludgers, many of whom get a FULL PENSION AND PUBLIC HOUSING.
    Let us keep in mind that retirees who get a govt pension are not the rich ones. The latter do not have to depend on geniuses' ("idiots) "GREAT AND WHIMSICAL IDEAS" who think that hurting pensioners will solve evwrything.

    Any cuts or detrimental changes to the pension will directly hurt Aussie battlers who have a small govt pension and their own home.

    Mr Heffron, LEAVE PENSIONERS ALONE. If you think pensions are unsustainable, how is it that generous handouts to migrants and dole bludgers and giving politicians very generous pensions is not?

    Mr Heffron, I dont know what makes you think you are an expert in these matters, obviously YOU ARE NOT!!!
    Triss
    9th Oct 2019
    6:30pm
    Not only Heffron, Blinky, when it comes to my house everyone can butt out.
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    6:05pm
    I should never have bought a house
    cupoftea
    9th Oct 2019
    6:05pm
    I should never have bought a house
    pjvixen
    9th Oct 2019
    6:17pm
    Why should those of us who have scrimped and saved to acquire our own home be penalized for it? We paid our Taxes and were prudent with our money, why punish us?
    Kube_an
    9th Oct 2019
    6:56pm
    Hang on if you are in aged care and you own your home you are expected to sell your home to pay for it and still get at least 85% of your pension taken out to pay for it. The government still regards this as an asset even though you have no access to it and you are still penalised with further reduction of pension
    Seems to be a growing trend your home next and guess who has invested in retirement properties that you don't really own?
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2019
    8:38pm
    Disgraceful.... totally disgraceful.... robbing the bed-ridden old.... talk about a pack of thieves...

    The good thing about such discussions is that all these issues come to light and injustices can be shown for what they are...
    Dot
    9th Oct 2019
    9:35pm
    Keep your bloody hands of our home, target the millions of foreigners living off our taxes and all those foreign investments that are flooding this country. God if I could live long enough to see the next world depression and then see those criminal bastards that have destroyed this country targeted.
    Chooky
    9th Oct 2019
    9:45pm
    Paying billions in franking credits is unsustainable so until the LNP government stops giving away free money to those who don’t pay tax then you can shove your notion of coming after our homes. You want a pensioner rebellion Scotty? Just try it on!
    Captain
    9th Oct 2019
    10:07pm
    Chooky, and just who will not get the franking credits? No-one, or like the Labor policy only Self Funded Retirees will miss out whilst pensioners and others will continue to receive the credits.
    TREBOR
    10th Oct 2019
    12:44am
    Abolish franked credits - everyone pays on their dividends without all the manipulations that accountants get up to ...
    VeryCaringBigBear
    10th Oct 2019
    2:49pm
    If you have franking credits you have paid tax. If franking credits are abolished then only the wealthy will own shares as they are the only ones for which it will make economic sense. Without franking credits then why borrow from shareholders when you can borrow from elsewhere and pay interest instead of tax.

    Don't forget there are over $40 billion in franking credits that people use to reduce their tax so the mere $6 billion refunded is peanuts compared to the tax saved by higher income earners.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    4:39pm
    .. and that tax paid on your behalf by the company is taken into account in considering your tax liability - pretty simple, eh? So no difference at all in abolishing franking, except you do your own tax on full dividend without having to worry about that franked credit.

    This is a nonsense argument - as long as people have been doing their taxes correctly - but if, as accountants say so readily, franked dividends are tax effective - someone is robbing the till, so the issues of how they are robbing the till are what needs to be addressed - and the abolition of franking is a first step in stamping down on tax evasion.

    BTW - in changing his stance, Shorten showed he had no clue about the issue at all...
    Teacher
    9th Oct 2019
    11:25pm
    How unfair it would be for me if the family home was included in the assets test for aged pension. Sixty years ago we were engaged for 2 years to save up for a deposit on a house which included selling my fiancé's treasured car. We had to borrow from a money lender as well as a building society to get the huge deposit. It took 6 years after marriage, including the raising of 2 children and practically living on bread and dripping, my working part-time, as well as a 'labourer' husband on 3 shifts, to keep up the payments on those loans. Twenty-eight years later we cleared our debt. Now do you mean I have to go through scrimping and scraping again if the government reduces my aged pension because I have a valuable home - not so valuable now as it is 60 years old and I am a widow. I'm already doing that on the aged pension as it is now as I have no backup finances.
    TREBOR
    10th Oct 2019
    12:45am
    I take it you will join the march on Canberra if they try this on?
    Teacher
    9th Oct 2019
    11:25pm
    How unfair it would be for me if the family home was included in the assets test for aged pension. Sixty years ago we were engaged for 2 years to save up for a deposit on a house which included selling my fiancé's treasured car. We had to borrow from a money lender as well as a building society to get the huge deposit. It took 6 years after marriage, including the raising of 2 children and practically living on bread and dripping, my working part-time, as well as a 'labourer' husband on 3 shifts, to keep up the payments on those loans. Twenty-eight years later we cleared our debt. Now do you mean I have to go through scrimping and scraping again if the government reduces my aged pension because I have a valuable home - not so valuable now as it is 60 years old and I am a widow. I'm already doing that on the aged pension as it is now as I have no backup finances.
    TREBOR
    10th Oct 2019
    10:12am
    You know what In like most about this question? It brought into focus for me the entire range of silly and bought and paid for extras that people accumulate during a lifetime of toil, that are currently used as an excuse to reduce their Pension Rights.

    How DARE you old bastards work like dogs for years to enjoy a nice retirement with a few luxuries bought and paid for?

    Now I'm 100% against any assets test at all - thank you LNP for raising this issue.
    GrayComputing
    10th Oct 2019
    12:47pm
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

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

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

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

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

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

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

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

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?
    Curious
    10th Oct 2019
    2:19pm
    Graycomputer, I agree with you 100%. We need to do something about this. The reality of the battling retirees must be told and listened by the politicians and their cohorts. Leon Della Bosca should take note of the responses to this article. It is no good to provoke the vulnerable retirees and pensioners pursuing a national budget surplus. Previous articles appearing here, concerning franking credit, negative gearing, capital gain tax, inheritance tax, and now the inclusion of family home for the asset test, amount to a constant threat to the livelihood of our senior citizens. It is physically wrong and mentally unhealthy. This has to be stopped! Let deliver this message to the Local MPs.
    Priscilla
    11th Oct 2019
    12:44pm
    If homes are included then everyone will become renters. How does that solve problems. People rent because they did not/do not want the responsibility of owning a home and paying extra for insurance, rates, maintenance etc. Not the solution to the pension problem. Permanent, full-time jobs for Australians is the answer. Stop the people working on visas and look after 'your own" first. The government caused these problems letting companies go offshore so there is no work here. Wake up!
    ex PS
    11th Oct 2019
    6:48pm
    Renters pay rates, insurance, maintenance etc. It is all calculated into the rent they pay, at least that is what I did when I had a rental property.
    TREBOR
    13th Oct 2019
    4:40pm
    So we can pay owners rental assistance now to balance out?
    ex PS
    15th Oct 2019
    9:45am
    Sadly, as happens to most subsidies, most government contributions go to adding profit to the suppliers bottom line.
    Subsidies don't work unless price control is also factored in.
    Albert
    12th Oct 2019
    1:09am
    Nice one
    4b2
    13th Oct 2019
    11:00am
    Take it to the next election if you dare.
    How can you assess the value of a house in Sydney against a House in Adelaide or Tamworth?
    Do the pensioners in some areas receive more money because the cost of living is greater? NO
    VeryCaringBigBear
    15th Oct 2019
    11:15am
    Easy you can live where ever you wish but any pension you receive is simply paid back from you estate when you die.