18th Jul 2018

Consumer group urges higher dole to cut health risks

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Consumer group urges higher dole to cut health risks

The health of unemployed Australians is being compromised by the paucity of the Newstart payment, the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) believes.

Lifting the payment by $75 a week would help reduce the risk of chronic disease and mental illness among the poorest citizens, according to the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS).

CHF, which is backing ACOSS’s ‘Raise the rate’ campaign, says the Government’s own reports supported the view that raising Newstart by $75 a week would “yield widespread health benefits”. 

Currently, the Newstart allowance, including the energy supplement, is $277.40 a week. The allowance increases to $345 for a single person who does not own a home when rent assistance is included.



A single age pensioner who rents can expect a maximum of $521.20 a week, or $176.20 a week more than an unemployed person aged less than 65.

Older Australians who have not reached the Age Pension age and who cannot find work are forced onto the Newstart payment.

Among the personal hardship stories shared by ACOSS is one of a former nurse in her 60s who is now unemployed.

“You can’t live on Newstart,” says Ellen, 61, who is caring for two children. “I eat one meal a day so the kids can eat. My sweet girl says I should eat more. I was a nurse for 27 years. All my savings have gone. I’m in so much debt. I try my best but feel so ashamed.”

CHF chief executive Leanne Wells is calling on all sides of politics to act on the evidence that people in poverty are much more likely to suffer poor health and have a higher risk of chronic disease and mental illness.

“The latest official report on the nation’s health, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australia’s Health 2018, states that action on the social determinants of health such as socio-economic status, ‘is an appropriate way to tackle unfair and avoidable health inequalities’,” Ms Wells said.

“The report cites one study’s estimate that if action were taken on social determinants – and the health gaps between the most and least disadvantaged closed – half a million Australians could be spared chronic illness, $2.3 billion in annual hospital costs could be saved, and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription numbers cut by 5.3 million.

“As the World Health Organisation has declared, people with lower incomes typically have less money to spend on taking care of themselves, whether paying for visits to the doctor, medicine, or healthy food.

“Stress associated with a lower income, especially during childhood, increases risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

“Despite Australia’s record-breaking 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth, about 13 per cent of Australians were estimated to be in relative income poverty in 2013-14, a figure that has changed little over the past 10 years,” Ms Wells said.

“It’s time to Raise the Rate of Newstart by $75.”

Would you be able to live on $345 a week if you didn’t own a home? Do you think an extra $75 a week for Newstart recipients is enough? Have you ever had to forego healthcare because you could not afford it?


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COMMENTS

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On the Ball
19th Jul 2018
10:54am
Nice "reward" for someone who has worked all their productive life.. NOT!..

Current Gov. policy: Keep them poor and unable to "rise up". "Maybe if a few fall through the cracks it will not only save us money but discourage others from complaining."
(Sarcasm intended!).

If pollies were paid a similar wage, then we'd see some action.
I reckon a politician's pay should be an average of: The pension, the wages of the average the Police, Fireies, Ambulance workers, Teachers and Nursing staff.
jackie
19th Jul 2018
11:38am
On the Ball....Poverty exists...because we cannot satisfy the rich.
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
2:59pm
Jackie, poverty exists because we have had socialist governments in power during the past 30 years or more. Yes the elite (politicians) who pretend to be democratic are the exact opposite.
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:12pm
Since Menzies, that Great Socialist, niemie?

Are you 100% sure about that and can you certify that for us with facts and details?

While I often agree with your basic premise - your attacks on the 'left' alone show that you are not in full command of the realities....

Please explain?
Rae
21st Jul 2018
9:11am
niemakawa you could have fooled me. I thought Governments supporting privatisation of everything and austerity budget after austerity budget were called Capitalist neoliberals.

The last Social Democrat was Whitlam and we sure got rid of him so as to how a socialist country might look now with all our resources earning us money instead of foreign corporations we will never ever know. Universal free health and education is just a socialist dream here now. You have to go to those Nordic countries to see how that works out. We are private and our kids start life with tens of thousands in debt from courses that often don't get them work. Yah wonderful capitalism working well for the Universities at least.

It's the Capitalists keeping wages down by bringing in huge numbers of workers. Capitalists paying the same % of taxes as they did 40 years ago while PAYG workers tax bills have risen 50% in the same time.

The people have been had alright but not by anything that smacks of socialism. Neither of our parties do anything much for society as it's all about the economy now.
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Jul 2018
11:43am
According to government and big business logic, making the poor poorer makes them work harder, but the only way to get more productivity out of the high paid is to pay them a lot more!
Solution to all economic and social woes (including health problems) - adopted in a small country in Europe (can't recall which) and it now has the healthiest economy in the world - Cap the income of the highest income earner in any organization (government or business) at 25 times the income of the lowest income earner in that organization. Introduce flat taxation at 33% of all income over and above the minimum wage, no tax up to basic wage and no indirect taxes. No capital gains tax discounts, negative gearing or other nonsense tax avoidance rorts. Ban family trusts or tax all beneficiaries at 33%. Company tax same as individual tax. All income earned or brought into the country is taxed - if you operate here, you pay tax here.
Watch the nation boom when tax revenues are adequate to provide proper government services and the only way for anyone to earn a high income is to take their whole team up with them. Politicians and bureaucrats, right up to the PM, have to ensure pensioner and unemployed are well provided for if they want to increase their own income. No more multi-million salaries for CEOs unless the clerks, cleaners, and even the tea lady share the prosperity.
Knows-a-lot
19th Jul 2018
12:13pm
So the European country you have in mind does all these things? It sounds like one of the Scandinavian countries. If so, they have other problems: Islamic immigration and loony feminism (Sweden).
TREBOR
20th Jul 2018
12:13am
"Islamic immigration and loony feminism "..... are an indication of everything about a nation and its relationship to its people?

If I go fishing and take in a few useless fish, along with a few nice ones that I take home .. does that mean I am a failed state?

I suppose the difference is that with an Islamic immigration or a feminist state... you cant just throw them back in the water and forget about them ......... but are forced to live with the decisions (hooks) that brought them to your homeland....
Rae
21st Jul 2018
9:15am
Give me Islamic immigration and loony feminism any day as long as it comes with universal funded health and education that doesn't leave anyone in debt gaining an education or seeking medical help.

Besides a few loony Shield Maiden types here might help keep those over enthusiastic sexual predators at bay.
MaxG
22nd Jul 2018
3:49pm
Good person, clearly seeing what's going on... not many around... the worst are those who have inhaled too much neoliberal propaganda.
Fully agree, and could not have said it better. )
Old Geezer
23rd Jul 2018
2:55pm
OGR I can see a big bust happening myself as their is no incentive to work or invest.
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Jul 2018
6:14pm
Not Scandinavian, Knows-a-lot. And no immigration problems or looney feminism as far as I could tell. They have very tight restrictions on immigration. Don't need looney feminism because they have a healthy society and families are looked after - and reproduction encouraged. Wish I could find the article I read, or another that identifies the nation, because what they achieved was really amazing and brilliant. Not that we are likely to ever see it happen here! Way too much greed among the haves, and they are way too contemptuous of the have-nots. They seem to have a warped idea that people are actually WORTH what they are paid. (Well, actually, they think the rich are worth much more than they are paid and the poor are always worth much less than they receive!)
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Jul 2018
6:18pm
No incentive to work or invest, OG? Now why would that be? Probably because the productive WORKERS are treated like crap and the useless BLUDGERS are paid fifty times what they are worth. Investors are either very rich or unjustly tormented. Certainly there is no incentive for battlers to invest.

The problem is inequality. If it's not address, yes, there will be a big bust. But my grandson - at the tender age of 14 - is pointing me to books that prove that the rich engineer depressions deliberately for their own gain, and they are in the process of engineering one right now. It will happen. The rich want it and will make sure it happens - on their terms, of course.
Nan Norma
19th Jul 2018
12:00pm
Well, its a nice change to see people recognize that all unemployed people are not dole bludgers.
Knows-a-lot
19th Jul 2018
12:09pm
Newstart is a sick joke. Even the Rightard Lieberals agree with that. So when are those nincompoops in government going to fix it? They put their own salaries up in a heartbeat.
HS
19th Jul 2018
1:13pm
Of course, members of government are a privileged class of people and the "independent body" (nudge and wink) that decides how much salary increase politicians get, just recently awarded them $76.92 per week pay raise.
But, it is so difficult for the same members of all political sides to support increase of Newstart by $75 per week let alone increase of the age pension.
Perhaps, the Welfare pay system should be governed by an "independent body" ( nudge and wink)?
So, until some decent weekly increase in Welfare payments occurs, those on Newstart can enjoy a full meal every 3 days instead of daily and the age pensioners every second day.
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
7:04pm
An independent body in the pockets of the unemployed and pensioners would work wonders.............. just saying...
OnlyGenuineRainey
20th Jul 2018
6:32pm
HS, don't you understand. The only way to make poor people work hard is to make them poorer. And the only way to make rich people work harder is to pay them much, much, much more (and tax them much, much, much less!). See, it's all about INCENTIVES. Poverty and starvation is the best incentive for battlers. But if you are already rich, you are never going to suffer poverty or starvation, so the only possible incentive is to make you richer. Now surely that makes sense to everybody?
musicveg
20th Jul 2018
8:31pm
I can see it becoming a election issue, so nobody will commit to raising it unless it gets them votes.
Rae
21st Jul 2018
9:19am
Yes OGR but the battlers in the US sure stirred things up when they finally had enough and stopped spending stone cold dead.

Nothing moves the rich faster than empty tills and zero balance sheets as we saw back then.
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Jul 2018
6:09pm
Sadly, Australians are far more apathetic than Americans. America is a nation of go-getters and problem-solvers. Things aren't right. Link arms and fix it! Aussies tend to just whinge (most of them anyway - and those who aren't hurt by the wrongs gloat and scorn those who are hurting, as we see here constantly!)
Knows-a-lot
19th Jul 2018
12:10pm
PS: The health benefits will put less strain on the health budget, so the cost may well balance out.
Rae
20th Jul 2018
10:02am
Yes Knows a lot. I just had to visit the doctor and buy ear drops for surfer ear outbreak. Cost me out of pocket $58.34. If I was on welfare that would reduce to $5.90 or whatever pensioners pay for scripts.The medical clinic bulk bills pensioners.

It's not just welfare recipients doing it tough.

I feel sorry for those trying to live on falling rental payments because they bought an investment house for their old age and are stuck with income less than an Aged pensioner.

Together with Hockey's budget and the falling rent I've lost about $14000 a year. I'm just one of many and it can't be helping the local shops at all. Shorten will decimate self funded retirees who are already either spending down savings or the opposite because there is no stability any more.

Newstart is a joke and so are wages and self funded incomes.

Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull haven't handled this global financial crisis well at all.
KB
19th Jul 2018
12:29pm
Not acceptable for any age group particularly for people in age brackets where they cannot access the aged pension due to restrictions on age . Unfair Even with rent it would be hard as there are utility bills and transport to pay for taking into considerations concessions, Yes the allowance must increase by 100 not 70
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
7:05pm
Aged Pension back to 65 - politicians don't get theirs until 65, and it's means tested.
musicveg
20th Jul 2018
8:34pm
I agree Trebor, why do politicians get a pension no matter how rich they are, we could then afford more public housing for the homeless and low incomers, that will make it easier on the health system.
Alexii
19th Jul 2018
12:47pm
The politicians only care about all all their wealthy mates Individuals and big business) and don't give a stuff about the ordinary folk in this country. They only want to make the rich richer and the poor poorer and also be damned to the middle income earners too as they can get poorer as well. POX to them.
KSS
19th Jul 2018
1:05pm
Yesterday is was bash the rich over charity donations, today it's bash the rich over welfare payments. Anyone willing to take a stab at what they should be bashed for tomorrow?
Jim
19th Jul 2018
1:52pm
Having a bigger car than the poorer person, you know the one who has never worked a day in their life, but holds their hand out for their entitlement each fortnight. This is not aimed at people who are unemployed through no fault of their own, just the professional welfare recipients.
Cowboy Jim
19th Jul 2018
4:56pm
Why not bash all the ones who had to get a mortgage and finally ended up with their own place, join Mick and include your place in the asset test and we are only half way there. The ones who never put in any complain the loudest. As they used to say in grandfather's time: - The empty drum makes the loudest noise.
Still true!
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:17pm
The rich get bashed over tax deduction charity donations?

Well - buggar me.... when dealing with tax avoidance you can guarantee that no cent is left unturned.....

So if someone with a motza makes a charitable donation, to evade paying tax on their declared income at a higher rate by lowering their 'income' as stated to a lower level ... and that is now a sacred cow?

Sounds like the minimum tax on all, as Rainey or Rae of OGR stated above - works better...
Rae
20th Jul 2018
10:09am
ACOSS always has a go at anyone not on welfare. They were the main culprits in decimating self funded retirees entitlements back in 2014/15.

I think they want most people poor and just a few rich and absolutely no middle class at all. It's quite odd when you listen to Goldie as it makes little sense.

If everyone paid a .5% tax on all money they received/spent those evading tax just couldn't. No deductions.
GrayComputing
19th Jul 2018
1:49pm
It is time for all of us (that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
A pension is not welfare.

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 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?

Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

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

Also contact opposition and independent MPs (today) who could help us to get a fair deal on pensions
Suzley
19th Jul 2018
2:11pm
Do you place the exact same post every day? I replied to this last week. It's getting a bit boring. The OAP is welfare.
KSS
19th Jul 2018
2:15pm
Suzley don't engage. This post is here in its entirety most days and often multiple times in the same thread.
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
2:24pm
Ignore your critics. Keep posting. The Aged Pension is a right.
inextratime
19th Jul 2018
3:54pm
Suzley, are you OG in disguise ?
He insists on calling the pension welfare when in fact the definition of Pension is "a regular payment made by the state to people of or above the official retirement age and to some widows and disabled people".

No mention of the word welfare so why do people keep on insisting calling it welfare ? Maybe it gives them a warm fuzzy feeling
inside.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2018
4:00pm
Yes Suzly is right the OAP is welfare and should be renamed Seniors Welfare Payment so that people understand what it really is.

I too am over this post as it is simply nonsense as put simply the New Zealand model is less than most people on the OAP in Australia get. I can hear the whinging already if such a policy was adopted.
Cowboy Jim
19th Jul 2018
5:01pm
Well Suzley and OG do not get the pension and are just plain shitty about it; best would be to ignore the rants about pension being welfare. Do not really care anymore what you call it as long as I get some of it. You can sit there and feel superior - your stools still stink.
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:24pm
Ah - so it's NOT Old Geezer who is stealing letters from boxes and invading internet accounts to determine who is a rorter and who is not...

I didn't know that Suzley didn't get the pension - but I know OG makes a motza out of his revenue strands and doesn't vote and doesn't pay tax and earns $80k pa out of a $200K investment portfolio and runs around helping people with Centrelink and other government agencies while donating excess veggies from his garden to the poor.....

Funny thing is that it was I who first said that excess produce from our former property down south went to the poor - our strawberries were an incredible treat for them... then OG and
Bonny got on that band wagon...

We used to give all our excess to the Salvos .... for free.... them poor people could certainly use it....
TREBOR
20th Jul 2018
12:18am
Sorry - don't want to bad mouth the guilty - OG only makes $80k our of a $400k investment portfolio... not $200k...

Must be a Mafia loan shark....

Get outta my gym, Rocky.. ye're a bum and allus been a bum.. now ye collect hard-earned money from dem dat can't afford it... an' you get out dere an' stand over 'em.. you ain't muy kinda boxer, Rocky... now get outta here!
OnlyGenuineRainey
20th Jul 2018
11:41am
Trebor, you forgot to mention that OG does not pay rent nor does he own a home, but he DOES have solar power (presumably on his caravan in which he claims to house and feed vast numbers of homeless unemployed youths). Despite his income of $80K from his $400K investment portfolio (which is only a small PART of his total wealth - the part he CHOOSES to live on while the rest is allowed to grow) he manages to live on less than the aged pension and considers it more than adequate for everyone to live on. Not forgetting of course that he gets virtually everything that imposes cost on others (e.g. health care) for FREE and he claims pensioner discounts on everything he buys (because he doesn't want to embarrass the seller by admitting he's not a pensioner when they've assumed he is).

So the sum total of this is that he assumes people who have to actually pay for their accommodation and pay for their electricity and pay for their health care and DO NOT have hundreds of thousands of savings and incomes of $80K a year SHOULD SOMEHOW MAGICALLY BE IN THE SAME POSITION AS HIM. And if they are not, it's their fault.

Oh, and I almost forgot. He doesn't pay for heating either because he gets loads of firewood from the property he doesn't own, and uses a log fire for heat (in his caravan, apparently!!!! The one that is packed to capacity with all those homeless unemployed he's feeding and caring for! I hope, in those close quarters, they can keep far enough away from the fire to stay safe.)
Rae
20th Jul 2018
12:18pm
Sounds like a farmer or a hospitality resort to me. Neither are classes as a home as we know it.
Misty
20th Jul 2018
6:42pm
Well OG doesn't pay rent, doesn't own his own home so how does he live?, bludge off mates and family or maybe live in a tent out in the bush somewhere, maybe that is why he can save so much money but who wants to live like that.
Rae
21st Jul 2018
9:27am
Could be a hotel or motel also. Not everyone lives in a home in the suburbs or owns their own property.

Could be a manager on some rich person's property also.

Many retirees do property management for the wealthy and accommodation and board is the reward. We have thousands of foreign owned properties now since Howard opened the floodgates to the world's wealthy ones. They all need caretakers.

I've friends who move around managing motels for owners wanting a break since they retired and they rent out their own home.

Apparently the demand for couples who can do this and keep accounts up to scratch and manage staff is large.
OnlyGenuineRainey
23rd Jul 2018
9:39am
Regardless of his living arrangements, he's being disingenuous claiming to live well on less than the pension and not admitting his unique advantages.
Therefore, he has no credibility whatever and should be condemned for his dishonesty.
Old Geezer
23rd Jul 2018
3:03pm
Yes I do own a luxury caravan but I only live in it a few months of the year when I travel around in it. No I don't live in a motel or resort but live in a large house on a property rent free thanks to some good investment advice I received many moons ago. The government tells everyone you can't do what I do but done the right way one can. I am protected should I be forced into a nursing home as the house I live in can't be sold to cover the costs of the nursing home. Yes the house has solar panels and is heated by burning wood collected form the property.

No I don't collect welfare because I earn more than enough to live.
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Jul 2018
7:53pm
It doesn't get much more vile and disgusting than to gloat and boast about achieving a privileged status while admitting that the majority wouldn't have a hope in hell of attaining the same benefit, OG.

You really are the most obnoxious individual imaginable!

People here are struggling, and all you can do is boast and gloat and dish out nasty denigrating comments and insults. Some of us actually are enough to want to support demands for reform. Some of us are unselfish and caring.
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
2:14pm
This is the result of the quasi socialist Governments we have had to endure during the last 30 years or more. In effect what we get is capitalism for the elite and socialism for the rest. This is what socialism brings. Do not vote for any of the mainstream parties if you want things to change. They are all tied to the apron strings of the UN. The UN is intent on making us all poor with its main ambition to flood all "white" nations with migrants from across gthe globe, but on a larger scale from Africa and the ME. Virtually all countries Australia included have agreed to the draft proposals of the UN Migration Act which is to be signed in December 2018. The US and Hungary will not sign. Australia must also not sign if it wants to retain any remnants of being an independent country.
Cowboy Jim
19th Jul 2018
6:23pm
First thing Australia should do is leave the UN; it would save us a lot of money and we no longer would have to take any notice of the constant bleating about us not doing enough for the poor nations around the globe who have absolutely nothing to do with us. niemakawa knows what is going on and I totally endorse his views.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2018
3:56pm
Newstart is a juggling act between paying people enough to live on without it being too much so that that they feel it's enough to live on without the need to work. People are basically lazy and will do as little as possible if they can get away with it.
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
4:04pm
Newstart should be a temporary arrangement only and not a financial support mechanism indefinitely. Maximum 1-2 years after which, unless the recipient can justify needing it, then the payment should be terminated. Not to be reinstated for at least a further 5 years. No exceptions.
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
4:30pm
This the result of socialism that Governments past and present have embraced. They want everyone to be poor and to rely on social welfare to live ( Pensioners excepted). Governments need to have a more conservative outlook and encourage everyone to participate in the workforce. Of course they will not do this as they will lose the control they have over the masses. "Democracy is an illusion an illusion of choice"
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
7:15pm
Elitist nonsense - only the true unemployables - the junkies and such - would willingly choose to live on the dole.... a few foreign parasites may do so.....
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
7:19pm
And don't forget there's Socialism and then there's Orwellian Socialism - the latter in which all are equal but some are more equal ..

There is nothing wrong with Socialism evening out incomes etc in order to sustain a stable society - it is another to reduce everyone to the same tiny level...

Methinks you are mistaking the two niemie ... and of course there's that other form of socialism to equalise - the Lima Agreements etc of this world, which in reality tend to benefit only the vultures... and don't significantly raise the standards of the poor countries, while reducing the standards of the (once) 'rich' countries....

Ask Trump about that...
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
8:04pm
TREBOR, yes there are various forms of socialism and all are very closely allied with similar outcomes for the "people", whereby a few receive most of the spoils and the masses have to share the remaining slice of the pie. I am familair with the writings of George Orwell and it is apparent to me that much of his work is active in the political sphere in which we live today. Socialism has always failed and whilst capitalism may have its faults, the benefits for the masses are far greater. True equality is unattainable as preached by many socialists. That is my opinion.
Nan Norma
19th Jul 2018
8:58pm
OG. Well, it's not enough to live on. It's not even enough to rent a room anymore. People are now starving. We've gone back to the poverty of the Victorian era. Politicians sit in their ivory castles and try to convince the population that's what the unemployed deserve.
niemakawa
19th Jul 2018
9:18pm
Nan Norma. Most Western countries, especially in Europe are in a similar situation. This is largely the fault of Governments who continue not only to settle immigrants but encourage more to come to their countries. This is not by accident but has been planned over many years. Millions of people in the UK rely on foodbanks and tax credits to surive. The locals have been thrown to the wolves, many cannot find work because of imported cheap labour undermining the whole job market. Spain and Greece have the youth unemployment is a staggering 25-30% and probably much higher if statistics were not rigged. Similar stories all over Western Europe. And the ones that benefit, of course the Politicians and elite in these societies. Yet they pursue with their madness to allow more and more immigrants into these countries.
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:26pm
You are correct, niemakawa - our current lot of 'socialists' are as good at being 'socialists' as the Chinese Communists.... who our lot envy for their opportunity to exploit a nation to garner billions, while our lot can only garner millions....
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:30pm
Unfortunately - Orwell spoke of modern society overall, rather than about the extremes of the 'communist countries'.... his comments apply more than equally to all current and recent past societies, with their entrenched imbalances of power and earnings and thus of ability to sustain life.

I see you are an educated and erudite person - man or woman..... makes no difference. Truth is truth.
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:37pm
I must add that the Chinese 'communists' who are billionaires via capitalism do not permit mass immigration or any mass invasion or takeover of their national instruments by any outside group.....

Try buying a business in Asia..... they know what we seem not to know - that 'colonialism' driven by crass exploitation for profit does not in any way assist a nation to become solid and self-reliant.

They learned that - we never knew that in Australia due to our convict heritage based on crass exploitation - and even though there was a mild interlude.. a hiatus ... after the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of men and their families over two world wars,.. the moment that sacrifice was forgotten, the vultures moved right back in.

So now we have the 'society' we now subsist in - one riven and driven by massive social and economic divides.... and on in which the exploitationist approach is now God Almighty.

Hope that helps.....
Rae
21st Jul 2018
9:41am
The Chinese are very clever. There isn't a major city anywhere without a China Town in the heart of it and their plans last over thousands of years rather than a four year election cycle.
MD
19th Jul 2018
8:36pm
Isn't absolutely everything stressful nowadays:- giving birth, raising kids, taxiing them to various venues for various reasons, driving cars on gridlocked streets (knowing full well you're THE driver par excellence), political correctness, getting drenched in a rainbow brigade downpour, feminism, paying bills (inc min payment on credit cards), rent/mortgage, dealing with banks/utilities, neighbours (and their dogs/cats), fat people, pollies and last but by no means least - bloggers. Did I miss anyone/anything ?

Of course it's a hard row to hoe for older folk to make ends meet on unemployment benefits, a condition exacerbated by the nigh improbability of them scoring a job. Were gubbermint to show any degree of special dispensation for this group I doubt we could handle the flak. As it currently stands it would seem that a good many of the younger generations already are contemptuous of senior's privileges.

"about 13 per cent of Australians were estimated to be in relative income poverty in 2013-14".
Who is the 13 per cent ? What income is their poverty relative to ? How many of this percentile were struggling 50+ y.o's ? I seriously doubt the veracity of the single example 61yo with "children" (still at home - to feed) is going to be considered seriously indicative.
Rae
20th Jul 2018
12:33pm
We have a couple of suburbs here MD full of pensioners and a fair number of them raising the grandkids who have been abandoned by drug addicted parents. The large housing estate is full of them and the public school needs extra help.

Welfare can have a downside as many suggest. Even Noel Pearson reckons "sit down" money is a bane to his people. Something is wrong when over $46 000 a year per capita is spent on Aboriginal disadvantage and hasn't solved anything at all.

Some sorting out needs to be done. The Government making jobs suitable for the unemployed and enough drug rehabilitation would be a start.
Get the private carpetbaggers out of the money pot as a start.
Immigrants should not be granted welfare and refugees should be given jobs. The whole idea of money for nothing isn't a great idea.

The aged pension made universal and taxation sorted out too.

Decades of faulty legislation requires fixing but neither the LNP or ALP seem fit to fix anything.
TREBOR
19th Jul 2018
11:10pm
Well... it's not 'welfare' for a start.... it's a qualified payment under the Social Security System all bought and paid for as part of the Menzies government ..(wait for it) ... Socialist new approach to dealing with our society as a whole - and not just as a beneficiary to a part.....

(lost a few of you there.. keep studying)...

As part of that New Deal organised by the allegedly 'right wing' Menzies government - and countless other Liberal governments since - one of which introduced the incredible measure of 'Equal Employment Opportunity' and equal pay for equal work for women..... (I was there when EEO under a Liberal government became policy in the Commonwealth PS)....

Social Security payments are supposed to make it possible for any person to survive in a drought of work and, in the case of OAP as a payment for loving in retirement after decades of contribution to the nation, without any consideration of factors that may place persons in such situations.

Now we see a bunch of self-promoted ideologues dictating to the masses - either from 'left' or 'right' as suits their own pocketbook - that somehow having enough to live on in retirement or hard times is now a burden on the nation....

Well - I say those that say these things are a burden on the nation.....
Cowboy Jim
20th Jul 2018
9:57am
The burden on our nation is that we do have too many governments and politicians for our population. But how can we change that . . . ?
musicveg
20th Jul 2018
8:48pm
And there has been a drought of work for a long time now, that is real full time work not just casual, temporary or gig economy.
Bes
20th Jul 2018
10:39am
A RISE in payment? Bloody lucky to GET a payment!
I'm a full time carer for my wife who has dementia. I shower her, empty her colostomy bag and change it every two days.
I do all the cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping and take her to all medical appointments.
No time now for a social life of any kind. I care 24/7.
I have attended an ACAT meeting and some help may be forthcoming for small payment.
WITH this in mind I applied to Centrelink for a Carer Payment.
Where would we be without Centrelink one wonders?
After jumping through all the hoops and uploading forms downloaded and filled out by her doctor, Centrelink are right on the ball !
For over a month they have never failed to send me a weekly text telling me that they are working on it!
Looking forward to next weeks instalment.
Now that we are on BENEFITS and not a pension why do I keep thinking of the old Soviet Union?
When everyone worked with their heads down on survival rates.
While the politicians lived separately in their Dachau's, had cars and staff and were looked after for the rest of their days!
While this looks so familiar today I wonder why we keep voting with our heads up our arses!
Rae
20th Jul 2018
12:40pm
I sympathise Bes. I've a friend in the same situation and her life is literally on hold. After all those hoops she now gets five hours once a week to play scrabble and shop, get a haircut or whatever.

It's not easy. She managed a few weeks respite last year to have a break which helped.

It is shaping up as a old style communist or fascist situation now with a top living the high life and everyone else struggling to keep up.

Even the few social democracies are in strife due to hundreds of thousands of refugees all wanting to live there.

The possible saving grace is that these systems all fail dismally, leaving chaos but allowing for change eventually.
OnlyGenuineRainey
20th Jul 2018
11:55am
Raise the dole? How can the government do that when they are hell bent on cutting taxes for businesses and the wealthy? We have mechanisation and technology replacing jobs, and predictions that the need for human labour will continue to reduce dramatically over coming years. Technology experts and progressive thinkers are suggesting we need to introduce a universal wage to address the problem that work opportunities will continue to fall. But no. The government's solution is to reduce taxes on the massively increased profits business yields from reducing the workforce and relying more on technology, and letting the victims of this radical change in the structure of our economy starve.

Of course the government's view is that starving the poor will make them work harder, but the only way to make the rich work harder is to pay them more. So we MUST cut their taxes and raise their salaries when they put 1000 more out of work, and we must cut unemployment benefits and pensions to cover the cost of the tax cuts.

Until we get rid of the stinking elitists with their greedy mentality and install a government that recognizes a changing world and begins to think innovatively about how to deal with the changes, we are doomed.

There is ONLY ONE ANSWER. Tax the replacement of labour heavily and use the proceeds to properly support those replaced. Look to the future and start building a new economy that acknowledges the reduced need for labour - one in which we work shorter hours, retire sooner, and are paid for the caring and community services that being released from traditional paid work enables us to focus on. Taxes must be raised on those fortunate enough to be employed, with high taxes on businesses benefiting from technology with increased profits and smaller workforces - and the extra revenue must be used for social and economic restructure that recognizes the new world order.

We have a government with a mentality that is outdated - long past its use-by date. And therefore, we have politicians who are totally inept and unqualified for their positions. They need to GO NOW, and be replaced with progressive thinkers who understand change and will work toward social and economic health in a new world.
Old Geezer
25th Jul 2018
4:12pm
Unfortunately raising the dole has the unfortunate side effect of people getting enough so they don't have to work.
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Jul 2018
6:04pm
What utter CRAP, OG. Only vile judgemental overprivileged elitist think people would stop looking for work if the dole was increased. Anyone who doesn't want to work - regardless of the level of social support - has very complex problems. It is human nature to WANT to be productive and contribute to society. It is human nature to WANT to feel useful and respected. Paying a decent rate of dole doesn't change human nature - but constantly beating people down every time they try to get up certainly does, and that's what denying a decent living standard to the unemployed does.

The vast majority of unemployed just want a decent opportunity. The minority who reject opportunities or fail to genuinely look for them have deep-seated psychological problems. Money has nothing to do with it - unless they are refusing jobs from employers who don't comply with the law regarding health and safety and minimum wages.

If you stopped being so arrogant and nasty, you might learn something of worth and stop making yourself look so disgusting and vile with your WRONG remarks. You might even decide to support PROGRESSIVE policies that would improve our economy and society - like the Universal Wage, for example, or a universal aged pension. But no! You would rather put everyone down and make disgustingly nasty degrading comments about everyone. Got news for you, OG. When you think everyone else is wrong and you are right, the reality is YOU ARE WRONG. When you think everyone else is flawed and you are superior, YOU ARE FLAWED.

Want to see someone deserving of your contempt and insults? Look in the mirror!
libsareliars
20th Jul 2018
1:14pm
It's disgusting what the people on Newstart are expected to live on. There hasn't been a raise in over 20 years. I don't know how they exist on it. It needs to be raised.
musicveg
20th Jul 2018
8:53pm
They sit at home (if they are lucky enough to have one), with no heating, getting sicker, eating cheap food, feeling depressed and hopeless. Some end up taking and dealing in drugs to mask their feelings, or turn to crime, crime has increased dramatically in the last 5-10 years partly because of poverty.
George
20th Jul 2018
8:05pm
More reasons for a Minimum Tax system to get the large companies and the wealthy to pay their fair share! Our large companies effective tax rate of 10.4% needs to be upped to at least 20% if we are to generate enough revenue. Disgusting politicians on both sides are refusing to take this simple action - vote all current seat-warmers OUT!
musicveg
20th Jul 2018
8:54pm
And stop politicians pensions, most of them would not pass the assets test.
musicveg
20th Jul 2018
8:58pm
Will this be the next election issue? Who will dare to raise Newstart and Youth allowance and pensions? What about carers pension, after all carers are saving the Government a lot of money? No welfare payment has kept up with inflation, rising costs of living, especially rentals. Crime has risen dramatically in the last 5-10 years and mental health is a big part of the problem, desperate people, who cannot even afford to eat nutritious food, some living in very stressful conditions too. Which party will raise Newstart? Will be interesting to see who will make this promise when elections are closer.
niemakawa
20th Jul 2018
9:05pm
They will all make promises but once in power then they will find some lame excuse to abandon those promises. Why people keep voting for Lib/Lab is beyond me. Globalists parties such as the aforementioned are not interested in Australia or its people. They are only concerned about their own egos and kudos on the World stage ( The UN).
musicveg
21st Jul 2018
3:18pm
Here is an interesting article for Universal Benefits Scheme:

https://greens.org.au/magazine/why-naysayers-are-getting-ubi-all-wrong?utm_source=civi&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=greenmag&utm_content=bodyarticle2

Yes it is on the Greens website but it is still worth reading even if you do not support the Greens.
OnlyGenuineRainey
23rd Jul 2018
9:36am
It makes perfect sense and only the ignorant and ill-informed would oppose a UBI, but elitists are hell-bent on preserving the status quo at all costs. If the current system works for them, why change it? Also, elitists cling to the misconception that the poor deserve their status, are stupid and lazy and useless, and would grab at any opportunity to avoid work. That's absolutely the opposite of what is true and has been proven conclusively to be true in societies where the bulk of national resources don't go to those who need them least.

The pension means test is driving the cost of pensions UP, because it's killing incentives to save. Newstart may be a starvation income, but it's actually more than many get from working when all costs are added, so opting to stay on it is sometimes more profitable. And faking disability to transfer to DSP is very appealing. Renting is often far more economical than owning a home when rent assistance and pension losses are counted, and certainly single pensioners who co-habitate in rented accommodation are far, far better off than married couples. Add the ridiculous inequities in the tax system and you have powerful reasons to seriously consider the UBI. But unfortunately, the powerful are the elite who benefit from the status quo and they don't have any inclination to change it.
So they make up NONSENSE FALSE OBJECTIONS that denigrate the people who would benefit and lie about huge costs.
Old Geezer
23rd Jul 2018
2:53pm
Let's just pay everyone the same as they do in NZ. I can hear the whinging already that it is not enough.
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Jul 2018
5:50pm
I couldn't care less about whinging, OG. I care what's good for the economy and society, and what does most to reduce hardship and give everyone a stab at the good life. But of course stinking privileged elitists only want what's good for them, and would NEVER consider lobbying for the kind of changes that actually benefit our society as a whole.
Dermot
30th Jul 2018
12:17am
I am discovering how many dotards make a conversation !!!


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