Lift Newstart, but don't forget about age pensioners

Federal Budget must consider plight of all Australians on welfare.

Lift Newstart, but don't forget about age pensioners

Calls for an immediate increase to the Newstart allowance have the potential to trigger a misleading and destructive welfare bunfight.

A wide range of reputable commentators and institutions, in particular Chris Richardson, from Access Economics, and Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), are seeking an increase in Newstart.

To qualify for the allowance, applicants must be between 22 and 65-67 (Age Pension age), be unemployed, meet the income and assets tests and prove they are looking for work.

The payments vary according to household and dependants, but the highest payment for Newstart recipients is $590 per fortnight, or about $42 per day.

Mr Richardson described the benefits as “unnecessarily cruel” and suggested they needed to be increased by $50 per week. Ms Goldie has said the research confirms the Newstart allowance is grossly inadequate.

"If you cannot get paid work and you are relying on income support, you're living in poverty. You do not have enough to make ends meet, to cover even the basics," she said.

She, too, is calling for an increase to the Newstart allowance rather than tax cuts.

The Newstart allowance is not indexed as is the Age Pension, so in real terms, it has not kept pace with cost-of-living increases. By comparison, it is claimed that, over the past two decades, the Age Pension has doubled.

To add fuel to the fire, the debate took off on ABC Radio in Melbourne when Liberal backbencher Julia Collins maintained that she could live on $40 per day. Talkback callers were highly sceptical of her claim.

 

Opinion: It shouldn’t be young versus old

Here we go again. One group of welfare recipients pitted against another, to the detriment of all. Why does the debate always end up in an ‘either/or’ barney, when the fact is that Australians on Newstart and on the Age Pension are all living in poverty?

Yes, there are degrees of poverty. When your basic allowance is about half the regular rental prices in your suburb, you are well and truly struggling. And then there is the scrimping and saving type of poverty where you just manage to make do until the next Centrelink payment.

Let’s start with the unavoidable truth. The Newstart allowance is a disgrace – it seems to be a ‘punishment’ for those who find themselves out of work – linked to the notion of ‘dole bludgers’.

Have you ever been retrenched through circumstances beyond your control? Such as your employer going broke, or the car industry shutting down, or an office relocation? These things happen.

And then there are the school-leavers and university graduates who are educated but find that their newly acquired knowledge is not wanted. 

Australia’s unemployment rate is officially 5.6 per cent, but according to Roy Morgan research, the real rate of underemployment in January this year was 9.1 per cent.

This means 2.6 million Australians cannot currently support themselves. And the notion that $40 per day will help them, particularly if they have dependents, is beyond farcical. So yes, the Newstart allowance is far too low and needs to be increased urgently.

But assuming that this means older Australians, by comparison, are well off is factually incorrect and feeds into an intergenerational bunfight to the detriment of all welfare recipients.

Some points to ponder
Not all Newstart recipients are young. As the Age Pension entitlement age moves from 65 to 67 (by 2023, with the current Government planning to move it to 70), many older people who find themselves out of work are also forced to live on the Newstart pittance.

And those aged 55 or over take the longest to get back into work. Ageism is alive and well, despite token statements to the contrary. In fact, it takes more than 12 months for older Australians to get back into the workforce.

God only knows how they pay a mortgage on Newstart – or do they simply increase debt? And if so, how do they do this if they have no salary receipts to share with the lender?

We asked former senator Susan Ryan AO who, from 2011 to 2016, was Age Discrimination Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission, about her thoughts on lifting Newstart. 

"A significant increase in the rate of Newstart is crucial. The current low level prevents this payment from achieving its policy purpose of keeping unemployed individuals going while they look for a job. It is so low that the recipient quickly slides into poverty, loses their accommodation, often develops health problems from the stress and, as a result, becomes less and less employable. Benefits and programs aimed at supporting unemployed people should actually do that. It is in everyone's  interest, and the budget's, that the payment to the unemployed is at a level that maximises their chance of finding a job, and as soon as possible," said Ms Ryan.

While the Age Pension is indexed twice yearly and increases do occur, the quarterly YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index, which measures actual retiree expenditure as opposed to ‘comfortable’ aspirational retirement living standards, reveals how tough life is on a full pension if you rent.

The ‘Cash-Strapped’ retirement tribes (singles or couples) who live on a full Age Pension and do not own their own homes are doing it very tough. Their income, including supplements, is $23,254 for singles, with expenditure estimated at $22,593. Couples receive $35,058 and are estimated to spend $35,594. And the typical expenditure for both couple and single pensioner renters rarely includes holidays, meals out or other luxuries most other Australians now consider ‘essentials’. Forget the daily latte – cash-strapped retirees cannot afford this treat.

The above numbers make it fair to argue for an increase in the base rate of the Age Pension, in addition to an increase in Newstart. The last such pension increase – $30 per week – was given as a ‘catch-up’ by the Rudd Government in 2009. Indexing was also made more relevant to actual retirement expenditure at this time. While this certainly lifted pensioners out of abject poverty, the current full Age Pension is insufficient for a productive or dignified retirement.

It is debatable if the proposed company tax cuts really will deliver wage increases for the masses, with many companies indicating this would not be a high priority, but when governments give money to the poorest groups in society, they can be guaranteed it will boost the economy immediately.

So, let’s not have a Newstart vs Age Pension welfare war. Surely forgoing expensive corporate and PAYG income tax cuts will free up enough money to share with all members of society who need it the most.

"The Age Pension has a different policy purpose from Newstart and it is not helpful to create social hostility by comparing them inappropriately," said Ms Ryan.

"The unemployed person we hope can be assisted back into employment. The age pensioner has finished their working life and is entitled to receive a public benefit adequate to provide security and basic living costs. In this budget I would like to see a considerable increase in the rent allowance for those age pensioners who do not own a home and are forced onto an impossible rental market. The increase should be enough to give them access to adequate and secure accommodation."

What do you think? Are you in favour of a Newstart increase? And/or an increase to the Age Pension? What do you believe will constitute a fair share of our economic pie in Federal Budget 2018?

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    COMMENTS

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    4th May 2018
    10:10am
    Both should be indexed to CPI and left alone
    Both schemes are designed to provide basic subsistence - not to fund lifestyle choices
    Grateful
    4th May 2018
    10:59am
    Raphael. What is your idea on what the base rate to which the CPI is indexed should be???

    THAT is what this subject is all about and it most certainly involves "class warfare".

    Just wait until the next few days to see that "warfare" develop, where not only Newstart people but age pensioners who don't own their own home are all classed as bludgers and spendthrifts by those that are so fortunate not to be in that position and probably have absolutely no idea what those peoples' daily plight is all about.
    The politicians will love this forum when they see that there is so much division among the elderly haves and have nots themselves.
    United WE stand and divided WE fall!!!!
    HarrysOpinion
    4th May 2018
    10:59am
    Both should be on the same level as the minimum weekly wage,( MWW) and indexed on average weekly wage (AWW). Not CPI, as this can be (and is ) manipulated.
    Sundays
    4th May 2018
    11:21am
    HS where would the incentive to get a job come from if we paid able bodied people the minimum weekly wage to do nothing! Why would low paid workers continue to contribute their labour.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:23am
    Indexed to politician pay rises...
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:25am
    Grateful - well said.

    Sundays - jobs are limited and often part-time etc... this is a hard question,since both sides of the discussion have no real answer.
    Mez
    4th May 2018
    12:09pm
    Age Pension IS NOT WELFARE LIKE NEWSTART!
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    12:10pm
    Newstart and the Old Age Pension are both welfare. Old Age pension should be called something like Seniors Welfare Payment.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    1:43pm
    I think the current base rates are fine
    Newstart is at the right level to encourage jobless to look for work
    The Pension base rate is sufficient to Cover all essential expenses and then some
    Indexing both to CPI ensures the amount paid is maintained at the right level

    Paying more for pension to fund luxuries while depriving self funded retirees of the same splurge money would be criminal
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    1:57pm
    Pensioners with modest assets are already way better off than SFRs,. and that IS criminal.
    Ms Logik
    4th May 2018
    2:08pm
    Sundays, to qualify for Newstart Allowance, there are two options:
    1) to apply for 20 jobs per fortnight, controlled by the so called Job Provider Agencies, or
    2) when you are over 55, you can work 15 hours per week as a volunteer for an organisation/charity of your choice.
    It is nearly impossible to find a new job when you are over 55.
    Sundays
    4th May 2018
    2:54pm
    I know the rules to qualify for Newstart and needs to be increased. However, what is wrong with being asked to volunteer 15 hours a week ? Where is the logic that says if you can’t find work the Government will pay you the same money as someone working 38 hours a week?
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    2:56pm
    You all know where I stand - there should be a base below which neither pensioner nor SFR can fall - taking into account all costs such as healthcare.

    So there really is no argument under *my scheme - a rise in pension would mean a rise in the base and thus a rise to smaller SFRs.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    3:34pm
    It very easy to apply for 20 jobs and it takes about 10 minutes every fortnight. Far better than spending 15 hours of one's time per week working for some charity that doesn't appreciate what you do for them.
    Ms Logik
    4th May 2018
    6:05pm
    Dear Sundays, there is nothing wrong with working 15 hours a week(when you are fit and healthy)! It's good! You get out of the house, meet lovely fellow volunteers (volunteers are really nice people) and have a good feeling doing something for your community. Both charities I work for are extremely thankful for my support.
    Now, if I would work more than 15 hours, I still would not get more money from my Newstart Allowance. I would consider working 30 hours per week for double the amount of money I am getting now. From applying for a stack of jobs I didn't even get an answer or job interview. not ONE.
    Ms Logik
    4th May 2018
    6:24pm
    Hi Old Geezer, yes, in the computer age it is very easy to send out 20 job applications even on automatic and it will only take 10 minutes. This is internet littering. But when you really want a job, you read the job description, see if you meet the criteria, write an application letter, attach your very personal data - your resume - and send it out to the blue of the internet - and never hear anything ever again.
    Also, if all job seekers have to send out 20 applications per fortnight, qualified or not, it doesn't matter as long as the so-called Job Provider agengies make their money. But imagine how cluttered up the employers are!!! I know from a job at Aldi where they received 3000 applications. This system works against us! Just apply for the jobs you think you would be good at. Quality instead of quantity!
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    8:42pm
    OG, productivity would collapse and employers would go insane if all unemployed submitted 20 job applications per fortnight. It's a ridiculous requirement. And it's certainly NOT easy for any unemployed person to find 2, let alone 20, job vacancies for which they are qualified and to perform. Compounding that difficulty is the devastating psychological harm that results from repeated rejections.

    The fact is that there are way too few vacancies, and we have major mismatch problems where the vacancies do exist. It's NOT the fault of the unemployed that they can't find rewarding employment.

    As for the UTTERLY IDIOTIC suggestion that paying adequate Newstart and pensions would deter people from seeking work... only an over-privileged moron would make such a suggestion. People fall into two categories. There are bludgers out there - and they will ALWAYS bludge. They are a small percentage and there is little we can do about their habits. Most unemployed WANT to work and would always prefer to work, even for the same income as they get not working, if only they were given a chance. If we ensure that work is fairly rewarded with non-monetary benefits, such as opportunities to upskill and be promoted or move to more satisfying employment, social benefits, and tax benefits... all of which is easy to achieve if the privileged stop bagging the less fortunate and treat them with respect... very few would choose idleness over work. However, we would find that the enterprising - of whom there are many among the disadvantaged - would take advantage of financial support to start their own business. If we stopped bashing the unemployed for having a go, and gave them a little support, we might find many would astonish with what they are able and keen to achieve.

    Simplistic nasties are easy for the self-serving over-indulged in our society. Understanding and empathizing is hard - which is why we have a stinking system that suppresses, and why we have far more appearing to abuse welfare - but actually just responding naturally to the cruel suppression they are experiencing.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    8:51pm
    Most of the unemployed people I know don't want to work so they just do what they have to to get their Newstart. Yes they apply for their 20 jobs a month filling up employers inboxes with umpteen applications. That's the real world of the unemployed.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    9:07pm
    OG, you are a narrow-minded bigot who chooses to base wild and inaccurate claims on careless observation of a tiny handful of selected individuals whose behaviour appears to fit your perception of reality. YOU ARE WRONG. The majority of unemployed are desperate for an opportunity. Unfortunately, Newstart is designed to suppress and disadvantage and an over-privileged and nasty society just loves to trample on the downtrodden.

    The real world of the unemployed is one of fear, depression, declining self-image, poverty, and hopelessness due to suffering ongoing denigration, frustration and massive injustice. But the privileged 'holier-than-though' nasties will NEVER acknowledge their vile behaviour and hideous social crimes, let alone recognize the harm they do with their cruelty.

    It's really sad, OG, that you and your vile stinking cohorts aren't forced to suffer a decade of the pain the under-privileged unemployed endure.
    Sundays
    5th May 2018
    6:27am
    I don’t understand your posts OGR. Only a couple of weeks ago, you were railing against OAPs suggesting that most of them had spent their money, living the high life instead of saving. Now, you’re supporting the unemployed.

    Have you considered that many OAPs have just moved onto the pension from being unemployed, and did not waste all their money. It can be very difficult to find work when you’re older. and by retirement age, many have depleted their savings.

    The unemployed are not a homogeneous group. Newstart is abysmal, and a step away from poverty for any independent adult as you described. For others, often young unemployed many I have met are very fussy about the sort of work they will do. Don’t like the hours in hospitality, don’t want to stand for hours in retail, forget aged care or any other menial tasks. When I used to recruit staff, I even had a few say they didn’t want to wear a uniform!
    Rae
    5th May 2018
    7:32am
    Yes Sunday. We had so much trouble with staff laying down the rules and refusing to co-operate with inventory control measures and pricing instructions that the business was sold.

    The profits just were not enough to outlay the angst of dealing with opinionated, self serving staff.

    I do think the old system of training young on the job through apprenticeships with bonding and pay by employers worked far better than the current system. The job existed and training suited the employer. There was no debt at the end and the benefits of working for money started at the beginning.

    I also saw the centralised CES as a better co-ordinator of job availability. The current idea of numerous for profit providers is unwieldy. Businesses are not doing much except deleting those 3000 job applications. The system has been designed by madmen.

    People are incredibly fussy about what they will and won't do these days which is producing a lot of unemployable people who will not compromise and who fight authority all the way. Won't do this and won't do that.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    7:48am
    Sundays, I see both sides of the coin because of my life experience. I do feel for the disadvantaged who just cannot get a break, because I've walked in their shoes. But it is nevertheless a fact that vast numbers of today's OAPs wasted their money, and sadly the system rewards them for doing that. Rent assistance and the assets test punish those who work hard and save well but have never had the opportunity to acquire real wealth, and rewards those who live it up.

    You are right about the system. The old ways worked far better. We once had no assets test for the OAP - and that was smart and fair and right. We also had far more sensible training systems - systems that built a work ethic. They did fail in that, for example, mature-aged people were unable to access training and education. It's good that we've seen changes in that area. But certainly we did far better with the old apprenticeship system, training nurses in hospitals, etc. And the bond system of teacher training (and maybe it applied in other areas of higher education?) was smart. The current method of numerous job providers only benefits the job providers! The CES worked much better, though many CES employees needed a swift kick up the backside and some education, as their arrogance and negligence was often appalling. But no doubt employees in job provider businesses are as bad or worse.

    I think the ''fussy'' attitude is because overall the younger generation is spoiled rotten and the concept of personal responsibility has been lost entirely. Someone else is responsible for your safety. If you drown, it's because someone didn't build a fence. If you fall, it's because someone didn't provide proper support and barriers. If you spend all your money, you get a pension when you are older, but if you save you are punished. The whole structure of society is messed up because of stupid lawmakers who have no idea what they are doing and no foresight.

    I guess I do seem to contradict myself, but it's really the system I am railing against, not the victims of it. The policy makers have GOT IT WRONG.

    When it comes to the OAP, I hold no malice for those who take advantage of an unfair and destructive system. I just resent those who applaud when that unfair system causes unfair hurt to others.
    MICK
    4th May 2018
    10:31am
    Here we go again.
    The facts:
    1. there has been a widening divide between rich and poor which is significant for the past 10 years.
    2. the current rich man's government has been after retirees since it was put into office.
    3. the coming tax cuts for the wealthy is a greedy cash grab by the wealthy who have no need of it because they as a group have done exceedingly well over the past 8 years. On the other side of the coin average citizens have been pushed into the low income group and the low income group have been pushed into poverty.

    I expect the usual right wing government sponsored bloggers to come in on their routine mudslinging replies but the facts are the facts are the facts. Nothing to do with "lefties" and certainly nothing to do with either Labor or Shorten.
    We need a proper discussion of the above. One which the right wing media do not block with lies and sabotage. Let the talkfest begin...........and hopefully result in the tossing out of the current rich man's cartel.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    10:37am
    Off topic
    The article is about welfare payments - not your politics of class warfare
    Save that for your socialist party gatherings
    MICK
    4th May 2018
    10:49am
    Whilst correct you need to read the start of the story.
    This story is most certainly about class warfare because the rich are resisting the financing of any sector other than itself. That is the issue.
    Kaye Fallick
    4th May 2018
    10:50am
    Thanks for participating in this discussion Mick and Raphael - i do believe widening gap between haves and have nots is part of this discussion, so not off topic at all. Surely underlying the way governments spend our taxes is a question of equity for all?
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:43am
    Those tax cuts are not for the wealth at all.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:49am
    Yes, yes, OG - a tiny amount might find its way to the small shareholder... (sighs).....
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:54am
    The tax cuts in the budget are for middle and low income earners.
    The Other Judith
    4th May 2018
    12:06pm
    Thank you Mick. The proposed company tax cuts, as opposed to welfare rises, are a result of our "kidnapped democracy". I came across this expression coined by Nobel Prize winner José Saramago the other day and it explains everything.

    In brief, our governments are hostage to corporate power because they can cause chaos in our economy if they are not obeyed. Many government institutions have far too cosy a relationship with the corporate world and many industries are now self-regulated (e.g. live animal exports). We are also hostages via our increasing dependence on superannuation.

    I don't know if there is a way out but I hope there is for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    12:09pm
    The way out is to cut our company tax to 15%. Simple.
    Mez
    4th May 2018
    12:10pm
    What about the Centrists?
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    1:49pm
    Australians are getting wealthier and are living much better than previous generations

    The unfortunate who fell on to hard times and couldn’t save are provided old age welfare at a reasonable amount

    So are the irresponsible who lived for today when they were young and now looking for government handout in old age

    Don’t understand what this has to do with income disparity
    Mick wants to take from the responsible savers and give it to the idiots who blew their money on good times
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    2:38pm
    Mick, you idealogical zealot, you bang on again and again about how mutinationals don't pay, or avoid tax, and then you complain about the lowering of corporate tax rates. I must be stupid, but if they aren't paying taxes (according to you), in the first place, where is the problem in lowering the corporate tax rate? I just cant follow the logic of the Left at times, they are happy to repeat the mantra that we need to be internationally competitive, but when it comes to reducing corporate tax rates to stay in line with other major economies, and trading partners, it is a case of 'Oh no - the rich will only get richer!'. Mick, get over the fact that communism has proved and abject failure, and come and make the most of the real world...you will be much happier!
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    2:58pm
    Indeed, Rafe - but the spread of that 'wealth' is highly uneven... it is not 'Australians' who are becoming 'wealthier' - it is SOME Australians who are becoming MUCH wealthier while the rest are not.
    MD
    4th May 2018
    3:58pm
    Agreed, up to a point, ie, who decreed or what law/statute excludes ANY Australian from becoming "MUCH wealthier" ?
    Adrianus
    4th May 2018
    4:00pm
    MICK, your ongoing hatred of the rich as you call them knows no bounds.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    4:08pm
    I agree there will always people richer than you so just get used to it and learn from them instead of hating them due to your own lack of ability to be like them.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    6:55pm
    MD - it's not as simple as any decree etc - when two small businesses out of three fail within the first two years - it's not always easy to get off the deck, and unless you have some solid backing, it's not easy to get a portfolio of shares etc.

    So while there is no law stopping people from getting rich - the economic conditions mandate that most will not. Indeed - without a disparity incomes - NOBODY would get rich - because income disparity creates demand and thus drives supply.

    Put simply in another way - the spots where riches can be attained are limited in number and economic circumstances dictate that only a few can get there, including not having serious mishaps along the way.

    That is why any concept of a 'global market' or a 'global equality' is flawed - if everyone in the world earned the same amount, there would be no trade due to lack of demand.

    Those who critics communism say that - yet we are seeing a form of 'global communism' taking over - which (like communism) in reality only benefits the top echelon, and even though this is labeled 'capitalist' it is a closed and controlled economy in reality.

    Thus it is in reality anathema to any genuine economy based on a fair mix of socialism and capitalism, with controls over both without a total control by either 'side' or by the controlling body(ies).
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    8:53pm
    Most small businesses fail because people think they can turn their interests and hobbies into a business. It rarely works hence all the failures.
    MICK
    4th May 2018
    8:59pm
    It's sad reading the normal BS from OG and right wing spokesman Raphael.
    The facts are there. The figures have been done. The proposed tax cuts will go mostly to the top 1% including some of the wealthiest companies on the planet. It will be a mass export of money to foreigners and to our top earners. Some will filter through to a few others amongst us but will be be very very little compared to what the top end rip out of the tax base.
    The result has to be new/more taxes for the bottom 50%+. That is how this works and the BS about being more prosperous is total fiction designed to confuse ordinary people. Not too different to the coal lobby claiming there is no climate change and that coal is good.

    OG and Raphael: how much are you being paid for your points of view? Clearly you are on either this government's payroll or that of big business and it may be pertinent if you were both removed from this forum as you are clearly paid contributors. Sorry but if the sock fits.....
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    9:53pm
    I’m not paid by anybody
    Just not an unthinking sheep like you and your fellow lefties
    The economy is strong and tax revenue is filling up government coffers

    Profits and taxes are greatest when business and employees are not disincentivised by undue socialist interference

    It’s the taxes from capitalism that pays for social programs

    Try feeding the goose Instead of forever trying to chop it’s head off
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:33pm
    Now, now, boys... let's not get personal all over again....

    All viable societies are a mix of capitalism and socialism.... those receiving payment from social programs spend and thus pay tax.
    MICK
    5th May 2018
    3:03am
    The ignorance in your post Raphael defies all logic and you have no understanding of capitalism.
    Capitalism rewards those who create wealth. I agree with that. But capitalism does not mean that everything belongs to those who create wealth. It means the get a good return.
    The problem with your constant 'leftie' rant is that you are of the opinion that 'it's all ours' which is a common theme from those who do well.
    The reality is that wealth has to be shared whether the wealthy like it or not. You might like to dwell on how wealthy the rich would be if the majority had no money to spend and purchase the goods and service businesspeople create. They would also be destitute.
    I have never denied the rich a good living but I get pretty offended when the rich try to turn the majority into dirt poor slaves to be used to fulfil THEIR needs and this is why we have a supposed democratic system...which is highly controlled by wealthy interests so that they remain in charge.

    You might want to do yourself a favour and disassociate yourself from ALL political parties and work for the common good rather than your own or that of vested interests who seek to plunder the nation and turn average citizens into slaves. That would be hard for you, and I still suggest you are on the payroll because nobody of average intelligence could keep raving on about the economy without understanding how the system is put together and how it is meant to operate in the real world.
    MICK
    5th May 2018
    3:06am
    Yes TREBOR. Pretty spot on but even capitalism does not encapsulate the control of government and the total rorting of the system. It was never meant to do this but the rich have perverted what true democracy is supposed to be. What is ever done about separating money from government? Nothing! Read my lips.
    TREBOR
    5th May 2018
    6:54am
    I was interested in the comment from Judith above - might have to look into that.. dry reading for the most part though.

    Rorting - two things come out about politicians etc -

    a) they are experts at rorting while at the same time condemning anyone even remotely suspected of rorting sixpence from Centrelink and will pursue them with the hounds of Hell.

    b) they set up their own incomes, retirement schemes and fringe benefits so as to maximise their own profit from their 'public service'. Talk about insolence of office.... and no matter their 'party' their attitude is the same as you describe above - prurient self-interest first.

    With an example like that, no wonder this nation has gone to the dogs and has no integrity left. People see government and its agencies short-changing people on all sides, and that includes the judiciary - what are they supposed to read from that?

    Simple lesson - rorting is the way to go.....
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2018
    11:16pm
    Coming back to the main subject - MICK's points are quite valid, including the concern that the comments on this site are too much driven by right-wing paid hacks.

    Also, the article wrongly suggests that there is some competition between Newstart and Age Pension recipients - this is complete rubbish, and also fully clarified by Susan Ryan as rubbish! This is divisive commentary at it's lowest by whoever is trying to create such an issue. Hope YLC is not behind it!
    Poppy
    4th May 2018
    10:42am
    Government should supply all new start, and pensioners with a mirror so they can watch themselves starve to death.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:16am
    If you are starving to death then what are you doing with all that money generously donated to you by the taxpayers. Time to look at your budget and make better choices.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:28am
    It's not 'generously donated', Ebergeezer Scrooge - it's a payout on their lifetime insurance policy....

    You're just sour grapes because you can't get it...

    I advocate a universal pension for all except Ebergeezer here... accompanied by tax on every cent over and above, including gifting and fringe benefits.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:30am
    Nay it's welfare and you only get it as you have no others means of support. Nothing to do with what you have earned, how much tax you paid or even how many pets you have.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:32am
    Nah - welfare is when you go to Vinnies and get a food voucher. Let's not allow the pejorative Yank terms to overtake discussion of realities in this nation. It is Social Security born and bred.... nothing to do with welfare other than that its aim is the well-being of recipients.

    I've explained that before.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:36am
    Nay that's charity one rung worse than welfare.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:50am
    So - now that you're cornered - define welfare for us.......
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:51am
    Welfare is paid to those who have no other means of support.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    5:42pm
    So how does that fit with the Entitlement to Pension or Unemployment Benefit etc?

    Your definition is therefore, incorrect
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    5:46pm
    ONLY if there was no entitlement to Pension or UB etc, and there was no other means of support - would a person need to go on 'welfare'.

    This happens, from reports, with some refugees who are not eligible for UB or whatever, and they rely on churches to help them.
    Sundays
    4th May 2018
    10:58am
    Good article. I think Newstart is far too low especially for anyone not living at home with their parents which seems to be the assumption. It’s barely subsistence . Any politician who thinks they can live on $40 a day is not factoring in housing, clothing, transport costs etc. I also think that rent assistance is too low. However if increased then the much higher asset threshold for renters on the age pension needs to also be reduced.
    sunnyOz
    4th May 2018
    11:42am
    Agree Sundays....after being shafted from my job a few months ago - very conveniently 2 months before I turned 65 - I was shunted on to Newstart. I have applied for over 200 jobs, done cold calls, gone to agencies - have now given up applying - waste of my time. My power bill has shot through the roof due to time I spend on my computer searching for jobs, writing applications, etc. And had to curtail driving around looking for jobs due to cost of petrol. I had to draw on my super to survive. (always been single, very limited super due to previously living/working on family farm, have mortgage). I do the occasional baby sit, but that brings in only pocket money. One month till I go on aged pension, when I can finally see some relief in site. Then the damn Centrelink accuses me of depriving myself of funds (by withdrawing some super to live) in order to claim OAP!
    HarrysOpinion
    4th May 2018
    11:42am
    If, Newstart, Old Age pensioners and Disability, single pensioners are paying weekly rent of minimum $500 per fortnight and receiving $134.80 per fortnight rent assistance, heating this winter will cost them at least $150 per fortnight.
    If Newstart, single recipients, receive the max $590 pf and it costs them $500 pf for rent less $134.80 rent assistance plus $150 per fortnight for winter heating, they are left with $74.80 or $37.40 per week to feed themselves.
    So, who is this smart-alec who says, they can live on $40 per day ($560 per fortnight) pay $500 pf rent $150 pf winter heating, spend $74.80 pf to feed themselves and have 0.20cents left to spend on finding work? Oh, I see...forego the electricity power and heating!
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    1:02pm
    Yes sunnyOz. I was working casual and had at least calls three days a week until I turned 65 and the phone just stopped ringing. Must be something to do with work cover or taxes. I know others who have experienced the same thing.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    4:58pm
    HS this is exactly what is happening, people cannot afford to live, how can they afford to look for work as SunnyOz mentioned?. Many end up homeless and then sick from stress and the cycle of real poverty sets in. If you don't have an address you cannot claim unemployment, how can a homeless person get a job? Those who are owning the properties that are rented out just go and find people with jobs already, they don't care about anyone becoming homeless and never being able to get back into the rental market or housing market.
    leek
    4th May 2018
    5:32pm
    SunnyOz- you are allowed to 'spend" as much as you like prior to going on the OAP. They just don't want you to "Give" it away. My father was told this prior to going on the OAP. Some of the Centrelink people have their own Views on things and say it out loud. But in fact it is not what is in the Social Security Law.
    leek
    4th May 2018
    5:53pm
    Rae- I did read somewhere that people over a certain age do not get workcover. So you are correct on that point.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    8:57pm
    You can spend whatever you like on yourself so you have to get creative if you want to give your money away and leave no trace of where the money went. Old lady I know recently drew out money for the trip of a lifetime only to have her grandkids steal it all.
    Kathleen
    5th May 2018
    1:25pm
    No way is $40 a day sufficient! Some of the unemployed are in their sixties. People become homeless unless they can go home to mum and dad. Only heartless, ignorant people would think that it is okay to treat people this way. Wealthy individuals will never understand because they do not live in the world of the poor. People deserve to feel human and valued.
    Australia is not a poor country. When you provide money to poor people you know it will circulate. When you give money to wealthy companies or individuals much of it will not help anyone or their own country.
    GST will go back to the government when the poor and middle classes spend all their money on surviving.
    Heartless terms like leaners and others that infer people are not worthy of help or support or to live with dignity are unAustralian.
    Some people on here seem to be electioneering for LNP as they regurgitate phrases straight from the playbook of our present government.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2018
    5:33pm
    I for one are in no way electioneering for any party. I say it how it is not try to glass over it because others haven't got the nerve to do so.

    If you only have $40 then yo live on $40 a day. If you want more you get a job and earn more. That's life.
    ancal
    4th May 2018
    11:01am
    In reply to Raphael, I agree with you in principal about both New Start and Pensions being linked to CPI increase. However, the CPI has changed and certain living costs have been taken out of the calculations from some 10 years ago. So it does truly reflect the present actual cost of living to0day. Rent and electricity and private health costs have gone sky high in the last three years. For example, my health costs were nearly $50,000 above Bupa costs so now I have to rent and well behind my income. I share a house, but because I share, my rent Assistance is cut down and if I work ( Age 79 ) I can only earn $63 a week before pension is cut! We need ALL politicians to listen to our problems and make sure all Uni students do the course of C.S. ( common sense )
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:30am
    "So it does truly reflect the present actual cost of living to0day."

    I'm sure you meant NOT truly reflect...
    HarrysOpinion
    4th May 2018
    11:44am
    Of course it doesn't !
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    1:05pm
    Apparently insuring with Bupa is a sure way of losing everything if you do need medical treatments. Probably best to go public and keep your house.
    Tib
    4th May 2018
    11:19am
    If they want to talk tax cuts vs Newstart and pension increases, let's talk about stopping the business tax cuts , I'm sure that will pay for both.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:33am
    Company tax should be cut to 15% then they will have oodles of money to pay for welfare and even enough to pay every one over pension age a basic pension.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:35am
    Tax overhaul to capture revenue where it needs to be captured... not hand-outs or, as some put it, Wealthfare to big business.

    Tax cuts to business will do nothing for the economy, as even the LNP think tank says. Business should pay its way like every other taxpayer, and be proud to do so.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:39am
    The only businesses that pay full tax are small ones, OG - they have no options to squirrel away dollars by double-dipping on R & D and such - deducted once in their homeland, and then again in the nation they operate in.

    In other arenas it's called fraud.
    Tib
    4th May 2018
    11:44am
    Trebor I agree, why should we be increasing the profits of foreign companies at the expense of our poor and underprivileged. It's criminal. If big business gets a tax cut the only people who will benefit will be the Liberal party when they get an even bigger kickback.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:55am
    .. and a safe job after politics doing nothing at massive remuneration that the punters will be paying for.. again .. and partially through tax not collected.

    As someone said about the banking thing - any payouts and costs will be borne by the end user - the account holder etc... not the banks. Same here... when a 'retired' pollie cops a sweet earner, it is paid for by the very tax concessions he/she has permitted to go unchallenged or has even passed so as to benefit the company involved.

    Thus the mooted tax cut to big business will one day be paying your retired pollie for doing nothing working for a business... on top of their self-arranged mega retirement scheme.

    Good work if you can arrange it...
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:56am
    If we cut company tax to 15% then those foreign companies will pay tax here instead of Singapore or Ireland. Our company tax rate is way too high so company do what's best for them and pay their tax elsewhere.
    Tib
    4th May 2018
    1:52pm
    OG completely disagree.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    1:55pm
    Utter RUBBISH, OG. We already have close to the lowest company tax in the world, and not one country that has lowered company tax can evidence any benefit to the economy or the working class. NOT ONE!

    Companies operate here to access our markets. If they are run by people with a conscience, they pay tax. If they are not, they evade by any means they can. They ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT start paying tax here because of a lower rate. Many already pay $0, and you can't get any lower than that!
    Triss
    4th May 2018
    2:26pm
    How sweetly innocent you are, OG. If we cut company taxes all those lovely people will be racing to be first in line to pay all their taxes. Just like all those wonderful banks giving a helping hand to Australians. We’ll all be racing to the bottom. We need to be boosting revenue not cutting it.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    2:55pm
    If we cut company tax to 15% we will have booming revenues.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    5:48pm
    Why would a company incur the cost of moving its base here from Ireland so as to pay the same tax?

    (Cheesus)...
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    8:52pm
    We already have booming revenues, OG. Biggest profit growth in decades over the past two years - and the poorest wage growth; minimal job creation, and record tax avoidance. Greedy board members and executives are pocketing the profits or handing more to shareholders, and that is exactly what they will do with any savings from tax cuts. In fact, they've admitted that is their intention.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2018
    5:53pm
    Well OGR if our company tax rate was 15% our revenues would be really booming big time. Wages would also grow and more jobs would be created.
    sunnyOz
    6th May 2018
    1:12pm
    Cutting company tax is simply putting more money directly in to business owners pockets. Recently ran in to an old boss of mine, that I am still very friendly with. I only left his employee years ago due to me doing all the work, and not being paid accordingly. He said he couldn't wait for the lowering of company tax rates - so that it could go towards him upgrading his boat! When I said wouldn't it be better to put that money into employing people to grow and expand his business, his answer was 'but I own the business -I am entitled to it'.
    Retired Knowall
    7th May 2018
    4:38pm
    Our Headline Tax Rate might be 30% but,
    Our average corporate tax rate now, however, is just 17 per cent, and when it comes to Effective Corporate taxes, Companies in Australia pay just 10.4 per cent.

    The discrepancy relates to a range of things, including how quickly firms can write down or depreciate the value of their investments or where they have sourced their finance.
    thommo
    4th May 2018
    11:22am
    Both the New Start Allowance and the Age pension should be increased dramatically. The reason it isn't is because we have cruel stingey politicians in Camberra, who look after themselves and the big end of town but not those on the bottom rungs of the ladder..
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:31am
    Definitely not as they are keeping inflation low in this country. Increase them and everything else will increase a lot more.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:43am
    So we re-enter the very old, by now, discussion of which comes first - the chicken of lower incomes for the many or the egg of lower costs of living for the many.

    Keeping a lid on inflation is only a minor function - a lid on costs of living first, which will lead to a raising in the standard of living, followed by then discussion of income levels required, is the only viable approach.... but we all know that a 'controlled economy' is anathema to most.

    The reality is that it is not low incomes that are causing upward pressure on inflation - it is rising costs of living, though what you say is true - the moment there is any rise in incomes, every price goes up to over-compensate.

    Perhaps then the only solution is a controlled economy..... but by what standards and values?
    bundy
    4th May 2018
    11:36am
    Pollies give themselves outragious wages...and put people on a stravation pay Newsart no good increase in nearly 20 years..bit like Hitler..and PENSIONS ARE OWED THEIR PENSION NONE OF THIS RUBBISH IT/S A PRIVALIDGE//iT WA SPAID FOR BY THEM..UNTILA AN A/HOLE LIKE mENZIES AND fRASER STOLE IT AND PUT IT WHERE THE pOLLIES COULD GRAB IT..That is waT makes a real BAstard///100 million pounds was in the fund when they stole it..a pension is entitled to it and can live anywhere on it...now these pieces of shit want u to starve in Australia for 2 years if u come back to Australia from q/s for your entitled and they want to raise the age..so hopefully u/ll die b 4 they pay u anything,,,Ther is no bigger SCUM THEN OUR pOLITICIANS AND THE IDIOTS WHO VOTE FOR THEM.pension..bUNDY.PISSED OFF/
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:37am
    Pollies are on the pension people over 65 are on welfare. Big difference one is earned the other is not.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:45am
    Wrong again, OG. Not going to explain it for the thousandth time. Pollies are on their self-established version of superannuation.... set up by them to benefit them.... nothing to do with a pension.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:47am
    That's why pollies feel such a sense of (gasp-s) Entitlement to their 'superannuation' - they've contributed to it according to the rules - and pensioners have contributed to their pension fund according to the rules, too.

    The thing is, of course - that the pollies made different and far more beneficial rules for themselves, since they have their hands all over the budget and have their hands on the reins of power and legislation.

    That, my son - is one clear reason why we need some massive changes in this nation.... to stop this kind of highway robbery of the national and state till.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    11:53am
    of course pollies are entitled to their pension. It was part of the salary package when they took the oath to become a pollie.
    Grateful
    4th May 2018
    11:57am
    Old Geezer. The pollies would love you.
    So you reckon that "welfare" i.e. in this conversation, the age pension and Newstart, are not "earned".
    Clearly depends on YOUR interpretation of "earning".

    Being an Australian citizen in need should earn you the right of a payment for your "welfare", not your lifestyle or entitlement, just being able to pay for your basic needs like food, medication, clothing, a roof over your head, that such a rich country like Australia should be proud to provide.
    What is happening in Australia today is clearly not something we should be proud of. ANY of us!!
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    11:57am
    They arranged that salary package to suit themselves - the people didn't sing up to it.... and now the people are demanding change for the better so as to bring politicians more into line with what ordinary people have to contend with.

    Public service is a service - not a self-enrichment exercise.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    12:01pm
    No you don't earn the right to welfare as you just get it if you can prove you have no other means of support.
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    1:22pm
    Bundy is right. Fraser did steal the Welfare Fund. It was over $400 000 000. A huge sum back then.

    The 7.5% tax has never been cut.

    Everyone who lives here the due time and reaches pension age should receive an Old Aged Pension.

    Whitlam had funded it by plans to buy our country for us. The LNP sold us out. Perhaps the Liberal Party should be funding the welfare bill.

    OG you can change the rules and make up anything you like but it doesn't alter the facts that a Fund was set up and funded and the Liberal Party stole it.
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    1:24pm
    And while I'm ranting. Let us not forget the Pollies Pension fund is our gold, sold at historic lows by Costello and our Telstra. It's a taxpayer asset supported fund at best. The politicians did not save into it.
    TREBOR
    5th May 2018
    7:03am
    .. and is stashed offshore where it pays no tax here and is safe from any disaster its beneficiaries create for this nation. If the good ship Australia goes down, the politicians and their PS mates will have access to $130Bn plus of OUR money safe and sound and untouchable in a bank offshore.

    No matter what happens - THEIR retirement fund is safe as houses.... yours is negotiable, and if this nation hits the skids, you can live on ten dollars a week and work like a serf while they continue to reap their mega and unpaid for 'superannuation'.

    Bring HOME the Futures Fund and create it anew into a GENUINE Futures Fund for all Australians, by adding the social security budget, superannuation etc to it, and taking it out of the hands of politicians and their mates.
    GrayComputing
    4th May 2018
    11:50am
    Dear PM MPs and senators

    It is time for the government (and for all of us pensioners to rant at our MP) to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners
    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
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    For the retired and retiring people in your electorate do you think they really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?
    As an MP do you 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?

    As a MP you even stand to lose your chance at being part of the government unless all these criminal asset tests for a pension are dropped now.

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    Adrianus
    5th May 2018
    11:07am
    If there were no assets test then the OAP would need to be reduced. That would hurt people who are already doing it tough.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    2:32pm
    Why would it need to be reduced, Adrianus? There would be far more incentive to save so less aged poverty, better help and inheritance for younger folk who would then be more affluent, more spending generating business profit and tax revenue and jobs... the benefits are huge. The problem is politicians do as you are doing - look at short term savings from a single perspective and ignore the longer term costs and benefits of a policy. That's why the nation is in debt. Now Turnbull claims we can save $3.6 billion by making retirement age 70, but he hasn't bothered to consider the cost of increased unemployment, increased health costs by forcing people to work longer, reduced spending stifling growth, etc.

    If politicians looked at the flow-on impact, they would understand that these ''savings'' thought bubbles actually cost more. Like the assets test change that is causing tens of thousands to reduce assets, younger folk to reduce savings, and more people to over-invest in housing. It's just DUMB to grab at cash without considering the long-term implications.
    Adrianus
    6th May 2018
    8:07am
    No Rainey, politicians do what youre doing. Deny the evidence and buy votes.

    Let me see how your plan works now? We give the pension to everybody whether they need it or not. Then rely on people to refuse welfare? It doesn't even sound good on paper?
    The budget is not a piece of string if you raise welfare costs unnecessarily then you need to balance that with a new tax. Why??
    I do agree that our welfare and tax systems could be better designed to modify behaviour in a more positive way so that we could climb up the UNs Happiest country chart.
    libsareliars
    4th May 2018
    11:59am
    Newstart needs to be raised, it is appalling what what they are expected to "live" on.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    12:03pm
    Newstart is low for a reason. If it was any higher many would just make do and not even try to get a job. Many people already do just that with the help of our generous charities.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    5:57pm
    .. and rat-thin people starving on the dole with no decent clothes and
    low energy can't get jobs....

    Being an aircraft buff myself - I went for a job with the local aircraft repair guy down south .. management position but I got to play with the planes...at the same time he was looking for an apprentice. A young guy showed up - this as a starved rat and with no decent clothing, and little to no presentation.

    I said to the owner of the business that he might well be an excellent choice - but how would you know?

    Now let's look at the bank or real estate - Little Jenny from FatCatHaven, living at home with the doctor parents, arrives dressed to the nines.... Little Johnny from Negativesville shows up in his normal gear of jeans and bogan shirt... can't afford anything else including a haircut.

    Who gets the job?

    My doctor at one time had an ANU student in for practical - this guy.. now this guy... he was the ultimate nerd.... big round and sloppily dressed, no press to the pants or shirt etc, bad skin .. I have no doubt he was extremely good at exams etc... but I asked my doc why he didn't take him down to the local couturier and fit him with some clothes commensurate with the profession.... he was shaming the practice.

    Funny world we live in... not so funny for many.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:00pm
    I agree, Newstart is not enough to live on, how can they expect to even afford to pay rent AND look for work. You have no idea OG, it is disgusting that it has not been raised for 20 years, while cost of living especially rental accommodation has skyrocketed. You should do the sums OG, and stop putting all Newstart recipients in the same basket, each one has a different story.
    Mad as Hell
    6th May 2018
    11:29am
    Well OG using your logic, the Newstart Allownce should be $0. That way the unemployed would try even harder to get employment.
    musicveg
    6th May 2018
    12:31pm
    And watch the crime rate skyrocket too, Mad as hell. Not too mention the already overworked charity organizations. And with less money being spent business will drop. Can't have everyone employed if there are not enough jobs to go around. With 200,000 legal immigrants coming into the country each year, how is it going to work, immigrants coming in, jobs going overseas, seems a bit unbalanced to me.
    Joy Anne
    4th May 2018
    12:21pm
    Raphael, are you joking, the increase in food, electricity, rents, medication etc. are much higher then CPI increases. Pensioners are going backwards every year. Newstart is worst especially when you expect people to get jobs and pay for travel expenses, clothing to look presentable for job interviews etc.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    12:22pm
    Job providers provide those on Newstart with travel expenses and clothing to attend interviews.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    5:58pm
    Really?
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:02pm
    So OG everytime someone wants to go for a interview they have to go to their job provider who gets paid to look for work for you and they will give you petrol money and clothing? Never heard of this before.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2018
    5:55pm
    Yes that's what they do musicveg as most would not go to a job interview if they didn't provide them with clothes and transport. Many use it as a chance to get some decent clothes.
    sunnyOz
    6th May 2018
    1:20pm
    musicveg - Old Geezer is right with this one - PLUS some even get their REGO paid! I recently joined a Facebook Page - 'Centrelink: living on a low income, tips, hints & living frugally'.
    Oh my God! - the only 'tips and hints' given are - how to get on the DSP, how to get more welfare payments, how to stay longer on a payment, etc. People with asthma asking how to get on dsp, or saying they suffer from depression (most suffer depression because they can't get on DSP!), how to get your job service provider to pay for rego, people complaining that when they get a part time job their centrelink payments are reduced, people asking what else they are 'entitled to' so that they can stay home and not work, etc.
    If ever you want to see why the welfare system is so F...d up - just scrolling through this site will make your blood boil.
    musicveg
    6th May 2018
    1:27pm
    Just goes to show how disillusioned they are, no hope of finding work, given up, lack in confidence the list goes on. We need to empower the unemployed not keep pushing them done so they go to all lengths to make ends meet. I can understand why they are trying to find ways to save money. 200,000 legal immigrants coming into the country every year, more and more jobs outsourced overseas, the balance is not right. And with Rego well it is very expensive to try to keep your car going on such low income, never mind anything else like rent and food. These people are desperate and that is why they are doing desperate things, so don't judge so quickly.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th May 2018
    3:41pm
    M9st unemployed simply do not want to work and they spend there time working out how to rip pff Centrelink not trying to get a job.
    Joy Anne
    4th May 2018
    12:25pm
    I would love to see these Politian's live on $40 per day. If they say they can then lets all see it happen. Nobody can live on $40 per day especially when rent comes out. My rent is $43 per day without food electricity, medication, travel, rego, licence fees etc. etc.
    LETS SEE POLITIANS LIVE ON $40 PER DAY. That maybe without rent etc.
    Mez
    4th May 2018
    12:42pm
    EXACTLY!
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    5:59pm
    Wouldn't pay their booze bill at the end of the 'working' day.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    12:30pm
    Many self funded retirees who are not old enough for the OAP and who are drawing down on their super have worked out an interesting fix for Labor's franking credit tax grab on super funds.

    What they are going to do is put heir super back in the accumulation phase and then go on Newstart and get the Low Income Health Card. They are going to get twice as much as what they will lose by Labor not refunding franking credits.
    Mez
    4th May 2018
    12:48pm
    I don't blame them if that is so as otherwise we will continue to see huge increasing numbers of age pensioners becoming homeless, either living on the streets, couch surfing with family and friends, in caravans and tents, or sleeping in cars!
    None of these being safe nor secure for women and children!
    East of Toowoomba
    4th May 2018
    1:59pm
    Brilliant idea OG .
    leek
    4th May 2018
    5:57pm
    Excellent. Always a way around problems.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    6:00pm
    I believe the franking business has been resolved.... but that is one plan, OG - pass it around.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2018
    6:05pm
    Trebor I heard today that most of the people with negative gearing reside in Labor's heartland. Should make an interesting election with his policy to abolish negative gearing.
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    12:43pm
    Newstart should be increased as it is not possible to live and rent on $590 a fortnight.
    It should be at least the same amount as a single OAP receives. The rental assistance should be the same and the concessions.

    Financial literacy especially successful budgeting and saving need to be taught to all High School Students as well. A bit of self control and living within your means would be timely with harder times coming.

    The CPI needs to be a basket of necessary items including housing and remove the not needed cheaper items such as TVs. A proper CPI basket would have seen pensions increased but if you keep changing the basket to result in dodgy inflation data then pensions will always be below poverty levels.

    Pensions do not cost the current account as the RBA can issue the currency and tax away inflation. The problem is if too many landlords and businesses are foreign and shipping the money off shore. Public housing would prevent that happening.

    Again a money transfer tax would be a useful tool for Treasury to use.

    With Globalisation, automation and foreign debt levels the old reliance on income taxes from PAYG workers just isn't going to work.
    TREBOR
    5th May 2018
    7:07am
    You can't continue to lower the income levels of those on PAYG while expecting them to continue to pay the same level of tax. Even the dumbest politician must be able to see that.... dumping people out of work and forcing down income levels will not give you a bigger tax base...

    Tax overhaul is needed - and not what those clowns call 'reform' - meaning how to I get my mates less tax and the peasants more.

    Maybe Trump has a point with a minimum tax on corporations - he doesn't seem to mind that his companies would pay it, too.

    Bloody Commo....
    East of Toowoomba
    4th May 2018
    2:07pm
    Newstart is too low for anyone unfortunate enough to lose their job during midlife when they are likely to have a family to support and a mortgage to pay.

    The increased qualifying age for OAP is also a worry because it keeps older people in the workforce longer with fewer employment opportunities opening up for for school leavers, young people and uni graduates. The young need to get working as soon as possible in order to develop a good work ethic, grow their savings and develop their potential.

    High levels of unemployed youth are missing out by not learning the satisfaction of financial independence and providing for themselves. The current situation just creates stress between older and younger generations when it is not necessary. Let the young ones work and older ones retire sooner.
    Ms Logik
    4th May 2018
    2:41pm
    Totally agree with all you say! Newstart Allowance needs urgently to be increased for those 55 and over, who do their fair share and work 15 hours per week as a volunteer. At the same time, they have to draw on their Super because it is nearly impossible to find a paid job. I found a quotation in the April issue of "The Senior": "And, according to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), this makes the older unemployed some of the most disadvantaged people in the country."
    Adrianus
    4th May 2018
    3:59pm
    East, it takes 6 months to get back into the workforce. May I suggest that a prudent thing to do would be save a little emergency fund? Say at a level of 12 months expenses?
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:05pm
    But the Government wants everyone to work until they drop so how can young people get work if no-one can afford to retire? I hear it a lot people who are past retirement age and saying they cannot afford to retire.
    Ms Logik
    4th May 2018
    8:18pm
    Yes, you are all right. The whole system needs changing.
    Even when we saved (Super), when you are on Newstart, we need to draw on it now before we reach 67 (and that is eight years to go!), because Newstart is not enough to live on.
    Regarding to the distribution in society: As in a healthy environment the water needs to keep flowing, so money needs to flow in a healthy society for everyone to be happy. It is the same with our river systems on the East Coast. The people living on the top are taking too much water for their own use (huge irrigated farms) so that the river downstream dries out leaving the environment and the people living there struggling for survival.
    Adrianus, even when we saved for a rainy day, the rainy day has already started for lots of us!
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    9:00pm
    Adrianus, where did you dream this absurd notion that it takes 6 months to get back into the workforce after losing employment? What utter GARBAGE! Obviously you have no idea! You have never experienced genuine hardship and have no interest in trying to understand the challenges the disadvantaged face.
    Adrianus
    5th May 2018
    8:28am
    HA HA HA!! Rainey I didn't dream it, it's a statistical reality.
    You often rave about your hardship and how you rose above your insurmountable disadvantage and yet you continue to whinge about your present disadvantage claiming to be a victim. You expect others to be disadvantaged to lessen your disadvantage. Rainey, the true disadvantaged are those who aren't on this forum complaining. They are busy treading water.
    BElle
    4th May 2018
    2:19pm
    Presumably "Raphael" has lived on the Newstart allowance and is talking from experience?
    Walk a mile in someone else's shoes Raphael and see how it feels ---- then you will be in a position to criticise.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:07pm
    I agree, too many people saying things here about what they have no experience with.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    9:57pm
    In fact I did once for a few months after I finished Uni
    Saved a bit of it too

    4th May 2018
    2:32pm
    I want to know how this has become a "war" between Newstart and Pensioners. It's not as if either side have anything to gain by winning the "war". Just overblown rhetoric to try and make a nothing story into an argument. There is no answer to all of this because we are not talking about like with like. Not all Newstarters can live on the money allocated just as not all Pensioners can live on the money allocated but there are those who can and that is the problem. How does a government find the answer to a problem that has so many variables? It has to do what has been done for generations; strike an average.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    6:08pm
    It's not, OM - this is a manufactured 'dispute' and a 'generational' issue to keep people off balance and not concentrating on the real issues of how this country is going down the toilet.

    Same as this endless bickering between the lower end of the SFRs and Pensioners... it's all just a beat-up to keep you occupied and off your game. I've always said that SFRs should simply be able to submit an annual report of income to Centrelink and if they fall below the standard (including the 'top-ups' that pensioners get such as Health benefit Card and free rego etc)... these SFRs should get a top-up and a one year health card etc until next time.

    Such a move is really not hard if you have the proper systems in place - and yet Colonel C'Link goes out of its way to make it hard.. for their own reasons of 'saving' "their" budget.

    You'd have to watch out for the SFR rorters, though.... a dangerous breed.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    10:01pm
    SFR Rorters ?
    Nowhere near as many as Centerlink rorters that’s for sure either in absolute terms or as a percentage
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:37pm
    Irrelevant, Rafe - the issue was those SFR s who are rorters... the issue and number of Centrelink orters is another issue.

    NOBODY approves of rorters but rorters.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    12:40am
    SFR’e are audited for compliance
    Nothing much to tort when it’s your own money

    You’re clutching at straws
    TREBOR
    5th May 2018
    7:10am
    Really? They can afford accountants? Are you suggesting that some SFRs don't cheat so as to have a minimum income recorded? many such have access and experience in how to stash cash.... now don't be silly - a maximum of one in ten might be audited by the ATO, who've cut frontline staff anyway.

    That's a pretty wide door...
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    2:23pm
    Many can't afford accountants, Trebor, but they are ALL compelled by law to engage an independent auditor to sign off that they have complied with law - whether they can afford it or not! That's one reason why some SFRs are struggling on low incomes. They have to shell out maybe $3500 for management and audit costs.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th May 2018
    3:45pm
    I don't pay for any auditors or accountants.
    David
    4th May 2018
    2:38pm
    The government's job is to get more people off welfare?

    Really?

    And why would that be, after governments have underhandedly stolen people's welfare contributions (supported by the Hansard record incidentally) together with private superannuation funding, and syphoning it all into general revenue to hide their own indecently overinflated incomes and pensions along with continual government funding mismanagement etc and all the while lying their collective butts off in crying poor.

    They then outright lie and say they cannot pay welfare and aged pensions. By the way, the age pension is NOT welfare, as the lying bastards claim, it was paid for in advance by way of a compulsory welfare fund of 7.5% of one's taxable income, (which has never been repealed, despite the accompanying legislation regarding the welfare fund having been done so (yep, you guessed it, supported by the evidence of the Hansard record).

    For those who don't know, the Hansard is a written transcript of the actions in parliament. A record of all debates and the passing of legislation by both houses of parliament) on top of the tax payable (which is voluntary by the way, despite the commonly held view to the contrary) and this is ALSO supported by the evidence in the Hansard record.

    The ONLY real reason they can't pay decent pensions and welfare is directly due to the cumulative mismanagement of treasury funds by successive Australian governments over the past 70 odd years and their continuing to do so at an absolutely alarming and insupportable rate.

    Bottom line (pardon the pun) our parliamentarians on both sides of the debate, need to reconsider re-instating the National Welfare Fund as it was first intended, transferring the misappropriated finances to the fund account, reinstating the abolished legislation regarding the fund and it's operation and start paying the people back the pensions they've actually saved for.

    Those of us who lost our private superannuation plans should also be compensated for those losses by the government, since it was their predecessors who a) caused the problem and b) refused to do about the problem at the time nor permitted the victims to take their own action against the companies and/or government departments involved. I think such compensation would go a long way towards relieving the pension poverty burdon, I may be wrong in that assumption, but I don't think so. After all, the REAL job of a government is to look after the interests of their constituents, the people who vote them into office.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    3:00pm
    Old Age Pension must be welfare as it certainly isn't an entitlement.

    OAP is a decent amount as it's only meant to cover the basics of life not for someone to live in complete luxury. If you wanted that then you should have saved for it.
    Seadove
    4th May 2018
    3:48pm
    Makes a lot of sense David and I would support this theory. OG you need to get a life and get out of your rut because your comments are the same day in and day out. You certainly do not have any empathy in you for people worse of than yourself. The OAP is NOT welfare and if you are not able to get it then you must have enough money to live comfortably so why so much negativity? Go outside and smell the roses or look up at the blue sky and feel the warmth of the sun on your face and consider yourself fortunate you are still able to do these things.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    3:52pm
    And get skin cancer. No thankyou.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    3:55pm
    When it gets dark I'm off to burn my big pile of rubbish. It should keep me warm for a few hours as I'm not only saving on electricity but on the cost of paying to dump that rubbish. It's a win win for me.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:10pm
    And you like causing more pollution in more ways than one OG.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    6:17pm
    You are right, David.... and let us not forget that this 'generational debt' they are ranting about is NOT created by Pensions and other Social Security Entitlements - those are paid for in advance and are available on need as a Right.

    The entire gamut of government spending is the cause of any potential 'generational debt' - not just the cherry-picked bits that suit the ideology of the 'government' in the hot seat at the time.

    Social Security is an insurance policy paid over a lifetime by taxpayers of Australia, and is available to all without prejudice when they meet the requirements.

    What is needed in this nation right here and now is a GENUINE Commission of Audit over all government spending.... there's plenty of fat out there in their artificial commissions and artificial corporations and such... as well as certain (dare I use that word) 'welfare' issues such as PPL and childcare subsidies.

    These are where the real danger lies to the economy in the long term... not the Social Security paid for out of the common pot by the 7.5% contribution in tax (and levies from other taxation strands as required - Bob Menzies).

    A National Retirement Packaging Scheme is desperately needed - as far away from the grasping hands of politicians and their mates as possible.

    They may lodge applications for loans from it, which will be judged on merit and contribution to the nation, as opposed to the current system of their being able to grab it at whim and at will and use it where they want.
    David
    4th May 2018
    2:38pm
    The government's job is to get more people off welfare?

    Really?

    And why would that be, after governments have underhandedly stolen people's welfare contributions (supported by the Hansard record incidentally) together with private superannuation funding, and syphoning it all into general revenue to hide their own indecently overinflated incomes and pensions along with continual government funding mismanagement etc and all the while lying their collective butts off in crying poor.

    They then outright lie and say they cannot pay welfare and aged pensions. By the way, the age pension is NOT welfare, as the lying bastards claim, it was paid for in advance by way of a compulsory welfare fund of 7.5% of one's taxable income, (which has never been repealed, despite the accompanying legislation regarding the welfare fund having been done so (yep, you guessed it, supported by the evidence of the Hansard record).

    For those who don't know, the Hansard is a written transcript of the actions in parliament. A record of all debates and the passing of legislation by both houses of parliament) on top of the tax payable (which is voluntary by the way, despite the commonly held view to the contrary) and this is ALSO supported by the evidence in the Hansard record.

    The ONLY real reason they can't pay decent pensions and welfare is directly due to the cumulative mismanagement of treasury funds by successive Australian governments over the past 70 odd years and their continuing to do so at an absolutely alarming and insupportable rate.

    Bottom line (pardon the pun) our parliamentarians on both sides of the debate, need to reconsider re-instating the National Welfare Fund as it was first intended, transferring the misappropriated finances to the fund account, reinstating the abolished legislation regarding the fund and it's operation and start paying the people back the pensions they've actually saved for.

    Those of us who lost our private superannuation plans should also be compensated for those losses by the government, since it was their predecessors who a) caused the problem and b) refused to do about the problem at the time nor permitted the victims to take their own action against the companies and/or government departments involved. I think such compensation would go a long way towards relieving the pension poverty burdon, I may be wrong in that assumption, but I don't think so. After all, the REAL job of a government is to look after the interests of their constituents, the people who vote them into office.
    Marian
    4th May 2018
    3:20pm
    The is not more any human rights in the all system the is not law to help the Australian citizence to stop the rotten system corrupt P.M. & corrupt tax system include the fake senate & federal parliaments were is in hands off criminals who abuse the who work all life the all Parliamentary Join Committee on Human Rights is corrupt & never function include the act 2011 is also fake the both Houses of the parliament against Australian Citizence & Civil rights
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    3:26pm
    Problem solved just immigrate to somewhere else in the world.
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    5:34pm
    Well the Constitution always stops them when it's brought into the game. I'd like to see the treason act s44ii called in and a whole bunch of them up before the High Court. Pity we don't have a Solicitor General with a sense of justice.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    6:19pm
    Better still - ship those who are destroying the nation off to somewhere else in the world.....
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    10:04pm
    Shorten and his mates off to Nauru detention camp perhaps ?
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:38pm
    .. and a few others.....
    Adrianus
    4th May 2018
    3:40pm
    I'm having trouble understanding?
    We have 1million on Newstart or Youth Allowance and yet our unemployment rate is only 5.5% or 730,000 ?
    Is this because some who work only an hour or two are considered to be working but also on Newstart?
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    3:45pm
    270,000 are studying and not classified as unemployed.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:13pm
    Yes it includes many on temporary, casual and part-time workers who are not getting sick leave etc. The numbers are skewed to make the pollies look like they are creating jobs "jobs and growth" Malcolm, like where? Those doing work for the dole are not counted even though the work is there to create a full time "real" job.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    7:04pm
    If you work one hour you are not 'unemployed'.... but still you receive benefits.....
    MD
    4th May 2018
    3:48pm
    For Judith; Judging by your comment you might enjoy a good read along the lines you've mentioned, viz: Nancy Maclean. Democracy in Chains.

    Assuming you haven't already, I recommend highly.
    robmur
    4th May 2018
    3:55pm
    I'm sick of reading comments in this forum suggesting that Newstart recipients, single and couple Aged Pensioners recipients have enough to live on. The truth is, these recipients LIVE IN POVERTY. Who honestly could live on $15340 per annum (Newstart), $23254 single Aged Pensioner and $35068 for couple Aged PensionerS. To all who complain about the federal government being generous paying these amounts - SHAME ON YOU. NOBODY, and I mean, NOBODY should be required to live in poverty when this country is abound in riches. I can't understand how people can be so thoughtless to even contemplate people going without food, medication, proper accommodation etc. People in dire financial straights shouldn't be criticized, but rather, should be given support by those who read this web site daily. Governments of all persuasionS get it wrong when it comes to supporting the poor. Money is continually "wasted" on questionable spending like $140 million to entice film makers to conduct their business in Australia. Or, like the Andrews Government in Victoria, handing out $250 million to support the AFL and the redevelopment of Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. In fact the ALP government is "giving" to the AFL a prime piece of land at Docklands worth millions of dollars. Where in the Victorian state budget is money set aside for the poor to help pay for the excessive costs of utilities? Not a one off $50 - what a joke. The miserable attitude of governments and many who write on this forum, makes my blood boil. They all may have three meals a day, warm their homes and sleep comfortably in their beds when the cold of winter strikes. Wake up Australia and stop acting like Scrooge. All three mentioned above should receive a minimum of an extra $50 per week from the forthcoming federal budget. Forget the top end of Collins Street, they deserve NO TAX CUTS.
    Rae
    4th May 2018
    5:40pm
    Yes I agree. It is appalling people are suffering through no fault of their own. These are not the people who have over borrowed and put the country in jeopardy. They should not suffer because of poor government policy and banking industry corruption.

    They always do though don't they? I hate the injustice of it.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:17pm
    Well said robmur, it is shameful we have a society with increasing poverty and homelessness, whilst the top 1% get richer. We are living in a more and more selfish society, while charity organizations are working their butts off to keep up with the demand for food vouchers etc.
    Ms Logik
    4th May 2018
    8:48pm
    Yes, indeed, well said. I used to be middle class, now I am pushed into poverty because I am old, well not sooo old, but I can't find a job with 59. Instead I work 15 hours a week for the Newstart Allowance in two volunteer jobs. That is good fun and keeps me busy, but my savings, drawing on my Superannuation, are going down every week. I can't go on for much longer like this, and OAP is eight years in the future. What to do??? Start panicking now? Or just go silent and move under the bridge soon? Shame on you, Australian Government! We, your people deserve better than that!
    The real problem is that the prices keep going up all the time! Rent, electricity, water, car rego, food....
    sunnyOz
    6th May 2018
    1:26pm
    musicveg - the top 1% of Australians own the equivalent of 70% of the lowest. That is is just appalling.
    musicveg
    6th May 2018
    1:30pm
    Yes sunnyOz a very unbalanced society, more and more people becoming slaves for the top 1%.
    robmur
    4th May 2018
    3:59pm
    100% agree David with your statement.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    4:06pm
    I don't as it's complete rubbish.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    7:35am
    No, OG. YOU are complete rubbish, I'm sorry to say. A narcissistic, self-serving snob.
    Not a Bludger
    4th May 2018
    4:31pm
    Oh Lordy me - where on earth did the concept that we, the worker and hence, taxpayer should be giving money for nothing (and incidently tax free) to non workers and then, shock horror, it is either not enough, not indexed, has too few allowances, is too hard to apply for,should be automatic etc.
    Can this laissez faire “utopia” be linked to our poor and falling educational standards?
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    5:35pm
    Agree too many people today want way too much for doing nothing.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    7:07pm
    You're not - the money goes into a communal pot from which all may draw when eligible.. and besides - everyone pays taxes every time they move money. The contribution remains 7.5% of income tax plus levies on other taxation strands as required - according to Bob Menzies (bloody Communist according to you lot)...

    *raises eyebrows and rolls eyes emoticon required and implied*
    Not a Bludger
    4th May 2018
    7:53pm
    Trebor - your incomprehensible comment is rubbish.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    8:27pm
    Not a Bludger and OG, if you had ever experienced genuine disadvantage, you would understand that nothing is as simple as you want to paint it. You have been very fortunate, and you are both ungrateful, uncharitable, and very nasty.

    Very few ask for anything for ''doing nothing''. They ask for help through times of crisis, support to fight a cruel system that denies them fair opportunity, and a fair reward in their winter years for the massive contribution most have made to society over many decades of work and raising children.

    Our society is discriminatory. Many suffer gross injustice. Unfairness is everywhere. Life deals cruel blows to many. The progressive tax system and our welfare system were designed to balance the massive unfairness that allows some to prosper while others get no chance in life. Only the very selfish and self-serving reject the need for progressive tax and a welfare system that allows the disadvantaged self-respect and modest comfort in their time of need.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:40pm
    Obviously you have difficulty with English and with understanding the way the Social Security system has worked from Day One. I've posted the link often enough - go find it.
    Jim
    4th May 2018
    4:46pm
    There are many on this site that want to make this debate around the concept that there is a class warfare system in place in Australia, whereas the debate should be about supporting vulnerable people, welfare should be paid on a needs basis, many pensioners through a variety of reason are struggling as are many of our unemployed, why we can't develop a system that helps the genuinely vulnerable people that are struggling, there are far too many people that are rorting the system, we should be able to identify the rorters and treat them like the criminals they are, we might then be able to support the people that need help the most, it should apply to pensioners and the unemployed equally, I realise that this might seem like a novel idea, but surely an independent group can come up with a system that might work, or am I dreaming?
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    8:20pm
    Yes, you are dreaming, Jim. Needs-based welfare never works. Never has and never will. It's simply not possible to determine who is genuinely needy, much less why.

    When you make welfare needs-based, you give people incentive to appear needy, and you discriminate against those who strive. We have seen a classic example of the failure of needs-based welfare with the assets test change. Now we have self-funded retirees who are much worse off in income terms than pensioners with modest assets and are faced with the choice of slowly draining their savings for the sole benefit of others, or having a big splurge to reduce their assets quickly and enjoyably. It's hardly surprising many are choosing the latter. Why should they forfeit their savings with no personal benefit?

    Another sad example is Newstart. So many find it impossible to get off it because they can't risk taking casual or temporary employment or accepting a job that might not work out for them, because needs-based welfare is withdrawn and then it's just too hard to get it back and to avoid major financial loss as a result of taking a chance.

    We need to restore the concept of reward for effort. If we did that, more people would feel charitable. A charitable attitude is hard when you are suffering unfair deprivation and you see people who are ''needy'' - often due to their own irresponsible choices - prospering at your expense.

    If we encourage and reward people for striving, more will strive. That does not mean we shouldn't be charitable and maintain a strong safety net for the disadvantaged, but it should be extensively restructured to avoid the deterrents to endeavour that currently exist. And step 1 is a universal aged pension, which we should always have maintained. The aged should not have to demonstrate inability to fund a decent lifestyle in their winter years in order to receive the benefit they were promised when paying a tax levy specifically to fund aged pensions.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    9:06pm
    OGR people on Newstart are given a bank of thousands and any work they get reduces this bank and not their Newstart. They can get a job and try it out without reducing their Newstart. Newstart does not stop as soon as you get a job. You can get Newstart for several weeks after you get a job. Many get a job and deplete their bank and then quit their job. They wait for their bank to build up again before getting another job. The cycle then continues.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:42pm
    Hold on, OG -they get working credits, which means that once they get a job, they can get a little relief from the long pain of having been on Unemployment Benefits after reducing their cash to zero before being eligible.

    That means they are more likely to remain in a job - and that's the idea of working credits.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    7:32am
    OG, it's disturbing how the privileged who have never been there and done that concoct stupid rules that they THINK work to achieve certain objectives, but they never bother to investigate how it really works in the real world for the people they falsely claim to be helping. They have no idea at all. Working credits are a joke. They DO NOT allow people to experiment safely with jobs that might not work out, nor to use unsatisfactory casual or temporary work as a building block. They are designed to force people to stay in a job whether it is satisfactory or not. See, the problem with the privileged is they have this stupid notion that the underprivileged should be grateful for crumbs and should accept whatever torture and torment some ''superior'' being deems acceptable. Any job will do! Doesn't matter how harmful it may be to force someone into a job they are totally psychologically unsuited for, or that will cause long-term health problems because of an inherent weakness or past injury... just force the poor sucker into it, pay him bugger all, and treat him like shit because he's down, and you need to make sure he stays there!
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th May 2018
    3:48pm
    OGR beggers can't be choosers.
    Charlie
    4th May 2018
    4:54pm
    It is quite stupid to compare the two as they have a completely different purpose. This is just an attempt to make newstart acceptable a life long bludge.

    The age pension is a permanent benefit.
    Unemployment benefits are temporary and require fortnightly reporting to Centrelink, also can be delayed if reporting is not carried out. Unemployment benefit recipients earning money while getting benefit, also have different parameters.

    The next thing you know some "millenial" who doesn't understand the system will have them linked up.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    8:06pm
    Unfortunately, Charlie, many are finding Newstart is anything but temporary. Have you walked in the shoes of those who struggle to find satisfactory employment, lacking education, skills and self-confidence and fighting a system designed to keep them down? Newstart isn't designed to give anyone a ''new start'' and it doesn't. It needs to be increased to remove the stigma that attaches to receiving it, but more importantly, the rules relating to taking casual, temporary or occasional employment need to be changed so that people are punished for striving to escape the unemployment trap. People need to be allowed to work when they can, earn what they can, and experiment with potentially unsatisfactory employment on a temporary basis without losing so much benefit that they are better off rejecting opportunities.
    TREBOR
    5th May 2018
    7:15am
    Bob Menzies a long time ago said that a person should receive Social Security without any stigma, yet to say the same thing these days gets you labeled a communist, as some do to Mick.

    How this world has turned upside down into one of total selfishness and self-interest. Poor Fellow - My Country.
    leek
    4th May 2018
    4:59pm
    Julia Banks, not Julia Collins
    Charlie
    4th May 2018
    5:00pm
    Don't forget super can be drawn at 55 onwards if a person is not returning to full time employment.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:19pm
    Yeah spend it all and then you will have to claim a pension.
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    7:57pm
    Or save it and be worse off than if you hadn't! The system is STUFFED! Only a bunch of moronic, heartless idiots could conceive a system as bad as the tax/welfare system in Australia today.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    5th May 2018
    7:37am
    Actually you can have a full time job and draw down your super at 55. It was recently changed to 60 so check. If you are haven't meet a condition of release your super is still taxed at 15%. What people are doing is getting a second job and leaving it so they meet a condition of release and their super is then not taxed.
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    6:28pm
    We have discussed this topic so many times and here we go again with those who are agreeing with keeping people in poverty and those who can see how hard it is. One thing is people on Newstart spend all their money, it goes to rent (investors), shops (business), electricity (power companies) etc. Paying rent is the biggest chunk and it has risen dramatically over the last 5-10 years depending on where you live, this see's many becoming homeless and then not being able to sleep properly, eat properly, keep motivated and positive while expected to seek work that is not there for many. I am scared of the future for most young people who never had it as good as we all did when jobs were plentiful and immigration was not so many. Sustainable Australia Party has some good ideas about making it better for all and I hope they get some seats in the next election. Curbing immigration to a lower level, Universal pension for all, and dropping back the retirement age to 65 so young people can get a good start in life, otherwise we will see drugs and crime keep increasing, domestic violence increasing and homeless people everywhere. Stop turning a blind eye to what is happening to Australia becoming more like USA, I am guessing Turnbull recently got some more ideas of Trump to keep the poor down and keep feeding the rich. This governement is influenced by international companies, over 40% of political donations of 200,000 or more come from overseas. Who is really running the country?
    Anonymous
    4th May 2018
    8:00pm
    Sadly, nobody with a brain and a heart could argue with you musicveg Australians ought to be ashamed of the way this country is treating its citizens. Far too easy to blame the unemployed for their plight, but if you've never walked in their shoes, you cannot possibly begin to understand the challenges they face. The system is designed to keep them down, and it does so very effectively. Then the privileged and the law-makers encourage all of us to shun and blame the victims of their cruelty.

    Now we are seeing the Business Council of Australia raising mega-millions to ensure the LNP retains power after the next election. Why? So they can benefit from tax cuts that they, themselves, admit will do NOTHING for the majority but will only load the hoards of gold stored by the rich in overseas tax havens.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    9:08pm
    It is good to see the Business Council of Australia supporting the government as the company tax needs to be 15% not 30%. Government will the have oodles of cash and may even be able to reduce that big debt.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:44pm
    BCA? Wouldn't give them a glass of hot water in a Victorian bushfire during a heat wave.....

    Who the hell are they to attempt to dictate policy? A tiny minority self-interest group with only ONE point of view among many.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    7:21am
    OG, the BCA admits that company tax cuts will DO NOTHING for workers or the budget, but will only benefit the rich. Asked to identify a single country where company tax cuts benefited workers, the head of the BCA remained silent and looked deeply embarrassed. It's dollars for the 1%, and only a gullible fool would support it. But then, you make no sense at all. You agree that the assets test change made it futile for many to save and better for them to divest assets, yet you still support it - FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL EXCEPT MEANNESS. Bottom line is that you apparently support anything that appears to benefit the rich or hurt the less well-off. Pure snobbery, and nothing more!
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    7:24am
    The problem, Trebor, is that they have access to huge amounts of money - accrued from tax avoidance and refusing to pay fair wages - and they are using it to get their way. And sadly a lot of people are swallowing their self-serving lies.

    How disgraceful that money accrued by cheating the Australian people can be used to buy political influence.
    Foxy
    4th May 2018
    8:25pm
    144 Comments! Spare me please! Same old peeps "banging on and on" .... and on .................do you really think anyone cares what is "posted" on here? lol
    musicveg
    4th May 2018
    8:30pm
    I think you would be surprised who is reading these comments Foxy. I think it is great people are having discussions, keeps the mind active and the thought process working. I learn a lot from these forums.
    Old Geezer
    4th May 2018
    9:09pm
    Just some good bedtime reading so enjoy it.
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:45pm
    I've seen ideas and even sentences posted online come up in political speeches - could be coincidence..... but I can assure you that political staffers read this so as to get a feel for the pulse of the people.. if there is any pulse left....
    TREBOR
    4th May 2018
    10:46pm
    Dang - just passed a police entrance examination with a score of 100%.... goodee me...
    VeryCaringBigBear
    5th May 2018
    7:41am
    Company tax is too high on Australia and that is the reason why we have so many companies not paying tax here but shifting their tax liability to a country with lower taxes. WE are no longer an isolated economy but part of a world economy so if we want them to pay tax here we have to make it attractive for them to do so. If our company tax was lower we would actually collect more tax revenue not less so it's a goid move to lower company tax rates.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    2:19pm
    VGB, our company tax rate is lower than almost any other nation in the world when you calculate correctly. The problem is that other countries separate levies and charges that we include. Both the BCA and the LNP have admitted company tax cuts will deliver NO benefit to the nation, but will benefit the top 1% only.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2018
    6:06pm
    It aint low enough for companies to pay their tax here though.
    Marian
    5th May 2018
    3:38am
    The social security is not any more security more corrupt idiots in the system more problems to the citizence the children's family the sick the age pensioners the all Parliaments members the psychotic disorder is time for all working Australian to act against the Politician gangrene & the family who is life on blood innocent victim rude inhuman governments paranoia The stiling all from citizence for them self & all the time ask for more the is not control .
    TREBOR
    5th May 2018
    7:17am
    Agree with your sentiment.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2018
    2:01pm
    Couldn’t understand that sentence . Try using punctuations
    None
    5th May 2018
    9:57am
    I don’t agree a rise in rental assistance for pensioners who are paying the mortgage of a family members home and having another single member who is getting a single pension all living in the same home how are they going to police that one .
    Chris B T
    5th May 2018
    2:11pm
    When you quote Money's received and paid out please Quote All Benefits Received.
    Eg, my rent is $350 per week than not quote Rental Assistance is a folly, moreover a distortion of the truth. Conveniently to leave out Rental Assistance to make your situation worse than what it is. (Although not Ideal, homeowners don't receive such payments but are quoted to be better off.)
    micky
    5th May 2018
    4:03pm
    newstart and the age pension rates need to be similar to the basic adult wage
    Ms Logik
    5th May 2018
    10:11pm
    Agree.
    Marian
    6th May 2018
    3:47am
    The system is abuse pensioners all life the whith disability stiling tax disregard all United nations law ,International law lie & bully from election to election
    Justsane
    6th May 2018
    6:13pm
    Sundays, Just to pick up on a point that you mentioned. that young people don’t want to stand for hours in retail. I know what I am saying is a bit off topic, but why oh why do retail employees have to stand all the time? Could they not do their jobs just as well, and far more comfortably if they were given seats at the checkouts or behind the counters? In other countries, these employees are able to sit down. My auntie worked in shops in England all her working life until she came to Australia in 1966 (52 years ago now) aged 53, and discovered they did not give shop assistants seats here. Not much has changed half a century later. I feel so sorry for them, especially the ones who have to stand for hours in the front of some shops and greet the customers. Why is it necessary for employers to treat their staff this way, when a simple chair would make all the difference?
    musicveg
    6th May 2018
    6:33pm
    Employers don't have as much respect for their employee's anymore, there are many other things in the workforce that need to be fixed too.
    Crazy Horse
    7th May 2018
    4:26pm
    I was retrenched at 59 and owing to age discrimination have been unable to find another position. I'm now 63 and faced with the awful reality of trying to survive on $270 a week for over two more years.

    My savings are all gone. I get paid on Monday. I buy basic food, put a bit of petrol in the car that is way overdue for service and some TLC and pay what bills I can from the remainder. The money is all gone by Tuesday, that's one day a fortnight I have money.

    I have no money for anything. I can't go anywhere that costs money so I sit at home except for when I am forced to attend a fortnightly humiliation session at the for profit (non) job provider to be lectured by a kid barely out of nappies on my "lifestyle".
    musicveg
    7th May 2018
    6:22pm
    So sad to hear your story, these stories need to come out. So many in your position. If you pay rent you are even worse off. The little rent assistance does help a little but is way off the mark of rising rents. The job providers are not even trained properly, what do they even do that you can't do yourself, it is a totally disaster. You are lucky you have only two years to wait, others have a lot longer and if we don't fight, we may even see a longer wait. Someone on this forum mentioned a facebook page: Centrelink: living on low income,tips, hints and living frugally. You might at least get some ideas and support from here,I don't do facebook so have not had a look at it.
    Aussie
    7th May 2018
    9:49pm
    It is easy to cut pensions and reduce the entitlements and increase the retirement age ...yes that is easy and we pensioners pay for everything ...... what a joke ...

    Do you know about Coal giant Glencore has perhaps the most tortuously complex corporate structure in Australia. ????? and they own billion of dollars in taxes the same with Google and Facebook and many other US companies .... ridiculous and disgusting that US operations in our country taking advantage of us and nobody has done anything for years ....TEXACO is another and I can name many more US capitalist companies taking advantage of us ..... but hey we pensioners get penalized and I believe is unfair ....and a total shit but we thanks USA for their help and territorial support .... WE PAY FOR THAT BIG MONEY and manpower IS not free ....

    Read about Glencore here ....

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/company-news/australia%E2%80%99s-no-1-tax-dodger-revealed/ar-AAwRZya?li=AAgfYrC
    musicveg
    7th May 2018
    9:57pm
    You are right Aussie, Australia is getting totally ripped off, and many US companies keeping their shareholders in the money. When the Government parties are getting donations from all these companies you wonder who is running this country. Why they continue to not get tax owed by multi-national companies is beyond belief, rather take it from the pensioners, hospitals, education etc. Lets see what promises they make in the Budget while the hide the real truth. Time to take your votes elsewhere, try Sustainable Australia Party or other smaller party.
    musicveg
    8th May 2018
    1:39am
    This is what 30 years of corporate control over our politics and economy has given us:

    The top 1% now control as much wealth as the bottom 70% of Australians combined.
    Company profits skyrocketed 32% in the last two years, while real wages moved just 0.03%.
    Over 1.8 million Australians are willing and able to work - but either don't have a job or don't have enough hours.
    25.3% of the Australian workforce are trapped in casual jobs, and an entire generation has never known the right to take a paid sick day.
    Adrianus
    9th May 2018
    12:21pm
    25.3% of the Australian workforce are trapped in casual jobs, and an entire generation has never known the right to take a paid sick day.

    Why is that a problem?
    musicveg
    9th May 2018
    1:08pm
    If you cannot see the problem Adrianus then you are ignorant of those who live day by day without security of proper full time jobs, better pay and conditions.
    Possum
    8th May 2018
    12:21pm
    Try finding 20 jobs a fortnight in a regional town, anywhere in Australia, the CESSATION was a lot better hand all the overseas job provider companies put together and there were a lot more apprenticeships readily available, not now businesses are encouraged to bring in "skilled" workers from other countries
    Possum
    8th May 2018
    12:24pm
    The word was supposed to be CES in Commonwealth Employment Service not profit driven job providers
    KB
    9th May 2018
    12:41pm
    There are genuine families doing it tough .There are people who are retrenched. Majority have families to support. I agree with an increase to cover the cost of living. That includes disability pension. For older folk who rely only on the Aged Pension to live it needs to increase significantly. It is great that the government wants to people stay in their own home rather than a nursing home but services cost money so thus the need for a major increase,
    musicveg
    21st Jul 2018
    3:20pm
    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.
    Aussie
    21st Jul 2018
    3:30pm
    Thanks good article