Welfare talks need to be inclusive of all

Both sides of politics seem to be missing the point when it comes to welfare.

Welfare stamp

Malcolm Turnbull last week promised a “fair and compassionate” welfare overhaul, but Bill Shorten thinks it’s just another chance to “kick the poor old pensioner”.

Australia’s welfare system, especially for those who can and should be looking for work, has been under the spotlight of late. Just last week it was revealed that, despite promises of a crackdown, those who flouted the rules were not being penalised. And while Treasurer Scott Morrison believes the Government is being successful in “chipping away at the welfare system,” Opposition leader Bill Shorten maintains that trying to “kick the poor old pensioner” is simply a tactic to distract attention from the Government’s trials of the last few weeks.

Speaking to reporters in Wollongong last week, Mr Shorten said, “Malcolm Turnbull has a lot to say about the jobs of bank CEOs or dotcom start-up tech companies, but what about everyday jobs for the people who can’t find them?

“The Government is trying to distract from their own problems and so what do they do? They decide to kick the poor old pensioner, they decide to demonise everyone who receives a pension and put them all in the sin bin.”

The Opposition leader also believes that by getting its priorities right and dumping the proposed company tax cuts, the Government could save taxpayer funds.

“We’re not going to just allow the Government to pick on the pensioner when they’re handing away truckloads of money to the big end of town,” he said.

Scott Morrison voiced his frustration at the Labor Party’s seeming keenness to keep the welfare system rather than incentivise people to escape. Perhaps in reference to Government figures revealed in The Australian that in 2014-15 the top 10 per cent of those on parenting benefits received at least $45,032, Mr Morrison said, “It is a crying shame that some Australians would have to take a pay cut to get a job in this country because of the way our welfare system works.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that incentivising people was the best way to provide support.  “We’re dealing with people’s lives here, we’ve got to ensure that we’re providing the right level of support, we’re doing so in a fair and compassionate way but equally that Australia’s welfare system is providing incentives for people to work because the best form of social welfare is a job,” he told 3AW radio.

“The system should always work so as to incentivise people to go into employment.”

Read more at TheAustralian.com.au

Opinion: Missing the point

Yet again both sides of politics seem to be missing the point when it comes to welfare support – it’s not just about those on the parenting payment and the young who can't find work – what about those who are destined to struggle on an Age Pension?

While the Government bangs on about innovation and creating jobs, what about the jobs that have been lost? Technology and innovation in which Mr Turnbull is so very keen to invest, is the very thing that is killing the jobs on which many people rely.

The car industry has been decimated in Australia and the manufacturing industry is all but gone. Looking to the future is great, but for many retrenched workers over 50, the future isn't too bright. When you have worked in the same industry for 30 years or more, retraining or adapting your skills isn't a walk in the park That’s assuming that there are employment opportunities for them once they do. And it’s not just the opportunity to work that is lost – gone is any hope of being able to save for retirement, as well as the likelihood of ever being able to pay off a mortgage, or escape the rent trap.

For those who lose their jobs in later life, welfare is often the only path. Very few will reach retirement age with a super balance that can sustain an income for the rest of their lives. So what then? Well, the Age Pension beckons.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Age Pension is simply not enough to live on, especially if you don't own your own home. Try paying rent or even a small mortgage on a full Age Pension of $22,804 – I can assure you, it wouldn't be easy.

And when Bill Shorten chooses to use sound bites such as “kick the poor old pensioner”, he should at least ensure that it’s actually the “poor old pensioner” he’s talking about. In fact, when we talk about the welfare system being in disarray, the scope of the discussion needs to be broadened to include more than just working parents or young people who are struggling to find work. It needs to be a full review of the impact that not being able to work has on you at any age.

What do you think? Is the discussion on welfare too narrow? Do you think enough opportunities are there for those who want to work? Is enough being done to support older workers?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Fredklaus
    31st Oct 2016
    10:27am
    nothing that our prime minister says is worth listening as he only a anouncer.not a policy maker
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:25pm
    Really. I would have thought that the direction Turnbull and his cronies would be as clear as mud.
    Tax cuts for the wealthy, new taxes for everybody else, pensioners hit hard, Medicare savaged yet again, etc. This is not an exhaustive list and people need to wise up about who the winners and losers are under the current regime. It's not rocket science.
    Thterbl
    31st Oct 2016
    10:27am
    The delusion of populist rabble-rousers is that those not being paid by a businessman are unemployed. Carers and those raising children are making a significant contribution to the economy and, more importantly, to the welfare of society generally. Furthermore, the futile search for employment when jobseekers massively outnumber vacancies only generates despair and dangerous anger. ( Hitler and Stalin rose to power on the back of the 1930's GFC.) The whole system of distribution of wealth and economic power is deeply flawed.
    For starters we need land tenure reform and a guaranteed minimum wage.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:13pm
    Javol Herr Capitan :-)
    grounded
    31st Oct 2016
    12:48pm
    @ Thterbl. The reality is 'businessmen' are the wealth creators....like it or not. Free enterprise creates wealth...money doesn't grown on 'socialist' money trees.

    A guaranteed minimum wage can only be achieved if a prosperous 'capitalist' system is in place. Doubt me...go and talk to an everyday Chinaman or Russian...or better still, an unemployed Venezuelan currently standing in a food or petrol line.....

    Next time you see a 'business' man...go down on your hands and knees, and give thanks that he exists.

    Without him, there will be NO wealth to distribute...or re-distribute. Very similar to all lefty 'systems' of the last 95 years....
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:23pm
    grounded - I believe he said the DISTRIBUTION OF wealth and economic power was flawed... I didn't see him slinging off at business per se - just at the distribution of wealth etc..... that accompanies business more and more.

    One such deep flaw is the heedless rush to 'privatise' everything for the benefit of a few wealthy shareholders - who, along with their government mates and lackeys, feel somehow entitled to make easy money off the backs of those who actually OWN public utilities etc.

    If you reckon that ain't a faulty distribution of wealth - there is always SpecSavers (though I get my glasses from California cheaper and better)....
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:26pm
    Oh - and China is THE prime example of absolute power in the hands of a self-appointed elite - who are not 'socialist' in any way - but are rampantly 'capitalist' in the vein of the 19th Century Robber Barons.

    Your average Chinese may be relatively socialist - those with their hands on the reins are using every asset of the State to generate wealth for self and family first and foremost.

    I've long stated that simple reality, and pointed out that our own politicians and business people drool at the mouth thinking of how much they could make with absolute control over every asset of this State..... and the proof is right there in the pudding we are all having forced down our throats.

    Think long and hard, people - we are headed for more revolutionary times ahead.. and a lot more besides.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    1:42pm
    Nonetheless TREBOR, I'll carry a Bucket Full of Rose Petals now, to Shower on 'Businessmen' whenever I encounter them :-) :-)
    grounded
    31st Oct 2016
    1:48pm
    I take...and partially accept your point Trebor - the 'capitalist' system isn't without flaw....BUT.....(I'll leave it at that)
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    1:55pm
    Socialism - where some are more 'equal' than others!
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:24pm
    Capitalism Unbound - where some are definitely more 'equal' than others. You should be wary of assuming Orwell's work was only about Communism (not socialism). It has applications across the board.... (and the bored)....
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:28pm
    Thterbl: I would have thought showing the LACK of real jobs at a time when the Treasurer and PM are crowing (lying) about a plentiful supply is the real issue. They can run but they should never be permitted to hide.
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    5:04pm
    KSS it might help you understand Orwell if you read his recount "The Road to Wigan Pier" in which he lived with retired miners in poverty.

    Some of the photos are very sad.

    That was the last time income inequality and wealth distribution got out of wack because some people believe they worked harder or better than others and so deserved much much more.

    It's that belief in superiority that causes the very bad stuff to happen.

    Time after time after time.
    Not Senile Yet!
    31st Oct 2016
    10:37am
    They are All Talk and the only action is to penalised those doing it tough!
    Meanwhile Party Puppet MP's are chamfer Ingrid.Glaister@originenergy.com.au their pets around the country at taxpayer'subsidisng expense....and let'stand not talk about secret trade deals that allow more & more exports being dumped in Oz....by Corporate Empires who double their money yet pay No Tax....and employ very few!
    Time to Vote these CORRUPT PARTY PUPPETS & AND THEIR PARTIES INTO OBLIVION!
    Stop Voting for these Self Interest Idiots....who are simply Cardboard Cut-Outs...or "Its all about Me Personalities".
    Sack the Lot...Vote Independant....and remove their control on Power!
    As for the Liberal Party.....they are now controlled by Extreme Right Factions in control of their Caucus....who we don'the even elected....but control/own the Puppet MP's!
    Hitler was an Extreme Right Winger....who said one thing the did another when in Power...ring a bell???
    Stop Voting for them...they are Masters of Propaganda....and can'take lie straight even when in bed!
    Get them OUT of OUR PARLIAMENT....by simply NOT VOTING FOR THEM!
    Misty
    31st Oct 2016
    11:14am
    Thats ok to say don't vote for them but unfortunately we have to put up with them for another 3 years and by the way a vote for some of ther x bench is a vote for the LIBS anyway, B Day,D Lyonhelm, P Hanson, just to name a few.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:08pm
    GOODNESS !! Now there's a couple of Not so Happy Little Vegemite's :-( :-(
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:29pm
    If voters were not for the most part stupid that is exactly what they would do. Sadly voters choose not to be informed and rely on media to tell them. Given that media is owned by the big end of town what does one expect.
    Paddles
    1st Nov 2016
    9:43am
    MICK
    "Sadly voters choose not to be informed and rely on media to tell them."
    Enlighten me please by outlining your sources of information that do not constitute "media" in some form. I would like to play with you on a level field.
    kev888
    31st Oct 2016
    11:08am
    Again Pension is an entitlement each individual has paid for in
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:37pm
    Not it's welfare because some of those who have paid for it don't get it. An entitlement means that everyone gets it so it's not an entitlement at all. It is a welfare payment to stop old people from living in real poverty.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Oct 2016
    12:53pm
    Yes, it is an entitlement. It says so in the Act that if a person qualifies they then become ENTITLED to welfare or old age pension payments. That's the definition in the Act. Read it!
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:54pm
    Nope the OAP is welfare and nothing more.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Oct 2016
    1:00pm
    Frog-shit ! OG
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:31pm
    Instead of carrying on like nobs maybe we should look to overseas countries who DO have a pension and who DO have free medical care.
    The problem with us Australians is that we only look at our own backyard and that we listen to the (not) free Press owned by the big end of town and you therefore only get a partisan view of the facts.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2016
    6:02pm
    Here we go again, I'll type this slowly some of you can absorb it.
    Both sides of this issue are correct....The OAP is WELFARE and you are ENTITLED to it if you qualify because it is enshrined in legislation. As such you are entitled to the amount stipulated by the Govt of the day.
    You may not like it, but that's the way it is, always has been, and probably always will be, the only thing that may change is the amount and restrictions.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    6:09pm
    So all you OAPs out their you need to call a spade a spade.
    MICK
    1st Nov 2016
    12:10am
    Entitlement Knowall! There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza dear Liza.....
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2016
    8:30pm
    Incorrect - the definition of welfare and social security are entire different... and your argument, RK - is clear reason why we, as taxpayers and contributors to the social security pile for life, should have that pile more clearly delineated and able to provide a decent living for those who piled it up .... rather than those who piled it up on the politics freeway......
    Retired Knowall
    5th Nov 2016
    11:36am
    The OAP comes out of the WELFARE BUCKET.
    It's an ENTITLEMENT but it's still WELFARE.
    It is available to those that have paid tax through their working life AND those that have never had a job.
    wheels
    31st Oct 2016
    11:13am
    Under the Jan 1 2017 regs I'm a part pensioner by about 10%. Lucky me. Thanks to this change I have to make ends meet after retiring and now my wife 2 years ago with what I regard as a retrospective change.
    Just to make it interesting my super pension has lost money over the last 2 1/2 months. I'm heading for the full pension at which point...after a lifetime of saving....will see me poor. I should have spent it.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    11:54am
    You Should Have !! :-) :-)
    Before its all Stolen :-(
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:42pm
    All that has happen is the line in the sand has been redrawn.
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    12:56pm
    Only for some OG. The elite and the politician sycophants have not had any redrawing of lines yet.

    I suspect it will come for them eventually after they totally break the current unequal wealth distribution cycle.

    They keep doing it time after time without learning the lesson.

    What goes around comes around. That included money.And poverty.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Oct 2016
    12:58pm
    If a line in the sand was redrawn that affects your life, your living Old Geezer you would be squeeling like a pig !
    Mad as Hell
    31st Oct 2016
    1:10pm
    OG the line in the sand was drawn while we in the air.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    2:22pm
    Nope they can draw the line anywhere as it will not effect me at all as I pay taxes not collect from the government.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:26pm
    Ah - then you collect and have collected through tax concessions... maybe we should scrap the lot and start again..... retrospectively...
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:33pm
    Your line in the sand has also bee redrawn for taxation Geezer. The rich are getting tax cuts, multinationals are not required to pay any if they choose not to and the rest of the nation gets tax increases. Tell me about lines in the sand.
    Farside
    31st Oct 2016
    4:18pm
    Not hearing any squealing from the 50,000 additional Australians receive the full Age Pension following the Jan 2017 redrawing of the line in the sand.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:23pm
    Me neither Brian. The only ones squealing are those who don't need it but it is nice to have. The party is over come January 2017 and about time too.
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    5:14pm
    If it is necessary I agree OG but it seems a fair few are not having the tax payer funded bowl taken away even though they don't need it and we can't afford it.

    A bit of fairness in the paying the costs of the total mismanagement would make all happier I suspect.

    Like the maserati garaged so the CEO can drive from the airstrip twice a year and we paid for it.

    Or the multi millionaire getting tax rebates for super when she earns 7.8 mil.

    It's nice but they don't need it do they.

    And don't tell me they deserve it cause they work so hard and pay taxes as it won't wash any longer now we hard workers that paid a whole heap of tax don't need our concessions 'cause we can't afford them no longer.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:25pm
    Big difference Rae in that one is fully paid for by the taxpayer and the other by that person's employer or themselves.

    OAP is welfare designed to keep old people out of poverty not to pamper them in their old age. If it is not needed it is pampering.
    Greg
    1st Nov 2016
    8:42pm
    wheels you need to use your assets and as they reduce your OAP will increase....simple
    Baby Huey
    31st Oct 2016
    11:14am
    Both Turnbull and Shorten and their political parties do not give a rats arse about older Australians. Successive demographic studies over the past 40 years studies have predicted accurately the situation Australia is now in. Hockey first and now Morrison have a campaign of discredit and degradation of older Australians which, in my view, is not unlike Hitler's treatment of the Jews. Hitler even had a policy in the late 1930's to euthanise anyone over 70 as they were considered to be longer of any use. Perhaps this may be a policy for consideration by the Labor and Liberal parties to resolve the aging issue.
    All governments and political parties are corrupt only some are more corrupt than others. Both the major parties are without a doubt corrupt.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:31pm
    Nah - just keep 'em in harness longer and hope more of them fall off the trees along the way to pension age...

    And Gillard put that in motion.....

    There is no forgiveness for either 'side' of the two-ring Tag Team we suffer under in Australian politics. They should all be booted out without any pay, and a new government put in place for the people first and foremost.
    Cassius
    31st Oct 2016
    11:31am
    Getting rid of the double dipping on the PPL would save a fortune, in fact why do we need a PPL scheme?
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:34pm
    I personally believe PPL and childcare are the responsibility of parents - and do not properly constitute part of the Social Security contract.

    As I've said before - the core issues of Social Security are Pensions (Aged and DSP), Unemployment Benefits, and support for POOR families** and for children.

    ** a 'family' can be anything from a single person to a mixed lot the concept is that since each is a discrete 'unit' it should be treated equally. Allowing dual income families with children to sustain that double income is detrimental to the single person families, since it makes it nigh impossible for them to compete in any meaningful way in terms of purchasing power and economic power overall.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:36pm
    Although I am biased Cassius I agree. If women want families then they need to not work or else work part time for the first 5 years of their children's lives.
    PPL is little more than genY expecting everybody else to pay for the upbringing of their children. Is that how obscene society has become? I'd rather be seeing this money go into health.
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    3:11pm
    MICK I had no trouble working full time after the birth of each of my three kids and thank goodness I did as my husband was killed suddenly and at least I had a full time job which saved us all from a life of poverty.

    I shared my income with another mother who baby sat for me.

    It worked pretty well as in those years of wage sharing I learnt to budget very well indeed.

    Then started businesses to make extra income as the kids grew and costs increased.

    My kids did not suffer, never knew any different and are now well adjusted workers themselves doing nicely and we are a close family.

    Women may very well love to stay home with their kids but it isn't necessary for the development of the child at all in my experience.

    There was no childcare rebates or tax deductions back then nor PPL either. If you wanted kids you saved for them and went without other things.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:14pm
    At least one parent should stay at home and raise the kids. Why have them for someone else to raise?
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    5:22pm
    Maybe OG because historically that was how it was after we were convinced by some greedy sod to leave off hunting and gathering for a couple of hours a day and work dawn to dusk in the fields to keep him in silks and satins.

    Even his kids were minded by a nursery maid and sent away at age 5 to learn at the feet of another.

    If one parent should stay home then prices should drop by 50% so that it doesn't take two people to earn the same purchasing power as one did decades ago.

    Prices keep on rising but wages stay down don't they. More greedy sods that want fancy toys and houses in half a dozen cities.

    It never has hurt kids to be raised by community and it never will.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:59pm
    No wonder we have such problems with society today with kids being raised by the community and not by their parents.
    MICK
    1st Nov 2016
    12:08am
    Rae: I am a bit tough on women who rort and whine about their wants but I admire you for being hard working and being a contributing Australian. Not sure there is too many of these left.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2016
    8:35pm
    "If one parent should stay home then prices should drop by 50% so that it doesn't take two people to earn the same purchasing power as one did decades ago."

    Rae - I see you see my point clearly about the MADIF - its very existence creates an environment in which costs of living rise to meet it, placing those who are not in a MADIF clearly in the category of second class citizens.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    11:45am
    Dear Old Age Pensioners.
    You are now on the Dole !! Get off Your Lazy Butts and get out to Work :-)
    The Emperor..:-)
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:35pm
    Now I know that one was tongue in cheek..... some of your other posts.... hmmmm... running the wire there a bit....
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    2:06pm
    Id hate to overstep that Line in the Sand up there a bit !! :-)
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    2:25pm
    TREBOR.. Some of these are meant to poke fun at :-) Nothing in the Foreseeable Future will ever change for Old Age Pensioners, I for One have given up hope and just live with what I have on the time I have left !! I My only regret is that I was not a TAX AVOIDER in the past :-( :-(
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:28pm
    I'll go with that last one.....
    thommo
    31st Oct 2016
    11:52am
    Both political parties are down on the age pensioners, and both are responsible for increasing the wealth gap between rich and poor.
    Labor now says the Turnbull wants to kick the poor old pensioners, when Shorten is just as much to blame for the situation as the government. For instance, Shorten and Labor refuse to support reversal of the assets test, which is about to stuff up the retirement of about a million part-age pensioners.
    The politicians of all sides can expect a 'Brexit' moment at the election. They're all mongrels.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:00pm
    "Not a Poor Old Pensioner in Sight"
    But its Extremely hard to kick your own self in the Backside :-(
    But no worries, the Government will do that for You :-)
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:37pm
    So let's have an anti Shorten attack when it is Turnbull and his cronies cutting pensions. Never let the facts get in the way of political advertising eh.
    Farside
    31st Oct 2016
    4:26pm
    There will be no "Brexit" moment in Australia ... too many rusted on voters. It requires a leap to action if people want change - Abbott says there are only 8,000 members in the Liberal Party; imagine what would happen if 80,000 pensioners joined the party and started voting for change and deciding who was preselected.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:57pm
    Auxit from the preferred trading deals that do nothing for us, but everything for the middle men?

    We want out of the Greater South East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere....... (look it up)...... and to go our own way... Sinn Fein!! Ourselves Alone!
    gumtree
    31st Oct 2016
    11:59am
    We can help the pensioners by diverting funds from our politicians! Stop the double dipping (paid an exorbitant pension on top of a salary) of the likes of Joe Hockey (also gets his kids looked after by taxpayer funds), Phillip Ruddock (the 'envoy) and that other louse that has his dogs chauffeured around. A level playing field would be a good place to start.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    2:38pm
    There will always be rules for some and (different) rules for others.
    musicveg
    1st Nov 2016
    12:40am
    I agree gumtree, why do they get a pension even if they are still working once they leave politics? This is greed to the max. Cut off polie pensions who have enough money behind them and/or are working. Same rules for everyone would be fair.

    31st Oct 2016
    12:01pm
    Yes, the Age Pension IS an entitlement and for the government to penalise retirees to make up for their inept economic policies and financial mis-management and to continue to receive their grossly over-generous salaries and retirement benefits is not only unfair, inequitable, and greedy, but SINFUL!
    There ARE jobs for people who are WILLING AND ABLE to work, instead of sitting on their arses and collecting taxpayer-paid for welfare. Yes, there are genuine cases of people unable to work, and always will be, but THERE ARE deadarse no hope bludgers, as well, and these are the ones who should be targeted and have their benefits STOPPED! Now some people will say this will increase crime and THIS argument is, indeed, a very weak one. This government needs to get some balls and DO SOMETHING to START action to tighten up this pathetic welfare payment system. Most of the politicians are accepting their wages under the false pretences of doing something for them and this is stealing, no matter how you look at or interpret their non-actions.
    Turnbull does nothing but yabble and prattle. This guy has not done ONE positive thing since being the PM. He is out of touch with reality, cares about no one but the wealthy, and has no vision, policy, or real interest in this country nor it's residents. Absolutely pathetic and tragic for the country.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:11pm
    Another Happy Customer !!:-) :-)
    B J
    31st Oct 2016
    1:33pm
    Fast Eddie. I didnt get a chance to thank you on your advise on financial planners last week. I do so now , thank you very much , Im planning to follow that up.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    4:22pm
    B J, you are more than welcome. I hope things work out very well for you. May all your life's ambitions be attained. Good luck.
    Farside
    31st Oct 2016
    4:31pm
    The age pension is only an entitlement if and only if the prospective pensioner is eligible and qualified. There is no automatic and unqualified right to an age pension.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:59pm
    That is the entire reason behind the mooted changes, Brian - to amend the current situation wherein many get buggar all and others get heaps and enjoy the fat. Pay everyone a Pension at Pension age and tax all income and fringe benefits over and above that at Income Tax scale rates....

    That'll slow down a few of these million dollar a year 'super' fiends.... and all of our politicians..... who will find it ever so hard to live the same way as the other 99.9%......

    Cry me a river...............
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    5:06pm
    BriBri, you are not telling ANYONE ANYTHING we didn't already know.
    johnp
    31st Oct 2016
    12:17pm
    Problem is the pollies and their perks, CEOs, upper management etc with their exorbitant salaries, retirement benefits, bonuses etc have added unreasonably to the costs and sucked all the money out; so its problematic to be world competitive, just couple examples is in the auto industry, sol trujilo in telecoms
    Hawkeye
    31st Oct 2016
    2:29pm
    Agree, but it is made much worse when you consider that these people are the decision-makers in our society.
    Because societies are always doomed when their decision-makers income/wealth rises above the level where they feel the effects of their decisions.

    Think of Nero and Rome for example, or Marie Antoinette (or Marie-Thérèse 130 years before) with "let them eat cake", or Joe Hockey with "let them drink lattes" and countless other historical examples of the decline of society due to over-wealthy decision-makers.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    3:10pm
    It's interesting that you lay all of the blame of the moribund motor industry on politicians and bosses johnp. The attached reference gives an insight into what may have killed the motor industry and I urge you to examine the role of the unions in this. I'm not trying to absolve the politicians and bosses but what the unions have done over many years to the motor industry has done more damage than any other group.
    https://www.ipa.org.au/library/publication/1354745972_document_061212_submission_-_auto_paper.pdf
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    3:50pm
    Unions stop the big end of town turning workers into poverty stricken slaves whilst the top end of town gets the rewards of the nation. Unions have a purpose and are not in existence simply to make life difficult foe employers Old Man. You would understand that.
    Despite their shortcomings give me a union any day compared to rule by the rich. America and China, amongst others, would clarify why this is a preferable situation.
    With regard to the car industry sure it was costing us money. But then Australia does not pay third world wages so how can it never by competitive? But what it does/did was to provide jobs and to stimulate our economy and this is what governments should be doing. Not throwing tens of thousands of workers onto dole queues. This will cost more in unemployment benefits than the subsidies did and the economy will be hurt. Such is the stupidity of this rich man's government which cannot see the results of its bad decisions and can only ever push for greater returns for the big end of town. Never changes. Jobs and growth!!!!!!
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    4:29pm
    You and I are on the same page MICK, as I have said here before, all of my working life I was a member of a union. My point is that the workers for Ford, Holden and Toyota had a huge benefit when compared with other workers in Australia as did the union itself. Did you read any of the link I provided?

    And I'm over hearing about Turnbull's best mate; Jobson Grothe.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2016
    4:54pm
    Jobs and Growth = jobs in the unemployment industry and growth in the numbers of unemployed.
    Still looking for the smilies on this website but glad we are on the same page. Never thought you were a patriot so might need to rewrite the journal.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    5:04pm
    Yes - subsidies to car building cost money - the government recouped around 30% of the fortnightly input every pay day - plus! Then they recoup some of it with every purchase put forward by the car workers..... as I explained about Ballsup Baird selling out train building to South Korea for thirty percent of silver.... on payday every fortnight the Fed would recoup 30% in income tax plus the other taxation - and a large percentage of that would filter back to NSW, thus obviating the 'loss' from paying Australian workers to keep OUR economy going....

    Mind you - if South Korea is not strong, the North will over-run it and then Little Man Bad Haircut will be knocking on the door of Darwin... if the Chinese up there allow him in....
    Crimmo
    31st Oct 2016
    12:17pm
    Reintroduce capital punishment and get rid of 90% of our prison population, which is a huge welfare burden. Anyone given more than two years imprisonment should be executed for their crimes.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:25pm
    O DEAR !! Or at least be placed in the Stocks for us to get rid of Unwanted "Best Before" Vegetable's !!
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    12:39pm
    Crimmo, I agree with you. The crime rate is directly proportional to the penalty of the offence, and most of the time there is not only a very lenient penalty, but none at all, unless you want to call community service or good behaviour bond a "penalty". The law is not as much of an ass as are the magistrates' and judges' "sentences". WHAT A BAD JOKE!!
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:40pm
    Also allow those who wish to die with dignity.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    1:30pm
    Great idea crimmo, most of this human scum can't be rehabilitated
    anyway, total waste of money trying to
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:42pm
    Does that include people who are convicted of assaulting police by allowing their boots to come in contact with his ribs etc, a 'crime' for which five years is possible?

    In this era of 'created criminals' and loose laws and even looser handling of the Rule of Law by the 'courts' here - anyone, any time can be turned into a 'criminal' requiring more than two years prison.

    Once you had such a regime in place - any dissidents can be easily fitted up and disposed of - as is done in China - where a dissident is tried as a 'gangster' or a 'brigand' and is then shot, with body parts being sold to Westerners in need of a few bits....

    How very little some of you know - and sometimes how very little grey matter you have between your ears, and how gullibly you are playing into the hands of the neo-Fascists in this country who would dearly love to establish total control over every facet and asset of it, and knock off any and every opposition person or group using the 'law', so they could use it all for their personal gain (as happens in China)...
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    2:41pm
    Anyone needing a "Few Bits" Put your name down now for when our Government finally Oversteps the Line !! :-)
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    3:48pm
    Crimmo, I disagree and suggest that you Google Colin Campbell Ross.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    5:08pm
    Indeed - I run Australia's Wrongfully Convicted, and five minutes in any 'lower' court will show how how entrenched and all-pervasive injustice and violation of the rule of law is...

    As before - the 'lower' courts deal not only with parking fines, which they will find 100% in favour of 'city hall' - but also in 'minor' criminal matters - there is NOTHING minor about any matter, to any defendant, when it affects that person For LIFE!

    Magistrates and the like are the new Sheriffs of Nottingham here... and need to be rooted out and replaced with people of good will and sense, and who abide by The Rule of Law and all its tenets, not just use their position as an ego game and to be part of some mythical 'thin blue line' - while recouping cash for government in fines and also costing with false and wrongful imprisonments.
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    12:22pm
    Does anyone see the irony of a website purportedly standing up for the rights of the over 50s and pensioners, publishing an article bemoaning the plight of the same and the lowly 'paid' pensioners, linking their article to a subscription only website where you can get more information only if you take out that subscription?
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:30pm
    AH ! Cough Up !! They've gotta pay for "Whinger's Soapbox" somehow ! :-) :-)
    MICK
    1st Nov 2016
    12:14am
    Sort of thought it was a forum as well as what you said KSS. You have a point though.
    Just be happy that unlike the media outlets controlled for scripted comment only that YLC allows all comers have a real say. You won't find that in very many places in this country any more.
    Mad as Hell
    31st Oct 2016
    12:33pm
    How can the Liberals make a promise on the eve of the election state that there will be no changes to the pension and then after election make the biggest changes to the pension in the last 10 years.
    Will NEVER EVER VOTE LIBERAL OR GREENS.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:39pm
    Changes to the pension and super will always happen. So get used to it and be flexible enough to move with the changes.
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    12:52pm
    Do try and keep up Mad as hell. There has been an election since then with no such undertaking given.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:51pm
    Makes no difference - Pensions are a bought and paid for component of Social Security - all that needs to be properly organised and set in stone is who should receive it and how much etc.

    Simplest solution is the now ages-old approach of paying everyone the Aged Pension and taxing income and fringe benefits over and above that according to the income tax scales.

    No more need to fiddle around the edges and inspire fear in the average pensioner, who is merely seeking to retire with a little stability and relative comfort. The stress of all this fiddling must be killing a few off....
    MICK
    1st Nov 2016
    12:18am
    The short answer Mad as Hell is that the Liberal government is comprised of a whole bunch of lying misfits who are reading from a script and told what to do. Only the mentally challenged and idiots amongst us believe that the party is an elected group of people who have the free will to act in the interests of the nation. Any examination of policies and intentional lies to get in would tell you that.
    Latest cab off the rank: did the change in refugee status happen so that Turnbull could get the vote of Hanson Party MPs on the union attack Bill?
    Rodent
    31st Oct 2016
    12:41pm
    Maybe we should all write to One Nation, including to each one of their Senators because the One National Election Policy Platform said they supported a $100 per week increase for SINGLES and $150 per week for Couples.
    Now like so many others they are bashing on about Welfare Costs, and supporting the Govt?
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    12:51pm
    The very fact that some on welfare can legitimately claim over $45000 a year in welfare payments clearly shows that reform of the entire welfare system is well over due. And that includes the age pension in the mix.

    Perhaps if those on welfare who should not be, were removed from it, there may be enough money in the kitty to give that $100 a week to singles.
    Tom Tank
    31st Oct 2016
    1:21pm
    The report on welfare of over $45,000 per year appeared in the Murdoch press, surprise surprise, and has been largely discredited as it could only apply to a very small, particular, group of people.

    This is the same press source who reported a little while back that plain packaging of cigarettes in Australia had NOT had any effect on smoking rates.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:52pm
    I'd like to see these $45k a year phantoms... got a link?
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    2:03pm
    I don't think the Phantom had a Beard ??
    Sundays
    31st Oct 2016
    2:05pm
    The whole system needs an overhaul. There needs to be a tightening of middle class welfare. Dare I say that the age pension also needs looking at. People on the full pension are doing it tough but many on small part pensions (can qualify with income up to $76k) are doing ok. Go on a cruise and you'll see what I mean.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    2:26pm
    A family earning up to about $60,000 get more than they pay in tax back in family payments.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:43pm
    Perhaps the solution then is to rein in costs of living - something that is never going to happen as long as government successive continue to prop up the dual income family with PPL and childcare etc, as well as family payments.

    Two people on $60k and copping all that is the equivalent of a single income family on $120k - the family unit is what needs to be looked at, and also what should and should not fall under the Social Security umbrella.

    Far too much is made these days of funding parents to go to work - why bother? Funding their PPL, their birthing and childcare is only returning to them more than they pay in tax.

    Withdrawing funding for those things will mean that pressure on costs of living will inevitably reduce, along with the concomitant reduction in upward pressure on incomes to try to keep up with soaring costs of living.

    Then when we chop NG etc over a five year wind-down to allow the market to adjust, and chop out foreign property investment.............. if you're not a full-time citizen, you don;t get to buy a property here.

    Australia - love it or stay home, where we cannot buy property.... or a business....
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    3:57pm
    Good idea Rodent and what will happen? 3/4 of 5/8 of bugger all!
    I read in this forum an exhortation to vote Independent but what you have described is a classic explanation of why not to vote for an Independent. These Independents and very small parties can promise the world plus half of Tasmania and have no ability to deliver the promises. If challenged, they will blame the major parties for voting down their "very sensible" election promises.
    MICK
    1st Nov 2016
    12:20am
    KSS: you are smarter than that. Nobody believes that a person on a pension gets over $45 000 pa.....unless they have half a dozen children.
    MD
    1st Nov 2016
    9:10am
    Good call - both Rodent's and Old Man's.
    HarrysOpinion
    31st Oct 2016
    12:47pm
    “Try paying rent or even a small mortgage on a full Age Pension of $22,804 – I can assure you, it wouldn't be easy.”

    - No it’s not easy. It’s damn hard. Old age pensioners didn’t complain much about the pain of surviving under Labor’s government in 2012-2013 until The Liberal Coalition got in under Abbott and began to punish old age pensioners. Not only did the Liberals kick the old age pensioners in the guts, they also created a propaganda psychologically demeaning people for being the unfortunate ones in the society. –

    “Is the discussion on welfare too narrow? Do you think enough opportunities are there for those who want to work? Is enough being done to support older workers?”

    - Debbie McTaggart sums it up very well but the discussion at government level is nothing but a vicious political football. I am not convinced that it is a diversion and a distraction. As the Treasurer, Scott Morrison said, “…chipping away”… to dismantle the welfare and old age pension system.
    - There are no suitable jobs, there is no life insurance, income protection insurance, worker’s cover for people over 65 years of age and those that are still employed do so under pain and sufferance of age discrimination and old age abuse because they probably have no other choice except to die.
    - Very little is being done to support older workers, it’s mainly all words and no action.

    The Liberal Party Coalition’s attitude towards age pensioners and those on welfare is similar to Hitler's treatment of the Jews or perhaps like the Spanish Inquisition. It wouldn’t surprise me if they created jobs by beginning to build ‘incinerators’ for anyone on long term welfare or over 70 years of age on old age pension otherwise euthanasia wouldn’t be a subject quietly discussed in the parliament hallways.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:51pm
    Old those pensioners with the most assets have been effected by the changes. Those with with little assets are better off.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    12:54pm
    When you get back from Fantasy Island Geezer Tell us all about it !!
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    12:56pm
    Well it certainly feels like Fantasy Island on here.
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    1:14pm
    You might want to read what Warren Mundine had to say on the 'no jobs' refrain:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/warren-mundine-work--not-welfare-makes-you-free/news-story/35d7359c8926db9783b99ddbc4c87321
    Tom Tank
    31st Oct 2016
    1:23pm
    Is that the Warren Mundine who holds down jobs awarded by the current Federal Government?
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    1:25pm
    Terrific OG. Yes only those who took retirement promises instead of the money have been hit so far. Only those who saved instead of spending will be hit come 2017.

    Those that stayed home and had 6 or 8 kids are the real winners.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    1:36pm
    Yes we had a large family too but no OAP so number of kids doesn't make any difference either.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:56pm
    I am totally opposed to slugging pensioners who have assets that produce no income and have not potential to do so. Owning a Windbag and a boat do not bring in money.... and surely a person is entitled to the use of what they have gained throughout their working life and set aside just for their retirement.

    Politics of envy at its worst....

    No relevance in your last statement, OG - the current Pension has been around for decades now and is a bought and paid for Right out of the taxation system, as explained many, many times. If your family didn't get the OAP, that's on their own bat, whichever way it worked.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    2:24pm
    If you have a boat and Windbag then you don't need the pension.
    Hawkeye
    31st Oct 2016
    2:46pm
    So OG, if TREBOR was younger, and had his windbag and boat, he would not need a job or wage?

    Where were you when the brains were handed out? Very few of your comments make any logical sense at all, and detract from overall experience of ready these blogs.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:46pm
    Please explain? I'm not one to understand rhetoric expressed in three-worders..... to do so means I should draw inference and jump to conclusion.. which - both of - may not be warranted by the facts associated with the simple statement....

    So...

    Please Explain? **

    ** (phrase brought to you by the great philosopher Hanson on national TV when asked about an issue in hirsute language that the majority would not follow)....
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    4:05pm
    Yes Tom Tank, Warren Mundine is one and the same as the one who holds down a job with the current government. He is also a past national president of the Australian Labor Party. He impresses as a man who speaks his mind regardless.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:26pm
    How many cash in their super to buy their new Landcruiser, caravan and boat or Windbag and boat? Super should be living expenses after you retire not to indulge your wish list so that you qualify for welfare.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    7:51pm
    Yeee-ussssh - but surely if you cash in your super and outlay it on something expensive like a Windbag - Colonel C'Link gets to see that and says - "Ah.. so solly .. you no Pension today... come back nex' five year!"

    You can't 'gift' your money away prior to retirement etc ..... so if you deliberately spend it..... you fall into the category of ....... (wait for it)..........self-unfunded retiree....
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    7:52pm
    Again - that is an issue that would catch many a 'fat cat' evading the responsibilities.....
    MICK
    1st Nov 2016
    12:23am
    Geezer: you say that the changes target people with some assets. Some of us planned for self funded retirements and can fund most of our own retirement. There is not enough recognition of this and this government treats those who sacrificed so much so they would not be dependent on handouts like poison.
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2016
    10:30am
    If you planned and funded your retirement then these changes would not effect you simply because you would not be on the OAP. Tax free pension from super and no tax on the super fund itself after the age of 60 are a great example of how the government recognises and treats us oldies.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2016
    12:05am
    Only an illiterate fool with no brains would make such a dumb claim, OG! How IDIOTIC! Many planned and saved for retirement and if investment returns hadn't crashed and the GFC had not wiped out plans they WOULD have been self-sufficient. But because their planning should have got them self-sufficiency, but inept politicians messed up the economy and reduced their incomes, you claim it's okay to now wipe out their lifestyle and condemn them to hardship. You spout a lot of nonsense, motivated by arrogance, ignorance, lack of empathy, and plain selfishness. And the worst of it is that if economic conditions improve, the nation will struggle to support hundreds of thousands of pensioners who WOULD have been self-sufficient if not persecuted stupidly when the chips were down.
    john
    31st Oct 2016
    12:52pm
    What actually does it mean to be disadvantaged. I know what it means for really true disadvantaged who just survive on a centrelink pension. It made me think this. I was on the comments here a while back where people were talking about the long wait for application for an old age pension. Mine finally came in about a month ago and it was knocked back totally , they didn't even say you can have a health card, nothing.
    I am no where near wealthy, I have an investment property that has lost value , and the rent I receive has dropped down as has many rentals in that area.
    I think the investment property lost the pension from the government, for me, and my work pension which is modest, they probably said this bloke is not disadvantaged..
    But I am retired I have a pension from work , that I paid into for decades, and which I pay tax on.
    We own the family home. but have very little back up in terms of cashed , we pay all our bills on time, but extras are not in the question , we have not got enough, we are not poverty stricken but budgeting is an absolute , and strict budgeting , I suppose in a sense that's a good thing to have to do , for me I thought I'd get a little part pension , am I greedy?
    If I was one of the retirees that had to live on a single or partnership old age pension and nothing else, I would probably be better off dead.
    So to those who are in that boat, I wish you not just good luck, but I wish you a GOOD HONEST GOVERNMENT in the future ,which we do not have and haven't had for 20 years.
    If I find the cost of living and upkeep with what we have obtained over the years really a struggle , then you folk must be in desperate straits.
    And when you consider people in Melbourne buying old houses for 1.5 to 2.8 million dollars you wonder who is being looked after in our country.
    We will get by, but many won't , and Mr Turnbull and Shorten , you better open your bloody eyes , you won't though , you don't, either of you, have the capacity.
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    12:59pm
    john you have a saleable asset - your investment property. And that investment earns you an income - plus you have a private pension however small. You also own your own home.

    You are clearly a lot better of than many who do not own anything; certainly not disadvantaged by a long shot.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    1:02pm
    "I think the investment property lost the pension from the government, for me"

    If you know the rules then you would know why your pension application was rejected.

    I see many who just fill out the application without reading the rules. If you know the rules then you can fill out that application to suit the rules.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    1:08pm
    Beyond getting 4 Wives and changing to a Cult ! I cant give you a solution to your Problem :-( :-(
    Mad as Hell
    31st Oct 2016
    1:15pm
    No point in reading the rules the Liberals change them whenever it takes their fancy.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:00pm
    So what if it's a 'saleable asset'? There is and should be no obligation to sell it to fund retirement - the income derived is already considered in the light of Pension reduction etc.

    Again - why should a person build up assets for retirement over a lifetime of work and then have to sell them?

    I don't see politicians and fat cats doing any of that.... their payout for life is indexed.... and they can earn as much as they like outside that as well.

    An utter disgrace.... and these are the last jumped-up twerps who should be laying down the law to anyone else.....
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    3:26pm
    Given the pension IS means tested Trebor and an investment property is 'build up assets for retirement' then I see no reason not to sell it for that very purpose i.e. to support the person in their retirement. If the rental income is too low then that's what should happen.

    Why should they be given welfare to prop up their investment? Share holders or savers in a bank account don't get it even when share values or interest rates go down.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:27pm
    Hence the call for abolition of 'means testing' and the introduction of a no-fault Pension for all, accompanied by tax on the income scales for all income and fringe benefit assets above that.

    As per my previous posts - what needs to be determined is what is and what isn't a 'fringe benefit' subsitituting for cash income. A Windbag and a boat don't qualify.... a Windbag, for example, costs to run and generates zero income (a hole in the highway into which you throw bucket-loads of hundred dollar bills), and a boat is the same - a hole in the water into which you throw bucket-loads of hundred dollar bills.

    So applying simple and understandable rules should make it easy - Harry Fudger The Chocoate King can no longer fly free on Fudger Airlines private jet.... it's a fringe benefit...

    That'll make the LNP lobby cry - cry me a river!
    jackie
    31st Oct 2016
    12:56pm
    For a start, ALL the politicians need to stop doubling dipping into taxpayer money. What they do may be legal but it's not moral. Change the loopholes to make it all illegal. Politicians' pension need to be means tested, be the same amount as the rest of Australians and accessed when they are 70 NOT earlier. This would help ordinary Australian pensioners a lot because it would prevent politicians from taking from the poor.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    1:10pm
    The Sheriff of Nottingham came to mind :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:00pm
    Lot of that going around, parti.......
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    3:43pm
    if Robin Hood hadn't fixed THAT Sheriff, he would have taken over the World by now, and beat the Muslims at their own Game :-) :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:29pm
    Many a Sheriff of Nottingham in need of a good Robin (round or otherwise) around these days....

    I'm writing a Robin Hood tale titled Robin de la Houde..... it's a little more complex than the usual Robin Hood.... no info given... copyright....

    31st Oct 2016
    1:00pm
    Reading the above carefully makes me think that there are two completely different takes on all of this. Turnbull is making statements which sound good but, as usual with him, there is very little substance. His words are not backed up with any action as evidenced with the revelation that no dole abusers have been penalised. I am reminded of the Rudd years when it was felt that a daily media call was essential even if there was nothing to say. Turnbull seems to be falling into this area. At least Abbott had the sense to ignore the media if there was nothing to say and this proved his undoing in part because the media turned on him.

    Shorten is hanging on by the skin of his teeth and he has dropped into the mode of decrying everything that the government claims it wants to do. He blows up any announcement with a rush of words which are full of doom and gloom. If it's welfare cuts, it's the "poor old pensioner" who is forced to bear the brunt of the cuts, if it's anything to do with health, it's the "sale of Medicare". I don't mind opposition to bad policy but I've had enough of the scare tactics being employed.

    There must be cuts made to sections of the welfare outgoings as we, as a nation, cannot afford to keep paying out at the current rate. Adjustments to the PPL seem reasonable, there have been reductions in the DSP and the move to have a government doctor oversee an application for DSP is welcome. There needs to be more stringent penalties associated with the dole. Dogooders will claim that the payment is too low and can't be stopped but if a person won't apply for work or knocks back jobs offered then the fault is theirs and theirs alone. If you don't have rules you have chaos and if you have rules and don't enforce them isn't that the same thing?
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    1:11pm
    This article by Warren Mundine over the weekend makes some very pertinent points:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/warren-mundine-work--not-welfare-makes-you-free/news-story/35d7359c8926db9783b99ddbc4c87321
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    1:36pm
    Yes Old Man.

    It is a pity the politicians didn't forgo that $16000 pay rise and set an example of solidarity rather than greed and hubris.

    They really have no understanding of the ordinary worker and how little wages have moved for decades now. In their own little bubbles of special treatment and benefits.
    Sundays
    31st Oct 2016
    2:14pm
    Yes OM, why can backpackers find work easily, yet some unemployed youth cannot? I also think changes to PPL are reasonable given its not even means tested. I question why parents think the government needs to help them so much with baby bonus, child care rebate, family tax benefits etc, etc. As an aside the governments policy of denying child care rebate to the anti vaxers seems to be working. So much for idealism!
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    2:15pm
    I agree KSS, Mundine has the ability to cut through the crap that politicians sprout. He always makes a lot of sense and his solutions are not sensible and achievable.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    3:18pm
    @Sundays, backpackers are prepared to follow the harvests. I believe that unemployed in a fruit/vegetable area should have their dole stopped if they are fit enough to work but choose not to. I don't agree with moving dole recipients to another area for seasonal work. The PPL is means tested with a need to be working for the 13 months prior to taking leave as well as a ceiling of $150,000. Whilst we can question the need for PPL etc, the fact remains that it is in place and governments were elected with these benefits as part of their platform.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:30pm
    Which portions do you feel should be cut, OM?
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    5:00pm
    TREBOR, I don't believe that women getting two lots of PPL is fair. It only applies to women in certain occupations, not all women. I think it's fair if all women are treated the same. Shorten's ridiculous claim that women gave up a part of their working conditions to get a PPL written into their wage structure can't be believed. If we are to believe him, that would mean that men have had to give up the same conditions without gaining PPL.

    The DSP has been rorted for a number of years according to reports and there needs to be a tightening up of the system to weed out those who are bludging. It is interesting that Howard was able to reduce the unemployment figures by placing all of those over a certain age on the DSP. Same money going out but unemployment fell. Have successive governments allowed the same rort?

    As I pointed out before, any dole recipient who won't follow the rules without a satisfactory reason should lose the dole for a period. A fortnight would be a minimum and would send a message that the government is serious about cutting costs. Yes, I know that the dole is not a living wage and stopping it, even for a fortnight, would create more hardship but it would be totally under the control of the recipient should that happen.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:51pm
    I don't believe women should get any PPL let alone double dip like some have been doing. If I was an employer I wouldn't employ anyone woman of child bearing age or with kids. I want a job done not maybe done as something else take precedence over it. Grey haired ladies only for me.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    8:00pm
    Agree with all you say, OM - apart from cutting Unemployment Benefits in the current climate - if there were genuine jobs to go around, you would have a valid point about shirkers - but giving more hardship to those already hard up will get more people robbed and killed.

    OG - you'll notice that many businesses employ lots of older women for that very reason. They don't take time off for kids and expect to be paid for it, they don't generally have the emotional roller coaster of the younger sets, and they have experience in life and with people.

    I personally believe PPL is a part of the 'social security network' that quite simply has no place in social security at all, and double dipping is totally off the reserve.

    That kind of selfishness and - let's be honest - greed - is what is ruining this country and causing many needy people to go without to satisfy some stupid and over-wrought 'social' budget to suite prevailing ideologies (such as feminism and foreignerism and so forth....)

    Hands up all those who are sick of seeing other get a free ride that you never had - and from which - in most cases because you are White Anglo-Celtic Multi-generational Australian Men Over Forty Five (WACMAMOFFs) and you've been chopped by Affirmative Action, probably divorce etc, and all the other social evils that currently prevail in this once-great country.

    Back of the bus, Boy!
    Sundays
    31st Oct 2016
    8:00pm
    I stand corrected, but a ceiling of $150k is hardly a family in hardship. As a previously working mother, I am all for supporting mothers in the workplace. Often a lot more reliable than young workers. However, I just don't think we can afford for them to double dip. Where is the equity in allowing them to do so.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    10:19pm
    There are a lot of factories in Australia with Chinese and other overseas workers with very few Aussies employed. I know of one Aussie fellow working in such a factory making a zillion with his biggest problem understanding the overseas workers over the communications system.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2016
    8:47pm
    Indeed, Rae - if your family unit is bringing in $150k, your finances should be arranged so as to incorporate the realities of your (married) life and pursuit of family. I see zero reason for anyone on a relatively high income per family to even expect PPL.

    I can see an argument - if there must be one in support of PPL - that all recipients receive the same cash amount, not have it based on their income. After a certain level the NEED for PPL vanishes, whereas at the lower level it goes nowhere to assisting a poor family with a new child etc.

    A level playing field based on a single payout would go much further to assist poor families and would cut out those with no real need. Any 'double dipping' should mean instant forfeiture of the government handout.

    I did also mention back pay for PPL to past parents - I worked out on my income level that my year off with my son would recoup me around $50k indexed from 1987 level - my children's mother would cop around $100k, and my ex (for whom I am now full-time carer) would cop around $75k+.

    Just a thought...... I could do with $50k right now....
    Pendrey
    31st Oct 2016
    1:05pm
    This is a complex issue, as no policy will cater for all.
    Whilst the government talks of reviews, and then bangs on about 'welfare recipients' which according to Morrison includes pensioners, we can justifiable be wary. The opposition meantime tries to make political capital out of the situation, whilst offering no concrete proposals.
    There is no doubt that the government is no going to address issues fairly, as it makes no attempt to collect taxes from tax dodging corporations or from 'high net wealth' individuals. But Labour also failed to address these issues.
    Many pensioners are doing very tough, some because they are asset rich but will not downsize, some because they simply do not have any assets to speak of, and its not always their fault.
    Real change is needed, but the political will in this country is lacking.
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    1:41pm
    The government seems quite willing to force the asset rich to sell up. Let's hope it doesn't happen all at once though as the times before when governments have ignored consequences have often been very ugly.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:04pm
    ... and when they have forced all those 'asset-rich' retirees to sell up, there will be zero net benefit to their descendants on their passing, and the end result, in these modern trying times of growing real unemployment, will be future generations of those dependent on Social Security during both working life and in retirement.

    More short-term thinking - and such an approach is very reminiscent of the Anti-Catholic Laws in Ireland under the British rule of the 1800's - 'laws' designed to disempower Catholics in every way.

    I say boot the lot out of Parliament and start again..... where is Peter Cosgrove when you need him - leave your pack with spare ammo behind again, Peter?
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:16pm
    If you collect the OAP why should you also be allowed to pass on your wealth to your descendants? No your pension payments should be deducted from your estate.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:32pm
    Because it's YOUR earned wealth and you are Entitled to do with it as you choose. The ONLY impact it has on government is if and when it generates income for you - in which case they recoup tax one way or another.

    Choice-mobile, son - that's what it's all about - but apparently only if you are gay or whatever... the ordinary person, as a vassal of the Schaat, must do what he/she is ordnunged to do, and must contribute their assets to the Common Wealth for the good of all.... especially politicians and fat cats!
    Farside
    31st Oct 2016
    4:48pm
    OG is on the money with this long overdue reform suggestion.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:11pm
    You are right Brian some of those rigs out on the road would be worth enough to pay their owners the pension for many years.

    Sometimes I think I must be the only one not on the OAP with one.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    8:03pm
    I don't want one - I can fly cheaper and stay in a good hotel many times over rather than buy a Windbag....

    I'm happy to restore a boat bought for $500 - looking at either a 'bay cruiser' that can go 'outside' - or maybe a yacht in which I can sail the Seven Seas...... show me that horizon!
    Buggsie
    31st Oct 2016
    1:06pm
    My considered comment re our wealthy PM is "Seig Heil, Leader" you are a puppet not a puppetmaster.
    Barry S
    KSS
    31st Oct 2016
    1:11pm
    I consider your comment offensive.
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    1:25pm
    Distasteful and Undebonaire .
    Hail Ceaser :-)
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:09pm
    .. and right to the point, too....

    Cwucify him well!
    ex PS
    1st Nov 2016
    3:45pm
    Yes, many find the truth offensive, but if it is the truth, it should be heard.
    The government finds the truth more offensive than a lie, a lie can be disproved in most cases where the truth must be borne.
    Beware Buggsie, there is a stupid unwritten rule that once you bring up a certain unpopular leader the discussion can not be maintained. Very convenient when one wishes to suppress discussion.
    My only question is whether he is a glove puppet or does he have strings? One in my mind is more offensive than the other.
    Pendrey
    31st Oct 2016
    1:12pm
    Remember what Joe hockey said ' the age of entitlement is over'.
    Of course this did not apply to him in particular or any other members of our political elite.
    floss
    31st Oct 2016
    1:17pm
    Hard to work out this governments policy ,how do you get people off job search and other welfare payments when the jobs are taken by people bought out by our government on 457 visas.Could some one please explain, not you Pauline.
    LiveItUp
    1st Nov 2016
    6:57am
    Aussies have such a welfare mentality now that for most these types of jobs would be beneath them. Why work so hard when you can have welfare instead? A young person I know was the only applicant for an appentice chef at a large hotel now where I live. When they told me they had aaplued for the job I thought there would be hundreds of applicants but it seems that these jobs are just too much hard work for our young people today.

    As a kid I used to pick fruit and vegetables but I don't know of any kids willing to do so today.

    Put simply people today have it far too easy. Sadly the only fix may be some hard times.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2016
    10:00pm
    Dead wrong, Bonny. Obviously you have never walked in their shoes. It's not that jobs are beneath them or that they are lazy. It's that they have lost hope and self-respect, usually due to suffering abuse, deprivation or major injustice. What is needed is not hard times - which will make the problem worse - but opportunity and guidance. They need understanding and empathy. They DO NOT have it easy, and they have given up because it's too hard and they see no way to improve their situation. Bashing them is guaranteed to make the problem worse, and stripping battlers whose hard work began to pay off of their lifestyle only proves the point that it's all useless, and further discourages effort. What we need is incentive, reward for effort, and genuine help to access realistic opportunities. But it will never happen, because the arrogant privileged will continue to misjudge, abuse and condemn, ASSUMING they have answers when in fact THEY ARE THE PROBLEM.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    1:19pm
    By the 2016, NO Australian pensioner will be living in poverty! They'll be much lower than that, and that is fair and equitable to the government's Budget!

    And it's NOT welfare - it is bought and paid for Social Security, same as Unemployment Benefits (aka dole bludgery), and support for the poor, poor families and children.

    By accepting the 'right wing' rhetorical labeling of the honest receipt of Social Security as some form of 'welfare' handout, meriting that the recipient be viewed as sub-human, and as a 'handout', as something infinitely malleable to suit any idea or ideology, you are falling into the semantic trap laid for you by those whose primary interest is self-interest.

    No wonder there's a hue and cry throughout the land.....
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    1:32pm
    Without Swearing at us Oldies, I think they are telling us to " Go Forth and Multiply" :-(
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:10pm
    Read you loud and clear....
    LiveItUp
    1st Nov 2016
    7:00am
    If any Aussie pensioner lives in poverty then they are simply living beyond their means. Cut some of those luxuries out. Use a blanket instead of heating the house. I do.
    ex PS
    1st Nov 2016
    3:50pm
    Bonny, you are assuming that these people can afford a house, which of course is much too much like a luxury for them to expect. Me I live in shoo box in middle of road, I rely on the heat from passing car exhausts to keep me warm. My neighbor lives in a pot hole and I feel that i have the right to look down my nose at her for being such a failure.
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2016
    3:55pm
    Rubbish PS
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2016
    8:51pm
    .. and she PAID.. PAID mill owner to go to work! And her neighbour pays the passing car owners for heating and gas!

    You tell them yoong 'uns 'at these day, and they'll nought believe yer!
    Tom Tank
    31st Oct 2016
    1:35pm
    What we have is the classic right wing politicians answer to budget shortfalls. Austerity - this appeals to those of a similar point of view.
    Austerity by making the poor poorer while making the rich richer actually pulls the whole economy down. The people who spend the bulk of their income into the economy are the less well off.
    Trickle down economics does not, and has never, worked. It is really only a slogan of no value but is trotted out to protect the haves from the have-nots.
    We are facing a situation in Australia where the wealth difference is becoming significant and noticeable but the pollies of both sides are sitting in their comfy little ivory tower and are so beholden to vested interests through political donations that they won't do anything.
    Instead of cutting pensions and other welfare tackle the real issues.
    None payment of taxes, etc etc. we have all heard about the rorts going on and welfare payments pale into insignificance in comparison.
    We now have the former Minister for Trade apparently getting a lucrative position from a company largely owned by the Chinese Government. Should this be true one would have to wonder.
    Rae
    31st Oct 2016
    1:50pm
    Considering the rate our governments are selling all our assets to the Chinese Government sponsored businesses we will soon all be working for them. Give it a few generations.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:10pm
    Check this out:-

    http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1477863996
    particolor
    31st Oct 2016
    2:16pm
    I'll work for a Bowl of Rice a day and a Mug of Rice Wine ! :-)
    Annick
    31st Oct 2016
    1:40pm
    Unless my partner and I worked part time we would not survive on the Aged Pension. Neither of us had jobs that paid super. I only worked at a job with super for 5 years. That didn't last long. We pay rent for our lodgings pay all our bills on time, We don't have store charge cards. Most fortnights we add to our pension with the money we earn, so we can eat a well balanced diet. We budget well, our rent, money for bills, phone, birthdays all comes out of our pension the day we receive the payment. Neither of us smoke, we may have a drink now and then and very rarely go out. We own a caravan but can't afford to take it away on holidays, so it is now up for sale.
    I get so feed up with the pollies saying we shouldn't get as much pension as we do, when they receive a far larger payment from the same taxes and don 't see anything wrong in how they rort the system. Previous politicians can get their pension even if the leave/retire under 55, they get this on top of any wage they earn which is usually in the 100's of thousands, without any lose to their payment. If pensioners earn too much or have too much in assets they are penalized by losing 50c for every $ they earn. Why is our system so bad when countries like the Netherlands can provide, health care, education and aged pensions so easily with the taxes they collect. Perhaps our treasurer and Prime Minister go take a trip to the Netherlands to look at their system then start applying it here.
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    2:23pm
    Don't offer them an other free trip - they can do a uni student and look it up on the internet..... isn't that what the flunkies they employ in their offices are supposed to do for them?
    maggiemaycole
    31st Oct 2016
    2:40pm
    This aged pensioner has had enough, and is contemplating suicide as her 70th birthday present to herself (the only one she will get). No super left as it was not available to casuals in the early days when I was earning the most. I have a $390 a fortnight mortgage repayment, a house that is falling apart, that I cannot afford to maintain. The only relatives are a daughter and granddaughter who want nothing to do with me. The next thing to go is the home phone and Internet. The government wants us to do everything over the internet, but have not thought about the costs involved. Council elections were postal voting, but there are no letterboxes to post letters in. I have even had to cancel local council support as I cannot afford it. I am sick of getting ripped off, and am now too scared to even try to get quotes for work. I am sick of getting phone calls that I shouldn't be getting because I am on the do not call register (at least one a day). I would love to be working, but no-one will give someone who has been out of the workforce for 5 years (helping to deal with a chronically ill teenage granddaughter who cannot attend school) a chance.
    Charlie
    31st Oct 2016
    4:12pm
    Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, NBN takes over your internet service and puts the land line phone through the modem, so when the internet brakes down, so does the phone and you cant tell anybody about it.

    When the internet comes back on, you make a written complaint to Telstra carefully stating all the details. In a couple of days a person with a foreign accent phones and says they are calling about your complaint, but they have no copy of it, so you have to recall everything and express it verbally.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:29pm
    I have the NBN and still have my copper phone line. It was part of the deal I made to sign up to the NBN because no power would mean no phone which is dangerous in a country area due to bush fires etc.
    maggiemaycole
    31st Oct 2016
    4:37pm
    Not even on the schedule for NBN, despite getting a letter last year from the mayor and the local Liberal MP saying that I would get it in the next 12 months.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:52pm
    I was told my NBN was years away only to be told weeks later that it was available.
    disillusioned
    31st Oct 2016
    2:44pm
    Bill Shorten didn't state his party would repeal the legislation if they got in, so I didn't vote for either of them. Both major parties are tarred with the one brush - punish the elderly and the underdog, and shut out the refugees. We are stuck with two parties that are inhumane and self-seeking!
    TREBOR
    31st Oct 2016
    4:45pm
    You hit it, disillusioned - any promise made by any 'Opposition' while out of government will suddenly become too hard to follow up on due to 'unforeseen black holes in the Budget' created by the former government (now The Opposition) .... same old every time...

    Then the pollies will pat themselves on the back and give themselves a pay rise for a job well done, while riding off into the sunset at day's end in their taxpayer funded limos and planes.

    Maybe I should change my name to 'disillusioned'...
    Charlie
    31st Oct 2016
    3:57pm
    Too much talk and no action, we've answered all these questions in previous articles
    Rodent
    31st Oct 2016
    4:37pm
    As usual OG you are full of it, or is it just your own self importance. You said this, among other silly comments, complete with miss spelling etc- assume Old means -only

    Old those pensioners with the most assets have been effected by the changes. Those with with little assets are better off.

    So of the people who are better off -these Non Home Owning Couples with these Asset Ranges have LITTLE assets - again you are just plain wrong

    Non Home Owning Couple within these Asset ranges of $600,000 to $700,000 WILL receive increases - in fact at $600,000 the increase is 12% = $32,432pa, and at $625,000 its an 11% increase to $30,482 surely even you don't consider these people to have LITTLE ASSETS do you?
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:41pm
    Yes they do have little assets compared to the many pensioners with million dollar mansions.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:42pm
    Or put it another way. If they bought a house in most areas they would have very little if any left.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    4:46pm
    Or a third way. Add the house to the assets test to make an equal playing field.
    Rodent
    31st Oct 2016
    4:50pm
    OG as usual when faced with facts that don't suit your or your beliefs you go to water.

    As I have said, and so have many others you have no real understanding of the difficulties some pensioners face.

    You say you pay taxes, we all do, but the Properties you own/and are the landlord for are returning you tax advantages, just like so many other "property investors are receiving.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:07pm
    NO you are wrong as I am not getting any tax advantages from anything I own.
    Fred
    31st Oct 2016
    5:20pm
    Thterbl let me ask you when would you rather have lived in the days of Hitler and or Stalin or nowadays. I don't see millions of people being murdered by the state just because of what they believe in this country.

    Some one put up about about Free Medical could you please explain how any country can supply Free Medical because in my mind the State pays for the so called Free Medical and the taxpayers pay the State taxes to access this free medical so Free Medical is an illusion. Nothing is free in this this world someone has to pay for it.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    5:34pm
    Agree those of us who pay for our medical pay twice as much to make up the difference.
    Fred
    31st Oct 2016
    6:02pm
    I wonder if having your Dogs chauffeured from Melbourne to your County Home in a car paid for by the tax payers. Not heard so much about this one as we did with BISHOP and the helicopter. Trouble with the vast majority of pollies they they live in a privileged world where they know that after retiring they will be pretty well off compared to the bulk of Australians.
    JiiPeeTee
    31st Oct 2016
    7:33pm
    Please - less political opinion, comment and criticism from Your Life Choices web pages and more article on life, health, finances and life in general of pensioners!
    Rae
    1st Nov 2016
    7:18am
    You don't have to read the political opinion Ji.

    There are a heap of life, health, finances and general travel etc on the website.

    Just be selective in your choice.
    justsay'n
    31st Oct 2016
    7:44pm
    This Government had no respect for over 65's
    They see us only as an encumbrance. Their plan is to create genocide for the elderly be it to stealing our Pensions, changes to Medicare and to Aged Care.
    They are knowingly brainwashing the younger generation we raised and gave every ppportunity possible into thinking the same way, that Pensioners, and even Part Pensioners are leeches on the tax system.
    They treat Pensioners who have worked for the last 40 to 50 yrs and paid taxes as Dole bludgers, meanwhile they line their own greedy pockets and those of their wealthy mates. Karma, they will all rot in hell for their evil dishonesty and greed. Both this Liberal Government and Shorten's Labour will be recorded in history as the most corrupt political party's to hold power in Australia.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    10:10pm
    I love being a senior citizen and the way I am treated by the government. The tax breaks they give us seniors are nothing short of amazing. One of my family has same income as me and they pay heaps of tax but with all the senior and super tax rates I pay little compared to them. To me it could not be better.
    Dallanhk
    31st Oct 2016
    7:48pm
    Has anyone ever tried to actually get the age pension or even a seniors health card? 24 pages and a myriad of documents ( all originals) to be submitted to an office that is rude and uncoopertive. I gave up.
    Sundays
    31st Oct 2016
    8:04pm
    Don't give up! Just work your way through it. You may need to go into a Centrelink office to get them to check but if you are entitled to even a small amount you've earned it. We found not all sections applied and once lodged the process was smooth.
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2016
    10:11pm
    Agree I have filled out a few of them for others and they are not that complicated.
    Rae
    1st Nov 2016
    7:24am
    Do you get your originals back? What about birth certificates etc. It could be very bad if they lose papers and from what I've heard they are pretty inefficient, understaffed and careless with people's paper work.

    Can you show the originals and then keep them?
    Sundays
    1st Nov 2016
    9:12am
    Step one was to check their website and get an idea of the criteria, then made an appointment to see a Centrelink financial advisor who was great and explained how best to structure our affairs to qualify, then we completed the forms, took them into the office where the originals were scanned into the system and returned to us. Went early, no queues but patience is the key as there are processes to follow. I update our information on line now, but they are not interested in changes less than $2,000. I've had no problems and our small part pension always comes on time. Hope this helps
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2016
    10:19am
    They only review your assets and income twice a year so why bother telling them any more than that? Yes I know they want you to but If I had to tell them every time my assets changed by $2000 some days it would be every few minutes.
    Mad as Hell
    1st Nov 2016
    8:42am
    Some reading on this link
    http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/item/5924-the-greens-the-libs-pensions-who-s-keeping-the-bastards-honest-now
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2016
    10:23am
    Our young people should be looked after better than the OAPs as they are the future of our country. At night I rarely if every see an old person homeless but lots of young folk. OAPs are not doing it near as tough as some of our young folk. Maybe they OAP should be paid at the same rate as unemployment benefits.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2016
    11:49pm
    What a load of codswollop, OG! Most OAPs have worked for 4+ decades, suffered hardship no young person today could even imagine, survived 17%+ interest rates, recession and GFC, and both NEED and DESERVE a decent lifestyle. The young have it way too easy by comparison, and it would do them good to learn to be more innovative and frugal.

    Stop being such a cruel, nasty mongrel wishing hurt on old folk who are doing it tough. You are a miserable creep!
    older&wiser
    2nd Nov 2016
    12:48am
    Good heavens! - what a load of rubbish!! You obviously haven't actually walked around and seen the homeless on the streets - yes there are some young ones, but mostly they are older people. If young ones complain that they can't buy a house, mostly it is due to their obscene spending on travelling, cars, designer clothes, booze and smokes. If they get a job, they expect to be paid the General Managers salary the next week. Quite frankly I despair if the future of our country is in the hands of allot of these young ones.
    Having been left a widow with a baby, I worked my butt off to give my daughter a good education, good hobby, good life, etc. And to put a house over our heads, luckily now without a mortgage as I hit Old Age Pension status next year. But my daughter? - now a single mother of 2 kids, no partner, constantly expecting me to pay for everything, telling me 'you can afford it'. Well she would too if she had stayed in the career she had instead of endless partying, travel and reckless spending. The sadness I feel at her wasted life is over powering, but I refuse to bow to her demands.
    She has even asked if she is listed as my preferred nominee for my super! Just waiting for me to pop off so she can get what I have worked hard for. Just hope I can live to 100+ Agree with you Rainee - young ones have it far too damn easy. Older Australians are far more deserving.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Nov 2016
    4:18pm
    My family is the exact opposite in that they say it's my money so I should enjoy it. They know that I will assist them if necessary but rarely ask for money. If they do then they insist in paying in back in full plus a bit extra.

    They have never asked about my will or my super and don't even want to know what I am worth.

    I put it down to bringing them up well.

    1st Nov 2016
    2:12pm
    Just read a lot of comments about this topic, and again you lot leave me amazed at the whingeing and whining you all (most of you), carry on with - especially 'poor me' Mick! If your pension is going to be adjusted - down - after 1 January - it is because you have significant assets - so why whinge??? Give us all a break - swallow your medicine like good little vegemites - Mick and his mates (everyone owes us a living), need their's for their TAB account, fags and booze!
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2016
    2:16pm
    I agree.

    None of them look under fed at all.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2016
    11:45pm
    Those being unfairly punished for saving have every right to whinge. The system is grossly unfair, illogical and economically destructive. It's not about being ''underfed''. It's about incentives to save and the ability to sustain a lifestyle for up to 30+ years of inflation with no income, while fat cats with government pensions still get the aged pension plus benefits.

    What constitutes ''significant'' assets? Needs vary. Life expectancy varies. $200,000 is significant for a 95 year old, but $750,000 might not be enough for a 65 year old couple.

    It is STUPID in the extreme and economically devastating to position retirees to be better off NOT saving. Sad that so many fools are so blinded by jealousy or arrogance that they can't support calls for fairness and common sense.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Nov 2016
    12:16pm
    I'm hearing about a bed tax being proposed in Sydney because of all the hundreds of thousands of empty beds adding to the property shortage. Maybe this is a good idea in that those OAPs that upsize will be caught up in it.
    Mad as Hell
    2nd Nov 2016
    1:21pm
    Hi Rainey, Agree with your comments, keep them coming.
    Crazy Horse
    1st Nov 2016
    4:48pm
    http://the-pen.co/australia-not-welfare-problem-poverty-problem/

    1st Nov 2016
    11:38pm
    The welfare system is a disastrous mess of illogical rules that destroy incentive and keep the poor struggling. It is grossly unfair and uneconomical, and this government has made it much worse. ''Íncentivise'''? By kicking retirees who saved and rewarding those who saved less? By making it profitable to buy a bigger house than you need or spend up big on a world cruise, or hide money under the mattress? People with a secure Comsuper (or similar) pension for life qualify for a part aged pension on top, while folk with incomes as low as $20,000 a year (for a couple) get nothing. A couple with $750,000 earning 2.5% is called a ''millionaire'' and forced to live on savings, but someone entitled to $50,000 a year, indexed to inflation, for the next 30+ Years is paid an aged pension and a host of benefits.

    The rules are STUPID, DESTRUCTIVE AND GROSSLY UNFAIR, But I doubt any inept overpaid politician has the ability to irmprove on it.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Nov 2016
    12:13pm
    I agree the welfare system is broken. However the assets changes January 2017 are a good start to fixing it. The money needs to be spend where it is needed not where it is nice to have.

    Also a couple with $750,000 have more than enough to last them for the rest of their life because they have the OAP safety net that comes in when they draw down their assets. Why are they only earning 2.5% as most banks are paying more than that? Properly invested they could be getting at least 5%.

    There is nothing unfair about the January 2017 asset changes. If anything they make the system much fairer.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2016
    10:04pm
    You couldn't be more wrong, OG. Punishing those who do what is good for the nation is STUPID AND DESTRUCTIVE and will kill the economy. The changes favour those with high secure incomes (government pensions, for example) and those who can invest well, but punish the deprived, sick, disabled and abused who have saved well but cannot invest profitably. It is irrelevant what property CAN get. Many don't have the ability to invest in property or shares etc. You ASSUME that everyone has had your education and background and has reasonable health and mental capacity. The system SHOULD cater to those that don't! When it doesn't, it is GROSSLY UNFAIR. And only mongrels with no sense of fairness or justice would endorse it.
    Rae
    3rd Nov 2016
    1:33pm
    Don't forget though Rainey that those on government superannuation actually paid for it out of salary as it was compulsory with no choice. They also got no tax concessions or negative gearing benefits.

    They also had to hand over the money to get that super income. It is now gone to their family forever.

    The person with $175 000 could also buy an indexed annuity by handing over the money but hardly anyone seems to want to.

    Those on $50 000 super pensions do not get the OAP either under the income test since the non concessional amounts have been disallowed.
    Rae
    3rd Nov 2016
    1:35pm
    $175 000 should read $750 000
    Anonymous
    7th Nov 2016
    10:58pm
    Rae, you are only party correct. I know many on government superannuation pensions who got very large salaries and now draw very large pensions. Conversely, I know folk who paid for their super but ended up with none because their wages were so low the fees ate up all their contributions, or the fund was mismanaged. Some of them saved privately as well and are now suffering for doing so.

    Check the figures on buying an annuity. You get bugger all for $750,000 these days! And the $750,000 is still counted as an asset even after you hand it over.

    Bottom line: the system is an unholy mess and I don't think any politician has either the brains or the respect for others to do anything to improve it.
    john
    23rd Jan 2017
    10:53am
    Beware the self satisfied who can only read from one book! They have no common sense and only their own ideas and opinions, they could be called ignorant mongrels. We both know one.
    DaveL
    2nd Nov 2016
    8:48am
    The thresholds for a full aged pension shold be much lower. When talking about assets for home owners these should start at $35,000 for singles and $55,000 for couples. Above these limits people would receive a reduced pension based on their assets and/or income.
    What constitutes the value at which the pension ceases should determined by formula that can be adjusted according to cash interest rate. Therefore it would vary according prevailing interest rates. Income would be affected accordingly.
    I see at least $45,000 (including benefits) a home owning couple would be a start.
    DaveL
    2nd Nov 2016
    8:52am
    I should add , this should be accompanied by major Tax Reform, by competely reviewing the Tax system and structures, thou legal are avoidance measures.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Nov 2016
    12:14pm
    I agree they are still too high. People with money should have to spend it before assessing the OAP.
    Captain
    2nd Nov 2016
    1:15pm
    Are you guys saying that after a lifetime of working anyone with assets of $35,000 or more should not get a pension?

    I imagine that not one person (who owns a house) would qualify for a pension!
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2016
    5:37pm
    Aye, Skipper - that there be the intent!!
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2016
    5:39pm
    Force everyone to sell their home so they can become landless peasants and dependent on good will of landlord - while feeding the endless gluttony of the investment property 'market' (sort of like the old Rome slave market) by throwing all those houses on the market in a glut market, thus generating lower sale prices, thus allowing those 'in on the game' to snap them up for a song and prosper mightily, while yond pensioner goes into a 'retirement village' in a tent....

    That's so close to the truth right there that I'm reaching for the flaming brands and pitchforks as we speak - not to mention the hanging rope.....

    2nd Nov 2016
    10:10pm
    Fools who suggest taking pensions and assets from battlers who worked and paid taxes for decades just because they didn't earn enough to be independent in old age are begging for catastrophe. How stupid is it to suggest that someone who worked for 4+ decades for low wages should be deprived of all they accrued in their old age! Kill all incentive to work and save, and then wonder why people stop working and saving. It's happening, and it will get worse. And the idiots who cause the problem want to make it worse, and can't see past their long in-the-trough noses to realize that THEY ARE THE PROBLEM.

    This nation needs to recognize and reward hard work and sensible planning and saving. Only by doing so can we drive reform that will grow the economy. This ''take it all from them'' mentality is destroying a once-great nation.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2016
    1:15pm
    No pension has been taken from the battlers. Only from those who should not have had it in the first place.
    Anonymous
    10th Nov 2016
    10:27pm
    Why not, OG? Homeowner couples who have incomes of $70,000 a year draw pensions, but folk couples with incomes of just $25000 a year have to drain their hard-won savings to get by until they are hard up and then can get a pension, so their best bed is to hide their money, buy a bigger house, or spend on an expensive cruise (which the government will pay for and then some!).

    It's necessary to get 10%+ return on investments to compensate for loss of pension. Yet the deeming rate is only about 3%. Why are savers being hurt when everyone else is laughing? We With no incentive to save, retirees will be more dependant on pensions and the costs of the OAP will skyrocket. And IDIOTS will scratch their heads and whinge and look for other ways to STEAL the hard-won earnings of the hard-working battlers on whom this nation depends for its prosperity. Ultimately, the greedy jealous fools will destroy the economy unless they wake up to reality and exercise a little common sense.
    Jacks
    3rd Nov 2016
    10:11am
    "those who flouted the rules were not being penalised"

    That research was absolute rubbish.

    Here is the governments own figures on this.

    Tudge: “Only about four percent of those who fail to undertake a required activity without reasonable excuse receive a financial penalty.”

    Reality

    According to the Coalition’s own job seeker compliance data, during the 2015-2016 financial year 261,529 financial penalties were imposed on unemployed Australians. On average, this means that three out of every 10 unemployed workers faced a financial penalty – a rate 7 times higher than Tudge claimed. It’s possible that they’re fining the same people multiple times, but not that many times. Far from Australia being too lenient on its unemployed citizens, the data reveals a society that has become unconscionably cruel and punitive in its dealings with those without work.

    Since the Coalition was elected three years ago, the number of financial penalties imposed on unemployed workers has increased 20 per cent and the number of payment suspensions has increased a staggering three and a half times. Stories of job agency abuse have become commonplace, while complaints against agencies have reached unprecedented levels. The industry is in chaos. Department of employment job seeker compliance data showing graphs from 2010 to 2016 confirm this.

    Tudge: “We will always proudly have a generous social security net”

    Reality

    Australia currently spends 9.2 per cent of its GDP on social security cash payments – 3 per cent below the OECD average. Our unemployment entitlement – currently just under $400 below the Henderson Poverty Line – is the second lowest in the OECD.

    All income support payments in Australia sit below this poverty line.

    Tudge: “There are 474,000 more jobs today than three years ago”

    Since the Coalition took office three years ago, the average unemployment rate has actually increased to around 6 per cent compared to 5.1 per cent under the Gillard and Rudd Labor Governments. How then can the Coalition boast about increasing the number of jobs by almost half a million?

    Of the 470,000 Australians employed over the past three years, more than three quarters were employed on a part time basis (defined by the ABS as working between 1-35 hours per week).

    And Porter got in on lying too.

    Today's "welfare spend" is about $160 billion a year. This makes it the largest category of (federal) government spending, representing 80 per of all individual income tax collections, he says. (Except that personal income tax represents only about half of all the federal tax we pay. Oops.)

    He wants us to assume most of this $160 billion goes on people who could work, but won't: dole bludgers, sole parent bludgers and people on disability pensions pretending to have bad backs.

    Except that half the money goes to bludgers who don't want to work because they're over 65. Another quarter goes to bludgers with children (the family tax benefit) or young mothers wanting subsidised childcare so they can do their bludging at work.

    Most of the alleged projected "unrestrained growth" in the welfare spend will come from the continuing retirement of the baby-boomer bulge and the success of investment advisers in helping people get the age pension despite their big super payouts.

    Porter says we can't continue to borrow money to fund today's welfare system growth because this would burden young Australians.

    He avoids admitting that apparently we can continue to borrow money to cover a tax cut for people earning more than $80,000 a year, hugely expensive cuts in company tax, a much-delayed crackdown on multinational tax avoidance and a massive increase in spending on defence.
    Jacks
    3rd Nov 2016
    12:18pm
    "Scott Morrison voiced his frustration at the Labor Party’s seeming keenness to keep the welfare system rather than incentivise people to escape"

    No one was ever incentivised to leave the unemployment welfare system by threat of removal of payments. You can't get a job if there are few jobs going, especially those people who few skills.

    A snapshot of the availability of jobs has shown limited employment opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers, indicating the need for a new approach to getting these people into work.

    In May, the Employment Department’s vacancy report showed 37% of advertised positions were at the top skill level, and just 13% at the lowest skill level.

    "Government figures revealed in The Australian that in 2014-15 the top 10 per cent of those on parenting benefits received at least $45,032, Mr Morrison said, “It is a crying shame that some Australians would have to take a pay cut to get a job in this country because of the way our welfare system works.”

    Government figures revealed nothing but bullshit. I'm surprised Debbie that you didn't look for the real statistics.

    Here is a start from Ross Gittens

    single parents with four children can get welfare payments of more than $52,000 a year if they don't work, but less than $50,000 after tax if they work and receive the median full-time wage.

    Small problem with this appalling news. It's a cock and bull story.

    The welfare experts took no time to demolish it.

    For a start, it's a contrived example. There must be some single parents with four kids, but they'd a small fraction of all welfare-dependent single parents and an infinitesimal fraction of the 5.2 million recipients of federal "income support".

    Worse, it's a false comparison. If the sole parent took the job they'd still be eligible for the $32,000-odd in family tax benefits per year. By supposedly preferring to accept the "parenting payment single" of less than $20,000, they'd be passing up the median full-time wage of almost $50,000 after tax.

    What Porter doesn't seem to know is that family payments are specifically designed to be the same whether parents are working or not, precisely to ensure they don't discourage parents on benefits from taking a job.

    So the Minister for Social Services has grossly misrepresented the workings of his own system.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2016
    5:44pm
    Scott Morrison is a self-interested and conceited idiot who is nothing more than a mouth-piece for his equally stupid party's policies.

    When he can point to MEANINGFUL jobs available for all those blood-suckers he sees on Social Security, perhaps he might have a point - but lambasting Labor for wanting to keep Social Security in place in a deepening employment crisis in this country while blithely uttering such nonsense as "incentivising people to escape" by reducing them to starvation is insane and, hopefully, will lead to his hanging from a telegraph pole down in The Shire, and not just as a poster when election day is drawing near.... at which time next I hope he bites the bullet and leaves Parliament under a cloud (so he can get another freebie handout from the party to sustain him in his misery)....

    Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke....
    Anonymous
    7th Nov 2016
    10:38pm
    Morrison's weird idea of ''incentivising'' apparently includes offering retirees and would-be future retirees who struggled to save enough for a moderately comfortable retirement a huge reward for reducing their savings - either by a big spend up, gifting if under 60, or over-investing in the family home. Under the utterly absurd new asset rules, a couple denied a pension but having less than about $1.2 million invested would have to earn better than 10% to be as well off as a couple with only $460,000 in assets and receiving a pension. Oh sure, the richer couple can spend their capital - which means they sacrificed lifestyle to save the taxpayer money and get ZERO personal gain, and either way younger retirees will struggle in later retirement due to being compelled to reduce their assets prematurely. End result: more pensioners drawing bigger pensions and more struggling retirees.

    Heaven help the poor battler who needs work and can't find it. Of course it MUST be his fault! So persecute him, and drive up the incidence of sickness, mental disorders, family breakups and crime, thus driving welfare costs UP UP UP. And at the same time, position bad employers to exploit desperate job seekers.

    Morrison is a moron! And the LNP has no idea at all how to manage an economy.

    23rd Jan 2017
    10:20am
    Creating incentives??? That's exactly what this government is NOT doing. It's kicking the sh..... out of anyone who works, saves and invests - unless they can get to wealthy status!
    If the morons in power want to reduce welfare costs, let people enjoy the rewards of their efforts. Let senior Australians retire in comfort and security and keep their earnings to enjoy in old age or pass on to their offspring. Forcing those who saved but didn't get wealthy to gift their savings to those who didn't, making them drain their savings to top up tiny incomes, is a certainty to destroy incentive and drive welfare costs UP.


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