Labor Leader Bill Shorten responds to Federal Budget 2018

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“We can do better than this,” said Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten when he rose in the House to respond to the Turnbull Government’s Federal Budget 2018.

Mr Shorten went on to say that the Prime Minister is out of touch, by making cuts to education, health, pensioners and raising the retirement age to 70, while supporting a $17 billion ‘giveaway’ to big banks.

Labor, the Opposition Leader maintains, has a plan to “bring the fair go back into the heart of our nation”.

“It’s a plan we can afford by not spending $80 billion on big business and big banks so we can look after the real forgotten people: working families, pensioners and all Australians doing it tough because of flat wages, rising power bills and increasing health costs.”

He then went on to state that a Labor Government would do “better” on tax cuts for middle Australians, with 10 million workers to pay less income tax each year. In effect, they would be on average $928 better off a year. He contrasted the Labor tax cuts with those promised by Treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday night which, Mr Shorten claims, will see $6 out of every $10 going to the wealthiest 20 per cent of Australians.

Other aspects of Mr Shorten’s reply included what he called a real wages policy, with a restoration of Sunday penalty rates and a focus on abuse of labour hire practices, pay equity for women, tax cuts for small business, plus a better NBN and new health imaging for regional Australia.

He also emphasised the need to pay down our national debt, faster, as it has doubled under the current Government, reaching $21,000 for every man, woman and child, and will cost $18 billion in interest in 2019.

Labor will also create a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which Mr Shorten described as a national integrity commission. He called the planned Budget cut to Australian and Investments Commission (ASIC) funding a disgrace, given the “pathology of exploitation” revealed in the Banking Royal Commission. A Labor Government will give $25 million to the public prosecutor to follow through on the work of the royal commission.

School funding is also high on the Labor agenda, with a reversal of cuts Mr Shorten claims the Coalition Government has made to schools and reversing the freeze on university funding, which represents 10,000 fewer places next year. Training was also emphasised with less reliance on skilled visa workers, and 100,000 fee-free TAFE places.

And finally, it was the “world’s oldest retirement age” that drew Mr Shorten’s ire, stating this would not be supported by a Labor Government, and that “giving older Australians the security and dignity they deserve is worth more than an $80 billion tax cut” to corporates.

What do you think? Is this really a fairer deal for all? Or is it a tit for tat tax cut election spend?

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Written by Kaye Fallick

410 Comments

Total Comments: 410
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    Labor, concerned about the debt? Now that’s what I needed.. to have a good laugh to start off the day LOL.
    Labor hasn’t had a budget surplus since 1989. And they won’t get one regardless of how high they push up taxes.
    LOL

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      You might like to look at the figures when Gillard was run out of town. Debt was being repaid believe it or not.
      You also failed to mention that since Abbott was put into office the national debt has MORE THAN DOUBLED….and now the bastards want to give $80 BILLION to multinationals and the wealthy. Seriously!

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      Unbelieva – Bill! What a surprise that Mick has revised history to skew the facts, in defence of his beloved lefties!Mick, you choose to ignore (conveniently), that Bill has a policy that initially wanted to screw OAP’s out of franking credits, and when that wasn’t going to fly, decided to go for the jugular of SFR’s. What a man! Who can forget that on every difficult question asked of him at the Royal Commission, he couldn’t remember. What a man! Who can forget that last year, he gave rolled gold assurances, that all his members would pass the citizenship test? What a man! Who can forget how he lambasted Barnaby Joyce – yet let’s look at his own personal life – not sure that it stands up too well to close scrutiny – ask Mrs. S No.1 on that score. On every measure of honesty, integrity and believability this bloke is a fail. Mick, if you were fair dinkum, you would be pushing as hard as to get Albanese into the top spot.

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      Shorten unequivocally stated that retirees would not lose $1 of dividend imputation refunds. End of argument!
      For the record we are self funded retirees and do not even get a Health Care Card.
      I will not disagree with your assessment of Shorten but one step at a time Big Al. First step is GET RID OF THE CURRENT rich man’s government trying to get its dictatorship up and running.

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      No debt is bad too. Keep it down. But not gone. Do some more research Adrianus. This government is handing money to the banks instead of making them pay retribution to the people they have harmed. Instead of blindly supporting LNP do some reading by the experts who know money and budgets. The family budget is nothing like the country’sbudget.
      Growth happens when people spend and they cannot spend when they have nothing to spend. By giving money to the poorer people who spend everything the economy benefits. GST is built into products so more tax happens there too.

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      I agree with your idea on growth and indeed if only the top end have all the money the economy will grind to a halt….which will result in the top demanding more tax cuts again. A sick game where everybody eventually loses.

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      MICKY, paying the interest bill on the debt is different to paying down on the principal. LOL
      Kathleen show me how the government is handing money to the banks? LOL

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      Not talking about the interest bill….which will soar as world rates come back to more normal levels.
      The last 2 governments has more than doubled our debt with no GFC in sight. That is known as mismanagement on a national scale. Now they want to give away $80 to the rich.

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      Pointless argument, BOTH PARTIES are stuck in the 2 Party battle with the ONLY Priority is to win the next election.
      There is no thought on what is good for Australia, just what is good for ALP or LNP.
      Both need to sent to the wilderness until one or both realise that Politicians are voted in to SERVE the PEOPLE not themselves.
      Both parties need to be replaced with Independents.

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      Mick, Julia sold off the last of our off shore gas supply!

      Kevin Rudd gave every tax payer a $1000 to buy a new TV where the money went directly to a foreign manufacturer when the GFC didn’t actually hit us until several years later when our banks were forced to compete with global low interest rates.

      The Labor party gave everyone free insulation and how many houses burnt down and how many young apprentices were electrocuted?

      If big business (the money makers) are not stifled by heavy taxation they will stay in Australia and provide jobs for Australians.
      We don’t need handouts, we need incentives to become a nation of producers and manufacturers. The money will follow.

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      Adrianus, how is giving a massive tax cuts to big corporations NOT handing billions to the banks? This government is not only wanting to throw money at companies that have openly declared they will NOT use it to increase employment or wages, and give the wealthy a 60% tax cut while giving the battlers less than 1%.

      I despite Shorten and I don’t trust Labor. In fact, I have traditionally voted LNP more often than not, but I cannot condone the social re-engineering and, in particular, the outright abuse of our senior citizens to fund handouts to the rich.

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      Rosret – to respond:

      1. Gorgon is the third largest LNG deposit in the world. Howard let it be sold to offshore investors. My wife and I held shares in this company and this was to our superannuation. Now Australians have NO GAS and the owners of Gorgon reserve zero for us. Worse than that is Australia gets almost no royalties for the gas going to Asia as world prices have been suppressed. Tell me about gas!

      2. Rudd/Gillard giveaways. This happened when the GFC hit. I personally did not agree with the policy but Australia was the only nation where millions of workers were not unemployed overnight. I bet YOU did not lose your job. The prevailing problem as I understand it was that you could not roll out infrastructure projects quickly. Blame the Howard government for having not had this in place.

      3. The rich/big business are playing the same ‘tax’ game all over the world as they play nation against nation. Having the lowest rate is simply how you hand it all to the rich. What governments should be doing is collecting tax at the local rate no matter where business launders its money. And if they want to take their bat and ball and move out of the country they should be hit with a 30% minimum exit tax. Problem solved.

      I have to think you are in the troll camp giving some of the distant past you are dredging up Rosret. In fact many of the posters are clearly in the same boat and I have to wonder where the real comments are today.

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      Rainey, I hear what you’re saying. Personally I don’t mind Australia having a strong banking system. Which I may add has been weakened since 2008. Lets make the banks strong and operating within regulation guidelines. ASIC was severely weakened by Labor after they parachuted their man into the top job. During which time ASIC did nothing about the Storm issue, with the CBA lending like there was no tomorrow because the funds were being returned to them as deposits. A $2billion sole purpose fund was set up for Storm. When the regulator does nothing it can be seen as a green light. Interestingly the ASIC boss resigned 2 weeks before Turnbull announced the Banking RC? Even the Greens are asking about ASICs conflict of interest with AMP.
      Labor has a track record of creating these situations.

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      Adrianus, you are 100% correct.
      Mick, why only give the half of the figures that best suits your argument, that is a page straight out of Shortens copybook.
      Lets have a look at all of the budget figures since Howard/Costello left us a giant surplus.
      Rudd/Swann 4 years, average deficit 44.375 billionn annually.
      Gillard/Swann 2 years 31.105 billion annually.
      Abbott/Hockey 2 years 38.75 billion annually.
      Turnbull/Morrison 2 years (so far) 25.7 billion annually and dropping.
      So please tell me how was debt being repaid when Gillard was in power, it would seem to me that no debt can really be repaid until we run a surplus again

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      Adrianus – your post is not to be believed.

      ASIC is Labor’s fault? The Turnbull government is sucking money out of it so how do you get that?
      ASIC has been a dead horse for decades and needs to be restructured and independent of government as it does zip other than employ people to do nothing.

      Labor put top people into the job? When Rudd won office he did a 50/50. When Abbot was put into office he did 100% liberal party stooges and cronies. Check the facts for yourself!

      Turnbull moved heaven and earth to avoid the Banking RC. Now the truth is starting to filter out, we are talking about prosecution of directors and CEO and compensation is starting to flow. Thank Labor for that. Would not have happened otherwise. No mention of that in your right wing post.

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      The debt being repaid under the Gillard Government Mick. Sometimes you talk sense and sometimes nonsense. This is the latter. When the country is running a deficit budget it is impossible to be repaying debt as the deficit is funded by more debt.

      Reduction in spending would have helped the last two Governments reduce debt. But listen to the squeals. A populist Senate opposition majority that votes down every debt saving measure.—– of course the debt has grown. Just what would you have done to reduce the debt that would have got the support of Labor, the Greens, the independents?

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      Arbee, you are forgetting that obligations carry forward. Rudd/Gillard/Swan inherited massive forward obligations resulting from huge tax cuts Howard and Costello gave the 20% richest in the nation. Those tax cuts were a major cause of debt that only showed when the impact showed in financial reports. Also, Rudd/Gillard/Swan had to deal with the GFC, whereas Howard and Costello enjoyed a record boom. Turnbull and Co. have been very lucky to take the reins after the GFC and to inherit minimal unaffordable obligations from Labor. Had Labor made forward commitments of billions in tax cuts (as Howard and Costello did), this LNP would have had a far harder task. Even so, they have NOT done well when you examine the rising debt and the horrid attacks on the less well-off, excused by a ”budget emergency” that suddenly ceased when they wanted to give unaffordable handouts to their supporters.

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      arbee, that’s why people don’t want Labor because they’re no good at math. MICK thinks that if he talks in fractions and percentages it makes him look knowledgeable.
      So MICK Rudd did a 50/50 and Abbott did a 100%? OK LOL
      Sweet child of Jesus??!!! You’re killing me MICK LOL!!
      Of course Turnbull would not want a Banking RC. Its a negative , non productive costly exercise which could or rather should be handled by the regulators. We need to find out who it was who misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before jumping to conclusions.

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      Rainey, I would disagree with you there. Government Revenue has had a continual and steady increase for both parties. What I find a little funny is that people don’t understand that Labor has absolutely no idea what they’re doing. Take this Franking Credit Policy of Shorten’s? His forward estimates initially included a massive windfall, when he decided to extinguish refundable amounts. I wonder if he realises that one of the reasons for the jump in ATO revenue is because of the drying up of businesses carried forward losses? Hello Bill?? Reminds me a little of the mining tax calculations he and Swan did. A claytons tax. Well here we go again. The LNP must have a lot of fun laughing at those opposite.

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      Sceptic – your post defies belief.

      Adrianus – percentages are the only real measure of tax paid. A person who pays $1000 tax on an income of $30,000 is completely difference to a person who pays the same amount of tax on an income of $200,000. This is the con the rich, who earn much of the national income, use to deceive those who are not good at maths. I do not have an issue with perspective and the maths needed to compare apples with apples.
      And then you go on to excuse WHY a PM turns a blind eye to a national fraud, supported by you.
      Last, tax receipts are up, not down. Have you not heard that we are selling records amounts of minerals again?
      Your post is deceptive Adrianus. Intentionally it appears.

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      Debt is the biggest it’s ever been under the Lieberals.

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      And growing. If this government is put back in debt will be $80 higher on 30 June of the tax year but you never hear this from the mainstream media preaching their right wing spew.

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      Adrianus, I agree that the franking credit policy shows that Labor has no idea what they are doing. But sadly the change to the assets test shows the LNP have no idea either. Making it detrimental to save for retirement and advantageous to shed assets and claim a fatter pension is patently STUPID and about as irresponsible as it gets. And the idiots are still justifying their stupidity.

      Now the LNP is giving away money that it assumes we MIGHT have if wages rise and unemployment falls, but there’s no indication that either are likely. In fact, quite the reverse. Oh, yes, they CLAIM they’ve created hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Forgot to mention hundreds of thousands joined the workforce, so unemployment has NOT fallen. And while unemployment is NOT falling and the government is ideologically opposed to wage rises, wage rises won’t happen. So the budget is grossly irresponsible.

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      ” What governments should be doing is collecting tax at the local rate no matter where business launders its money. “

      Got it in one, Mick….. 73 governments held a conference over exactly that issue in the last twelve months….. but somehow such an idea is viewed by the calcified right as ‘communist’… well – that makes 73 of the developed nations communist.

      But don’t anyone let that stand in the way of a good slagging.

      You ship your cash to the Caymans for zero company tax – you pay your 30% on PROFIT before it leaves these shores.

      All it takes is a few good men and women with balls and no personal self-interest.

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      **rolls eyes** a deficit budget is not debt… **rolls eyes again**

      Stop confusing someone’s self-serving estimates for the future with dollars… it does not happen.

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      **rolls eyes again** revenue in isolation is meaningless – it must be associated with expenditure **rolls eyes again**.

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      Rainey, my point about Shorten’s new tax on retirees is that his revenue take will be overestimated due to Franked Dividends drying up. Businesses which lost heavily during the Rudd Gillard years have just about exhausted their carry forward losses. Its a case of closing the gate after the horse has bolted. This is, in effect boosting the Turnbull Government revenue. Shorten fails to understand why we need a stronger economy even though the man on the street does?
      Employment levels are simply a case of supply and demand. A stronger economy provides more employment opportunities. More employment opportunities means higher wages. The most important asset of a business is its human resources. As each business competes to attract and maintain the price increases.
      In a weak economy higher unemployment causes lower wages.

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      You are spot on TREBOR. The current system is fraudulent and indeed ANY profit originating in a country of origin needs to be taxed IN THAT COUNTRY at the going rate. That is not rocket science.
      The fact that our current PM has his funds stashed in a blatant tax shelter and nothing is done about it is testament to the fact that the government we have is corrupt. A bunch of rotten apples in suits preaching economic management as they hand money hand over fist to the wealthy. Fraud!
      Don’t expect a lot to change unless ordinary citizens start to understand the game or we get a revolution. The media is owned by the big end of town and the same deal everywhere. So the cartel continues to function and the dumb public wonder why they cannot afford to live any more. Give me strength!

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      Mick if I have a different perspective on the last 20 years it does not make me a troll.

      My eyes and ears are wide open to what both parties are advocating. They both need to be watched very carefully. The Labor party made some huge mistakes in power. If they want a future platform it has to be one that accepts what didn’t work and then moves forward. Even the turmoil of continual poor leadership changes indicted their own rank and file was unhappy.

      Their principles are excellent but its a balance between finance, social welfare and economic growth. Its the some of all the parts and its always about compromise.

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      Thanks for the balanced comment. You are certainly one of the regulars here unlike many on this blog who are clearly working the site after Shorten’s reply.
      For the record I agree with your sentiments. My concern is that this time around it’s different because this government is not a ‘normal’ coalition government. It is working on a dictatorship (ABC?) and wealth transfer to the top end (America?). The add in regular legislative changes to stop journalists delving into the crooked behaviour of the rich. Don’t even get me started on (fraudulent) tax havens….which the PM is involved in too.
      The last 6 years are there for all to see: huge debt and nothing to show for it other than waste.

      If Australians are duped into putting this lot back in then God help us all. Maybe I see the world different but I do see what is going on. Whilst I have not voted Labor for decades it is a case of the best of a bad lot this time. No other choice other than leave this country altogether.

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      Adrianus, Shorten’s franking credit policy actually does one hideously wrongful thing – it makes low income earners pay company tax. Instead of a 30% tax on companies, we will effectively have those earning too little to pay tax paying 30% tax and those earning plenty paying nil. Good one, Shorten! That’s absolutely contrary to the Labor ethos. And I agree it is stupid and economically detrimental, and it cannot possibly raise the predicted revenue.

      BUT… and here’s the point you are missing. Companies have outright declared the THEY WILL NOT use increased cash resulting from tax cuts to increase employment, nor to increase wages. Companies hire as many people as they NEED. No more. They don’t hire more because they have more cash. They hire more because PEOPLE BUY MORE. And people can’t buy more when the LNP is constantly pushing wages and welfare income DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN. So employment will FALL under LNP policies of giving unaffordable tax cuts to the wealthy and to companies and suppressing individual incomes of the classes that traditionally SPEND any extra they receive.

      Unemployment will fall when more people have more to spend and their extra consumption places higher demand on businesses to produce. The extra profit from extra sales will fund the extra jobs. TAX CUTS DON’T DO IT AND ARE NOT EITHER NEEDED OR JUSTIFIED.

      Neither party is getting it right. Shorten is clearly an idiot and the ALP strategy will do hideous harm. But the LNP is equally bad, or worse. It’s a choice of two incompetent, corrupt, dishonest demons, and none of us can reliably determine which is the most harmful to the nation.

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      Quote Kathleen,
      “No debt is bad too.”
      Surely you don’t seriously believe that?

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      Rainey, you are 100% correct. Why should low income earners and pensioners pay company tax?? It seems to fit the Fabian ideology. According to the Left, there are two classes, the haves and the have nots. There is no in between. The haves need to be a relatively small select group of superior intellect who work at maintaining the status quo. Only those people have the wealth in their future perfect world. Keep the proletarians poor and dependent on government handouts. It would not surprise me to see Shorten announce additional welfare to be distributed to those poor who miss out on franking credits..

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      Adrianus, you are right about Labor’s ideology, sadly, But the LNP’s ideology is that there are two classes – the haves and the have nots, and there should be no in between. The difference is that the LNP believe the have nots should be trampled on and starved into slavery, whereas the ALP believe the in-betweens should be robbed to support the have nots at a modestly comfortable standard.

      Both parties are happy to overfeed the rich and let them pillage and plunder (mainly because THEY and their buddies are rich, and heaven forbid they should do anything to hurt themselves or their mates). Both parties clearly hate the climbers who work and save to improve their status, and both persecute and punish anyone in that category. The only difference between them is their approach to the poor. One group wants to starve and enslave them. The other wants to feed them crumbs, financed by taking from the climbers and in-betweens such that they are crushed and have to join the have-nots living on crumbs.

      The in-betweens and strivers always lose no matter what. And that is why the nation is stuffed – no matter which bunch of bastards governs.

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      Rainey it is clear to me that you don’t understand how the franking credit system impacts on the ATO nett revenue.

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    Bill, all this and heaven too. ????

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      Labor cannot be trusted to keep their word. Ask Andrew Wilkie.

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      Could any politician, (be they Labor, Liberal, National, Greens, One Nation, Democrats (if they still exist) etc), be trusted to ‘keep their word’, they all fly whichever way the political wind blows.

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      Quite true eddy but their are shades of grey at play here rather than black or white.
      Personally the $80 billion handout to the top end of town at a time Australians cannot meet their bills because of stagnant wages and the big end of town is doing very nicely does not make sense. How can anybody support such a disreputable policy. We are not America….are we?

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      We don’t call the Liberals LIEberals or Fiberals for nothing…

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      One thing that is very clear by his posts are that Knows-a-lot actually knows F–k all.

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      What a government sponsored grub you are arbee. Its bad enough that you post your government funded right wing lies but when it comes to this sort of language you need to be banned from this website.

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    Shorten unequivacably stated in his Budget reply that Labor would not touch retirees receiving dividend imputation credits. This has been an area of contention from a number of posters and the coalition trolls have made big claims, all now worthless. As usual. You are safe.

    Whilst I don’t wish to be a walking billboard the choice of government appears to be so clear you could drive a truck through it. Whilst it pains me to vote for one of the major parties this time around seems unavoidable given the current government trying its best to divide our country into rich and the (destitute) working poor. I won’t have a bar of that and I hope that neither will any of us. That is not what Australia is.

    As I have already said in the past I can see a dictatorship developing with Turnbull at the helm. This lot has already hidden the dealings of the rich from public scrutiny, it is compromising our privacy laws and it is attempting to close down the ABC because the ABC refuses to become yet another right wing propaganda machine. The fact that the PM has his money in a blatant tax shelter and refuses to stop tax avoidance by the wealthy tells the complete story. It has to end!
    If Australians do not rid this country of the political cancer which now infests Canberra it will get a future none of us wants. Your call fellow Australians!

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      OG – please respond to the above. Facts, not vitriole or mudslinging please.

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      I read what you’re saying, Mick, now I’m in a quandary, previously deciding to vote for an Independent with views I support, I do not wish the Nat/libs in power and without any doubt do NOT want Labor in power. Many, many times I’ve listened to them on question time in Parliament (both houses) talking rubbish. Seems like I will have to carefully choose an Independent again.

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      My bigger picture is indeed to remove both sides from monopoly government by voting in Independents.
      Given the nature of the current lot though all Australians should be uniting to rid ourselves of this rich man’s monopoly. I have no interest in living in the emerging dictatorship and neither should any of us.

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      I think Labor is the answer this time too. I actually don’t hate Turnbull but blame the mindset of the party to reward the banks for bad behaviour and keep boot licking the super wealthy. Turnbull has a heart but is governed by others within the party.
      Maybe lift the tax free threshold to way up to something like $40,000 which would benefit all but the poorest the most.
      We need Labor to fix the hospitals and schools and TAFE etc because LNP will not!
      I have voted for each of them in the past but this time it will be Labor because it needs to be fairer for the worker and the poor people.

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      I thought the hospitals and schools got fixed by Rudd, Gillard, Swan, Bowen, Shorten et al??

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      You are a kind soul to think that Turnbull is a decent person. The man has his fortune in offshore tax shelters so presumably pays zero tax here. Money lost by all of us…but he still uses our roads, hospitals, police, etc.
      Also consider that Turnbull was involved in hiding the dealings of the rich from journalists so that crooked top end citizens cannot be found out.
      And then there are attempts to track citizens and take away a growing list of privacy right we currently have.
      Turnbull is indeed controlled by his degenerate Party but he has free will. Prostitutes will sell out every idea they have so I leave you to perhaps reassess politicians on a case by case basis.
      I too thought Turnbull would be good for the country when he arrived on the scene. Things have worked out differently and I see the man as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Cheers

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      If you are Self Funded and not a Full or Part Pensioner you will be impacted by Labors policy.
      Those exempted will be 277,000 full and part-time pensioners and 29,000 non-aged pensioners on other allowances such as carers, disability support pensioners, the unemployed and those on parenting payments.
      In addition, another 13,000 SMSFs that have at least one pensioner or other allowance as a recipient before March 28 will also be exempted.

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      I am a self funded retiree. Can’t even get a Health Care Card.
      If you want to blame somebody blame the current government which has caused immeasurable pain for us as a group and still in their trying to roll the family home into the assets test so they can throw a whole pile more people into destitution.
      It is unfair that you come after Labor on this issue as the history is clear to all.

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      Aw MICK, you’re wrong on that count. The government has never said, nor even hinted, that the family home should be included in the asset test. That suggestion has been put forward by bureaucrats and has always been knocked back.

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      I have to admit I cannot be sure on your comment but suggest that when ‘leaks’ like this happen the government of the day is nearly always behind them.
      Given the brazen and ongoing attack on retirees of all manner I think the writing has to be on the wall. If they can’t get you out of your house and living on the proceeds then I do believe they will include the family home in the assets test if re-elected. Failing that…an Inheritance Tax.
      Either way this lot are gone shortly so we won’t have to worry.

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      Mick, I agree the LNP have done hideous harm to SFRs, and very unfairly, but Labor introduced the assets test in the first place. Never forget that. Labor has not befriended the likes of you and I either.

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      The assets test was fair. What was not fair is that the current lot then made sure it would hit average citizens when it should have only targeted the top 1% which has plenty of funds invested to provide a wonderful retirement. There is a stark difference.

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      MICK, I can agree with a lot of what you said, however Labor refused to reverse the Assets test (after initially introducing it).

      Note that Shorten also did not rule out the large $7K tax cuts to the rich (and all MPs) on $200K and above, and tried to confuse people by simply focusing on the lower and middle income tax cuts.

      Nothing for Older Australians either. Can’t recommend him or his party, also given their history, e.g. increased Age for pensions to 67.

      Best option remains – vote OUT all current Liberal, Labor and Geeen seat-warmers by putting them LAST in preferences, and hope new members (Independents included may do a better job o looking after the people especially Older Australians.

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      Can’t remember George but all politicians move on and policies change. The real interest I have is whether Shorten will stick to what he says he will do or not. We don’t want another Abbott who the day after the election is done starts shredding the promises he made the day before.
      The is a place to introduce an Impeachment Law in Australia to stop low life MPs from behaving immorally.

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      Mick, an assets test was NEVER sensible. Punishing people for saving is always going to hurt the economy, and will ALWAYS be unfair. And Labor never proposed changing a limit that was patently unfair when investment returns crashed to a tiny fraction of what they used to be. Nor would they pledge to reverse the LNP’s wrongful changes. And now they ARE attacking SFRs with an unfair franking credit policy. (Yes, I checked and verified. Your understanding is wrong. Only pensioners or SMSFs with one member receiving a government pension before March 28 will be exempt!)

      I detest the LNP, but unfortunately Labor is not presenting as a worthy alternative.

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      And as for the family home – the assets test attacks homeowners unfairly. Rent assistance discriminates against homeowners. And now we have reverse loans at higher than average mortgage interest rates to reduce pressure for increases in the pension. It’s coming! You can be sure the assault will continue – whichever party wins power

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      I’ll try and get an update on that OGR. Thanks for your info.
      You have to remember that if either party hits retires too hard many will fight back. There are ways to punish a government which unfairly attacks any large group of people. Retirees are not exactly a handful of folk although SFRs are a smaller subset.
      We live in interesting times but my number 1 priority is to see the back of the most wicked group of politicians I have ever seen running our country. I stand by my comment that a dictatorship is its ultimate aim as they keep restricting privacy and hiding behind legislation they enact, including closing down any media outlet which dares to challenge fraudulent government from the right.
      Ok…time to get off the soapbox.

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      On reverse mortgages – DON’T TOUCH THEM! A friend of the ex (for whom I am full-time carer – the ex that is) is currently going through the trauma of her mother having to go into a nursing home, and her deceased father having taken out a reverse mortgage – leaving not one cent in the till for the nursing home.

      I long ago showed you in figures that a reverse mortgage would double in around under 8 years, then triple in eleven, the quadruple in thirteen or fourteen, and after that it gets worse and worse.

      You would be far better served selling your home and living on the capital with rental assistance, unless you plan on dying tomorrow.

      Don’t touch a reverse mortgage.

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      Trevor use the rule of 72. At 10% prices will double in 7.2 years.

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      Yes TREBOR, Australians should not be touching reverse mortgages with a ten foot pole.
      This is a product guaranteed to destroy an inheritance but this is what the top end of town and this government want. Leave your family nothing and make them dependent on income from their job…..which on current for will lead to poverty and destitution. The long game being the top end of town snaps up all assets of any value and the rest of society becomes dependent slaves.
      I think I may have lived too long. The world is not all that wonderful a place.

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    Shorten will say whatever is necessary to get the top job, similar to the Qld Premier, he will learn from her, just watch out if he is elected, it will be Shorten, the C.F.M.E.U. and the Greens , what a scary thought

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      And Abbott? And Turnbull?
      The difference being whether or not you want a rich man’s dictatorship or a party which does not try to change the laws of the land to create one.

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      Greens are rubbishing Labor which I do not understand.
      Thank goodness for the unions as workers would not have the benefits they do today.
      I see no choice this time if we are to have some fairness restored.

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      The Greens spat the dummy because Labor said it would govern in its own right or not al all. The Greens want to do what they did when Rudd and Gillard were PM: blackmail the party into doing things it otherwise would not do.
      You are right about unions love ’em or hate ’em. If we didn’t have them what saw happen to hospitality workers would be on for all of us. Slavery and availability 24/7.

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      Agree it will be a different Bill Shorten if he wins the election when he has to be accountable for his policies and their fallout.

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      And Abbott? What’s different now?

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    “Anything you can do I can do better”. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t playing with the Future of our Country.

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      It is indeed but what I have said above is pertinent. If the coalition were a law abiding government governing for the nation I would feel otherwise. They are anything but and we should all hold fears for the long game which is being played out. Tax cuts for multinationals and the wealthy are but the beginning.

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      I think your imagination is running away with you Mick. I wish you would stop playing the Rich vs the Poor card. That is so old hat and is pushed by the Lefty Social Progressive. Just look what untold misery it has caused in Countries that are ruled by Communism and its variants. We are still living in the best place on this planet, even if you are poor.

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      $80 billion of the countries money Oldie. That is not rich vs poor. It is fraudulent use of the nation’s resources.
      Australia has never been owned by the rich. The rich have always done well but the current push has been to turn the country into a mirror of the American model where the top live in unbelievable obscenity and the rest live in squalor and need to work fulltime as well as collect food stamps.

      You might want to write my view of as ‘leftie’ but you miss the point that Australia belongs to all of us and we need a fair carve up of the wealth we have. Not rich man’s corruption where taxable income is fiddled using creative accounting, offshore tax shelters and blatant dishonesty. Nothing leftie about these things which are blatant accommodated corruption……..from a coalition government.

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    Governments of all flavours have been warned since the early 1970s of the baby boomer demographic time bomb coming when the boomers become retirement age. Whitlam despite his other shortcomings tried to get an retirement system similar to the Social Security system in the US. While the US may not work in Australia at least he had the forethought that Australia needed a superannuation system while the baby boomers were able to pay in over a long period. The idea was put down by Fraser and his landed gentry.
    Subsequent governments did nothing and we now have the situation where a third of pensioners, mostly not of their own making, are living in poverty.
    Governments due to their own failures are inciting generational war against older Australians who only followed the policies of the governments of the day to attempt to save for their retirement.
    All Politicians and Governments are corrupt and self-serving only some are more than others. The politicians we have today from all sides of politics are cognitively defective F-wits. As for Bill Shorten he is the biggest corrupt lying F-wit politician in Australia today.

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      I would have to put Tony Abbott at the top of that list BH with the current PM not far behind. The real test for Shorten’s credibility will come when he becomes PM. If he does an Abbott then he will suffer the same end.
      Let the games begin. And the winner is………..
      ot Sydney.

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      Mick – I turn 69 in a month or so – can I afford to live long enough to see all the arseholes given their just desserts?

      I don’t want three years of a Shorten disaster to follow the current Abbott/Turnbull disaster… I want real change now.

      One of the prime movers to revolutionary action is the perception that meaningful change is too long in happening… I see nothing on the horizon to indicate that meaningful change is about to happen.

      Told yez – I’ve studied revolution/counter-revolution/terrorism/counter-terrorism and a few other things…

      I want change NOW- not twenty years down the track when my grand-daughters are working in the sex trade to earn a living or are selling their daughters into that trade to make a few short-term dollars.

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      Fair call TREBOR and I agree with your sentiments but have a look at the form from the current lot and tell me that they will not succeed in closing down their main media opposition (the ABC), taking away even more privacy rights from us all and transferring even more public money to the top end of town whilst blowing our debt out of the water.
      As I see it we need to get rid of the dangerous government first. That unfortunately means putting Labor in. After that it is a long game to convince voters to get a European model and start voting for Independents who are nation focussed and not defacto major party MPs packaged as Independents.
      Hope you see my reasoning. It is the urgence of the situation which pushes me to feel this way but I completely agree with your sentiments.

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      I agree totally, Mick – just saying that the road is fraught with pitfalls now matter which way we go, but we cannot afford a continuation of the current lot, so it looks like Labor with their often silly social policy ideas run by the Usual suspects that seem to think they are entitled to everything, and that politics is the way to gain personal power and control over society – not serve the people.

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    Mick, that is not my understanding of the Shorten position. My understanding is that he wont be taking away the imputation credits from those on the OAP or part thereof, but the last I heard it is still open slather on SFR’s. Other contributors may enlighten me, one way or another. But who can take anything he says or promises seriously? He said all his members had no citizenship problems, and now he blames the advice on his legal team. So when he cant deliver on any budget commitment, I can just hear it now – it is all the fault of Treasury – we were given the wrong advice! How convenient – promise the world, and blame others when it goes pear shaped

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      Shorten said SFR’s would not lose a dollar in imputation credit refunds. It was quick and maybe you missed it. I was particularly vigilant on this one as it will affect our income if it were otherwise.
      You might want to weigh up the 2 sides. $80 gift to the top end of town? That about says it and personally the top end of town has no need of such a handout no matter how much the rich and their propaganda machine push for it. This money needs to stay in the country and working FOR AUSTRALIANS. Pretty clear cut.
      I saw a summary from Chris Richardson who is a right wing commentator. Richardson nearly choked as he said that Labor was spending very little. I thought that was interesting so your point about ‘promising the world’ might need to be revisited I suspect.

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      Big Al, no party is just one man or one woman otherwise our PM would be free to be just because I think he is basically a good man but his hands are tied and he is owned. Labor actually has a good team and some impressive people in there. Watching QandA a few weeks ago I was impressed by the opposition assistant treasurer and then went and researched him. There are others in there too who are very good. Libs have a few too but more nasty ones unfortunately.
      Labor this time for me!

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      Good assessment Kathleen. As much as I hate to vote for a major I will be on this one. There is only one clear choice from what I can see and it ain’t the dictatorship which is forming in government.

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      Kathleen, I would argue that Peter Dutton would take some beating as a minister – yes I am looking at the government in the hope they will be returned, as the alternative scares the living daylights out of me. I also have a lot of respect for Simon Birmingham in Education, and Greg Hunt in Health – probably the two most difficult portfolios in government, because they are open ended spending departments – no matter how much you allocate in those areas, there will always be criticism that it is not enough – irrespective of who is in government. Penny W(r)ong just doesn’t do it for me – total smart alec, and whinges needlessly – no wonder she gets on so well with Hansome-dumb from the Greens!

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      Lying Greg Hunt? “You have high electricity because of the Carbon Tax”. Remember? The guy even kept up the blatant lie after Abbott got in.
      Says a lot about you Big Al. Going for the dishonest bunch of crooks currently in government rather than jumping ship for the nation’s sake.
      What scares me is the current lot. We have seen almost 6 years now and only a half wit would not have joined the dots. Lies, abusive behaviour and trickery at every corner. And you talk about the other side!
      Vote for whoever you wish. That is what democracy is about. But please do not offend readers by making statements like the above.

      I agree with you on Penny Wong if that helps. Now make a statement about Morrison, Corman, Pyne, and a few others. No interest? Funny that.

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      If you are Self Funded and not a Full or Part Pensioner you will be impacted by Labors policy.
      Those exempted will be 277,000 full and part-time pensioners and 29,000 non-aged pensioners on other allowances such as carers, disability support pensioners, the unemployed and those on parenting payments.
      In addition, another 13,000 SMSFs that have at least one pensioner or other allowance as a recipient before March 28 will also be exempted.

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      On March 28 or BEFORE March 38, Retired Knowall. I can’t get any clarity on whether those kicked off the pension when the govt changed the assets test are included in the exemption or not. They are the ones who will be most in need of their franking credits. They’ve already lost many thousands in income, and they are unlikely to have substantial incomes, as their assets fall below $1.1 million (many as low as $425,000 if one of a couple). They simply cannot afford to lose up to 30% of their income.

      I’ve asked the question of both Labor and Greens but all I got was an arrogant response from Tanya Plibersek saying ”we had to do something” and ”only a relatively small number of retirees will suffer loss”. (I guess that makes it okay then? Not enough people impacted to cost Labor significant votes, so it’s all good. Let those impacted starve. Who cares about fairness or decency? And clearly those taking from the public purse won’t have the decency and integrity to stand up for SFRs on this issue. They are too blinded by envy.)

      We really are left with the choice of the devil or the deep blue sea, it seems!

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      Retired Knowall – I answered the same post from you up a couple of comments.

      OGR – I also addressed the franking credits issue above. Shorten was crystal clear that franking credits used by retirees to recoup tax paid by the company would not result in one dollar being lost by retirees. That is: NO CHANGE!
      You need to watch the reply to the budget again.

      I think the choice has never been clearer. $80 handout to the rich? Are we kidding? Think what that money can do. The rich do not need it but the country does.

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      Mick, when will you ever learn, you keep on saying, Shorten said this and that as well, as if whatever he says must be the gospel truth. The man has done nothing but lie since he came into politics and probably for long before then as well. There is absolutely nothing to like about him, and if it wasn’t for the unions pushing his barrow he would probably only be a backbencher now or not even in politics at all. Why do the unions push, simple answer, he is a puppet on their strings, and if he gets into power then they control he country, and then anarchy rules.

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      “Nothing but lie”? I think you must be talking about the current government.
      Unions? We need these otherwise the raping of Hospitality Workers will be just the beginning of Australia’s transition into slavery and everything owned by the top 1%…who also happen to own the media and promote their own governments into office.
      I don’t want to give you any credence but all politicians are liars so try that one with somebody who knows no better. The issue here is who is the least dishonest?

      Come on arbee. Your role on this website has been clear for a while. Why bother. You are transparent.

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      I am a self funded retiree. Can’t even get a Health Care Card. If that’s your answer, what does that mean?
      My point is the Labor Party are no better than the LNP, both will lie and put forward half truths and it’s the Aust. people that will suffer.
      Choosing between the two is like being up to your neck in tank of sewage, if someone spat at you would you duck?

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      I’m pointing out that I am not one of the boys on either side.
      Of course both lie but only one is conducting class warfare. Whilst Turnbull is shovelling money into the bank accounts of the rich Shorten wants a fairer outcome where those who can afford to pay some tax do….and I don’t a few peanuts on a high income. That is what this government wants.
      Choosing between the two? Only a paid troll would find that hard to do.

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      Surely this means SFRs under a certain ‘ceiling’? What meaning is there in the hunt if there is nothing to catch?

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      Peter Dutton – ** chokes and blows froth off top of beer glass** …..

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      Mick the TROLL, YOU still don’t get it, I am saying you don’t have to choose between the two, DON”T Vote Foe Either of the two Majors, Both are TOXIC.
      Vote Independent.

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      I have not voted for either for many decades but THIS TIME I have no choice because getting the current batch of crooks back in cannot happen. I do not want a rich man’s dictatorship in power. Neither should you or any decent Australian who values freedom and fair government.

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      Mick vote Independent. Join the majority of unemployed or pensioners and those people on gov’t benefits who are sick of being ripped off.
      The only thing that will get the message through to either the Libs or Labor is losing seats and all we can do is make sure seats are lost at the next Federal Election.
      Take your courage in your hands and vote for an Independent.

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      That has always been my call but this time is different. We are faced with a looming rich man’s dictatorship. The noose is being tightened slowly but surely and the first step is to see this lot on their way. After that your solution is on the books.

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      Labor and Liberals have been taking turns to screw the normal people, in particular Older Australians / Retirees / Pensioners. So, I have NO confidence in this Labor party!

      Shorten has also missed the opportunity to a) Reverse the Assets Test changes now that we have “rivers of gold”, b) Not ruled out the big tax cuts for the wealthy of $7K+ including for all MPs, c) Not considered alternatives for the broken pension system such as Universal Pension or even a Review, and d) Not outlined any major offensive to ensure large companies and the rich pay their fair share of taxes say by having a Minimum Tax system. He seems to think he will have an easy ride in, based on the current Govt’s unpopularity!

      As I have said elsewhere, and many times previously, the best solution is to vote AGAINST the current seat-warmers (mainly Liberals and Labor) by PUTTING THEM LAST in Preferences, thus getting rid of the current Liberal Govt (and a lot of Labor clowns) and could end up with a lot more Independents or other good alternative party candidates. That will shake up the system, if only Retirees can act together this way, and make Retirees a force to reckon with!
      We need that to happen NOW! So, agree with Trebor & AutumnOz.

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      There is one very important difference George: Labor has NEVER attempted to bring in a dictatorship. A dictatorship begins with control of the media. Then it moves onto controlling freedoms. Use your intelligence and the last 6 years and judge for yourself.
      As I keep saying THIS election is about democracy, not Labor or Liberal. There is indeed a difference.

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    Bill Shorten has committed to $200 billion of higher taxes – on electricity, small and family business, incomes, housing, investment and retirees.

    Labor’s $200 billion tax hit would hurt families and cost jobs. Is no good for the economy
    We cannot afford Labor. No not again!!

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      Why do I suspect you are posting government propaganda?
      Please mention THE DEBT which the Abbott and Turnbull (almost said Costello – sic) governments have MORE THAN DOUBLED.
      Please also mention the $80 billion gift to the top end. Funny how your comments have no balance, cherry pick and then come to a conclusion which is fanciful at best.

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      Deluded or paid troll as there is no balance to your statements.

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      Or perhaps one of those who will suffer unfair loss of desperately needed income because he is NOT dependant on the public purse, Kathleen. Do you think that maybe you could exercise some objectivity?

      Shorten needs to change his approach to franking credits and every decent pensioner will demand that he does before deciding to give him their vote. Just because a policy doesn’t hurt you is no excuse to support unfairness that will do horrendous and seriously unfair harm to many who are already struggling, but don’t rely on the taxpayer for support.

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      OGR – get your facts straight. You are not up to speed mate. Watch SHorten’s response last night. Black and white! You will not lose $1 of imputation credits!!!!

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      Retired Knowall has an entirely different take on what was said.

      I’d love to get some official clarification, but the bastards don’t think they are accountable to ordinary voters, it seems. So how can I believe them?

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      Shorten says one thing and does something different though. You must know him well MICK, tell us, How can we trust him to honour his word?

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      If all else fails the right wing trolls throw mud.
      I have never met Shorten and I have not voted for either of the majors for decades. You would know that from my posts.
      This time around I have no choice. You might want a dictatorship but I do not. I’ll be voting for a democracy which unfortunately will mean Labor.

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      Pretty funny OGR talking about exercising some objectivity. She’s incapable of it.

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      Adrianus, don’t ignore the good things Labor is proposing, such as a Federal ICAC (long overdue) and no $80 Billion tax cuts for the large companies which will not help this country.

      However, he could have used the “rivers of gold” to reverse the Asset Test changes for pensions, increased pensions, and also clarified that he won’t give the major part (60%) of the $140 Billion in tax cuts to the rich especially as we suspect MPs (with $200K salaries) will be the biggest beneficiaries.

      Yes, voters have a tough choice – only solution seems to be to vote AGAINST all current seat-warmers of major parties, and hope things improve in future with new members.

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