Pension spending time bomb

Tony Shepherd predicts that Australia risks being ‘crippled by pension spending’.

Tony Shepherd predicts that Australia risks being ‘crippled by pension spending’.

Australia runs the risk of being ‘crippled by pension spending’, according to conservative think tank, the Menzies Research Centre.

This prediction was made on behalf of the centre by businessman Tony Shepherd, who was chair of the previous Abbott Government Commission of Audit in 2013/2014. Mr Shepherd raises concerns about the so-called ‘age dependency ratio’ in Australia, likening it to that of Japan by mid-century.

Mr Shepherd considers the ‘entitlement’ attitude of older Australians to be a major problem, noting that, “The baby boomers did a great job growing our country and much of our current wealth is built on their work. But they're not shy on the way out in looking after their interests. They're not holding back."

The report will be released today as part one of three reports which outline problems, suggest solutions and then offer a final blueprint for economic sustainability.

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Want to know what Kaye thinks about Mr Shepherd's comments?

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    COMMENTS

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    27th Mar 2017
    10:28am
    More like it's being crippled by the wealthy and big corporates not paying their fair share in taxes! Aged pensions are an entitlement and there was ample money put aside for them to be paid. It's hardly the fault of retirees that corrupt governments stole that money and misused it. How dare Shepherd now shift the blame to the victims? But that's typical of LNP thinking!
    Crashbang
    27th Mar 2017
    12:32pm
    correct. if the corrupt pollies stop taking more & more & were not able to access pensions as per the general public has to do. Why do these corrupt maggots expect their ridiculous pension amounts to be ok for them but expect the rest to live on 10% of what they receive.
    Fredklaus
    27th Mar 2017
    1:00pm
    like
    LiveItUp
    27th Mar 2017
    4:26pm
    We are crippled by a company tax that is twice the rate it should be so the wealthy and big companies just pay their tax in a country with a lowr tax rate. I don't blame them at all.

    There is no money in the piggybank ie no money put aside for the OAP. It just comes out of the taxes people like me pay evry year. Even though I am way past the OAP I still pay the government not take from them.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:25pm
    We are not crippled by any company tax, Bonny - they are doing extraordinarily well, and there is no need to lower their tax burden. On top of that - we are crippled by companies not paying tax but hiding it in many ways.

    Tax reformed needed.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    6:32pm
    Do you really believe that Labor would do any different, given the opportunity? I do not, Lib. or Lab. both Globalist in outlook and have little or no interests is the people of Australia, especially the elderly. Australia is now part of a world wide network and National interest are frowned upon by the political elite.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:54pm
    I've always said I have no expectation that Labor will do anything different - they have their own agenda to force on us - and it ain't one for the majority...
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    8:16pm
    You cannot compare our company tax with that of other countries Bonny their structure is totally different to ours, we are all still paying taxes by the way, every time we shop and pay our bills we are paying tax so you are not the only one doing so.
    LiveItUp
    27th Mar 2017
    9:54pm
    Don't mist OAPs avoid nearly all taxes by using the black economy? Most I know do. So you must be one of the few paying tax every time you shop Misty.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    11:07pm
    Long stretch, Bonny .. move on.

    FTR - I've also advocated a graduated or sliding tax scale for business similar to the United States - so that small business doesn't pay as much, but those with massive turnovers do.

    The way money disappears into Offshoria these days, such a regime has merit.... the only catch is to catch the proper tax before it goes to Offshoria and is then given a1% tax burden.

    It's all lies, Bonny - get used to it. Companies can pay their tax here and claim deduction in Offshoria.
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    1:37am
    You must know some strange people Bonny, no one that I know uses the black economy.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:14am
    Interesting posts. Liberal troll Bonny is not plausible guys so not worth a response. Straight from Party HQ.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    6:48am
    Often pay tradies cash - if they are in the black economy it matters not, since that cash goes back into the system the moment they spend it anyway - unless they offshore it to buy a flock of bats in Gritaly or similar - back in-a da old-a country.... an' no tell-a da tax-a man....
    LiveItUp
    28th Mar 2017
    7:21am
    Gee i thought that was why people couldn't have a welfare card as they couldn't use markets, go to church, pay tradies, use gumtree etc. All black market activities.

    If I owned business I wouldn't oay any more tax in Australia if I pay it in Singapore for 10%.

    So let's bring in that basics card for all welfare including OAP.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    8:03am
    Markets are licensed and stall holders don't get it free and have to declare tax, churches are tax-free so no argument, tradies do what they do with what they are paid but they all pay some tax as businesses, buying or selling on Gumtree is not necessarily for profit - give it a rest. These are NOT Black market activities.

    Your 10% tax in Singapore is one clear reason we need a dollar exit tax here - we are NOT in Singapore - we operate by OUR rules. You no wish to trade here? Go trade in Singapore and let someone take your market share here who will play by the rules here.
    GeorgeM
    28th Mar 2017
    1:30pm
    Absolutely correct, Rainey.
    This fellow, Tony Shepherd, is a creep and anyone who hires him for any advice must belong to the same type.

    All Australians who paid taxes for say 20 years here should be automatically entitled to the full Age Pension which we all contributed for through taxes.

    Businesses and rich are not paying enough - it is time Australia brought in an ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX (AMT) which USA has had since 1969 (which forced Trump to pay $38Mil tax in 2005),and is also there in otter countries such as Canada - by disallowing all deductions and putting say 15-20% tax on all income.
    Crafty
    17th Jul 2017
    11:39am
    Agree Rainey,
    Again, getting to much divide between the wealthy and poor. Joe hockey's statement "get a better job" is not doable for many.

    Re; black market. Off subject but the ato think if 2 mates(or father and son)1 an electrician and 1 a plumber that do work for each other, then the equivalent dollar value should be reported to the ato. What BS.
    Hobbit
    27th Mar 2017
    10:32am
    We ARE entitled. Just because our politicians spent the money that should have been put aside, doesn't mean we should carry the burden. Just because our politicians failed to collect mining royalties and put it in the future fund, as Norway and even PNG has done; don't blame those who can least afford it.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    3:56pm
    I've explained it all before - Social Security is but one component of government expenditure - so all this guff about the future economy looking bleak means that the whole deal needs a proper look - and not along ideological lines.

    This lot hope that by bashing the same tin can over and over one day people might actually begin to believe it... it also helps the policy of division by stirring up illiterate and bad hair intellect youngies to the belief that the oldies have robbed the till, through these idiots keep slanging off at The Second Greatest Generation who introduced some measure of humanity to the mix of hard work and sacrifice of The Greatest Generation, when the truth is it is the Shepherds of this nation who've robbed the till.

    This nation can no longer afford the sweet ride for some on the 'inside', like Shepherd.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    4:15pm
    Yes entitlement is the right of all those of pension age. These "think tanks" need to go after the politicians. Guns fully "loaded:.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    10:42am
    The moment you said 'businessman' you lost me. As a 'businessman' he should know full well that costs of living under a 'business' lead by the nose government style (of both sides) have escalated and continue to do so. What is crippling is the need of the many to pay more for basic services, and then be told they are costing too much in the way of wages and pensions etc, and a lot of the blame for that lies with the excessive payments to 'businessmen' such as himself, and with the proliferation of 'businessmen' as a result of privatisation and even some aspects of government social and economic policy - meaning the drive towards a an 'American-style' supply of all services.

    Social policy such as subsidised childcare (as an example) in cases of non-need has lead to escalating costs in that region and a drain on the economy. Government policy of off-loading its 'core businesses' such as power etc to private hands is also a drain on the economy for the simple reason that much of the costs and thus revenue back to government has disappeared into many hands instead of one, along with any real opportunity by government to get any additional revenue back to its coffers from the lower cost payments of users to a public body.

    We all know by now, unless we are dumb and blind and have an IQ of 25, that big businesses have innumerable avenues for 'down-sizing' their tax burden, and use them unscrupulously.

    On top of all that - since pensions and social security have been part and parcel of the government's economy for many decades now, and have been contributed to by every Australian - there is no excuse for the gross mis-management of those funds by government of both sides. I return once again to my call for a single retirement package body for ALL, with the same rules for ALL, and into which the currently off-shored 'Futures Fund' will be returned as a matter or urgency and then pay it taxes here, superannuation and social security components of wages will be lodged there, and it will be kept far from the greedy hands of government and their mates seeking a nice little earner by 'operating' the package, as occurs right now across the board.

    In closing - it is not pensions that are unsustainable - what is unsustainable is the economic management of this nation by its politicians, and the focus of their spending of OUR money.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    10:44am
    Sorry if I lose or confuse anyone - that's off the top of the head.
    Eddy
    27th Mar 2017
    11:03am
    Not confusing at all Trebor, I am in total agreement. There are so many instances where governments of all persuasions abrogated their responsibilities in favour of the private sector. The proliferation of privately owned 'toll roads' is a leading example.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:34pm
    I will add to that the wealthy with their trust funds and their lurks that pay no tax. Time for a genuine overhaul.

    I'll bet Shepherd doesn't pay full tax on his incomes.... he'd never stop screaming if he did.... it's all lies.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:15am
    Spot on TREBOR. Businessman = government troll. Ask this cretin if he is going to take a tax cut? Is the pope a catholic?
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:25am
    @Mick. I have my doubts about the current Pope. He is in the transition stage, like most globalists, to becoming a fully fledged member of islam.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:25am
    @Mick. I have my doubts about the current Pope. He is in the transition stage, like most globalists, to becoming a fully fledged member of islam.
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    11:01am
    What a ridiculous statement that is niemakawa.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    3:14pm
    @Misty, not it is not, otherwise I doubt you would have replied. Francis is a false Pope, and he was put in this position by the globalists to replace Pope Benedict. If you recall Pope Benedict left office under a cloud and was supposedly too ill to continue with his duties. Well he is still around and in good health I believe.
    Crafty
    17th Jul 2017
    11:47am
    Niemakawa, you are hilarious, are you a conspiracy theorist? Your not left or right, you are just way out there. Keep posting sweetie, you keep me amused.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    10:45am
    The business community did a great job growing our country and much of our current wealth is built on their work. But they're not shy on the way out in looking after their interests. They're not holding back."

    Somebody shoot this man....
    Tib
    27th Mar 2017
    12:59pm
    Let me ....but wait I'm making a list....
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:11pm
    "The street-weary police detective, when asked by the press if they had any suspects in the killing 0f a politician or one of their lap-dogs, handed them a telephone book"......
    Aussiefrog
    27th Mar 2017
    6:14pm
    It will come to that one day!
    Aussiefrog
    27th Mar 2017
    6:14pm
    It will come to that one day!
    Crowcrag
    27th Mar 2017
    10:49am
    This is another example of propaganda being foisted on the public that somehow we boomers, who worked hard to get this country prosperous, and who have ALREADY paid for OUR pensions through the 7.5% income tax addition through all our working lives, are bludging off the present work force to pay for pensions. Who appointed this man originally? A conservative think tank ! Menzies, Costello and Abbott spent that money. We know where you live, Shepard!!
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    10:56am
    He speaks, as do they all, from the purest sense of entitlement to any and everything he can glean from our economy - but rejects the idea that anyone of a 'lower' status should even begin to do so. Essentially he is as thick as two hardwood planks nailed end to end.... so thick he has no idea what he's talking about.

    And they wonder why the peasants ultimately revolt.... and why the majority with any brains hold both politicians and the business sector in utter contempt.
    grounded
    27th Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    Menzies...from 50 years ago - 1966??? Lol!!!

    (PM's since Menzies...Holt, Gorton, McMahon, Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke, Keating...and then Howard/Costello....quite a bit of a fiscal reach there...Lol.)

    Just luv some of the "stuff" I read in these comments!
    Tib
    27th Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    Typical Liberal elite. Cold calculating heartless, selfish and greedy. These people run our country. It's a wonder he didn't mention a budget emergency , or aren't they doing that anymore now that they are giving big business a tax cut.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:56pm
    As I said somewhere else, Crow - The Second Greatest Generation, the one that added humanity and scientific and social advance to sacrifice, courage and hard work...

    Nowadays if it isn't beer and skittles, the kids don't want to play.
    goanna
    27th Mar 2017
    10:57am
    He's hardly a shepherd. He wants to eat his flock. If you, mr Shepherd and the various other pirates who have been minding the money had done any kind of proper job with the money we all paid for our pensions, you wouldn't be short. You and your inefficient helpers have blown the rent in the usual manly manner and now you are winging. You're as silly as a teenager with no skills. Get off your arse and put our money back where you took it from. Verges on theft. You're lucky we don't press charges for your gross mismanagment. Open up your piggy bank and put it back. It's not yours.
    Rae
    27th Mar 2017
    2:24pm
    Yes the only reason the Founding Fathers didn't put a protection for public assets into the Constitution was because they never imagined a government being this stupid.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:57pm
    .. or being this criminal... let's call a spade a small shovel for a change...
    Ted Wards
    27th Mar 2017
    11:13am
    How dare he. The majority of baby boomers have earned their pension from paying years of taxes and other things. I bet he has his greedy hand out for a much larger slice when he retires! Entitled, darn right they are, more so than many refugees who have done nothing for our country but have their hands out for free everything when they get here. I don't begrudge anyone a shot at a better life, but our pensioners have earned their support and should receive it before others.
    johninmelb
    27th Mar 2017
    11:15am
    Here we go again, same old same old. Regurgitating the same old comments over and over again, expecting Turnbull or Shorten to suddenly change the habits of a lifetime, and actually do something.

    This subject has been debated over and over on this site for god knows how long. What has changed? Nothing. Things just get worse. So much for people taking on board your comments. Do you seriously think anyone important reads this stuff. It's just a broken record playing over and over to a hard core audience of a few dozen at best.

    I am 67, and I know that my life as a pensioner is going to get worse. I have resigned myself to the fact that there will be no change for the better in my lifetime. Sending my blood pressure up worrying about it is just playing into the LIberal Party's hands, the sooner I'm gone, it is one less pension they need to pay.

    You can rail against this all you like. Nothing's gonna change. Get used to the idea. If anyone was serious about fixing it, none of the current MP's and Senators would be still sitting in the House.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:13pm
    Only one or two Senators stand to receive my vote.... but they're not in my State....
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:37pm
    Cost $2000 to stand as an Independent for the Senate, and $1000 to stand as an Independent for the House... now where can I get $2000? Can't see me tossing the local National party bloke - his lot can afford nice T-shirts and hats at election time.... mind you - plenty of retirees around here.. he'll be sucking wind every time he makes a public appearance - as the ex's son's da-in-law , among others, nailed him over cuts to pensions...
    Rae
    27th Mar 2017
    2:27pm
    What would you like us to talk about john?
    Farside
    27th Mar 2017
    11:38pm
    @Trebor, first point of futility = "Only one or two Senators stand to receive my vote.... but they're not in my State" - oh, so you cannot vote for them without moving interstate. I assume that's not going to happen so onto the the second point of futility = "stand as an Independent for the House ... Can't see me tossing the local National party bloke", so not going to happen. This leaves the third point that you can actually do something about "stand as an Independent for the Senate". As you cannot raise the $2,000, why not start a TREBOR FOR SENATE crowdsourcing campaign for your "pension is an entitlement not welfare" acolytes to sponsor you? https://au.gofundme.com/

    It is as JohnInMelb calls it: "Nothing's gonna change. If anyone was serious about fixing it, none of the current MP's and Senators would be still sitting in the House."
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:20am
    Farside: Of course we can change it. Step 1: kick this rich man's excuse for a government out. Step 2: elect a whole pile of Independents and minor party MPs and tell them what is going to happen to them if they betray those who voted for them. Step 3: tell Labor it is out on it's ear if it does likewise. Then convince your fellow countrymen to vote with you. Problem solved!
    TREBOR
    30th Mar 2017
    1:24am
    Farside - the policy PLATFORM is much more comprehensive than simply 'pension is an entitlement and not welfare' - that is but one plank in the platform.... there are many other planks, such as:-

    . genuine tax reform to capture tax from havens both national and international,

    . abolition of tax deduction capability that does not accord with reasonable outlay,

    . a review and adjustment of the opportunity of trusts to evade tax,

    . focus of the ATO on comprehensively arranged taxation schemes that remove any opportunity to recoup taxation,

    . establishment of a 'bond' system for any overseas business that wishes to participate in the national economy,

    . mandating that any deduction for offshore 'loans' etc to run a business here are not a component of the Australian Taxation system, and may ONLY be claimed at the 'tax haven' of the company/corporation/indibvidual concerned..(no 'double dipping' on deductions),

    .abolition of preferential superannuation/pension scheme for politicians,

    . means testing for politicians and public servants before they can access there excessively preferential 'pay' from the current retirement package,

    . return of the Futures Fund from offshore and its folding into a Futures Fund for ALL Australians equally,

    . a single, one shop stop retirement package for ALL Australians, thus cutting out the unpalatable and often negative costs of the current system, which, by creating a cost factor for superannuation way over and beyond the reality of 'part-time casual', generates the NEED for Social Security in retirement,

    . retention of the basic standards of Awards in determining remuneration for workers, including penalty rates as laid down,

    . family home at reasonable vale in local area will NOT be a component of Pension assets test - what WILL be a component is added extras that are not linked directly to a medical condition etc,

    . Pension bought and paid for by fifty odd years of paying into the kitty will NOT become a 'debt' against any estate,

    That is the START of my platform, but not the finish, and NONE of those issues is negotiable IF I am elected - at this time of night, with six beers and one wine under my belt - it's a little hard - but I welcome contributions.

    Tomorrow will be worse.....
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    11:22am
    Tony Shepherd can get lost as far as I am concerned, I am sure he is not knocking back any lurks and perks that come his way.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    11:25am
    And this Govt wanted to give families earning $500,000 a year subsidised child care?, at least Nick Xenaphon had the sense to put a spoke in that wheel.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:42pm
    .. and while we're at it - never forget that 'getting in on the ground floor' when childcare subsidies were in the policy deveopment stage, created of many a politician's wife and family millionaires 'in their own right' for being such wonderful entrepreneurs' - no insider trading there... nah... nah...

    You may forget - I don't .. ever! No more than I forget that 'privatised roads' started up here when the incumbent state premier and his wife bought a 1/16 share each in the company that took over an existing public road that was free.....

    In any Third World Banana Republic the government would be called thieves and robbers... and the CIA might seek to depose them or send in the troops.....
    Theo1943
    27th Mar 2017
    11:39am
    I think we should abolish Company Tax. Companies should pay Income Tax. Tax on their income, their revenue, same as their employees do. 5 to 10% would be enough to clear the deficit within a year or two. As it is now they pay tax on their "Profit", an easily manipulated figure. Hell, they don't even pay GST on pens or notepaper, not even on company cars, fuel, service. Anything at all.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    Exackery.... see how they'd scream about paying tax then....
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    12:56am
    @Theo1943, you are one confused individual.

    Company tax is paid on assessable income for companies, which is completely different to both revenue and profit. If you want to tax company revenue then you are calling for a turnover tax but you might be surprised to learn the contribution of corporate income tax is already higher in Australia than for most OECD countries.

    Companies do pay GST; the difference is they can claim it on business inputs so it is only payable by the final consumer. Yes, you're right "they don't even pay GST on pens or notepaper, not even on company cars, fuel, service" for the simple reason these are business inputs. That said, Australia's reliance on indirect taxation is also comparable to the OECD.

    National GDP is $1.6 trillion near enough, so 5% would be $0.08 trillion or $80 billion. The Federal budget deficit is around $40 billion so nominally a turnover tax of 2.5% would be sufficient do it. But given your confusion, I am guessing you have absolutely no idea of the consequences of a turnover tax upon the economy. This was considered a number of years ago using a 2% turnover tax to replace business taxes. It found a turnover tax would encourage businesses to avoid taxable transactions, and the reduced number of transactions would require a higher tax rate, which in turn would be a stronger incentive to avoid transactions, and so on. It would inflate prices and discourage investment. Remember turnover taxes are not new, especially in Europe, and were replaced by consumption taxes.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:22am
    The problem Theo is that governments have allowed a whole pile of dirty 'deductions' which need to be reigned in. Let's start with the diesel tax exemption for the mega rich miners exporting mega profits to tax shelters.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    5:55am
    Don't forget the exit tax on offshored dollars. That'll cut into the Gritalian property racket 'back in da old country', where property bought for a song goes untouched for taxation and pension here.

    Win-win.
    Supernan
    27th Mar 2017
    11:44am
    Wonder what they think we do with our Pensions ? Hide them in Off Shore Tax Havens like he probaly does. No, we spend ALL our money, which keeps the retailers going, which keeps people employed. People wWo pay tax ! Its called "Trickle Up Economy".

    Cut the pensions & retailers suffer too. So they sack staff. So more people go on unemployment benefits.

    When the Gov gives the Rich Companies tax cuts, its supposed to help the economy by creating employement. Its called "Trickle down Economy". But the Rich Companies send their extra money overseas by employing offshore companies, goods made cheaply with almost slave labour, then pay no tax on their profits. Doesnt help the economy at all.

    There is a great graph on FB at the moment doing the rounds. Think its from Bernie Ecclestone. It shows what trickle down economy has done to the majority of people. The LNP LOVE trickle down economy ! So do all their wealthy supporters.

    Germany has the highest Pension & Unemployement benefits in the developed world. And the lowest unemployement ! Go figure !
    KSS
    27th Mar 2017
    1:04pm
    Oh well, if its on FB it MUST be right!
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    2:57pm
    Doesn't mean it IS WRONG either.
    gadsby
    27th Mar 2017
    8:44pm
    yea you pretty well nailed it Supernan,OAPs spend the money they recieve every fortnight,just to get by,money is made round to go round.we spend it in supermarkets hardware stores ,we buy clothes and shoes,we pay power and gas bills ,and petrol for the car ,if we still have one.

    The biggest problen facing this country is the huge influx of Indian workers,who spend very little here ,and send the bulk of thier money back home to the family in India,so that money goes out of our system.
    Some one should come up with some facts and figures about how much money leaves our shores every month in Western Union payments.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    8:55pm
    @gadsby , you are right about money going overseas via Western Union. The Government actually encourage them to do so and have been looking at ways to reduce the charges taken by Western Union on such transfers. Go to any posy-office on a Friday afternoon and you will see them lining up. Australia does not have exchange control but does monitor possible money-laundering through its franchise AUSTRAC.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:25am
    Supernan: Trickle down economics is a scam. A meg wealthy American has shown it for what it is but Turnbull inc. are counting on ignorance to sell self harm to Australians. One only has to look at how rich the top 1% in America have become over the past 50 years to understand that ordinary citizens have been farmed and are now destitute, including the middle class on the brink.
    The same lies and deceit are the calling cards of this government.......and of course our media will not print.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    5:56am
    Gadsby - another argument for the dollar exit tax - it goes offshore it cops a whack.
    gadsby
    28th Mar 2017
    7:17am
    Yes Trebor ,were slowly but surely selling the farm.
    Coversharvey
    27th Mar 2017
    11:47am
    As usual those who make these comments are setup for their retirement and do not care about those of us through circumstance (SGC started too late for us to get a decent balance) rely on the aged pension. Shepard is typical of those wealthy individuals who advise the governments about matters which they do not nor ever will suffer from.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    11:54am
    How true Coversharvey.
    Tom Tank
    27th Mar 2017
    11:57am
    Our major problem is the large, and growing, gap between the "Haves" and Have-nots" and for a member of the "Haves" pontificating on the need to cut back on the income of the "Have-nots" is a bit hard to take.
    It is par for the course however with austerity being the watch-cry of right wing politicians. Austerity leads down a very dangerous road for the country as a whole but the "Haves" are too blinkered to realise that.
    Kaye Fallick
    27th Mar 2017
    12:56pm
    So true Tom Tank - i was going to put this in article and feel like i say it an awful lot - but there does seem to be a real disconnect between those who do not need to think twice about their retirement income and those who are struggling with it on a daily basis.
    thanks for joining our discussion :-) K
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:27pm
    Oh, yers - regular teacher's pet, you are! What I wouldn't give for one day o' being spat onto the front page here... oh, yes.. some get it all, don't they?

    (apologies to The Life Of Brian)....
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    1:46am
    @Tom Tank - it could equally be argued there is no shortage of "Have-Nots" pontificating on the need for increased Have-Not welfare (or entitlements as they like to call it).
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:26am
    I think the haves know but they are just so bloody greedy they do not care Tom.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    5:59am
    I agree, Mick - they know full well what they are doing - they don't care since their spot is secure and it benefits them.
    Patriot
    13th Jul 2017
    3:18pm
    TT
    There will always be the divide between the rich & poor.
    Inherently, there - in my opinion - is not a lot wrong with this as the (Grand/grand) kids of these dynasties usually squander the wealth away in due time to be "Returned to the Pool".

    The real problem arises when the FatCats do not leave adequate wealth to ensure that ALL (and not just them) are able to live a meaningful life with reasonable comfort, style & with dignity.

    The current "Wave of GREED" which engulfs OUR LOCAL & GLOBAL FatCats currently does not take the above into consideration.
    In previous history this has not continued unpunished and "It will NOT this time"!
    COME THE REVOLUTION!!!
    At 72, I'm hanging in there just to "See it happen & and be part of it"!
    andromeda143
    27th Mar 2017
    12:04pm
    Typical wealthy business man's point of view. If people like this held sway we would all still be labourers building his mausoleum for a pittance. The wealth of this country needs to be shared more fairly, now and in the future. Otherwise there will be a revolution of some sort and everybody will suffer.
    Joy Anne
    27th Mar 2017
    12:26pm
    Not by Pensions. No Way. We paid while working 7.5% tax on our wages for the pension fund and was there until Howard decided he would put into their coffers and spend it all and sell Australia out. Absolutely appalling.
    LETS JUST SAY POLITIANS PAYS ARE GOING UP way above what you are worth AND IF WE STOP ALL RETIREMENT PENSIONS AND PERKS THERE WILL BE A LOT MORE FOR HEALTH. Pensioners could like a happy life and not Poverty.
    Also Big Corporates not paying Tax and that is a big NO.
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    1:53am
    @Joy Anne - the defunct pension contributions scheme is an historical anachronism so get over it. The amounts contributed quickly lost any connection to the amounts paid out and in the end it was a basic accounting exercise for Treasury to balance the books. The reality is the scheme as implemented was next to useless and doomed to fail so it's no surprise that it was consigned to history. You can blame Howard for many things but this is not one of them.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    6:00am
    Get over it, Farsie - Pension is a right.
    Geminiwoman
    27th Mar 2017
    12:29pm
    I am so sick to death of the Government and others whinging and whining about how we can't afford the pension. Well, if we can't afford the pension, we can't afford the amount of money that goes out to other countries in so called "overseas aid", we can't afford the huge amounts of money that goes into the pockets of all politicians, both present and past, we can't afford all of the immigrants coming into this country with hoardes of wives and children and none of them working, need I go on? Leave the poor old Aussie pensioner alone and go after the unneccessary spending that goes on behind the backs of good hard working and honest Aussies. When also does the Government intend to do something about all the dole bludgers living their lives on the beach and in the rain forests of upper New South Wales. Communes by the dozen, all of whom live off the public purse and wouldn't work a day in their lives. Enough, leave the pensioners alone.
    JJ
    27th Mar 2017
    4:31pm
    Hear, hear!
    JJ
    27th Mar 2017
    4:31pm
    Hear, hear!
    Farside
    28th Mar 2017
    2:00am
    The problem people is that you are falling for the magician's sleight of hand to look at the proportion of budget while ignoring the fact welfare and social security amounts to less than 3% of GDP, which is comparable to other OECD countries and can be afforded. The system is broken and needs to be reborn from the ashes.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:29am
    Nor tax cuts for the already rich and/or no taxes for multinationals and/or offshore tax shelters/scams for those who 'choose' not to pay taxes in their own country.
    It's a well orchestrated game.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    6:03am
    Farside - you seem a confused person - you argue well that pensions are not the burden the self-interested wish to portray them as - your only gripe seems to be that the peasants should have no rights to it, but be grateful for a handout.

    Get your mind right, Luke. The issue of the Right to a Pension has been done to death, and I won't go over and over it.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:37am
    I've argued GDP elsewhere - to a delusioned person who somehow imagines that 'GDP' and 'balance of trade' mean the Australian government is 'earning' all this money - when the reality is that the earning goes primarily to companies, who in the main, either offshore it or send it to a tax haven while ostensibly being 'Australian' companies (and individuals).

    He seems to think that with a 'positive' 'balance of trade' - Australia is flush with money - too many leaks for that.

    Same thing happens with GDP - the overall profits of which, given any opportunity at all, will fly like Parliament when King James I arrived with the troops... methinks the birds have flown.

    So when we discuss 'GDP' and 'balance of trade' - we need to carefully ensure that the profit from this product and trade remains here first and pays its taxes.

    Thus the figure of 3% MAY be misleading in that overall context.

    Just saying. You need to know how to read the runes in 'economics' - one of the great failed social sciences - and to beware of what your government hands out as 'reality'.
    Cassius
    27th Mar 2017
    12:50pm
    Get rid of Paid Parental Leave and do something about the pollies ridiculous entitlements.
    older&wiser
    27th Mar 2017
    2:30pm
    Agree, sick to bloody death of hearing about "working families' and all the bloody handouts they get. I personally know a guy who brags - "one more kid and I won't have to work". Makes my blood boil when pensioners, most who have worked all their life with no handouts or super are being screwed left, right and every way by every self serving govt.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    5:04pm
    And get rid of subsidies for child care.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    7:00pm
    PPL, childcare subsidies, and all such 'wealthfare' contribute not only to the Budget Black Holes, but also to the growing divides within this society....

    The unemployed don't get PPL or childcare subsidy - how is that going to help the Pension figures when they retire? That money is needed NOW for solid infrastructure for the future....
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    7:01pm
    All Mal can come up with is a two year expansion of the Snowy Scheme - two tunnels and not much else.... where's the rest?

    Bring Back the Tracks...
    KSS
    27th Mar 2017
    1:01pm
    Here we go again, people getting all hot under the collar over a report that hadn't been released at the time of publication of this half report that tells us nothing we didn't already know. Not one of the responders so far even acknowledges that they have no idea what is actually in the report yet feel aptly qualified to regurgitate their venom and yet more jumping to conclusions.

    The trouble is if you cannot look at a problem with some detachment you have no hope of understanding the problems that caused it, how to solve them or how to prevent them happening again. The facts are that welfare in all its current forms is not sustainable and solutions must be found. But first you have to define the problem. I prefer to withhold judgement until the report is released and its companion two reports before wasting yet more breath on how you are 'entitled' because you 'worked hard and paid tax all your life'. Clearly you spent hard too when others of the same vintage didn't. What exactly makes you more entitled? Oh yes that's right, you actually want free money for all, just like the ALP and Greens. problem is there will be no-one left to pay for it all.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:20pm
    Better to lay down interdicting fire than allow your enemy to build up to massive strength for a sneak attack.....

    "Clearly you spent hard too when others of the same vintage didn't. " ... how do you know that? You have no idea what life and lifestyle others have had to lead, and you, once again, seem to think that those who have a bit are somehow 'better' than those who don't.

    Are you my cousin by any chance? She grew up watching us lot starve, be beaten, have not even shoes to go to school, while she, as an only child of middle-class parents, got everything, then copped a PS job and copped affirmative action to 'equalise' women etc (load of codswallop). Now she thinks that's all due to her own efforts.... she wouldn't know what 'effort' is....
    KSS
    27th Mar 2017
    1:46pm
    More than a bit of the green-eyed monster there Trebor coupled with just a spoonful of 'poor-me!
    Rae
    27th Mar 2017
    2:41pm
    Think about how incredibly expensive it would be if we had paid these workers a proper share.

    Then they could have afforded to pump extra income into super because they would finally have some extra income.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    2:56pm
    You won't find many friends here KSS with comments like that, unless they are of the ilk of Tony Sheperd.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    3:36pm
    Nah - simple statement of facts - I KNOW I've achieved far more in life... it just pisses me off when the blind can't see reality when it is right in front of them... ain't got time for that...
    Tom Tank
    27th Mar 2017
    3:40pm
    This report is coming from the Menzies Centre which has strong links to the Liberal Party. While probably not as rigid in their economic view as the IPA they are still essentially right wing.
    The Liberal Party would not have chosen them to do a report without having a pretty good idea would the report would recommend.
    This is standard procedure by political parties and businesses to chose an "independent" person, or body, to report on a contentious subject knowing full well what the report would say.
    To justify that statement I have been in a meeting when the "Independent Consultant" actually asked "now want do you want me to say in the report". Fact.
    It is therefore not too outrageous to have a reasonable expectation as to what the final reports will tell the government.
    Aussie
    27th Mar 2017
    5:12pm
    Ok KSS so what is the solution if you are over 75 and all you have is the pension to live day by day after working for over 45 years .
    What is your solution please let us know objectively please.

    I agreed there is a problem coming and a very serious problem so what to do ????? so we are prepared
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:31am
    KSS: another rich man's post? Or is that another rich woman's post?
    Nobody is "green eyed". Nobody is jealous. What people are is hopping mad at being done over whilst the savings are being GIVEN AWAY to rich Australians who may want the loot but who have no need of it. That is what is under discussion!
    Savta
    27th Mar 2017
    1:02pm
    Right! What about the outrageous salaries politicians give themselves and all the lurks and perks that go along with the job which can be manipulated to include travel expenses and accommodation costs for their families!
    Savta
    27th Mar 2017
    1:06pm
    Or my favorite! Claiming money from the Australian taxpayers for the rental of a property owned by your spouse or yourself so that you can attend parliament!
    VALERIE
    27th Mar 2017
    1:19pm
    The fact that Mr Shepherd headed up the Commission of Audit in 2013, together with Amanda Vanstone and two other financial representatives, should indicate no surprise to us about his opinion on the Aged Pensions. No attempt was made to introduce a Social Services representative on that panel. Their report brought about the draconian 2014 Federal Budget which I'm sure the current Government would like us to forget. Mr Shepherd and his colleagues are a joke - let's laugh at them and do not give them any credibility.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:22pm
    **falls about laughing** .... another mouth-piece not worthy of being pissed on in a Victorian bushfire.... (pardon my French)....
    Rae
    27th Mar 2017
    2:43pm
    Yes and that budget finally managed to turn a 43% non concessional super amount into a 10% deemed(make believe) amount. That should have been illegal.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:32am
    Correct Valerie. Stooges.
    Not Senile Yet!
    27th Mar 2017
    1:19pm
    Another Dickhead funded by Government money syphoned off from our Pension funds into a Liberal controlled Think Tank of BUSINESS People to sell Propaganda Bullshit to the Unwary!
    It is not the Old Age Pensions that are sending the Bidget into Deficit....It is the importation of Migrants...Muslims among them....and Refugees on Scale that is UNSUSTAINABLE!
    It is their Welfare Payments that are out of Control.....because there is not work for them...whilst they cannot or will not learn English!
    The LNP has no Regulatory System in Place....to make them do so....no compulsory time frame...and no mentoring system like New Zealands to siist them be employed!
    That is where the drain is....and they are using it as an excuse to attack Australians....eho already cannot find employment!
    The LNP & LABOR spent our Pension funds biilding themselves a New Parliament in Canberra and refuse to admit that they did so.
    That fund would have financed over HALF of ALL Aged Pensions...and the both Know it!
    They used a loophole to access it....but just because it was Legal....Does not mean it was Moral.....It was never intended to be accessed or Dimantled. Propaganda has since fuelled the void by Blaming the Very people who financed this Great Nation and all the Current Services and Public Facilities as wel as most Private Enterprises through their Spending Power!
    What a decetgul lying bunch of Crooks they all are!
    So Bullshit...more Bullshit & Just Propaganda!
    And All paid for by the Baby Boomers stolen retirement tax funds!
    Aussie
    27th Mar 2017
    1:35pm
    This leach probably collect big $$$$ as consultant normally the rste for this things is about $3000 prr day ....yes 3K x day ...in IT is even more IBM use to charge Optus about 2,800 x day 15 yesrs ago ...... so this idiot must have a nice rich contract
    Aussie
    27th Mar 2017
    1:29pm
    So ok lets all pensioner die next week .....they will be happy then .... why do not reduce Bronwyn Bishop pension and the rest of litches in the goverment ....we work 13 hour day for over 45 years ...how much more can we give ... so they can take the only resource we have ....
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:45pm
    I spent many years working 18+ hours a day and on call 24/7/365.... where's my reward for effort? A kick in the arse, a series of injuries and disabilities, and just enough to get by on.
    grounded
    27th Mar 2017
    2:31pm
    Behave yourself you two.....Neither of you have probably done a day's hard work in your lifetime....

    I spurted my cup of tea all over the place when reading of the 'heroic' hours you pair put in. Obviously you were not Unionists...working hours of that magnitude.

    Was it that the hourly rate was so low....or you just liked putting in the hours to get more moolah?
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    3:38pm
    You are good for a laugh, grounded... you know nothing.
    grounded
    27th Mar 2017
    4:03pm
    I like you too Trebor...Doesn't hurt to throw in a curly one to raise the passions....and you did cause me to have to clean up al that spilt/spurted tea. Cheers old mate.
    Aussie
    27th Mar 2017
    5:04pm
    Grounded,
    If you work in IT and in Optus and will work sometimes over 13 hours and some times Sat and Sun because the maintenance issues on the phones, the cell towers, servers, program testing etc etc
    so yes those are real hours my friend the 8 hr day do not exist if you work in IT. we get well pay and pay good taxes too but long long hours.
    That is why on a non working weekend you get totally piss out and play hard very hard and start again late in on Mondays.
    Great times good pay but very very hard work
    Ask others that work in IT companies they will tell you the same
    Aussie
    27th Mar 2017
    5:06pm
    TIME TO DIE TO KEEP THE GOVERNMENT LITCHIS HAPPY .......
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    5:37pm
    Aussie, the truth be known that is what the Government wants us to do and they are providing the ammunition to assist us. They believe 3 score and ten is enough for anyone.
    Aussie
    27th Mar 2017
    5:50pm
    I think all of us will be happy if we will have steady government and stop stressing us every week all I want is not to worry if i get my pension next week or not I check my Gov. account every day to be sure there are no more surprises .
    Very stressful ... use to be safe and Ok with prev. governments not now with this one but on the other hand they get the big pensions and lots of benefits .... so unfair ...

    so yes niemakawa .... that is what they want but I Piss them off because I am very healthy he he he he and I probably live until I am 100+ he he he he
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:29pm
    As long as it wasn't your beer, grounded....
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    8:32pm
    Well Aussie the Govt will be really pssssst off when that new Anti Aging drug talked about this week becomes available.
    sunny
    27th Mar 2017
    1:34pm
    I wish there was a Robin Hood
    He only did what he thought was good
    Took from the rich - gave to the poor
    Robin Hood, Robin Hood no more
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    8:30pm
    No Sunny it's Rob from the Poor and give to the Rich courtesy of Mal Hood.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    8:34pm
    Misty there are no poor people in Australia just people with poor housekeeping skills mainly self-inflicted.
    Triss
    27th Mar 2017
    8:36pm
    You're right, Sunny, now there is only Robbing Hood -Takes from the poor to give to the rich.
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    1:32am
    Your outnumbered here on the subject of Robin Hood niemakawa.
    Charlie
    27th Mar 2017
    1:42pm
    All the baby boomers pension went on "management fees" the same place as a lot of the super is going.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    1:46pm
    Correct, charlie - read my blurb above over a single retirement package one-stop shop for all, with the same rules for all.
    Rosret
    27th Mar 2017
    2:04pm
    Yes - we are - and the government knew it was coming hence the new Private Superannuation fund system that started in the 1990s.
    What they didn't take into account:
    1. Increased life expectancy.
    2. Increased medical expenditure.
    3. Decrease in newborn population.
    4. Private superfunds working for their own gain rather than the individual contributor.
    5. Inflation beyond the net increase of Private Superfund gains.

    Its a concern.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    3:41pm
    Bad policy and lack of genuine foresight....
    RocketOz
    27th Mar 2017
    2:08pm
    So if pension are such a problem(I wont be able to get mine as I wont go back to Oz for 2 years to to be able to use it, so thats a saving for them), why keep bringing in more people who just end up making the welfare bill larger, so maybe start there first instead of continually blaming the ones who have fully paid already.
    Rosret
    27th Mar 2017
    5:54pm
    The are the cheaper than the cost of subsidising a child from birth to working age. What wasn't considered was the culture of the emigrants. They are marrying young and bearing a lot more children so they are, in fact, a burden on our society's welfare system.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:39am
    This bad bad rotten to the core government keeps doing whatever it rich election funding business people say. More 457 visas? No worries. No taxes for the top? No worries. Thieving services for average citizens whilst well of citizens are not a part of those systems? No worries. Steal the pensions of ordinary citizens? No worries.
    There is a lot of anger building. You can feel it on websites like this one. This government is out next election no matter how much the Murdoch propaganda Press sell the virtues of this morally corrupt government. Bring it on. The sooner the cancer is cut out the sooner we get real government for the nation, not just the rich.
    niemakawa
    28th Mar 2017
    4:00am
    Mick if you feel the opposition will give a fair go to genuine Australians, then you live in "cuckoo" land. The whole political landscape ( with a few exceptions) at present is engaged in Globalist policies and the needs of Australians have been relegated to the bottom of the pile. Until Australians wake up from their lethargy and complacency nothing will change. Blame the politicians, Governments as much as you like but it is the people that must take responsibility for what is happening in Australia. Changing of the guard Libs/Lab will not result in a better Australia but more of the same. I vote for parties that put Australia first and foremost, which should be the priority of any Political party.
    TREBOR
    30th Mar 2017
    1:01am
    Niemie - why do you assume Mick sees ONLY Labor as the alternative? My reading of his posts to date shows that he wants REAL government here - of the People, BY the People, and FOR the people....

    To me - after 67 years in this nation - that excludes Labor as well.
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    3:21am
    TREBOR I was not assuming that at all. But there are 2 main Political parties in Australia and the baton is handed over consistently from one to the other. If the Libs. are thrown out at the next GE then you can bet your bottom dollar they will replaced by Labor. This is my point until people change their ways by thinking seriously about the future of this nation, then either Libs or Labor will be the norm. I am sure Mick wants real Government, so do I, but it seems that the majority of voters prefer the status quo.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2017
    9:53am
    I realise that problem... been going on for far too long in what I call The Tag Team of LNP and Labor... while all the solutions to this nation's problems get further and further away.

    Hence my advocating a new party - a very hard road as the history of any genuine opposition here shows - look at Hanson and the prison etc... I'd venture to say that most people most interested in real change are those who've been short-changed in society, often in several ways.

    Trouble with that is that those people, having already been short-changed, are open to criticism as 'losers' of some kind with a grudge - and many people are foolish enough to believe fully anything they are told, regardless of facts.

    Of course someone badly treated by management has an issue with the way these things are allowed to run... of course someone badly treated by the courts has an issue with the way these things are allowed to run... of course someone short-changed in promotion in the public service has an issue with that.... the moment they stick their head up the mud starts flying....

    That's why I always say that to even kick start any new and REAL party here will take more courage and strength individually than we ever imagined possible.... but it has to be done for the good of this nation.
    Rae
    27th Mar 2017
    2:19pm
    Very BIG pot calling the little kettles black.

    How much did he earn on that audit gig I wonder?

    How much is he raking in now?

    Yes a lot of very hard workers earned very low wages and salaries for decades to build this country because we signed an Accord. We keep our incomes lower and some of the huge profits(around 40% of GDP I believe) will pay for health, education and retirements.

    Now idiot government policy that squandered the mining boom wealth, loaded up debt, sold money making assets for no real return, sold gold at the bottom of the market, gave billions to fly by night private profiteers in contracts and deal fees and charges is broke.

    This government deliberately lowered revenue year after year.

    This is the consequences of 40 years of neoliberal ideology and a proponent of that ideology comes out and blames the elderly for it all.

    Lucky we don't tar and feather these nut jobs anymore.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    3:40pm
    What's lucky about it? We could take bets on how long they'd last tarred and feathered... quite a number died, it seems.... that tar is hot etc....

    There's a film clip somewhere about John Adams, showing a tarring and feathering... I think dismissal without privileges should do the trick - theft as a servant = double penalty under Scottish law, in which they include corrupt police, etc.
    Watto
    27th Mar 2017
    2:42pm
    Well said Geminiwoman
    grounded
    27th Mar 2017
    2:52pm
    Oh to be so entitled....just makes me go all giddy.
    floss
    27th Mar 2017
    2:55pm
    What a great lot of comments all well informed, far be it for me to stuff it up so I will sit back and listen .I just hope our poor P.M.does the same.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    8:34pm
    what do you know that the rest of us don't Looney?.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    6:09am
    I think you mis-read looney, here Misty.
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    11:10am
    Yes TREBOR, Iam afraid that is exactly what I have done.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:42am
    I sent Mal's office a link to this strand and the one on the family home - suggested he get a flunkey to read through it for a grip on the pulse of the aged nation.

    Heeeeey - "Aged Nation" - might be a party name there.... equal opportunity party - we accept unemployed as well...
    floss
    27th Mar 2017
    2:55pm
    What a great lot of comments all well informed, far be it for me to stuff it up so I will sit back and listen .I just hope our poor P.M.does the same.
    floss
    27th Mar 2017
    3:18pm
    Go to Google and put in the Australian Future fund it tells it all,it scared me to thinks we have a Government so corrupt.
    inextratime
    27th Mar 2017
    3:36pm
    Crikey !!
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    3:44pm
    Simple enough - shift $130Bn of public funds offshore to the Caymans where it pays no tax, and use it and eny profit it generates to secure politician and senior public servant etc incomes for life. It's called the Futures fund and is run by no less than Peter Costello, who obviously needs the income after his hard work stuffing up this nation.

    In Bananania it would be called corrupt and the peasants would be in the hills armed with old .22s and cane knives ....
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:41am
    Criminals in society are usually tried and then jailed but politicians can do as they like, claim they are doing the business of the nation and walk away from their crimes.
    inextratime
    27th Mar 2017
    3:31pm
    Instead of blaming pensioners for the countries woes it maybe time to streamline some of the more ineffective areas of the public service, the three tiers of government and redeploying them into productive working areas instead of expanding public departments and in doing so taking the easy way of reducing unemployment numbers.
    Rodent
    27th Mar 2017
    3:50pm
    Back in June 2016 Mr Tony Shepherd said this to me in reply to an Email I sent him re Pension changes . Just thought some might be interested in his words

    "Dear Mr ...... thank you for your email. Without going into the details of this particular reform and whether it could be done more fairly and equitably , my central point is unchanged. We are spending far more than we are receiving and the situation is getting worse. We are borrowing money to fund this shortfall and the deficit keeps growing. It is clearly unsustainable. The Commonwealth writes welfare cheques to the value of $450m per day , 365 days per year to over 50% of Australians.

    Raising taxes is not the answer as all that does is kill off incentive ,investment and growth. Sure we can make sure global companies pay the right tax and hit the smokers but that is not going to go anywhere near fixing the problem. Personal income taxes are high by OECD standards and the top marginal rate is now over 50%. The top 20% of income earners pay 70% of the income tax. The top 12 companies pay 80% of the company tax.

    We have to reduce the growth in entitlements across the board whether that be in aged pension, aged care, medical benefits, pharmaceutical benefits, disability, education , hospitals, corporate welfare etc. My Committee estimated that we needed to reduce expenditure by $65b per annum to return to a modest 1% of GDP surplus and have any hope of paying down our burgeoning national debt. This should be done equitably and fairly with the concentration of our limited expenditure on those who cannot look after themselves. The alternative is a drastic correction in the years ahead when the chickens come home to roost.

    I apologise for being so gloomy but I am very concerned about the future for my children and grandchildren.

    Regards Tony Shepherd
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:46am
    I am smiling Rodent.
    The top end NEVER pays over 50% tax ever. With 'deductions' they probably pay < 30%. And then they set up Trusts and offshore tax shelters to avoid even that.
    The response you received is a deceitful con which avoids the facts and plays with rhetoric. Last thing, if the top pays 70% on income tax then that is what you do when you earn 90% of the income. Let's call a spade a spade and keep the BS for the mentally challenged whose votes you need Tony.............
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:48am
    Someone did figures I think Mick.... my internet security won't let me open many links - says they're dangerous.

    But your figures are most likely close to the mark.
    Boomah52
    27th Mar 2017
    3:56pm
    This is coming from businessmen?
    Rodent
    27th Mar 2017
    4:00pm
    Yes-those are his exact words!!!
    Rodent
    27th Mar 2017
    3:59pm
    Part 2
    Again his words from my earlier post

    This should be done equitably and fairly with the concentration of our limited expenditure on those who cannot look after themselves

    My own view is these are his only words worth remembering, ie bottom up first look after those in real need first, but of course as we all know that's not they way some people in power work.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:37pm
    It seems, based on my many years of experience in this nation, that those who seek power in any arena here are all corrupt and criminal in nature.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:48am
    **re-considers standing for the Senate next time around as an Independent - policy platform ideas welcomed**
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    4:12pm
    Here we go again.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    8:35pm
    Where are we going niemakawa?.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    8:36pm
    Down the road to nowhere.
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    1:30am
    I think we may have arrived there already niemakawa.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:47am
    Tell me that the system is fair for average citizens niemakawa and I'll be happy.
    LiveItUp
    27th Mar 2017
    4:22pm
    Unforunately for most baby boomers he is right on the money. Way too much of our budget is now spent on welfare of ehich the OAP is part there of. It needs to reigned in further to help address this issue. The change in asset test was a good start but there is much more to be done.
    Idontforget
    27th Mar 2017
    4:48pm
    Yes, Bonny. The next step should be counting the OAPs residence in the assets test and adjust the assets test upwards to include a reasonable amount for a primary residence. And I can just imagine the squeals from those who own a million dollar residence in a Captial city that it is not fair to apply an across the board value on a residence. But the OAP is an across the board figure that does not take into account the extra country pensioners have to outlay, such as no public transport and the freight costs on the necessities of life as well as many more. Now wouldn't that cause a stink with the well off who are rorting the OAP. So, it just wont happen.

    So I am pulling my head down into the trench waiting for incoming mortars.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    4:51pm
    Yes Bonny, like stopping those families on $500k a year that the govt wanted to give childcare subsidies to, thank G
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    4:56pm
    COMMENT ABOVE SHOULD FINISH WITH, Thank God for Nick Zenaphon, he stopped it, and rightly so.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    4:56pm
    You all seem to not care one iota about homeowners who have saved and put money aside, so don't expect any sympathy ( or empathy for the benefit of the PC brigade) from me from those that claim to be hard done by because of their own inadequacies. Home owners are entitled, regardless of the value of their home, to a pension just like you.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:44pm
    The ONLY possibility of including the family home in the assets test is after a ceiling is set for what someone said above - a reasonable home within that area.... and that ceiling is the exemption.

    You can't seriously suggest that a single mother who now owns a home in Sydney after forty years or more of work part-time in a diminishing market, should live on nothing in retirement, Bonny?

    Sometimes your thinking is truly bizarre, and your concept has no chance of ever becoming reality here.

    BTW - we ALL pay tax with every purchase, even those dependent totally on Pension... thee are no 'good' people and no 'bad' people here... and let Shepherd whine about how much the fat cats pay - they can afford to and only pay on far less than the real income anyway, which only shows the true depth and breadth of the economic divides opening up in this country.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:49am
    Message from Malcolm Bonny? So has Tony stopped paying your salary now?
    LiveItUp
    28th Mar 2017
    7:24am
    Childcare should not be used so that parents can work as why have kids and have others bring them up. Surely it is more important than a job?
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    8:15am
    I can't see that childcare is in any way a 'right' - while some keep blasting Pensions bought and paid for as some sort of handout.

    Childcare and the dual income family all work against full employment and against genuine opportunity for the many in this society, while adding further and further dimensions to the numerous social and economic divides growing like a cancer here.

    There is no 'right' to childcare - there is no 'right' of a woman with children to work - there is no 'right' of one family to have two or more incomes and another none.... social science nonsense to the max.

    How many millions are wasted on 'programs to get women back into the workforce' after they have kids etc? Why is that not used to alleviate the dire circumstances of the single person or single income family with NO job? Why special treatment for those with money coming in already and nothing for those with no money coming in, and increasingly thrust on the dole queue due to the excess competition for 'jobs'?

    No wonder organised crime is rising....
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    12:30pm
    I notice, Bonny, that you very carefully ignore the billions of dollars that pensioners save the government in unpaid voluntary work. When you next take a swipe at us over the amount we should be kissing the government's feet for contra the voluntary work and see what age pension really costs. A lot less than you've been told.
    LiveItUp
    28th Mar 2017
    4:19pm
    Pensioners only do voluntary work becuase they want to and no one forces thrm to. I see it as people have little to do now need something to occupy their time.
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    5:41pm
    Whatever the reason, Bonny, the fact remains they still save the government billions of dollars and you can
    sneer all you want but that money saved must be looked at against the pension payouts.
    And I have to say that your remark was so arrogant and demeaning you really should be cringing in shame.
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    6:11pm
    What an awful comment Bonny, you can't even give aged people credit for wanting to help other people out of the goodness of their heart. Many of my friends do charity work in a few areas as well as attend meetings for View Club, Probus, Garden Club, attend 3rd Age lessons in Computing etc, I find your remarks insulting.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:51am
    Bonny - like Old Geezer and at least one who frequents another forum - simply has no idea how heartless and brutal he/she is - would make the perfect concentration camp guard - chust doing mein chob.... vitch iss only right, nein?

    Either that or is just another troll who imagines making such brutal statements is a sweet game....
    LiveItUp
    29th Mar 2017
    2:56pm
    Misty I have attended all those orgsnisations you mention and all I see is bored people with nothing else to do. They arte always raising money for something and when you say no to their raffle tickets as their prizes are of no interest to you they get upset with you and won't even accept a donation as that't not the way it's done. I used to tutor computing for U3A and it was so frustrating as they couldn't remember one thing from week to week. The conversation at these places is just awful and of no interest to me at all. I was also a member of AIR and they were nothing but a club of whingers that took what they could from the government and asked for more. Gardens clubs are full of people who have no real interest in gardening. I have offerred my estate many times to the loccal club for an outing but they are not interested. If the truth is insulting so be it.
    Misty
    29th Mar 2017
    5:15pm
    Bonny I just hope everyone else commenting here reads your comment above and gives you the serve you deserve, what a sad empty life you must lead, I really feel sorry for you, wouldn't want to be in your shoes, not for anything in this world. No wonder no one is interested in taking up your offer, they must realise what sort of person you are, how awful of you to lump everyone together like that, our clubs have terrific guest and member speakers and to say all people doing U3A courses cannot remember what they have learned is insulting, did it ever occur to you that maybe you are the problem?, that maybe it is the way you taught them that was so uninteresting that they didn't want to remember?.
    Crimmo
    27th Mar 2017
    4:41pm
    The pension funding crisis today is Menzies' Legacy and we are paying for it. In 1944 the then Labor government introduced a Social Security payment, separate to income tax, which was paid into a separate account and separated from general revenue. In 1949 Menzies stopped the Social Security payment and closed the special account set up to hold this money. Once again we are paying for the past actions of corrupt and incompetent politicians.
    Note that my terminology above is general as I don't have the facts in front of me when writing.
    Rosret
    27th Mar 2017
    6:01pm
    No Crimmo, when they came out of wwII they were determined that everyone should be provided for. Those in Superannuation schemes are/were set until they day they die.
    However they are being fazed out and caring for our people as a nation is being replaced with the word "I" because that's what they want us to do.
    I just wonder if the Government knew the Private super funds would be working for their own interest - not ours.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:47pm
    I recall that the British warriors coming home after WWII were determined that they would no longer be treated as serfs and second class, but would have some common decencies in return for the sacrifice of the Wars... same here.

    A country fit for heroes has become a country filled with Neros..... fiddling the books while Rome burns around them....
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    6:51pm
    Nowadays it is a given that a returned soldier will not get a job unless very lucky - many prospective employers have watched too much television PTSD and have no idea that the reality is that most sufferers strive mightily to just get on day by day.

    Hardly the image of some nut case.. more an image of one totally sane.....

    Wait until I find my grand or so and list as an Independent next time around...
    Anonymous
    27th Mar 2017
    7:55pm
    crimmo, typical reply of people commenting in these columns "I don't have the facts in front of me" my comment to you, it was whitlam who took the money and put it in general revenue, the same goes for trebor, maybe he can enlighten us in regard to his post of how costello stuffed this nation up, just give us the figures, true ones, how much money was left in the bank, about 35 billion, when they were voted out and then show us the figures of your labor hero's namely rudd, gillard and again rudd left us with when people woke up to the criminal way labor was wasting our tax, come to think of it, was there ever a labor government anywhere, anytime in Australia, may it be federal or state which left us with a surplus? just take a look of what is going on in Victoria, labor's answer to a contract stating not worth the paper it is written on, result 1.2 billion pay out, labor triple browncoal taxes, result powerstation which supplies 25% of power requirements in Victoria closes, etc. etc. Australia just keep believing in labor governments, as the old saying goes, reap what you sow!!!!
    victorian desalination plant, costing 2billion dollars a year for 20 years, not operating, this being charged on top of their waterbill also the maintenance cost of more than 30 million dollars a year being charged to the taxpayer and when asked to produce some water, mind you not needed as dams are over 65% and autumn is here, they broke down and put diesel generators on standby which would use up to 15000 liters a day, be an extra cost to the taxpayers, yet we still see post in these columns of how good and wise labor policies are, wel Australians is that what you want go for it and bear the brunt when things go haywire!
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:51am
    The normal post from a Liberal Party stooge. Read this:

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2017/03/26/coalition-debt-exceeds-labor/?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170327_TND

    This government has DOUBLED the debt in 4 short years and there has been no GFC in sight. How do you account for that? Yeah....it's Labor's fault (again). Some things never change.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    6:36am
    A fine mix of State and Federal confusion there, heemie...... back to the text books for you.
    Rae
    28th Mar 2017
    2:38pm
    Come another drought like 1963 and over double the population now your kids will bless those desal plants.
    Nerk
    27th Mar 2017
    7:25pm
    Lets look at it in a different way, is this war on terror starting to send the country broke? and the pensioners are easy pickings?
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    7:34pm
    Looks that way. Bringing in my terrorists is on the Government's (Lib or Lab) agenda.
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    8:39pm
    Your terrorists niemakawa?.
    niemakawa
    27th Mar 2017
    8:49pm
    Misty, try to keep up with world events.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    8:55pm
    To be fair - only Mad Man Monis (from memory) was an 'immigrant' who turned into a ratbag... most of the Mall Muj around these parts are born here, and just develop their attitude from bullshitting with their mates at school and in the mosque.

    I guess that's one poor result from an overly patriarchal society in which the mother has no disciplinary powers and the women and girls take second place.

    All the jerks get to jerk around with no real discipline.
    Triss
    27th Mar 2017
    9:10pm
    Yes, Nerk, I believe that's exactly what it is. Our incompetent government has squandered and misused billions of taxpayers' money and then has the hypocrisy to dehumanize the elderly and blame them for the resulting debt.
    Dehumanisation has been used through history to justify the destructive actions of one group to another. It is a process where one group believes that another group is less than human. That being so, the first [superior] group does not have to use any kind of moral or ethical standards when dealing with the second [inferior] group.
    We can either accept the abuse or answer back. The Future Fund was started by taking the surplus from the people, pensioners included, and making a fat bank account for future public servants' pensions. Really it's time to insist that that money comes back to us and pays off the debt. Age pensioners shouldn't have to live in poverty in order to pay for public servants' pensions. That's corrupt.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    11:12pm
    Nice to see another believer, Triss.

    I'm very serious about standing next election... there will be mud thrown - let them come on...
    Misty
    28th Mar 2017
    1:27am
    Your answer does not make any sense niemakawa, what do you mean by saying "My terrorists", what terrorists do you own?.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    6:13am
    It's a growth industry here, Misty - get in on the ground floor and buy shares now....
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    10:45am
    If you're in my electorate, Trebor, you can count on me to help your campaign.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:53am
    I warn you the mud will fly thick and fast.... it'll take a mountain of guts for me to stand up and speak truth...
    Alan
    27th Mar 2017
    7:57pm
    It is past time that we looked at the Old Age Pension as an entitlement which should be paid to all. It should be there for those who really need it and I specifically exclude those who are asset rich but income poor and have manipulated their assets to get a small amount of pension. While I could manipulate my assets I believe that this is ethically wrong.

    I am well past retirement age and have zero expectations of receiving any old age pension anytime soon.

    I agree that there is a problem with government incomes and companies should be taxed on the real profits made in Australia and not the profits which have been minimised through overseas transactions that are designed to shift profits to low tax areas. The Government also needs to be getting a fair return on the extraction of mineral resources, especially gas.

    It is time that the Government looked at increasing the revenue it receives so that it can pay for the services that people want.
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    8:58pm
    I've advocated that companies stump up a 'bond' or pay an entry tax to begin operating here, and that their offshored payments have no effect here, but can be claimed as tax deductions in their tax base. As it is - they get it both ways - they offshore taxable money from here, then pay next to no tax there.

    In this day and age it is pretty simple to view transactions of cash offshore... an exit tax is also one of the things I advocate.

    Also - if jobs are nothing more than a commodity, anyone from outside Oz who wants to take over some of ours has to pay market value for them - which goes into unemployment funding. Kind of a new slave on the block....
    TREBOR
    27th Mar 2017
    9:00pm
    The things about the 'global economy' that have not caught up - and never will - are taxation regimes, and the treatment of jobs.. so I say if a company wishes to operate here - they pay their way here first and foremost.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:53am
    It is time we COMPARED AUstralia's OAO system to that of other first world economies. Then the monstrosity of what is continually demanded by this government and its stooges will become apparent.
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    8:18am
    http://nationalseniors.com.au/be-informed/news-articles/oecd-report-reveals-how-pensions-compare-across-world

    Done - now, Master - what is your second wish?
    Alan
    27th Mar 2017
    7:57pm
    It is past time that we looked at the Old Age Pension as an entitlement which should be paid to all. It should be there for those who really need it and I specifically exclude those who are asset rich but income poor and have manipulated their assets to get a small amount of pension. While I could manipulate my assets I believe that this is ethically wrong.

    I am well past retirement age and have zero expectations of receiving any old age pension anytime soon.

    I agree that there is a problem with government incomes and companies should be taxed on the real profits made in Australia and not the profits which have been minimised through overseas transactions that are designed to shift profits to low tax areas. The Government also needs to be getting a fair return on the extraction of mineral resources, especially gas.

    It is time that the Government looked at increasing the revenue it receives so that it can pay for the services that people want.
    Crimmo
    27th Mar 2017
    8:21pm
    I am quoting here from an article in '50 Something'.
    "The National Welfare Fund was established by the Chifley Labor government in 1942/43. It was financed by a compulsory contribution from all personal income. The then Opposition Leader Robert Menzies insisted that the compulsory contribution must be kept separate from other government income and paid into a separate trust. However, from 1949 onward, the Menzies government, with the silent approval of the Labor opposition, introduced amending legislation which eventually dismantled this scheme and paid all monies collected into general revenue. The original impost to fund this scheme was never repealed."
    So like I said, Menzies Legacy. There was no thought here of 'providing for everyone'. there would have been no long term thought at all. Short-sighted, self-interest politics, just like today. Politicians have always been crooked and still are. Looking after their own self interests to stay in office. Ever wondered why they don't crack down on retail super funds.
    BillF2
    28th Mar 2017
    1:12am
    How old is Tony Shepherd? What has he done for the country? How much does he 'earn' producing this nonsense? And what superannuation/pension arrangements does he have? I'm sure he is not going to be one of those who have to justify every cent in their bank account to Centrelink!
    LiveItUp
    29th Mar 2017
    3:01pm
    No only thise who access welfare have to tell Centrelink what assets they have. They have no interest in people who don't cry poor to Centrelink.
    MICK
    28th Mar 2017
    3:12am
    Tony Sheppard? Well that says it all.

    Alright for pollies to keep seeking pay rises. Alright to give away public money to the rich with (unneeded) tax cuts. Alright to ignore the wealthy who have interests in multinationals who choose to avoid our tax system. Alright to allow the wealthy to set up offshore tax (evasion) shelters. And alright to introduce a whole raft of new taxes and cut services for average Australians.

    But not alright to pay average citizens a pension.

    Keep your cries of 'we'll be ruined' to yourself Tony. This is the routine business lament whenever they have to give anything to the rest of us. You are a lowlife disgrace and your citizenship needs to be revoked as you are an enemy of this country. Give me a break.............
    TREBOR
    28th Mar 2017
    8:19am
    An Enema Of The People........
    Anonymous
    28th Mar 2017
    11:16pm
    labor micky, you are showing your true form, calling a person a low life and asking for that person's citizenship to be revoked simply for stating his or her beliefs and yet you are hiding behind a mask, what a hero you are, what are you hiding from, it is time that lifechoises barred people who hide behind masks and of course your offsider labor second in charge by the name trebor had to put his two? half cent in, speaking of brainless, brainhaired and brainwashed contributors to these columns, you two have to take the prize, closely followed by crimmo and rae. looking foreward to your imbecile and mentally deficient comments, just give us another laugh.
    Misty
    29th Mar 2017
    12:12am
    And what mask are you hiding behind heemskerk99, talk about the pot calling the kettle black heemskerk99, you are no different to Mick, Crimmo, Rae and Trebor are you when you call them the names you have in the comment above.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    10:59am
    I'm not a 'Labor' anything - I heartily oppose Labrador as well as the LNP....

    I'm of the Centre - neither a 'leftie' nor a 'rightie'..... as are most people who are handed the nasty-intended label of 'leftie' .. all such people are, in the main, are those who simply want a fair go based on what they know to be true.

    I guess that makes of them Enemies of This State. Wait until all the issues that concern real people start to become open for daily discussion - such as the criminality of the courts and their strong arm, legislated injustice, and so forth.

    I happen to believe this country is reaching boiling point, and that NONE of the current parties has the answers to the reasons many people are on the verge of revolt.

    Remember my promise? If the family home is included in the 'assets test' - I will be the old codger with the Oz flag marching on Cambra in a Coo-ee March.

    (better get into training, methinks .... three miles up and three miles down..... 7.5 km across the Brecon Beacons - then back)....
    Triss
    28th Mar 2017
    12:39pm
    Read the report "a lazy trip through Tony Shepherd's mind" by Crikey.com.au
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:01am
    He does seem to find it hard to link two separate thoughts and form a solid response to any issue.... you really have to wonder how such a person could 'succeed' in this country and society....
    Sailor
    29th Mar 2017
    12:59am
    My gripe is that the goal posts are too often changed by government for purely selfish reasons and without concern for the ensuing collateral damage. As a naval member of the Defence DFRDB Superannuation Scheme there was real potential for government to meet its superannuation obligations to veterans of my era. From 1973, when G Whitlam stole all funds, until aroud 2007 the Scene would have made considerable growth. Instead, veterans were put in a pension which was subject to an Index which actually decreases the value of pension payments. Having made the change to a pension governments have decreed it is welfare and treated it accordingly. Further, those that borrowed from the Scheme to resettle into civilian life must continue repaying regardless if the they have fully repaid the loan. Adding insult to injury government's have refused to reinstate the original % of final pay on completing repayment. Since 1973 government's, in my view, have corruptly extracted $B's from veterans entitlements. Those in power can not be trusted to act fairly and honestly when their own position of power is at risk.
    TREBOR
    29th Mar 2017
    11:02am
    Good point - did your medical records suffer from mysterious 'missing links'? Happened to many a sailor.... and a few Diggers as well...

    I've previously raised the spectre that a 'government' her would one day lump Service pensions etc into 'welfare' and call them a handout.
    niemakawa
    29th Mar 2017
    11:15pm
    This makes a good case for assisted passage to the hereafter.
    TREBOR
    30th Mar 2017
    12:55am
    Indeed - but we must carefully separate our feelings from what we would really want.... I prefer banishment with no privileges or assets for criminal politicians who rob the poor... businessmen(and women) who do the same may be in a different category - Devil's Island sounds good.

    How many people, when really faced with it - can pull the trigger?

    Not that many I can assure you.
    niemakawa
    30th Mar 2017
    3:23am
    TREBOR, I was actually referring to the politicians, their next course of action to reduce the elderly population. ( Euthanasia).
    Misty
    30th Mar 2017
    9:24am
    Well it might come to that if we are able to take the new Anti Aging drug that was talked about in the news recently, or maybe only people under a certain age will be able to take it.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2017
    10:01am
    Ah - I thought you were suggesting the electric chair for politicians etc...

    I'm against the death penalty... for reasons many....

    But this concept of reducing the aged population is.. well.. crazy....

    Every pensioner should be armed with an automatic pistol for self-defence... against all enemies both domestic and foreign..... including their own government and its agencies...
    Crafty
    17th Jul 2017
    11:59am
    Dear mr shepherd,
    Let me get this straight, those of us who worked for 40-50 years, paid taxes, bought up children are not entitled to an OAP? I'm sorry I couldn't earn enough to put away for my own retirement. Oh, but please, take my children's taxes and pay for 'special benefits' (lookup on humanservices.com.au), for those immigrants just getting off the plane.
    It's ok, mr shepherd, but please, can I come to your place for dinner? I can't afford food.
    Farside
    26th Jul 2017
    11:51am
    sorry to hear you are starving. You should be eligible to receive welfare support if nothing in the way of assets or income??
    johnp
    17th Jul 2017
    1:49pm
    yep, agree with most here the poliies, their perks, travel and their largesse etc; 2% pay rise and so on are the ones crippling this country