Fact check: how many age pensioners live in poverty?

Are one third of Australian age pensioners living below the poverty line?

On Monday night’s Q&A, Senator Jacquie Lambie claimed that one third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line and that in three to five years’ time, this number will rise to two-thirds.

Ms Lambie said: “We’ve got one-third of our age pensioners that are living below the poverty line. They’re saying in the next three to five years, that will be two-thirds and we’re an ageing population in this country. How sad is that?”

But is this statement a fact?

In order to confirm Ms Lambie’s claims, independent media outlet The Conversation launched a fact-checking investigation. These are the results:

In order to ascertain the extent to which Australians age pensioners are affected by poverty, a definition of poverty is necessary. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report last year titled Pensions at a Glance 2015. In this report, the poverty line was drawn at 50 per cent of the disposable household income of the median Australian household. While the deduction of taxes is taken into account when assessing household disposable income, the cost of housing is not. Therefore, the OECD definition of poverty doesn’t include the benefit that many older Australians gain from owning their own homes. This is a benefit not afforded to many working-age Australians paying off a mortgage.

Ms Lambie told The Conversation that the OECD study “found that more than one-third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line.”

The report states:

According to the latest available figures, poverty rates of people aged over 65 were very high in Korea (50%), Australia (34%), and Mexico (27%). In contrast, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have the lowest poverty rates: 2% and 3% respectively.

However, the figure of 34 per cent representing Australia’s portion of people aged over 65 in poverty includes the total number of Australians over that age – not just those receiving the Age Pension.

Broadly, the media outlet confirmed that Ms Lambie’s statement was factually correct.

But what of her claim that this number would rise to two-thirds in the next three to five years? The Conversation explored recent National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) data, which showed that pensioner incomes are expected to rise. However, according to NATSEM, projections show that these incomes are unlikely to rise in tandem with the incomes of households (which better represent a median income) not receiving benefits.

In theory, it may be said that if pensioner incomes don’t rise as fast as the median income, the rate of Australian age pensioners living in poverty could rise as projected by Ms Lambie.

While these figures can provide projections of what might happen, The Conversation concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence that supports Ms Lambie’s second statement.

Are you feeling the Age Pension pinch? Do you think the Age Pension will ever be sufficient retirement income? Can you see yourself living below the poverty line (as defined above) in the future?

Read more at theconversation.com

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    COMMENTS

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    Hasbeen
    28th Sep 2016
    11:16am
    At the rate government of all types, & particularly Labor government is ripping us off, this is probably true. Just a few government charges, with when I bought my home & now.

    Electricity; $280 a quarter, now $920
    [that's with 2 rather than 6 people]
    Rates; $680 a year, now $3460. $1730 twice a year, with no more services now.
    Car Rego; $340 PA then, now $960.
    Fuel; 42 cents/L, now 136 cents/L, half of this tax.
    Just the GST on my house insurance up from $18 PA to$160 PA, with similar GST increases on my fuel, phone & other costs.

    Yep Government, particularly lefty ones who can't stop wasting my money are the cause of us slipping into poverty.
    Charlie
    28th Sep 2016
    11:39am
    Even worse for a leftist government, they waste money trying to privatize things
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    11:40am
    Do you realise that over half of that expenditure goes back to the government in one form or another?
    MD
    28th Sep 2016
    1:35pm
    Yes Hasbeen and judging by the introductory article you/we have "gain"(ed)ed the "benefit" of home ownership, which I dare say we worked bloody hard for and in all probability a good many did so on a single income. Maybe this goes part way to explaining the significant increases to your (listed) costs.
    I imagine the recently announced increase to the pension will help you out ?
    Boomah52
    28th Sep 2016
    3:22pm
    Totally agree Hasbeen and Merkel is doing the same to Europe and Hillary given the chance will do the same for the US lol.
    particolor
    28th Sep 2016
    8:23pm
    Below the Poverty Line ! :-(
    AND SINKING !! :-( :-(
    hutchies1
    28th Sep 2016
    11:32am
    Hey has been, you've just got $3.20 a fortnight rise in pension, that'll help eh? :-)
    ray from Bondi
    28th Sep 2016
    1:02pm
    god!! the politicians ( it seems to be the libs being caught) will have to give up their perks and stop the thievery of the public purse to pay for this
    Anonymous
    28th Sep 2016
    3:18pm
    Not yet hutchies1, can't wait for tomorrow when it all comes together. Still haven't decided where to spend it, watch this space.
    TREBOR
    28th Sep 2016
    8:38pm
    Middy at the club at Happy Hour to celebrate....
    Rosscoe
    28th Sep 2016
    11:37am
    Hey Hasbeen, we need a "lefty government" right now. The conservative government you, and a lot of other brainless voters, elected is doing such a wonderful job!
    Lippy
    28th Sep 2016
    12:39pm
    Some forgot that Labor got us through the GFC and Lib's kept SCREAMING budget emergency. Mal gets in, oops the budget is not looking anymore rosier than the 2013 election campaign of how they will get us back in the black. That's right, Howard sold off so many government assets they are stuffed.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    12:42pm
    You mean Labor panicked during the GFC and wasted just so much of our taxpayer's money and is responsible for the debt we have today.
    ray from Bondi
    28th Sep 2016
    1:06pm
    yes, the libs keep up their rhetoric and that is all it is they are hoping that people will believe there c#@p (brown smelly stuff) they keep repeating it hoping some fool will believe it, they have been in control for some time now and that is all they can do blame somebody else, by the way, the only government that did not do that was the first :)
    Hasbeen
    28th Sep 2016
    1:17pm
    You're kidding aren't you Rosscoe? Our current government is so far left it's hard to tell if Turnbull is left of Shorten or vice versa. Turnbull is so frighten of his own shadow, he will never cut any of the vote buying. In fact he is so busy looking over his shoulder, that he has no idea of where he is going, or even where he wants to go.

    Still better him frozen motionless, like a rabbit in your car headlights, doing nothing, than Shorten & co paying back their supporters for favours rendered, with our money.
    Rae
    28th Sep 2016
    1:19pm
    I'm waiting for Baird to sell the Harbour Bridge and The Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Bondi Beach, The Heads etc etc
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    1:21pm
    Do we still own them?

    I hear Australian Super has put in a bid for the poles and wires.

    Turnbull is doing the right thing staying out of the media headlights.
    Rae
    28th Sep 2016
    3:02pm
    Not sure OG if we own much at all any more.

    May as well sell the poles and wires to Australian Super funds instead of foreign governments. After all they make billions in profit every year.

    Now if I did that with my income producers I'd go broke pretty fast.
    Rosret
    28th Sep 2016
    11:48am
    Of course they are. You don't need a survey to acknowledge that. If you haven't got family or own your home life is very grim.
    older&wiser
    28th Sep 2016
    3:09pm
    Rosret - so very true...... A lovely single friend is 65 and going through chemo, etc. With no family to drive her the 35kms each time she needs treatment, it costs her over $80 each way for cab. Friends offer when they can, but many cannot give up time from their work to be chauffeur. She has private health insurance but I am gobsmacked at the huge gaps she has to pay. She said to me recently that it is getting close to the point of making the decision - either she sells her house to afford treatment (then has to pay private rental), or keep her home and don't have treatment. And her home is very small, old and run down. As she said - 'do I take the gamble and hope I die before my money runs out?' And this is Australia?
    I too have no family, and you cannot constantly rely on friends as they too will soon be in the same situation as me.
    For once, I agree with Jackie Lambert.
    nena
    28th Sep 2016
    4:53pm
    Those who own their home know the cost attached to maintain it, and worrying trying to find some honest worker who doesn't take advantages from us.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    5:04pm
    in2sunset your friend may be entitled to community transport so she needs to contact them and ask. I regularly drove myself for chemo treatment without any problem. As she has cancer she may also be entitled to $250 to help with household bills or in fuel vouchers from the Cancer Council. She needs to talk to the public hospital social worker as the private hospital may not be able to help. If she looses her hair the public hospital may have wigs available.
    Happy cyclist
    28th Sep 2016
    11:57am
    Not only is Senator Lambie factually incorrect -- but so are you YLC. That Q&A was not earlier this week, but the previous week. Just saying.
    Rosret
    29th Sep 2016
    7:27am
    So would you like to try and live on the pension for a year and see how you manage. Remember, no diving into the reserves or getting family to help.
    I have absolutely no idea how anyone does it. The first thing would having to be say no to all outings and gift giving. Soon family and friends disappear and loneliness is ones only friend. The pension is cruel and Jackie is absolutely right.
    Pamiea
    28th Sep 2016
    11:58am
    Its no wonder people vote Liberal. U only have to read the comments below. Its the Liberal govt that sell off our infrastructure making our electricity etc more expensive. Start doing some research and get your facts right cos u obviously dont know what you are on about. So you support fat cat capitalists that don't look after you just there super fat cat friends. Get real and work out the truth!!
    johnp
    28th Sep 2016
    12:05pm
    Of course some of the problems are runaway costs of pollies salaries, public servants, CEOs, Upper management, etc etc, real estate in some cities; pushing up those costs which also have to be borne by those pensioners still renting. One example being electricity costs for which the generation and distribution of that commodity is only a fraction of the consumer cost when marketing, sales, various depts and many multiple business entities are taken into account
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    12:38pm
    Do you know how much money you need for a comfortable retirement? For a single person, it’s $545,000 – for a couple, $645,000. (ASFA).

    That's sounds about right to me and proves it was a good idea for the government to make the 2017 changes to the asset test.
    Rodent
    28th Sep 2016
    1:12pm
    OG

    Slightly wrong, its $640k, not $645k BUT there is a proviso
    .............................................................................
    Superannuation balances required to achieve a comfortable retirement
    The lump sums required for a comfortable retirement assume that the retiree/s will draw down all their capital, and receive a
    part Age Pension.
    ...............................................................................
    Therefore an obvious Question is How much is the Age Dependent Draw down and what income is assumed from the Part Age Pension for EACH pension category?
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    1:20pm
    Those figures are for the new 2017 asset test so that might explain the extra $5.
    HarrysOpinion
    28th Sep 2016
    1:26pm
    You have your head stuck in that region where the sun doesn't shine Old Geezer. $545,000 - single retiree over 67 will live in reasonable comfort for 18 years to age of 85 then this person will need to go on an age pension, if there is one then. At age 85 this person will have no cash left to enter age care - nursing home. A couple over the age of 67 with $645,000 will live in reasonable comfort for 14 years but at age 81 will have nothing left to enter age care - nursing home. In order to live out in reasonable comfort including cost of age care the single person and the couple will need ( approx) $1 million and $1.25 million respectively up front and budget their spending very carefully. But, people without this upfront security will be dying in your street gutter and the state government will be footing the bills for the funeral costs. The Liberal Party represents the rich and is a creator of social misery for the rest of the nation.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    1:42pm
    You don't need any money to enter a nursing home for a start so no problem there. Also you will get the full age pension before you spend all your money so no problem there either. Government will pay for the disposal of your body so no problem there either. So your mega bucks is not needed at all.
    TREBOR
    30th Sep 2016
    12:30pm
    Don't need any money to lie in the cauld, cauld groond, either...
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2016
    6:19pm
    Old Geezer obviously believes in fairies, and writes fairy stories. Don't need money to enter a nursing home? What utter garbage! You not only need money - you need a lot of it. Nearly the price of an average family home for most decent aged care facilities. And many elderly people have other special needs that can't be met now that the stinking vile government - supported by selfish pricks - has stripped battlers who saved of the right to enjoy the proceeds of their hard work and sacrifice.

    This STUPID government is grinding all retirees into poverty, and the next generation will pay for this economic idiocy. We have morons running the budget who can't do math, don't understand human behaviour patterns, have no concept of planning for the future, and are happy to shaft all the hard working battlers in order to load the coffers of the filthy rich who hoard their ill-gotten untaxed gains off shore and bugger our country with their selfishness.

    But of course it all suits selfish OG because it doesn't hurt him/her. And nobody else counts!
    Old Geezer
    3rd Oct 2016
    7:16pm
    Rainey you can have a person who pays nothing in the room next door to a person who pays heaps in a 5 star nursing home. I seen it many times. It is complete rubbish I costs so much to go into a nursing home but if you have money they will try and get it. All people are treated the same no matter what they pay.

    No the government is not grinding retirees into poverty that's simply a fairy tale. Anyone that needs it will still get the OAP. If you don't need it then you will rightly so not get it. Obviously you must be one of the one's who it would have been nice to have but the good times have ended for you. It is no different for you then what it is for those of us who don't get the OAP now. The government has simply redrawn the line in the sand. A good thing too.
    Mez
    6th Oct 2016
    8:40am
    Old Geezer is correct, Rainer......there are different types of nursing homes....private and public owned so one does not need money to get into the public system except that it comes out of one's pension and it is most of it.
    That is how it was with my father a few years ago.
    Nan Norma
    28th Sep 2016
    12:45pm
    The biggest problem of all in this country is GREED, GREED and more GREED. In every area of life: CEO's, politicians, legal and medical personal etc, there are people demanding more money to the point of obscenity. The rich have lost all sense of a social conscience. It's become a case of "let them eat cake". The seniors of today grew up with a completely different mind set, 'if you can't afford it, you do without until you can.' And while the younger generations demands it now, the seniors are still expected to do without.
    ray from Bondi
    28th Sep 2016
    1:08pm
    here here
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    1:23pm
    I don't eat cake myself.
    musicveg
    28th Sep 2016
    1:39pm
    I agree greed is breeding too fast. Why do we keep paying politicians so much money once they leave parliament, why can't they get the same pension as everyone else,most of them have enough money stashed away already. I know my mum who will be 80 next year gets depressed only about money, keeping her small house going, she can't afford to get repairs and worries about the rates all the time, she does not go out for dinner when invited because she is too embarrassed to admit she cannot afford it.
    TREBOR
    28th Sep 2016
    8:08pm
    I mentioned to someone the other day that Gordon Gecko was alive and well in Australia right now.... that was at a Masters store set to close down..... and it was to a young lass trying to hold a job and build a future.

    Like Dick Smith stores - the real beneficiaries of this failed business model will be, as usual, that fat cats at the top who will reap some fine fees etc for leading the disaster, and will vanish with a few lazy mill hidden behind walls of paperwork......

    Funny how a business can develop debts in the millions etc, when all their goods are bought cheap?.... what kind of management is that? .... (the modern kind, he replied to himself)....
    musicveg
    28th Sep 2016
    1:42pm
    Jackie Lambie's facts my not be correct yet but we are heading that way, and this does not include all those over 50 who are unemployed and living below the poverty line,whilst still bringing up kids, paying mortgages etc.
    Tadpole
    28th Sep 2016
    2:06pm
    So right musicveg ,and these over 50's get the princely sum of $258 a week to cover everything .and if pensioners (iam one) are in deep doodoo ,how in hell do those like my 60 yr old son survive beggers my belief .There surely must be a devision between kids living at home , and seniors who can't work forhealth reasons ,or lack of work opportunities
    Katie
    28th Sep 2016
    2:20pm
    I am extremely grateful for the aged pension and the fact that I live comfortably in a Public Housing unit. I have a chronic blood cancer and other health problems which need treatment for which I don't have to pay. I still have enough money saved for a' rainy day' and have no need of cigarettes or alcohol. I eat well and if I have the need I can call on our local Meals on Wheels service. I feel that I am very blessed and wish that those who are so worried about their future would take stock of what they have and count their blessings.
    TREBOR
    29th Sep 2016
    5:30am
    When we're slapped we'll take it and like it? Not Australians, Myte!
    PIXAPD
    28th Sep 2016
    2:25pm
    Jackie Lambie was NOT on Q&A this Monday gone 26/09/2016

    28th Sep 2016
    2:26pm
    If you think this government cares a rat's arse about ANY Age Pensioner who is struggling you are indeed either naive, mislead, or stupid. I have written to more than a few coalition politicians about Age Pensioners' plight and not one of these overpaid, underworked, cretins has even had the courtesy or decency to answer my emails. This government is TOTALLY out of touch with reality and the real Australia and it's people and are only interested in the,selves.
    older&wiser
    28th Sep 2016
    3:14pm
    Agree - I too have NEVER received the courtesy of a reply to any of the emails I have sent to numerous politicians. But funny how they can take the time to write you a letter asking for their vote at election time.
    Anonymous
    28th Sep 2016
    4:19pm
    I, too, received two of them. Creeps!
    PIXAPD
    28th Sep 2016
    2:32pm
    The aged pension for single, with supplements and full rent assistance is S1007.70 fortnight, a person can save up to $7800 a year of $300 fortnight, or spend some and save less and have more to live on. You can get a studio apartment with Affordable Housing for rental of $150 a week.
    TREBOR
    28th Sep 2016
    9:36pm
    **crickets**
    iamnotold
    29th Sep 2016
    8:23am
    How much you could save would depend on rent and lifestyle.
    particolor
    29th Sep 2016
    4:18pm
    "Crickets" ?? More like what the Bull left behind after relieving itself !! What planet does he live on ?? The most a single can get is $867.00 Does he think they pay rent assistance on top of that ??
    I get No Rent Assistance because Housing keeps moving the Border to just under the Rent Assistance line. And then has the hide to top it off with $11.50 a fortnight for water :-( After Rent I have $256.00 a week to live on .I then have to pay Electricity, Petrol ( No Public Transport:-( } And the Phone, Net Bill Leaving not much to live on for food Etc. !! So if he's banking $7,800 a year He's either a Liar or getting Far More than the Single Pension :-( :-(
    PIXAPD
    30th Sep 2016
    7:44am
    As I said so I repeat for those who cannot read>>>>The aged pension for single, with supplements and full rent assistance is S1007.70 fortnight, a person can save up to $7800 a year of $300 fortnight, or spend some and save less and have more to live on. You can get a studio apartment with Affordable Housing for rental of $150 a week.
    PIXAPD
    30th Sep 2016
    8:01am
    Looks useless trying to inform people, they never listen or learn, like a lot of chickens walking around pecking at the ground, when if they looked up they would see NO fence anywhere, but the one they build for themselves.
    Heskwith
    28th Sep 2016
    2:56pm
    Something new to me... anyone know about this?
    I find that my Term Deposit within a Super fund is actually returning to me only 85% of the interest which is advertised. The 15% is taken by the fund managers as an "internal tax". What???? Even though income total may be way under the cutoff for paying any tax at all, this "tax" is lost to me forever, cannot be reclaimed. Funny, they didn't tell me before.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    2:57pm
    Is your super fund in the accumulation or pension mode?
    Rae
    28th Sep 2016
    3:12pm
    Accumulation funds pay 15% tax within the fund regardless of you not having to pay tax.

    In pension mode you should not pay this.

    Unless you earn over $32000 a year outside of super you won't pay tax once over 60 and retired.

    Superannuation is only a tax minimisation vehicle if you earn over the tax offset.

    Sovereign risk is quite high within super too as the government changes rules ever single budget.

    They don't seem to be able to just leave it alone a year or two.

    Must be a lot of money in making up the rules and changes for the legal and financial advisors.

    28th Sep 2016
    3:16pm
    The first problem with this is that Australia doesn't have an official "poverty line" but two groups have made different methods to arrive at a figure. The Smith family uses the total of all wages divided by the number of wage earners to arrive at the mean average and have then divided that figure by 2 to arrive at their definition of poverty. The other group, the Centre for Independent Studies takes the highest wage and the lowest and uses the middle to arrive at their figure which is the median. They then use 60% of that as the poverty line.

    It has been suggested that the OECD method should be used which is almost the same as the CIS method except that 50%, not 60% gives the poverty line. Using the OECD method, a figure starting at 1 in 8 and as low as 1 in 20 Australians can be shown to be living in poverty. There is such a disparity in the different methods and results that Lambie's quoted figures cannot be proved or disproved.
    Jacer
    28th Sep 2016
    8:49pm
    The problem with this is people want to have a discussion about which measure of poverty to use.
    Beats having to think about actually doing something about it I guess.
    LiveItUp
    29th Sep 2016
    7:22am
    If you get enough to eat and drink and have a roof over your head you are not living in poverty. Anything else is a luxury in a lot of the rest of the world.
    TREBOR
    29th Sep 2016
    7:44pm
    That reminds me of the story of a US Army doctor in Vietnam, when a medic brought in a wounded NVA. The doctor pushed him aside and refused to treat him until all the American boys were treated. The medic protested that the doctor had taken a Hippocratic Oath... the doctor replied - That was in America!

    We don't live there, Bonny - and if we did, we would not be living as locals...
    ex PS
    30th Sep 2016
    10:48am
    Exactly what the plantation owners used to say to their slaves. Good to see the old values aren't dying out Bonny.

    28th Sep 2016
    3:29pm
    Turnbull wants Australians to work to the age of 70 and in the same week doubles refugee intake costing $350 million and a lifetime of welfare payments for each. Great government really caring for their "own" people!
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    3:43pm
    You don't have to work until 70. You just won't be able to get the OAP until 70. Big difference here.
    Anonymous
    28th Sep 2016
    5:38pm
    Geez, very astute, and petty, of you.
    TREBOR
    28th Sep 2016
    8:11pm
    That's just great, Rube - so instead of volunteering to work on until 70, the majority are forced to.... but nobody's holding a gun to their head, right?

    Something badly wrong with some people's reasoning... or experience of life.....
    ex PS
    30th Sep 2016
    10:51am
    Meanwhile we just pay more to young people who can't find work. Just to be clear, the government thinks it's smarter to make older people work longer than to put younger fitter people into the workforce. Does this make sense to anyone out there?
    musicveg
    30th Sep 2016
    12:52pm
    Exactly ex PS, young people need a start in life, after years on the dole they lose hope, we need older people in volunteer work and taking care of their health after years of working in or out of home. Extending the pension age to 70 is just a way for them to save money, they should save by cutting back on politicians free air travel, excessive yearly pensions and other perks first.
    PIXAPD
    28th Sep 2016
    3:46pm
    The so called Baby Boomers first started to receive the aged pension back in 2010, so there was a great increase in pension payments from that year
    ex PS
    30th Sep 2016
    4:11pm
    And an even bigger percentage of those retiring before that were even more reliant on government pensions, I don't see what point you are trying to make.
    PIXAPD
    1st Oct 2016
    8:32am
    I realise that you DO NOT SEE
    PIXAPD
    28th Sep 2016
    3:54pm
    Pension payment of $1007 a f/n is plenty
    Rosret
    29th Sep 2016
    7:29am
    ?
    PIXAPD
    29th Sep 2016
    9:32am
    OH I made a mistake, that should have been $1007.70 f/night
    StephenB
    28th Sep 2016
    4:10pm
    How do I know if I will be living below the poverty line. I applied for an age pension in March and they still haven't processed it.
    Dot
    28th Sep 2016
    5:00pm
    Probably got lost in the system or else you have been put to the back of the line.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    5:06pm
    Log on to your Mygov account and see if anything has happened with it. It may be held up due to them needing something. Centrelink now send their letters via mygov as well.
    Rae
    29th Sep 2016
    8:08am
    With the demographics of the baby boomers and the millions of extra people allowed to immigrate here I'm not surprised.

    Go see them and find out what the hold up is.

    Typical of all governments in Australia. They all do very little planning and then blame each other when it goes pear shaped.

    Good example is health. The Federal government brings in 300 000 extra a year and encourages an extra 250 000 babies to be born but gives the States no extra for hospitals because that is a State responsibility. Dumb and Dumber.
    Dot
    28th Sep 2016
    4:59pm
    One must look on the bright side, as least refugees, boat people and asylum seekers are living the grand life at our expense.
    Retired Knowall
    4th Oct 2016
    4:35pm
    ******Moron alert*****
    Jacer
    28th Sep 2016
    5:06pm
    What a surprise it's all Labor's fault. And the same drivel about leftys, Labor and the GFC is being rolled out.
    The facts are different, if uncomfortable for LNP fans. The LNP engineered the bulk billing reduction that's starting to impact us. It reduced funding going into aged care accommodation. It reduced pension indexation rates. And so on.
    As offensive as it is to the LNP fan club here, why not ask what is the LNP doing to reduce poverty. Better still, provide examples of any positive initiatives.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    5:09pm
    LNP has the same problem that Labor would have if it was in power. There are now too many people on welfare in this country. The baby boomers have already started to retire and increase the OAP exponentially so there is simply not enough to go around so many and something has to give.
    grounded
    28th Sep 2016
    5:33pm
    The answer is so simple....we elect Billy Shorten, plant a few of those brilliant 'money trees' Labor are so famous for....and bob's your uncle....money for everyone. God people have short memoires...don't they remember the good times we had under Kev and Julia...the loot just flowed, and flowed and flowed...and look see, it's still flowing...a billion a month in interest payments. THAT IS A BILLION DOLLARS EVERY MONTH....yep them Labs can keep the dosh flowing alright!! Horrible bloody Liberals....just have no idea how to keep that moolah swirling around.
    musicveg
    28th Sep 2016
    5:37pm
    For every job there are 16 people applying, so how can we not have people on welfare, jobs going overseas, greedy industries, and local industries closing down? We have plenty enough for welfare if the government stopped handing out so much money to politicians when they leave parliament and subsidizing big business. And not everyone on welfare is wasting their time, they are mothers, fathers, and other's trying to better themselves too. But when they finally go to get work there is a huge battle to find it.
    TREBOR
    28th Sep 2016
    8:29pm
    LNP and Labor could always start working on positive changes to the unemployment rate.... and start cutting out social security and other income subsidies to those above a certain level, at which they should simply not be receiving any.

    Nobody in that last category is in the lower and unemployed levels of income - middle class and corporate welfare are what need to go on the chopping block.

    Libs have had control of the purse strings for four years or so.... they're still struggling to get anything right other than increasing costs of living, thus putting upward pressure on income requirements. You simply cannot continue to feed your fat cat mates with 'privatised' deals that cause rises in living costs, escalating subsidies to super that benefit the higher incomes most, or to sustain the current frenzy of over-capitalised and under-equitised house madness buying and selling for profit.

    Chopping away at the poorest in the land, many of whom have put up with fifty years of working under increasing government chicanery, pursuit of false gods such as 'equality' through force and deliberate discrimination, increasing woeful 'management' at all levels that has cause the near-collapse of every industry in this country, abysmal industrial 'relations' based on increasing tyranny of petty-minded 'bosses' with no real idea, and so on and so forth, through such things as forcing the doctors to quit bulk billing or cop the cost (etc), is not helping anyone. Not only that, but it is inevitable that one day it will lead to insurrection in one form or another - as clearly shown in the last election with the clear warning to both major parties to get their act together.

    If nothing positive comes out of the latest experiment, including the re-installation of Pauline Hanson in the hope of somebody at least trying to change things - I predict an even more alienated voting public next election, and I would not be surprised if politics in this country does not descend into violence and mob rule.

    You can only kick a faithful hound so many times before he will bite in self-defence.
    Rosret
    29th Sep 2016
    7:40am
    You can't attribute the pension payout scheme to either party. There is a financial pie. A certain percentage of the pie is allocated to welfare. For the last 25 years the government knew the baby boomers were coming through without enough private super and the newborn population growth was slowing.
    At the same time we, as a community, are demanding assistance for an ever growing set of needs from disability to high end health care that wasn't available 40 years ago. This coupled with the fact that life expectancy has increased by 20 years in two generations has just added to the dilemma.
    We all knew this day was coming and sadly in our two stream economy life is abundant for some and devastating for others.
    Jacer
    28th Sep 2016
    6:19pm
    Having asked what is the LNP doing to address the issue, I'm told what about Bill Shorten, debt interest, blah, blah. Ignoring the opinions presented as facts, they're just excuses.
    I'll make it really simple.
    My 92 year old mother pays more tax on super remnants and a few dividends than many multi billion dollar companies here do. Explain how that's fair and equitable.
    And explain what the LNP is doing to improve things. If it's nothing, admit it. At what point does the statistic become concerning?
    TREBOR
    28th Sep 2016
    7:52pm
    All pay rises follow rises in cost of living - that's what the annual etc review of wage rates is all about. Ergo - simple enough - since pensions always follow wage rises, pensioners will always be dragging a few months behind no matter what, and their percentage of AWE will not alter significantly.

    What is occurring, with multiple thrusts to reduce the majority of income levels so as to compete (I leave out the fat cats here - they're 'entitled' to huge rises), including attacks on penalty rates, is that real wages are declining. Since real wages are declining, pensions are declining in value, and since pensions are but a sparrow's fart away from disaster at any time - it is inevitable that more and more pensioners will fall into poverty.

    ..... unless we act NOW!
    StephenB
    28th Sep 2016
    10:26pm
    Why not set the same income and asset test for all taxpayer funded social security payouts so that the middle income crowd share the burden. We subsidise babies, child care, education, etc so why is the emphasis on cutting the lifestyle of the elderly?
    TREBOR
    29th Sep 2016
    5:17am
    Totally agree -I fail entirely to see that a family with two working parents between $80k and $150k EACH, should receive the amazing largesse of this country in terms of PPL, baby bonuses, childcare and so forth.

    The upper limits are those that need to be cut back to reasonable levels - not the income of those on the lowest in the land. Giving more and more to those without genuine need does nothing but make things harder for those with less. It cause price rises in housing, goods, utilities and so forth - all based on the 'market force' of the dual income family, thus making it near impossible for anyone on a single low income.

    That's why I call the Mandatory Dual Income Family the MADIF....... you're mad if you sustain that family and its effect on market forces that are becoming ruinous to this country.
    LiveItUp
    29th Sep 2016
    7:20am
    Good idea cut them all back to the same as for the Newstart. Government will save a fortune.
    Jacer
    29th Sep 2016
    8:41am
    Who do you think funds the pension payments? The people whose entitlements you want to cut. If the competition is the race to the bottom, why would they want to pay your pension?
    TREBOR
    29th Sep 2016
    7:50pm
    I'm not talking about Pension rates or Unemployment Benefit (from Social Security, not welfare), Bonny - I'm talking about the largesse of a government in handing out billions to families who should, by comparison with most others, be able to fund their own lifestyle.

    The full gamut of welfare includes (welfare does not include Social Security) is giving people money to breed, to care for the offspring, to buy investment homes and thus push up the market, excessive subsidies to superannuation over a certain level, handouts to corporations and businesses including some very convenient tax dodges, concessions to mining and so forth.

    That is the money that needs to be reined in - not the payments falling due, under the decades old contract, for Pensions and Unemployment and support of children in need.
    CindyLou
    28th Sep 2016
    11:25pm
    This is a sad situation, as well I suspect the increasing age for the receipt of OAP is wrong- I'm not affected personally, however I feel for individuals juggling their living costs, housing in particular must be so very difficult in major cities. I don't think any politician nor other high income earners would have a clue about living on limited means.
    Rae
    29th Sep 2016
    8:41am
    What is of concern is the increasing age of child bearing. A lot of 50 year olds still have teens at home and these are the people who can't get jobs when businesses close down. So for the next 20 years they have dependents and newstart. It is going to be a disaster for many.
    Pamiea
    28th Sep 2016
    11:28pm
    I phoned Spotlight today and guess what. I spoke to someone in Fiji. Why couldn't an Australian have the job of answering the phone. I think I will writd to Jackie Lambie, my local politician who just happens to be a Muslim and the head of the Labor party here and the Liberal party about the pension and see if I get any joy. i will also write to Canberra.
    TREBOR
    29th Sep 2016
    5:20am
    While you're at it - remind these clowns that cutting receipt of Unemployment Benefit back by four weeks is only adding four weeks at the end of life that these people will need to go on Pension, and will delay their potential prosperity into the future, thus creating a never-ending burden on Social Security, as well as providing them with no wherewithal to even seek a job. You could add that such a vicious move is a clear admission that there are no jobs to try for.
    Rodent
    29th Sep 2016
    8:04am
    Its seems time to repost this , because I doubt many of you saw it

    This comment may be late BUT readers who are interested in another perspective of what Christion Porter was saying at the National Press Club about Welfare might like to google this

    Christian Porter's Welfare figures are designed to Shock ....... go to the article by Greg Jericho of The Guardian -- and if really interested read some of his readers comments
    TREBOR
    29th Sep 2016
    7:54pm
    Ya... godda link dere, bro? An' a smok while you at it?
    John
    30th Sep 2016
    8:51am
    I'll see you again and I'll see you again and again the government is ripping off the pensioners because they align their own pockets basically 12 three flights 1C year for the rest of their life's $150,000- $250,000 for the rest of their lives in a pensioner lives on 22,000 year why do they need 12 extra flights once a year for the rest of our lives already with the pension absolutely ridiculous let's that looking at the MP salary Telling everybody that should work till the 70 also should there be any different i'll start again let them come and live in my car for over two years now but I'm more response for from any MP forward to pay for rent on the pension concerned they are nothing but bastards they take from the pensioners to line their own pockets nothing but bastards
    Old Geezer
    30th Sep 2016
    1:55pm
    You are arguing over about $1 per welfare recipient so it's peanuts and would not make any difference unless of cause you can really stretch a dollar.
    frank45
    30th Sep 2016
    9:08am
    It was Hokky that toke $800.00 dollars off all pensioners, and turnbull as not give it back
    and why do jeovers not work and get more dole then persons that work they never,never,
    wever , work why get the b'' working.
    Joy B
    30th Sep 2016
    5:01pm
    I am slightly confused with the statement 'below the poverty line'. We may as a group of aged pensioners get money each fortnight that technically takes under the amount deemed to be below the poverty line but this doesn't mean we have to live in poverty. I live within my means so I adjust accordingly.

    My first thought related to the state/territory and the costs associated with living there and if we owned our own home or living in Housing accommodation. I am not a home owner so for me where I live I don't feel like I am disadvantaged and do not have the costs that home owners incur. The only things I feel I miss out on are holidays and a better car.

    I'm not saying the system is right nor am I saying that the pension we get is adequate especially for married couples. At the end of the day the government will not consider us when making any changes to the pension as they only focus on how much they can get for themselves - this is the real crime.

    30th Sep 2016
    6:27pm
    Of course poverty will increase among retirees. This government is making sure of it. I recently saw a spate of Facebook posts advising younger folk to reduce their super savings, retire at 55 and spend their super down because having it means you can't get a pension.

    I told the moronic idiots who claimed to be saving money by grinding more retirees into hardship that their stupidity would result in reduced savings and more pensioners on higher pensions, but fools like OG told them they were doing the right thing removing all incentives to work and save and punishing people harshly for trying to be self-sufficient in old age. Now we will all suffer the consequences of short-sighted economic policy by fools with no vision, no math ability and no capacity to understand human behaviour and manage policy to drive the behaviour that SOLVES problems, rather than the behaviour that CREATES them.

    We are all doomed unless we can rid this nation of the dumb mentality that screwing the poor to feed the rich is going to solve economic problems.
    Old Geezer
    30th Sep 2016
    9:50pm
    Rainey the people effected are not poor that is the problem. Many people will not get to a level of assets where they will not qualify for the OAP so I can't agree with you at all. Those that do succeed will not like those successful people today qualify for the OAP. Very few people are effected by the new asset levels and those effected should not have got the OAP in the first place. Good move by the government cutting out such greed so that those who need the OAP can still get it.

    The rich all ready pay more than their fair share of taxes in this country. I know I do.

    I have no problem with people retiring at 55 soon to be 60 and spending down their wealth by travelling etc because the older one gets the harder such activities become. If I was 55 I'd strap on a backpack and travel the world myself, Then again I can't see any reason why I still can't do it. Food for thought.
    Old Geezer
    30th Sep 2016
    9:56pm
    Have a listen to Your Money Your Call recorded on 29th September 2016 as it takes about similar issues Rainey.
    Anonymous
    2nd Oct 2016
    8:31pm
    You miss the point completely, OG. The point is that the changed assets test will NOT save the country money. It will COST. By encouraging people to spend down their savings before pension age, it creates more pensioners on higher pensions and greater risks of increased poverty. What happens if investment returns rise in the future? Tens of thousands of retirees who would have become self-sufficient have spent down their assets to survive and remain on pensions. It's dumb, short-sighted policy. It's got nothing to do with need. It's about GREED. It's about refusing to acknowledge that people who saved are entitled to benefit from their savings, and should not be forced to give it to people who didn't.

    Not everyone CAN travel at 55. Some, due to work commitments or family obligations can't travel until 70. They lose their right to their trip of a lifetime because they are stripped of pension payments for 5 years and have to spend their travel money making up that unfair loss, while those who were lucky enough to be able to trip away at 55 benefit. That is UNFAIR by any reasonable standard, but worse, it's economically irresponsible to discourage saving. The morons who did it promised a reducing deficit and... guess what? It's tripled! Proof, OG, that they (and you) are WRONG and I am RIGHT.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Oct 2016
    10:21am
    Rainey you rally have missed the point of the reduction in the assets test. I can't put in more simply but if you have anywhere near the limits of the current asset test you simply don't need the pension. With this sort of money you could live a comfortable life without the pension for 40 years or more. So I applaud the government for this move.

    1st Oct 2016
    6:35pm
    although i agree with most of what is said about politicians being overpaid, and medical practitioners, particularly specialists, gouging the system, as well as the biggest scumbags of the lot, (lawyers), using corrupt judges to gouge the taxpayers in exchange for preventing the legal system from working, i cant help but think there is very little gratitude for what we do have.

    i am a single pensioner, and admittedly i own my own house so i dont have to pay rent, however i dont get rent assistance, but by not gambling, or drinking alcohol or smoking, i can afford to run 2 older cars as well as gain a weight problem from overeating, and still have money left over to do a few things that i dont really need to do, such as going for short low budget holidays etc.

    it seems to me that the biggest problem most pensioners have is obesity, and you dont get that from not eating enough.

    in real terms, the standard of living for pensioners has gone UP over the years rather than DOWN. the total losers who insist on smoking like i used to, drinking every day, and playing the pokies every night would obviously disagree. however, think back to when you were a teenager and first started working and compare the lifestyle of pensioners then to what it is now. shit, it was a struggle to own a car when i had a regular job at 17, and even when i got older. it was virtually out of the question for most pensioners to own one although some of them managed it, albeit by going without a lot of things. many people with families couldnt afford a car even though they had a job. more than half the people i knew couldnt afford a telephone. today, EVERYBODY can afford a phone and a car, including pensioners. shit, even homeless drunken bums have a mobile nowadays!

    the real problems all people face, although pensioners are more vulnerable, is the scumbags amongst us who have this obsession to overpopulate australia. immigration should have been frozen well before australia reached a population of 14 million. however, the dipshits who are too stupid to foresee the problems it causes, still dont even realise those problems have eventuated. and it is only the tip of the iceberg that is coming!
    the most significant one would be the fact that there is no money left over for building and staffing new hospitals to cope with the increase in demand, nor the space to build them in many areas such as sydney and melbourne. instead, the money is used to hire lawyers for illegal immigrants to attain australian citizenship, then give them a cash grant to "start a new life", and on extra security at airports and other places because of the high number of muslims in the community. it is also spent on housing the huge increase in prisoners due to the spiralling crime rate that comes with high numbered, low quality immigrations into what was once a good country to live in, despite the fact that many prisoners get suspended sentences because there is no room for them in the jails. add the unemployment caused by the immigration and that escalates the crime problem, as well as puts a further demand on the welfare bill. the legal aid bill alone would probably cause much of the govt debts, so obviously that would limit the funds available for badly needed new hospitals etc. then of course, funding for muslim high schools seems to be a big priority, despite the fact that most residents object to them being built in their district. those same selfish assholes have no problem with it being built in somebody elses suburb though.

    doctors and specialists have taken advantage of this bullshit situation, by overcharging for their services. private health insurance simply doesnt work, because no matter what amount the health fund will prescribe for these services, the doctors, particularly specialists, will simply charge double what the fund allows. its painfully obvious that the govt needs strict price control on medical services, as well as needing to stop immigration immediately, and then and only then, will it be possible to overcome the shortage of hospitals and staff. i personally know of several deaths caused by having to wait too long for medical treatment, due to the medical system being flooded with much too many people requiring the services. i am sure there are thousands if not tens of thousands more of these cases. it took me over a year to get a colonoscopy on the public system, and any longer i could have been dead by now, as a polyp was discovered and removed, but should have been done at least six months prior to that.

    the problem is, most people are dipshits, and will simply bleat RACISM! RACISM! at anybody who faces the problem realistically, and like good little sheeple, will believe all the crap the media tells us about racism, and humanitarianism etc, and will agree with the same politicians who make it a policy to fight common sense with hysteria, as instructed by the scumbags who own the media, who also own those same politicians.

    wealth is a relative term, and compared to generations before us, australian pensioners are rich. however, the way the govt is donating australia and its infrastructure to the rest of the world, those days may not last unless we all unite and make a stand. as modern australians dont have the balls to even speak out against terrorist organisations like islam, let alone be prepared to physically fight it, i think the muslims will be able to make a realistic attempt at what they hope to do, that is take over australia. however, i think with the oversupply of chinese immigrants, the chinese govt will ensure it will be a chinese takeover rather than an islamic takeover, and i admit the chinese takeover is the better of the 2 poor choices. however, why not a 3rd choice? why not stop it from happening by abolishing immigration, and working long term towards reclaiming the infrastructures that have been sold at bargain basement prices to overseas companies?
    i guess like most age pensioners, i am privileged to have lived in australia before it was screwed by the scumbags you people worship from the labor and liberal party, as well as the rich assholes who own and instruct those parties.

    i used to think i was the only person who realised the crap about muslims and excessive immigration in general, but apparently there are a few intelligent people besides myself, although most are too shy to say things out loud for fear of being branded a racist or being politically incorrect. check out a website called hotheads.com.au
    no, its not my website, but i agree with 90 percent of what the site says.
    musicveg
    1st Oct 2016
    7:12pm
    Another case of Islamaphobia, stop putting Muslims in one catergory, like all nationalities there are good and bad. Most terrorism is from radicalized muslims, especaily young and bored and they include everyday Australian youth. Fear and hatred will not get us anywhere.
    And if you don't want Chinese to take over stop buying 'made in china'. It is our want for cheap goods that has caused the Chinese to prosper and look for ways to spend their money. The government is responsible for selling off Australia not the everyday Australian who soon won't be able to afford their own home, car and maybe even a phone, and how do people get work without a roof over their head, internet access and a phone these days.
    Pamiea
    1st Oct 2016
    6:44pm
    Old Geezer I doubt you would get off your clacker to go travelling. You are too busy thinking about your money and making negative comments on here. Get a life and get going!!
    Old Geezer
    3rd Oct 2016
    10:16am
    Ha ha Guess what I have a mobile office so I can travel anywhere. However I do try to stay home on long weekends so that everyone else can enjoy the crowds and pay the extras charged.
    Rodent
    2nd Oct 2016
    9:29am
    For those of you that have some difficulty getting an overview of the Asset Test Changes as at Jan 2017, compared to now( note comments in article) this link may help

    http://www.catholicsuper.com.au/assets-test/

    2nd Oct 2016
    9:59pm
    shit why did i know that the islam apologists and austraphobics would come out of the woodwork as soon as i mentioned the indisputable fact that intelligent australians dont want muslims here.

    it is a hate based religion that uses political correctness to flourish amongst humans despite the fact that it was founded by a subhuman piece of shit that was a paedophile and a homicidal maniac (mohammed). they have openly declared their intention to "enslave the infidel in his own lands" yet the islamic apologists continue to stick up for the scum followers.
    the countries who championed the islamic cause like france and most other european countries have finally woken up to themselves and admitted that "multiculturalism doesnt work", and allowing muslims to thrive in their countries was a "big mistake". australia is one of the few countries who is still in denial, and still making excuses for these sick minded primitive people. this despite the fact that the majority of australians dont want them here, or at least are undecided. a recent poll proved that 49 percent of australians DONT want them here, and that didnt even include the "undecideds". considering that over 4 percent of the population is now muslim, that gives them 4 percent start in the polls.

    ask yourself what these people have to offer that will make australia a better place to live in for non-muslims. i cant think of any, but i can think of many reasons why they make the place less better to live in. even the muslim apologists are moving out of the areas where the muslims are moving in, but they dont have the balls to admit they cant handle living in muslim suburbs.

    even if they were good people (which they arent), australia doesnt NEED more immigrants, unless you are one of the rich assholes who number 4 percent of our population, that own over 95 percent of our resources between them, there is absolutely no benefit from overpopulating the place. 94 percent of australia is desert, and cannot reasonably sustain a large population without acute water restrictions. since bathing regularly is part of australian culture, why would you want to overpopulate, and overcrowd the areas where people CAN live reasonably well?

    so keep up the good work you sheeple who bleat the crap you are told to bleat by the media! keep calling the intelligent people racists, nazis, communists, fascists etc. without the loyal sheeple like you, the rich assholes who are destroying australian culture in order to become super rich, wouldnt be able to screw the country so easily. these assholes use the media to make it look as though 95 percent of australians want the place to be overpopulated and overrun by foreign cultures. eventually that will be true when the foreign invaders outnumber australians, and all have "australian" citizenship. besides, who needs affordable housing right? we dont because we havent got a lot of time left on the planet, but screw our kids and grandkids right? they can always convert to islam right? cant be too much wrong with following the teachings of a homicidal paedophile that had a six year old bride, as well as quite a few who werent much older right? i mean several billion muslims cant ALL be wrong can they? obviously there cant be too much wrong with having brides that are younger than your grandchildren, otherwise those billions of muslims who support the teachings of the guy would be sick bastards wouldnt they?

    can the people who would be ok with their six year old daughters being forced to marry and sleep with some bearded creep who has grandchildren much older than her? i dare anybody to post their approval to that on here .........
    Old Geezer
    3rd Oct 2016
    11:42am
    I don't have a problem with muslims or any other religion or non religion myself. In any society we have those who unfortunately do things we ourselves would not. Some of the things that happen to young children in our society are beyond belief at times but these have nothing to do with religion.

    3rd Oct 2016
    10:07am
    WOW!
    LOUD SILENCE ............
    ex PS
    3rd Oct 2016
    5:23pm
    Only an idiot tries to argue with a fool.
    AlbertC
    3rd Oct 2016
    12:21pm
    yes i would me and my partner are now on the border line of poverty every month the water gas and electry seems to be geting dearer and dearer and the federal goverment turns a blind eye to what is going on it seems to me that the goverment should claim back these industries and start where thy left off .they would save billions

    4th Oct 2016
    11:05am
    the means test is what pisses me off.

    take a professional student or a professional unemployed who has never worked in their lives but instead has sucked on a govt tit "for a living. never pays income tax, and the rest of the community has to pay his share of the taxes. get their handouts from charities etc, and usually gets a housing commision place at a cheap rental and when they reach 65 they get the oap no questions asked. thats assuming they didnt get the idiots pension many years beforehand.

    on the other hand, the guy who works 2 jobs, scrimps and saves for a house deposit and struggles for many years to pay off his home and saves a few dollars for his old age gets penalised, sometimes to the point of receiving no pension at all, and has to pay exhorbitant medical fees whereas the guy on the pension gets it cheap or for free, despite the fact he not only paid taxes all his working life, but had to pay the bludgers share of the taxes as well.

    i simply cant see a justification for having a means test. if the govt cant afford to pay proper pensions, i cant see how allowing illegal immigrants into australia or even legal ones will help the situation, especially considering those same illegals or legals, will want to bring their retired parents here to take advantage of our pension scheme.

    a common ploy, especially among middle easterners, is to apply to get their aged parents citizenship on "compassionate grounds", and they agree that they will financially support their parents so the govt wont have to pay a pension to them. after the parents arrive and get citizenship, they refuse to financially support them, so the idiot taxpayer has to pick up the tab and pay them a pension and their medical fees etc.

    see why people overseas, especially middle easterners and africans think australians are dipshits and suckers? the sad thing is that they are right .....
    PIXAPD
    4th Oct 2016
    11:36am
    The 'MEANS' test is just that.... a MEAN test......don't need be a rocket scientist to work that one out
    Boysen
    5th Oct 2016
    5:15pm
    What increases? We as a couple received 85 cents per week each.