7th Mar 2013
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Pollies fight over pensioners
Author: Kaye Fallick
Pollies fight over pensioners

As reported in YOURLifeChoices on Tuesday, from 20 March 2013 pension rates will not only increase in line with cost of living indexation, but will also benefit from the introduction of the Clean Energy Supplement. This will result in an increase of $35.80 per fortnight on a single Age Pension. So far this news item has generated 84 comments, most of which declare that the pension needs to be increased by a considerable amount more before it even begins to cover the basic cost of living.

The pension increase was announced in a press release by the Australian Government, stating:

“The Gillard Government is delivering around 3.5 million Australian pensioners a boost to their household budgets this month with an increase in the pension and the start of the new Clean Energy Supplement.”

On Facebook, Jenny Macklin has also claimed that Labor has delivered $5382 more a year for single pensioners.

And Treasury analysis suggests that families will be $2500 a year worse off should the coalition be elected. The response from Opposition Leader, Mr. Abbot, as reported in The Australian, is that a Coalition government would deliver "tax cuts and pension increases without a carbon tax".

Read Minister, Jenny Macklin’s comments this week

YOURLifeChoices website report

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbots comments in The Australian

Labor's Facebook posting

Opinion – Election 2013 Pension Argy-Bargy 

What to believe? Yes, there is a pension increase and a Clean Energy Supplement coming through for pensioners on 20 March. But is this a gift?

NO! It is a scheduled cost of living adjustment – a regular indexation of base pension rates which is adding $21.70 a fortnight and an extra 60c in supplements. It is higher than previous increases because costs have increased.

As most pensioners are well aware, base pension rates are indexed twice a year (March and September). As our editor Debbie has noted, it can be argued that the increase in the base rate of pension is a result of a robust economy, rather than a decision by the Federal Government to help “pensioners who are doing it tough”.

In addition the Clean Energy Supplement (announced in July 2011 as part of the introduction of Carbon Price Mechanism) is not a new payment, just a manifestation of last year’s promise to recognise and compensate for the effects of the new tax.

However, has Labor given more to pensioners than its predecessor, the Howard Government? Yes, is the simple answer.

In 11 years of economic sunshine, the Howard Government, apart from scheduled indexation, did not raise the rate of the pension once. It did offer a one-off discretionary $500 payment to pensioners, but as a discretionary payment, it could, of course, be withdrawn at any time.

So yes, Labor has increased the pension more in real terms and Treasury modelling of the compensation for the Carbon Price Mechanism shows pensioners should receive slightly more than they pay out.

And will Mr. Abbott deliver pension increases without a carbon tax, while achieving a surplus? In the absence of any real costings it is impossible to say, but he will diverge dramatically from Liberal National Party practice if he does recognise the needs of the most underpaid sector of the Australian population – those on an Age Pension.

Time will tell!

What do you think? Has the Gillard Government been more generous to pensioners than its predecessor, the Howard Government? 





    COMMENTS

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    Alida Talbot
    7th Mar 2013
    12:43pm
    NO she is having a laugh!! muddy the waters Julia is her catchphrase
    noddy45
    7th Mar 2013
    2:26pm
    Just read above or is your Life Choices lying too
    Tom Tank
    7th Mar 2013
    1:09pm
    On the evidence yes the current lot have been more generous than the last lot but that hasn't been too difficult.
    talofa
    7th Mar 2013
    1:22pm
    as a green-voter i have to say this....the moment any of the 2 main party pollies come on
    i turn the sound OFF especially when they start with the phrase 'the reality is'
    it's just 'spin...spin...spin...!!!!! talofa
    Michael
    7th Mar 2013
    4:12pm
    And the Greens don't use spin? I think they all do !!
    Aloysius
    8th Mar 2013
    9:02am
    I voted Green because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a litre of petrol are obscene, but my government taxing the same litre of petrol at 27.5% isn’t.

    I voted Green because I believe my government will do a better job of spending the money you earn than you would.

    I voted Green because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

    I voted Green because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.

    I voted Green because I think illegal immigrants have a right to free housing, health care, education, and welfare benefits – and the right to change our society to suit their cultural demands .

    I voted Green because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to my government for redistribution as we Greens see fit.

    I voted Green because I believe ‘enlightened progressive’ judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

    I voted Green because I think that it’s better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil , but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or frog.

    I voted Green because I want to convert Australia to a ‘carbon neutral green economy’ to create jobs – even after Spain has proven the green economy destroys three times as many jobs as it creates and leads to 20 percent unemployment.
    terrib
    7th Mar 2013
    2:10pm
    If the increase is to offset the carbon tax is the government going to tell Housing Departments to keep their hands off it? Otherwise they will take 25% of it & those of us in housing will be not much better off....AGAIN. Especially in NSW.
    jan5
    7th Mar 2013
    2:41pm
    As pensioners we have always been treated better by labour after all they look after the poor better.The rich manipulate the stock market and the bankers do shady deals with our super and the Libs don't try to stop them
    Bobeye
    7th Mar 2013
    2:58pm
    The CPI is not a true indication of the cost of living, I buy more food in a year than I buy foot wear or white goods. For example here is my last five year spending on non essential items:
    1 Computer $500 (apart from paper and ink),
    2 Refrigeration $60 (to have air-conditioner serviced),
    3 Motor Car $00.00 as I still drive a 9 year old model, I do most of my own services.
    The rip off for Green Certificates and Carbon Tax are unexceptable costs placed on us by a bunch of fools.
    walr
    7th Mar 2013
    5:02pm
    I am sick of hearing people whining about their pension, For a change let's single out non performers in all of the parties and get them to tell us what they do to command the huge rip off they are imposing on the people of Australia (Income I mean) My god, these idiots could never understand our position, they have never been there. Don't rely on the media, they're in it for the dollar too. Greed,Greed,Greed that's what drives these people. Please don't answer talking about forming a party, the subject will be high jacked before you even get started, surely you have seen that happen before.
    MITZY
    7th Mar 2013
    6:59pm
    Politicians had two huge pay rises December 2011 and July 2012.
    Julia Gillard AUD$495,430 p.a. = AUD$9,908 per week = AUD$1,981 per day
    Tony Abbott AUD$352,517 p.a. = AUD$7,050 per week = AUD$1.410 per day

    Barrack Obama AUD$380,488 p.a. = AUD$8.710 per week = AUD$1,522 per day
    David Cameron gets less than Tony Abbott.

    This tells us our PM and Opposition Leader are definitely overpaid compared to how many people they have to govern compared to the major job of governing the USA by Obama and U.K. by Cameron. And, what about the under-mentioned Bill Clinton? It's obscene.

    Bill Clinton ex President now Public Speaker receives AUD$28,537 per speaking assignment. These figures I saw on MyWage.org.au and there's more!

    Jenny Macklin says since 2009 Labor has delivered $5,382 to single pensioners (that amounts in three and a half years to approximately $65 per fortnight.

    I really do think single/married/disability/newstart/ etc. etc. have something to complain about.
    How will we fair after September 14? This is what the LifeChoices and Pensioner organisations need to clarify on our behalf from both parties. Newspapers/TV stretch the truth depending on their political leanings, politicians try to scarce us by abusing each other's policies. Reading the "posts" this week, we are all concerned for our future well-being and having sufficient funds to lead a modest retirement. How about we try to give LifeChoices and anyone else who will listen some idea of how we are travelling on our monthly pension and monthly expenses, are we covered?
    walr
    8th Mar 2013
    10:30am
    I'm with you, mate, but first, could somebody tell me, is it true that they just paid $60,000.00 for a chair, if true, which supplier managed to score on that one. Don't have to worry where our money is going, imagine what it would cost if they wanted a new hat or something.
    particolor
    7th Mar 2013
    9:22pm
    call Me Mr Inbetween !!>>..
    Want a Laugh ??..
    On My power bills is.. NSW Govt Household Rebate..$53cr.
    GST..$36..Gone!! Why Didnt Farrel save time an send it Straight to Mary Antwonette ??.
    Servive to Property..$132.49..What the Hells that about!!..DUH! DUH!!..
    Aloysius
    8th Mar 2013
    9:24am
    Surgeons in Canberra prefer to operate on politicians because it is so easy. When you open them up, there's no guts, no heart, no spine, no balls and the head and anus are interchangeable.
    Penqueen1949
    28th Jul 2013
    2:15pm
    Lol sadly true. I love how you put this.
    Annie_T
    8th Mar 2013
    5:53pm
    I'm on DSP, and when Howard was PM, there were many instances where the DSP recipients were excluded on anything the "pensioners' received from his government. It was as if we didn't need the help that was given to older people. Thankfully the Rudd government saw that discrepancy and ensured that we were not neglected.
    OFcourse, we have Julia now, at least until September. I guess we, all pensioners that is, will accept the crumbs we are thrown, its better than nothing
    Annie_T
    8th Mar 2013
    6:05pm
    I'm hoping that my post above is not misunderstood, its not meant to say that I begrudge anything the aged pensioners recieved, it was just that were often forgotten by little Johnny's government.
    PlanB
    9th Mar 2013
    5:49am
    Howard and his health minister Abbott were mean and had a surplus budget because they did NOTHING
    Aloysius
    9th Mar 2013
    10:15am
    This reminds me of the journalist, Alan Fitzgerald, who was elected to the ACT Assenmbly on the platform that he could do nothing better than anyone else could do nothing.
    lowflyer
    12th Mar 2013
    3:54pm
    This current rotten Labor Govt will do anything to stay in power. Where is the billions for the road in West Sydney going to come frome???? We, that is all Australians are so far in the red that we will never come in to the black no matter who drives the ship. Billions being spen on Illegals, those that are in Australia get far more than those on a Pension New start and all other pensions so why not send them back and give those who need it IN AUSTRALIA more funds to LIVE on. Gilard should stop promising more money to HER voters Money she has not got. After all it is the taxpayers who will have to pay the LOANS not her.

    17th Apr 2013
    10:33am
    Aloysius......
    what are you thinking with this comment you made ???
    "
    I voted Green because I think illegal immigrants have a right to free housing, health care, education, and welfare benefits – and the right to change our society to suit their cultural demands .

    You think we should all be wearing burkas and living under sharia law?? These illegals /asylum seekers/ migrants need to INTEGRATE, keep their cultural practices to themselves. No way we should change our society to suit them. Qantas has just stopped serving pork meals on their flights, why?? because a minority don't eat it! what about the rest of us.!!!
    particolor
    31st Dec 2014
    4:53pm
    We don't matter to them Trood ! We are now Dhimmi to them (Conquered ones). And will do what we are told by the Master Race ......... Islam...
    PlanB
    17th Apr 2013
    2:32pm
    Lowflyer, Also Abbott will DO ANYTHING to get the TOP JOB --he said so himself
    particolor
    15th May 2015
    10:03am
    And now it is ANYTHING He is doing in the TOP JOB ?? :-(
    PlanB
    15th May 2015
    10:40am
    Yep he will do anything to keep the top job now he has it
    particolor
    15th May 2015
    6:58pm
    Anyone for a Swordfight ? :-)
    Sherriff of Nuttingham.
    Jack Morrison
    29th May 2015
    1:29am
    lol use google.com...
    particolor
    6th Aug 2013
    5:42pm
    Bow to King Tony....
    They've forgotten Prince John ?.
    My Rise of 1 Buck 30..Still lives on !
    I think I'll vote Liberal..
    And spoil Myself !!
    And eat My last tin of Baked Beans
    I have on the shelf !......

    Thank You All !!!...
    Happy Sausage...Parti ....
    MAC22
    3rd Oct 2013
    9:08pm
    I recently, as well as many other penioners, decided to sell their homes to lease a unit from a reputable company. When I did my sums, this worked out to be cheaper than owning my home outright, and left me a small amount of money for the occasional holiday etc. I was on the pension before selling my home, and I have continued to receive the pension. However, I was informed that I may receive rental assistance, which would assist me greatly. I paid $236,000 for my 2 bed unit, legal costs were dear etc, and I pay rent for maintenance, and other amenities in the complex available to residents etc. However, according to recent info, if you lease a unit over the value of $142,000 you are not eligible for Rent assistance.
    Are they trying to force pensioners, to live in caravans, demountable homes, or similiar type of dwellings? Have pensioners not earned the right to receive rent assistance, have usually worked hard all their lives, and contributed in their own country to make it a wealthy and viable place to live, and assisting other peoples to live here and also reap the wealth this country provides? I would understand if we had a fortune in the bank etc, that one would not be eligible for RA, but to force some of us to purchase very low cost housing at our age is almost criminal, in order to qualify not only for the pension, but to have rent assistance as well. Any one agree that this is not acceptable to the now aged or infirm?


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