Pollies fight over pensioners

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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? 

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Written by Kaye Fallick

29 Comments

Total Comments: 29
  1. 0
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    NO she is having a laugh!! muddy the waters Julia is her catchphrase

  2. 0
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    On the evidence yes the current lot have been more generous than the last lot but that hasn’t been too difficult.

  3. 0
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    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

    • 0
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      And the Greens don’t use spin? I think they all do !!

    • 0
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      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.

  4. 0
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    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.

  5. 0
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    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

  6. 0
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    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.

  7. 0
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    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.

  8. 0
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    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?

    • 0
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      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.

  9. 0
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    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!!..

  10. 0
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    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.

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