Are the Budget plans what really count for seniors?

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David Robertson is the Head of Economic and Market Research for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. He joined the bank 16 years ago as Head of Financial Markets. His career commenced in 1989 as a foreign exchange dealer and, since then, he has worked in a range of senior roles in Treasury and Financial Markets for the State Bank of NSW, First Chicago and Commonwealth Bank. We spoke to Mr Robertson for his take on the Federal Budget 2018’s incentives for pensioners, proposed tax cuts, dividend imputation, interest rates and the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

YourLifeChoices: What do you think of the Federal Government expanding its role in lending by extending the Pension Loan Scheme (PLS) to more retirees?
David Robertson:
The Pension Loan Scheme was a well-kept secret. I think there had only been about $30 million in loans provided in the 30 years since it was started. There hadn’t been a great deal of take up of that product. I think it’s a good thing that it is available more broadly now. Any new offering for retirees has got to be a helpful thing.

How does the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s product for retirees (in conjunction with Homesafe Wealth Release) compare with the Pension Loan Scheme, which is essentially a top up for pensions which attracts a 5.25 per cent interest rate?
Whereas the PLS is a loan, the Homesafe product is an equity release product that provides an upfront lump sum. The owner of the house retains ownership, but at the end of that process the equity is effectively released through the sale of the property. It’s available only in certain postcodes and not all over Australia. Being a release of home equity rather than a loan, it certainly meets a wide range of our customers’ needs. It is available in lump sums of between $25,000 and $1 million. Interest is not charged because it is not a reverse mortgage, thus it is fee based.

If plans for tax cuts to big business go ahead and the top marginal personal income tax rate is removed, as proposed by the Federal Government, do you think this could jeopardise future budgets’ ability to return to surplus?
The consideration in tax cuts for all business is that we ensure that we remain competitive internationally. The US just recently reduced its corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 per cent. In Australia, we are talking about going from 30 to 25 per cent. The question is should the larger companies participate in that as well. I think international competitiveness is the factor that would suggest the tax should be broadly based rather than capped at a certain size. If you look at this Budget and the fact that it was ahead of expectations with $35 billion more in revenue than was forecast, a lot of that is due to business being profitable at present and that has created a windfall for Government revenue. I agree with the Business Council of Australia which says that strong business is a prerequisite to a strong economy and that leads to paying down debt more quickly and being able to provide more personal tax cuts. We are in a unique environment – we have low interest rates and low inflation – you need to tinker with tax settings to optimise the economic outcomes.

There is a risk with locking in a temporary increase in revenue and locking in a more permanent reduction in the tax rates. But having said that, I am more concerned about the Budget assumptions rather than plans to change tax brackets. There are assumptions that wages will grow 3.5 per cent and I am not sure that will happen as quickly as the Government has indicated. There’s clearly a reliance that the global economy will grow well and that China will support our economy. That is fair enough, but it remains an assumption that may or may not occur. If the assumptions are not right, that might jeopardise a Budget surplus.

Can you comment on proposed tweaks to dividend imputation and negative gearing as proposed by Labor?
I do have concerns about eliminating dividend imputation and (franking credit) tax refunds given we are in a low-interest rate environment. Because rates are at a record low, the timing seems problematic to me. And similarly with negative gearing, given the property market appears considerably more soft compared with six or 12 months ago, the timing with tinkering is problematic.

Independent economist Saul Eslake commented recently that over the past two decades  the tax regime and other policy settings have seen a redistribution of wealth from the young and middle aged to older Australians. Can you comment?
I am not sure it is that simple. We do have an ageing population, we are living longer and that is a good thing. I think it is good that this Budget had a number of incentives to continue to employ older Australians. And the funding of aged care is very welcome. But as for the redistribution of wealth, I am not completely sold on that. We have one of the strongest economies in the world. It is 26-plus years since the last recession, so I wouldn’t criticise the evolution of the tax regime over the past few decades on that basis. But clearly, we need tax reform moving forward. We need to take into account changing demographics. The inherent strength of our economy is perhaps evidence the redistribution of wealth to older Australians  might not be as large an issue as Saul Eslake has suggested.

How do you see banks’ housing loan books 10 years from now if increasing numbers of young Australians cannot afford to buy a home, negative gearing is tweaked, thus de-incentivising residential investors, and the regulators keep insisting that banks make it hard for young families to borrow large sums with small deposits?
Housing affordability for young families is clearly an issue. Although it is pleasing we have the first home-owners scheme and state-based concessions for stamp duty. But it does remain difficult. The measures the regulator has put in to reduce interest-only lending and investor lending has seen a welcome rise in lending to owner-occupiers. Those macro-prudential measures have been effective. Housing prices are now at far more sustainable levels. They were growing too quickly, in particular in Melbourne and Sydney. And now it seems across Australia they will be relatively flat or even slightly lower. However, our base case remains a soft landing amid a strong jobs market and with low interest rates. We are very comfortable with the credit quality of our housing loan books.

What is the outlook for interest rates?
The path the Reserve Bank (RBA) takes will be pretty important to housing prices. The RBA will calibrate rate rises taking into account the sensitivity of Australia’s housing market given high household debt. The RBA has always had a good track record of keeping a steady ship. And I expect they will continue to do so during this interest rate cycle, but nevertheless we do expect the next rate movement to be up rather than down. Most economists expect a rate rise won’t happen until next year. If you had asked me three months ago, I would have said late this year. But the softer housing market and also through the Banking Royal Commission’s increased focus on lending standards, these factors have probably pushed back that (rate rise) timing. There is a school of thought the focus on lending standards may keep property prices a bit softer for longer. So the next move is up, but it is increasingly being deferred further down the track.

What is your view on Budget initiatives now that you have had time to consider the announcements?

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Written by Olga Galacho

128 Comments

Total Comments: 128
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    And there you go. Bank boss plugging tax cuts for the big end of town. Well fancy that.
    So this pariah wants the top marginal rate lowered, the company tax rate pushed down 5% and taxes to be “broad based”? Broad based means that average citizens, the ones already struggling to pay their bills, to pick up the difference.
    PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS NOT CLASS WARFARE?

    Australia does not need the American model unless average citizens want to become destitute working poor. If what has been done to the Hospitality Industry and is playing out in many others is not clear then please go to SpecSavers.
    The sooner Labor is put into office the better.

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      I agree Mick. In Seattle last year, we saw huge car parks full of what were termed ‘the working poor’. People with low paid jobs who can no longer afford to rent and are forced to live in RVs, caravans, and their cars. It might be a way of life in the USA, but we don’t want it here!

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      Sundays. “but we don’t want it here!”
      News for you.
      It’s already here!

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      Where HS, I’m talking thousands of people in abandoned ar parks who all have jobs. The homeless I see here have no jobs, and it is a terrible thing

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      Low paid workers are doing it tough, but they still usually have a roof over their heads. Unlike America, they don’t have to work all day,to come home to their car! Not as a perhaps short term situation but as a way of life. I don’t live in a bubble and I’ve never seen anything like it. There are homeless people living on our streets, but most have drug, alcohol and mental issues which is why they cannot work.

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      Mick, do you have an official position in Unbelieva-Bill’s office? This government could hand a million dollars to every man, woman and child, and you would still bang on about inequity, unfairness, big end of town, blah, blah, blah! Change the tune, old fella – bit monotonous!

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      Company tax rates need to be 15% not 30% and we would have so much tax revenue we would not know how to spend it.

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      HS there are not people camped in tents along the footpaths in our major cities, not like the USA wherer you can hardly put a pin between them.

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      I don’t think MICK is smart enough to work in an office Big Al – not even Unbelievabill’s!

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      We have lots of modern day swaggies in various mobile vehicles living on the road permanently now some as even in tents.

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      Funny seeing the trolls play tag.
      Big Al – I thought there was hope for you but apparently not. You are missing the whole point about the wealth of a nation. Everybody needs a portion and in a wealthy country like ours money should not be solely owned by 1% or less of the population. That is what the game is under the current government. And worse. Perhaps debate the issues rather than use Abbott style slogans. That would gain you credibility like you did in your post below.

      OG – I feel so sorry for you OG. I thought you had the intelligence to understand that Trickle Down Economics was a slogan used by the rich and their governments to con citizens out of their money. Lower taxes for the rich mostly goes into bigger homes, fancy new cars, holiday homes in the best locations on the planet and lifestyle. Are you not smart enough to see this????

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      I see you have no idea about trickle down economics Mick. Those bigger homes, fancy new cars, holiday homes even in the best locations have to be built using trickle down economics. They are certainly not built by the rich themselves.

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      OG, the rich have had their big homes and fancy cars and holiday homes for a long time. Now they are just hoarding their millions in off-shore tax shelters, not spending them. Trickle down is BS. Give a poor man more and he spends it driving business profit and growth. Give a rich man more and it ends up in the Caymans.

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      OG they don’t call it TRICKLE DOWN for nothing….it is just a trickle.
      And your wish for the rate to be 15%, it’s already better than that.
      The Headline rate is 30% but after all the deductions and rebates it’s actually less than 14%.

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      You crack me up OG. Google it. A con run by the rich to get more money. It worked in the US which is one of the main reasons ordinary Americans are living in destitute poverty. This is what you want for Australians.

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      OG, your stated reason for your wish for company tax to be reduced to 15% is nonsense. What difference does the tax rate make if companies can’t sell more because nobody has money to buy? You are being thoroughly ridiculous. We have increasing poverty and hardship, falling real wages, falling welfare payments, rising prices, increasing unemployment, and you think that somehow giving a company a tax cut to spend on higher directors’ or CEO salaries or another robot to replace 10 workers will magically result in economic improvement. How illogical can you get? Increase wages for low income earners and give welfare recipients a 10% increase and there would be so much increased spending that profits, tax revenue and employment would soar. But handing out to companies does nothing other than boost their capacity to pay even more obscene salaries to directors and executives. There is simply no reason for them to hire more people or pay better wages, because they have enough people now working enough to produce as much as they are able to sell.

      Only a total fool or someone with an ulterior agenda would even hint that a tax cut for companies as going to drive increased revenue when the market is shrinking due to consumers having less to spend.

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      What else can one expect from a Banker who wants to promote business interests! I couldn’t find any “Unexpected insights..” as the YLC email highlighted!

      RK is right to point out that currently businesses only pay 14% tax – in fact that is the Average, and a shocking result because many companies are paying Nil or Negligible tax. Any suggestion for tax cuts would make sense ONLY IF and AFTER we have Minimum Taxes being paid by all! Also, our Corporate taxes are NOT comparable with USA where there are additional State Taxes – the Banker has ignored that!

      The solution is NOT to vote Labor – the other half of the tag team who have offered nothing for Retirees, and who will come in to hit Retirees again as they have been doing regularly since Keating!

      The solution for real Change must begin NOW – all Retirees / Older Australians need to vote OUT all current major party candidates by putting them LAST in preferences – anyone else couldn’t do worse, and we may actually see change for the better with Independents and other parties vying for Retirees’ votes – if we can unite as group.

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      I’d like an explanation of home equity loans for people who have some assets but no cash flow, which seems to be a big big problem for many people getting close to or already at retirement? How much , what is the limit upward and downward.
      To me it sounds like reverse mortgage?

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    A very one eyed view IMO.
    Most of what he says contradicts what others are saying.
    He is mostly wrong and the sooner Labor gets in and hopefully, because I don’t entirely trust them, begin returning fairness to our economic system the better.
    This LNP government has no idea what fairness even means.

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      When I was a kid if I said ‘it’s not fair’ I was chided by my parents who would say ‘life is not meant to be fair’ How true, we live in a very unfair world, otherwise how can you explain that in Africa, Asia etc there are billions living it abject poverty while we live like kings! The futile pursuit of fairness is simply a front for taking money from hard workers and giving it to those who don’t want to work. This process kills incentive and destroys wealth, so that it becomes a race to the bottom. Oh well, I guess you think that’s fair.

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      Dave you are real dreaming if you think under Labor things will be better. Fairness is certainly not part of Labor either. That insane franking credit policy clearly shows Labor’s preference for the high income earners.

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      Good post Dave. Of course the liberal party trolls above would say what they did.
      Malcolm Fraser, the Liberal Party hack who was a part of illegitimately removing a Labor government, coined that phrase. Of course Fraser had a silver spoon sticking out from some part of his anatomy. Say no more.
      And is so into his own needs. The franking credits issue is unresolved at this stage and the rich ARE milking franking credits whilst retirees get a very small percentage. He fails to mention that.
      The whole issue could be quickly resolved if Shorten or Turnbull put out a statement saying ‘FRANKING CREDITS WILL CUT OUT ALTOGETHER ONCE TAXABLE INCOME REACHES $50,000’. That way you keep the rich off the money and struggling Australians get a small leg up. Don’t expect this government to do this. It is the servant of the rich.

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      Haha Mick that is exactly the opposite of what Shorten wants to do. He is after the rich who don’t pay tax but have big franking credit refund cheques. You proposal wont catch them at all.

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      Mick the way the opinion polls are moving in the direction of an LNP win we wont have to worry about that insane franking credit proposal or the increase in CGT either.

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      Don’t know how you come to that conclusion OG, the opinion polls have have hardly changed in months, the preferred PM may have changed but no one takes any notice of that ( according to the poll experts ), it is the 2 party numbers that count and Labor is still ahead and has been for months. Newspoll did show a tightening in the numbers using a new formula, but the IPSOS Poll had Labor well ahead.

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    Yes Mick,
    Having worked for a US multi-national and travelled to the US fairly often for work it is easy to see how their system fails the average person.

    Employees are treated as commodities, hired and fired as the economy fluctuates (based on a 3 monthly cycle of profitability) I saw people working 3 jobs just to keep a roof over their heads.

    We don need this to happen here (Turnbulls policies have already put us on the slippery slope downwards.

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      I can see that your heart’s in the right place Placido, but I don’t understand how a weak , non-competitive business can offer high paying, permanently secure jobs?

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      Capitalism (survival of the fittest) is one thing. A badly run business or one which is not competitive is entirely another.
      You need to go the US Adrianus and have your eyes opened. The ‘Land of the Free’ advertising is as dishonest as ‘Trickle Down Economics’ is here. Slogans for the mentally challenged.

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      MICK, if you have your eyes open, then please explain why you speak in clichés ?

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      I am surprised you can spell ‘cliche’ or even understand what the word means.

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      Good observations, Placido.
      In desperation with the destruction wrought by right-wingers (including Democrats), they turned to Trump! That is, anyone who MIGHT do something for them, although he also strongly favours the rich and the business end. At least, his stance on reducing foreign workers, unfavourable trade terms and focus on bringing back manufacturing, mining (including coal) and jobs generally is a fresh breath of air.

      We also badly need someone here to adopt a people-centric approach to policies, but the landscape looks bleak! That’s why we need to shake up the system ourselves, and I encourage all (Older Australians in particular who have seen it all) to vote OUT all current seat-warmers and get fresh blood in from any reasonable alternatives – Independents or alternative parties.

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    We live in a global economy and our companies, including the banks, need to be able to compete on a level playing field. Australian company tax rates are amongst the highest in the world – if something isn’t done, no-one will want to invest in Australia, we will go into serious recession, and the main people to suffer will be the poor and the workers who will lose their jobs by the thousands. The only ones preaching Class Warfare are Shorty and his Labor cronies and if elected they will damage Australia immensely and probably permanently. We need a labor leader with vision such as Paul Keating. It really is that simple.

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      Class warfare is about transferring money from poor to rich. That is precisely what is happening. The fact that other countries are doing the same is nothing more that an indication that the rich in all countries are now pushing down their taxes by pitting country against country.
      The truth is WE ARE IN A CLASS WAR and that it is immoral. Please do not tell me about ‘Trickle Down Economics’ Meerkat. This is a slogan which has been shown for what it is. ANybody who doubts this should do some research and/or go to America to see for themselves. It is pitiful….and the opulent rich still cry poor.

      Your post is the normal liberal party lies, spew and mudslinging. You have no facts. You have no credibility. So bring on the rest of your bloggers. They should be out of the monday morning briefing by now and ready to blog.

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      Tell me again Mick, how was it fair that people who were ineligible to stand for election to our national parliament, did so, under the banner of the party you champion, took the tax payers money and thumbed their noses at all of us for as long as they could? You harp on about fairness, exploitation, divides etc etc yet Bill and your mates are absolute rolled gold champions in all areas of looking after number 1. Tell me how fair and equitable it was that union official Bill traded away workers’ pay increases (that he purportedly represented), for a slush fund to get him elected to federal parliament
      So you want that sort of equality for all the rest of us? I don’t think so!

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      The fact that you are using the “rolled gold” slogan tells me you are straight from the liberal party propaganda machine. That expression has been rolling off the keyboard of the other paid stooges as well the past few days. Found out!

      The High Court has ‘changed its position’ which is not mentioned in any of the media attacks on Labor. Funny that.

      If this were a real issue your employer would have attached a referendum to the back of the last election to fix the matter once and for all.
      How about a rendition of pink batts and school halls? That and vile mudslinging is all your side of politics can do when it has nothing else to attack with.

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      Leaving aside all your other stupid comments, I find the “..
      eed a labor leader with vision such as Paul Keating” comment the worst – the BIGGEST MORON we have ever had as a Treasurer – one who did everything the Liberal way and destroyed this country. That’s why right-wingers like him – he did their job for them! To the extent, that Liberal John Howard was far more preferable to the voters!

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    A well balanced an honest assessment of the budget and the tax reforms of the coalition.
    The coalition has more tweaking of tax policy to do and that will come in the next few years as our economy improves. For now the changes made are right given the economic situation at present .
    It would be irresponsible to promise larger cuts and more spending . Shorten will promise anything to buy votes

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      Careful Raphael or you too will be accused of being a LMP troll! The leftie neo-Marxists dont want to hear logical and considered arguments, only what fits their very narrow view of a socialist world where everyone is equally poor!

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      I see all the red tie brigade are out in force early here today.

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      They’ve had the morning briefing and now arriving back to their keyboards.
      You guys crack me up. One of the cronies, a bank CEO, says what he says is good (for him) and you parrots sing the song. Maybe add in the new paradigm from the past few days: “rolled gold”. Also straight from your briefing.
      Trolla are what they are and pretty easy to spot. Putin has a whole building of them. Sounds like this government has quite a number as well given the responses from so many unknown posters since Shorten said his bit.

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      Yes Mick we have been busy meeting and working out our strategy to get you. My belly hurts for all the laughter at that meeting this morning.

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      You tried the mass attack last few days. That failed.
      Perhaps try honesty and decency. That’ll work….but alas these are qualities Liberal Party paid stooges do not have in their souls.

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      OOps, I meant the Blue ties not the red.

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      No ties for us as we value our freedom to have none.

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      That’s not the way you come across on this site OG, you and your buddies.

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      That’s not the way you come across on this site OG, you and your buddies.

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    This man’s CV. indicates he may never have done it tough, thus he doesn’t feel anything when he says the housing market is soft, or whatever, he doesn’t understand, nor probably care that the housing market doesn’t currently enable poor or young people to get a house, due to factors such as negative gearing and higher interest rates which make it viable for investors rather than real people to own their own home.
    Generally speaking, people need to own their own home, to feel safe, to get rewarded for looking after and improving it, to be insulated from the money rent market when stuff goes pear shaped, to reduce their living costs as they see fit, ie get solar or grow a garden or such, to survive on the pension when nothing else is coming in.
    In short, probably only due to his ignorance, the man is a monster, and the Bendigo Bank doesn’t help their “people’s bank” claims by employing that servant of Neo-Liberalism.

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      Yes. You cannot expect somebody from the top end of town to do anything other than cry poor and tell the lies they do to get what they want: an opulent lifestyle paid for by abject poverty from the rest of the country.

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      Agree, Lookfar, his perspective is completely off the mark and just another comment from a Banker / Business rep with no idea of what is good for Retirees or people in general.

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    Last night for the first time ( I am sick of the hype about this wedding ), I watched a documentary about Harry and Meghan and it showed Meghan vbisiting the homeless in a big USA city. The footpaths were crowded with what looked like permanent dwellings, I just hope we never get to that stage here.

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      Not sure what state you live in Misty, but if you aren’t Victorian, you should see the streets of Melbourne these days! It is laughingly labelled the world’s most liveable city, yet two of it’s main thoroughfares, Flinders Street and Elizabeth St., are lined with homeless people living in cardboard boxes, and in shop doorways. They are drug affected, and angry to boot. They have a government that has frittered away billions of dollars needlessly, and underinvested woefully in public housing. Melbourne (and its homeless), are a national disgrace – not the homeless, but the circumstances that have led to it, and lack of action to address it.

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      Wow. That sounds suspiciously like a lefty who cares. Maybe I have you wrong Al. Congratulations and thanks for showing a human side.

      Some of my posts are precisely on this happening in Oz where working class people will also be destituted. Already happening in America and it breaks my heart when I see it. Everywhere.
      Not what we need here but the game is in play.

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    Homelessness may be here but not to the extent it is in the USA and I hope it never does.

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      It will be if we let Shorten in and he goes on his spending spree .
      Rjebsocialist countries like France have far worse ghettos , slums and homelessness

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      I watched an MA show on Netflix called Shameless. If you can handle all the alt sex scenes (I just used the skip with the mouse) it is a real eye opener from the point of view of the poor in the USA.
      Its a very well written script. I just wish they could have presented a PG abridged version for me!
      We don’t ever want to follow the USA lead – and yet I think we are.

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      France has for years had chronic under investment in housing which has pushed rents up. Coupled with low wages. Sound familiar? The US stats show they have much lower rates of homelessness than we do, but I guess a tent, or if lucky a car doesn’t count.

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      Sundays, middle America is in a terrible state of poverty and the average longevity is 4 years less than Canada. We don’t have to sell our home if we get sick and we have a social welfare program that provides for the unemployed.
      Our tertiary education costs are relatively affordable compared to the USA.
      If you are on the right side of the bell curve in the USA whereby you have a job, you are educated and white – life is good if not better than Australia. – But for the rest?

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      I have been to the ‘Land of the Free’ (NOT) many times. What struck me from the first visit was the poverty of average citizens and the complete abuse of citizens who are essentially slaves. At the other end the rich live the life of kings with wealth which defies logic.

      Australians need to careful that the right wing propaganda and their own complacency does not result in us being the next America. Once it’s here it will be hard to turn back the clock.
      Even poster like Raphael with a cushy propaganda job from the government will find that his services will no longer be required.

      Guard what you have Australians or be happy with what you inherit.

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      Yes, Rostret, I’ve been to the US four times in the past six years and it’s a sad state of affairs as you say. Getting worse with each visit. The beauty of their national parks doesn’t negate it, and I will not go back. This is what concerns me with the Liberal policies. I read somewhere that the Libs want an economy whereas some of us want a society and I agree. Also, still waiting for the Liberal trolls to tell me one genuinely good thing Michaelia Cash has done for employment

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      The last time I was in the US the outskirts of Denver were crowded out with tents from people who had a job but could still not afford to lie. This is what the current government is trying its best to engineer. Better known as slavery.

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      Mick, sometimes you make comments that almost border on the intelligent (almost, I iterate), then at other times you totally destroy all your credibility with this inane nonsense that the present government is trying to impoverish a huge portion of this nation. In case you hadn’t noticed, Mick – Alan Joyce – CEO of Qantas, took home a pay packet last year of somewhere (reportedly), in the vicinity of $20m. Now guess what Mick? He gets one vote at the next federal election – exactly the same as you and me. The point is, why would any government want to smash those at the base of the earning pyramid (or even half way up), to the advantage of the few at the top? Any simpleton should be able to work out (and you don’t even appear to make this category, Mick), that to destroy the incomes/livelihood of those at the bottom, would ensure that that party would be electorally annihilated. So your bleating is just a nonsense – it just doesn’t make any sense!

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      The only paid troll here is Mick
      Spews anti coalition garbage ad nauseum
      No facts no intelligent debate

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      Al – ordinary Australians are struggling. Fact. Prices of everything have increased like a wildfire with wages not increasing in step.
      If tax cuts for the top end happen there will be new taxes for struggling Australians to pay for the tax cuts. What does not make sense about that? Do you think the Tooth Fairy is going to pay? Oh yes…..tax cuts are going to stimulate the economy…..just like it did in America when Reagan did the same?
      Please do not insult my intelligence Al. I have more than you give me credit for and my calls are mostly well researched and on the money. Yours?

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    So current Labor policy bias questions put to an economist who answered very clearly and succinctly.
    There were some very complex questions put forward where it would be impossible to give an off the cuff one sentence answer.
    Thank heavens politics is finally moving away from the patronising one liners to deliver the message to the plebs.

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      Wait for the election. The Liberal Party is the party of slogans and I expect that’s where we will end up.
      You may want to read the spiel again Rosret. The responses are self focussed.
      Whilst the issues may be complex the underlying causes are quite clear in many cases. Bad government, decisions pandering to the interests of the rich and allowing America in particular to run an economic one sided game all feature in how we have arrived here. Let’s sell the rest of our farming land to other countries? And so the betrayal of the country continues……..until there is nothing left.

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    Housing for young couples has always been difficult but we got around the problems back then by saving, not going out, not having a credit card and buying an existing home which needed a bit of TLC. When we read about housing prices, the big numbers are given in those areas which are not really what the average first home buyer would be looking at. Talking with our children and their friends, it seems that some young couples want it all and they want it now. They want a new McMansion, double garage with a new car in each, a polo and an overseas holiday every year and some of these people are the ones who complain about the cost of housing.

    As soon as I read the answers given by David Robertson, I knew what the responses would be. He suggests that the Budget is OK and that some of Labor’s policies are not and that will certainly fire up the rusted on Labor hacks. Forget that there is a chance that his opinion may hold some credibility, he has crossed the line. For the record, I don’t believe that he is the only economist saying this as some suggest. What surprises me most of all is that he was allowed to express his opinion in this site.

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      Never this bad Old Man.
      There is a two stream income in our society today.
      I would love to know where the people of Sydney get all their money from. It isn’t from being policemen, nurses or teachers.
      One person could buy a home for their family last century, now a mother can’t even be a mother and raise her children anymore without having to juggle work and home duties.

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      OM – economists do not have a lot of credibility as they are owned by other interests and mostly say and write what they are told to.

      Housing – you have this wrong Rosret. I am with OM on this one. Tell me where the current crop ever had to come up with a deposit of 30% to 50%….on one wage?
      OM is correct in pointing to lifestyles of the current lot: new cars, electronic gadgets, fashion clothing, expensive holidays, car loan. restaurants and shows, etc. And they have no money? Give me a break.

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