Federal Budget 2018: Macklin says pushing Age Pension to 70 ‘unfair’

Government bid to save on Age Pension would not pass Senate, says Macklin.

Pushing Age Pension to 70 ‘unfair’

On 5 April, YourLifeChoices interviewed Greens Senator Rachel Siewert on her party’s approach to Federal Budget 2018. This week, we asked the Labor Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, Jenny Macklin, what her party really thinks about the Age Pension, superannuation, the rising cost of healthcare and energy, and other issues affecting retirees. We thank Jenny Macklin for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some of the more pressing questions affecting our members.

YourLifeChoices: One of the so-called zombie measures still on the table from the 2014–15 Budget is the increase of the Age Pension age to 70. Where does your party stand on this issue?
Jenny MacklinThere are a few zombie measures, but the biggest is the Government’s desire to increase the age when one can receive the Age Pension to 70.

We are strongly opposed to this. It is unfair. There is evidence that it would be harsh, particularly on those with difficult physical jobs, farmers, builders, nurses. There is also evidence from the USA of a big gap between high-income earners and low-income earners in life expectancy.

The proposal is very unfair as low-income people already have a lower life expectancy. The government should take this legislation out of the Budget as it is grossly unfair.

And the numbers show that 375,000 people would be hit in the first four years – an overall cut to the Age Pension of $3.6 Billion.

This legislation will affect those born after 1 July 1958 who are planning retirement. Many people are not aware the government is planning this significant change.

The second zombie measure to which Labor is strongly opposed is the cutting of the energy supplement. It will have an impact on two million people, including age pensioners, carers, people on disability pensions and those on the Newstart allowance. It is essentially a cut to the pension, reducing the Single Age Pension by $365 per year and the couple Age Pension by $550 per year. We have defeated this legislation more than once and we call on the Government to take it out of the Budget and the parliament.

There are a number of other zombie measures we oppose, including people who spend more than six weeks overseas who will lose their pension supplement.

The Liberals still want to make pensioners born overseas wait longer to get the Age Pension by increasing the residency requirements from 10 to 15 years.

Every single Budget since 2014 has seen a cut to the pension. The 2014 Budget was the worst when the Government tried to change indexation, deeming thresholds and pension concessions. And in 2015 there was the change to the assets test.

Looking at the current income and asset eligibility tests for the Age Pension, what does your party think of the current limits?
We opposed the last changes in 2015 (which came into effect on 1 January 2017). Before the last election Labor said it would conduct a major enquiry into the Age Pension (including income and assets tests), superannuation and savings as the three pillars of retirement income which need to work together.

In the last Budget, the Federal Government introduced its downsizing legislation. What did you think of that legislation?
We did not oppose this legislation, but I do not consider that it will do much for many people. It is very different from the ALP program – Housing for Seniors which was announced in the 2013 Budget. The change of government meant this program did not proceed.

Should the family home be exempt from the Age Pension assets test?
Labor does not support having the family home counted in the assets test, at any value.

Most people’s homes are not worth millions of dollars. Older Australians need to know that, if they want to stay in the community where they have lived for a long time, they will not be forced out.

Why is Labor’s policy of cancelling the cash rebate for franking credits important? And can you explain, in plain English, who will be affected?
All Age Pensioners (whether full or part) with individual share holdings, will still receive franking credits.

The reason why Labor is proposing this change is because of how much this concession costs the Budget. It was originally introduced by the Howard Government and cost $550 million per year. It has now grown enormously – in the next few years it will cost $8 Billion – more than the Commonwealth spends on public schools.

We need to prioritise.

The vast bulk of the benefit goes to self-funded retirees on higher incomes. Labor prefers to spend on aged care, hospitals and schools.

When the Age Pension was first introduced into Parliament in 1909 it was intended as a ‘reward for years of service’. How would you describe it in 2018?
A couple of big things have changed since then, namely the introduction of compulsory superannuation and the introduction of Medicare. We consider the Age Pension to be one of the essential pillars of our retirement income system, alongside superannuation and people’s own savings. The Age Pension needs to provide an adequate level of income. I think it is completely offensive when the Government describes it as older people bludging on the system. Older Australians have worked hard, so we should make sure these people have an adequate level of income.

So, is the Age Pension adequate?
There is no question that, if you are completely dependent on the full Age Pension, it is very, very tough. It is especially difficult for renters. There is no question that housing affordability is a serious issue for older Australians, most particularly women, who have no home. We will have more to say on this issue.

In 2009, it was the hundredth anniversary of the Age Pension in Australia. As the Minister responsible, I oversaw the largest increase to the Age Pension. It lifted around one million people out of poverty with a $30 per week increase. It also improved indexation with the Pensioner and Beneficiaries’ Living Costs Index used alongside the CPI, and it included a work bonus. This was a very important structural shift in the adequacy of the pension.

What is the single policy measure that your party supports that will be of the most benefit for the wellbeing of older Australians?
There are so many issues, it is hard to single one out. For the last five years we have been working hard with seniors’ groups to stop large cuts to the Age Pension (e.g. indexation changes in the 2014 Budget would have cut $23 Billion to the pension over 10 years). Cutting pension indexation would have seen the pension drop from 28 per cent of average weekly earnings today to just 16 per cent by 2055. The conservative government has done everything they possibly can to attack the pension. It’s been our job to try to stop those cuts.

Next up is the biggest cut – the increase in Age Pension age. It doesn’t affect existing pensioners, but it does those coming along behind. And removing the Energy supplement is a direct cut to pension entitlements.

Other big issues for pensioners are access to health services and healthcare. This government has had a freeze on Medicare rebates for the past five years. And made cuts in funding to public hospitals. People have to wait much longer. Plus, the cost of private health insurance is going through the roof.

Labor will lift the Medicare freezes and limit private health insurance rebate rises.

Specifically, Labor is proposing to cap private health insurance premium increases at 2% in our first two years.

Labor will also task the Productivity Commission with the biggest review of the industry in twenty years to improve the quality, value and affordability of private health insurance.

Another issue that comes up a lot is deeming rates. Interest rates keep coming down and part pensioners are very angry that the government is refusing to change the deeming rates. This is straight theft from pensioners. I’ve been calling on them to change deeming rates for some time now – I asked the Minister about this issue in the Parliament earlier this year.  It’s been three years since the Turnbull Government last lowered deeming rates, and pensioners are paying the price, with current deeming rates now significantly higher than real rates of return. Interest rates have fallen from 2.25 percent in February 2015 to 1.50 percent today, yet Mr Turnbull has done nothing give some relief to pensioners.

Do we need a Minister for Ageing?
Yes, we do. Julie Collins is the ALP’s Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health. She will hold this role if we form a government.

Anything else you wish to say
I really would like to reiterate that the Government policy of increasing the Age Pension age to 70 should be taken out of Parliament and out of the Budget. The same with removal of the Energy Supplement. These changes will NOT get through the Senate.

In closing, the most important pre-Budget talking point is that there should be no more cuts to the Age Pension.

Could we please have one budget – one Liberal Budget- that doesn’t include cuts to the pension?

That’d be a first.

Do you agree with Labor’s views? Is the age of 70 too late to receive the Age Pension?

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    COMMENTS

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    bartpcb
    19th Apr 2018
    10:06am
    Fully agree with Ms Macklin in her comments.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    1:05pm
    Sucked in by her weasel words - which will not benefit older Australians in any way. The country will not improve unless people stop being sucked in by either of these major parties.
    Knight Templar
    19th Apr 2018
    2:53pm
    Comforting words when in opposition.

    However, you can guarantee that when Labor wins government it will argue that the budget situation is worse than anticipated and any easing of pension entitlements would be "economically irresponsible".

    Both Labor and the Liberals are guilty of making promises that they have no intention of keeping once elected.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:38pm
    They're not paying tax via franking, OG - the shareholders are paying that tax.... it is THEIR tax, not the company's, and that is why the franking paid should simply be added into gross income for shareholder, and tax determined.

    The issues of company not paying tax is another arena.... but you already know that.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    3:41pm
    Trebour the franking is added to the dividend giving gross income for the shareholder and then tax is paid on the gross income.
    MICK
    20th Apr 2018
    6:20am
    Keep 'em poor. Keep 'em working until they drop. And keep interested in mindless BS. That's how you conquer a nation. Congratulations to the coalition for having figured out the formula and put it to work.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    7:11am
    And if they dared to save for their old age, take it all off them and make them poor. Can't have people doing what's good for the nation. The LNP is bad news, Mick, but the ALP is much much worse.

    19th Apr 2018
    10:11am
    Oh, but let's attack all SFRs and force their incomes down so more go on the pension. Weird how ILLOGICAL THINKING PENSIONERS support that! How the hell do they think we can avoid delaying retirement age or otherwise cutting pension costs if we keep on attacking SFRs and pushing more of them to divest and claim pensions. Shorten is an idiot, and anybody supporting his stupidity is supporting cuts to pensions - by one means or another!
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    10:12am
    Tell Jenny Macklin to stand up for people who are NOT imposing on the federal budget and maybe there will be more of them!
    jackie
    19th Apr 2018
    10:30am
    The privileged receive more welfare than the poor. Let’s put an END to that stupidity instead. I agree with Macklin.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    12:38pm
    Jackie, get your facts straight. The very rich DO receive more welfare than the poor. The people Labor is attacking are NOT rich. They are struggling on incomes lower than they would have if they claimed pensions. If people dealt in FACT instead of envy and emotion, we could fix the nation's economy. It will continue to get worse while people continue to support unfair attacks on the struggling self-funded, pushing more people onto pensions.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    12:51pm
    This is Labor's way - pit one group against another!
    Neither they nor Liberals are worthy of being elected. All Older Australians need to unite instead and vote BOTH these nasty senior-attacking parties out.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    12:59pm
    BTW. Jackie, PLEASE NOTE that the rich and the high income earners will RETAIN their franking credit benefit under the ALP policy. So will pensioners with maximum assets and income. ONLY the POOR with LOW incomes will lose out. Study the FACTS instead of swallowing political propaganda. They are NOT taking tax credits off people with high taxable incomes. They are NOT taking tax credits off people with multi-million dollar houses or multi-million dollar superannuation balances (with enough in accumulation mode to be paying tax). They are ONLY taking them struggling SFRs with relatively low super balances and LOW INCOMES.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    2:00pm
    Congrats OGR - I have been waiting for months for you to make a sensible comment, and somewhere in the above spurious outpourings there is at last some semblance of commonsense - well done you!
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    2:13pm
    OK this proposed dividend policy will cost me quite a bit of income with my current investments. However I have already worked out how to change my investments so that I get the same income as I get now or possibly more and Labor is not going to take another cent off me.

    Do you really think that people with smart accountants are not going to change their investments and just cop this extra tax?

    It is those who don't have the knowledge or smart accountants that will lose a substantial amount of their income and those are the people who need this extra income they get from the refund of franking credits.

    Jackie if you think this is fair and it is only the privileged that will be hurt then you have got it completely wrong. The privileged will just change their investments and have a good laugh at Labor.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    2:57pm
    As I said - my main concern when the original statement came out about Pensioners and dividend imputation - that did not seem to include those very lower end SFRs, which seemed to me to be an injustice. The entire system needs an overhaul and a close look at, but not perhaps in the way Labor want to go about it.

    At the moment, following some of its more recent debacles, I would entertain doubt about anything the Productivity Commission did.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    2:57pm
    Ban 'franking' altogether then - let everyone work out their own tax.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    3:01pm
    Ban "franking" is the same as companies not paying any tax at all.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:46pm
    They're not paying tax via franking, OG - the shareholders are paying that tax.... it is THEIR tax, not the company's, and that is why the franking paid should simply be added into gross income for shareholder, and tax determined.

    The issues of company not paying tax is another arena.... but you already know that.

    Let's compare this with PAYE - a PAYE victim (sic) pays tax along the way - at year's end, the final tax calculation is worked out on the GROSS income - not the net. Ergo - when tax is paid by the 'employer' (in this case the company giving shares) that tax constitutes part of the GROSS income of the shareholder.

    Pretty simple really... so in reality - if the shareholder's gross income is treated the same as that of the PAYE earner - the same amount of tax v gross income should be paid.

    Where this seems to have gone (deliberately) off the rails is that huge income earners with huge franking are NOT paying tax. If that is the case - the answer is simple - tax them.

    I see few - if any, circumstances under which a shareholder should receive the total of franking tax paid as a return. You have a tax free threshold and first level of income tax @ 19c in the dollar up to $38,200. If your entire income is franked credits - you are entitled to $18,200 without tax, and have a liability of 19c in the dollar for around $20,000 - so if your sharegiver has paid 30% you will get a partial refund - NOT a full one.

    We've been over this times many - and all that seems to need sorting out is HOW this is being handled and why it is going wrong.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    4:10pm
    A shareholders receives dividends in the same way as a PAYG earner.

    A company pays the shareholders a net dividend and submit the tax to the ATO same as an employer does for an employee.

    At end of the year shareholder adds up what he got as a net dividend plus the tax the company paid on his behalf t get his gross income. (same as PAYG)

    ATO then determines how much tax the shareholder should pay using same tax scale as it does for PAYG earners.

    If shareholder has paid too much tax to what the ATO determines he should pay he gets a refund. (same as PAYG earner).

    There is no difference.

    So why should the PAYG earner get a refund and shareholder not get a refund?

    Your PAYE should be PAYG. PAYG means "pay as you go".

    In law one has to ask does this pass the fairness test?

    Note a person cannot have millions of franking credits unless he earns many more millions in dividends. If he has $1 million in franking credits he also has received $2,333,333 in net dividends from the company. So if you hear talk about people getting refunds of million in franking credits I for one don't know how they do it. So if you find out let me know.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    4:33pm
    Trebor, if you were paying attention, you'd note that the LNP sorted the issue of franking credit refunds long before Labor came out with their BS, and economists strongly suspect that Labor failed to take account of the latest policy in its calculations and therefore its claims of savings are completely incorrect.

    The LNP capped tax-free super in pension phase at $1.6 million. So anyone with more than that is paying 15% tax on the balance. That means that the guy Shorten claimed is getting $2.5 million in franking credits (who must therefore have about $110 million in shares that pay franked dividends!) is now paying tax on the returns on $108.4 million, assuming it's all in a super fund and he's retired. Now, he will actually RETAIN HIS FRANKING CREDITS to reduce his tax bill. SHORTEN ISN'T TAKING ONE SINGLE CENT OFF THAT GUY.

    So will the guy with $4 million in his super. So will the guy with a $4 million house and $300,000 and a pension. SHORTEN ISN'T TAKING ONE SINGLE CENT OFF ANY OF THEM.

    But the guy and wife with only $850,000 in super and a $400,000 home unit loses 30% of his income.

    So where is Shorten finding $8 billion? Clearly, he isn't, but what he is getting is coming from lower income/lower wealth SFRs who are saving the government up to $40K a year - BUT WON'T IF THIS BS ATTACK ON THEM CONTINUES.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    5:22pm
    OGR - Arguing totally from self-interest ... again. And so abusively.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    6:33pm
    Not self-interest, Know-NOTHING. The national interest. And particularly YOURS, since a heavier drain on the pension system is the last thing pensioners need! And the ALP WILL put a heavier drain on the pension system by forcing many SFRs to divest and claim pensions because their incomes just won't be adequate anymore.

    And since you claim to know so much, how about you explain to me how you think it's fair to impose a 30% tax ONLY ON LOW INCOME EARNERS WHO GET INCOME FROM AUSTRALIAN SHARES. Not on wealthy people. Not on high income earners. Not on wealthier pensioners. Not on people whose income comes from property, foreign shares, precious metals, etc. ONLY ON LOW INCOME SFRs who invest in Australian shares. Nobody else!
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    7:33pm
    OGR I have given some examples below to show how unfair it really is. If Knows-a-lot thinks it is fair then knows a lot knows nothing.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    6:35am
    Knows-a-lot KNOWS it's not fair, OG, just as Labor politicians KNOW it's patently unfair and they are being dishonest. But Knows-a-lot, and other members of the ''entitled pensioner brigade'' will continue to endorse anything that appeases their envy and selfishness. They just can't stand the thought that some people did better in life than they did.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    20th Apr 2018
    7:49am
    I think OG has it in a nutshell. He is going to lose a lot of income with this unfair grabbing of dividends but he ain't gonna just sit there and let it happen. He is going to change his investments instead and deny the Labor government instead. I have no idea what he will do but overseas stock markets are quite attractive when one takes away franking credits from Aussie dividends. Guessing I would say that he currently earns more than he needs so he may just earn only what he needs and wait for better investment opportunities with less risk.

    Whatever OG and those wealthy enough to not need all their income they now get from Aussie shares do it will not help the Australian economy as much as it does when they invest their money in Australian companies. Will the Australian companies then realise that people no longer want franked dividends and arrange their accounting so they pay little or no tax as well?

    Whatever happens as a, result of this proposal franking credit grab it is not going to be good for our economy.

    19th Apr 2018
    10:35am
    Nice gentle questions, can we have the same questions put to the Minister in the name of balance?
    Grateful
    19th Apr 2018
    10:41am
    Oh yeah. Like not wanting a Royal Commission on banks for what it would reveal, the government doesn't want those questions for the fear of the obvious political repercussions!!
    The questions might be "balanced" but you can be assured that the answers wouldn't be!!
    Rosret
    19th Apr 2018
    1:02pm
    Yes Old Man the the site has a blatantly Labor bias but at least we have the opportunity to refute their "gentle" comments.
    Kaye Fallick
    19th Apr 2018
    3:10pm
    Hi 'Old Man' - the point you make is really important - balance is essential. all questions were presented to Minister Kelly O'Dwyer, but despite repeated follow-up we cannot get any comments from the MInister's office. We will keep trying, because we strive for balance. In the meantime, thanks again for your comments.
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2018
    3:30pm
    Really Kaye Fallick? Why would you not ask Dan Tehan the Minister responsible for the portfolio for which Jenn Macklin is the shadow? I would have thought that Ministers would not be allowed to make comments outside their areas of responsibility.
    Grateful
    19th Apr 2018
    10:36am
    Labor has always PROVEN to support pensioners and that rise in 2009 was a game breaker for most of us.
    Pensioners will NEVER see anything like that from a Coalition government and will probably precipitate their downfall next year.
    Look what pensioners have received from this government since they took over from Labor and it's going to get worse as they continue to treat pensioners as economic liabilities and not as human beings.
    jackie
    19th Apr 2018
    11:17am
    It was Labor that introduced pensions, public health care, free education and a 40 hour work week. The Coalition has always fought to eradicate these things and looked after the rich. It's sad that this is happening in a world where poverty and starvation could be eradicated through wealth distribution. GREED is evil.
    Cowboy Jim
    19th Apr 2018
    12:12pm
    Wealth distribution is put forward by people like jackie who probably has nothing to distribute. Those who worked and paid taxes should share everything they have left over with the likes of her no doubt.
    Not even the Communists succeeded in that without creating misery.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    12:41pm
    Absolutely right, Cowboy Jim. The ''I've got nothing so I'm entitled'' brigade seem to think the solution to everything is to take all from the workers and savers. When nobody has anything left to take, what then? Communists got it very wrong. Socialism only works up to a point. Ultimately, personal responsibility is the ONLY way to economic health. And the reason the country is stuffed is because we've decided personal responsibility is too hard, and people should just get handouts instead.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    2:06pm
    Jackie - you are obviously a plant in YLC for the Labor Party, as clearly you are driven by their idealogical agenda! Now here is a great Labor initiative for you - lets see you stick up for this one - as Minister for Immigration in the late 1940s Arthur Calwell (in)famously pronounced 'two Wongs don't make a White!' Now come on Jackie, lets see how well you defend that one!
    Retired Knowall
    19th Apr 2018
    4:55pm
    "poverty and starvation could be eradicated through wealth distribution. GREED is evil". Only partly true, the other side of the equation is Fair Distribution and compensation for Effort.
    If we continue to reward Bludgers and Parasites and penalise those that got off their Bums and made a go of their lives we are going to go down the proverbial gurgler.
    Their is truism in Business that goes "Poor performance, unless corrected will cause overall performance to fall to the level of the LOWEST performer.
    The Logical thing to do is reward the people that had a go (to a level at least 50% above the pension) and target the wealthy loopholes that allow Tax Minimisation.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    6:36pm
    Spot on, Retired Knowall. What a pity the ''poor me, I'm entitled, give me more'' brigade can't comprehend the simple and obvious truth that if you end the benefit of working and saving, nobody will, and then there is nothing to redistribute! The rich are NEVER going to give up their wealth, and the government is NEVER going to take it from them. So kill off the middle class and upper working class and what's left? Paupers. And nobody with anything to give them.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    7:38pm
    One thing you must remember is the rich have and earn a lot more than they need. So if the investment climate is not to their liking they will just earn enough for their needs and sit on the sidelines of the investment world. The poor and middle class don't have this luxury. So these people are the ones that get hurt when a government brings in policies to hurt the wealthy.
    Cowboy Jim
    19th Apr 2018
    11:21am
    I would like to go back to a retirement age of 65 years of age like all other countries, should people want to work till they are 80. No problem, give them the pension card as well as the pension and make them pay taxes on the lot like in Europe. That way it does not zap the enthusiasm for going to work and achieving something better than everyone else. We are creating pensioners who will spend the lot before they are 70 as there is no incentive any longer to be productive. All in all Jenny is a good Minister - but SFR's might disagree with Shorten's cash grab.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    12:56pm
    Agree with most of your comments, CJ. Although I disagree that Jenny is good - she helped Labor increase Pension (not Retirement - there is no Retirement age here) age to 67.

    Also, she along with Chris Bowen refused to revert the nasty Assets Test change from Jan 2017 - hence I believe they lost the last election. That was a massive hit on 420,000 part-pensioners (plus many more future pensioners) which Labor ignored.
    MITZY
    19th Apr 2018
    1:46pm
    George - Jenny Macklin said above the asset test changes which came into effect in Jan. 2017 were opposed by them in 2015 when they were proposed with effect from Jan. 2017?
    All the questions she answered above would be known to most of us if we listen to radio or watch tv on a daily basis.
    I agree with most of her answers but the one thing that does cause concern to a lot of the self funded retirees is the proposed abolition of franking credits. They have modified these in part but maybe they need more tweaking so that self funded retirees with moderate funds are also excluded. The amount of money this is costing the budget is enormous. When first introduced by Howard when times were good and he said if there was tax left over it should be redistributed to the taxpayer, it cost $550 million per year, but in a few years time continuing it will cost the government 8billion dollars, MORE THAN the Commonwealth spends on public schools! She indicates the vast bulk of the benefit goes to self-funded retirees on "higher" incomes and Labor prefers to spend this saving on Aged Care; Hospitals and Schools.
    I don't know what the answer is but the PAYE taxpayer is burdened to the hilt with taxes to pay on their income, and taxes on Medicare, and the usual costs of living that we all endure, and so many taxpayers are not getting full time employment and the ones on penalty rates are getting less income, so I guess they are looking at areas where they can make cuts so they can keep providing essential services and our pensions. To me they should first of all stop the company tax cuts to the multi-nationals and big business and banks - these concerns are not in need of them, they manage very well paying little or no tax, so a tax cut to them really doesn't benefit the rest of the population. Its a load of rubbish that those tax cuts will make big business create more jobs. For all the new jobs created there seems to still be a lot of the population losing jobs too. Give the tax cuts where they will do the most good - lower/middle income earners will go out and spend, they always do. If, as this government is indicating, the enormous amount of new jobs being created by them is correct and also indicating that these are full-time jobs, businesses are obviously paying wages to people for those jobs and can obviously already afford to do so. Why do they need a tax cut?
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:00pm
    I hear you, Jim - I'd go back to work in an instant if the costs were not punitive, in that you lose part pension and pay tax as well.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    3:00pm
    Many companies reward their shareholders with franked dividends. Now if their shareholders don't want franked dividends then many companies will just find ways to avoid paying tax instead.

    So what we will have is people rearranging their investments so they don't get franked dividends and companies rearranging their profits so they pay little or no tax.

    Awesome proposal Mr Shorten you just lost a lot more than you thought you would gain.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    4:18pm
    Macklin is LYING about franking credits. If the majority of the $8 billion goes to self-funded retirees on high incomes, then the ALP policy WON'T SAVE ANY MONEY, because it isn't tackling high income earners. It's only hitting those with very modest means and incomes - in most cases - lower than pensioners with some additional income. She says pensioners won't be impacted, but I've sent her comparisons that show that people who earn over $10,000 LESS than pensioners WILL lose 30% of their income. Also, pensioners with expensive homes will be exempt from any hurt, but responsible people who have modest homes and try to self-fund will be slugged. How is this good for the nation?

    I swore I'd never sell my current home, but if it looks like Labor will get this UNFAIR policy through, it goes and I buy one worth twice as much and claim a full age pension. The budget will LOSE $30K a year rather than gaining. I'll bet I'll be one of countless thousands, and younger Aussies will be planning to be pensioners at any cost. Nobody will WANT to be self-funded unless they are very, very rich. Tell me that's good for the budget! No wonder this country is in a mess with idiots like these politicians leading it.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    4:26pm
    Looks to me like I'll have to buy myself a McMansion too as that will be the only way I will be able to make decent gains under a Labor government.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    4:37pm
    Mitzy, either you weren't paying attention when the Asset test changes were discussed in Parliament, or you have the habit of believing lies from Labor without question. When the Asset Test changes were discussed, my good memory tells me that Labor sat on the fence till the time Greens decided to support Liberals (ensuring it will pass), and only then Labor did the token action of opposing it. The real test for Labor was before the last election - when they made a clear announcement that they were not going to reverse it. Seriously - you accept the garbage from this pathetic mob?
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    4:59pm
    Also, Jenny has already qualified for her disgusting $200,000+ special pollies pension for life, so no motivation to help others. Maybe a Question could have been asked whether pollies pensions will be scrapped so that they qualify like everyone else, and thus have some motivation to do something to help ordinary people.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    1:50am
    Mitzy - and others who believe the ALP's furphies - franking credit refunds are NOT costing anywhere near what the ALP claims. The ALP is using outdated figures. The landscape changed dramatically when the LNP capped superannuation in pension phase at $1.6 million.

    Labor is claiming ''most' who will be affected by their policy change have at least $2.5 million in super. If they have that amount, they ARE paying tax and will retain their credits. There is NO SAVING there - or if there is, then Labor should be investigating how these people are circumventing the law, not persecuting honest, law-abiding citizens.

    Labor also claim some get $2.5 million in cash refunds of franking credits. To do so, they would have to have about $110 million in shares in companies paying franked dividends and be receiving some $8 million a year in dividends. If anyone with that level of wealth is not paying tax - and I'm sure there are a handful at that level who are dodging! - then depriving low-income self-funded retirees of franking credit refunds is NOT the way to address that. Maybe start by cancelling the ''welfare'' paid to Gina R?

    The LNP got to the issue of franking credits ahead of Labor, and capped tax-free superannuation. While perhaps the cap could be lower still, or some other restrictions applied, it is patently unfair to strip low-income, modest-asset-holding self-funded retirees of income they desperately need. And it's economically unsound policy because it will simply push them onto pensions and cost the nation more.

    Anyone with intelligence and thinking capacity will now be thinking the ALP leaders are inept. They have shot themselves in the foot! Only the blind and unthinking will now continue to support them. Sad!
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2018
    9:45am
    Franking Credits are not costing anything! Take away the Franking Credit system and you introduce a method of double taxing. Follow up this insanity by excluding certain groups within the community and you introduce complexity, discrimination and confusion. But then again I have a bias against a progressive income tax regime for the same reasons.
    Adrianus
    19th Apr 2018
    11:41am
    Nice weasel words from Jenny Macklin. But her problem is that not all us oldies have short memories. Jenny, wasn't it you and Kevin Rudd who introduced age 67 as the new pension age?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    20th Apr 2018
    7:57am
    Both parties will raise the retirement age to 70 simply because they can't afford not too. What better way to have people use up their wealth by retiring early instead of paying them the pension. Sure some will qualify for other forms of welfare but many will just live on what they have.

    Personally I think Labor will raise the retirement age to 70 in it's first term of government if it gets elected. It is in labor not too.

    19th Apr 2018
    12:28pm
    Jenny telling lies - there are no such plans
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    12:46pm
    But there are plans by the ALP to demolish the incomes of struggling SFRs - many of whom have incomes LOWER than the aged pension. And the ALP is telling LOTS OF LIES to justify that disgraceful attack on people who saved and are saving the nation money.

    Even an idiot knows that taking $10,000 off someone who then divests assets and claims $40,000 a year is poor economics.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    1:11pm
    Agree

    19th Apr 2018
    12:51pm
    Looking at the answers that have been given without comment by the interviewer, it supports my “soft” interview statement.
    1. Whilst it may not be OK to raise the retirement age to 70, it was OK for Labor to lift it to 67 without taking that policy to an election.
    2. Pensioners who will be affected by the change in the energy supplement are only those who become eligible for the pension after the legislation is passed. Existing pensioners who receive the supplement will continue to receive it. The supplement was established by Labor to compensate pensioners for the carbon tax (the one we were told was never to happen) which was repealed by the Coalition.
    3. Is removing the supplement, which was designed to compensate pensioners for costs in Australia, for those who travel overseas for a period in excess of 6 weeks a bad thing?
    4. Why should immigrants be allowed to access the pension when they may only have contributed to the tax revenue for 10 years?
    5. Labor opposes the changes to the age pension but offer no alternative apart from a “major enquiry”.
    6. Labor did not oppose the downsizing legislation but now say that they don’t agree with it Hypocrisy writ large.
    7. The question about counting the family home in the assets test is misleading as it suggests that the Coalition want to include it when they have constantly opposed such a move.
    8. Franking credits will still be available to industry super funds who will use them to exhaust their tax liabilities. SMSF owners will not benefitted and will lose, on average, a substantial part of their retirement income. It has not been clarified yet as to whether pensioners will be exempt or if an increase in the pension in compensation will be made.
    9. Has the government ever made the statement “it as older people bludging on the system”? I have not seen it reported anywhere and I’m sure that such an offensive statement would have been widely reported.
    10. Labor agrees, as do most in this forum, that the age pension is inadequate but they don’t have a policy but “will have more to say on this issue.”
    11. The single policy measure that is most important vacillates between pension indexation, Medicare freeze and health insurance costs. Labor is quite content to use the CPI for some pension measures and average wages for others so, in effect, has no firm policy. Macklin overlooked the Medicare freeze as being Labor legislation which was open-ended and has been continued by the Coalition. She also overlooks the health insurance rises under the Coalition have been lower than the rises during all of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years. Labor also reduced the rebate for health insurance subscribers and now wants to hold the rises to 2%. This will not work unless they also legislate that health funds provide full disclosure of the actual rises for every member. As we all know, the advertised rises are an average and subscribers can pay 3 and 4 times the “average”.
    12. Lastly, our pension has never been cut, we receive an increase each 6 months and we get that each and every year. Macklin is handling the truth carelessly.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    1:45pm
    pensioners themselves may be exempt from losing their franking credits but if they have a super fund then they will lose out there.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    1:47pm
    Annuities are just one big super fund in pension phase with many members. They pay no tax so will not get their franking credits refunded. If you have an annuity your annuity will be less under Labor's proposal.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:08pm
    Haven't the time or the health at the moment to reply in full - but just on the spending time offshore - as Big Tony famously said about PPL - the bills don't stop because you're not at (work). Similarly, unless you cut off your power, phone, internet, etc and incur a penalty for doing so - those bills continue to come in while you are tripping the light fantastic for seven weeks in Offshoria.

    Additionally I fought Howard over the difference between DSPs and OAPs, (I posted the Reality Cheque online that was part of the campaign to force the Guv to give DSPs utilities allowance) - and the refusal to give to some creates anew the spectre of First and Second Class Pensioners.

    It is pretty obvious that with the current steep upward rises in utilities costs under the false god of privatisation, there is a need for a proper inclusion of such things in Pensions etc, and to me, that little extra is to cover that, and not any mythical Carbon Tax (the tax that never was).
    Sundays
    19th Apr 2018
    8:38pm
    Old Geezer, my super fund has written to members assuring them the likelihood of members being affected by this proposal is considered extremely low because the fund is a taxpayer and can take full advantage of the Franking credit
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    7:10am
    So, Sundays, where is the claimed $8 billion coming from? 80% of retirees are pensioners, so nothing there. Anyone with over $1.6 million in super is paying tax. Anyone with income from outside their super fund is likely to be paying tax. So overall, not much from retirees. Those not yet retired are unlikely to own shares if they don't earn enough to pay tax - EXCEPT through their super fund.

    We know Shorten lied about the people getting $2.5 million in franking credit refunds and paying no tax, because they'd have to have some $110 million in shares in Australian companies paying fully franked dividends and be getting $8 million a year in dividends from those companies alone. If these people exist and they are not paying tax, changing franking credit policy won't make them pay!

    So where is the money coming from? And at what cost to the budget in the future?

    Instead of cheering the ALP for stealing the livelihood of a minority of whom some are sick with envy, maybe people should actually be ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS.

    I did. And I got no reply, except from Tanya Plibersek who claimed ''it was a hard decision but we had to do it because franking credits cost too much''. Yes, I've read THAT BS. I asked for the FACTS that evidence that changing the policy will actually benefit the economy. I asked how many people will be reduced to a position where they will decide it's better to divest and claim the pension. I asked how many workers will lose superannuation savings over time. I asked what the long-term cost of what appears to be an ill-conceived band-aid will really be. I asked where the claimed savings are actually coming from. NO RESPONSE. NONE.
    Old Geezer
    20th Apr 2018
    3:06pm
    So Sundays your super fund will not have lower returns when companies cut their dividends and pay out dividends without franking credits? Your super fund would not have lower returns and no franking credits to pay it's tax. I'd say that could be a big affect of this proposal.
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    9:57am
    Sundays if your super fund is using your franking credits to pay the tax of other members then your super fund is robbing you blind. No wonder Labor wants to bring in this unfair proposal as it will cover up how the industry funds have been robbing people of their franking credits to pay the tax of other members. I certainly would not want to be a member of these funds.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    12:26pm
    ScoMo has just reported that new data from The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) showed that the opposition’s proposal “would rip $3.75 billion out of 2.6 million APRA-regulated superannuation member accounts, including those held by pensioners despite Labor’s so-called ‘pensioner guarantee’.”

    Well, I guess that tells us where some of BS's $8 billion is coming from. Right out of the bank accounts of ordinary workers saving for retirement AND PENSIONERS.
    Rosret
    19th Apr 2018
    12:58pm
    - and yet it was Paul Keating who introduced our current superannuation scheme and suggested our money goes back into the superfund cache when we die.
    If you think one party is better than another when it comes to super think again. We are living too long, demanding too much on the medical system and running out of steam at exactly the same age as our parents.
    - The money has to come from somewhere. Its not that we have to work until we are 70 but one would hope the compulsory super contribution would carry people through until they are at least 70 years of age.
    What I don't understand is how people on say $300K don't have to use that money first before a pension kicks in.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:10pm
    I know already several old school friends who didn't even make it to 65 - one was my brother. Not much difference in reality these days for many - and unless you catch some illnesses early, your chances are gone..... and so are you.

    The city I come from is still in the process of divesting itself of the years of filth and toxins from industry.... and one look at all the old and unrestored buildings will show you how very much of those was in the atmosphere.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    1:03pm
    All thinking Older Australians need to unite and vote AGAINST BOTH Liberals and Labor parties. The answers here have been dissected by Old Man, and I don't wish to add further.

    Other than to say - YLC failed to ask why:
    a) They would not revert the Assets Test changes from Jan 2017 if they were opposed to it, and
    b) Would they support Universal Pension for all (Say Resident here for 15 years) and scrap Centrelink harassment of pensioners? No funding issue at all - if only the ensured all large companies and the wealthy pay their fair share of Tax - which Labor also failed to do.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:11pm
    Yes - I noted that the idea was to remain with the current status quo - and not turn back the tide in any way.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    3:12pm
    Gee, George, if we follow your suggestion, we could have a Green government both federally and states wide. How would that work? Apart from re-regulating the banks, stopping back burning, closing coal mines, stopping fishing (both commercial and recreational), letting the community forums decide what legislation should be passed and legalising drugs they have some looney ideas. Better the devil you know George.?
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    4:48pm
    Hey, OM, not sure where you got that from, about Greens. Firstly, I have NEVER supported those creeps, and secondly, they have no chance of getting into power anywhere given their radical beliefs and minority base hence I don't mention them every time.

    Voting OUT the current incumbent MPs (mainly Liberal or Labor, add Nationals if you like but they like Greens don't matter hence I don't mention them too) will firstly, stop the current seat-warmers from getting their 8 years (minimum years to get their undeserved fat pensions, or 18 years for maximum pensions) - if they haven't qualified yet, and secondly, hopefully get in new blood, maybe Independents. We can repeat the same exercise next time if the new MP doesn't behave. Such actions could shake up the 2-party system of rulers and give some hope that new MPs may listen to the people.

    The devils we know (Liberal or Labor, or Greens who hardly exist) are NOT better, and need to be thrown out.
    Retired Knowall
    19th Apr 2018
    5:11pm
    Give your vote to an Independent, make them fully aware that they are there to SERVE YOU. They have 4 years to prove themselves or they are out. And Clean Out the Bureaucrats.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    7:59pm
    Exactly, RK, and put the current seat-warmer from any of the main parties last - to ensure they are replaced.
    old frt
    19th Apr 2018
    1:05pm
    Show us the figures that wealthy SFR's get all these F/Credit benefits. The majority have pension incomes well below polly pensions so who are the wealthy retiries .We are already penalised by not receiving the age pension (which is a tax by default). If the problem is truly so great put a cap on the F/Cr's refund such as the $1.6 cap income or a pollies annual pension income and take the lower of the 2 - ha ha !
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    1:11pm
    That's another Question not raised - will Pollies agree to have their special pensions scrapped and also apply for pensions just like everyone else on the same rules?
    Otherwise, they have NO RIGHT to decide others pension rules!

    Yes, the review will be helpful, however before many potential pensioners die off, they should put in Unversal Pension immediately!
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    2:29pm
    Those wealthy folk who have left the excess of their $1.6m in their super funds must be laughing at this stupid franking credit policy.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    4:09pm
    The pollies will keep their credits, no doubt. As will all the well off. It's only the battlers who will lose. And Macklin lies through her teeth and says it's mostly high income retirees who will be hit.

    Time for some solid numbers and truth - instead of these wishy-washy half-baked statements that can't be disputed because they provide no detail. However, this much is clear. The ALP says it opposed the assets threshold change - YET it is happy to deprive all those impacted by it of 30% of their income by cancelling their franking credit refunds. That's hypocrisy if ever I saw it.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    8:26am
    Here's another LIE by the ALP that proves their franking credit policy is BS:

    ''Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said half the benefits of the total benefits of the cash refund scheme go to the biggest 10 per cent of super funds which have balances above $2.4 million.''

    Excuse me, Mr Shorten. Those funds have already lost a lot of their benefit through the LNP changing the rules to cap super in pension phase at $1.6 million. How many members are in those funds sharing the $2.4 million? If there are four members, which is the SMSF limit, then the members have only $600,000 each and are certainly NOT ''wealthy''. If you are saying each member has $2.4 million, then they ARE paying tax on the returns from $800,000 of their balance, and thus they WILL STILL GET FRANKING CREDITS.

    Everything Shorten says is proven to be a lie. I am bitterly disappointed. I had hoped Labor might provide a half-way promising alternative to the LNP, but clearly the ALP is led by lying buffoons.
    Circum
    19th Apr 2018
    1:32pm
    Jenny states that the Labor party opposed changes to the income and asset tests in 2015.That was a political decision to make Labor look good ,and they could blame the big bad Liberal party for changing the income and assets test.No mention of the fact that Bill Shorten made it clear he would not reverse any change.
    The question about describing the pension as a reward for years of service,has not really been answered.
    The question about franking credits asks,who will be affected? We need to priorities she says,including stopping benefits going to low income SFRs (she doesn't say).The benefits are actually a return of the SFRs earnings and never belonged to the government in the first place.
    As a general comment,the answers given would have failed the "clear thinking" exercises we did at high school.
    I agree with Old Man that the minister be asked to answer the same questions in the name of balance.
    Adrianus
    19th Apr 2018
    1:52pm
    I agree Circum, we need to know what the government thinks about these questions too. I'm really annoyed with oppositions making ridiculous promises such as the 15% company tax in NT.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    1:56pm
    What a lot of rubbish answers! Look we have bad enough idiots in power now so can we afford to have even bigger idiots in power? God help us if we do.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    2:09pm
    Such is the calibre of the idiots in opposition led by a clueless SHorten

    This wasnt an interview - it was a labor ad campaign
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    2:17pm
    I am now wondering what the LNP will do in the May budget to stop Labor bring in such destructive policies. I have some ideas so let's hope they can outsmart Labor.
    Adrianus
    19th Apr 2018
    2:20pm
    We are not ready for the bigger idiots just yet. They will ruin us if they get in during this transitional recovery period.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    2:26pm
    How much more do we want into schools and hospitals? They are already so inefficient it is not funny.

    eg Radiology sent up a DVD for me to collect from Cancer Care. I asked Cancer Care if they had the DVD and they couldn't find it. Rang radiology and they said they had sent two to Cancer Care. Finally someone decided to look in the inbox of Cancer Care.
    TREBOR
    19th Apr 2018
    3:34pm
    'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof'... let's deal with TODAY's enemy first - his running mate tomorrow... let's line up the LNP for the high jump and then we'll do Labor slowly.

    As for inefficient schools and hospitals, OG - you'll need to detail where these inefficiencies are... and more than simply a 'lost DVD'.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    3:44pm
    I could write a book on the inefficiencies of hospitals and schools. The waste is mind boggling. Every time I go into the hospital it seems to get worse not better.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    6:52am
    Schools now can't teach without every child owning an iPad and every classroom having a computerized whiteboard. I wonder how our generation managed so well? Funny, the nation was a lot more prosperous when it was populated by people with far less education, acquired in far less luxurious facilities.
    Old Geezer
    20th Apr 2018
    10:23am
    Uni students studying teaching now have to do 2 days of extensive literacy and numeracy testing after their first year of studies. How on earth did these kids get into Uni to do teaching in the first place if they can't pass these tests? Certainly says something about our school system.
    GrayComputing
    19th Apr 2018
    2:46pm
    Dear PM MPs and senators

    It is time for the government (and for all of us to rant at them) to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    For the retired and retiring people in your electorate do you think they really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    As an MP do you really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    As a MP you even stand to lose your chance at being part of the government unless all these criminal asset tests for a pension are dropped now.

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    Tib
    19th Apr 2018
    4:43pm
    She should sue her hairdresser one sides longer than the other.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    6:10pm
    Nah - she’s just a leftie
    It’s a proven fact that they aren’t as good looking as the righties
    Tib
    19th Apr 2018
    10:29pm
    Ha ha I'm a leftie and I'm a chick magnet.

    19th Apr 2018
    5:21pm
    All the more reason to kick the Lieberal vermin OUT.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    6:24pm
    and let the flea ridden rats in instead?
    Charlie
    19th Apr 2018
    6:30pm
    This is not rocket science.

    Age is not the perfect measure for a person to continue in permanent employment. There are plenty of people who don't cross the finish line at 65. I was one of them.

    Medical science is allowing people to live longer, but its not allowing them to be fit and well for longer. The next generation will be worse because too many are obese in childhood.This is why our nursing homes are full and some states are allowing people to choose medical assisted death.
    On the Ball
    19th Apr 2018
    6:38pm
    Jenny would be well advised to read the comments in here. Unfortunately a lot of it is illadvised, whether deliberately by those who have an axe to grind, or by misinformation from the LNP press.

    But TREBOR said this (which although not relevant to Jenny's comments does explain dividend imputation credits well):
    "I see few - if any, circumstances under which a shareholder should receive the total of franking tax paid as a return. You have a tax free threshold and first level of income tax @ 19c in the dollar up to $38,200. If your entire income is franked credits - you are entitled to $18,200 without tax, and have a liability of 19c in the dollar for around $20,000 - so if your sharegiver has paid 30% you will get a partial refund - NOT a full one."

    AND if the LNP's tax cuts to big business had been passed into law by parliament, the dividend imputation credit (refund) would go DOWN because the company tax rate would have gone down.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    7:27pm
    Unfortunately Trebor is not quite right.

    Let's me show you some example of how it works.

    If you get $15400 in dividends and they have paid $6.600 in tax for you (30% tax) your gross income is $22,000. With the tax free threshold and low income rebate the ATO will determine your tax to be $472. You will get a refund of $$6128. ($6,600-$472).

    If you have other income of say $10,000 your gross income will be $32000. Your tax payable on $32,000 is $2412. However you have already paid $6,600 so you will get a refund of $4188.

    The more income you have the more tax you pay and the less refund you get until you use up all your franking credits.

    Say you had a gross income of $250,0000 and franking credits of $75,000. Tax payable on $250,000 is $85,732 plus medicare etc. Let's just use $85,732.

    As you have franking credits of $75,000 your tax payable is reduced to $10,732.

    So under Labor's proposal the first 2 low income earners lose but the high income earner doesn't.

    So how is this fair.

    Just remember it works the same as an employer paying an employee wages and taking out tax before he pays him. Imagine the outcry if the employer overpaid the employee's tax and the ATO keep the amount overpaid.

    That is what Labor wants to do for low income earners who invest in shares.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    6:48am
    Trebor also continues to ignore the fact that superannuation pensions generated from assets up to $1.6 million are tax free, but the recipients ARE contributing tens of thousands each year to the budget by not drawing pensions. Thus, the pensioner couple with $300,000 invested and getting franking credits might cost the government some $40,300 a year PLUS the value of concessions and the admin costs to pay them a pension, and this increases every six months.

    Conversely the couple with $850,000 a year might currently receive $10,000 a year in franking credits, making their income up to $40,000 a year. They are costing the government $10,000, but they are saving the government much more than $30,000. How can anyone in their right mind accuse this couple of ''rorting'' or ''not paying their way fairly''?

    So let's follow the thinking of the ALP supporters. Nobody should be allowed to have $850,000 - no matter how hard they worked or what they went without to save or what their needs - while some bludgers and spendthrifts and a few unlucky folk have less. So take take take take take take until these people with savings are reduced to the same level as the maybe 10% of disadvantaged and 70% of spendthrifts and bludgers. (Yes, sorry, that's how it is! ALMOST ANYONE could have $850,000 in retirement if they had worked and saved. They shouldn't have to - since they paid a tax levy to fund pensions. But they COULD have.)

    Now that we've taken and taken and taken and taken and taken, the government is paying out well over $40,300 a year to this couple who they screamed was unfairly taking $10,000 a year. Worse, this couple now can't pay their medical bills or sustain private health cover, and has no savings to fund their aged care - so they will be totally reliant on the government for everything for the rest of their lives. Oh, and let's not forget their children won't inherit that little nest-egg that would enable them to be self-sufficient in old age and that might enable the grandchildren to buy a home that they couldn't otherwise afford. So the cost of that miserable little $10,000 ''saving'' (that clearly wasn't) runs on and on through future generations.

    And that, according to Bill Shorten, is good economic management.

    No wonder this country has a spiralling debt!
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    6:58am
    On the Ball, you unfortunately are NOT. YOU would do well to read the comments carefully and educate yourself, instead of believing ALP propaganda and ignoring the FACTS. There is NOTHING here that constitutes ''misinformation from the LNP press''. And the only comment from people with an axe to grind favours Labor. Those objecting to unfair taxation are doing so with the national interest in mind, and - if only they were smart enough to see it - with the future of pensioners in mind.

    It's just sad that envy and greed addles the brain so, and people can't deal in logic and common sense. Even the dumbest ought to be able to figure out that taking $10,000 a year from someone who is struggling on an income of less than the OAP and saving the government three or four times that amount by doing so is BAD POLICY.

    Even a dunce ought to be able to see that taking a tax credit from someone because they don't earn enough to pay tax but giving it to people who earn hundreds of thousands is UNFAIR and NOT CONSISTENT WITH CLAIMED ALP POLICY.

    If you were ON THE BALL, you would see that this issue has nothing to do with political persuasion, but everything to do with common sense economics. Labor's policy will SEND THE DEBT SOARING.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    20th Apr 2018
    8:14am
    I'll admit I earn most of my income other than my full old age pension from franked dividends. Is it fair that I get to keep my franking credits whereas as someone who doesn't not qualify for the pension does not. My total income is the equivalent to someone with assets of about $2 million which is well above the asset limit. So those with less assets earn considerably less than me and now if they are invested in shares will also lose 30% of their income.

    How is this fair?

    I'm not whinging here as personally it does not affect me at all.
    Mad as Hell
    19th Apr 2018
    7:20pm
    The 2017 changes to the Pensioner Assets Test has stopped me from ever voting LNP or Greens.
    Labor won’t change the Pensioner Assets Test if re elected and tried one on with the franking credits thought bubble.
    Was a PAYE tax payer for 47 years and now not “ entitled “ to a pension and someone who has paid taxes for 10 years is entitled.
    Can’t bring myself to vote independent but if someone starts a Grey Power Party I’m in.
    Old Geezer
    19th Apr 2018
    7:31pm
    If you own shares then Shorten will take even more off you.

    SFRs are certainly being fleeced today in this country when they should be supported.
    GeorgeM
    19th Apr 2018
    8:06pm
    Vote for whoever you want (preferably fore someone who can win) - just make sure you put the current seat-warmer from any of the main parties (who have all failed) last to ensure they are turfed out.
    That's how Change can start! You may not always get your end result in the 1st step, but it is the best start to shake up the stranglehold of the monstrous main parties.
    Anonymous
    19th Apr 2018
    9:09pm
    Something smells with this franking credit BS. I wish one of the devoted ALP followers would stop repeating BS and investigate the facts - and maybe answer this question:

    Shorten says he's going to save some $8 billion by cancelling franking credit refunds. BUT:
    - he is NOT going to take them off pensioners.
    - he is NOT going to take them off people who earn and pay tax
    - there is a limit of $1.6 million in tax-free pension assets, so he's NOT going to take them off people who have substantially more than $1.6 million in super (that eliminates those mythical folk who must have $110 million in shares paying franked dividends, and are allegedly claiming $2.5 million in cash rebates on incomes well north of $8 million a year. How many of them are there again? They now pay tax on their super so they still keep their credits.)

    So who IS he getting $8 billion from. Oh, that's right, higher income self-funded retirees. HMM. Let's examine this further. The highest income self-funded retirees have taxable income, so they keep their tax reduction. Only those with less than $1.6 million - or maybe slightly more, but not enough to pay substantial tax, will be affected by the changed policy. Oh, and low wage earners, but not many who don't earn enough to pay tax would be likely to have a lot of shares except through their superfund.

    Now, we know that some 92,000 lost the pension in the assets test change. So those 92,000 will be impacted. Wow! Those are the people Jenny Macklin said SHOULDN'T have lost their pension and Labor tried to defend. Now they are attacking them with an income cut up to 30%. More than a little dishonest and hypocritical!

    Let's be VERY VERY VERY generous and say these 92000 all have incomes of $60,000 a year each (from assets (remember, these are people with LESS than $1.1 million between two if a couple, or less than about $800,000 if single - so even if they could achieve 10% - which is double the govt stated average, it's unlikely they would all have $60,000 each in income). At most, they would get maybe $15,000 in franking credit refunds each. It's highly unlikely the average would come anywhere near that, and certainly they wouldn't ALL get that, but IF they did, and IF none of them rearranged their affairs to avoid or reduce the loss, that MIGHT yield $1.4 billion. Remember, that's from people Labor said SHOULDN'T be deprived of their income, but SHOULD be still on a part pension.

    Now, let's consider that the only other people they MIGHT hit are those who ALWAYS had more than $800,000 (or $410,000 each for a couple) but LESS than maybe $1.8 million. So they are claiming that retirees in that category collectively claim almost $7 billion cash in franking tax refunds? How many of them are there, exactly? We know that 80% of retirees are on at least a part pension, so the numbers just don't add up! There can't be that many retirees with assets below the new superannuation pension fund limit but above the new asset test threshold. There just can't be enough to generate the savings Shorten is claiming.

    Or are they planning to rip off Australian workers who have small superannuation nest-eggs and are struggling to save for retirement.

    See, the numbers just DON'T ADD UP, and the ALP are confessing to gross and disgusting hypocrisy if they do attack those who lost their pensions under asset test changes, since THEY claimed that shouldn't have happened.

    There IS a logical explanation - and it's been put forward a number of times. That is, that Labor ignored the fact that the LNP changed the law to limit funds in pension mode in superannuation to $1.6 million per person. Before that change, a lot of very rich people probably got a lot of cash franking credit refunds. But the change addressed that. According to leading economists, Labor is claiming savings that the LNP already achieved, and their figures are billions out.

    Of course the loyal ALP supporters won't bother to consider these FACTS. They are not interested in logic or correct data - only in cheering their beloved commo mates and screaming for higher pensions. What they seem unable to understand is that those who lose a huge chunk of their income will either find a way to ensure Shorten DOESN'T get it, or will divest and claim the pension and cost the nation more. With more pensioners, there will be more pressure to delay retirement age and reduce pensions. Macklin is NOT helping pensioners. She's supporting Shorten to crucify them!
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2018
    10:15am
    Rainey, its not about the well being of the poor, middle class or the wealthy. Its all about Shorten and a few of his mates staying in a job. Their methods are crude and divisive. It involves inciteful language designed to appeal to greed, followed by anger and hatred. Shorten knows that the CFMEU will sack him if he doesn't perform at the next election.
    His words are as hollow as the 100 policies they took to the last election. They will have 100 new policies by this time next year.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    1:55am
    Adrianus, I spoke today to a financial planner who made the comment that the ALP franking credit policy could never pass, and they know it. He says those in the industry are firmly convinced its a ''red herring'' to distract from something far more sinister that is going on. He couldn't say what, though he did say there was a need to distract the populace from the most disturbing of the findings of the Royal Commission into banking. He did not think that was the issue they are trying to distract from though. Interesting comment! I have to agree that their franking credit policy is unlikely to ever pass through the Senate. Thankfully, most politicians will have the brains to see that it's patently unfair and economically harmful, and that their rubber ''savings'' figures are completely fabricated and total nonsense.
    Sundays
    19th Apr 2018
    8:52pm
    At least Jenny Macklin agreed to be interviewed which is a lot more than can be said for the current Minister! I’ve always held Jenny Macklin in high regard and she did some good work in aged care and housing 20 years ago. To my mind, that’s the problem with her responses. The fire has gone, wishy washy ‘political’ answers. No real answers as to how they will improve the lot of Aged Pensioners
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    7:28am
    Now it would be nice if she told the truth, instead of sticking to Labor's lie about franking credit refunds costing $8 billion - because the LNP already addressed that by capping superannuation in pension phase.

    Labor is saying their policy is primarily addressed at retirees with more than $2.5 million in super and ''mostly impacts high income earning retirees''. That's a lie, because it DOESN'T impact people with $2.5 million in super at all. They have to have at least $900,000 in accumulation, taxed, so they KEEP their credits. If they don't have at least $900,000 in a taxed fund, then they are breaking the law and Labor should address that rather than attacking low-income-earning-law-abiding retirees.

    And we KNOW for a fact that it impacts at least 100,000 who have much, much lower balances - many with balances of less than $500,000 and none more than $742500, with any having more than $542,500 being non-home-owners. Even at 9% interest, the WEALTHIEST of these would not be ''high income earners''. So we know that at very least 100,000 who are NOT high income earners and DO NOT have $2.5 million in super will lose up to 30% of their income.

    Ms Macklin, can we PLEASE have the truth?

    See, my worry is if you lie about this, you also lie about opposing raising the retirement age - because if your cruel policy pushes an extra 100,000 to divest assets and claim the pension - which is what most of these struggling low-income retirees will have to do - and of course similarly drives many yet-to-retire to retire with less and be sure of getting a pension, then it's likely that it will push the cost of pensions so high that there will be no choice but to either raise the pension age or reduce pensions.

    Unfortunately, ALP-voting pensioners don't seem to be smart enough to figure this out. They are just obsessed with envy and screaming in delight at the prospect of someone they think has more than them being robbed of it. That's really sad, because I was actually lobbying for pension increases, but I'm now writing to the government and Labor telling them NOT to increase pensions because that greedy, ''entitled'', self-serving bunch really don't deserve it, and people who are struggling to save the nation tens of thousands every year by being self-funded DO DESERVE A BETTER DEAL THAN THE DISGUSTING THEFT LABOR IS PROMISING.
    ABE
    19th Apr 2018
    9:04pm
    The question asked is "Do you agree with Labor’s views? Is the age of 70 too late to receive the Age Pension??"

    According to those in the know 70 is the new 50, that is of course if you keep healthy. Unfortunately some indulge in a bit of wild living and are a wreck by 70, present company excepted of course. I hope to look like 50 when I do reach the golden age of 70. Depending on the type of work you do, then if you're healthy I don't think it's a big ask to keep working for a while longer than today's retirement age. The trouble is those who do heavy physical work, stand a good chance of having injuries that hinder them, so in these cases, it is a bit cruel to tell them they have to keep working. Should everyone be assessed individually? Might be a good idea, but a lot of work for the "hard working" pollies, haha!

    I'll address a few points made by the misguided Jenny Macklin.
    (1) "The Liberals still want to make pensioners born overseas wait longer to get the Age Pension by increasing the residency requirements from 10 to 15 years." IMO it should be more than 15 years. Work,prove yourself, then ask for the pension.

    (2) "Labor does not support having the family home counted in the assets test, at any value"
    WHAT? are they mad? so if you own a $5m house, you can front up to Centrelink for a pension?? Not on.

    (3) "So, is the Age Pension adequate?
    There is no question that, if you are completely dependent on the full Age Pension, it is very, very tough. It is especially difficult for renters."

    Ahh Jenny, what rot, if a person owns their home outright, the pension according to my sources is adequate. But, those who are renting have a bit of a rough trot.

    Those are my views, don't call me, I'm not available!!
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    6:30am
    And Labor opposed changing the assets test and depriving some 92000 people who saved a modest nest egg of their part pension, but now they are going to demolish their livelihood completely by taking 30% of their small remaining income, justifying it by saying they don't pay tax. Never mind that they save the nation millions by being self-funded! What disgusting lying hypocrites!
    JustGus
    19th Apr 2018
    10:51pm
    Way too many LNP Humbug Hacks resident in this forum. Best leave them to bore each other to death I reckon.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    6:32am
    Way too many greedy, self-serving communists on YLC, always screaming that people who saved should have their savings stolen to give to spendthrifts and bludgers. Geez, listen to me! I used to be the champion of the disadvantaged. Used to lobby for them all the time. Just so damned sick of their greed and selfishness!
    Adrianus
    20th Apr 2018
    8:45am
    Rainey, I'm not surprised by your attitudinal change. I was affected in the same way. I also refuse to join the mob and become a victim.
    Anonymous
    20th Apr 2018
    2:39pm
    You have seen the light Rainey
    Took you a while
    Even Tib has come around from his communist views
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    2:06am
    Raphael, I will never be a ''rightie'', like you. I understand disadvantage in a way you never can, because I've suffered far greater disadvantage than most could ever imagine. But it's BECAUSE I've suffered disadvantage that I understand that the only way for Australia to recover economic health - and the ONLY way we can help the truly disadvantaged - is to restore the concept of personal responsibility and reward for effort.

    In today's Australia, it's the cheats, manipulators, spendthrifts and bludgers who prosper. Unless you can get very wealthy, you are better off being relatively poor in old age and putting your hand out. Even for younger Australians, life is often far easier and more comfortable on benefits than struggling to work. That's a ludicrous situation.

    Until we end needs-based welfare, we will NEVER solve our economic problems. Needs-based welfare creates need. We've seen a classic example of that with the Aborigines. The more they are given, the more they demand. Nothing good comes of the handouts. They just want more. And now we have immigrants coming her for the handouts and exploiting our welfare system brilliantly!

    Now, we are seeing that same ''entitlement'' complex among aged pensioners. Suddenly, self-funded retirees are vile creatures who should be abused and persecuted. There is no respect or fairness. Pensioners are the ''elite'', and should be constantly getting more and more while anyone with savings must be stripped of them to fund more handouts. No wonder the nation is in a mess! Advisers are now telling younger folk to plan to have only $500,000 at retirement. Any more than that is of no use unless you can have millions, or somehow achieve high returns with little risk and without onerous management obligations.

    Ultimately, the pension system must collapse under the weight, which is why the government wants to raise the aged pension age. But instead of doing that, they should be addressing the fact that the pension is so attractive and being self-funded is so onerous and unrewarding that hardly anybody wants to save for old age anymore. If they restored the concept of personal responsibility and reward for effort, we might avoid the looming crisis and avoid raising the retirement age - and even end the calls for pension cuts. Why can't people see that? It's common sense. Yet all anyone ever seems to call for is more attacks on savers. It's unbelievably STUPID.

    20th Apr 2018
    7:13am
    Kaye, would you please ask Jenny Macklin to carefully read ALL of the comments here. If she is to claim the right to a fat salary for representing the people of this nation, she should be fully aware of their responses and taking into careful account anything they point out that she hasn't considered.
    patti
    20th Apr 2018
    8:48am
    I do not support the Age Pension being raised to 70. However, if politicians are determined to push this through it should cover all Australians. Including our politicians
    Johnny
    20th Apr 2018
    9:52am
    I don't trust Mackilin. Wasn't it she who claimed a few years ago she could live on the aged pension? Wasn't it the Gillard government who increased the pension age to 67? Not fair especially to those who work in manual industries.
    Adrianus
    21st Apr 2018
    8:04am
    12th May 2009

    Joint Press Release
    with
    The Hon Jenny Macklin MP
    Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
    Secure and Sustainable Pension Reform: Age Pension Age
    As part of the Government’s Secure and Sustainable Pension Reform, in 2017 the qualifying age for the Age Pension will gradually increase from 65 to 67 by 2023.
    As Australians are healthier and living longer, the qualifying age for Age Pension for men and women will be increased by six months every two years, commencing from 1 July 2017 and reaching 67 on 1 July 2023.
    The reforms are necessary to prepare Australia for the challenges of the future.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    12:11pm
    Yes, and Labor will push the age up to 70 when its stupid franking credits policy pushes hundreds of thousands more onto the aged pension and drives aged pension, aged health and aged care costs through the roof by slaughtering self-funded retirees. But the fools supporting Labor's policy can't see that far ahead. In fact, they can't see past the end of their nose, it seems. Green eyes have blinded them!
    Frank of Brizzie
    20th Apr 2018
    4:37pm
    On the subject of rising healthcare cost: The Government seems to be hell bent to keep pensioners from living abroad. Why? It surely would save a lot of money not having to pay for their Medical bills and medicines. Pensioners don't contribute anymore to the economy and don't get any younger either. The rich would live abroad whenever they please and the not so well of would not have much to take with them.
    Frank of Brizzie
    20th Apr 2018
    4:46pm
    Another budget saver would be the cost of family benefit. It is already for a long time that Australia has smaller families for obvious reasons. I do notice that people from different cultures don't seem to have these problems and have big families like we had for ex. neighbours with 9 children.Parents not working. It would be only fair to have a cut off point of say 2 kids and after that finance yourself. Personally I never even considered government payments when having my children.
    Circum
    20th Apr 2018
    5:45pm
    A bit of the topic Frank but you make some valid points.Sadly I know people who have more babies purely to receive the govt benefits.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    1:51am
    A very good point, Frank. If people can't afford to support children, they shouldn't have them.
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    10:07am
    I have been doing some research into how big super funds including industry funds. Now these funds pool the money belong to all members and work out how much tax they have to pay. They then deduct all the franking credits received and deduct that from the tax they have to pay.

    Now all the funds in the pension phase pay no tax but all the franking credits belonging to those in the pension mode are then used to pay the tax bill of those who are liable to pay tax.

    What this means is that those collecting pensions are being robbed of their franking credits which can be up to 30% of there income. I also note that people required to pay tax are having the tax deducted from their balances.

    So who is benefiting from the franking credits belonging to the people collecting pensions?

    Maybe this is a question for Macklin.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    12:09pm
    Scott Morrison has just revealed that ''new data from The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) showed that the opposition’s proposal “would rip $3.75 billion out of 2.6 million APRA-regulated superannuation member accounts, including those held by pensioners despite Labor’s so-called ‘pensioner guarantee’.”

    I'll bet Macklin will do no more than Bowen did and claim this isn't true.

    Apparently, Shorten now claims that those getting franking credit refunds are collecting $80,000 in cash refunds and paying no tax. How? Wouldn't they need to have about $3.7 million invested in shares paying franked dividends to get $80,000 in cash refunds? If they held $3.7 million in shares privately, how would they not pay tax? If they held that amount in super, $2.1 million would be in an accumulation account and taxable.

    The Labor Party is telling way too many lies about this!
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    1:36pm
    http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/superannuation-and-smsfs/modest-selffunded-retirees-lash-out-at-labor-tax-grab-20180416-h0yu5t

    Modest' self-funded retirees lash out at Labor tax grab

    Self-funded retirees are still furious about Labor's proposal to stop the refund of excess franking credits. They're particularly angry about Labor's claim that this is targeted at the very wealthy.

    Pamela and Col Bourke say: "We have never previously felt the need to become activists against those who portray us as the mega-rich and not as ordinary hard-working retirees." Now, however, they do.

    The Woolgoolga, NSW, couple have written to prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, their local member of parliament and their local newspaper to protest.

    "Our self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) and other assets combined do not place us in the mega-rich department," they say.

    "We fit into the category of retirees referred to in the Australian Financial Review by Joanna Mather (How Labor's tax policy will deliver 'perverse' outcomes) and Debra Cleveland (Labor plan 'would push more on to age pension')."
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    Like many other retirees, changes to the assets test rules in January have already hurt them.

    They lost their entitlement to the age pension in January when the assets threshold for eligibility was dropped, "thus causing us to significantly rely on the investment returns of our SMSF and on the franking credits [from the SMSF and personal shareholdings]."

    The franking credits, they say, help them earn the equivalent of a joint "middle income".

    "We did not use our money to upgrade our home, we saved our hard-earned money to fund a modest retirement."

    Viewing all SMSFs as belonging to the mega-rich is simply wrong and insulting, they add. "Like thousands of proud Australians, we are retired and becoming the 'working poor' – working at managing our SMSF and our savings after raising and educating three children with no government handouts."
    Less incentive to save

    Fellow retiree Doug Cummings, of Lake Macquarie in NSW, is equally concerned. Doug estimates that if the Labor policy was introduced, his household would lose about 24 per cent of its annual income.

    Worse, its introduction would likely change attitudes to self-funded retirement.

    "I expect less funds being saved in the future due to a shift in strategy with more people settling to become full or part [government] pensioners if there is no incentive to be self-funded [and] if you can generate more cash by being on the government purse," says Doug.

    "We would need to give serious consideration on what to cut out of our current annual spending," he adds. "And we would seriously consider having a large splurge of funds to get us down to the situation of the Joneses [the example used in the Joanna Mather article] to receive a government-funded pension and a higher cash flow."

    Rolf and Jan Rees of Brisbane say there may be some justification for a crack down on those with millions of dollars in retirement savings, "but for those just outside the pension it is brutal – and in some cases or years it may result in an annual income less than the [age] pension".

    "These retirees have an aim to steer clear of the pension and be independent in the interests of the country – a sentiment not shares by some today, sadly," he adds.

    The couple stands to lose "quite a few thousand" as they only just miss out on a part age pension. "We have always tried to steer clear of government [help]. But as we now may in some years actually receive less than the pension, we might have to restructure our super."

    The Labor policy has a number of challenges, says Ken Howard, private client adviser with Morgans.

    "The government (ie, the taxpayer) is only better off if you assume self-funded retirees absorb the loss of franking credits by working more, saving more and/or spending less," he adds.

    If not, "the burden for the taxpayer will simply change from franking credit refunds today to future age pension payments tomorrow".
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    1:37pm
    http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/superannuation-and-smsfs/hands-off-labor-says-smsf-retiree-20180410-h0yl75

    Retiree to lose $20,000 a year under Labor

    Retiree Toya Adams, a former nurse and air hostess, is one of many retirees angry about Labor's proposal to stop franking credit refunds.

    With her husband Laurie, she has run a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) for 11 years. The couple would be worse off by $20,000 a year if the Labor proposal came to fruition.

    Last month Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced a Labor government would make all franking credits non-refundable. This was later tweaked with a "pensioner guarantee" whereby everybody receiving a government age pension of entitlement would still be able to get refunds.

    SMSFs with at least one member receiving a government pension on or before March 28, 2018, would also be exempt.

    Unused franking credits are useful to retirees paying little or no tax as they are refunded from the Australian Tax Office, boosting annual income.
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    Ms Adams, 62, says: "It is mischievously misleading for Labor to attempt to oversimplify the portrayal that all SMSF trustees in pension phase – and all shareholders who receive imputation credits and are on zero tax rate – as mega-wealthy multimillionaires who are bludging off taxpayers."

    She says she has saved hard and worked two jobs to ensure an adequate retirement pension and prevent being a burden on the taxpayer.

    "I am not a privileged mega-wealthy tax bludger, although I am a SMSF trustee and investor who does get some taxation windfalls from following the super rules that Labor and Liberal designed," she adds.
    Part of the solution

    Ms Adams, who has voted for Labor, is a self-taught investor in Australian and overseas equities, dividing the portfolio between growth and income stocks. She and Laurie Shears, a retired pilot, regularly attend investor conferences and seminars.

    She was on the committee of the Australian Investors Association, is a member of the Australian Shareholders' Association and SMSF Association and takes a keen interest in investment policy, particularly personal finance and taxation.

    "Like many who worked hard to provide for their own retirement, I feel demonised, victimised, disincentivised and now penalised," she says. "Can't we do better in Australia than this popularist policy? How are we to be self-reliant if we are not rewarded but penalised?"

    Labor changes would cost the couple about $20,000 in annual income.

    "I had no 'luck' building my retirement income, just four decades of delayed gratification. Meanwhile, friends went skiing and holidaying and mocked me for being 'obsessed by money'. They now live off the aged pension and tell me 'how lucky I am'. Self-funded retirees are part of the budget solution and not the problem and should be respected as such."
    Narrow target

    She says Labor's proposal around imputation credits does not increase the taxes or decrease the income of the "real" wealthy. "They typically have some form of tax to offset, which can extend to other income classes, such as property," she adds.

    Ms Adams also says the Labor proposal has a far too narrow target. "It does not diminish the pensions of any who are on a public service pension, including the politicians, as the Future Fund and government revenue is exempt from tax and all such imputation credit changes," she says.

    "It also does not impact those in industry or retail super funds, as these large funds have pooled funds with tax offsets."

    She feels SMSF trustees are being unfairly penalised.

    "An SMSF allows a level of control to ensure protection of your nest egg from a (by and large) self-interested, poorly regulated industry which I believe, along with the governments of the day, also has its snout too deep in our super trough. SMSF trustees and investors put ongoing conscientious work into managing the unnecessarily over-complicated rules of their SMSF and manage the precarious and stressful market risk that investors face."
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    1:53pm
    OGR Those 2 articles I just posted back up a lot of what you have been saying here.

    "Apparently, Shorten now claims that those getting franking credit refunds are collecting $80,000 in cash refunds and paying no tax. How? Wouldn't they need to have about $3.7 million invested in shares paying franked dividends to get $80,000 in cash refunds? If they held $3.7 million in shares privately, how would they not pay tax? If they held that amount in super, $2.1 million would be in an accumulation account and taxable."

    A couple could have $3.2 million in a super fund in pension phase earning enough dividends to have $80,000 in franking credits but that's a super fund full of Aussie fully franked shares. However there would be very few of these cases as the majority of people don't have that sort of money in super.

    https://www.superannuation.asn.au/ArticleDocuments/359/ASFA_Super-and-high-account-balances_Apr2015.pdf.aspx?Embed=Y

    OGR another explanation I can give here is that they have a very big business that is very unprofitable so much so their loss from that business is $3.7 million. Highly unlikely.
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    2:03pm
    So Shorten is going to get those few thousand that are collecting $80,000 in franking credits and paying no tax and in so doing deny over a million others their franking credits many of whom already earn less than the old age pension. Certainly sends a great message to the future generations of retirees.
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    4:49pm
    Here is a link the treasury press release about the 3.75 billion.

    http://sjm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/036-2018/

    You know the more I read about this the more I think it is just a smoke screen for something far more sinister by Labor.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    5:09pm
    Yes, OG. That is the thinking of financial advisers I believe. They say BS knows he would NEVER get this policy through the Senate. It's being sold with massive and very obvious lies and it's just too harmful to the economy. The thinking seems to be that it is all a deliberate distraction. The question is, what is it that they don't want us to notice while we are focusing on this?
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    5:17pm
    OG, very few people would have ALL of a $3.2 million super fund invested in Australian shares paying franked dividends. Therefore, anyone getting $80,000 in franking credits would have much more than $3.2 million overall.

    Now, about this statement that those on a pension before March 2018 will not suffer deprivation. Does that mean anyone who qualified for a pension on 1st April, or later, either by achieving a particular age, getting a disability recognized, or because their assets have been steadily falling since the assets change threshold was changed will lose out, while all the wealthy part-pensioners - including those with younger partners with multi-million dollar super in accumulation phase - will win? Wow! How unfair can you get?

    This whole policy is pure insanity. Only a total idiot could even contemplate such stupidity. I'm disappointed. I actually thought Bowen and Shorten had SOME brains!
    JAID
    21st Apr 2018
    1:55pm
    I support lifting the age pension to 70 or early 70's. There are other measures available for people who cannot work for any reason.

    While at it we could raise the retirement age of teachers and other public servants. This is a joke. In 2018 most people are well able to operate into their 70's. If they want to retire well and good but forcing them to or giving extra benefits at an age earlier than this is not warranted by our current capacity.

    While government is at that business needs to start working on greater flexibility, improved capabilitiy for adjustment for a fit with small variations in functional ability, rest times, outside appointments and the like.

    As we move ahead there will be decreasing demand for manual human time that is granted. Much of this can be expected to be taken up by time in creative input and overall hours required at work will reduce gradually but this can support longer working lives rather than mitigate against them.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    4:56pm
    Jaid, the problem I have is that the ''other measures'' are just not adequate for people who have worn out their bodies or minds in physically demanding or very stressful jobs, nor for those who are retrenched late in their working life and can't find satisfying work. Most people are NOT able to work full-time to age 70. Many could cope with flexible casual or part-time work if they had the opportunity, but that's hard to find. I know many who don't qualify for disability payments but simply could not do regular work because they have too many days when they are ill or in severe pain. Nobody would want to employ them because they would be unreliable.

    Add to that the fact that there isn't enough work for all those who want it, so how is it sensible to make people who want to retire suffer more years in the workforce while younger Australians who want jobs and are fit and healthy can't find work? It is illogical and economically foolish!

    In time, when people have had the benefit of generous superannuation for a lifetime of work, perhaps it will be feasible to delay retirement, but for those who have had super for only a limited time, it's just not practical. They will drain their savings before reaching pension age, if they even have enough to sustain a decent lifestyle in the interim.

    The other issue, for me, is that the promise of some enjoyment in our later years is a strong incentive to be productive. For many people, work is pure hell. It's fine for those who are privileged enough to have satisfying and adequately rewarded work, but many work to live rather than living to work. They long for some respite, and after 4 or 5 decades, it's reasonable to expect that they should have it.

    We have already substantially reduced the need for manual human labour by using technology. The problem is that the benefits have not flowed to society, but only to the privileged rich at the top. We need to address inequality somehow. There needs to be fair and equitable distribution of profits secured by replacing man-power with machines and technology. And we need to get back to sensible reward for effort and personal responsibility, and end this nonsense of treating pensioners like the elite and bashing the self-funded until they give up trying.
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    2:25pm
    This article explains Shorten's proposal to not refund franking credits very well.

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2018/03/labors-frank-forthright-gougers/

    Well worth a read.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    5:26pm
    Sums up what I keep saying. The rich will keep their credits. High income earners will keep their credits. Pensioners will double-dip, taking BOTH a pension AND their franking credit refund. Rich retirees will keep their credits.

    Poorer self-funded retirees will be hit with double-taxation - ''taxed'' tens of thousands annually by being denied a pension, then taxed at 30% of income on which tax was already paid, despite being legally exempt from tax because of their low income.

    And when billions are diverted from investment in Australian companies, costing jobs and tax revenue, and hundreds of thousands more go on aged pensions because it just doesn't make sense to be self-funded anymore, Labor will blame.... whom... for the billowing debt and deficit? No doubt the unconscious ALP supporters will swallow whatever stupid lie they are fed!
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    4:46pm
    Interesting media release from Treasury.

    http://sjm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/036-2018/

    After reading that I was left with the thought "What idiots"
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    5:11pm
    OMG. How could ANYONE with a brain vote Labor now? They have totally shot themselves in the foot.
    Old Geezer
    21st Apr 2018
    5:20pm
    That's exactly what I thought when I read that article too.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    5:27pm
    Trouble is, 97% of the population is unconscious. They just believe propaganda. And the green-eyed ''entitled pensioner'' brigade is being fed precisely the lies they love to hear and believe, and doesn't have either the brains or the common decency to get the facts.
    Anonymous
    21st Apr 2018
    5:48pm
    Have you noticed those who were applauding the policy for no better reason than that they love the ALP have gone deathly quiet in the face of FACTS, OG?
    Adrianus
    22nd Apr 2018
    8:58am
    The evolution of the Unions and their political party, Labor, has produced a level of incompetence not usually associated with a poll leading party. How does this happen you may ask? Well, for one the evolution has gone virtually unnoticed by its loyal band of followers who have always felt safe and secure by being a part of something bigger than themselves. Its like a religion with many, based on values of times past (solidarity etc.), which are unlikely to return. Secondly and most importantly, the selection criteria of a Labor MP or Senator has narrowed from being a champion of the people with skills to match, to being a champion of the party with union knowledge and contacts. I know this may sound a little harsh to some, but its almost like union bosses are getting laundered like black money. Funny how the Rudd government dragged us into the GFC and made it look like they were dragging us out and saving the rest of the world in the process. We were told a few lies regarding the GFC by both sides of politics. Even John Howard is subtle in his criticism.
    Banjo
    22nd Apr 2018
    10:33am
    I’m 70 and still teaching albeit only two and a half days a week. Why should I retire if I like what I’m doing? If I have to retire for any reason, I won’t qualify for the aged pension. Yet we have people who are still in the workforce and who have made no real provision for their retirement making a fuss about retiring at 70.

    Considering how much longer Australians are living now, they could be on the pension for a very long time, even if they’re healthy and able to work. Think of the strain on the country’s budget. I don’t agree with the ALP or anyone else who thinks a healthy person, who has not saved for their retirement should receive the pension for doing nothing. Reduced hours, a change of occupation for those in heavy labour might be a more sensible way to go. Of course, if you have saved for your own retirement then you can retire anytime you like. I don’t believe those people on pensions right now should be penalized, but I do have a problem with the constant whingeing. Might be a good idea for them to travel around the world on the internet and see how lucky and how well treated pensioners are in this country.
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2018
    11:59am
    Banjo, I think you need to differentiate between ''whinging'' and self-interested comments and valid concern for the future of our society.

    The issue we have is that pensioners are now far better off than those who worked hard and saved well to be self-funded, and the self-funded are under constant attack, suffering denigration, bullying and abuse. They can just as easily rearrange their affairs to become pensioners if they so choose, and that will place an extra burden on the taxpayer and drive the debt up. But that's what government policy - and the Labor Party's proposals - is prompting them to do. By denying people fair benefit for their efforts, it's discouraging work and saving and striving to reduce the load on the government.

    Now if everyone were honest and ethical, they would ignore government policy and do what's good for the nation to the greatest extent possible. But that's never going to happen. Besides, many have suffered hideous injustice in the past and feel entitled to compensate by taking what they can. I don't condone that, but I understand it.

    The bottom line is that if we want to restore economic health we have to STOP persecuting and depriving those who work and save and STOP handing out generously to bludgers, spendthrifts, cheats and manipulators. There HAS to be a reward for doing what's good for the nation if we want people to do what's good for the nation. Currently, the wealthy are looked after, but the hard working saver who is saving the nation tens of thousands annually is being bashed and beaten and bullied until he throws up his hands and says ''Stuff it. Why Try?''. That's NOT good for the nation.

    A universal age pension would go a long way to resolving this flaw and making the whole country more prosperous. Pay for it with taxes on retirees who can afford to contribute, reduced administration costs, more spending generating more growth, and more affluence overall driving people to strive harder. It just makes sense.

    Needs based pensions GENERATE NEED. And we are doing that very effectively - generating pretend need if not real!

    Yes, we are lucky in this country, but we won't stay that way if we continue down the current path.

    People on pensions shouldn't be penalized, but neither should they be unfairly favoured, and people who worked hard and saved well need to be treated with a lot more respect and courtesy and a lot more fairness. Until we do better for self-funded retirees, we will never resolve the budget problems.

    22nd Apr 2018
    6:17pm
    Well, Ms Macklin, your support for not raising the retirement age is admirable, but please tell me how Labor plans to pay for the OAP when another 100,000+ retirees are forced onto the pension by idiotic tax policies put forward by Labor, and young retirees stop saving for retirement because they see that it's far too hard to be self-supporting and being a pensioner solves all their income security problems?

    Labor has put forward a policy that it CLAIMS is aimed at taxing people with $2.4 million in tax free super. Only they don't exist! See, the LNP capped tax-free super at $1.6 million. So either the people Shorten claims to target don't exist at all, or they are finding ways to avoid tax - in which case, address that and leave honest law-abiding retirees alone.

    Since the LNP changed the rules, Labor is actually targeting those retirees with between $420,000 (if one of a couple) and $1.6 million. Once someone gets over the $1.6 million threshold, they get BIGGER AND BIGGER FRANKING CREDIT BENEFITS as their balance rises. BUT those with small balances lose up to 40% of their income.

    A married retiree with just $420,000 might have an income of just $20,000 a year, with nearly 40% of that being from franking credits. So they will be paying over $8000 a year tax on a $20,000 a year income, PLUS forfeiting some $17,000 a year in pension income - so handing the government $25,000 a year while trying to survive on less than $12,000. Meanwhile, the guy with $3 million in super loses NOTHING.

    And THIS, Ms Macklin, is what Labor describes as ''taxing the wealthy fairly''!!!!!!
    Adrianus
    23rd Apr 2018
    7:30am
    I agree Rainey, Labor has absolutely no idea. I'm furious at the way they gold plate their policies which are designed to destroy morale.
    Anonymous
    23rd Apr 2018
    7:55am
    I'm just stunned at the lack of intelligence in society. Seems very few have the brains to actually READ the policy and figure out that Shorten and Bowen are telling big fat lies about it. And then when you expose the truth to them, they go into panic mode and start ranting about taxing the wealthy and Royal Commissions and the LNP's many wrongs, and not one single intelligent response to the criticism of a flawed policy.

    I expected that people would have the intelligence and decency to write to Labor and say ''this is not acceptable. Fix the flawed policy so it does what you falsely claim it does, and doesn't persecute people unfairly for having worked hard and saved a little'', but NO, they just rave about Labor being better than LNP and accuse anyone who doesn't agree of ''greed and selfishness''. Astonishing, really!
    Marian
    22nd Jun 2018
    8:55am
    J Macklin is one of the most corrupt lie &buly he destroy ever 60,000 D.S.P.te is safer the sick the fabricate ll medical evidence Also abuse profession all the Dr who help the all persons whit disability Rights as is in U/N/ Convention 2007 That is to be in law Professional Negligence )r medical negligence The minister is rascist corrupt lie we send to hers & her Government emails & evidence were is the system Crime ours family have very severe disability from Governments multiple Negligence cover up 95% evidence also by Police& G.I.O Solicitors not for justice for money on is Gabrielle Doylelie all & fake evidence


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