Not just Newstart Allowance that’s inadequate

The number of Australians living below the poverty line is increasing.

Woman putting coins in purse

The number of Australians living below the poverty line is increasing and with many relying on welfare and no other means of income, the problem will only worsen.

A report by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), in conjunction with the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW has found that 2.9 million Australians are living below the poverty line. The Poverty in Australia Report 2016, which is the fifth report of its kind, uses the poverty line benchmark of 50 per cent of the median household income – this equates to $426.30 of disposable income per week for a single household.

According to the report, 17.4 per cent, or 731,300 children under 15 live below the poverty line, most of them in single parent households. This represents a two per cent increase over the last 10 years.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said, “The overall picture from the last decade is one of persistent and entrenched poverty across the community with an increase in child poverty.  It is a national shame that after 25 years of economic growth, we have not done better at changing this trajectory and ensuring our most precious national resource, our children, are given the best possible start in life.

“This report is a further wake up call to the Government to address the inadequacy of the lowest income support payments and bolster support to low income families through the family payments system. It is also a reminder that housing remains the biggest cost of living issue for households and must be addressed as a policy priority.”

While politicians from both sides take pot shots at each other over the issues of welfare and poverty, Dr Goldie said such debates were just frustrating, telling ABC television, “We frame it as if it’s the fault of the individual, you’re either lazy, not working hard enough, not retraining hard enough, but the basic numbers are there,” she told ABC television.

“One job available for every five people conservatively is the estimate looking for paid work.”

It's not just those who are unemplyed that face poverty problems. Working part-time and living on the median household income accounts for 15.5 per cent and 4.7 per cent of full time workers also live juts on or below the median.

The issue of housing once again reared its head, with those reliant on renting more likely to struggle. Of those living below the poverty line, 59.7 per cent were in rental properties, with 44.2 per cent renting privately.

Dr Goldie called for an increase in Newstart and Youth Allowance payments, rather than the proposed cuts currently before the upper house. “Newstart and Youth Allowance are $110 and $158 a week below the poverty line respectively. Along with improvements to training and employment supports, an increase to these payments of at least $50 a week would go some way to alleviating poverty and improve people’s chances of finding paid work.

“The alarming increase in child poverty revealed by this report should also act as an urgent appeal to senators to reject further cuts to family payments, currently before the upper house. The cuts would strip another $60 a week from single parent families. The current proposal to withhold Newstart support for young people for up to four weeks should also be rejected. Both proposals would likely lead to increased poverty.

Download the Poverty in Australia 2016 Report.
Read more at TheGuardian.com

Opinion: Not just Newstart Allowance that’s not enough

While 13.3 per cent of the population live below the poverty line, 13.9 per cent of those on the Age Pension fail to meet the necessary income deemed enough to live on. And when you dig deeper, more than twice as many only just live above the poverty line, with 33.2 per cent having a disposable income of between 50 and 60 per cent of the median household income.

And yet, the position for those over 65 on the Age Pension has actually improved over the last 10 years, thanks mainly to the Age Pension reforms in 2009 and the fact that an increased number of people are leaving the work force with at least a small amount in super. The average increase on a single Age Pension of $32 in 2009 was above inflation and as a result, placed Age Pension payments closer to the 50 per cent median household income level.

Would anyone living on an Age Pension feel that their situation had improved, especially those who don't own their own home? Any increases in Age Pension are more than likely swallowed by the inevitable increase in rent.

That really is the crux of the matter. The current ASFA Retirement Standard (June Quarter), states that a single female between 65 and 85 requires $455.81 per week to live a modest lifestyle. The full Age Pension at June 2016 was  $436.95 per week, already almost $20 less than that required. However, factor in that the ASFA Standard doesn't have an allowance for housing costs, rent or mortgage, and you can easily see why older women are more likely to find themselves living below the poverty line and homeless.

And all this is before the gender super gap is even considered – but this isn’t just about women. The Age Pension is inadequate and it’s unlikely to change any time soon. Therefore it's important that we, as a nation, are encouraged to save as much as we can in super and this means making it easier. The freeze on superannuation contributions should be lifted and the contribution increased to the legislated 12 per cent as soon as possible and the proposal to cap concessional contributions at $25,000 should also be scrapped, especially for those approaching retirement age.

Only by helping hard-working Australians save for their own retirement will be able to address the issue of pensioners living in poverty.

Do you agree? Should more be done to help people save for their own retirement? Or should the Age Pension simply reflect the true cost of living in Australia?

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    COMMENTS

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    bob
    17th Oct 2016
    10:21am
    I think that it is about time that we reminded young women that taking the pill is socially accepted and the consequences of not using it should not be borne by the rest of Australia.For some reason there seems to a reluctance to insure this way but no trouble popping anything that resembles a hallucianetic drug.Maybe some just don,t know.
    KSS
    17th Oct 2016
    12:34pm
    And remind all young men that use of condoms is equally acceptable (and in many cases preferable) and the consequences of not using them should not be borne by the rest of Australia.
    moke
    17th Oct 2016
    3:12pm
    Kss you are right on track and also the use of condoms can prevent the transference of Virereal diseases
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    4:21pm
    Your post offends me bob. Your generalisation does not state the percentage of people to whom this post refers. There may be some to whom this post should apply but my opinion is that the number would be quite small as a percentage of the overall young women in Australia.
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    5:09pm
    Its the Virereal disease that worries me :-( :-(
    Blossom
    18th Oct 2016
    4:12pm
    Obviously you aren't aware that the pill is not 100% foolproof, nor is a condom and neither is the current method of tubal litigation -- they no longer cut and tie the tubes---they put clips on them. They can come undone---yes, I know a Mum who had a baby after the procedure.....and has the xrays to prove it showing one of the clips open but still partly around the tube
    Peanuts
    17th Oct 2016
    10:32am
    Two points:
    1) I am an immigrant from Africa. I question this definition of the "poverty" line; it is pretty generous; there are a lot of African's living a happy life on a LOT less.
    2) The mining boom is over and the national income spike is behind us. Expectations have been set that will not be able to be met going forward, unless we take the Greek approach.
    MD
    17th Oct 2016
    11:22am
    Succint, simply put and pertinent, thanks Peanuts.

    I seriously question the means used to determine the claims made re 'Poverty". Just imagine the numbers of immigrants who, having been granted settlement in this great country then finding very little by way of employment prospects will yet struggle at or below the "poverty" line. Of course the situation is just so much the harder for those who have 'battled' their way through on the many and varied government handouts, tax relief, child support, student allowance. first homeowners grant(s) etc and etc. The list is endless and still yet we have poor souls "living in poverty". Well guess what - YLC's will not want, ever, for subject matter cos the "poor" will be with us forever.
    Oldman Roo
    17th Oct 2016
    4:08pm
    Peanuts , While I am not doubting what you have to say about conditions in Africa , which you obviously also were not happy about and left for a better life in Australia .
    Most of us here have worked hard all their life , paid our taxes , and made savings and should be entitled to a reasonable lifestyle by Australian standards . Just look around you in this country and compare how the rich live here where we have 54 Millionaires who pay no tax and 650 Multi National companies who pay no tax despite making billions in profits . Not to forget the extravagant income of Politicians that is still topped up by endless fringe benefits .
    The average retiree is also getting hit with forever increasing higher living costs and is struggling to have a reasonable existence compared to the rest of the community .
    Ted Wards
    17th Oct 2016
    10:39am
    The trouble with the gender gap that isn't talked about much is that women are still earning less than men so that automatically means we will have less super than men to begin with. Very few women are in top paying jobs that earn more super. Most on the pension now never worked so they had no super, and some in my age bracket have had super but are on low wages. We are doomed before we have even begun.

    The inequality that exists in pays still needs to be addressed so that future generations don't have these issues. Gender needs to be removed from employment contracts and be immaterial. If you can do the job, you can do the job no matter what gender you are.
    Perhaps if we started from a level playing field then younger generations might be more interested in looking at a career path for their entire life, not just a meaningless job that you get bored in and give in. What incentive do we really give young people?

    The other issue is that in a country where there is only one job for every five people, should we be realistically bringing in refugees legal and otherwise? Should we be bringing in cheap labour on 437 visa's or whatever the number is? Shouldn't we look at abolishing the retirement age and let people work as long as they want or need to? Why force people to go on a pension or become a self funded retirees when they are perfectly happy to keep on working? Yes there are those that can afford to retire early, but what age are they really hoping to live to? Are they the "I've got another 30 years ahead of me so I should have enough?" crowd to then go on and live another 40 years or more and not have enough money?

    Surely with scientists saying that people today are being born that will live into their middle 100s we need to be planning better. The fact is the work force will be aging and people will continue to work into their 70's and 80's. Shouldn't we be preparing for that now with introducing policies that support older people such as job sharing, more flexible times other than 9 to 5 and so on?

    We need to get our heads out of the sand and realise that the way we dealt with ageing is no longer appropriate and we need to start making real changes now. Then if we actually addressed the real issue, the issue of living on a pension for years would disappear, and older people would have a real wage to live on, all their lives.

    You will always have those who cannot work due to illness, disability and so on. Then you have those who just don't want to work. Then you have those who do anything to stay employed and so on and then you have politicians who have it too easy and earn too much and lose touch with reality and yet are willing to put their hands out for more!

    Its time they too had performance based contracts like most average workers and their benefits are more realistic. Their record speaks for itself that they are not always out for the best outcome for Australia, but themselves.

    Its time Australia pulled itself into the 21st century and started to really deal with the issue of an ageing population and realise that as we are living longer we need employment, we need security, we need to be able to live all of lives, not just the first 65 years!
    MICK
    17th Oct 2016
    10:47am
    Women get HALF of a man's super if they divorce. If they do not divorce then they access their husband's super. I cannot see the real dilemma as people choose to have children and that immediately changes the game for them. It has nothing to do with inequity and everything to do with having to leave the workforce for a while.

    Pretty well agree with everything else, but bear in mind that pollies do have a performance based contract: the ballot box. Blame mentally challenged citizens if this is not used.
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    4:41pm
    Ted Wards, let me take your points one by one. There is no gender gap for the majority of women in the workforce nor has there been for at least a quarter of a century. The hourly rate for both men and women is exactly the same. If men choose to work overtime and women don't then there is a difference in annual pay but that shouldn't be used to make the misleading declaration that women earn less than men. For those women who negotiate a pay rate, it's their choice to accept what is agreed regardless of what others are paid. It has long been accepted that there will be very few jobs where people will start on leaving education and retire in that job. It is now expected that the average person will have at least 5 jobs in their working life.

    You are wrong to state that there is one job for every five people, that gives an unemployment rate of 80%. If you mean that there is one job for every five unemployed people then we should look at the facts. That figure is, and always has been, misleading. The numbers are calculated by looking at advertised work as against those looking for work. Firstly, not all work is advertised as can be shown by people who walk into a business and ask for work and get an immediate start. Secondly, the number of people looking for work includes those who are employed but looking for a different job.

    How do you understand job sharing? Your post suggests that we share jobs and get a living wage. Surely you can't expect an employer to pay two people a full weekly wage for doing the one job? Keating brought in compulsory super in 1992 which, when allowed to run in the fullness of employment, will help alleviate the cost to government on age pensions. It will give an additional income for retirees and therefore reduce the cost on government.

    Politicians are an easy target for those who like to whinge about pay and conditions but, in the scheme of things, their pay and allowances are very small when compared with the rest of the amount paid out to employees each week. Their employment is not guaranteed but is reviewed each three years by voters.
    Blossom
    18th Oct 2016
    4:17pm
    MICK, if the woman is working the guy is entitled to half of her super. One gets half of the difference between the higher and lower figure.
    In 1980 super wasn't taken into account at all. Not all bank accounts were found to be taken into consideration either.
    MICK
    17th Oct 2016
    10:41am
    It has always been a tough world out there. Rent is of course the killer for pensioners who do not own their own home and this needs to be addressed. In America some residential homes are only available to people to live in and are not able to be purchased by investors. Sadly governments in this country seem unable to grapple with genuine measures to make housing affordable for destitute people. If it were not for rent then poor pensioners could manage quite well on the pension.
    Australia is heading down the American road. Apart from jobs being all but 'unavailable' for over 55s (at a time the pension age is going to be pushed to 70) we have the same game as in the US where the top end are gaining every year whilst everybody is static. If there is anything rotten in the political debate it is the fact that no side of politics does anything about this and simply kicks the can down the road pretending that there is no cancer developing in our past fair society. There is.
    The other bogeyman in the pack is the falling number of jobs and the demonisation of everybody as 'lazy' when they (the genuine) cannot find work. That is the teapot calling the kettle black and it represents all that is bad in our political elite who act for their vested interests rather than the country as a whole.
    Why does it never change................
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    4:51pm
    I agree about rental for pensioners Mick, state governments do have limited low income rental properties but, sadly, not near enough. Also, state governments are quick to increase rents when an increase in pensions is granted even though an increase in rental subsidy is not granted. There needs to be more funds set aside to build more housing for age pensioners and the rental should be the same as the rent subsidy. If it's good enough for one arm of government to establish what is a fair allowance to pay for rent then it should be fair enough for another arm of government to accept the same figure.

    As an aside, but still on low income housing, there is an ongoing scrap about housing in The Rocks area where the Department of Housing is selling prime real estate where the sale of one property can raise enough to build a multiple of low income housing in other areas. The tenants being evicted are either now receiving a much higher income than the Act allows or they are family of deceased tenants who claim they should be allowed to stay. Neither of those groups are eligible under the Housing Act. Greed will always raise its ugly head.
    Rae
    18th Oct 2016
    7:42am
    You are certainly correct there Old Man.

    It was just fine for the "rich bosses" to dump the poor into hovels in The Rocks, Balmain and Rozelle when those areas were undesirable.

    They even did a deal where the tenancy would be passed on through families as these areas were so undesirable that no one could believe any decent person would want to live there.

    Fast forward and these areas are now most desired by the wealthy so of course the lower income workers have to go don't they?

    And to top it off wages are lower now in real terms than ever and those Greedy are eying the houses that ordinary worker's own in other desirable places as well.

    Not much ever changes does it. The Greedy will give up the scraps right up until they can see a use for those scraps and then they'll change the rules to take them back.
    floss
    17th Oct 2016
    10:52am
    The problem is affordable housing is not available due to our population growth .The problem will only increase till we cut our immigration intake and let housing and infrastructure catch up , so simple and country would save a lot of money.
    MICK
    17th Oct 2016
    11:04am
    The practise of importing population is crazy and the do gooders in our society who condone this fail to understand that the huge amounts of money even now allocated to: new roads, new rail, new hospitals, new police stations, new schools, etc. (not to mention the large numbers of public service employees required to man these) are costing them dearly.
    Guess who is paying? Pension are being squeezed, the retirement age is increasing and every other working Australian is being targeted because Australia needs to borrow money from China to make this happen.
    Bad government.
    Troubadour
    17th Oct 2016
    11:24am
    We sold our home several years ago (a decision we now regret) when we went through a financially difficult period due to ill health etc., Rents are the most crippling thing in retirement, even so called
    affordable housing is ONLY JUST affordable on a Pension,
    and we do not seem to get the rent decreases that the Realtors
    keep talking about.
    Rae
    17th Oct 2016
    12:29pm
    Troubadour you might need to move. We had to drop the rent on 2 bedroom units in the Brisbane CBD area recently down to $380.

    Rents around here are also dropping and you can get a one bedroom unit for around $250 to $280 a week. Some areas are even cheaper.

    It is just a matter of time. Once thousands of units now being built are finished I believe rents will plummet.

    It is not inevitable that rents will rise at all.

    We could be in for a very nasty shock indeed especially if interest rates start rising.
    cat
    17th Oct 2016
    11:14am
    I think its time that politicians realised they work for the people not themselves. Past politicians should not have all these wonderful perks, just a regular pension even if it is bigger than the regular one. That would solve most of the financial government problems in one fell swoop. Electricity, gas and water should be run by the government as non profit organisations so that the people and companies can afford them. That way companies could expand. Another ridiculous idea is the tax on employment?!! If the tax were removed I'm sure lots more people would be able to find jobs and then they would pay tax so the government wouldn't miss out. Too simple?
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    11:37am
    Stop writing and put your pens down !!
    None of the above will happen in our lifetime !! :-(
    bobbalinda
    17th Oct 2016
    11:40am
    I have one comment, does this take onto consideration those who rent get extra help from centrelink to pay their rent? Often those who do own their home are still paying a mortgage and don't get any allowance for this.
    KSS
    17th Oct 2016
    12:38pm
    And even if they are not paying a mortgage they still have expenses that renters do not like maintenance and repairs, water supply and usage, home insurance, strata fees etc etc which can add up to equal or more than rents in the same area.
    Rae
    17th Oct 2016
    12:39pm
    Nor any allowance for rates, insurance, maintenance etc. In fact ACOSS has managed to make saving less worthwhile for all but the top 15% of income earners and is now working on stealing not just savings from people but their homes as well.

    ACOSS will have us all in poverty before they are done and I'm damned if I can work out the reason behind the attack on workers and savers.
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    2:43pm
    Top End GREED !!:-(
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    5:01pm
    @ KSS and Rae, if you use just the income and expenditure for rental properties as against the expenditure for properties owned, you might have a point. I have also considered taxation benefits for negative gearing (regardless of whether it's morally right or wrong, it's legal) and the capital gain where no tax is paid on the capital gain if it is the family home.
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    5:18pm
    Old Man, you make no sense. Pensioners can't spend savings on capital gains tax (which often aren't realized until after death!) The problem is that rates, maintenance, water costs, insurance, etc. are high and these costs are not affordable for many retirees - meaning they can't afford to live in their own home. Often downsizing is not feasible due to legal and stamp duty costs and removal expenses, and loss of friendships and social contacts if they have to move out of the area. That leaves home owners in difficulty, but unlike renters, nobody acknowledges their problems let alone suggests remedy. Quite the contrary. There is constant threat of further attacking home owning retirees to stop them leaving houses they worked for 40+ years to buy to their children!
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    5:46pm
    You're right Rainey that we can't spend capital gains but we can sell and downsize. Sure, there is a chance we may have to move away from friends and social contacts but if I'm given the option of having friends or starving to death I might choose the former. Surely if one downsizes, there will be more than enough to pay for removal costs, solicitors and government charges? Isn't that just padding?
    KSS
    17th Oct 2016
    8:19pm
    Old Man that assumes you have something you can downsize from. Fair enough if you have three or four bedroom family home, but what if you have a one or two bedroom unit? There's not much downsizing to do there.

    I actually agree with downsizing as a source of additional funds but it isn't an option for many who already live in shoeboxes.
    frank45
    17th Oct 2016
    12:08pm
    I think they should get Jehovahs Witnesses working as they never work why they must get
    feud of looking a days of our lives all day
    Retired Knowall
    17th Oct 2016
    1:15pm
    *****MORON Alert****
    KSS
    17th Oct 2016
    12:41pm
    Why has this been turned into yet another gender-biased piece of commentary? If you are on a full pension it makes no difference whether you are male, female or undecided. You clearly meet the asset test and get the same amount, so why make this a gender issue?
    Polly Esther
    17th Oct 2016
    1:09pm
    Mick can't help himself.
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    5:04pm
    "That really is the crux of the matter. The current ASFA Retirement Standard (June Quarter), states that a single female between 65 and 85 requires $455.81 per week to live a modest lifestyle. The full Age Pension at June 2016 was $436.95 per week, already almost $20 less than that required. However, factor in that the ASFA Standard doesn't have an allowance for housing costs, rent or mortgage, and you can easily see why older women are more likely to find themselves living below the poverty line and homeless.

    And all this is before the gender super gap is even considered – but this isn’t just about women. The Age Pension is inadequate and it’s unlikely to change any time soon. Therefore it's important that we, as a nation, are encouraged to save as much as we can in super and this means making it easier. The freeze on superannuation contributions should be lifted and the contribution increased to the legislated 12 per cent as soon as possible and the proposal to cap concessional contributions at $25,000 should also be scrapped, especially for those approaching retirement age."

    @KSS, these 2 paragraphs are directly from the opinion piece above. Perhaps Mick has a better ability to read and understand than some others.
    Poppa Bear
    17th Oct 2016
    1:01pm
    frank45, I have worked with many Jehovah's Witnesses, all of whom were hard working. Just because you do not like their faith and their door to door evangelising, it doesn't mean that they are fair game for your fobias.
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    2:26pm
    Frank45 cant help himself.
    Tom Tank
    17th Oct 2016
    1:08pm
    Perhaps a reason for so much poverty is the inability of government to see past the centuries old thinking that it is all their own fault that the poor are poor.
    Couple this with the ridiculous situation that we are giving our resources to foreign interests for next to nothing.
    An example of this is that in the Middle East one country is selling the same quantity of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as Australia does but earns $26 BILLION a year while we get $854 MILLION. Sort that issue out and our budget problems, and poverty, disappear.
    Meanwhile our gas prices are all rising because we are selling ours as fast as we can creating a local shortage.
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    2:19pm
    Domestic Users have Always Subsided their Overseas Interests !!
    Kick up about the Abuse ! Its time it ended :-(
    Should be the other way around !!
    floss
    17th Oct 2016
    1:19pm
    Good email Mick on over population, when will Australia wake up we are in a slow decline and a third world life style for the average Aussie is not that far away.
    floss
    17th Oct 2016
    1:26pm
    Tom tank your numbers match mine,hard to believe is it not.
    Young Simmo
    17th Oct 2016
    2:28pm
    It really depends on how you do it. If you want to live in a rented house in the city you are probably going to struggle. We are on the full pension and can save $200 or $300 some pension days, HOW?
    We live in a Park Home in a caravan Pk and pay $125 / week plus $20 power, and if there is no Car or Building and Contence insurance or other expenses we have a good time. I still have my 4 cans and 2 or 3 Reds a day, and Mum has a ball with her internet shopping. Yep there are 2 ways of doing it, the smart way and the hard way.
    On top of that, sweeping a 2 story mansion takes a bit longer than a Park Home , and in a park somebody else mows the lawn and takes the bin out.
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    2:35pm
    The next time you sweep the Park Home Rubbish straight out the front door, I'll put it in your Letter Box !!:-(
    Park Home JANITOR...
    Young Simmo
    17th Oct 2016
    2:38pm
    Rubbish you will be looking for un eaten peanuts.
    Park Home Mr Allways Right.
    Rae
    17th Oct 2016
    4:10pm
    Sounds like a good plan. It costs far too much for rates, insurance and maintenance to have much left over from the aged pension. Your plan beats being self funded and buying into expensive retirement villages and aged care. No worries. So well done both of you.

    An added bonus is the likes of ACOSS and the IPA won't want to take your Park Home. It isn't worth enough to them. They only want those homes worth a million or so.
    cat
    17th Oct 2016
    4:50pm
    oh dear, reduce yourself to what the Americans call trailer trash?
    Not that I imagine you are trash at all but why can't pensioners carry on living in a house with a garden? Many people love their gardens. also have a pet or 2 and whats wrong with having a car if you've had one all your life and maybe live in a place where public transport isn't that good? The point is pensioners shouldn't have to reduce their life to the very basics to survive. I budget very carefully and still live in a housing trust house with my 3 cats and pay my bills and have a car. By the way where do you put the stuff your wife buys online?
    particolor
    17th Oct 2016
    5:04pm
    I liked that ! :-) ..cat
    Anonymous
    17th Oct 2016
    5:08pm
    Small problem Young Simmo, living in caravan parks is never a guaranteed proposition. Should the owner either sell or want to upgrade the park, the existing tenants will be forced to relocate. It's been happening up and down the coast for years and some of those well settled vans don't take well to relocation.
    Young Simmo
    17th Oct 2016
    5:40pm
    A couple of replies:
    CAT, my wife wears it, plays the games, and gives it to the kids for birthdays and Xmas etc. And sometimes I wear it.
    OLD MAN, There is no risk of us loosing our place as, here in Carnarvon there are 7 Caravan Parks, and has been since the 1960s. Over summer they are all empty except for a sprinkling of permanents. During the season (Say April to end of September) they are all a full house. It was like this during 1975-6 when we managed the Auto Motel.
    CindyLou
    17th Oct 2016
    9:26pm
    I love Young Simmo's response - totally agree and think people need to seriously think outside the square re housing options.
    Rodent
    18th Oct 2016
    9:11am
    Its really disappointing to see inaccurate and misleading information written in the Media by so called Journalists. This is an EXTRACT of an article by Samantha Maiden of Sunday Telegraph where she talks about the Jan 2017 Changes.

    The reason this is misleading is because it implies that if your assets are WITHIN these Asset Value ranges for your particular Pensioner Group, Single, Couple, Home Owner, Non Homeowner you will get an INCREASE in you pension. In many cases SOME people will get an increase others will not, and certainly will not at some of the values represented in the article.
    Yes I have written to her to explain why she is wrong and asked her what is the source of her information.

    NB this EXTRACT is only about the claimed Increases, the full article refers to the Asset Ranges that LOSE Pension
    This is the extract

    Your asset tested rate of pension will be increased if your assets are between
    $209,000 and $291,000 for a single homeowner.
    $360,500 and $539,500 for a single non-homeowner.
    $296,500 and $453,500 for a partnered homeowner.
    $448,000 and $702,000 for a partnered non-homeowner.

    The full article is available under this title - Pensioner's Payouts at risk as new Asset Test Looms
    Grateful
    18th Oct 2016
    9:40am
    Still begs the question Rodent, why should anyone with over half a million dollars get an INCREASE while those on the basic amount get NOTHING?
    This situation will never be resolved while no government is prepared to interpret the true meaning of NEED when granting pensions.
    Pensions, such as the age and disability pensions should be last resort welfare payments, only to those that are in genuine need and let's be realistic and generous, as no one will make THE hard decision, make the maximum amount allowed in the assets test $500,000 and with those massive savings increase all pensions to the minimum poverty rate. Equitable and sensible.
    In fact, WHY they were devised in the first place. Greedy politicians wanting to get re-elected have stuffed it up to what it is now.
    Rates of pensions should be determined by an independent panel, same as the minimum wage and politicians remuneration panel, NOT by the whim of politicians.

    And as for "affordable housing" prior to the introduction of massive taxation benefit increases for negative gearing, primarily by the then battling Howard government, MOST housing WAS "affordable". Now, after just 10 years, the price of a house in a modest suburb like Bundoora, for example, has risen from $200,000 to $600,000. NOBODY can tell me that this has anything to do with what used to be an even playing field for the supply and demand equation. The supply is still there but the demand now is all from investors with unlimited access to bank mortgages and government stimulated incentives.

    And to make it even worse for pensioners, if that's possible, their nest egg, which most of the older generation use for "security", term deposits in a bank, have seen their income reduced by 75% in recent years.
    2009 was a very important year for pensioners, but we will never see that again while we have the current government looking to make savings by reducing benefits while doing absolutely nothing about the REAL causes of inequality in our community.
    particolor
    18th Oct 2016
    11:13am
    HEAR ! HEAR !! :-)
    Blossom
    18th Oct 2016
    4:26pm
    Newstart is lower than the Aged Pension. What is more they have to apply for jobs, pay travelling costs to get to interviews which if you aren't job searching you don't have that expense and I am referring to public transport costs. Bear also in mind that some areas have NO public transport. Some companies do second interviews which means if you are in with a chance you have to attend 2 interviews or more and you can still be unsuccessful. A lot of companies don't let you know if your application is unsuccessful.
    Mez
    18th Oct 2016
    10:32pm
    Age Pensions need to be substantially increased in line with those in less wealthy countries!
    It is virtually a SLAP IN THE FACE and NO RESPECT FOR OUR SENIOR CITIZENS AT ALL with handing out only a few dollars increase!
    Really! Why bother at all or either give us the increase WE DESERVE AND ARE ENTITLED TO HAVE!
    In answer to previous comments....yes....CONDOMS AND CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS IS NEEDED FOR FULL PROTECTION and the condom needs to be used properly BEFORE fondling each others genitals!
    Also, in the 1980's Super was NOT included in divorce property settlements.
    particolor
    18th Oct 2016
    10:48pm
    What does a FEW mean ? I ended up with $2.40 after Baird put his hand in it ?? Why don't they just send the Increase to the State Government ? Instead of using us as a Staging Post ?? :-( :-(
    Ah Well !! No use Whining ! We'll get less in 6 Months time I'll bet !!
    Young Simmo
    19th Oct 2016
    12:02am
    Simple Parti, it just means you can only afford a Hi-lux and not a Landcruiser. Don't worry they both do the 110 Kph limit.
    Young Simmo
    19th Oct 2016
    12:12am
    Sorry for changing the subject but this gets up my nose.
    In WA another one punch Coward Puncher has been given a lousy 6 months. What I want to see is a couple of Cowards Punch offences on a couple of Judges or Magistrates, and see what the punishment is then. Anybody agree?
    particolor
    19th Oct 2016
    5:31pm
    I can see it now Simmo !
    LIFE !! GRRR ! :-( :-(
    NEVER TO BE RELEASED !! :-( :-(
    MD
    19th Oct 2016
    4:25pm
    Something to think about is the fact (past tense) that each and every one of us knew full well beforehand that we faced retirement. Some managed to save, some were fortunate, a few struggled (does not everyone at some point in life), some didn't make it and then the remainder; planned, prospered, plotted (tax evasion etc) and maybe pimped their way to a comfortable retirement. My point is - knowing we faced impending retirement and the associated government benefit, presumably, then for those inadequately prepared then how is it that either the Govt or the fat cats are to blame ? For gawds sake people, stop looking for someone to hang your shortcomings on, strive to live within your means, desist from expectations of maintaining a quality of life that you seem to think your're entitled to - houses, cars, vans, shares, bank balances etc, and etc. Nobody, but nobody is owed a standard of living commensurate with their expectations and should you happen to be shallow enough to think otherwise THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE PREPARED FOR IT OR PAY FOR IT NOW !! Get off the collective soap box, get out and enjoy what little life is left to you and maybe, just maybe, you might find some small degree of 'how sweet life is'.
    particolor
    19th Oct 2016
    5:38pm
    GOODNESS !!
    What have done to deserve that Roasting ??
    Young Simmo
    19th Oct 2016
    6:09pm
    Something else to consider like, I was born in 1940 and compulsory Super never came in until very late in my working life. If it had been in force in 1954, I would be laughing all the way to
    Honnalolu and Paris.
    .....
    It's obvious parti, you are too honest!
    particolor
    19th Oct 2016
    6:55pm
    I got enough out of the Super to buy a CHEAP Second Hand Car with !!
    I've still got it !! :-)
    I'm still looking for a Shortcomings Post to hang my Casey Jones Overalls on :-)