Retirees set to suffer

Planned indexation cuts to the pension assume there is fat to be cut. But is there?

Retirement living costs

The age of entitlement is over, we were told as the first Abbott/Hockey Budget was delivered two weeks ago. But inherent in this statement is the assumption that the Age Pension, amongst other payments, is an entitlement. Yet when the bill passed the House of Representatives way back in 1908, it was described, not as an entitlement, but as a reward, with comments by one member, Mr. Reid, who stated “I wish to heartily commend the character of this measure … in so far it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice.” The pension legislation passed the house in a unanimous vote.

So how is ‘our reward’ faring today? If suggested budget cuts were to be passed, it would further reduce a meagre allowance which simply does not keep pace with the cost of living. For those who wonder if they could live on an Age Pension, the YOURLifeChoices quarterly Retirement Update publishes Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) retirement updates, which reveal what it takes to live a modest existence. When compared to the current Age Pension, the pension lags behind by $1371

See the most recent retirement living costs here and calculate how you are going with our handy budget spreadsheet.

Can you survive on the pension?

This blog is not an opinion piece, but a call for comments. The facts in the preceding news piece tell us that the full Age Pension is insufficient to cover basic living costs for singles or couples. So what do the thousands of people on a full Age Pension do to make up the shortfall? If you are living on a full Age Pension, we are keen to know how you manage. What do you do without in order to make ends meet? We hear a lot of anecdotal stories about pensioners who are forced to choose when it comes to ‘heat or eat’ – energy bills v. full meals. Is this your situation? And if so, do the extra planned fees for medical co-payments mean you have to give other things up as well?

You may also have a point of view on whether an Age Pension is an entitlement, or whether it is a reward, or whether it will need to be made harder to access for the good of future generations. We value your thoughts and feedback.





    COMMENTS

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    tams
    28th May 2014
    10:13am
    The first impression is the Private Health Insurance cost of $1556 per annum for a single person. As approximately 51% of the retirees have PHI, the vast majority of these retirees are full/partially self funded.
    Whilst I have found some pensioners with full aged pension entitlements continue to maintain PHI, the vast majority do not.
    Radish
    28th May 2014
    4:34pm
    I would love to see a breakdown of how many retirees are on "full" pensions as opposed to "part" pensions.
    Those on "full" pensions should get the most help of all.
    Personally I know of a number who only get a few dollars of the pension and make sure they keep just under the assets test to keep getting access to the concessions. The few dollars they get is of no concern to them...only the concessions.
    shaper
    28th May 2014
    10:18am
    A pension is something that working people have earned.After working from the age of 15 or so and paying taxes all this time, I like to think that this is not just a reward but a full entitlement. We have worked hard and at the start there was no such thing as superannuation, and any extra money coming in was usually spent on raising your children, or
    paying off the mortgage. No luxury holidays or brand new cars we got the first new car after we retired and sold our house to downsize so we could have a little extra money, now they are talking about changing the rules and penalizing us on this little bit of money too.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    2:37pm
    This government, CEOs and their Boards and the judiciary would disagree with you shaper. Whilst all of these groups have SPECIAL RULES which do not apply to the rest of population the Abbott and Hockey government talks the "privilege" and "heavy lifting" slogans while at the same time they plunder the loot. Hypocrisy of the worst sort or more correctly rules for some and different rules for others.
    Radish
    28th May 2014
    4:36pm
    Shaper if you pass the Assets and Income test so you should get the pension. Others who do not should be able to manage on their own.
    Crazy Horse
    29th May 2014
    3:25pm
    Yes I got my first and only brand new car at the age of 54.
    Troubadour
    28th May 2014
    10:20am
    Yes it is the PHI which we are going to have to seriously consider - this drains what little we have, and will have to make the decision to cut out some of our options on this.
    Mar
    28th May 2014
    10:26am
    Yes, I agree the private health insurance is usually the first to go. After my husband passed away and I went on the single pension I had to get out of private insurance after being in it for 50yrs. Consequently I have been on a waiting list for a year for surgery and this has made life more difficult and more expensive. I wish I had kept it going, but I had to make a choice.
    ray from Bondi
    28th May 2014
    12:34pm
    I agree fully, I retired and found paying for that a problem, I have had a number of medical issues appear and now am paying again, it is going to squeeze the finances but that is what the government wants
    Jules
    28th May 2014
    10:29am
    Hubby and I are on a Disability Pension. We are, however, Age Pension age. So our pension is identical to the Age Pension. We both have multiple health problems which require close monitoring by our GP and various Specialists. If the co-payment comes in I hate to think where we will be financially. Our pension arrives on a Monday afternoon. Its not unusual for us to have only $5 left on a Friday morning. Any kind of outing which requires petrol is out, so we are spending more and more time stuck at home with (cringe) daytime TV to look forward to. All I can say is, thank goodness for crossword puzzles (if you can afford a paper) and the local library (if you have enough petrol to get there). You can forget about presents for anyone as well. And if you want some recipes for minced steak, I'm your girl. I can get 3 meals for two adults out of one kilo!!!

    I love Joe Hockey the man, but it's not hard to tell that Joe Hockey the politician is way out of touch. I just wish they would swallow their egos for a minute and get on the phone to Peter Costello. He got us out of the 'mud' before and I have no doubt he could, and would again......without the savage cuts that the Tony & Joe Show have planned.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    12:28pm
    I mix My kilo of Mince with Bread Crumbs and get 7 Meals !!. If I mix it on Monday its a bit ORF by Sunday !! But I cant afford to Shot it out !! So I Smother it in Houses of Parliament Sauce and Suffer it !!
    As an Old Man I worked and paid Tax for 50 odd Years, so I should get 2 Pensions. But just one Chief Justices pension would do as I am not Greedy !! Thanks Jules ...
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    2:46pm
    Well spoken particolor. Jules: I am not taking a swipe at you because I do not know your circumstances but I do need to say that there are heaps of Australians who are being over serviced and who run to the doctor when they get the slightest twing. Whilst this disreputable government has been claiming that Australians used to visit the doctor 4 times a years and now visit 11 times a year I heard last night that reliable figures from the Health Department have put this at only 5.6 per year. Whilst the next lie from the Abbott government is there for all to see (if they wish) I do express concerns that Australians seem to doctor surf.
    I would go to the doctor once every 2 years. I know...lucky me!! I came back from overseas with am arm (muscle) injury which has been with me for 3 monts now but I keep putting off the inevitable because I can feel it improving week by week albeit slowly. The point of the example is this: I could have run to the doctor and physios a dozen of more times by now but mother nature does the same job. Had I suspected that tissue had separated from the bone it would have been a different story, but why would I want to cost taxpayers a heap og money when IT WAS NOT NECESSARY?
    Hope you see where I am coming from. Most Australians do not care because it is free. That appears to be the problem. And yes, before you say it, chronic cases are not in the same boat.
    Mar
    28th May 2014
    10:50am
    I also believe the pension is an entitlement for most people who have worked all their lives and paid their taxes. As a person who needs ongoing medical support whilst awaiting major surgery, the co-payment and increased prescription cost will affect me. If the government takes away concessions for utilities and rates this will also affect me. My husband and I also worked full time for many years. Our income brought up and educated three children, paid the mortgage and all the outgoings with very little for savings.This budget is unfair.
    Dotty
    28th May 2014
    11:02am
    I agree about the extra $7 for each Doctor,s visit(And I make quite a few as I have varying health issues and am on 14 tablets a day and if the extra cost comes in I wont be eating at all ! As it will be a further cost for Med,s also!
    Maybe that what these Pollies want for us all to drop of the earth and under it ,so they can sweeten their own pockets once again!
    I have trouble being able to buy fruit and vegies on the full pension that I am on( Aged) and I am 76 year,s old and for the past 3 night,s for my dinner I had tomato soup, as the tin I had had to last that long as I had long run out of money for anything else to eat !
    So for those saying here at times that we are on a good wicket then try living like me and see how far your money goes !
    I dont drink,smoke and cant afford to go out for outings so what I get is gone before I go to the bank! Dotty

    28th May 2014
    10:51am
    I get full pension and save $600 a month, after living expenses including rent, and medicines; I pay $20 fortnight to Origin power so that's about $120 for the quarter and cuts the final bill down. Do not know if there is much merit in this subject as each pensioner has different and varying circumstances..and will tell similar things or some opposite comment to mine.....there is NO one size fits all.
    Dotty
    28th May 2014
    11:11am
    I agree there is no one size to fit all, as like me and mine is varying to other,s !
    Some times I wish that was able to ask for a handout, like some of these young ones on the dole and single mother,s !
    They go to all the handout places and there is nothing left for anyone of our age by the time they get their,s !
    I know for a fact I have one living next door to me and each week she goes to several different places that give a handout to them and twice I tried and was told that sorry our quota has been reach already, and I was behind a young girl with a baby who had just got her,s !
    So I give up trying and suvive as best I can!
    Dotty
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    11:18am
    Indeed and that is the INEQUITY there is and which needs to be addressed by real changes in Welfare, NOT towards pensioners who did their bit, but towards many who just BLUDGE off the system...I know that folks other than pensioners need help...but MANY are just USERS..and that's the truth....
    Young Simmo
    28th May 2014
    12:45pm
    I tend to agree with PIXAPD on this one. Me an my Darling travel along fairly well on our current set up. We live in a Park Home which is only $115.00 per week. We pay our power bill every fortnight $35 to $45 a fortnight dependant on A/cond and heating. Once the car and building insurance etc, etc are out of the way, we can save 200 or 300 dollars a fortnight. A park home is not as flash as a 5 X 2, 2 story but is very comfy and very easy to clean and maintain. I'm a Happy Chappy.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:11pm
    I bank $I,662 a Month and volunteer as The Court Jester in Parliament, on Dull Days !! Which is often !!.. I also pay $20 a fortnight to Origin Power which doesn't even Cover the Service to Property Charge ?? leaving me 300 odd bucks to Busk for in the Shopping Centre !!.. My Rent is also only 10 bucks a month in the Chook Shed,But that Bloody Rooster will be Breakfast one of these Mornings !!
    Luchar
    28th May 2014
    1:21pm
    I suppose I am fortunate in that I have superannuation and receive a small
    pension, which enables my wife an me to live comfortably, but without any
    luxuries, unless you count the occasional meal at the local Chinese Restaurant
    or visit to the cinema as luxuries.

    However, my mother-in-law, who is several years older than Dotty relies entirely
    on her pension While active, she has her share of medical problems (six
    visits to doctors and two days in hospital during a recent two-week period
    alone), but she eats well, dresses nicely, has friends who take her to Church,
    Probus and Bingo, but otherwise uses public transport. She pays for 4 hours
    a week care and often uses some of this time to go shopping with the carer.
    She also pays for her lawns to be mown and for some gardening (I used to do
    her shopping and her lawns and gardens until it all proved too much for me to
    look after my own and her garden). She owns her own home, so rent does not
    have to come out of her pension, but she does cover all other household
    expenses. She also pays for Private Hospital Insurance.

    I can see that anyone relying solely on a pension and having to pay rent would
    be struggling more than my mother-in-law, but beyond that I wonder why so
    many with the same level of pension income as my mother-in-law seem to be crying "poor me". Are they smokers? drinkers? gamblers? poor managers? Or
    do we expect the taxpayer to help us maintain the same level of lifestyle
    which we enjoyed during our working life?
    Foxy
    28th May 2014
    2:53pm
    Hiya PIXAPD - nice to find you here - but hey - obviously you are NOT in the Private Rental Market? If you were there would be no way you could save $600 per month....you'd be struggling bigtime! Trust me! :-)
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    2:53pm
    You've hit the nail on the Luchar. Those who went without to pay off a house can easily survive on the pension. Those who lived it up and refused to buy a house are living tight. It tells a story of how going without does have a pay off. But I should not speak too soon as this government intends to include the family house in the assets test int he future and will then more than likely reintroduce Death Duties to take an inheritance away from families in the future.
    Maybe I was the mug and should do the most perverse thing I can possibly think of and one which they gutter media promotes every so often: "spend the kids' inheritance". Aren't human beings such wonderful beings!!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    3:23pm
    All depends on how much private rental is
    Joy B
    28th May 2014
    4:53pm
    I somewhat agree with PIXAPD in that one size does not fit all. After reading many posts over the past year or so on how people manage or don't manage on the Aged Pension I have come to the conclusion that one of the important factors is 'where you live' and if you are in public or private sector housing. My financial situation is similar to PIXAPD so for the moment I am OK. Having said that I do not have PHI but because I live in Canberra (yes keep the groans to a minimum please) I can get medical care somewhat free depending on the situation. But as we all know things can change in a flash.
    Foxy
    28th May 2014
    7:33pm
    PIXAPD - Sorry - you are SERIOUSLY out of touch with the Private Rental market - to even ask is just ridiculous - sorry - any pensioner in Private Rental no matter how low it may be cannot live on the pension and pay Private Rental! The lowest rental would be in Private Rental $220 per week (I'm talking Melbourne!) and thats if you lucky!!! Unless you know someone of course who may be lenient at a lower price!!
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    10:52am
    The pension is a right of age earned over some 50 years by working and paying our taxes from our wages, it is not to be played with, toyed with by government, or for that matter to be used as a grab by government because they can't manage money!

    Luckily, my wife is the best budgeter in the world as she keeps records of every cent spent and every cent that can be saved, even our own spending money is controlled; we don't smoke, don't drink, and are not wasteful in any way, frugality being our password to savings for at least one holiday a year.

    We are lucky in some ways as we have solar, and we use LPG for our hot water and pay for that as we go, so great saving are made there; now the crunch will be when and if Hockey gets his budget through and makes pensioners pay for the governments debt. Sadly as always, we will feel the pinch if all his budgetary measures go through as I have many ailment and take many medications, which I will have to restrict my doctor visits and see what medication I could possible do without or reduce the dosage; our use of our car will have to be looked at even though it is essential to carry my gopher and walking frame.

    Now, the crap Hockey, all the politicians and the rich, they will dodge the bullet as they will use clever tactics through clever accountants to make sure they claim all of their so-called losses back, and most as usual, will pay little or no tax, so the burden will be back on the battlers to carry all the taxation and new measures on their backs. We all know the rich have offshore accounts, clever accountants, so on an so forth; as said before, the rich need to carry the weight not the poor!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    10:59am
    I do not know what the pension is, a right, a privilege, an entitlement or whatever...I am just thankful to get it..that's all...just pleased I do not live in some useless country like the USA....
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:15pm
    I'm glad I don't live in The Ukraine ! Which just has to be worse !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    2:55pm
    The pension: a right in some countries, an "entitlement" according to Joe Hockey. You ya gonna vote foe next elections?
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    7:23pm
    Rolf Harris I think after His performance today ??
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    8:46am
    Sic particolor.
    spud
    28th May 2014
    10:54am
    I had medical insurance since I was 16 but but with the decreases in pensioner entitlements such as electricity, water, phone etc. it will be the first thing to go. Plus the fee for seeing your doctor - as a pensioner I have a number of medical problems which require frequent visits - another deduction from my pension. I also have a daughter living with me who has a disability and these deduction will affect her as well as we share expenses. I have been widowed since I was 44 and therefore paid off a mortgage etc myself by working 2 jobs and being careful what I spent. Superannuation came in too late for me to be able to accumulate a reasonable amount and after working a lifetime I thought I could retire and be reasonably financial secure but that is now a pipe dream.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    11:09am
    Pensioner concessions IF THEY ARE removed...will more than likely be picked up by the States...nothing has been set in concrete as yet.
    RosePerth
    28th May 2014
    2:24pm
    PIXPD the concessions that are most likely to be cut are probably the State ones as the funding to the States that covered them has been drastically reduced.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    2:57pm
    PIXAPD: Have a look at the burden Abbott and his cronies put back on the states. So where do you think that the states are going to get the money to return pensioner concessions? The states will remove more and I have already heard that travel concessions are on the chopping block. What else would you expect.
    Wishful thinking mate.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    3:16pm
    Ah now we are talking GST........lol
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    4:27pm
    That depends on if Your Goose is Cooked or Raw ??
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    8:50am
    If you thought that Abbott and his cronies were good for the country and anything other than bastards then you are on the right track PIXAPD. The bastards are going to try and get the states to levy their own taxes (GST) so that Abbott can transfer money to the rich end of town and then make the states to increase the tax burden to run the country. That's what happens when you are feeding the bank accounts of big business, their highly overpaid CEOs and the rich end of town. Sad for the poor simple minded folk who were taken in during the election campaign. But the sheep are always easy to lead.
    Not Amused
    28th May 2014
    11:05am
    The age pension should not be described by politicians as an "entitlement" or "safety net". it is a modest income for people who, during their working lives, paid the pensions of their elders and themselves reach the age when they can no longer adequately meet the demands of an employer, or are too old and tired to satisfy the requirements of a potential new employer. I feel some pensioners misunderstand that this small income is not meant to pay for car maintenance and various other "wants". My father-in-law lived very well off the pension. There were even some unused funds in his bank account when he died. He didn't drink, didn't own a car or smoke. He ate very well, went to the pictures occasionally, met friends for coffee, paid his utility bills and took most of his outings on subsidised public transport. He did own his unit, but over the years he and his wife made some financial errors so they finished up without a comfortable nest-egg. It's important to try and accumulate some savings for extras that happen along, and for some luxuries too, after pension day arrives.
    Private health insurance could probably be categorised as one of those luxuries, unfortunately.
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    11:32am
    I think anything other than having one good meal a day, a roof over the head, and the means (public transport) to get from point A to point B is all the government expect a pensioner should have. Yet, none of my family ever lived beyond 59 years old, so none ever received a pension, my brother and I are the only ones to live beyond that age, so perhaps, all that was payed by my hard working kin and none ever receiving a pension would should I say, a bonus for the government!

    Now, have lived long enough to have a pension, is that a bad thing for the government to have to pay me a pension, after all, I worked and also for 31 years I volunteered, which in itself saved the government a lot of money as volunteers do, have I not earned my pension?
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    11:39am
    One advantage...if you die a PAUPER....and no relo's...the Govt pays for the funeral; OH YEAH...lol
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:22pm
    And just to cheer You right up !! Yes !! They do leave a bunch of Flowers !!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    1:40pm
    But PLASTIC FLOWERS..so they can be reused on another grave...that way they wash them and move them around various cemeteries......lol
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:49pm
    Yep!!!! Thrifty Little Elves they are !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    3:02pm
    Damn. I should have wished my life away and been a pensioner 20 years ago. Now I might have to eat gruel, sell the car and ring the Salvation Army to feed me. Private Health Insurance is not in the mix and I thank the Lord that I am to date healthy enough to roll those dice.
    Ok, I am gilding the lilly. I don't have health insurance but none of the above (currently) apply. That is why I will not be voting for either of the major parties because pensioners are pawns in this game.
    Radish
    28th May 2014
    4:42pm
    I think a great many people think they can live the same way they did when they were in the work force.
    Sadly, this is not possible. No government could afford it. The pension is there to pay for rent, food and the basics of life. Drinking, smoking, gambling are not the necessities for life (even though many may think so).
    Radish
    29th May 2014
    8:41am
    You are quite correct Not Amused. The pension should not be described by politicians as an entitlement at all.

    There are a number of things you have to pass before you can get an Aged Pension.
    Firstly, you have to be resident here for 10 years continuously and you have to pass the Assets and Income tests.

    Yes, we all paid taxes during our working lives but we all do not qualify under the rules laid down by government past and present.

    The taxes we paid went into paying for health, education, roads etc...not just pensions.

    Years ago the rules were changed when we had ex politicians getting the pension on top of their generous superannuation and the rules were changed and so they should have been.

    Imagine the outcry now if we had retired Prime Ministers getting the pension...(and they paid taxes too).
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    8:55am
    Remember Raddish that "all pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others". Don't expect politicians to not shove their greedy heads into the feeding trough and gorge themselves, including their own retirement benefits. The irony is that federal politicians all but doubled their own salaries in a 2 year period and Hockey then talked about "sharing the burden" with a 2 year wage freeze on politicians. The next con from a group of used car salesmen. A pity that some people actually believe them.
    Observer
    28th May 2014
    11:38am
    It is this kind of misinformation that reveals the mindset of the Authors.

    There is NO cut to pensions! NONE!

    All that has changed is the increase will now be the same as the CPI, not wage increase.

    Please TRY not to give us information that is WRONG.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    11:41am
    Folks get scared and imagine many things that have NOT happened yet, they also believe anything they hear, the media also beats things up......
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    11:48am
    Sadly, it's like the increase on petrol of an extra 5 cents a litre, that maybe 5 cents for one litre, actual $3 extra a tank for our car, but what about the cost of living, transport moves everything, their fuel goes up, everything goes up exponentially, so if pensioners are not worried now, they should be if the government gets its budget through parliament!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    11:50am
    I am never anxious over anything..... I pray and have peace about all things.
    Waytoopoortobeme
    28th May 2014
    2:27pm
    Jenny Macklin's site says there will B cuts to both pensions & Commonwealth senior health card holders for Tasmanians. All looks grim unless the Tasmanian Government foot the Bill. Concession cuts 4 public transport, water + electricity will B axed from July 2014 not in 3 years time. Assuming all other States will follow through unless this budget madness is axed.
    RosePerth
    28th May 2014
    2:28pm
    They don't have to reduce the pension as such. The hikes in other prices and threatened losses of some concessions are enough to reduce it without the Government lifting a finger. We can but wait and see how much of this gets past the Senate I guess.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    3:04pm
    Observer: Abbott has not got these through the senate yet. He has been telling the senate the way it is to vote (sound familiar?) but we all need to wait to see if he bribes any senators to get the numbers to cut all of our throats. This game is still in play.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    4:39pm
    Now Now Mick !!... You have to carry Your share of the Load !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:09pm
    I'll happily carry "my share" but I object when the big money puts their political party into power with lies and deceit and then takes from the poor and sends straight to the rich. That is what has happened and all the talk about "heavy lifting" and "the end of privilege" is directed AT THE POOR AND AVERAGE AUSTRALIANS whilst it will be the golden age for the well off. Is this "class warfare" or is the pope a catholic?
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    7:21pm
    Its a wonder You haven't run across His Popyness on the Holy Seas ??
    Oars
    29th May 2014
    9:19am
    Thank you "observer" for placing FACTS onto this tabloid. The out of touch comments make me realize why so many people run around on voting day with a cloud of Cr** in their head, and vote for other CR**heads. Facts should be read and understood first, THEN make your comment- please.
    Radish
    30th May 2014
    10:33am
    Observer you are "absolutely right".
    Please people, do your own research re what is being planned in the Budget.
    Just dont listen to rumours or take as gospel what you hear in the media.
    Remember nothing has changed yet as the BUDGET HAS NOT BEEN PASSED!
    Wstaton
    30th May 2014
    11:38am
    Lets get this right.

    Yes the measures are yet to pass the senate but they are inline to come about. It is not misinformation. The potential for them to be passed are there. Why should people be up in arms about the potential. If they weren't then it would be percieved that this is OK with the general population. Do not try to shutdown peoples voices.
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    11:59am
    I believe it maybe of a minor concern for self-funded retirees, but I do know some that this budget means nothing to them, some I know spend most of their time away abroad and in one case the spending of $136K meant nothing for a year's travel, though they spend that about every year, yet, they still get the same pension as all other pensioners, how, I know not, but they do have very clever personal accountants!

    I feel that DSS should up its game and sort out the haves from the have nots because the have nots will be struggling at the cost of the haves, who with some have an odd million stashed away and claim the full pension; I care not about the haves other than they should be honest, but I do care a lot about the have nots as they will be getting a raw deal out of this budget.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    12:02pm
    AGREED, and that is the thing I speak about...if the RICH have some way of getting around Centrelink assessments of wealth, which seems the case then they better do something about it...but WILL THEY ?.....don't think so. If a rich person gets one cent from welfare then something is really wrong.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    12:07pm
    This is where the notion of a person deserves the pension for working and paying tax can be used by the rich.....who claim...'we worked 35 - 50 years and paid LOTS of tax, so we deserve the pension' SO they make that a valid argument just like poorer folks do.
    retroy
    28th May 2014
    12:49pm
    Yes pixapd we did pay a lot more tax than most pensioners but we are not complaining, just pointing out the unfairness.
    I know of no way that you can get a government pension if you can afford to spend $136,000 on travel so that might be a little exaggerated. I get a pension funded by my super fund, but nothing from the Governmentand I could not dream of spending that much.
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    1:15pm
    Sorry 'retroy', fact not fiction, I personally know a few who spend that much and more, and still they get a full pension and some with benefits that some needy pensioners can't get; I find this sad, and I have tried to resolve this before but at great hardship to myself for doing so, but it still goes on.

    If you get the chance, go on a cruise, meet and greet, and you will be amazed at who has, who hasn't, and the amazement of what people who cruise 3, 4 or 5 times a year and they get a full pension; it's just that they are clever and all have good accountants who know how to dodge the DSS bullets.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:01pm
    BON VOYAGE !!!!
    retroy
    28th May 2014
    2:10pm
    Thanks for correcting me greatgolly.
    If we went on 3 cruises a year I would spend less than $50000, including air fares so I agree with you that it is wrong that under current conditions that they get the Govt pension.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    2:16pm
    Can't follow all this expense for a cruise, only $2.50 for me on Sydney harbour, all day if I want....
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:25pm
    I cross the Creek in Me Gum Boots for SFA !!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    2:28pm
    AH yes ....SFA... Self Funded Aquatics
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:35pm
    No !! Sea Farers Anonymous...
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    3:10pm
    $136 000 pa for a holiday??? Streuff. We spend more like $10 000 pa and are away for 2 months every year.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    3:13pm
    What you are referring to is how the financial planning industry manipulates legislation so that already a generous retirement income stream from the well off are supplemented by the taxpayer. Maybe you could call it rich man's tax supplement scheme.
    You have to realise that tax rorts and loopholes appear to be intentionally put into the system so that the well off get their breaks. It is unlikely to be an error. The old Bottom of the Harbour tax avoidance scheme was let run for many years even though everybody knew that the rort was being used by the rich to defraud the system.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    3:50pm
    Sorry greatgolly - but there ain't likely anything that accountants are doing to assist their spending if they are getting a full pension.

    Assuming someone is getting a FULL pension - all their KNOWN assets are deemed for pension purposes and there are NO LEGAL work-arounds.

    Some possibilities of how you could spend $130K on holidays and get a full pension -
    * cash money from under their bed or drug sales, etc
    * reverse mortgage their own home that is worth squillions and draw down on its value as it is not deemed by Centrelink for pension purposes.

    If you are into selling illegal drugs or want to stay on the side of the law and have similar value house - you can do the same.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:19pm
    Family Trusts, paying company tax rates (28.5% compared to top marginal rate of around 49%), parking funds offshore, negative gearing and the big one.....putting a lot of money into superannuation rather than pay the top marginal tax rate - this reduces the effective tax rate to 15% (that's zilch) and the money then earns income in the super account and is available as a generous, generous taxpayer funded retirement benefit. I am not an accountant but the superannuation deal for the rich is how these folk are skinning us all. I believe that the cost to taxpayers is $32 billion PER YEAR. So please do not crap on that there is no way around the rules for the rich. The rich make the rules and anybody who thinks that Tony Abbott is a great bloke needs to see what he did with superannuation right after he was elected: he repealed the proposed changes for average Australians whilst leaving those (very over generous ones) for the rich. This is the "end of entitlement" prime minister lookinf after his end of town. Class warfare....game on.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    6:39pm
    mick - you have some grasp about tax minimisation - but this thread is actually NOT about the rich - just how you can get a full pension and spend a lot of money going on OS trips, etc.

    Unless you are breaking the law, there are NO legal tax minimisation laws to have money/assets and get the full pension. Centrelink deeming rules apply equally to the rich and poor - with only very minor fine tuning exceptions.

    Super is different to the age pension - and Super definitely has very attractive legal tax minimisation rules.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    8:59am
    The issue is not that rich can apply for the pension. The issue is that the system has been set up so that the rich can UNFAIRLY get the pension when they have no need. Greed and corrupt political manipulation has permitted this to happen. Its a bit like most legal documents: there is normally an 'out' and most are not black and white.
    The big end of town always has its outs.
    Nanday
    28th May 2014
    12:16pm
    Hmm,. I was feeling sympathetic until I got to the alcohol expenditure. A single female on modest pension spends $10 per week? That's $520 per year or over a third of the stated shortfall. And don't try to tell me alcohol is a necessary expenditure. It's a luxury.

    There are so many variables to consider that I find it hard to accept a standardised spreadsheet. Is the retiree in good health? Do they have a mortgage? How much equity do they have in their home (important because they can use it for a reverse mortgage if necessary).

    There are also a lot of things that people can do besides depending on the government. Since I retired I have learned when the local supermarkets mark down their meat, produce and fresh breads. I time my visits around these markdowns and have substantially reduced my food expenditure. I became a mystery shopper and get my wine as part of the payment for mystery shopping liquor stores. Ditto for pharmacies, and even luxury stores and cosmetics. On the other hand there are things that blindside pensioners, such as a major appliances failing and needing replacement. There needs to be an emergency fund budgeted for because these things do happen.

    With so many variables, establishing an 'average' expenditure is only guesstimation.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    4:56pm
    Nanday... You can get an Amount up to 1,162 dollars from Centrelink for emergencies You are only borrowing Your own pension and You repay it fortnightly from Your pension !! The deductions are taken Automatically fortnightly over 6 Months ..You can Borrow all or part of it !! Depending on what You want. I recently got a New Fridge using this Method and glad I did ... Have Fun.. Parti....
    ray from Bondi
    28th May 2014
    12:32pm
    no, if I had to rely on the pension alone I would be in terrible financial trouble, the bills alone would take care of that, living in the most expensive city in the work insures it.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:34pm
    I know the feeling Mate !!..
    Particolor..Retired MP..
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:06pm
    Sorry ray but I have to disagree. You are lamenting because you are wanting a lifestyle, not an existence. A lifestyle is what you should save for. An existence is staying alive money. The latter is what the pension has always been about and taxpayers should not be subsidising you.
    If you are really a retired MP particlour, and I doubt that you are, then you are one of the folk who have organised a 'special' deal for yourself and other MPs. It continues to eat away at average Australians that they have to do the "heavy lifting" whilst MPs take the cash. What do they say: nothing corrupts like absolute power.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    7:16pm
    No Mick !! I'm a Retired Choo Choo Train Driver !!.. And only come here to take on Coal and Water !!..Read the Gripes, Add a whinge, Agee with some, And Stare in Disbelief at some I wont Name !!! ...... Next Stop.. a welch village called Oneeyedlibfannoidea.. TOOO OO OOOO !!!
    lucky
    28th May 2014
    12:33pm
    I don't know how my husband & self will exist into the future even if there are no changes to the pension. I think we are entitled to a living pension Sweden does it ( I believe this is the correct country) Workers contribute to their pension at the start of working life I believe.

    We are both working even though my husband is 71. We cannot afford full medical & pay just the hospital premium, thank goodness we own our home.

    As the pension is legislated to not be a charitable amount it is wrong of Hockey to now put his own negative view on it. He will never have to worry about how to live in his old age.

    Before others criticise my notes super was unheard of in our jobs.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:24pm
    "Superannuation unheard of" ????? Private schemes were around in the 1980s and the first $3000 put in was made tax deductible for a couple of years. No excuse lucky, you just chose not to contribute....but owning your house was the best thing you ever did as super is a sorry lie that was sold to people and the paltry amounts people have in their accounts is a testament to the deceit from the superannuation sales guys who did very nicely selling the snake oil.
    Radish
    31st May 2014
    4:35pm
    Lucky,as I mentioned elsewhere on YLC in Sweden all wage earners and the self employed at all levels pay a gross "social" tax of 8%. This is before income tax is applied which can be anything from 29% to 55.6%. On top of that they have VAT (our GST is same thing). It started out at 9% (ours is currently 10% as you know) and it then grew from 1992 to 25%.

    How many in this country would be prepared to pay these taxes. It is no wonder they all have pensions and free health paying those sorts of figures.
    BrianP
    28th May 2014
    12:33pm
    Government should take a look at the bigger picture.

    1. The penalties are too much for pensioners, particularly because those retiring now have had much of their super lost by investment companies on the stock market. Many must continue working to survive (if they are fit enough).

    2. Government should ENCOURAGE seniors by offering more incentives to help them provide for themselves, such as lower taxes (for senior lower income earners) and incentives to businesses who employ seniors.

    3. Government should cut tax benefits to high income earners (such as super tax breaks), which would help pay for the ages pension.

    4. Government needs to take a long, hard look at how it governs Australia. In particular, it needs to put the welfare of Australian people first, in all its policies.

    This is a comment by Brian Parkes, representing the new Australian Voice Party. Go to our website and give us your support, so we can all make a difference.

    2.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:03pm
    The Parti Party has better Lurks and Perks .......
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:28pm
    You are generally on the money but remember that there were years when funds were returning 20%+ to account holders as well. That seems to be lost in your story.
    You are right that this government is hitting any average Australian who has tried to provide for himself and it will discourage future Australians from doing so as well as encourage current retirees to blow their money and then get on to the pension. Dumb politics, but then this is a really dumb PM who does not have the intelligence to understand that his lies and misconduct are seen for what they are from all but the half wits amongst us.
    Sweet pea
    28th May 2014
    12:38pm
    I know I am not going to be very popular with one comment I will make. Pensioners, stop throwing your money away on the POKIES! I have seen with my own eyes and I listen with amazement and heavy heart. The amount I have witnessed is incredible. I am a pensioner and my budget allows me to play, but no way like I have seen.
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    1:19pm
    Why do you think governments jump at the chance at building more and more casinos, especially here in Queensland!
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:48pm
    Did You get the Freebies or Jackpot Yet ??.. .. I haven't been near a One Arm Bandit since I retired and long before that for that matter ! .. And the ones that do must get Fly Buy Points at The Salvo's ??
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:29pm
    Good post. Whingers should read!!
    retroy
    28th May 2014
    12:41pm
    Well Kay, you certainly put into perspective when you cited the original intent of the Government pension, but I wonder if it was originally designed to reward every one regardless of their circumstances at retirement age.
    That would have made more sense so that everyone got a universal pension as in the UK depending on how long they worked.

    I too earned a Government pension for working hard and paying my taxes, but I will get nothing and the seniors health card allowances are to go as well.

    However, I will not complain and threaten to vote labor, because we will all be worse off if they get back in and then the whole country will again be living beyond its means.
    KSS
    28th May 2014
    1:41pm
    No it wasn't retroy. Life expectancy was 55yrs. Pension age was 65yrs. The family home was part of the means test (10% of the value) and income over 26 pounds a year meant loss of pension. No it wasn't for everyone and most never lived long enough to collect in the first place.
    retroy
    28th May 2014
    2:17pm
    Thanks for the info, but there could be even more to this story.

    What is the equivalent of 26 Pounds a year today in terms of take home pay because perhaps the taxes were low in those days.

    The population did not have to support an ever increasing public service but I guess there was a lot of infra-structure to be built.

    We need all the facts to make a valid judgement
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    3:23pm
    So You Had It Tough ??..
    I first started Work in Adelaide in 1962 delivering Car Parts all over the City on a Push Bike. I got 5 Quid a week (10 Bucks in todays) Pig Iron took 2 Bob TAX, leaving Me 4 pound Eigthteen Shillings take Home..I paid three pound ten Shillings Board, leaving Me with 18 Bob!! Now it was 5 miles into work so I caught the Bus 2 Bob each way which came to 1 Pound ?? ... !!.. Leaving a Budget Deficit of 2 Bob !! What did I live on ????..No! I didn't cry Blue Murder and call for a Change of Government,because of the Blowout !!..
    I got Cunning an rode the Company Pushy home and back again in the morning !!sasning 1 Pound which allowed Me to live the life of Riley !! Yeah Right !!..
    So work out from that what the Tax was in those Days !!..
    Parti...
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    3:27pm
    PS ..That funny Sasning word is Supposed to Saving.. But who cares ??
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    3:53pm
    PSS.. OR PPS.. Whatever ??.. And if My Old Skinflint Boss reads that 52 years later ...TOUGH COOKED TURKEYS + GST....
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    12:45pm
    Our welfare system is NOT a contributary system as so many in Europe are. this means that what you pay in tax is not earmarked for specific purposes and our welfare system has always been called a 'needs based' system - unfortunately people have varying needs and a one size fits all doesn't match it! some need far more health care than others is a good example of that.

    I am actually self funded and I really object to people who are not assuming that everyone who is self funded is rich!!! I am certainly not rich! I am not yet of age pension age but doubt when I get there that there will still be a health card for me to apply for. I may have a little more money than some of you, but I have to pay full price for everything so the difference is eroded fairly quickly. I am actually wondering about the copayment to see the doctor - I already pay $60 a visit and Medicare kindly give me back approx $36 so I am out of pocket by $24 per visit - am I going to have to pay another co payment on top of that? I have some health conditions that require regular medications and treatment and none of this is cheap - especially without a pension card. I am seriously wondering whether I will be able to afford PHI for much longer. I also pay this for my son who is on a DSP - he has been hospitalised several times in the last year alone - try getting a public bed when you need it - he will also suffer from additional costs and also from the additional costs I have to pay!!
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    12:59pm
    oops, I meant I object to people who ARE assuming everyone self funded is rich.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:30pm
    Semantics!!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:30pm
    Semantics!!
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    11:37pm
    if you mean my correction of what I said then hey, I am allowed to correct myself. If that wasn't what you were referring to, then what the heck is the semantics declaration all about?
    bookwyrm
    29th May 2014
    11:05pm
    Genimi, I go for a long appointment paid upfront as well. We will get $5 less back from Medicare.
    Old Fella
    28th May 2014
    12:56pm
    Please consider? Assume we had earned a consistent wage over a lifetime of work , say 15 to 65 years of age and paid a consistent tax of say 20%. We will have paid into tax around 10 years of our consistent wages upon retirement (65-15=50 x 20%= 10 years). The first realisation must be that 10 years accumulated tax value after deducting future outgoings to run a country (Armed forces, Judicial system, Infrastructure like roads , ports etc) may discount to - pick a figure- years worth of value remaining to use for retirement.
    Further for those of us eligible for a pension try to remember how the wage value of money earnt, taxed and saved has changed . An adult wage rate in the 60s was on average around $4-to-5K (000) per annum for the average worker, today it is ten times that sum - did we save ten times savings value, in anticipation of costs tenfold increased , no because we didn't earn it to save it.
    Additionally does any of us know or guarantee a definite period of time after 65 for life and accompanying living costs. Ten (10) years accumulated $ value of tax or savings may never meet the cut, even by the most optimistic projections if you live eleven (11) years longer!
    Aside from the initial aspirational hopes for our community when the Old age pension concept was initiated, the further aspirational hopes when superannuation was added to the mix it would appear to me the opportunistic use of taxes , superannuation and whatever other Commonwealth that has been generated and accumulated in Australia seems to unfairly have ended in the selected/exclusive pockets of a very small minority rather then the general pockets of the populace that created it.

    It is complicated , it is divisive , it is necessary to determine entitlement for those who remain in our society but no longer spend 40 plus or minus hours of their waking hours in employment.Short of a programmed euthanasia plan , people will exist outside the work mill.

    Old age is even sharper than taxes if you stay, but both are most certain. I sincerely hope that one of our Leaders, Academics, Elite or Genius can realise a solution other than physical culling or withdrawal of medicine over X years of age. Obviously the current Government see being "Bloody minded" is an answer. Don't agree.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    1:58pm
    Well Written.. Thanks !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:38pm
    A few bits missing from the logic here:

    1. Don't forget that you also need to pay MPs a heap of money as they deserve conditions none of the rest of us do.
    2. You are comparing a dollar earned 40 years ago with a dollar earned now. This is the same as comparing apples and oranges and is not logical. Remember too that the dollar 40 years ago may have been invested in say real estate and that this has grown and may now be worth $300.
    3. "Entitlement" is in the same class as slogans about "heavy lifting". Sure we should not be giving millionaires a pension and maybe politicians need to have their pensions trimmed back to the rest of the workforce too (lets see how that one goes) but what we are seeing is a perverse government intent on stripping everything from average Australians. They are already wanting to move the pension age to THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD and are hoping people will drop dead on the job so that no pension is ever payable. They are also wanting to include the family home in the assets test as well as tighten the income test. But the same politicians will shield themselves from this pain. Ain't we so lucky!!
    Kato
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:36pm
    ‘About forty something years ago the government imposed a tax on income to fund the retirement pension, later on that tax was incorporated into the overall income tax and stopped leaving a trail. Governments should have managed that money so they would be able to fulfil their part of the deal but instead, of course, have "missmanaged" that money as any proper S.O.B. should do.
    KSS
    28th May 2014
    1:02pm
    Back in 1908 there was a population of about 4.25m. Life expectancy was 55. The 'reward' pension was for men over 65 (women didn't get it until 1910 and aged 60). So this 'reward' was actually claimed by very few given they were expected to die 10 years before they became eligible.

    In 1908 the pension was also means tested and income over 26 pounds a year (the same amount as the pension) and an amount equal to 10% of the value of the home meant you didn't get the pension. There was also a required 25 year residency clause as well.

    Fast forward to 2014, population 23.5m, life expectancy 80 for men 84 for women. Retirement age 65 rising to 67 (and maybe 70). Meaning most people are likely to actually reach pension age and remain on it for close to 20-25 years. This is why is has become unsustainable.

    I don't imagine those who made it to the pension in 1908 had much of the 10 shillings a week to 'squander' on outings, medication, food or bills either.

    If you want to look back on the 'halcyon days' of 1908, look at it fairly and in context. To try to cherry pick comments of the day from over a century ago and use it as the benchmark for today's world is disingenuous.

    The fact is, the pension was never meant to be for everyone for twenty five years. Nor was it meant to provide for a luxurious lifestyle AND the family home was part of the eligibility means test.

    Perhaps PIXAPD is right and a little more gratitude is due for the pension in the first place before demands are made for ever increasing amounts - usually at the expense of another group of deserving people.

    Today's superannuation (introduced in the early 1990s) is meant to replace reliance on the government pension as people born in the 1970s retire. I see nothing wrong in that.
    KSS
    28th May 2014
    1:15pm
    The number of over 65s in Australia is about 3.5m only 30% less than the entire population in 1908!
    greatgolly
    28th May 2014
    1:22pm
    Hockey has stated that by 2035 the welfare bill will be enormous, wrong, by 2035 nearly all pensioners will be self-funded, so his welfare equation doesn't come into it at all, it's all bull!
    KSS
    28th May 2014
    1:36pm
    The welfare bill will be enormous. The age pension is only part of the welfare bill.

    You are correct greatgolly, in that the intention of superannuation is to reduce the reliance on the government pension by making people save for their own needs. In 20 years (2035) therefore, the percentage of welfare spent on pensions will reduce over time as the 'oldies' die off and the younger 'oldies' access their super.

    It does not mean that welfare as whole will decrease.
    Sweatshop Greed
    28th May 2014
    1:05pm
    The pension is an entitlement for those who worked for 35 odd years knowing that they had that income and the associated benefits on retirement. The government moves the goalposts during the game. This is not acceptable. However, the budget changes nothing for me as I live overseas where the cost of living is a fraction of that in Australia. I don't drink, smoke or gamble, so I can afford to eat well. Overseas, we don't get the benefits of those on Australia.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:10pm
    "Sweet and Sour Pork Please and a Special Fried Rice, Thanks !!" ..How Long ?? "No !!that's not My name !! I mean how long will that be ??"
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:41pm
    So where do you live Sweatshop? Asia (hot, humid and third world)? I'm coming before uncle Tony takes it all. Let the rest of the country give everything they have worked a lifetime to this despot.

    28th May 2014
    1:18pm
    Bottom line...you can't please all the people all the time...only in death is there true equality...
    KSS
    28th May 2014
    1:42pm
    The only 2 certainties.... death and taxes!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    1:48pm
    YEAH... a death tax......
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:15pm
    BUGGER !!! I sneezed and Blew all My dirt off ?? I guess I will have to apply for the Pension again !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:43pm
    Ditto. And remember when you die uncle Tony may tax you again as Death Duties are coming in the future despite denials. Watch this space.
    beja
    28th May 2014
    1:30pm
    In 1948 the Pension, which commenced in 1908 at 1% was increased to by 2% to 3% because of the returned service personal. This was paid into Social security, for the benefit of all Pensioners. When Mr WHITLAM Became Prime Minister, He took all the money held for Pensions and moved it into consolidated revenue. This should not have happened but I am not aware that it has been reversed. Social Security should be well resourced.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    1:34pm
    Robbing Peter to pay Paul, now Peter has bugger all left
    Tom Tank
    28th May 2014
    1:48pm
    It was Bob Menzies who took the money into Consolidated Revenue and made the statement that age Pensions who be funded from Income Tax Receipts.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    1:50pm
    Old PIG IRON BOB..........lol
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    2:19pm
    even when the pension money was kept separate - it was not a futures fund, it was funding those on welfare at that time - was never a contributory scheme.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:24pm
    Thanks for correcting that ?? Some Blame Labor at every Chance for everything !! When it is only 75% of the time ! Give or take 10% and Seasonally Adjusted !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:46pm
    So now you understand why I say 'do not vote for either Labor or Liberal or for that matter the Greens. If you want true representation of your region then you have a better than even chance with an Independent. Do this and both sides of politics will heal or die. Ignore the advice and the game continues and you get screwed forever.
    Kato
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:41pm
    paying tax is a contribution.
    alinejordan
    28th May 2014
    1:41pm
    at the moment i can survive on the pension, just! but if concessions are going to be cut, such as for water, power, rates, car rego, etc. etc., then NO WAY!!
    bookwyrm
    29th May 2014
    11:58pm
    Totally agree with you. Even the bus will be expensive and I shudder at the thought of the electricity rebate going.
    Octogen
    28th May 2014
    1:57pm
    As has been previously stated we are not all cut from the same brush.

    Through no great fault of my own (probably genetics) I am one of the lucky ones however I have great sympathy for those to whom life has dealt more difficult cards.

    It also shows that all people over 65 are still able to work although that does not hold good for most people in the various trades who daily have dealings with that Spaniard "Manuel Laba".

    I am 84 years of age and I "retired" in 1985 at the age of 55. At that age (being over the hill) I was forceably retired from the Army Reserve and (I think it was at 65) as the presiding officer at a state and federal elections polling booth.

    Previously I had been employed (part time) by each organisations for well over 25 years.

    I understand that they both subsequently changed their policies about aged retirement.

    When I "retired" I set myself up working from homedoing the same work as I did for my previous full time employer.

    On "retirement" I received a 6 figure lump sum payment from a compulsory superannuation style fund to which I had contributed from my salary for almost 40 years. Like many others I used most of it to pay off my home.

    When I completed my tax return last year (yes - at 84+ I still pay tax as I have done for some 67 years) I noted that I had increased that lump sum 6 fold in cash investments.

    As indicated I have not penned this to appear better than thou or to attack those less fortunate than I have been but to show that there are often two sides to the coin.

    And for those who think that these are the scribblings of a died in the wool right winged liberal supporter I advise that I have voted labour in every election since I reached voting age - almost three quarters of a century ago.

    I do believe, however, that most Prime Ministers (irrespective of their political colouring) were (earlier in my voting career) primarily statesmen (of various degrees) whereas they have, over recent years, evolved into politicians.

    And those who know me would be well aware that I do not live in the past and am probably more progressive than many of today's teen agers. And that would go for many of us who are medically classified as "very old".

    Then again I have experienced the period when you had no need to lock your car or your house, when the word of federal ministers was their bond (no core or non core promises) and where many people worked all of their life for the same employer - who was usually concerned for their welfare.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:52pm
    Smart man. You are right that we no longer have statesmen, we have career politicians doing a job. Nothing more. But what has also happened is that the vested interests (big business and the rich) have taken control and government now let these groups even write legislation as well as to give them what they want no matter what impact it has on society. Just like the gun lobby in the US which ignores one massacre after another we have the gambling industry, the pubs and clubs and every manner of developer all of whom have their bought politicians for whose elections campaigns they pay. these politicians are essentially 'dirty' and will never work against the interests of their benefactors. That is the problem!!
    Octogen
    28th May 2014
    2:03pm
    A correction to my previous post.

    I had stated that "all" people over the age of 65 were able to work.

    Obviously that was wrong as I meant "many" people over the age of 65 would be able to work.

    Blame it on the Altzheimers (have I spealt that right).

    Sorry
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    2:32pm
    Yes!! Silly You ! .....You Posted the LIBERAL Version the first Time !!!
    retroy
    28th May 2014
    3:18pm
    Good for you Octogen.
    Don't worry about the "spalling" we get your story, and it is a pretty good one for people to follow.
    However I have met so many labor voters who just do not share your work ethic and expect handouts because of their lack of thrift.
    Incidentally perhaps some one can tell me why they left the u out of their name. did some one not know how to spell in the old days.
    It is the Labour party in NZ.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    3:34pm
    New Zillanders must work Harder ??..Its LABOR Here !!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    5:55pm
    According to the Abbott government "all" is an apt description. So the labourers with broken bodies and police and teachers who have been psychologically destroyed are all employable. And of course the fact that business refuses to hire people over 50 is ignored by this morally corrupt government which intends to push Australians over 50 onto the scrapheap so that they end up in poverty and destitute. Heavy lifting I guess.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    7:51pm
    I can just see the 69 year old Security Officer now with the Saint Vitas Stance Shaky Gun hand..And People diving everywhere, into the back of the Garbage Truck! Anywhere but near Him !!!.. While He tries to apprehend 3 Desperate Old Age Pensioner trying to rob the Bank !!

    28th May 2014
    2:08pm
    If they really want to block this budget...just stand CLIVE in the doorway to Parliament... I am reminded of that Old Andrew Sisters favourite...Roll out the Barrel

    Good to see Clive at work on his Rolls, with a spanner, maybe he can do repair works on some pollies with the same spanner. Clive reckons the Govt is ignoring PUP and not wanting to speak with them...but what happens if PUP turns into a DOG?
    Foxy
    28th May 2014
    2:55pm
    lol lol lol
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    3:41pm
    And tears the AZZ out of His Budgy Smugglers ??
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    2:33pm
    What we are seeing is a political football from the most dishonest, morally corrupt, lying government I can recall in living memory. And I have reached pension age, so that is a heck of a long time.
    What average Australians fail to see is that the game at hand from the current lying, cut throat, slogan chanting government is little more than a smoke screen used to fool voters from the real agenda: THE TRANSFER OF MONEY FROM POOR AND AVERAGE AUSTRALIANS TO BIG BUSINESS AND THE RICH. For those who have the intelligence to see it is clear as the rich have received,

    1. generous superannuation concessions whilst concessions for average Australians were dropped by this government.
    2. a 1.5% company tax rate CUT. For those who do not understand the rich use a whole pile of tax minimisation and avoidance schemes including Trusts and Companies. So a company tax cut is effectively a tax reduction for those who already have a miriad of ways to avoid the taxation system.
    The old saying about 'follow the money trail' paints the correct picture. When you add in a 2 year Deficit Reduction Tax for the rich you begin to understand that the hard changes are for the poor whilst the pretend tax which only lasts 2 years and then is gone (assuming that it even goes ahead) is for the rich.
    In regard to the pension there is no easy answer. Those you have worked hard, saved and invested have enough to get by. Those who may have not been as fortunate (there are some real genuine folk!!) or those who have not done without so that they could pay off a house or those who have been life long bludgers will of course say that they need more. These folk always need more and no amount of money will ever replace an often poor attitude and lifestyle which many retirees have refused to forgo during their working years. That's people.
    I understand that with supplements the current married pension is over $30 000 pa. Seriously folks, my family is self funded and we live comfortably off less than this and even travel overseas every year. The pension is enough if one is not renting a house and one does not expect to live the life of Riley. I mean do we really expect to live the lifestyle of politicians or high court judges? Perhaps what pensioners need to ask for are the same entitlements the pollies steal from the public and the bogus Independent Remuneration Tribunals that they use to over inflate their salaries.
    Personally Kaye RETIREES NEED TO RUN THEIR OWN CANDIDATES IN ELECTIONS WHERE RETIREES VOTE AS A BLOCK. That will put an end to the beating up of older Australians by the current vicious, low life, morally corrupt and dishonest lot which are now in charge of the nation. Pensioners should abandon the big two who have abandoned them and vote for the best Independents in the area so that proper and fair government returns to the nation. Both sides are absolutely terrified of this outcome and it would fix the problems with the 'my turn' / 'your turn' game which both sides love as they get paid as long as they are in the parliament. Get rid of them and you fix the problem because both sides will then understand that the game is up and that the public is not going to wear unaccountable behaviour any longer. My real sadness is that average Australians are too simple minded to see the solution and too entrenched with their decayed political parties together with their media propaganda campaigns to do what is right. So we all continue to suffer.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    2:46pm
    PFP or Pensioners For Pensions party...... bound to win seats in both houses...OH YEAH.... 80 year old prime minister waving his bony finger at the Opposition...
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    6:52pm
    Funny PIXAPD. A political party represents a group, whatever that is. As though you would have an 85 year old PM!! Derrrrr.
    If you want representation then you get a party. Pensioners need to get savvy, not complain.
    I tried to look up how many Australians are currently on the pension but this information seems not to be freely available. Perhaps you have a figure?

    28th May 2014
    2:35pm
    HENRY VIII had a novel idea for Parliament when they stepped out of line..the AXE.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    6:54pm
    So did Adolph Hitler. This will sort out the career politicians.
    Pickles
    28th May 2014
    2:45pm
    One aspect that appears to have been missed by many is the further restrictions and cuts to pensions to be paid to those living overseas. Why would anyone in there right mind object to a person choosing to live overseas? By living overseas they remove the majority of the "burden" placed on local infrastructure and for the persons themselves they can generally live a far better lifestyle than possible in Australia on the aged pension. Once again politicians who retire on pensions amounting to over $100,000 per annum prove they have no idea on the realities of getting old in Australia for the average person.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    2:47pm
    I'll pickle that...oh I mean I'll second that
    MITZY
    28th May 2014
    6:11pm
    I guess our government feels if you live overseas your pension is not contributing anything in Australia. You get an Aussie pension and spend it in another country.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    8:03pm
    Yeah !! But I'm not gunna live on Chocolate Coated Cockroaches and a Billion Fly's for Company !!
    Pass the Ductape
    28th May 2014
    3:00pm
    The aged pension was established to cater for those of us unfortunate enough not to end up with enough savings/money to exist after we retire - NOT to keep us in a life style that we had become used to during the period that we worked, nor to make up for the bad choices that we made when we squandered the proceeds of working!

    As long as we have a roof over our head, food in our stomachs and clothes on our back - what's the problem? If one wants to cry poor or live on the street - that’s their choice!

    And yes....... Perhaps most of us would like to live the high life once we retire, but many of us weren't lucky enough to have had the education nor a talent to have made the correct decisions where we were able to take advantage of what was dished out to us - but that's life - and a problem for the individual. Can’t blame anyone else but ourselves!
    retroy
    28th May 2014
    5:14pm
    Well said Ductape.
    There are many decisions I could have taken which would have set me up, but I'm not complaining, and as Dick Johnson once said (he may not have been the first) "the only thing you get out of looking backwards was a sore neck!"
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    6:57pm
    Many people who had no education or silver spoon DO save for their retirement. The problem is that the media has been pushing 'lifestyle' for a long time. When you are young and dumb then what do you get? Answer: a poo retirement. Gen Y listen (fat chance).
    Retired Knowall
    28th May 2014
    3:03pm
    I think most of the posts here are from people that have been living on another planet.
    For the PAST 35 Years the Govt and Economists have been warning that the ageing Baby Boomers will put an unsustainable burden on the Aust. economy. They warned that people should structure their affairs to provide for their retirement as the Govt. (whichever party is in power) will not have the means to do so. Those who chose not to take notice or were too thick to get the message continued along the same path with the "The Govt. will take care of me" approach.
    Let me tell you if you think this budget is tough IT WILL ONLY GET HARDER as more snouts are added to the trough.
    Yes we can borrow more so the pension can increase and cater for more recipients, but like the laws of gravity, the laws of economics will come back with a vengence and be paid for by your kids and grandkids. Do you want to end up like Greece?
    Ignorance is not bliss, you may have missed the boat, but make sure your grandkids get the best education they can afford and ensure they keep investing in themselves.
    The other enemy is corruption on the Federal Level, so put your energy into ensuring we have an ICAC similar to NSW.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    6:59pm
    You know how it is....people never listen to warnings and then blame the messenger. As Albert Einstein once said "there are only two things infinite: the universe and human stupidity.....but I am not sure about the universe". Personally I think that the quote should be put in stone at the entrance to parliament house, a fitting place.
    Pickles
    29th May 2014
    11:38am
    That's all well and good for those that fall within the normal parameters; what about those like myself that didn't qualify for superannuation till 1986 and then in 2008 as a result of a workplace incident have since been on workcover payments that reduce my income to only 75% of my usual annual salary and do not get super and as a result of divorce have had to borrow to pay out my ex. I know many others in similar circumstances that upon retirement will have less than $100,000 in super and will still owe substantial amounts on a home loan. This is not our fault but rather government legislation that does not allow for those outside of the norm. Many would say well sell your home and rent to remove the loan payments....rent would be about the same and you may then find yourself having to move all the time as your rental property is either sold or the rent increases beyond your ability to pay. On the surface living in a nice pleasant cocoon many don't see the world for what it is and blindly accept that because they were fortunate enough to get through life unscathed and with money in the bank everyone else is or should be the same; that's not the case for most.
    Aurora60
    28th May 2014
    3:08pm
    try living on Newstart allowance I would welcome the pension and could afford to eat then
    Kaye Fallick
    28th May 2014
    3:14pm
    Aurora60 - you make an excellent point - the Newstart Allowance is so far behind the eight ball it makes the AGe Pension look reasonable - which it is not! Please email us (admin@yourlifechoices.com.au) your mail address and which type of DVDs you like and we will send you something to enjoy
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    3:26pm
    What a lovely thought Kaye, good on you!!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:01pm
    Fair enough. But try getting a job after age 50 when the government is not going to give you a pension until you are 70. Horses for courses.
    Wstaton
    28th May 2014
    7:56pm
    And the ausie new start is the third worst just above Portugal and Greece and what natural resources have they got.
    Allieannie
    28th May 2014
    3:24pm
    We already pay a 'co payment' as in the country areas specialist pay double of the Medicare rebate so as DSP recipents we have to budget for specialists visits ( around five a year). If we have to add our GP as well then we will have to choose which one to miss out on. We are hanging onto our house by the skin of our teeth but were not complaining just making do and budgeting every fortnight. With the cut in Pensioner supplement we will be $100 a fortnight worse off from July 1 and don't know what we will do. Not whingeing just worry sick.
    rtrish
    29th May 2014
    8:30am
    Yes, Allieannie, I have noticed also that they want to cut the supplement. that will be really bad news.
    Allieannie
    28th May 2014
    3:24pm
    We already pay a 'co payment' as in the country areas specialist pay double of the Medicare rebate so as DSP recipents we have to budget for specialists visits ( around five a year). If we have to add our GP as well then we will have to choose which one to miss out on. We are hanging onto our house by the skin of our teeth but were not complaining just making do and budgeting every fortnight. With the cut in Pensioner supplement we will be $100 a fortnight worse off from July 1 and don't know what we will do. Not whingeing just worry sick.
    Ming
    28th May 2014
    3:38pm
    Yes the pension is not a kings ransom, however I warrant the people who scream the loudest will have paid the least tax over their working life. The worst thing about being retired/elderly is boredom! hence the time available for frivolous commentary. Get a life do some volunteer work. Yes I know some people have disabilities that prevent them doing some of the abundance of volunteer work available.
    Grateful
    28th May 2014
    3:44pm
    The Treasure tells us that over 80% of those over 65 are receiving benefits from the government!!! Over 80%!!!!
    Before we try to show genuine battlers, those on the full age pension, especially those that pay rent, how to "manage" on what they get now, let's first take a very hard look at those 80% who are receiving those benefits now.
    How many of them really NEED additional support?? NEED a handout from the taxpayer to help them survive?? THAT'S what benefits were intended for but suddenly became an election carrot to get governments elected without concern for the carnage that it is now causing to our budget.
    From my observations, just in my community, I see dozens of retired people who have assets well over $500,000 (not including their home) with large DISPOSABLE incomes still receiving substantial portions of the Age Pension PLUS the Health Benefit card.
    That is absolutely and totally against the original intention of those benefits and should be the first thing analysed and removed by any responsible government. It is a farce and a disgrace when some in the community go without heating during winter and have very meager diets, while so many others also receiving benefits are off on overseas trips and holidays up north to escape the winter and dine in comparatively luxurious restaurants and dining rooms.
    That is going on right now in Australia!!
    And, with the $Billions that will be saved, those that fully qualify for benefits would be able to be paid extra to at least get them over the poverty line.
    How smart is our Treasurer and how greedy are the over 65s?? They are the questions that we should be asking our politicians and ourselves.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    8:15pm
    Greatful..What is Heating ?

    28th May 2014
    3:36pm
    Be interesting to see how things are in 2030.... the last of the baby boomers go on the pension,
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    8:23pm
    In The Year 2525 !If man is still alive ?
    Ther'll be no Pension !
    Ther'll be no Air !.
    Stiff Pensioners Everywhere !!..
    cant write the next verse I'm laughing too much !
    maus1
    28th May 2014
    3:37pm
    My sole income is my age pension upon which I am just able to sustain myself and save a few dollars. How? This is how. I live in Public Housing (head start) -- I pay $25 to my energy provider, together with my health insurance, funeral fund and telephone every fortnight -- I never never pay full price for anything, only ever buy food that has been marked down, clothes come from Vinnies or Salvos and still manage to look stylish. I gave up my car and use public transport. I am currently saving for a holiday in Western Australia and nearly have enough. I turn off all power points when not in use.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    3:50pm
    I am not in a funeral fund as I might be alive when the Lord returns and then I'd lose the money paid....
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:12pm
    Whilst I also relate to some of these measures maus1 you beat me hands down. For whinging pensioners I suggest that his is how it is done. Be bothered and prosper.
    bookwyrm
    29th May 2014
    11:22pm
    Yes, but maus1 has a head start because of being in public housing. I‘m on DSP and it was awful being in in private rentals, always lived in one room flats, not even one bedroom, and they still weren‘t cheap. One got sold and I had to move. The last one I had the landlord from hell. Luckily then I finally got public housing and what a difference it makes. I feel so lucky. I do have one bad neighbour but I ignore her. Civil but distant. All other neighbours are nice. A mixed area of private and public. My only worry is they might in the future sell this place and move me to houso hell.
    octagenarian+2
    28th May 2014
    3:37pm
    Way back in 1957 when I came to Australia as an economic migrant (nearly twice the UK wage then!) One of the fringe benefits was an ENTITLEMENT to an Australian old age pension. I did not think that I would ever need this but it was a comforting thought. Needless to add that ENTITLEMENT vanished when times were good; under Menzies I think.
    Not being very cluey with money we were persuaded by our credit union in our middle years to use one of there financial advisers. When I retired many years ago the adviser promptly lost us nearly $30.000 (worth a lot more then!) Having had a lot of ill health I commuted the pension at retirement (Bad move no 2) I did not contemplate living to my current age and my commuted pension running out. I have been a full old age pensioner now for a couple of years and my solution to the fact that the pension would not keep me is to rely on my wife (which does teach you to watch your ps and qs!) I dare not ask how long her money will last because I can see that we would not be qwithinn cooee of surviving. Obviously it is time to make arrangements for euthanasia so, why is this terrible bunch of unkind people (parliament?)people so opposed to euthanasia for the old? It would help their budgetary problems so much and they obviously do not want people like us hanging around.
    I would be quite happy to take to the streets and, with the number of seniors there are, I do not think that it would take long to change things back to a more reasonable state of affairs. I notice that Tams is talking about Private Health Insurance. This is our largest bill for the year at approximately $250 a month hotly followed by council rates of$1200 per year. Budgeting becomes awfully important and I dread unexpected bills!
    Good luck to all pensioners,
    in2sunset
    28th May 2014
    8:50pm
    You are absolutely spot on about euthanasia. I am not the slightest bit in the amount of time I live, what is far more important is the quality of life. Most of the comments in this column refer to couples on the Aged Pension. How the hell can single people survive? I am single, and in 2 years will have to go on the Aged Pension. After many hard years working on my parents farm (before having to give it up), I have miniscule super, still pay a mortgage, minor but constant health niggles, and am SH_T scared! I HAD thought I could just manage on the pension and concessions, but now, jumping off a cliff looks far more a probability. I live in an old, maintenance ridden house, not in a luxury suburb, where my rates are nearly $3000 a year ( where the hell do you live - octagenarina+2 - I might have to move there!!), plus insurances, car rego, electricity, etc. Just because I am single, these expenses don't suddenly reduce by half. From where I sit, a lot of my friends who are solely on the pension, and are couples, can manage. Singles? - impossible. One single friend on the full aged pension needs close watching as we are seriously concerned about her mental state and depression. I don't have a big self funding retirement to look forward to, and that is not due to my stupidity or waste. I do not smoke, drink, gamble or spend money on lavish items. I drive a 22yo car, and dread anything going wrong with it. Single (and married) pensioners should NOT have to live with such dread and fear. Thank you Mr Abbott & Hocking. Notice YOU don't have to tighten your belts too tight. A pension a year of over $150,000 is certainly not 'doing it hard'.
    Polly Esther
    28th May 2014
    3:48pm
    Could it be that passing on will simply be an awakening, for some to find that, their life has just been a dream, while for others it has been a bloody nightmare.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    4:19pm
    There will be no passing on WILL here !! Vault is Empty !!. Its the Rellies that will have the Night Mare. They think I'm loaded ?.. But its just a Dream !!. A rude Awakening for them !!.....
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:13pm
    Just don't leave then your funeral bill particolor. Send that to Tony Abbott.
    roenchris
    28th May 2014
    3:54pm
    We are broke. Thanks to the Labour gov change to family law. My husbands super and earnings were all scooped up by the laws of the land back then that had all men branded as being child support frauds. My husband was always willing to pay the entitled amount of child support, his lying scheming ex made our life hell. My husband has not seen his children for 22 years. All due to the lying individual that left him, then lied to breaking us in Family Law.
    We thought we could recover. No no no.
    Liberal Party thank you. We now if your budget is passed will not only be worse off, but will have to stop our private health cover too.
    All we have done is worked hard, thanks to previous Labour gov we are not wealthy self funded retires.
    My husband has asbestosis, from working as a plumber.
    Both major parties in Australia have maimed us.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    3:59pm
    I have always found that the valleys of life lead to higher ground when trusting the Lord
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:17pm
    Here we go again. You sound like employers every time the lowly paid workforce gets a 50 cents an hour wage increase (which does not even keep up with the CPI).
    Before you repeat the Abbott propaganda get your facts right and put what happened AFTER THE GFC into context. And you really believe that you will be "no worse off" if this budget is passed? And did you not bother to listen to Hockey's parting words when he presented the budget: "we're not finished yet".
    Give me strength roenchris, where does the liberal party find folk like you? My suggestion is to gain knowledge before you put both of your feet in mate.
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    11:53pm
    .......and again I say, NOT ALL SELF FUNDED RETIREES ARE WEALTHY!!!!!
    Ricken
    28th May 2014
    4:09pm
    A simple way to trim the fat and to have poli's realise to survive we must all do our share... is to take away the obscene entitlements that they get after leaving office. Make them do what we do.....work all our lives before getting a basic entitlement not the luxurious handouts they have given themselves.
    Its time we the people revolted in terms of politicians handouts. They are no special than you and I. They are simply the bullies of society who have whittled their way in to their positions by abuse of power and yes....use of politics. What a sham. MAKE THEM SURVIVE ON A BASIC PENSION........the cuts would soon go to the big end of town !
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    4:20pm
    CORRECT..to be a politician a person must first SELL THEIR SOUL....
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:18pm
    Touche. Well said Ricken.
    captain owow
    28th May 2014
    4:19pm
    When the age pension was passed in 1908 they compared it to the reward given to a "commander in chief or chief justice" You'll notice that in today's budget, the only pensions not under threat are those of the parliamentarians who receive a life-time pension equal to their full pay - indexed to inflation!!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    4:25pm
    'The Commonwealth of Australia was formed on I January 1901 by federation of the six States under a written constitution which, among other things, authorised the new Commonwealth Parliament to legislate in respect of age and invalid pensions. In the event, the Commonwealth did not exercise this power until June 1908 when legislation providing for the introduction of means-tested 'flat-rate' age and invalid pensions was passed. The new pensions, which were financed from general revenue, came into operation in July 1909 and December 1910 respectively'<<<<<< IT SEEMS TO ME AT LEAST..... THIS WOULD NOT INCLUDE FOLKS SUCH AS POLITICIANS FOR THEY WOULD HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY ANYWAY
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    4:31pm
    On the other hand it could be reasoned that all politicians are CRIPPLES for none can walk a straight line
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:20pm
    More correctly politicians are congenital liars. Some worse than others. The current batch are the worst in living memory...and I ain't exactly a teenager any more.
    Gin
    28th May 2014
    4:23pm
    I was under the impression that pensioners with health issues would not be paying the $7 fee, this has been confirmed by my doctor what do others think. If this is the case none of the following replies are applicable.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    4:36pm
    Those under a Health Care Plan, seeing their Dr on a regular planned basis those with chronic conditions will be exempt, that is how I understand it to be. I have cancer...thus I would not be expected to pay that $7 to my Dr or Surgeon....when I have a consultation
    Radish
    28th May 2014
    4:45pm
    Misinformation is the order of the day.
    I would suggest that if anyone on here has any questions go to their local Federal Member and ask them directly.
    Hopefully, you should get the correct answer.
    Relying on what you hear on TV and radio is fraught with danger and only scaremongering.
    MITZY
    28th May 2014
    6:22pm
    How can you go to your local federal member and get a straight and direct answer?
    They wouldn't know what a straight or direct answer was!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:22pm
    I feel sorry for you PIXPD, even if you are an ex pollie.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    8:08pm
    You folks are so funny.....hee, hee......and you are so ignorant when you speak about me.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    8:15pm
    NO need to feel sorry for me.... I belong to the Lord Yeshua.... I'm a winner....in life or death I am his... I win.
    bookwyrm
    29th May 2014
    11:36pm
    Not true, Gin. I have chronic conditions and attend a non bulkbilling surgery. Only one doctor bulkbilled me but she left at Christmas. The AMA said it will be up to the discretion of the doctor but financially its not worth their while. If they dont buljbulkbill you will get less back from Mficare. If they bulkbill you pay the first 10 apts a year if you have a concession card.
    Kato
    28th May 2014
    4:24pm
    The bottom line is this, Australian Governments since federation have had boom times to Invest for aged pensions, It is no good setting future fund's etc if they keep on spending them. and it is no good blaming the punter all the time, when you can't manage the economy. libs or Labour, greens or whomever we would still be asking them to be ACCOUNTABLE for managing OUR FUNDS get it OUR FUNDS not theirs.
    Sweden and Denmark who have similar populations, and they pay nothing, nada for health care, and still get a pension. because they do what Australia used to do when I was young, something was taken out of your pay for your retirement, instead of giving it to Superanuation companies who end up with a fair share of it, and pay no tax, Tax the big end of town on there super and the Gov't would not have to be penalising the old and the infirm.as for the pension being an entitlement or reward take your pick. The entitlements or rewards politicians get in the job plus when they leave it should be looked at by Hockey and Corrman and taken away not just a token gesture to the public with a contemptuous curl of the lip saying see we have frozen our wages for a WHOLE YEAR whoopee, the perks you Joe and Matty get negates all of that.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:26pm
    HOW ABOUT CLOSING THE LOOPHOLES FOR THE RICH SO THAT THEY CANNOT CONTINUE TO SQUIRREL AWAY THEIR LOOT TO AVOID PAYING REAL TAX. 15% IS WHAT THIS GROUP PAY INTO THEIR SUPER ACCOUNTS WHILST AVERAGE AUSTRALIANS ON THE MARGINAL RATE PAY ABOUT 40%. UNFAIR? YOU BET YA. GOING TO STOP THE RORT? NO WAY. WELCOME TO THE ABBOTT GOVERNMENT, ELECTED BY A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN FUNDED BY THE BIG END OF TOWN.
    SO WHO IS THE DUMB ASS???? HMM.......
    genimi
    28th May 2014
    11:58pm
    Kato, we have never had a contributory scheme - what was taken out and allocated for welfare was for the welfare of those recipients of that time.
    Kato
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:30pm
    genimi
    ‘About forty something years ago the government imposed a tax on income to fund the retirement pension, later on that tax was incorporated into the overall income tax and stopped leaving a trail. Governments should have managed that money so they would be able to fulfil their part of the deal but instead, of course, have "missmanaged" that money as any proper S.O.B. should do.
    Kato
    28th May 2014
    4:31pm
    Notice how the Liberal machine is swinging into action to belittle Clive Palmer. They did it to Pauline Hanson, beware when they legislate to weaken the powers of minor parties and individual senators. You will have no rights then.
    Ruthie
    28th May 2014
    4:35pm
    As an age pensioner, I recently supplemented my pension by working in two schools being employed as a tutor for Aboriginal students. The program was terminated this year just after Tony Abbott said that the closing the gap program still lags behind in addressing literacy needs of Aboriginal students. What followed? The program was axed. As for tams and his statement on PHI. I do still pay this. Ever wondered why the costs keep rising? Recently in February, I took myself to private hospital A&E as I had a urinary tract infection and my doctor was unavailable. The result? The consultant - a GP, insisted I be admitted overnight. I was given antibiotics intravenously and again the next morning when seen by specialist, who said I could go home once a script was filled. I was appalled when my health fund sent me a copy of benefit paid on my behalf. A whopping $4790 for one night in a 4 bed ward. I have asked local MP to follow up and after futile efforts to find the reason for this excessive charge, finally CEO of the hospital rang me and told me the health fund decides on the cost according to a scale according to the illness. No wonder health funds are demanding higher fees. Maybe I should contact a TV news program re this rort. I wrote an email to Peter Dutton, but of course typical of arrogant Libs, no reply!
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    4:50pm
    In Public Hospital, had stents in heart, full replacement of hip, various chemo and ops for cancer..and paid bugger all.. ...that's Medicare..and the Surgeons were all from Private hospitals. Apparently they have to do work in Public Hospitals I think it's something to do with their licence to practice, but not sure on that.
    bookwyrm
    29th May 2014
    11:45pm
    I dont have private health insurance. Cant afford it. We have to save our Medicare. The Liberals want to make it like USA where people have have to sell their houses to afford hospital treatment.
    patrick
    28th May 2014
    4:46pm
    I was forced to retire due to health reasons. Also due to
    Other personal reasons was not able to accumulate
    What I had intended before retiring. So I am dependent on the aged pension. I did work hard during my working
    Years. I guess my hard luck story could be assumed to be made up, but its not. There are probably many in my
    Position, I feel for them, I guess we are stuck to the
    Upcoming draconian changes. We are powerless to change the scene until next election.
    Maybe we will think carefully next time.
    How quickly the world has changed.


    Made up and I feel for those
    roenchris
    28th May 2014
    4:50pm
    I'm on your side, we don't drink smoke, and only use the car when essential. Would love to know how one person who has commented can save $160 a fortnight.
    We sure as hell can't . My only pleasure now is my internet. Happy days
    ,!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:29pm
    People get the government they deserve.
    So the pain we all now endure is the result of stupidity and being easily led by slick propaganda campaigns. Now we all suffer more than needs to be the case whilst the loot heads to the big end of town. Well done Australia!!
    carmencita
    28th May 2014
    5:07pm
    A reward and an entitlement for the hard yakka we did when we were able. As do everybody else. Why is it so hard for politicians to understand the predicament of thousands Australians who are relying on this safety net to survive when they are also doing the same though they are reaping it in millions. Are they more deserving than those who are receiving the bare minimum to survive in our golden age. I'm sure they haven't done the hard work that ordinary Australians do as they only hire people at taxpayers' expense to do the work for them. While I am grateful for the pension, but it is also a hard slug to get by. While arrogantly Hockey pointed out that if we can afford the cost of cigarettes and alcohol, it would not be hardship to pay the $7 medicare copayment. I don't indulge in any of these and have to be careful to prioritise utility bills before food and everything else just to survive on pension. it is high handed and arrogance for Abbott and Hockey to think that their budget is fair. Yet they have not touched their salaries and allowances and gold cards in the cutting of expenditures.
    biddi
    28th May 2014
    5:28pm
    We must watch Current Affair channel 9 tonight regarding bludgers. (Wednesday).
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    8:39pm
    I listened to ABC Radio todays Parliament, it was just as Good !!
    And We pay THEM ????
    Crazy Horse
    29th May 2014
    8:19pm
    Must be a slow news day so as usual they'll find the one in a million exception and try to use that to geralise that e eryone on benefits is some sort of low life.

    Watch for the biggest "crime" of all, objecting to someone with a camera barging aggresively into your private space.
    Heart of the Sunrise
    28th May 2014
    5:30pm
    To make ends meet I go without lunch and only eat two meals a day.

    The fact that I have to do this to fund middle class tax perks like negative gearing and superannuation tax loopholes for the rich is an absolute disgrace.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:32pm
    You are missing in action mate: negative gearing is a red herring as the real money is heading to the wealthy via a company tax rate decrease (down 1.5%). And then there is the election bribe for mums who can stay at home for 6 months on full pay.
    Realise that negative gearing needs to be tweaked but take it away and a huge amount of houses go onto the market and the poor will end up in tents on the street as investors will look elsewhere for a return. Not as simple as it seems eh.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:32pm
    You are missing in action mate: negative gearing is a red herring as the real money is heading to the wealthy via a company tax rate decrease (down 1.5%). And then there is the election bribe for mums who can stay at home for 6 months on full pay.
    Realise that negative gearing needs to be tweaked but take it away and a huge amount of houses go onto the market and the poor will end up in tents on the street as investors will look elsewhere for a return. Not as simple as it seems eh.
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    8:45pm
    Driving Tent Pegs into the Footpath is Frowned upon in this Town !!
    Wstaton
    28th May 2014
    5:50pm
    I think the one reason that some people were able to survive at a reasonable level is because they invested in their own home. They did not have to pay rent although there are expenses to pay with owning one own home. Now it would appear theta the Abbot/hockey clan wants to take that away.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:32pm
    That's it in a nutshell.
    Ruthie
    29th May 2014
    9:25am
    Absolutely! Read of a pensioner in Sydney 80+, who if her home is used in assets test, means she will have nothing to live on as she will be deemed to be too wealthy. The house sh owns is very modest, but because it's in Sydney would bring well over $800000. Why should she have to sell the only asset she has? The same house here in Tasmania would probably bring something like $300000. Go figure! This government is all for the wealthy and those that look down their stuck up noses at those in poor circumstances. These include the likes of Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch.
    chertl
    28th May 2014
    6:26pm
    As has been commented on here the pension is something we have worked hard for and paid our taxes the same as anyone else. Starting at 16 for a measly five pounds and five pence as an apprentice hairdresser in 1964 then working right through even after having 3 children. Had to retire in 2009 to care for my mother who had Cancer. In all that time and not getting super till the late 80's we didn't have the opportunity to save or contribute more to our super. So to me the pension I receive is far less than all the taxes I paid and am entitled to what I receive. Times are hard but you have to work out your priorities so the main things are paid for. I would love to see the pollies live on what we are.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:34pm
    Don't worry as I am sure that Gina Rinehart will get some of the money you paid into your retirement. That is what the Abbott government is all about: THE TRANSFER OF WEALTH TO THE RICH.....and you fell for the spiel eh!!
    Retired Knowall
    28th May 2014
    6:36pm
    Here is a way to make the 2 major parties listen. harness the power of the Grey Voter. Get it organised so that the grey army shuns both of these parties and negotiate with the Greens or Independants in your electorate. It wouldn't take much effort, use this forum to get your numbers and send these muppets back to the unemployment pool. Before you do this, get together and work out what you want and how you will fund it....best of luck.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:37pm
    That might work. But better is for a Pensioners Party where pensioners put aside their own political biases whatever they are and votes in one block. That will bring down any political party in the country. Then change will come. the question is can you get people who cannot see past the ends of their noses to do what is needed to fix repeated attacks on them? I doubt it so get used to being done over.
    Wstaton
    28th May 2014
    7:45pm
    Actually if the grey power and the under 30's got together they would end up as the major party considering that they are the main people affected by theses horrendous attacks on us.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2014
    9:34pm
    Wstaton - so you want the under 30's - who are going to fund your higher retirement pension payments with their likely higher taxes to join with you?

    mick - so you want to get a unified party of pensioners that can strike fear into the government - so they can tax the rest of the population who works - so you can get more by being retired?

    We probably need a middle of the road party - one that has a vision for Australia and lets people get rich if they want to (even encourages it because they employ people) - but is not totally focused on ensuring they just get richer - at the expense of others. And one that probably saves some of those riches for when we as a country no longer have as much.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:10am
    Reasons: older Australians are pussies and let themselves be pushed around by politicians and be treated like dirt in some cases (the current government). So you have to accept whatever crumbs come your way. The way forward is to MAKE A STATEMENT so that both sides of politics realise that you are not to be messed around with. Creating a party and getting those with their 'opinions' to vote the same way as the rest of the group is of course the challenge as some people do not know what is good for them but insist on having autonomy. We already have some politicians who show up at nursing homes and all but vote for the dementia crew (wrong) so maybe as a group pensioners could help. themselves.
    Downtrain
    28th May 2014
    6:41pm
    I can mange on the day to day stuff. I can even cop0e with the $7.00 capped charge. I have private health insurance and a car. Major works on the car such as my next service about $700. and my health insurance premium come from my small amount of savings.
    I do not want to give up the PHI as I have a number of issues with health.
    I need the interest rate to go up to 6% plus so I can pay PHI of the earnings rather than drawing down on my capital.
    Grateful
    28th May 2014
    7:11pm
    I don't reckon that Aussies would agree to a tough budget if it was necessary. But, why the polls are so vehemently against the government is not because of the tough budget but because Tony Abbott has lied and has tried to say that he hasn't with weasel words.
    Aussies hate liars especially those that try to weasel out of it. The Libs MUST get rid of him ASAP or the 2016 election is already lost.
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:41pm
    Have a look at how many places pensioners have been hit. Unlike the rich for whom this budget actually makes a lot of money pensioners have more to pay for petrol. medical, pensions (assets and income tests are up for changes and the family home is still in the firing line for future attacks) and increased future retirement age. I'm sure there things I may have missed.
    So how is this not a tough budget Grateful? And who is hit? Average Australians or the rich who got a tax deduction?
    Wader
    28th May 2014
    7:29pm
    We are self-funded retirees. We are not and never have been wealthy or had high paying jobs. We managed to pay off a house and raise 3 kids when family payments were a joke. We sent them all to uni (while they each worked 2-3 jobs to help out). We've been on one decent holiday in 45 years and have never owned a new car. . My husband had health problems which meant he had to retire early and to make ends meet, my lousy superannuation ($18000 before tax) had to be cashed in.The inherited bit of useless farming land which my parents had struggled on, meant our kids weren't eligible for assistance as students, and we still own an asset that puts us over over the limit but no-one wants to buy it. Our "living wage" is about the same as a pension, but we get no perks and pay full price everything.
    Many many self-funded retirees could sing this "sad and whingy song".
    The point is, we have actually had a good, happy life and we manage.
    Now in our 70s we both work 3 days a week as volunteers.
    Intending no disrespect to people on pensions, I do believe ALL Seniors deserve a health card and Senior's card. Large numbers of Seniors surely earn them with the voluntary community work we do!
    MICK
    28th May 2014
    7:45pm
    Life is not fair and the system is not intended to make it otherwise. I do feel sorry for folk who have been done over more than the rest of us. This government is a disgrace to human decency and people need to direct their votes to Independents so that both major parties get the message. Should I hold my breath that people will do is good for them? Yeah right!!
    AlbertC
    28th May 2014
    7:54pm
    it was about 67/8 can,t quite remember i had eight kids when some jerk in the lbs party started taxing all family's with kids on the same tax as single people i fell into a hole and started working a second job i was working approximately 18 hours a day paying twice as much tax as a bank manger who only worked 5 days a week and got to see his family my kids hardly saw me except Sundays all that work just earn an extra $ 60 to 70 bucks a where was the compassion then i like many like me paid a double tax so i say we should get what we paid for. could imagine a polly taking a full on pay cut not on there slimy bellies would they nor would they increase there taxes to double what they tax themselves now never and i know a lot of people out there who buy new cars and new house furniture every year to offset there assets and that sucks..have a nice day
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    8:50pm
    Has anybody seen My old friend Malcolm !!
    from 25% to 33% Income Tax !! O Boy that hurt !!
    But people forgot !!
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:12am
    Fraser also had the highest interest rates in the nation's history, 21%. So you think that the Liberal Party is good? Yeah right.
    AlbertC
    28th May 2014
    7:54pm
    it was about 67/8 can,t quite remember i had eight kids when some jerk in the lbs party started taxing all family's with kids on the same tax as single people i fell into a hole and started working a second job i was working approximately 18 hours a day paying twice as much tax as a bank manger who only worked 5 days a week and got to see his family my kids hardly saw me except Sundays all that work just earn an extra $ 60 to 70 bucks a where was the compassion then i like many like me paid a double tax so i say we should get what we paid for. could imagine a polly taking a full on pay cut not on there slimy bellies would they nor would they increase there taxes to double what they tax themselves now never and i know a lot of people out there who buy new cars and new house furniture every year to offset there assets and that sucks..have a nice day
    Judy in the hills
    28th May 2014
    8:06pm
    I would love to see a GENUINE breakdown of exactly how someone manages on the age pension and still "saves" $300-400 per month and someone else says $600 per month! What are they actually eating - chook scraps?
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    9:11pm
    Don't start Me Judy !! From what they spit out on here I think they Dine with Tony !!.
    Yes!! in ten years one of them has put away 72,000 bucks on the Pension !!.
    And another is doing so well He is thinking of giving Half of His pension back !!..
    Can I have those Chook Scraps please I'm Famished !!...
    Smell a Rat Did You??
    Judy in the hills
    28th May 2014
    8:13pm
    I would really like to see a genuine breakdown of what these pensions manage to eat so that they can "save" $300-$600 in a month as a couple of comments made suggest. Can they supply a genuine breakdown of their total costs?
    Anonymous
    29th May 2014
    6:18am
    I save $300 fortnight from pension and I need not give account to any of you for doing that.....if I structure my budget to be able to do this then that's what I do....others do was they will.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:23am
    It can be done Judy but requires no debt and no rent (own home). Then there are the other savers:

    1. buy the specials at the supermarkets (I know it is more convenient to do all your shopping at one but this costs)...we go to all three...saves heaps
    2. if you are wanting to buy something try Ebay and Gumtree and/or wait for a special to come up.....discipline!!
    3. shop around for best telephone and internet deal. They exist.
    4. don't go out more than two or three times a year. Eat at home.
    5. don't drink at the club or play the pokies, or for that matter don't gamble.
    6. don't buy an expensive fuel guzzling car and try not to drive around too much.
    7. wait for end of season clothing specials and buy ahead when these are at throw out prices.
    8. don't smoke.
    9. there's more.
    Ok, I can see some folk saying he missed 'stop breathing'. All of the above are matters of discipline so that you do not have to cry poor and claim that you cannot make ends meet. Whilst my wife and I do all of the above we do have a good life and we do travel overseas EVERY YEAR on the money we save. It can be done but it does not work if you are of the opinion that living like this does not fit your lifestyle.
    If nothing else the challenge should generate a bit of debate. But it can be done. Up to the challenge or easier to have a whinge?
    particolor
    29th May 2014
    8:49pm
    And when You get on Board Ship.. Grab all the Freebies You can lay Yer Bloody Hands On !!!...YEEE!! HA!!
    Virginia
    28th May 2014
    8:20pm
    My 93 year old Father worked hard as a brick layer with work being spasmodic. He always saved a little. We were taught to only spend what you earn . We always lived comfortably. He is entitled to a full pension not having anywhere near the amount to reduce the pension. But he saves still and he goes dancing, so has the clothes. He eats very well so is healthy. He has never smoked but enjoys a beer. He drives an old car but it is maintained and safe. He gets no speed tickets. So what do others who want more do with their money... the same they have always done, never lived within a budget expected someone else to provide what they want. Dad also has Private Health Insurance. So how can he do it.!!!!! We live in the best country in the world. What is wrong with living within your means and saving a little for a rainy day!!!!
    Anonymous
    29th May 2014
    7:45am
    GOOD ONE..... folks need to learn to budget, and do not be concerned about negative comments towards you. Anyone who has a positive life are not really welcomed here.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:25am
    Tony Abbott and his disreputable crew of cutthroats will still have him laying bricks so it should be a good retirement (sic).
    Your father was a good role model. We need more of him.
    Mar
    28th May 2014
    8:23pm
    What will many pensioners and low income people do to manage if this budget is accepted ?With the many "sneaky" cuts that will take place to their meagre income they will need to--stay home(least cost);not eat too much; minimize the use of gas and electricity; read constantly to avoid boredom; save as much as they can to pay the $7 doctors fee and increases in prescription costs that will arise to treat their depression. All this will eventually shorten how long they live and and support the government in reducing the pension budget. Problem solved!!!!
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    9:16pm
    Ask Virginia above You there Mar Her Daddy seems to Know all the Tricks !!
    Mar
    28th May 2014
    8:29pm
    Mick, for the first time in my life I voted for an Independent in the last election. I'm trying!
    particolor
    28th May 2014
    9:21pm
    So did I Mar !! But He got Bushwhacked by a Big Promising LIB ??
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:28am
    Good work Mar. Remember particolor that every journey starts with the first step. Both sides of politics are scared shi*less about people voting in Independents and they both begged people not to do this at the last election. Voting the bastards out means that they lose their pay packet...and that hurts them. This is the way to change both parties and fix the political rorts and behaviours. But will people listen with their entrenched voting habits? That is the question.
    genimi
    29th May 2014
    12:40pm
    unfortunately many will not lose their paypacket - and then we will have to pay others as well!!!
    Kathleen
    28th May 2014
    9:21pm
    We are on a full pension and I have been working on a budget today fearing the worst. We would not go out at all for meals or movies. Neither of us drinks or smokes. I have multiple complicated illnesses and my husband has good health. We do not use the car much to save on petrol. We like to buy presents for our children and grandchildren and that fits into our budget. Holidays will not happen. We eat well making the most of specials. We do have private health cover; mine is higher than my husband's. If we have an outing it will be to visit our grandchildren. We think we will be okay if our pension is not hit too hard. Hopefully, not at all! We must all remember we are standing up for the weakest in our society and what the government threatens the most vulnerable is unacceptable!
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:29am
    Read my post above. You may not like the medicine but your budget will thrive if you follow the advice.
    Blossom
    28th May 2014
    11:02pm
    I would like to comment about the article on Electricity Savings which impacts on our pension budgets
    I manged to save on consumption but my account still went up because of the large increase in supply charges.
    particolor
    29th May 2014
    9:08pm
    Want a Laugh Engy ??.. I thought I would try one of those Companies on that list to see if I could save anything !! They rang Me and signed Me up !! And sent some Paperwork !! A day later they rang back and said We are sorry but we cannot Supply You as You have no Credit Rating ?? (No, because I pay cash for every thing) .. I saw Red and Yelled back at the Indian.."Since when did You have to have a FN Credit Rating to get Ripped Off by a FN Power Company ??" and Hung Up !!
    Paddles
    28th May 2014
    11:03pm
    You invite comments from individual pensioners as to how they are faring with the Aged Pension as the sole source of income.
    Surely the answers that you get will cover the whole range of satisfaction to the depths of despair. This will be related to the individual circumstances of each person when they commenced receiving the pension and that, of course, means how they structured their pre-pension life.
    I and my wife live comfortably on the pension, run two cars and even save a little each fortnight. Our needs are simple, our diet is adequate and we are of an age when travel is more of a chore than a pleasure.
    Clearly, those unfortunate enough to be paying rent in a place like Sydney or those that were totally improvident in their younger life, would be doing it tough but one cannot turn back the clock, nor can we expect the Government to pay a pension on an individual needs basis.
    Would that this basic concept be appreciated by the younger to middle aged generations but I'm afraid that most people born after (say) 1960, have spent or wasted their life in the shaky expectation that the Govt will "provide" for them in their later years.
    bartpcb
    29th May 2014
    2:36am
    This government is a conscienceless group of yuppy school bully boys dressed in adult clothing. They attack the 'soft targets' in society because they believe there will be minimum fallout to damage them. They spout off endless reels of vindictive spin to stigmatize the pensioners to justify their actions and the sad thing is that the people who fell for their pre-election spin, will fall for it again.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:34am
    You miss the main game of this government bartpcb: the transfer of money from average Australians to the well off and rich. Follow the money trail, check out the budget, have a look at whose superannuation changes improved and whose were canned when Abbott got in and you will see where the money trail leads. Its all there but you have to WANT to get over your own political disbelief hurdles to see it for what it is.
    The next question is 'what are you going to do about it at the next election'? Vote for the same bastards again? It scares me how many Australians would answer that question. Good luck.

    29th May 2014
    6:53am
    I save $300 fortnight from pension and I need not give account to any of you for doing that.....if I structure my budget to be able to do this then that's what I do....others do was they will.

    A budget is never to be based on rent assistance or pensioners concessions or any other EXTRA money, it must be solely based on the flat pension rate. The same as a working person should never base their budget on overtime pay, but on base pay; for when overtime ceases you might find yourself in deep crap unable to pay bills or mortgage.

    Same for pensioners who base their budget on the concessions, if they cease at any time then they too will be in deep crap... not that the pensioner concessions will cease, just saying it's unwise to budget that way.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:34am
    Well spoken.

    29th May 2014
    7:14am
    Want to save money on prescriptions for tablets ?..... just ask your doctor to double the MG of each tablet, that way you pay one price but can break the tablets in half so they last 2 months instead of one month. If you have a few tablets and your Dr doubles each one, you can save lots on prescriptions this way. If you can do this you will cut your yearly prescription costs in 1/2
    particolor
    29th May 2014
    8:16am
    How to Double Your Money ...
    Fold it in Half ...
    Anonymous
    29th May 2014
    8:27am
    Photocopier works well too.....
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    9:41am
    Better still do some research and work out if you have been put on an over subscription treadmill. My wife discovered that she had no need of her blood pressure pills. She got herself off and her blood pressure is fine now. Healthy living and exercise worked.
    I am sure there are a heap of other so called 'ailments' which may fall into the same category, but be careful and understand the risks. This is where google and research is worth its weight in gold.
    particolor
    29th May 2014
    10:56pm
    PIX yes I noticed the other other week when a neighbour asked Me for loan of a 20 Spot I gave him a Photo Copy of one !!.. He said "You don't live in the Real World ! Do You ?"
    Grateful
    29th May 2014
    7:25am
    Putting aside the public service for now, the boardroom alarm bells will ring when many CEOs realize how much their businesses relied on a ‘money-go-round’ of tax, benefits and spending among lower socio-economic status groups – the groups who have the highest propensity to consume (rather than invest) income.
    That's from today's Business Spectator.

    The writer has hit the nail on the head and this has always been my argument.
    Those with the lower assets and income, actually SPEND nearly everything they earn, but not because they have "a greater propensity to spend" but, because they in the main have no choice, because they have to live.
    My argument is that they should substantially reduce the eligibility criteria, as very much of the pension that goes to people who have enough to support themselves is added to their savings. Whereas, if that portion is stopped, then some of that can be transferred to those on the base rate to raise them above the poverty line.
    That would be a serious win/win/win. It will benefit the budget (by saving billions), it will improve the quality of life for our elderly and it will stimulate the economy by those on the base rate of pension being able to spend that extra that is paid to them.
    And please don't tell me that those who lose that "unnecessary extra" would be losers!!



    That is not to argue that such a money-go-round is desirable, only that the drying up of billions of dollars of ‘social wages’ in the years ahead will be at least a short-term hit on the bottom line of many firms. We will get our first clear indicators of this in the next reporting season in mid-August.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    1:28pm
    You have a good handle on the game at hand Grateful. I have argued for many years that average people have to consume 100% of their income whilst rich folk consume much less and invest the rest. Maybe a double edged sword but consumption is what supports businesses in this country and Abbott's idea of hitting average Australians was not well thought out by his masters (big business) who are going to have to get used to less money because Australians will not have the same purchasing power any more. Bad politics all round.
    Oars
    29th May 2014
    9:05am
    The first thing we should all do is to ask Labor to pay back the massive rorts they burdened us with. Like $47 Billion for unwanted school halls that have little to do with educating our kids to be smarter. The second one is the stupid idea that we all need Broadband- this should have been made available for those who could afford it and PAID for it. Thirdly- those ongoing costs of retired politicians. Once they are voted out or retired- let them fend for themselves like all of us workers. That will bring in about $100 BILLION, that could be spread evenly over all retirees of 40 years residency (or more)- not the fly-ins who drag their aged family with them, with all their welfare costs. Simple and effective- look after your own household before looking around to spend other's hard earned money.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    1:43pm
    You must be one of the "heavy lifters" Oars. This is clearly why you are repeating the Abbott propaganda without question or context. To take each of your imbecilic statements in turn:
    1. Public schools have been run into the ground under previous liberal governments which sent large amounts of money direct to the richest private schools whilst starving the state system. Can you imagine a private school with 800 kids standing in the rain or winter cold listening to speakers? I can't. I am also unsure about your figure as it sounds way to high.
    2. You have absolutely no idea about what the NBN is about but yet make comment on it. You probably think that this is about people downloading DVDs as this is the type of misleading misinformation which has come from Malcolm Turnbull (liberal stoolie). What this whole issue is about is that data needs have been doubling for many years. If one projects this 20 years ahead then WE WILL BE NEEDING 1 000 000 TIMES THE DATA MOVEMENT CAPABILITIES WE NEED TODAY. You have read that correctly: one million times current usage!! Copper is not even near a quarter of that. And bear in mind that more and more people are not going to be going into town to get to work as we are moving to home based work where many jobs will involve people working from home. This is not science fiction, it is coming. The question is do we prepare for it of stick our heads in the sand? Clearly this deadbeat worst of all governments chooses to ignore the coming tsunami and kick the can down the road whilst local business is just not smart enough to see past the end of the week, if that.
    3. Whilst many of us share your sentiments about politicians (we all hate them) remember that the job is arduous, everybody hates you and you may only be in for 1 term. The point is that if you do not give the bastards a bit of incentive then they'll become real estate agents, insurance salesmen and bankers. So who do you propose runs the country? And yes, to answer the question you have not even asked, they are not worth a pinch of ....... So do yourself a favour: VOTE INDEPENDENT to get rid of the worst of the 2 smells we have in parliament. Once the bastards realise that people are voting with their feet instead of like morons then they'll have to change or die a political death. Their choice. Yours too. Good luck.
    2.
    Travellersjoy
    29th May 2014
    9:48am
    I think the Age Pension is a responsibility to the generation retiring from work, as we undertook our responsibility to pay pensions for our predecessors. It is an issue of justice between generations where each leaves a heritage and receives a pension when they can't work.
    Pensions should provide a decent standard of living in the environment that they exist in - not 20 years ago, or a fantasy world.
    There should be proper means tests for pensions.
    Going without necessities is not acceptable.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    1:48pm
    That is at the heart of the issue. Money for pensions has been re-allocated to social security life time bludgers, to caring for the kids of working mums, to frittering away by unaccountable politicians and of course the bank accounts of the rich who abuse the superannuation system (under existing rules of course) and get tax deductions whilst the rest of the nation pays.
    Well you might complain but if you are not happy DO NOT VOTE FOE THE BASTARDS. Plan C is to VOTE FOR AN INDEPENDENT AND SEND A MESSAGE. Until you do they will continue to play the your turn/my turn game. Don't be a sucker!!
    Barney
    29th May 2014
    11:59am
    To try and save and survive on the full aged pension I only buy what I need, repair, sew torn cloths, put on extra warm cloths when its cold, when watching tv, do not use heaters unless unavoidable . Pay advance payments every fortnight on phone power, monthly direct debit on car insurance and thinking of cutting out my contents insurance that I have direct debited. I just try hard to stick to a tight budget & manage to survive without luxurys.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    1:51pm
    Well done. You've got the idea. Add to that doing your food shopping in all 3 stores to get the most out of weekly specials, stock up on some of these and buy clothing and all manner of consumable needs WHEN THEY COME ON AT A HEAVILY DISCOUNTED PRICE. That way you get to keep thousands a year. This is the choice one makes and I know that many pensioners prefer to complain because it is all too much trouble and is not their way of life. You get what you. Great that you are not whinging about things you can do something about. Well done Barney!
    Radish
    1st Jun 2014
    7:57am
    The Op shops are fantastic. I love them and I buy such lovely clothes there. I hate paying the ridiculous prices they charge in the retail stores as we all know the markups on clothing can be up to 300%.
    You can dress very well and cheaply and use the money on other things that are more essential; i.e. utilities and food.
    Sen.Cit.90
    29th May 2014
    1:51pm
    After the P Keating attack on pensioners (Deeming) sending many, many of us to the stock market with our retirement savings (stock markets then collapsed) ALP lost my vote!
    They almost got it back when Mark Leatham promised over 70's or 75's? free access to private hospitals. Unfortunately it didn't happen. Access to private hospital without PHI would be a godsend for those who cannot afford PHI.
    Anonymous
    29th May 2014
    1:54pm
    The Govt are more likely to give the aged free access to the funeral parlour.
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    6:44pm
    Rates are so low that the stock market is a blessing. You are lamenting over the 18% pa rates which came and went real quickly indeed.
    Remember that long term income investors do not panic when the price of their shares goes down (or up) because they want the returns which long term investing have always brought. I wish I'd have bought some Commbank when they floated as I'd be getting a dividend of maybe 40% pa (???). Not bad when you look at bank interests is it.

    29th May 2014
    1:57pm
    Ok you pensioners, all together now sing...

    'Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
    Nobody knows my sorrows;
    No politician gives a damn
    Oh no.... oh yeah'

    Where's Al Jolson when you need him?......oh that's right..dead
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    6:45pm
    I'll drink to that. What about some Titanic music.
    Crazy Horse
    29th May 2014
    3:54pm
    I worked hard, saved, scrapped and went without to have my home paid off in my early thirties. I then set about saving for what I thought would be a comfortable retirement. I paid plenty in tax in the process. I was the one who paid through the nose so others could receive payments.

    At aged 53 it was all stolen from me by the blatantly sexist Family Court and the parasites that infest it.

    After a lifetime of hard work at 60 years of age my body is stuffed. Now I'm just trying to survive until I reach pension age so I can live in poverty for the rest of my days.

    Do I think I'm entitled to the pension when I qualify for it.. Dam right I do!
    MICK
    29th May 2014
    6:50pm
    Don't know if things are any better in the age of enlightenment but blokes drop dead at the same rate as the fairer sex but the only thing you routinely ever see on the media is women's ailments. Clearly men's ailments are of the Animal Farm vintage and do not matter. Such was the case with the Family Court of past where men were thrown onto the streets whilst the main carer (mum) normally got the house whilst dad got the mortgage.
    What did Malcolm Fraser say: "Life wasn't meant to be easy". Another damned useless liberal.
    That should be a good conversation starter.
    particolor
    29th May 2014
    9:17pm
    It should have been Mick ! But it looks like this Blog has Dropped Dead now ??..
    Life wasn't meant to Sleazy either !!..But that Don't bother them ... BYE...
    Janpeter
    29th May 2014
    6:45pm
    It's your debt, it needs to be repaid from any assets you leave behind just like all your other debts. Any thing else is unfair on all Australian tax payers.
    wally
    30th May 2014
    10:06am
    Damn. If all the entitlements are cut back, I shall have to forgo my Annual ski holiday in St. Moritz, rent out rooms in the house in Toorak, get another year out of my 2013 Range Rover instead of getting a new one, and renting out the beach shack at Byron Bay! Just Kidding, folks.
    Maybe we can all look forward to our retired politicians like Malcolm, Bob, Paul, Little Johnny, Kevin and Julia setting us all a good example and doing with out some of their entitlements in retirement as we are expected to do. Or will Clive "the P" save us?
    ththadsl
    30th May 2014
    10:09am
    When the age pension first came in, few people lived long enough to receive it. I started work at 15 and retired at 64 - I will soon be 82. Working life - 49 years, retirement, so far - 18 years. My wife and I are fortunate in managing quite comfortably. Of course not everyone is as fortunate as us. However, with the country having such a large debt, something has got to be done. In regards to the co-payment for the doctor, I offered to pay my doctor when I first started to go to him, but he refused saying he was a bulk-billing practitioner. I just hope the country doesn't end up like Greece, where I believe they cut their pensions substantially!

    30th May 2014
    12:15pm
    NOT long now to the next pension rise...oh yeah...I'll soon be on $1,000 fortnight

    30th May 2014
    4:04pm
    Reported in the media, Asian tiger mosquito set to invade Australia's east coast, the pest carries dengue, yellow fever, Ross River and chikungunya virus. Queensland scientists are studying the species to understand it better. I see no real danger to Australians from this invasion as the budget would have sucked the blood from us before they arrive.
    Radish
    1st Jun 2014
    8:01am
    Heard the Treasurer (in reply to Clive Palmer) say that 70% of the borrowed money is from overseas. I was not aware it was that high.
    What would happen if they ever do to Australia what happened to Greece...stopped lending to us??
    Hockey said we have to pay back as soon as we can because if interest rates start going up so will our current interest bill of 1 Billion dollars a month.
    Now, that would be an interesting scenario would it not. Imagine how tight things would become then!
    Judy in the hills
    2nd Jun 2014
    3:38pm
    We learned how not to spend so much - accidentally - by moving to the hills around Adelaide where as turns out the shopping is not so "exotic" so the temptation to spend unnecessarily disappears somewhat.
    Radish
    3rd Jun 2014
    10:00am
    Yes, shopping can indeed be a temptation. In future there may be a few more "heading for the hills" if the cost of buying and renting in the cities goes much higher.
    However, I have head in the last day or so that house prices are starting to drop; so they should all far too over priced and have been for years!
    If Asian investment in housing is brought to a halt no doubt this will add to prices dropping as well.
    viva
    3rd Jun 2014
    11:14am
    I am on a full pension and it is very difficult to meet all financial obligations such as rates, electricity, car expenses etc all normal every day things. I would like to see Abbott &Hokey try to live on a pension budget. Now the qld govt is also penalising seniors. Time to leave this state and country. We seniors should all sell up and let the Asian invasion happen and go live in their countries.
    Kato
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:27pm
    Genimi
    ‘About forty something years ago the government imposed a tax on income to fund the retirement pension, later on that tax was incorporated into the overall income tax and stopped leaving a trail. Governments should have managed that money so they would be able to fulfil their part of the deal but instead, of course, have "missmanaged" that money as any proper S.O.B. should do.

    Passed by both sides
    Kathleen
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:41pm
    Radish, you are surmising that this is true what comes out of the mouths of Abbott and Hockey. If their lips are moving they are lying. Read online from financial experts. When November comes we can voice our anger at the ballot box! Even Queensland has an election early next year. On Facebook there is such a backlash against the government it astounds me. I can never remember people being so angry and vocal about a budget. With Facebook and other similar devices the government will feel the wrath of the people like never before! They think they can manage us through to the next federal election and then promise us some rewards they are sadly mistaken. Maintain the rage!
    Kathleen
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:41pm
    Radish, you are surmising that this is true what comes out of the mouths of Abbott and Hockey. If their lips are moving they are lying. Read online from financial experts. When November comes we can voice our anger at the ballot box! Even Queensland has an election early next year. On Facebook there is such a backlash against the government it astounds me. I can never remember people being so angry and vocal about a budget. With Facebook and other similar devices the government will feel the wrath of the people like never before! They think they can manage us through to the next federal election and then promise us some rewards they are sadly mistaken. Maintain the rage!
    Pamiea
    3rd Jun 2014
    9:57pm
    "The age of entitlement is over" - WHAT A JOKE!! I recently turned 65 and retired. I have worked since I was 14 years of age, had ten months off when my son was born and when I marriage broke up when he was 16 months old I went back to work and I worked continuously to give us a better life than being put into a single parent status in high rise accommodation which wreaked of disharmony and low social economy. Why doesn't the Government use its expression "The age of entitlement is over" and take alls the full incomes off retiring judges and politicians - surely they have amassed a huge amount of money. For those around my age compulsory superannuation only came in in about 2003 so it wasn't easy to accumulate much more even though I took out a small super policy when I was 40 knowing I would never marry again. I feel I have done my bit and deserve to be looked after by this country as I have most certainly paid my taxes. Have a look at those on disability pensions - I know of two who are totally rorting the system and another who did for years. GET REAL YOU GUYS AND LOOK AFTER THOSE WHO HAVE LOOKED AFTER THE COUNTRY AND DONE THEIR ABSOLUTE BEST. TO SAY YOU DISGUST ME MR ABBOTT AND MR HOCKEY WOULD BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT!!! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND AND SEE THINGS AS THEY REALLY ARE. IF YOU SQUEEZE US PENSIONERS MUCH MORE WE WILL BURST AND SOME MAY TAKE THEIR LIVES!! PEOPLE WHO BATTLE ALONG WILL NOT GO TO THE DOCTORS WHEN THEY NEED TO SO WISE UP GUYS!!
    Not Senile Yet!
    4th Jun 2014
    12:41am
    PIXAPD....perhaps Joe Bow & his mate can use his Research Fund to find a way to make the Asian Tiger Mosquito to only attack pensioners over 65 and then quickly pass a death tax of 50% to reboost his Tax Coffers to convince every Australian that it was just a bad rumour that he was responsible for re-training the Asian Mosquito to attack only the over 65's....u know....the voters are so dumb theses days....
    They keep voting for the Parties....u know....the ones who have pre-sold your vote before they have received it to the Policy makers hidden behind Parliament......ooooh is such a thing possible?
    Nah.....we aren't that dumb are we?
    Not Senile Yet!
    4th Jun 2014
    12:47am
    Beware...the Grey Army is coming......they are angry at these Parties!
    Why you ask?
    Those of us that are suffering dementia or the big A......actually remember all the broken promises about looking after us in our old age.
    We know that the biggest offender of the Age Discrimination Act is the Party Machines.......we are not the best educated...but neither are we the Stupidest generation!!
    We are hunting you guys....You attack us.......We will attack you!
    Once ur over 50.....We not only Understand payback.....we know how to implement it LEGALY!
    Be scared...Be Very Scared!
    CARMA awaits you Morons!
    Ricken
    4th Jun 2014
    2:14pm
    It is time for us to revolt and get these **** with their snouts in the trough out of here. Talk about Marie Antoinette and "let them eat cake".
    Time to stop the "entitlement" of politicians and let them get the pension at the same rate of the rest of us. But of course they wouldn't qualify as they have filled their coffers along the way by way of cronyism and insider knowledge. What a farce the political system is and always has been. A whole bunch of bullies belittling the rest of us.
    To say the "people" are getting mad is an understatement.
    Want to balance the budget....take it from the high end of town you ***hol**.

    Gina Rhinehart makes a million dollars a MINUTE. She is such a nice person that even her own children hate her. Gina had the nerve to tell us we should be like Africans earning $2 a day or was it an hour. Sorry cannot remember...oh thats right I am old and shouldn't really be here now. I am an excess on society.
    Clive Palmer shows of his supreme excesses on the television while the rest of us battle to just keep a can of baked beans on the table. I do not drink, smoke, go out, rent dvds or any other of the excesses Joe Hockey expects that I have or do. Hell....you don't mind if I eat do you Joe........to say I am mad would be an understatement.
    To think I voted for them.........lets have another election now.
    We didn't realise you were going to penalise us to pay for the budget.
    Pamiea
    6th Jun 2014
    1:41pm
    The age of entitlement is over - is it Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott? Pray tell then why do we still pay retired Judges for the rest of their life and retired Politicians - surely they could have saved enough to look after themselves in retirement? Knock of their entitlement and stop eroding the finances of those who can least afford it despite their efforts to do as well as they can. YOU BOTH DISGUST ME AND I HOPE MOST AUSTRALIANS CAN SEE YOU FOR WHAT YOU ARE AND VOTE YOU OUT NEXT TIME. Imelda Marcos with all her shoes has nothing on you guys!!
    Anonymous
    6th Jun 2014
    4:02pm
    Tell them. Email read by staffers so usually not known to whom it i addressed. So twitter or Facebook. Can at least vent yur anger and feel better replacing the bitterness most os feel at the injustice that has crept in over the years with public servants once lowly paid because of life job security and a pension higher than state pension which has become a place where today the PM of the day is paid twice what Obama gets and 2/3rd more roughtly than Cameron in UK> And I reckon as you said, Judges etc are overpaid and usually relied on to be as akward when it comes to governments trying to actually do good because they think they should set the rules not the Parliament. And as for pensions for life being their pay well OTT we cant afford them can we when we look at indexing majority on age pension in 2017 and cutting out SFR their bit of concessions when they too paid into pension fund for retirement and Howard in his annoucement that he was granting them the Seniors Card did actually say it was beacuse they were not drawing down on the pension. Later he amended it. And made a point of saying re age pension, that is was 'a safety net' when not at all and most of you here know you were told as was I when we arrived from UK and enquired in the 60's that our pensions were being looked after as collected via Income Tax which was similar to UK where changed from income tax to National Health Insurance Stamps on Cards without which couldnt work, where you paid pension and employer paid health insurance and all collected by Inland Revenue their ATO. they had also just starte Graduated Pensions where you paid a bit more vie income tax again, as worried re aging population but not as much as most government who didnt save or have a scheme. To wait until 1980's for super and ignore the scheme which started in 1909 and evolved from there to a levy on income tax then say never happened bit too much but then look at how most deny it has not warmed for last 17 years and 9 months...........and blame the air we breath so tax it. Who would have thought!
    And how can they have a pay rise of 12.1/2% just knocked back but all 'agree' they gave it up to join the pain. Following 3 Jan13 July 13 and Jan 14 and these too were to my mind far too high percentages but CPI etc along with Bureau said not anything like that. So please explain should be what all should ask.
    Get asking email twitter Facebook Phone local MP whatever,
    they dont like attention drawn to their good incomes and perks.

    Remember Squeaky Wheels get the most oil.

    6th Jun 2014
    3:45pm
    to Labor and used its members fees for lobbying and too blind seemingly although told by many.
    There is NO cut whatsoever to pensions in the next 3 years. After that in 2017 they will index the age pension which means also DAP against the CPI instead of Male Average Wage and Cpi whichever is greatest as is since 2009.
    And yes it will be harder to get the pension for those who arrange their finances so that they can get even $1 in order to get a concession card.

    And the Seniors Health Card John Howard gave them saying they didnt draw down on the Pension so were entitled to the concessions.

    BTW how many posting here know that Labor cut the Age Pension in 2009 for married couples? Bet not many. As Admin didnt tell you. Neither did Jenny Macklin whom I find to be usually honest, but who had to follow the party line of the time Gillard didnt like married age pensioners, funny thing was her parents were on it. And so they cut the rate from 167% of the single pension to 150%. Meaning that a man and wife get one single pension and one half of a single pension to live on.
    Sadly now it seems that Liberals have an age pension hater in Hockey - on Q&A he almost spat out an answer to a questioner, "There are 80% of people over 65 drawing an Ag Pension" As if they have no right to being eligble to draw it - ignorant man.
    It is not a safety net nor welfare but it is your own money taken off you in your income taxes over the years and paid originally into The Pension Fund but politicians saw large amount ofpounds in it and thought we could use that, and so they closed it and transferred the money for pensions into Consolidate Revenue along with the levy of 7.5% of your income towards your pensions. Every person paying it is entitled. But today they all deny it ever existed. Lot a researchers have tried to find the levy being stopped or repealed along with the various Acts, but since it was attached to the one which will never stop, Income Tax, look in vain. A Treasury High Official drew attention to it back in the 90's and since then One Nation did also. Maybe that why they got run out by both Labor and Liberals who together always agree on anything that gains them money or stops any other party from taking its place like One Nation unless they go via the Senate. PUP is in both because of Clive who has said he will stop the Co-payment and so we should all be grateful if he sticks by it. He has a website and you can tell him what you think there. Obvious that there will be a big effort to coach him to let it all go through.

    13th Jun 2014
    12:22am
    Aged pension is the same as an insurance policy - you pay taxes - starting from 1944 with Bob Menzies stating that social security (not the now much-maligned 'welfare') recipients should in no way consider or be considered to be of less value etc- and you derive the benefit from that insurance policy when you need it.

    This is where governments here have gone off the rails - they assume, quite wrongly, that all such genuine Entitlements are subject to their control and their whim - when they most demonstrably are not, and have been bought and paid for through many years of work.

    The entire purpose of taxation ids to run the country on behalf of the people and to ensure that there is always sufficient in the till for those who need it. that's part of the contract - and no Social Security Beneficiary (mark my words) should have to carry the can or inept governments and their inability to put the money that has poured through their hands to better use than for their own perks and self-enrichment.
    Suddha
    15th Jul 2014
    4:15pm
    Aged Pension is what hard working Aussies deserve. After all we have worked for over 35 years and paid heavy taxes to cover for these payments. We are not as lucky as politicians who receive large super payouts when they either get thrown out at an election or retire.
    They have no idea of how hard it is to live on a pension and they will never know. How dare they call it an entitlement.


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