Exclusive: Senator Anne Ruston responds to pensioner’s outrage

The Minister is deeply concerned that her comments may have caused offence.

Exclusive: Senator Anne Ruston responds to pensioner’s outrage

Senator Anne Ruston’s comments about the Age Pension being generous have caused quite a stir, but she maintains the comment was taken out of context. Hear what she had to say to YourLifeChoices on the issue.

“The Minister’s comments on 3AW earlier this week related to the comprehensive nature of Australia’s social security system which taxpayers committed more than $172 billion toward in 2018-19, representing more than one in $3 or 35 per cent of all spending by the Government. The Minister is deeply concerned the misinterpretation of the comments may have caused offence,” said a spokesperson for Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston.

“The Minister understands the financial difficulties facing many of Australia’s age pensioners. It is why her first act since becoming the Minister for Families and Social Services was to relieve some of the pressure on part pensioners by reducing both the upper and lower deeming rates to put more money back in the pockets of about 630,000 older Australians.

“The Minister has committed to meeting with the representatives of the nation’s peak seniors groups to consider other measures to support older Australians.”

Do you think the Minister’s comments were taken out of context? Considering the progress Ms Ruston has made in such a short term in office, do you think she has older Australians’ best interests at heart?

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COMMENTS

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Not a Bludger
19th Jul 2019
10:22am
Clearly she does have we oldies’ best interests at heart.
Veritas
19th Jul 2019
10:28am
I hope this is a tongue in cheek comment NAB !!
MICK
19th Jul 2019
11:10am
This is your normal government promotion Bludger.

All retirees should remember what this government has done to them in the past 6 years. The comment made was the next shot over the bow and nobody should be surprised.

For the record Australia's pension system is alone in the western world as the harshest set of conditions anywhere in the developed world. Even Chris Richardson said as much and he is a right wing promoter.

Back slap all you like Bludger. Nobody on this website other than paid trolls would write what you write. I hope that the mentally challenged amongst us who voted LNP stop watching the News and start looking at WHO is being asset stripped before the next election. Either that or be happy with what you are about to receive. Don't expect things to get any better despite the media lies claiming the contrary.
Blinky
19th Jul 2019
11:14am
You obviously still believe in Santa NAB. The avg pension x a polltician is circa $200k. They get 8t x life, dont have to meet an asset test, which means they can have millions in assets, nir do they have to meet an income test, which means that they can earn hundreds of thousands and still get a pension.
Do u still think she has Aussie pensioners at heart???
Anonymous
19th Jul 2019
11:55am
I see you haven't lost your touch MICK. I hope you realise how much you have insulted the good people of Queensland because that state is the only one with an LNP party. The rest of Australia has the Liberals and the Nationals as separate entities. The minister made an error of judgement when she decided to front Neil Mitchell who dropped the right question at the wrong time. Her answer was wrong as both sides of politics have stated and she doesn't have the good sense to apologise but states she was taken out of context. If she doesn't learn from this she should lose her ministry.

As usual, MICK, you have added nonsense to the discussion by claiming that this is part of a conspiracy to strip pensions off all Australians. Prior to the election you claimed that, if re-elected, the government would include the family home in the asset test, a statement that has been denied many times over. You choose use quotes to rate Australia's pension schemes so I will add a quote as well; "Australia’s pension scheme has been ranked as the third best in Mercer’s 2016 Global Pension Index." This is looking at the top 27 countries.
Paddington
19th Jul 2019
11:59am
Ha ha, Not a Bludger! Why would she and how has she demonstrated that?
Forget the part pensioners, think of a single female pensioner who is homeless and defenceless. She has nothing. Her male counterpart is no better off as he is now frail and old. Have a heart, man!
Not a Bludger
19th Jul 2019
12:57pm
Geez, Old Man - why would anyone think that Mick would ever let the facts get in the way of the tripe that he espouses - never has & never will.
MICK
19th Jul 2019
3:30pm
OM - always playing with political correctness.
An error on my part, but you know what I was saying.
Don't stick up for the minister. You know the how this government operates and who it supports. Have you asked how ANY government can hand out money to the very well remunerated top end of town whilst claiming it cannot afford to even change the deeming rate? I recognise a deceitful government when I see one. We have one.

As for insulting Queenslanders please explain what banana benders do not understand about COAL JOBS ARE DISAPPEARING? Punishing Labor because the other side lies incessantly and listening to the likes of Palmer is stupidity at best. I often wonder where the truth is in political arguments. Actually I often wonder where truth is when I have to read the BS from a few righties who cannot face the facts.

One day people will wake up OM. Likely that'll happen when none of them own a house anymore and all are on casual employment contracts. Its well under way already.
Anonymous
19th Jul 2019
3:50pm
Read my post here and in the other article, MICK, and then point out where I was sticking up for the minister. You seem to speed read things and not fully understand what has actually been written. I note that even though Labor has dropped any reference to the mythical "top end of town" that you are persisting with the wrong description. The deeming rate has been changed twice by this government and not once when Labor was in power. The first time the cash rate dropped below the deeming rate was 2010.

Coal jobs are not disappearing and I don't know where you get your information from. Do you talk regularly with Di Natale? As to Palmer, his ads rubbished ALL parties; Liberal, National, Labor and the Greens so I can't see how he had much influence in the last election. I presume you are not adding me in as one who is responsible for the BS to which you refer, I usually add a reference to support my arguments, unlike others.

Your last paragraph is a bridge too far, MICK. The literal meaning is that nobody in Australia will own their own home and there will be no permanent full-time jobs. It's hyperbole like this that destroys your credibility. Tell one lie and all other statements are suspect.
maelcolium
19th Jul 2019
7:02pm
Ha ha ….. cripes NBA, your so gullible. She doesn't give a flying fart about pensioners or anyone else. The woman is a self obsessed cog in the party machine. Now if you are talking about her pension?????
roy
19th Jul 2019
8:41pm
Old Man, I'm seriously worried about the mental state of MICK, everybody in his eyes is a paid troll of the LNP if he doesn't agree with them'

Imagine sitting next to him at a dinner party, sheesh.

He is an ALP troll on steroids perhaps.
MICK
19th Jul 2019
9:21pm
OM - I have to feel sorry for you mate. You remind me of Joseph Goebbels. Always trying to find a wedge to make the inconvenient truth and facts look like false news.

I'll stick to the narrative. You and known trolls like roy can spin it any way you like but the last 6 years has shown the spots on this leopard. Perhaps employees of the regime will think again when we become a clone of Russia or the like, fearing to speak out against our government. Clearly you did not notice that there were raids on the Press recently. How do you think dictatorships proceed?
arbee
19th Jul 2019
9:38pm
One day in the next three years mick will wake up in the morning and suddenly realise that labour lost the unlosable election. Why is it Mick that everyone who disagrees with you has to be a paid troll of the right wing parties. Your comments are so far left wing that a lot of us would suspect that you might just be a paid labour party troll yourself. I know Anne Ruston personally, and I can tell you that she is a damn sight better person than most of the labour party grubs you support. What did labour do for the pensioners in thwe six years they were in power, NOTHING.
Misty
19th Jul 2019
11:08pm
Arbee, we are not the UK, Labor is how the Opposition Party is spelt here in Australia not labour.
MICK
20th Jul 2019
10:35am
All the normal names all posting the government propaganda to keep voters thinking that the scum who betrays us is worthy of being re-elected. Your rhetoric will have a use by date guys and your jobs will end. Just a matter of time.
In case you believe otherwise Australians do not want a dictatorship and its my hope that the mentally challenged will flick the switch before its too late. We'll see.
chadd
19th Jul 2019
10:23am
She knew exactly what she was saying and she meant it. To now say it was taken out of context, well that's an old chestnut. Her interests at heart lie with:

(a) Toeing the party line, she will do what the party tells her to do.
(b) Her own interests will come first just like all politicians.
(c) The old, aged, infirm pensioners to politicians are just a number, a statistic against the welfare system even though these Australians have built the country, fought in wars and paid taxes all their lives.

They deserve better than this outburst.
Sen.Cit.90
19th Jul 2019
11:45am
G'day chad,
My sentiments entirely.
GeorgeM
19th Jul 2019
2:30pm
Agree entirely, chadd. This inexperienced Minister simply let out what people in her party think about pensions. Just got caught out saying it in public.

The Retirees deserve better - far, far better - I believe only Universal Age Pension with NO tests (except Age and Residency) and keeping politicians grubby fingers off it is the only solution to replace this Broken Age Pension system.
Andy
19th Jul 2019
2:38pm
and don't forget we also pay the workers 40% tax on our pension a straight out robbery of our pension well said chadd
Triss
19th Jul 2019
4:52pm
Good comment, Chad. And as for cutting the deeming rate...well that lower than paltry cut demeans her rather than the pensioners.
Sandy
24th Jul 2019
2:12pm
Hi Chad. I couldn't have said it better, myself!
Mutley
19th Jul 2019
10:24am
Senator Rushton's comments were surgar-coated. She has obviously never had to SURVIVE on the Old Ace Pension. Even on the full pension, there is always the unforseen expenditure which is difficult to manage.
Rosscoe
19th Jul 2019
10:31am
Just another rotten LNP Member pf Parliament. They could not care less about the rest of us.
Blinky
19th Jul 2019
11:19am
Neither the ALP nor the LNP have had the guts to really improve the pension system. Saying that this is the Libs' fault n that Labor will fix it is pure crap.
The reality is that pensioners are seen as a burden to the budget n all treasurers think of is how to take money away from pensioners in order to balance their budgets.
Sen.Cit.90
19th Jul 2019
11:54am
Rosscoe - Blinky, G'day to you,
ALP Keating was a good example of pensioner bashing. LNP are proving just as bad, the only answer is a complete change of the Palimenery system.
Perhaps similar to (the way I read of it) Switzerland?
Veritas
19th Jul 2019
10:33am
Does she think we came down in the last shower ??? Patronising. Quit, before the hole you're digging reaches China (a saying from my childhood - who remembers this?).
Just transfer to another dept. missy.
Johnnie the Lion
19th Jul 2019
10:45am
Agree Veritas, transfer to another dept is not the answer, as all public servants are the same, they dont understand. Go back to the backbench and get voted out at the next election ....
maelcolium
19th Jul 2019
7:03pm
Missy???? OMG
Johnnie the Lion
19th Jul 2019
10:40am
I agree with the comments posted,the Minister or the Public Servant that wrote it have got it wrong full stop.We have paid taxes for 50 years and we get nothing at age 72,and have to go through a minefield to get a pension or assistance.Politicians should wake up to themselves, they just dont get it !!! be it be old people or war veterans ....
Aussie
19th Jul 2019
11:12am
Off course they do not have to go over minefield just look the amount of money they get on the pension .... look at Bronwyn Bishop that retire with a pension of $255,000 a year, plus free flights ..... They do not give a shit about us they are secure for life with a nice pension so why they should worry about us ?????? .....they are a seat warmers ready o collect the juice pension .....

Bronwyn Bishop would retire on a pension of $255,000 a year, plus free flights
Blinky
19th Jul 2019
11:26am
Yes Johnnie, we have paid taxes x years and pollies n economists now say we cost too much. However, they still find money x asylum seekers, refugees, old age migrants, dole bludgers, foreign aid, and for themselves.
How is this fair?
If there is no money for Aussie pensioners, take it from the above. It's that simple!!!
Anonymous
19th Jul 2019
4:00pm
What about Bob Hawke Aussie just died leaving an estate of $15 plus million not bad for a bloke on a wage and then a pension methinks perhaps he pinched some of the union funds and I can tell you he didn't give a shit about anyone only himself.
Triss
19th Jul 2019
4:57pm
Yes, Roby, and, if I remember correctly, multimillionaire Turnbull made a big deal of helping the taxpayers by cancelling the gold pass...except for ex prime ministers, of which he is one and all the rest are multimillionaires like himself and more than able to pay for their own transport costs.
Triss
19th Jul 2019
5:00pm
Oh, and Bob Hawke’s wife will continue to get his pension until her death.
Farside
19th Jul 2019
8:49pm
Roby, his house sold for $14.5 million in March. He bought it in 1991 for $1.23 million. Together with his life savings, pension, appearance fees, board fees and investments in the almost 30 years since he left parliament it is not hard to see how he might have accumulated a fortune without stealing union funds.
Kato
19th Jul 2019
10:49am
The usual fall back for a pollie is it was taken out of context. The only out of context commentary from senator ruxton was the excuse.
retired lady
19th Jul 2019
10:50am
No, she has no idea. I'm not sure I understand about the deeming rates but doesn't that just help those who own houses? It doesn't help those who pay rent and the SA govt don't give us the rent relief. Where is the help for those pensioners?
SuziJ
19th Jul 2019
11:24am
Go to https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/topics/deeming/29656 for full information as to what deeming rates are for and how they're calculated.

What rent relief would the SA government give you? Unless you're in government housing provided by the housing department. Then you pay significantly less in your rent than those out there paying private rent.

Rent Assistance is paid to private renters with proof of a lease, and it's paid by Centrelink.
Blinky
19th Jul 2019
11:30am
Deeming rates apply to pensioners who have some money in shares, super n the like. If your only income is your pension dont worry about deeming.
Adrianus
24th Jul 2019
1:40pm
retired lady, that was just a headline from a very biased media outlet.
Adrianus
24th Jul 2019
1:40pm
retired lady, that was just a headline from a very biased media outlet.
koshka
19th Jul 2019
11:18am
We have a government run by soulless bureaucrats; these have not a humane conscience. They are just money makers, for themselves and those who are also soulless, saddened by
LFC
19th Jul 2019
11:27am
To me,like a lot of Politicians, particularly those going into new portfolios, she is floundering like a fish out of water. No background, poor advice and party lines give us little real hope of being recognised as the reason they have a job at all. Did not take her long to pick up on the "out of context" excuse. SLO MO and his mob need to get into ACTION shortly and do something REALLY positive for Retirees of all types. The LNP performance over past years has been very poor for us.
Johnnie the Lion
19th Jul 2019
11:30am
so true LFC , GET IT DONE SCOMO stop dancing around and be action man, instead of fluffing, the pollies dont get it or understand . wake up or get booted out !!!!
GrannyH
19th Jul 2019
11:27am
I am so sick of politicians, celebrities etc using ‘taken out of context’ as an excuse whenever their remarks upset us and make us angry. Think before you speak or don’t speak at all!!
Baby Huey
19th Jul 2019
11:31am
BS. All part of both parties process of softening up pensioners for getting screwed again.
Eddy
19th Jul 2019
11:35am
So she prides herself on changing the deeming rates, something that should haver been done automatically with each change of official interest rates. In any case she has helped those pensioners at the top of the pile, those with financial assets to keep them in some degree of comfort. What about those at the bottom of the pile who are struggling to even pay their rent let alone meet all other costs for life, like good food and energy. I am unimpressed with her explanation, particularly in light of the changes made to pension conditions under previous 'conservative' governments. Many of the advances bought in under the Howard government have been stripped away under the Abbot and Turnbull regimes. What Mr Morrison does as PM still to be realised, I just hope he applies his Christian beliefs and looks after the poor and disadvantaged rather than the rich and powerful.
Sundays
19th Jul 2019
2:00pm
She wasn’t responsible for changing deeming rates. Pressure was put on the Government and they caved in, Ms Rushton would have been told to make it happen because it falls within her Portfolio. Public Servants would have taken it from there. She is probably still clueless as to how Pensioners are affected by deeming
ArJay
19th Jul 2019
11:35am
Minister Ruston is claiming credit for reducing deeming rates. Was it her, or treasurer Frydenburg. With all the media coverage of this event (ABC television) I can't remember Ruston fronting the cameras.
By stressing the point that taxpayers contributed more than $172b to the Social Security system, or 35% of all Govt spending clearly shows, as Chadd says "she knew exactly what she was saying and she meant it".
For most of my working life I paid very high taxes, as did others and Ruston, and others in her party, would do well to realise the country they live in today and many of the privileges they enjoy, are due in no small part to the taxes paid by us and those who came before us.
ArJay
19th Jul 2019
11:35am
Minister Ruston is claiming credit for reducing deeming rates. Was it her, or treasurer Frydenburg. With all the media coverage of this event (ABC television) I can't remember Ruston fronting the cameras.
By stressing the point that taxpayers contributed more than $172b to the Social Security system, or 35% of all Govt spending clearly shows, as Chadd says "she knew exactly what she was saying and she meant it".
For most of my working life I paid very high taxes, as did others and Ruston, and others in her party, would do well to realise the country they live in today and many of the privileges they enjoy, are due in no small part to the taxes paid by us and those who came before us.
mudGecko
19th Jul 2019
11:35am
How did we get to this? This politician is symptomatic of the selfish, entitled new Australia. All the privilege she enjoys was provided by those who went before.

A simple parable for you, Ms Ruston: You are lounging in the shade of a tree that exists only because it was planted fifty years ago. By people who are now seniors.

They have earned respect, not moaning about what a burden they are. Shame on you.

I, 67 years, hobbling along in a wheely-walker, last week was shouted at by a uniformed school boy, maybe 14 years: "what are you waiting around for?" With this LNP politician's nasty arrogant attitude towards "problem" seniors becoming commonplace, I'm asking myself the same question.
Jacka
19th Jul 2019
11:45am
Your typical politician, says what she thinks, thinks not what she says and when she's chastised by her boss, the old story, I was taken out of context, I didn't mean it. Sounds a bit like Bart Simpson doesn't, it I didn't do it. Well she can eat my shorts, as far as I'm concerned she should be sacked after her disgusting and demeaning comments. Cheers Jacka.
Possitive Possum
19th Jul 2019
11:53am
Totally NOT SURPRISING. After all, this is the way in which this Government feels and thinks about social security as a whole. Arrogance and pedestal people and this one is no exception. Look at her in her tower, looking down at the minions. Start toting people and remember to stay in your place.
stevo
19th Jul 2019
11:56am
She hasn't got the Full Age Pensioners at heart, or she wouldn't have made that comment. She is out of her depth and hasn't got a clue when it comes to our situation. She should either be stood down and the job given to someone who is better qualified or go out and visit with some Full Time Pensioners and see for herself. She is going to have deaths on her hands if she doesn't increase the Base Rate for Full Time Pensioners and I wonder if she and the Government can live with that fact.
Tood
19th Jul 2019
1:56pm
She will live with it quite happily I imagine, just another ignorant arrogant parasite with her snout in the trough.
cupoftea
19th Jul 2019
11:59am
For the next 3yrs nothing is going to surprise me as what has been said I did not vote them in if you did don't complain
ArJay
19th Jul 2019
12:10pm
A few mentions made here about politicians pensions. I know it is called a pension, but isn't it really bonus for services rendered. If the CEO of a corporation retires, he/she doesn't get a pension; they get a golden handshake bonus in the form of cash or shares.
It used to be that these payments were taxed at the highest rate. For some years I forfeited holidays and took the money instead. That was taxed at the higher rate.
a. Does the CEO pay tax on their golden handshake bonus
b. Do the politicians pay tax on their pension
c. They get their multi $ pension and then go of and get paid employment. Is any of it
taxable
d. Is their pension reduced in accordance with extra income
e. WHY DO WE ACCEPT THIS?

I can't believe that politicians take on that role to do good for the people and the country. Maybe some do but most I think would be driven by ego and the pursuit of high income and benefits - away from home allowances, travel allowances etc.

I just don't believe they are entitled to payouts in the 000.000's. I do believe they may be entitled to a pro-rate long service leave payment with a max of 13 weeks pay.
inextratime
19th Jul 2019
12:12pm
Now here is a suggestion. Many pensioners are still capable of earning an income to supplement their pension. This may be from home or at a business centre. They do need not need to be paid the minimum wage as they are already receiving an income. So how many jobs have gone offshore because the minimum wage in Australia made the work unpractical. Why does the government look at ways to bring that work back to Australia and give it to pensioners to supplement their incomes. The reason: its all to hard. Let them eat cake.
Misty
19th Jul 2019
1:42pm
And we all know what happened when that was said don't we, Govts keep carrying on like this and they may face a Revolution here too, just as they did in France all those years ago.
roy
19th Jul 2019
8:44pm
What a ridiculous statement Musty, is that what you really think, are we going to storm the Bastille on the 14th of July next year?
inextratime
19th Jul 2019
12:12pm
Now here is a suggestion. Many pensioners are still capable of earning an income to supplement their pension. This may be from home or at a business centre. They do need not need to be paid the minimum wage as they are already receiving an income. So how many jobs have gone offshore because the minimum wage in Australia made the work unpractical. Why does the government look at ways to bring that work back to Australia and give it to pensioners to supplement their incomes. The reason: its all to hard. Let them eat cake.
AverageJoe
19th Jul 2019
12:24pm
So it’s the old people’s fault... we don’t understand what she was saying, so she says! Wake up! You don’t know what you’re talking about because you don’t understand the ‘lot’ of many OAP. Please switch jobs... may I suggest you take on a role as a volunteer carer as this might just give you a little insight.
floss
19th Jul 2019
12:29pm
Why is anyone surprised we all know this is the L.N.P. way of thinking,we all know this so why the big whinge.
moama jock
19th Jul 2019
12:36pm
No doubt she put her foot it but that she did. Mitchells intended questions were obvious and could have been easily anticipated and before she did the interview she should have prepared for the obvious.Inexperienced obvious lack of thought and insulting for a Minister.Move her on Scott.

moama jock
cali
19th Jul 2019
12:47pm
She is a political misfit who has been installed in a position that is beyond her capability.
Hopefully she will not last and is replaced by a better credentialed person with a better understanding of the needs of aged Australians.
Gra
19th Jul 2019
1:53pm
In other words, a Post Turtle. She has no idea how she got there and has no idea what to do now she is there.
cali
19th Jul 2019
12:47pm
She is a political misfit who has been installed in a position that is beyond her capability.
Hopefully she will not last and is replaced by a better credentialed person with a better understanding of the needs of aged Australians.
Gra
19th Jul 2019
12:59pm
No way her comment could have been taken out of context, it was black and white and to the point! Senator Ruston put your money where your mouth is, forego your Parliamentary salary for a couple of months and live on what the average pensioner has to live on. Then see if you still have the gall to stick by your comment.
dutch
19th Jul 2019
1:15pm
I believe the Senator should be relieved of her post. All this talk about redeeming rates applies only to those who have large assets or investments. The pensioners who are really struggling have neither and so do not receive benefits from a reduction in redeeming rates. We seem to always refer for those pensioners who have assets. Let’s just talk those who have not. The same goes for New Start, they are in a different category again and in need of drastic help in their own right.
The senators and MP pension should be lowered immediately and then only be payable when the turn 67. Dutchy
Misty
19th Jul 2019
1:35pm
Nothing wsill change, Pensions and New Start Allowance, nothing has to get in the way of the surplus next year, no matter who gets hurt in the process.
Misty
19th Jul 2019
1:35pm
Nothing wsill change, Pensions and New Start Allowance, nothing has to get in the way of the surplus next year, no matter who gets hurt in the process.
Wstaton
19th Jul 2019
1:46pm
NO!
Misty
19th Jul 2019
4:13pm
Please explain.
thommo
19th Jul 2019
1:48pm
This government uses the state of the budget as an excuse not to increase the age pension...affordability is the issue...Well what a load of BS...We're entitled to the age pension (it is not Welfare), and the government is responsible for making it affordable..So no more lies or excuses...The govt has 3 years or less to fix it up, otherwise they're turfed out, and give someone else a go..
As for the Minister, well what I've got to say about her is unprintable here....
Tood
19th Jul 2019
1:52pm
This woman is a twat!
Old Fella
19th Jul 2019
1:53pm
Perhaps a slip of the tongue rather than arrogance could be accepted for this recent interview. It is early days for a new Minister. However, Senator Ruston needs to be more conscious of what she says aloud from here on in. A question arising from her response announcing 35% of all Government spending is on welfare does beg another question, that is. What initiatives is Government taking to improve this situation? Is this 35% all pensioner payment? obviously NO. Should the Government be considering an increase in GST devoted entirely to Old Age Pension Payment, again, possibly No? However greater understanding is needed by all; on the extent and makeup of 35% of all Government expenditure. Are Veteran payments, Refugee assistance, Politician wages and retirement benefits, Medical payments covering medical attention for the disadvantaged all lumped together as Welfare? I think not, I would appreciate a more detailed understanding as a retiree, without Government pension, on what this 35% of all Government expenditure is made up of. Hell ! reducing the 35% Welfare presentation might simply be solved by allocating different title and classification within Government accounts which currently seem to lump and HIDE to many items under the general term WELFARE. At least then Retirees would not feel the total burden and responsibility of the 35% of all Government expenditure stated by this Minister?
KSS
19th Jul 2019
7:25pm
Since you ask, the welfare budget for 2019-2020 is expected to be $198b which is about 35% GDP. Of this $50b is on the aged pension and income support for older Australians.
Old Fella
19th Jul 2019
1:53pm
Perhaps a slip of the tongue rather than arrogance could be accepted for this recent interview. It is early days for a new Minister. However, Senator Ruston needs to be more conscious of what she says aloud from here on in. A question arising from her response announcing 35% of all Government spending is on welfare does beg another question, that is. What initiatives is Government taking to improve this situation? Is this 35% all pensioner payment? obviously NO. Should the Government be considering an increase in GST devoted entirely to Old Age Pension Payment, again, possibly No? However greater understanding is needed by all; on the extent and makeup of 35% of all Government expenditure. Are Veteran payments, Refugee assistance, Politician wages and retirement benefits, Medical payments covering medical attention for the disadvantaged all lumped together as Welfare? I think not, I would appreciate a more detailed understanding as a retiree, without Government pension, on what this 35% of all Government expenditure is made up of. Hell ! reducing the 35% Welfare presentation might simply be solved by allocating different title and classification within Government accounts which currently seem to lump and HIDE to many items under the general term WELFARE. At least then Retirees would not feel the total burden and responsibility of the 35% of all Government expenditure stated by this Minister?
Ducky
19th Jul 2019
2:00pm
She said what she said, it came out of her mouth. No misinterpretation about it.

19th Jul 2019
2:14pm
No slip of the tongue a lot of people think welfare recipients are nothing but parasites?
luddite
19th Jul 2019
2:15pm
Note , it was a spokesperson who made the comment for Ms Ruston . Did not have the guts to front up herself. I am getting fed-up with these out of context statements. It is getting to the stage ware we can not trust any of our politicians from any side of parliament
Lets be Frank
19th Jul 2019
2:19pm
The only generous pension is the one the pollies (undeserved) get.
GeorgeM
19th Jul 2019
2:22pm
If the Minister wants to assist Retirees, she needs to address the real problem - the changed Assets Test is the major Retiree Tax with Deeming at 7.8%, higher than any sensible estimate of average earnings on assets, and a punishment for Savers. It is hypocrisy to offer up to $1,053 p.a. stolen "deeming" money back as a good deed, after they cut part-pensions by up to $14,000 p.a. with the Jan 2017 Asset Test changes. Why doesn't she reverse the Jan 2017 Asset Tests - if she is sincere about helping pensioners?

Deeming for Incomes (with both Income & Assets Tests exacerbated by Couple combined tests, whereas the payment may only be made to one out of a couple if the other is not yet eligible) and Age Tests are all instruments set in place by Labor and exploited by Liberals at will. So yes, we have disgusting Govts of BOTH sides regularly hitting retirees with these Retiree Taxes. Labor did not use this term when the Assets Test was changed as they had no plans to go against it - they lost the opportunity to win the election in 2016 as result.

It is seriously time to scrap the Broken Age Pension system (consisting of multiple Retiree Taxes) and implement Universal Age Pension for all at Age 65 years and Residency of say 15 years. There would be massive savings on Centrelink costs, as well as reduced health costs dealing with Centrelink, besides increased Govt income from taxes from more Retirees earning income without being punished.
ALL Retirees need to fight for this now, especially with a Retirement Incomes Review coming up soon, and stop the nasty Liberal and Labor Govts continuing their destructive approach to retirees incomes.
Fos65
19th Jul 2019
2:25pm
In context, out of context, who cares. The point is the Minister has demonstrated that she is unsuitable for the job.
Anonymous
19th Jul 2019
3:37pm
I can't see why she is unsuitable she is entitled to her opinion as anyone else Fos 65, as I have previously said a lot of people despise pensioners and consider them freeloaders ?
Misty
19th Jul 2019
4:15pm
Are you one Roby?
Anonymous
19th Jul 2019
4:30pm
I am a bit each way Misty some people have gambled and drunk there way through life and perhaps hardly worked at all they are parasites, however some have been unfortunate had illness divorce or perhaps not worked a lot they deserve a hand out if possible.
Misty
19th Jul 2019
7:45pm
Yes Roby, a good summing up of the pension situation.
Tricky
19th Jul 2019
3:22pm
Just do a fair review of Deeming Rates on Cash Term Deposits over $85K for pensioner couples.
Rate should be around 2% in line with current market rate for cash term deposits.
At the moment the government is displaying a hypercritical view!
busybee
19th Jul 2019
3:50pm
OK people. Next election why don't we all stand. We are not to old or stupid that we can't do a better job than those there now.
Triss
19th Jul 2019
5:09pm
I’ll go along with that.
robmur
19th Jul 2019
4:10pm
Parliamentarians selected for a ministry position should be well versed in their portfolio. To be able to answer questions, solve problems, resolve disputes and to be able to confront the media with confidence and be able to use language which isn't confrontational. Sure, Neil Mitchell is an excellent interviewer, But Senator Ruston can't use the excuse that she has only been two months in her ministerial position. Or use words/language that is going to upset the people she is supposedly representing. My view on any minister who has a very public orientated like the Minister of Families and Social Services would have, must have complete knowledge of the needs of the constituents he/she represents. One has to give credit where it is due. Senator Ruston can take credit for the action taken on deeming rates. Unfortunately, Senator Ruston believes she has done OAP a good turn in changing the deeming rates and putting a few dollars in the pockets of SOME OAPs. What she should be doing is looking benefit those pensioners who are doing it hard trying to exist in a world of rising costs. Has she bothered to look at Universal Pensions operating in New Zealand and some Scandinavian countries? Has she looked at the idea of setting up an independent arbitrator who is responsible for setting pension rates and not relying on the whim of her political party to set the OAP rates? Will she sit down and talk with the various seniors' groups like National Seniors Australia to discuss the ever-growing problems that pensioners face daily? When Senator Ruston has really got around to mastering all the areas of her portfolio, she may think twice about making an outrageous statement like she made earlier this week.
Olddog
19th Jul 2019
4:48pm
Like most politicians she has little idea of the history of her portfolio. She should dig into the history of age pension, especially the bit about the surcharge put on all income tax in 1946-7 which was to fund age pension. We have been paying for it all our working lives.

19th Jul 2019
4:52pm
She deserves to be a pariah. Her comments are indefensible.
Molly Luff
19th Jul 2019
5:43pm
Ms Ruston understanding pensioners’ plight and living it every day are two different things. Please also remember pensioners still pay the same for their bread, milk, tea, etc as yourself. Fortunate for us elderly we learned at an early age to budget and appreciate what we have. Hopefully your loose comment and outraged responses will make you look closer at your portfolio responsibilities.
Dancer
19th Jul 2019
6:22pm
Yes Minister, please meet with organisations representing older Australians, but also please meet with and listen to those people who are living on nothing but the age pension without the extras - like part-pensioners with the extra from lower deeming rates and substantial superannuation who are on part-pension, because they have that extra income) and particularly those who are on full pension and still have that extra income... - and then please listen to the full pensioners who live on the pension and nothing else... and listen hard then you might understand.
maelcolium
19th Jul 2019
6:59pm
Ah, the old neoliberal line about taxpayers funding pensions, which is complete bullshit, as taxes don't fund anything. Taxes remove currency from the macro economy. The Government issues as much currency as the economy needs to function and doesn't need to issue bonds to do so, but does only through an age old convention harking back to the gold standard era. IN fact it's an obsolete act now the AUD is fiat, and often currency is just issued without supporting bond sales as and when the need arises. So this brainless Minister lost me with her first sentence and frankly I wouldn't waste time listening to any more of her prattle.
OMG it's going to be a long four years suffering with these bone heads in Government. The ALP have a lot to answer for with their own hare brained proposed tax package, which lost them the unlosable election. I'm thinking of immigrating for a while.
Chris B T
19th Jul 2019
7:50pm
Taken out of Context, Really.
The Best She Could Do is Resign, As minister and Senator.
There is No Redemption From The Statements, whatever Thought Process or Lack Of.
These People only concern are Their Pay Scales, Lerks and Perks.
The NON ASSET TEST Pension when they get tired Parliament.
gonebush
20th Jul 2019
7:57am
its a wonder to me that when pollies get caught out with a bad comment out comes that age old chestnut "l was taken out of context" well let she if she can manage 2 weeks on the pension
Misty
20th Jul 2019
9:30am
I don't think any of them could.
'Chelle03
20th Jul 2019
10:29am
It is a constant concern to me that the disparity between our politicians and the 'general public' especially the low income earners and old age pensioners is ever increasing at a phenomenal rate. Politicians live in a world of their own with their generous wages, obscene pensions and their failure to see how most Australian actually live. None of them are actually educated in the portfolio they hold so they must have and pay more of tax payers money to hire 'advisors' (most ill informed) to give them information about a job they get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do. I truly find our political situation to be extremely ineffective and totally broken. These people have no idea what is like to live pay to pay like the majority of Australians do and I'd bet half of them don't even know how to pay a bill let alone try and find the money to keep everything afloat. It is a blight on us as Australian citizens that we have allowed this situation to perpetuate. The greed of the upper echelon of Australian society and the disdain they show the other 90% of the population absolutely disgusts me. I only hope that the next generation will change things to a more even playing field (like it used to be) - unfortunately I won't be around to see it.
retvilldotnet
21st Jul 2019
7:24am
To Anne Ruston MP. I am sorry. Sorry that I wasn't as aspirational as I should have been. Sorry that I am finishing my life journey as an aged pensioner. Sorry that I am not worthy of your respect. I am sorry.
Johnnie the Lion
21st Jul 2019
9:33am
well said ,retvill, sums it all up over 60 comments on the post
bobm
21st Jul 2019
6:22pm
It would appear you don't have be real bright to be a politician as shown by Anne Ruston with her comments of generous reduction in the deeming rate adjustments
Then comments of taken out of contex of what she said. The normal manner to comment on "I didn't say that" and blame someone else.
Where did the Current Government get this one from?????. Never mind she will get a good pension when she leaves Parliament well before the current retirement at 67 years like all of us retirees. I suppose it will be after her 3 terms as a Politician if she lasts that long
Johnnie the Lion
21st Jul 2019
7:35pm
bobm , she wont last three terms, how she got the job i dont know !!!!

22nd Jul 2019
7:20pm
I get the full aged pension with supplements, I RENT and can save up to $7000 a year from the payment. It costs me nothing for rent, or living, all is free. At $1063 fortnight it is plenty, $270 a fortnight is all it takes, with 13 months a year it's easy.
Misty
24th Jul 2019
12:03am
And pigs might fly.
Anonymous
24th Jul 2019
2:07am
I get the full aged pension with supplements, I RENT and can save up to $7000 a year from the payment, or more.
Misty
24th Jul 2019
12:03pm
Don't let Centrelink know, if they think you can manage on less they may just give you less, PIXAPD
Misty
24th Jul 2019
12:05pm
Why change your name to Anonymous?, you still come up as PIXAPD in my email inbox.
Bulla
23rd Jul 2019
10:17am
Per chance I unfortunately saw her speaking and wondered whether or not ever went to any school( in fact all the bandwagon belong to same category).Not ruled out that she could be having illicit relationship with those who are responsible for her debut and existence( like the one who is in the grave for his own doings). What she was blubbering in her reply could not have been understood
Bulla
23rd Jul 2019
10:17am
Per chance I unfortunately saw her speaking and wondered whether or not ever went to any school( in fact all the bandwagon belong to same category).Not ruled out that she could be having illicit relationship with those who are responsible for her debut and existence( like the one who is in the grave for his own doings). What she was blubbering in her reply could not have been understood
Johnnie the Lion
23rd Jul 2019
10:23am
Bulla,

How do they get elected as a MP , the other worrying fact is how did she get into cabinet, does not pass the pub test ...
Farside
23rd Jul 2019
6:04pm
Getting elected is the easy part once you win the nomination ... as for getting into Cabinet, right place, right time and Scomo believes in miracles
gibbo111
23rd Jul 2019
1:52pm
If the very wealthy were not going to get such huge tax breaks maybe the bottom end of town could live a little better
Farside
23rd Jul 2019
6:05pm
that argument has already been lost with support of at least 41% of the voters
Adrianus
24th Jul 2019
1:46pm
Well I cant seee anything wrong with what Senator Anne Ruston has said. Maybe pensioners are overreacting?
Sandy
24th Jul 2019
2:07pm
I wish people would remember that pensioners are not getting free money. We paid taxes for many, many years, whilst working longer hours for less pay and not getting all the handouts people get these days.