Calls to end ‘unfair’ tax break for seniors

The Grattan Institute has turned the focus to seniors – the new group of “taxed nots”.

Pensioner couple worried about bills

With tax breaks for high earners seemingly untouchable, the Grattan Institute has turned the focus to seniors – the new group of “taxed nots”.

In its report Age of entitlement: age-based tax breaks, the Grattan Institute calls for the reduction of three tax breaks that it considers ‘unduly generous’ with ‘no sensible policy rationale’, with estimates that the Government could save almost $1 billion per year by winding them back.

By paying less tax through the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO), receiving a higher rebate on private health insurance and having higher Medicare levy income thresholds applied, seniors pay less tax than younger workers on the same income.

According to the Grattan Institute, over the last 20 years the proportion of over 65s paying tax has halved, despite many working longer and having higher incomes. Meanwhile, the Government is running an annual budget deficit of about $40 billion. Tough calls on savings and spending must be made to ensure future generations do not have to manage unsustainable budget deficits.

In order to redress the generationla income balance and make savings, the Grattan Institute has called for the SAPTO to be available only to those on the Age Pension and for the Medicare levy to be wound back. These two measures combined would save $700 million per annum, and the realignment of the private health insurance rebate to the same as that available to younger Australians, would save a further $250 million.

Quoted in The Age, the report’s author, Grattan Institute CEO John Daley said, "It used to be that between one-quarter and one-third of seniors paid tax. Now it's half that. We gave them a Low Income Aged Persons Rebate, then we gave them a Senior Australians Tax Offset, then we made their super tax-free, and hey presto, they dropped out of the tax system.

“Each senior household used to take out [in] the order of $22,000, and now it's $32,000, that's is, in real terms. Part of it is super, part is a jump in health spending, part is a jump in aged pensions, and part is a jump in things like the Senior Australians Tax Offset," Mr Daley said.

In the media release issued by the Grattan Institute, Mr Daley said that, “Some people think that the tax breaks are a fair reward for paying tax while under 65.”

“But in fact, large tax breaks for seniors are a relatively new invention not provided to previous generations. And the current generation of seniors receive much more than their predecessors from government spending, particularly on their health.”

“Age-based tax breaks are badly designed to achieve valid policy purposes, such as increasing workforce participation or preserving adequate retirement incomes for poorer Australians,” says John Daley. “These tax breaks might have been affordable when they were introduced over the past 20 years, but the country can no longer afford the bill."

Mr Daley concludes that it’s not difficult to see why such senior-friendly tax benefits, that were introduced by the Howard Government when Peter Costello was treasurer, have continued.

"It's not rocket science that's been driving this. Throughout that time, the proportion of enrolled voters who are aged at least 55 and over has been edging closer to 40 per cent."

Read more at the Grattan Institute
Read more at TheAge.com.au

Opinion: Seniors now the new target for budget cuts

The economic reality may be that offsets and preferential thresholds are no longer be sustainable, but surely taking a swipe at pensioners’ income is a little below the belt?

Calling for the SAPTO to apply to only those on the Age Pension is an indication that too few of those making calls on policy don't understand the reality of living in retirement. Having a level of income that discounts you from being able to claim an Age Pension by no means indicates that you are wealthy enough to fully fund your own retirement.

On the face of it, the $1918.20 per fortnight threshold at which you lose an Age Pension entitlement may seem a considerable income, but when you factor in rent, often increased medical bills, and other living allowances, such as utilities, transport costs and food, there’s not much left. There is the assumption that pensioners who don't receive an Age Pension are wealthy enough to fund their own retirement and are living in multi-million dollar properties – this couldn't be further from the truth. Many are living below the poverty line, 15 per cent are living in rented accommodation and as for those ‘lucky’ enough to live in a large family home – they’re probably struggling to be able to afford to maintain it and pay their utility bills.

Then there’s the language that is so often used. In his comments, Mr Daley refers to pensioners as “them” and that’s a large part of the problem. Pensioners, over 65-year-olds, retirees, baby boomers, or whatever label you wish to bestow, are people. They are people who have worked, raised families, fought for their basic human rights and in many cases, for their country. And now they are people trying to get by on a limited income when within the community, people simply see “them” as a burden. Mr Daley may well refer to our seniors as “them” because, let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely that he will face the same trials of an underfunded retirement.

It seems that older Australians can’t win. They are blamed for being part of a demographic spike, they are blamed for higher health care costs and they are blamed for living longer. Yet these same ‘guilty’ seniors will face massive bills should they ever need to enter an aged care residence when ‘user pays’ has become the new norm.

What do you think? Do you think those pensioners not on the Age Pension receive too generous tax concessions? Or do you think these tax concessions are indeed an entitlement for years of working and paying tax? How would you differentiate bewteen those seniors who need the concessions and those who don't?

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    COMMENTS

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    mogo51
    21st Nov 2016
    10:44am
    I suggest that Mr. Daley be made to live on the $36k he is suggesting as the 'tax entry level' for a single, maybe for 12 months and see how he goes with that, paying rent, electricity, water, food, etc.
    I think he might come back with a different idea after that experience.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:21am
    Daley would have a very healthy remuneration, would be using the super scheme for all that it is worth and may even be playing with offshore tax shelters. No wonder he advocates attacking those who have already had a pension stripped from them.
    Tom Tank
    21st Nov 2016
    11:43am
    Actually my experience is that an annual income of $36,000 provides for a modest comfortable retirement provided you don't have to pay rent. That would a real killer.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:48am
    Thing is, TT - those on $36k will never not pay rent.... there's your conundrum...

    $36k? Hmm - sounds like a new yardstick for the single pension to me.... say $1400 a fortnight..... plus total removal of all taxes and excises from fuel and food for pensioners plus totally free healthcare for life. I'd say pensioners could do OK on that.... all their not paying taxes and excises will do is slow the return of their spending money into the government's coffers, since their spending will continue through the exchange of cash/taxation system at one step removed.

    No problem at all......
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:12pm
    Agree with both of the above. Rent is of course the leveller and those who have struggled and managed to own their own home are doing ok. Those who have not managed this for whatever reason are not.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:28am
    Needs are highly subjective. Would $36,000 pa. be enough if you needed a medicine that costs $100 a fortnight? What if you needed expensive disability aids and a paid carer? What if your home is aging and in need of expensive maintenance? What if you teeth are falling out and your eyesight is failing? What if you live in an area where rates and insurance premiums are very high and phone/internet connections are poor quality and very costly?

    This NONSENSE about how much older people need is so just so much claptrap. What is far more significant is how they planned and worked for the retirement THEY believed they needed, and their ENTITLEMENT to enjoy the proceeds of their efforts, while ensuring that the disadvantaged are protected and adequately provided for, and that tax and compliance laws and pension management processes don't impose untenable hardship - bearing in mind that older folk often struggle with forms and calculations and many of our generation are poorly educated.

    The current system is hideously unfair and economically detrimental (in that it discourages saving and encourages over-investment in housing and various manipulative strategies to avoid unfair hurt). It is also disrespectful to older folk and fails to acknowledge reasonably their contribution to society and their right to enjoy the proceeds of often decades of endeavour and frugal living.

    As to those owning their own home being ''ok'', Mick... WRONG! Many would be far better off renting than owning, despite having struggled to years to own. My neighbours calculated that owning is costing them $450 a week (in lost pension, rates, insurance, maintenance, etc.) as opposed to being able to rent equivalent housing for $300 (and get rent assistance). They wish they'd given the house to their kids before age 60. I'll bet many homeowner pensioners have similar regrets.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:43pm
    You know what they say about plans, Rainey - none such survives the first touch of battle - and believe me - it can be a battle out there.
    Grateful
    23rd Nov 2016
    10:15am
    The sooner people understand that the budget pie is only so big and those that are feeding from it with those grossly generous taxation and asset/income tests are taking away from those poor buggers who genuinely need help and are living under the poverty level!!!

    And welfare is NOT an entitlement!!! Until that is understood we will never have genuine fairness and equity for those in need.
    LiveItUp
    24th Nov 2016
    8:48am
    I agree Grateful. Anyone arranging their affairs to get welfare is just plain greedy and taking food out the mouths of the needy.
    Anonymous
    24th Nov 2016
    10:31am
    I agree, Grateful. What I don't agree with is the WAY the system is structured to take from people who ARE needy and give to people who are NOT. The flaws in the assets test are clearly not well understood by people who can't see past the simple untruthful claims and don't have any understanding of the circumstances of others. There are ways to fix the system - but this government is getting it all very, very wrong!
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    10:30am
    Thankfully the government has done something about the flaws in the asset test and changed it form January 2017. If you are effected by these changes then you should not have been getting this OAP welfare in the first place.
    Anonymous
    26th Nov 2016
    4:01pm
    Does your limited brain capacity at least extend to changing the broken record, OG? Some here are trying to have an intelligent debate, and expose information that others might not be aware of. Fools like you who just keep regurgitating self-serving baseless crap really make it hard for those who want to learn, think, and reason.
    John from Perth
    21st Nov 2016
    10:49am
    The real welfare problem is politicians. Why are so many on a "Pension" at below retirement age plus many working? They should be under the same rules as everybody else.
    TV programs should keep bringing this up. Don't let the issue fade. Constantly challenge
    every politician that is interviewed.

    There are many unsung heroes out there that battle on age pension.

    Why should politicians be rewarded for being sacked by the voters?
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:06am
    It's just a small drop in the ocean!
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:15am
    That's what the Dutch said when the Boy put his finger in the dyke and sent his dog to warn them.... Junge Niklaas iss calling Vulf again....
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:17am
    The only drop in the ocean is the lower level of public ocean funds that goes to pay for these lifetime parasites....

    If every pensioner can afford to lose a few bucks and every buck will add up - Let The Politicians and Their Mates Eat The Same Cake!
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:24am
    Geezer is correct about a small drop in the ocean. The real problem lies at the top end of town where tax avoidance & evasion is the main game, overseen by a government which is a player turning a blind eye so that the feeding frenzy does not come to an end.
    Corruption by any other name.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    Biggest problem is that too many people in Australia now have a welfare mentality. No one wants to work especially helping the farmers harvest their produce.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:52am
    Is 'welfare mentality' typified by an endless reliance on tax concessions and ability to offshore profits and hide incomes in trusts and so forth?

    Let us define this 'Welfare Mentality ™' and perhaps we can have it classified as a mental illness.....
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:17pm
    1 in 4 in the US Geezer. We still have a lot of catching up to do but I see where you are coming from.
    The other part of that is that there are no jobs for everybody. In the US the official unemployment figure is around 5% but the real figure is 22.9%. What has changed is the formula used to hide the truth and the same game is happening here. That is why I laugh at Turnbull and Morrison as they spout how many jobs they have created when these are just 2 part time jobs coming out of the destruction of every full time jobs. A con.
    So what do you propose the unemployed do if there are no jobs to go to? Training? Free work?
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:31pm
    Mick there is lots of employment but Aussies just won't do it. Our farm produce is harvested by overseas backpackers. Our factories are manned by Asians and Indians. Not sure about you but I hardly see a while person collect supermarket trollies. Mines are full of overseas workers. Cruises ships are manned by overseas workers. Everywhere I go now there is hardly an Aussie that works in the service and restaurant industries.

    Unemployed needs to get off their posteriors and find a job. Any job not necessary one they want to do. That is the problem.
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    12:58pm
    It doesn't matter that "it's just a small drop in the ocean", Old Geezer. It's partly due to the small drop in the ocean that the pollies get that they don't consider the plight of all the people struggling on the super - they don't give a stuff, they don;t have to give a stuff, they don't understand.
    Gra
    21st Nov 2016
    1:35pm
    And the reason is OG is that the overseas workers will do the job for less money. A lot of those working in factories and on farms aren't game to complain lest they be shown the door (or gate if on a farm). We saw that not long back with the 7/11 workers and when their employers were forced by the Fair Work commission to give the workers backpay, they had the gall to deduct so much out of their weekly pays to recoup it. It isn't simply that Aussies won't work, it is more so that employers won't give them a start. I know of a couple of businesses in my town that brought in labour on 457 visas rather than invest time and money training young people in town who are looking for work.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:08pm
    What about all our young people being given jobs as trainees and apprentices when all they are is labourers but paid half what they should be? Had a discussion with Fairwork about this last week.

    Everyone I know is offered numerous jobs when they are out of work so why do others have trouble getting jobs? Too picky I'd say.
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    6:28pm
    "Biggest problem is that too many people in Australia now have a welfare mentality..." OG. This "welfare mentality" certainly applies to all those really wealthier and big businesses that organise it so they pay little or no tax. It's a shame that our wonderful governments instead of ensuring that pensioners and part-pensioners have a hard time of it, don't ensure these wealthy individuals and businesses pay their fare share of taxes.
    Of course we know why - it's easier to slug the little person rather than their wealthy mates and wealthy business associates.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:49am
    Why would you not have a ''welfare mentality'', OG, when you bust your gut being honest and diligent, are screwed by a cruel system, victimized with massive injustice over and over, and then when despite all that you manage to put aside PERSONAL SAVINGS for old age, you are forced to hand it back to a corrupt government to gift to folk who are better off than you are and arseholes on here say that's okay?

    Nothing in the world is more certain to generate a ''welfare mentality'' than YOUR ATTITUDE - which is reflected in the arrogance and stupidity of our current government, sadly.

    When the need to allow people to enjoy the rewards of their endeavour is recognized and acknowledged, the ''welfare mentality'' will end.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Nov 2016
    12:00pm
    I enjoy the rewards of my endeavours without welfare or a welfare mentality. If something needs doing and I can get no one to do it I simply have a go myself. I recently had a problem that was going to cost $1200 to fix as no one was interested in doing it. So I did some research bought a $3 part and fixed it myself.

    Our government is far from stupid and if people are not drawing down on their capital while accessing the pension then they have made a good decision in reducing the asset test so that people will draw down their capital. Centrelink is truly a wealth of information for our government. If you have enough without drawing down your capital then you simply do not need welfare. It is as simple as that.
    Anonymous
    24th Nov 2016
    10:34am
    It is, OG, but only for brain-dead self-obsessed morons who have no consideration for the challenges other people face. Not everyone CAN do for themselves. I do. My partner does. We've saved hundreds of thousands that way. But unlike you, we have empathy for those who can't. And common sense to see how stupidly destructive policies based on wild assumptions rather than fact really are.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    10:39am
    Just excuses Rainey. Anyone can do it but most are too lazy and could not be bothered.
    Curious
    21st Nov 2016
    11:03am
    It is unthinkable and unfair to target the baby boomers and to justify using seniors' meagre income and savings to realign the national budget for this global economy, which was once called a "lucky country". I thought that the Grattan Institute would have a bigger fish to fry: - multi-national companies, higher income earners, foreign investors, cash economy and money laundering. I just wonder, how many billion dollars would these groups have raked in compared to axing the senior tax concessions. Please, don't forget these baby boomers were young and loyal once, paying taxes to support the previous generation of our beloved seniors. Now when it comes to our turn to be senior citizens of this nation, the Grattan Institute calls the "age of entitlement" is over. Shame on you, Grattan Institute.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:11am
    OAP is welfare and should only be given to those who need it.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:18am
    OAP is a bought and paid for right.. an insurance policy now due.... and should incolude a total abolition of all taxes and excise for food and fuel to pensioners and totally free healthcare for life - that insurance policy being due at age 65......
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:28am
    Well I'm well overdue then. There is no insurance policy payout for me.

    What a lot of rubbish.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    OAP is not really welfare at all Geezer. Workers can't (generally) retire if they are no longer able to earn an income. Those are the facts and decent countries and their governments do not attack those who have worked a full lifetime to provide the current lot with all the bells and whistles in a modern and thriving economy.
    This lot is about class warfare and attacks on the most vulnerable. That is how the bastards work.
    Expect worse when genY with its perverse ideals, needs and beliefs steps up to the plate of power. You ain't seen nothing yet.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    OAP is not really welfare at all Geezer. Workers can't (generally) retire if they are no longer able to earn an income. Those are the facts and decent countries and their governments do not attack those who have worked a full lifetime to provide the current lot with all the bells and whistles in a modern and thriving economy.
    This lot is about class warfare and attacks on the most vulnerable. That is how the bastards work.
    Expect worse when genY with its perverse ideals, needs and beliefs steps up to the plate of power. You ain't seen nothing yet.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:38am
    That will be the day Mick as I can't see them getting off their posteriors to do anything.
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    12:53pm
    Why is the Age Pension the only Australian pension called welfare, Old Geezer?
    Ex politicians, ex judges, in fact every public service pensioner is never relegated
    to a "welfare recipient" and, therefore, does not have their payments messed around with.
    Presumably at some time the government of the day decided that public service employees were
    some kind of elite and the rest were plebs and could be treated as such. Corruption? I think so.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:10pm
    These are all very different from the OAP as they are part of yo employment whereas the OAP welfare has nothing to do with how much or little you worked or who you worked for or what job you had.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:17pm
    OAP is part of your employment as a payer of taxes during your lifetime.... you need to keep up with the discussion on how tax actually works. It's essentially cycle - with the government handing it around and then getting it back, the only real differences being that the rate of return can be changed, and some are leaving a Black Hole of Budget by not paying their share.

    Every pensioner and lower paid person on wages pays taxes every day in every way.
    Retired Knowall
    21st Nov 2016
    6:14pm
    What about the thousands that have never worked, lived on the dole in public housing and then go on the OAP?
    And they breed so there are 2 or 3 generations continually on welfare.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    7:00pm
    Those thousands still pay taxes, Knowall... can anyone fairly say that a child born with spina bifida and Down's, who receives Social Security from cradle to grave and cannot work - has not paid taxes along the way? Everything that goes to that child/person's upkeep incurs tax at some time in some way...

    I would like to thank the esteemed Member for Retknowall for raising this pertinent subject, and consideration will be given to including such recipients in the tax and excise free bracket.... under the proposal put forward by the Member for Treboria, that person would already be included, but we must always ensure we do not miss anyone or discriminate..... and that proposal is only in the formulation stage and is awaiting responses from the floor.....
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:25am
    Well lets thank all the dole bludgers and centrelink ripoff merchants for their valuable contributions to society.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:49pm
    A fair chance at a meaningful job would help many there, RK ..... perhaps we should return women to the home and create an endless array of jobs - I'm prepared to bet $10 (I don't bet much) if that were suddenly the case, a lot of the jobs would simply dry up.

    Anyway, that unreality aside - 'growing' the population in the futile hope that this will somehow 'grow' the economy in some unspecified way - largely, it seems, by thinking that more people means more services etc, when the reality is that many are so poor they don't use services much unless they have to - is an exercise in futility without meaningfully growing the industrial and production base way over and above the current Banana Republic style.

    We need a lot more than better prices for meat and ore exporters, who employ nearly 0% of the workforce - and whose activities, in the case of meat at the very least, causes price rises here.
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:17pm
    How about you stick to the subject. You claim that Welfare was an entitlement because you worked and paid taxes. I asked "what about all those that never worked? You the claimed that even the unemployed paid tax and even threw in a child with spina bifida.
    If we your logic we should bring in more refugees because they could go on welfare and pay tax.
    Nobody objects to society helping out the disadvantaged, chronically ill, socially disadvantaged or intellectually challenged like you.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:39pm
    **rolls eyes** - read Bob Menzies on the subject... the Right to Social Security is not dependent on the amount an individual puts in..... are you seriously suggesting that there is this massive body of people out there who prefer to live on Social Security instead of having a meaningful job with a decent return?

    What part of "800k acknowledged unemployed - 120k jobs" do you find difficult to grasp?

    OAP, Unemployment etc are covered under the Social Security budget - there is no 'welfare' budget, and the use of that term is a petty attempt to vilify Pensioners and Unemployed etc as some kinds of charity cases, whose income is malleable at the whim of any passing despot.

    Of course the unemployed pay tax - you are seeking to restrict the discussion to Income Tax - which is only part of the package.

    EVERYBODY pays taxes every day.... with every exchange of money .... Income tax is but one way this is done since it extracts tax directly from the amount paid as wages.

    Nobody said more refugees or more social security recipients should be part of the package - it is the proportion of tax that counts per individual in the sense that government needs a certain amount returned within a certain time to function.... and not having people working - as seems to be a primary function of governance these days - is a surefire recipe to slow down the flood of money returning to the government. Same applies to corporations and so forth.... nobody needs more that pay no tax..... those are just useless mouths leeching off the country.

    My dear sir - it is not I in this discussion who is intellectually challenged - I am streets ahead of you on facts and reason.
    Retired Knowall
    23rd Nov 2016
    7:15am
    The more you write the more you display your total ignorance. Best keep quite and have people think you are a fool than to write your dribble and remove all doubt.
    I read your utter nonsense on GST... MORON.
    Jilly B
    21st Nov 2016
    11:08am
    I can really resonate with this article. I tried living on the aged pension this year and found myself getting further and further behind. When you add up registration, comprehensive Insurance and Electricity, food, Life Insurance(I have to drop it) and expenses for the home I could not keep up. I have worked for over 50 years and now I am back at work full time and I have prepaid all my regular bills for the year and I am saving every dollar I can. I worked overseas for the last 8 years and over there one gets no long service leave, superannuation and has all the fluctuations of the currency of the country you work in and the multiple charges to get most ofd it back home. It cost over AD10,000 to relocate back to Australia. So no easy life for me unless I can work for at least another 2 years and own my home and then I will have to live frugally.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:33am
    You are a voter Jilly. If you feel this way (you should) then DO NOT VOTE LIBERAL in the next election. Or Labor for that matter. If pensioners do indeed make up 40% of the voting population then we need to use that advantage to punish both sides of politics by voting more Independents again until they get the message. I assure you they will once their livelihood disappears.
    Janran
    21st Nov 2016
    1:24pm
    Trouble is, Mick, the pollies' livelihoods NEVER disappear, even after they have been sacked. They still get huge pensions, with free overseas travel allowances, etc., FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!!!
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:09am
    I agree.

    Also OAP should not get any benefits unless they are on the full age pension.

    House needs to be added to asset test.

    All money paid in the OAP should be paid in full when a person dies before their estate is distributed. It is simply stupid that people with money double dip on the taxpayers.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:19am
    *posts and answer just to fill the gap - just upholding my end of the conversation*
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:34am
    Sounds like you are on the full OAP Geezer. A bit cruel that those earning less than the pension on assets which knock them out of a pension are so harshly dealt with. Sadly this is the mindset of the current government which attacks the bottom whilst it is no tax open slather at the top. So what is fair?
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:44am
    Mick I didn't get to my age partaking the evil drink. I can't see why anyone does myself.

    Yes it is fair to us long suffering taxpayers. Way too many people on welfare and too many people now have a welfare mentality and think they should be provided for without lifting a finger.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:49am
    I can understand your set against leeches who sponge on welfare all of their lives and totally agree but there needs to be fairness built into the system. Attacking the bottom end whilst looking the other way for the top does not make any sense and as I keep saying the level of corruption at the top is mind boggling but it seems to be 'acceptable'.
    Equity mate!
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:00pm
    Houses are already used for asset test, Old Geezer.
    Renters get a rental subsidy on their pension, house owners don’t.
    Farside
    21st Nov 2016
    1:40pm
    The idea of repaying welfare receipts from deceased estates has merit although it would inevitably become just another consideration in estate planning.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:20pm
    No, Brian - separate the pension fund as far away from the grasping hands of politicians as you can get it... that's your answer.

    Not this :- 'What's the difference between the government and a whore' stuff - we all know a whore stops screwing you once you're dead.....
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:13am
    Remove any tax concessions from The Grattan Institute, that'll shut 'em up. Bunch of rabid party-liners and vultures feeding off the public purse in more ways than one while spouting Party lines over and over... waste of time, money and energy - especially when that money is handouts to them via tax concessions and donations from the public purse just for being so wise and knowledgeable...

    And that was me being nice.....
    fearlessfly
    21st Nov 2016
    11:19am
    I hate these bastards at the Rotten Institute, can we get some group funding going to organize a few GeeHardIsts to visit the place ?
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    http://grattan.edu.au/about-us/people/

    And all these people do it out of the good of their hearts and their love of humanity.......

    Twerps..... imagine trying to offer any justification for removing from older workers an incentive and opportunity to make up for their lack of opportunity to develop a sweet super fund for retirement - bet none of that lot misses out on a super super deal! You can bet it's one of the best in town!

    So - where does all the funding come from?

    http://grattan.edu.au/about-us/

    Not going to run that show and all its perks on $20m a year...... so where are the brown paper bags coming from?
    Cowboy Jim
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    Well said Trebor. Thanks
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:37am
    Ah - here we are -

    http://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Grattan-Institute-Annual-Financial-Report-2015.pdf
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:45am
    Try finding WHO funds the Grattan Institute. Not available. Given the high number of business and mining representatives on the board I'd be thinking that the Grattan Institute is currently little more than a right wing tool. Given this latest attack on seniors it certainly looks that way.
    MITZY
    21st Nov 2016
    11:54am
    I've said this a few times about the Grattan Institute in the past.
    Set up to be totally independent in the beginning but I doubt they are these days. Among the people making donations as "Friends of the Gratton Institute" are: Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull sits, among others, on their Governance Structure.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:58am
    They owned up to the Fed Guv and the NAB..... read it and you'll see a lot of unspecified endowments that recoup money from investments etc... if that recouping even amounts to 5%, and they are recouping $4.7 m a year... they'd need $200m+ in investments..... hmmmm..... just hmmmmmmm..

    Who gets the 'investment management fees' of $142,000? More hmmmm..... that's how business is done - "Oh - I don't actually get anything from this - they just cover my costs and give me a little bit for handling investments for it...."
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:14am
    "It used to be that between one-quarter and one-third of seniors paid tax.

    It also used to be that rich Australians were taxed at 60 cents in the dollar. Now 49 cents in the dollar with tax now optional as the rich and their multinational counterparts squirrel money to tax havens and low taxing jurisdictions. And then we have the constant lowering of the corporate tax rate.
    Daley and his benefactor (the current right wing government) are clearly engaged in class warfare disguised as economic management and this story again exposes it for what it is.
    If over 65s are indeed 40% of the voting population then it is about time seniors threw away their allegiances to any political party and voted the bastards out en masse. WE NEED AN ELECTION and we need more Independents in the government mix to force the puppets of the big end of town out.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    12:18pm
    All seniors pay tax with every purchase - you know that Mick - this discussion should never be allowed to degenerate - as some here and elsewhere want it to - into a discussion of who pay 'more' income tax.

    That argument has been done to death, too, and it has long been established that EVERYONE pays taxes one way or another - but few have the opportunity to MINIMISE taxation - and therein lies the rub.

    I've had both jobs and businesses - I do much better in a business (good as I am at jobs) when it comes to tax minimisation.... the old adage is that you never become a millionaire working for someone else holds here.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:53pm
    I disagree. How many pensioners get a cheap job done for cash? Lots of it around here because if you want a job done that the only way it gets done. No tax paid anywhere...maybe a big on the fuel for the car.
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    1:06pm
    Come off it, OG. All too often we olds have to forgo fixing things around the house due to the cost - whether or not the tradesman would do it cheap for cash. The maintenance of one's house, the rates and most of all the insurance premiums are increasingly difficult to pay for. I suppose that you'll ow tell me or I should sell my hard-worked for home and rent a place.
    Retired Knowall
    21st Nov 2016
    1:15pm
    What about the GST on the materials.....unless they steal that too.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    2:18pm
    YEP !! :-) That goes in the Ice Cream Container TILL Too !! :-) :-)
    Anonymous
    21st Nov 2016
    4:41pm
    Just to set the record straight, Old Geezer, on "black money". It has been in the economy since Federation or before and there was a false rumour that the GST would stop it. Sure, no tax is paid on "black money", nor was it ever paid but the only way that it can be spent without detection is on things like holiday upgrades or eating out. To spend it on material things like boats, cars, motorhomes or holiday homes can raise some embarrassing questions from the ATO.

    Before GST, the "black" economy meant that all tax was avoided but since introduction of the GST, spending of "black money" attracts a tax of 10%. In fact, if a check back is made on tax income for the periods following GST coming in, there will be an oversubscription on ATO estimates. Nothing will ever stop "black money", Old Geezer, and I wonder why you have chosen to single out pensioners for supporting cheap quotes. Naturally, nobody in this forum would do such a thing as it's against the law.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:04pm
    So how do you explain those invoices with GST added when they are not registered for GST on than a bonus 10%?

    Check next time to see if they are registered for GST. I recently knocked back a contractor for a job who added GST but was not registered.
    Anonymous
    21st Nov 2016
    5:10pm
    Are you serious Old Geezer? I am not a tax collector and if the job is done well and the price suits me I pay the tradie. I don't have to explain any invoice to anyone, I'm retired.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:28pm
    OG - the cycle of taxation means that the 'black market' cash handed out, once it is spent, incurs tax on every purchase - so in a sense there is NO 'black market'.

    This same argument is what gives fuel to my point that Pensioners should be tax and excise free and receive free medical treatment. So the poor old buggars have a few dollars more (isn't that a Clint Eastwood?) - the person they spend it with spends that money, and the moment that person at one remove spends and pays tax - every dollar re-enters the tax cycle.

    The ONLY Holes in the cycle of taxation are offshoring of profits, tax minimisation/evasion and spending offshore instead of here, hoarding those dollars and not spending them (which will incur tax at some time, and inflation..... the amount of inflation over the time it takes for a dollar to return to the grasping hands of the Gus is miniscule....

    Let's look at GST in isolation - one dollar becomes 90c, then becomes 81c.. and so on until it approaches zero (that's Maths I in High School for ya)...after a specified number of 'passes' across the taxation system - around a dozen or so. And that is dealing with ONLY GST - if you spend your dollar at a club, that club pays wages, taxes etc, the employees spend their cash etc..... how quickly does that dollar return to Government coffers?

    Let me tell you - without doing precise figures here - it is a VERY short time.

    So we are left with those who have enough dollars coming their way to offshore it in some way.......and THERE, Mr Morrison... THERE, Mr Hockey, and THERE, Mr Turnbull - is your enemy!
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    5:42pm
    I've beat that system TREBOR I only buy things on the Black Market ! :-)
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:51pm
    Do you check your contractor has public liability insurance before they start? I certainly do.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    7:06pm
    Parti - then your black marketeer will pay tax next time he/she buys something, and your dollar will achieve re-entry into the tax cycle...... once it is back in - it is fair game for any number of taxes.... and will soon vanish back into the hands of The Guv.

    It's like my suggestion that no harm would come from Social Security recipients being tax and excise free - everyone they buy from will start each dollar on the road of paying tax, so the real benefit will only be felt by the Recipient PLUS the economy from stimulation via spending the initial tax free dollar... more free dollars means more economic activity and more input into the tax system.... means more revenue for government in the long run....

    Raise The Pension (for too long it has been like the Titanic, or the Bismarck.. deep as underwater)....
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:41pm
    Trebor, if you don't stop it you will go blind.
    curaeus
    21st Nov 2016
    11:17am
    Don't you just love these intellectually sequestrated suits going around defaming seniors like this. Want to save some money. Make deadbeat corporates and the wealthy pay their fair share-but don't hold your breath waiting for Millionaire Mal to do that!
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:50am
    That's why we have a ballot box. Next time around use it as it was envisaged.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:20pm
    That's why I don't vote Mick. Ballot box is rigged big time.
    KSS
    21st Nov 2016
    1:09pm
    How did that work for you last time Mick?
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    7:26pm
    Doesn't Vote ? But Defends the Libs ?? Yeah I believe that !! :-) :-)
    Oldie84
    21st Nov 2016
    11:23am
    Well Well, and there I thought the Grattan Institute was "Socially Progressive" i.e. Left Wing.
    Who'd h've thought. :-) :-) :-)
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:29am
    They are socially progressive.
    Oldie84
    21st Nov 2016
    11:39am
    Not if they attack us Oldies, Old Geezer. Not that it worries me much, I don't fall into their categories.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:40am
    Is that National Socially or just International Socially? Which gas chamber would they advocate for the old or which gulag?

    One of the real problems with over-academising things is that these people - wait for it - lost touch with the realities in the real world.
    Oldie84
    21st Nov 2016
    11:42am
    And I guess they went through University in the Whitlam years when our taxes paid their way Trebor.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:52am
    The best I could find was that they were set up with left government money and now are dominated by right wing big business interests. Try finding out where the institute's (current) funding comes from. Not available but pretty obvious.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    12:19pm
    No doubt about that, Oldie - I didn't take advantage of that since I made enough through work - only when I was dumped did it begin to bite that these days the twerps with a paper tiger are more highly valued than the actual producers....

    Stoopid is as stoopid does - as we say down here in Green Bow...
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:34pm
    Government owned and paid for. A bit like COTA, I often wonder how useful they are
    to pensioners and how much their CEOs get paid.
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:34pm
    Government owned and paid for. A bit like COTA, I often wonder how useful they are
    to pensioners and how much their CEOs get paid.
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:34pm
    Government owned and paid for. A bit like COTA, I often wonder how useful they are
    to pensioners and how much their CEOs get paid.
    ashydasher
    21st Nov 2016
    11:28am
    Jilly B - You sure said it, one has to wonder why. Incidentally, I believe politicians get generous super early because it is presumed they leave some sort of profession to go into politics but may not be able to return to it if voted out. Sounds sort of ok on the surface but maybe the true situation of ex-politicians should be investigated before super is handed out.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:36am
    It's part of the pay package they get for being a polly. It has nothing to do with the welfare system. People are on welfare simply because they haven't the means to support themselves. Nothing more.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    11:44am
    Who arranged that pay package for them? Was it the People or themselves?

    I rest my case - every pay package in this time of (LMAO) 'industrial reform' must come under the microscope - how are politicians and their mates any different?

    Hoist on their own petard - again - a popular never-ending event for politicians and their mates.....

    Politicians past and present are on welfare daily because otherwise they couldn't support themselves - that's their justification for their salaries, perks and mega retirement package - so why are they receiving it since it is self-contradictory to state it is some mythical reward for foregoing the opportunity to earn big outside (you mean everyone forced to take a menial job couldn't do better somewhere else - wow!)... and then saying that they can't leave politics without a massive handout for life..... what utter nonsense.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:47am
    You did Trebor.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:53am
    Come on Geezer. Part of a pay package WHICH THEY DESIGNED FOR THEMSELVES complete with 'Independent' Remuneration Tribunal...the same ones which double CEO pay every year or two.
    I know a casino when I see one.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    12:20pm
    Hey man - I only put the fuel in - I didn't drive the way it was built..... someone else did that without my input.....
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    1:11pm
    imagine if we could all organise our own pension levels kill the pollies have done.
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:40pm
    Are you on a political pension yourself, Old Geezer? Of course politicians' huge pensions are
    welfare, they're paid out of the same taxpayers pockets as the Age Pension. The fact that at
    some time the Government of the day called it by aother name doesn't matter, it's still welfare
    which means to me that the people getting more than the regulation Age Pension or drawing it
    before age 65 is corruption.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:05pm
    No I am not on any government welfare at all. I pay the government not them paying me.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:54pm
    ".. at 3:06 on the video tape, members of the jury, it can clearly be seen that OG confesses that politician etc pensions ARE welfare.... this despite his previous rejection of any suggestion that this was so...."

    (never mess with a book writer who is a Gemini - we love words etc)....
    kev888
    21st Nov 2016
    11:29am
    The problem with Australians is they have no sense to protest in the streets like they do in Europe . The media as a rule do not investigate or challenge political lies . Its always about welfare not entitlement..never about government mismanagement ,where is the pension money? why is it not in the pension fund ? who got it? We are locked in this dictatorial country try going out of the country for a holiday and you will see what rights and freedom you really have ...........
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:34am
    Spent long ago if it ever existed.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    11:56am
    Australians for the most are too bloody lazy to go and protest. They complain over the back fence and then suck it up because who wants to miss a p*ss up or dinner out or going to the footy? We deserve what we get and when they pain becomes too great there'll be the normal recriminations about 'who did this to us'. Answer: you did!
    Golden Oldie
    21st Nov 2016
    12:18pm
    The pension fund existed, then moved to general revenue because the government of the day ran short of money, and stole the money in this fund which was ser up to provide for pensuions. Also, at that time, and probably still applicable, is the unfunded superannuation scheme for civil servants. When these people were forcably retired through cutbacks, the government could not fund the redundancy packages. Any other business would have had criminal charges brought against them.
    The current aged pensioners grew up as taxpayers, raising their kids without the benefit of Family Tax benefits A and B, minimal child endowment, cild care benefits, etc. Instead working mothers were vilified because they were blamed for bringing up criminal kids, and later, single mothers were blamed for the same. Children born out of wedlock in the fifties and sixties, and earlier, virtually had their children stolen from birth (the second stolen generation) because adoption was considered to be the only option. Back in those days, if you were lucky enough to have a job, you were sacked when you became pregnant, no maternity leave with a job to go back to. Hardly any childcare centres, and those rhat were around were very expensive and hard to get in to.If you didn't belong to the privileged few with rich parents, then, as a female, single parent, to save for your retirement when your wage was anout 2 thirds of a male wage for the same job, and living expenses took up all your disposable income, getting attacked again after retirement is sickening. Old Geezer, I hope that if reincarnation is possible, I hope you come back as a female in some third world country. I find your attitude deplorable.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:22pm
    Let's not start on Family tax benefits, childcare and the rescued generations of children.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    12:23pm
    GO - the greatest act of legitimised theft in the history of this country - and that's saying something...... this entire joint is run like a Central American Republic.... for the benefit of El Presidente and his cronies.....
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:54pm
    I have a letter, Kev, from James Porter MP dated 28th November, 1989 in which he states [my summary] that in
    1950 the levy was merged into general tax rates and lost its special significance and discrete function
    of financing aged and other pensions.
    From 1952 there was no longer an accumulation of excess funds, the fund had becomme simply an
    accounting mechanism.
    In 1976 it was decided that the "historical balance" would be paid into consolidated revenue. The amount at
    the time was $470 million.
    His final paragrah. In a way, the Social Security levy became like the Medicare levy is today [1989] - and additional
    form of taxation bearing no relationship to the costs of the prograpm it funded.
    If anyone one wants the full letter I'll try and upload it or copy it.
    Eddy
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:01am
    Triss, your post reminds me of what my parents told me, of course in 1950 I was too young to understand what was going on, but it sounds very plausible to me. I do know this for a fact though, in 1972 the government of the day took all the money in the self sustaining Defence Force Retirement Benefits fund (about $180M) and created the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits scheme. We had no option they legislated that way and being good little soldiers we obeyed our political masters. We paid in our 5.5% of pre-tax salary every fortnight but the government never paid in anything until it came time to for us to collect. Now they complain about how much it is costing. From your post Triss it seems that the government is again complaining about the financial implications of decisions made by previous governments.
    PAYEdmydues
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    Now just listen to the bleeding hearts.
    Haha.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    12:25pm
    We hear you, Bro - don't let it get to you...
    BrianP
    21st Nov 2016
    11:30am
    Mr Daley should be sacked in favour of someone with more respect for seniors' value to Australian society.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    11:33am
    I think he is doing a good job respecting the true seniors who don't rip off the welfare system.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:00pm
    Are these the same wealthy who during their working lives have milked every loophole, deduction and tax scheme their accountants could find?
    You need to avoid labelling the top end as decent Geezer as the devil is always in the detail. Very few likely became self funded in a fair manner. You?
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:19pm
    Mick I did everything legally Mick. No dodgy stuff for me.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    12:26pm
    Legally? Or Right?
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:50pm
    If it's legal it is right so why the question?
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    1:13pm
    You must have a great sense of humour today, OG. i'm getting a real laugh at what you have written here. you can't possible be serious.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:18pm
    Deadly serious.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    5:37pm
    Deadly Geyser :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:39pm
    .. as serious as a Hockey comment on road users......
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    6:21pm
    I'm laughing again at your "seriousness" OG.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    6:34pm
    Old people Don't Drive !!:-) :-)
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:53am
    ''I think he is doing a good job respecting the true seniors who don't rip off the welfare system.''?????

    OG, you are either an idiot or being very sarcastic!
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:55pm
    I'll vote sarcastic - I'm a very gracious person....
    Old Geezer
    23rd Nov 2016
    2:35pm
    Well I do think he is doing a good job respecting the grateful seniors who are grateful for what they get and not double dipping and thus ripping off the welfare system. Nothing sarcastic about that at all. In fact it is nothing but greed. Yes I noticed that only those ones whinging are those greedy ones that should not have gotten the OAP welfare in the first place.
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2016
    7:45am
    I notice that you CLAIM to have divine knowledge of everyone's circumstances and motives, and a divine right to judge. A ''God complex'', it's often referred to. Typically suffered by narcissists. I hate to break it to you, OG, but you are a totally misinformed old fool who hasn't the faintest clue about other people's circumstances or motives, but works off wild, baseless assumptions and wishful thinking. Only a selfish moron would presume to know who - among people they have never met and have no knowledge of - should or shouldn't have received a pension and who does or doesn't need one. And you don't even know the meaning of the term ''double-dipping'', as demonstrated by another post in which you say claiming a legal entitlement after having sacrificed to make PERSONAL savings and received ZERO tax advantages is somehow ''double-dipping''', yet for a big spender who had all the tax advantages to claim a pension now they are broke is not! What an idiotic contention!
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    11:00am
    You are right Rainey I am old but no fool. Remember a fool and his money are soon parted. Yes I do regard people getting the OAP when they don't need it as double dipping. Just like I just hate people buying more than they need just because it is cheap. It is my philosophy in life to only take what I need and leave the rest for some one else.

    I also donate 10% of what I earn each year to charity as I know that it helps those in real need not those who don't need it.

    I also visit old people in multimillion dollar homes that are on the full pension. One the other day was complaining that she didn't know what to do with her money when she died. So we worked out some charities for her to leave it all too.

    I've got packing to do as I taking the family on a cruise next week at my expense.
    Anonymous
    26th Nov 2016
    4:06pm
    All of which evidences that you are far too well-off and privileged to have anything remotely resembling empathy, let alone comprehension of the problems of others, so why don't you just go on your cruise and let intelligent, perceptive people engage in productive debate without your ill-informed, inane, self-serving, repetitive GARBAGE getting in the way.

    You are WRONG, OG. But you are too stinking well-off to open your eyes to the real world and too arrogant and self-opinionated to listen to wisdom, so just go away.
    PIXAPD
    21st Nov 2016
    11:44am
    RICH retirees to PAY TAX SUGGESTED..... interesting concept...those on the full aged pension not targeted<<<< single person non home owner gets only $26,200.20 a year, $1007.70 f/night
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:02pm
    "RICH retirees to PAY TAX SUGGESTED"? Why? If there is a way out set for the top end why would they not take it? They do. The richer the person the bigger the rorts. All legal though.
    PIXAPD
    21st Nov 2016
    12:07pm
    Those with their home and rentals, the boat on the harbour, the plane, 3 cars etc etc should be targeted.. Then those with only the pension can get a raise
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:20pm
    Serious? These people have mates and serious influence....not to be touched. They aren't.
    PIXAPD
    21st Nov 2016
    12:29pm
    Oh yes, there would be Judges, highly placed Govt officials all working to ensure the rich get richer...been the same for millennia. No matter what Empire, the rich have looked after themselves.

    On another note we only need look at the Vatican, so many riches and there are beggars on the streets of Rome, makes a mockery of these words of the Apostle Peter who said ' silver and gold have I none'
    KSS
    21st Nov 2016
    1:19pm
    PIXAPD it is not the clergy that hve the assets, its the Church - the organisation. The clergy own nothing and are true to the words of the Apostle Peter.
    PIXAPD
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:41am
    The church IS the believers, the ekklesia, or called out ones
    Charlie
    21st Nov 2016
    11:51am
    I don't understand any of this, it seems to be about people who have investments and own houses.

    I understand that if a person has an income on top of receiving the age pension, there has to be a cut off point somewhere, at which they can no longer get the age pension because payment of the pension is deemed to be somewhat of a safety net, rather than an entitlement.

    Paying into the age pension pool by paying taxes, is a little bit like an insurance policy against things turning turtle when old age approaches, you don't necessarily get back what you paid in. Sometimes you get nothing.

    I am now living entirely on the age pension and renting my accommodation. Last time I checked I was allowed to earn $250 a fortnight without my pension being reduced.
    I have a university degree but I am prepared to do any work that my health will permit, so if I could get two half days work per week, I would be over the moon, but real casual work seems to be near impossible to come by.

    Employers are not even looking for multi skilled people anymore, everyone seems to have a piece of paper for every job they do.
    When I was employed I had to use my skills to research how to do a job, then do it and move on the the next job.

    If the government must take from the age pensioners who have assets, how about they put a little money back into things, like being genuine about providing a free rail fare once a year, not saying its free and allowing an extra $50 fee here and $50 there to occur. I can no longer afford to visit any of my living relatives, in the state where I live.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:05pm
    This government is all about attacking those who cannot or will not stand up for themselves and of course protecting the rich from paying the correct amount of tax.
    You are expecting fairness and the current government has no interest in that.
    About time retirees started to vote out both sides of politics. Maybe we need to start setting up our own party so that we can galvanise our voting numbers against the bastards.
    Baby Huey
    21st Nov 2016
    11:53am
    We watched Mr Daley talking like Herman Goering on ABC this morning. It would appear he is quite happy to sell his own parents down the drain. In the politically degenerate Grattan Institute of despicable nose in trough know it all's with their head up the backsides of their corrupt politician mates older Australians do not have a chance.
    The Grattan Institute and their clones are working hard to incite a generational war through lying straight face under the guise of research.
    I have no doubt Mr Daley has a PhD in BS. As they say PhD stands for BS Piled Higher and Deeper. When awarded a PhD the graduate receives a pair of waders and a snow shovel to work their way through the BS.
    Australia will have its own Brexit and Trump.
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:08pm
    A PHD in Business Studies. So who do you think he is working for? Ordinary Australians? Pretty obvious.
    This report is just the next nail in the coffin from the current government which retirees allowed to get back in.
    4b2
    21st Nov 2016
    12:05pm
    The age of entitlements was a term introduced by the worst treasurer Australia has eve had. The lifter who has now become a leaner in his overpaid position in the USA has to claim chid minding expenses while he parties. Now the Gratin Institute is recommending attacking the lowest paid Australians. WOW how much further can we fall? Give the high end of town Tax breaks, allow self employed, and SMBE's generous expense claims, increase the premiums on Health Care, and increase tax on the lowest income bracket? Where is Trump when we need him??
    MICK
    21st Nov 2016
    12:10pm
    If Hockey referred to the general population as having an "Age of Entitlement" then how would one refer to the top end of society which keeps getting tax breaks and handouts disguised as economic reform? That is where the real problem lies: the elites are exempt from the contributing a fair amount towards society and expect the rest of us to pay for them.
    Mark
    21st Nov 2016
    12:15pm
    Over the last several months an academic has suggested in the Herald that seniors votes should be worth less than those of younger people, a so called Real Estate Guru has referred to older people as crumby old baby boomers that should give up their family homes, pensions have been cut (effective January) and now we are being attacked over tax. Why don't all these vultures bugger off and pick on someone else.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:34pm
    Simply because there are now too many oldies and not enough workers to provide for their good lifestyle.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:42pm
    Well - they could hand us all back every cent we've paid in taxes in our fifty years - not just income tax, do try to follow the discussion - and we'll make our own investments with it and they can keep the pension .... it would need to be indexed of course to suit the current true value of the dollar.....

    Truly you are a wise man, OG - we thank you for raising this very interesting issue....
    PIXAPD
    21st Nov 2016
    12:17pm
    The taxpayer keeps the POLLIES in a pension, so large that a small town could be kept each year, a cut in their pension too MUST be done..tax those PARASITES also.
    Gammer
    21st Nov 2016
    1:34pm
    Yes, politicians' lurks and perks simply must be brought into line with those of the rest of Australian workers. It is ludicrous that they get so much public, tax payer funded, benefit when they do such a lousy job anyway. Certainly a pension should only be paid when a person has actually retired not because they have left the political arena...
    johno
    21st Nov 2016
    12:28pm
    bashing the oldies again is a real cowards act...what about the high income earners ?? and then we have women being paid to have babies... and every body has to pay while they have time off work...and then their is this childcare rort paying for some one elses kids while they go to work...and what about the billions we spend on moslem immigrants and islam terror watching in this country...government mismanagement !!!!leave the oldies alone....
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:32pm
    It has certainly got out of hand.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:46pm
    That is why, in past discussions - I've raised the issue of a clear need to look carefuylly at what actually constitutes Social Security and what is currently included that should not be part of it.

    There are many facets to this issue, and those facets include the Futures Fund, certain aspects of taxation and subsidies, and a host of other considerations.

    There can be no possible argument that PPL was always a long term government plan, since they forced the introduction into the Public Service of women over men as far back as the 1980's and they just had to know those women, once in the majority as they now are, would demand and get PPL etc. Affirmative Action probably doubled your budget costs for government departments overall.... stoopid is as stoopid does...
    Chuck
    21st Nov 2016
    12:33pm
    The Grattan Institute is always attacking the meager benefits retirees receive;it never recommends chasing tax avoiders O! sorry tax minimisers , it suppose to be an independent organisation but blind freddy can see, it's a ally of the Liberal Party.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    12:41pm
    Wont be long till they Confiscate ALL your Super and dole you out a Menial Pittance from it :-) :-)
    I'm glad I spent all of mine when I Retired !:-) The whole $3,400 :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:47pm
    Same here - I got $2600 and spent it on house renos to suit the disabled ex (for whom I am full time carer)....
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    12:41pm
    GOOD ONYA !! :-) :-)
    wally
    21st Nov 2016
    12:43pm
    Whether the Gratten Institute report will be taken seriously by the Government (and instituted after a review ) remains to be seen. We should be made aware of the report and its implications. For now it is only one of a series of options the government may or may not consider and act upon. There is no need to "Scare the chooks" just yet.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    7:10pm
    Maybe we should just hang them all in a public square with placards around their necks - as a deterrent to any government lackey even considering their view.........
    None
    21st Nov 2016
    12:46pm
    I don't agree your house should be classed as a asset because if you have no Super after years of working hard to own your home while bringing your family up. As it stands now the pension is not enough by the time you pay insurances on everything, utilities and food so I think politicians need to try living on it for awhile all I can say is I am glad my hubby and myself don't pay rent.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    12:49pm
    The house should be included in the assets test. Otherwise how do you stop people living in $20 million houses and receiving the full pension? Yes that does happen as it is a great way to preserve family wealth as it's all tax free.
    Puglet
    21st Nov 2016
    1:03pm
    Geezer you really are a ray of sunshine in a trouble world. I think that before you make all these unsubstantiated allegations about lazy Australians not willing to work you need to stop listening to people like Alan Jones, Ray Price and Turnbull etc. Of course some people abuse the system but most don't. The multinationals prefer Asian workers because they can pay them a few dollars an hour and house them in appalling conditions. If they employ Australians they have to pay award wages. Gina Rinehsrt laid off hundreds her Australian workers and imported 457s because they are cheaper. By the way she lives in Singapore to avoid paying OZ tax. A lot of the companies pay cash so they don't pay tax. More often than not the workers are fruit pickers are 'illegals' on overstayed student and tourist visas and often earn less than 3.00 an hour.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    5:49pm
    A fair cut off point in keeping with the market value is a reasonable step, perhaps, OG - but an ex lady of mine in Sydney currently sits on a million plus property but has had to work part-time most of her life and has nothing but pension. Do you recommend we take it from her?

    Perhaps, rather, it's time to look harder at the runaway inflation of housing prices, and curtail this marketeering piracy that goes on and on to the detriment of everyone but the rich.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2016
    8:29pm
    Well, the stupid change to the assets test won't help runaway house prices, will it? Financial advisers are telling people to sink tons of money into an expensive family home to protect themselves from the cruel and unfair assets test that punishes people for being frugal and responsible and settling for adequate housing to try to conserve funds to be as self-supporting as possible.

    A bunch of half-witted idiots who can't do math have conceived a plan to drive pension costs through the roof and further exacerbate problems of housing affordability, when anyone with a brain should have seen that any asset threshold should be logically related to return rates, or else only income or deemed income tested so that there's no advantage to expensive homes or hiding money under the mattress - and no DISADVANTAGE to honest, responsible management of retirement savings.
    Puglet
    21st Nov 2016
    12:50pm
    It was the over 65s who kept Cayman Turnbull in government. They can easily kick Cayman out. I am a self-funded retiree who is very close to the cut off for an aged pension. It took 40 years to save this money and none of it is hidden in off-shore tax havens. If the govt chooses to remove the 'rebates' for Medicare, Private Health Insurannce etc I will apply for the aged pension and a Health Care Card. I won't be able to afford top Health Insurance and will join the waiting lists for publically funded cataract surgery and my shoulder muscle repair. I won't be able to afford the petrol to drive my daughter's house to care for her kids so she can work in an aged care home. She can't find 24 hour child care so she'll have to stop working. Cayman hasn't really thought this lot through has he?
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2016
    12:57pm
    Let's get rid of those emotive words "seniors", "retirees" and "pensioners" and just set ALL taxation laws based on equity, logic and fairness for everyone, regardless of age.
    There should be no emotion in what the government NEEDS to support the entire nation.
    Again we see policies designed by Howard and Costello specifically to retain their own jobs, causing untold disruption to our economy.
    All they have to do is go back to the 2001, 2004 and 2007 Howard/Costello Budgets and simply identify those which were based on that manna from heaven commodities boom and remove all those lurks and rorts that we simply cannot pay for today.
    That's what we all have to do when our circumstances changed, it's basic budgeting, the principles should be identical for people and governments.
    Only difference is that those people who have to change their spending habits have no choice, whereas politicians only have concern for keeping their job.
    Ugly thing to say, but, what this country now needs is a NON POLITICIAN to come in as Prime Minister and clear the decks completely. These current lot of gutless wonders can be guaranteed to do nothing but argue among themselves (only in public) and plan for the next election.
    SOMETHING MUST be DONE now!!!
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:56pm
    "what this country now needs is a NON POLITICIAN to come in as Prime Minister and clear the decks completely. "

    That'd trump 'em!
    Mark
    21st Nov 2016
    12:57pm
    What about collecting some tax from businesses that only accept cash and do not provide receipts. I do not know how an accountant can calculate tax payable when a business is using an ice cream container as cash register. Am I missing something?
    Puglet
    21st Nov 2016
    1:11pm
    I agree. Recently I asked for quotes for housing renovations. Out of the 8 quotations 6 said they'd charge less for cash and no receipt.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    2:11pm
    No your not Missing Anything, and I don't blame them :-)
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    7:14pm
    Having had business in which all my income was traceable - my tax accountant at the time knew the 'limits' that could be claimed without disturbing the slumber of the ATO - and I prospered mightily - so anyone who can hide income is on easy street for sure....
    Linda
    21st Nov 2016
    1:04pm
    Really, the spin on this is so transparent. There are other ways to save a billion, but that does not suit the priorities of this government. It seems terribly wrong to keep picking at retired people's income and the arrangements. If they want to try and do anything they will have to have the numbers.

    I feel weary of being in the target sights of a crowd that wants to change every aspect of Australian life and basically remove all the quality for ordinary citizens while perusing a path that enriches elected politicians and their profit driven mates. This has been going on since the Liberal government has been in power. It needs to stop. The banksers are after our super, the tax man is after our super. They seem to have no notion of what to do about the economy except shout jobs and growth. Meanwhile, wasting billions on a few refugees, and saving the fossil fuel industry. They are the puppets of old rich lazy business people who do not want to change, or lose their golden egg.
    We are being played for mugs.
    Mark
    21st Nov 2016
    1:09pm
    Well said Linda
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    1:28pm
    ditto.
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    1:28pm
    ditto.
    KSS
    21st Nov 2016
    1:37pm
    "This has been going on since the Liberal government has been in power."

    Really Linda. Your colours are showing. It is things put in train by the ALP too that have added to the financial woes of Australia. Anyone can commit to spending other people's money especially when you are not going to be there to face the consequences. Eventually it all has to be paid for and when it can't be, hard choices have to be made.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:16pm
    Senoritas, Senors... thees ees what you get in a Banana Republic like Santa Austrador .....
    Lescol
    21st Nov 2016
    1:06pm
    This is about comparing apples with pineapples as both are pieces of round fruit! Also its about changing the supa rules once again.

    It is the role of 'think tanks' to float 'thought bubbles' and I look forward to the time when one seeks an end to negative gearing or a universal, transferable pension for all with tax being paid upon every $ of income.

    There seems to be no limit to the stupidity, short-sightedness & greed of the current federal government. It is the duty of us seniors to combine and vote them OUT. We will continue to be exploited by our reluctance to do that.

    cheers
    Alex
    21st Nov 2016
    1:11pm
    When I heard that there were going to be winners and losers as the economy 'realigns' I was just wondering when Leaking Tax Daley would be sent out to attacks on the aged the sick and the dying so that we can provide tax cuts for high income earners and big business. This parasite who receives a very high income partly paid by tax payers dollars fails to mention that tax rates for high income earners and companies have been reduced drastically in recent years. Perhaps that is what we cannot afford. Please do not let him get away with this bullying.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:56am
    Well said, Alex.
    Alexii
    21st Nov 2016
    1:18pm
    As has been said before by me and others on this site, those in government just want to see all of us olds just die off - the sooner the better.
    It'd save the country heaps, and then the polls could arrange even better pensions for themselves.
    KSS
    21st Nov 2016
    1:40pm
    Maybe Alexii, but only after they introduce death duties and the re-payment of all Government paid age pensions and supplements from the sale of all those assets the olds are hoarding.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:18pm
    Remember the whore stops screwing you once you're dead....
    Mark
    21st Nov 2016
    1:22pm
    What about convenience stores / service stations that are reputed to underpay staff and in some cases make them pay part of it back to the employer in cash? What is the tax lost here? Maybe one of these so called think tanks could prepare a policy paper on this issue.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:20pm
    I raised elsewhere the thought that these ripoff merchants should be investigated and pursued for tax evasion for pocketing the cash repaid..... a hefty term in a prison would help.... few vacancies down Goulburn way with Ivan and the Skafs etc....
    Gammer
    21st Nov 2016
    1:24pm
    Like many retired Australians I am doing voluntary work, in my case at an aged care facility. If all retirees stopped doing voluntary work right across the country it would end up costing the Government heaps more. Why do they feel the need to keep punishing us by attacking our already meager pensions and associated benefits when we are still doing our best to help Australia and our fellow Australians in a multitude of 'unpaid' ways.

    Some appreciation and respect from Government would be fantastic, though I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime!!
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    2:15pm
    I said that a While Back If all the VOLUNTEERS QUIT the Government would be Devastated !! :-( :-(
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:21pm
    I don't do recognised volunteer work, but yesterday I did cut the over long park grass near the new memorial shelter thing-o that the builders couldn't read the plans of... lo and behold the council guy showed up this morning and scratched his head and enjoyed his time off....
    MaryR
    21st Nov 2016
    1:24pm
    I find it difficult to accept the fact for seniors who worked hard, saved their money, made good investments or for any other reason, why they should now be penalized. Most of them will not qualify for concessions or rebates or any other government handouts. Now they want these previously good money managers who saved for their retirement, to help pay for people who did nothing but accept handouts and spent everything they earned. Not a lot of incentives to keep on trying to help yourself. Yes there are genuine cases of hardship but sorry I don't want to be penalized as my taxes are already paying for dole bludgers etc. Stop smoking, drinking and drugging and maybe they will have some money later in life.
    older&wiser
    24th Nov 2016
    1:06am
    MaryR - totally agree.
    Anonymous
    24th Nov 2016
    12:52pm
    Well said, Mary R. I agree.
    SteveR
    21st Nov 2016
    1:29pm
    I do get a little sick of the argument that people over 60 have never had it so good and that the young are doing it so hard these days unable to afford housing, subsidising the lifestyles of the retired etc (which I am not currently part of). While I sympathise about the cost of housing which has reached bubble proportions, what about the days when most families only had one wage earner and women stayed at home bringing up children? It was tough then too - house prices were vastly lower but so too were wages. In addition, unlike now, there have been times of extremely high interest rates (we took our home loan out initially at 12% but rates got higher) and very high unemployment. Try getting a job with 9% official unemployment! As for the retired being spoilt by the tax system, although some tinkering with the system may be needed, the fact is the retired have worked for a lifetime, unlike younger people who haven't yet made a significant contribution. 9% unemployment, 12 % interest rates, then it might be time to make things significantly tougher for older Australians and help out the young.
    Gammer
    21st Nov 2016
    1:36pm
    For a while there, in the late 80's, my husband and I had a 19% mortgage rate... that was hard!!!
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    1:38pm
    Most people over 60 are now doing it real easy compared to our young folk.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    2:40pm
    I dunno where you get that from ?? Old Folk cant climb in Windows !! :-)
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:17pm
    I still can climb in windows Particolor.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:23pm
    But we all know you're secretly a young guy on the dole - nothing else matches your profile.....
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    12:40pm
    OG, I'm doing it reasonably easy now, after 6 decades of unbelievable hardship, growing up in abject poverty, getting no education, and enjoying virtually NONE of the luxuries most take for granted. I'm doing it reasonably easy now because I BLOODY WELL DESERVE TO after all my hard work. When anyone can show me a younger Australian who has even an inkling how tough I did it - or one that has an inkling what real hardship actually is - I might change my view that us seniors who have toughed it out ARE ENTITLED to a comfortable retirement and it's time the SPOILT BRAT BRIGADE started paying their way. '

    Sorry, there are no young folk in Australia doing it anywhere near as tough as I and most our friends did it.

    And by the way - the CRUELEST thing we can do to the young is to screw retirement, because THEIR TURN WILL COME. I don't think they will thank us for letting the government bugger up retirement conditions.
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    12:54pm
    Further... We Oldies have done our Share for this Country, and some are still doing it.:-) Worked and Paid TAXES for 50 Odd Years while doing so ! And Still paying them !! Lay off the Oldies and Concentrate on your Greedy Fat Cat Friends :-( :-( GRRrrr!! :-( :-(
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    2:00pm
    Ditto, Rainey - some of us know what hardship really is... it isn't being able to get a smoke when you're out of dole money, either... yeah, man - I had a really hard day... (seen that one)...
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    9:30pm
    Yesterday I read that the average wedding now costs $65,000. I observed three dog wash vans and two coffee vans cruising a working class suburb and yes, the owners assure me the businesses ARE profitable. When I was raising kids, people washed dogs under the hose in the backyard and made their own coffee - carrying it in thermoses if they needed to drink it away from home. Restaurants are everywhere and crowded - even for breakfast. Families take kids to Bali and Thailand for holidays. Give me a break! The young are NOT doing it tough. They are just overindulged and have an entitlement complex - and no respect for the people who worked their guts out to create a world in which they could lavish in such luxury.

    Yes, we have a deficit - because taxes for the rich have been cut and cut and cut and paid parental leave, child care rebates, family tax concessions, and grants etc. of all kinds have been lavished on families who DO NOT NEED THEM and corporates and the very high paid have been allowed to use every rort in the book to escape paying their way. And the burden is falling on the aged, the sick, and those who genuinely can't find work opportunities in a world increasingly driven by automation and needing less labour.

    It's past time for the rich and privileged to pay their way.
    older&wiser
    24th Nov 2016
    1:25am
    Rainey - absolutely fully support what you say. Young ones today never had it so good. If they stopped spending their money on designer clothes, drinking and dining out, overseas travel, new cars, etc - maybe then they wouldn't cry poor about not being able to buy a house. I too had a house with 19% interest - being a single female I have always had lower paying jobs, one employer robbing me of super for 4 years. I have very little super, turn 64 next week, and out of a job in 4 weeks time. Too young for pension, and will have to live on my minimal savings before finding another job, or getting any Centrelink assistance. Am so sick and tired of listening to younger fellow workers constantly discuss the benefits they are getting or looking for from the government - I remember getting a 27 pound baby payment - NOTHING else, ever.
    I agree that most younger ones today have an attitude of entitlement and expect everything NOW. The number of juniors I have worked with who expect to be paid top money a week after starting work is laughable. Few know the meaning of HARD WORK - I came from a farm background (thus limited super) and I can still run rings around younger ones - that's only IF an employer will look past my age.
    It's the old story - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the Govt doesn't give a rats arse.
    Observer
    21st Nov 2016
    1:33pm
    I wonder how much it has cost us taxpayers to pay the Grattan Institute to attack some of the most vulnerable members of our society? It would be far better to bleed the tax-avoiding millionaires/billionaires Reinhardts and the likes. Or is this too hard for the current government?
    FM
    21st Nov 2016
    2:36pm
    Alas Observer John Daley is totally partisan and works only for the Treasurer and the big end of town.
    Alex
    21st Nov 2016
    1:33pm
    In the long run home maintenance can be as costly as renting. For example this year I have had to rewire the house, replace a 30 year old kitchen and redo a leaking bathroom on top of the other great senior expense, medical/dental work. It will take a number of years to find the savings to cover this. Last year required considerable roof repairs, long overdue outside painting and guttering. The year before required the replacement of fences, a new water heater, plumbing and a garage door. I could go on. There seems to be the assumption that, once you have a house, you have no outgoings but nothing could not be further from the truth. All labour and fittings are extremely expensive. Maintenance costs more some years than others but it is substantial when it is averaged out and that is on top of high Council rates and Insurance costs. There is no escaping major accommodation costs regardless of whether one is renting or a home owner and this needs to be considered when we are talking about retirees incomes.
    KSS
    21st Nov 2016
    1:48pm
    Yes Alex I have been saying this for some weeks now each time this subject is brought up. Don't forget the water charges, and strata fees that can easily be subjected to special levies at any time.

    Home owners do not live free and as you imply their accommodation costs can be just as high as renters' even without a mortgage.
    Alex
    21st Nov 2016
    1:38pm
    Correction of earlier post that lost its verb when I modified it and did not make sense:-
    When I heard that there were going to be winners and losers as the economy 'realigns' I was just wondering when Leaking Tax Daley would be sent out to launch attacks on the aged, the sick and the dying so that we can provide tax cuts for high income earners and big business. This parasite, who receives a very high income partly paid by tax payers, dollars fails to mention that tax rates for high income earners and companies have been reduced drastically in recent years. Perhaps that is what we cannot afford. Please do not let him get away with this bullying.
    floss
    21st Nov 2016
    1:40pm
    Thank god for Mick he does have a brain and poor Old Geezer has none.Now if the Libs would go after the Off Shore Cowboys we need not have this discussion.
    Troika
    21st Nov 2016
    1:40pm
    Can anyone tell me why 'Family Trusts' are not taxable as other things? Whenever it gets brought up it seems too hard. I am told this would bring in billions a years.
    MaryR
    21st Nov 2016
    1:55pm
    They are taxed. They have to be distributed to either a company and pay company tax or to a trustee and pay PAYG tax rates.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    1:56pm
    All income from family trusts is taxable in the hands of the person who get that income.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:26pm
    How then does a trust save tax money? If it did not, why would anyone bother to use it? It is, on the face of it, a rort in waiting at the very least, and an obvious rort in action in reality....
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2016
    8:32pm
    Just check the comparative marginal tax rates of the contributor and the beneficiaries and do the sums!!!!!
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    2:05pm
    It's all in how you do the numbers - it's called cooking the books.... you never, in theory, pay the beneficiaries enough for them to pay tax - but they often receive one hell of a lot in 'kind'.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    2:06pm
    Oh - and don't forget that the costs of running a trust are foregone by the ATO as well - you can cop a heap of freebies that way and call it expenses.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    2:08pm
    Kind of like the Grattan Institute - it doesn't pay its people - they only get expense money (ROFL emoticon required) ... when you travel to work you don't get expense money...... any business does, and the Grattan is a business by any other name, same as charities and so forth are... ever noticed how much of the money that goes to charities goes to pay the CEO etc salary and expenses? Usually one hell of a lot, which is why I am wary of donating to charities.
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    2:29pm
    You'll find the Clinton Foundation and the UN Climate Change Worthy causes then TREBOR :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    7:01pm
    The name Clinton sends a tremor through my soul.... and I don't trust the UN very much.... too many time servers and seat warmers....
    Mark
    21st Nov 2016
    1:41pm
    What about really stopping some government waste. For example I understand one agency spent $18,000 on water bottles. Why can't they get a glass of water from the tap like most of us. Or maybe they could sell up one of the Prime Ministers residences! Why have one in both Sydney and Canberra (which recent PMs have apparently been reluctant to live in). There is no rational reason for having KIrribilli House any more. If there was surely there would be similar residences in all capital cities. Lets get serious about some of this nonsense.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:28pm
    Would make a great museum - we could have a display of the mounted heads of failed politicians - the ones who failed their people and found the guillotine sharper than their wits in escaping it...

    (I do love a nice turn of phrase - it's the Irish in me - funny thing is a past GF once queried my participation in St Patrick's Day - an ancient ancestor released that bustard to give the Irish church that Latin Heresy.... no marriage for priests and so forth....)
    retroy
    21st Nov 2016
    1:43pm
    This mob GI, increased their wage bill by 6.5% according to their annual report when most are existing with nothing or very little and ask any SMSF how their income has gone down as a result of greedy banks and Govt policies.
    The GI has $40 M invested and it seems the biggest contributor is BHP.
    Some one else was correct in that if they directed their energy into devising a way to get international corporations to pay a fair share of tax ( The Govt seems unwilling or incapable! ) then the poor old pensioner could see their days out peacefully without being under constant attack.
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st Nov 2016
    1:47pm
    Old Geezer and ALL the rest of you trolls for the Right Wing Neo Facists that have the numbers within the Liberal Party Caucus......stop repeating the Propaganda of words used by the Liberal Party Puppet Mp's......such as Aged Pensions being Welfare......such as the aged are all rich because of the Value of their homes.....crap words like Lifters and Leaners...used to divide and Conquer....to create arguments.....not discussions!
    Half Truths are a modern form of lies....or distortion of facts. The Gratton Institute was FINANCED BY Federal & State Liberal Governments along with Major Corporations like mining giant BHP and others as a Propaganda Machine of right Wing Capitalist ideas to be thrown out to the Public to be discussed.....as a way of testing the waters for their future policies....which the majority come directly from the good ole USA!!!!
    They are NOT new......nor are they revolutionary brain storms by creative economists!
    Most of these ideas are simply replicas of USA policies of Privatise Everything and every man women and child for themselves!!! It has failed America as a Society and only serves to make those that are wealthy ....even more wealthy at the expense of society!
    Consistently the Gratton Institute has been exploring ways to demonise our Aged Pension System....by trying to unravel it completely.....and replace it with self funded super!
    However.....just Super cannot do so.....due to the fluctuating rise & fall of interest rates!
    To use Super as a Supplement was a good idea to reduce Government costs during the Baby Boomer retirements over the next 10yrs or so. But now they have got greedy and want to go the whole hog!!!
    They should be ashamed of themselves for this grotesque attack....given that the number of Companies still not paying ANY Tax at all...due to Loopholes not being closed by the Party Puppets on BOTH sides!!!
    Corporates paying Just 10% minimum on their profits....would balance the Budget within 3 years! As for the statement that the Aged no Longer pay taxes.....what a gross untruth!
    GST of 10% has been added to every household bill.....there are no exemptions for Aged Pensioners.......Tobacco Products Tax is now at 200%....Stamp duties cannot be dodged....All Fines have been steadily increased by the CPI or greater...but not the Aged Pension.....Fuel Taxes are at their highest...not one fuel tax but two! Land Rates have steadily increased well above the CPI for over 15yrs....but not wages or Pensions!
    By stealth both Federal & State Governments have reduced what can be claimed on the Seniors & Health Cards issued with Aged Pensions.....so to has Medicare subsidies for the Aged!!!
    Now they want to sell the house and stick you in a tent by the River or an Old Folks Home....where they charge you more than you can afford!
    Meanwhile they build Super Jails...with Free everything and spend more than $200 a day per Prisoner...who mostly do not pay any tax at all....providing free medical...free accom...free meals...free security....free showers,....all clothing....bathroom necessities...etc etc.
    What the F....k??? How can they justify their attacks on Aged Pensioners......who have obeyed the Law and paid their taxes???
    The simple truth is they cannot....but no one seems to be challenging their Right Wing Propaganda......or half truths!
    The Grattan Institute is a bought and paid for Right Wing Think Tank.....that claim to be unbiased.....yet all their money came from Corporates and the Liberal Party!!!!
    Unbiased My Ar....e!!!!!
    Stupid People and Donkey Card Voters be warned......you are being shirt-fronted by very highly intelligent people who represent Wealth! Because that's who finances and pays them to Sell you their CRAP!!!
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    1:52pm
    YEP !! :-) O_O
    Puglet
    21st Nov 2016
    2:38pm
    Well said. This government targets the most disadvantaged because it expects these people won't fight back. Malcolm McUseless a multimillionaire who prefers to bank in the Cayman Islands, pretends to lead this pack of money grubbers. In turn they kow tow to the multinationals. If companies such as IKEA, Microsoft, Apple and Google paid their fair share of tax and if other Oz companies actually paid tax there would be enough money to support the vulnerable. Surely this is what a Fair Go for all Australians means? Boomers got this lot into government so they can vote them out!
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    8:15pm
    Well - they certainly got their discussion here - I believe the consensus is hanging in a public square.....

    Super came in 1993 - I'm 67 - that left me 22 years to accumulate a massive fund to live on before 65 - less than half the life of a worker gathering super.

    I've said before - these idiots in the hot seat are struggling to come to grips with the reality that for super to be a viable option, even in part, for a Pension - IT NEEDS TIME TO WORK - and it hasn't even had one generation of 50 years to get settled, before the same idiots want to shuffle the deck chairs and put all the Pensioners out in front of the iceberg....

    Just can't help themselves in their absolute stupidity.

    Time for a real change.... Vote 1 - Trebor Party - We ARE The People!
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    8:17pm
    Oh - and I've been disabled since 1997 as well, partly due to service, and have been pensioned since then... it's not as if I had much real chance, with disabilities, to even get a job to fund me.

    I say hang 'em all - let God sort 'em out.....
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:37pm
    Superannuation has been around pre 1972. I signed up with CML with my own pension fund at that time, didn't wait until it was compulsory like most. I could see that due to the demographic shift their would be less working than on welfare into the future and if I was to have a decent retirement I would have to fund it myself. If worked 2 jobs, lived frugally and now am self funded.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    7:02pm
    I had my own back in the 80's.... worked like a dog etc..... shafted for it and left being owed a heap of money by a disgraceful company.
    Alex
    21st Nov 2016
    1:47pm
    Bonny/Old Geezer touting wedge politics and the Government Line.
    Alex
    21st Nov 2016
    1:49pm
    Thank you for the apt comment Debbie.
    FM
    21st Nov 2016
    2:03pm
    Can anybody find out what John Daley is paid by the Grattan Institute?
    The Treasurer was on air this morning spruiking the need for tax cuts for big business.
    He has sent out his attack dog on his heels to play wedge politics to get support to have these cuts paid for by cuts to seniors income.
    Any tax cuts people get do not cover the pension they should be getting on the basis of their life time contributions.
    We will have a whole new underclass of decrepit, impoverished, sick retirees if this lobby prevails.

    21st Nov 2016
    2:16pm
    I have perused the comments below, and sadly Mick is in magnificent whingeing form.... again!!! Mick, you really need to see someone - your conspiracy theories...they are all out to get me...are quite frankly a worry! Those of you who bash big business, particularly the banks, and have money tied up in Super, fail to take account of the fact that the better the banks perform, the better your super balance will be! We all have a vested interest to see our big companies prosper - and as for whining about their tax rates - look at Britain and where the US is going in 2017! Mick is a typical lefty - hide your head in the sand and whinge, whinge, whinge!
    FM
    21st Nov 2016
    2:32pm
    Useless abuse Al. Off point off topic
    Captain
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:27pm
    Big Al, until you sell the shares you can still have a slide in shares that will make your super account balance lower. Not a valid comment.
    RGEE
    21st Nov 2016
    2:20pm
    My question to Daley & co, please look at your own perks (welfare) and do a report on these, send copy to Your Life Choices - vehicles/salary sacrifice/expenses/etc. This is the area that govt. needs to correct as it must amount to millions of $.

    Also recently 4 retired members grilled about their pensions and expenses being low
    although they were reported as receiving $ 80 TO 100,000 P.A.PENSION plus who knows how much they claim for expenses - why any.

    Apparently our politicians are so busy that they can't see where millions are being paid to retired members, so here it is.
    Former P.M"S $ 304,403 equals $5,854 per week plus ridiculous amounts of expenses
    Treasurers $ 219,521 equals $4,221 per week ditto
    Cabinet ministers $ 201,960 equals $3,884 per week ditto
    Ministers $ 184,398 equals $3,546 per week ditto
    Back Benchers $ 117,078 equals $2,251per week ditto
    These figure based on pensions paid for members who joined before 2004.
    100's of members are on these rates and some members receive extra
    NOW LOOK AT AGED PENSIONS
    Single $20,745 EQUALS $398.95 PER WEEK
    Couple$31,278 EQUALS $601.50 PER WEEK

    It's obvious where the money problem is, even a politician should be able to see this.
    RGEE
    Linda
    21st Nov 2016
    2:43pm
    It wouldn't be quite so unjust if the companies currently using tax havens to dodge their fair contribution to the economy started paying the tax they rightly owe. As usual it's the low hanging fruit that's targeted, those least able to put up opposition. I'm sure there are some seniors for whom these benefits are trifling - and I'd like to see some actual numbers, percentages are too vague - but for most of us that is far from the case.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    8:26pm
    That's why there has been a gathering of nation's representatives to find ways of ensuring that companies that leech masses of cash out of each one's economy without paying tax are forced to do so by convention.

    Elsewhere - again - I've mentioned that the only part of this nonsensical 'global economy' that has nowhere kept pace has been the taxation of companies and corporations, and in some case, individuals. Everything else - including your pay rates - has been under attack and forced into a downward spiral - but not that.

    I say hang 'em all - let God sort 'em out.... starting with an Entry or Participation In Economy Tax (PIE) for Oz - you ante up to get a start in rorting this economy from outside, and we tax you fully and you get to work out your deductions with your tax haven.

    (Oh - you don't PAY tax in your haven? So you don't GET deductions? Not our problem.... pay your taxes and don't let the door hit you on your way out. Now if you were to participate in our Taxing Internationally Convention (TIC) (sign here and disclose all documents) we can offer you a concession on your tax..... provided you provide full accounting to the Sovereign Office for Offshore Tax (SOOT) on time every time..... or pay a penalty daily of 10% ........)
    ronnieb
    21st Nov 2016
    2:59pm
    I scrolled through the reactions to Mr Daley's analysis of the Age Pensions climate and didn't find the right flavour until i read "Dammers"comment about the unpaid contribution made by grannys and other oldies who happen to be "retired "and receiving the pension in part or in full. This is the crux of any resistance to DaleyGate. It is also one of the main reasons our country has not fallen apart due to over work/underpay. I am not a fan of the blue ribboned people nor do i have much respect for the red tie brigade.
    This whole argument would disappear if our Federal Politicians paid Age Pensions on the same basis as they pay retired pollies benefits. It's not the first time it has been suggested and i am pretty sure there are a few Countries around the world who have set up such an arrangement.
    Lyn
    21st Nov 2016
    3:07pm
    How would "they" the younger generations get on when they are first married or living in a relationship find themselves moving into a 3 bedroom fibro cement house with only one bathroom no air con or ducted heating in the suburbs . Can only afford 1 car, eat out only occasionally, no maternity benefits from the govt or employer. No baby bonus.
    always pay their taxes with few tax breaks learn to mend and recycle their clothes.
    No big screen TV no mobile phone (not even a phone in the house) . Learn to SAVE and make do most of their life whilst raising children. Only when they have raised their family can they have two people working and a second income income coming in to the household.
    The so called "THEM" deserve to live a peaceful and fulfilling life . However, many of "THEM" are in there helping their children financially to raise their own families. It does not end with so called retirement .
    Well done Baby Boomers. Enjoy your well earned life in retirement ( for those who are retired) .
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:42pm
    Ah, yes - the Good Old Days of the fibro walls and the iron roof with fibro ceiling - insulation? What's that? Ice boxes in winter and ovens in summer.. dad drove the car, a built from parts FJ with open window air con plus the vent on the bonnet, to work and that left no car - no 4WD to drop the kids at school or for the daughter to drive on a P Plate to year 12..... parental panic when the electric bill came in, and lights went out in a flurry.. and Mother awaited with expectation her episodic Child Endowment so she could buy a little extra.... the good old days of thin sliced blade steak (yummie!), taters and carrots (not peas and carrots - that's Forrest, Forrest Gump and Jenn-eh)... and Week Two of the fortnightly pay cycle was loup-da-loup, a fine concoction of re-heated over and over stew..... the two mile each way walk to school with a bag weighing ... oh.. who knows but that Chemistry text was huge.... in 109 deg heat or 5 deg in winter.....no jumpers or even more than one blanket a child...

    Wonder how the youngsters these days would feel about that before they called the cops and Welfare screaming 'concentration camp' (that's the real Welfare not the trademark Welfare ™ bandied about to vilify Social Security recipients).... if you don't like that food you can just get the Welfare to take you away and put you in an orphanage.... which, incidentally, is exactly what my sibling's mother did to us all - and why I divorced my family.. r partly so.....

    but that's another story.....

    (yes - I do write books - and I apologise for running on so.... at times........ on second thoughts, damn it - I do not apologise!)....
    Triss
    21st Nov 2016
    3:14pm
    Has anyone ever noticed that when the government raises its salaries or 'vote-for-us' benefits
    the money almost always comes out of the Age Pension?
    According to reports the government is about to increase paid parental leave to 20 weeks so
    that might be one area where the pension reduction will be steered towards.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:45pm
    Abolish PPL NOW! (is that a three word slogan?).. I see zero merit in it and it does nothing but accelerate both the rises in costs of living and the division between those who 'have' and those who 'have not'... how is a single person to keep up with rising costs of housing etc, when the market incorporates the fact that even when taking time off to sprog, a family continues to get full pay, and even costs a business for short-term replacement?

    How much sense does that make?

    Stoopid is as Stoopid does.....
    Circum
    21st Nov 2016
    3:16pm
    Politicians will never be able to make fair and realistic judgements about pension levels until they are part of the same pension rules as everybody else.Until then everybody can continue eating cake
    Rodent
    21st Nov 2016
    3:31pm
    Hey Old Geezer, its a very hot day out here today.

    Can you enlighten us all with your wisdom about where I can find the data that supports your BS about people living in $20 mill dollar houses who are receiving the Full Age Pension
    How many are there? is it 1 or 2 or 50,or Hundreds of THEM!! I suspect there are 5/8th of SFA out there that fit your specific statement
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:14pm
    I'd say nearly every second house on the North Shore and Eastern suburbs of Sydney and lots on the Gold Coast. Many are $3 million plus houses and penthouses some 10 times that.

    It is a well known way for a family to grow their wealth taxfree.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:47pm
    Godda link, Bro... and while you at it - yo godda smoke? I wan' some a' dat stuff dere...... don' wanna smoke 'im .. but put 'im on da market..... yeah!
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    6:53pm
    Any wonder they're all on Drugs now ! they are a Quarter of the Price of Cigarettes !! :-) That went Well didn't it ? :-( :-(
    Rodent
    22nd Nov 2016
    7:29am
    OG As usual when challenged about something you have said, you cant back your statement up with facts based on data, Independent reports etc
    Captain
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:37pm
    Still, how many are $20m houses? I would imagine anyone living in a $20m house AND on a pension would not be able to afford tell rates, let alone pay the utilities and buy food.
    Ahjay
    21st Nov 2016
    3:32pm
    After 62 years in the full time workforce I now find that after years of frugal living and planning for a comfortable retirement, the goal posts have been moved. I will survive,just not as planned.
    It is all but impossible for anyone to plan for retirement with the constant changes to the superannuation system.
    It will never happen and I know it is a simplistic solution but two changes to the laws would fix it.
    1. Make political donations a criminal act punishable by mandatory detention.
    2.Have a universal superannuation and pension scheme for all Australians, and legislate so politicians and public servants are subject to the same laws as the rest of the population.
    I will vote for the party that promises this so long as they can be sued for breaking electoral promises.
    Old Geezer
    21st Nov 2016
    5:12pm
    If the changes have effected you then you should not have got the OAP in the first place.
    Ahjay
    21st Nov 2016
    5:59pm
    I may try for a position as a Liberal Troll to supplement my lifestyle.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:34am
    OG, there's that self-serving arrogant BS again! According to you, if you went without holidays and restaurant dinners for 50 years to pay off a mortgage and put money aside for comforts you knew you would need in old age and the pension wouldn't provide, you should have all your savings stolen and gifted to folk who have very healthy bank accounts - though not quite as healthy as yours - and get double your income by virtue of full pension entitlement, probably have half your costs due to having better health, can likely get better investment returns due to better education, but lived a much more lavish lifestyle while working.

    What SHOULD happen is that those who saved should be ALLOWED TO KEEP WHAT THEY ACQUIRED and paid FAIR pensions that ensure that nobody is DISADVANTAGED by being honest, hardworking and frugal. Of course if you WANT to stuff the economy, you would support idiotic policies that hurt people who do the right thing and reward those who don't. But if you want prosperity and fairness, you oppose an ABSOLUTELY ILL-CONCEIVED AND GROSSLY IRRESPONSIBLE ASSETS TEST CHANGE that is BRUTALLY UNFAIR.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:44pm
    There is nothing unfair about the assets test other than the house should be included in it. If you have assets then you should live off them not double dip with welfare. If you haven't the assets to support yourself then you are given welfare. It is as simple as that.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    9:35pm
    So you think it's fair to strip someone of he pension because they saved yet give it to those who didn't? And you wonder why we have a deficit. Idiots need to learn to understand psychology and economics. Reward the lazy and the cheats and punish those who contribute to prosperity and you will have lazy cheats with a WELFARE MENTALITY. Idiots created it. Idiots foster it. And Idiots approve of it. But curiously the same idiots who created, foster and approve of it are the loudest whingers about it. Just too stupid to see the forest for the trees.
    Alexii
    23rd Nov 2016
    1:25pm
    OG appears to be out of step.
    older&wiser
    24th Nov 2016
    3:01am
    OG - what I simply don't understand - HOW on earth can it be fair to include the family home in the assets test? What a complete and utter load of rubbish!! So if you need money - what do you do - sell off the garage? Or sell off the back porch? I don't care HOW much the family home is worth - should NEVER be in the assets test. And how the hell would it be categorised? - a 3BR home in Parramatta would be a totally different value to a 3BR house in Wagga. So you could be penalised on where you live, not on the value of the home.
    chris
    21st Nov 2016
    3:33pm
    don't the scientists at the Grattan institute try to find ways of preventing or curing diseases that we pensioners, among others, fall prey to. Why is a spokesman for them speaking as though he is an expert on Australian finances. isn't that giving with one hand and taking with the other. I think that the Grattan Institute needs to get back to their test tubes and microscopes instead of meddling in politics.
    Polly Esther
    21st Nov 2016
    4:08pm
    Has the so named Grattan Institute themselves ever been dissected and put under the microscope?? Would it be interesting to see who it is made up of??
    chris
    21st Nov 2016
    4:17pm
    yes, I agree Polly,and I bet quite a few pensioners contribute to their cause too.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:49pm
    Ah godda few link above dere, Missy Esther.... da's jest me doin' mah Rastus Xavier imitation.... dat mah alter ego, an' he a philosopher from dat Haiti - he survive dat earthquake by livin' on rats while the Big Folk got fed by da 'AID' people....

    I said before, I write books and Rastus is a character..... sorry... read the jargon....
    Travelling Man
    21st Nov 2016
    4:41pm
    John Daley, the American golfer, was universally recognised as an absolute dill. The Grattan Institute's, John Daley, seems to be using him as his mentor!
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:51pm
    Easily fixed with a golf club...... the proper stance, proper grip, eye on the horizon, and away the balls go..... right down that fairway as far as you can see.......
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    4:57pm
    Now that you have all enjoyed your Polly Waffles, Settle back and be prepared for the Next Oldie Tax Sting !! :-) :-)
    Nomad1946
    21st Nov 2016
    5:41pm
    Seems to me that this clown from the Grattan institute has forgotten one very, very important item .... We have worked and paid taxes for over FIFTY YEARS!!! Next, none of received Baby Bonus, Childcare ... We raised our facilities by, in my case, holding down TWO JOBS, minimal social outings to restaurants, cinemas, etc. never, ever went to Bali or on a cruise for holidays ... basically stayed home. Did not have the LARGE 100cm colour TV (18"black & white), no "smart phones"; no personal computers ...... Communication was always Uno et Uno .... My thoughts to this twit and his company of clowns and drongos is "Take a long walk down a very short pier, do not stop, keep walking. IDIOT!!!
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:52pm
    We didn't get expenses, other perks or fat super either.

    Those who have not earned their combat badge at the sharp end can STFU and get out of the way...
    Blossom
    21st Nov 2016
    6:12pm
    Women who are in their late 60s onwards who have never married are more disadvantaged becuase men were allowed to join super funds quite a few years before women were allowed to.
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    6:54pm
    Yes - countless injustices took place - the Trebor Party government will take them all under consideration.....

    Thing is that in order to rectify past perceptions of wrong, in many instances, the path has been to disadvantage someone else - this is called affirmative action - and all that does is create a second or more set of grievances..... never-ending cycle unless the outlines are clear, concise, and fair in the first place.
    Happy Jack
    21st Nov 2016
    6:12pm
    You can bet this 'jerk' whose most likely never produced a thing in his life is on the gravy train like all the rest of the bludgers that will only propose budget saving measures that don't impact on their income or wealth in any way whatsoever.
    daf
    21st Nov 2016
    6:52pm
    Where has all the forward planning been over the last 60 years? It's not like this baby boomer generation has just appeared. The baby boom following the second world war led to the building of hospitals followed by schools then infrastructure. Coupled with the immigration during the 1950's and 1960's this has been a ticking time bomb. Did no one plan for this number of people to retire at the same time? The rules governing superannuation are forever changing and yes some people will rort the system but that will happen whatever the rules. To a certain number of people it's a challenge and to others they can afford the means to do it.

    My main concern is this divisive method political parties (of all persuasions) use "them and us" as a means of pitting the generations against each other. No generation has "had it easy" getting on the property ladder but you cannot make a simple comparrison of income v house prices. The credit situation and expectations are not comparable. Let us not forget too who created these must have it now, you can't be mean to me generation.

    Given that a large number of policy advisors are younger people and members of the Gratton Institute live in cloud cuckooland, is it any wonder we have the "it's not fair brigade" making wild generalisations to fuel the fire?

    All Australians should question how the government allocates revenue. There should be enough money to go around, if it has been squandered in the past then why should retirees have to be the ones to pay twice? The problem lies with government and they should put their own house in order before blaming everyone else.
    FM
    21st Nov 2016
    8:25pm
    My sentiments exactly. I have been asking same question re "how did they not see this coming" for some years now. The answer is "they are politicians so the buck got passed until the time caught up with them"
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    9:45pm
    They are masters of the short-sighted overly simplistic solution and they never think ahead. In a few years they will be whining about the increased cost of aged pensions to pay all the would-have-been nearly-independent retirees who have been ground into hardship by stupid rules that reward retirees handsomely for reducing their assets and punish anyone who strives to reduce the burden they place on the government purse. Dim-witted morons can't see past the long noses they have buried in the trough to realize that paying someone 7.8%+++ indexed (plus benefits) to retire with LESS encourages people who can only earn 5% of less on their savings to retire with less (or to cheat or manipulate the system).
    pinky
    21st Nov 2016
    7:44pm
    I am astonished at how these privately funded and government supported and encouraged "think tanks" can be so out of touch. One assumes Mr Daley has parents and relatives of a senior age and those people have friends in that same age group. He should have a talk with them and local community groups and learn just how few people have an income that enables them to retire with any sort of comfort. Most like us, will have worked very hard for 50-60 years before retiring, have limited or no superannuation, and try and pay for rent, food and medical expenses on less that $40,000 a year. It cannot be done with any sense of dignity and certainly not with any degree of comfort. Oh to have realised in the 1950's that the only form of security in my old age was if I had become a federal public servant, a politician or be employed by a think tank that receives large payments from government.
    particolor
    21st Nov 2016
    7:51pm
    Too late now !! All can do now is show them 2 Fingers as their Limo goes past :-) :-)
    FM
    21st Nov 2016
    8:17pm
    Where does this guy get his $36K per annum? my husband is 65+ and I am under 65. He gets half the couples pension which at $661 per fortnight on my calculator makes only $17,186 per annum. I presume when I reach 65 I too will get the same. Yes that makes $34K but for TWO people not one
    TREBOR
    21st Nov 2016
    8:31pm
    He's an idiot and paid and educated to be such..... can't blame him for that..... (ROFL emoticon implied)...
    musicveg
    21st Nov 2016
    8:40pm
    Stop the tax breaks for big corporations, chase up tax owing from big corporations, stop pensions for politicians until they get to the same age they tell all Australians when they can get a pension and only if they qualify, same rules for all. Join GetUp and help the fight against the greed and we will see Australia lose their debt in now time. Leave pensioners alone and drop back the retirement age back to 65 or less so more work for the younger.
    older&wiser
    24th Nov 2016
    3:32am
    The biggest tax dodge - all these so called 'charities'. Now that's where the Govt can pick up some well needed revenue. Should be a strict compliance for registering as a charity - otherwise, pay tax.
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2016
    8:41pm
    As usual people get too excited when they see the word "seniors" when governments talk about savings. These proposals have NOTHING to do with the average pensioner or retiree on modest incomes and assets, it's against those that are rorting the rules who are genuinely FAR from being in need. It is GREED that is being attacked, ugly greed that is preventing genuinely needy people getting a pay rise to at least meet the poverty level.
    Stop being so blind and selfish. The Budget MUST be repaired ASAP and some WILL suffer, but, that are the ones that shouldn't be getting government hand outs in the first place. You are shooting yourselves in the foot by getting the entirely wrong message.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:45am
    WRONG WRONG WRONG, Grateful. The assets test change attacked honest, hard-working batters with genuine needs, denying them the benefits they worked and saved (by personal sacrifice) to achieve. Just a few areas of unfairness of it:
    (1) A person who received modest compensation intended to pay for disability aids and needed extra personal or medical care in old age is now forced to contribute most of the benefit to the welfare of others - generally better off folk who have healthy savings, but not over the asset limits - instead of using it for the benefits it was intended to provided
    (2) folk who made huge personal sacrifices or worked very hard to achieve a more comfortable than average retirement, but who NEVER enjoyed superannuation, grants, rebates or tax concessions that are common today are being stripped of their savings to give to people who, in many cases, enjoyed a much higher standard of living and potentially were far more privileged
    (3) the most disadvantaged are those who saved well but are educationally disadvantaged, in poor health (physical or mental), disabled, or suffered trauma or crisis that made them risk averse, have a poor support network, etc. and can therefore only achieve very low investment returns. This group will have their incomes cut to around half the aged pension until their savings are all frittered away, while those who can achieve high investment returns or can continue to earn in retirement (i.e. the PRIVILEGED) suffer very little loss.
    (4) those who find themselves stuck with poorly returning assets that are not easily liquidated. In many cases these are victims of past bureaucratic stuff-ups, corporate frauds, poor investment advice, etc.

    Ultimately, the cruel assets test requires that you earn close to 10% return on investments and have minimal non-returning investments, or you are forced to gift all your hard-won extra comfort to people who are comfortably off (a few hundred thousand in savings) but didn't try as hard as you did.

    Budget repair should start with high income corporations, politicians, bureaucrats, and younger executives with generous superannuation schemes and a host of taxpayer-funded benefits and concessions that us struggling seniors couldn't dream of.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:48pm
    Rainey if you have assets then you should be required to spend them instead of double dipping into our welfare system. Those people effected by the asset test changes should not have been given the OAP in the first place. These people effected are just being plain greedy. There is not other way of putting it.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    7:09pm
    A roof over your head isn't an asset - it's a basic component of living in our (once) civilised society.

    I suppose we could restrict pensions to only those oldies living under bridges or on the streets....
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2016
    7:51am
    Has anyone noted that can't respond intelligently to any facts or logical argument, but can only keep regurgitating his sick and stupid baseless and unverified assertions wild assumptions? It really is tiring. We come here to DEBATE, not to read idiotic rants by morons who can't think but are motivated solely by self-interest and jealousy.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    1:37pm
    At least Rainey I am not rehashing all that nonsense about the genuinely struggling being effected by the change in the asset test. It certainly makes no sense to me at all. How a couple with over a million dollars should have go the pension in the first place. These people are not genuinely struggling at all. Yes they are whinging but that's about it. Will they be living on the streets tomorrow feeding themselves out of garbage bins? Not with over a million dollars to spend. However this is what happens to genuine strugglers.

    I find your argument so unbelievable it become quite amusing reading them. No one struggles with over a million dollars or not until they have spent it. It would takes years cruising around the world to do.
    Anonymous
    28th Nov 2016
    8:18pm
    Not too bright, are you OG? The AVERAGE Australian household has $809,000 in assets today. Most Australians EXPECT to go overseas annually and send their kids to private schools. Now, given that the AVERAGE Australian is so well off - and the AVERAGE Australian is far from retired and hasn't worked for 50+ years, only a dumb fool would suggest that $809,000 in assets is a lot for a retired couple to own after 5 decades of hard work and saving. Nor is it a lot for a couple who may have to live on it, surviving rampant inflation at times, for the next 3 decades.

    It actually doesn't take long at all cruising the world to go through $1 million dollars. I can find 102 day cruises at $199,000 USD. By my calculation, the money would be gone in 18 months at that rate.

    You find my arguments unbelievable because you don't read them. You make stupid assumptions based on selfishness and nastiness. If you read my arguments, you would understand that I'm not suggesting couples with $1 million are struggling NOW. I'm saying they struggled to get to where they are, and they did so - in many cases - knowing the would face future financial challenges. And it's PATENTLY WRONG to steal the benefits of their hard work and give it to people who didn't bother to work and save and whose need it less.

    Intelligent people understand that needs-based welfare destroys economies. It drives the ''welfare mentality'' you whine about endlessly, and destroys national wealth. What I have always endorsed is a fair and equitable pension means test based on income, with deeming provision at realistic return rates, and NO ASSETS TEST - so that people can benefit from their effort and have incentives to strive, but pension costs are still reined in. Those who saved knowing they faced future high expenses are allowed to retain funds to meet those expenses.

    The vast majority of those hit by the changed assets test would still lose their pensions, but those who are in difficult circumstances with assets they can't liquidate and those who disadvantage has positioned such that they can't achieve high returns would be treated fairly. The incentive to stash money under the bed, buy a bigger house than needed, gift before age 60, or spend up big on luxuries would be eliminated and the whole nation would be far better off.

    Of course, OG, that's a concept you have to have intelligence to grasp. I wouldn't expect you to get it. No do most of our IDIOT politicians, sadly. Hardly a brain amongst them!

    21st Nov 2016
    10:04pm
    Forget pensioners, forget politicians, let's zero in on the Grattan Institute. It got over $30M from government so why doesn't it look inward and if it cares so much about the Australian economy get private sponsorship and hand the big bucks back to the various governments.
    Dot
    21st Nov 2016
    11:13pm
    Roll on World War 3 it'll give us the opportunity to hunt down the criminal bastards that continue to target us who have worked hard paid taxes without any assistance from governments like baby bonus's parental leave, housing assistance and being bloody loyal abiding citizens and patriotic to this country.
    Eddy
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:16am
    It is ironic that the Grattan Institute should pick on older persons, why don't they pick on the wealthy and big business. For instance I read a news report some time ago that News Ltd (Rupert Murdoch's mob) shifted $800M in profit from Australia into an overseas tax haven. Now if this is true, and assuming a company tax rate of 30%, that's a tax revenue loss of $240M. That's only one company, If every big business and high wealth individuals using tax havens were made to pay Australian tax on Australian profits and incomes it is easy to estimate the tax revenue gained would be in the $billions. Why doesn't the Grattan Institute go after them, or would that be biting the hand that feeds them.
    Grateful
    22nd Nov 2016
    11:03am
    They are not "picking on" older persons. They are exposing a situation that should not exist and MUST be addressed, among other budget adjustments, IMMEDIATELY.
    Standard @ Poors have again repeated that our AAA rating is under severe threat unless something is done urgently to reduce our deficit.
    EVERYONE will pay the price if that happens.

    So, EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, regardless of age, who is receiving something from this government that the government can't afford to pay, MUST expect that that cannot continue, or, do they just want this mess to continue and let our kids pick up the bill??
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    11:10am
    Except EVERYONE isn't being targeted, Grateful. Small groups are carrying the entire load. Retirees with modest savings - not nearly enough to fund the retirement they planned and possibly NEED, depending on personal circumstances - are being stripped of $10,000 a year plus and left with incomes of HALF the aged pension, with NO BENEFITS, and now being threatened with higher taxes, while the rich and privileged young and immoral corporates and politicians rort the system and raid the public purse.

    Our kids are living it up. Last night I heard the average wedding now costs $65,000!!! Check out the quality of housing in most suburbs - 4+ bed, 2+ bath, landscaped professionally, many with swimming pools. Look at the crowds in restaurants daily. Check where the young are taking their kids for holidays. Taxes are lower than they have ever been. Consumer goods are cheaper than they've ever been.

    Low interest rates have boosted the living standards of young borrowers and smashed the retirements of seniors.

    We've already made our contribution. Time for the better-healed younger generation to do their bit.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:50pm
    Those weddings are being paid for by their parents who should not be on welfare.
    Captain
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:56pm
    Where is the data that shows pensioner parents are paying for these weddings?
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:28pm
    My eyes! I go to these weddings and hear the whinging parents saying how much it costs.
    TREBOR
    22nd Nov 2016
    7:11pm
    Aha! You're a professional wedding crasher! I knew it.. I KNEW it!
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:35pm
    Actually, the surveys show you are DEAD WRONG, OG. The weddings are paid for, on average, by the couples themselves BORROWING for a party. Then they whine that they can't afford a house deposit.

    Why don't you start dealing in facts rather than baseless assumptions that you can't substantiate and that are actually no more than wishful thinking.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Nov 2016
    1:30pm
    That's not what I am hearing Rainey. It's beginning to sound like a broken record all the pensioners complaining about what it is costing them for weddings.
    older&wiser
    24th Nov 2016
    3:29am
    OG - you are DEAD WRONG. Instead of 'hearing - get your facts right. My niece is a Wedding Organiser, and I occasionally give her a helping hand doing the bookwork when she is snowed under. She has been working her business for nearly 8 years now, and is very successful, and well respected in her industry. So I can tell you EXACTLY who pays the bills, and less than 20% are paid for by parents. And that is not because parents give the money to the bride/groom, and they then pay for it. What they spend on this day is just mind boggling and something I can never understand - I believe it is more a case of simply trying to put on the best show. You are the one beginning to sound like a broken record.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    1:25pm
    That's very odd. Every pensioner I know has paid for their kids wedding.
    Anonymous
    26th Nov 2016
    4:09pm
    But every pension you know is a rich thieving cheat, OG. You don't know any of the decent, hard-working people who make up 95% of pensioners, because you have your nose too far in the air to pay attention to real people and their plights.
    KeyC
    22nd Nov 2016
    5:43am
    I never thought those in their ivory towers would stoop to such low depths! The ineptness of the successive governments looking for a scapegoat. But nothing; I repeat nothing is being done to hound and hunt the biggest tax evaders, namely the big corporates. And the PM still has to pass the 'sniff' test on his wealth that is stashed and safely packaged. I will not believe and accept that any of the very policy makers and researchers of the likes of John Daley are the 'lifters' and tax payers they portray to the rest of us. Many of them are so privileged that they cannont recognise the poverty that is 'hidden' but more likely denied, if you ask me.Coming from the right side of the line gives such policy makers very poor insight and understanding. All that is important to them is to feed their pockets and ego. Leave the aged and retired alone. Chase the big tax evaders I say and we will all be better off!
    Baby Huey
    22nd Nov 2016
    5:56am
    Paul Keating would have the appropriate name for Mr. Daley: SCUMBAG!
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    12:58pm
    He already called all them "Over there" SCUMBAGS !! He was Right but nobody Listened !! :-( :-(
    Strummer
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:59am
    I'm retired, I'm 70 and on the age pension, and I pay tax... Goods and Services Tax
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    11:05am
    Me too. I also pay petrol tax, tax on alcohol, council rates, and a vast range of other taxes. I pay far more than my share and get bugger-all value for it, and frankly, I'm sick and tired of these over-privileged fat cats STEALING the proceeds of my hard work and whinging about the deficit that is a result of them being GROSSLY UNDERTAXED and NOT PAYING THEIR SHARE.'

    Close the Grattan Institute and sack the mealy-mouthed spoiled brats who think their generation is ENTITLED, and start treating seniors with the respect and courtesy their decades of hard work and sacrifice rightly earned them.

    Put the tax rates back to what they were when I started work and remove all the stupid rorts and dodges the deficit problem will be solved.
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    12:39pm
    I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE !!
    FAR TOO MANY HANDS IN THE LOLLY JAR !!
    STOP THE FAT CAT ENTITLEMENTS !!
    Billion of dollars of Overseas JUNKAS :-( :-(
    Haven't they got a Telephone and Computer ?? :-(
    What are all these COSTLY Ambassador's about ? In the Space Age. :-(
    And Mountains more of Costly Consultants, Jobs for the Boys&Girls.:-(
    Useless Dumbing Down "Safe Schools" Programs ?? Get back to basics And let the Teachers get back to teaching, If the Kids WANT to learn that TRASH, let them go to a Non Taxpayer Funded GENDER BENDER GATHERING !!:-) Look what its done in America for Instance A Generation of Spoiled Brats and Idiots that don't know the Meaning of the word NO !!:-( :-( GRRrr!! :-( :-(
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:27pm
    I cant borrow money from China to Live the Life of Riley and then leave it to the TAXPAYER to pay it back !!
    Think that one over !! :-( :-(
    Because that is what the Pig Trough Gang is doing to YOU !!:-( :-(
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:27pm
    I cant borrow money from China to Live the Life of Riley and then leave it to the TAXPAYER to pay it back !!
    Think that one over !! :-( :-(
    Because that is what the Pig Trough Gang is doing to YOU !!:-( :-(
    Lindy Lou
    22nd Nov 2016
    8:05am
    I agree with Your Choice - the problem is thinking of Seniors as "Them". In a lot of cases Seniors are valuable contributors to the community and more likely to be volunteering in some capacity than younger people. Yes, they have more time to do volunteer activities, but they also often have a "give-back" attitude, which is less common in younger people, given that secular humanism appears to be youngsters' dominant "religion". Many Seniors on the Aged Pension still have one or two very elderly parents, or aunts or uncles that they give time, money and tender loving care to every week, and many are bringing up their grand-children. The Baby Boomers are useful contributing members of society who have to deal with deteriorating health, cheap shots at their so-called comfortable tax-avoiding lifestyle and sling-offs at them just because of their large numbers. Talk about retrospective recriminations! We couldn't help being born just after WW2. Our parents had come out of the maelstrom and were then optimistic for peace and prosperity and they reproduced accordingly. And, enen if we did want to work for wages and pay taxes we would find it impossibly hard to find anyone from the younger generations prepared to employ us because of their prejudices against our supposed fixed mindsets and Information Technology ignorance.

    22nd Nov 2016
    11:14am
    Perhaps someone should point out to these SPOILT BRATS who make these wild assertions that seniors have had their incomes decimated by the low interest rates that are giving a massive boost to the younger folk who are in a position to borrow; taxes are lower than they've ever been; benefits and rebates to working people are amazing compared to what our generation enjoyed; working conditions, living conditions and educational opportunities are beyond what most of us dreamed of (most due to our hard work and sacrifice) and it's BLOODY WELL PAST TIME WE WERE SHOWN SOME RESPECT and our contribution to this affluence and the overpaid fat cats and thieving bastards paid their way for a change.

    Leave the seniors alone. They've already paid their share toward fixing a mess they had nothing to do with creating.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:52pm
    Seniors effected by government changes are those who have had it too good for too long. Party is now over.
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:53pm
    God Save The Queen !! :-)
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:54pm
    God Save The Queen !! :-) :-)
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    1:57pm
    Old Gayser .. Your worth EVERY PENNY of your Government RETAINER !!
    ONLY a LIB could say that :-( :-( :-(
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:31pm
    Particolor I aint worth much then. SBA is about all it is.

    My comments are what I think as an Australian taxpayer who wants value for their money.
    particolor
    22nd Nov 2016
    7:33pm
    Party's over all Right !! A days pay for a Kilo of Chops !! :-( :-( :-(
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:40pm
    You reveal the fact that you don't know much about reality, OG. ÝOU have had it way too good. Many of the seniors affected by government changes have NEVER had it very good at all. They have got where they are by gut-busting, suffering, and battling against the odds. And now they are being robbed of the minimal rewards all that effort should have yielded, while their mates who lived the high life are indulged from the public purse.

    Only an ignoramus would rant with the ill-informed stupid nonsense you carry on with. And to get value for your tax dollars - dope - you need to provide INCENTIVES AND REWARDS - not pay people to give up and spend up. No wonder the nation is in a mess with such idiotic thinking prevailing.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Nov 2016
    11:55am
    No amount of incentives and rewards would change anything Rainey.
    Anonymous
    24th Nov 2016
    10:29am
    Crap, OG. Incentives and rewards change everything, and that's been proven over and over again. If you weren't so self-obsessed and privileged you'd understand that nobody WANTS to be on welfare. But the stinking elite have created a system that gives them no choice.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    10:50am
    Gosh that's not what I am seeing. People just can't wait to get on welfare (OAP) and do whatever it takes to do so. All my extended family are on welfare and it actually saddens me that they are so welfare dependant. Most have earned big wages and spent more money than most over their lifetime. Now they complain about no having enough!

    No amount of incentives would have changed their habits.

    If you have assets and money why can't you use them instead of relying on welfare? It was you who saved and went without to do so. Well I certainly didn't myself but still managed to become a fully self funded retiree. It was not that hard at all. Sure there were some challengers along the way but once you set a goal you have a good chance of reaching it.
    Alexii
    25th Nov 2016
    9:22pm
    "Seniors effected by government changes are those who have had it too good for too long. Party is now over."
    I think this really applies to the "seniors" mates in the LNC, OG. If only it were over for them as that is something that really sickens so many of us - they get soon much.
    maxchugg
    26th Nov 2016
    10:21am
    Rainey, I totally agree with you.

    I'm closer to 80 than 70, and I obtained my house by buying a block of land, then digging foundations and building myself with the help of friends and relatives. Our house was tiny by today's standards not nearly up to current expectations, but we were happy with it.

    When our first child arrived my wife was compelled to leave her job and cash in her superannuation, which yielded almost enough to buy a refrigerator, and her job was gone, not waiting for her to choose to return to it.

    There were no incentives from the government, certainly no first home buyer's grants. Overseas travel and new cars were impossible dreams. Living in the time of WW2 we appreciated the value of our democracy.

    What is hopefully a vocal minority of the current young working generation obviously feel cheated because they appear to expect to have in a couple of years what it took their grandparents a lifetime of hard work to obtain.

    What is particularly galling is that it seems that now they want all benefits for pensioners to be withdrawn, too dumb to understand that the time when they will become pensioners themselves is closer than they think.
    Captain
    22nd Nov 2016
    3:57pm
    Listening to John Daly from Grattan Institute, he said that pensioners and SFR's are doing it easier than younger people. He does not believe that seniors should have tax breaks and that the middle class should have welfare instead. He has compared a young couple with no children with total income of $70k per year to an retired couple with assets of$1.95m, ($1.4m in assets and super of $0.5m) an income of $95k per year (interest rate of 5%) and tax respectively of $7k (young couple ) and $4k for older couple. Why would anyone listen to someone who cannot even compare apples with apples. To give a proper comparison, he needs to compare $95k (young couple) and $95k (older couple). My wife and I worked hard for more than 45 years each and did not manage to accumulate anywhere near $1.9m between us.

    He also compared buying a house 40 years ago to today. He said that houses were cheaper in the 70's then they are today, therefore he thinks houses were easier to buy then!!! He did not want to debate the cost of houses compared to wages then to house/wages today.

    Who can honestly believe that retired people are better off than younger people with jobs?

    This is all so the budget can be bought back into surplus. I think we should start with a total income/tax/pension/welfare review. It may take 3 years and a $ billion to complete, however I believe a lower personal and business tax rate and a more fair and equitable pension would be the result. I defy any politician to not listen to idiots still wet behind the ears and bite the bullet and start the hard process.
    Hoppy
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:23pm
    Grattan is correct. The overwhelming majority of pensioners live very well indeed. The concessions granted by Costello are obscene. My daughter and her husband both have post-graduate doctorates and both work but they have little chance of getting into the Sydney housing market until their children are off their hands. Tax concessions for one sector of the community mean that others pay more or the real needy miss out.
    Sure there will be anomalies and a few pensioners do it really hard, but they are the exception. I have a friend whose sole income is the aged pension. He lives in public housing (so pays rent albeit at a reduced rate), smokes, drinks and gambles and still manages to pay his bills.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2016
    4:34pm
    Yes I think the majority of OAPs live very well indeed too.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    9:50pm
    Millions of retirees could never have dreamed of getting into the Sydney housing market either - so they settled for homes a little further out and suffered the travel, or they got jobs in the country. Any couple with post-grad degrees is doing it very cosy compared to most of my generation, and wouldn't know what hardship or hard work is. Yes, Hoppy, many pensioners are living well, and they deserve to after decades of hardship and struggle. They EARNED respite and comfort. Tell your daughter to stop whining and do the hard yards, and show some respect for the people who gave her generation the opportunity to enjoy the generous lifestyle that prevails in Australia today.

    Grattan, you and OG are all full of it. BS that is! The problem today is gross overindulgence of the privileged and no respect for those who busted their gut to build a prosperous country.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2016
    10:32pm
    Hoppy, when I first entered the housing market I had two kids - one disabled costing a fortune in medical and therapy bills. My husband earned a basic wage, but worked a second job that topped up his earnings marginally. I couldn't work due to childcare responsibilities, but I made children's clothes to sell, took in ironing, grew vegetables and made pickles and preserves to swap for meat, babysat other mother's kids, and overall worked an intense 19 hour day. We lived on home-grown vegies primarily. In 20 years of servicing a hefty mortgage, I ate in a restaurant twice and had one camping holiday. My youngest graduated university before I could afford a dress bought in a store. Most of our clothes were made over from second-hand materials.

    My first home was the cheapest house available in a country town where real estate prices were low. I borrowed the stamp duty and legal fees privately and lied to the bank about having no other debts to raise enough finance. The house was 30-years+ old, 2 bed, 1 bath, weatherboard, run down, with leaky plumbing, rotten kitchen cupboards, sugar sacks on the dining room floor, and condemned back veranda. It had a single garage down the back and the toilet was behind the laundry. It needed painting both inside and out and was in generally poor repair.

    We renovated that house ourselves on weekends, teaching ourselves every trade from bricklaying and plumbing to painting and tiling. We made our own furniture, curtains, and bedspreads. Then we sold that house at a modest profit and spent 5 years living in a shed with 3 kids (no plumbing, electricity or heating - and in a freezing climate) while we built the home we wanted.

    The hardship I suffered was a result of growing up in poverty because both my husband and I had fathers who gave their lives for the freedom and prosperity of today's Australians. Neither of us benefited from education or skills training. We worked in shit, soul-destroying jobs on lousy pay and were treated like second-class citizens from the age of 15 until we managed, after our kids graduated university, to retrain and move into a business, where we prospered for a time - until illness and disability drove us into early retirement.

    Please don't ask me to have sympathy for your privileged daughter and others like her.

    Our aged DESERVE their comfortable retirement. They earned it. And I'm fed up with the self-serving overindulged whining young and those minority of spoilt seniors who have no bloody clue what life is like outside their cloistered world of privilege.

    So prime inner-Sydney real estate is beyond the reach of high-salaried professionals. Boo hoo! Nearly all real estate in Australia was out of our reach if we hadn't busted our guts against the odds and endured hardship that would drive most of the precious young fragile spoilt brats to suicide or insanity. But I don't recall there EVER being a single public request to reduce the benefits our parents' and grandparents' generation enjoyed. On the contrary, we respected them, were grateful to them, and wanted to ensure they spent their final years in as much comfort as possible.

    It disgusts me that we now have a generation of Australians whose selfishness extends to wanting to deprive their elders in order that they can continue to be overindulged. But I guess we are to blame. We spoilt the brats! Thank heavens my daughters are not of that ilk. They have the same respect and gratitude for older Australians that we did in our youth.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Nov 2016
    11:53am
    If you are so badly off Rainey why are you worried about not getting the OAP? It is designed as a safety net so if you can't support yourself it is there for you.

    That was what was wrong with the asset test and it's a good thing they have changed it for the better. Put simply if you are effected by the asset test changed then you didn't need the OAP in the first place. Have a bit of decency and stop being so greedy. OK you saved a few bob so now it's time to spend it and enjoy yourself in retirement. Let those with little or nothing have the OAP.

    As for struggling well the bad news is we all struggled at various times during our lives. I remember my parents being disgusted with the first house I bought too. It was just a shell with no water or electricity but we survived. We have all had health issues throughout our lives. I've had cancer not once but twice and still bear the scars both physical and mental of that awful treatment.

    Can you play the violin?
    Anonymous
    24th Nov 2016
    10:27am
    OG, I'm NOT badly off now. What I'm complaining about is policy that strips people who struggled of all the rewards of that struggle. But clearly you are too dumb to understand anything beyond your own circumstances and too self-absorbed to care. Bugger off you narcissist, and let us talk about the NATION and OTHER PEOPLE. It's NOT all about YOU.
    Old Geezer
    24th Nov 2016
    3:27pm
    If you are not badly off then why are you whinging Rainey? I get it you thought you would be on welfare but that's no longer the case with the new asset test changes.

    If people struggled then isn't it time they enjoyed the rewards of their struggles?

    No one effected by the asset changes needed the OAP in the first place so it's a good thing that the government has fixed this now. They were getting welfare they didn't need. It is as simple as that.
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2016
    8:23am
    You poor brain-dead idiot, OG. You have no comprehension at all, do you? You are so obsessed with idiot assumptions that you can't even read.

    I am NOT WHINGING. And you ''get'' NOTHING. I am still working and when I quit, if I quit, I'll be self-funded. Always was the case. always will be.

    Unlike you, I am NOT selfish or blind. I am concerned with the grave flaws in the pension system that wrongly disadvantage genuine strugglers and are unfair and economically detrimental, and I seek to expose those flaws and lobby for constructive change that will benefit the nation as well as individuals who are suffering unfairly. You are just too arrogant and self-obsessed to even consider that you might not know EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE.

    Unlike you, I've taken enough GENUINE INTEREST in other people to LISTEN to their stories and examine their circumstances with an open mind and with empathy. Maybe because I've done it very, very tough and suffered massive injustice, I have the ability to feel for other people and to respect their needs and concerns.

    Get over your GOD COMPLEX and learn some respect for humanity. You are a disgusting piece of crap who knows absolutely NOTHING and should have a gag applied to your stupid mouth for your own protection.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    1:23pm
    Those with the amount of assets effected by the changes are not disadvantaged genuine strugglers at all. If a couple is struggling with a million dollars plus in assets then they have no idea what struggling is. There is no GOD complex in that at all.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2016
    8:44pm
    OG, I was referring to the struggle many had to accumulate savings for retirement, and the fact that they did so responsibly, knowing- in many cases - that they would have particular needs in old age (potentially due to deprivation, exploitation or abuse in earlier life).

    What this stinking vile government has done, apart from selling out taxpayers with a policy that will drive age pension costs through the roof in the mid to long term, is deprive those battlers of any reward for their earlier struggle and force them to GIFT their savings to people who didn't save as well and are probably better off (in many cases).

    Only a bat-eyed fool would endorse such STUPID and DESTRUCTIVE policy. But clearly you are so green-eyed and selfish that you can't see past ''he has money, take it away from him'' - like the rest of the privileged arseholes who have no respect for hard workers and no common sense.
    freed1948
    22nd Nov 2016
    6:49pm
    ??Just another Think Tank response to a problem NOT made by the aged.
    Leave us alone and tackle the obscene amounts paid to think tanks and Public Servants including Pollies.
    maxchugg
    22nd Nov 2016
    8:16pm
    I've said it before and I'm saying it again.

    A worker who retires at age 70 and lives to age 80, allowing for CPI increases of 2.5% p.a., will collect around $358,254 in pension payments.

    Joe Hockey, who exhorts us to be lifters, not leaners, commenced collecting a parliamentary pension reported to be in excess of $180,000 p.a. So if Joe lives to age 80, and also allowing for CPI increases of 2.5% p.a., after paying tax on his pension, Joe will collect about $6.4 million.

    It is probable that Joe’s current taxpayer funded dream job which reportedly pays around $350,000 p.a. plus perks which include free accommodation in New York will further boost his retirement income.

    Wake up Australia!
    Alexii
    23rd Nov 2016
    1:32pm
    You should feel sorry for Joe Hockey. Imagine the effort of having to think of how to spend all that money!
    Of course there are a couple on this site who probably think it is quite fair that Joe gets all of this - it's not a perk - just a condition of his job. If only we could all have got such coinsitions. But of course instead of that, the government (and the Gratton Institute) prefer to target pensioners and part pensioners as the greedy lot.
    Manne
    23rd Nov 2016
    10:43am
    Stop going after the over 65's all the time! How about making the bigger players (tax avoiders) pay their taxes and the fortune 500 companies like Apple, Google and other big avoiders. Then there would not be a budget problem.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Nov 2016
    1:32pm
    Why not stop buying Apple, Google and other's products that don't pay their fair share of tax? I do. Google ads are turned off using ad blockers, never owned an Apple product etc.
    Not Senile Yet!
    23rd Nov 2016
    11:22am
    The Grattan Institute & Mr.John Daley are funded by OUR taxes.....syphoned off by the LIBS.....and backed up with Corporate Money.....to sell Right Wing Propaganda to the ignorant!
    Using our taxes to sell methods of accessing our accumulated wealth in retirement?
    Wealth created over a lifetime of paying tax???
    Now they want to Double Dip???
    Time Get-Up received MORE DONATIONS.....To Ivestigate this Corruption by the Liberal Party!
    Time to shut it down and return our tax money!
    Time to show just how Corrupt the Political Parties and their Party Puppet MP'S really are!!!
    STOP VOTING FOR THESE CORRUPT PUPPETS!
    As for the invisable online part sprookers.....we can tell who you are...by the shit you say....in direct defiance to the facts.....you are not fooling anyone on here.....obvious paid spooks!
    Hoppy
    24th Nov 2016
    11:04am
    Rainey, I am not looking for sympathy for my daughter rather pointing out that if people in her position cannot afford a house what does that mean for the average Joe and Jean. Grattan is not proposing that people who rely entirely or mainly on the pension should have their benefits reduced, rather that retirees who are wealthy should continue to pay their fair share. Correspondents to this debate complain about politicians generous retirement benefits but fail to realise that Grattan proposed removing the additional $15,000 tax free threshold which those greedy retired politicians take advantage of along with the rest of wealthy seniors.
    Our taxes supported seniors when we were of working age but not to the extent that retirees enjoy today. Pensions were a safety net for the needy, not any more. And don't forget that death duties applied in those days, now we not only want more when we are alive we want to take it with us.
    Don't talk to me about the selfishness of the current generation.
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2016
    8:13am
    Hoppy, I would agree with you if the definition of ''wealthy'' made any sense at all and there was consistency, logic and fairness in the way entitlement to pensions is assessed - and if ''pensions'' included PPL, first home buyer grants and a vast range of other benefits given to quite well-to-do younger folk while older folk who never had those benefits are branded ''greedy'' for wanting to retain just a little of the comfort they worked for and earned.

    I believe seniors SHOULD get a substantial tax benefit if they don't receive a pension, for several reasons - not the least of which is that they have greater needs than younger folk and less capacity to service those needs independently.

    I agree that the tax system needs reform. But what irks me is that someone who had low wages, no super, no benefits, no tax dodges, but achieves a modest nest-egg of PERSONAL savings is branded ''wealthy'' and attacked, despite an income of maybe half the aged pension, no future earning capacity, and high anticipated future costs for health and personal care, while someone who can continue to earn or has a generous TPI or retirement pension can achieve a quite high income and still get a pension and all the benefits because - not needing future security - they spent up big on overseas holidays. Now the poor ''wealthy'' retiree is threatened with loss of benefits and with taxation, when they are actually far poorer than many who are collecting fat handouts, and only have savings accrued because they knew they would have extensive future needs. Yet those modest savings are deemed to justify attacking them and decimating their lifestyle.

    Yes, the current generation IS selfish. Very! Spoiled and overindulged in the extreme. And yes, there are SOME wealthy seniors who perhaps should contribute more to society. But the manner in which wealth is assessed for pension purposes needs to be reviewed carefully before you start claiming that only pensioners or part pensioners should have tax concessions, because many who will lose the part pension in January are actually not at all wealthy, and will really struggle to maintain a decent standard of living through retirement - DESPITE having gone without a great deal in earlier life to save. And many pensioners are VERY well off, because they manipulated the system to achieve a pension to which they are not morally entitled, or because of the illogical and unfair way means are assessed.

    As to your initial statement - your post says nothing at all about the ''average Joe and Jean'', because NOTHING HAS CHANGED. It was always tough to buy into the inner city market. And it was always challenging for most workers to buy a home. It is probably easier today than ever before, because of low interest rates and low prices for other household and personal necessities. I can assure you NOBODY today has the struggle I had to acquire a home. And any professional couple can easily buy a house if they are sensible about budgeting and home selection.

    Today's young have super to fund retirement. We had a tax and pension system. It took centuries to achieve a system that properly respected seniors and allowed modest comfort in old age. Only the very, very selfish privileged who have no understanding of reality and no empathy would want to wind it back.
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2016
    8:17am
    BTW. Yes, seniors expect a higher standard of living today - consistent with the improvement in living standards for the rest of society. Why do some think the young should have a monopoly on high living standards? Your kids are doing well. They have a good salary. So tell them to stop being so bloody selfish and acknowledge that seniors who worked hard and struggled and had none of their opportunities or advantages are bloody well ENTITLED to enjoy a relatively high standard of living now that general living standards have elevated.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    10:53am
    Rainey the majority of seniors today have never had it so good. They really do enjoy a high standard of living and do you really think the cruise industry in Australia would have been doing any where as good as it is without them? I certainly don't.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2016
    8:39pm
    Obviously you are too arrogant and self-absorbed to note the figures for seniors living in poverty,OG.

    The cruise industry is thriving on folk who are still working and a minority of elite oldies who either have huge superannuation pensions or are independently wealthy. I know a few retirees who took one only ''trip of a lifetime'' using money they saved by not having holidays for most of their working lives. Good for them! IDIOTS in parliament have legislated to punish people for NOT spending their retirement savings quickly, and fools like you endorse these STUPID DESTRUCTIVE policies that deny responsible savers the benefit of years of careful saving and planning, so why wouldn't retirees take a cruise? Sadly, whatever they do they will struggle financially in later life because only the rich and privileged are allowed to benefit from their hard work and saving. Battlers with modest savings either spend it quickly on themselves or are forced to GIFT it to people who need it less and are less deserving.

    Poverty among retirees will increase and pension costs will rise, and IDIOTS will scratch their heads and wonder why, or, rather, look at meaningless numbers and make false claims based on nonsense contrived statistics.

    Focusing on income (including deemed income at sensible deeming rates) would have achieved positive results in a fair way, but DIMWITS are not smart enough to think that far. We need some brains in government instead of overpaid morons who can't think past bleeding battlers to fund more rorts for the rich.
    Happy Jack
    25th Nov 2016
    11:04am
    You can bet on one thing-; our green friends will back this Government which they gladly did (lead by the nose by their esteemed leader) when they enabled the last grab from pensioners by this LIEberal party in changes to the asset test. Seniors who have saved instead of spend , spend, spend in hoping to have a comfortable retirement have had the rug pulled out from under them. Take defined benefit superanuants for example- I know in my case I contributed a considerable amount of my after tax income to my super fund only to find that now I'm in the position where I am only just a little better off than being on the pension. Now I'm not in the position to enjoy the comforts that others who didn't concern themselves with saving for their retirement have already tasted and may I add at my expense. ham, shame, shame.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    1:16pm
    It is great that you have enough o look after yourself so that more goes to those who can not.
    Anonymous
    26th Nov 2016
    3:48pm
    You are so right, Happy Jack, and it's mind boggling that IDIOTS can't understand that making people who worked hard and saved well no better off than those who didn't will kill incentive and thus achieve two goals:

    (a) it will drive future pension costs through the roof; destroying the economy
    (b) it will mean the end of retirement dreams for the next generation.

    Short-sighted greed is destroying what ours and previous generations worked, fought, and sacrificed lives to achieve. It's astonishing how few have the brains to see that. But arrogance and selfishness kills the brain cells, sadly.
    Happy Jack
    25th Nov 2016
    2:02pm
    Hey! old Geezer, did you mean 'those that didn't' and lived it up while the rest of us savers worked for a decent retirement which is now being eroded away by this mob who are looking after the interests of the big end of town.
    Old Geezer
    25th Nov 2016
    4:04pm
    Those on welfare are being looked after much better than the big end of town. After all it money for doing absolutely nothing.
    Anonymous
    26th Nov 2016
    3:43pm
    No, OG. The fat cats get money for nothing. Most pensioners get money in recognition of having given decades of service that was grossly underpaid, in conditions that were sub-standard much of the time, and with a tax burden that is grossly unfair to lower income earners because the better off use so many avoidance strategies that they never pay anything like their share
    Hoppy
    29th Nov 2016
    11:26am
    Rainey,at the risk of further antagonising you, may I suggest we have come full circle. It is not only the big end of town that takes advantage of tax avoidance strategies. The Grattan Institute was recommending the closure of taxation loopholes which allowed seniors to minimise their tax in ways that are not available to the rest of the population.
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st Dec 2016
    11:48am
    Mr.Daley is paid by the Liberal Party & corporates to sell his prpaganda lies!
    The Whole Grattan Institute is biased in it's findings because they were created by the Liberal Party with Taxpayer's money then propped up with Corporate Donations!
    A proper Invetigation as How & Why they exist has been thearted time & time again....but the truth is like cream....it always floats to the Top!
    Mr.Daley is a Propaganda and Advertising Guru... his Salary & the Gratten Instutute are a Scam on the Public that any half-wit journalist could dethrone by doing an expose on them!
    But guess what? It would never get published because the Big Corps & the Libs have succeeded in Bulldusting everyone!
    The Gratten Institute is Party created Propaganda Machine to put radical ideas to the Public....then when no one fires any shots...the Party adopts it's so'called findings!
    In the Real World....a Right Wing dominated Liberal Party is trying to sell American Policies to us on the pretext they are broke!
    You cannot be broke....ie lack tax income....but still triple the budget blowout. Spend 80 billion on Defence that you don't have....and keep defying logic by refusing to tax Corporates!


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