The ACTU wants to scrap minimum wage in favour of a living wage

The ACTU is worried about workers living in poverty, but what about our pensioners?

older woman down on her luck

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) wants to scrap minimum wage in favour of a living wage set at 60 per cent of the median wage.

The push comes after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released figures last week showing the cost of living is rapidly rising and wages aren’t keeping up – driving millions of workers and families into poverty.

Electricity costs have risen 539 per cent faster than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), gas by 356 per cent, utilities by 394 per cent and health costs, housing and transport costs are also rising sharply.

“The figures from the ABS show that rather than getting better, everything is getting more expensive and wages aren’t keeping up. The Government is failing working people,” said ACTU president Sally McManus.

If the move is successful, the lowest paid workers would receive a weekly wage of $738 – an $80 increase on the current minimum wage. This is based on a median wage of $1230.

The Living up to the Promise of Harvester: Time for a Living Wage report was released yesterday – on the 110-year anniversary of the Harvester judgement which originally declared that “all Australians deserve to be paid a wage that they can afford to survive on”.

In conjunction with the report, the ACTU launched a Change the Rule for Workers campaign to create a living wage for Australians.

The ACTU claims that the original promise of the Harvester Judgement has been completely eroded by decades of neo-liberal policies.

“Corporate profits rose 40 per cent last year, and full-time workers can’t afford to feed and clothe a family. The system is broken,” said Ms McManus.

“When millions of working people have fallen into poverty, Australia needs a pay rise.”

According to the report: “A living wage must be sufficient to ensure that all working people are able to afford rent in a suitable dwelling, a healthy diet, a good quality education, healthcare, transport, electricity and other energy costs, adequate clothing, entertainment and a contingency for unexpected expenses.”

This is all well and good for workers, but what about older people? The 2015 Global AgeWatch Index shows that Australia has a poverty rate of 33 per cent for those over the age of 60. Another report conducted by Per Capita, The Benevolent Society and The Longevity Innovation Hub reveals that around 500,000 older Australians live below the poverty line. So, surely there needs to be similar consideration given to our pensioners.

Currently, the Age Pension is $880.30 per fortnight for singles and $669.60 each for couples. By comparison, the ACTU living wage proposal would mean workers receive $1476 per fortnight, which would be $595 more than what age pensioners receive.

If the Fair Work Commission has openly admitted that the current base wage of $658 per week is inadequate to keep some workers out of poverty, then how are older people, many of whom rent and have much higher health costs, supposed to get by on $440.15 per week?

The typical attitude seems to be that once they’re old they disappear. But, no, older people also pay the outlandish electricity, gas, utilities, rent, transport and health costs faced by working Australians. And, yes, many of them are still renting and deal with the despicable housing affordability crisis faced by everyone else.

Only they don’t have a weekly wage that’s over $200 per week higher than the pension.

Ms McManus said: “The promise of Harvester was financial security for working people, not barely keeping from starving and making endless sacrifices to keep the lights on.”

“No one should live in poverty in Australia.”

Age pensioners and older people don’t deserve to live in poverty either.

Do you think that, if this living wage were introduced, that the Age Pension should be raised too? Are you struggling to keep up with the rising cost of, well, everything? What action can be taken to give age pensioners a better standard of life?

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    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:19am
    what about carers?? we aren't pensioners, we aren't workers, we get $3.50 an hour from the government to care 24/7 we aren't recognised as workers legally so don't earn enough to pay union fees so the unions wont help us
    leonYLC
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:23am
    Absolutely agree with you tisme. This needs to be addressed.
    Rae
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:33am
    The situation is appalling.
    SuziJ
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:51am
    I have to agree with you here, I'm on the DSP which is the same as the Carer Payment. I now have to wait for another 5 years and 2 months until I'm eligible for the Age pension.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:50pm
    I'm a carer and a pensioner - I'm run off my feet - which leads me to - why do I not receive two totally separate pensions - one for each 'job' -

    Job A - being retired.

    Job B - Taking on the burdens of caring that would otherwise fall upon government and its agencies.

    I reckon that - and reparations for the social science madness that pervaded the twentieth and into the early twenty-first century- should at least mean pension should be doubled - for those in groups not selected for Artificial Advancement during those years, anyway.... the others have had their shot for free while we worked.

    We need a whole new arrangement of what are and what are not 'accredited victim status' groups - some in, some out.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:52pm
    ...and no super.... hence the Trebor Policy that all have a minimum paid into a super account held by Mega-Oz Super Inc - a body separate from any and all government hands, and run by an elected board which includes pensioners, sfrs, etc in specified percentages.

    The Guv should pay the minimum for those on DSP and Carer's - so that when retirement age comes along, they will not be as big a burden on Social Security.

    A penny saved is a pound earned in twenty years.....
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:54pm
    P.S. I've been on disability since 1997 - read the papers some time - with busted knee and broken back. Back is stiffening up as we speak.... daily worse it seems...
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:13pm
    Why don’t carers get the minimum wage? I wouldn’t be allowed to short change my employees. Government demeans carers and the elderly they care for by that corrupt practice.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:53pm
    Carers get paid welfare as they can't get a job and have no other means of support. Wealthy carers get nothing.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:23pm
    Wrong again, OG. Wealthy carers get an allowance that is not means tested. About $130 per fortnight currently.

    Carers get a pension because caring prevents them working - not because they can't get a job, but because they already do the hardest job in the world, and they save the nation a fortune by doing so. They deserve far, far more than they get. Their pension should be commensurate with the amount they save the government.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:50pm
    No Rainey it's not a hard job as mot have the district nurse visit 3 times a day to help them out.
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    8:49pm
    Sitting at home doing nothing is not having a job, OG, going out and working, whatever the work, is having a job.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:10pm
    Well we all know what job means. Just Over Broke!
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:18pm
    District nurses visit who 3 times a week, OG? I know dozens of full-time carers and not one of them has a district nurse visit the person they care for. It does my head in watching what they have to go through just to get their loved on into a car and down to a doctor or specialist.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:44pm
    Not forgetting the cost of petrol to run to docs and such 3-4 times a week - then there are the runs to the hardware giants to pick up materials for renovations to suit..... and the cost of those....

    Short-changed in every way.
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:13pm
    Yes the nurse comes once to get them out of bed, later in the morning to bath them and then later in the afternoon to put them back into bed. That's what happens around here.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:23pm
    In Utopia, you mean OG? That mythical place where everything is perfect? You obviously have no idea how things are in the real world. The carers I know have never seen a nurse outside the hospital.
    Old Geezer
    7th Nov 2017
    6:20pm
    I must live in Utopia then as that what happens to the man next door and the lady up the street.
    Anonymous
    9th Nov 2017
    7:57am
    Well, that explains everything, OG. You are so ignorant that you can't conceive that the experience of a couple of people you know isn't typical. Some of us work on REAL DATA and GENUINE AVERAGES, OG. And some of us have the empathy to understand that some people face challenges that the fortunate ''man up the street'' has never had to face. Take off the blinkers and learn the meaning of ''anecdotal evidence'' and maybe you won't get it wrong so often. You might even start to come across as being human sometimes!
    Jilly B
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:33am
    Yes this is an interesting proposal. Writing about it or suggesting it is one way of exposing the situation, but any organisations and prominent others have been writing about it for ages. Many people have tried to prepare for retirement but not many would have had any idea that Electricity, rates, gas, phone, internet, food etc would have risen to the extremes at present. So everybody now needs to budget, priories the bills first each payday and deal with what is left. That is of course if there is any left and housing interest only has to rise a couple of percent and many people paying off a house will be in big trouble. What did Labor do any this situation when they were in government for many years spending a huge piggy bank that was in surplus when they took over the country? What has any other government done also to lesson the cost of these necessities of daily life?
    Rae
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:44am
    Labor spent to save the banks from collapsing Jilly. As well as the $900 flowing through them and into local businesses they repaired schools that had not had maintenance for decades.

    We also had a very large loan from the US Central Bank.

    If our banks had collapsed everyones savings would have gone with them and we would have had a Depression.

    Interest rates will rise sooner or later so those over committed should start implementing frugality and ensuring they can meet mortgage payments.

    I am self funded but my income has dropped considerably as companies cut dividends and share prices bumble along not gaining capital.

    I pay full cost of everything including services that pensioners are subsidised for or get for free. As if I was still working and earning a full wage.

    Those living on their own investments are in as much trouble as any other retiree.

    It's a mess and the only hope is for prices to stagnate or fall as incomes have.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:54pm
    A lot of what we have today is a result of Rudd panicking and spending way too much and putting us into debt now and into the future. He was the worst PM we have ever had and did a good job of pulling the wool over everyone's eyes with his style of leadership. Today and into the future we will continue to pay for his bad leadership and decisions.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:04pm
    What rot, OG! Howard and Costello spent like drunken sailors, but had the benefit of the mining boom to cover up. Trouble is, they blew the profits gifting 80% of the gold to the richest 20% of the population and in the process created ongoing obligations for future governments to keep handing out to the wealthy. Rudd would have been kicked out instantly if he had changed legislation to cancel out those obligations, so we are still giving to the rich - like huge tax concessions on super to high income earners while low income earners get 0, or even sometimes pay higher tax on their super contributions than on their wages.
    Abbott and Turnbull were going to fix the debt problem. They knew all about it, and how to resolve it, but they've more than tripled it. And one of the huge costs was a blowout in costs for the NBN, the mismanagement of which was Turnbull's gift to the nation.

    You would have to be very tunnel-visioned and stupidly biased to praise either party, and I disliked Rudd intensely and found fault with much of what he did, but he certainly isn't responsible for 1/10th of the problems that he's being blamed for. Overall, he did very well guiding us through the recession that was far worse in nearly every nation in the world.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:27pm
    What rubbish Rainey!

    if only that stupid senate would allow our government to govern then we would be so much better as a nation. That NBN was never going to work and it will be superseded with much better technology long before it is even half built. Labor introduct4d many time bombs such as that disability scheme and Gonski that are nothing but useless never ending drains on our public purse. They should have been scaped ages ago.

    I have no time for our political system as it's not a democratic system at all so I don't vote for any of them.

    All Rudd did was kick the can down the road for an even bigger and worse recession that we will have to have nevertheless. This for us will be the worst in the world as we haven't flushed out the excesses of the last one yet.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:32pm
    With the idiots in power tripling the debt so rapidly, yes it will be a disaster, OG. And the idiots in power will keep on blaming Labor and claiming they inherited the mess. Gutless morons can't even take responsibility and admit that if it was that bad, they shouldn't have promised to fix it!
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:35pm
    BTW. The NDIS might not be great, but it's an improvement on a system that desperately needed improving and it's focused on people who genuinely need help. By contrast, the disgusting superannuation tax concessions was solely aimed at lining the rich man's coffers and making the taxpayer fund the lavish retirement of the well off. If we must tolerate government waste and mismanagement, I'll take the party that focuses on the needy every day over the one that gives all to the greedy 20% who are already obscenely rich!
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:13pm
    Ok I get it. I agree I'm not rich then as I didn't get any of those superannuation concessions!
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:25pm
    No. You set up trusts to avoid tax. You don't even own your home - so it's very clear you manipulate the system.
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    2:22pm
    Rainey unless you are mega rich setting up trhsts etc just to save tax is more costly than paying the tax.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:46pm
    Surely then, Bonny - that must be OG's bed, for he liest in it.....
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:16pm
    No Rainey I don't have any trusts to avoid tax or do I own the house I live in.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:25pm
    OG, you admit to being well off, therefore you have manipulated the system to avoid tax. There is NOT A SINGLE WELL OFF PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY WHO HASN'T. But most of them couldn't lie straight in bed, and I suspect you are among those.
    GeorgeM
    4th Nov 2017
    8:46pm
    Rainey, maybe OG is an ex-Federal Politician / bureaucrat with a fat, undeserved pension, who cannot claim the Age Pension, however is living it up as most of those leeches are doing with no sign of that changing!!! Therefore, he doesn't need trusts, superannuation, home, etc!!! That may explain most of his posts.

    It is essential that all pressure their politicians to scrap their undeserved pensions and perks, and join the rest of humanity in how they manage life in retirement! Then, maybe, Eureka - Universal Pernsion may come on the agenda!
    Must get rid of the current mob as a first step by putting them last in preferences, otherwise there will be no change.
    Old Geezer
    6th Nov 2017
    10:47am
    Nope never been a pollies of any sort or even been a member of a political party. So no pollie pension or any other drain on the public purse.

    Yes I do have 10% of my wealth in a SMSF so only get a very small tax benefit there. With the rest I pay tax on like everyone else.
    GeorgeM
    7th Nov 2017
    9:36pm
    Not sure one can believe anything you say! Especially as your posts are typical extreme, right-wing oriented. Also, you must have serious (hidden) motivation to spend the effort and continue with so many nasty posts which fail to understand or appreciate the reality in spite of the many detailed responses from Rainey in particular. If you have actually done well for yourself, then good for you, move on and enjoy it without wasting your time on this website.
    AutumnOz
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:58am
    A Living Wage instead of a minimum wage is an excellent idea - if anyone can convince the government of the day that no-one can live on the pittance currently paid to minimum wage earners.
    An increase in payments to those over pension age, whether old age pensioners or self funded retirees, is also an excellent idea as many self funded aged people are struggling to live on below the age pension payment - again this fact has also escaped the government people who could make a happy retirement happen for the aged.
    As for carers today they are in the same position as mothers were in the 1960s and 1970s, no income, and expected to be on call 24/7 even when they did do part time work to supplement the family income.
    All these things need to be addressed before it is too late to fix the problem.
    I expect it will never happen unless we all vote Independent on the next election, whether Local, State or Federal, and get rid of the capitalist major parties.
    Capitalism can only work if the people are spending money, buying goods, eating out or whatever else they want or need to spend money on - without money in their wallets they do not spend and capitalism starts to fail.
    Maybe we "peasants" need to revolt.
    SuziJ
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:54am
    Carers and those on DSP receive the same payment as the Age pensioners do, so it's just not the Age pensions that need an adjustment, it's all pensions.
    AutumnOz
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:24pm
    SuziJ the article specifically mentioned the age pension so that is what I replied to, in a rather long winded way :-)
    In my opinion ALL centrelink payments, whether they are pensions or welfare, need to be adjusted to a living pension not just pay out a bit here and there as they do now and expect everyone to be grateful at their "generosity"
    KSS
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:38pm
    You cannot have an unemployment benefit that is equal to or higher than a wage whether minimum or living if you want to encourage people into work. There would be no.point working if you receive the same amount regardless.it happens already where people are able to claim so much welfare it is not worth their while looking for work.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:32pm
    Agree I heard of one young fellow recently who recently gave up his job as his working credits had run out and it was no longer worth his while to work. Just imagine if it was equal or higher than a wage!
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:53pm
    But Newstart needs to be enough to live on and to cover the costs associated with trying to find a way to escape unemployment. I've lost touch with how family benefits work but at one time if you earned less than the unemployment benefit the government topped up your income in various ways - like extra family allowance, special tax concessions, etc. It still didn't compensate in some cases, but it helped.

    The problem we have now is that Newstart is so low that it is keeping people in the poverty/unemployment trap, and the penalties for earning a little are so harsh that people do just give up trying. I support the idea of paying up to a given amount, non-assessed and with no effect on your benefits, if you do qualifying charity or community work for 20 hours per week. That would be one way of topping up Newstart to a living wage without removing the incentive to work.

    A solution I heard someone propose recently sounded brilliant to me. She was discussing the US government's stupidity handing huge tax cuts to big business with the idiotic claim - as we've heard here from Turnbull's crew - that it will ''trickle down'' and business will hire more people. As the NAB provide this week, big business DOES NOT hire more people because it has more money to spend. It hires as many as it needs to maximize its profit, and not a single person more. BUT, as this lady pointed out, EVERY small business needs more employees, but hardly any small business operator - much less a start-up - can afford the wages. So if the government gave, say, $100,000 to every small business on the condition that they MUST hire two more full-time staff members for a full year on higher than the minimum wage (or spend the equivalent on extra part-timers or casuals), that would result in a huge reduction in unemployment, a lot more money circulating in the economy, and potentially some solid business growth that would flow on to improved prosperity. She worked out that in the U.S. it would have cost way less than the tax cuts that were subsequently proved to have accomplished NOTHING (but Turnbull still insists on pursuing the same failed strategy here!).

    Imagine if a struggling business owner could add two workers for a year at no real cost to his business. Just think how much he could up his productivity. There's a very strong chance by the end of the year his turnover would have improved enough to keep those workers on permanently. After all, anyone who has ever started or bought a struggling small business knows it often just takes one solid kick-along to move from struggle street into doing okay.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:25pm
    NAB sacked it's workers due to the government imposing that extra banking tax on them. It is as simple as that.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:20pm
    Nonsense - they'd rather go for 'upgraded' technology than keep their staff on. Not going to help them when the money well dries up and nobody has money to spend or collateral to borrow.
    GeorgeM
    3rd Nov 2017
    8:56pm
    AutumnOZ, agree with your comments. If only a Political party would take on such an idea, and expand it beyond Minimum Wage to all Pensions, as well as Newstart, with a suitable formula for each, say:
    60% of Median Wage for Minumim Wage
    50% of Median for Pensions, and
    35% (to maintain an incentive to find work) of Median for Newstart.
    Quite simple, really! However, somehow it's hard to find any Political party to support this, including Labor (without "U") who not only compete with Liberals to ignore such social welfare policies but have always been completely uninterested in Pensioners.

    Also, for Pensions, as stated before it should be an Universal Pension without Assets or Income Tests, paid to ALL who have lived / paid taxes here for say 20 years, otherwise prorata it for those who don't qualify down to the Newstart level (avoid carrots for migrants).
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    2:06pm
    What about all those women and men that haven't paid taxes for 20 years because they are too busy looking after their families?
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:48pm
    Not again, Bonny? The 'pot' is taken from the entire community according to a formula (roughly_) to cover the entire community.

    That was what Bob Menzies - the mad socialist - said when it was set up formally many decades ago.

    Let's try an analogy - public transport is set up to transport people - some use it more and pay more than others to use it - but it is there for the use of all.

    OK?
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:18pm
    Pubic transport? Doesn't exist around here I'm afraid.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:31pm
    What about those who looked after their families? They paid tax. They paid sales tax and GST and council rates and petrol tax and many paid cigarette tax and alcohol tax. And they made a huge contribution to society by guiding and educating and caring for the next generation of tax payers. Many contributed by caring for the sick and the elderly - relieving the government of cost. And many (probably most, in fact) did community service and charity work as well.

    Bonny, you have a warped view of reality and clearly don't have the intelligence to appreciate the huge contribution of people who don't get fat pay cheques and pay high taxes. The reality is that the richer a person is, the less likely they are to contribute a fair share to society. They dodge tax wherever they can. The fact that they can't recognize the value of the contribution of those who don't pay huge income tax or tax on profits evidences clearly that they don't make a fair contribution to society. If they did, they would understand the value of what others contribute.
    Budwah
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:12am
    It’s probably time that pensioner groups Aline themselves with the union movement after all most pensioners at sometime in their lives would have been union members. What I’ve just suggested I know will probably be abhorrent to some readers but if it could be achieved surely it would be beneficial to pensioners.
    Oldchick
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:28am
    I think that’s an excellent idea. I was a full-time carer for almost eight years by which time my own health deteriorated badly and I had to go onto the Disability Pension which I’ve been on for 6 years. Even though I tried to find work non-one wants to employ someone who has been out of the work force for so long and is 54 years old. I also had approximately 18 months of living off my own savings, I.e. waiting to get onto the carer allowance, then the pension when I realised I couldn’t leave my mother alone with dementia and mobility issues, then for 6 months when she eventually had to go into a home and then several months after she passed away. Just recently had a washing machine and the hot water service die in,the same week as the winter heating bill was due. It’s not easy.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:56pm
    Pensioners and Retirees Union - PRU(dent).....
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:18pm
    Good one, Trebor.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:21pm
    Slow today - feel it, too.. shgould be United Pensioners Unions - UPU!
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    8:51pm
    Even better.
    GeorgeM
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:05pm
    Budwah, the problem is Unions are aligned with Labor (without "U"), and the latter don't give a fig for pensioners - note how they refused to reverse the abominable Assets test changes from Jan 2017 if they got elected, and their previous behaviours in raising pension age.

    Can always support the Unions in this idea, but need to have people elected who are INDEPENDENT of either major party or Greens. Best to put the current MPs last in preferences to get rid of them - only then they will get a message in Canberra.
    (Recently, I had reason to visit Canberra - there was a traffic jam at 5pm for people getting out of their CBD offices at 5pm exactly - thought Canberra should be shut down, and we should have the Capital in either Sydney preferably, or Melbourne.)
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    10:19am
    George, the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition care even less for pensioners.
    GeorgeM
    4th Nov 2017
    1:32pm
    DrPolymath, can't see any Political party which cares at all, it's not a matter of who is better. Hence, my suggestion above to get rid of all current seat-warmers who are there only for accruing and getting their own fat, undeserved pensions & perks.
    We need to send a message - with all seniors in unity!
    AutumnOz
    4th Nov 2017
    4:36pm
    George and others
    Sustainable Australia is a newish political party, check them out online,they have good policies and will be fielding candidates at the next NSW elections.
    Maybe if they get enough support between now and the next Federal election they can also field candidates there as well.
    Just an idea to think about for the next elections.
    GeorgeM
    4th Nov 2017
    9:38pm
    Thanks, AutumnOz. Do they have a chance of getting anyone elected? They had 0.00% of the vote in the Lower House and 0.19% in the Senate in 2016 (Wikipedia). The best thing for them is that Dick Smith has joined them this year. Can't see any indication they will do anything to assist Pensioners or Seniors / Retirees - maybe they will come up with something in due course, but their main focus is to reduce Immigration (which I agree with).

    I still think it is necessary to vote all current seat-warmers last in preferences to get rid of them, whoever you want to vote for first, to get a message to Canberra that they are not working for us.
    AutumnOz
    5th Nov 2017
    8:18am
    I don't know if they have enough candidates to get any or many elected. I'm sure they are recruiting and vetting good people as the current dissatisfaction with all our state or federal politicians in office is an excellent opportunity for a new party to make a difference in voting practices of all Australians.
    Re Pensions - send them an email and ask them George, you will probably receive an answer which is more than happens with most of the other parties.
    Charlie
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:16am
    Everybody wants more, but what controls prices, if we all get more?
    Mind you there are some people who will always live in poverty, due to bad life management, but we could all do with a little extra cash like a usable amount that will buy a washing machine or pay a car registration.

    How about just a quiet little bonus in the pension, one that's not going to trigger a big rent rise and cost of living rise. I am not greedy.
    I want a new washing machine.
    I want the pensioner rail concession extended to air fares, for pensioners who live 1000 km from relatives and have to wear medical attachments to their body.
    Also I want a new timing belt on my car which is a routine but expensive service.

    Just a big Christmas pensioner bonus, not a lousy $6.00 that goes in the newspapers as "Pensioners get rise" that makes everyone else want a rise.
    AutumnOz
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:27am
    Charlie very good point about the control of prices.
    It seems to be that if the pension rises 0.01% then prices rise by 1%, then there will be a wage rise for one set of workers prices rise again by at least 5% and so it goes on until any extra money is eroded.
    We need a new fridge but that is in the too expensive basket as there is car insurance looming in the next few months and it goes up every year so has to be allowed for.
    Like you I am not greedy but I would like to be able to spend some money without thinking about what else is needed before I open my wallet.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:30am
    Big Christmas bonus? Christmas is the cheapest time of the year for me.

    Aren't airfares cheap enough. It was only last week they were advertising free return fares.

    Take the head off your motor and check the timing belt yourself.

    You don't need a washing machine. Just buy a plastic bucket for $10 and put some wool wash and your clothes in it and take it with you next time you go for a drive. Wring the clothes out and dry in the sun.

    Any rise in pensions or wages will cause a bigger rise in the cost of living.
    Rae
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:00pm
    OG like me you obviously existed off grid for a while and probably also know how to hunt, trap and forage.

    Most people don't nor should they have to.

    I also am concerned by pension and wage rises forcing up prices.

    My investment returns are dropping and I expect they'll fall further as tough times continue.

    I expect your advice will fall on deaf ears.

    My advice has always been to save 10% of all income first and manage on the 90%. That way there is a buffer to buy items that are needed.

    If I can't afford wants I simply didn't indulge in them.
    Nigh on 30 years without a recession will make the next one harsher and a bigger shock to those who never went through them in the past.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:54pm
    I agree Rae people have it too easy today. It is not going to be pretty when we do get a recession as most will not cope very well at all especially if they haven't got that 10% of their income saved.

    I get amused as most people today would die rather than kill anything. Caught a few fish while I was away recently so I still haven't lost that skill.
    Retired Knowall
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:52pm
    I'd like a discount on Petrol costs, subsidized lawn care, discount on groceries particularly fresh vegetables, free travel insurance if used in Australia and have the Supermarket waste bins open for pensioners late on Friday night.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    3:00pm
    What about 5% discount on groceries in NSW. Seniors NSW has teamed up with Woolies and offers a 5% discount.

    https://www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au/discounts/homepageoffers/woolworths-offer
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:29pm
    I don’t know about dying rather than killing, OG, I just don’t feel it’s necessary for me to kill animals so I can gnaw on its leg. I choose to be vegetarian, grow a lot of my own vegetables and herbs and am healthy.
    I’m realistic enough to know that others like meat and that’s their choice.
    AutumnOz
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:48pm
    Old Geezer, Woolworths is not offering 5% on most items just gift cards and other non necessities.
    Stop misleading people OG it is not smart and shows you are merely saying things to annoy others.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:54pm
    Now I know gift card are no longer money and know why over 50% never get redeemed. No wonder stores love them!

    However those $100 gift cards can be bought for $95 and still buy $100 worth of groceries. I regularly get given them and that's how they work for me.
    Charlie
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:42pm
    Old geezer you are advising me to do things you have never done yourself.
    1. Its no saving to fly tiger air discount from Townsville to Melbourne, if I want to go to Brisbane.
    2. You dont need to take the head off the engine to change a timing belt. You need to buy the timing belt, tensioner, new bolts, new water pump and seal. New cooling system antifreeze. You are now up to about $500 to $600.
    To get access to the belt you need to put the car on jacks, take off the top and bottom engine mounts, sump guard, mudguard lining, drain coolant and jack up the engine.
    The top dead centre timing pin lock is under a cap that requires and unusual female torx socket. Engine parts need to be removed to get access to it.
    You then need to know where to put the other two timing lock pins and how to remove and replace the the lower pulley that must be done up to a specific torque.
    Even If I knew how to do all this work on my renault kangoo diesel I would need $1000 worth of tools and would have to work from an upstairs flat to a carport.
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    2:18pm
    Didn't Jetstar has free return trips for sale last week so my guess is OG was talking about them.

    Many modern cars today has maintenance schedules that are worked out so the mechanics can get a lot more work than is really necessary. Better to be super safe etc idea. OG said to check your timing belt for wear to see if it really needs replacing. I know of one car that did 380,000 plus on original timing belt. Also if you talk to mechanics some will tell you your water pump will fail well before your timing belt. Others will tell you that you should do everything on schedule for the simple reason it's more work for them. I leave all that car stuff up to my Toy boy to sort out for me.
    Florgan
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:48am
    Excellent
    Let's hope this happens and for age pensions as well
    SuziJ
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:50am
    No one needs to live in poverty, which is what we on any full pension is living on. It's not only the Age pension, it's all pensioners! We all deserve a payment that is at least 75% of the weekly 'living wage'. It's still going to be a struggle to keep up with the exorbitant hikes in basics such as electricity & gas, rents & fuel.

    This 75% would be at least $553.50 per week, or $1107 per fortnight before any supplements, or rent assistance is paid.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:48pm
    Agree no one needs to live in poverty and the simple way is live within your means even on welfare. People today want everything even though they can't afford it.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:19pm
    I agree, OG. Poor people shouldn't want treatment to prevent blindness or their teeth fixed, much less medicines to relieve pain or ease a cough. Heaven forbid they should want to spend money on train or bus fares or petrol to visit their grandchildren, much less to go to the aid of an adult child in distress. Definitely shouldn't spend to visit aged parents in old age homes or living alone in their 90s, with nobody to check if they might have fallen and be unable to get up or if they might be struggling with a broken appliance or leaking pipes. And these people with food allergies or illnesses that make them food sensitive! Just imagine wanting food that doesn't make you sick! Disgraceful!

    Oh, and I didn't mention electricity or gas, did I. Now, we should all be gathering firewood and building campfires to cook on and warm ourselves, or installing wood-fired stoves. Fancy wanting the convenience of electric or gas cookers and hot water systems in today's world! (Never mind that in many places wood fires are illegal! That's just by the by.) Of course air conditioning and electric fans are a luxury everyone can do without. Just suffer the heat. My partner has disability that means the body can't adjust to temperature changes. Gets very ill if overheated or exposed to cold, but it would be outrageous to suggest spending on heating or cooling is necessary. And of course no pensioner should expect to be able to engage in any kind of hobby or pleasure activity that might cost a few pennies. If you need welfare, you aren't entitled to a life - only a miserable basic existence.

    This is a prosperous nation. Corporate profits are running at absurd heights. Executives and Directors, senior bureaucrats and politicians, etc. are being paid mind-boggling salaries. If only the stinking government would start taxing those who can well afford to pay, we could comfortably afford to deliver a respectable standard of living for all.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:51pm
    Most food allergies are for foods one shouldn't eat anyway so that's not a problem.

    I have a wood fire for the winter and an air conditioner but hardly use either of them. Last summer I turned the air conditioner on to test it but never used it. Wood fire got put on a couple of times last winter but I generate more wood than I need around my yard. Did you know that heating and cooling can be like a drug and one can get addicted to them?

    Want a hobby then grow some vegetables not some of those useless things people do instead.

    By the way we have a dental scheme that fixed the teeth of people on welfare so no problem there either. Medications are very well subsidised with a allowance given as well. So no problem there either.

    What more do those on welfare need? Money to buy presents no one needs but makes the rich richer?
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:30pm
    You are sick, OG. Dental care for people on welfare - sure, if you are happy to be massacred by an incompetent after suffering agonizing pain for weeks while waiting for an appointment. SOME medications are subsidized. My partner needs one that isn't, at $80 a week. But of course you would know that it isn't really needed and that anyone who believes the doctor's advice to take it is a fool, because you know EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING. (Living on that cloud, you would see all, I assume!)

    Addicted to heating and cooling? Yeah. Rave on idiot! If you live where temperatures are well below freezing, you need heat. If you live where the temperature is regularly well over 40 degrees C, you need cooling. And there's not a lot you can do to contain the cost - ESPECIALLY if you rent and can't have solar and if wood fires are banned in your area (as they are in many areas)

    As for food allergies - yeah, of course - bread and flour and eggs are all bad for you! Citrus fruits and tomatoes are really bad!
    OG, you are one very sick individual.

    What do people on welfare need? A decent living income, and guaranteed fair increases at regular intervals. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    AutumnOz
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:54pm
    Rainey,
    don't let OG get to you he/she just likes stirring people up and making trouble to amuse him or herself.
    It is very sad he/she has no other form of entertainment in his/her life.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:02pm
    Bread and flour are probably the worst foods one can eat. Tomatoes are part of the deadly nightshade family too. Eggs are good for you but increase the cholesterol produced by your brain and some uninformed doctors think they are thus bad for you. Also cook the skins on citrus if you wish to eat them too.

    People on welfare have a decent living for the basics of life. Only greedy people would want more for nothing.

    OK some bored people like to help out while they collect their welfare cheques but all that does is put others out of real jobs.

    Lots of entertainment in my life as this what I do instead of sleeping. Sleep is overrated and all one does by sleeping is throw away a big chunk of their life.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:23pm
    You are sick, OG. I feel sorry for people who lack basic human decency and respect for others. Seems nearly everyone here agrees with me that your posts are nonsensical and nasty. I'm sure I don't know why you persist, but I guess twisted brains get perverse satisfaction from putting other people down all the time.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:51pm
    Never mind - OG - like heemie - is part of the furniture here and has as much real knowledge and intellect - best to be ignored unless desired to be sat upon.
    Rosret
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:05pm
    The question you need to ask is, "Who is going to pay for it?"
    Now I have retired have see so many people on perpetual holidays and complain about not having a health care card.
    I see pensioners who have contributed nothing to the Australian government purse getting nails painted, lawns mowed and their dog groom and then cry poor.
    I acknowledge - I could not live on the pension in my current house etc etc. I acknowledge that misfortune sometimes happens, I acknowledge there are not enough jobs to go around. However, I watch my pennies, mow my own lawn, groom my own dog etc because I don't want to live in poverty and that attitude started back at school when the value of studying was unequivocally the way forward.
    I am watching the building and construction workers all around me - they don't speak my language - but they are certainly working very hard.
    I believe we need to start educating our long term Australians that the way forward has changed and the wonderful 1970s "The lucky country" era is only lucky if the government benefits are insurance rather than expectation and we need to prepare in our youth for your own future.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:37pm
    You have hit the nail on the head Rosret good to know that someone on this sight has a responsible attitude.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:03pm
    Methinks on this occasion the lady doth protest too much .... perhaps it is that those you see copping all those goodies are like the little old ladies who hit the pokies for $5 a shot - they copped their old man's portion plus super plus pension plus residual cash from flogging off the family home that went up in price.

    I doubt very many of those described are REAL pensioners.

    Preparing for your retirement in your youth is all well and good - now find jobs for everyone that will allow them to put away 9.5% every week in a fund - while you're at it chop the fees for those funds that are setting up their managers so handsomely for life - and unlike this despairing and desperate government - allow the superannuation cycle to run a full life span of fifty years before you start to panic over pensions being a huge 'burden' on the economy.

    Better still - put all the retirement packaging for all in the one-stop shop I've advocated many times - as far from the grasping hands of politicians as possible, and with all under the same conditions and rates. i.e. your pollie on $200k gets to put 9.5% in and gets it at retirement age.... no more double and triple and quadruple dipping for that lot and their kind.

    Packa Bastards...
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:20pm
    Unfortunately, Trebor, you can never get away from politicians grasping hands. Think of the money for a pension many now pensioners paid into all their working lives only to have it diverted into government coffers. And people who saved up as well were deemed too wealthy to be allowed a either a pension or the money they paid over the years.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:54pm
    Right there, Triss - they'd want their tons of flesh one way or another...

    All that you say is true. Some can't even get the health care card and pay full price for medications etc.... nasty...and not because they get to enjoy thousands a week, but because they have 'too many assets', most of which do not return cash.

    3rd Nov 2017
    12:07pm
    Is there anyone on this sight that is not whinging pensioners get far too much as it is, the Government can't afford an increase if it keeps going at this rate pensioners will eventually be on food stamps or a similar type of thing.

    Why don"t you lot appreciate what you get for nothing.
    Grateful
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:57pm
    Get for nothing!!!!!! Whinging pensioners!!! Get too much as it is!!
    Who the hell are you?
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:58pm
    It wouldn't matter how much most got it would never be enough! Heaven forbid if they had to do something for it.
    Grateful
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:05pm
    How dangerous it is to generalize and damn the majority because of those few. And you paint that nasty picture on "most" of them. How pathetic!!!
    There are "pensioners" and there are "pensioners". Try convincing an elderly widow or widower who doesn't own their home that they are getting paid too much and having done "nothing" for it. Shame!!!
    And I suppose that all of those who live in their $800K homes say that they earned it!!! Thank your lucky stars and grossly subsidized property investors, NOT "your hard work and sacrifices"! LUCK!!
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:06pm
    There are no whinging pensioners - they all have every right to make their points.

    Thanks for coming - the door is over there.....

    You should know, OG - you always claim to have the bees by the knees.... yet all we ever hear is envy for those who, if you are truthful, have less.

    Politics of envy writ large - oooooh - somebody looks like they might be getting something I'm not... I suppose Thatcher thought that was a very witty one-line - trouble is it works more than one way.....
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    3:03pm
    Ah TREBOR still on your high horse about pensioners rights in my opinion they have no rights they t contribute nothing to the country and in most cases never have.

    I see from your comments you have a sore back so have not worked since 1997 you are the type I am talking about. What contribution have you made I am thinking Jack shit?
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:42pm
    Actually, Roby, you're wrong about pensioners not contributing to this country. The University of Adelaide did an in depth survey on the number of unpaid, voluntary hours older people [65 - 74 years] put in. The survey worked out that they save the country around $16 billion per year.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:45pm
    Wow, you are the master of nasty assumptions, Roby. I'll bet many like Trebor have contributed far more to this nation than you have. Probably more than you would in five lifetimes. Nobody who genuinely contributed to the nation would ever say the things you say. They come only from the mouths of selfish, self-serving leeches who have no appreciation of the contributions of others.

    Bad back? I have one too. Got it from working in a dangerous job - supplying electricity to keep hospitals and businesses running and ensure rich morons had all their creature comforts. Worked for less than I would have received on benefits, and got a bad back and other crippling disabilities as thanks. I'd love to be able to cut the supply of power nationwide for a week and see if you still think the people who sacrificed their health to keep it on ''contributed nothing''!

    Trebor is a carer. Carers contribute hugely to the community, working 24/7 in conditions most wouldn't consider tolerating, for an income of a miserable few dollars per hour. They save the nation a fortune.

    I know aged pensioners who saved hundreds of homes from destruction by fire, rescued people from flood waters, rebuilt and repaired homes for no payment for people who suffered loss in natural disasters, risked their lives pursuing criminals and protecting the homes of rich pigs from burglars. I know pensioners who fought to defend this country so rich pigs could continue to prosper under the capitalist system that starves the poor to give handouts to the rich. I know pensioners who work 40+ hours per week for charities or in community service.

    How dare you claim pensioners have no rights because they ''contribute nothing to the country and in most cases never have''. You are a disgusting individual, Roby. You deserve to rot in hell.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    7:58am
    Your nothing but an inbred Rainy why don't you take your welfare bludging family overseas and piss off we don't need low life scum like you in this country.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:49am
    I think readers will judge which of us is low life scum, Roby. But just to set you straight AGAIN (because you seem to be lacking the ability to comprehend) neither I nor any of my family are on welfare. I am well over retirement age and still working. My children are professionals, earning healthy incomes and paying a lot of tax. And even my dear departed mother, who did live on a pension for many years, worked her guts out for charity. She was not a ''welfare bludger''. She earned every cent she was paid.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:56pm
    My horse doesn't even need to be there - my views stand on bedrock..... and I've done far more than you could ever imagine..... but you have no right to know what, when, where, and how and I have no need to justify myself.....
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    2:58pm
    However - if you continue to hurl insults around I'm sure someone here will show you the door...... Roby....
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:21pm
    I hope your kids don't have investment properties the Rainey as if they do under your scenario they are exploiting the taxpayer. I doubt that you would pay any more tax than you are obliged to as well.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:37pm
    What 'scenario' are you talking about, OG? The one that requires everyone to pay their fair share and recognizes that in a civilized society everyone is entitled to a decent standard of living, and those who are responsible and work hard and save should benefit most from their endeavours? That's my scenario. Property investors are welcome to their FAIR profits, like everyone else. But manipulating to drive house prices up by punishing the aged for downsizing or moderating their housing needs is NOT fair, and if property investors suffer through the elimination of that unfairness, so be it.
    Old Geezer
    7th Nov 2017
    6:23pm
    So your children own rental properties and are therefore what you call welfare Rainey. By simply owning a rental property one is manipulating to drive up property prices.
    musicveg
    7th Nov 2017
    6:28pm
    Someone has to own rental properties, we all cannot afford to buy a house, or get public housing. What is driving up property prices is the demand, foreign investors, population growth and greed to own, renovate and profit from as many as you can buy. I am watching so many rentals get bought, renovated and sold, so there is less and less rentals available.
    Anonymous
    9th Nov 2017
    8:02am
    I guess OG thinks anyone who can't afford to buy a house should live in a tent? He is the master of egotistical, arrogant, cruel comments that make no sense at all! You are right, musicveg. Foreign ownership is driving up property prices. Merely owning an investment property does not make you guilty of manipulating to drive up prices.
    Old Geezer
    9th Nov 2017
    9:24am
    Any one who buys property that they don't live in is driving up property prices that includes investment properties, beach houses or property speculation. We can only sleep in one bed at a time too so if you have spare bedrooms you are also driving up the price of properties as you are living in a property that is too big for your needs.
    grego
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:13pm
    Due to the fact of rents in Australia i am living overseas,not that i am happy about it but on the old age pension one does not really have a choice.in thailand i pay around $100 a week which includes rent,water,electricity,internet,for a comfortable 3 bed room house you can get cheaper if you shop around,the city where i live is full of Aussies,Poms ,and a lot of europeans all here for the same reason being the cost of living although we miss our families,and beetroot,cheers
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    12:53pm
    Yes rego that bloody Income and Prices Accord only cut back income here. The prices part was ignored completely. The cost of everything essential here is way out of whack with median wages much less welfare payments.
    Jilly B
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:29pm
    I reply to Rosret: I agree with your point of view. Everytime I wait at the counter at the supermarket just about every person beside me is buying cigarettes. Yesterday a woman had to buy another brand as she only had $28 in her purse. The amount of alcohol and cigarettes some people buy each week would keep the household in most items for the week. So if you can pay your bills and still smoke or whatever go ahead and do it but if NOT prioritise the necessary and pay everything you can on time and not incur the extra charges. It has worked for me. As for the person who stated they could not find a job at 54 after a lot of set backs! I would like to encourage her to try as I graduated with a degree at this age and have a HECS bills to pay back but I have never been out of work since and I am still working today at age 67.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:08pm
    How do you KNOW what their sources of income are? This is like the centrelink dobbers association - how do they KNOW where the other person is getting their money?

    Good luck to you.... for one who doesn't fall through the employment cracks, there are plenty who do.

    Now learn some humility....
    KSS
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:59pm
    And you Trebor learn to respect others have different view to you and have the right to express it without you or anyone else being so rude.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:23pm
    What's rude about telling someone to learn a little humility - for the good ones a really difficult time in life teaches them that.... only the lesser kinds snob at others who haven't had the same run.
    Grateful
    3rd Nov 2017
    12:51pm
    Don't forget that Abbot changed the rules for pension increases to the CPI!!!

    3rd Nov 2017
    12:51pm
    Again we have an unbalanced article giving one side only. It's high on generalities and low on proof. Not all businesses increased profits by 40% and not all full-time workers cannot afford to feed and clothe a family. If a business is successful, it usually means that more people are employed so, surely, we should all be hoping that businesses do make a large profit. There have always been and always will be a percentage of people who will be in financial trouble.
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    12:48pm
    That depends on the business and it's home base. If that profit is drained out of our pockets and into foreign bank accounts it isn't good especially as most pay little or no taxes here.

    We badly need an international transfer tax to catch some of the billions of dollars being drained away by foreigners.

    International trade was good but globalisation is failing countries with stupid or corrupt decision makers.

    Automation and off shoring of employment is making the wealth transfer from us to them greater.

    China will end up owning Australia if we aren't very careful.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    1:46pm
    Yes - the aged pension should bear some relationship to the input of the second Greatest Generation to this country - something you can see on all sides with the paved highways, houses of learning, living standards, healthcare standards and everything else pretty much.

    What happened to the prosperity generated by the Second Greatest Generation?

    It was hijacked by big business and now the global economy with the aid and assistance of governments here, whose antics have created runaway REAL inflation, and thus lower REAL standards of living and of REAL opportunity for the many.

    None of this has been helped- only made worse - by the successive waves of social scientist driven 'equalisation' programs.... which have 'equalised' nobody, but have created massive divides within this nation.
    MD
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:12pm
    A few good comments, particularly those by Rae, Rosret and Old Man. Thanks for bringing some balance to the subject.
    Most folk are more than aware of increasing numbers to those struggling and some themselves may recently have added to that number.
    Just to recap a couple of the earlier comments regards the why's and wherefores - of some categorized as "poor" - can often be as a result of their own weaknesses, stupidity, lack of control and/or misguided expectations. Most would agree that the slippery slope slide into poverty is generally a gradual process and although it can happen unexpectedly as a result of sickness/accident or the like, is it not a condition to which most folk would ever give much consideration - we should because hardship, struggles, and ever increasing societal expectations are going to become burdensome for a lot of people currently attuned to our casual laissez-faire attitude.
    Far too many folk may already consider themselves to be 'hard done by', others might feel justified in thinking themselves entitled to yet more from the public purse and few indeed are those happy with their little lot that life has meted out to them.
    CREDIT - more specifically credit cards, can be a convenience to some consumers and a curse to the ever increasing number of battlers. Australia's credit card debt ranks in the worldwide top four.
    Poverty will entrap the unwary and 'All this is passing before our very eyes, but there are none so blind as those who will not see'. Unless we stop this persistently mindless gimme, gimme, gimme attitude - always justified against someone else having/getting more, then we can expect to see the reintroduction of the former 'soup kitchens' that were integral to the depression. All the current lot of 'bleedin hearts' ain't seen nothin yet but when the time comes to take their place in the soup kitchen line - then we'll hear the bleeting.

    I'll see y'all there, hoping it will be Dutch Curry n Rice.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:49pm
    Nothing nicer than a whole chicken steamed in a big pot with a packet of Dutch Curry and Rice soup added for flavour.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:52pm
    I agree with your comments, MD, but in a nation in which salaries of executives, directors, senior bureaucrats, politicians, etc. are thoroughly obscene and corporate profits are 40% plus, and taxes are lower than at most times in history, we shouldn't even have to contemplate the possibility of soup kitchens. We should recognize that expectations of a decent living income for all are more than reasonable, and eliminating hardship should be the priority - NOT REDUCING TAXES.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:00pm
    I like DC & R, too... but don't eat chicken...

    Me old man, a bushie from way back, had pigs and chooks when I were a young fella and I don't eat them any more... might have to go veg...
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:59pm
    That's goods as I have been given a freezer full of chicken so no sense in inviting you to help me eat it.

    3rd Nov 2017
    2:18pm
    The pension is a living wage
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:46pm
    Nope the pension is welfare to pay for the basics of life for those who have o other means of support.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:33pm
    Wrong, both of you. The aged pension is a moral right promised to all of us in return for decades of contributing to the growth of this nation, and because in decent societies we respect and care for our elders. It SHOULD be a living wage - and it SHOULD be immediately substantially increased.
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:59pm
    Wrong, OG. According to the Human Rights Commission "older Australians have the right to claim income support as they age". It is a right not a handout. However, OG, you are entitled to your opinion, that is your right and, if denigrating others makes you feel better about yourself, I'm sure we will all try to understand.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:26pm
    What I meant is that he age pension is more than adequate to live on
    So why are we talking about a living wage equivalency when pensioners get just that if not more
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:49pm
    Agree people are entitled to welfare OAP if they have no other means of support.
    Rosret
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:27pm
    Agreed Old Geezer. - and the pension does equate to poverty that's why every young wage earner should keep that in mind now and not when they 60 or 70.
    The less people on the pension the more the government can support those who have befallen misfortune.
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:05pm
    The fewer people on the pension, Rosret, the more government can raise pollies’ salaries and pay retired pollies their pension and perks. As many retired MPs accessed their pensions in their thirties and forties I tend to think age pensioners are more entitled to pensions.
    JAID
    3rd Nov 2017
    11:10pm
    While old enough, If I ever get the OAP (and i rather hope to live long enough to need it) it is damn sure that no matter how the Human Rights Commission pontificates I will not regard it as a right but a wonderful gift.

    This is what government does, as valuable as it is that organisation can level out some of the ups and downs in system and delivery, it takes away the pleasure (and responsibilty) of giving and of receiving. Every cent that the state provides is time someone has given no matter the mandate.
    moke
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:19pm
    Goodness me another bitch session, if everyone was paid equally for the work they did and what they had done before retirement, we would be well adjusted, that would mean cut the POLLIES Lurkes and Perks give them a pay equal to their work ability and there would be enough for all.
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:01pm
    Heavens, Moke, If that happened to pollies I reckon most of them would be queuing at the soup kitchen.
    jamesmn
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:40pm
    the whole system needs to be addressed NOW. turnball and his crony mates are dragging this country down. he could not lie straight in bed.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:26pm
    Couldn't lie straight in a coffin.....
    terrib
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:52pm
    There is absolutely no doubt that we pensioners need the rise as well. I have always said we are living in poverty & most times our families help out. Which is good if you don't have families who are also struggling. Bring us all into line & let us live without undue stress.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    2:57pm
    There are way too many now on the OAP and they are living way too long for a system that was designed for a small percentage of them in an age when most people lived only a few years after they retired.

    That's why the OAP age needs to be atleast 70 and increasing as the age people live increases.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:21pm
    And raising the OAP age will INCREASE the cost of welfare overall. The real ticking bomb is health care costs - particularly aged care. You raise the OAP age, you have higher unemployment, more people draining savings before they qualify for the OAP, more people struggling to keep working despite ill-health, more mental illness and depression due to hardship... on and on it goes. All resulting in more people needing more expensive health and aged care and fewer people having the savings to pay for it. Add to that the assets test creating a strong disincentive to save, and the aged care means test system adding to that disincentive, and that ticking time bomb is getting closer to blowing by the minute.

    But this government and it's rich supporters are notorious for short-sighted policies. I am sometimes not sure whether it's incompetence or deliberate pandying to the greed of its wealthy supporters. Either way, the notion of forcing people to work longer is an idiotic one.

    No, OG. There are NOT too many OAPs living far too long. We have a government that refuses to impose proper taxation. The number of people on aged pensions is what it is. The society must support the aged, unless we want to go down in history as an inhuman and indecent society that behaves worse than animals!

    We've known for a long time that the number of aged pensioners would grow. But actually, the growth hasn't been too worrying if you look at the true figures. The cost of superannuation tax concessions for the rich has grown to far dizzier heights - and that's a cost we could eliminate tomorrow, with mega-billion dollar savings. The cost of corporate tax avoidance is another massive cost we can eliminate.

    We can only reduce the cost of the OAP by increasing poverty and neglect of our senior citizens. You would have to be a monster to support prioritizing that over increasing tax revenue. But clearly we currently have a lot of monsters in parliament (and at least one on this forum!)
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:25pm
    Agree we need a new OAP model that gives the same over a lot more years then.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    1:31pm
    You write such garbage, OG. Obviously you can't think straight. Too obsessed with greed, envy and selfishness.
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    12:41pm
    Rainey I saw the latest figures on the quarterly spend yesterday. It does appear those retirees slammed in the 2015 budget are spending down savings on overseas travel as you predicted.

    It is going to bite this government hard as they hit the level they can access the OAP and concession card.

    It is a rational decision to gain the security missing from most self funded income production.

    If/when the markets correct it will totally screw up the budget.
    Old Geezer
    10th Nov 2017
    3:11pm
    Looks like they are not for going their daily hit of caffeine too as coffee shops are not doing as well as they were.

    Also by the bargains I am currently being offered to go cruising I doubt if too many are going on expensive cruises either.

    Depending on when the market corrects it could take up to six months for Centrelink to adjust assets too as they only adjust them twice a year.
    Anonymous
    12th Nov 2017
    9:07am
    Yes Rae, the figures show exactly what I predicted is coming to pass. And it will bite! But I think, sadly, our policy makers are too dumb and arrogant to understand the consequences of their stupid quick-fix band-aid ''solutions'', much less to come up with fresher, more innovative ideas. I said it when they proposed the assets test change. Only an incompetent idiot says ''Oh, let's just reverse something done in the past'' with no consideration of why it was done and the effects of reversing it in the current economic environment. Sometimes, I despair for the future of our society given the obvious stupidity of so many and their complete inability to rationalize and consider long term consequences of policy, much less to think outside their own comfy little square and consider the realities of life for folk who have lived in very different circumstances to theirs.
    tj
    3rd Nov 2017
    3:26pm
    After reading mostly negative complaints on this site i wonder why all the boat people risked their lives when Rudd removed our border security to come here if it was such a terrible place to live?
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:27pm
    It's still better than 'back home'....
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:15pm
    I might row out to sea and come in on a boat so I can claim all the goodies these boat people are handed! If only aged pensioners and carers were treated as well!
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    8:02pm
    Good luck with that as that sea can be very unpredictable.
    floss
    3rd Nov 2017
    3:51pm
    Yes Rae we are in the same boat the cost of living has gone through the roof in the last two years for some reason. We own our home so are better off than most , I feel for some people that don't.The gap between the have and the have not's is now so great it will never close.O.G you are so full of it by the way.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:14pm
    Gee you must of upped your lifestyle as my cost of living hasn't changed in last couple of years. Some things have gone up but others have come down too. My power has come down as I now use it more efficiently and I negotiated free calls with my NBN that costs some as it did over 2 years ago. Fuel costs about the same and I spend same amount on groceries too.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:30pm
    Yes, OG, but you live in this strange land called UTOPIA, where everything is perfect. Investment returns there are 15%, self-funded retirees are all rich, and if anyone has health problems it's 100% their fault and they deserve to die. Oh and people born disabled should be put to death on confirmation of diagnosis too, because that's ''kinder'' - isn't that what you said?

    Go back to your cloud, OG. floss and Rae and others are discussing the REAL WORLD, using REAL DATA and REAL EXPERIENCES most of us can relate to. And unlike you, they are not intent on insulting and denigrating everyone who doesn't endorse your political views.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:38pm
    Rainey my world is very real and I do the shopping and pay all the bills so I know what things cost. My returns as I have said before are not 15% but I do know others have been getting 15% or better. I am classified as chronically ill so I know about health problems but I also find it has a lot to do with one's attitude how one copes with such problems.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:10pm
    I discussed this 15% claim with my financial adviser today and he gave me documents from one of the leading wealth management firms in Australia - one that provides services to managers of the most profitable superannuation funds in the nation. The document presented a table that showed how returns at various risk levels vary over time periods, and the impact of recessions on long-term investment proceeds. It evidenced precisely where the government's 5% figure comes from. It's proved accurate over the MEDIUM TO LONG TERM. 15% may be achieved in some years, but that means nothing. Funds that achieve that level of return usually do so at risk levels that mean higher loss in down times. Statistically, members of funds that achieved high returns in given years took 48+ months longer to recover from the last recession and their average returns from the start of the recession to now have nowhere near matched those of many funds that never achieved double-digit annual return.

    Retirement income has to be measured over the full term of someone's retirement. As my adviser explained, a nice return in a given year is nice, but consistent moderate returns are generally far better. And over the full term of retirement, 7% is a very healthy return and 5% is a much more realistic average for the government to use to compare self-funded retiree income with pension rates. WHICH IS PRECISELY WHY THEY USE 5%.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:35pm
    Not another one of those accountants with low figures they show their clients so that their client's think they are doing a good job with their money. That old trick has been around for decades now.

    The people who now do my super return told me that the funds they do the accounting etc for averaged about 15% pa with some doing even better. I'd be very disappointed with 7% let alone 5% as it would not be worthwhile me managing the fund myself.

    Unfortunately there are many layers within super where many people get a cut with the person owing the super getting what's left.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:14pm
    No, OG. An HONEST firm researching and providing REAL data to financial advisers, NOT someone obsessed with making BS claims and trying to prove an invalid point because his whole focus is to justify depriving others.
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    10:50am
    I don't agree with OG on everything he says but it is well known that finanncial advisors use data to make themselves look good foor their mediocre at best returns. If you think about it what have they to gain by showing their clients anything else? It wouldn't be a good look to show tneir clients investment returns that were better than they were achieving for their clients.

    There is one investment that returns 21% in interest and many advisors are using it for their clients. What they are not telling them is that the capital value is eroding by a similar amount. If only people would look at charts of the investments they hold.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:41pm
    Anyone who claims SUSTAINABLE LONG TERM 15% returns - or even just double digit returns - are easy to achieve or common in today's market is a LIAR. Plain and simple. Short term returns are irrelevant. Retirees need long term income security - not a flash in the pan and then a loss.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    11:31am
    Financial advisors love people like you Rainey as it makes their job so easy. Banks love people like you too as they get cheap money to use to make big profits. I'm yet to meet a financial advisor who actually knows what they are really talking about and really understands investing. It's one thing to know how to do something but a completely different thing to actually do it. Theory is great but practice soon sorts out the boys from the men.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    2:01pm
    So you are saying that the government should measure the value of assets in retirement by considering the percentage return a tiny handful of apparently much more educators investors achieve, and if that leaves 80% of the population out in the cold, STUFF THEM!

    Bonny, we are talking about averages. And the AVERAGE return, over time, in today's market, is 5%. 7% is good. Anything in double-digits is outstanding and probably comes with high risk.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    4:16pm
    I certainly wouldn't be happy earning 7% average return let alone 5% on my investments especially in the current market.
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2017
    8:35am
    Neither are most people, Bonny. We would all like to achieve higher returns. But the majority can't do any better, because those ARE the average rates of return. It seems you are so selfish and arrogant that you want to punish anyone who isn't able to enjoy the high returns you claim to be receiving. You brand them ''stupid'' and dictate that they should be hurting as a consequence. What a NASTY attitude that is!
    LiveItUp
    6th Nov 2017
    10:23pm
    Rainey has anybody told you the use of the word "can't" is very self limiting. The word you should use is won't.

    If i have an issue with anything and need it fixed I don't accept the word "can't" and tell them the word is won't instead. I pick them up every time they use it. I find I then get quickly transferred to someone who can help me.

    The riskiest investments are those than are called safe but rearly make a return after tax and inflation. Remember 10c will not buy a loaf of bread today but I can remember when it did. Give my the average stockmarket return of 10% any day so I can keep up with the price of bread.
    Anonymous
    7th Nov 2017
    1:08pm
    Oh, that makes it okay to persecute people, then, Bonny. Because the majority are not in any viable position to achieve high investment returns, that makes it okay to stamp on them and grind them into dust. You are vile and disgusting!

    It's nothing to do with ''self-limiting'' words. It's about the environment in which we live and the opportunities accessible to us. Financial education that allows people to achieve high investment returns in a low-return climate IS NOT AVAILABLE to the average person. The poorly educated who worked hard all their lives and saved as best they could are now being tormented and punished because they can't attain double-digit returns despite a difficult economic climate, and YOU think that's perfectly acceptable, because YOU are doing okay. That's called SELFISH, Bonny. And there's nothing even remotely tolerable about SELFISH people. They are a disgrace, and they are destroying our society.

    3rd Nov 2017
    4:10pm
    Increase ALL pensions, not just the Age Pension. Pensioners live below the poverty line.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:16pm
    The poverty line is for the very basics of life and the OAP is more than enough to pay for these with ample left over for the smokes, grog and pokies.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:26pm
    Spoken by a true aristocrat, OG. Let them eat cake! As long as the well off are partying, stuff the battlers!

    Yes Dr Polymath - ALL pensions need to be increased substantially, and the incomes of self-funded retirees need monitoring to ensure they are well above the level of pension + benefits and those who saved can use their savings for the purpose they were intended, and not to merely cover living costs that the pension would cover if there were no savings.

    Can we afford such luxury! Absolutely! All we need to do is implement a sensible taxation system that recognizes that the overall well-being of the population and general social health is far more important than further lining the coffers of people who already have many times more than they can ever spend in 6 lifetimes.

    People in Scandinavian countries, with high tax rates and excellent social services, are the happiest people in the world. Security - the knowledge that you will always be able to live in reasonable comfort, have good health care, and ensure your kids have access to excellent educational opportunities is far more important than saving tax dollars.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:29pm
    No wonder no one wants to live in the Scandinavian countries.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:54pm
    Million live there, and love it! I've never come across a single Scandinavian who doesn't rave about how good life is there and wonder why we don't take a lesson from them.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:55pm
    Oh but I forgot, OG. You ARE THE GREEDY RICH. Obsessive about ensuring you pay minimal tax and happy for half the world to wallow in poverty as long as you aren't deprived of even .0001% of your gold.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:04pm
    Yes I do pay tax to support those on welfare who without taxpayers would be in dire straights.
    TREBOR
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:28pm
    I won't bother to set you straight on taxpayers again, OG - you never learn.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    10:23am
    Old Geezer: "No wonder no one wants to live in the Scandinavian countries."

    That's because they're infested by Muslims nowadays.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:03pm
    Aristocrat? OG has none of the characteristics of a true aristocrat.... I on the other hand am descended from Kings and Queens... and a true aristocrat looks after his people...

    OG sounds more like a hillbilly to me.....
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:57pm
    Your right Trebour no blue blood her. No idea who I descended from by they must have been good stock.
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2017
    8:41am
    Whoever they were, they weren't quite human and they passed down an incapacity to behave with human decency and dignity.
    JAID
    3rd Nov 2017
    4:56pm
    I don't know what level the pension should be set at but cannot see much alternative for whatever it is that it rise with wage rises. The point in providing pensions that will automatically slide against the cost of living (which follows wage rises) totally eludes me.
    floss
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:17pm
    I have met some Wankers in my time but you are the biggest O.G.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:37pm
    Please do yourself a favour and looks up wanker. Yes I get a lot of pleasure out of being a wanker like most normal people do.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    5:48pm
    Yes, you would be a wanker - in love with yourself and spending most of your time massaging your privates and telling yourself how wonderful you are. Destroys brain cells, playing with your penis too much. Probably accounts for your dumb comments.

    I can think of better words to describe you, OG, but I'm too polite to print them here.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:02pm
    Ha ha Rainey do I sense a degree of dissatisfaction with your lot?
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:11pm
    No, OG. I am very happy with my lot. I have a great life, thank you. But I care about others. And I despise people who are totally selfish and self-obsessed.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:04pm
    Up the road a piece is a village named Darawank - part of that Aboriginal heritage we Whities have stomped on and stamped out - lots of those names around here - and I've often wondered what the local bowls or whatever team call themselves.....

    **pondering emoticon required**
    Not a Bludger
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:34pm
    O Lordy me - can’t we have some common sense in the comments on topics like this.

    Can’t you SOB’s refrain from personal attacks on each other.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:05pm
    Just the usual guns muttering along the Western Front.....
    tams
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:38pm
    Currently, the Age Pension is $880.30 per fortnight for singles and $669.60 each for couples

    With all the Government bashing and other negative comments, nobody noticed the pension rates as stated are incorrect - should read $894.40 for singles and $674.20 each for couples

    3rd Nov 2017
    6:56pm
    That is a lot of money to live on especially when you consider no work expenses - less spent on transport , clothes, eating out , socializing after work etc etc

    I did some rough sums and really a couple can easily live comforrably on $25 k excluding rent - leaving $10k for living it up
    If that isn’t better than a living wage I don’t know what is
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:57pm
    Add to that the majority of pensioners who also have money in super and other investments - these people are having a great retirement
    Rosret
    3rd Nov 2017
    7:32pm
    Raphael I think you will find it is easier for couples than singles. Utility costs - electricity, gas, rates,car costs, internet,phone etc are unavoidable and continually increasing.
    It is the unexpected costs that are the biggest hit - dentistry, white good replacement, house repairs, car replacement.
    They do live very poorly.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    8:17pm
    The average pensioner bludger spend there time travelling the world on the taxpayer these pensioner are complete scum .
    Old Geezer
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:07pm
    Agree Roby. You only have too see how popular cruise ship are with the majority on board being on welfare. Boy don't they whinge about paying for anything too. For goodness sake don't sit in their chair they made theirs as soon as they got on board. Lost count of the number of towels I have throw in the dirty towel basket that were used to save deck chairs as well. Some of them think they own the ******** ship.
    Triss
    3rd Nov 2017
    9:13pm
    Roby, I accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion but your comments are not rational.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:02pm
    And then there are all the concessions - medical , transport, rates .....

    You don’t have to spend all the spare $10-20k every year . Use it to replace appliances , furniture or car instead of going on holiday

    Many actually gift the surplus to family so that they Can continue ro maximize pension or keep getting the part pension
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:09pm
    Dream on, fools! OG and Roby seem to take delight in making absurd and nonsense claims that suggest taxpayers are slugged unfairly so that pensioners can live in luxury. What utter garbage! I couldn't find a single person on either of two recent cruises who qualified for any kind of pension or part pension, or even who expected to qualify in the near future - with the sole exception of a guy in a wheelchair who had a special disability trust and was funded by family to visit a loved one abroad. Every cruiser was self-funded and very well-off, or still working and earning a very healthy income.

    Some pensioners are doing nicely, IF they own their home and have some private savings or superannuation or assets generating a little extra income, or they can earn a bit to top up their pension. Otherwise, they are likely to be battling, ESPECIALLY if they have health issues or a family situation that imposes heavy costs.

    The cost of living is rising rapidly and the pension isn't keeping up at all, because pension indexation is based on averages across items that pensioners don't buy. Rapid increases in essentials such as electricity are putting heavy pressure on pensioner budgets.

    ASFA says at age 65, a single needs about $25K and a couple $44K to live a ''modest lifestyle''. Clearly, your figures exclude a great many needs - probably health care costs, dental, home repairs, appliance replacements, etc. These costs are infrequent, but usually unavoidable.

    Personally, I'd rather accept ASFA figures, which are carefully researched, than a ''rough estimate'' by someone who has demonstrated resentment of pensioners and a mean attitude toward them.

    Cruises, OG? Stop lying. You know very well the statement ''with the majority on board being on welfare'' is a blatant lie. You really sound like a mean and nasty idiot making stupid claims like that.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    10:48pm
    For every non example of pensioners on cruises and/ lot living it up I can give you 3 of those living in 40square homes drawing a pension , gifrjng and payIng kids expenses from their surpluses, going overseas etc just to stay on the pension so that they can continue to get free money
    Mind you most feel entitled because they worked hard and paid taxes so think they deserve the pension just as much as those who didn’t save or fell on hard times
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:36am
    Raphael, I agree about many living in mansions. That's one of the huge flaws in our pension system. Unfortunately the simplistic idea some put forward of including the family home in the assets test raises major problems. Gifting is also common although it has to be done 5 years before going on the pension or secretly. There are limits, but some people get around the law.

    What you say is very valid, but it says NOTHING about the level of pension paid. The folk you refer to have other income or assets. Those reliant only on the pension are doing it tough. When it comes to those with other income or assets, the rules are so unfair and complicated that they incentivize manipulation. The system punishes the honest and responsible harshly. And yes, people do feel they are just as entitled as those who didn't bother to save. Why should X be given a pension after blowing his cash on world cruises and parties, and Y is denied because he put his in the bank?

    The current system rewards irresponsible behaviour, and that's causing a lot of resentment and driving a lot more irresponsible behaviour. That's why the assets test change was so bad and is doomed to drive increases in the cost of aged pensions. Angry people who feel short-changed are manipulating to get back at the government for its unfairness. That stupid change also drove a lot more investment in overly lavish housing to maintain or gain pension entitlements.

    The whole system needs a total overhaul. Every time there is a ''tweak'', it gets worse. It has to be thrown out and rebuilt from the ground up in a manner that makes sense - and with the right objectives (i.e. eliminating aged poverty, avoiding an unaffordable total cost, minimizing cost blowouts going forward, but being FAIR and incentivizing and rewarding responsible saving and planning.)

    It's sad that every time I post, people like Bonny and OG start their familiar rant about making things harder and pensions being only for the poor and only basic sustenance. Why can't we all agree that the system is a mess and needs to be thrown out and rebuilt? Instead of bullying, why not find points of agreement, experiment with ideas, and try to understand other points of view?

    The aged pension IS a moral entitlement. That's a fact. In any decent society, people accept an obligation to care for their elders. We have been doing so for many decades, and until recently we were all quite content to fund that care from taxes and most of us supported efforts to improve the quality of life for older Australians. Now, sadly, we have a culture of greed and selfishness.

    Part of our problem today I think is that there is now superannuation and suddenly everyone thinks that taxpayers shouldn't have to fund pensions, but they forget that compulsory superannuation is relatively new and tens of thousands of today's retired still rely on the tax system to fund their retirement. That's not their fault. That's the fault of the system that structured things that way in the past and didn't manage to consider this issue in making changes.

    Part of the problem is that the system is so obscenely generous to the wealthy, giving them huge tax concessions to help them build their retirement nest egg, yet it gives virtually nothing to low income earners. Then when the low income earner hasn't enough private savings, everyone bashes them with complaints about how costly pensions are and wants them cut. But superannuation tax concessions are just as costly and they are benefiting the well off. Why not cut them instead of attacking people who have less?

    In most other developed nations, aged pensions ARE a universal right. It's hardly surprising that many think Australia should follow that example. But regardless of where you stand on that question, it goes without saying that our aging ARE ENTITLED to a decent standard of living and proper health care, and it's time the government stopped ranting about the cost and started recognizing that the well off have to pay their way. You can't milk stones, and that's what this moron LNP is trying to do. They want the rich to have it all and the poor to just keep stumping up. It's not working! Despite increasing unemployment and poverty, increasing social problems, increasing mental illness and disability and increasing crime and general social discontent - all driven by economic policies that feed the rich - the budget keeps blowing out. SOMEBODY HAS TO STUMP UP. Common sense says it has to be those who are prospering. After all, those who are prospering would be up the creek without a paddle if people didn't work - generally for far less than they produce, otherwise business couldn't function - to keep businesses running and maintain the services needed for society to function. The working class are giving a great deal. They deserve a fair return.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:07pm
    Grow up, OG - pensioners don't sit on cruise ships - unless they can cop a $600 cruise after saving for a year.... the people you see there are not Pensioners - they are a sub-class of retirees with perhaps part pension.

    Why assume that every older person is a pensioner? That's where ideologues like your good self make mistakes.... you ASS U/ME.
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    4:21pm
    Well Trebour statistucs say more than 7 out of 10 over a certain age are OAPs so even guessing if people are has the odds stacked in your favour. On the bogan cruise line it is the national past time to boost about being on a full pension and being able to oay for a cruise. Let's face it if you don't have any extras a last minute cheap cabin is a cheap holiday and in some cases cheaper than staying home.
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:11pm
    All I'll say is there is definitely very different people on the more expensive cruise ships. One doesn't get into so much trouble either as the people are more tolerant of each other and have a lot more fun.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:22pm
    There are lots on cruise ships who lost their pensions in the assets test change. They are spending up big, because they got the message loud and clear that there are harsh penalties for saving. They are seeing their spendthrift friends getting generous pensions while they struggle on minimal investment income and drain their savings - so they are going on spending sprees. Good luck to them. The idiots who supported the assets test change have created a monster. Too dumb to consider the obvious long term effect of the change and too selfish to recognize the unfairness to those affected.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    8:55pm
    Pensioners have a right to live in a 40 square home they've bought and paid for.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    8:57pm
    I've already covered the cheap cruises, Bonny - it's not as if they're spending $45k to cruise the Rhine or $17k to cruise Alaska... most of them do a short trip at $6-700 for a few days, often not leaving
    Australia.

    Some cruises are heading out from Sydney for 2-3 days, turning around, and then going back to Sydney without sighting land anywhere.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    4:26pm
    Trebour those cheap cruises are full of yonug people enjoying an extended weekend. Haven't you noticed they leave Friday afternoon and come back in earlt Monday so they can go back to work.

    OAPs take ones of 7 to 10 days as they work out cheaper per day and they have m9re time to put on a bit of fat to tide them over when they back home.
    TREBOR
    5th Nov 2017
    10:42pm
    A fair point - I've met people who go to the all you can eat at the RSL and fill up for a day for $16 - every day.
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2017
    8:45am
    We are now discussing the OAPs who have other income and/or assets. Again, that's the issue. The OAP is unfair and inequitable in the extreme and creates classes of people who are relatively well off on it, classes who are desperately poor, and classes who can't get it but aren't nearly as well of as many who do.

    Bonny, you simply don't seem able to comprehend the wider picture. Always dwelling on simplistic isolated examples to prove an invalid point! Tunnel vision is way too common among the well-off and privileged, and it probably explains why the system is such a disaster. Because those in power and tunnel visioned and focused on anecdotal evidence and can't see and understand reality,
    LiveItUp
    6th Nov 2017
    9:57pm
    Rainey people on cruise ships brag about having enough left over from their full OAP to pay for their cruise and they don't go steerage class either. I have seen many people relieved to reach pension age as they are better off than they were with a job. Those that can't ma,nage on the OAP wouldn't be able to manage no matter how much welfare they got.
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    12:34pm
    Bonny I experiences the OAP cruising a couple of years ago. It was when planes were being shot down and disappearing and I jumped on the Dawn Princess from New York back to Sydney to avoid a flight. 2014. I'd been travelling in the States for a while and managed to get an inside cabin home.

    Was that an eye opener. So many who cruise frequently and are receiving the full OAP. Most were in their 70s. They live frugally but cruise often on the savings. Probably not able to meet sudden expenses of broken appliances etc once those cruises were over.

    The one sad group were a poor family spending a young member's accident payout on a world cruise with boyfriends and girlfriends included.

    The entire few hundred thousands paid out for the kid's future medical expenses was being squandered.

    These are the ones who can't save and have no financial education nor ability to see consequences or predict future needs.

    The money should have been managed by a public trustee of some sort.
    Anonymous
    9th Nov 2017
    8:13am
    Bonny, those who brag about having enough left from a full OAP to pay for a cruise almost certainly have other assets and income. Couples with a few hundred thousand in the bank can get the full OAP with benefits and they are far better off in income terms than those who saved more - which is why the assets test is so wrong. It deprives people of the benefit of their savings, forcing them to use them to compensate for not getting a pension while spendthrifts get the pension. Anyone with nothing more than the pension is struggling and is highly UNLIKELY to be able to afford to cruise, unless they are fortunate enough to have very low living expenses due to excellent health, access to home-grown produce, very cheap housing, etc.

    I know many who are very good money managers but are struggling on the OAP. Your generalisations are cruel and nasty, and totally inaccurate.

    Rae, the assets test was much more generous a few years ago. I know many who cruised recently deliberately to retain the full pension because they figured they'd be worse off with extra savings and a part pension. I agree about the family spending the accident payout though. But management by a public trustee wouldn't solve anything. Their management services are so overpriced and inefficient! A few years ago I helped a girl get her compensation lump sum out of the hands of the Public Trustee, because in 5 years they managed to almost halve the $2 million account balance.
    Anonymous
    9th Nov 2017
    8:13am
    Bonny, those who brag about having enough left from a full OAP to pay for a cruise almost certainly have other assets and income. Couples with a few hundred thousand in the bank can get the full OAP with benefits and they are far better off in income terms than those who saved more - which is why the assets test is so wrong. It deprives people of the benefit of their savings, forcing them to use them to compensate for not getting a pension while spendthrifts get the pension. Anyone with nothing more than the pension is struggling and is highly UNLIKELY to be able to afford to cruise, unless they are fortunate enough to have very low living expenses due to excellent health, access to home-grown produce, very cheap housing, etc.

    I know many who are very good money managers but are struggling on the OAP. Your generalisations are cruel and nasty, and totally inaccurate.

    Rae, the assets test was much more generous a few years ago. I know many who cruised recently deliberately to retain the full pension because they figured they'd be worse off with extra savings and a part pension. I agree about the family spending the accident payout though. But management by a public trustee wouldn't solve anything. Their management services are so overpriced and inefficient! A few years ago I helped a girl get her compensation lump sum out of the hands of the Public Trustee, because in 5 years they managed to almost halve the $2 million account balance.
    johnyperth
    4th Nov 2017
    5:34am
    I have been saying this for years both when I was on the DSP, and, now on the age pension!!
    But, w hen Abbott was elected as the PM he said that all pensioners would get twice yearly pension rises of $30:00 as from March 017.
    When Turnbull became the PM he said the same thing.
    Last year turnbull said during question time in the house of reps, he repeated this. Turnbull also said that the money that was saved tighting of the penion test! !
    Abbott was interviewed late last year, or, early this year, and, Abbott said that the pensions would rise by $30:00 twice a year as from March this year because it was a prommise, but, he wouldn't do it the way the Turnbull government by tighting the pension assest test!!
    So where is our $30:00 twice rise as from March this year!!??
    I have sent Christen Porter a letter regarding this a few months ago, but, so far no reply!!
    I have also emailed Lateline to hopefully it can cover this, and, interview porter!!
    I wonder if anybody else see any of this, and, if so, then, please either email Lateline, and, Christen Porter??
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    8:23am
    the Found this and thought it suited....WHAT’S A FREELOADER?
    The term freeloader does not come from proper English. In fact, it is derived from a financial term; “Free Rider”. A free rider, in economics, refers to someone who benefits from resources, goods, or services without paying for the cost of the benefit (Source from Wikipedia). So a free RIDER is more of an opportunist, read lucky, individual who is at the right place at the right time. I have no problem with that. In fact, it’s always fun to free ride from time to time.
    The freeloader is the dark side of the free rider. He is the individual who takes something with value at no cost and complains on top of it. The freeloader thinks everything should be offered at no cost and no effort. It’s almost like people owe it to him. And if the good or resource is not delivered according to his own terms, he whines about it (remember, this is all given to him for free).
    We see a lot of freeloaders on welfare since it has given the illusion that everything is free and available through Centrelink.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:45am
    Most business operators are freeloaders, Bonny, because they pay workers way less than the worker is producing. But that's okay, because that's the basis of capitalism. Profit is generated by producing at a cost less than the sale value of the product, and generally that requires paying those who create the product or facilitate its distribution less than the real value of their labour. What is NOT okay is that these well off freeloaders keep demanding a bigger and bigger share of the national pie.

    We see a lot of freeloaders on welfare because we have an oppressive ''needs-based'' system that incentivizes manipulation and cheating and rewards irresponsible behaviour, but punishes the hard workers and responsible savers who, in many cases, never get a fair share of the pie. And we have a superannuation system that gives generously to the high income earners and expects the low income earners to somehow fund their own retirement with no help. We shouldn't be surprised that those who feel unfairly treated, and see the government handing billions to the wealthiest to build their fat retirement funds, decide to manipulate to get a bigger share.

    Nobody whinges more than the rich in this country. They shouldn't have to pay so much tax! They think they should get shipping and postal services, telecommunications services, emergency services, medical care, education for their kids, roads to drive on, police services, and everything else that is required for them to be able to do business profitably ALL FOR FREE. Make the poor underpaid worker pay for it. And then tell him he is bad for not saving enough out of his miserable little wage to carry him through retirement!
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    9:09am
    One can only guess from your comments that your business ventures have not been successful.

    Any worker can negotiate his wages but few do. An employer offers a job at a certain pay just like a shop offers a product at a certain price the worker can accept the price or negotiate. Any worker who fails to negotiate his wages is doing himself a disservice.

    Businesses and high paid workers pay most of the tax in Australia today. Top 20% pay 80% of tax collected. Any your expsct them to pay more?

    Super is for everyone and anyone can contribute just like anyone can save. I don't have super myself as it's not always the best way to fund ones retirement.

    Atleast if businesses make a prifit they pay tax and contribute to society. Those on welfare don't.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:11pm
    And who in this society is a 'freeloader' Bonny?

    Everyone pays taxes...... even the Black Marketeers pay taxes every time they buy etc.....

    How many times must I explain simple truths to some of you?

    Those who get more from society should contribute more back - that's always been the Liberal and Labour way...... until recent years when the Liberals became the Neo-Conservatives (they are not true conservatives since they constantly adjust things to suit the 'top end') and Labour became Labor, with people straight out of the university coffee shops telling us the right way to do things.

    The Nationals? Well - someone said elsewhere that Tim Fisher lead them into obscurity.... and now we've got Barnaby barn-storming the joint.... but at least their volunteers at booths have the best hats..... nearly got one by sucking up to them last week....
    Triss
    4th Nov 2017
    5:58pm
    What many people forget is that pensioners, during their 50 or so working years, paid tax which paid for the pension of the pensioners of that era. Now it is their turn to access their own pension paid for by the taxes of today’s working people. And so it goes on.
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    8:03pm
    The fact they are pensioners says to me that they either didn't earn much so didn't pay much tax or if they did pay lots of tax they had a jolly good time living life to the fullest.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    8:17pm
    Correct, Triss. But it's not just about paying tax either. Every generation, in their turn, makes a massive contribution to the nation's growth and maintenance - one without which society would collapse. The working class make that contribution for far less pay than is fair, and as part of the social contract, expect to be cared for in sickness, crisis situations (including unemployment) and old age.

    You are wrong about me, Bonny. I was very successful in business, and I understand it well. It relies entirely on business owners paying workers less than the value of what they produce, so that goods can be sold for more than they cost. It's perfectly acceptable for workers to be paid less than they are really worth because continuing that practice is essential to the health of capitalism. But progressive taxation was intended to partly balance the scales - to take more from those who profited handsomely from the capitalist model to pay for social welfare to support those who didn't do so well.

    Of course everyone can contribute to super if they so desire, and probably could throughout the lifetimes of those alive today. The point is that they had neither sufficient income nor sufficient financial education. Workers were told to work, earn, and pay tax and you'll be looked after by the welfare system when there is a need. They focused on maintaining their family and educating their children, which was as much as most could afford. The majority also contributed via unpaid charity and community work in various forms. And they contributed by guiding and educating the next generation so that there would be taxpayers going forward.

    There are very few aging in this society, pensioners or otherwise, who have lived in Australia for a decade or more and haven't made a very substantial contribution to the nation.

    If they are wealthy, they have been well rewarded - taking a nice thick slice of the pie. They have enjoyed huge tax concessions to help them with retirement funding.

    If they were struggling working class battlers, they were NOT paid fairly for what they contributed and they are morally ENTITLED, under the social contract that was made over a century ago, to claim social welfare as a RIGHT. The problem is that greed has driven contempt for those who don't receive their payment early in life, and now the privileged are demanding society renege on it's promises and refuse to ever pay the debt, because the greedy rich want the whole pie. They want to have their cake (enjoy the right to hire labour cheaply) and eat it to (refuse to pay tax to fund social services and welfare).

    Anyone who suggests people on welfare don't contribute to this nation is disgustingly rude, arrogant and selfish, as well as blatantly dishonest. Not only have most of these people made a huge contribution over decades - for far less reward than was fair - but most of them continue to do charity and community work, support neighbours and friends, etc. AND as Trebor correctly points out, they continue to pay tax.

    Yes, the highest paid contribute the most to the total tax take, as they should. But they DO NOT pay nearly enough. They take far more than they give. They enjoy a vast range of public services, without which they could not continue to earn at all, and they don't pay nearly enough to cover the cost of supply of these services, let alone enough to fulfil the social contract that underpins capitalism. And therein lies the reason for the huge budget deficit.

    There is only one answer and that is to somehow compel the population to recognize the social contract and understand that it is essential to the survival of the capitalist society. If the rich won't pay, the society WILL collapse.

    Yes, Bonny. The top 20% must pay more, because they are NOT paying their way. The proof of that is an examination of the extent of wealth inequality and the growth rate of inequality.

    This relates to the US, but it applies in all capitalist nations:

    ''The rich don’t just have more wealth than everyone else. The bulk of their wealth comes from different — and more lucrative — asset sources. America’s top 1 percent, for instance, holds nearly half the national wealth invested in stocks and mutual funds. Most of the wealth of Americans in the bottom 90 percent comes from their principal residences, the asset category that took the biggest hit during the Great Recession. These Americans also hold almost three-quarters of America’s debt.''

    The rich are too rich. It's that simple. And their greed is now threatening to wipe out capitalist economies. So yes, they should pay more. And you are not just wrong, but extremely arrogant and rude to deny that the poor make a major contribution to society for which they get minimal reward. But it's precisely that selfish attitude that is wrecking our society and threatening the end of the capitalist system.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    9:01pm
    Bravo!!
    AutumnOz
    5th Nov 2017
    8:36am
    Well said Rainey.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    11:24am
    So you expect the top 20% to pay more thsn 80% of the tax revenue Rainey. No wonder we have clever accountants who cost less than the tax saved!
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    1:27pm
    It's irrelevant how much of the total tax take a group contributes, Bonny. What is relevant is whether or not they are paying a fair amount for the benefits they gain from being allowed to operate their business or trade in our capitalist society. They DO NOT.

    This is the problem we have. The rich twist the data to suit their argument. They claim that because they pay more tax than X, they are contributing more. NO THEY ARE NOT. X is contributing more because he is working for less than his labour is really worth, and therefore subsidizing his employer, AND he is taking less benefit from society than the rich.

    Businesses impose multi-million dollars of costs on society every year for government-funded services that private citizens (workers) either don't use at all or use minimally). And they DO NOT PAY PROPORTIONALLY FOR THOSE SERVICES.

    If the top 20% paid 100% of total tax revenue collected, that would not mean the bottom 80% contributed nothing, because they contribute in other ways - by providing services for less than the services would cost if paid for at their true value.

    The reason we have clever accountants that cost less than the tax saved is because the rich are GREEDY AND SELFISH and UNWILLING TO PAY THEIR WAY. That's the ONLY reason. It has NOTHING at all to do with the proportion of tax they pay. It doesn't matter what their tax rate (unless it falls to 0%) they will ALWAYS pay fancy accountants, and they will ALWAYS whine that the tax is too much.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    4:10pm
    I'm sure glad I no longer run a business anymore then. If people work for less than they are worth then it's their fault for not negoiating a better deal. Employers like everyone else onky pay what they have to for labour and everything else. I'm sure you don't tell someone you will pay them more than their asking price for goods and services.
    musicveg
    5th Nov 2017
    5:32pm
    Maybe people are too scared to negotiate because they will lose their job. Currently fruit growers are ripping off Malaysian workers in Swan Hill and leaving them with $20 to live off after paying their rent on the housing they were given. Is this what workers are worth?
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2017
    8:30am
    You really don't understand business economics very well, do you, Bonny?

    EVERYONE in a business works for less than they are really worth (except the high-up executive and directors, who are typically grossly overpaid!) - unless the business is running at a loss. The whole principle of business in the capitalist economy is that it buys labour for less than it can sell the product of that labour for. That's how it makes profit! Of course in today's society, business typically also reduces the payment to lower-scale workers further in order to pay executives and directors obscene salaries.

    Musicveg is right that many are too scared to negotiate wages, but even if they were not, they are never going to be paid what they are worth because if they were the business could not sell it's product for more than it cost and therefore could not make profit.

    Once again, Bonny - since you clearly struggle to comprehend capitalist economics: Workers work for less than their output sells for so business can operate profitably. The progressive taxation model and welfare systems were created to balance the resulting inequity and ensure that those underpaid workers get something back from the society they contribute to by accepting lower payment. Progressive taxation and welfare systems were also intended to compensate unpaid work - such as charity and community work and work in families that, though sometimes deemed unproductive, had the effect of (a) enabling the breadwinner to be much more productive; and (b) guiding and educating the next generation of producers.

    The problem we have now is that the rich have become so greedy that they are no longer willing to accept that fairness and social health demands a progressive taxation system and a generous welfare system. They want everything their way.
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2017
    8:38am
    And like you, Bonny, it seems most wealthy folk can't see value that doesn't have a price tag and can't measure value in any other terms than by the ticket price. Therefore, you deem the most valuable contributions to our society worthless, and the most worthless contributions valuable.
    musicveg
    6th Nov 2017
    2:26pm
    ....and the Bangladesh women are getting paid 37 cents an hour (not even enough to live off in this poor country) to make our clothes so big business can sell them over and over, by making cheap clothing people will buy but they don't last long. Pure Greed!
    LiveItUp
    6th Nov 2017
    9:51pm
    I disagree Rainey as I grow more produce that i need and it is far easy to sell it than give it away. So people do value things by the price tag as if it's free it is simply no good and people don't want it. Just like volunteers are too poorly valued with many in our society seeing it people doing it are bored with nothing else to do.

    I have fun by paying for other people's orders in cafes as they just can't understand why anyone would pay their bill. Try it sometimes.
    Anonymous
    7th Nov 2017
    1:13pm
    Bonny, you must choose your associates very carefully, because 99% of people are delighted to accept a gift of produce. In my neighbourhood, everyone gives their surplus away and everyone is very happy to take it.

    No, volunteers are NOT poorly valued, and very few see it as people bored with nothing else to do. That's an attitude exclusive to people like you, who don't understand the value of anything without a ticket price and who like to lord it over others, pretending because you are well off financially that makes you superior. News flash, Bonny! You and your ilk are what's wrong with today's society.
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    11:05am
    The way it is in Australia.

    Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at Government House.
    One is from Cabramatta, another is from
    Marrickville, and the third is from Shell Cove.
    All three go with an official to examine the fence.

    The Cabramatta contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.
    "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900, $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

    The Marrickville contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700. That's $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100
    profit for me."

    The Shell Cove contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the government official and whispers, "$2,700."

    The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys. How did you come up with such a high figure?" The Shell Cove contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me,
    $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Marrickville to fix the fence."
    "Done!" Replies the government official.
    And that, my fellow tax payers, is how a Government Stimulus plan works.
    john
    4th Nov 2017
    12:41pm
    And that is what we have to get rid of. Because that is exactly right. And it is why costs in everything rise, even to selling our gas overseas, but this day and age the rise is getting to UN handleable!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think we are in deeper poop in Australia than we have ever been. And the nations leaders are not capable of fixing things, they are all filling their pockets , and creating a mess that gets bigger and bigger, and even the opposition have no hope ,with Bill Shorten an unfit individual to be PM.

    So Bonny lets hope that something starts changing and that Australia begins a new ideal of looking after our own, first!
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    1:58pm
    John if you haven't worked it out yet that it is why electricity prices have gone up so much since privatisation.

    Same can be said for many government privitised programs eg home care, ndis, unemployment agencies, NTOs etc. The money is not getting to those who need it.

    If people took more respnsibility instead of just taking what they are given even if it is free without question we would be a much better country.
    JAID
    4th Nov 2017
    6:18pm
    I don't think these situations are comparable.

    When we define corruption it is much in line with the first examples; bribery of public officials for gain, particularly for financial gain. This happens; examples include various Tax office problems, the Eddie Obied affair, a consistent run of local Councillors taking bribes. Comparatively, that is, in relation to the size of offence to total the total economy and compared to other countries, very little corruption is either evident or likely in Australia.

    The other area is better described as favouritism, often unknowing or automatic. It can amount to an abuse of power but where there is no intent to gain personally it widens the definition of corruption too much to have it tossed in there. Examples siding with idiologically similar operatives able to gain without due care for the long-term. Significantly also, the wonton selling off of public assets where the common long-term good is not kept foremost in mind. Often this has followed vain attemtps to balance the books where governments are too weak to stand up and limit the extent of its indulgence.

    The temporarily ideologically prominent may feel that largess should be seen in preference to being accountable. The backbenchers may fear bench loss. Others, again temporary and seeing only short-term gain may see consistency with an idiological appreciation of the benefits of free enterprise over bureaucratic management. The first is classic ignorance of the nature of wealth production, the second relates to the fundamentally short-term nature of Australian democratic decision-making and the third fails to appreciate that we as a people can exercise useful enterprise just as we can as individuals.

    Catching out and diverting corruption is essential but we have problems with the nature of government which have far greater impact.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    9:06pm
    Some years ago in a book titled 'The Absence of Tyranny' (freedom is the absence of tyranny not the right to do whatever you wish - one is liberty the other libertarianism), the author cited a 'poverty relief work program' in New York city, and pointed out that around 90% of the funding went to 'administration' etc.

    Read Michael Marin's 'Road to Hell' about aid work in the third World, and you see the same thing going on... the UN people, for instance, ride around in air conditions land cruisers and Range Rovers and us the whole exercise as a waypoint on their promotion trail... not as a meaningful exercise in assisting poor nations and people....

    Discussing Afghanistan tribal groups in a university course had the professor thriving on my first hand experience etc.... funny how that works....

    Always interesting....
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    12:54pm
    I refuse to donate to most charities because I know the money goes to the administration staff and fancy offices, cars, etc. Greed is EVERYWHERE.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    4:29pm
    More money for fancy cars etc when people volunteer too.
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    12:08pm
    Yes Bonny exactly so.

    The money is being pumped into the pockets of those quick and scoundrel enough to set up fancy offices and websites and cream off the taxpayer funds.

    So many totally unproductive and unnecessary owners of services literally stealing from the disadvantaged. If there is a Hell it explains why it's not full yet.

    The government ideology is responsible. Everything privatised and far too many feeding at the trough of necessity. Efficient and well run public departments now are just a means of taking public moneys for poor delivery of services that once worked and supported society and the economy.

    My son worked a while in Angola and saw the result of unconfined corruption and theft of a Nations resources.

    Pity Whitlam's plan was stopped. How wealthy we would all be if we actually owned those mines and gas and uranium and the money stayed here instead of being transferred off shore in the billions and billions.
    john
    4th Nov 2017
    12:33pm
    OG you know it all and you know nothing.

    You probably won't get that meaning.

    Those figures in the third paragraph are an obscenity, the cost of living rises over the last few years have changed the face of Australia, and unless some one with some force and brains gets into power , we will go drainwards very quickly.
    How ever ,OG 's warped sense of himself and his situation , well,
    its like "I'm alright Jack , Up you!!!!!
    LiveItUp
    4th Nov 2017
    1:53pm
    Well atleast OG seems very contented with his life and doesn't whinge like a lot of others do on this forum.

    He has the advantage of thinking outside the box and is not affraid to break ranks and say what he actually thinks.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    3:15pm
    'seems' is the operative word - any viper is content with his world until an eagle strikes...

    Saw that happen on the Pacific Highway - big eagle swooped down and I thought "gee - he's chancing his arm (wings) with this traffi!" . nope - he touch-and-go'ed in the median strip (grass and maybe ten metres wide) and came up with a snake.... poor old snake....

    OG loves sticking it to people 'he' claims are lesser beings etc while he knows and has it all... that, my girl - is a viper.....
    Triss
    4th Nov 2017
    6:03pm
    Haven’t you been reading OG’s posts, Bonny? He often complains, don’t you, OG?
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    7:47pm
    OG complains constantly about other people getting pensions and, by his standards, being too well off and enjoying life too much. He just can't tolerate the state paying pensions that allow anyone to live above the poverty line. Everyone on ''welfare'' as he calls it must live a miserable existence, unable to afford anything but the most basic essentials. He is actually one of the biggest whingers here, and also very nasty and insulting in his comments.
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:55pm
    Ha ha Rainey I love it!
    The Black Fox
    4th Nov 2017
    2:06pm
    The vitriol expressed in many of these comments beggars belief - especially as the comments are allegedly from society's elders, people who younger generations might look up to (as in respect your elders). The other blindingly obvious thing is the intolerance/ arrogance of some of the comments about those who are in lesser circumstances: who can truthfully judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. A little more generosity would benefit us all.
    Old Geezer
    4th Nov 2017
    7:07pm
    I for one am growing old disgracefully.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    9:08pm
    Too late........................................

    (aaaaah.... ha, ha, ha, ha, ha) ta-boooom... tisssssh...
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    11:55am
    Yes indeed.

    We have a stupid system that discriminates on the basis of who owns how much and can organise to list, categorise and price all that stuff and investments and then deem it all but can't work out who needs extra assistance for rents or for medical needs or short term assistance.

    The rich just hide it all away out of the sight of the deemers.

    In my opinion too much time and energy is wasted on the wealthy and their plans and not enough on the needs of the constituents.

    All those trillions hidden away and wasted on ill conceived business plans and privatisations etc and people suffering for the lack of sponsored heating/cooling.

    The death of compassion and empathy will destroy us all in the end.
    musicveg
    4th Nov 2017
    8:49pm
    All I can say is my mum cannot afford maintenance costs on her little house she does own but cannot afford to keep paying so much out every time something goes wrong. If you are renting then it would depend on where you are renting, rent cost's vary, and also the cost of food varies from one suburb or town to the next. So some pensioners may be surviving okay on the pension especially if they have savings to pay for those extra's but others are really struggling to put decent food (not just crap white bread and peanut butter) on the table. Why do pollie's get some much pension for so long after they have been in parliament when they have already earned a good wage for doing not much except debating. If they got the same treatment as everyone else that will save a few bucks.
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    9:10pm
    Try keeping a bank balance when you are renovating a house to suit your disabled ex for whom you are carer.... I seem to be forever running over my bank balance and copping $10 fees...

    Come in, OG - tell us all about how poor a fiscal manager I am....

    (I'll get my reward in the end, as my lawyer said when I settled my children's mother handsomely ... soon it will be my turn and the turn of all the rest who've taken the hits to give others a better life......)
    TREBOR
    4th Nov 2017
    9:16pm
    I read that the idea of the pollie's super scheme was to ensure they didn't do it hard once they left 'public service' (LMAO) - have you ever seen a retired or ex politician who is doing it hard?

    Usually they cop some lovely little sinecure somewhere while still pulling their bloated 'pension'.

    Not only that, but in this day and age when those same politicians have enabled/championed the engineering of the 'part-time casual and contracted for the duration with the chance of termination without notice' concept for workers - they have zero right to expect anything more than to be treated as 'part-time casual contracted employees subject to termination when the contract is no longer required'.

    NONE!!

    Their arrogance in continuing to accept welfare in the way they do is beyond belief.

    Now - on another run - when a disabled Veteran gets a payment from super fund and a VA pension - that Veteran is taxed on a portion and some of the payment is used to offset full pension.....

    Why then are politicians permitted to engage in massive remunerative work after parliament, and yet still receive a full 'pension'?

    Not one reason on Earth to continue this theft from the public purse.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    12:42am
    Why are you a career for your ex
    Me thinks you have issues beyond financial
    TREBOR
    5th Nov 2017
    10:52am
    Issues? Financial? what are you talking about ? I'm talking about the treatment of pensioners as an issue separate from myself - my reasons for my loyalty gene are of no concern to the common herd.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    12:52pm
    I applaud Trebor for not abandoning his former partner to be a burden on the State.

    As for the adequacy of the aged pension... my mother (having lived in poverty most of her life) used to say how good it was and that it was ample to manage on. That was ten years ago and of course it's gone down relative to costs since then - quite a lot. But my point is actually that after years of saying how she managed fine on it, suddenly her stove blew up and she couldn't get another to fit in the space. And then some plumbing pipes burst and her washing machine gave up the ghost. And she found herself struggling to cope with temperature extremes that hadn't bothered her so much when she was out all day doing charity work, but confined to her chair as she aged and weakened... well, the heat and cold was intolerable. The pension was enough week to week, but it didn't stretch to the big expenses to install air conditioning, renovate her kitchen, replace the washing machine and fix the pipes.

    Had she not owned a modest home, she'd have been really up the creek, as rent would not have been affordable on the pension.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    1:24pm
    Almost daily I have people telling me how well thavehey live on the OAP with some wondering why they worked beyond retirement age. Many say that it is the best time of their lives as they longer have to worry about job security as the money comes without a job.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    1:57pm
    That's not surprising at all, Bonny. But such anecdotal evidence means nothing. You don't seem to comprehend very well. The problem is that the OAP is UNFAIR. The inequitable nature of the system means that some are very well off on the OAP while some are desperately poor on the OAP and some who can't qualify for the OAP due to assets are much worse off than many who do get the OAP. The means test creates huge inequity and the rules are far too complicated and discriminatory.

    It really confounds me how so many people can think there's any validity in quoting specific examples or their own situation. IT ISN'T RELEVANT. What is relevant is the overall scenario - which is that many are living in poverty in old age; many are getting very nice handouts; and many are getting nothing despite actually being more morally entitled and needy than many who get lots.

    I read an article recently that said there was a ''sweet spot'' at which you are better off not saving any more. I know neighbours who lost their pension in the assets test change have nowhere near as much income as couples with $500,000 in assets, so the extra savings my neighbours worked so hard for are ultimately useless. They SHOULD have retired earlier.
    musicveg
    5th Nov 2017
    2:11pm
    Like Rainey just wrote Bonny, it is okay if you don't need to replace anything or get anything fixed, or run the heater or cooler all day because you are aging. It depends on many things. Rainey, your mum was in the same predicament as mine is now, she has to go without a lot if she has to pay a plumber etc. I usually have to give her some food to get her to the next fortnight. She worries a lot and finds it impossible to put money aside for these expenses when they occur, and she has only a small house, not much bigger than a unit. Just has a more garden which she enjoy's. She is always telling me she has to go out and visit other people to save on heating/cooling. Uses a blanket in winter so not to run the heater too long or high. So for my mum it is not the best time in her life.
    JAID
    5th Nov 2017
    2:33pm
    Rainey that rings true with my contacts, some with assets or assets not wisely distributed can be very poorly off.

    BTW
    A blanket, a coat or a jumper in winter cannot be an imposition. There would be so many of each at the op shops that it would be a rare body which could not find a perfect fit for next to nothing. We Living in one of the coldest areas of Australia (in an early and draughty house) we routinely do exactly that, put on coats or jumpers and hats as the weather cools. We open opposing windows high and low when it gets too warm. We did have open fires ocasionally 30 or 40 years ago but when that seemed a bit naughty saw jumpers and coats as the perfect alternative...and have not even contemplated getting any other form of heating. A standard fan occupies a corner upstairs. Most years it is never used, one or two days max. other years somebody may turn it on for a while.

    This may not be perfect for all but surely almost all could suitably moderate their comfort simply by adjusting clothing (and activity) with no cost to the community.
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2017
    8:19am
    Being married to someone with a broken hypothalamus, and myself highly sensitive to cold, I have to disagree, Jaid. Luckily, where we live it's rarely cold or hot. The temperature is quite even most of the year and extremes are very rate. But I recently spent time in Canada and I was reminded of a time when I lived in a cold place. I couldn't move freely and I was constantly exhausted wearing layers of warm clothing. My partner suffers terribly in cold or heat. We had to relocate because of his condition. Doctors warned him of ongoing chronic illness and even premature death if he remained in a climate where he was exposed to temperature extremes.

    I suspect as people age, they become much more sensitive to temperature changes and I'm sure wearing heavy clothing exhausts elderly folk - especially those who are very thin like my mother was.

    As for heat - people's tolerance varies and some homes are well-designed for natural cooling while others are hard to ventilate properly. Mum had fans, but they seemed to achieve very little. She struggled with the idea of opening windows because the windows were large and opened onto an area close to the street and the local children were rowdy and poorly behaved. Foreign objects would come in thru open windows! The screens were torn or cut and hands and distorted faces would appear. She called police many times with unsatisfactory results.

    It is helpful that new types of fabric enable clothing makers to create clothing that is much lighter in weight and less restrictive, yet warm. But I suspect you are less likely to find these superior fabrics in clothing and blankets found in op shops and the like.
    Old Geezer
    6th Nov 2017
    10:30am
    Gee Rainey you have an excuse for everything. I don't feel the heat or cold any more today than I did when I was young. It pretty simple you dress for the climate. Of course if you get used to not exposing yourself to heat and cold which most old people don't then your body is not conditioned to it.

    If it's cold you need layers of light clothing not big bulky stuff as they work so much better. If it's hot then cool off go for a swim instead of turning on the air conditioner.
    JAID
    6th Nov 2017
    12:05pm
    "If it's cold you need layers of light clothing..."

    Too true OG. This may disturb those who see wealth around every corner but I find the best is a silk shirt under almost anything which will deflect drafts.

    Just the same, and while not conditioned to additional heating I think I am feeling the cold a little more each year.

    What used to work for me was a cold shower every morning. [That started as a kid where we had a shower under a tankstand, its legs girt with latice and passionfruit vines. Minus 3 or 4 degrees with the sun rising through the mist, ice in the puddles and your footsteps green against the white lawn. Later, a naked run 600m through the bush and snow to a little waterfall seat in the nearby creek] Doing that every day I always found jumpers and coats too hot. Camping, my sleeping bag always too warm to zip up. It is quite rare I have a cold shower now, unnecessary luxurys have crept into my routine.
    Old Geezer
    6th Nov 2017
    5:22pm
    Putting your feet in a nice warm cow pat fixes those chilblains too.

    I don't even own a coat now myself as I don't need one. Hardly even wear a jumper and if I do it is unzipped.
    Anonymous
    7th Nov 2017
    1:01pm
    OG, you are SICK. Obviously you can't read, and you are incapable of considering anything possible if you personally haven't experienced it. Everything in the world is supposed to work to YOUR rules. If you read my post, I said my partner had a broken hypothalamus. I have a grandson with a genetic disorder that prevents the body adjusting to temperature normally. Not everyone has the same capacity to cope with temperature changes as you do. I know many who simply don't feel the cold. Lucky them! I don't have a problem with heat, but my partner suffers terribly. That's the result of work injury when very young.

    I don't think anyone here cares what you do or don't feel or do, OG. You are so arrogant and rude! This is a discussion about real people with real problems. These egomaniacal rants about how wonderful your world is achieve NOTHING. I think it's long past time you learned to be grateful for good fortune and stop blaming those who haven't been as lucky. Show a little human decency for once. Only a nasty old ignorant fool raves the way you do - putting everyone down.
    Old Geezer
    7th Nov 2017
    6:19pm
    Bonny is right Rainey you are full of excuses and have a very self limiting mindset.
    Anonymous
    9th Nov 2017
    7:54am
    I neither have nor need excuses, OG. But unlike you and Bonny, I live in the real world and open my eyes to the realities of the real world. I am not totally self-obsessed like you and Bonny. I recognize that some people face very real challenges that you egotists dismiss as ''excuses'' because it's suits your self-serving purposes.
    Old Geezer
    10th Nov 2017
    3:06pm
    We all have challenges in life Rainey and it's how one deals with those challenges that makes the difference. The poor little me attitude just doesn't hold water solve those challengers. Just like those who look for someone to blame for their own mistakes.
    Anonymous
    12th Nov 2017
    9:15am
    It's the extent of the challenges that makes the difference, OG. I have never cried ''poor little me'' and I don't condone anyone doing so, but I do recognize that the challenges some folk face can be soul-destroying, and/or can position them such that recovery to the level you seem to expect everyone to reach just isn't possible. Furthermore, the ''mistakes'' you refer to are often actually sacrifices for an ungrateful community. And yes, often society, or specific people who do wrong, ARE to blame. It's a cruel, nasty and bigoted person who fails to acknowledge that our society offers very little protection for the less fortunate against the disgusting abuse of power by many, and often very generous rewards for those who abuse their power.

    Blaming the victim is easy. Respecting others, understanding their challenges, and showing empathy is much more difficult - but the capacity to empathize is what sets humans apart from animals. And since you clearly lack that capacity, we all know what you are, OG. Very sad indeed!
    Joy Anne
    5th Nov 2017
    8:31am
    I am a pensioner and paying $600 a fortnight for rent, SO YES I AM STRUGGLING.PENSIONS SHOULD INCREASE BY AT LEAST $100 PER WEEK. RENTAL ASSISTANCE SHOULD BE AROUND $200 PER FORTNIGHT.
    Lookfar
    5th Nov 2017
    10:46am
    Hi Joy Anne, I am sorry to hear of your desperate situation, and I think your case is much more representative than the Nero's commenting in this website like OG, Bonny, etc, full of judgemental ignorant ideas and BS, pleading the case of the ultra rich, when we know for sure from what happened in Rome that the Rich destroyed Rome by parasiting on the poor, - when taxes became so high farmers had to leave the land and those taxes evaporated, so then they stopped paying the army, so the Soldiers, after a while gave up and went home to try and help their families, so when the germanic tribes got to Rome, there were only the Rich there, partying and politicking till the bitter end, and very easy to despoil and kill, slowly, oh what fun.
    Being Rich, having money and the power it gives in todays society does not create wisdom, - on the contrary, it celebrates greed and self indulgence above all else, - these folk are insane, they should not be allowed to influence the world at all, let alone run it, they can only ruin it, rationalising, and even glorialising, their greed and selfishness to the same bitter end as they did in Rome.
    If the rest of us don't wake up and start really looking at what is going on and intelligently changing it, they will drag us down with them, standing on our heads as we all go under, as before.
    musicveg
    5th Nov 2017
    2:15pm
    I agree Joy Anne, the rent assistance should go up with keeping up with the rent rises. Rent's have risen dramatically but not rent assistance, more to the rich, less to the poor.
    Triss
    5th Nov 2017
    10:04pm
    Yes, Joy Anne, an increase in rent assistance is needed. Unfortunately as soon as that happens landlords will increase the rents.
    TREBOR
    5th Nov 2017
    11:48pm
    Many here may find the comparison odd - but in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, landlords were listed NumberOn on the list of undesirables...

    "During the Cultural Revolution, the Gang of Four and other Ultra-Leftists listed nine categories of political-social undesirables; intellectuals were at the bottom of the list and were called the 'stinking Number Nine'. The line-up of the undesirables was:- landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, moral degenerates, rightists, renegades, enemy agents, capitalist roaders, intellectuals."

    The reality of the Cultural Revolution was not that it was a 'communist' thing - it was more an outpouring of the feelings of the common folk who were doing it hard - and their being Chinese and theoretically communist makes no difference... you see the same things happening here, today.

    The same thing was seen in Tianenmen Square and is growing daily in China.

    (damn, you ask - why did the CIA not offer me a job? They had the chance.)
    Lookfar
    5th Nov 2017
    10:56am
    Hi Joy Anne, I am sorry to hear of your desperate situation, and I think your case is much more representative than the Nero's commenting in this website like OG, Bonny, etc, full of judgemental ignorant ideas and BS, pleading the case of the ultra rich, when we know for sure from what happened in Rome that the Rich destroyed Rome by parasiting on the poor, - when taxes became so high farmers had to leave the land and those taxes evaporated, so then they stopped paying the army, so the Soldiers, after a while gave up and went home to try and help their families, so when the germanic tribes got to Rome, there were only the Rich there, partying and politicking till the bitter end, and very easy to despoil and kill, slowly, oh what fun.
    Being Rich, having money and the power it gives in todays society does not create wisdom, - on the contrary, it celebrates greed and self indulgence above all else, - these folk are insane, they should not be allowed to influence the world at all, let alone run it, they can only ruin it, rationalising, and even glorialising, their greed and selfishness to the same bitter end as they did in Rome.
    If the rest of us don't wake up and start really looking at what is going on and intelligently changing it, they will drag us down with them, standing on our heads as we all go under, as before.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    12:45pm
    So true, Lookfar. Sad, isn't it, that the rich are so greedy and cannot learn from history, but just keep on demanding more and more, with no concern for the future of our society.
    LiveItUp
    5th Nov 2017
    1:11pm
    I have no influence what so ever outside the boundaries of my country estate and what's more i have no desire to have any either. I was not born with a silver spoon but into a family who struggled to make ends meet. I decided i didn't want to live like that so lived a very frugal existance so that I could eventually get the lifestyle I wanted.
    Anonymous
    5th Nov 2017
    1:33pm
    So did I, Bonny. But I don't go around making the kind of mean and self-serving comments you make, and I don't just assume that anyone who didn't achieve as I did is automatically at fault and should suffer. I do, however, blame the government for creating a welfare model that encourages cheating and manipulation and punishes responsible behaviour. That's STUPID. And I do blame the government for over-indulging the rich. That's socially destructive.
    TREBOR
    5th Nov 2017
    11:52pm
    Generally speaking, Rainey - the rich are stupid... educated, successful by some lights maybe - but stupid and usually short-sighted, and they choose as their 'managers' the same kind of people.

    That's why this nation is going backwards as we speak.

    You see the same thing with academics... I actually heard a woman the other day, an academic, say that the view that the Russian Revolution was a failure was not really the case... the commentator (ABC I THINK) said that the deaths of 50 million or more under Stalin seemed to suggest differently....

    Beware of freaks bearing grift.....
    Old Geezer
    6th Nov 2017
    10:50am
    Only the ones who behaves like they think the rich should are stupid. The true wealthy blend in with the rest and it's difficult to pick them out. Most live in modest homes and drive 10 year old cars etc.
    JAID
    6th Nov 2017
    11:46am
    Surprising how many comfortably-well-off do fit that bill OG. Many not to hide wealth, simply because they don't need to show it and they have what they need. Not in today's mega wealthy category but just about every farmer fortunate enough to be in the net worth 3 to 10 million category operates just like that. I knew one character said to be worth 90 million what must have been 25 years ago who drove around in a ute probably about 25 years old; not a pricey V8 either. When people would suggest he should be able to afford better, he would reply, that it does everything he needs.

    My work has taken me amongst quite a few of significant wealth. It is true there can be an element of brashness among some but the great majority were as reasonable, honourable, kind and generous as any in my financially quite broad range of contacts.

    Money can delude those who chase it but as easily those who do not. With and without, many more can live quite oblivious of its magnetism.
    LiveItUp
    6th Nov 2017
    10:10pm
    I had a job decades ago where I had to determine people's ability to pay their bills. The ones that I gave the worse credit ratings we men in fancy suits with fancy cars. I'd regularly be over ruled by my boss and had to hold my tongue when it was evident I was right. It wasn't hard to pick who could pay and who coukdn't without even looking at their applications. I'd write down my score before I even read their application which I rarely chsnged.
    JAID
    7th Nov 2017
    11:08am
    Fancy cars and fancy suits and... up to the hilt in debt...because, as OG says, they behave like they think the rich behave either for misplaced vanity or the greedy and lazy view that the look of success can alone breed riches.

    You could almost have judged by suburb Bonny.
    Pass the Ductape
    5th Nov 2017
    11:45am
    The is only one way to beat the system and get ahead...do exactly what Pauline Hanson has done and Hetty Johnson would like to do - become politicians. Money problems solved
    Lookfar
    5th Nov 2017
    12:05pm
    Ductape, that philosophy is the Predator-Prey idea called Neo-Liberalism, it also fits well with the religion of Materialism,and is antithetical to Democracy, which it inevitably will destroy, a process well advanced in Australia.
    The problem is that the Predators, ie the Rich, are unrestrained in their greed, and work consciously to increase their power and money as wealthy is defined as success, this means the rich work to own the economic, political and cultural assets of society, and have no place or care for the less rich or poor, who are regarded as "sheep".
    As well as destroying Democracy, research indicates thet they will also destroy their society, and have done so many times in the past, a thoughtful analysis of this can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914000615
    Eddy
    5th Nov 2017
    9:39pm
    Forgive me if I'm have it wrong but I understand that Centrelink benefits (ie OAP, DSP etc) are indexed so that they meet at least a specified percentage of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). My research indicates it is currently 27.5% MTAWE for singles and 41.76% MTAWE for couples. Therefore it follows that any increases in minimum wages will increase MTAWE resulting in a commensurate increase in pensions.
    While anyone totally dependant on the OAP or DSP are certainly not in the well off category they will at least share some of the largesse resulting from a successful outcome by the ACTU. I believe this article should at least have commented on the likely increases in OAP instead of painting a gloomy picture by omitting the current pension indexation methodology causing some readers undue worry.
    Lookfar
    6th Nov 2017
    9:41am
    Thanks Eddy, that is good to know, and would have avoided a lot of angst, good for you to share that.
    On the other hand, a good discussion was had and some new perspectives shared.
    Lookfar
    6th Nov 2017
    3:49pm
    When the word Commensurate sinks in, Eddy, it throws a whole new light on the situation, - our pensions go up a few dollars a year or so, and we get an extra $50; or whatever it is, meanwhile our electricity bill goes up $50; a QUARTER, so people, start to wonder how can they survive, just the electricity bill alone becomes a struggle, but how about the average male worker, we get $50;, to pay $ 200; (yearly figures,) he gets 4 times as much, $200; - commensurately his income must have increased by $200, and no doubt his electricity bill will have 4 times like wise,- he has kids and work, clothes MUST be clean, fares paid, much higher food costs, no wriggle room with wearing more jumpers and scrounging in garbage bins, he is up against it and no relief in sight as those with power scrooge every dollar with smug self justifying cliches, - I understand why Joyanne MUST have another $200/week, I only hope the ACTU initiative will bear some fruit, - and now we have the "Paradise Papers", - biggest exposing of Tax Havens ever, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/05/paradise-papers-leak-reveals-secrets-of-world-elites-hidden-wealth
    - and of course it is all perfectly legal, thanks to the conniving Governments, including our "Australian" government. Streuth!
    libsareliars
    6th Nov 2017
    2:53pm
    Yes this would be a good idea, but I also think it would be a good idea to raise the Newstart Allowance to a living wage level as well. They haven't had an increase for 19 years or more and are trying to live off about $500 a fortnight - pretty grim. I have an unemployed child and when their rent is $230 a week it doesn't leave much for anything else. I am constantly helping him out one way or another which is not helping towards my retirement savings.
    musicveg
    6th Nov 2017
    3:06pm
    And you wonder why there is more crime, those who cannot find work, and cannot find cheap rent are ending up sharing with other's and living in less than ideal conditions whilst trying to make ends meet, and better their life, it is very difficult. Some end up homeless then you cannot even get any payment without an address. Such a big part of payments going to rent which keeps rising how, and charity organizations are overwhelmed with helping with food and vouchers.
    Anonymous
    7th Nov 2017
    12:49pm
    How does anyone look for work when they are struggling to survive on about $500 per fortnight? No wonder there's long term unemployment. Clothing to wear to interviews, transport, phone calls, stationery and postage to send off applications... all these things cost money. This stinking government deliberately makes it impossible to look for work and then blames the victim when they don't find it!
    Old Geezer
    7th Nov 2017
    6:25pm
    Rainey the harder it is to survive the more people are inclined to get off their posteriors and get a job.
    musicveg
    7th Nov 2017
    6:31pm
    There are simply not enough jobs for everyone, so how is this going to work. We need to create more jobs before that can happen, otherwise we will see even more crime. Too much manufacturing has gone overseas, jobs are being outsourced, and population keeps growing but employment doesn't.
    Old Geezer
    8th Nov 2017
    9:50am
    There are plenty of jobs in Australia but Australians just don't want to do them. I know of factories who employ 1000s but they import labour as they can't get anyone local to work in them.
    Rae
    8th Nov 2017
    11:15am
    That goes back to management practises OG. Too many managers are downright bullies and disorganisers in Australia. Not sure exactly why.
    We need better training and regulation of management level in our businesses.
    JAID
    8th Nov 2017
    11:33am
    As much as people may not like ot hear it OG, the figures support at least a good part of that view. There may not be enough work to go around everyone but there are a great number of jobs either not taken up or that are filled by other means.

    There will be very good reasons why some cannot move or why some jobs are not suitable for some but generally those of us who can move and can do should not allow proximity to extended family and friends, proximity to the various trifles or the weather or home we have come to appreciate stop us from going where the work is and doing it. For most, use of any of these as excuses shows lack of adventure and it throws the generosity of the community in its face.

    (We could start with more doctors in country areas...yes I know not many doctors are on the dole, just threw that in as the country is served by the brave and adventurous few. Meanwhile, many farms cannot get affordable hard working labour...at least housing is usually cheap; vegetables and meat are usually plentiful...worth a look. Even for oldies, not all farm work is vigorous roles like Homestead gardener/handyperson andshepherd still exist and there should be no gender bar)
    Old Geezer
    8th Nov 2017
    3:48pm
    I'm not talking about farm jobs but jobs in factories in capital cities.
    musicveg
    8th Nov 2017
    4:10pm
    Which factories? Most of them have gone overseas. And how can one afford to live in the city on factory wages?
    JAID
    8th Nov 2017
    4:47pm
    As you did OG. Nor am I talking only of farms (my example) but that is also a place to look.

    Minimum wage rates are mandated and these bear no relation to the costs which some industries can bear under international competition. Unless the industry automates competitively and reduces the human input rate compared with output then the industry closes.

    Without low working wages where they are competitively appropriate, housing provision is either by government or it can be purchased at arbitrarily high cost; no longer are there low income houses (except those mandated;) people on lower incomes are frozen from the market by virtue of the artificially created minimum wages they may otherwise appreciate. As house prices spiral upwards reality is progressively blurred. The result is always the production of massive incomes by few and for miniscule input, higher tax collection increasing the non productive sector, social division and a lot of people hurt when the piper is eventually paid.

    The aim, of course, is to pull everybody ever beyond the menial (if they want that;) to work smarter. To a degree we are doing that but everybody else is getting smarter along the way, while the demand for time is decreasing; it is not a certain fix. It is also solidly skewed by our increasing demands on government and, in the end, on its reliance for provisioning that on being able to flog off something we can dig out of the ground if not the ground itself.

    The primary failing of the socialist/capitalist love affair is that it comes to believe the magic carpet that it only has eyes for, is real.
    Anonymous
    9th Nov 2017
    7:51am
    The figures verify that there are not enough jobs to go around. Perhaps if we stopped importing labour, there might be. But we also have issues with skills matching. And despite legislation (which is not well enforced) we have extensive exploitation of workers and disregard for health and safety regulations.

    And there ARE valid reasons why some people can't relocate to find work or can't take certain types of jobs. A person can suffer a physical disability that prevents them taking many types of work, but yet not be sufficiently disabled to be unable to do suitable work. The problem is that the suitable work is not available to them, so they are expected to survive on Newstart.

    The point I was making, though, is that if you make it too difficult for people to look for work, they give up. Starving someone into desperation isn't going to solve anything. It might satisfy the cruel, selfish egotists who delight in seeing others suffer, but it won't solve the unemployment problem. If motivation is lacking, maybe we need to find out why. It certainly isn't because life on the dole is a picnic! I've worked with long-term unemployed and they are anything but lazy. And making them poorer isn't going to improve their motivation. In most cases, they are actually highly motivated, but they need practical help in specific areas. Or there are very valid reasons why the types of job they can accept are limited.

    Personally, I think the worst thing that ever happened to our society was ''women's liberation'' pushing all women out to work and restructuring society to require two incomes for most families to get by. If more women were allowed to make the choice to stay at home with children, there would be more jobs for those who genuinely need them. And note I said ''allowed to make the choice'' - not ''denied the right to work if they want to''.

    I don't agree with you about the primary failing of the socialist/capitalist system, Jaid. It worked very well in the 60s. I think the primary problem is that greed and selfishness has taken over and is destroying our society - from the top down! It's little wonder some people don't want to work and pay taxes when society abuses the underprivileged but lets the privileged get away with unbelievable dishonesty and corruption. Maybe if our society stopped blaming the victims of social failure for everything, we'd see fewer of them giving up hope.
    musicveg
    9th Nov 2017
    2:56pm
    Rainey, I normally agree with everything you say, but one point is the 'women's liberation' comment. I do believe every woman should have the choices available that a man has but maybe you should have said that either the man OR the woman could be encouraged to stay at home to look after children. Even allowing Grandparents to look after children if they choose without it affecting their pension income. Parents think that giving them all the material wealth is what is good for children but it is the time, energy and love of a parent or grandparent that is needed the most. Children are not pack animals but are being treated as such, childcare, kindergarten, school, workforce, never independent free thinking and choosing what is best for themselves but rather following the herd.
    JAID
    9th Nov 2017
    3:28pm
    Free-thinking is a thing to take out of that. Schools and Kindergartens do institutionalise thinking. The system itself may not aim at this repression. Its culture and the limited vision and worldliness of teachers are causative. Populist thinking is the order of the day. Whether individual themes are beneficial or not the pressure is for conformity.

    Certainly, populist thinking penetrates the universities where a higher order of critical sensibilty is accepted and called for but schools are plagued with it whereas it is just part of the colour at the tertiary level.

    When we respect the liberty of children, critical thinking and liberty as ideals we will engage teachers more as a skeleton part of the infrastructure and pull in a vast array of outsiders by advised student choice.
    Anonymous
    10th Nov 2017
    8:20am
    Thanks, musicveg. That's why I put ''women's liberation'' in inverted commas. It didn't ''liberate'' women. It changed things, but for many it meant moving into bondage - forced to work at menial low-paid jobs because families NEED two incomes if the husband isn't earning much. I did stress that women should be free to work if they wish to. But yes, one income earner per family would be a better social model. And I agree children are being treated like pack animals (or toys!)
    JAID
    10th Nov 2017
    10:11am
    The one breadwinner model may be great for some and even a better overall model Rainey but...and your note doesn't preclude this, every individual must be completely free to lead their own life and make their own compacts in regard to who does what in a relationship.

    It is true that women tend to favour having some children rather than working non-stop and that may make them more likely candidates for homework. If that suits and if the union can achieve what it wants to that way, fine. We demand far more than we did in the past and we need to achieve an overall (and competitive) economic balance, if our demands require two to achieve, so be it.

    The community can go just so far in making that liberty available but it must remain the prerogative of the individuals and parties involved as to how they end up managing their time.

    We need always to be wary, as buyers forcing sellers to keep production costs and profits as lean as we can. That and the demands we make measure the likelihood that we operate off one, two (or more) incomes.

    I would agree that children as necessary accoutrements and to that degree that they may be 'pack animals' but on the whole they seem to have reasonably good lives, pretty well treated.
    PlanB
    7th Nov 2017
    8:50am
    I do not know what a carer gets these days but when I was caring for my Husband it was 24 hours a day as he was unable to do anything for himself -- I had NO nurse calling as I had been trained in Palliative care -- and I had to administer all injections as well and I got HUGE $20 a week
    Mez
    7th Nov 2017
    10:06am
    Age Pension certainly is pittance and a DISGRACE!
    RENT ALLOWANCE IS TOTALLY INSUFFICIENT and has NOT KEPT UP WITH MODERN DAY COSTS OF LIVING!
    IT'S A JOKE AND SO IS THE GOVERNMENT AND DEPARTMENT!
    The only good thing would be the Centrelink app and the Work Bonus!
    Lookfar
    7th Nov 2017
    10:19am
    Thanks Mez, so true, - er excuse my ignorance, how would these items help us? Centrelink app and the Work Bonus!

    7th Nov 2017
    11:47pm
    http://www.yoraps.com/news1.php?subaction=showfull&id=1437576023&ucat=1&archive=&start_from=
    Lookfar
    9th Nov 2017
    10:16am
    So ethan, become a RAP singer?
    Hairy
    8th Nov 2017
    1:17pm
    Rainey and Tisme I agree I have family who is a carer no district nurse available 14 Year’s caring 7days ,available on call 24hrs ,no holidays try telling her it’s a good deal..
    musicveg
    8th Nov 2017
    8:04pm
    So the Government just announces extra money for childcare so both parents can work. Sad that kids's are getting brought up by strangers these days. If one parent was paid to stay at home children would be better off and more jobs for the young.
    JAID
    8th Nov 2017
    8:26pm
    One example does not make a rule...but our experience:

    One of our children spent about two years at childcare and one did not go at all. They appear to be as happy as each other. Probably as well balanced as each other too. The one at child care made a "lifelong" friend earlier which is nice but that could be available at home too.

    It has to be about the chidren and perhaps some take better to one approach than another but we don't see any problems either way.
    Fairness
    9th Nov 2017
    7:38pm
    Sadly governments do tend to accept voluntary or near voluntary assistance from carers and others, where a person's contribution should be recognised as very worthwhile. The rate of $3.50 per hour mentioned elsewhere is quite demeaning. Many carers are quite restricted in other activities because of hours contributed to care of others!!
    musicveg
    10th Nov 2017
    1:25pm
    The Government is ripping everyone off, I just found this written on Change.org petition site:

    Nov 8, 2017 — Nick Minchin on the Tony Jones ABC TV Program Q & A 11/09/2008 stated quite clearly that funds were not, have not and are not collected and held in a bank account waiting for the government to pay it out in the form of the Old Age Pension, or words that meant, “exactly that.”

    As an ex Australian Federal Government finance Minister, now shadow defence minister, this man knows that his statement on that television program, was a blatant lie (and he said it with a look of such sincerity on his face).

    Well, it certainly was collected and it amassed such huge amounts that this government and those preceding couldn’t help themselves. Without any right, they plundered it and spent billions of it over the years. This was money earned by the people themselves through hard work and often deprivation (as a legislated obligation, part thereof was collected by the Tax Department for this very purpose).

    To this day this money is collected as a tax which originally, specifically, and intentionally was to fund, “the Aged Pension.”

    To dispel misinformation from Party Politicians and their spin doctors, here are some historical facts that every Australian (especially the young who are under the miss-guided belief and/or assumption that they are funding the Aged Pension from their current hard work) should know.
    The young are in fact funding their own Pension Fund and to add insult to injury they are forced to pay into a super fund.

    1939 - 1945
    World War II

    1942 - 1943
    As a Wartime measure, the Federal Government gained sole control over Australian Income Tax. Labor Prime minister (Ben Chifley) introduced three bills to establish the National Welfare Fund, to be financed by a Compulsory Contribution (levy) of one and sixpence in the Pound (20/-) on all personal income.

    Opposition Leader (Robert Menzies) stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate from other government income streams, that it should be shown separately on the Taxation Assessment and paid straight into a “TRUST” account, and not mixed with the General Revenue.
    Menzies said “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension.” and that “It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    Prime Minister Chifley agreed and established The National Welfare fund as at 1/1/1946.

    A “Trust” Fund with the Parliament as “Trustee.” The Compulsory Contributions (levy) commenced as at 1st January 1946. It was shown separately on the personal Tax
    Assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 and the compulsory levy was properly paid straight into the Special “Trust” fund and Welfare claims were paid out of the fund.
    The balance in the fund in 1950 was almost 100 million pounds.

    1949
    Robert Menzies became Prime Minister and he introduced Bills to amend the acts governing the National Welfare Funds.

    The Compulsory Contributions (levy) was then grouped with the Taxation Assessment and appeared as one amount on the Taxation assessments and was paid as one amount straight into the Consolidated Revenue Account. The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced.

    The Opposition Labor Party had collaborated in this sabotage by remaining silent instead of opposing Menzies’ action.

    1951 - 1985
    The compulsory levy of 7.5% now included in the tax continued to be collected and placed in the Consolidated Revenue Account treated as General Revenue and spent, until 1985.

    1974 – 1975
    Labor Prime Minister (Gough Whitlam) abolished income test for all persons 70 years of age and over and paid pensions to all people over that age.

    1975
    Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser) cancelled the Whitlam legislation.

    1977
    Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser with Treasurer Philip Lynch) transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund Account (approximately $470,000,000) to Consolidated Revenue Account.

    1985
    Australian Labor Government repealed acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts). Thus the funds finally ceased to exist yet the 7.5% levy continued to be collected as a proportion of the Income Tax revenue. It also introduced the (much maligned) Income and Asset Tests, thereby excluding millions of levy and tax paying Australians from receiving Social Services Pensions.
    This money these self funded contributions paid as a percentage of the total income tax collections are today worth far more than the amount of means tested pensions paid out.

    Actuaries have calculated the non-means tested entitlement due to each retiree, today is in excess of $500 per week.

    This surely debunks the politician’s claim that the generation are paying a proportion of their current taxes to cover the payments made to pensioners. The obvious short fall has been swallowed by the Government’s Taxation black hole.

    The historical summary above highlights the fact that politicians of opposing political parties each contributed to the agenda to destroy the entitlement as it was intended. Why? They had no mandate to do so, it clearly was not and is not the will of the people.

    While Party Politicians on both sides are controlled by a few people who are hidden from public view yet are open to manipulation and outright corruption, there can be no certainty of the payment of pensions.

    Only a majority of truly Independent representatives can bring about a change from Government under corporate control, to Government for the People, of the People, by the People.

    Just because a cabal of political miscreants become so greedy that they change the way a tax looks in the Ledgers, IN NO WAY REMOVES THE FACT THAT THIS TAX IS STILL COLLECTED TO THIS DAY TO PROVIDE FOR THE SUPPLY AND CONTINUATION OF THE OLD AGE PENSION - A STIPEND TO THE ELDERLY CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY WHO HAVE WORKED FOR DECADES OF THEIR LIVES TO BUILD A NATION AND HAVE FROM WORKING DAY ONE OF THEIR LIVES, BEEN PAYING 7% PLUS OF THEIR TAXES DIRECTLY TOWARDS THIS PENSION.

    The old age pension is not a privilege:
    Is not a right.
    Is not a gift.
    Is not even welfare.

    The Old Age Pension is an asset owned and accrued by each Australian Citizen who has funded this asset from their very own purse.

    The governments of the day were employed to amass, secure, invest and manage a fund that in its first 5 years bulged to almost £100,000,000, an amount that today would be worth approximately $240 million.

    They did amass, secure, invest and manage - and the figures were colossal and frightening to them and hence they conspired to hide them back into the consolidated Revenue bucket and to this day, that bucket has been brimming with a 7.5% tax collected specifically and only, for the Old Age Pension.

    No, young Australians, you are not paying for the welfare of Baby boomers, you are paying for yourselves, new immigrants, the needy in society requiring social services and welfare, dole recipients and the bludgers, BUT YOU ARE NOT PAYING FOR THE OLD AGE PENSION OF ELDERLY AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE WORKED ALL THEIR LIVES IN THIS COUNTRY AND PAID THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES.

    Courtesy of
    Albert Caine
    AutumnOz
    10th Nov 2017
    1:50pm
    Musicveg, thank you for finding and posting this information which is of vital interest to all of us over the age of 65 years.
    Old Geezer
    10th Nov 2017
    3:02pm
    I too could gather enough facts together to put a very slanted case for change on Change.org and gets lots of signatures.
    musicveg
    10th Nov 2017
    3:07pm
    OG why say this? Do you think that it is all not true? I am interested to know what is the truth. I copied and pasted the article to share and hopefully get some constructive comments from other readers here.
    Anonymous
    10th Nov 2017
    5:54pm
    You can talk about the pension system 'ad nauseum" ..the subject have been overcooked and becomes boring.

    Nothing you say will change anything. The pension system is what it is and no government labor or liberal are going to give pensioners huge pensions. The counry cannot afford it.

    It is up to those coming behind us to plan for their retirement and learn from those who have gone before them.

    Planning is the key to a good retirement.
    musicveg
    10th Nov 2017
    6:04pm
    Why do some people say we cannot afford it when we can afford keeping on paying politicians pensions for so long after they are politicians and keep getting pay rises when they are not even doing their job properly. How come we can afford to possibly give Adani $1 billion dollars? There are so many other things the money is spent on too which does not need to be, wake up Radish it is a total rip off and not everyone can plan for a good retirement.
    Anonymous
    11th Nov 2017
    7:45am
    Of course not all can plan for retirement but many can but choose not to do so. Drifting along through life is no longer an option in this day and age and that is why I say those coming behind us need to look ahead and plan. A great many are doing this now.

    \Pensions are a safety net to give a basic standard of living for those no longer in the workforce and those less fortunate.

    Pensions are not a right any longer....that is a fact...have not been for many many years.

    We were told 30 years ago to plan for our retirement ; some chose to listen some did not.
    Anonymous
    12th Nov 2017
    8:59am
    Of course people should plan for retirement if they are able, Radish, but four facts are being ignored in the current debate over pensions:

    (1) vast numbers of the older generation COULDN'T plan adequately, given their circumstances. They relied on promises made by the government that pensions would support those who didn't have access to retirement savings plans.
    (2) Many of our generation were victims of a poorly regulated investment and superannuation system in which fund managers, brokers, etc. routinely ripped off investors, made careless and devastatingly poor investment decisions (with other people's money), and financial education was not readily available to the masses to enable them to protect their own interests. They trusted people in authority, because that's how our older generation were brought up.
    (3) many who DID plan have had the rug pulled from under them with grossly unfair policy changes
    AND
    (4) current rules send a strong message that unless you can achieve very high levels of saving (or very high returns), you are better off limiting your savings, because there are harsh penalties for ending up in the middle zone of having too much to qualify for a pension but not enough to generate an income equal to what those enjoying a pension PLUS returns on a capped level of savings are achieving.

    'Add to that, the current rules are discriminatory in the extreme.

    The government reneged on its promise (made as a condition of the Greens supporting the assets test change) to conduct a full review of the age pension system. It's a review that's badly needed and long overdue, but I fear it would achieve little given the short-sighted arrogance of those making policy. They seem totally incapable of conceiving fresh, innovative ideas, much less seeing the huge flaws in their quick-fix bandaid policies.

    We CAN afford to pay decent aged pensions. Australia spends a lot less on its aging population than almost every developed nation, and its forward projections show falling costs - not rising. If we can afford tax cuts for corporations and high wealth individuals, we can well afford to look after our aging properly. It's not a question of affordability. It's a question of priorities, and our society is demonstrating a sad lack of respect for elders and a very sad lack of empathy and compassion.