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

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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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RELATED LINKS

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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313 Comments

Total Comments: 313
  1. 0
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    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

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      Absolutely agree with you tisme. This needs to be addressed.

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      The situation is appalling.

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      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.

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      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.

    • 0
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      …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…..

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      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…

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      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.

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      Carers get paid welfare as they can’t get a job and have no other means of support. Wealthy carers get nothing.

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      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.

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      No Rainey it’s not a hard job as mot have the district nurse visit 3 times a day to help them out.

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      Sitting at home doing nothing is not having a job, OG, going out and working, whatever the work, is having a job.

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      Well we all know what job means. Just Over Broke!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      I must live in Utopia then as that what happens to the man next door and the lady up the street.

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      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!

  2. 0
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    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?

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

    • 0
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      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.

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      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!

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      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!

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      Ok I get it. I agree I’m not rich then as I didn’t get any of those superannuation concessions!

    • 0
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      No. You set up trusts to avoid tax. You don’t even own your home – so it’s very clear you manipulate the system.

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      Rainey unless you are mega rich setting up trhsts etc just to save tax is more costly than paying the tax.

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      Surely then, Bonny – that must be OG’s bed, for he liest in it…..

    • 0
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      No Rainey I don’t have any trusts to avoid tax or do I own the house I live in.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

  3. 0
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    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.

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      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.

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      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”

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      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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      NAB sacked it’s workers due to the government imposing that extra banking tax on them. It is as simple as that.

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      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.

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      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).

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      What about all those women and men that haven’t paid taxes for 20 years because they are too busy looking after their families?

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      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?

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      Pubic transport? Doesn’t exist around here I’m afraid.

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      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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      Pensioners and Retirees Union – PRU(dent)…..

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      Good one, Trebor.

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      Slow today – feel it, too.. shgould be United Pensioners Unions – UPU!

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      Even better.

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      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.)

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      George, the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition care even less for pensioners.

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      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!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      What about 5% discount on groceries in NSW. Seniors NSW has teamed up with Woolies and offers a 5% discount.

      https://www.seniorscard.
      sw.gov.au/discounts/homepageoffers/woolworths-offer

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    Excellent
    Let’s hope this happens and for age pensions as well

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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?

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    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.

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      You have hit the nail on the head Rosret good to know that someone on this sight has a responsible attitude.

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      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…

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      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.

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      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.

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    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.

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      Get for nothing!!!!!! Whinging pensioners!!! Get too much as it is!!
      Who the hell are you?

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      It wouldn’t matter how much most got it would never be enough! Heaven forbid if they had to do something for it.

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      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!!

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      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…..

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      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?

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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…..

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      However – if you continue to hurl insults around I’m sure someone here will show you the door…… Roby….

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    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

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      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.

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