Aussies living in poverty prove Age Pension inadequacy

A new report has found that the Age Pension is thoroughly inadequate.

Aussies living in poverty prove Age Pension inadequacy

A new report into the adequacy of the Age Pension has found that, with around 500,000 older Australians living below the poverty line, the Age Pension is thoroughly inadequate.

The report, The Adequacy of the Age Pension in Australia: An Assessment of Pensioner Living Standards, conducted by Per Capita, The Benevolent Society and The Longevity Innovation Hub, found that age pensioners – especially older women and renters – are at a very high risk of living in poverty.   

Life for these pensioners is difficult. Many forgo hot water during the summer months to make utilities more affordable; others skip food to pay for medicines and health care; some go without internet and mobile phones thereby losing touch with family, friends and the wider community and, because they can’t afford dental care, mash or blend food to make it easier to chew.

As a result of these findings, The Benevolent Society is calling on the Government to make radical changes so that older Australians can live out their later years in dignity.

“The Age Pension in Australia is clearly inadequate – that is an indisputable fact and the Government has to face up to that fact,” said report co-author and chairman of The Longevity Innovation Hub, Everald Compton.

The group has proposed the forming of an independent tribunal that assesses the adequacy of the Age Pension twice per year, in order to recommend a suitable level of income that covers life’s necessities and allows pensioners to live more comfortably in retirement.

With the base rate of the Age Pension currently at $794.80 per fortnight for a single person and $599.10 per person in a couple, and the poverty line drawn at $851 per fortnight, it is clear, by those numbers, that the Age Pension is inadequate for living even a modest lifestyle.

The report recommends a number of further measures that may alleviate some of the hardship faced by Australian pensioners. Some of these include:

  • adjusting rent assistance rates to help bridge the gap between homeowners and renters, indexed to housing costs instead of CPI
  • providing nationally standardised Medicare-funded dental care for all age pensioners
  • increasing awareness of Government schemes and subsidies related to non-pharmaceutical health expenses
  • coordinating state-based rebates for pensioners to prevent utility costs rising as a proportion of pensioner expenses
  • providing broadband internet supplements or rebates.

It is estimated that these recommendations would cost the Government around $2 billion per year. Although the report recognises that advocating for increased expenditure in the current fiscal climate may be difficult, it suggests that the Government could introduce other measures that could fund these changes. They include a reduction of negative gearing and tax concessions on capital gains, a restriction of superannuation tax concessions, a crackdown on multi-national tax avoidance, a reduction of the assets-free area for homeowners and an increase in taper rates from $1.50 to $2.

Overall, once the cost of the recommendations is taken into account, the total potential savings for the Government – should all these measures be introduced – would be around $8 billion per year.

If you would like to join the Fix Pension Poverty campaign, please visit www.communityrun.org
Read the press release

Opinion: Stop pension rot

A new report states that over 1.5 million older Australians rely on the Age Pension as their main source of income and more than a third of them are living below the poverty line. This is unsurprising. We have been regularly reporting on this shortfall. It’s well past time that something was done to fix this problem once and for all.

Not all pensioners are created equal. Our own study Retirement in a digital world shows that over 32 per cent of those surveyed live on a full Age Pension and over 40 per cent live on a part Age Pension. And although more than 67 per cent of our respondents said they are positive about life in retirement, a whopping 87 per cent feel that the current Age Pension is not enough from which to live a comfortable life. Almost one third of those surveyed rent or part-own their home.

When we take into account that only 20 per cent of respondents claim that they will have enough money to live out their years, that leaves 80 per cent unsure as to whether their retirement savings will last as long as they do.

As far as pensioner health goes, just under three-quarters of our survey participants take prescribed medicine daily and around two-thirds take daily supplements, making health costs and GP or specialist visits a major expense for many older Australians.

The Age Pension has just received a minor bump in income, however, as many of those surveyed in the Assessment of Pensioner Living Standards report will tell you, a $3.10 increase per fortnight is just not enough. Additionally, an increase in the pension is usually followed by an increase in the cost of living.

Annual increases in rental costs often outweigh any increase in the Age Pension, as do the rising costs of medicines, healthcare, health insurance, food and utilities.

So many pensioners sacrifice what we would consider ‘necessities’ just to survive day to day. An inadequate Age Pension puts older Australians at a huge disadvantage, stripping them of a decent quality of life, and forcing them to live in squalor. This should be catalyst enough for the Government to make the necessary adjustments. The suggestion of an independent tribunal that constantly monitors the expenses required for our ageing population is surely a wise one.

A blanket approach to the Age Pension is not working. So many reports will tell you the amount of money required to live a modest lifestyle, yet these same reports don’t take into account the full cost of living for individuals. It measures in averages and, as we all know, these averages are often skewed by the ultra-wealthy.

The report’s recommendations are sound, sensible and something the Government urgently needs to examine. We live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and our pensioners – who have done the hard yards, contributed to society and made our communities what they are today – should not be living in squalor and deprivation. It is simply unacceptable.

What do you think of the recommendations? Do you do it tough each day? What do you ‘skip’ so that you can get by? What would you add to these recommendations?

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    COMMENTS

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    19th Sep 2016
    10:14am
    The report seems to have merit for addressing some inequities - the tribunal seems to be a reasonable idea - as does their addressing of the housing issue in different cities with non-home owners.

    But I am not sure what home owners will think about their assets free threshold being lowered to $150K and $100K for couples and singles respectively as a saving measure? They are also suggesting a higher taper rate.

    And their idea about further restricting tax concessions on superannuation to reduce the extent to which super is used for tax planning instead of retirement saving is probably a mute point in light of recent changes
    Star Trekker
    19th Sep 2016
    10:26am
    The taper rate they are suggesting is lower that what the govt is putting in place as of Jan 2017
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    10:47am
    Star Trekker - yes, I thought the taper rate was going to be $3/$1000 - but theirs is $2 - up from $1.50 according to them - possibly they are out-of-date?
    Rae
    19th Sep 2016
    11:28am
    No one seems to be able to get any of it right.

    I do think the re contribution of tax concessional superannuation needs addressing.

    It is not on that money concessionly taxed can be suddenly non concessional simply by taking it out and putting it back in.

    There is nothing to stop millions being kept in accumulation accounts at 15% and then being taken out in lump sums and re contributed over and over again.

    I might be missing something though.
    Rae
    19th Sep 2016
    11:29am
    That is re contributed into pension accounts as they are being drawn down.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    11:36am
    Yep - you are missing something.

    It is a harder now to wash out the tax component if it was all concessional - as the non-concessional amount is limited to $100K per year.

    The most tax you can wash out now is $800K before you are 65 using the 3-year bring forward rule - it was $540K - that made it easier to get close to $1.6m.

    So no - you can't have millions and wash out all the tax - and still keep it in super.

    You can change the recontribution rules - but if you move it all out to a non-super environment all tax is instantly removed - most people would do just that if they got sick or older.

    The sad fact of life is that the reason people with money have it in the first place - is they just work within the tax and other rules to ensure they protect and grow what they have.

    You just have to come to grips with the fact that it is legal to minimise tax and there are ways to do it -and anyone interested in growing or protecting their assets are going to use whatever legal tax rules are available to do just that.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    11:57am
    Oops - need to clarify.

    You can only contribute $100K per year non-concessionally - it used to be $180K.

    You can use the 3-year bring forward rule and contribute $300K non-concessionally in one year - it was $540K.

    If you were retired before 60 you could use your Low Cap Rate of $195K and recontribute that as well at 58 and 59 - depending on your pension payment tax - it might only be worth doing $100K.

    In other words you can now pay out and recontribute around $800K before 65 in order to wash out tax.
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:17pm
    Thresholds will be INCREASED as per from reply further down from Centrelink tables.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    2:19pm
    Reasons because this legislation does not come into effect until July 2017 then it is reasonable to assume that the old rules still apply until 2017. So you can put in $180k or $540K until July 2017. However as this has not yet been passed by the government then most financial advisors are holding off until it is clarified.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    2:49pm
    Yes you are right OG.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    1:56am
    OG - perhaps we will have a change of 'government' by then, and the next part of The Tag Team will have their go at us.
    Bonny
    20th Sep 2016
    6:54am
    Be careful wwhat you wish for.
    John
    19th Sep 2016
    10:40am
    Yes I've been living in my vehicle for two years but yet still I don't do anything to help the pensioners be at the politician still get 150 to 250 when they come out of parliament 10 to 12 free flight see you absolutely rip off i've been told by the time I get public-housing I'll probably be dead talk about handouts to the pensioners have worked all the lives I now need a hand now don't get one at the politicians keep getting their superannuation bigger and bigger why can't the politicians go to work in they're all vehicles that would start to save a lot of money cook them on the free flights to get for the rest of the life's set a lot of money cook them on the big payouts to get for the rest of our life's now on the Whitey said people after work till the 70 so they can carry on with been off the public with the big superannuation is the get absolutely ripped off when people are that shortly have to go out and take some with used to work there sit down every day to Emile probably that you don't have to pay for chauffeur driven even though it's a disgrace they want to live in the real World come and live in mine for one there no there's not one of them will tackle the offer because it looks in the bastards
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:02am
    Spot on, John. They've 'done their public service' for which they should be 'adequately compensated' for their 'loss of opportunity' to make (apparently) millions on the outside...... so their 'compensation' is only just.

    Right?

    The reality that they've left countless millions short of a retirement, through their much-vaunted 'policies', means nothing....

    What a relief to be able to retire at 45 to 'enjoy some time with family'..... and then go on to some other nice little sinecure, and be regarded as 'an elder statesman'.

    I've lived in my vehicle.... I've been through all of it and at times earned as much annually as these twerps - and I've had to do it hard for most of it. Nobody gave me a free ride sitting on my asset and working out nice little rejoinders to the 'opposition'.
    jackie
    19th Sep 2016
    10:50am
    The Age Pension has always been inadequate. I have memories of my grandfather renting a room in a boarding house and making home brew beer to supplement to supplement his pension. A humble man that worked hard all his life with no super, nor savings. He gave away his savings to one of his 6 children in need.
    Triss
    19th Sep 2016
    11:07am
    We have to learn from history. When John Howard was PM he made many of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party policies his own. The One Nation Party policies for pensioners are very much for pensioners. Sitting MPs will do anything to keep their well paid seats and the success of ON at the last election will have sent a chill breeze around their nether regions. Pensioners are a big voting bloc and a letter to your MP and one to Turnbull telling them you will be thinking of voting for ON because of their pensioner policies will, I think, bring them to heel.
    BrianP
    19th Sep 2016
    11:10am
    Dignity and enough to live on in later years - This is just one of the many challenges governments are so far failing to overcome. We will not succeed until we face up to the major changes that are needed.

    Eventually governments will realise money has to be replaced to reduce greed and corruption. We need desperately to find better ways of protecting vulnerable people in our world.
    Patriot
    19th Sep 2016
    1:25pm
    BrianP
    The Banksters have changed the purpose of money to be "A tool for ALL" to become a commodity and only "Serve THEIR GREED" by enslaving the population in general.

    Resolve this issue and return money to take It's "Rightful place in Societies & Communities" and all problems will be resolved easily.

    Let's start enforcing the Australian Constitution and FORCE the Govt to Issue money for the benefit of the people of Australia rather than the Banksters.

    Only one problem: "It'll take ALL of US" to resolve these issues!!!

    Look at Iceland - ALL loans were "Paid Out" and property tile handed to those who had a loan - this for the ENTIRE population!!!
    On top of that, they did the right thing and JAILED the (BANK)/(GANG)STERS!!

    Are there lessons in such actions?????
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:03am
    What's the problem? They have plenty of 'dignity' for themselves in retirement....
    Happy cyclist
    19th Sep 2016
    11:15am
    I can't help but note that finally we do not get a photo of an unusually good-looking grey-haired couple, gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. Finally a somewhat realistic photo of a woman who has seen her fair share of life's reversals I'd say. Its a lovely photo for a change.
    Wendy HK
    19th Sep 2016
    4:10pm
    I agree - this photo is of a beautiful lady who needs help
    johnp
    19th Sep 2016
    11:20am
    maybe Im wrong, but I thought the threshold was about $294K for couples ? And in Jan2017 its going to increase ?
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:19pm
    Incorrect. Refer to my reply further down from Centrelink tables.
    Rosie
    19th Sep 2016
    11:27am
    Please read the full report before getting your hopes up! That $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for the couples Asset Test figures (before a tapering rate starts) would be really crippling for most pensioners. The increase in taper rate of $2 per thousand extra assets seems outdated, makes me wonder when this report was really compiled.
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    11:43am
    I think that applies for home owners whereas it is higher for those renting like $250,000.00 for singles I seem to remember.
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:21pm
    Refer to my reply further down for full figures from Centrelink table recently posted.
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    11:33am
    So true! Countries overseas pay more and this includes New Zealand.
    KSS
    19th Sep 2016
    12:30pm
    And there are many more with absolutely no state funded pensions at all. That makes Australian pensioners well off in comparison. So what? What other countries do or don't do is irrelevant when you are relying on the Government for 'safety-net' payments.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:09am
    .. but.... but.. but... what about their POLICIES to enable all to retire in comfort with super etc?

    Did I miss something?

    but.... but... but..... what about the social security contribution that has never been removed from taxation, but was way-laid into

    'consolidated revenue',

    and thus became the plaything of politicians of any stamp, rather than the guaranteed retirement fund for all?

    I'd say that funding was transferred to the Caymans along with the rest of the 'Future Fund'...

    Just saying...... (snuckles under armpit at revealing the truth that will hurt the bastards)..... (snuckle)....
    Old Man
    19th Sep 2016
    11:34am
    Well, now it's official; I'm living below the poverty line and so is my partner. Of course we would like to see the pension raised but how is it to be paid for. The same reasons have been put forward which regular readers of this forum will recognise as what most bloggers have been advocating. It's not rocket surgery but, again, there has been no method of how to achieve the outcome put forward.

    Sure, changing negative gearing, capital gains tax and mucking about with super all sound good but there will be reactions to these which may cause unforeseen problems. Will housing prices rise? There has been much said to support either side of that argument with no satisfactory conclusion. We have already seen in this forum the reaction to any changes to super with the most common theory being that a set of rules, acceptable to superannuants, be devised and set in concrete. By all means change the tax laws which favour multinationals but how can that be done without disadvantaging our national and local businesses. What if multinationals choose to leave Australia and become an online seller, how many jobs which contribute a tax income will be lost. There is a balance that must be maintained.

    I have stated here on a number of occasions why I believe that the value of the family home must be quarantined from the asset test. The value of a home is wholly decided on the address of the home, not the size, and it's unfair to force pensioners to either sell their home or lose the pension. There are homes in western Sydney that were originally public housing dwellings that were relatively cheap that are now selling for over $1M because of land value yet the same home in another area would be classed as being in the first home buyer's range. Why should pensioners who, in a lot of cases, have lived most of their married life and raised a family in their home be forced out to an area where they don't wish to go?

    I find it interesting that a lot of these theories come from think tanks and foundations where none of the people involved will ever be in a position to become dependent on government largesse. Another point is how is the poverty line assessed. Is it the medium of average wages, is it on the cost of living in a capital city or is it a figure plucked from some think tank's idea of what they would need to live.
    Old Man
    19th Sep 2016
    12:51pm
    According to Wikipedia, Australia does not have an official poverty line, either absolute or relative. Apparently there are two methods currently in use; The Smith family researchers adds up all the pay packets in Australia and divided them by the number of wage earners. That average is then halved to find the poverty line which gives the mean. The Centre for Independent Studies ranks all the pay packets in descending order, finds the wage in the very middle of that range and then halves that to find the poverty line which gives the median and a very different result.

    Like a lot of information online, Wikipedia has its limitations and whilst the above may be correct, there is no information to say whether the figures quoted are acceptable to all of the different bodies associated with pensioners, including the government.
    Hasbeen
    19th Sep 2016
    1:30pm
    Great post Old Man. It is a pity that so many suffer so much from envy that they can't see the wood for the trees.

    The large individual payment to the politicians costs little bottom line prepared to just a little paid to welfare recipients. As our numbers increase it becomes harder to give us what we need, let alone what many want. Taking all we spend on the pollies & distributing it to welfare folk would be so little per individual, it would barely be noticed.

    So who should pay for higher pensions?
    Should it come from those who have saved, or are saving for their own retirement?
    Should it come from our kids, who are having enough trouble making their way themselves?
    Multi nationals, who are all too ready to abandon Oz, & go somewhere more profitable, taking their jobs, & import replacement products with them?

    Not enough in all of it to satisfy the whingers.

    Bureaucrats, yes, there are hundreds of thousands of them, about half involved in nothing useful. Big savings to be had there, just cut them in half, & the public would never notice a difference.

    NGOs, a cast of millions, mostly more nuisance than they are worth. Shut them all, & find which ones were actually doing something useful & REINSTATE ONLY THEM, WITH A SUNSET DATE.

    Higher education, perhaps the most bloated sector of all. Yep half that at least, how many more arts graduates do MacDonald's need to flip burgers?

    Even with all the above & a few more economies, we will never have enough to give the useless or the envious, & why should we? I find living on the pension a breeze. The fact that I don't smoke, drink or like restaurant dining probably helps.

    I did of course devote the last 15 years of my working life to making sure I owned my home car & a few toys, all in good condition. Hell, I'm even managing to replace the things that have worn out over the last 10 years.

    To be honest I don't have much sympathy for those who pissed it up against a wall when younger. We reap what we have sewn, Which is as it should be.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    2:33pm
    The hose is the most inequitable part of the OAP and the sooner it is included the better. Why should people with expensive houses get the full OAP and those who have less in assets get nothing?
    Old Man
    19th Sep 2016
    2:48pm
    Old Geezer, a house doesn't put food on the table. If it is included as an asset, a lot of pensioners will get their pension cancelled and I can't see how that can be allowed to happen. Why should people who have set aside a part of their income during their working life to buy a home be penalised? Why should some homeowners be allowed to keep a pension whilst others cannot?
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    2:52pm
    Old Man - your own home is always an interesting conundrum.

    If someone has no house and $2m - they get no pension.

    If someone has no money and a $2m home - they get the full pension.

    Go figure.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    3:06pm
    Exactly Reasons it is the more inequitable part of the OAP. It would be easy to pay back the pension from the proceeds of your house when you die.
    Old Man
    19th Sep 2016
    4:48pm
    Thanks Reasons, a very interesting point for which I have no answer.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:12am
    Paid for, Sir? Why - from the same funding that offers to those who make the rules the opportunity to retire in majesty......

    No more need be said.... a 'Futures Fund' is for ALL - not just for the select few - and is not transferable to some tax haven to deprive OUR taxation system of its just revenue...

    Why should Public Money be transferred to a fund for the exclusive use of those who transfer it?

    Just asking (again)....
    Dave H
    19th Sep 2016
    11:35am
    The politicians do not care one bit they have the attitude that it will blow over you must accept this that is why I now vote informal
    floss
    19th Sep 2016
    11:42am
    Super for Working Class people is dead in the water thanks to THE GREED IS GOOD PARTY we have in power at this time.As soon as they come to power they put the boot in and will keep it up till they are booted out at the next election. The pensioners that voted for this party will live to regret it.
    john
    19th Sep 2016
    3:11pm
    Both majors are the same. We need a whole rethink and more simpler handling of things like this, that most don't fully understand either.

    I think I'm one of the dummies?
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:16am
    Looney - it won't change under the 'opposition'. Once they take the reins all they will do is say, "It's too hard to fix!" - while they continue to feather their own nests and live like royalty at our expense.
    Migrant
    19th Sep 2016
    11:49am
    As all other assets are valued for the assets test at market value, surely the value of the family home should be included in the Centrelink Assets Test at Market value.
    This would eliminate the different tests for homeowners and non home owners.
    HOWEVER when I read the comments I realise what time and effort is wasted arranging ones affairs just to qualify...how much simpler it would be if the Age Pension was paid to all.
    Financial planning and estate planning would be straight forward, and the tax system could be adjusted to claw back income from those who do not need the Age Pension to supplement their retirement incomes.
    Migrant
    Rae
    19th Sep 2016
    12:59pm
    That is exactly what most sane countries do. Pay the pension to all of pension age and then tax extra income accordingly.

    However Australia is mad keen on paying agencies like Centrelink and others billions to mess these things up year after year.

    It gives the rest of us something to do. Figuring out how to get around the thing and use it to advantage

    Don't try talking to your accountant team today as they are in meetings figuring the best moves for everyone.

    The Game is On now with the new rules.

    Going to be a doozy. It will either continue to force up real estate prices or crash the market.Using limited recourse borrowings is already being recommended.

    Working out market value for real estate is tricky I suggest they would use Valuer General land value assessments.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    1:24pm
    Rae/Migrant - other countries like the UK and US have specific pension/social security plans that the whole population specifically pay into - hence they all get a government pension - it is fully funded theoretically.

    Australia does not have that type of pension - our AOP is an annual budget liability and a government welfare payment to ensure no Australian lives in poverty (I can see what is coming).

    Australia has a superannuation system similar to Holland and some other countries.

    But Rae - I am shocked you are trying to get around the system and use it to your advantage - that's a bit hypocritical is it not - in light of your horror at people using tax rules to manage their affairs!
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:18am
    but... but.. but...... Migrant... you need to live somewhere before you can eat etc.....

    Why is that simple equation so hard? Maybe where you come from you can just build a mud hut at age 70 - here in the civilised world it is so much harder.....

    The council won't even LET you build a mud hut....
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:20am
    Rae is right - pay everyone the Pension from the Social Security component of taxation overall ( not just income tax, dummies) and tax all income, including fringe benefits, above that.

    Simple, easy and far less costly to run.
    Bonny
    20th Sep 2016
    7:04am
    Well the black ecomomy will do well while ever we use cash.
    Rae
    20th Sep 2016
    9:26am
    You must work for the banks Bonny?

    Remember all those promises.

    CPI will be just a cheap payment to protect kids in accidents. Sure.

    Privatising health will save us money and lower costs. Sure.

    There will be no costs to have your pay directed through your bank account. Sure.

    Don't use cash. Leave all your money safely with us. Sure.

    Now Bonny you seem like a mature person.

    Surely you don't still trust them. You realise all those trustworthy bank managers are gone don't you.

    Besides only the ignorant and ordinary and illegal need the cash economy to avoid tax. Even then the smart ones wash the money through a business and pay the pittance to the tax office.

    The really smart ones use trusts, corporations and tax havens and surperannuation strategies, negative gearing, business write offs, etc,etc, etc,etc.

    Books full of ways to minimise tax.
    johnp
    19th Sep 2016
    11:52am
    Sorry, Im still confused. I thought the centrelink threshold for full aged pension was about $294K for home owner couples ? And in Jan2017 its going to increase ?
    Maybe Im not reading the article correctly ?
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:15pm
    Check my reply furher down from recent Centrelink tables.
    Slab46
    19th Sep 2016
    11:59am
    There are many ways the government can rid itself of the huge debt the country is in, BUT I will not go there. My problem is this, My hubby and I receive part of our aged pension from the New Zealand Government, as I lived in NZ for a good part of my life. The problem is this... the exchange rate. As NZ pay this portion into my bank account we have to wear the exchange rate. When every 4 weeks, $710 is from NZ, we have lost quite a lot of money since being old enough to claim the aged pension. We have both worked ALL our adult life and paid more than our share in taxes, but got crucified in the Global financial crises. I am currently doing an exercise, and now find since Feb 2011 we have had our pension short changed by over $9000. On an already low amount, during the GFC this equated to $50 per week, we were short changed. The only way we are able to maintain a reasonable life style is to live in a caravan and do house/farm sits, in return for FREE accommodation. There will come a time, as we are both now 70, when we will not be able to 1/ handle the caravan, 2/ not have the health to continue. We dread the time we will have to pay rent, or indeed go into a home, as we are not able to care for ourselves. What if the Government gave every retired couple/single enough money to own a small house freehold, and a small reliable car, then arranged for pensioners to receive free power, then MAYBE the current full pension would be enough. The distance between the rich and the poor in becoming an ever increasing chasm. Not to mention that ALL our working lives, when we paid our taxes, we were promised alivable aged pension if it was needed!!!!!!!!
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    12:05pm
    And why not include a short overseas holiday once every 2 years also (can't be greedy and go every year - eh)?
    Slab46
    19th Sep 2016
    12:31pm
    lol. Nice to be sitting in your comfortable life style.....
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:03pm
    After the threshold, penalty is $2.00 for every $1000.00 over from your pension if full pension and $3.00 off for part pensioners.
    This tapers on until nothing is left of your pension.
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:10pm
    From 1/1/17.....threshold will increase
    For RENTERS = Singles
    From $360,500.00 to $450,000.00
    Couples from $448,000.00 to $575,000.00 COMBINED!

    HOME OWNERS: Singles
    From $209,500.00 to $250,000.00
    Couples from $296,500.00 to $375,000.00 COMBINED!
    Rodent
    19th Sep 2016
    2:12pm
    Dear Mez

    are you confused? there is only ONE taper rate after 1Jan 2017

    Quote - "Pensioners will be subject to a new taper rate of $3 for every $1,000 above the new assets test free areas".

    any reference to $2.00 was only in the original ACOSS submission
    Foxy
    19th Sep 2016
    12:08pm
    The National Press Club Address - last week - said it all! The three members of the panel that attributed to the Booklet "The Adequacy of the Age Pension" (which in hindsight...they stated they wished they had called it "Inadequacy" ...... ) met Pensioners from every State in Australia (both regional and cities) and found that the absolute MINIMUM additional amount required per fortnight - should be $50 !!

    Also the fact that Private Rentals have increased so dramatically in the past few years - that the Rental Allowance should also be brought into line also! Also "Dentistry" should be part of the Medicare rebate! Any increase - would help a lot of people that's for sure! :-)
    Mez
    19th Sep 2016
    12:13pm
    Very true!
    Rae
    19th Sep 2016
    1:27pm
    There is going to be a $30 increase though.

    Private rentals have not all increased.

    Vacancy rates in Brisbane for example are up and rents for units stagnant or falling. There are little towns all over with cheaper rentals.Especially in mining centres.

    Around here granny flats are available for under $260/280 a week.

    Pensioners could also organise and use share housing arrangements.

    The biggest problem is too few young people working to support a growing number of pensioners.

    The other problem is one of perception. I still see cafes and eateries and clubs full of pensioners every day and while that continues the cries of poverty are hard to believe.

    When OAP finally capitulate and stay away from discretionary spending then something will be done I expect as businesses start squealing. Up until then the spend everything every fortnight crew are doing you no service.
    johnp
    19th Sep 2016
    12:13pm
    thanks Mez :-)
    Ken
    19th Sep 2016
    12:23pm
    The is not points in talking about fairness in the age pension and retirement issues. Whenever there is a problem with the budget which is mostly caused by mismanagement of government, the self-funded retirees become the piggy bank of the government. In my opinion, the self-funded retirees made more contributions and sacrifices than age pensioners, see what the government is trying to do to the self-funded retirees!!!
    Alexii
    19th Sep 2016
    8:13pm
    Quite correct, Ken. The self-funded/part pension retirees seem to be the one group who are really being kicked in the head but eh government and also by Labor and the Greens who both went along with the changes ti the assets test. It is totally unfair.
    Anonymous
    20th Sep 2016
    5:30pm
    The double-standard hypocrites somehow manage to justify claims that it's reasonable for couples with $3.2 million to retire on to enjoy huge tax concessions, but couples with a mere $375,000 each to invest should be branded ''wealthy millionaires'' and denied any benefit from the taxpayer purse. How hideously unfair and disgustingly selfish!
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    12:26pm
    I am amazed that everyone seems to talking about how their pension will be affected by superannuation and asset concerns. Though the report addresses some inequities, the thrust of the report is that those who rely totally on the pension are in dire straits and this varies considerably on where you live, be it regionally or in major cities. A nursing home patient whose costs are geing paid by their pension are strangely better off than an able bodied person living in central Australia or another paying rent in a city. It's the one size fits all aspect of the pension that's totally inadequate. If you think that some pensioners are forced through lack of money to eat pet food out of cans is a myth, then go back to the planet you come from.
    iamnotold
    19th Sep 2016
    9:01pm
    Canned pet food usually costs more than canned human food.
    Bes
    19th Sep 2016
    12:37pm
    Meanwhile politicians can retire on $200,000 per annum for life, claim their superannuation and go on to find other work?
    And the silly buggers called US keep on voting for them!
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    3:09pm
    A pollie entering parliament today doesn't get his pension until he is 55 which is the same everyone's super.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:26am
    55 isn't the same as everyone else getting a pension... which is the superannuation for the majority of baby boomers, and is bought and paid for.

    Time for the pollies to be put on the same schedule as everyone else.... you put X% of income into a fund and it returns what it returns.

    That'd wake the bastards up...

    Then we'll apply the rule of everyone gets a Pension, and pays tax on any income, deemed, fringe benefit, or cash, above that..... according to the tax scales.....

    That'd slow the bastards down one hell of a lot, and bring them into line with the expectations of the common person...
    gumtree
    19th Sep 2016
    12:37pm
    But poor people either don't have cars or don't drive very far so what's your problem.Yes the idiot who said that was our Treasurer and Joe is continuing to live the good life as Oz ambassador to the USA. Since then we have 'deeming' and check after check on whether we are earning supplementary income & reporting every cent. Also it's your fault you can't afford to live on the pension because you didn't provide enough saving for your retirement. As with a number of wise pensioners I'm heading overseas soon so I can afford to live with dignity.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:28am
    but.. but... but...... poor people don't use money in retirement, either....

    (**goes to emergency ward to have tongue removed from cheek**)...
    Charlie
    19th Sep 2016
    12:49pm
    It's deficient in number of areas for different people. These have been raised before but it cant hurt to voice them again.
    I am not sure how the new disability insurance scheme affects things, but for the person who has to retire 10 years early due to illness (thats 10 years loss of wages plus super growth) there wasn't much assistance. There was just the same treatment as someone on unemployment benefits, which was to erode all savings and super before full disability pension could be paid.
    There were special penalties for having as much as $70000 in the bank plus the same pension reduction conditions as a person on unemployment benefits, that's for the interest earned on money in the bank.
    There was absolutely no incentive to save the super.

    Then there are some strange ideas about the standard of rental accommodation an age pensioner should have, in this day and age. This is compounded by some estate agents who refuse to approve rental application for people who's total income does not reach a reserve amount. Not only does it discriminate against the poor but it doesn't take into account that people on good wages can also get into debt and wont be able to pay the rent. They should at least look at rental history before barring people.

    It would seem that the government thinks a pensioner would only need a bed sitter, a black and white TV set and a packet of cigarettes, whereas the real basic needs of the age pensioner would be more complex than that.
    Perhaps a one bedroom self contained unit with the bedroom separate to the living area. Also the living area separate from the shower, toilet, laundry area. Such a unit should be insulated from noise and have modern standards of insulation from heat and cold so the pensioner is not paying ridiculous heating and cooling costs for electricity and gas.
    Most pensioners have a car they would like to last for the rest of their lives, so it is not unreasonable to expect a carport, to reduce damage to the cars paint work so it is not peeling down to bare metal in 10 years.
    It is reasonable to expect a telephone and internet service to reach emergency services and have long discussions with people far away that will not cost a fortune. Also to access survival information on google and utube and participate in social media such as facebook and twitter.
    After the first 10 years and the super is all gone, people still have a lot of life to live and they are not going to get casual work in the present economic situation.
    Supernan
    19th Sep 2016
    1:03pm
    Home Owner Pensioners are always targeted in Pension reform. Obviously we did the wrong thing ! Being thrifty & paying off the house ! Houses are only an assets when you sell it.

    Living in it costs money. Our rates/water rates/ins are $3500 annually. New house pump cost over $1000 & filters cost $160 per year. Roof Painting cost $1,200. Leaking roof cost $1,400. Foaming drains annually (tree roots) is $500. Tree loping cost $4,500 this year. Cleaning inside tank cost $200. So our house expenses this were $240 per week. Can we take this off out asset value ? NO

    Currently 2 lights & 2 powers switches not working. Laundry ceiling water damaged & needs fixing. Excavations next door caused subsidence & some floor tiles split & lifted in 2 rooms. Access track needs grading. Whole house needs repainting in & out. Some asset !
    Alexii
    19th Sep 2016
    8:17pm
    I think they expect us to live in a deteriorating home, Superman. Of course we can buy less food, medicines, whatever as we pay for the maintenance of ur homes.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    9:18pm
    The fools who make the rules pay no attention to realities. I worked out for a neighbour that she and her hubby were paying $450 a week to live in their own home. They can rent a 4-bed/2-bath home for $300 a week. How does any fool figure that homeowners should get less pension than renters?

    The whole system should be abolished and rebuilt. It's illogical, unfair, and does a wonderful job or encouraging cheating and manipulation and punishing responsible planning, working and saving. No wonder its expensive! If you punish those who do right and reward those who do wrong, how can you expect efficiency?
    Bonny
    20th Sep 2016
    7:00am
    Rainey if the system is rebuilt then do you really think that there wont be any loopholes in it too?
    Anonymous
    21st Sep 2016
    1:39pm
    You are probably right, Bonny, because the overpaid idiots who SOME fools claim EARN their obscene and disgusting benefits are completely illogical, inept, blind to the realities of the real world, and really nothing more than egomaniacal bags of wind.
    Sundays
    19th Sep 2016
    1:42pm
    this report is correct in its findings as the full age pension is inadequate. However, one of the solutions of penalising home owners by including most of the value of the home in an asset test and offering a loan for those disadvantaged discriminates unfairly people who worked hard and saved to buy their own home. On that basis alone, I could not support their measures.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    2:15pm
    What a load of nonsense. How can helping the needy, discriminate against those who are doing okay?
    Sundays
    19th Sep 2016
    6:45pm
    Because Paulopott they are suggesting that to help the needy and generate the extra income required those who own their own homes have to bear some of the cost. My reading is that if you own a home (any home, not just a mansion) then a couple will have to include the value less $150k in any asset test. This would mean that many current pensioners would no longer be eligible for the pension, but they could take out a loan against their property to cover it. Where is the incentive to save and own your own home here?
    marls
    19th Sep 2016
    7:58pm
    i worked hard all my life never went on holidays, didnt smoke or drink raised 4 children on my own and paid all my taxes, and i paid off my mortgage in my 60"s why should it be included as an asset where my two work friends went on holidays every year overseas spent a fortune on clothes, out eating and drink at least every second night and they do not own their own home when they reached 65 blow all their super and continue to work, and there will be no questions asked when they decide to retire and they will be classed as disadvantaged
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    9:41pm
    marls...

    You get to choose to live in decent accommodation that you can modify as you see fit.
    They probably will never have that option.

    You get to live on your own if you choose to.
    They will probably never have that option in decent accommodation.

    You have an asset that you can use to supplement your pension if the numbers stack up.
    They have nothing to fall back on.

    You have the opportunity to save a little money.
    They are more likely to be on the bones of their butts for the rest of their lives with no cash buffer.

    You probably have some emergency cash.
    The probably have no cash.

    You will not get thrown out of your house by your landlord.
    They will at some time.

    Etc, etc...

    There are always lots of advantages when you plan for your retirement.

    I know who I would swap places with if I had to choose between you or your friends!
    worker
    19th Sep 2016
    1:48pm
    Age pension should be paid to the individual Australian citizen not as married and a pension that would give a income to allow the individual to live just a bit better.

    To fund such an increase stop paying so called life forms of pensions and perk to those we Australian citizens no longer employee as members of parliament's at all levels.

    stop handing out millions of dollars to over seas nations .
    stop paying non Australian citizens.
    reduce the superannuation of how employees members of parliament's to be in line with other australians
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    2:19pm
    It's not a case of saving in one area to pay for another. There is no means of choosing by virtue of necessity. You do what you have to do and you do it because you can. As one of the wealthiest nations on this earth, we can meet our responsibilities to others and to our own with minimum pain to the well off in this country.
    marls
    19th Sep 2016
    8:01pm
    worker
    agree, but i would also include stop providing welfare to people coming over here who have no intentions of every work but producing more and more children and expect free housing free cars etc all at tax payers expense. if you want dozens of children then you have a responsibility to provide for them
    freed1948
    19th Sep 2016
    1:50pm
    Can somebody explain how the September increase of $3.10 p/f was formulated.
    The last increase to MPs was 2%
    The last increase to the minimum wage was 2.4%
    The pension increase was LESS THAN 0.5%
    I think somebodies abacus needs adjusting.
    particolor
    19th Sep 2016
    5:32pm
    I think all the beads dropped off the rod !! :-( :-(
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:31am
    That rod never had beads to give..... sorry 'bout that....
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    2:03pm
    What do people spend their money on? I live on much less than the pension and I don't want for anything. If you own your house then you should be able to save money on the pension.

    Remember the OAP is designed to keep people out of poverty. Now going out to lunch and dinner and socialising regularly is not poverty. Nor is going on holidays or cruising.

    Please stop whinging and appreciate what you have been given for nothing.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    2:21pm
    They're not talking about you, Old Geezer. They're talking about those who are not as fortunate as you. This issue is not about you. It's about other people. Get outside yourself and have a proper look around.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    2:23pm
    Rubbish. If I can live on less than the OAP and live very well then why can't others. If that is poverty then I'm loving it.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    2:52pm
    Sure you can. Like I said, it's not about you. Funny how poeple always think an issue is about themselves.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    3:03pm
    No it's not about me but it's about people not living within their means. If you are on welfare then you need to live like you are on welfare which covers one's basic needs. That is what the pension was designed to do. Not to include life's luxuries. If you wanted luxuries then you should have provided for them yourself.

    If people take away their luxuries or things they don't need then they will realise that the OAP is adequate. You need clothes to keep you warm not designer ones. Basic food is cheap so leave all that prepared stuff on the shelves and make your own. Get a blanket instead of turning on the heater or sit in the sun instead. Having internet at home is a luxury so use some of all the free stuff available everywhere I towns and cities. Drink water instead of those sugary liquids. Shower once a week or less as it's not good for old people to shower regularly. Walk instead of driving or catch a bus they are as cheap as chips. I could write a book on how to live well on little money.
    grounded
    19th Sep 2016
    3:34pm
    Aw....not fair 'Old Geezer'. Are you telling me I can't go to the club and have my pint at 11, and put $20.00 through the pokie. It's enough that I am already depressed from living below the poverty line.....Your ideas will be the end of me. I needs me recreation time 'old Geezer.' That bloody Abbott and Turnbull caused all this....not my fault!
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    3:41pm
    I don't drink or play the pokies and I'm not depressed either. Recreation time to me is a good fast walk for a few ks. YOu should try it instead. Abbot and Turnbull are only doing what they have to to get the country back on track after Labor panicked in a really big way and put the country into big debt.
    grounded
    19th Sep 2016
    4:23pm
    Love ya OG......
    Charlie
    19th Sep 2016
    6:51pm
    Having the internet at home is not a luxury its basic communication these days for people who cant get out much, or have relatives a long distance away and want to have lengthy discussions with them. I have never seen free internet at the internet cafes, you pay per 15minutes. I think I would call owing your own home a luxury before I would call the internet a luxury. You can always fall back on the security and sell the home. Its very easy for somebody who owns their own home and has no illnesses, to take things for granted.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    8:47pm
    Internet is a luxury and I'm not convinced that is actually a good thing. All the phones and internet alarms going off at once in this house is simply annoying at times. I hate SMSs with vengeance as it is no way to communicate properly with people. No one walks from one end of this house now they just ring each other instead. The funniest thing is emails. They are sent across a room here via the USA. They all laugh at me when I just ignore all the tech at times so I can eat my dinner or do something else in peace. Got to love the CND as I choose if I want to talk to that person or let the answering service take it. No way I want to be a slave to technology. I go off on a walk every morning and leave the phone at home much to everyone's annoyance. You need a phone in case you have an accident etc.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    9:29pm
    ''The Internet is a luxury...'' CRAP! It depends on your lifestyle. For many, it's essential. Everything is about individual circumstances. For example, to deny an elderly person whose family live abroad access to affordable international phone rates and the Internet would be downright cruel and inhuman. But some scum are happy to see battlers suffer a life of misery, just so they can feed their greed and ego. Sick!
    Anonymous
    20th Sep 2016
    1:38am
    shower only once a week, you must stink to high heaven , yuk! probably only wash your clothes bi-annually! that's not living!
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:33am
    How much less, OG? And with what back-ups you get for free?

    OG is a kid living on the unemployment benefit.... seen it before... and his style shows it clearly.

    They're called trolls since they have nothing else to do, since they have no job or future prospects.
    Rae
    20th Sep 2016
    9:33am
    Grounded The Doylson RSL club takes $500 000 every day in gambling alone. Mostly from welfare payments.
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    7:42pm
    Doylson RSL is only one of many so it would be a very large sum indeed.

    All welfare recipients should be given a welfare card instead of cash so that the welfare money is spent on living not gambling etc. I can't believe the number of people that wait at ATMs in the wee hours of the morning for their welfare money to hit their account so that they can get their drug fix.
    Eckles
    19th Sep 2016
    2:25pm
    2 points that get up my nose.
    1. That rulings are made retrospective, if rules are changed they should apply from "today", decisions that people make in goof faith cannot be changed retrospectively.
    2. Why do Poli's reduce part pensions by some 20% and then give themselves and fatcats in public service a 20% pay increase, right on the heals of pension cut.
    This is not reducing the budget deficit but shifting cost.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    2:28pm
    What rulings were made retrospectively? I haven't seen any.

    Polies pensions have nothing to do with the welfare including the OAP. Part pensions have not been reduced either.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    2:53pm
    The government giveth and the government can taketh away. What's new about that?
    Eckles
    19th Sep 2016
    6:14pm
    Maybe I have it wrong but if you currently have assets that come in above the full pension asset allowance and below the maximum allowed then you get a part pension, as from Jan 1, 2017 those above the new cut off of $815000 will lose all their pension and those below the $815000 and full pension cut off will lose some part pension, this is as a result of the change to the taper rate. Where I see the retrospective change is that the taper rate and cut off levels apply to those who have already had their pensions assessed under the old rules. In summary , the part pension will be reduced, or are you referring to the Polies pensions?..

    Second point is that I made no mention of Polies pensions, the increases granted were to their current annual salaries. If we are going to repair the budget surely we should all be pulling together in the one direction, this would at least make changes more palatable.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:36am
    Dear OG - the issue becoming more prominent every day is that in order for them to relate to reality, politician's retirement schemes should be brought into line with the rest.

    No other short-term employee gets a fund for life.....and in this day and age of 'part-time casual' - that is all they are - and they thus have no claim to any special treatment.

    It's called eating their own farts - or being hoist on their own petard.
    john
    19th Sep 2016
    3:05pm
    A huge problem for some Australians in the older bracket is that they have assets but no cash flow. And of course there are those who have no assets and barely any cash flow. In this country it should not happen. The age cards and pension cards and cheaper services "at times" is totally inadequate, where is all the money ? Probably in over seas mining companies pockets.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    3:07pm
    All the money is locked up in pensioner's houses.
    marls
    19th Sep 2016
    8:03pm
    john
    all our money is going to support the rest of the world
    Rae
    20th Sep 2016
    9:49am
    Over $125 billion goes off shore in multinational profits alone every year. Most of it untaxed by our government.

    You should watch the new Unreal Estate and the Auction shows OG I suggest all the money is in speculation and market funds mostly debt markets. And mostly by Gen X and Y.

    Then there is the loss of tens of billions we once made from owning our own assets instead of letting other countries governments buy them.

    And the tens of billions we pay to international corporations to run institutions we used to run ourselves.

    They have even sold the buildings the institutions were run from.

    But OG wants us to sell all the houses to the Chinese.

    That will fix it you reckon OG.
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    12:14pm
    Well Australians are not interested.
    ex PS
    21st Sep 2016
    10:30am
    OG, you are right"The money is locked up in pensioners houses". Pensioners houses OG, not the governments, not yours, not the communities, Pensioners houses.
    And for that reason it is up to them what happens to those houses, it is absolutely no ones business but theirs. If you did not help pay for these houses you have no say in how they are managed so everyone else should mind their own business.
    Anonymous
    21st Sep 2016
    1:42pm
    But the morons in power and the selfish fools who support them think we spent our whole lives working and saving so that OTHER PEOPLE can enjoy the benefits. The thinking now seems to be ''you worked and saved - give it to us to hand to people who didn't''. But only if you are a battler with modest savings. The rich, of course, keep their obscene tax concessions and UPPER CLASS WELFARE, while beating their chests and scorning the less fortunate.
    Foxy
    19th Sep 2016
    3:13pm
    ...there is an old saying that "to assume - is to be an Ass" (Bray Bray :-) however - I am going to put myself out there and 'ASSUME' that Old Geezer is certainly NOT in the PRIVATE RENTAL MARKET???
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    3:17pm
    Yes I am in the private rental market so I do know what rents are worth. I also know what one can get for a spare bedroom as well as a fellow I know has a 4 bedroom house and rents each bedroom and lives in a very nicely modified shipping container out the back instead of working.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:38am
    You pay rent? Or you extract it?

    Your story changes every time you are challenged....
    floss
    19th Sep 2016
    4:09pm
    Put a sock in it OG you just keep repeating your self.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    4:11pm
    No I need to get my message across.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Sep 2016
    4:57pm
    You don't have message, Old Geezer, because you just don't get it.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    5:03pm
    Yes I do get it and some people don't want to know as they don't want to face the truth.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    9:24pm
    Whose truth, OG. That of an ignorant, arrogant person who can't understand that life is different for other people than it is for him/her - that just because he/she does or thinks something doesn't make it right and certainly doesn't make it a universal truth.

    You attitude is called NARCISSISM. It's an disease - the symptoms of which include greed, selfishness and inability to feel empathy. And it's actually destroying our world because it's growing to plague proportions.

    It's not that people don't want to know, OG. It's that you are WRONG WRONG WRONG. The situation you are fortunate enough to be in obviously works for YOU. There are a million valid reasons why it doesn't work for others. Put a sock in it and learn some respect.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:40am
    You have no message to get across. You are totally lost and have no idea.

    It seems you've been an accountant, live in luxury, have multiple strands of income, have investments that recoup you heaps....

    (etc, etc, etc)....

    .. and yet you pay private rental to have a home to abide in....

    Kid on unemployment benefits trying to mix it with the 'old geezers' - who actually know far more than you ever will...
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    11:12am
    No have never worked as an accountant even though my first degree was in accounting and law. However the knowledge I learnt then and along the way has served me well.

    I guess I am a kid at heart and love having young people around to keep me young. So yes I know about unemployment benefits too as I helps these kids too.

    Everyone of my relatives except my kids seems to be on welfare so I hear all the whinges about that as well. One week they are destitute the next week they are off on a cruise. I can't believe how much money they waste. No wonder I'm a cynical old so and so.
    gravy
    19th Sep 2016
    4:14pm
    "An absolute poverty line was calculated in Australia for the Henderson poverty inquiry in 1973. It was $62.70 a week, which was the disposable income required to support the basic needs of a family of two adults and two dependent children at the time. This poverty line has been updated regularly by the Melbourne Institute according to increases in average incomes; for a single employed person it was $391.85 per week (including housing costs) in March 2009.[1] In Australia the OECD poverty would equate to a "disposable income of less than $358 per week for a single adult (higher for larger households to take account of their greater costs).[2] In 2015 Australia implemented the Individual Deprivation Measure which addresses gender disparities in poverty."

    [1]Tanton, Robert (6 July 2009). "Poverty versus inequality". Australian Policy Online

    [2]Davidson, Peter (2012). Poverty in Australia (PDF) (Report). Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Council of Social Service. ISBN 9780858710825. ISSN 1326-7124. Retrieved 10 June 2013

    [3]"The Individual Deprivation Measure: Transforming how we measure poverty - CSW59 Side Event". The United Nations Live and on Demand. Retrieved 25 June 2015.

    Above was copied from Wikipedia see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty#cite_note-untv-28

    It goes on to address Relative Poverty and this includes not just "basics" but also the ability to interact on a Social level within the country and communities in which a person lives.

    Poverty for many pensioners is a reality and every day it gets worse and contrary to some other opinions not all of them suffer due to their own fault. Yes there are some who can live for less and good on them and if they have an enjoyable lifestyle I am happy that they can. But if we base our expectations on the few then the majority will suffer.
    Polly Esther
    19th Sep 2016
    4:24pm
    I blame Edmund Barton :-)
    particolor
    19th Sep 2016
    5:35pm
    I blame Adam and Eve !!
    Lookfar
    19th Sep 2016
    5:05pm
    Old Geezer, or should we call you old Mc Scrooge, people survive in concentration camps, asian prisons, starving cities, famine filled deserts, etc, but are they able to really shine in their old age, do what they wanted to do all their lives but could not due to obligations to family, etc, pass on their wisdom to the next generation, prepare themseves for their meeting with whatever they believe they will confront when they leave their physical body, or do they just scratch along, barely coping till they die in hopeless forlorn?
    Or do you hate those who can dance because you can not, like the Puritans, disapproving of all joy, creativity, happiness, or even having a nice night.
    Neither of those may be what the rest of us want, as a previous poster said, it is not about you, cringing in your smallness and making virtue of living like a mouse, - as has been said previously, the Govt could easily afford to give all pensioners a good support for their declining years, and young folk good education, and people with ideas support to start their business, all that money is freely available should the Govt decide to do it, - look at the GFC, caused by the banks, and the American Govt has spent umpteen billions in Quantative Easing, bringing the American economy back into recovery, although they gave far too many of those billions to the banks, who are a black hole in America.
    Nor does the Govt have to repay a single cent, it was all printed money anyway, and what was needed, as do so many other World nations do it, - eg I can buy a wind turbine for a family from China for less than the people in China can buy it, because the Govt give an 'export credit, to each item exported, - why can't our govt do that? Because they won't, not can't, it makes me so angry to see that careless treatment of our elderly and young people for what? so they can suck up to the .01% who own most things now, the Neo-liberals, - and what do these bloated rich people do? they fight change, keep everything the same so they can keep snuffling at the trough, - the reef is dying? no, things change, our planet has been hotter in the past, things change, - But not them, the rich who hold society rigid and will continue to do so until we require they loosen their mean and selfish grip, and if any current old person votes for a neo-liberal govt on the expectation that they will be somehow welcomed through the door of the millionaires club, I have to say, dream on, you are sacrificing our future whilst wetting your bed.
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    6:18pm
    Rubbish I am far from old Mc Scrooge and I can dance as well as anybody else. My place is nothing like a concentration cam, prison or anything like that. In fact I have a young lad staying with me at the moment and he can't believe how well we eat and even comment that he wished restaurants were this good.

    The GFC wasn't caused by the banks but by greedy people wanting things that they should not have had. Now they won't take the blame themselves so they blame the banks.

    AS I have said many times the OAP is purely to keep people out of poverty by giving them enough for their basic needs not for any sort of luxuries. If you wanted more than that it was up to you to provide for it in your old age. I provided enough for my old age without the need for welfare.
    Alexii
    19th Sep 2016
    8:28pm
    Wonderfully put,Lookfar.
    Foxy
    19th Sep 2016
    5:20pm
    Hahahaaaaaa - Old Geezer ................ sorry but ................
    Your post at 3.03pm today - is nothing less of "No Life" or maybe "Needs to get a Life?" ! If you are living in Private Rental as you would have us all believe - are you the one in the "shipping container"? Just asking???

    No Pensioner in their right mind - wants to end up in Private Rental (Divorce is usually the case for both sex's) - and to even have to pay the bare BARE minimum of $250 per week rent - (if you lucky?) leaves you $800 - for 4 weeks! Utilities (Water/Gas/Elec.) - Telephone - Computer - Car (if you still lucky enough to own one?) - Food - (if there is any left for food?) Legs of Lamb are covered in rolled Gold foil these days! How can anyone have a decent lifestyle?'

    Ahhh - but - I see in your post - you do have the luxury of a computer? Well good for you - least you got that! Be grateful for small mercies I guess? :-)

    Upon reading your post Old Geezer (3.03pm) I can only hope I am still fortunate enough to pay for petrol - 'cause I sure as hell would not want to sit next to you on the bus???? Shower once a week? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    6:33pm
    No wrong only shower once a fortnight. People smell because they shower way too much these days. I don't use petrol make my own fuel out of chip oil.

    No I don't live in the shipping container. I said I was in the rental market I didn't say I rented.

    You can buy at tablet at less than $100 today that will do as much as a computer does so no need for a computer. My electricity is now free as I have more than paid for my solar system. There are also cheap ways of getting access to the net less than $10 per month for heaps of data.

    You just have to learn to play the game to your tune and not the game that salespeople offer you.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:44am
    Drug addict...... Foxy won that one..... and everyone else does every time....

    Could you please stop posting, OG?

    I hate to descend to personal things - but jeez - there is a limit.....
    bebby
    19th Sep 2016
    5:47pm
    Old geezer, just what is the message you are trying to get across?
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    6:20pm
    Stop whinging and show some gratitude to us taxpayers.
    Anonymous
    21st Sep 2016
    1:33pm
    Gratitude for exploiting, minimizing tax and stealing a massively unfair share of national resources, while supporting injustice and cruelty and blaming the victims of misfortune. Sorry! I think YOU should show some gratitude to the people whose hard work and sacrifice and suffering gave you what you have. If my father and father-in-law hadn't sacrificed their lives and left their widows and children to suffer a lifetime of poverty and deprivation, you might not be nearly as fortunate as you are. YOU need to learn some gratitude and respect.
    particolor
    22nd Sep 2016
    11:26pm
    I think OG has at least 6 Boarders and has never paid Tax in his life !! Any wonder he can live the Life of Riley and give us Lip :-)
    Foxy
    19th Sep 2016
    6:04pm
    Geeez - gone quiet in here right now? 6pm. Melbourne time - everyone happy with their $1 Cup-o-Soups - stale bread and cask wine for dinner? (that's if you lucky?) lol lol lol lol ....... :-) Sorry - just trying to make "light" of it!
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    6:24pm
    No we have home made chicken and vegetable soup (made from the carcass of a baked chicken dinner) with fresh home made bread and cold water. Cheaper than cup of soup, bought bread and cask wine.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    2:48am
    More like a crow sandwich that you reject.................
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    11:04am
    It tasted awesome. Today I'm cooking a curry from some lamb bones I got cheap from the butcher with lots of home grown vegies and some chick peas that I have soaking. We eat in on langos tonight, make a pie for tomorrow night and eat the rest on with an egg for breakfast.
    Foxy
    19th Sep 2016
    8:32pm
    lol - think u having a "lend" of us Old Geezer! I wish you well! :-)
    Old Geezer
    19th Sep 2016
    8:51pm
    People today has lost the ability to make do and use whatever they have got. I go shopping once a week and if I run out of something then so be it.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2016
    9:37pm
    I haven't. I was an EXPERT at it, OG. Lived on NOTHING and raised 3 kids and put them through university. But age and health changed all that. I can't do what I used to do. Many elderly folk can't manage a garden. Cooking economically can require peeling and chopping that is beyond many with arthritis etc. Sewing clothes is a challenge for those whose eyesight is failing. Backyard mechanics can't service computerized cars themselves, even if health allows. Everything is getting harder - especially for the elderly.

    If you weren't so arrogant and self-serving, you would realize that other people face challenges that you perhaps don't understand. It's nothing to do with losing the ability to make do. It's about old age and losing one's health. And those who suffer most are those who were most disadvantaged in earlier life - and they DESERVE a little empathy and compassion and a comfortable old age, whatever it costs the nation. It SHOULD be our first priority. But NOT by bashing those who saved to be substantially self-supporting, and NOT by punishing people for buying a home. It's time this stinking selfish society woke up to the reality that our seniors have done their hard yards, and DESERVE a comfortable, secure retirement. And if we can't afford that, then we can't afford capital gains tax concessions and negative gearing and paid parental leave for families on over $120,000 a year and superannuation tax concessions for millionaires and to allow global corporations to pay no tax. And we CERTAINLY can't afford the obscene handouts to retired politicians.

    Time to get our priorities in order. The well being of our senior citizens and our sick and disabled should be NUMBER ONE.
    jeffr
    20th Sep 2016
    1:48am
    Would that be a Brain you ran out of Old Geezer...Methinks you ran out of Brain power a long long long time ago.....Pathetic is a word that springs to mind when I read your posts.
    TREBOR
    20th Sep 2016
    3:01am
    I'm lucky - I have fifteen disabilities requiring a disability parking permit - but I still garden for some decent vegetables. Went out today and bought a lime tree and a lemon tree - and some strawberry plants for the ex (for whom I am carer).

    In the ground tomorrow, and making some raised garden beds for oldies to use.

    I'm tough.... not hard since I'm a gentle soul - tough. Airborne does that to you.....
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    10:41am
    Yes we can afford negative gearing and capital gains concessions because without them why would anyone want to invest in housing in this country? I certainly wouldn't as the return even at these interest rates is about the same as having your money on lazy deposit in the bank. With all the hassles of tenants, agents, and others taking their cut first it is hardly worthwhile even today. Take away the incentives and you will see rents skyrocket. Who looses out then?

    By the way you are talking Rainey you must be close to 100 if old age and your health has deteriorated that much. Arthritis is a result of if you don't use it you lose it. So chopping vegetables would do you more good than harm. If your eyesight is failing then get some new glasses. No I have no empathy for people who whinge instead of doing something about their problems.
    Rae
    20th Sep 2016
    11:40am
    Nonsense OG. Investors will invest when the price is right.

    The ending of these lurks might slow down the speculators and lower prices.

    I invest in rental property but have always used positive gearing. I can't see the point in losing money just to save a bit of tax.

    Avoiding tax is an ideological fear that someone else might get something of yours more that an actual wealth creation devise.

    The best way to invest is to buy value when there is an over correction through fear.
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    12:18pm
    Rae you can negatively gear without it costing you money but it can actually increase your cashflow. Depreciation of building and capital costs. Disallow negative gearing and this disappears which is why most people invest in real estate especially new houses.

    I wouldn't buy real estate now unless I got a real bargain as it's not the right part of the cycle.
    Anonymous
    20th Sep 2016
    3:35pm
    I wasn't referring to my personal health, OG, but you are a sick, disgusting piece of -----. The person I was referring to has major health issues BECAUSE OF ABUSE IN A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION AS A CHILD STOLEN WRONGFULLY FROM A GOOD HOME. Nothing to do with not caring for himself or eating well. And he would get new glasses if he could afford them and they solved the problem. The condition he suffers isn't fixed by glasses. What an ignorant, nasty person you are to make such vile remarks. BTW, He NEVER whinges. He has worked for 50+ years in appalling conditions, despite serious ill-health and disability. But you wouldn't have a clue about any of that, and yet you condemn, you disgusting creep!
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    7:36pm
    Old dear don't start me on rescued children as most of them would be dead today if they hadn't been rescued. He sounds like one of the lucky ones.

    You can't base welfare on one in a million cases Rainey as you seem to want to do.
    Anonymous
    20th Sep 2016
    9:46pm
    Again you show your arrogance and ignorance, Old Geezer. Like many STOLEN children (not rescued!), the large number I know personally were cheated of loving parents and deprived and hideously abused. You have no idea what you are on about. You are just a callous, nasty, ill-informed person. And I'm not basing anything on ''one in a million cases''. The people I mix with make up a very substantial portion of the retired population. They include ex-soldiers who suffered hideous abuse and bullying, men and women cheated of the love of good parents, people stolen from young single mothers who wanted to love and raise their child... the injustices and vile cruelties and persecution go on and on, and the MAGGOTS who did these evil deeds now beat their chests and boast and condemn the victims of their horrific crimes - just as you do.
    Lookfar
    20th Sep 2016
    8:35am
    Old Geezer has lost the plot in that he is lacking compassion and full of judgemental "Shoulds" whilst being prepared to scrape along on the absolute minimum.
    He is the perfect slave for the .01%, give him almost nothing and he will be grateful, some day he will be useful for fertilizer and in the meantime will always vote conservative.
    This is not good enough for modern Australians, we work hard to raise a family etc. and want a decent retirement, that the rich use our retirement benefits to not pay tax on their millions is a reform worth enforcing, but the quality of life for us senior citizens should be one where we can reflect on our life, share with our grandchildren, not depend on our children to pay our bills, as they have their families to support, and the whole system makes it hard for all, young and old, some more than others, which is often just the luck of the draw, not some indication of virtue or smarts, so we need to get back to a more equalitarian society, remembering Economic Stratification or Ecological Strain can independently lead to collapse of a society, we now have both, and rigid judgementalism, especialy by us older folks, is totally inappropriate and destructive to the human race.
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2016
    10:44am
    I agree folks today have it way too easy and I often wonder what will happen when the food no longer arrives in the supermarkets. I was in Darwin once when the train carrying food for the supermarket way delayed by a day and couldn't believe the problems that caused. How long would you survive if the food stopped coming form the farmers?
    Anonymous
    21st Sep 2016
    1:45pm
    Speak for yourself, OG. You have no idea who had it easy. You did. Good luck to you. I sure didn't. I don't know what ''easy'' means. And I know hundreds who did it VERY VERY TOUGH, and are now condemned to poverty in old age despite working their guts out in appalling conditions for 50+ years so bastards can wallow in luxury and condemn the victims of their unfairness. You are one very sick puppy!
    Old Geezer
    23rd Sep 2016
    10:44pm
    Rainey not many people in Australia do it hard thanks to our generous welfare system. Not many people work hard either especially employees. I really don't think you know what doing it tough is.
    MD
    20th Sep 2016
    11:34am
    " What do you think of the recommendations? Do you do it tough each day? What do you ‘skip’ so that you can get by? What would you add to these recommendations? "

    1. The replies herein say it all & then some.
    2. Doesn't everybody - "do it tough" ? O(M)G, with the exception of those few whom we shouldn't name-shame and judging by the collective mindset, aren't we all 'doing it tough' albeit in varying degrees ?
    3. Strictly speaking for myself, I "skip" all the privileges of power, or at least those few such that the 'other half' seemingly enjoy & I've got to stop it, I'm beginning to sound envious.
    4. I'd recommend (as a number herein have suggested) that EVERYONE at retirement age, should receive a set pension. This grandiose and magnanimous measure is to apply to EVERYONE *, including Pollies and Pubic Savants.
    * 'EVERYONE' with the exclusion of 'immigrant residents' for <20 yr residencies unless fully employed or part time therein, where a pro-rata benefit would apply .

    Loved; Hasbeen(s) response to Old Man @ 1.30pm on the 19th: Both Migrant's 11.49 post and Rae's 12.59 reply which are worthy of more thought by the elect whom we presume/expect to listen/consider & Reasons (I may've said this before) you ARE naughty, but for everyone's sake - keep it up !
    Finally, & as I'll be testing everyone's patience - Lookfar, I infer your reference to "equalitarian" (considerations) implies egalitarianism ? All very well however, whom are we to turn to with the expectation of receiving balanced wisdom that achieves a modicum of 'equality' for all concerned ? If this blog site is any indication then I'd suggest we defer the census in the chicken coop for the moment.
    GeorgeM
    20th Sep 2016
    12:58pm
    Far too much is discussed, analysed in reports, etc, in this area.
    Age Pension should be simply paid in full to all who qualify by their residence & tax-paying history in Australia - similar to other advanced countries such as US, UK, etc, with all income then taxed to ensure this doesn't benefit the rich too much. Even some developing countries (e.g. India) pay pensions without looking at Assets, etc. The Centrelink role and costs of administration should be scrapped.
    Just make the rich (with tax loopholes for trusts, overseas investments, accounting tricks) and Large companies / Multinationals pay their fair taxes by simplifying and changing the Tax rules to ensure very few deductions and a minimum level (rate) of taxes are paid.
    Anonymous
    20th Sep 2016
    6:38pm
    George other countries like the UK and US have specific pension/social security plans that the whole population specifically pay into - hence they all get a government pension - it is fully funded - theoretically (but not really).

    Australia does not have that type of pension - our AOP is an annual budget liability and a government welfare payment to ensure no Australian lives in poverty.

    Australia has a superannuation system similar to Holland and some other countries.

    Unless we make major changes to the existing pension system to a social security system- which I assume would take years to implement and fund - whilst decommissioning the super system - it is not going to happen in our lifetimes.
    Lookfar
    20th Sep 2016
    3:43pm
    I think George has the answer, would need a bit of fine tuning, but basically he says it all in a neat and just solution.
    PIXAPD
    21st Sep 2016
    3:36pm
    A single non home owner, presently full aged pension, supplements and full rent assistance gets $1004.30 per fortnight...adequate enough if you use is right, some can even be saved.
    maxchugg
    21st Sep 2016
    3:56pm
    This is not an original thought. Leave the country and return in a boat, having destroyed all your documentation.

    According to the locals, life in Manus is nowhere as bad as is portrayed in the media, and would probably be better than living in absolute poverty in Australia.

    Going to jail is another possibility.

    Remarkable, isn't it? The vocal do-gooders have endless concerns about foreigners who come here as refugees, having made no contribution to our welfare system, but couldn't care less about the welfare of those who would have contributed to the funding of their pensions during their working lives.

    And journalists like Andrew Bolt, with whom I generally agree, simply seem to be incapable of understanding that living on a pension of less than $30,000 per annum is more difficult than living on at least ten times that income, and with a generous retirement plan assured.
    Anonymous
    21st Sep 2016
    4:09pm
    maxchugg - Andrew Bolt is a Liberal party mouthpiece.

    If you like him - you must like their policies.

    If you like their policies - you need to be happy with your pension.
    Lookfar
    21st Sep 2016
    3:56pm
    Reasons, no money spent in Australia by the Govt. as in money spent on pensions particularly, is a budget liability, it is purely and simply an economic stimulus, and because it is paid to poorer people it will be spent significantly locally, stimulating the real economy, - and because it is on that level will be passed through many hands, thus earning for the Govt lotsa Tax that they can use to reign in the effects of the spending madness of the .01%, who also by the way avoid most tax so their stupidity and extreme selfishness can not be compensated for.
    Look at Iceland and Holland and Switzerland, rather than the UK or the US, particularly not the US, as that is where most of the .01% live, if you could call a ravening destruction of the earth 'living'.
    Anonymous
    21st Sep 2016
    4:19pm
    Lookfar - the government gets their income from taxpayers - nowhere else.

    Pensioners get their money from the government.

    Let's say pensioners pay 10% GST on their ~$34K couples pension.

    That would be $3,400 tax.

    The government is now short $30,600.

    So then then go to those bloody evil rich PAYG bastards who everyone says pays no tax - and use their $30,600 of income tax to (try) to balance their budget at the end of the year.

    As they often don't get enough tax receipts during the year - the government then has to BORROW (MORE) money in the form of bonds and pays interest on them.

    So the next year they have to find your pension money AND the interest to pay the bond holder for the extra money the borrowed.

    Your idea unfortunately does not work.
    Lookfar
    28th Sep 2016
    11:22am
    Reasons, you are preaching monetarism, which argues that the amount of money should remain unchanged, except for inflation and a couple of other small items, it is an opinion, not what actually happens.
    In fact the tax money disappears, and the Govt always prints new money, how much depends on the opinions of the reserve bank and others, but only when a monetarist is in control is the amount corresponding to taxation.
    However monetarism has been proved incapable of controlling world economy, - even Joe Hockey demanded a huge extra cash allowance to run the country, Monetarists were at the helm for the GFC, what a disaster, stupid idiots insisting on their point of view to almost destroy the World Economy. Monetarists are now like last week's fish, despite how attractive to a certain conservative mindset that philosophy is, it is on the nose.

    23rd Sep 2016
    7:06pm
    chucky, chucky, as usual the same people, rainy, as always wet behind the ears, lookfaraway, ray alias the flatfish, earthtremor, jeffle iron and foxy, he should take a clue of our real fox, comes every night for a feed and leaves a little present as a gratitude in the driveway even our union and labor stooge mick seems to have woken up, miracles happen every day but the above lot still believes they are hard done by!
    Not Senile Yet!
    25th Sep 2016
    3:58pm
    Suggest all Pensioners Rally at all Prisons and demand a cell!
    That would hit the front page eh???
    Prisoners pay No Tax.....but are provided with more benefits than Aged Pensioners!
    They get free medical
    Free Secuity.
    Free accomodation
    FREE POWER
    FREE TV
    FREE RECREATION FACILITIES
    FREE FOOD
    FREE EDUCATION PROGRAMS
    DAILY SHOWERS
    FREE CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR
    FREE HEALTHCARE
    PHONECALLS
    MEDICATION
    Costing us ALL $100 a day...which equates to $1400 a Fortnight......yet the Aged Pensioner only gets $800 per fortnight and has to pay for everything above from that!
    REALLY!!!
    $600 MORE to thieves...murders...rapists...& social sociopaths who PAY NO TAX!
    Talk about rewarding the Scum and Penalising the Citizens who built everything with their hard earned wages...??????
    Says a lot about our Society when we rate Prisoners MORE WORTHY OF SUPPORT than our Retired workers who obeyed the Law and paid their taxes....doesn't it????
    Anonymous
    25th Sep 2016
    5:42pm
    Of course you DO REALISE the free benefits included with your cell would also include...

    * FORCED SAME-SEX SEX
    * BEATINGS
    * CRIMINAL RECORD
    * INCARCERATION in TIGHT PLACES FOR MOST OF THE DAY - with your same-sex, sex partner
    * ETC...

    Jus' sayin'
    particolor
    25th Sep 2016
    7:02pm
    You forgot the FREE Visit from the Imam for a Brain Washing :-) :-)


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