The Pension Party

As the first invited ‘citizen author’ post on YOURLifeChoices website, Ken has our online community buzzing with his suggestion that it is high time for a Pensioners party

Australia, Politics, YOURLifeChoices, Seniors, Pension Party, Citizen Author, Blog

As the first invited ‘citizen author’ post on YOURLifeChoices website, Ken has our online community buzzing with his suggestion that it is high time for a Pensioners party.

An edited version of Ken’s comments:

“In this country we now have approximately 3.1 million people in the over-65 (age) group. This group is represented by approximately 68 per cent full Age Pensioners, 15 per cent partly and 17 per cent fully self-funded retirees. It has always surprised me that the over-65s whinge about everything that is wrong with our country, especially the plight of the pensioners, but they don’t appear to have any desire to use the voting system to right or even alter the perceived wrongs.

We are gradually being trained by the politicians and the general media to think that we are a drag on the welfare of the country and because of the demographics, will become much more so in the future…

Australian seniors get what they deserve.  If you lie down in a doorway, semi-comatose, for long enough, people, especially politicians will treat you like old used doormats and wipe their feet on you…

The retired voters of Australia, over 18 per cent of the electorate, let alone the seniors, have the power to vote out of office, at least 75 of the members of the Lower House, but it is never exercised…”

As you would expect, there were many thoughtful responses to Ken’s comments. Most agreed something ‘should’ be done, but struggled with how the process could be started. Let’s do something, they seemed to be saying. Others wondered what might be the key issues such a ‘seniors’ party would represent.

So read on for Kaye’s thoughts about how we can build on Ken’s suggestions and the interest they have unleashed.






    COMMENTS

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    Bluebell
    22nd Mar 2012
    2:11pm
    Talk-back radio in Adelaide is monitored and some politicians ring the station in reponse to complaints broadcasted. A few make themselves available to answer questions on-air. Some things are followed-up. The calls are transferred back to the producer who takes contact details off-air. At a later date people sometimes call the talk back show to tell of the outcome. Some politicians also ring occasionally and start conversations on various topics, especially laws being debated at the time or coming up soon.
    marls
    22nd Mar 2012
    2:22pm
    I remember when Kevin Rudd was opposing John Howard for Prime Minister, a comment made by Julia Gillard really got my back up at the time. She inferred that "Seniors don't vote Labor anyway" - in other words, it was unnecessary to offer anything to seniors as they wouldn't get their votes anyway.

    We are long overdue for a Pensioner Party, because we need people with insight into the struggle it is for pensioners to survive, even more so than in the past, with the spiralling costs of daily living.
    lillian
    22nd Mar 2012
    2:24pm
    Lets do somenthing about
    I will be the first to join
    ronfred
    22nd Mar 2012
    2:29pm
    I'm really not sure just what 'little old me' can do...but I am here to offer myself in whatever capacity I can be 'used' in this 'pensioners fight for recognition and financial rights'. And please let us recognise the plight of the disabled who don't get as much as the aged, they need to be included here too. I'm not an academic, just a willing worker.
    Billy
    22nd Mar 2012
    3:11pm
    I wish you well but you have a big battle on your hands with the "bullies". You are not entitled to whinge if you don't vote, either way they are not going to listen too much to pensioners, its been tried before with the 'Grey Party' and besides they have our lives mapped out way ahead, you could say 'we've almost been written -off'. Good luck.
    DC
    22nd Mar 2012
    3:57pm
    How strange that Ken feels the over 55's are a bunch of whingers yet never seem to get off their butt to do anything really about it. We have organisation's like National Seniors and a few others yet they prefer to "lobby" politicians rather that have the balls to form and or at least support the formation of a Pensioners Party or what ever name can be agreed on. I have tried well before the last federal election to get 'National Seniors' off their arses , but its true - every possible excuse under the sun is being put not to get political when everybody in their heart knows that this is what is needed, now more than ever!!
    MAC22
    22nd Mar 2012
    4:00pm
    Lillian, ronfred, thankyou for your offers,will keep this in mind.

    The links on Kays blog give access to a wealth of info in all states, and although it is good to write letters to your representatives, I feel as individuals we should seek out local reps as well, and speak to them personally. Don't tell them about the issues, until you ask open ended questions about their opinions on pensioners, their living circumstances, the costs of today, even can they tell you how much the various pensioners are paid etc. Listen to their answers carefully. Correct their answers if needed, be flexible but not pliable, be open and not closed to their opinions....LISTEN.....then begin to state the facts as you know it. Give examples of peoples' circumstances (no names) and how they are coping etc.
    Follow up with a letter of thanks, that include your opinions in dot(.) points, and maybe a copy of their comments on particular topics they stated to you, just for their clarification.

    Kaye, thankyou for the database of all politicians AU wide contact details etc, this will be very useful to us all. Any further ideas from anyone would be appreciated to us all. However, they are required to be positive ideas of ACTION etc....we have all had a whinge, now it time to move on and see how far we can go with this.
    I and others on this topic would appreciate your positive ideas.....thank you.
    trish 2
    22nd Mar 2012
    4:08pm
    I agree 100%, lets have a pensioner party, at least we would perhaps get a fair go. Come on all you seniors stand up and be counted
    kianga0
    22nd Mar 2012
    4:42pm
    It's all very well to talk about contacting your politicians to get their responses but that is the hard part: getting a response from them. I have sent emails to the PM, Deputy PM, Leader of the Opposition and the Independants, up to four months ago. The only answer I have received was from the PM's office stating that my query had been received and would be answered as soon as possible.

    I repeated my query to the PM about six weeks ago - same result.

    If you ask a question they dont like you wont get an answer. My query related to the DFRB and DFRDB pensions and why they would not make an adjustment to the way they are updated, in similar fashion to the aged pension, particularly as the service personnel contribute in a similar manner as those on superannuation.

    At the funeral services for fallen service personnel the PM acknowledges the service and sacrifice of our troops and invariably "tongue in cheek, I think", states how we must honour and support them. I also brought this to her attention.

    Seriously, to them we do not matter.
    Roo2
    22nd Mar 2012
    5:11pm
    Bring it on! These politicians know that the majority of the volunteer force are pensioners. We actually SAVE the government money. Between the governments and the doctors.....they think we just take up space!
    lindylou
    22nd Mar 2012
    6:26pm
    If we are to have a Pensioner Party we must be sure that it is run by someone who really understands the plight of some pensioners, most of them actually. It is something we really need, a voice in Parliment!
    scrooge
    22nd Mar 2012
    7:54pm
    We have fair work Australia for workers what about a Fair go for most battling pensioners scrooge
    alamoe417
    23rd Mar 2012
    9:05am
    Personally I think the politicians have it far too good, with the enormous salaries they receive, travel benefits,large payouts on retirement.Labour will not increase pensions again, until next year. I wonder if Julia Gillard would like a large increase of $6 a fortnight in her salary!!!! Get rid of the Labout Party next time in your vote.
    MAC22
    23rd Mar 2012
    9:18am
    Ok everyone, we need to let go of all the negatives that are on this site and other sites, and if we do feel strongly enough about making a voice for ACTION then lets hear from all of you some positive ideas and suggestions, even if they have been done before (we could learn from them) for that is what we are hear for. I suggest we approach our local papers and get in touch with a jounalist who will be willing to look on these sites, and see what is happening. Or letters to the editor giving the website address will move some to check it out. HAVE YOU SHARED WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ASKED THEM TO ADD TO THIS SITE THEIR POSITIVE IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS? They don't have to be on a pension, as I am sure you have shared with them how tough it can be, or they have witnessed this. Sending letters to politicians are no good, as you know the standard letters in return, but having an appointment with your local representative even the opposition member, face to face, is better to discuss. Ideas, ideas, please follow through otherwise this falls down where we are now. I await to hear your wonderful ideas and suggestions, no negatives please, as there is always HOPE.
    terrib
    23rd Mar 2012
    6:26pm
    I had hope this afternoon when I needed to talk to the housing minister about a problem I am having with the local housing department. I cannot say for sure who I really ended up talking to as each person I got on the line was quick to pass me on to the next person. It ended up where I was told someone would call me back. I intended asking about pensioners when I had finished talking about my problem. But quite honestly I was short shafted. This male person rang me & said be short with your problem I don't have a lot of time & so I tried quickly to tell him my problem which was basically a lot of information that I tried to keep short without losing the theme. It did get lost & I was quickly told that he would ring my local office this afternoon & get them to ring me Monday. This was not what I wanted as I wanted his help, I had already talked to the local office but he did not get it. He was all too keen to get me off the line as quick as possible so I had no chance to bring up about pensioners. My needs were not met & I am so angry & disappointed. If this is going to be the outcome we get when speaking to them how are we ever going to get anywhere. It is just not good enough. He was NOT interested.
    buby
    23rd Mar 2012
    11:32pm
    I was amazed the other day i went to the doctors, and he was a bit cranky, and i found out his computer had broken down, so using his room was useless and he had to change rooms, that was fair enough, then i found out he was on a contract! i was stunned. Everybody seems to be on a contract. Does nothing work the good ole fashion way?
    buby
    23rd Mar 2012
    11:33pm
    oh i failed to add, its a pity we couldn't put our politicans on a contract just for a year, and if they fail todo the things they have said to do we can take them offffff duty??
    slapsy
    24th Mar 2012
    12:59pm
    All this talk about the bad job being done by the labour party.Surely most effort should be made to remove our tv screens of the madman in the red budgie smugglers. WHAT AN EMBARRESSMENT if ever he was prime minister!!!!
    DC
    24th Mar 2012
    2:52pm
    Here we go again. Slapsy must be a die hard Labor voter too blind to see this country is being stuffed good and solid. Regardless, we are NOT talking about the main parties, nor the rabid Greens or the so-called Independents, neither really represents us or gives a proverbial.

    We need our representation in both houses of OUR needs and requirements, not Party political clap-trap, Spin and Misinformation. I do not care whether our reps are single issue minded, as a new party (or what ever format) is unlikely to form Government.

    The point is that we need to be able to ensure our interests are considered and served to the point of scuttling unfair or unrepresentative legislation brought forward by whoever is in power.
    slapsy
    26th Mar 2012
    4:11pm
    And you obviously would deny that the madman has to take some resposibility for the stuffing!!!------I do agree,though,that we need a voice in parliement.
    douwe26
    24th Mar 2012
    10:37pm
    I am in ,if you want heads in the party you got my email address
    PJ
    25th Mar 2012
    11:55am
    Like ronfred I am a willing worker. Count me in.
    capricorn
    25th Mar 2012
    9:46pm
    I am very disillusioned with the current political parties. We need an organised party that represents pensioners and then they will take us seriously. I will join.Let's go for it. NOW IS THE TIME. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!
    shrose
    26th Mar 2012
    4:19am
    Wonderful idea :-) Count me in.
    Alexia_x
    26th Mar 2012
    7:50pm
    Count me in if you decide to do something, I am eager to finish this rot.
    MAC22
    27th Mar 2012
    7:48am
    Thankyou to those who have stated they wish to be counted into a group to work on this project of a VOICE FOR ALL PENSIONERS.

    Kaye.....for those who have volunteered for this project, I have no idea of their contact details, and I would prefer they don't list it in their responses. Could you please email me with their contacts so I can begin to meet to get this organised....thanks
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2012
    7:32am
    Let me know how this will take place please
    ronfred
    28th Mar 2012
    9:35am
    Could those with Skype addresses perhaps 'meet' first to at least get a start point? Mine is 'trotover'.
    PlanB
    28th Mar 2012
    9:39am
    There seems no where to PM anyone???
    will79
    30th Mar 2012
    9:26pm
    As a 78year old self funded retiree living on less than the publicaly funded pension rate I would not join any party which indicated that I was living of the public purse.ie Pensioners party
    scrooge
    3rd Apr 2012
    8:27am
    Just received in my pension the incredible amount of$3.93 per fortnight that is $1.96.5 per week not enough for a small cup of coffee if you are able to get out to get one.plus ever increasing costs you all know the items i mean What increase did the pollies get and any in arrears payment as well. Did the perks increase as well. Time to get rid of the perks there is plenty to mention but thats all for now Arty
    Dusty
    28th Apr 2012
    4:08pm
    We definitely need a "P" change from pensioner to politician. We need to change the way people have been trained to think of pensioners. Multi millionaire Joe Hockey keeps hammering away at the need for cutting pensions. The next day he is gleefully taken up by journalists calling for prudent parsimony by pensioners. None of the writers point to the number of millionaire welfare ex politicians who are in receipt of huge pensions and perks or that those same welfare politicians have threatened to take the government to court if it reins in their taxpayer-funded travel entitlements and blocks ''windfall'' pension increases. Count me in for a new political party.
    DC
    29th Apr 2012
    12:18am
    I still have a "hang-up" about a 'Pensioners Party' but more so about the name. I suggest an alternative which in my view hits the mark on a much broader level and across a wider range of the population: The Social Justice Party. I agree with all (most) commentators here that politicians are getting far to good a deal (especially ex PM's and ministers of any persuasion, who to top the insults off with subsequently getting juicy jobs on top of everything else). Yes, unquestionably we all need a real voice in parliament or more likely in the Senate to demand (not lobby) fair and reasonable changes to policies that treat legit pensioners like last years breakfast.
    While we (over 55's) are a sizable block of voters another concern is that our current voting system will constitutionally make it virtually impossible to muster sufficient older people in any one seat to gain the upper hand - unless someone can tell me otherwise?
    If there is another way please let everyone know - should be most interesting.
    PlanB
    29th Apr 2012
    4:29am
    While we (over 55's) are a sizable block of voters another concern is that our current voting system will constitutionally make it virtually impossible to muster sufficient older people in any one seat to gain the upper hand - unless someone can tell me otherwise?

    __
    Yes very true--


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