Age Pension should increase as well as Newstart

An increase to Newstart payments high on new Senator's to-do list.

The new South Australian Senator, independent Tim Storer, claims an increase to Newstart will be his key objective during his time in the Senate. But what about the Age Pension, too?

 “For me, it is a priority that I would like to take forward,” Mr Storer told The Guardian.

“I’ve got 500 days from when I was declared as a Senator to the end of the period. There will be an election in that of course, but yes, (boosting Newstart) is an issue I wish to take forward.”

The Senator has some sway, too. He’s already helped to force the Coalition to suspend its plans to cut the corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent, after refusing to sign on until the Coalition considers broader tax and policy reforms.

Mr Storer suggests that, even considering the extra payments offered by the Government, most Newstart recipients fall around “$96 dollars short of the absolute minimum required to cover the basic cost of living”.

With an economics background, an MBA from the Australian National University and a philosophy of “prosperity and fairness”, it may be reasonable to assume that he knows how his key objective can be achieved.

And this will come as great news for young and old alike – especially for Newstart recipients over 55 struggling to find employment or who have issues that prevent them from being employed.

But why has he not also turned his attention to those doing it tough on the Age Pension?

The YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index™ 2017-18 revealed that, of the 5561 surveyed, 12.4 per cent always run out of money before their next Age Pension payment, 25 per cent occasionally run out and another 16 per cent run out, but rarely. More than 24 per cent find it difficult just to fund everyday expenses, and 76.5 per cent feel that their cost of living is rising faster than the official inflation rate.

And in the YourLifeChoices Insights Survey 2018, 70 per cent of the 6694 respondents say they will or do fund their retirement with a full or part Age Pension. And with 75 per cent of retirees already feeling as if the Government doesn’t do enough to support them, it may be a wise political move to start looking after their interests, too.

Senator Derryn Hinch gets it: He also refused to support the Government’s company tax cuts unless there were concessions for pensioners and measures to address housing affordability.

He’s using this leverage to get a better deal for pensioners who are “doing it tough” and trying to “put a roof over their heads”.

A spokesperson for Mr Hinch’s Justice Party told YourLifeChoices’ Olga Galacho that “Senator Hinch voted against the tax and has always fought for the rights of pensioners’’.

Do you think the Age Pension is enough to live on? Should the Age Pension be considered for a substantial raise in line with Newstart? In your opinion, what are the main differing expenses for Newstart and Age Pension recipients? How much better would your quality of life be with an extra $96 per fortnight. 

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    COMMENTS

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    Travellersjoy
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:15am
    Are they nuts?

    How does cutting billions out of the tax take allow them to increase pensions, or anything else for that matter?

    What sort of voodoo economics is that?
    Rae
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:19pm
    It is the worker and saver paying high income taxes that support welfare.

    If more people worked and saved income tax could be lower for everyone.

    Companies don't pay income tax at all. It's a different type of taxation completely.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:16pm
    Generally true, Rae, but not specifically - methinks you remain locked into the belief system that SFRs have 'earned their way and the rest have wasted it.

    I believe that to be the error of your thinking... had it too easy I'd say, and not enough of the genuinely hard yards. Tends to give people Optical Rectalitis... a dire malady where the optical nerves become crossed with those of the anus and the sufferer develops a sh!tty outlook.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:36pm
    Trebor, the sad fact is that a huge percentage of pensioners DID waste, and a lot of SFRs had it very tough. The vast majority of Australians COULD have arranged their affairs to be at least substantially self-funded, but most just spent their income. That's not a condemnation. It's just a fact. I agree that we all paid for our pension and should have been able to count on that income in retirement, so it shouldn't matter that people spent on lifestyle. What is hideously wrong, though, is that those who saved are now being persecuted based on the flawed belief that they must have had it easy.
    Rae
    3rd Apr 2018
    6:53am
    TREBOR I was widowed at 32 with three young children and believe me I did the hard yards. Thanks to the high interest rates I lost a house. Again hard yards.

    I made some silly decisions as well. I always worked. No excuses and two and three jobs to make ends meet.

    I also worked the three days a fortnight a worker does to pay taxes. Ended up with chronic fatigue and so on. Didn't ever give in.

    Yes I've a shitty outlook now as I struggle to stay afloat on investments and the Government cuts and cuts the promises that would have made it easier.

    It seems working hard and saving isn't what it was sold to us but a pup.

    For welfare recipients to ask for more when self funded retirees and ordinary workers incomes are stagnant or falling seems unrealistic. And unemployment benefits are appalling. They need raising but so do wages.

    What I stated here was just the facts. It is PAYG workers taxes supporting the budget and GST. The rest is made up money and Government debt because Corporations don't pay taxes in the same way as ordinary earners.

    So if welfare recipients think it's a magic fairy or really rich person contributing towards the pot they are very wrong.

    We are all going to have to cut back and mend and make do as it goes on because it's not getting better and I can't see how it possibly can get better without massive changes that no one wants to contemplate.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:04pm
    Yes - but for every such story there is another equally tough - especially in this past forty years when firstly government diktat immediately flooded the jobs market with masses of extra workers via pushing women into it - then immigration and so forth.

    Add to that the destruction of industry and the creation of more and more soft-seat jobs and less hard yakka jobs, and many have been left on the side of the road - sometimes repeatedly.

    Add in divorce and the increasing hand-over of accumulated wealth to one side, and I can assure you that many have had a very rough road.

    Then we have the modern day version of industrial relations and workplace rights - meaning stand-over by often stupid bosses.

    Then the globalised market raped this nation and does so on a daily basis, hardly even paying tax on its way out the door...

    No sad story is Robinson Crusoe these days - and it is thus grossly unfair to say that pensioners should have saved more... not always that simple.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    6:40am
    Trebor, I don't say pensioners should have saved more. I know it's not that simple. What I say is that the vast majority COULD have saved more, and for them to now be supporting an unfair tax policy because they are clearly envious of those who did save is nasty and selfish.

    I am pleased to be able to pay tax to support those who genuinely need support. I am heartily sick of the rip-off cheats like BigBear and the stinking manipulators and the whinging spendthrifts. And I am disgusted at the greed and selfishness of people like Kathleen, Concerned and Misty who refuse to examine facts and just keep on with their wild and baseless ASSUMPTIONS, based on ALP lies, that an unfair tax is hurting the wealthy and is the right thing to do.

    I wish these people would answer the simple question - Why is it ''fair'' to tax income from share investment twice, ONLY when it is in the hands of someone who has no taxable income and desperately needs the tax refund to attain a decent lifestyle. Yet that same income is NOT taxed twice in the hands of a wealthy person or someone who is lucky enough to have another income stream that IS taxable, and equivalent income paid to the same class of struggling retirees with little income, but from a different source is NOT taxed twice?

    How is that 'fair''?

    They can't answer, because they can't think past the BS they are being fed by their beloved ALP. So they support causing unfair hurt to good people who are already contributing far more than their share - OVER 100% OF THEIR INCOME - to the government coffers by not drawing a pension.
    Adrianus
    4th Apr 2018
    10:39am
    Income should be taxed only once! Regardless of whether that income is derived from personal exertion or investment. The odd thing is that a low wage earner under Shorten's policy will wonder why his meagre share dividend is more highly taxed than his wage?
    TREBOR, you don't happen to live in Batman? lol
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    3:29pm
    Yes, Adrianus. It seems very strange that ALP supporters are supporting a policy that will take from those who have low incomes and continue to give the benefit of franking credits to the privileged who have healthy taxable incomes. I thought the ALP was supposed to be supporting the less wealthy, but it seems their supporters want the struggling workers and battling retirees screwed while the rich are fed.
    GeorgeM
    5th Apr 2018
    1:55pm
    A lot of comments as usual have gone off at a tangent and not focused on the issues raised in the article.
    Yes, Tim Storer has started a refreshing trend to link tax reform with any consideration of tax cuts - which is the right thing to do. For example, companies (and the wealthy) need to pay their fair share of tax first - say MINIMUM TAXES - as part of a reform of the system before anything like tax cuts could be considered.

    Yes, Newstart and Age Pension increases are very important, the latter as an Universal Pension.
    The bickering on this forum is ridiculous and people need to unite for Universal Pension linked with funding by Tax Reform, and push their MPs and support new members such as Tim Storer to take a fresh approach.
    Dave R
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:18am
    I have found that being debt free, a home owner and generally being well set up with everything you need plus a little nest egg tucked away when moving onto a full age pension I can live quite well. The concession card helps too.
    I feel sorry for pensioners who have debts or rent to pay as IMO they would struggle.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:01pm
    I agree. All you have to do is live within your means.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:05pm
    Oh, I don't know - I'd prefer to live within your means......

    I know I've earned it....
    Old Geezer
    4th Apr 2018
    9:29pm
    Good I'll swap you and you can live on the $12,000 Shorten is going to leave me and I'll live on your OAP.
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2018
    1:03pm
    Likewise. You are welcome to the miserable pittance I'll be left with and I'll have your comparatively BIG FAT OAP.
    johnboy
    6th Apr 2018
    12:51pm
    I agree Dave, but you must own every thing, car,house, everything. Then one can live quite well. Especially the single pension.
    Cowboy Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:26am
    An increase in Newstart would be justified but then when I read the reports over the weekend about so many job seekers not turning up for interviews I wonder whether the allowance might be too generous. Like to help the unemployed but not support the new life stylers as they will become our future homeless.
    ph
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:36am
    Don't believe everything you read. I would be interested in knowing the percentage of no shows and the reasons why before having an opinion.
    Pass the Ductape
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:53am
    Job seekers not turning up for an interview! It's simply a modern phenomenon which has been allowed to manifest itself through the application of services provided by do-gooder organisations over many, many years. A great many of us have come to expect a handout without an adequate understanding of what it is to be a productive member of society. It starts from when children are taught, that even though you might come last in a race, you deserve just as bigger prize as the child who came first.
    Triss
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:47pm
    Looking at it from a different point I wouldn’t be surprised if Centrelink insisted on people going for a job that the applicant had no ability or training for, so wasting the employer’s and applicant’s time.
    I agree there are the work shy but for someone who wants to work and wants a job that s/he knows they can do then having to apply for a job knowing they’re going to be refused must be frustrating.
    Rae
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:28pm
    Triss I had housework here at $33 an hour and couldn't keep the cleaner.

    Instead she managed to get her young lazy selfish daughter declared disabled and became a carer.

    It is incredible that people are working 3 to 4 days a fortnight for no return to their own families to pay for these indulgences.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:00pm
    I see both sides of the argument. Yes, Rae, there have always been cheats and bludgers. And there always will be. But I also know, from first hand experience, how utterly demoralizing and stressful it is to be forced to attend interviews for jobs you are completely unsuited for and would have no hope of securing - especially when it costs a lot to go to the interview (travel costs etc).

    The system is completely broken. And Shorten wants to make it worse by making it uneconomical to invest to secure an income. Those who are working now but don't have security might well find investing in shares is a good backstop, but no... Shorten wants to make it all but impossible to achieve a reasonable income from investing, so more people will be pushed onto the aged pension and fewer workers will be in a position to secure their future. Then there will be a higher deficit, higher pension costs, and probably less tax revenue as those who might have achieved a healthy taxable income by investing are pushed away from the share market. Makes NO sense at all!
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:19pm
    Yeah, well - do you really put much faith in those reports, Cowboy Jim? I don't.... there are 700,000 acknowledged unemployed out there and close to MAYBE 100,000 jobs... and Newstart hardly gives enough funding to eat and even travel on trains to get to interviews... unless those unemployed are fortunate enough to be living at home..... most don't, but that's the excuse for chopping away at the young people's Unemployment Benefits... apparently two aging parents with or without jobs and one kid can live as cheaply as none....
    musicveg
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:15pm
    And it gets worse with 200,000 LEGAL immigrants coming to live in Australia every year and they keep having children to claim the baby bonuses and family allowances.
    Rae
    3rd Apr 2018
    7:12am
    Yes OGR the system is broken and possibly the economy too and tough times are coming once again.

    The easy jobs aren't there.

    I've a son in the country who is job hunting now and has applied to a cotton farm near Moree, a rice producer at Toowoomba and a Winery in Victoria and is waiting to hear back. He maintains irrigation systems, vehicles and fencing. He will get something and once more the family will up and shift to where the very hard work is.

    Nothing short of a complete overhaul of the taxation system, welfare etc will fix things.

    It is incredibly hard for our kids to get jobs and we have far too many people for the jobs available. Many who will never work.

    Government is not training and providing work as it has done in the past and the belief that the private system will take the slack is far fetched.
    Justsane
    4th Apr 2018
    2:07pm
    Of course Newstart should be increased - and substantially. Someone who is out of work for any length of time finds that life below the poverty line becomes less and less viable. Newstart recipients have been demonised by this government for a long time. In fact, Australia must be the only country that actually blames the unemployed for being unemployed. It is not the lack of jobs they say, it is because they are lazy, don't turn up to interviews, take drugs. It is all bullshit. Newstart recipients need more money to live on - this will also benefit the economy enormously, by the way, much more than giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to big companies - and they also need more respect from government and the public. What they don't need is endless hoop jumping to get a pittance or a robotic Centrelink which doesn't answer their calls, or a completely disorganised and uncaring job network making illogical decisions on their behalf.

    Oh, and the pension should be increased too, especially for singles. Rent assistance should be reset to sensible levels which actually reflect the costs of renting.
    musicveg
    4th Apr 2018
    2:54pm
    I agree Justsane, the treatment of unemployed is horrendous, just because of a very small percentage of lazy or irresponsible people on benefits everyone gets tarred with the same brush. You only have to look at the statistics of spending and realize it actually isn't costing the government much money compared to what they give to big business and waste on themselves with first class everything.
    I also think rent assistance should be a percentage of your rent so that it allows for those having to pay higher rents.
    Ms Logik
    4th Apr 2018
    3:10pm
    Justsane, I totally agree with you in all points. When both the Age Pension and the Newstart Allowance increase, people could spend more money and by doing so benefit the overall economy. Like a river, money has to flow, it's no good if a minority is sitting on it - then it gets stale. It needs to be shared. Then everybody could be happy. As history shows when too many people are unhappy it could end up in social unrest.
    Regarding rent: How could it happen that rent went up to such insane levels?
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2018
    6:59am
    In an ideal world, we would simply increase Newstart and the pension and eliminate poverty and all would be good. But we don't live in an ideal world, and the problem with that approach is that the more you hand out to people using targeted or ''needs-based'' assessment criteria, the more people contrive to belong to the target group and get the benefit. Hence, we hear stories like BigBear's (and most would never admit as he has how he gave his millions away to qualify for a pension). In the case of Newstart, we raise it at the risk of discouraging people from seeking work. We raise rent assistance and we have more people rejecting the idea of sacrificing for years to pay off a mortgage. The government will give you money if you rent, but take it if you own, so why bother owning?

    The ONLY solution to Austsralia's economic woes is to eliminate needs-based welfare. We can NEVER increase welfare adequately while we continue to INVITE more people to rely on welfare.

    Ms Logik, I understand your situation, and there are many like you who are genuinely in need. But as difficult as it may be to conceive from your viewpoint, hundreds of thousands have figured out how to do very much better on welfare than by striving to be self-sufficient. And every dumb change politicians propose to take more from this group or that group creates a greater incentive for people to contrive to qualify for welfare.

    Shorten is now proposing to push tens of thousands of self-funded retirees onto welfare by stealing 30% of their income as punishment for working, saving and being honest. The assets test change made it uneconomical for those planning retirement to save more than about $500K (for a homeowner couple) unless they could achieve well over $1.2 million - or be certain of consistently high returns with minimal risk. If Shorten has his way, tens of thousands more every year will contrive to have less, because they can't afford to have 30% of their minimal investment returns stolen from them.

    I agree with what you say, but sadly the solution isn't as simple as just raising the payment rates.

    We all need to unite to demand needs-based welfare be abolished and a sensible system devised that encourages people to be self-sufficient if they can be.

    You could start a little business tomorrow, given your talents. But you'd lose your Newstart as soon as you made a few dollars, and then you'd be up the creek without a paddle, as the saying goes. As bad as it is now, it would be worse if you TRIED to do what's good for the nation. How idiotic is that? If your Newstart was guaranteed, regardless of your earnings, for a year after you started an enterprise, you might get off Newstart, conserve any superannuation you have, pay tax, and even possibly employ others.

    This is why many economists are now saying we need a universal income. A universal aged pension is the first step, and EVERYONE should be demanding that. We should be speaking with ONE VOICE and demanding the abolition of all penalties for saving or earning in the autumn and winter of our lives.

    Step 2 is to find sensible alternatives to a cruel and heartless system that not only forces people like Ms Logik into poverty, but actually beats them down if they make an effort to lift themselves up. Maybe it is the universal income. I don't claim to know the answer, but I know what we have can NEVER work. And increasing rates is only going to make it worse.
    MrsBrownthethird
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:27am
    My husband receives age pension i receive newstart after we have paid all the bills, electric, water, gas, phone, internet, food shopping we have run out of money in the second week and have to wait for 5 days for our next payment. So yes age pension and newstart should be higher then it is right now
    Rae
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:36pm
    Don't you save some for an emergency? It seems like a precarious way to live. Spending all before the next pay arrives is quite dangerous.

    High income earners do it too though. Still doesn't make it sensible.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:20pm
    Precisely the issue, Rae. I just showed someone earning $110,000 a year how to run a budget and save. He was going further and further into debt every month. It's NOT the income in most cases. It's the management of it. That's not to say that there isn't a case for increasing pensions, but beware of thinking it will solve problems for the majority. The majority wouldn't be pensioners if they had managed their income well in earlier life.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:20pm
    Yes, Rae and OGR - but there are limits to OPPORTUNITY to make savings.... those on the borderline have no such discretion....
    Anonymous
    3rd Apr 2018
    7:48am
    True, Trebor. My point is that very few were on the borderline in earlier life. And now they want the taxpayer to compensate them generously for not having bothered to plan and save, yet most here screamed YES YES YES when Shorten announced a plan to strip struggling savers - who are saving the nation tens of thousand every year - of up to 30% of their income.

    I lived on the borderline and still saved - probably because I wanted to escape the borderline and I knew working hard and saving was the only way to do it. I also knew I wouldn't do as well living on the borderline in later life, because I wouldn't have the physical capacity to do the enormous mass of DIY tasks that enabled me to save. It makes me very angry when I now see pensioners - most of whom were far better off than I was through working life - demanding that people like me be stripped of our lifestyle so they can have more.

    There is only ONE way to make this country more prosperous, and that is to KILL THE WELFARE MENTALITY ONCE AND FOR ALL. That means NOT handing out more to pensioners, but ensuring those who work and save are rewarded more generously so there is a strong incentive to work and save. Combine that with better financial and budgeting education and maybe we'd make some progress as a society.

    BTW. I support increasing Newstart, but in conjunction with other measures. Maybe compulsory military service after a given period on Newstart would be a good idea. Or create an ''army'' (and I mean an army - with the strict disciplinary system of the military) to do community work and make people join, for fair pay and conditions, if they have been unemployed for a given period. I'm not talking about the hopelessly structured compulsory work schemes we've seen in the past. I'm talking about a plan that gives the disadvantaged genuine opportunity and teaches the bludgers discipline and a work ethic.

    I also support increases in the aged pension, but only AFTER changes to ensure that EVERYONE who saved enjoys the lifestyle they earned, and there is ZERO incentive to manipulate to achieve a pension. I think a universal aged pension is the only way to achieve that.

    And how about introducing ''living skills'' education into schools? Teach kids about budgeting, saving, do-it-yourself skills to save money, and how to invest. Most Australians have more than adequate incomes. They just don't manage it well.
    musicveg
    3rd Apr 2018
    3:36pm
    OGR, I normally agree with most of what you say, but I don't see that your comment about putting unemployed into military service is the answer, better to spend that money on more TAFE's, more opportunity for education, and of course mental health, maybe some courses in helping people get their confidence back too. Not too mention cutting back on legal immigrants who often will work for less and keeping our wages down.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    6:48am
    Musicveg, education isn't much help if the jobs aren't there. Mental health care and courses to help people build confidence - absolutely! I support that. But we also need to restore discipline in society. The military offers excellent opportunity for those who want to work but have been deprived of opportunity, and it teaches discipline and a work ethic to the bludgers - and they DO exist.

    I have deep sympathy for those who want to work and can't find it. And I know first hand the problems of forcing unsuited people into the military. I experienced the harm that can result. It's not an ideal solution by any means, but it's better than leaving desperate work-seekers out in the cold and letting bludgers continue to bludge. Definitely, cutting back on immigration is essential also.

    What I would really like to do is get all the politicians and their advisers in a room and tell them a story that might make them think a little harder about what life is like in the real world. But I fear they are too selfish and arrogant to care. Just like some of the rusted-on Shorten supporters here who are cheering his proposal to unfairly demolish the lifelihood of people who saved to try to fund their own retirement instead of relying on the public purse - and who dismiss appeals to consider the true facts as ''not genuine''. As if these people would have a clue what is ''genuine''!!!
    ph
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:32am
    I have heard that a politicians nightly living away from home allowance is $1 more than the weekly Newstart allowance. Is this right?
    Dave R
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:47am
    For federal politicians I think that is the case. It's no wonder they live in a world far removed from almost anyone else as do our top echelon public service heads in Canberra.
    sunnyOz
    2nd Apr 2018
    11:47am
    ph - Absolutely....and to make matters worse, the wife buys a house, and they stay in that. So in a round about way, their lovely little allowance is paying off their own mortgage.
    Last year Barnaby Joyce had only around 22 nights at his REGISTERED home address - that is with his wife. Which equates to nearly $90,000 - and some of that time would be staying with his girlfriend.
    After being shafted from my job - 2 months before I turned 65 - I go on the OAP in 2 months time, and despite applying for over 180 jobs over the past few months, have not even been able to get a casual cleaner job. So financially, it scares the hell out of me.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:23pm
    That is correct and they can live in a second family home and pay off the mortgage with their sustenance money, thus generating extra wealth for themselves with every bite of the over-fat cherry while spending none of their after income tax income to get by, like everybody else has to.

    Why do you imagine the party faithful of all kinds line up for a spot in politics and not just holding down a flunky job in the branch or whatever?

    It's a business and a self-enrichment exercise - nothing more..... and only a carpetbagger would consider it within a party structure.... which is why I will not vote for them.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:26pm
    Dave R - some State and local 'politicians' don't even have to be bothered by having to find a job once they are sacked by their constituency - they go straight onto 'pension' for life at an exorbitant rate, after spending their entire time in politics not having to put their hand in their own pocket for anything except maybe their home and their investment portfolio, and then they get extra sources of fat income as well as all that, just to get by on.

    It's called Daylight Robbery in any other situation.
    Triss
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:35pm
    I reckon it’s called corruption in any other situation, Trebor.
    KSS
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:46am
    What a ridiculous question! I would like to meet any person receiving either Newstart or the age pension who would knock back any increase never mind $96. Not going to happen.
    No matter how much they were given, for some it would never be enough.
    Dave R
    2nd Apr 2018
    10:51am
    The question asked is "Is it enough to live on"
    As I posted earlier for me it is, but depending on one's situation it may or may not be.
    KSS
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:25pm
    The question is also "Should the Age Pension be considered for a substantial raise in line with Newstart?"
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:29pm
    In the case of the carer pensioner, it should be doubled immediately. One full pension for age, a second for carer. The costs are exorbitant, let me tell you.... I did the cost of a single tank of fuel for you in the light of actual vehicle costs last week or so...

    If you spend $80 on a tank of fuel to cater to the endless doctor visits etc for the cared on - your actual cost is $400 - and most times the fuel cost is nearer two tanks... $800 a fortnight.

    Do NOT try this at home.....
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:04pm
    They more people get the more they want as you will never satisfy them.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:41pm
    The problem, Trebor, is there are too many ''carers'' who are not at all and too many ''disabled'' who are not, and certainly don't need a ''carer''. A relative who never worked a day in her life set herself up nicely with money she stole from her mother plus a nice inheritance. $1 million waterfront mansion with 2 separate wings. Moved her gay lover in as ''carer''. Two single pensions + carer allowance, and the ''carer'' pays most of the bills in return for luxury accommodation.
    It's these rorts that are making it tough for people like you who are genuine and struggling.
    Rae
    3rd Apr 2018
    7:36am
    Do the endless rounds of doctors visits achieve anything?

    I did that with Dad using leave and after work appointments and it seemed to just be a futile waste of tax dollars. He was Gold card so the taxpayer once again picked up the tab.

    The sickness Industry has a lot to answer for. Even pain relief could have been a monthly visit instead of the fortnightly one.

    So many visits to so many doctors for a few minutes and a wasted belief that one of them would have a magic pill or something.

    Dad's quality of life would have been so much better if he had never got on the medical merry go round.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:08pm
    True BigBear - across the board....... look at your genuinely wealthy and your corporations - the more you give the more they want....
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:12pm
    Who can tell, Rae? To me the basic problems never get better, and I'm beginning to suspect signs of mental deterioration.... leaving the gas stove on... forgetting things more than usual... three visits to the supermarket today when it could have been done in one... forgetting pills and wondering why the phone alarm went off at pill time....

    Hmmm... we were out shopping and two ladies said to me, "I think your mother is ready to go now."

    My mother? I'm her ex.... as for docs - I have to go back to the cardiac specialist - nothing is resolving that sharp and piercing pain in the right side of chest.... and he thinks it may be transferred... so many trips to doctors... so little result... and I loathe hospitals.....
    Rae
    4th Apr 2018
    9:41am
    It's a tough call TREBOR for selfless carers to make.

    Sounds like stress could do you in first though if you let it.
    codger
    2nd Apr 2018
    11:12am
    If you do not live on an age pension you have no idea how hard it is to make ends meet, most pollys are extremely well off before they receive their polly salary and perks so they have no idea how hard it is to live on bugger all. A generous rise to pensions is well overdue, but until pollys realise that not everyone is as fortunate financially as they are,and that they consider that 65 billion dollars to the top end of town is more important than pensioners we have no hope ...
    Rae
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:44pm
    codger the polls don't pay the aged pension. Workers are being taxed highly to pay for it. They are not getting wage rises. Until that changes I suspect the PAYG workers carrying the load won't be able to afford higher taxes.

    So no wage rises = no pension rises.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:31pm
    Steady one, Rae - OAPs were taxpayers for 50 years.... and they pay tax now with every purchase....

    Steady on.................EVERYBODY is a taxpayer - do not be deluded into thinking that income tax is all there is....

    Now if companies paid income tax............. they'd all be broke ... so why is it such a good deal for workers? We're all in the business of making money from a home office and with costs to run that business.... why are workers dealt with differently from companies when it comes to deductions?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:05pm
    I agree Fae.
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:12pm
    Do you notice Codger that those with no sympathy for OAPs are generally doing OK themselves
    Rae
    3rd Apr 2018
    7:50am
    Indeed TREBOR but workers who do pay the taxes are not getting wage rises, have the same increasing costs and are losing jobs to automation and off shoring.

    Times change.

    Yes welfare needs to rise, and wages or prices need to fall. That would also work but nobody ever suggests it.

    I was a taxpayer for 48 years. Heaps of tax. No pension though as the job had compulsory super through a union fund. Lot's of money after tax that other people got to take home and spend.

    Something to be said for forcing people to save I suppose.

    Paying tax has nothing to do with getting a pension later or we'd all get one.

    Yes we all paid taxes and some of us paid a lot more than others.

    The wealthy don't work for income so don't pay taxes in quite the same way though do they?
    Anonymous
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:01am
    I also noticed that a lot of greedy OAPs screamed in delight when Shorten announced a plan to slash the incomes of struggling self-funded by 30%, and even when it was explained that these people are NOT ANYWHERE NEAR wealthy and many have incomes lower than the pension, they still shouted in joy and demanded these people be stripped of their savings. Too dumb to recognize that bashing people who save the government money means more people give up and go on the pension and then there's more pressure on the budget and less chance of the pension increasing.

    Honestly, I was strongly on the side of the battler and defending OAPs against the likes of OG and Bonny. But I'm fast changing my stance in response to the selfishness I'm seeing. If OAPs want a better deal, we ALL need to unite in a common cause, putting envy and selfishness aside and focusing on fairness and what's good for the society as a whole.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:14pm
    System's broke - time to take retirement packaging out of the hands of politicians who work for vested interest first and foremost.
    Farside
    2nd Apr 2018
    11:39am
    YLC asks "But why has he not also turned his attention to those doing it tough on the Age Pension?"; bit of a silly question but the answer is pretty simple. Tim Storer has been in the Senate less than a month and is turning his attention to the big picture. He seems to have his priorities pretty well sorted and is right to advocate an increase in the Newstart allowance.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    12:21pm
    How can Storer be trusted? He only got there to replace an ineligible Xenophon senator, was sworn in as a Xenophon member on 16/2/18 and left the Xenophon party to become an Independent on 26/2/18. Prior to linking up with Xenophon, Storer was a member of the Labor party. Is he there to support the people of South Australia? Is he an Independent? Is he following the policies of the Labor party? Who would know.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:07pm
    Anyone doing it tough on the OAP is not livingnwithin their means. It is their own fault and it would make no difference how much they got it would never be enough.
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:24pm
    What about those on Newstart? Not very Caring, the poor are poor because they are poor. let’s demonise them, make no allowances for individual circumstances. Aren’t you on the OAP, but wealthy because you gave all assets to your kids, and they help you out in return. Isn’t that what you bragged a few weeks ago? What right have you to pontificate on being able to live within your means.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:48pm
    It's because of folk like you, UNCARING BigBear, that the government can't afford to raise pensions and Newstart and Labor thinks they have to attack SFRs and strip them of their income. You are nothing more than a thief - stealing the livelihood of decent, honest, hardworking people.
    Rae
    4th Apr 2018
    10:00am
    Big Bear is responding rationally to Government changes and incentives. Just like thousands of other people. This is common strategy in many countries. Most have universal pensions and taxation of all other incomes to prevent it.
    Our policy designers are very dumb indeed.

    It is not people like Big Bear causing the problem at all. More like those who can't because it would make them "feel" bad or stress them out or something.

    The Government is broke because of poor investment decisions, lousy privatisation deals, high priced contracts and deals where Australia lost and foreigners took off with the money.

    How id Big bears decision to transfer wealth while he can any different from the person who spent the money on private schools and fancy sporting activities etc for decades then had no savings so receives public welfare?
    Nan Norma
    2nd Apr 2018
    11:46am
    Newstart is not enough. There should be a rise but at the same time Centrelink should tighten up the rules.
    Cowboy Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    12:56pm
    Hitting the nail on the head Nan. Should really be about the same as the minimum wage for the people who want to work that is! How
    would you tighten the rules? Can we force the people to take the rings out of their eyebrows, lips and noses these days?. If you do not want a job use Scotch for aftershave to the interview.
    KSS
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:29pm
    Those using a drinking problem or drug addiction as excuses for not turning up to interviews now have to either get treatment or lose their benefit. This was passed last week in Government. It also brings in 'demerit points' that also lead to loss of benefits. It is expected this will account for 80000 recipients of newstart. Its a start.
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:45pm
    Newstart is not enough. I know it’s meant to be stop gap, but if the breadwinner loses their job and takes time to find another, some families end up in very dire circumstances. It’s not right. The Govt and media always portray Newstart recipients as young people, sharing a house and sitting around all day watching videos or doing drugs and alcohol. Not necessarily the case. Also, where are all these jobs they are knocking back? Not in regional Qld that’s for sure! With no money, you can’t dress nicely for job interviews or afford petrol and transport costs.
    Cowboy Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:57pm
    In my birthplace in Europe unemployment money was paid upon losing one's job to the tune of 80% of the salary the person was on but for three months only. Was done to prevent people losing possessions and rental accommodation/mortgage while they sort themselves out. Worked well and I have never seen families where no one had ever worked. The dole was not a life style and going to fund yourself was expected in your younger years. Maybe that is why they still have a universal age pension without means test. This is the only place where to go out to work is optional.
    musicveg
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:30pm
    The rules are already tighten Nan, have you actually talked to an unemployed person and seen what they have to go through. Problem really is money is going to big business but not to education, and we still have 200,000 legal immigrants coming into Australia every year, so getting a job gets harder and harder, and they all have children. As well as industry going overseas it really is a hard slog to get work these days. The unemployment rates are including casual and temporary work in their numbers so looks good but none of these workers get superannuation either.
    Rae
    4th Apr 2018
    10:02am
    Where do they get treatment KSS? That's going to be fun finding places for treatment and funding it.

    Can I have the contract for that? I can shuffle paper and write reports with the best of them.
    Lippy
    2nd Apr 2018
    11:52am
    Until politicians look at how they have a "independent" body suggest a pay-rise for them and forget that many STILL have a mortgage and don't get any financial support like rent assistance these are all vote gaining games they play. And before someone say's you need to sell and downsize "WHY", paying off my own place and get no support. Renters get assistance and the landlord gets tax benefits with negative gearing so who will benefit from $96 a f/n extra? Bet rent, food and petrol will rise and god help when mortgages start to rise also for us getting no assistance. Like others just want to be debt free and on target but with a mortgage it's not like you just find another house and just move.

    2nd Apr 2018
    11:56am
    Is it enough to live on? The answer is "how long is a piece of string". The pension/welfare payment system is not a one size fits all payment. Some people will struggle and some people will save for holidays depending on where they live, whether they rent or own their home, if they receive a part pension, part self funded, if they have debts and a host of other reasons. Yes, we would all like a bit more but where does the money come from?

    If the 76 senators and the 150 MP's gave up all of their allowances and just took the base pay, I wonder how much each pensioner/welfare recipient would have as an increase. Governments are like households in a way. They budget money coming in and going out, have some funds earmarked for some items, borrow when there is a shortfall and pay back debt when times are good.
    johnp
    2nd Apr 2018
    12:09pm
    Now hang on, whats going on ?
    I thought the pollies were elected by us to represent us. And by that I am including the self fundeds, average workers, pensioners, small business owners etc etc; which should be the majority. The pollies are obviously not doing that so whats going on ?
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    12:26pm
    Oh johnp, they all start off being starry-eyed and wanting to do good for those who elected them. Some even trumpet that they will look after all of the people in their electorate, not just those who voted for them. Then the machine grinds them down into a caricature of a politician, shows them how to rort the allowance system, won't let them vote for what they believe and shows them that the electorate only matters about three months out from an election.
    ozirules
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:22pm
    spot on Old Man except they don't all start out being altruistic, some are bastards from the outset.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:34pm
    By George, OM - you've been reading my playbook..... got it right in one...

    Two jelly beans and top of the class....
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:50pm
    ................but don't take your books, you'll be back where you belong soon enough.

    You left the last bit off, Bob, and thanks for the jelly beans.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:18pm
    Ah, yes - one mistake and it's bottom of the class for you.....
    Crowcrag
    2nd Apr 2018
    12:37pm
    I wonder about this business of so called job seekers not turning up for interviews. Why is that bad? It helps the employer - less to sift through. It helps the genuine applicants - less dross to clog up the interview process.
    Cowboy Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:01pm
    And if you stop paying the ones not turning up would be another saving, eh? Win win situation for all - employers and tax payers. Nobody would have the guts though, common thought is the crime rate would soar.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:15pm
    Yes - but the cost of law enforcement while they steal that proverbial loaf of bread is much higher...
    Concerned
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:06pm
    $96 per fortnight would help with our $500 a month Health Insurance premiums, that is for sure.
    Rae
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:53pm
    Why should hard working taxpayers have to pay for your private health insurance when we have a perfectly good public health system?
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:24pm
    I know plenty of self-funded retirees who can't afford private health, despite saving the government $20-30K a year in pension payments. But pensioners are screaming for increases while supporting the notion that self-funded retirees should pay 30% tax on their share dividend income.

    Sorry, Concerned. I didn't see you opposing Shorten's theft of the livelihood of strugglers trying to save the country money, but now you want them to pay for your health insurance? More than a bit rich, I think!
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:39pm
    Abolish subsidies for private health care - if you want it, go for it - but you are already clogging up the public health care system and delaying people who need things done....

    My ex had to wait for sixteen months for a hip replace and kept being shunted to the bottom of the list - you want private health care - go to a private hospital and pay the price the doctor wants and let your fund work it out .... but stop clogging up the system for those in need.

    I remained in work to fund our continuing to live close to that hospital instead of moving to the newly bought house - and all the bastards did was keep shuffling her to the back of queue - meaning I worked for nothing to pay rent.

    Private health care recipients with government subsidy?

    Piss off and leave the public system alone for those in need. You wanna be a hero and 'better' 'class' - do it on your own - same as businesses that demand government payouts to help them along.

    It's NOT ON!
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:10pm
    Health insurance is a luxury so if you afford it on OAP then you are getting more than enough.
    Concerned
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:06pm
    $96 per fortnight would help with our $500 a month Health Insurance premiums, that is for sure.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    8:05am
    See above. I can't afford it, and I don't take a pension from the public purse. The likes of you demand I be overtaxed unfairly, despite the fact that I don't enjoy the luxuries you expect the taxpayer to fund for you!
    john no
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:10pm
    Why dont` Old Codger and Cowboy Jim stand as L.N.P candidates, they seem to have the answers for every centrelink issue whenever one is raised.
    Cowboy Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:20pm
    @john no - LNP or Labor would not change a thing, one has to follow party lines. Some people here have mentioned a pensioners party -
    maybe that would have a future for C/Link questions.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:43pm
    And a lot more issues, Jim and john - and I like to include retirees, some of them the honest SFRs, under the same umbrella, not just pensioners.
    ex PS
    3rd Apr 2018
    4:39pm
    We need a Retirees Party, it doesn't matter whether you are self funded or on a full O.A.P, the issues are pretty much the same. If we can manage to unite we will have a pretty good base for influencing government, as long as we insist on making silly assertions that one retiree is better than another, we are just playing into the politicians hands by splitting our power and focus.
    We don't really need another Party, we need an organised Lobby Group.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:17pm
    Agreed, ex PS - only the truly wealthy would not take a part, since it has no bearing on them no matter which ways things go.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    8:03am
    I agree, but it seems a lot of pensioners are just too green-eyed and selfish to consider the needs of self-funded retirees or to even treat them with basic respect. It's fine for SFRs and working retirees to save the government tens of thousands every year so pensioners can get a million or two from the taxpayer purse over the course of their retirement, but then they want those same SFRs and working retirees to be deprived of everything they worked for in unfair tax hits. And they are rude enough to accuse them of not being genuine when they try to explain the facts.
    ex PS
    4th Apr 2018
    9:43am
    Good point TREBOR, but, I believe " The truly wealthy" would constitute a very small percentage of retirees, small enough to be considered insignificant when retirees as a whole are considered as a group.
    I would also expect that improved rights for retirees may not be important enough for them to join in, but it would not be to them, important enough to appose.
    OGR, I can see where you are coming from, but I also believe that there are enough of us that have a balanced view, who can see the benefit of occupying the middle ground to make a difference, if only we can meet each other in the middle and get organized.
    Then us against them case should be Retirees of all economic back grounds against any government that wants to use us as a political punching bag in order to garner votes from younger Australians.
    At the end of the day, when exercising voting rights, money makes no difference, as no matter how rich or powerful you may be, you still only get one vote.
    None
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:12pm
    I think a bit more Pension would help by the time we pay for food electricity water and rates which we budget for each month petrol and maintenance on house etc we have run out of money a few weeks before the next payment I would like to see if politicians could survive on it .
    Rae
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:57pm
    A bit more money from the markets instead of the lousy 2% or so would help pay for food, electricity, water, rates etc too and I never know if the money is going to be made each quarter or not.

    So you are one up on the SMSF who has to deal with Mr Market rather than the taxpayers. By the way those taxpayers haven't had a pay rise in a very long time in many industries and yet people want a bigger slice of it. I don't think that's fair.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:17pm
    Yes Rae. Seems the self-funded just keep having their income cut. Now Shorten wants to virtually demolish it for many. At least pensioners have security and a guaranteed increase every 6 months.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:44pm
    You two know my position on that already - NOBODY should fall below the pension rate in retirement....
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:12pm
    Looks like self funded retirees will be a dying race under Labor.
    ex PS
    3rd Apr 2018
    4:42pm
    I am a Retiree and haven't noticed my lifestyle getting any better under this government, actually, it has gotten worse rather than better since this mob of under achievers lied their way into government.
    Drewbie
    2nd Apr 2018
    1:59pm
    Re - the recent newstart allowance increase, whoopee-doo! All I received in Feb was an extra $6 + x cents on my $497.?? Not that I'm ungrateful mind. We all know it's intended to assist job-seekers applying for jobs, travel to interviews, sit for hrs before they're even called to put their best foot forward. But honestly, when you genuinely account for living costs, paying off debt, travel, the endless list. An extra $96.00 would go a long way to making such struggles less of a burdensome chore.

    But what really peeves me off ( & I've experienced this myself numerous times ) is when C-Link approved Job Network Providers deliberately fudge attendance figures on everything, just to ensure retention/rollover of government contracts, which keep their fat cushions plumped at the expense of many genuine job-seekers whose bulging resumes & personal work experiences don't & can't fit the job criteria they are forced to apply for.

    Cut Corporate Tax rates HELL NO!! Corporates with all their billions of yearly profits; they can easily afford to " gift it " to ATO.

    Increase the Aged pension? Oh Hell Yes!! At least $1,000.00 a week per couple & $750.00 per single. Me numbers might be off if the ap is close enough there already. If not, on suggested pension amounts, our aged will enjoy a more decent living standard. Besides: having worked solidly for 35 - 40 yrs before retiring, they've definitely earned it.
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2018
    8:51am
    Gee, an extra $6. A lot of struggling retirees LOST $10,000 or more recently, and are now fearing losing a further up to 30% of their income. My neighbour has an income of $52,000 a year. Not bad at all. But if Shorten gets his way, it will reduce by $15,000. After 40 years of going without luxuries to save, and contributing $40K a year to the taxpayer by not drawing a pension, he will be no better off than an aged pensioner couple - with no promise of twice annual rises, unless he just uses his savings to compensate for paying unfair tax until he qualifies for a part pension. What silly economics! And some people think this will somehow help the nation!
    musicveg
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:36pm
    For some an extra $96 per fortnight would mean the difference between paying a bill and getting more food on the table. I think it all depends on where they live, if they rent, and what savings they have. Rent assistance has not gone up but rents keep rising, mine just went up $5 a week, so now I pay $500 per fortnight. I live in the country so I have no idea how city people survive with rents so high.
    MICK
    2nd Apr 2018
    2:59pm
    Maybe back off on the assets test would be nice. No chance of that.
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:12pm
    In regards to the OAP, it’s not a homogeneous group. At the bottom, are people on the full pension, with no savings paying private rent. It is really hard, and more assistance is needed. At the top end are the Part pensioners who also have savings and their own home. Doing Ok, and in some cases very well. If there was an increase, I think it should only go to those who need it most.
    Cowboy Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:21pm
    And unfortunately the most needy you will find most days in the club at the pokies and that habit makes them more needy. Believe me I am within walking distance of seven clubs and 4 pubs and even the homeless living in cars are in there.
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:34pm
    Yes, but what about those you don’t see. Those with their dignity intact who are barely keeping their head above water. Those who are old, or sick and struggling due to factors beyond their control.
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:36pm
    Maybe, a welfare card for some of the payment so the increase is not spent on booze and pokies?
    Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:41pm
    I agree, but how do you determine the people that are in the most need, I think a lot of people's dignity would prevent them from asking for help.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:12pm
    The reason for people being on a full pension with nothing else is, in most cases, mismanagement. All but a very small number had the opportunity to accrue savings for retirement. But the system encourages and rewards mismanagement and punishes sensible and responsible lifestyle choices, so we have lots of people mismanaging, and if Shorten gets his way, we'll have lots and lots more.

    The problem is that if mismanagement is what created their needy situation, they will continue to mismanage no matter how much they are given. It's a dilemma. Handing out more doesn't necessarily solve the problems in a high percentage of cases. I wish I knew the answer to that one! I have just shown someone earning $110,000 a year how to NOT continue to go further and further into debt. I lived on less than the unemployment benefit for most of my life but bought a home and saved for retirement.

    I think the most important reform is to stop rewarding manipulators and spendthrifts and start making it worth the effort to save and be self-funded (or largely so). A welfare card might be a good option for those who have demonstrated inability to manage their affairs. My fear is that it will be seen as a ''catch-all'' solution to rising pension costs.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:47pm
    Come on, Jim, OGR and the rest - you don't know their situation... you only assume they are pure pensioners etc....

    Do you go around reading their bank statements online or robbing their mail box?

    What about a limited card for pokies, piss, ponies, puppies etc (snuckles under arm while LMFAO)....?
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:48pm
    The 'welfare card' costs more to run than it pays out at the current time.... welcome to stupid cost enhancement to suit the redneck community with no real idea.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:44pm
    Not claiming to know anyone's situation, Trebor (though I do know some because they boast - eg BigBear). What I do know is that I earned less than the unemployment benefit for most of my life, supported a disabled partner, paid medical bills for a disabled child, endured years of illness, and STILL paid off a home and saved. Most Australians COULD have saved far better than I did, but chose not to. It irks me that these same people are now screaming that SFRs and people like me - who still work after retirement age - should be stripped of their savings to prop up spendthrifts now relying on pensions.
    ex PS
    3rd Apr 2018
    4:49pm
    I thought it was only communists who wanted to decide how people should spend THEIR money. YES that's right, THERE MONEY, the last time I checked once you give someone something it becomes theirs, people need to keep their noses out of other peoples business and out of their pockets.
    I am sure that those people we see playing the pockies would rather be at the opera or seeing the latest stage show in the big city, but they are getting the entertainment they can afford and I for one do not begrudge them that little bit of comfort.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:19pm
    Pokies - the politics of despair and hope for a win....
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    7:05am
    I agree, ex PS, but then those same people who claimed the right to play the pokies want people who chose to put money aside for later deprived and overtaxed and forced to forego the benefits they saved for. Seems freedom of choice only works one way. The spendthrifts have it. The savers don't.
    ex PS
    4th Apr 2018
    9:54am
    OGR, I don't play the Pokies myself, I do occasionally buy a LOTTO Ticket, I smoke the odd cigar and enjoy a good Single Malt. I know people who are not as fortunate as me who rely on the OAP for their survival, yes a couple of them take themselves down to the local club once or twice a fortnight and have a few drinks and put some money through the machines. But they all pay their bills, buy birthday and Christmas presents for their grandchildren and are pleasant to their neighbors. I believe that the grab for our money comes from the government who uses the need to provide pension entitlements as a smoke screen to try and draw attention away from their financial mismanagement.
    I think it has been found that people who gamble do not get as much satisfaction from winning as they do from the expectation of winning, in other words it is there way of putting some hope into an otherwise desultory life. The shame is that they feel the need to do so.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    3:27pm
    I agree with all you say, exPS. My beef is with the nasties like Misty who insist they have the right to choose their preferred lifestyle and take millions from the public purse in retirement, but people who choose another way should be stripped of their savings and overtaxed unfairly, as well as not getting a pension. That's an extraordinarily selfish attitude. And it appears the morons at the Grattan Institute endorse that selfishness.
    Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:36pm
    Don't forget just a couple of weeks ago Shorten wanted to take money off the pensioners, not give them more, so obviously Labor thinks pensioners already get too much, he soon changed his mind when he found out it might cost Labor a few votes, anyone who actually thinks that Shorten won't change his mind again after the election is dreaming, he admitted that over 600,000 pensioners would have been affected, but his new plan only 400,000 pensioners would be affected, keeping in mind that this 400,000 pensioners don't claim a pension, Shorten wants them to pay tax on their investments, I have to admit to not fully understanding why they don't pay tax on their investments if their returns are over the tax free threshold, the assumption is that money invested in superannuation is completely tax free, I must have been dudded when I had money in superannuation because my account was assessed on fund earnings and I was charged income tax at 15%, when I questioned this I was told by the financial advisor that this applies to everyone, I also checked it with the fund manager ( North Star ) who said the same. I am not referring to the 15% tax that is paid when you put money in, so does this mean that SMSF pay 15% when money goes in and the fund then pays 15% earnings tax making a total of 30% tax?
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:04pm
    He's still wanting to take it off pensioners, Jim. He said he was misquoted and there was NEVER a proposal to exempt pensioners from his idiotic policy that is going to force more people onto pensions. Seems he wants to punish everyone who works or invests and push everyone onto welfare. Why is the question?

    And yes, we pay 15% on money going in to super and 15% on the earnings, and now Shorten wants to tax the earnings 30% in retirement phase, when we have no other options for earning a living. When we are all on the pension, then he'll cut the pension because the country can't afford it. Nonetheless, stupid green-eyed pensioners are cheering his policy, thinking it will hurt those who have more than them and somehow they will gain. Dumb!
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:09pm
    Shorten, was talking about Franking Credits on shares. Simplistically, You own shares, they may pay a dividend. In addition, the company pays tax to the ATO, on your behalf via Franking Credits. At tax time, you may be able to reduce the tax you pay by including the Franking Credits. What he didn’t realise is that many pensioners have shares and pay no tax. They are entitled to a refund of the Franking Credits paid to the Tax Office. It’s a simple form to complete at tax time. For many, the little bit they get back made all the difference. If people pay tax, it’s used to reduce their tax bill, so they get it back. If they don’t pay tax, they get the refund because tax was paid on their behalf. Many SMSF have put their super into Australian shares and the unfairness of abolishing Franking Credits affected them badly. Jim the normal rules regarding taxation of Super still applies. A super fund in retirement phase pays no tax on any earnings funding pension income, which means the fund can claim a tax refund for Franking credits
    Jim
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:15pm
    Thanks Sunday that was more or less my understanding, I just couldn't understand why so many people thought that it was fair for some pensioners to be taxed multiple times, I know the little I get each year is very welcome, and I don't think some people understand every cent I received in dividends over the years I had to declare as income and add it to my total income, the companies paid 30% tax on my behalf, but my tax rate was often 46% so I had to pay the difference as well, now in my dotage Shorten wants to take what little I get each year, even though I am well below the tax free threshold, strange way to support the working class, maybe he doesn't understand who the working class are.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:53pm
    You should receive NO reduction in tax for super contributions, and your 7% income tax should be set into a proper fund, along with the other strands of taxation drawn upon to fill it up - far out of the hands of grasping politicians and their business or Union mates bent on self-enrichment.

    Everyone gets the same pension and everyone pays tax on income over and above, including arranged gifting from owned or once-owned companies and family, and all fringe benefits such as a free ride in the company car of the company you once (theoretically) owned (and still do).

    Imagine Kerry Packer paying tax on the $1M a week handed to him to bet on the horses at Randwick..... he'd rather die... but had a taxable income of ONLY $25,000 - and $52M a year alone in gifting from his companies..... to blow on the horse if he wished (which he did)...

    FRINGE BENEFIT - handed out as part of the 'pacvage' after quitting the head spot.... still a fringe benefit...
    Sundays
    2nd Apr 2018
    8:49pm
    The problem Jim, was Labor was bandying around big numbers and giving the impression that retirees were getting something for nothing. On the face of it a SMSF with nearly $1.6M, paying no tax in pension phase, and getting 30% in Franking Credits does seem over the top. However, They were poorly advised, and did not comprehend the number of mum and dad investors hence the backtrack for those on the OAP. If, such a proposal came in, then SMSF will find other investments. I don’t believe that they will all give up and go on the OAP. Many wouldn’t go near Centrelink under any circumstances!
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2018
    9:33pm
    But he's now saying he didn't backtrack and will not exempt pensioners. He claims he was misquoted.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:20pm
    Jesus - the Canberra Two-Step.....
    Greg
    3rd Apr 2018
    10:20pm
    Jim when in the accumulation phase a 15% tax is paid on earnings, when in pension phase no tax on earnings. The credit you make to super is taxed at 15% but the total is not 30% tax.

    If you deposit $100,000 into super you pay 15% = $15,000
    That $100,000 may earn 8% in the fund = $8,000
    You pay 15% tax on the $8,000 = $1,200
    Total tax for the deposit and one year earnings would be $16,200

    Of course this is just an example, if you actually put $100,000 in at once it would most likely be an after tax deposit which is tax free for the deposit amount.
    Alan
    2nd Apr 2018
    3:44pm
    Unless I deliberately manipulated my financial affairs to get the Old Age Pension (I meet the age requirement and always assumed that I wouild not qualify on income grounds and I currently fail on both income and asset levels) I will not qualify for the pension. My mother (owned her own home and lived in a provincial city) did receive a pension and she found it sufficient for her needs. She did not smoke or drink and in her later years her breaks from home were with children and grandchildren so a very modest cost.

    The adequacy of the pension depends to some extent on your desired lifestyle and as a welfare payment I think it needs to be reasonable but not allopw you to live in the lap of luxury.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:54pm
    If you have sufficient income during working life you have no need to pension to embellish your lifestyle... hence the Trebor Plan...

    Bet you wouldn't jump at it, same as all the rest...
    robmur
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:21pm
    Corporate tax receipts over the last two months have improved the Budget bottom line by almost 10 billion dollars. The government is looking at boosting the aged care system and finances to nursing homes. All very nice and badly needed, but there are many aged pensioners who need a boost to their fortnightly aged pension before they are ready to go into a nursing home. An extra 10 billion in the government's coffers, surely there is room to increase the aged pension and Newstart allowance by a minimum of $60 per fortnight?
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:56pm
    Company tax comes due in March.... thanks for coming.... wait until financial year's end and final calculations on the real figures as provided by cunning corporate accountants, and then the figures will change - downward.... with refunds...

    2nd Apr 2018
    4:23pm
    It is pretty obvious that $96 extra per fortnight for OAPs would be more than welcome. So would one on one teaching (ie one teacher for every student), and one on one nursing, in our hospitals. While we are at it, how about free public transport for all; and lets raise the rate of Newstart to $1000 per week. Ok, that's done, now who is going to pay for it? Already big companies in most advanced economies are paying a lower tax rate than Australian companies, so no joy there. Looks like we will have to raise the tax rate on PAYE's to about 70 cents in the dollar - now that should be manageable, shouldn't it?
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:07pm
    Teachers do all right, thank you... so do nurses, many of whom choose to work part-time/casual so as to have more time to self and earn more but not enough to pay back HECS ....where did free public transport come from - the only argument is that 'privatised' transport costs more ...... $96 pf would raise Newstart for a single with no children to $634.40 a fortnight or $317.20 a week, not enough to feed a cat if they had one .....nobody mentioned $1000 a week.

    You are 100% correct about big companies - the small business person tied to a computerised stock and transaction system pays full tax.... tradies, motor mechanics and anyone with any access to cash payments etc do not ...

    The money to be found is in big companies and those who operate as small business outside of a computerised etc stock and transaction system. If a plumber can afford an investment property portfolio and a mega-million holiday home and a huge boat and annual tours overseas on a declared income or $80k - something is wrong........ not that hard to catch the big rorters if there is any desire to do so....*

    Interestingly the small business owners in that last situation are the most friendly and most receptive towards people desperate for a job......

    * I operated transport, and paid the required tax long before the ATO started to look at that arena - when other operators were not paying tax I was - and still got money back at year's end.
    Rae
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:39am
    TREBOR a good tax accountant can turn high taxed income dollars into hardly taxed at all capital gain and cash flow. The trick is careful use of debt and balance sheets.

    It's the tax system and incentives out of whack. Income earners just pay and pay and pay.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:21pm
    I agree , Rae - PAYE pay full tax on gross - all others take cash and run with it...
    Jen
    2nd Apr 2018
    4:42pm
    Its about priorities. Yes, in an ideal world, the Age Pension should be increased. But, with Newstart currently running at about 40% BELOW the Age Pension for a single person (that is, 40% BELOW what the government has defined as the POVERTY LINE), how can anyone challenge the urgency and priority of those on Allowances like Newstart first? Achoeving legislation that forces Allowances and Pensions to be set at parity with each other is a necessary first step if something permanent and viable is to be done for those in most need. I can't believe tgat pensikners who struggle to live on the Age Pension cannot see that there are people who are struggling with a whole lot less, usually through no fault of their own. Let's stop our Government from doing the "Divide and Rule" strategy by demonising some of those most in need in our society.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:09pm
    Pay Pension and Unemployment Allowance at the same rate....
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    5:13pm
    Let's just say that the stolen contribution over fifty years should now be receiving the same preferential treatment as the 'superannuation' of politicians.

    No job I ever held had the ENTITLEMENT to put a bit away and then recoup near the same salary for life and beyond retirement into infinity......

    Since these bastards stole the pension and other social security money and spent it on their pet projects instead of the well-being of the nation, they can now pay up as the bills fall due.
    TREBOR
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:16pm
    I'll say it again - after 13 years of contracting to a security transport company on an annual return the same as a politician's pay, my company super was $7k - Pauline Hanson spent 13 months in Parliament on her first gig and copped a cash handout of $70k.

    Tell me again how hard politicians do it..... bloody thieves....

    We need to keep 'em lean to keep 'em keen... and do their damned job or husbanding this nation on behalf of those who elect them to do so.
    Anonymous
    3rd Apr 2018
    7:31am
    My grandmother always said politicians should not be paid. That would mean only the wealthy could stand for office, but her theory was that if it wasn't a paid job, only those who genuinely wanted to serve their country would apply. The problem with that is the opportunities for corruption. Pauline Hanson folded on company tax in return for Abbott launching her book, and that's just one miniscule example of the ethics of those who chase power for their own ends.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:24pm
    That's why I suggested a basic level of income and genuine refund of costs, and asking one's electorate at year's end for a performance bonus... that bonus should tell a politician how well he or she is doing.

    Cost around $2.5M average to run a politician annually - out of which their after-tax income is not touched in going to work or anything else - unlike Jo and Joe Bloggs - who pay income tax and then costs to go to work. Jo and Joe get no tax concession for car, home base/office, or much of anything else..... yet are in the same business as business - making money!
    Charlie
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:15pm
    Age pension needs to be increased to compensate for the cost of rent.

    Even the estate agents can see this, as they avoid renting to people on benefits, assuming they will not be able to pay, if the rent is a certain percentage of their total income.

    Your application is put aside right from the start because you don't have sufficient income to allow for an increase in rentals due to economic growth.
    Also lack of income in age pension puts you in the category of " bad tenants who have never worked", regardless of previously holding some fairly permanent jobs and being highly skilled.

    There is no where near enough rental accommodation for single, life alone, age pensioners, so instead of renting a one bedroom flat they have to rent a two bedroom flat. That wouldn't normally be a problem, except the amount of money thought to be sufficient for pensioner accommodation buys less than a one bedroom flat, it buys only a bed sitter in many places.

    I exist because my flat has an owner, who cares about the welfare of age pensioners.
    Ms Logik
    3rd Apr 2018
    10:10pm
    That's a different problem, Charlie. The politicians should also do something about these insane increases in rent. 12 years ago you could rent a nice 3 bedroom house in a Brisbane suburb for $210 a week. And now??? Times have changed to the worse and sadly it's not getting better!
    Rae
    6th Apr 2018
    9:24am
    Charlie the young get around that by share house where two can rent a two bedroom unit. I can't see why single retirees can't do the same thing. A two bedroom unit close to the hospital in Brisbane can be rented for around $360 a week now. That is $180 each. That's affordable even on Newstart.

    The agent looks at the joint incomes of the house sharing tenants.

    There are dozens of units available around that price now due to the unit building boom.

    You are right about the one bedroom and studio apartment scarcity though. Out in the towns a house can be rented for $220 a week.

    Perhaps shopping around would be a good idea rather than increasing the pension when there are other needs like schools and hospitals etc.
    musicveg
    6th Apr 2018
    1:10pm
    Why should all the money go to schools and hospitals, I never use either, and many other people don't. There is already enough money for schools and hospitals.
    As for your renting idea, sounds good in theory but young people are never home whereas older people like to stay home a lot and could drive each other crazy as most are set in their ways, I for one don't like sharing my home with strangers. Okay if you have a good friend but then friendship could be ruined in no time.
    Better option is for the government to spend some more money on low cost housing, stop selling off public land and property without having spent it on low cost housing.
    Aussie
    2nd Apr 2018
    6:23pm
    We pensioners live with constant uncertainty of what changes are going to affect our daily peace and wellbeing.

    We check MyGov everyday and check the internet to ensure there are no changes from Yesterday to Today and that is very stressful for us old people.

    Some of us are very sick others can only subsist each day and a lot of other are leaving the country looking for a better place to live in peace.

    Why do we have to suffer ??? and why do we have to pay again for what we already pay for many years for the retirement of others .... this is our time to live in peace and not with the uncertainty we live this days

    I know that some of you will hit me again for this kind of comments but I suggest you think about the reality of pensioners in our country and try to understand the uncertainty we live everyday because we only have the pension as our means for survival
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Apr 2018
    7:16pm
    Try being a self funded retiree and you will really know what is uncertainty.
    Aussie
    2nd Apr 2018
    8:14pm
    VeryCaringBigBear ....I guess UR correct must even harder
    ex PS
    5th Apr 2018
    9:09am
    As a SFR, the only uncertainty i have is exactly when I will just give up and take a government pension. Given my circumstances and those around me who rely on the OAP, I consider myself lucky to have that problem.
    Jannie
    3rd Apr 2018
    9:06am
    I am still working part time at 70 to top up the pension, it is getting harder to make ends meet. My blood boils when I hear about what immigrants illegal or legal and our shit pollies are getting.
    Aussie
    3rd Apr 2018
    5:01pm
    Yes mate we are the shit pensioners .....the illegals are much better than all of us that work our back side for over 45 years and pay big taxes .... so yes we are the scum mate that is the way our governments think about us and keep taking the little money they give us as pensions.
    Just to remember that we work for over 45 years and pay the pension of a lot of other people maybe your fathers and mothers so now I guess is our time ..... Is it ????

    Why don't we get free homes ???? like them ???? or some of the other perks they get .... I think they do not have to report their assets they may have here or overseas ??? why ???? buy hey we have to and our pension gets reduced based on our assets Ummmmm
    musicveg
    3rd Apr 2018
    7:01pm
    Aussie I would not be worried about the few illegal immigrants, you want to concentrate on the 200,000 LEGAL immigrants coming into Australia every year, taking the jobs, using up the resources, crowding the roads, buying all the houses, pushing up rents because of demand, and claiming baby bonuses and family allowances for all the kids they have.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:25pm
    Jeez - I've applied for a job at Coles.... I'm good at hiding the pains and carrying my share of the load....
    Jannie
    3rd Apr 2018
    9:28am
    I disagree that Newstart should be the same as what the age pension is due to the fact that the young ones have a life ahead of them and should be encouraged to work. A large percentage do not want to work. I visited the Broadmeadows Centrelink offices the other day and it is mind boggling what the so called unemployed and immigrants plush cars they are driving. Mercedes and four wheel drive vehicles and they like black, wonder why??
    Oldchick
    3rd Apr 2018
    9:37am
    I think what some people who say we should be able to manage on the pension and should have saved for our retirement without ‘bludging’ on taxpayers forget that when a lot of us were working we weren’t earning big bucks. I worked from the time I was 15 (part time while at school), had good, responsible jobs but never earned over $35k in all my working life - over 30 years. After that I became a full-time carer for my Mum, lived off my own savings for 18months during that time, and then became so unwell myself I ended up on a DSP. In my first full time job the Super System was weighted towards the males and females weren’t allowed to join the fund until they were 25. I was almost due for long service leave before I was allowed to join. I saved hard, tried to be responsible with my money, but if anyone had told me I wouldn’t have been able to work until actual retirement age I wouldn’t have believed them. When we’re younger we all think we’re going to be invincible. Sadly reality can be very different. I do own my own home but I live alone, one pension and water rates, council rates, house insurance, medical insurance, the list goes on. No Government subsidy for those.
    Anonymous
    3rd Apr 2018
    11:17am
    Nope, Jansview. Not forgetting that at all. I never earned anything close to $35K a year, had a dependant partner for most of my working life, paid out over $100K for a disabled child's therapy, and suffered years off work with illness, but still saved. No super - ever. I'm sorry to hear you ended up on DSP, and maybe there are genuine reasons why you couldn't have much savings or assets to retire, but MOST Australians who are retired today SHOULD own a home and have some savings. You obviously did manage responsibly, as you own a home. Far too many just spent like drunken sailors and are now whining, and what is most upsetting is that they want the savings taken off the responsible people and given to them to compensate them for their own irresponsible behaviour.
    Oldchick
    3rd Apr 2018
    12:26pm
    You’re so right too. I’ve known people who earned way more than I did but have thought it was all going to last forever, now they have the pension and that’s it. I do have some savings and a very modest lifestyle but I’m still drawing on my Super all the time. Last pension alone I had $1678 in bills - just insurances, water, power, council rates instalment, car rego.... not including food or house repairs I can’t afford yet without drawing more Super. I keep a strict budget of outgoings but there’s not much left over at the end of the fortnight. Health Insurance is an expensive addition but at my age and health I consider it a necessity, not a luxury. I don’t want to have to wait 18 months for a hip or knee replacement.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    6:55am
    With a disabled partner to support, I can't afford to quit work, even though I'm years past retirement age. I'm lucky to have a good job now - for the first time in my entire life! I'm lucky to be able to work, though I'm not sure for how much longer after a recent bout of ill health. I've struggled to save and invest because I knew the pension wouldn't cover our needs in retirement given our respective health and family circumstances. But now, Shorten wants to totally demolish my retirement plans by taxing income very UNFAIRLY, and it is really sickening that nasty people are supporting that and refusing to pay attention to the true facts of how unfair and economically harmful it is.

    I guess I should be grateful for the intelligence to see through political lies, and maybe it's the lack of that intelligence that results in SOME of the whingers being pensioners. (Not all. Trebor, for example, displays impressive intelligence, but he shows a willingness to consider the facts when presented and move from a position if he sees evidence to justify a shift in thinking. There are others here who have shown intelligence and compassion.)
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    7:00am
    And while I agree about health insurance, I can't afford it. I had to drop out when gap bills were costing tens of thousands per year and we were going through a rough patch, drawing down on our house mortgage to survive a period of zero income, and couldn't access our super because we were too young. A natural disaster hit and we had no option but to cut expenses to the bone for a few years. We recovered, finally got our insurance payout, and once we could access super things got much better, and then I landed this wonderful job and started earning a healthy income for the first time in my life. But it was too late to get back into health insurance.

    If Shorten has his way, I'll either keep working until I'm 80, or watch every cent of savings drain away to pay pensions to others. And some people think that's ''fair''!
    Ms Logik
    3rd Apr 2018
    6:13pm
    Thank you, Senator Tim Storer, for taking initiative for a group of people that seem not well represented by politicians and mostly suffer in silence. I am talking about the age group of 55 plus on Newstart Allowance.

    Here are some facts that not be well known to the general public: when you are 55 and over and don't have a paid job any more (for whatever reason) and no more than a certain amount of money in your bank account, you are eligible for the Newstart Allowance, i.e. a payment of $547.60 per fortnight for a single person. To receive this payment, you have to report to Centrelink every fortnight whether you have fulfilled the obligations of your Job Plan. There are two options: either you work 15 hours per week (equivalent to $18.25 per hour) as a registered volunteer for charities of your choice (Op Shops, Meals on Wheels etc) or you apply for 20(!) jobs per fortnight.

    Lots of people in this age group are forced to take money out of their Superannuation because it is impossible, even living very frugally, to pay rent, petrol (to get to your volunteering jobs), electricity, car rego, telephone, not to mention food. Plus, for example, when you are 59 years young now, you have to wait until you are 67 before you are eligible for the Age Pension. What do you do when you are aware that your Super will run out before you reach 67? Start panicking now? How come more and more women over 55 are becoming homeless and seem unemployable?

    With less and less jobs in our modern world, there needs to be a more equitable system of money distribution to avoid social unrest in the near future.
    musicveg
    3rd Apr 2018
    6:58pm
    You are spot on, and some of us have no superannuation to fall back on. And don't forget if you are working the 15 hours a week some of it is deducted from your NEWSTART allowance. How can anyone afford to travel to volunteer jobs especially in rural areas. With rent's rising so many are ending up homeless living in caravans or even cars. It is shocking that we have this happening in our society and NO ONE cares, they all blame the person for getting themselves in the mess, this is how we treat our older generation.20 jobs are week is crazy, what a lot of business people getting bothered all the time, not cost effective for the economy either. The jobs are extremely scares for this age group even if you are trained in something. With 200,000 LEGAL immigrants coming into this country every year, and LESS and LESS jobs available we will see (and has already started) and similar situation like the uncaring USA.
    TREBOR
    3rd Apr 2018
    8:30pm
    Under the current 'industrial relations and workplace rights' grubbery, many will have next to no super at retirement time, let alone the opportunity to own their own home.

    A rich man's dream come true - a hapless group of serfs desperate for any dollars thrown their way and living in rented accommodation owned by the company store....
    Ms Logik
    3rd Apr 2018
    9:37pm
    Hello musicvec,
    When I said working 15 hours per week I meant "working for the Dole" (called Newstart Allowance now)., so nothing is deducted. I have to work the 15 hours as a volunteer to get the Newstart Allowance. I wish I had a real part time job! Sometimes I find a job at SEEK that I think I would be good at and write an application and it is always the same outcome: no reply!
    And yes, you are right, applying for 20 jobs a fortnight is crazy and wastes everyones time.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2018
    6:31am
    What a terrible situation to be in, Ms Logik. I feel for you deeply. It's criminal that people are treated so badly in an affluent society. I'm glad at least one politician is paying attention. I urge you to write to him personally and tell him your story - if you haven't already. Send a copy to your local Federal MP, and to both the Treasurer and Minister for Social Services and the Shadow Ministers. It may seem as though they take no notice, but I assure you letters do influence. I will write also, on your behalf, stating what you have said and demanding that something is done to help people in this unacceptable situation. Hopefully others who read your story will also.
    Ms Logik
    4th Apr 2018
    4:19pm
    Thanks, OnlyGenuineRainey, will do - write letters. Can't find Tim Storer's Email address though. Might have to send it by Snail Mail.Change is urgently needed.
    Volunteering is actually a good idea - gives you the feeling to give something back to the community, gets you out of the house, you are meeting other nice people and often it's good fun as well. Not all volunteers are on Newstart Allowance though.Lots of Age Pensioners do it for the above mentioned reasons. Where would Australia be without volunteers? The point is: no-one can survive on Newstart Allowance alone with the ever increasing costs of living.
    Yes, and it would be great if others that are in a similar situation would write letters, too. People power!
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2018
    8:44am
    Ms Logik, I knew a very poor pensioner (now sadly deceased) who was lauded for giving 30 years of service to charity - working 3 full days every week for all of that time, right up to age 87. She laughed when I complimented her, saying that it was her secret to living in comfort despite a very low income. By taking the ''sorter'' job, she had the opportunity to get all the very best bargains in clothing, items she could gift to others for Christmas and birthday, household implements, linen, etc. She got some brilliant bargains - generally for a dollar or two. She also bought some items to renovate and then sell for profit. Cunning lady recognized a need for baby strollers, high chairs, car seats, cots etc. and the charity rules said they could not sell them for health reasons, so she encouraged locals to leave them out back of the facility and she took them home, scrubbed and disinfected thoroughly, then advertised them for sale. Everyone knew her cleanliness standards so they were happy to buy from her if they couldn't afford new items.

    She also bought wedding dresses for a song, laundered them, did minor mending, and sold them at a healthy profit.

    Sometimes, the opportunities are there but we don't see them because they are not presented in the form we are accustomed to.

    BTW. This lady was so admired for her efforts that she also had a team of other volunteers offering to transport her to shopping and appointments, visiting regularly and bringing cakes and treats, inviting her to dinner, repairing her computer for her for free, and even doing gardening and home maintenance tasks free of charge. Two hobby clubs made her an honorary member and let her engage in her hobbies for free. And the appliance repairman only ever charged for parts when he did repairs - never for his labour.

    I'll see if I can get an email for Tim Storer. but lots of pollies don't invite email correspondence unfortunately. Maybe also point out that he is making it hard for strugglers to communicate, since even stamps and paper and envelopes impose a cost.
    musicveg
    5th Apr 2018
    2:56pm
    Great story OGR, thanks for sharing. Yes there are opportunities to be had if you can find them. I recently saw that my next door neighbours (holiday house) recycle bin fell over, so while I was fixing it up to be ready for pick-up I noticed a heap of DVD's, amazing what people throw out. I already sold one (bluray which I don't have a player for) and going to watch the others before selling online. My son and I recently found a bike that was dumped in the bush(too costly to take to the rubbish dump these days). It had a bent mudguard and a few scratches, took it home and fixed and cleaned and sold it for $100. Helps to make ends meet and pay the bills.
    Ms Logik
    6th Apr 2018
    8:20pm
    Thank you, OnlyGenuine Rainey and musicvec, yes I agree, there are opportunities. And now and then I get a cleaning job. That doesn't mean I would be able to do a cleaning job 8 hours a day, 7 days a week! I also do Past Life Regressions - great adventure when you are in that sort of life experience! But not much clients.
    Should get my act together! Being self-employed. I also make smudge sticks from white sage and lavender for sale, made about 30 Dollars in the last three months.
    I know peole who were reduced to tears by the so called "Job Providers". The worst ones are Max Network and Tursa. They just make money on your behalf. As soon as you enter their door, they get paid - I don't know how much.
    The whole bloody system has to be changed. The younger people have to respect us as the generation who has installed it all!
    musicveg
    6th Apr 2018
    8:31pm
    Interesting MsLogik, you must advertise your talents more. Thanks for the tip on the Job Providers, you are allowed to change them too.
    Mez
    5th Apr 2018
    12:37pm
    Rent assistance for Age Pensioners MUST BE INCREASED TO KEEP UP WITH PROPERTY AND LOCAL COUNCIL RATES INCREASES!
    Also, the ceiling limit for earnings under the Work Bonus must be increased to $10,000.00 per year before the pension is reduced!
    This encourages the fit and able pensioners to keep active and healthy as well as earning extra picket money.
    Casual pay for ONE NURSING SHIFT for instance, is MORE THAN THE PRESENT CEILING LIMIT OF $250.00 per fortnight and there are no shorter shifts available so a big overhaul is necessary!
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2018
    12:59pm
    And what about homeowners whose rates have increased, Mez. All this focus on special help for this group or that is destroying the system. What we need is a universal pension for all aged and a fair tax system and NO SPECIAL BENEFITS AT ALL, because they just encourage and reward irresponsible lifestyles.
    GeorgeM
    5th Apr 2018
    1:59pm
    Agree, OGR. People need to stop focusing on their narrow self-interests and look at the broader picture if they want any real results. See my comments below.
    GeorgeM
    5th Apr 2018
    1:56pm
    A lot of comments as usual have gone off at a tangent and not focused on the issues raised in the article.
    Yes, Tim Storer has started a refreshing trend to link tax reform with any consideration of tax cuts - which is the right thing to do. For example, companies (and the wealthy) need to pay their fair share of tax first - say MINIMUM TAXES - as part of a reform of the system before anything like tax cuts could be considered.

    Yes, Newstart and Age Pension increases are very important, the latter as an Universal Pension.
    The bickering on this forum is ridiculous and people need to unite for Universal Pension linked with funding by Tax Reform, and push their MPs and support new members such as Tim Storer to take a fresh approach.
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2018
    8:10pm
    Couldn't agree more, George. A fragmented and competitive approach will never achieve the results we should be striving for. We are all suffering in different ways. Arguing about who is most entitled is just playing into the hands of evil politicians and giving them excuses to make things worse.

    While pensioners are focused on their own needs, they should also recognize that some SFRs are struggling, and very frightened of Shorten's proposed attack. And renters need to recognize that some homeowners are also doing it very tough. Stop making assumptions about the situation others are in and show some respectful support for all who request it. As a united group, we can move mountains.
    GeorgeM
    7th Apr 2018
    12:16am
    Exactly, OGR, Retirees need to realise they are a large group, hence have power if they act with unity!
    GrayComputing
    6th Apr 2018
    10:00am
    Dear green senators

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    For the retired and retiring people in your electorate do you think they really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    Do you or other MP like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do you as a compassionate person let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    You even stand to lose your chance at directing the government unless all these criminal asset tests for a pension are dropped now.

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    musicveg
    6th Apr 2018
    1:04pm
    FOOD FOR THOUGHT, I JUST READ THIS, THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE HERE:

    "To fund the Australian Investment Guarantee, Labor has announced that for everyone except pensioners, we will cease allowing dividends to be paid out as cash refunds. Few advanced nations have dividend imputation, and only in Australia can people claim cash refunds if they haven’t paid income tax. When this change was made by the Howard Government in 2000, it cost the budget around half a billion dollars annually. Today, the figure is $5 billion, and forecast to grow to $8 billion, which is more than the federal government presently spends on public schools.

    Dividend imputation was designed to avoid double taxation, not to turn the tax office into an ATM for multimillionaires. Under Labor’s changes, no one will lose a cent from their super contributions, no one will lose a cent from their pension and no one will lose a cent from their share dividends. The changes will not affect pensioners. These reforms are highly progressive, with 95 percent of the revenue coming from the wealthiest fifth. At a time of high inequality, rising government debt and sluggish growth, can we really afford a tax break that is inequitable, costly, and does nothing for growth?"

    NOTE THAT IT SAYS CHANGES WOULD NOT EFFECT PENSIONERS.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2018
    4:05pm
    And what about the SFRs who donate up to $40K a year to the government coffers and SIMPLY CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT THOSE TAX CREDITS that might reduce their contribution to the budget to a mere $25K a year and give boost their income to the level of the OAP.
    How much has Stupid Shorten allocated to compensate them for losing their livelihood, because they will all have to claim pensions when they can't achieve a living income.

    Yes, we WILL lose 30% of our share dividends. We will lose the income that is currently making the difference between being self-funded and relying on a pension.
    Cowboy Jim
    7th Apr 2018
    11:04am
    It would affect me to the tune of about $500 a year my accountant worked out. But since I elected not to fill in tax forms anymore that money stays with the Govt. So anyone not wanting to claim that benefit does not have to. Maybe I am just too lazy to start filling in forms again and sooner or later those shares will be sold. C/Link has a good eye on them and their movement is counted, downward recently.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2018
    12:06pm
    If I stopped working, I would have an income of $25,000 a year and be handing $12,000 a year to the tax man in forfeited franking credits. Given that I could then not afford to remain self-funded, by stealing $12K a year from me, Shorten would force me to divest assets, buy a more expensive home, and claim the pension - and I'd divest the shares that yielded franked dividends obviously, so I would be $10K a year better off and Shorten would lose his $12K a year PLUS lose $40K+ a year that would be paid to me in pension - increasing every 6 months.

    Not sure what the situation is while I'm working, but I assume that DESPITE paying tax, I STILL can't claim the credits because my work income is personal and my dividend income is to the Superfund. To change that, I'd have to sell the shares at a big loss in order to take them out of the Fund, because as I understand it you can't withdraw assets - only cash. That creates an incredibly unfair situation for people who DO pay tax, but hold shares in the super fund. That also runs contrary to the repeated advice NOT to sell when the market is down, and it reduces my assets and therefore ability to be self-funded and increase the likelihood that I'll have to rely on a pension. So again my only valid option to make up the unfair loss would be to cash in my shares, withdraw from super to buy a much more expensive home, and claim a pension. Budget LOSES $26K a year +++ and I gain $10K extra income and keep my assets for my kids. Thanks Mr Shorten. Dumb policy, but it benefits me!

    The whole idea is hideously flawed and stupid. It can't possibly save the billions claimed because, as is their wont, dumb politicians and their advisers have totally ignored the flow-on effects of the change.

    6th Apr 2018
    5:16pm
    Pensioners are used as targets for welfare costing more when in fact its immigration and left wing WE owe them all - at fault. We owe only our own people who work and pay income taxes not those who come and bludge by staying on welfare til age pension and due to having more children which gains them more for each added child and makes up a goodly weekly income.
    they blame elderly for house prices when that too is immigration and under Labor went through the roof and not low now under Libs. Plus of course terrorism and Halal costs on food and smany on disability for 'depression' then off fighting in Syria etc. On our hard earned taxes and retired pay these still but mostly paid income taxes all of their lives. No hand outs for first home and child care etc etc. Which child care - think about it. women go out to work and child care was to help them but they are taking jobs that some on the hunt for a job could do so in reality taxpayers are paying for child care and for welfare which is madness. We mostly stayed home or worked part time women once all at school and managed. Yet no once cares just uses us all as
    excuse for bad governance.
    musicveg
    6th Apr 2018
    5:27pm
    Some men can be stay at home parents too, BigVal. I agree LEGAL immigration needs to be lowered, it is currently 200,000. You should check out the Sustainable Australia Party policies.

    7th Apr 2018
    12:16pm
    I DO NOT think Storer should be pushing for an aged pension increase, and DEFINITELY NOT a rent assistance increase. This ''boxing'' people and paying X this and Y that is wrecking society and driving a welfare mentality. It's become a contest as to who can claim the greatest need for more handouts.

    Renters face high costs. So do homeowners. Some, with older or poorly maintained homes incur massive costs for maintenance and repairs. Rates in some areas are hideous. Then there's the huge penalty for being a homeowner on a pension. $15,600 a year if you are assets tested! It know many who are finding it costs them $400 a week to live in their own home, and that's NOT counting maintenance. If they paid $400 a week rent, they would get rent assistance! I know people who are getting free rent and claiming rent assistance, because they enter into live-in caretaker arrangements and they pay rent, claim the assistance, and get then get gifts of food, utilities, etc. to recompense them for the rent they paid.

    Now Shorten is proposing to steal 30% of the income of struggling retirees who don't cost the country up to $2 million in retirement, making many of them worse off than pensioners.

    If we don't unite and shout with ONE VOICE that ALL retirees need to be treated with more respect, we are ALL going to lose. Selfishness and division can only work against all of us in the end.

    The demand has to be to abolish ALL current pension and assistance arrangements and introduce a fair and equitable universal pension for ALL retirees who worked and paid tax in Australia for 20 years or more - and otherwise pro-rata. No means tests. No extras for this or that. Just ONE SINGLE FAIR AND ADEQUATE PAYMENT TO ALL. Then tax all income over and above that amount fairly. NO penalties or rewards for owning a home, plunging more into more expensive homes, or renting.