Age Pension should increase as well as Newstart

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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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Written by Leon Della Bosca

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

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187 Comments

Total Comments: 187
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    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?

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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

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      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.

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      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.

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    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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      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….

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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?

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      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.

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    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

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      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.

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      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.

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      Yes, Rae and OGR – but there are limits to OPPORTUNITY to make savings…. those on the borderline have no such discretion….

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      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.

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      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.

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      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”!!!

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    I have heard that a politicians nightly living away from home allowance is $1 more than the weekly Newstart allowance. Is this right?

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      I reckon it’s called corruption in any other situation, Trebor.

  6. 0
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    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.

    • 0
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      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.

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      The question is also “Should the Age Pension be considered for a substantial raise in line with Newstart?”

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      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…..

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      They more people get the more they want as you will never satisfy them.

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      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.

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      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.

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      True BigBear – across the board……. look at your genuinely wealthy and your corporations – the more you give the more they want….

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      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…..

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      It’s a tough call TREBOR for selfless carers to make.

      Sounds like stress could do you in first though if you let it.

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    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 …

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      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.

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      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?

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      I agree Fae.

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      Do you notice Codger that those with no sympathy for OAPs are generally doing OK themselves

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      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?

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      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.

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      System’s broke – time to take retirement packaging out of the hands of politicians who work for vested interest first and foremost.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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?

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    Newstart is not enough. There should be a rise but at the same time Centrelink should tighten up the rules.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    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.

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