Friday Flash Poll: Should the family home be on the assets test?

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Earlier this week we ran a story on the future of the Age Pension. It said the most likely first change to making the pension fairer and perhaps more ‘fundable’ would be to put the family home in the Age Pension assets test.

But is this really fair for all retirees?

Some would argue that owning a million-dollar home should preclude you from receiving a full-Age Pension. After all, there are many pensioners who own nothing and would be receiving the same amount of money, plus Rent Assistance, as those who own stately homes.

However, many pensioners who own their homes don’t have much in the way of disposable income. And their homes may have been bought for pennies compared to today’s housing costs. Let’s face it, a million-dollar home ‘ain’t what it used to be’. A million may not buy you much these days, so should the limit be a little higher?

Perhaps $2.5 million is fair. Maybe more. Maybe not at all. What do you think? It probably goes without saying that it may not be long before the family home is on the assets test. Is this fair? If it had to be, where should the cut-off be? Why not tell us what you think in our Friday Flash Poll?

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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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228 Comments

Total Comments: 228
  1. 0
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    In order to keep the government honest, given their proven history of moving goal posts – NO HOME INCLUDED IN ASSETS TEST! Furthermore – the assets test needs to be revised and countless items excluded, and only income bearing assets included.

    **’government’ means both parties – ‘Government’ means the one currently in the seat of service to the people (NOT power – they only hold ‘power’ in Parliament due to numbers – nowhere else).)…

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      The Pension is funded fully now – thanks for coming – but do try to keep up in class (in a classless society, BTW)…

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      On which subject – how doe those clowns who insist on pumping extra millions of people into Australia expect those people to develop a retirement fund in the time they are here as working adults? I can pretty much guarantee you that the bloke who,for instance, had an electrical contracting firm and aided and abetted robbery by childcare centre will have no money in retirement and will need a pension… that kind struggled with the rules in working life (ha-ha) but not in retirement…

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      You can take that for a NO!! If they wish to do that, they can take over the mortgage payments….

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      NO Assets Test! Ideally, NO Asset, Income or Couple Combined Tests – just like for Politicians. Just a beat-up from YLC today to get Retirees to fight with each other – maybe no news around today to talk about.

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      No news George M?, what about these disgusting raids by the AFp?, surely it is in all Australian citizens and residents to know that the goct via ASIO want to keep tabs on ALL AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS?.
      This sort of thing happens in China, Russia, North Korea, NOT AUSTRALIA, we need to know if this is what our elected govt has in store for us and journalists should not be subjected to the raids we saw this week for doing their jobs.

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      Sorry about the spelling mistakes, I am using magnifying glasses which are not the best until I get my subscription ones, my Optician has broken his collar bone and won’t be back until next month.

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      Misty- Read the official Australian Secrecy Act before you mouth off at what is disgusting what is not.

      Disclosure of classified Australian Defence documents without the authority of the relevant department’s minister is a CRIME…minimum 2 years jail sentence.

      You’d be more disgusted to read the leaked ABC Human Resources files disclosing publicly how much each employee earns, their individual productivity reports, the employee sexual harassment complaint reports…all in public interest ,of course.

      The Managing director of ABC stated , “he stands by and protects all of his employees”…Right !…but he doesn’t stand by and does not protect leaked Australian highly classified National Security documents . Freedom of the Press does not give press the right to be complicit in espionage and more importantly the betrayal and contempt of the Australian Defence Forces.

      You just don’t bite the hand that feeds you ABC. Say goodbye to future funding.

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      Misty, we do not know on what evidence the media offices were raised. Before everyone exhausts themselves jumping up and down in righteous indignation, how about waiting for an explanation and the reasons that prompted the raids. There would have to have been at the very least a suspicion of a crime having been committed to prompt the action. The media and individual journalists are not above the law. But before making judgements stop jumping to conclusions. And frankly the way many people on this site abuse the media on an almost daily basis, I am surprised you even mentioned it. Other than to deflect from the main topic of course.

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      The papers the ABC aired were redacted so no secrets exposed and are everyone here happy to have the ASIO SPYON AUSSOE CITIZENS WILLY NILLY?, I KNOW I AM NOT A friend of mine who came here from Latvia and grew up during tghe war said this is how Hitler started, is this ther country we want our grandchildren to grow up in?.

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      Can’t wait for my new glasses so I can see what I am typing.

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      If you think you will get the truth from this govt without a Senate enquiry you must be living in La La land.

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      Misty-With so many foreign insurgents who infiltrated into Australia under various guise , etc, etc..Yes, it is all necessary for the ‘better good’. It’s a two sided coin, we need to keep the government honest, the corporate commerce business honest and we need to keep certain citizens honest. The very fact that ABC made admission that they were in possession of leaked classified National Security documents made them immediately complicit in a Criminal act. They should have sought permission from the government and the defence dept to have possession of the leaked classified National secret documents and if there was no permission they should have handed every single page of the documents back to the government. Now ABC has to suffer the consequence of their criminal complicity.

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      Ah, Arvo – I see you’ve been reading the homework assignment I set for the DFA, about Fifth Columns, and also about the preparedness of the West for endless wars with nations/groups with inferiority complexes…

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      If it is so fine to do what has just occurred why is the rest of the world shocked and disgusted. Skewed thinking by a few people on here. If you watched The Drum last night and listened to the retired High Court judge you would know we lack some protections that the rest of the world has. New Zealand was used as a model by the UK, so we should look no further than our closest nation. Even America has a constitutional protection for the media. We need to establish this promptly. No whistle blower or informant will contact the media or anyone else if there is no protection for them to do so.
      Why now as well? Why not six months ago or a few weeks ago? There has been a leak in the department of Home Affairs, they have a whistle blower. No journalist can reveal their source or they will never get any information. People will keep things to themselves that should come out into the open.
      It is not a crime to investigate and report so long as it is checked and verified.
      The ones being investigated can not control the power as is shown in this case. They are being looked into. A whistle blower has told a journalist of an incident or incidents in relation to the army so it is not up to the army or the government department to intervene to try to find their whistle blower.
      Ask a high court judge.

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      Misty, I’m with you 100% about the raids and what they mean. We have to fight this attack on our democracy. I don’t for a minute believe that our government was not involved. Scott Morrison is lying when he pretends to be distanced from this SHOCKING attack on journalists, whistleblowers and the public’s right to know what is happening in our society and international affairs. I’m furious and very worried!

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      Misty, the AFP raids are NOT a big deal – just because a few journalists are affected they saturate the news media with these reports. I agree with Arvo. I would rather leave it to the AFP to decide what security issues are worth investigating, not stupid Labor (or Liberal) political commentators. Just think – it could be the Russians, Chinese or even the North Koreans trying to destabilise the Govt here by developing leak methods – best to leave it to the AFP who will only proceed if they find anything of genuine concern. If the journos haven’t broken any laws, they have nothing to worry about.

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      all taxpayers regardless of wealth should get the pension….which is what used to happen. However so I believe (I could be wrong) that there was a big stink about wealthy people getting it (even though they probably paid more in taxes than the average) and the rules were changed.

      It is not going to happen a Universal Pension…with superannuation we are supposed to partly support ourselves; that is why it was introduced in the first place.

  2. 0
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    I believe Politicians Need To Bring There Rorts Under Control Before Chasing after OAP Home Ownership.
    Receiving a Living Away From Home Allowance and Staying In “Partners” Property or Friends Property. When Parliament is Sitting.
    The Other Rort Of Receiving Parliamentary Pension while still working and Before 60.

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      Funny – I just said that on another forum…… great minds think alike… the self-proclaimed mighty need to be brought down a peg or ten… only way they’ll get in touch with reality is by being shown what reality is for the majority.

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      I completely agree with you Chris, sort out the pollies perks to a semblance of reality , not letting them getaway with taxpayer robbery then use the “I didn’t know the rules ” excuse.

    • 0
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      Chris B T, I agree with you on this. When is the Australian public going to start doing something about this injustice?

      This country is run by crooks who are destroying it and the lives of those that want an ordinary life.

    • 0
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      Yes, very valid comments. How about YLC put out a survey specifically about scrapping the Politicians perks? That surely should be the priority if this country wants to give a “fair go” as Morrison and others say.

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      Couldn’t agree with you more, Chris. Let’s have an in depth investigation into the sly way early politicians decided to line their own pockets with pensions and perks by robbing taxpayers of theirs.

    • 0
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      I read on another forum that Scott Morrison got a rise this week of $11,000pa which brings his salary to $549,000pa. All pollies got a rise apparently. They have crippled unions, removed penalty rates and have done nothing to help low earners or the unemployed on Newstart. But hey, they’re ok getting their regular increases.

  3. 0
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    Slow morning here, Igor – let’s take the car to the mechanic’s …. give ’em time to get their coffee in …

  4. 0
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    A lot of voters believed the scare campaigns about the so called retiree tax (it was not a retiree tax) and fictitious death taxes (which Morrison refused to rule out when he was treasurer) Now we see that the coalition is really coming after your money!

    Surprise surprise after 6 years of “the money managers” being in power the economy is in its worst state since 1992,
    Labor got us through the GFC despite the denials of those who claim to be the better economic managers. Truth is finally out, they have no idea of what to do, tax cuts in 2022 and 2024 are NOT going to help Australia NOW when it is needed. The RBA have been trying to convince the coalition for 5 years to do something constructive to no avail.

    The duplicitous cry of it is all Labor’s fault is ringing very hollowly after 6 years and entering the third term of failure.

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      Couldn’t agree more. Morrison and his mob are the greatest purveyors of fake news since Hitler was on the rise in 1937. They knew that the economy was tanking even before they called an election and the Reserve Bank colluded by not announcing a rate cut during the election runup period. Now the government is desperate for money, hence the “review” of retirement incomes just announced. No mandate for that as it was never mentioned during their election campaign. Of course the family home will be included in the pension assets test – how better to get another half million of the poorest retirees off the pension? Also, watch out for your allocated pension or other retiree super – there’s sure to be rule changes to limit your access to lump sums etc and force you to take it all as a pension.

    • 0
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      Buggsie,

      Given the way the coalition ranted and lied about the ” RETIREE TAX” etc, they have anything but a mandate to attack retirees and pensioners, they were purporting to support retirees (I think they meant the wealthiest of course) during the election campaign.

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      Maybe the LNP just feel incredibly secure that retirees – pensioners, part pensioners and self funded – will keep supporting them no matter what and maybe they are right? There was hardly a peep from retired people when the asset test was changed but an almighty scream from them when a small minority, those who can afford to buy humungous amounts of shares were going to be affected by franking credits. It’s hard to believe the ignorance!…but it is undeniable nevertheless!

    • 0
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      Let’s put some real facts into this election.

      I have just looked at the latest tally room figures. Currently the LNP got only 386,601 more votes than Labor across the country.

      the LNP got over 50% of the votes in 3 states. Labor got over 50% of the votes in 5 states.

      Does this really mean that the LNP has a mandate to do whatever they want?

      I say that a party that only gets 386,601 but gets 9more seats that they recon gives them a mandate is not really a democracy.

      I say this the LNP reckon with 6,622,181votes reckon they have a mandate to screw the other Labor voters who got 6,235,580 votes.

  5. 0
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    Calm down TREBOR and don’t give yourself a heart attack over it. I will be very surprised if it ever happens as it is far too complicated. There are too many variables which will cause an enormous outcry if they ever try it. It costs a lot of money to sell up and move. Not everyone has the regular body corporate fees that you need to pay when downsizing to an apartment, retirement village, townhouse or whatever. YLC have done this story to death and should just plain DROP IT as it is just distressing a lot of elderly people unnecessarily. Most of the older generation have worked very hard for a long long time to achieve what they have and just want to be left in peace to enjoy the latter years of their lives.

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      Forewarned is forearmed……. keep the bastards honest in advance by letting them know that any such move will be resisted.

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      I call on the opposition to back the government on this, about time the people who vote for the Lib/Nats to get what they voted for.

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      The offset is to sell the ABC and give the money back to the previous tax payer namely age pensioners!

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      Never going to happen Arvo.

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      Yeah, let’s sell the ABC and all crawl into our holes where we don’t have to bother ourselves with any news about ANYTHING, apart from Murdocracy. Could be good for us actually to NOT CARE. I sure hope this country’s politics gets better when we oldies all depart though. Appears we are a hindrance because we are largely so conservative..without thinking deeply…without ever considering change. Of course I am not speaking for everyone…all the people I know my age cares heaps for the environment, their children’s and grand children’s futures, the quality of life on this planet. But seems all you who got your nickers in a knot about franking credits, CGT and negative gearing outnumbered us.

    • 0
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      Sell off the ABC? Now that’s another good news topic!
      While their investigative reports are excellent, there are other parts of the ABC which are badly in need of overhaul / shutdown such as:
      a. The severely biased forums such as Q&A where only one point of view (Labor’s now almost same as Greens) being encouraged, rather tolerated. ABC MUST represent the views of all sections of the population, including those against the radical gender politics of Labor & the Greens, and the extreme Climate Change action fanatics.
      b. Several media outlets which seem to struggle to put out relevant topics such as on radio – today I heard (and switched off) from topics about “Insects in the Amazon”, something about an “Archaeologist from 1856”, how “Fathers must be encouraged to take on Parental Care of new-born babies” (Feminist rubbish, when Mothers are the natural fit), regular Footy commentary (already on multiple other commercial radio channels), etc, etc.

      Taxpayers money IS being wasted on PC type staff & programs, and programs with rubbish content. ABC badly needs a complete review and overhaul to align it to Australia’s and Australians’ interests delivered at reasonable cost.

      Yes, as Arvo has said, use the money saved to improve Age Pensions such as (an easy one) reversals of the cuts from the Assets Test changes of 2017. Whether it happens or not, it is important to start a debate on PRIORITIES which are sorely missing in Canberra.

  6. 0
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    Anyone that owns their own home has worked LONG and HARD and done without to do so AND paid the taxes as well as taxes to buy the home — I say to the Government BUGGA off and leave us alone, we have paid and worked for what we have and also paid taxes for our miserable pension.

    Just stop spending out paid taxes on your trip here and there and do the right thing FOR ONCE!

    • 0
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      Don’t forget those, like me, who’ve endured two separations, dissolution of property, owned two homes, been sick and injured … and are currently on their third home with a mortgage in retirement.

      They can get stuffed.

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      Trebor- If they introduce residential homes in the Asset Test they will need to offset the test by the amount of mortgage against the home asset. It will become administratively very complicated for most bird brain bureaucrats.

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      Yes – there are far too many variables for each individual home – never work unless the government resumes all homes and parcels them out on a list of something…

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      and don’t forget that we have paid tax 7.5% of which should have gone into a pension account instead of general revenue, so our pension is also paid for!!

    • 0
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      Good to see you here PlanB. We have been worried about your absence from the meeting place.

    • 0
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      Agree with your point. We lived in near poverty for years paying off our home with high interest rates in the 1980s and ‘90s. As a family we could not afford to do anything much. I couldn’t even afford to buy the kids a milkshake if I took them to town. We sank further and further into debt because we had to take loans out to get our old bomb cars (all we could afford) fixed because there was no public transport in our rural area so we were dependant on our cars. To make our home an asset now would be an unjust blow.

    • 0
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      “Yes they forget that those of us that have also had to nurse members of our family and gave up work to do so –also saving millions for the Government — with NO thanks what so ever

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      Yes TREBOR I agree there are many like you that have had a hard time due to NO fault of their own — through a separation and or taking care of family members and having to give up work for a time — and I might add saving the Government a HEAP too by doing so!

      These bludgers in Government know nothing of living in the real world and its about time they had a go!

  7. 0
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    If you own a million dollar home you have worked hard for it and paid more taxes direct and indirect than the person who owns nothing.

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      And sometimes it’s now worth a lot because once working class suburbs are now sought after.

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      Franky, Australian properties have been falsely inflated because our pollies and their land developer friends made big money from them.

      The Chinese dictatorship inflated properties in HongKong because it makes big money from them. There is a shortage of space amongst a large population.

      Australia is a vast continent with a small population so properties should never have been inflated.

      Look out if the Government wants to build infrastructure on your property. It will lose it’s inflated value quickly.

    • 0
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      jackie, I agree our homes have been falsely inflated in value which has made it hard for the young ones. No home should double in value in ten years. It is ridiculous.
      I am happy for them to drop further. They should grow in value but nothing like what has occurred.

    • 0
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      We sold our home (in a middle suburb) of 40 years in 2014 and purchased in an outer suburb. The home we moved into increased in value by nearly 100%!!! So how would the value of the place be determined based on years of resided in? For that matter, the dollar value of the home in our instance, is not an indication of years owned.

      The value of our home has devalued by about six percent in the last 12 months, while my brother-in-laws home, that he has owned for more than ten years, increased by about 50 per cent in those ten years and in the last 12 months his place has devalued by about 10%. Both houses are in the same city so how would you determine a value of the residence and how often do you do the valuation?

      I could only see increased costs for owners, fewer receiving the pension as either major political party will be able to change legislation any time to suit themselves.

    • 0
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      Jackie says “Australia is a vast continent with a small population so properties should never have been inflated.” The first part is true but the second does not follow. Australian metro property prices are high because Australia is one of he most urbanised populations in the world.

  8. 0
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    Sure, use the hard earned home as an asset, we all enjoy bricks and mortar for dinner as its all we have to eat if we don’t get a pension!

  9. 0
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    Sure, use the hard earned home as an asset, we all enjoy bricks and mortar for dinner as its all we have to eat if we don’t get a pension!

    • 0
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      I don’t think it will happen any time soon. It’s not only pensioners who will be affected but their families too. The lies about a retirees tax lost Labor the election, including the home in the Asset test would cause a bigger outcry. They may introduce a cap however

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      I’m inclined to agree with you, Sundays, not only will it piss off pensioners but every home owner coming up to retirement age as well. Also, think how many extra votes every other party will pull in when campaigning on overturning the use of pensioners’ homes as an asset and how many seats the present government will lose.

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      Triss,
      Don’t forget that Morrison is a salesman. A master at duping and winning at all costs (to integrity). He just showed us, did he not?

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      I thought I heard somewhere Scomo lost his job as a salesman, does anyone know if this is true.

    • 0
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      Yeah Misty, he was sacked I think but he never lost the art.

    • 0
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      Yes, Morrison is a salesman and easy to tell he is as he is full of it!

      He is a total dictator and also a nasty arrogant bit of work, it will be us that suffer now he is in power

      Yes Misty Morrison was managing director of Tourism Australia
      — WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU’ and was sacked from there and I believe he got a payout of about $300.000

  10. 0
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    Here we go again. You picked a divisive one to stir up dissent Leon but I guess it is Friday.
    Readers should note that Australia is pretty well alone in the western world in attacking its retirees. Now the same bastards want to set a new international model whereby they keep retirees off a pension via an assets test which is set low (on purpose) AND which is now trying to introduce a further test to kick even more people off.
    This is the rich man’s dictatorship in action. It knows that wealthy people do not use the pension system so its game on to attack those who have need of it. Class Warfare in action!
    Australia is becoming a despicable country with a government which is routinely put back into office by its wealthy backers. When will people wake up to being skinned alive? Perhaps when more and more are made targets.

    • 0
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      Yes, an unnecessary divisive survey yet again! Although, I must point out the rich man Keating brought in both the loathed Assets test as well as the equally reviled Deeming for pensions. While Politicians enjoy their own rules.
      People seem deaf or dumb – no action by the electorate with both parties merely down slightly in their primary votes – Labor more than Libs thanks to their foolish Green-like policies.

    • 0
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      a couple with $1 million in the bank at current interest rates of around 2% will only get $20,000 a year…less than a couple on the full aged pension of over $30k. My advice is to spend it down until you come down to where you get as much on the aged pension; you will get the concession card too.

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