5th Dec 2017

Wanted: Real updates from real people

Your chance to tell it like it is
Janelle Ward

Are you doing it tough? How are the recent increases in cost of living affecting your retirement? We want to hear real stories.

YourLifeChoices’ Retirement Affordability Index™ tells us that two tribes – cash-strapped singles and cash-strapped couples (those who rent and receive an Age Pension) – are struggling. With your help, we want to make a difference and lobby key sectors of the retirement industry on your behalf.

Victoria’s biggest energy retailer, AGL, confirmed plans this week to push up power prices from 1 January by an average of 9.5 per cent.

The announcement comes on the back of fuel and power already being branded the main culprits for driving up the cost of living for all retirement tribes, apart from the affluent couples.



Electricity prices rose by an average of 8.9 per cent across all households during the quarter, while gas prices rose on average by 5.2 per cent.

The Essential Services Commission reported that in the past year in Victoria – one of the cheaper Australian states, according to research by the International Energy Agency – the average standard contract price of electricity and gas increased by five per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency says in its annual summary that Australian households have the 11th most expensive electricity prices in the OECD, with South Australia being the most expensive state.

Are you noticing the difference in the cost of your household expenses? What other bills are making it increasingly difficult for you to make ends meet?

We want to hear your stories. What is wrong? What’s the solution?

With your permission, we’d like to publish a selection of your experiences.

Contact newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au by 11 December, 2017. Be sure to include your name, residential address, best contact number and a photograph, and keep your report to no more than 450 words. Personal details will not be published.

 

Related articles:
Retirement income concerns rise
More retirees seeking financial advice
Happy retirement a fantasy for many?





COMMENTS

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Old Geezer
6th Dec 2017
10:17am
Electricity has gone up for me in that I now get a small bill instead of a credit into my bank account every quarter.

Internet has gone down $20 a month and phone calls are now free on the NBN.

Food same for about 5 years now.
jack
6th Dec 2017
10:05pm
We installed 1 kw of solar and it made very little difference to our power bill. We then added to it and now have 2.5 kw of solar and we get a credit of about $400-00 per year. We have not connected to NBN because we feel there are too many problems to be sorted out. So we are waiting until we have no choice. Food costs more, especially meat. The pension does not cover the cost of living.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
8:09am
I agree, Jack. Food prices have skyrocketed - particularly meat, which we eat very little of these days.

We still pay a little for electricity even with 5kw of solar and having cut our usage. Gas prices have fallen, surprisingly. Our supplier recently passed on a saving that reduced the price by $30 a year over what we were paying 4 years ago. Petrol is a huge impost for us, though, because we have to travel regularly to visit family members who are experiencing crisis and need our support. Council rates have gone through the roof and take a massive chunk of our income.

My partner has significant health issues that impose heavy ongoing costs, and we are facing a potential once-of cost of over $60,000 for eye surgery and major dental treatment. For a minute or two we regretted opting out of private health insurance years ago, but then I added what we'd have paid and checked what we'd have recouped in benefits and it was clear opting out was the right decision. We would have been no better off having paid all those expensive premiums, and the cost of health insurance keeps skyrocketing also.

Fortunately, I still work on a casual basis and we have a healthy savings nest-egg, but I feel for those with nothing but the pension to live on. It would not stretch to cover our cost of living.

What really angers me, though, is the government's refusal to address a pension system that is the most appalling mess - hideously unnecessarily expensive, impossible to administer efficiently, horrendously unfair, and failing dismally to achieve the outcome it was setup to accomplish. All the idiots in power seem capable of is making minor ill-conceived tweaks here and there that make the system less functional and more costly. It needs a complete overhaul by someone with the intelligence and respect to understand that incentivizing responsible lifestyles is the key to reducing pension costs over time - NOT rewarding manipulation, cheating, and irresponsible spending and punishing savers.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
1:42pm
Gee Rainey it sounds like you are living the high life with costs that high. Catch some rabbits instead of buying meat. Tastes excellent stewed in a nice gravy. Chicken too is very cheap and better for you than a half cooked steak.

No matter what sort of pension system we had people would find a way to cheat their way around it for even a cent extra. So even if they change it it would make no difference.
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
4:39pm
Spoken by a typical incompetent who can't think logically. Of course the pension system can be modified to work efficiently and to be fair and affordable. But not by mean selfish old fools whose only focus is hurting others.

I don't eat steak, OG. I eat very inexpensive cuts of chicken and fish caught be friends and gifted to me in return for me doing them small favours. But I said already that we eat very little meat. You are too ignorant to read the comment. It was about the costs to the NATION. A cost idiot LNP politicians and their tunnel-visioned self-serving supporters don't care about.
Raphael
6th Dec 2017
10:30am
South Australia electricity - no surprises there
Blame labor and the greens not the electricity providers
Knows-a-lot
6th Dec 2017
5:29pm
Wrong. Blame the incompetent Lieberal Hillbilly COALition. These idiots refuse to transition to renewables.
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
2:16am
So you’re blaming the price of electricity in southe australia on coal
Please explain
Raphael
6th Dec 2017
10:37am
Australian food inflation has averaged around 1% in the last five years - well below CPI
If the average pensioner spends $8k a year on food that still leaves a t least $1000 a month to spend on other items such as electricity , rates etc
Can’t see many people struggling
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
8:16am
$1000 a month would not go anywhere near covering our costs of council rates, home maintenance, petrol, house and contents insurance, car insurance and registration, car maintenance, electricity, gas, water... Goodness, there certainly would be nothing left for clothing, gifts and personal items. What world do you live in, Raphael? Clearly not the same world as struggling pensioners!

1/4 of that $1000 would go on council rates for a start. And no, we don't own a valuable land lot. Many pensioners would pay much more than we do in our area.

Those pensioners who have to rent are really doing it tough, and electricity and gas prices hit them hardest because they can't make the choice to install solar systems or invest in insulation, energy efficient lighting, etc.
ex PS
8th Dec 2017
9:46am
$1000.00 a month left for other items, I wonder how much of that $1000.00 would have to go on rent, if the Pensioner does not own their own home?
Rainey
8th Dec 2017
11:51am
All of it, PS. And some might struggle to get decent accommodation for $1000 a month.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
2:45pm
$1000 a month wold be more than ample for all those things Rainey. $3000 a year in rates indicates you must have an expensive property. Million dollar plus properties around me only pay $1200 a year in rates. I would spend $1000 a month on them and there is 4 sometimes 5 living here.
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
9:56pm
More IGNORANT ILL-INFORMED CRAP based on wild and unsubstantiated ASSUMPTIONS that make you a prize ASS, OG.

Property rates are high in some areas. Nothing to do with the property value. It's just councils. In our area, rates are very high. And it makes not a blind bit of difference how many live in the house. Rates are based on a combination of UNIMPROVED land value and council policy. Either can drive them up.

We DO NOT own a million dollar property. It's a property of very modest value. But typical of the wealthy, you dream up a lot of BS to justify your meanness and you peddle garbage to try to convince others to be equally mean.
Bonny
15th Dec 2017
8:36am
The rates on my country estate are only just over $1000 a year so Rainey you must have land worth many millions for those sort of rates.
Rosret
6th Dec 2017
11:44am
Electricity, Rates, NSW bottle incentive scheme increasing some items, tradies wages. The favourite fruits - cherries, avocado, mango and watermelon - very pricey.
There is a change in what is affordable - some things are cheaper.
HS
6th Dec 2017
11:57am
Single Age Pensioner -
Coles/Woolworths Homebrand Bread up x 17.65%
Home Rental up by 7.8%
Electricity for past winter (June to October) up x 2.77%
Comprehensive Car Insurance up x 10%
CPI average 1%? My CPI is up an average of 9.56%
Knows-a-lot
6th Dec 2017
5:30pm
Try Aldi for groceries.
Rosret
7th Dec 2017
7:28am
Coles/woolworths bread is disgusting. You need to compare the price of 'real' bread with quality ingredients.
That is the biggest change. Junk is cheap - quality is very expensive.
Aldi is smoke and mirrors. The good stuff costs exactly the same as the competitors.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
8:24am
Aldi is great, and their range is improving, but their prices are nowhere near as low as they were when they first opened. They've gradually increased prices to almost match their major competitors. If you watch the specials closely (which doesn't work for us because we have to drive a long way to shop!) Coles and Woolworths often offer better deals than Aldi, but you have to be selective.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
1:34pm
There is now little if any difference between Aldi and the others. Woolies works out cheaper especially if you play their rewards game well.
Aggie
6th Dec 2017
11:58am
My Car insurance went up $100 from last year.
Aggie
6th Dec 2017
11:58am
My Car insurance went up $100 from last year.
Knows-a-lot
6th Dec 2017
5:30pm
There should be a Royal Commission into the insurance industry. They're scammers.
Jim B
6th Dec 2017
12:34pm
Only 3 main things matter in modern era Australia regarding cost of living for age pensioners ...... (1) rent (2) mortgage (3) medical expenses for serious afflictions.

If a pensioner doesn't pay rent, has no mortgage, and is reasonably healthy then the full age pension is easily enough for a relatively comfortable (but not flash) existence.

I pay no rent/mortgage (because I bought a really, really, really cheap house in a country town), and there's no big medical expenses for me. After all my bills are paid, I have plenty of money left over from the single full age pension.

Major supermarket prices (if you pick and choose) are incredibly cheap and have always been that way. I spend about $70 to $80 a week on food. I spend $3 a week on petrol. Electricity, water rates and council rates are $650 a quarter for me. Clothing costs just a handful of dollars per year (Vinnies sells top quality clothes for a pittance). My TV is free to air and my internet costs me $50 a month. My house is little and old but will easily last another 30 or 40 years, and I spend just a few hundred per year on basic maintenance.

If the cost of living rises over the next 10 years, then the age pension will rise too, because it's indexed. Taking this into account and the fact that I'm saving several thousand per year via the single age pension, I'm not worried about the future cost of living.
Raphael
6th Dec 2017
1:52pm
Agreed John B
I can’t understand those pensioners who live overseas in 3rd world countries when the can live much better in small town Australia
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
8:22am
Unfortunately, Jim B, the pension rises don't match the increases in costs of essentials because the calculations are artificial.

I admire you greatly for what you have achieved, but it shouldn't be so hard for people who gave so much to this nation. And you are lucky to have good health. Our costs are very high because of my partner's health issues. Suffering serious abuse and neglect in childhood has imposed a heavy toll, and the tiny compensation payout he received went nowhere, sadly. We are just lucky I can keep working part-time and we have some savings.
Bonny
10th Dec 2017
1:53pm
Rainey if you are not on welfare how do you know what it is like to live on it and how do you know it doesn't keep pace with increases in essentials? Like most you who haven't had the experience of welfare you are just summising that.
Rainey
11th Dec 2017
8:23am
My goodness, Bonny! You really are an ignorant self-centred egotist, aren't you? I read. I talk to pensioners. I pay attention to what goes on around me. I've been on welfare - in the distant past - and I certainly know what it is to be poor and to deal with the C/link monster. I don't make assumptions. I research. And for heaven's sake, the pension rises are advertised regularly and the cost of living rises are experienced by EVERYONE - not just pensioners.
Charlie
6th Dec 2017
12:48pm
It started 2012 after I had been on disability pension for about 5 years. There was huge increase in electricity prices and only one supplier where I live.

The next year 2013 Tony Abbott was elected to prime minister and the rent went up 4 times the usual annual increase.

Small business continued to fail and I lost, my two half days per week, casual work.

In 2014 I turned 65 and was no longer eligible for employment assistance from the disability employment services that had helped me after I became unable to work full time from 2006. I went on to age pension but I had drawn my super 8 years previous due to illness.

In 2015 the government restructured all of the employment services and they became disorganized with conflict of passwords between Centrelink, My gov and any other service. it was such a mess I didn't bother to follow up with any new job agency.

Any prospect of getting a (half day work) has completely disappeared from the workforce as it is not instrumental in getting people off unemployment benefits.
floss
6th Dec 2017
1:20pm
Yes since 2014 when privatisation really kicked in , when the Mad Monk took over I think.
World Prophet
6th Dec 2017
1:40pm
To link cost increases to a particular party or person being in power is, in my view, just a self indulgent whinge. One could equally say that the surplus squandered in 2007 and the mountain of debt that took it's place might have a bearing on costs as well. None of this is of any assistance in helping pensioners stretch their income to meet bills that have increased disproportionally. There will always be those who are in a situation, like Old Geezer and Jim B, where they can meet virtually anything that is thrown at them, because they have - through luck or foresight - positioned themselves well. Others are not as fortunate and are struggling (some more than others) and I would imagine those who are renting in capital cities or large country towns would find it hard to make ends meet. It is all very well to look outward and expect the government or whoever to provide us with sufficient resources to meet our needs. However, I don't think you'll ever see social benefit increase to an extent where everyone can afford just basic housing, for instance. Those who are proactive in finding a solution to their problems, such as joining a housing co-operative or sharing housing in order to make the cost manageable, will always do better than those who have unrealistic expectations from the public purse. I would be interested to hear from people who have found viable ways to stretch the old dollar a bit further.
Knows-a-lot
6th Dec 2017
5:35pm
Good post. However some, like me, were dealt a pretty bad hand in life and need the help. Also, life is like a game of Snakes and Ladders. I've had the misfortune to step on (and encounter) quite a few Snakes.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
8:31am
World Prophet, much of what you say is valid, but I don't think we should excuse the government of the day for failing to address the issues that successive government have created. Society has an obligation to the people who contributed to building the nation we live in today. The way we treat our senior citizens says much about the integrity and basic decency of younger generations. Actually, it says a great deal about the health and future prospects of society as a whole (and our society is not healthy and has very poor future prospects!)

The government has both an opportunity and an obligation to do better in supporting our senior citizens, and to fulfil both the objective of lifting struggling pensioners out of poverty and the objective of making the retirement funding system fairer, more efficient, easier to administer, and more economically sustainable. Both goals ARE achievable, but it will take a massive change in attitude by the ignorant and selfish haves in our society. It will take insight and common sense that sadly few of our ''haves'' possess. Currently, both major political parties are far too obsesses with pandying to the selfish wants of their affluent mates and looking after themselves.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
2:41pm
Do you realise that the wealthy have stepped on a lot more snakes and taken a lot more chances than the poor? With all those snakes came more ladders to climb too. That's why some people get wealthy. In a nutshell they are prepared to take chances in life whereas the poor just wave them goodbye.
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
9:51pm
Dream on you deluded old fool. The wealthy got there because they had opportunity and access to resources. The poor are just as prepared to take chances when there is an opportunity. They don't GET CHANCES. When you have to choose between taking an investment risk or feeding your child, or between plunging money into a business and paying the specialist's bill so your child can continue to have medical care, you DO NOT GET TO TAKE CHANCES.

The difference between the wealthy and the poor is the difference between the bonsai tree and the one that's allowed to grow to full height. The poor don't get the space to grow. Poverty isn't created by the poor. It's created by the system. But the wealthy have to salve their conscience, so they peddle these vile lies about poverty being the fault of the poor, and they beat themselves on the back and tell themselves how superior they are and how deserving they are. And then they support policies that further reduce the space the poor have to grow and that grind people further into poverty. And they justify them with vile lies about who is and who isn't deserving.
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
10:31pm
You've totally exposed yourself now, OG - confirmed to all that you tell massive untruths over and over. You have not only NEVER experienced hardship, but you certainly don't KNOW anyone who has experienced genuine hardship. If you had, you would not make such grossly ill-informed and bigoted remarks.

When you have known real hardship, or known people who have known real hardship, you know how desperately a battler craves just a crack in the door - any tiny opening that might give them a chance to make life just that little bit better. They will take any chance. They will do anything - except sacrifice their children. People who have known real hardship know the poor don't GET chances. They certainly don't wave them goodbye. There aren't any to wave to.

Of course there's a difference between genuine hardship and self-induced hardship resulting from irresponsible lifestyle. But I'm talking about REAL hardship - the kind that you NEVER forget, and that makes empathy and understanding and recognition of the social and economic wrongs and the vile attitudes that ensure poverty perpetuates a part of your DNA.

You have NEVER known hardship, OG. You are just an overly privileged and very bigoted old man who supports a system that punishes people for being born disadvantaged or for suffering a crisis or trauma that plunges them into poverty, and who deludes himself about the wealthy because it salves your conscience to pretend superiority.
johnp
6th Dec 2017
3:06pm
These days the necessary and actual generation, control and distribution of electricity to the customers door now only forms part of the bill.
A significant reality these days is that a substantial proportion of the electricity bill goes on all the multitudes of CEOs, CEXs, upper managements, boards of directors, call centres, marketing, sales, advertising, administrations, I.T. depts, plush city offices, etc etc. This is multiplied many times by the 100 or so companies involved and especially in the retail part of the chain.
So I do not know what can be done about that.
One other comment; I find local council and water rates are very large proportion of the non discretional spending
vinradio
6th Dec 2017
3:53pm
The only way I manage reasonably well is by having the good fortune to find a good, modern unit through a church organisation. You don't have to be a member of that church, the only requirement is to be able to look after yourself, have 2 guarantors who can say you are a suitable person to live in the community, be over 65 and able to get centrelink and rent assistance. Over the years i have had to miss out on some medical treatments because i couldn't afford specialist fees, but none were life threatening, and I have had good treatment in the public hospital system for some other minor health ailments.My rent is tied to the pension, so it should always be affordable.
East of Toowoomba
6th Dec 2017
7:26pm
The request was to send your experience to the email address shown in the last paragraph, not post them in the comments section.

With your permission, we’d like to publish a selection of your experiences.

Contact newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au by 11 December, 2017. Be sure to include your name, residential address, best contact number and a photograph, and keep your report to no more than 450 words. Personal details will not be published.
MD
6th Dec 2017
9:43pm
I do so admire the few folk who in expressing satisfaction with their lot thereby inject some balance to comment by the remainder that lament theirs. Rather than anyone of us denigrating the folk that express their dissatisfaction with their lot in life, I'd suggest those folk feeling 'hard done bye' need to take a reality check. Whether as a result of; illness, rental costs, essential services, debt, or whatever, these are bye and large facts of life that can beset anyone and in varying degrees experienced by most everyone. To reach retirement age and yet be totally reliant on welfare smacks of irresponsibility bordering on stupidity. Anybody that finds themselves in just such a situation (and if this site is indicative - too many) are in no wise position to be placing further demands on the public purse to satisfy their whims or weaknesses.
If or when reliant on public goodwill (in its many forms) then the perceived limitations of social largesse are a matter for the individual recipient thereof, ie,to live within your means.
Expectations beyond those that represent 'essentials' were never intended to be met by social goodwill. The very fact that a few testify to nett savings from their pension would suggest that a surplus, possible for a few may yet be achievable by a greater number: although little likelihood among smokers, boozers, gamblers, whingers and parasites.
A frequently recurring theme in this site of some pensioners' expectations that would see their welfare supporting "gifts for grandchildren, leaving something for my kids, keeping my public housing (with spare bedrooms) so family can visit" and such like smacks of little more than downright bloody mindedness. It's preposterous to consider some people even have the temerity to think along these lines. If on reaching retirement age one hasn't developed some small modicum of responsibility for their own well being then they certainly shouldn't expect to be living it up off the fat of the land.
The current pension rate, coupled with the numerous additional benefits - health care, rental assistance, concessions, etc and etc may seem tight but those that bemoan the inadequacy are probably long overdue for some serious introspection.
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
2:37am
Hear hear !
Well said MD

“In outer orbit” - you’re obviously already on another planet with your labor Luddite friends

who’s talking about future maybes

The current mob of whingers and their entitlement mentality is what MD is referring to

Take your bleeding heart bullshit and plant yourself in another galaxy where you belong
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
2:58am
I see you’ve deleted your post - gone to another planet in a parallel universe have you ?
GFY
In Outer Orbit
7th Dec 2017
3:33am
Raphael by name but not by nature (Gods healer?).

I'll leave you and the other bullies to each other.

Yes, I'm off to a better place.

(Have a nice life).
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
3:52am
Oh you’re back !
Why delete your post ?
Embarrassed by what you said ? Well I suppose you should be

Shame others can’t now read what you said - yes have a nice life too old fella
Rosret
7th Dec 2017
7:35am
Ah Simon and Garfunkel - "I am a rock I am island".
Dynasties thrive by the family bond, civilisations survive by uniting and serving the common goal. We are tribal. The only reason the single person can survive in our modern society is the infrastructure that binds us - homes, communication and technology.
You can live in solitary greed and isolation however you will be so much poorer for it.
United we stand - divided we fall.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
8:59am
MD, while what you say has some validity, and my partner and I managed to accrue modest savings despite horrendous hardship and facing challenges few could even imagine having to overcome, I nevertheless think you are being a little harsh. I know many wasted their money and are struggling in old age because of poor lifestyle choices. But there ARE many folk who don't deserve their current hardship, and society does owe a debt to its aging. How we treat our senior citizens says much about the overall integrity and decency of Australians, and right now it's not speaking well of us at all.

The people I mix with daily have experienced hardship you clearly would have no comprehension of. Yes, we may judge them to be irresponsible because they drink too much or smoke or have been taken in by scammers, or neglected their health. But what came first? Chicken or egg? These are people who never had the opportunity to learn how to make good choices. They are people who sought comfort from suffering they should never have had to endure - suffering resulting from social injustice, and society's neglect of its obligation to protect children and give them a reasonable opportunity to grow and learn in a healthy environment. Their failure is society's failure. It's easy for those who had a better chance in life to say ''they should have... ''. Yes, they should have. But society should have helped them learn how. Those ''holier than though'' who criticize them now are the same folk who ignored their obligation to speak up when these people were being abused by their ''carers'', exploited by unconscionable employers, and denied even a semblance of social justice, let alone the help they needed.

Our pension system can load the coffers of millionaire home owners and those who strategically managed to cruise the world and gift to kids in order to end up with some $300 - $500K of savings and cash in on the pension benefits. Our government can afford to indulge the greedy well-off with some $37 billion a year in superannuation tax concessions and massive capital gains tax concessions, and allow the well-off to retire tax free with millions.

We can apparently afford to indulge companies with a huge tax cut, while failing to address the avoidance by multi-nationals. And we can afford to tolerate the mega-millionaires like MT hoarding wealth in overseas tax havens. Yet you begrudge those who have been left with little or nothing in old age adequate support to live out their final years in reasonable comfort.

Judge them if you will, but you are not qualified to judge because you haven't walked in their shoes and you don't know their stories. Clearly, you don't comprehend the impact of early abuse and neglect on the capacity of the human mind. You don't know how crisis and trauma impacts on the psychological capacity of victims. (Oh yes, we all know of folk who survived and prospered in spite of similar challenges. But we DO NOT know the specific relative circumstances that led to differing responses.)

Rosret is right. Our society is tribal in nature. We need the support of the tribe. And to suggest that only those who qualify under terms set by the privileged are entitled to share the nation's pie is unacceptably cruel and unethical. We should not condone the failure of the tribe to support those who are needy now because the tribe failed them in earlier life. We have a greater - not lesser - obligation to them in their old age.

Yes, properly supporting those who the tribe failed in past years implies, to some extent, handing out to users and abusers of the system. We don't live in a perfect world. But which is the lesser of the two evils?

A sensibly structured pension system (and ours is absolutely NOT sensibly structured by any measure) can quite affordably support all of our aged in modest comfort, and can also incentivize more responsible lifestyles to increase saving and reduce pension costs over time. But the system has to be fixed to achieve this. It's sad that so many who aren't adversely impacted by its massive flaws would rather blame the victims of social failure than demand that the flaws in our welfare system be sensibly addressed.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
3:10pm
I'd like to see the well off take a reality check, MD. What I think if ''bloody mindedness'' is thinking it's okay for us to gift $37 billion a year to the well-to-do to top up their huge retirement nest-eggs but not to allow the battling worker to have any reasonable enjoyment in old age or to keep the house he spent a lifetime struggling to pay off for his kids after he dies. Greed has no limits, it seems!
MD
7th Dec 2017
3:11pm
Thanks Rainey, I'm sure your intentions are honourable and I'd much rather we didn't bang our heads together over much the same purpose. Neither of us can appreciate where the other is coming from and I take umbrage at your assumption that I judge others whilst having no idea of their hardship - yet your judgement of me is on record and dare I suggest it may be you that is bereft of any idea relative to my past.
Reference to the chicken and egg bears little relevance to the subject. Everyone has innate ability to rise above circumstance - it's a very poor specimen that doesn't even try with the end result in all probability those very same poor lost souls you so vehemently refer to. Your empathy is apparent but beware of wearing your heart too effectively on your sleeve as too many vultures nowadays are looking for a pound of flesh.
Most of my response(s) are not directed at individuals, they being comment in general and thereby aim to isolate personality. By joining this forum I needs accept the occasional rebuttal, some of which will obviously tend to the personal. Knowledge of where I've walked in my own shoes is sufficient for the purpose of forming a comment and I do not see the need to walk in anyone else's shoes to lend creedence to my opinion.
I wish you well.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
9:30pm
MD, what irks me is that the privileged DO live off the fat of the land. Exploitation of the less well-positioned is accepted in a capitalist society. The well-to-do take a far more liberal share of national resources, claiming entitlement to do so and actually asking to be applauded for being able to use those resources profitably, while others are denied access to them and then blamed for being unable to achieve wealth. The well-off DO live off the fat of the land, and then claim those who suffered illness, disability, trauma, or significant injustice should have done better in overcoming it and are therefore undeserving.

Sorry if I misjudged you, but NO, everyone does NOT have the innate ability to rise above circumstances. Society often doesn't let them. The reality is that the poor are not lacking in ability or determination. They are not given the space to grow that the privileged enjoy.

I rose above enormous hardship, and overcame some horrendous challenges in life. But I acknowledge that I didn't do it alone and unaided, and those who haven't done so well might have succeeded far better than I if they had had the advantages I was able to access. They DID NOT.

We hand out generously to the haves in this nation. It's a tragedy and a shame if we can't allow the have nots a comfortable old age - and yes, that INCLUDES being able to afford small gifts for grandchildren occasionally and being able to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of endeavour to pay off a home by passing it on to the next generation. We happily subsidize the rich to leave THEIR home to their heirs. We happily pay incompetents generous wages and benefits to stuff up the world for others. Why are we so damned mean with those who haven't been able to rise above misfortune?
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
9:55pm
On second thought, MD, I actually agree that we are born with the innate ability to overcome hardship, but for many that innate ability is destroyed by abuse and social injustice. When we deprive people of an environment in which they have fair opportunity and reasonable safety and security, or we expose them to severe and grossly undeserved hurt - generally resulting from corruption or abuse of the system by the more privileged - they lose the capacity to trust the system and with it the capacity to strive, because to strive you have to believe that a desirable end goal is achievable. If you have been persuaded that no matter what you do, the system will unfairly thwart your endeavours and persecute you, who can blame you for quitting? That's what those who speak as you do fail to understand. You may have experienced hardship, but were you brutally beaten down by cruelty and the abuse of power every time you tried to achieve? There's a world of difference between rising above hardship in circumstances where you are allowed to achieve and enjoy reward, and struggling against a system that thwarts you at every turn.

I guess I can wear my heart on my sleeve, because the folk I work with are kind and honest and not at all selfish, but they are victims of gross social injustice, and their stories would shock most decent Australians. And yes, perhaps they had the innate ability to rise above hardship, but it was well and truly beaten out of them before they reached their teens, and the cruel blows just kept on coming.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
2:37pm
I agree MD. Rainey take of your blinkers and stop listening to those sob stories. I hear them too only to look at the actions of such people and just shake my head.
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
4:35pm
I don't listen to sob stories, OG. Unlike you, I deal solely in FACT AND EVIDENCE. YOU should stop with your WILD AND INSANE BASELESS ASSUMPTIONS.
World Prophet
10th Dec 2017
11:30am
Have any of you who feel hard done by ever counted your blessings? There are plenty of countries that don't have the social security safety net that we enjoy. Where no free medical help is available for those who can't afford health care. Where none of the services we love to denigrate are available to the less fortunate, who look at us and envy not only the assistance we get but also the freedom to complain about it. Yes, it is hard for some to make ends meet, and the 'system' can't always cater to our needs, let alone our wants. However, just imagine if no pension was available. No free health care of any kind to be had. No subsidised housing, transport, or any of the other services to be found. The bitterness of many is directed at those more fortunate than themselves. A feeling that THEIR opportunities have been given to others. A railing against those who have stopped them from fulfilling their full potential. Often their own actions have been a contributing factor to their situation, just like the actions of the more fortunate have contributed to theirs. The noise from those left behind is sometimes, not always but sometimes, the recognition of their own inadequacies.
Rainey
11th Dec 2017
8:39am
So because folk in other countries are worse off, and because some people's problems are a result of their own inadequacies, we should not try to drive improvement in a system when we see it's flaws and failings? Is that what you are saying, World Prophet? If so, you've chosen an inappropriate name, I'm afraid!

Of course many people are responsible for their difficulties. Some privileged deserve their success. And yes, Australia is still in many ways ''the lucky country''. But shouldn't we all seek remedies of what IS wrong, and general improvements where possible?

I am very happy and very grateful for my current circumstances. I worked hard to get where I am, overcoming massive challenges, and I'm fortunate to now be able to enjoy the rewards of that effort. But I've been through very tough times. I know what it is to struggle. I know how it feels to have doors slammed in your face and to see opportunities all around you that you haven't a hope of taking advantage of because every last cent is taken up paying off medical debts and keeping a roof over your head. I know what it is to be too sick to do any kind of work, and what it is to drag yourself to work when you can barely stand, because you have children to feed and educate.

We have a seriously flawed pension and retirement funding system that CAN be fixed to be genuinely a ''best in the world''. Why not highlight the flaws? Only those who fear the extent of their privilege might reduce a little, or their sense of superiority might be challenged, oppose exposing the flaws and seeking positive change. They are easily recognisable by their constant harping on slashing benefits to others and taking away the family home when a pensioner dies.

We should ALL be seeking a system that serves EVERYONE better - one that achieves both the aim of lifting retirees out of poverty and the aim of incentivizing and rewarding endeavour, so that future retirees are better off and the taxpayer bears a lesser burden in years to come.
ex PS
11th Dec 2017
8:54am
Ah the old being hit in the head with a block of wood is better than being hit in the head with a brick because wood is softer theory. Great to see people recycling.
How about having a system where nobody gets hit with anything, then no one would truly have any thing to complain about.
Old Geezer
14th Dec 2017
9:50am
If any OAP in Australia today lives in poverty then they have only themselves to blame. Most live the life of Reilly now but they still complain how hard they are doing it.
Rainey
14th Dec 2017
11:45am
Blame is easy, OG. Recognition of difficulties and giving constructive help is hard. Thankfully we don't all take the easy way out.
Rainey
14th Dec 2017
11:53am
To all those OAPs who are doing it very tough, my apologies for the cruel remarks thrown at you daily on this forum. It's shameful that some privileged people would rather blame you for your circumstances than support demands for policy reform that would benefit everyone. It's very sad that some people just can't find it in their hearts to have empathy and compassion.
Old Geezer
18th Dec 2017
12:01pm
Rainey I'll tell that to those on cruises next time I go on a cruise. Won't be hard to find them as about 9 out of 10 over retirement age on cruises are on welfare. That said you still want me to not believe that anyone on the OAP doing it tough only has themselves to blame. So as they sip on their cocktails one after another I should tell them that I have empathy and compassion for them. If that is doing it tough then I'm doing it tough too.
mike
7th Dec 2017
9:43am
We lost our Pensioner Concession Card a few months after 1/1/17. Turnbull promised that ALL those that lost their PCC due to Hockeys draconian changes to the Assets Test would have it reinstated, however this was a lie. Only those that lost it on 1/1/17 had it reinstated.IE, those who had MORE than $817,000 but LESS than $1.25million had it reinstated, but if you had LESS than $817,000 and lost it a few months later, eg, due to a Christmas bonus, or your Super suddenly increased by a few thousand and you JUST scraped over the $817,000 EVEN A DAY LATER, you did NOT have it reinstated. This is discrimination of the highest order. I have written to my federal member, Mr Gee MP, Mr Abbott, and Mr Alan Tudge, MP for Human Services but all they have done is throw off. I have been told that this will affect a possible 340,000 retirees WHO WILL NOT BE VOTING LIBERAL EVER AGAIN
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
7:07pm
Drop poor assets to below the new threshold and you will be fine
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
9:14pm
What an idiotic policy this government has implemented, when we find ourselves advising people to reduce their assets and claim handouts! Wouldn't it be far more sensible to address the STUPID policy so that saving is more beneficial?
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
9:15pm
Yes, Mike, the system is grossly unfair, and every stupid ill-conceived thought bubble that leads to changed policy seems to make it much, much worse.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
2:31pm
Only those on the full OAP should be getting the Pensioner Concession Card as it is grossly unfair for others to have to pay more than they should to pay for the discounts received by wealthy pensioners.
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
4:34pm
Of course, Scrooge - peddle more of your mean and nasty ideas that will further stuff up the nation and cost taxpayers more, because you are far too brainless to think more innovatively and come up with genuine solutions that are beneficial for all.

WEALTHY PENSIONS DO NOT GET CONCESSIONS - unless they manipulate the system YOU STUPIDLY SUPPORT - THE ONE THAT ENCOURAGES MANIPUATION, and the one that will get 10000 times WORSE if your dumb ideas are implemented, because there will be greater incentive to manipulate and greater hardship and unfairness for those who don't.
Old Geezer
14th Dec 2017
9:57am
Rainey I too could manipulate the system to get the OAP but to me it is simply not worth it as I do better without it. Any system will leak like a sieve and will have cracks in it that people will find and use to their advantage. The trick is to learn the rules and then lay the Centrelink game. If you know the rules you can fill out your application so that you maximise your benefits. If you just fill it out without knowing the rules then you are doing yourself a disservice.

It like people just signing up for electricity deals that give 30% off. More than likely there is a better deal with much less percent off.
Rainey
14th Dec 2017
11:39am
Any system can be exploited by cheats, OG, but the system we have is a total disaster - thoroughly unfair, economically unsustainable, an administrative nightmare, and a total failure on every single claimed objective. The solution isn't to make excuses for failure or suggest people should learn how to manipulate better. Nor is it to keep applying useless band-aids resulting from ill-conceived and ill-considered thought bubbles. The solution is to recognize the faults and come up with SENSIBLE reforms.

We can all boast about being smart enough to manipulate and we can all shun and insult those who don't manipulate and blame them for their difficulties. That's the approach of selfish, self-serving, arrogant egotists who don't care either for the future of the nation or for helping those in genuine need.

Personally, I have much greater respect for people who lobby for sensible reform and who are prepared to recognize and highlight what is wrong in the system, rather than blaming the victims of its failure.
Rainey
14th Dec 2017
11:44am
For my part, OG, I'll continue to proudly stand up for what is RIGHT and good for Australia's future and for the majority of the population. Unlike you, I recognize that my personal situation isn't of interest to anyone but me. And I recognize that my personal situation is NOT a good indicator of the general condition of retirees, nor is it any reasonable basis for making policy. We need to shift our focus to the more typical case studies and the circumstances of the really needy in our society.

I don't give a damn for wealthy egotists, and it disgusts me that their selfishness drives cruel remarks and lobbying for changes that will cause great hurt, and will NOT help our economy. I will continue to press for changes that better serve the interests of the majority of Australians.
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
4:35pm
Tell it like it is, please!

''Public expenditure on pensions is 4 per cent in Australia, and will still be 4 per cent in the 2050s, the OECD found, well below the 9 per cent and 10 per cent respectively for the group of member countries. This does not take into account the cost of tax breaks designed to encourage superannuation savings.''

This evidences that claims aged pensions are unaffordable and/or the cost of retirement is rising too fast are BLATANT LIES. What is crippling the budget is the cost of tax breaks for the well-to-do - concessions that help them build substantial wealth for retirement at taxpayer cost while the battlers are abused and insulted and unfairly blamed for budget blowouts.

If we can afford to give the well=to=do $37 billion a year to save for a luxury retirement, we can afford more generous pensions for all who do not qualify as well-to-do. And we can afford to acknowledge that the average investment return rate is currently well below 7.8% and therefore the assets test is both extremely unfair and economically harmful.
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
7:06pm
What is your complaint really ?
You want more money isn’t that right
Greed pure and simple

Money not needed for pensions but better spent elsewhere for the good of all Australians not just a few greedy pensioners
Rainey
7th Dec 2017
9:12pm
No, Raphael. I don't want more money. I want a fairer, more efficient, and more cost effective system to that money CAN be used elsewhere for the good of all Australians, and so that the pension system achieves it's goals - which SHOULD be to ensure a decent standard of living for all our senior citizens while keeping the cost of achieving that goal manageable.

It's the privileged who are greedy. They continue to demand billions in tax concessions and to exploit every loophole and manipulate at every turn, and when it's suggested that some of their concessions should be cut, they threaten to find other ways to escape their fair obligations.

Most pensioners are NOT greedy. But the current system encourages and rewards greedy manipulation and punishes responsible behaviour, discouraging saving and efforts to be as independent as possible. And that's NOT doing good for anyone - least of all the taxpayers of this nation.

If people would stop being selfish and judgmental and start thinking logically, we might be able to drive sensible reform. While we have people making nasty and careless assumptions and ignoring the facts, there is no hope for this nation.
Raphael
7th Dec 2017
11:35pm
The current pension is more than adequate but it should be universal . Then there will be no need for “encouragement “ for the rich to put more away in super. They rich will actually save and spend more in retirement is pension is universal
Rainey
8th Dec 2017
1:04pm
I agree it should be universal, Raphael. I don't agree it is more than adequate. It depends on health, age and personal and family circumstances whether it is enough to meet reasonable needs. Certainly renters are struggling. It's NOT enough for those who don't own a home. And while I agree that the vast numbers who were careless or irresponsible don't deserve to be propped up generously in old age, we cannot possibly hope to determine reliably whether it was irresponsibility or ill-fortune that resulted in a specific individual needing public support in retirement.
Old Geezer
8th Dec 2017
1:46pm
Rainey's complaint Raphael is that on reaching retirement age the OAP was no longer available due to too many assets. Haven't you noticed all the posts about the unfair changes to the assets test? No one would put that much energy into it if they weren't affected by it themselves.
Raphael
9th Dec 2017
3:31pm
The asset threshold is what it is
If I was on a couple hundred thousand above the threshold , yes I would reduce my assets - why get less than if you were on the “sweet spot “

But if you have considerably more than just enjoy living on the tens of thousands more that you earn without even touching your principal

Spread your investments - perhaps have a little in high risk high return assets
What’s the worse case - you lost that and you have the pension to fall back on
Rainey
9th Dec 2017
4:32pm
OG you really are as thick as a brick, aren't you? You make wild assumptions and write total nonsense based on your stupid assumptions, paying no attention whatever to fact or reality.

My complains about the assets test ALWAYS focus on economic sustainability and the impact on the taxpayer. My personal situation is not relevant, but I work and the assets test DOES NOT AFFECT ME YOU ILLITERATE OLD FOOL.

I am concerned that it is STUPID, uneconomical, unfair in the extreme to many it impacts, and damaging to the nation.
Bonny
10th Dec 2017
1:59pm
Rainey I for one don't get it. Why would anyone put as much energy into something that doesn't affect them personally? Makes no sense at all.
Raphael
10th Dec 2017
4:12pm
Bonny - youre the one not making sense. Rainey's point about universal pension and the absurdity of the current system makes absolute sense and affects everyone - pensioners , to be reitrees, and young taxpayers
Rainey
10th Dec 2017
8:11pm
Unlike you, Bonny, I am not entirely selfish and self-serving. I am concerned for the future of the nation and the welfare of taxpayers and pensioners generally. I put energy into lots of things that don't affect me, because I care about others.
Bonny
16th Dec 2017
11:12am
Now I get it. Rainey you want your cake and to eat it too. No cake for me as it's disgusting stuff.
ex PS
10th Dec 2017
11:03am
It is quite obvious that his government does not want retirees to stay off the entitlements they have contributed to. I planned to become self funded and hopefully not have to claim my entitlement. However judging by the way the government is acting, I will not put too much effort into maintaining my self funded status and will just live the high life and go onto a pension entitlement when my funds get a bit low. This is obviously what the government wants, who am I to interfere with their plans?
Bonny
10th Dec 2017
2:01pm
I agree. I have been spending on things of late that I would of had second thoughts on do so before. If I want a new car I buy one etc.
Rae
10th Dec 2017
3:23pm
Yes me too. I quite happily spend more these days and think why the heck not as there are no benefits to going frugal anymore.

I'm not however buying assets just great experiences. Why not fly business as at a certain point my income will improve when I pick up the part pension.
Raphael
10th Dec 2017
4:10pm
ex PS - you can blame labor for blowing our surplus all those years ago.
If not for their terrible waste of OUR money, the pension could be universal by now
Rainey
10th Dec 2017
8:10pm
Wrong there, Raphael. Labor didn't blow the surplus. The Howard government did. They changed legislation to gift huge amounts, 80% of the benefit going to the richest 20%. When Labor was elected, they inherited all the obligations the Howard Govt had created and that's what blew the budget. Because of Howard and Costello, we are now giving away $37+ billion in superannuation tax concessions, most of it going to the well-to-do and NONE of it going to those who most need help to build their retirement nest-egg. That's just one of the gifts the LNP gave the rich - gifts that battling retirees are now paying for.
World Prophet
10th Dec 2017
8:15pm
Sounds like one rusted on Labor supporter to me.
Rainey
11th Dec 2017
8:27am
Not at all, World Prophet. I don't support either major party and I'd be delighted to see both wiped out. But I do research political and economic history and I did observe carefully the policies Howard and Costello implemented.

LNP supporters love to blame Labor for everything, and they certainly did their share of damage, but the LNP bears major responsibility for the deficit because they wasted the opportunity the mining boom presented, gifting to the rich instead of storing up for the future and addressing the real issues.

It is FACT that Howard and Costello gifted generously to the richest 20%, incurring ongoing spending obligations that made things very tough for the incoming Labor government.
ex PS
11th Dec 2017
9:06am
You seem to be wearing political blinkers World Prophet, old mate Raphael comes out with his usual blatant Right Wing propaganda and you ignore him, Rainey comes out with a succinct argument as to her view backed up with research data and she is rusted on Labor.

Yes someone here is a rusted on political minion, but it does not seem to be Rainey.

The coalition is about to reap the crop that has been sown by playing the blame game and refusing to take responsibility for its actions. The people will decide who will form the best government for them, or rather they will decide whether or not to keep an incompetent, self destructive mob of bludgers or try something different.
ex PS
11th Dec 2017
9:25am
Raphael, which developed nation came out of the I.F.C. better than Australia? Thousands of small businesses that could have gone down managed to stay in business which meant thousands of people kept their jobs, thanks to the courage of the Labor government to take a risk and do something different.

You may think that providing jobs rather than welfare and saving businesses that once lost would be highly unlikely to open up again is a waste of money. But I think that those who were able to provide for their families were grateful at the time.

Are you saying that even though the USA and Britain failed with the same plan that the coalition proposed, we somehow would have fared better? How would that be possible, does the coalition have a secret stash of fairy dust that they can sprinkle over a problem and make everything work out. If so why have they not used it and solved the Tony Abbot/Malcolm Tumbril problem.

Maybe yo can tell us how much more money was ultimately saved by going down the austerity path that the right favored,when the loss of jobs and the cost of providing welfare is taken into account.

Times are a changing, three word slogans and party political rhetoric no longer work, voters are looking for action and long term planning for the benefit of the country not a particular political party. We just don't know where we are going to find it. All we really know is that the current mob of incompetents can't provide either.
World Prophet
11th Dec 2017
1:39pm
Let's all go with Cory then. I reckon I will. To be honest, there is a good reason politicians rank lower than used car salesmen.
Raphael
11th Dec 2017
7:45pm
ex PS - you are spouting labor bull again. Read my lips - WE WERE NEVER in any threat of a recession.
We were on a huge boom wave as a result of China's insatiable demand for our resources.
Idiot Rudd was spending our surpluses but they were just drops of piss on a huge tidal wave.
What a bloody waste of taxpayer money -HUGE surpluses which if invested would be returning taxpayers billions in returns

You can spin it how you like - Rudd spent our money like a drunken sailor in a whorehourse
Rainey
12th Dec 2017
6:56am
But it was perfectly fine for Howard and Costello to gift 80% of the profits of the boom to the richest 20% of the population, and create ongoing obligations that we cannot afford, like loading the retirement coffers of the high income earners - at a cost of $37 billion a year - while telling poverty-stricken pensioners the nation can't afford to support them, and giving struggling workers NOTHING to help them save for retirement.

Come on, Raphael. BOTH parties are equally guilty. The current LNP promised to restore economic stability, but they've blown the deficit through the roof and after two years of opportunity to fix it, they are STILL blaming Labor. But it was the LNP that passed idiotic legislation that deters saving for retirement and pays people generously to retire with less. And it was the LNP that refused to increase the superannuation levy from the current 9%, even though the nation can apparently afford to subsidize the retirement of millionaires and ignore massive corporate tax dodging (including by generous donors to the party protecting them from any tax obligation)

Yes, World Prophet, I suspect I might go with Cory. I think he's the best of a very bad bunch. I like some of Pauline's ideas, but she can be such an idiot! The big problem is the fragmentation. There are so many minors and independents sharing the votes of the disenchanted that the larger and more organized parties continue to prevail even though neither deserves to.
World Prophet
12th Dec 2017
8:51am
Whoa there, Rainey. Let's talk about the 9% super levy and all the other imposts on small business for a minute. The 'nation' doesn't pay the 9% levy, business does. In effect it is an extra 9% on top of workers wages. It, and all the other benefits that have crept in over the years, are making running a business and employing people highly unattractive. Why should I, as a business owner, have been slugged with an extra tax to provide superannuation for people either too lazy or too short-sighted to do so for themselves? On top of that we have sick leave that accumulates without limit (when I started work, everyone got five days per annum, which lapsed if unused), maternity leave (if you want to have a child, pay for it yourself), paternity leave (another thoughtbubble), this leave and that leave. And you wonder why virtually all of our manufacturing has shifted off-shore? Because of the hobbles put onto small business (and it is the majority employer in this country) we are slowly turning into a nation of ebay sellers and single operator lawn mowers. I sold my business because I was sick and tired of providing all the finance, taking all the risk and seeing a disproportionate chunk of profit disappearing into the pockets of my employees, who seemed to have the idea that I should be very grateful to them for turning up to do half a days work (the rest spent on their phones) instead of them having a modicum of appreciation for the fact that, through my enterprise, I created a business that was able to provide them with a job. I'm warning you - don't get me started (tongue in cheek :)) And no, that isn't a double chin, it is the end bracket.
ex PS
12th Dec 2017
9:23am
Just another case of if his lips are moving, he is probably lying. But I have to give it to you Raphael, you certainly are loyal, oh well your coalition masters will probably give you a pat on the head and a smako for your undying, unquestioning support.
We all know that governments should not spend money unless it is something important like buy votes with tax cuts. It works this way, take an extra 15% in taxes over three years give the punters back 3% at election time and pretend you are doing them a favor, the ones who really need it will be thankful, and the mug punters who support the government no matter what will tell all who will listen what a good job the government is doing, no matter how incompetent the are.

Keep up the good work.
Rainey
12th Dec 2017
3:21pm
So World Prophet, you are going to try to tell me that if superannuation increases to 12% the employer will pay the extra without compromising in any manner the other wages and benefits paid to the worker. BS! Sorry. The superannuation levy was introduced as an ALTERNATIVE to a wage increase. The worker paid for it indirectly by sacrificing wage rises that otherwise would have occurred. It's NOT an extras 9% on top of wages at all. That's a lie those who pretend to be long-suffering and sacrificing business operators love to tell, just like the other lies about the cost of employing people. If employing workers wasn't profitable - i.e if the total cost wasn't much less than their production - you wouldn't hire them. Tell the truth! No businessman pays out more than his employee is worth - except short term while an employee is trained or inducted, or while figuring out how to get rid of a bad employee.

I know businessmen who won't hire anyone because it's more profitable to go it alone, but the majority employ because they are able to employ for a cost far less than the value of the employee's output and thus employment increases profit. That's how the capitalist economy works. It hasn't changed, and it won't any time soon.
Rainey
12th Dec 2017
3:27pm
Besides, World Prophet, what has all that whinging and whining got to do with the fact that the government wastes money subsidising the superannuation contributions of the rich, but doesn't extend the same benefit to lower income earners? I don't see what relevance your response has to my comment, sorry! It's sad that you apparently couldn't keep making a healthy business profit and you felt compelled to quit. It's infuriating that some of the trends (such as eBay selling and Amazon's entry into our market) have negative impact for many - and possibly at times for the nation as a whole. But none of that counters my argument that the Howard/Costello government blew a lot of the mining surplus gifting too much to the privileged 20% at the top, and the Labor government has been wrongly blamed for a lot of LNP sins.
World Prophet
13th Dec 2017
9:11am
Dear oh dear, Rainey. You must be one of the fittest old geezers on this site! Jumping to conclusions, running off at the mouth, blowing hot air, phew, I'm worn out just listening to your garbage. Firstly, you know nothing about me, but assume that I couldn't make a profit. My business was so attractive that a local guy, who had a share in a very successful business sold that out and made me a very attractive offer on mine. The inferences you drew from my post are just breathtaking. You would make a great fiction writer, my friend. Instead you appear to sit in your little corner, full of bitterness, researching the smallest slight or comment, trolling at all hours of the day. If it wasn't so sad, it would be highly entertaining. Anyway, I won't read your reply till tomorrow, because I only check my emails once a day, because I actually have a life.
Rainey
13th Dec 2017
9:37pm
Firstly, World Prophet, I'm not an ''old geezer''. And I don't jump to conclusions (though clearly you do!)

I'm pleased for you if your business was attractive and you exited with a nice nest egg, but you did whinge about the costs of hiring. What conclusion should one draw from that? Most would assume you were discontent with your level of profit.

The question I asked is what on earth does your post have to do with the fact that Howard and Costello GIFTED generously to the wealthiest 20%? How does the GOVERNMENT giving TAX CONCESSIONS to wealthy people to build obscenely huge retirement savings entitle a businessman to claim that he bears that cost?

The employee forfeited wage rises in return for a superannuation contribution, and the GOVERNMENT subsidized the building of super for retirement by GIFTING TO THE WELL OFF - but giving little or nothing to battlers.That was my comment. And it's factual. Your response made no sense, ranting about employment costs and business profits. I think it's you who blows hot air - whining about something that is totally irrelevant to my post.
Rainey
13th Dec 2017
9:41pm
And BTW, World Prophet - I am anything but ''full of bitterness'' and I don't ''troll all day''. I am very busy working part time and with several time consuming hobbies, caring for a partner, helping kids with their families, and travelling extensively. I love my life and I am VERY HAPPY. Clearly you know nothing about me, but yes, I do research economic and political history. And I also write fiction, though I'm primarily a non-fiction writer. And a very successful one at that.
Old Geezer
14th Dec 2017
9:45am
I agree Rainey you are good at fiction stuff.
Rainey
14th Dec 2017
11:31am
Much better at non-fiction, OG. But you are the expert in fiction here. Or should I just call it ''nonsense''? That's what it is. Good fiction must be credible, structured, and logical.
Bonny
17th Dec 2017
8:01am
Rainey I'll admit to getting a laugh or two out of your fiction writings. One has to wonder how you can actually live in such a depressed little world though.
KB
12th Dec 2017
2:41pm
Electricity bills have soared. Phone calls are free thanks to NBN. Food prices vary according to weather conditions .Naturally will pay more if there is a drought or floods. Landlords should be encouraged to get solar panels and get a tax rebate,Renters like me can only do the best we can such as being frugal in winter and summer with air condtioners.
Old Geezer
14th Dec 2017
9:44am
I sold all my rental properties as there simply wasn't enough money in it as well as all the hassles with tenants now having way too many rights. They think they own the ******* place now.
ex PS
16th Dec 2017
9:24am
Is there such a thing as too many rights? I rented a property for many years and never seemed to have the problems you did O.G. I must have been a different type of Lessor.
I had my problems, but I got out because the investment did not justify the profit to be made and the work involved, the tenants were not a great problem.
Bonny
16th Dec 2017
11:18am
I agree there is not enough profit in renting out properties these days.
It is far better to leave them empty then have people renting them as they hold their value so much better.
ex PS
17th Dec 2017
9:00am
KB, it used to be compulsory to put a water tank into a new build here. Maybe the same rule should apply to Solar Power Units? When you look at the overall cost of building a house, the cost would be accepted as the norm in a short time.
Old Geezer
18th Dec 2017
12:02pm
Rain water tanks are a nuisance in rental properties as you have to make sure they are always empty otherwise you can be sued because someone drank the water and got sick.
World Prophet
18th Dec 2017
7:35pm
Rental properties are a pain in the proverbial. Because we employed our own tradesmen, we maintained our own place. Consequently you'd get a phone call on a Sunday about a dripping tap or something stupid. Sold the real estate, bought shares. better return, if the tax imputation is taken into account, and if you need some handy cash, you can't sell off a laundry, can you. Mind you, property owners in the capital cities have gone well, and like Bonny says, you are better off to leave them vacant and maintain them for a maximum gain. In our country town, values don't go up as much, although my own house has more than trebled in value since 2000. The kids will appreciate it when we push the daisies, I'm sure.


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