The Meeting Place

An end to the age of entitlement. Toilet roll please.

In 2015 an elderly man sat outside a bank in Thessaloniki. He sat on the ground crying. The Greek government closed banks for a week and capped ATM withdrawals at 60 Euros per day. When the banks reopened, the highest people could withdraw was one-hundred-and-twenty Euros from their pension.

Australia had a much stronger economy than Greece. And yet, well before the coronavirus, questions were asked about aged pension affordability. Such arguments went along the lines of this taken from ID The Population Experts:

“The baby boom ended in 1962, with a sharp drop in the birth rate. So the last baby boomers will turn 65 in 2026. At that time aged care and pensions will be a major strain on Australian society, and I predict that the government of the time will announce significant but not massive changes to pension and superannuation age. Perhaps an increase in the pension and superannuation age to 70 from 2026, removal of the family home asset exemption for new entrants.”

When the Abbott Government won in 2013, Treasurer Joe Hockey declared the ‘end of the age of entitlement’. He rattled many older Australians by suggesting the retirement age be set at 70.

With knee-jerk handouts and toilet roll stashing behind us, and the reality of a GDP in massive debt before us, how will life change in Australia?

Future governments will need to address some tricky questions. The solutions they arrive at could be many and varied. Will access to your Super be increased to an older age? Could the family home be no longer exempt from asset tests? Those in retirement no longer be able to structure investments and still claim the pension?

No one knows what will happen next year or the year after. One certainty is that this virus, beyond the health toll it already extracts, will see everyone pay.

 

12NextLast(page 1/2)
25 comments

 

If everyones got to pay, I prefer to pay to keep the vulnerable in a somewhat comfortable way of life, the wealthy and big business can fend for themselves.

You can't take from the poor to prop up the wealthy.

If you take advantages from the vulnerable, you must take as much from the advantaged. 

too true!  I couldn't have said it better, ex PS.  There are too many people on substantial superannuation incomes who still get a part age pension; too many people rearranging their affairs so that they can draw a pension.   It needs to stop.  Australia is a lucky country, a rich country, and the wealth MUST be spread more evenly. 

Those with the least spend a greater proportion and are the greater proportion - meaning that for every household there is a need for one microwave, purchased from business, and since 'vulnerable' households (reasons not specified) are the vast majority, they need to have an income adequate to keep the wheels of retail going.  Without such underpinnings to any economy, that economy eventually fails, as we have seen happening for a while and dramatically here and now in Oz - and clearly that position is now supported by the LNP government with its bailout packages going through to sustain retail, and by sustaining retail, sustaining big business.

An economy is a fluid thing - not a granite cliff - thus controlling it is near impossible, hence the utter failure of theorists endless to ever produce any meaningful result other than more and more fiddling to try to plug the holes in the dykes.

'too many people rearranging their affairs so that they can draw a pension.'....People from all pesuasions, from all over the world, and for all time - have been arranging their affairs to take advantage of every monetary system the world has offered up. Those at the poor end of the spectrum, have always suffered at the hands of those who've learnt how to do it the most effectively.   

Spot on Pass the Ductape

China was worrying about pensions too but sorted that out and so will this pandemic.

Actually I think we will need to move to more of a USA-style system.  NO pensions.  You get back based on what you put in over the years.  Might encourage more people to think ahead and plan for their own retirement.  Or just keep working if they haven't planned ahead. 

I've paid taxes for more than 40 years (still paying) and am now on a part aged pension. Saved all my life, and at first was "guaranteed" a pension at the end, now the money men want to take it all away (but not for them, they get increases). If they can't handle the economy, maybe it's time we got some in who an, and keep their promises as well.

Agree - with the proviso that all pay tax every day, and tax is not just income tax.

We all pay tax everyday, or most days, everytime you buy something, drive somewhere or turn on your utilities you are paying some form of tax other than Income Tax.

Most of it through GST.

 

I've paid taxes for more than 40 years (still paying) and am now on a part aged pension. Saved all my life, and at first was "guaranteed" a pension at the end, now the money men want to take it all away (but not for them, they get increases). If they can't handle the economy, maybe it's time we got some in who an, and keep their promises as well.

What this means is a massive change inthe way retirement packaging is organised, which basically means as far away from the private enterprise model as possible, since that has proven to fail to produce the goods on evry front to date, creating instead huge additional costs that go into the pockets of those 'on the inside'.

 

A properly arranged and separate from government universal superannuation plan is needed.

Many people have planned very carefully for their retirement years based on the "then current rules" It is extremely unfair to keep on moving goal posts for the people who can least afford to keep up, namely retirees!
Lets have a look at the big International Companies who are operating here and paying next to nothing in taxes. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google and all the Chinese owned farms.

 

The good times are over we have nothing left to sell we have been living in a fools paradise for the last ten years. We have sold all our government departments that were paying a great return to the Australian public and our N.S.W Premier has been the worst offender.It is hard to believe we have sold over a third of our water rights overseas.

Let's stay positive and ensure we all work together as a community with respect and caring for our family, friends and neighbours - something that has long gone during the past years of considerable affluence and opportunities for a great number.  The "me, myself and I" attitudes will surely be gone after this horrific time in our lives.  Many of our "milleniums" have not had to worry about keepng a roof over our heads and food on the table.  No, I am not an old grumpy human being, just observed and experienced some very selfish attitudes across various walks of lives.  We actually have strongly contributed to these attitudes with each generation endeavouring to ensure our off-spring have enjoyed much more of the pleasures of life with less stress than each of us have endued in their lifetimes.  Stay strong Australia and come out the other end of this with true Aussie spirit.

Interesting to see a Liberal Government falling over themselves to install a whole heap of Socialist policies and processes.  This always (historically) happens when there is a move to the right. Now we have businesses that close, hospitals that are inadequate, forthcoming nationalising of basic infrastructure, and so on.

Governments have been operating on a policy of satisfying greed, and cutting back on services.  The pendulum is now hurtling back...

I can't wait for the time when they say, OK, times up, newstart is now back to poverty level, time to repay all we have given you, get back on your heads.

May we live in interesting times...

Indeed! The Morrison Gov't is acting in a socialist (and uncharacteristic) way for the benefit of the community--much to the horror of Alan Jones hiding from infection in Suttons Forest. Even hard-hearted Trump has admitted his Easter return to business was impossible and extended isolation until the end of April. The biosphere in a short time cleared the pollutants of 2019 levels. It showed what humankind can achieve with a new perspective. The big question now is, once this pandemic is over, will populations go back to the way before or will they change?

What gets me is that for years now government has told pensioners and people struggling on Newstart that there was no money for raises.  Pensioners even had pensions lowered or taken away from them because there was no money. Now, all of a sudden, Scomo is distributing billions of dollars so have we been lied to?

There appears to be a change in the LNP mindset (where is Barnaby Joyce?) from perfidy to magnanimity. Fries-and-a-burger's precious mantra of 'keeping the current account in surplus' has flown out the window. Will this change of heart be sustained?

" Scomo is distributing billions of dollars so have we been lied to?" (Triss)

Really!!! Well thank God he was "lying" or where would you be? I bet you're happy wth the stimulus package?

 

"Will this change of heart be sustained?" (Veritas) 

Why should it, may I ask? We are in a "state of war"  ...unprecedented actions have to be taken. When this is all over..life and politics will continue normally  ..no reason why they should not.

Sophie, I'm really quite baffled as to why people who don't know me are quite convinced they know what I'm thinking and feeling. 

As you seem to know he was lying, perhaps you know why as well.

Triss - they didn't have the money for increases in the past and they don't have it now. All this money is debt, it's been a long time since governments generally have been able to get the income (taxes), distribute it around and end up even or in surplus. 

We borrow, and borrow to pay for shortfalls each year (generally). Look at the USA, same thing, they have a debt now of 22 Trillion dollars, they just increased it by another 2 Trillion odd.

Here's what 22 T looks like:  $22,000,000,000,000  (AUD $36,000,000,000,000). That's a lot of zero that need to be paid back......but never will be.

I disagree, Sophie that 'life and politics will continue normally'. I believe when this is over everyone will have a different attitude. Others are thinking the same. Blackrock chief Larry Fink with 44 years in the finance industry had this to say: "People worldwide are fundamentally rethinking the way we work, shop, travel and gather. When we exit this crisis, the world will be different," he said.

Sadly the money people should know in retirement is compared with current incomes.

For many of us, we started on incomes less than many receive as a superannuation contribution today. In my case, I started on $5,000 a year. It was actually quite a good starting income for the time with many earning much less. 

Whilst money could be saved from our incomes, it certainly wasn't such a level to allow many of us to accumulate a comfortable level of retirement savings. 

Good incomes are a relatively recent occurrence yet all this has come to a halt with the coronavirus outbreak. 

For most retirees, a comfortable retirement is not travelling the world but meeting the basic cost of living without undue stress. The survivors of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to be in a worse position for retirement than baby boomers. 

Only the lucky few can travel the world in retirement. This has been the case in the past, present and future. The rest of us I just need a fair level of assistance to survive the rest of our lives.

Retirees expect that the future after coronavirus will not be easy. We just don't expect that our life should be made unduly difficult to allow younger generations to enjoy a lifestyle we could only dream of.

So this glut of births after WW2 all later paying taxes with the 7 percent allocated didn't compensate for this lol. That ridiculous icon of stupidity in Canberra housing some of the highest paid in the world says it all lol.

Don't worry after the Covid 19 removes most of us oldies, there won't be that many pensions to pay.

LOL

 

The $750 x 2 payments are misdirected.  Leaving aside the issue of whether the aged pension is sufficient or not.  Many aged pensions are able to save now with the isolation requirements. They are not going to the clubs and pokies, pubs and restaurants etc etc..  These paymets would have been better off directed to the pool for the casuals etc that are being laid off.

 

Or on cruises

... you are quite right johnp

I've never been on a cruize. I don't see myself going on one in the future after learning ships can be floating Petri dishes. Man the lifeboats!

Many isn't all, John P, there are a lot of pensioners doing it tough.  Why did you only think of age

pensioners though?  What about retired politicians and their pensions?  Some people seem to be able to

denigrate age pensioners and their cruises but are quite happy with the huge pensions and perks of

retired politicians who also have lucrative jobs.

I agree with you on all those points, Triss. It is just that the $750 x 2 payments are misdirected considering the large population of now laid off workers !!

money has to come from some where oh whats that i see 1.6 trilion in industry super we will just take 1/2 of that like they did in Ireland

Woolworths Priority Assistance does not mean able bodied seniors…it was conceived to help those with a disability hence the word “priority.” If one is not disadvantaged by ailments there is no reason why they can’t get out there and do their shopping.

Regardless of what the PM says..anyone who is reasonably fit and over 70 can jolly well get out, do their own shopping and stop whinging. So many tears, men crying and so many ridiculous comments, I shake my head in wonder..my congratulations go to Celia who despite a sick husband and her own health gets out there, taking all the necessary precautions and does her own shopping. Well done! Long live the British stiff upper lip!

from Woolworths web page 

Priority Assistance deliveries to our most vulnerable customers
We are making available and prioritising delivery windows to our most vulnerable customers, including seniors, people with a disability and those in mandatory isolation. You can apply to receive Priority Assistance by completing the form here.

All people over age 70 should stay at home where possible as according to Medical Advice they are vulnerable to COVID 19

Sophie, we are trying to STOP the over 70's going out because if they catch this virus they are far more likely to get very sick and die. Nothing about their ability to go out.

 

Hi Greg.

 

The point is these bags of $80 goodies have not been  selected by the customers, especially in our case.

The unsuspecting customer would order this package and then find they cannot eat/use them.

Thus we have not only wasted $80 but have no food to eat;  if the supermarket chain is going to do this the customer should be able to list what their requirements are.

12NextLast(page 1/2)
25 comments