The Meeting Place

Our Pensioners need more

The national minimum wage is currently $18.29 per hour or $694.90 per 38 hour week (before tax). Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also get at least a 25% casual loading.

Wage Facts. Full-time earnings in Australia averaged A$78,832 a year in the second quarter of 2016. (Seasonally adjusted wages – Bureau of Statistics.) If overtime and bonuses are included, average Australian earnings were A$81,947 per annum.

Average Salary Australia - Living in Australia

Given the above facts our pensioners are living in poverty. 

We should look at areas where our Governments waste money that could go to pensioners.

1 Below is that we pay for free GP visits regardless of wealth .... 

 

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Public Release of Medicare Statistics:
2016-17 Financial Year Bulk Billing Rates

More GP attendances and more benefits paid: In 2016-17, patients accessed 148.8 million GP services, at a cost in Medicare benefits of $7.5 billion. This compares to 145.1 million services in 2015-16 at a cost of $7.2 billion in Medicare benefits. This is an increase of 2.7% 1 in service volumes and an increase in benefits of 4.1% 1 compared to 2015-16. 

 

More Medicare Services overall: The volume of total Medicare services in 2016-17, was 394.3 million services, at a cost of $22.0 billion in Medicare benefits. This compares to 384.0 million services in 2015-16, at a cost of $21.1 billion in Medicare benefits. This is an increase of 2.8% 1 in service volumes and an increase in benefits of 4.4% 1 compared to 2015-16.

 

Patients are receiving more Medicare services that are fully subsidised: In 2016-17, patients received 308.6 million bulk billed Medicare services compared to 300.5 million in 2015-16. This represents an additional 8.2 million fully subsidised Medicare services compared to 2015-16. 

 

Rate of bulk billing for GP attendances continuing to increase: In 2016-17, the bulk billing rate for GP general attendance services was 85.7%. This is an increase compared to 2015-16, when the bulk billing rate was 85.1%.

Have Bulk Billing rates increased under the Coalition?

Fact Check ABC 

 

The claim

Medicare is a key election battleground for the Coalition and Labor.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has promised a Labor government will remove a freeze on Medicare rebates paid to doctors from January 2017, saying this would "protect bulk billing".

 

Video expired Fri 26 May 2017, 5:09pm AEST

Watch Josh Frydenberg repeat the claim on ABC News Breakfast. ( ABC News )

But cabinet minister Josh Frydenberg told ABC News Breakfast that the Government would not remove the freeze and defended the policy, saying bulk billing rates had "increased substantially" under the Coalition.

"Importantly, bulk billing rates averaged under the Labor Party 79 per cent and they have gone up to 85 per cent," he said.

Have bulk billing rates increased during the Coalition's tenure? ABC Fact Check investigates.

 

 

Video expired Fri 26 May 2017, 5:09pm AEST

Watch Josh Frydenberg repeat the claim on ABC News Breakfast. ( ABC News )

But cabinet minister Josh Frydenberg told ABC News Breakfast that the Government would not remove the freeze and defended the policy, saying bulk billing rates had "increased substantially" under the Coalition.

"Importantly, bulk billing rates averaged under the Labor Party 79 per cent and they have gone up to 85 per cent," he said.

Have bulk billing rates increased during the Coalition's tenure? ABC Fact Check investigates.

The verdict

Mr Frydenberg's claim checks out.

Bulk billing rates for general practitioners have increased by 4 percentage points since Labor was in government, despite a freeze on their rebates in 2013-14 and since July 2015.

Specialist bulk billing rates have also increased over that time, despite a longer freeze on their rebates. 

 

We should stop giving "Free" Gp visits to the wealthy and give the money to our pensioners .

Why? A lot of GP's only bulk bill pensioners.

...to get anappointment you have to make it 2 weeks in advance as all the appointments are filled by varied pensioners.

The emergency departments in hospitals are also mostly filled by pensioners.

They are not the figures given above by the budget figures . 

85 per cent of GP visits are bulk billed .. do you think they are all pensioners ????

People that have to pay are sick people .... the others are there for their tablet repeats mostly.

About 10 per cent of Australians receive the Age pension ..

Suze you seem to miss the point .. The Australian taxpayer is paying for 85 per cent of visits to GPS  at 100 per cent of the cost .

 My contention is that this is only one area of waste and that the pensioners deserve more . 

I could and will argue that 30 billion wasted on green energy should have gone to our pensioners instead of a doubling in their bills..

Suz. I pay for my script repeats so as to avoid taking up doctors time.

 

 

But Brocky

You need to include all the other benefits that pensioners get

Discount on rates, prescription medication, transport ....

Add all that up and a couple would be receiving an approximately $40-45k per annum AFTER TAX

Add the 700K in assets they can own - youre talking easy street for most

Our pensioners do not get even 500  a week including rent relief . Try being a pensioner renting and paying the doubling of electricity prices . Let alone running a car and paying tolls ...

Where is the dignity we owe the people that built this country . 

I don't know about the rest of you but I find that my cost of living has decreased since retiring.  No more daily travel and food costs, no more buying suits, ties, shirts, or other accutrements associated with making a good impression, one less car to run, more time to spend in the vege patch.

I don't think that we can realistically tie the national minimum wage  into the O.A.P Entitlement.  I do however believe that it should be tied to the cost of living data.

One thing I agree with is that Retirees should be able to live with some dignity and not be obliged to go without the most basic essentials like heating, cooling, food and a sense of their own value to society.  Dignity should not be something that anyone can't afford.

It depends on the life style you follow PS . I know in my case many of my costs were covered by my employer. 

My car it's running costs were covered my private health costs and although my travel was for business it involved a lot of personal pleasure particularly overseas . 

When I was located in overseas locations my Rent was paid a s salary paid into low tax locations . 

My travel was business or first depending on distance . 

Today like you I am a self funded retiree and still enjoy a good life style . 

My bone is that many were given the company supplied Super scheme that I enjoyed and that through no fault of there own live in poverty . 

It is not enough for our pensioners just to keep up with CPI the amount needs to rise by at least 50 per cent to 30,000 a year . 

To achieve this without increasing the tax burden we need to cut largess in other areas .

secondly we need to improve our Super for future retirees .

 

Agreed Brocky, but I was trying to speak from the viewpoint of the average retiree, one who did not have a career but a job, where you got paid a wage and maybe trvel costs if moving from job to job.

I had access to a government car, but it was garaged at the workplace and could not be used for private business, which is fair enough.

Super is the key, it should be made easy for all to accumulate funds for retirement and should certainly be standardised as far as government subsidies and fund fees are concerned.  Fees should be set at a standard rate for all funds, if the fund managers don't like it, they don't have to provide the service.  I also agree that contributions should be pre tax and not taxed while in the fund or if the fund runs full term.

The other point I would make is, the fund you sign up to should be the fund that you have until it runs its course unless you choose to change it.  The government should have no right to interfere with an individuals Super Fund.

It may shock those who feel I support individual choice above all else . 

But in the case of Super all Super should be with the government as in the Future Fund . 

Even if we were to improve the Super scheme that does not help those who Today rely on the aged pension..

And what a joke we are going to receive the equivalent of a cup of coffee increase per fortnight come 20th September.

Better than a poke in the eye with a stick though!

A poke in the eye with a blunt stick is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp one.  But it is still not good.

So the government is saying to O.A.P's "Good news, we have decided that this year, we will not poke you in the eye with a stick", and everybody is supposed to thank them and celebrate.

Maybe next year, they will decide not to boil us in oil, that really will give us something to celebrate, can't wait.

What a disgrace the pension increase is !   Not even a cup of coffee , and the likes of wealthy politicians swilling expensive wines , being in a drunken stupor and not attending to their job , which , by the way , they were voted into , I would have been sacked from my job , and most places hold the same rule , so that should apply everywhere !   this increase is just rubbing salt into already aching wounds . It seems general public needed to decide SSM by survey ,so  can we have a survey on pollies behaviour and pay and Super ?  Oh no , they can do that themselves , !

Rather than just complaining about the pension , why not some positive points to point out where the government can save to pay more. 

Billions are needed not paltry sums . 

I have pointed out one above , agree??

I think we, the voting pensioners, should be included in some type of forum with pollies of all parties, to ask them questions and put forward suggestions to save , and to spend , or spend less.. They have asked our opinion on SSM , we all have lots of ideas and opinions , 

 

I think Retirees as a whole should form a lobby group (Not a political party), and present a list of demands (Not requests), to the government and opposition.  If they want our vote as a block, they will have to be the ones who meet the most of our requirements.

But this will require a lot from us, we will have to stop tearing each other apart, forget silly tribal loyalties to political parties and start thinking of what is the best for us.

Big companies and Unions may have money to offer, but they only have one vote, the combined votes of Retirees could make or break a government.

Maybe YLC could follow your advise and start advocating for retirees . 

With some practical suggestions of how do we fund a 50 per cent rise in pensions without causing resentment in the working young by higher tax . 

We have to divert money from other areas. 

Perhaps someone could find our what we now pay out in age pension . Then we would know what a 50 per cent rise would cost . 

Also this money would be recirculating in the economy unlike a some Govt expenditure.

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