Over 65s lose while the wealthy win… again 83



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It is probably no surprise that the higher income earners in Australia are the winners from recent rate cuts but a report out yesterday points out that those at pension age were out of pocket $29 after the last 25 basis point rate cut last month.     It goes with everything that we’ve been saying here at Starts at 60, that the Government will have a harder time using interest rates to inject cash into the economy now more than 77 per cent of our retirees are receiving the pension. The over 65s make up close to 25 per cent of the population of Australia so when they hurt, the economy hurts. Could the traditional levers of the economy be changing, largely because of our ageing population?

The NATSEM report, out yesterday, shows that February’s rate cut added approximately $536 to the budgets of the top 20 per cent of households with higher incomes, provided support to lower income earners to the tune of just $38 for the year. And those over 65 lost $29 over a year. When you consider these are the people in our economy either living off the pension, or off their savings, with fewer and fewer in the workplace, and the ones that Government want to stop dragging on the budget, this presents a problem.

The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling Household Budget Report demonstrated that the cost of living in Australia appears to have slowed in the last year, largely thanks to petrol prices and energy prices which have finally slowed in their inflation thanks to the global oil price rout.

“While other factors continue to push up the cost of utilities the removal of the carbon price was likely to have saved households an average of around $250 on utilities bills. On balance, households spent $75 lesson utilities bills in 2014 thanks to lower prices,” NATSEM spokesperson Ben Phillips said to Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the report, the key items affecting the cost of living increases were alcohol and tobacco ($288 more in 2014), food ($238), health ($187) and education ($122).

Many economists are calling for another rate cut in the coming month ahead, which means more dollars will fall from the pocket of the over 65s if this is to occur.


Will it have the economic impact it needs to if the top 20 per cent make $500 or more and the bottom 25 per cent lose $30? Is it worth making those doing it toughest suffer for the net economic effect? What can we do?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. It’s just so UnAustralian! Where is the Fair Go here! No hand up for those struggling most,but lining the pockets of those who are not in such dire need. History tells us what happens when the poor cannot even afford their daily bread and get told to eat cake! I can see we will have to invest in a pitch fork and March to be visible to a Government who doesn’t see us or our needs!

    1 REPLY
    • I don’t know any person that poor, I could have been but I had determination , my husband was made to go on a Govt Super Disability scheme at 30, with 2 kids 6 & 4, He could take $2000 lump sum or $20 per week for his life. CPI rises. I worked full time, Then at 50 I was made redundant , I did office cleaning at night & house cleaning every day, we live in good suburb, have travelled, and now I only get $50 aged pension, to bring me up to limit. It called saving, working at doing anything. I still have to budget to pay bills.

  2. I don’t care what anyone says, I am going off my own finances and rather than drop last electricity bill, mine rose by $80. I go to the supermarket and each fortnight I am paying a little more than the fortnight before. Now they are talking of bringing in this welfare card, and the ALP is supporting it.. I am sick of the worry and stress of just being old and on a Pension so today I call my local ALP member and telling her,,vote for this issue and no vote from me and I won’t be alone..who know The Greens who are not supporting this may be in Government yet !!

    15 REPLY
    • Libbi
      Thankfullly this card won’t affect you and I. It will only affect supporting parents and young unemployed who are known drug and alcohol abusers.
      But yes I agree. It’s big brother tactics again. Abbott with his Captains Call government.

    • what scares me Ruth is that they will eventually get to us with this card and I know unemployed people in their 50’s and 60’s have no children at home and it is a battle for them to survive now on $280 a week..why make it harder for people

    • Despite what most people say my electricity bill has remained virtually the same and the last bill fell by $20. I do have gas too for hot water,heating and a gas cook top but the only fluctuation in that is seasonal of course

    • $20 is not much..it is certainly not the big drop Abbott was going on about, but at least you got a small reduction..my bill went up and I still have the bill from this time last year

    • Bridgette you are in the minority, really. As for the fear – I have it too. I can’t trust these mobs to rule fairly. To say that this will only apply to certain conditions is to overlook the real problem with honesty, or lack of it. We will be put on this card and it will make us only deal with established businesses, and it will restrict what we can and cannot buy. There is an underlying current of rumour in Canberra that the Social Welfare system is being stream lined so as to be able to market it for sale to private enterprise, with the government paying a set amount each year, and the businesses setting rates, and conditions. I have no evidence, only rumour. But rumour in Canberra is usually based on truth. Be afraid because this government tell baltant lies to us all.

      1 REPLY
    • bit my bit we are losing all freedom, they will know what we do, where go, what we buy and even what we say on the phone and the internet..this is not a free country anymore

    • BUT we are living in a safe place! Do we have factions fighting each other in the streets? Are we subjected to armies marching in the streets scaring the living daylights out of ordinary people going about their daily business? Lighten up you lot of dissenters think how lucky you are to be here instead of the place where all the above is a common occurrence!!

    • Now you know why a lot of people have “hit the road”…ditched the house for a mobile home or caravan. Beats paying electricity bills etc…we buy from farms rather than supermarkets processed foods. As far as the 2 preferred political parties,a lot are opting for the greens. Stop the fear and get involved,make govts accountable for,that’s their job!!!!Not the other way around….

    • trouble is Lee they don’t listen, they are a law unto themselves..how many people have marched since this Government was elected? thousands..but they pay no attention

    • I beg to differ, Labor have got us into this problem of debt, someone has to pay it back. I wouldn’t trust Labor , look at the last Rudd ,Gillard, Rudd disaster, Strange you only go on here, and read all the Labor voters winging, I don’t know anyone who isn’t happy with Abbott, lets face it Shorten , Union thug, accused rapist, only interested in supporting unions. Slept his way to the top. Have you asked him what his plan will be to raise some money, besides TAX big business ,& wealthier people, Businesses will go off shore & the wealthy will just donate , or income share. I agree with them, sick & tired of jealousy over people who earn a big income.

      1 REPLY
      • Labor didn’t create the debt. The Howard Govt tax cuts, of which 80% went to the wealthiest, caused the debt. If those obscenely generous cuts were reversed, or obscenely generous tax concessions on superannuation for the wealthy were stopped, or tax evasion by major global corporates was addressed, the debt would be eliminated. And yes, I’ve asked what plans the Opposition has for fixing the economy and they, the Greens, PUP and some independents have all put forward sensible, fair proposals. The Government has been advised of these proposals, and shown figures to indicate that they are valid, but they choose to ignore them in favour of slugging the disadvantaged to keep lining the pockets of the wealthy.
        BTW> I’ve always been a Liberal voter, but I’m objective enough to research and deal in facts, and on the issue of budget reform, the facts are that the Liberals are misleading us all and acting in self-interest rather than the interests of the nation.

  3. I think we have all had a gutful, if it is not one thing with this Liberal Government ..it is another and the cost of living never goes down..it always goes up

    4 REPLY
    • Do u seriously think a Labor govt is going to b any different? Where do u think they would get the money – money trees? They r all the same! I don’t see Bill Shorten coming up with any policies to fix things – he just rubbishes everything the Libs do. I don’t trust any pollies – but would love to know Bill Shortens ideas for a fix.

      1 REPLY
      • Kathy, there is ‘No Easy Fix’ Never will be, Never Was. It is always up to us to choose what is best for our families, our State and our Country – They lay out what they will offer or can offer, given their budgets, we choose what we think is best for our families our State, and our Country. My belief is ‘Never sell your Assets to provide’, whether it be for our Country or our Family, Work Harder, longer anything but sell your Assets. Howard did sell Assets to keep us in the black on a federal level, although, then we had no income, with no income you need to borrow, then comes the interest, then the debt. I do not want debt for our State. Sylvia

    • I won’t be voting ALP if they support this welfare card, I will vote with my conscience and I have voted ALP all my life but I am not voting to make life more miserable for everyone. But I can tell you one party I will NEVER vote for and that is The Liberals

      1 REPLY
      • Leeanne, The Welfare card as I understand it is for the Drug Addict and Alcoholic parents of children that are not being fed or cared for. Not responsible people that put their children first. Or Old Age Pensioners. Sylvia

    • What is this card you are all talking about Leeanna Stephenson , I haven’t heard that mentioned anywhere and watch TV. a lot, watch Parliament. There is a welfare card for Indigenous people with drug & alcohol problems already known to police,

  4. Libbi, it has been gut wrenching for me to take my vote from a life time of Labor to vote Green. My Liberal friends are doing the same because of CSG and the poisoning of our water systems, so, I think people are breaking ranks and voting with conscience knowing we have a legacy to pass to our children, and the two Major parties are being bought by the mining companies whose legacy is there for all to see! We can’t keep going down this path, just to be loyal to a specific party anymore, there’s a much bigger and urgent picture that needs immediate addressing!

    2 REPLY
    • I do not like that “gas” thing Catherine and I am not in the country but they will poison the water supply for generations to come..I also don’t men with guns shooting in our National Parks, someone will end up dead and how much native wild life are they killing? I am in N.S.W and both of these issues would not make me vote for Baird

    • A Green Party without Milne and Henderson would be an excellent option but with those radicals I am worried to jump from the pan into the fire!

  5. I am beginning to think a Grey Power Party at the next Election could get a couple of senate seats. We are old and we vote, seems to be forgotten by the major parties.

    4 REPLY
  6. Well so far since the carbon tax was repealed I have saved about $8 – and that is partly because each year I find a way of using a litlte less of my utilities. It seems that every time I go to the supermarket I am paying a lot more for a little less in my trolley. Petrol in my area has gone back up to its standard price of up to thirty cents above the dollar. What can we do? Stop eating, breathing and driving our car – or demand much more from the disgusting rabble we call the leaders of our country and make our vote really count.

  7. The government wants the over 65’s all to die then they don’t have to worry about them any more. We live in a sick greedy time in history. Tell me Packers’s, Gina, Murdocks, Abbott’s Hockings

    7 REPLY
  8. How long before they shoot us all at 60? Seriously, Barbara is right. We need a Grey Power party. Who’s up for running in the Senate? Guarantee you’d get a seat.

  9. And now they are threatening to put a big connection fee up because so many people in W.A. got sick of the huge electricity bills and went solar. The Sheriff Of Nottingham Forrest is back, where is our Robin Hood?

  10. All I ever read on here is complaints and negative comments about all that is wrong. Time some of you wiser older folk started making positive realistic suggestions about how to fix some of the issues instead of just repeatedly stating what you see as problems or injustices. Offer some sensible solutions – and I don’t mean just keep saying “take it from the rich”.

    3 REPLY
    • people have been repeatedly telling you..tax the rich more..cut out the subsidies for Reinhart and Forrest and the rest of the rich spongers, cut out all political rorts..stop wasting taxpayers money searching for a plane that may never be found $66 million spent so far and the list goes on

    • Well that’s great for you Leanna , how about the relatives of those people on a plane that no one can find . And if people continue to bag the so called rich people that employ thousands of people and pay millions of dollars in wages , in turn those employees pay thousands in tax , well grow up and start being realistic . Many large companies left this country due to the amount of tax they pay , that cost the loss of thousands of jobs , ( more welfare ) don’t bite the hand that feeds you .

    • SUBSIDIES TO MINERS /// about 20 years ago govt put 60 cents a litre on diesel fuel to help repair our roads .at the same time they decided to only tax farmers fishing boats electricity generators and miners 22 cents because their machinery was not used on the road carolyn brown that is the HUGE SUBSIDY that is being talked about ..if they dont use the road they probably should pay nothing

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