Jeff Kennett: “I’m not a politician, I’m a pensioner” but… 285



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Jeff Kennett may have retired from politics but he’s always happy to have a “constructive discussion” about how the country should be run. Invited on Lateline last night to discuss the proposed increases to the GST and Medicare levy, Mr Kennett made his position clear: “I’m not a politician, I’m a pensioner”.

During the interview, Mr Kennett refused to be drawn on Bill Shorten’s about-turn on asylum seeker boats or Bronwyn Bishop’s expenses, saying “I’d rather have a constructive discussion rather than a political one, if you don’t mind.”

Mr Kennett spoke eloquently and passionately about tax reform and how he believes a massive overhaul with an eye on the long-term is required to bring Australia’s economy under control. When it came to the crunch, though, Mr Kennett did have something to say about the state of politics today…

“What we need to have is parliaments that work. What we need to have is politicians on both sides who actually can explain to you and me and our viewers where they want to take us by 2050.

“If I can give you one example. A White Paper came down the other day which I think materially could have been very important and that is the Agricultural Development White Paper for the north. Do you know what? There wasn’t a simple statement in the White Paper about what the objective was. My objective might have been, ‘I want Australian agriculture and processing manufacturing to be able to feed a billion people by 2050’. In other words, we’re part of the sector of world where there are four billion people, China, Japan, Indonesia are all net importers of food. We have an agricultural White Paper that’s not a clear KPI. There is no vision.

“But that’s where Australia has been now for 10 years. We have been leaderless.”

When summing up, Mr Kennett reiterated: “Australia needs right now politicians – leaders – who are flexible, who have the courage to put their country and their State ahead of any other interest.”

In other words, Mr Kennett says the problem with politics today is… it’s just too political.

Do you agree with Jeff Kennett? Is this the biggest problem with politics in this country? 

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  1. He may be a pensioner but it is a government super pension

    17 REPLY
    • Actually its a parliamentarian pension. At least $100000 a year if not more. Plus he has travel allowances for him and his family plus a car allowance plus an office and two staff plus a stationery allowance and a postage allowance etc etc etc….

      1 REPLY
      • I am not a Liberal supporter but I do admit both Jeff and John in his time made some good comments.As Ruth said they aren’t broke because they still get most of their parliamentry handouts to allow them to live within their means

    • when I read the Ruth it makes you realize how the other half lives, no wonder they are sneering of us mere mortals

    • Instead of being so pedantic about a definition, how about a comment on the substance of what he said about our government and the direction we’re heading – or not.

    • It’s not “pedantic” when his pension is equivalent to many years pension for the average Australian!

    • Nigel Quayle, we are remarking on the irony of someone saying he is a pensioner, not being critical of his opinions which are actually quite sound.

    • Mr Kennett says we need positive leaders on both sides of the parliament. Totally agree but miracles don’t just happen. We have arrogant people in the parliament who believe they r above reproach along with a leader who doesn’t lead

    • The whole system for politicians needs to be overhauled.
      • Stop paying for ex-politicians who leave politics. Once they are voted out or leave politics then they get a job like everyone else or live on what they have accrued.
      • Just because you were a Prime Minister does NOT mean you did a good job so why are we paying for you for the rest of your life? Set a reasonable exiting figure then THAT IS ALL THEY GET. A golden handshake.
      • Cannot get the pension until the same time age as the rest of the public,
      ie. 1. Stop giving them so called ‘pensions’ of $100K per yr PLUS travel PLUS whatever. It is a disgrace to call themselves pensioners and an insult to our pensioners. Love to see them exist on what a true pensioner gets
      ie. 2. If retirement age is increased to 70yrs old then it applies to them as well. (However they can retire whenever they like if they have enough money, just DO NOT expect to have a lifetime pension. Have the same conditions for going on the pension ie. If they have property over a deemed amount THEY LIVE ON REVERSE MORTGAGE. (With all the perks they have they should NOT be on the pension anymore)
      • Justify the costs for travel and living away from home allowances.
      i.e. If a family member e.g. wife owns the house then you CANNOT claim the Living Away from Home Allowance. (Hockey)
      * Be accountable for your spending and don;t travel first class everywhere if you are just a back-bencher. Not your money so don’t spend it like water.

    • When Peter Costello was made Treasurer he appeared on a morning TV show competed by Kerrie Anne Kennerley & when asked what he wld do about MPs super he said he was looking into that
      Matter & wld fix it lol

    • Whatever his reasoning was or is, it’s still insulting to the average pensioner. And he still gave his political opinion as he has a right to just like the rest of us. But that’s about the only thing he has in common with the greater population.

    • So what if he is getting a government superannuation pension, he was the Premier of VIC.
      The real issue was what he said made complete sense, we need to simplify our current tax system. He made it very clear that in his opinion any change to the GST should be part of an overall review of our total tax system.
      To all those raging lefties, when John Howard introduced the 10% GST low income earners were compensated, and the Sun did rise the day the GST was introiduced

  2. I agree with him, we are told when things are passed with little or no real explanation, we rely on the press to decipher it for us

  3. Yes it would be a government pension they take real good care of their own .i bet he gets more than we get every fortnight

    3 REPLY
    • It’s not a Government pension.
      It’s a parliamentary pension, which, for an ex-Premier, is in a league of it’s own.
      Not to mention the other perks an ex-Premier is entitled to.
      Why Kennet would insist that he was just a pensioner smacks of disingenuousness to say the least.

  4. He spoke a lot of sense relating to this article. He dug Victoria out of the black hole that was left behind by others.

  5. While I agree the country is not informed I would hardly call him a pensioner, he may have a Government Pension but it not on the same low scale as normal pensioner recieve

  6. I agree with Jeff. It would be great to have a true leader for the country instead of the aimless point scoring that is constantly consuming most of the politicians’ time these days. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be anyone to fit the bill yet.

    1 REPLY

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