Budget win for pensioners 332



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In keeping with the Government’s promise to please everyone with next week’s budget, the Federal cabinet could potentially replace the unpopular pension index with tightened assets testing.

The new measures will see the government scale back part-pension payments to the retirees it believes can afford to go without. Some 200,000 people are likely to be affected by the changes, with estimates that 80,000 people may lose the part-pension all together.

The Government is at pains to point out the family home will not be included in the assets testing and that millions of pensioners will be completely unaffected by the change. The changes could could improve the budget to the tune of $1 billion a year.

Currently, retired couples with $1.15 million in assets on top of their family home, and singles with up to $775,500 can still claim a part pension. Details of how part-pension payments will be “tapered” under the new arrangement are yet to be revealed, and Mr Morrison will not confirm the plans at this stage.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison told Channel 7, “The government needs to grab this opportunity and reassure pensioners they are not going to cut the pension”.

Today’s announcement will undoubtedly come as good news for the majority of pensioners, but what about the 200,000 people whose pensions are in the firing line? Tony Abbott continues to describe the budget as no-fuss and fair, telling The Australian, “What will be obvious on budget night is that this is a budget that is measured, responsible and fair”.

However, Mr Morrison appears to be taking a different approach. “At the end of the day, the welfare system is there for people most in need. It’s there as a safety net, it’s not there as an incentive system,” he said on the ABC, pointing out that the cost of the pension was set to increase by 6 per cent per year, from $42 billion to more than $60 billion in the next 10 years.

Chief Executive of lobby group National Seniors Australia, Michael O’Neil, told News Limited the constant tinkering with pensions and superannuation is creating confusion and doubt for retirees. He suggests an overall strategic approach to Australia’s retirement income is required, covering pensions, super, savings and the taxation system.

Labor’s Jenny Macklin said today that Tony Abbott had broken his election promise not to make any changes to the pension. “He should keep his promise,” she said.


What do you think of the plans to tighten access to the pension? Is this an attack on the wealthy or a fair approach? And, most importantly (to Tony Abbott) will it secure your vote?






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  1. If they have wealth, they don’t need a part pension…

    14 REPLY
    • I agree Maureen, some people are just greedy wanting to leave their money to the next generation.

    • I don’t think they are greedy at all, they would have paid a lot of Tax in their lifetime & deserve it , should not be based on the have & have nots, they need to start targeting the dole bludgers , to recoup lost revenue……

    • In the 70’s my dad was struggling to get a DVA pension due to his being unable to work anymore because of illness he had battled since the war caused by the war. During this time an uncle of mine turned 70. Even though he had over 2 million in cash and assets because he turned 70 he was automatically entitled to full pension and entitlements. It seemed so unfair to me back then and still does today.

    • If they did well and paid their taxes, worked hard for their money then why shouldn’t they be owed what’s due to them. We are not a communist country! I have nothing in the bank and very little in super but I know what’s fair

    • People come here from another country and get pensions how is that fair never even worked a day in this country…..

    • Maureen and leanna im not sure you understand how superannuation works. So you now tax the income derived from super, so you cant live off what is derived from the interest. Which may be nil next year. So you draw down on the capital until you no longer pay any tax. Wow you are now eligible for a pension. Upshot, there is less super to invest in australia and you lose your job. Now i am paid a pension and you are paid the dole whereas before you had a job, the govt didnt pay me a pension and i had in most years a higher income. Seems dumb to me.

    • Andrew I am not sure you understand that you and these other Liberal voters have been rude and abusive to us and called us leaners for months , and that this Government has been telling us we are broke..on an earlier post of yours, you said you would buy a ferrai and a yatch to hide your money get the pension!! well we say stuff you..no support 🙂

    • There is a much bigger picture to be seen than taking an arbitrary figure like a million and saying that equals wealthy. Once that was a vast sum. It isn’t anymore. You have to divide that amount by life expectancy and sometimes a person only becomes “wealthy” after they have been awarded accident compensation, for example, at a young age. They have to live off the interest from their investment for a very long tine, if they’re lucky, and at today’s rate of interest, that money will soon go.

    • Glenice, unfortunately a million dollars no longer makes one a wealthy person. If you only had a million dollars to last you over 20 to 30 years in retirement, it doesn’t allow for a wealthy lifestyle! It takes all the stress away from where is your next dollar coming from.

  2. The pension has never been a right in Australia and it is time we came to grips with the fact we can no longer be a welfare state.We cant afford to support those who are capable of looking after themselves. As well as chasing Tax Cheats Abbott should take the bull by the horns and clean out the welfare system of cheats and scammers and Shorten should support him. Party politics Australian Style is not working!

    13 REPLY
    • Actually, I believe the age pension was set up in eons past, for the exact reason it exists. Paid out of a special fund subsequent governments milked.

    • Correct, Georgina, Under the Australian constitution it was stated the ‘Government’ are responsible for the aged and the sick.if they are not able to provide for themselves. A % of paye tax was posted into an account to ensure that this would happen. Successive governments placed this money into general revenue.A lot of other welfare payments were brought in over the years. I see no indication of these other welfare payments being cut or reduced. With the exception of attacks on reducing the aged pension.

    • I allways thought it was a pension( taken out of your income tax )before the superanuation came in as a type of private pension to supplement the aged pension, not in stead of a pension

    • All the later Governments used our pension fund money to plug up holes witch they produced by not managing in the first place

    • Janet farmer the pension may be a right but it is the responsibility of the govt to provide same from tax revenue or govt revenue. Why do you want those who pay for their own pension to now pay for everyone else’s pension? You are suggesting the govt abrogate its responsibility to pay for pension?

    • It is a safety net for low paid workers Andrew, you obviously have way to much money if you can afford Ferraris and yachts as you said on a previous post, they will go into the assets test, con tact this Government you voted for if your unhappy but you will get no support from me

    • Janet farmer, last thing on earth i would want is anything from you. On the other hand you want me to finance you and give you support. Clearly you have little life experience. You dont need a high paying job to accumulate $1m dollars in super. That will provide only a basic pension and it comes with risks. Ok one yr maybe nothing the next. Assets can be arranged in other names so they arent included. People like you and leanna are just the dupes the government of either persuasion uses to promote their silly schemes. And if you think either party wont rob you blind or will increase your pension significantly you are again sadly sadly mistaken or deluded.

    • You obviously don’t need it and why isn’t it a right I have worked bloody hard all my life and paid 2nd job tax because I could not get full time work I had two part time ones which meant having to pay extra tax so there I am more than entitled.

  3. Tough.The majority of them voted for Abbott.Blinded by boats and the carbon tax.

    6 REPLY
    • I believe the majority of them did vote Liberal Phillip and they should accept what the Government they voted for is doing..we have had to accept some terrible measure and we never voted for them

    • Are yu happy with what they are doing here Libby?
      Aren’t they doing the opposite of what Labor voters have been telling us?
      Maybe yu got it wrong

    • Kim I don’t blindly follow anyone, I would not even be here posting if it wasn’t for the Liberal Party attacking us..if these wealthy people can manage without a pension..why are they taking it ?..the answer I think is the concession cards. I have a son who is still working and will be for a long long time..why should taxes pay people who are wealthier than him

    • They are cutting back on pensions who don’t need it?someone with over a million dollars on top of their house value. Could live very well on the interest alone on that much money. Kim I think it is you who doesn’t know what you are talking about and has got it wrong!

    • I bet your never Labor Kim, so why should you expect them or us to help you out now? If a choice between the poor getting the pension or the the rich..I will take the poor

  4. Mis-leading and inaccurate headline. Please explain ‘win for Pensoners’

    5 REPLY
    • there was a trade off to get the senate to agree, the Liberals drop the CPI rise and go after the wealthy..you need to listen to the news more

    • Leanna, The headline of this page reads “Budget win for Pensioners’ That is where my comment is directed, and I stand by that. Short of having to cut and paste the thrust of the ‘media release’ The comment by Scott Morrison ‘ Reassure the pensioners they are not going to cut pensions’ How is that a budget win?

    • I get what Leana is saying, it is a win only because the CPI rise will be dropped in order to target the wealthy, we don’t gain but we don’t lose as we were going to before

    • June Dickinson, the headline is a bit confusing but the senate has not agreed to the CPI indexation, so the Government is dropping that, but trying to get revenue another way, apparently, but still from pensioners…Mr Hockey appears to want to curb government spending on pensioners because he thinks that soon people will live to be 150 thus a major burden in retirement…

  5. I guess it depends on what they class as assets. If the assets are a couple of Van Gogh paintings then they aren’t getting any financial benefit from it. But if the assests are a couple of houses that they get a regular income from, then I agree.

    1 REPLY
  6. Anyone with $1.1 million hardly needs the pension!

    4 REPLY
    • Why should they have to watch every penny, after being frugal all their lives. Some would only get a few dollars. Its not like they get a fortune, Which ever way it goes they will lose as Dopey Shorten is going to tax their super . 20%

    • With interest rates heading to zero a million dollars will not last long. Assets can be defined in many ways to deprive pensioners of their rights. Not all assets are easily convertable into money for ;living. Apparently pensioners are not to leave any assits to family but cash them in and live frugally. Not the answer.

    • Dawn, I recently retired after 25 years in the same place. My super was average, but I must paid 15% of it. Almost 20 thousands! Is that fair?

    • What mathematical equation did you use Jacqueline Johnston to say that a million equals wealthy?

  7. That does sound like a lot of assets but I wish they would just take out your pension from your wages as soon as you start work, just like in England. Then they can’t call anyone leaners, or call it welfare, or tamper with the pension, because it’s not public property!

    6 REPLY
    • That’s the irony of our system Linda. It is stated in the Australian constitution that the Government are responsible for supplying a pension for the the aged and to look after the sick. A portion of tax was placed into a separate account to cover these payments. Over the years the amendments made to welfare have blown out of proportion, not to mention the Government placed the pension funds into general revenue. If the Government overspends and can’t balance the books, why should I as a tax payer and pensioner suffer in poverty in my remaining years.

    • I might just add that British Airways have a pension black hole too. How they get away with that whilst buying subsidiaries and spending like Paris Hilton I will never understand.

    • The UK system is not that great – they do not index pensions to all pensioners overseas – no indexing for Canada, Australia or South Africa but it is indexed in places like the USA or Israel.

    • Thank you Linda. Why I am so red hot on this subject I, as many in my age group will know where I’m coming from.Born during the depression, one of 6 kids, no work people, living on the streets in Melbourne (and elsewhere in Australia) My farther stole to put a roof over our heads and food on the table, no it was wrong, but he was desperate, he was sent to jail, and us six kids taken from our mother and put into Government institutions. This was such a common occurrence the Government of the time had to act.

    • Sorry to hear that June, a lot of us had a rough childhood, that’s why I can’t agree when people on here say how good the 50’s and 60’s. It sucked for a lot of us.

    • Ailsa if you apply you will get a pension sent to you according to how many years you worked. It might be small if it wasn’t many years, but they will give it to you.

  8. I agree if they have money..why are they taking tax payers money? this is the only thing I think I have agreed with..with this Government.

    5 REPLY
  9. Realistically if Jenny Macklin was in gov’t I think she would have to make some changes.
    I can’t see how Abbott and Morrison are differing from each other as reported here.
    I agree with Michael O’Neil who suggests an overall strategic approach to Australia’s retirement income is required, covering pensions, super, savings and the taxation system.

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