Four ways to fix the budget that don’t touch seniors, pensioners or self funded retirees 230



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Next Tuesday evening the Australian Treasurer, Joe Hockey, will reveal the 2015-16 federal budget. The budget has been described as “measured, responsible and fair” and after last year’s demolition of Australian public confidence, it better be. The crux of the problem last year is that the budget hits pensioners hard, very hard. And given the fact that over 60s make up almost one in four Australian people, it gave almost 25% of the population reason to dislike the Liberal government.

At the moment only portions of the budget have been revealed or hinted to and in some good news, they seem to be relatively kind to seniors and older Australians. But, last year’s budget was promised to be kind and it was full of absolute land mines shocking the entire country.

So to make sure that the seniors don’t cop the brunt of shocking cuts this year, we’ve decided to share some advice from leading economists and political experts who can fix the budget crisis, without touching a single pensioner, senior or self funded retiree.


 1. Tighten middle class welfare

This is a concept that stems from Sydney Morning Herald report, Craig Emerson. The 2014 budget did restrict some welfare availability however a couple with two children earning annual incomes above $110,000 still receive a family tax benefit. This amount of income is definitely enough to cover a modest lifestyle, even with children. This isn’t anything to do with “class” it’s completely to do with living within your means and not crying poor when the reality is very different. Family Tax benefit payments account for over half of the family assistance budget and in the last year have cost $19 billion. There’s definitely room for tightening there.


 2. Increase tobacco excise

The last increase to tax on tobacco was in September 2014 when it increased by a further 13.7%. This increase coupled with the further plan to increase it each year across four years was expected to bring in over $5 billion in additional revenue. On top of this, the public health system is strained by smoking related illnesses including cancer, heart disease, lung disease and a multitude of chronic illnesses. Continually putting pressure on smokers to stop will ultimately reduce the number of people who lean on the public health system for smoking related illnesses, meaning the Australian public health system – that currently accounts for over $140.2 billion of our federal budget spend – can be eased. It’s a long term strategy but one that is worthwhile.


3. Crack down on multinational profit shifting

Reinstate the scrapped $1.1 billion worth of measures the previous government planned to attack multinational profit shifting – large corporations moving their funds to avoid paying the rightful amount of Australian tax. Earlier this year, the government claimed they did not know exactly how much revenue they lose to companies using the tactic but previous ATO reports suggest it could be as high as $60 billion. That’s $60 billion that could be used to repair the budget and allow for government spending where it is needed most.


4. Reform dividend imputation

This is where things get a little complex, but the essence of this is that companies are rewarded from the government for working hard and returning shareholders good dividends. Dr Nicholas Gruen of Lateral Economics believes that removing this expense completely could save well over $20 billion each year and instead of this expense, reduce company tax rates to 19%.


So Mr Hockey, please remember the above when you read out the budget on Tuesday night. Older Australians have paid their taxes all their lives, were hit the hardest last year and to be frank, it’s time we had a good break.

Tell us, where else should the budget tighten up? What would you like to see cut or increased and where would you like to see more funding?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I really don’t know and at this point I don’t care, I just want the next election as soon as possible, all the name calling, the stress and worry and the the “poor don’t drive cars ” have really made me dislike them. I bet I am not alone in that

    2 REPLY
    • The problem is, who would do it better. I certainly won’t be voting for Abbott, I didn’t last time either, but I truly do not have much faith in any of them.

    • I am still poor, driving my poor little Nanna car. Very insulting to those of us who worked to bring up families with little help & payed huge interest. Disgusting.

  2. If that is all you want to change the government for, then we have serious problems. If the opposition and it cronies took a step back and worked with the government instead of against them, we would have no problems now would we.

    21 REPLY
    • the opposition never made them call us name or insult us..that all came out of their mouths..and blaming Labor after half a term in office is wearing thin

    • You believe that Labor has never made demeaning comments about the average people, you obviously don’t listen do you. They insult us every day by blocking everything that comes their way. Labor did course us the debt so why let them off the hook over it. Again if that is all you want to change the Government for then we will be in even MORE trouble than we are already in, and that is ok with you….is it???? Not with me.

    • This is about the budget not about the parties. Please keep your political opinions to yourselves and discuss the subject which is the budget

    • Excuse me Wendy Biden but the Government are the ones who deliver the budget..This is a Political topic, you worry about your own opinion..stop telling other what to do and say

    • Wont matter what the budget is how wonderful or not. It will not be accepted by opposition voters. The whole thing has become a joke.

    • Wendy Biden, not you nor anyone tells me what to think or write ok, my decision to say what I wish……I think this Budget will be fairer and better but of course the others will pick it to pieces and carry on and not pass it or parts of it so what more needs to be said…..

    • Rubbish he did not. He only said no to the things that were going to put us further into debt but the went ahead with them anyway.

    • The reason the opposition are blocking things is because they are ridiculous things. Labor was praised, and in particular Wayne Swan, for the way they they handled the economy during the GFC. Yes Judith Forbes this CAUSED Australia to be in debt but for a good reason. Remember we are not dealing with household budgets but the budget of a country, which before the Liberal party took over was rated 3rd best of all the countries in the world to have come through the GFC. Since the Liberals have taken over the debt has increased even though they have stated they were going to fix it. This is the reason the opposition is blocking their suggestions as it seems they have no idea what they are doing and keep making ludicrous ideas that won’t work for the people of Australia.

    • In your opinion, in mine they know exactly what they are doing and so would everybody else if Labor let things through. The reason we are getting further in to debt is because of the interest per day that has to payed back on the money Labor used to put us into debt in the first place. Everything that has been blocked would have worked and been great for Australia and the huge debt if only Labor and the others had sat back and let them through. Wonder again how much they will let through this time, oh by the way what you said is calling the kettle black as the Labor party have never been money managers and never will.

    • Then Judith why did Hockey increase the debt almost immediately after gaining office and tell people in New Zealand that we did not have a budget emergency after talking down the economy Austerity has not worked in Britain and it won’t work here

    • No I am not a ratbag thank you, and what does anything I have said got to do with bigotry, do you even know what that word means…..he did that because if he hadn’t how were we going to pay the interest that had accumulated before they took over, can you all get your head out of the sand and see things for what they really are.

    • Well said Judith. A hostile Senate means “don’t allow the LNP get anything through the Senate that will show they are keeping their promises-then we’ll look good for the next election’. Nasty stuff Labor!

  3. No need for budget cuts! Where did the $24 million dollars that our government just donated to Pakistan come from? Oh, of course, foreigners are so much more deserving of Australian money than Australians are. CUT FOREIGN AID!!!!

    8 REPLY
    • Agreed, If our budget is so bad & we have no money to help our older people & others who are disadvantaged why do we give so much money overseas. I know they need help but shouldn’t we be looking after our most vulnerable first???

    • Yes and then you have the United Nations, and other countries screaming that we don’t carry our weight on helping others. Look what happens when they cut back on immigration and other things.

    • Yes let’s just give it to a regime that backs Islamic hatred! They kill non-believers every day in Pakistan!!! They must be laughing at our stupidity!

    • Not one person here with any thoughts except for themselves. You might be poor but your not starving or buried under the rubble. Stop whinging.

    • Why does the CEO for Australia Post get well over 3 Million dollars a year? He also employs members of his family…how does the GOVT justify this sort of pay? Aren’t we going broke? Why does the GOVT allow Halal certifiers get a certification fee from Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and many more food industries including many poultry producers and meat production plants?

    • Where does the Halal tax go? Why is it applied to everything including baked beans? Why is the Halal tax applied to so many areas of food production? If allowed it should only apply to pork and chickens. Australians are paying for it at the checkout. I believe some of the Halal certification taxes pay for private Islamic schools. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and includes a cost on transport of these same goods. Why is such a rort allowed? Where else does the money go?

  4. Look at corporations using loopholes to avoid paying any or little tax. Don’t touch seniors and self funded and part pensioners. The baby boomers who once paid 17 % interest rates, bought kids up with no free house grant, no free baby bonus….worked and saved hard all their life. Time for a seniors political party

    23 REPLY
    • Bit sick of the country owes me a living answer most of us went through that and most put a bit away as time went by. It is the ones with super & term deposits that will suffer . Not many have assets of over $800k and if i did i wouldn’t be complaining

      1 REPLY
      • So glad to hear from someone with a sensible approach. $800K and a house I think people on this wicket are pretty fortunate. Unfortunately so many think that welfare should solve all their problems.

    • you had no problems Dawn Bruce when pensioners face losing the CPI rise, if you voted for this Government you deserve everything that is about to come your way. Now your Government has turned on you

    • Yes Dawn but many who did go through that could NOT put extra away. Does not mean we were bludgers and so many who are lucky to have provided for themselves have a definite bias & judgemental against those that have not. They sit there judging them as being incompetent when they are not, it is called adverse circumstances.
      Many people work really hard and only ust keep their heads above water as they can only have a salary of $45k gross so they are trying to do everything on a nett income of less than $30K p/a, I wish we had the AVERAGE of $75K (where are these jobs as I will try & get one of those), try to live modestly, get themselves to work & pay a mortgage or high rents as they can’t get enough together for a deposit as they are basically paying off someone else’s mortgage.

      *Be that single mums who could not get child support even though it was awarded (me) could never collect it and had to let it go as they said he had nothing.
      *if the father is deceased the single mum cannot get any financial help other than tax cuts or be on the single parent benefit until kids are old enough to try & find work, then they have high child care fees,
      *fathers who have to pay exorbitant Child Support fees cannot set themselves up again until the kids get to the point they don’t have to pay anymore, THOUGH the mother is able to set herself up very well thank you (my partner & son). Their partners are picking up the slack & keeping their heads above water as they have nothing left to live on for years. I have known my partner for 16 years & until last year he couldn’t really contribute much due to Child Support, yet she went overseas more times than I can count and has two homes now.
      * people who tried to go into business and it failed, they tried but couldn’t put any into super being self-employed.
      *Also even if you are working & the employer goes bust & didn’t pay your tax or super so you are again out of picket (my partner)
      *people who could not afford to have income protection and had to close their business if they could no longer work due to health issues
      * people with cancer have nothing left but their lives after the treatment as they cannot work.

      Please don’t sit there judging the people who could not put that little extra away, does not mean they hadn’t tried.

    • Star wisher..stop picking in the new people..we have lost so many already and she is entitled to her opinion..troll off

    • well am glad you asked that Dianne Star person..I voted Liberal I am ashamed to say. .but never again, I will work out when the time comes who I will vote for

    • It has way passed time to let the major parties know that they no longer represent us…, the reason they are employed. Australian Liberty Alliance might be worth a look.

    • I saved a bit, got ahead and then later in life, it was ripped away from me through no fault of mine, so don’t talk to me about fairness. I pity anyone who has worked hard all their lives and now has to rely on a pension. I don’t see that the hard working people of this country would deliberately want to live on a pension only. Some of us have no choice!!!

    • Bronwen I looked that up sweetie,it is an anti muslim far right Political group, a friend on mine lives in the Netherlands, that guy from there, I can’t remember his name was popular at first she told me but has fallen right out of favor there. I am not voting for any party solely to protest any race. The Muslims that are here are naturalized Australians and they are not going anywhere, they can’t deport them.. so for me its a wasted vote

    • Anyone expecting any political party to look after pensioners is sadly deluded and heading for disappointment. Its smoke and mirrors to occupy the plebeians so attention is removed from the real problems and the big end of town. If the economy isnt fixed there will be no pensions for anyone. People keep thinking they are entitled and that money falls from trees, sadly not so.

    • Dianne Star-wisher…wonder what your real name is? I guess its easier to attack Janet Farmer and other people anonymously than for everyone to know your name.

    • Janet Farmer I hear that pension indexation will not change and only the rich senior citizens with $820,000 in assets over and above the family home will no longer have access to part pensions. Obviously the Govt have to do something to ensure the sustainability of pensions in the future.

    • I am not a wealthy pensioner Rae, I am like many others, I get by from week to week and I do not think the wealthy should get the pension, if this country is in trouble

    • Janet Farmer and Libbi Elliot, I’m wondering how you feel about retired politicians who get at least $174,000 pa with no assets test. My assets fall below the limit, however they will reduce my pension to a point where I will find life extremely difficult. I could of course sell the rental home I worked so hard to acquire so as not to be a burden on the tax payer but then my income will go down and my pension will go up. I think the government is making a huge mistake. They haven’t thought it through properly. I also think that they should stop going after pensioners, there is no such thing as a wealthy pensioner, and start going after the big businesses who pay very little tax.

    • I don’t understand what some are saying. The Govt are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Barbara they will not reduce your pension unless you have over $820,000 in assets, so if you don’t your pension will not go down, it will increase. I do feel for seniors who have no other income but the pension and I understand why they are struggling at times just to pay the bills. I do think these people should get a bit more in their pension, however there is a limit to how much money there is to go around.

    • Kay Eller,your absolutely right,we have stopped moving forward,in actual fact we’ve gone backwards. Only have to look at the interest rates the banks are offering??? There’s no such thing as saving anymore it’s all about shares. There’s a group that’s targeted and it’s us…The in betweens;the forgotten generation. Not yet a pensioner and too old to work. Riddled with arthritis from all those years of bloody hard work and raising kids. This budget will be definately watched. Yes we do need responsible people in our government on our “aging”, (as they call it) side.

    • The ideas given were and are just plain common sense. Also add to these four things the following: no more government pensions for retired or retiring politicians. Let them too live on their substantial superanuations. Cease their free cars, air transport, offices and staff. Let them go get jobs like the rest of us. Stop immigration for a period of three years. Stop paying refugees thousand of dollars to set up homes, buying cars, let them too live on welfare new start and family benefits, like the rest of our citizens. Stop the rorting of welfare by single mums (they say they are) who are actually living with partners, who are wage earners, but they are continuing to breed and claim pensions by providing wrongful addresses. This is fraud! I do not have a problem with genuine singles struggling but take u bridge to those that believe they have a right to our tax payers money to give them a lifestyle.

  5. Cutting foreign aid is a fantastic idea, Libs already have cut it twice I think , Did you not hear Tanya, and Milne & Shy screaming their heads off. They want it increased. PLUS if they open the borders again we are stuffed. The welfare will all go to the “refugees”

    2 REPLY
    • Yes I went to try & get some help from Centrelink as my partner (who is the only breadwinner) had some shifts cut & I was given $2.27 per fortnight…………………..It is a joke.
      Yet, there are people earning over $110,000 who still receive a family tax benefit and our income is a very modest $45k gross and this is all we can get……really do not understand their thinking at all

    • Dawn your point is what is unsustainable with regard to the Greens. Our country would be affected even more if they were in power and unfortunately they do pull a lot of strings while they support Labor.

  6. I think these are very good ideas.
    1. Tighten middle class welfare
    2. Increase tobacco excise
    3. Crack down on multinational profit shifting
    4. Reform dividend imputation
    The only thing I have an issue with is Super for Self-funded retirees as so many people lost a lot of their funds in the crash. Now if they can live on what they have for as long as possible but then WHEN their funds run out they can claim teh pension without feeling like a robber would be great.
    Far too many business don’t pay their taxes so they attack the most vulnerable.

    9 REPLY
    • I don’t smoke but I have friends who do and the cost of our cigarettes are very high, if they increase price more..they may just get a revolt on their hands..that might not be a bad thing 🙂

    • I think that is why they want to do it, price it out so they HAVE to stop. I also have a partner who had a mini stroke a few years ago and STILL smokes even though I am constantly at him to stop I;m afraid even if they increase tobacco it won’t stop him. I can only hope.

    • The thing about the Stock Market is we view it in a short term manner! When it has always been a ‘long term’ thinking issue. Our losses have all been recouped. The daily ASX anxiety drivel is just that. It makes no sense. Those on a Pension today have given for fifty years minimum to the coffers, while that rotten coward of a Treasurer goes about demeaning us. His own parents are Pensioners, why is he insulting them. Because they taught him all he knows?!

    • I was not aware most people had recouped the money, does this also apply to Super? May not help the older ones who now have to be self-funded as you have less than before the crashFor asking to be on the pension, I think this is the greatest issue I have, the older generation have not had the time to put enlough money aside as not everyone can invest in the stock market or buy property if you are on a low income or have to pay child support you have nothing left. Does not mean you have not been working or paying your taxes.
      We have worked hard all our lives and paid our taxes and would expect if you are not in the self-funded retirees area that you could expect to be on the pension in our twilight years. Believe me if you had the money you would NOT want to go through the hoops to get the actual pension.
      Now with this supercilious fat fuck (CANNOT stand the man. I had to ring him once about getting a pool in and had to collect money & the self important little fat fuck actually said to me “Don’t you know who I am? I don’t have time for this, talk to my secretary) makes everyone feel like they are bludgers and no-hopers and stealing from everyone who is still working.

    • I know smokers who constantly try and try to stop. Now they go without good food and some meals to afford their cigarettes. But they still try and try hard. Raising prices will just mean less nutrition and less energy to fight with.

    • I know what you mean, it is a drug & I have actually said that to him even though he stopped for about 8mths before taking it up again??????? I could murder him. At one point before he started rolling his own which is cheaper we had hardly any money coming in from him as he had child support issues when I met him and he was buying a carton a week and at the time (about 10yrs ago) was costing over $100 a week. I HATE HATE HATE smoking. My mother also was smoking about 50 a day before she had a massive fall & is now in a nursing home (Dementia) and cannot smoke now.
      I notice that she does not cough as much but done massive damage to her lungs which causes problems when having operations as she can’t take enough oxygen, I think she would have emphasemia (Can’t see how to spell that one, spell check won’t fix it) now.

    • I am not sure about that Sue.. they are addicted..deprive an addict and the results are not nice.. it is a shame but our generation was never told of the perils of smoking

    • I have issues with tobacco excise. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin hitting addicts with more problems isn’t going to help. Get at the tobacco companies as part of multinational profit shifting.

    • Addiction….. Regardless of the “tool choice”…is an attempt to ameliorate emotional pain. It takes a lot of work on a personal level to deal with that. There are alternatives that can help strengthen the individual’s willpower.

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