Government accuses labor of trying to scare pensioners

The federal government has slammed the Labor party over a union campaign aimed at pensioners. In what seems like the
Politics

The federal government has slammed the Labor party over a union campaign aimed at pensioners.

In what seems like the first time all year, politicians are finally talking about pensioners, with Immigration minister Peter Dutton slamming the Labor party today and asking “how low can Bill Shorten go?”.

The campaign at the heart of the issue is a new automated phone call set up by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which sees people around the country receive a call from a robot called Leanne who says she’s worried about cuts to the pension for her dad.

“I’m worried about my dad,” Leanne says in the call.

“He’s just had a letter from the government saying Malcolm Turnbull will be cutting his pension. He’s a retiree on a fixed income and really needs the pension just to get by each week … Him and mum worked hard their whole lives. So how can the government suddenly make changes now? And just before Christmas?”

Mr Dutton said the campaign is similar to ‘Mediscare’ and designed to scare people who are feeling vulnerable.

“Mr Shorten needs to come out today and condemn the ACTU. When you think of the ACTU or the CFMEU, think Labor Party. Because all of these people are interchangeable, they’re all in senior positions within the Labor Party and it’s inconceivable that this ad would have gone out without Bill Shorten’s approval,” Mr Dutton told 2GB radio.

“If he didn’t know about it, fair enough, put his hand up, they’ve made a mistake and apologise to these people that they’re scaring on the eve of Christmas.”

When he was questioned over the issue today, Mr Shorten deflected the question and pointed towards the government instead.

“Do you stand up for them or do you stand up for the Turnbull government who is taking pensioners and making them worse off but yet they are going to reward big companies and millionaires with tax cuts that those people don’t need?

“The Turnbull government has to decide is it on the side of millionaires and large companies or is it on the side of the battler, the pensioner, the kids going to school and the people who need a well-funded Medicare system?”

The changes to the pension are set to kick in from January next year, with many people facing a drastic cut to the amount they receive in their bank accounts each week.

Read more: Age pension – New Year winners and losers

While many are unhappy about the changes, some are saying Labor is taking advantage of the turmoil and playing ‘dirty politics’ to try to win people over.

Others though, say the party is just standing up for pensioners rights and pointing out how much people will be affected by the changes.

Do you think Bill Shorten should put an end to the phone call campaign? Or is it needed to highlight how much the government is taking away from some pensioners?

  1. Jeanette Grant  

    Why are we grouping all people together as ” pensioners”? People who have nearly $1m plus their home are nothing like those who have $1000 plus their home. Any older person with over $300,000 tucked away plus their home should be able to get the pension but any more than that is just greed expecting the taxpayer to provide a pension. No wonder Labors Leanne is worried about her Dad. He might have to spend her inheritance.

    • brent hall  

      WHAT ABOUT THE SMALL PENSIONER WHO HAS NO SAVINGS AND NO HOME

      • Faye Paull  

        Then there will be no change Brent Hall. Jeanette Grant, you put it very nicely.

    • Marilyn R  

      Sorry, Jeanette, you are wrong! It is not just people with million dollar homes that are targetted. Homes are not included as assets. People with modest superannuation are very impacted by this. You have obviously no idea of what it takes to live on a low restricted income. I still qualify for my part pension but I will lose three quarters of it due to the changes to the taper rate for assets.
      Those most affected are single women already retired. They have not had time to benefit from compulsory super and most stayed home to raise their children without government assistance . Many women had no super depending where they were employed and if they did it was paid out when they left to have children.
      Retirement decisions were made according to the rules at the time. Any changes should have been grandfathered.
      A component of taxes were set aside into a Aged Pension Fund. When the fund reached $175 BILLION it was amalgamated into the Future Fund and now pays pensions for politicians and public servants only. The tax component was never removed. So yes, our pensions were earnt and paid for and this attack by LNP on pensioners is unfounded and unfair. They need to bite the bullet and tax corporations to fix this.
      Now the average part pensioner will have to make hard decisions as to what they can no longer afford. Health Fund is one that I will have to give up. My super has to fund my retirement for the next 20 odd years and what if I need Aged Care and can no longer live alone?

    • Maureen Hall  

      Anyone who has worked all their lives and paid their taxes should get a pension regardless of how big their house is or how much they have in the bank. They paid their taxes, just like these people who have never worked get their dole money for doing sod all.

      • Kathy Robertson  

        I agree. We have worked hard all our lives and paid heaps in tax. At one time our pension money was put aside so there would be enough money for the Baby Booners pensions, oh, but wait, the government spent it and now there is nothing left in the kitty. Baby boomers have paid over and over for their pension but the government want to take away even the pittance they pay us now.

    • J Olivieri  

      I know of families that have generations all living in one house all on welfare and receiving government hand outs for various reasons, dads down the pub drinking smoking and gambling, little ones with no shoes on their feet yet you believe ordinary workers struggling to do their best, have worked hard and contributed their fair share to society expecting their hard work to be paid off with a little e xtra in retirement. Sometimes I wonder where people’s heads are. What would become of society if we all decided to live as the above, people need incentive to work, there are very few people who jump out of bed at some ungodly hour in the morning struggle through trafficeager and excited to get to work, I’m sure most folk would rather stay home and be paid for the rest of their life to do so. Wake up people we all need to put our shoulders to the wheel and do their fair share, that we we don’t have to starve our pensioners and they can keep their homes that they strived and made sacrifices to pay for with their own hard earned money that has been already taxed on.!!!

  2. pero vujaklija  

    radi ti problema ja moram polako da sve rasprodam i da napustim zemlju pre nego da pocmem da prosim ili datrazim prehranu po rabis binovima

  3. Bruce McCoughtry  

    The one who scares me is the “honourable” Scott Morrison who was able unfettered to chop 10% off my annual income along with 48 000 other defined benefits superannuants, retired teachers, police officers, firemen and nurses, from Jan 1 this year. This because he claimed that these people are “wealthy greedy public servant fat cats double dipping and rorting the system. I think Morrison was confusing these retired hard working people with his parliamentary colleagues. Interesting that a short while after stealing this money off me, his annual salary increased by a much greater amount.

  4. Guy Flavell  

    Two automated phone calls today … one from Labor and one from Mr. Turnbull himself.
    The Labor call from “Leanne” was obviously designed to frighten me and was quite dishonest.
    The MT call explained that the changes would effect only the very few ‘rich’ part-pensioners.
    Bill Shorten should stop peddling his rotten untruths to frightened pensioners.

    • Denis O'Dea  

      Guy could I humbly suggest you do a little of your own fact checking rather than accept the “spin” of our P.M.
      My wife and I are far from “rich part pensioners”. We are former tax paying wage earners of average income. Our esteemed millionaire PM has the gall to tell us that we can now manage on $160 less a fortnight . “Thanks Malcolm!. Pity you didn’t tell us at the election that the average pensioner was going to pay for the tax cuts to big business millionaires”
      Guy I am not impressed with automated calls from any political party. There aim is to con us, not inform us us with reasoned argument based on fact.

    • Denis O'Dea  

      Guy could I humbly suggest you do a little of your own fact checking rather than accept the “spin” of our P.M.
      My wife and I are far from “rich part pensioners”. We are former tax paying wage earners of average income. Our esteemed millionaire PM has the gall to tell us that we can now manage on $160 less a fortnight . “Thanks Malcolm!. Pity you didn’t tell us at the election that the average pensioner was going to pay for the tax cuts to big business millionaires”
      Guy I am not impressed with automated calls from any political party. There aim is to con us, not inform us us with reasoned argument based on fact.

  5. Phillip Worrall  

    Simple Fact is Wage & salary earners who have reached retirement Age.Paid Massive personal Tax rates. Gov policy was a pension would be funded by our Tax contributions and Paid on retirement age. No national superannuation scheme was available during most of their working life Any Gov that had told us we would end up with a below poverty line Pension would never have been reelected. As usual LNP Gov Gains Office by deceit, then reneges on all it’s commitments

    • Susan Townsville  

      I agree whole heartedly with Phillip Worrell we worked hard to scrape together a superannuation that would HELP with our retirement. If cuts are needed that badly that the Government have to take from the Pensioners they should be looking long and hard at their own superannuation and starting there. After all you lead by example.

  6. Alan  

    I think politicians should not get a pension till they’re 70 and have their assets deducted.

  7. D.Beadsmoore  

    Just had my income cut by 10% will the pollies have their wages cut by 10% , dont think so. They probably have a rise coming. Funnily enough the Min. Weekly Wage is higher than my income that the Government says should be paid but the again its all my fault for not working hard enough to get into the Billionair Club or becoming a Politition.

  8. Well Mediscare was real despite what MT etc say about it. And Labor is correct in raising the issue of cuts to Pensions. It is not dirty politics at all, it is the ALP doing their job of being an effective opposition.

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