Pick your battles with pensioners very carefully, Mr Abbott 418



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With Tony Abbott starting to pick up in the polls, as he peels the barnacles one by one off the side of his budget boat, one has to wonder why he and Joe Hockey seem to be setting up for a continued battle with pensioners in their next round. Perhaps someone hasn’t told them that 77 per cent of the Australian over 65 population receive the pension. Last time I counted, that was a cool 2.3 million people. And 4.7 million sit over the age of 60, many approaching pension age with extraordinary eligibility. Not a population group I would likely to be taking on when underwater in popularity. Yet the government seems committed to cutting the growth of the pension, offering not much more than a wild card by suggesting they might mildly soften their approach with a sunset clause.

The government’s proposed change to the pension indexation, from indexing it against wages to indexing it against inflation, has had seniors political groups like COTA and National Seniors up in arms for months fearing the pension could slump from 28 per cent of weekly average wage earnings to 16 percent by 2055.

The government has this week indicated that they were prepared to discuss their proposed changes to the aged pension, potentially reconsidering their plan but when you look below the surface, it is unlikely they will give a lot of ground in the short run.

Speaking on Saturday, Treasurer Joe Hockey said the government remained committed to altering the pension but was eager to discuss changes with its opponents in parliament. In last week’s Intergenerational Report they proposed the introduction of a sunset clause that would soften the reform.

But what does this really mean…? It means the government’s proposed indexation might still go ahead, with promises that the government in power in 2028 must review and relink the indexation to wages once more when that year passes if the recommendations of the Intergenerational Report are taken in.

The pension currently rises every six months in line with wages growth. The government’s proposed budget platform is meant to change in July 2017 to link the increases to inflation instead, although the Senate has not passed the bill. The current government bill does not include a sunset clause.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison is expected to put the change on the agenda in talks with the Senate to legislate a sweeping change to pension rates for millions of recipients.

It’s a big move that will affect a big, noisy swathe of Australians.

Do you think the Government is picking the right battle considering the political stakes they face?

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. Time Us Oldies gathered to tell these Pollies where they stand. We the workers should Unite to help Ourselves !!

    3 REPLY
    • I’ve been saying this for a while now, we are such a large group of the voting public & should all be bombarding Canberra with emails ect, it gets us nowhere just complaining on here about it,we need to start helping ourselves & take a stand against this governments attack on us oldies.

    • Yes we need to stand up for ourselves and be counted. We helped make Australia what it is today and I am sure we all got at least one more fight left in us.

  2. I would wonder about the stupidly of a government that says we can’t afford to continue to increase pensions in line with wages, and look at my wonderful signature PPL policy where I have enough money to pay women up to $75,000 to have a baby, all in the same sentence.

    But no matter what ABBOTT says now, he and his senior ministers have made their feelings on the aged of this country perfectly clear. We are, according to them a drain on this country, a bunch of leaners who think we are entitled to a pension for doing nothing, and a group of people who have made the lives of young people intolerable. We have been such a greedy bunch, sponging off society and reaping all the real estate leaving housing unaffordable for the young ones.

    They have done their utmost to divide young against old, to convince the young we are an entitled generation and the only way the young will ever get on is to vote ABBOTT in so he can take away aged pensions leaving more for the young.

    ABBOTT and his gang have disrespected and discarded the aged of this country and come election time we will not forget no matter what vote winning trick he tries to pull off it will be too little too late.

    26 REPLY
    • I think most of us are pretty fed up with their attitude towards the aged Ellen.
      All of us aging leaners should go on strike from our volunteer jobs and teach society a lesson. We should pick a ‘sorry I’m having coffee day”, no volunteer work, no looking after elderly parents, no free baby sitting ’cause us greedy leaners that can’t afford a co payment are out buying ourselves a coffee.

    • Margaret: well written. I feel if they were happy to spend $75.000 for rich women to have babies. What a joke. ABBOTT goes and buys a bullet proof bomb proof BMW. ABBOTT actually spent millions on buying a fleet of BMW’S. Hockey spends $170.000 on coffee tables for parliament, plus $70.000 on pot plants for parliament another $70.000 for art work $50.000 to fly a chef to
      New York to cook a meal, so tell me who can’t count. Julia Gillard never replaced her car she made do. Hockey gets $270 per night that he stays in his wife’s house while in Canberra. So far paying of $300.000 of the mortgage. And her they are trying to
      Pull the wool over our eyes. Why don’t they makes cuts to their salaries?

    • Because they are over indulged, self serving, self absorbed greedy slugs.

      That said, it has not gone unnoticed that no matter what party is in power none of them cut or introduce means testing for politicians pensions.

      They are all greedy shites.

    • Margaret Peluso, you have put this so succinctly, thank you. If we all gave up our volunteer positions this country would soon feel the impact from Meals on Wheels to the various roles carried out in our hospitals which should be carried out by paid employees. But of course we won’t stop because people rely on us so we have to act the only way we can , vote against this government at all levels.

    • No we won’t stop Sandra, that’s not our style. We were raised in a time when people had a conscience damn it. I think people would be pretty shocked to see the impact it would have on “their” lives if all us lazy, good for nothing, bludging leaners took a day off all at once. Even Businesses would feel the pinch when nana and pa weren’t available that day to do the school drop off and pick up. All the little things society just takes for granted.

    • I couldn’t have said it better Margaret! Fear and blame is the tactic of the government. Let’s not fall victim to that ploy!

    • Well said Margaret I was wondering who is paying Hockey’s solicitor fees now he is suing the paper as well … Abbott has a lot to answer for now with all the cuts to the aid for the homeless but has spent a fortune on overseas aid the man has got to go not one good policy at all from Liberals…

    • No he hasn’t introduced one good policy you’re right. The policies he did introduce because he said he had to, they weren’t aiming for popular government they were aiming for good government, well, those policies weren’t popular so the man who wasn’t aiming for popular government back flipped on them to become popular. Hypocrite.

    • Would love it if they made them take pensions at retirement age like the rest of us. But that won’t happen it seems all polititians are just out to make their lives as good as it can get.

    • I agree with you Margaret as always ..am online late..I watched lateline and this bloke said get an encryption app for firefox..so I just got it 🙂

    • I dunno darling YET, i have not got a clue about this stuff..if firefox and my computer doesn’t blow up..I consider that a plus xoxo

    • oh right on the money Margaret…I work part time and the younger ones in the office think I am a bit *beyond the pail* I don’t use my mobile phone to get onto facebook during working hours, don’t call friendsduring working hours, dont have coffe breaks when I feel like itand actually like to get on and finish my work not muck around and talk half the day….. and then one had the cheek to tell me I was stopping her from buying a house cos I have priced her out of the market — just for the record I have a small mortgage on a modest house (hence I am working to pay it off)… I think Abbott and Hockey think if they rabbit on about the *olds and their pensions* idiots like the girl I work with will take notice….obviously has!!

    • Great reply Margaret. Civil disobedience has to be the way we go – no free babysitting, no volunteering etc etc. We will just have a day – no, a week when it is all about us oldies. So when do we want it?

  3. They can keep on with this threat and I hope they do, it’s time the elderly got someone in there to represent us. We do need change in the tax system so let’s get a wise and educated person with some new ideas that the population will think about sensibly to accept change. TA, JH, and SM, are not suitable candidates.

  4. And the over 60’s have worked and paid taxes since 16 or less, had to manage our own lifestyles etc. as did my mother who was a working mother in an era where this wasn’t accepted and had no concessions! Give us a break!

    2 REPLY
    • I’ve been working since I was 15, I’m now 71 and still work part time to buy the extra things we want, never had any assistance except child endowment $2 per month, don’t draw the pension

  5. Beware the Grey Power, Tony! We are many, and we speak loudly at election time!

    5 REPLY
    • The pensioners will unite at election time its happened before and it will happen again if they keep treating them the way tbey are

    • We the grey power need to stand together as one and fight these bastards and not just on facebook, how can we form our own group and go after them any suggestions anyone???

      1 REPLY
      • I’ve been wanting to form a group for years, Glenda, but not sure how to go about it. Listening to younger ones telling us how hopeless and selfish we are has to stop. The media love controversy because I don’t find real life like that at all. Most grandparents are the ones left with their grandchildren a lot of the time and have terrific influence there. So we have much more power than politicians think – the idiots. I’d be happy to start a group if others are interested in joining – and we’re done “being nice” too.

        1 REPLY
  6. 4 REPLY
    • So True If they were only paying age pensions they would not have a problem , it is all the free loaders who have not worked that is our problem and when you hear that all these people coming into Australia from other countries are all on welfare God Help us why did we all work so hard

    • That’s exactly right Marianne. My husband and I have worked since we were 15 and like so many others rely on the pension due to our circumstances.

    • I would not have worked so hard, & allowed all my children to, if u knew then about all the freeloaders sponging on our taxes. Plus this governments mismanagement. Disgusting.

    • Too many kids are just wanting wanting wanting. We survived on a measly child endowment no handouts for putting our children in child care. no baby bonus or paid parental leave. And they say we are the greedy ones.

  7. pollies never runout of money for their little jaunts overseas all the time ??????????????????????

  8. Tony and Joe have to go. They have not got a clue, or a brain between them. Tony has once more proved that he must have been a good boxer, because he is obviously brain dead.

  9. Sad thing is a lot of pensioners voted for him. I knew he would hit the pensioners etc. as he only cares about the rich and he will never change

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