Bill Shorten lets loose on Malcolm Turnbull and stands up for pensioners in fiery speech

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has given a fiery speech today accusing the government of stiffing pensioners and not doing enough

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has given a fiery speech today accusing the government of stiffing pensioners and not doing enough to get others off welfare and into full-time work.

“Malcolm Turnbull has a lot to say about the jobs of bank CEOs or dotcom start-up tech companies, but what about everyday jobs for the people who can’t find them?” he said in Wollongong.

“The government is trying to distract from their own problems and so what do they do? They decide to kick the poor old pensioner, they decide to demonise everyone who receives a pension and put them all in the sin bin.”

He said the government could save taxpayer money by abandoning its proposed company tax cuts.

“We’re not going to just allow the government to pick on the pensioner when they’re handing away truckloads of money to the big end of town,” he said.

The outburst comes after new figures released this morning showed that some parents on welfare were earning more than full-time workers.

Read more: Is Australia’s welfare system too generous?

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has hit back saying working on carefully making changes and “chipping away at the welfare system”.

“We’re dealing with people’s lives here, we’ve got to ensure that we’re providing the right level of support, we’re doing so in a fair and compassionate way but equally that Australia’s welfare system is providing incentives for people to work because the best form of social welfare is a job,” he told Melbourne’s 3AW radio.

“The system should always work so as to incentivise people to go into employment.”

He also hit out at Labor and said they were contributing to the so-called welfare cycle around the country.

“We are being frustrated by Labor Party who simply want to keep the welfare system as it is and to continue to trap generations of Australians in a welfare net that they can’t escape from, but they want to escape from.

“It is a crying shame that some Australians would have to take a pay cut to get a job in this country because of the way our welfare system works.”

Do you think the government is doing enough for pensioners? Which party do you trust more to look after seniors?

  1. Gay Long  

    I’m sorry – but Bill Shorten is such a hypocrite – (once a union rep for cleaners – cheated on them) – along with so many other politicians. They all promise the world but never deliver.

    • Ken horton  

      So you would like this mob of losers to cut pensions! Just be careful what you wish for if your not a pensioner you don’t know how hard it is if you are you are an idiot

    • Murray Dickson  

      Having been a Conservative voter most of my life, as a retiree who during my working life shelled out a fortune in Taxes, I am NOT impressed with Turnbull and don’t trust “leave ’em” Shorten.

      At the tender age of 71, I am pissed-off at each and every Politician in Astralia.
      Of course of any of them wishes to refuse their Parliamentary Pension and donate it to a recognsed Charity, I will be more than delighted to sing their praises.

      • Jacob Scheele  

        Murray Dickson I Agree with You. If I was Prime Minister of Australia. I would make It Policy that every Politician has to donate their Parliamentary Pension to Charity. I would also stop Parents on Welfare who are Earning More Than Full Time Workers by Spreading out the Pension system. So That every Person who is on the Pension gets a Fair Amount of Money.

  2. John Harrison  

    its easy to erode the working pay level then say that the welfare payment are to high if companies payed the workers a living wage and gave them 38 hr per week this would not happen.

    • Tony Ryan  


  3. Krys Johnson  

    It never mattered which party is in middle earners were always hit and still are. Saved and did without so you could have a decent retirement and now we are told anyone who has a grandfathering super in their retirement this will be changed. Has anyone looked at where the big drop starts, basically in the middle again and at the seminar on how the changes affect ones pension, taking us back to the way pensions were assessed in the 1980’s. Okay fair is fair if all areas are hit but will the politicians take their assessments back to the 1980s. Will they take their pension back to 1980s. I don’t think so………… Bring back the Democrats and keep the bastards honest….. Tired of listening to he did, he did………… Just do the right thing and make it right across the board. I did not see anything wrong with increasing the GST even if it was by a minimum of 1% then it would be right across the board.

  4. rikda  

    You can always be sure that a politician is not afraid of half truths.
    These people think nothing of bunking up with their mates & investing their welfare (Entitlements) payment in the property market.
    There is one massive difference between what the liberal party knows, but won’t tell you, is that 99% of welfare payments go straight back into the economy.
    That 6% unemployed, creates demand.
    That single parent payment is spent on future tax payers.
    This new breed of predatory conservative are a far cry from the originals.

  5. Dog Vowell  

    incentivise is this a word?

    • Sue  

      Yes it is. Just do a google search for it.

      • Ross Boughton  

        And believe everything you read on the ‘net’!

        It’s a made-up word in the same way ‘escalate’ is, probably by the same sort of people. No doubt it will be accepted as are ‘goal’ and ‘stretcher’ as verbs.

  6. Judith  

    There are heaps of elderly folks out there doing it tough just trying to live on the age pension. There has to be a way to make it fair if that’s all the income you are receiving.
    Keep the Age Pension well away from other pensions so there is no discrimination and make it a livable pension as well.
    There are so many aged people living in private rental accommodation that are really struggling to make ends meet, not every one can get or want public housing.

  7. Robert Miller  

    The so called asylum seekers are getting far more in benefits than what the pensioners get, I believe there is only one person in the government t6hat truly cares out us Aussies & that is Pauline Hanson because everyone else don’t give a rats as they just like throwing the tax payers money away, come on Turnbull stand & make amends if you have the B…S

    • Bob Constable  

      No they are not do your research they get the same as any Australian no more no less

  8. Colin McPherson  

    The conservative parties- Liberals and Nationals- have always sort to create a class system where the lower/working class are left to beg for an income. Howard did this and all those right wing conservatives in Turnbull’s mob want the same. The pension only came about from strong advocacy from the Labor Party, (during conservative government, 1918? I think it was), and it has always been the Labor Party that has stood beside pensioners.
    Labor also brought in the Award Superannuation Scheme that is designed to give people independence in their retirement. However, the Liberals and the Nats, especially Barnaby Joice, continue to try to get their grubby hands on OUR super!

    • Mike  

      Well written Colin. I have always believed that the Labor Party had been supportive of the pensioners. Also to demonize the poor is one of their favourite practices. Not every one on a pension or some sort of welfare is a bludger or layabout. Most people rare decent human beings attempting to survive and are not trying to rip off the system.

  9. Dennis cope  

    Well ,turnbull is a traitor and thief to to all pentioners ,and those on low incomes , he has no problem giving himself and the other socalled politicians a hefty pay rise but when it comes to the ones that paid with blood sweat and tears to pay for his education with their taxes over 50 odd years all he wants to do is help his off shore mates, it’s about time he realized that he works for us not the other way around , it absolutely discusting what they do without our knowledge.

    • Come to think of it I did not notice Labor or any of the other parties voting against the pay rise, could not get their hands in the air quick enough on that vote.

  10. Bob Constable  

    Liberals are ok with welfare for big business and the banks.
    Why can’t they tax big corporations who pay little or no tax?
    Because its too easy to cut payments and welfare entitlements.
    They are ok with entitlements like babysitting for Joe Hockey and his ilk

  11. Guy Flavell  

    With the exception of the old age pension and Newstart, our welfare system is totally out of control. It just amazes me that a married unemployed person with 4 kids would probably lose money if they accepted a job offer ??? What sort of incentive to return to work is this ?
    There really are just far too many Government cash hand-outs available, ie: family benefits, energy allowances and the abhorrent double-dipping on parental leave, etc. etc.
    In the not too distant past we only had tax deductions for each child and child endowment payments. We carefully planned for having children based on our economic circumstances. Sadly, not so today … the more kids you churn out the more money you receive from our pathetic, vote buying welfare system.
    The Government’s emphasis should be on the following:
    1) Encouraging (forcing?) baby boomers to sell their $2 million homes and purchase say
    $1 million homes which would see them with 20 years x $50 k pa to live a comfortable lifestyle without living off the welfare teat in retirement.
    2) Completely abolishing parental leave payments of $12.1k. If the employers wish to offer parental leave payments to valued employees then this fine. And the dishonest double-dipping rorts would cease completely.
    3) Remove all the energy supplements to working families … there is no carbon tax any more so why pay these supplements? But, retain them for battling pensioners and Newstarters would be a nice gesture.
    4) All savings from our welfare system should be directed into new, sensible infrastructure projects to create a huge amount of new job growth. (But, not your idea
    of projects, Mr. Andrews). Much of these savings could be spent on public housing to
    alleviate the frustrations of the desperate 200,000 people currently seeking it.

    Our old age pensioners paying market rentals and trying to survive are a major problem.
    They live a pauper’s existence and often rely on St.Vinnies and the Salvos to get them through. This is an absolute blight on our wonderful country and should be seriously addressed by the Government.
    However, OAPs who own their homes or are lucky enough to reside in Government housing can live a reasonable level of comfort on the existing pension rates providing they are careful and don’t waste money on unnecessary items. I can see no reason for pension increases apart from the cost of living 6 monthly adjustments.

    In my opinion we may have struck gold with Christian Porter as our Minister for Social Security. He fully understands that our welfare system is in total disarray and is honestly
    dedicated to fairly restructuring it. Sadly, Mr. Turnbull appears to be a complete disaster
    and if he doesn’t resign soon, will lead the LNP into opposition in 2019.
    I see Christian Porter as having the ability of being a truly successful PM. His track record is impeccable especially on economic matters, he is non-factionalised and is not a populist ‘politicker’ like Turnbull and Shorten. A Shorten government is beyond comprehension … it would be union run, corrupt and economically bereft in solving the
    budgetary problems that currently exist and are looming.

    • Bernd Dorksen  

      All Baby Boomer do not have $2 million homes. Get real.

    • John Andrews  

      Consider a couple who bought a house in, say, Manly in the fifties. It would probably have been a modest home. Because of circumstances it may now be around or even over $2 million. Their family home, the place of memories, hopes dreams and disappointments. But you would have them forced out because, through no ‘fault’ of their own, the house has a high price tag on it. What does that say about you?

  12. David  

    There are always some people who game the system, some may be pensioner and welfare recipients and some wear the title of CEO /directors. Fortunately there are a majority who don’t. Unfortunately we mainly hear about those who do.
    Why should we design our society around those few instead of supporting the majority. Guy Flavell obviously believes that someone else should look after other family’s kids. If a woman has four kids, it is highly likely she is working pretty hard. It may or may not be by choice and most likely unpaid, but if those kids are not brought up well and encouraged to get an education, they too will be a drain on the economy, like we pensioners.

    I want to see all these baby boomers with $2 million houses Guy. Sure a few at the top end do, but the vast majority of us live in ordinary homes, but why shouldn’t we aspire to live in $2 million homes if that rocks our boat. We should not however expect the ordinary taxpayer to fund us to buy it.

    • Guy Flavell  

      David and Bernd, thanks for your responses . My $2 million figure was only an analogy as to
      how many people of retirement age could actually restructure their finances so that they don’t have to be utilising the old age pension. It could be say a $1 million value with a $400 k downsize to a lovely, manageable unit leaving a residual non-OAP of 20yrs x $30,000 pa. This would still enable them to receive the host of health benefits and other OAP subsidies … just not the pension payment.
      I’m sure you’d find many, many thousands of $1 million homes around Melbourne and Sydney
      without looking too hard, David.

    • The 2 million dollar home, in most cases, is a farce. In the right area, a house might sell for this amount even if it is derelict, because of the value of the land it sits on. AS an example, last year I sold my house, a 30 year old 3 bed, 1 bath, and needing a lot of maintenance, for more than my replacement brand new 4 bed, 2 bath, house in a new area, a house almost double in size to my old one. I would like to see people who carry on about the $2m houses that aged pensioners have lived in for over 60 years actually live in these cottages. The value is in the land and position, to sell would mean going to live in a different area, probably away from family and friends, and with no backup if something goes wrong. So get over it. You cannot eat the soil or the grass.

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