The baby boomer issue neither Shorten or Turnbull wants to talk about

There are 4.6 million Australian baby boomers, and they represent 30 per cent of our registered voting population. So why

There are 4.6 million Australian baby boomers, and they represent 30 per cent of our registered voting population. So why is it then that both Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull insist on ignoring one of the most important election issues for these people?

Judging from the comments and emails we’ve received, baby boomers are angry. Angry that Shorten and Turnbull are continuously talking about superannuation when the majority of over 60s will not be able to significantly improve their fund. Angry that Shorten and Turnbull neglect to discuss pensions or aged care or health reforms that affect people on low incomes i.e. the pension. Assets tests and what is happening with those, as well as a myriad of other issues that affect a huge chunk of the population.

Just this morning, the news headlines say Bill Shorten has a plan for youth unemployment, and therefore another day goes by where the most crucial of issues is not put on the table.

Malcolm Turnbull’s focus has been on north coast job plans today, as he and Shorten prepare to have a debate online via News Corp tonight – but still, no mention of anything to do with the pension.

We’ve searched through the websites of both Bill Shorten/Labor Party and Malcolm Turnbull/Liberal Party and had trouble finding any policies that related to the older generations. A search of Labor’s website came up with zero results when we typed in ‘pension’ ‘ageing’ ‘aged care’ ‘baby boomer’ ‘seniors’, however we did find, hidden in a policy called “An Age-Friendly Nation”, some of Shorten’s promises, though none relate specifically to the pension.

They promise to:

  • Address ongoing problems in the My Aged Care gateway in consultation with the aged care sector, consumers and medical and allied health providers.
  • Conduct an independent review of the LLLB reforms by 1 July 2017, with a particular focus on the Aged Care Funding
  • Work with the aged care sector and unions to address the need for aged care workers, as well as career progression and conditions
  • Establish the Active Ageing Fund to support programs to reduce the risk of dementia, prevent falls, improve physical activities and healthy lifestyles – enabling older Australians to age well in their own communities, at home and at work.

A search through the Liberal Party’s website was a bit more promising with results for “pension” and “aged care”, however the most recent pension article was from September last year, and the aged care article talked about assisting with dementia.

“A re-elected Turnbull Government announced today $11.4 million will be prioritised towards assistance for people living with dementia and their local communities.

“Announcing a new dual-approach to caring for Australia’s estimated 350,000 people living with dementia, the Coalition will target $7.5 million to establish Specialist Dementia Care Units”, the website reads.

However what is abundantly clear from both these parties is that they 1. Do not know what an over 60 Australian looks like 2. They do not know how an over 60 lives and 3. If they do, they don’t prioritise their needs at all.

Are you disappointed in the two parties? Do you think their policies could be more skewed towards over 60s?

  1. earn it  

    first time ever I am looking at an independant.

  2. Tom  

    The baby boomers have had the best of the past 100 years and it is time that some effort and money went to the more recent generations who, the way things are going, will never own their own house or have a full time job to support them and a family. The best thing that any government can do now is to set up a system that encourages employees to employ full time and get away from the part time employment encouraged by the Howard and following governments.

    • Mareela  

      Tom believe it or not one day you will be an aged person possibly requiring services for yourself and partner. The aged care sector has been and continues to be woefully neglected. You would think that an Australian government could sort out an affordable plan. Maybe you have parents who in the future will/might require aged care. Have you given any thought to how you would help them, if at all? I’m a baby boomer who owns a very small unit which the government has talked about using said home to fund retirement, fund my future aged care needs, downsize and sell to younger people and absolutely tell us we should not leave anything to our family members. Now, how is that going to work? I’m far from rich but every time a budget comes out they change the super goal posts. What little we have is dwindling away. I hear your frustration but remember not all baby boomers earned $300,000/year. This government is doing a great job of pitting one generation against the other. Turnbull hasn’t even got any policies to help young people into their own homes. I think at least Labor’s policy on negative gearing will help. There’s also a huge casualisation of the workforce. This also doesn’t help. Malcolm’s policy for getting a home is go get a better job. Good luck with that.

  3. Trevor  

    As I have been saying constantly on my comments ,we need to become a lobby group to put our point across as you say we are 30% of the voting population ,let your local member know we are not happy.
    Yes it will be the first time we will be voting for an Independant

  4. Kaye  

    Tom I am sick to death of being told how lucky baby boomers were. We lived at home with our parents until we saved a deposit. In those days only the man’s wage was considered when applying for a loan and a larger deposit was required. When we finally got a house we moved in our modest small 3 bedroom home with second hand furniture, no sewerage (septic or dunny can), sheets on the windows, no dishwasher, second hand fridge, small black and white TV, single garage etc etc. We both worked two jobs to save that deposit and we had one car. There was no kerb and guttering until much later. Our interest rate started at 12% and over time we ended up paying 17.5% interest on our mortgages. There were no family supplements for each child. We went back to work as soon as children could be placed in preschool and paid for child care with no subsidies. It is hard today for young families but it is not our fault that blocks of land are released and developers now have to donate blocks to parkland etc nor is it our fault foreigners are coming here and pushing prices to abnormal limits. Nor is it our fault everyone has to have huge TVs, Blue rays, DVD’s, Mobile phones, tablets, all new furniture, dishwasher, microwave, curtains, 2 cars all the day they move in.

    • Robert Arnott  

      You hit the nail on the head there Kate well said

      • Helen  

        Totally agree. Our first home was very basic but at least we had a roof over our heads. Younger people don’t realise that it took us 40 years to get where we are today.

    • John Powell  

      I endorse every word Kate has to say plus some, she hit the nail on the head with every word she said , young people these days have no idea to what hardship is and was, and yes as Helen says it took 40 years of scraping through very tough times to live out whats left of our lives, along with our children then putting the bite on us for what ever little bit we have left ruddy unbelievable but true….

    • I agree, I went to work at 15 and had no help from any government agency and my parents were busy bringing up the rest of the family. The problem is not one of age it is one od a sense of entitlement on the part of some young people. We don’t owe you anything, yes it is tough it always has been unless you were born to a wealthy family. Little has changed except that my parents lived at a time when the respect they had earned was paid to them, unlike now when it is almost a crime to be getting older.

    • Tom  

      I never said that the baby boomers all had it easy but they did have, in most cases, full time employment where the wages were such that a house could be bought with some saving. The kids now would have to save for years to even qualify for a housing loan and then not have the confidence that the job, or more likely jobs, would last for very long at all. When we got a job we could be fairly confident of the position being available for years and could therefore take on loans with confidence. People on pensions do need help and should not be ignored but focus should be on younger people so that they can get ahead and pay the taxes to pay for those pensions.

  5. Heather Dixon  

    To lodge your annoyance with the pension changes go to the parliamentary website – you can find your local member & a list of senators together with their respective contact email addresses etc.
    Vent your anger direct to them – it’s all well & good to share your views on Facebook but I doubt if Messrs Shorten or Turnbull ever see them.
    Just remember it was a combination of the Greens, Labor & Liberals who passed the legislation to make the pension changes – only the voters can have any hope of reversing the situation.

    • Absolutely! It is becoming truly annoying that comments about the baby boomers are not based on fact. Not all pensioners are receiving a government aged pension. Not all baby boomers own a house. It seems don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    • Mareela  

      Heather it was the Greens who colluded with the LNP to make the changes to the pension. Labor opposed it at the time. However Bill Shorten has said he will not now reverse the changes so somehow think there will be pensioners venting their displeasure by voting for an independent. The changes are ridiculous and do not encourage people to save and be self funded.

  6. rikda  

    You seem to be expansive about the LNP’s proposals
    Don’t forget they were the “No changes to (Labors) pensions” at the last election then reneged.
    Then you whitewashed Labors policies by failing to mention the complete policy at the bottom of the list
    “Read the full fact sheet on Labor’s positive plan for an age-friendly nation by clicking here”

    Showing some LNP bias here SOS

  7. I agree with all that you said Kaye .Worked our guts out just to survive . I rember washing my hair with washing detergent . We had it it hard no help from the government .. If you didn’t work you didn’t eat .i own my own home & a block of land because of hard work , am 65 & can’t get the pension . Not good after slogging your arse off for years .In my area there is a family that has never worked in there life neither has there children or there children or there children . The government just gives them money . I have never had that all ways had to work my butt off.

  8. I agree with all that you said Kaye .Worked our guts out just to survive . I rember washing my hair with washing detergent . We had it it hard no help from the government .. If you didn’t work you didn’t eat .i own my own home & a block of land because of hard work , am 65 & can’t get the pension . Not good after slogging your arse off for years .In my area there is a family that has never worked in there life neither has there children or there children or there children . The government just gives them money . I have never had that all ways had to work my butt off.

  9. trisha  

    Our local Labor candidate, Justine Keayes seems more worried about asylum seekers than aged pensioners.The local Liberal member Mr Brett Whiteley again has never mentioned this issue. So we are as usual being ignored!
    If we are 30% of the population, then we should use our power and MAKE them think of Pensioners. How long can we last on $3 pension increases? The belt is a tight as it can get and we have very little breathing room.
    I am now going to email both of them.

  10. Lillian Wallace  

    Coudnt agree more with Kates comments we also had to save up in order to afford carpet in our first home bare boards for a year I even made the curtains for our first house it took 3 months but I succeeded.Even had small business eventually and there was no Super in the 70s so when it did start we couldnt afford as a small business owner

  11. Both major political parties are a waste of breath, I am over them both. The are childish, out of touch with reality and really only interested in themselves. There is no common sense approach to how the money from the public purse is spent, Pensioners are treated poorly, health services are a serious issue as is out lack of superannuation.

  12. Agree with you Kaye – we lived in my parents garage for 18 months, then another 6 months in a tiny rented flat until we had paid enough on our land to build our house. By today’s standards very small 3 bedroom – lived on concrete floors with no furnishings for over 12 months until it was just too cold with our first baby, and then put carpet on a high purchase plan. We never moved extended twice to accommodate our growing family. All the time both of us working – no baby incentives, no child endowment because we both worked, and no assistance with child care. After moving into our house we had to sign an agreement with St George that we would make double house payments for three (3) years, and I was not to fall pregnant during that time so that this could be paid. Imagine that now, there would be such an uproar regarding a persons right to choose – well we didn’t have any choice, plus we were part of the 17% interest straight after coming off the 3 year term.
    Well young people of today, we Baby Boomers haven’t had it at all easy – we didn’t have a 4 bedroom house straight up with a double garage, brand new furniture in every room, and two cars sitting in the driveway, with all the modern technology oh and of course Foxtel, we were happy with second hand furniture from all and sundry – painted & decorated ourselves and were really excited when we could afford to “pay-off” a coloured television set rather than pay money for the drive-in or the pictures!
    I am sick of hearing about Gen Y – that Baby Boomers are taking all their money (we supposedly only paid about $20,000 tax and now we are getting $40,000 a year in pensions – I wish)!!
    Does Gen Y think not that we as Baby Boomers paid the pensions of the WWII people, along with some of the other veterans and people of that age group – I don’t think that we ever whinged that those people didn’t deserve their pensions – or that it was a drain on us. We had more respect.
    How dare those of the Gen Y think that we as contributors to this country – many of which also served for Australia overseas – are a burden.
    Without many of the Baby Boomers who fought for social justice, for women’s rights within the work force, equal pay and the like – these so called Gen Y would not be enjoying the fruits of our labours now.
    All generations coming through owe some gratitude for past generations contributions to this wonderful country – that which has made Australia great. Pensions were brought about to assist those who require it to live a reasonable life – so young Gen Y Tom – you believe then those on pensions are not worthy of living a reasonable life – would you just rather then euthanize us so we do not drain “your pockets” – well buddy remember you too if you are lucky enough will reach old age – prepare to be euthanized by the following generations then!

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