Political Honesty. Does it exist in Australia? Here is a detailed example of why it doesn’t.

Political Honesty. Does it exist in Australia? Here is a detailed example of why it doesn’t.

It’s been an interesting time since the budget in May. Actually the interesting time started on 7th may when the new Minister for Social services, Scott Morrison announced a new “fair and balanced” pension system.

Here is the Link.

At this point and before i go into the detail of the cuts, I would like to remind people what Tony Abbott said before the last Election. In fact on Election Eve.

“No Change to pensions” Instructive to look at the link.

People would have voted for him based on that assurance. So he has introduced changes in his second budget. He does not have a mandate and the Support of the Greens for this broken promise makes them complicit in Political Dishonesty.

On the right hand side of the page are 2 files, duplicated in both PDF and Word format which show the four types of Pensioners. Couples and singles and home and non home owners in those groups.

In any analysis of a table it is imperative that you understand the basis of the generation of the table and also can reproduce those figures.

These tables are extraordinary for this liberal government because they actually give out some detail of the Pensioner population they are describing.

In the body of the press release they don’t mention millionaires getting the pension, but we had been buttered up by a proposal of the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) which suggested that pensioners with a million dollars of assets actually got the same as someone with “almost nothing”

Another complete dishonest falsehood.

On 17th June, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott repeated this rhetoric in parliament in answer to a Question in Question Time.

That millionaires should not get the pension.

As always the devil is in the detail. Going by the tables described above, the Governments own figures show that there are 34,323 people with assets greater than $900,000. These people are people who have worked their whole life to save up a nest egg and they are made up of Pensioner COUPLES who either own their own home (33260) or do not own their own home (1057). Single Pensioners who either own their own home or don’t own their own home do NOT get a pension at this level.

The Press release also says there are 3.7 million pensioners. In their tables I counted up to 3,518,176, a difference of nearly 200,000 people.

So these people who “do not deserve” a pension are hit hardest. Yet the number with a reduction or pension cut off is 362,523.

Instead of being honest about the facts, the Liberal party has added another 327,000 people to the pain of a reduced pension.

Yet they then say that 170,000 pensioners (4.8% of all pensioners) will have their pension increased by an average of more than $30 per fortnight.

They go onto say

All couples who own their own home with additional assets of less than $451,500 will get a higher pension.

This is not a correct statement. Pensioner couples are allowed assets of $268,500 right now before the taper rate kicks in so that statement should have read.

All couples who own their own home and have assets greater than $268,500 up to $451,500 will get a higher pension.

Those below $268,500 will not get a pension increase at all.

It is impossible with the data given to prove or disprove the statement.

More than 170,000 pensioners with modest assets will have their pensions increased by an average of more than $30 per fortnight

The reason being is that they give the numbers of pensioners in ranges. For example there are 197,580 pensioner couples who own assets between $200,000 and $299,999. Only those above $268,500 assets presently are affected. We are not given that number. In the range $300,000 to $399,999, there are 116,281 who will get more pension. The cut of of $451,500 where no increase is seen is in the middle of the range $400,000 to $499,999, where there are 81,637 pensioner couples.

This tells us that the people most affected by these increases are Home owner couples. These are described as Modest assets.

An asset is only good for the level of return that it can give. The centrelink regime determines which assets are to be counted. So these include, collections, your household goods, your car(s), Caravan, boat and any other property such as a holiday home. As well as Assets which can generate a return such as cash in the bank, shares etc.

The level of return is normally dependant on the risk. The more risk the greater return. Every pensioner I have spoken to wants a low risk investment such as a Bank term deposit, where they know they will get a return and the capital employed will be preserved.

They do not want to do this so that they can count their money like scrooge Mc Duck. They want to preserve it to have an income to live off.

The tables talk about the small percentage of “draw down” of assets required to maintain the income they have been deprived of. All that drawdown will do is to make the capital available for investment less. Another bad result because if people draw down their assets by just $400,000 they will be eligible for a full or part pension again.

You may recall the ACOSS suggestion that Home owning Pensioner couples and singles should have their allowable assets cut to $150,000 and $100,000 respectively and the Taper rate increased to $2 per thousand over the allowable assets. They failed to take account of another of their reports which was about Poverty. They used an internationally accepted measure of 50% and 60% of median income. For a Pensioner couple the Poverty line is $600 per week and for a single $400 per week. (Both use the first measure 50%)

So what I did was take Morrison’s tables and work up a spreadsheet which

(The example is for Home owner couples.) The figures are for the Whole population of Pensioners.

1/ Matched his figures exactly for 2017 with a taper rate of $1.5 ($20 rounding error per annum)

2/ Matched his figures exactly for 2017 with a taper rate of $3.0.

3/ Took 75% of the assets (see discussion of assets above) and put them out at 3% per annum and then added any part pension per annum. Divided this result by 52 to give a weekly income.

4/ compared the weekly income result against the poverty line with the $1.5 taper rate and got figures of approx 41,502 pensioners

5/ Compared the weekly income result against the poverty line with the $3.0 taper rate and got figures of 428,041 pensioners.

6/ tabulated the results.

Conclusions. (again using couple Home owner)

1/ The simplistic $1 million argument is just that simplistic. If that was a problem why not just cut off the Pension at $900,000.

75% of $900,000 is $675,000. Put out at 3% (deeming rate) the return is $20,250 (a risk adverse investment) Add the part pension of $11,465 and you have a total of $31,715 or $609.90 per week. The full pension without the Electricity supplement is $33165.60. This example is using a taper rate of $1.5.

When this is done under the proposed changes the calculation is done without the part pension because it has cut out at $823,000 of assets. So the return is $20,250 at 3%. Or $389 per week. A reduction of $220 per week. AND UNDER THE POVERTY LINE.

These people will have no choice but to live off their capital and then move back onto the pension as it depletes. Even using a figure of 100% of the assets invested (which is not possible) the return is $27,000 per annum and $519 per week income. STILL UNDER THE POVERTY LINE

 

Just this example explains why the Labor party made the right decision to oppose the Pension changes.

2/ My calculations are conservative. When I did my Poverty line calculation under the existing taper rate, I did not take into account living expenses which the ACOSS report did.

Note: This research deducts housing costs (rent, mortgage payments and rates) from income before calculating the me­dian income on which the poverty lines are based (which reduces the poverty lines) and then deducts each household’s own housing costs from their income (which reduces household incomes) when calculating rates of poverty. The figures quoted above are before housing costs have been deducted. Page 9.

 

ACOSS said that 15% of Aged pensioners in 2011-12 were in poverty. If this had not moved that figure would be 527,726 before the changes (15% of 3,518,176 persons in Morrison’s tables). My figure was 41,502 persons before the changes and 428,041 after the changes. But I did not remove the ACOSS amounts above. So the chances are that there will be close to 1 million pensioners (actually 914,265 pensioners.) under the poverty line. (If they just used their capital as an investment and didn’t draw down on it).

3/ These changes allow 170,000 people to have more pension but reduce the pension or remove it completely from 362,523 pensioners. The majority of pensioners stay the same.

4/ 62% of pensioners are home owners and it is this group who are affected most by these changes, even though they are the group who have arranged their own accommodation (during their life) by buying a house. Those people who haven’t done that in their lives need to be compensated more because they are allowed more allowable assets before the taper rate kicks in.

5/ A million dollars sounds like a lot of money. But the reality is that it is not. And not all of the assets counted can be used to generate income.

Below is the table I used to generate the overall figures. This comes from one of four spreadsheets.

Assessable Assets Age Pension received at current $1.50 taper rate* Age Pension under rebalanced asset test measure *     Number of pensioners with assessable assets in specified range Weekly Income from 75% of Assets and Pension @ $1.50 taper rate Weekly Income from 75% of Assets and Pension@ $3.00 taper rate Increase/Decrease in weekly income Number of pensioners affected with reduction in Weekly earnings Number of pensioners below poverty line 1.5 Number of pensioners below poverty line 3.0 Increase in number below Poverty Line
Reduction (increase) in pension income received Assessable asset range
$100,000 $34,923 $34,923 $0 $0 – $99,999 523,361 $714.87 $714.87 $0.00 0 0 0 0
$200,000 $34,923 $34,923 $0 $100,000 – $199,999 291,978 $758.13 $758.13 $0.00 0 0 0 0
$300,000 $34,865 $34,923 -$59 $200,000 – $299,999 197,580 $800.29 $801.40 $1.12 0 0 0 0
$400,000 $30,965 $32,973 -$2,009 $300,000 – $399,999 116,281 $768.56 $807.17 $38.62 0 0 0 0
$451,500 $28,956 $28,956 $0 $400,000 – $499,999 81,637 $752.21 $752.21 $0.00 0 0 0 0
$500,000 $27,065 $25,173 $1,892 $736.83 $700.44 -$36.38 40818.5 0 0 0
$600,000 $23,165 $17,373 $5,792 $500,000 – $599,999 59,992 $705.10 $593.71 -$111.38 59992 0 13500 13500
$700,000 $19,265 $9,573 $9,692 $600,000 – $699,999 46,640 $673.37 $486.98 -$186.38 46640 0 15750 15750
$800,000 $15,365 $1,773 $13,592 $700,000 – $799,999 36,528 $641.63 $380.25 -$261.38 36528 0 18000 18000
$823,000 $14,467 $0 $14,467 $634.32 $356.11 -$278.21 18264 0 18517.5 18517.5
$900,000 $11,465 $0 $11,465 $800,000 – $899,999 28,358 $609.90 $389.42 -$220.48 28358 0 20250 20250
$1,000,000 $7,565 $0 $7,565 $900,000 – $999,999 21,865 $578.17 $432.69 -$145.48 21865 21865 22500 635
$1,100,000 $3,665 $0 $3,665 $1,000,000 – $1,099,999 13,401 $546.44 $475.96 -$70.48 13401 13401 24750 11349
$1,200,000 $0 $0 $0 $1,100,000 AND GREATER 2,830 $519.23 $519.23 $0.00 0 2830 27000 24170
*based on projected pensin rates at 1 January 2017.
265866.5 38096 160267.5 122171.5
18.72%
1,420,451

 

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17 thoughts on “Political Honesty. Does it exist in Australia? Here is a detailed example of why it doesn’t.

  1. Many thanks, Vince, for your hard work in compiling & interpreting these stats. As is alway with the egregious Abbott government, the devil is in the detail. Any legislation they propose should be run through with a finetooth comb several times before being passed.

    Even worse is the compliant media badmouthing Labor for trying to protect us & allowing Abbott to spruik his measures like a snake oil salesman without any challenge.

  2. Thanks Joy,

    I have now been banging on about the same thing for 6 weeks. Firstly I was shouted down at a Labor party branch meeting for bringing up the consequences of meddling with existing Asset limits (proposed by ACOSS), The person who did so subsequently apologised to me personally and in public at the meeting. A measure of his courage in saying he was wrong. My esteem for him is greater than it ever was. After this a few more people came on board after they had begun to ask me specific questions about what would happen to this person or that person in these or those circumstances. Then I decided to write a spreadsheet for each of the pensioner types, Couples with a home, couples without a home, singles with a home and singles without a home. Each has a different allowable asset level. I tabulated the result and that was the last blog https://vinceogrady.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/summary-of-the-pensioner-asset-changes-in-the-2015-budget-are-they-fair-and-balanced/ . still that didn’t seem to hit the spot. many people who read it via twitter complained that I wasn’t dealing with facts. Even though I had sourced all of my research. many of these people were actually dishonest liberal Trolls who were only interested in discrediting me. One guy actually said what I had said about 15% was really 14%, necessitating me to go to the report and actually print out the correct reference of 15%, just to show my Bona fides. That may seem silly but people believe what they read, especially in this period of extreme political dishonesty. Then I wrote integrated spreadsheets which were capable of just inputting in the allowable assets, the taper rate and the rate of interest. I also made some assumptions which I explained in the blog. Then I was able to see that someone (couple) with a million dollars of assets a actually were much worse off with weekly disposable income than someone (couple) with a lower assets level. Then comparing that weekly income against the Poverty report put out by ACOSS. in 2014 which showed 15% of pensioners in the 2011-12 data to be under the poverty line.

    The bit that most gets up my nose about this is the talk about millionaire. No single pensioner with a million of assets gets any pension. Couples with that level only get a part pension of $178 per fortnight and those without homes get $425 per fortnight. The Home ownership is irrelevant because the people with no home are allowed $433,000 rather than a home owner who’s taper commenced after $268,500. Couples also jointly own their assets so each has $500,000.

    Sorry to repeat myself, but if there is anything we can learn from the liberals is to reinforce the message. This one is truthful, their messages are not.

    You also might like to know that I sent all of my research to the greens and offered them copies of the spreadsheets. I am still waiting for a reply. yesterday I wrote to Senator Siewart again with a link to my latest blog. I think the horse might have bolted. I think they named their horse “GST moment”. I hear its a bit of a Nag.

    • If only Mainstream media were as dedicated as you are, Vince, in finding out the truth in these matters instead of just spouting or publishing, uncritically, Liberal press releases, no doubt straight from IPA. Seems you have some feisty branch meetings. lol (Ours is too small for that but a couple of the younger ones said “Whoa” when we mentioned the baby bonus & how bad that was for the budget. They can’t imagine not having it. )

      People will come to realise this .too late I fear & we shall end up with a second Abbott-led term. Imagine the damage & unrest that will cause. Cannot believe it when everyone you talk to shudders when saying how awful Abbott is but then most turn around & vote for their Lib/Nat candidate!!!

      As for the Greens, after their machinations here on NSW’s Nortth Coast during the recent state elections we no longer trust them. I shall never, ever preference them ahead of anyone except the CDP & Liberals or Nationals. They were a complete disgrace & acted appallingly. It became a vote for the Greens was a vote for the L-NP.

  3. i also spent 3 hours explaining it to another member who rang me and wanted to know what the full details were. He’s an ex school teacher and lecturers to trainee teachers also so it was a bit of a grilling. But then he is always assiduous in his detail. Which is the only way to develop Policy. I agree with you about the Greens. I was amazed doing some Election Analysis that at least 10% of them preferenced the liberals. In that analysis I also busted some huge lies. Said they had doorknocked 30,000 dwellings in one electorate, yet when i looked on the ABS stats there weren’t 30,000 dwellings in the electorate. Nor in the Election period would they have had time to do so unless they had an enormous amount of people.

    Most of the Greens I have met at booths have been nice people. The ones on line not so (but I will put in a caveat here, they may have been liberal trolls). Two of them called me a child killer, which I took great exception to. Asked for an apology and just got another lot of arrogant crap back.

    All relevant to the theme of Moral and political dishonesty.

    I suspect that you may be right about the Abbott second term. I will be trying my hardest to prevent that with fact rather than lies. I also agree about the repeating of the Liberal Press statement. That is what the Greens did with the pension statements from the Liberals. They just repeated them.

    Of course the only people this matters to are pensioners and they are very poorly represented, especially by ACOSS. But there again I see the liberal infiltrate and destabilise strategy and tactics. Same with the press.

    As an Ex Police Constable (1970’s in UK), I am amazed at the attacks on Bill Shorten. Under this Government the presumption of innocence has completely gone out of the door. Oh and do you remember the ditch the witch posters and bob brown’s bitch posters. It would have been possible in the UK when I was a copper to arrest them under Section 5 of the public order Act. Threatening, abusive insulting words or behaviour likely to cause a breach of the Peace.

    The laws are only written to keep the dishonest honest. This Mob are the Foxes in the Chicken house.

  4. Yes you are right. The media did not take Abbott, BBishop & Mirabella to task for proudly standing in front of those outrageus signs. That was disgraceful. Even now none have said a word. Complicit indeed!! Born-to-rule Liberals have always acted as if they are above the law. They are only for lesser beings.

    As for the Greens, here in the NSW Northern Rivers, they behaved as if they were on a war footing with an arrogant take no prisoners attitude . Not against the Nationals but against Labor. There wasn’t much pleasantry at some polling booths either. One Labor person told me she had a dreadful time with them covering up Labors signage etc, telling voters to only vote Green above the line & only no 1 on th lower house ballot meaning no preference flows. Others have said the same. It was dirty tricks to the fore & we expect more of the same at the next federal election, unfotrunately.

    • I do not agree with the Greens agreeing to the pension changes, in my view this is just one mistake however there are many mistakes made by the ALP as well. Personally I think the whole system is out of date, preferences only benefiting the two major parties and we end up in a preferences nightmare which brought us Ricky Muir in the 2013 federal election. If you put your preferences to Motor, Family first, Sex , Shooters or god knows what party that is your choice but your rant about the Greens is just stupid…..

      • MY rant?!? Just stupid?!? How dare you make this personal!! You know nothing about me nor have absolutely NO IDEA as to how certain members of the Greens behaved in the NSW Northern Rivers electorates at the last state election!! Their behaviour was outrageous. Am I cranky about them? You had better believe it!! This little black duck will NEVER trust a Green ever again For your information, I am yet to speak to anyone, politically involved, in our region who has a good word to say about their dodgy tactics.

        Now THAT’S a rant!!

  5. Pingback: Political Honesty. Does it exist in Australia? Here is a detailed example of why it doesn’t. | sand49

  6. Dear Vince – This is an important discussion, but unless I have missed something, like other commentators you seem to have nothing to say about the effect of the changes on those like us with defined benefit pensions. We own our own average price home, have a small amount of cash in a rollover fund, and our only “asset” is a defined benefit DB pension. We have contacted a FIS officer with Centrelink and the changes will cost us $4000 + $4000 per year. We see two problems: First, we decided in good faith on a DB pension years ago and can do nothing now. Several other changes that have been made were “grandfathered”, but this one was not. Nobody seems to notice the unfairness of this when dealing with pensioners. Second, the Greens for example say about people losing $8000: ” These are people who both own their own home and have at least than $550,000 (half a million!) in assets as well.” With DB pensions, the “asset” is not like the allocated pension, where you can change how much you draw down to cover for the money removed by Centrelink under these changes. The way the change hits us is that NOW for purposes of the CLink assets test our DB income is assessed as 50% of what we get. Under the changes these assessments are capped at 10%. Any comments??
    PS. Thanks for you info on ACOSS. Somebody has gotten to them, or the leaders have been conned into doing a deal with the Devil like the Greens. This creeping takeover of alternative vloices is a big part of our problem. I bet some in ACOSS, like the Greens, thought they could get some “influence” with the LNP by doing a “deal”. They get their moment of glory but they have sold their soul to the Dark Side!!

  7. hos1911 Thanks for your comment(s).

    As you are well aware this is an area where the rules are arcane and also it is very difficult to understand.

    I was first alerted to the changes when I read the ACOSS submission (written in Feb 2015) about their idea of the changes, which were to reduce the Couple Allowable assets down to $150,000 and increase the taper rate to $2. many people do not understand how this works and so when the changes actually happened I just stuck to what the government had actually said, which was about Assets. The piece I wrote before this one gives a table of the summary of Pensioners. and how they are affected.

    I took my original ideas along to the Labor party branch and explained them in a short period of time ( But i did not explain them well, because I am still recovering from Neck surgery). One of the participants said that they could not believe that Dr Cassandra Goldie would not do such a thing.

    They seemed not to get that those pensioners would be losers or that whether a pensioner couple or single own their own home is entirely irrelevant to the discussion. The reason I say this is because the Allowable assets for a home owner are already lower than the allowable assets for non home owners. It could also be argued that home owner should not be punished because they in fact are saving the government money. They have their own home and don’t have to be supported by Government.

    However I persevered and when the Budget came down with the changes I modeled the whole thing on 4 spreadsheets and then integrated them with what I wrote about above and the return from those assets and the part pension against the Poverty line for Singles and Couple Homeowners. I used home owners because they are the 62% of total pensioners. I used the Government figures.

    As you can see there are a lot of Home owners who are badly off. Firstly because of the interest rate and secondly because of the changes to the taper rate.

    So why didn’t I mention the Income Test? After hours of work to present the changes in a believable form, I didn’t want to confuse the reader anymore about the Income test. So i didn’t write about it.

    A friend of mine rang a couple of weeks ago asked if he could meet and me explain the whole thing. He’s an ex teacher and so gave my workings the once over. Three hours later he agreed that it was unfair and we both agreed that something needs to be done about sustainable retirement incomes.

    I didn’t know that the DB scheme had been changed and it is awful that you will have a loss of $4000+ per annum income. $77 a week.

    As an aside I would like to make a comment about the people with assets from which they can get a return. At present the deeming rate is 3% and if you have a million of financial assets that will deliver you a return of $30,000 per annum about $3,000 below the pension and for a couple $576 per week, below the poverty line which is $600 per week. (I haven’t taken out housing costs out of this so it is conservative). The Pension at the old $1.50 taper rate gave this couple a part pension of $178 per fortnight (if they owned their own home) Which put them up to a combined income per week of $666.00, above the poverty line.

    I don’t know your income but you should do this calc too.

    The other thing which occurred to me is that the capital is not keeping pace with inflation and so is diminishing, because it is being eroded by inflation. Drawing down is not a good idea because it diminishes the Capital and it’s ability to earn interest.

    Another, and the last thing I will say is that if the economy were going “gang busters” (a favourite liberal saying), and the interest rate were 6% the example above would give an interest return of $60,000, but the couple would get no part pension, because the income Test would kick in rather than the assets test. That is the “Fair and balanced” way. It is supposed to work.

    And really finally 2 other things.

    1/ The reason that Costello dropped the taper rate was not because they were re-pleat with cash, but because the $3.00 taper rate was a disincentive to save for retirement. So that is another Lie.

    2/ If the Liberal government were as good at running the economy as they claim then this would not be a problem for people because the interest rate would be higher. However they are not good economic managers and they are adding to the already 15% of pensioners who live below the poverty line.

    Even the greens Green Left weekly don’t think its a good idea.

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/59303

    I had hoped by writing to Senator Rhiannon that she would actually read my arguments, however I received a response a couple of days ago, which reiterated the liberal logic for the changes. a whole lot of stuff which referred to a Myths and Facts which should have been inverted to Facts and Myths.

    A stupid decision by the Greens and one helping Tony Abbott break another election promise. “No changes to pensions”

  8. Dear Vince – Thanks for the extra infomation in your reply. I read the Green Left article earlier. I wonder how widespread the disapointment is within Green ranks? I think the LNP wants to destroy the “middle class” as we have seen in the US. But will the Australian people see through the spin in time??

  9. Reblogged this on sand49 and commented:
    This a very careful analysis to the changes to the Australian Aged Pension. The devil is in the details. What the Australian government is criminal.

    • Thanks Jean,
      As you can see from the amount of work involved the pensions system grew into a fairly good and balanced system. That is why deeming accounts were opened and a deeming rate struck. When interest payments were high then part pensions would be adjusted and lowered but when they are low as they are nowadays then the amount of the part pension is raised so that the people don’t fall into the fat. The Full Pension is 33,000, considered liveable for a couple who own their own home. If they have a Million Dollars worth of Financial assets which they can put out to Interest, the rate I chose in the article is 3% (now it’s more like 2%). I chose that rate because it is the least risky. Granted you could choose a more risky option which proports to give a better return over time. (more on that below). So investing $1 Million @ 3% you could get $30,000 return or for that couple $576 per week and UNDER THE POVERTY LINE OF $600 PER WEEK. If, in good times it were 6% return then the return would double and that couple would have $1152 per week. In neither case do the couple get a part pension to raise above the poverty line. They don’t need it in the 2nd case but do in the first. What the Greens did by helping the Liberals pass this was in effect (when it comes into force on Jan 1st 2017) place a whole swag of pensioners under the Poverty line.

      I said (more about this below) when talking about more risky rates. When the 20 year anniversary of the Super scheme came in the CPA did a review. In one table they took the Average weekly earnings and the Super guarantee paid and invested it at the two rates for balanced and fixed return. At the end of the 20 years the Balance for the investment in the Balanced account was $91529 and the fixed was $92993. looking at some of the fabulous interest rates in some years for the balanced account you would think people would tend to choose that account, but when you look at the years where losses occur (negative interest rates) then the fixed account delivers overall. Remember compulsory Super has only been going for 24 years. (at various levels of Super guarantee, held down by the liberal government. Here is the document https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi0zI3VgZDNAhUJk5QKHf16ClgQFggnMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cpaaustralia.com.au%2F~%2Fmedia%2Fcorporate%2Fallfiles%2Fdocument%2Fprofessional-resources%2Fsuperannuation%2Ftwenty-years-superannuation-guarantee.pdf%3Fla%3Den&usg=AFQjCNHslwBUDJr6DRIM7AzcvtzAL2VVyg

      • Some Greens voters have no idea how bad these changes will affect them when they retire. They have been conned which won’t be a good outcome for the Greens in the future. The main thing is to try to get this information out in understandable form because it is very complex. My husband Ken is trying to come up with a summary of your conclusions. God we have a fight on so many fronts.

  10. I suppose the best benchmark is the Poverty line. Will any changes to the retirement income sector allow people to live above the poverty line? That’s the test. And it’s just not a little bit above that line in these circumstances, it’s a lot because I, unlike the ACOSS report never took living expenses into account. Which leads onto another issue. How can you reign in cost of living rises. Good start is to keep Utilities in public hands. I considered this here https://vinceogrady.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/cost-of-living-increases-and-the-policies-which-drive-them/

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