The aged are sucking the Budget dry

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By Leith van Onselen

One of the most satisfying aspects of being a commentator is exerting a great deal of time and effort pushing a reform idea, and then finding that idea taking a life of its own, even if by coincidence.

Over recent months, I have argued repeatedly that Australia’s retirement system is both inequitable and unsustainable, and desperately in need of fundamental reform (see posts under here and here). The core of the problem lies in:

  1. Australia’s superannuation system, which provides too many tax advantages to those whom need it least – i.e. higher income earners – whilst providing minimal tax concessions to lower income earners. The end result is a system that costs the Budget a fortune in lost revenue, but does very little to relieve the pressure on the Budget from the aged pension.
  2. Exception of the family home from the assets test for the aged pension, which results in many wealthy retirees receiving the aged pension despite being more than capable of taking care of themselves.

As a solution to these problems, I proposed the following reforms:

  1. Axing the flat 15% tax on superannuation contributions in favour of a flat 15% concession. This would: 1) provide all taxpayers with the same taxation concession, thereby improving equity; 2) boost lower income earners’ super savings, thereby reducing reliance on the aged pension; and 3) reduce overall costs to the Federal Budget.
  2. Means testing all of one’s assets (including the family home) when working out who receives the pension.

On Friday, Business Spectator’s new economics writer, Callum Pickering, echoed my reform proposals and also included the Productivity Commission’s sensible suggestion to raise the retirement age to 70.

And over the weekend, the Grattan Institute released a new report that as its centrepiece argues to raise the pension age to 70, limit superannuation tax benefits for higher income earners, and include the family home in the pension assets test, which it claims would save the budget around $27 billion a year.

The Grattan Institute forecasts that the Federal Budget deficit could hit $60 billion per year by 2023, or up to 4% of GDP, due mostly to rising health and welfare costs. It argues that the only part of the tax and welfare system that is not well targeted is for old people. As such, subsidies for older people need to be far better targeted.

Superannuation is a particularly large problem. While the system was originally designed so that a younger generation could pay for its own retirement, it has instead become a mechanism whereby older people pay less tax given their income than everybody else, with the lion’s share of benefits also overwhelmingly going to richer people (see below charts).

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The Grattan Institute proposes capping concessional superannuation contributions to $10,000 a year, instead of $35,000 currently. This would raise around $6 billion a year and have almost no impact on the bottom 20% of the population.

The report also notes how aged care expenditure is around $38 billion a year, with half of that going to people who have more than half a million dollars in assets (see below charts).

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The core of the problem is the exemption of the family home from the pension assets test. In addition to being inequitable and unsustainable, the system also encourages an inefficient use of the housing stock by encouraging retirees to stay in their large family homes because the minute they sell it they will fail the assets test for the pension.

The obvious solution, therefore, is to include the family home in the means test for the pension, which would save the Budget around $7 billion per year, according to Grattan.

The Grattan Institute notes that none of these reforms will be easy, but they are vital to Australia’s long-term prosperity and to ensure the integrity of the Budget. I will add that with Australia’s population ageing, and the vested interest pool of older retirees continuing to grow, it would also be wiser to act now rather than delaying reform.

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    • “Superannuation was originally designed so a younger generation could pay for its own retirement”

      i.e. so that they could save and invest for the many years required without paying much tax over those many years until retirement when their super pension would be taxed like any other income.

      “Instead, it has become a mechanism that means older people pay less tax given their income than everybody else,”

      The seeds of this corruption of the super tax system were sown by Keating when he introduced the 15% tax on contributions (and super fund income) that was supposedly compensated for by giving a 15% rebate on super pension income tax.

      That was sort of OK but it was hugely corrupted into the above by Costello making super pensions tax free, one of the most appalling tax breaks in Australian history.

      • You betcha…

        and their aint nothin below that takes anyone away from that fundamental point.

        Either those babybooming pontificators are responsible and accountable for the largesse they have feasted upon or they arent. And if they arent, why should anyone else be?

        And when all is said and done that is how the game will play out – a simple numbers/power exercise. The boomers (or those in receipt of the largesse at least) will man the barricades in defence of their entitlements, one by one drifting out of contention as there remains nothing in it for them to defend at an individual level.

        Then one day someone will realise they dont have the numbers/power anymore, and we have the ‘no prisoners’ moment in reclaiming a balance on generational wealth. The trick for half those recipients of the largesse is to make sure they dont get caught in the <49% – because those guys might get scalped.

        And their main ally (currently) in defending the ramparts is the TestosterTone government making such a wonderful fist of everything it touches.

        Hang in their fellas, for the greater glory. I'll be back after the break with another beer and a bowl of nuts.

      • Well at least we’ll get to write their Epitaph:

        “Boomers – a plague of locusts to the last. Thank heavens they’ve taken to the skies, they’re God’s problem now.”

  1. It is not the old folks sucking up the funds, It is the younger folk not running with the ball, and looking for excuses instead.
    Unless the attitude of the young change, they have a very dim future. WW

    • Unless the attitude of the young change, they have a very dim future.

      You’re right, they need to become politically active and vote, rather than let the boomers run this country into the ground…

      • You’re right, they need to become politically active and vote, rather than let the boomers run this country into the ground…

        There you have it, Wiley….right there.


      • It’s pathetic when someone has an opinion that differs from your own? God forbid a young person be resentful of a generation that:

        * eliminated free higher education, as soon as they’d gotten theirs

        * consistently supports increases to the pension (but not any other form of social assistance), which will vastly exceed the amount of money they paid into it over their entire working careers

        * through a spectacular combination of greed and incompetence, brought us both the GFC and our current housing bubble

        * sat back and twiddled their thumbs while the planet was destroyed (even though they had more than enough scientific evidence to know better)

        * continues, even now, to preside over the slow sale of the country to foreign interests (while simultaneously killing off productive industry, replacing good jobs with McJobs).

        I don’t want much from the government – just the slightest hint of equity for the younger generations when setting policy; oh, and maybe that there still be a country and a planet here by the time my grandchildren are born.

      • Thanks. I find debates are much easier when the opposing side fails to make a counter-argument and gives up.

      • General Disarray

        What speaks for itself is your pathetic response to matt03, Nunatak.

        He gave you a considered response after you called him pathetic and then you responded with another insult. If that was a battle of the generations it’s clear who the problem is.

      • You consider a list of specious, paranoid ramblings to be a “considered response”?

        We’re in more trouble than I thought.

        It certainly is clear who the problem is.

      • Agree with General Disarray,

        Nunatak, it’s your inability to provide any meaningful argument to Matt03t that is pathetic.

      • Go easy on him fella’s, as a boomer his frontal lobes are all withered, so being unable to collect his thoughts for long enough to post a reasoned logical argument, he has to fall back to rely on that part of the brain that hasn’t atrophied away, and which is all about how it makes him ‘feel’.

      • Nunatak you’re only quiet cause you know it to be largely true. You know you got a free education where we’re many of the young are starting life with a $100k debt.

        You know we have as a society gone the way of pursuing ‘easy money’ – forgoing any interest in wealth generation and actually serving the interests of eachother – and instead accumulated wealth through debt and speculation. You know that we’ve stopped borrowing to invest in capital and machinery and produce greater amounts tomorrow – and instead now borrow merely to own, hold and rely on a system pumping ever growing amounts of money into a limited number of asset classes.

        You know that the debt we have now makes the Great Depression look like a mole hill, and you know that 80% of our mines and 40% of our agriculture has been sold off (so far) to fund a CAD and live a life of consumption – without a care about tomorrow’s future.

        We all know these things. They’re not secrets. But every day we make decisions and we postpone doing things to make our country prosperous cause these things mean we have to make sacrifices today.

        But it is much less about what ‘generation’ we belong to and more about how entrenched we are in the system. Are we winning with the status quo? If so, we want to oppose change and we want to milk whatever we can from our position.

        The problem sadly is much deeper than just the boomers, its the greed within us all. All we have to defend against it is the ability to demand arguments that make sense and benefit us all, not just an elite few. And in our system, part of that means voting with your feet just like matt suggested.

        No I don’t see anything pathetic about wanting a party that represents the interests of those that are *not* entrenched Nunatak (I just unfortunately don’t see any such party propping up).

      • JohnsonM,

        Yes, I know that many of these problems exist.

        I admire those who would raise the issues, discuss them dispassionately, seek answers, and hope for more inspiring leadership.

        What I do not admire, and find pathetic in the extreme, is the mindless assertion that “The Boomers dun it”.

        You said it yourself:

        The problem sadly is much deeper than just the boomers, its the greed within us all.

        Now that I buy.

        Disco Stu – grow up.

      • Emess: what an apropos moniker! (sorry wrongly attributed I meant to reply to nunatuk)

        It’s a sophisticated (belonging to sophistry) line of argumentation to focus on the problem and not its cause or progenitors.

        Greed always existed, why is the boomer generation so much better at it than anyone else (your parents or your children!)

      • Owww Nanatak you gunna make me cry 🙁

        Maybe if you ole geezers hadn’t structured the economy such that the thought of taking a risk, like running for office or going out on your own, had to be balanced against the very real possibility of losing your house, you would see some leadership in that area.

        When house prices were 3.5 times income it was pretty easy to sock away enough of a float to take a punt for six months or so, on some venture or project. But when house prices are 7.5 times income that possibility largely gets shut off as you end up living from pay cheque to pay cheque.

        If your frontal lobes were a little less withered it might have been possible for you to take that little extra leap of logic.

      • Mig, the use of the word ‘sophistication’ in that way takes me down memory lane all the way to year ten…I think ‘cui bono’ was in year nine. Those were the good ole days.

        The problem seems to be that the starting point for the ‘analysis’ for want of a better term is a prior assumptions that ‘the boomers dun it’ – followed by the sort of accusations listed in this thread as apparent proof of boomers’ guilt.

        Hardly any of the assumptions stand up to scrutiny of even that year ten level of analysis.

        That is the problem I have with some of the discussion here. Frankly, it is somewhere near what I expect as the usual pap from Murdoch. If I want to pay for that, I could get it from Terry McRann or Robert Glottlestop.

      • Emess: I take issue with your supposition at least as regards my line of argumentation: my a priori assumption is not the ‘boomer dunit’, its ‘greed always existed’ — consequently the expansion of ‘greedy’ society achieved through the warp-speed financialization/globalization that followed the decimation of convertible gold standard – 72 – 99 (Glass-Steagle repealed) – was watched over by … you guessed it. Boomers. Q.E.D.

        And you guys, not my parents not any goddamn boomer I’ve ever had this discussion with will admit that simple fact!!

        Am I saying EVERY boomer benefited? Hell no! Am I saying the X&Y didn’t have more toys etc because of that debt orgy? Hell no!

        I am however saying that as long as the boomers continue to vote as block on these issues, the discussion around ‘greed dunit’ is pure shopistry I’m afraid. Rhetoric specifically designed to maximize inertia
        and abstract theorization with little ability to impact real life policy — the stuff of unionized sociologists if you will…

      • Only a very small proportion of boomers actually got to go to university. The vast majority were excluded by entrance quotas. Many of those that did go actually had to pay fees.

        When fees were re-introduced, there was a massive increase in university placement.

        So X and Y did have to pay fees, but on the other hand, actually had far more access to uni education than boomers ever had.

        Ok, so one of your points is not only misleading, it is maliciously so.

        So, given that there is one great big lie here Matt, why should I believe any of the other assertions?

        So the notion of

      • So what about all the Govt scholarships they use to hand out like tic-tacs?

        But really, why even bring up Uni degrees when back in the your day it wasn’t even a necessary prerequisite for getting your CV past the bin at the side of the recruiters desk?

      • What rubbish! Entrance qouta give me a break.

        They didn’t go BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T NEED TO! They could earn a decent income and get promoted just by going to work.

        But when they figured out they could saddle us youngens with debt to get a degree they pretty much made it mandatory to have one before they deined to give us job!!!!

        Goddamn arsehole boomer pr*cks

      • Tic tacs?

        Don’t worry about facts, eh?

        Maxed out at 25% of places.

        Makes no difference if total places are limited too.

      • Absolutely Mig – they carry on like going to Uni was some luxury that wasn’t afforded to them, when the reality is it’s become a necessity simply to open half the number of doors that they’ve blithefully sailed through (and then closed) right throughout their adult working lives.

      • As a BB I agree that much of the issues you castigate us for are valid. Do you really think that we are unconcerned by the world confronting our children and grand children. But; things change,life is different / devolving ??, life is always “hard”. One issue that peeves me is the constant claims about tertiary education fees. Of the 90 students I commenced secondary schooling with only 7 attempted their Matriculation / Year 12 and went to university, clerical / lower skill jobs were plentiful. Universities were for the “best and brightest” with specific career aspirations. Not, holding pens to constrain “unemployment”. Example, a bright local lass I know started Uni ( she says )this year; accruing HEC fees; studying PHOTOGRAPHY – that a bloody hobby. Why shouldn’t people pay for BS courses leading to Bs jobs, if any. Universities are now a “business” not a place of higher leaning. As a class BB’s are NOT loaded with superannuation ( when did that start generally again ) and don’t all hold NGed IP’s. They required 30% deposit when they bought their first house. Some of you high earners are in IT, when I started work ( 1968 ) there were TWO computers in the country. The international finance co I started with had ONE electronic calculator – bigger than your microwave. Most had no say in the explosion of consumer credit during the 90’s.
        Most BB’s did what everybody does – their bloody best – not good enough to be sure.
        Rant over.

        Now I agree with UE’s proposals generally, even if they may have some impact on myself. One issue that concerns me is this retirement age stuff. Why can’t we treat retirement as just a form of unemployment and treat it thusly.

      • Although I sympathize with your views there, and believe me I look up to a lot boomers – as IT/Software geeks I look up to those guys at AT&T/Bell Labs, at IBM, at JPL, at all the universities and research institutes (CERN et al) that gave me the internet and so much of modern life.

        Believe me I admire many, many boomers (not rock or film or any of that crap) and I certainly don’t blame individuals – but I take a darker view of history and to me the necessitation for a degree and then ever more degrees (MBAs/Phds etc) was a successful strategy employed by boomers to keep the next generation at a competitive arms length.

        Sorry but I am that cynical…

      • Those individuals / corporates with the power, wealth and vested interest have and always will screw EVERYBODY else. The ageism thread hear is mindless generalizing BS.

        Look too the movie “Wild in the Streets” for the solution.

      • You’re right, they need to become politically active and vote, rather than let the boomers run this country into the ground…
        They need to pack up and emigrate to greener shores, and leave the boomers to reap what they have sown.

    • General Disarray

      “Sucking up the funds” wouldn’t be the term I’d use but it’s really hard to see how the older generation have not been the beneficiary of a massive wealth transfer via housing.

      If you’re going to blame it on the youngsters looking for excuses and “not running with the ball” it would be nice to have some evidence presented to support that.

    • While I don’t agree with your generalisation, something did occur to me while watching the Keating interviews last week that fits with this theme.

      Keating was 39 when he because Treasurer, as was Peter Costello. This put a bit of a rocket under me, given I’m that age now.

      But there’s a bunch of people my age and younger that I’ve known in the major political parties over the years. What I suspect there is, is a swell of BB’s that massively outnumber them and effectively hold the control of them with their own interests at heart.

      A case in point would be the deposing of Malcolm Turnbull over his support for Rudd CPRS. The rage in the Liberal party about the issue almost certainly came from older members.

    • Interesting definition of ‘facts’

      When does the trial start?

      Subject to the passage of legislation, the trial will commence on 1 July 2014 and will be closed to new customers from 1 July 2017. The trial will then be reviewed.

  2. “The Grattan Institute proposes capping concessional superannuation contributions to $10,000 a year, instead of $35,000 currently. ”

    If you go down this road people will put no more than the Super Guarantee in … Then any money over that will go into negative gearing.

    • innocent bystanderMEMBER

      wtf. I don’t get that. Is that what the report said?
      Concessional contributions includes the employer contributions so workers are limited to $10k pa? Then there is no way come retirement they will have enough in Super to be self funding. If the 15% tax is changed to a 15% concession (which I think they should) then there will be no incentive to contribute non concessional amounts to be locked away til retirement as athalone suggests above.

  3. No mention of public service unfunded pension liabilities some suggest $500 billion is the unfunded liability in all states.
    I know several public servants who are looking at $100k a year defined benefits. What do all those recently departed politicians cost the tax payer for the next 30 years ?

    • I know guys at 49/11 walking away with this sort of excess. $100K+ p.a. indexed for the rest of their lives, then 80% to the spouse till he or she dies, plus a lump sum aswell. It could be worth $6m depending on how long they live and probably twice their actual earnings prior to retirement! That’s the old CSS at work.

      • A decent government would cut these ridiculous defined benefits.
        Any complaints? Gough Whitlam is still alive, address your complaint to him.

  4. It seems to me that this is not so much a problem of the aged sucking the Budget dry, but more so is middle-aged rortists collecting huge salaries and capital gains and using the superannuation system to avoid paying tax – tax that would somewhat lessen the damage their rorting does to the country. It is a rort on top of a rort.

  5. Politicians are old people who live in massive houses. They will never shoot themselves in the foot.
    When a decision has to be made to put the country first or oneself first, politicians always choose oneself.

  6. Interesting title to your blog Leith. It appears that you are rent-seeking masquerading as equity champion.

    The vast majority of the discussion on MB concerning matters such as superannuation, negative gearing, first home buyers, etc. seems to be driven by opinion-based equity arguments. That is, the arguments can be summarised by: “It’s unfair what them boomers got so we should take away from them now so that we too can partake of the good life”.

    By definition, equity-based arguments and opinions are neither right nor wrong.

    What is sad about the arguments being put forth is that they rarely consider the broader impacts of the proposals being put forward. The Grattan report clearly neglects to think about anything other than the first-round effect of tax savings. It would be great to see some analysis of the report itself rather than blindly accepting its verdict because it matches your own.

      • Well that depends on your point of view.

        The main issue is that a generation of pigs have had their snout in the trough by way of overly generous tax deductions, or through constantly dolled out middle class welfare hand outs.

        This same generation has also managed to game the property market, such that adequate construction of new homes as pretty much ground to a halt, which has been a massive benefit to existing land holders – largely boomers.

        Funnily enough, as evident in comments such as yours, they tend to see that their large munificent windfall can’t be attributed to anything other than their lifetime frugality and hard work.

        To top it off, they’ve gamed the super system to such an extent that rather than being viewed as a adjunct to the existing old age pension, a large majority of them tend to view it as some sort of end of working life Lotto payment, and then proceed to blow the lot on i) paying off the mortgage; ii) expensive overseas holidays; iii) the pokies down at the pub, before going on the tote and signing up for the old age pension.

        So is it a surprise that anyone outside of that privilaged, and very greedy generation, gets a little tired of of walking along the denuded path behind them?

      • Sorry to dissapoint Disco Stu. I’m coming well after the boomers so don’t try that “attack the person” rubbish. It really demeans you.

      • Ah, so do tell – what are negativities associated with the broader impacts of the Grattan institutes suggestions?

        The main one I see is that the majority of the impact will be felt by younger generations than those currently making off with the booty bag.

        Never-the-less, most of the suggestions still appear reasonable and are long, long overdue. But please feel free to expand on those negativities.

    • Well Kovaccm, I think MB have made a pretty strong case for many of the changes. I’d like to hear your response to their proposed change to taxation of super (which I think is an excellent suggestion).

      The case to me seems pretty simple, the flat tax in super of 15% is a greater benefit to people who have:
      1. a high marginal tax rate, and
      2. large super balances

      Therefore, the super system as it currently stands benefits the wealthy the most. This is not really what it’s designed to do. We don’t need to be giving tax breaks to people with high incomes or millions in their SMSF.

      We do however need to have system that encourages a broad base of people to save for their retirement rather than relying on the pension, so that our future liabilities are reduced.

      The arguments against the change are largely administrative at this point – it’s too hard to implement differential tax rates on super accounts (which are standalone tax entities). That to me just says we need to improve the technological efficiency of the administration.

      Over to you.

      • It’s clear that MB have NOT put forward well-argued and clearly thought-out propositions. That was the point of my comment.

      • As opposed to your well-argued and clearly thought-out proposition of… well… how you “feel” about what they’ve said.

        Yup great point you’ve made there.

      • Ok DS, I’ll bite.

        Just two examples of possible issues that might be worth more than a handwave in a rational discussion:

        If government gets a big chunk of revenue from upvaluing housing. ie the higher the value of housing stock, the lower the pension outlay, why would government not work to actively increase house prices?

        Happy with that?

        Point is, that surely something as obvious as this should get a look in as a discussion point at least? At the moment, the discussion level is about AFR or Australian readership level. MB ought to be able to get over that rather low bar methinks.

        Another point. If government gets a foot in the door valuing the principal residence for age pensions, why not also use it for Newstart, child-care, Austudy, Family support payments etc etc etc? All points that could and should be included in an adult analysis.

        Personally, I would support an either/or situation. Either the principal residence is included in assessment of ALL government assistance, or NONE of it.

      • Actually not an unreasonable negativity Emess – however, I’d still rather deal with the possibility of higher house prices (which can still be combated via other programs or reforms) rather than the certainty of the large pension payments.

        As for newstart – well it has been a while since I had to apply for the Dole, but on the last occasion the application form did require me to wait a substantial period of time before I could claim.

        And with regard to all your other points that you think should be included on a means testing basis – sure, absolutely agree 100% with means testing the lot of them.

      • Means test everyone! Including f*&@ ing government!!!! Watch Yes, Minister if want a few humorous examples of what bureaucracy does with your money – unreported and unitimized

  7. My only beef with the primary residence part is the issue of target accommodation being inflated in the expectation of older buyers.

    Where I live there are a lot of old people and by the real estate listings you get a sense of what happens in the downsizing market.

    Their target downsizing accommodation – units, 2 bedroom, mostly concreted flat surrounds with a small garden are priced ridiculously in anticipation of that older buyer. So they’re not pocketing a thing in the downsize, just ridding themselves of the extra maintenance.

    And anyone with land left to subdivide in a decent area seems to have noticed this. Most of the construction here seems to be of these units and most are priced at and above the levels of the average house.

    • The other thing is that once governments get a bonus out of increased value for housing, they have reduced incentive for actions that will reduce house prices.

      So, if governments can shuck responsibility for age pensions by including house values as assets, why would governments not support higher house prices by any means possible?

      Add to that, reverse mortgages so that there is no inheritance left for the likes of the usual suspects, and I see a great outcome for not only the boomers, but also the budget bottom line. What is not to like?

      I have to declare my lack of interest here. I have no prospect ever of gaining an old age pension, house value included or not.

      Also, why not include the value of the principal residence for calculation of other benefits as well? Child care rebates/subsidies/Newstart/Austudy/Family Payments could also be included for a further budget windfall.

  8. “Key Facts

    Around 4.6 million Australians receive an income support payment of some kind from the Australian Government in the form of a pension or allowance (27 per cent of the population aged 15 years and over):

    in 2006–07, Australian Government expenditure on the income support system was $71.6 billion, or around 6.8 per cent of GDP
    77 per cent of Australians over the age of 65 receive income support, and 17 per cent of Australians aged 16–64 years
    59 per cent of income support recipients are women, and 58 per cent are single.

    Australia’s population is ageing: 13 per cent of Australians are over 65 years now, growing to 25 per cent by 2047.

    Even with the maturing of the superannuation system the proportion of retired Australians who receive the Age Pension will only decline slightly although many more will receive a part-pension in addition to their private income rather than relying upon the pension alone.

    Many pensioners rely on income support for long periods. The average total time on income support of current Age Pensioners is 13.1 years. For Disability Support Pensioners, it is 10.8 years and for Carer Payment recipients it is 7.6 years. In most cases, these pensioners have moved on to their current payment from another income support payment.

    Pension rates have grown by more than 2 per cent a year above inflation over the last decade, which is slower than average households (3 per cent), but higher than low wage earners (1 per cent).

    The single rate of pension is 60 per cent of the combined couple rate, lower than the average for major OECD countries (63 per cent).

    Most pensioners have low incomes: over half have less than $20 a week of private income, but some have higher incomes; 5 per cent have private incomes of over $400 a week.”

    • Thanks for that man: and who pays the most and draws down the least? Single males 31-55.

      But they had too good for too long right?

      • Liu MianzhiMEMBER

        So single males have the greatest financial capacity, but 59% of income support recipients are single females. Hmmm…

        Call Joe Hockey, stat! To save the budget, we need urgent government investment in alcohol, mood lighting and Barry White music!

  9. “The aged are sucking the Budget dry”

    We all know that, of course.

    The real question is why do they keep getting gifts from Liberal governments. The worst example was Costello’s gift of unlimited tax-free superannuation pensions. Anything more than getting rid of the RBLs (Reasonable Benefit Limits) was just plain stupid. We now have a stupid superannuation tax system but very few people understand why. Hockey continues the tradition of stupidity by getting rid of Labor’s mild attempt to claw back a small part Costello’s huge mistake.

    • The real question is why do they keep getting gifts from Liberal governments.

      This is rhetorical right?

  10. Great comment above:

    “You know that the debt we have now makes the Great Depression look like a mole hill, and you know that 80% of our mines and 40% of our agriculture has been sold off (so far) to fund a CAD and live a life of consumption – without a care about tomorrow’s future.”

    Yeah – those boomers did a cracker job. We have a country with a debt enslaved younger generation, that has sold (and is selling) all its assets and engaging in unfettered immigration growth to keep the asset owning generation wealthy. Oh yeah, nearly forgot – we do sweet f.all as well and make absolutely nothing in this country so there are nothing but bullshit rent seeker jobs.

    Haha yeah super work boomers. Keep it up.

  11. D’oh! Once again the feeble minded descend to boomer bashing.

    Time to recognize the truth: the things the feeble minded are complaining about were put in place by the pre-boomer generation of politicians, for the benefit of pre-boomers. The problem is that these changes are now rapidly becoming unaffordable as the boomers start to retire, because the boomers are far more numerous than their forebears. I agree that something has to be done. But please don’t blame the boomers for things the previous mob put in place.