Hockey talks gruel on super reform

By Leith van Onselen

Last night’s Q&A appearance should (but won’t) spell the death knell for Treasurer Joe Hockey.

On virtually all issues, the Treasurer was ham-fisted. While there are many examples of bumbling, Hockey’s discussion on negative gearing (see my earlier post) and superannuation concessions were amongst the most embarrassing.

After an audience member asked the following question on superannuation:

Retired baby boomers like me are consuming far too much of the Government pie and depriving younger people of essential services such as education, childcare, disability and public transport.

A wealthy retired person can have $12 million in superannuation, pay NIL income tax, and actually receive an ATO tax refund of $250,000 in franking credits.

What specific measures relating to superannuation concessions should be taken to restore fairness and sanity to the present ridiculous tax system?

Joe Hockey talked complete gibberish, stating that superannuation concessions overwhelmingly favouring the wealthy were not “middle class welfare” and that superannuation concessions are “their money. I’m always cautious about taking their money away from them”.

Does Mr Hockey not understand what a tax concession is? And if he is so concerned about taking people’s money away from them, how does he justify the hefty income tax increases that will be levied on younger workers to support the generous benefits for older generations, including through tax free superannuation to over-60s?

Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, was better (but hardly great). He at least acknowledged that superannuation concessions overwhelmingly benefit higher income/wealthier Australians, noting that 30% of concessions accrue to the top 10% of earners, which does not take pressure off the Aged Pension.

The Grattan Institute’s John Daley was, by contrast, excellent. He noted that a typical 65 year old pays less tax today than a decade ago and that superannuation has become a tax shelter for the top 20%. He also called for the contributions limit on super to be dropped to $10,000 and to tax over-65’s super earnings at 15% (the same as the general population).

Daley also sensibly argued that Aged Pension reform should focus on tightening eligibility (means testing), rather than cutting the rate, which would harm more vulnerable oldies.

Overall, another poor effort by Hockey, who was shown to be out of his depth and schooled by the other panelists.

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Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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Comments

  1. John Daley doesn’t have to worry about getting elected, so he can speak the truth.

    Just to be contrary, I don’t believe Pyne or Hockey are that stupid, it’s just that they believe in the indefensible: preserving the tax benefits of the top 10% while kicking everyone else.

    It’s just not what the electorate wants.

    What remains to be seen is if the electorate would swallow a genuinely equable arrangement. if they don’t get presented one we’ll never know.

    • I could believe that except he has made so many basic errors which can’t be explained by hidden agendas.
      Eg.
      – Stuffing up marginal v effective tax rates not once but twice
      – Saying poor people don’t have cars or don’t drive very far therefore don’t use much petrol
      – Now this comment saying removing a tax concession is taking their money away.

    • LMAO he didn’t even understand what was said to him when the rent prices fantasy was destroyed by basic reality.

      He simply couldn’t get his head around the fact.

      Sorry mate – Hockey and Pyne are morons – simple.

      A basic physical fact about conservatives is that there is a measurable brain difference, they are driven by fear. Its quantifiable.

      But more than that the conservative economic position of self serving always ends in income inequality and extreme inbalances in society which always terminate in revolution – that means specifically THEIR OWN execution.

      Stupidity at its finest.

      In contrast the smartest way of preserving wealth and increasing it over the long term is strengthening your society and improving the well being of those around you in order to increase your own potential for profit and prevent revolution there by handing it on to your offspring.

      In other words social policies are by SHEER LOGIC smarter and conservative by sheer undeniable fact stupid.

      The only reason we continue to fall back into the loop is because stupidity just wont die out.

    • OK what you’ve said is pretty persuasive.

      But I suppose you could argue i these situations there are three types of wrong.

      The wrong that comes from being an idiot.
      The wrong that comes from believing in “established wisdom” or “common sense” and not having the ability to think otherwise
      The wrong that comes from trying to shore up a position which you know is wrong but you’re holding onto however tightly you can.

      I suppose the latter two types of wrong shouldn’t blind me to the first one.

  2. ‘Retired baby boomers like me are consuming far too much of the Government pie and depriving younger people of essential services such as education, childcare, disability and public transport’

    All those things listed in fact cost a great deal and today’s young are well provided for in that regard. Tomorrow’s young may not be so lucky. Like everyone else, today’s young want more…lol not so much difference between the generations after all.

    Hockey has been a routinely poor performer in the current Government. He is not alone.

    • flyingfoxMEMBER

      All those things listed in fact cost a great deal and today’s young are well provided for in that regard.

      They shouldn’t and they aren’t. In fact many of these stem from high housing costs. Childcare is certainly one!

    • “…today’s young are well provided for in that regard. Like everyone else, today’s young want more…lol not so much difference between the generations after all”.

      Well provided for? For example:

      1) record youth labour market underutilisation.
      2) record housing unaffordability.
      3) record high (and rising) education costs.

      What planet are you living on?

      • Education childcare disability and public transport.

        Each a great cost to the public purse. The ‘young’ have access to each and all. Higher education may require some monetary sacrifice down the track, traditionally lifetime wage advantage of higher ed compensates – will not always be the case, choose your degree carefully.

        Agree housing costs are high, youth unemployment too, but they were omitted from the equation . That said, from reading comments here, it seems many young relish the prospect of boomer collapse to ensure the young get a step on the property ladder. Never underestimate self interest.

      • “Higher education may require some monetary sacrifice down the track, traditionally lifetime wage advantage of higher ed compensates – will not always be the case, choose your degree carefully.”

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-16/parker-uni-deregulation-ideological-motives-laid-bare/6323014

        Australian taxpayers contribute one of the lowest proportions in the developed world to their universities, with the balance being picked up almost entirely by students who borrow their contribution from the taxpayer. Universities Australia in a submission to the Senate earlier this month estimated that in 2011 Australia ranked 30 out of 31 OECD countries for public investment as a percentage of GDP. There is no sense in which the taxpayer is being milked.

        Universities Australia also argues that Australian universities face a long-term sustainability problem, but since 1947 vice-chancellors have been arguing that they need more money (even whilst our system became one of the best in the world), and if public investment rose even to the OECD average, our strength would be assured for a generation.

      • Education should (and could) cost bugger all. Most courses can be taught in a cheap and nasty demountable fibro shack with a bunch of students sitting around listening to an engaging teacher. And you could get exactly the same quality outcome as the ivy league sandstone institutions.

        Starting a debt-for-education arms race will just force students to bid up the price of what has essentially become a fashion/prestige item, with the price being set according to what you can afford to borrow, and nothing to do with the value of the services provided.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        boomer collapse to ensure the young get a step on the property ladder. Never underestimate self interest.

        You assume that they think of property as a ladder. Some might. To other it is just a lifetimes worth of debt slavery to put a roof over their heads. This feeds into every walk of life and make this country so unproductive.

        Don’t want a boomer collapse but to get things heading in the right direction again. Actually get people in power who have the future of the country at heart rather than their property portfolios or the interests of certain groups, whether they be rentiers or the boomers.

      • What planet are you living on?

        Planet 3d1k. The planet where black is white, up is down, gravity pushes instead of pulls.

        You name it, everything is arse about on Planet 3d.

      • Demountable fibro shack? Luxury!
        I went’t uni in old rubbish tip. We had to fight the rats for a place to sit, and if an assignment was late, the lecturer poured raw sewage on our heads.

        Engaging teacher in Australian higher ed? Good luck.

      • @Gral

        My assumption is that at some point in the future university education will be very flexible and very cheap for most generic type degrees.

        Sandstones will retain a core centres of excellence, research etc.

      • Starting a debt-for-education arms race will just force students to bid up the price of what has essentially become a fashion/prestige item, with the price being set according to what you can afford to borrow, and nothing to do with the value of the services provided.

        It’s a positional good, like a private school. You’re not going there for a better education, you’re going there for access to wealthy, powerful people.


      • You’re not going there for a better education, you’re going there for access to wealthy, powerful people.

        To be sure, there are many unis in Australia where wealthy powerful people are thin on the ground – most of the ones not in the G8. People like Pyne and 3d1k are well aware of this, and are hoping to see those institutions go the way of the dodo (as evidenced, for example, by 3d1k’s constant nauseating eulogising of sandstone unis).

        Hence, the unis with the strongest reputation for teaching (deserved or not), on average, are the ones most likely to attract students who aren’t there for the teaching, and vice versa.

  3. We need both parties to agree on tax reform :
    eg negative gearing and Superannuation.

    No one loses votes then.

    That is what they are worried about.

    They always talk about putting Australia first but are to self interested and no back bone.

    • All true.

      Unfortunately, Abbott has ensured that any chance of bipartisanship is well and truly “dead, buried and cremated.”

    • Both sides know perfectly well that they have to go for NG and super, but both sides are afraid to be the ones who speak up first and lose support over it.

      • Same applies to pensions. Basically, boomers need to be surgically removed from the national tit but no one has the guts to do the operation.

    • Wonderful. A proven fabulist being imported by the IPA I guess to give a lecture tour on “Lower them taxes: it failed before, but this time for sure”.

      Hey Rocky, watch me pull this rabbit out of a hat!

      • Yeah, magical stuff. 3d promoted Laffer’s visit a little while ago. Supply-side-pseudo-solutions.

  4. mine-otour in a china shop

    As a neutral observer who cannot even vote here, I have to say that would have been a particularly poor performance by a Treasurer or Minister of Finance of any country.

    He bumbled his way through the questions and policy responses, and instead of providing a lead, fell way behind the other panellists.

    I also hate the way he uses the phrase “we need to have a conversation”. The evidence has already been presented, many reports have been commissioned with clear actions presented, yet politicians continue to fudge necessary reform and take us back to the conversation stage.

    Reform is urgent, you are elected to lead and make decisions, not to babble your way through an hour of debate and confuse everyone.

  5. Hockey was appalling, especially on negative gearing. Bowen might have trotted out the “we won’t rule anything in or out line” but Hockey went straight for the repealing-negative-gearing-will-raise-rents lie.

    Worst. Treasurer. Ever.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Worst. Treasurer. Ever.

      completely agree…..

      Every time I look at the guy I have in my mind a packed MCG Crowd in full voice

      “We think your’e the worst ever treasurer’ ……(clap, clap, clap clap clap) – from the Members stand

      or

      ‘Hockey’s a w…ker’ ……(clap, clap, clap clap clap) – from all three tiers everywhere else around the ground.

      …..complete with mexican wave and punterariat working themselves to fever pitch.

      • He would throw a very aggressive temper tantrum in response. ‘Cause he has NDP (will I get sued?)

    • It was embarrassing especially in the face of Daley’s rebuttal.

      And how was the question on concessions! He went from a fair q’s on high income rentierism and inferred, strongly, that poorer people need to be wacked harder.

      It was ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING.

  6. innocent bystander

    “John Daley … also called for the contributions limit on super to be dropped to $10,000 and to tax over-65’s super earnings at 15% (the same as the general population).”

    just a Q?
    which contribution limit is he talking about here? concessional or non-concessional? or both? And how does this affect building a retirement nest egg that is big enough to generate returns that can replace the pension?

    • Obviously it will affect it pretty badly. What government wants to do is reverse the taxation benefits for optional contributions into super, so those at a lower wage who invest get more benefit. the lower income earners are more likely to require a pension later on, so we should be incentivising them to put as much money aside. Give up some tax now to reap rewards later, from the govts POV.

      Won’t happen though. Too simple, makes too much sense.

    • He said pre-tax so it’s concessional. So his suggestion is to bring it down from $35k to $10k. However, a bigger loophole being exploited by high income earners is the the non-concessional cap which is currently (2014-2015) $180K which can be brought forward two years worth of contributions giving people a total non-concessional contribution cap of $450K for the three years. Once the money is in Super, you pay no tax on earning (within super). Daley suggested that that should be changed so that you would pay taxes on those earnings.

    • Daley was fantastic but I did not agree with this comment. We should be encouraging higher contributions to a certain extent. The reality is that most people aren’t thinking about this until they are 50 years old and the mortgage is repaid and the kids have moved out. This gives them 10 years to save for an adequate retirement with the surplus cashflow to do so. limiting contributions to $10k seriously limits their ability to do so. If the current status quo is kept in place (where SG contributions also count) it means anyone earning over $100k salary can’ t make any extra contributions.

      Much more fair (and as promoted on this site) is allowing additional contributions but providing a 15% tax rebate, rather than flat 15% tax. This gives the incentives to contribute without making them overly generous for high income earners.

  7. It’s clear as crystal by now that Hockey is nothing but an ideologue who is all about ends not means. Upward wealth transfers are acceptable, downward are not. Tax breaks for the rich are fine since they concentrate wealth at the upper end of the income spectrum – where it naturally belongs. Not only is the guy economically illiterate, he couldn’t care less if he is. He knows what’s right.

  8. Hockey’s suggestion that capital gains discount was introduced so that we remain competitive compared to other OECD countries is fine as long as the investment which produced the capital gains is a productive investment. This should have been pointed out to him. Property investments using negative gearing are non productive investments and the fact that they are rewarded with a capital gains discount goes against the spirit of the capital gain discount purpose. In fact, it encourages non-productive investments and ultimately makes us much less competitive. It’s basic economics and not rocket science.

  9. I just don’t get why people are still surprised; these people are “elected” into office by the elite to work for the elite

    so where the surprise is coming from?

    • so where the surprise is coming from?

      People who think The Australian and Daily Telegraph are fair and balanced publications.

  10. Sorry, you are wrong.

    When Hockey said superannuation concessions favoring the wealthy were not middle class welfare, he was absolutely correct.

    It’s not middle class welfare at all. It’s upper class welfare!

  11. http://www.watoday.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julie-bishop-questions-first-budget-sales-job-in-full-abbott-government-ministry-meeting-20150317-1m0qr9.html

    “Foreign Minister Julie Bishop questioned the federal government’s handling of its first budget in a full meeting of the Abbott ministry on Monday night.

    In an embarrassing leak from just the second meeting of the full ministry for 2015, Fairfax Media has been told Ms Bishop raised her concerns about the sales job of the first budget with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.”

    O what a tangled web we weave ….

    So Monday night when Hockey is making a fool of himself on Q&A Julie (save the drug dealers) Bishop is bad mouthing him to the ministry ?
    Me thinks an ill wind is blowing for Hockey.

  12. the last 20 seconds of the clip are the key to this whole debate and I wish Hockey had been cornered with it earlier in the debate – Eligibility for aged pension.

    how can a couple living in a $10M house with $1M in other assets still qualify for a FULL PENSION!?????????

    well, Joe? address this first and foremost

  13. generally though, Joe you are way out of your depth in that interview and embarrassingly so

    you either totally miscomprehended the questions put to you, or didn’t like the line of enquiry to begin with – shame. you are the treasurer of the nation this should be your bread and butter what is your annual salary ??

  14. As a Baby Boomer of 67 years, I am also qualified to comment on Joe Hockeys Super comments on Late Line in response to the following statement from a ‘Boomer’.

    “Retired Baby Boomers like me are consuming far too much of the Government pie and depriving younger people of essential services such as education, childcare, disability and public transport.

    A wealthy retired person can have $12 million in superannuation, pay NIL income tax, and actually receive an ATO tax refund of $250,000 in franking credits”.

    Firstly, it has been purposely overlooked by this ‘Boomer’ that for most of our working lives (40 years) we paid significantly higher rates of Income Tax than Gen Y or X. In fact, I paid more than double the current average tax impost of 15-24%.. The maximum progressive rate of 60% was very quickly attained.. This was a major disincentive to working harder (overtime) or pursuing higher education. In my Leaving Certificate year of 1964, only 20% continued to matriculation and even less to University as a result.

    Secondly, it was not until Labor’s Paul Keating introduced compulsory Super Contributions in 1986 that Super came into focus. The tax on Super was over the years subsequently revised down to 15%. Retirement account balances began to grow. Up until this point, Baby Boomers had very little super accumulated for their retirement. There was, no financial incentive to save for retirement.

    It was the Liberal John Howard who finally recognised the massive problem facing the Fed. Government in funding the Pension for retiring Boomers. To address this looming catastrophy, comparatively large contribution amounts were introduced, whereby non-cessional (after tax contributions) of up to $2m were allowed between Spouses from the 10 May, 2006 to
    30 June, 2007. thereafter up to $450k over three years tax free. This solved the problem. Suddenly those over 50 could sell property or assets and contribute these amounts to their super to ensure a reasonable retirement-and wait for it-“get off the public purse”.

    I with many chose this popular option.

    Home affordability was the same as now, adjusted for inflation. How would Gen Y & X cope with Mortgage Interest rates of 17% in 1977. That was my P & A rate with United Permanent Building Soc. over a term of 25 years. My average mortgage Interest rate from 1969 to now, was 9-12% p.a.The peaks and busts are all part of the cycle historically.

    -There was no First Home Buyers assistance until the 1990’s-shock horror!
    -There was no Childcare Allowance until the -90’s.
    -Massive Disability Allowances were unheard of.
    -There was no paid 6 months fully paid Maternity Leave for Mothers & 3 months for Fathers
    -University & Higher Education was paid for by the student
    -To be unemployed and on the Dole was seen as the cop out for what it is.
    -Free Legal Aid was limited -not the rort it has become.

    –Social Welfare was a dirty word–Not an Etitlement !!

    Strange, we Baby Boomers did not consider ourselves hard done by.

    Successive Labor & Liberal Governments have institutionalised Social Welfare and Free Handouts to retain & win votes at the expense of taxpayers. This is the very real problem facing Australia and many Western countries.

    Lets face it – Australia has morphed into a Socialist small Democracy.

    So the foregoing clearly demonstrates that Baby Boomers had it a lot tougher than later generations in accumulating assets. We had to stand on our own feet.

    Boomers are not consuming too much, nor taking away from the young, because many are self sufficient, either self funded or drawing only a part pension. The demographic statistics prove it.

    So called Wealthy people are entitled to the tax concessions from their Super Funds in retirement. After all they worked and paid twice to three times the income tax in the first place with no free handouts and had the common sense to contribute to their super from after tax income and savings in later years.

    Young people have had it far too easy with parental and government handouts. Their level of lifestyle expectation as a result is completely unrealistic -much of it fueled by Australia’s long economic growth period. Most have not experienced a Recession.

    Joe Hockey was correct in his reply, simply because Super is of little benefit for the young until they reach 40-45 years.Their income is better directed to buying property and equities for growth and funding a family giving them access when they may need it. Then topping up Super in later years nearing retirement.

    It is a shame that most of this blog focuses on the currently popular “bag Hockey and Abbott” instead of independent thought considering the facts not fiction.

    • I think you’d find every single post-Boomer person on this site would happily return all of that middle class welfare in exchange for realistic property prices.

      • flyingfoxMEMBER

        Home affordability was the same as now, adjusted for inflation. How would Gen Y & X cope with Mortgage Interest rates of 17% in 1977. That was my P & A rate with United Permanent Building Soc. over a term of 25 years. My average mortgage Interest rate from 1969 to now, was 9-12% p.a.The peaks and busts are all part of the cycle historically.

        Depends on your definition of affordability. The rates have dropped, the principal has gone up. Moreover, for a short time period of 17%, you had a lifetime of inflation adjustment of your principal. When the rates dropped, did you income drop too?

        What are the chances that the current generation will see massive inflation whittle their principle down? High inflation is much more beneficial.

        UE here – real mortgage rates were negative throughout the 1970s. It was a dream time to buy a home. You lot also benefited from rampant price inflation that followed to the detriment of your kids.


        -There was no First Home Buyers assistance until the 1990’s-shock horror!

        Because you could afford to buy a house on a single income.

        UE here- There was a FHB in the early 1970s. I know, because my parents received one. Stamp duty was also miniscule


        -There was no Childcare Allowance until the -90’s.

        See above…

        -Massive Disability Allowances were unheard of.

        Your point being? They are still unheard of…

        -There was no paid 6 months fully paid Maternity Leave for Mothers & 3 months for Fathers

        See point 1…

        -University & Higher Education was paid for by the student

        Eh….it is now too…subsidised yes, free no!

        UE here – Wrong. Most boomers received free uni education


        -To be unemployed and on the Dole was seen as the cop out for what it is.

        Most see it that way now as well, not that you can survive on the dole

        -Free Legal Aid was limited -not the rort it has become.

        Seriously? Do you even know anything about this?

        –Social Welfare was a dirty word–Not an Etitlement !!

        Then you would have no problems ending the super concessions and lax pension asset tests.

        UE here – yet you mob have no problem gorging on super concessions or the Aged Pension, do you?

        Your claim about paying 60% income tax most of your working life also doesn’t pass the laugh test given this rate ended in 1985. You also enjoyed lower consumption taxes, stamp duties, and the like, and weren’t forced to forgo 9% of your salary into superannuation until later on

    • So let’s look at what the current generation of teenagers will have to face relative to your period of standing on your own feet.

      increase in house prices by a multiple of increases in weekly wages

      increase and expansion of the GST

      increased debt to fund education

      abolition of tariffs and enterprise bargaining arrangements which once supported local jobs at higher wages

      increasing compulsory health insurance premiums

      two income household requirement to make ends meet

      higher structural un(under)employment, and tougher access to lower (in real terms) unemployment benefits

      no first home buyers grant

      winding back of superannuation concessions as they hit their peak earning years

      … need we go on ?

      A generation was never gifted so much free wealth in the form of concessionary capital gains as yours, and you will vote in whatever Party necessary to maintain that wealth. The younger generations are right to despise you.

      Go f**k yourself.

      • You forgot to add almost complete desecration of our ecology and fisheries and wholesale abuse of nearly every river system in the country.

        And add to that unfettered sell-off of national assets, and national land.

    • Prior to Howards 1 million in 2007, there was no limit on non concessional contributions. There was a limit on concessionally taxed money that could be taken out of the system. This was known as the reasonable benefit limit, which was a formulae based on salary. This meant that that there was a limit on the amount of tax concessions. Costello got rid of that system in order to win the election for John Howard which didn’t work.

    • olaf bukowskiMEMBER

      just watching ABC “Making Australia Great:Our Longest Boom”

      1969 – u/e 40K, jobs unfilled: 45K

      life was sooooooo hard….

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Strange, we Baby Boomers did not consider ourselves hard done by.

      But how things have changed !

    • No way known you were paying a 17% mortgage rate in 1977. Firstly real rates were negative in the late 70’s – so it was a great time to buy a house, secondly there was a ceiling on nominal mortgage rates which I think was about 12-13%. This wasn’t removed until the banking liberalisation of 1986, where mortgage rates subsequently shot up to 17% (briefly).

      I’m not sure why you are even bothering with this. The Grattan institute has already established an intergenerational wealth transfer from x and y to the boomers. It is on the historical record now; you are wasting your time.

      Something I would be curious to see answered though: would you also agree that a very large intergenerational wealth transfer occurred in the mid late 1970s and 80s from pre boomers (largely your parents) to the boomers. This took a less obvious form. Pre boomers wealth largely held in nominal assets was inflated away under conditions of financial repression where ceilings existed on both nominal deposit and nominal mortgage rates. And the beneficiaries of this were the young boomers who were this periods debtors to the creditor pre boomers who had had largely invested in real assets (read houses). This deserves a lot more discussion. You have benefited from a wealth transfer at both ends of your working life.

    • Just on tax, the only way to measure the true tax burden of one cohort compared to another is to look at the tax/GDP ratio. Talking about changes in marginal tax rates is largely irrelevant. Except to say, the boomers were the only post war generation to enjoy tax cuts all through their working lives. And the further into their working lives they went and the higher your salaries became, oddly enough, the more taxes were cut. tax/GDP has grown steadily from the 1970/80s and will continue to grow to support your generations retirement – the only component of spending which isn’t adequately means tested.

  15. Nick1970MEMBER

    Just watched Hockey on IView – my god that was an awful display. can he really be that stupid? He must know these rorts like NG and accessing super for housing do nothing for affordability.

  16. This is a bad argument to have about X and Y versus Boomers.

    The political masters must be laughing to the point of wetting themselves.

    I watched the clip, 20% at the top and really the top 10% are the issue.

    University was nearly free, but heavily rationed, so we could easily go back to free university education, but also go back to only 2 – 6% attending university.

    Boomers in hindsight had it easier, in hindsight in 2020 the same will be said of X and Y, will that make us sponging scrum?? Or is that too complex a question?.

    The issue is the top 10%, where the base wealth will have been inherited, no one accumulates that level in wealth in even two or three generations. These people getting pensions and medical.

    I don’t have a problem the boomers had it easier. We will in hindsight have it easier than our children. Regional Australia is still cheap, but there are more boomer type jobs and less modern economy, ie more modest jobs, but you can afford the housing