Do you support cuts to the energy supplement for pensioners?

The Federal Government plans to scuttle the energy supplement for new Age Pension recipients from 20 September, saving almost $1 billion over four years.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke has described the plan as “misguided” and says it’s another blow for people whose incomes are among the lowest in the country.

The cuts mean a single aged pension will drop $14 per fortnight, or $365 a year, while couples will be $21.20 a fortnight (or about $550 a year) worse off. The current aged pension tops out at $888 a fortnight for a single person and $1339.40 for a couple.

Mr Henschke said the government’s one-off Energy Assistance Payment of $75 for singles and $125 for couples, to be paid on 20 June, would be of little comfort to many older Australians.

“It’s a lot less than the supplement, and for people who had planned their retirements based on the concessions available to pensioners a year ago, these changes will hit particularly hard,” he said.

“It might be difficult for some people to comprehend, but $365 or $550 a year can make a big difference if you are dependent on an Age Pension and have no way to increase your income.”

Do you support cuts to the energy supplement for aged pensioners? If you’re planning to retire after 20 September, what will you do to offset this reduction in the pension?

Comments   50 Comments

For those who aren't aware, Centrelink entitlements have been eroded over the same 10+ year time frame for other recipient categories. It came as no surprise to me when pensioners came into the government's sights. I believe they are gearing up to hit Age and Disability Support Pensioners with both mythical and exaggerated computer generated overpayments, the same as they did for other payment categories.

The main reasons the Centrelink bill is so high include:

Lack of availability of full-time and part-time jobs (30% have only part-time work).
Very low interest rates being paid by banks to depositors.
Corporates demanding access to cheap migrant labour.
Work continuing to go offshore.

Sadly, the government does not appear to need any justification for doing things that most seniors would agree defy logic. It is also important to remember that the Coalition under John Howard (who lost government along with his own seat in 2007) reduced the number of parliamentary sitting weeks to 12, almost guaranteeing there would be insufficient time to discuss the pros and cons of various legislative decisions. So for at least 10 years, the opportunity to discuss and debate has been stifled, demonstrating one element of the most powerful tool used by destructive cults, Information Control.

It is so stupid to suggest that if individual costs commodities double as energy costs did under Labor then a Welfare benefit doubles. Even a failed economist would know that cost price increases are measured against income and reflected quarterly in the CPI rate and then utilised accordingly to adjust pensions etc. I find some of the comments below are quite extraordinary in the extreme. The real problems appear to be within!

Is anyone really surprised that the government has again targeted pensioners to cut spending and help limit the deficit? After all we already spend the lowest of most OECD countries on the basis of a percentage of our GDP, whìch is the accepted measure.
The Welfare sector is an easy target, because they don't fight back. Imagine if we tried to reduce politicians pay and allowances, they would cry foul and cite them as the conditions under which they were employed and should be grandfathered so only future politicians should suffer the cuts. Unfortunately the same logic is abandoned when it comes to pension cuts.
We should just be content to take the cuts so that big business can dodge their tax share, so that we can give tax cuts to business, so pollies can live lives of luxury, and the rich get richer with taxpayer subsidised concessions. Life wasn't meant to be easy!

Question? If an energy supplement was justified to offset increased energy costs for pensioners, then should that supplement be increased or decreased if energy prices double.

Answer. Logic suggests that if energy prices double, then the compensation (supplement) to pensioners should also double.

Fact: Our government in their wisdom, instead of increasing the annual supplement, will abolish it and replace it with a one -off energy payment of $75 singles and $125 for couples.

How was this decision made or justified? Apparently pensioners need to be hit yet again to pay for tax cuts to business, and allow the multi-national companies to avoid tax. It is too hard to get them to pay, so just hit the pensioners.

Get new members, mobilise your friends, and rise up against this vindictive financially illiterate bunch of incompetents in control of the Treasury. If we remain silent, they will continue the smash and grab on seniors meagre retirement incomes.

I agree with Terry that the economy is tanking, but this is not at all new. It is a situation that has been worked up to over decades through the signing of numerous international agreements and is part of the global plan to redistribute populations and wealth, giving Big Business control of world government, along with finances, wages, housing, health, education (the list goes on). Why others cannot easily see this is puzzling.

The Turnbull government's new education funding plan is part of an ongoing move for a takeover bid by investment bankers. People would also be wise to remember that Gonski is an investment banker and Turnbull is a merchant banker.

I would never argue that Tony Abbott is not a "wrecker". He is just one of the many economic wreckers who have run the country for the last 40+ years.

It has been reported in a major Brisbane newspaper that the person who first rang the alarm bells on climate is now saying it is too late to save the planet and that the human race will be extinct in 30 to 100 years. The question has to be asked as to why this would be reported now? Is it to justify lifting costs for power, water, carbon emissions to the zenith? Some other reason?

Maggie H, I have a friend who closely follows many polls and he has told me many times that the major polls are generally less accurate than the smaller polls. On this blog, you quote findings of major polls. Most of the community is taken in by lies which is the main reason we end up with scoundrels running the country. Please be aware that answers to polls are skewed by misinformation and incomplete options following a media drive in a certain direction.

I largely agree with Anonymous's latest assessment of government machinations, except for the last part. While it may appear that the government works with on-the-run "thought bubbles" after the media has indoctrinated the people to believe that is what they are, this is just another ploy to convince the people that they are working with incompetence and not a deliberately damaging plan. This is so Malcolm Turnbull can be blamed later for all of the changes we don't like, and the next PM can start out with a clean slate.

Lorikeet must be seeing a different government to me. All of their policies are flawed and not well developed, because they have not put the research and energy into it to produce good decisions. Incoherency is also a problem.
The solution to the bank's negligence was to make them front parliament and whip them with two feathers. A solution to address the deficit without a new tax, was to introduce a banking levy that could not be passed on to their customers. Alas Turnbull has now admitted they cannot stop the banks passing on this tax by stealth. Other examples abound.
Other parties (not PHON) spend months and even years putting policy together. This government tales only weeks to progress from thought bubble to legislation. If that's not policy on the run, I'm not here.

There is a fundamental problem with this government as well as the previous Abbott administration. Both did not have financial nous, and lack a plan to manage the economy.

Whether running the local footy club or the government, you must have a plan for the future. The lack of one results in though bubbles and policy on the run, which brought about the demise of Tony Abbott.

We expected Turnbull to develop a plan after criticising Abbott for the lack of one. But under Turnbull, we have drifted even further down the deficit path, with thought bubbles, and policy on the run. As an example, the bank levy thought up two weeks before the budget. When first proposed, they assured it the banks would nit be allowed to pass it on, Now they admit they are powerless to stop them.

Say what you like Lorikeet, but our economy is tanking because the government has no plan, and no idea how to create one. Without a plan all policy is made on the run.

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