Aussies should shun salty snags

A sausage in bread could be considered Australia’s national dish – particularly on a Saturday morning outside the hardware shop.

But new research from the George Institute for Global Health, VicHealth and the Heart Foundation shows Australians wolfing down 1.1 billion snags a year, containing 1500 tonnes of salt, and putting their health at risk.

The research showed the humble snag in white bread with tomato sauce contained 2.35 grams of salt – nearly half of the recommended daily intake. 

Uninsured patients choose to pay for private hospital treatment

Patients without private health insurance are choosing to pay hefty private hospital fees rather than wait it out in the public system.

New research from comparison website shows almost one in five Australians (19 per cent) have paid for a visit to a private hospital rather than be seen at a public hospital. Nearly half of these had self-funded surgery in a private hospital.

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data shows waiting times for elective surgery increased to 38 days nationally in 2016-17.

Don't get caught napping: it's World Sleep Day tomorrow

Tomorrow is World Sleep Day, an annual event aimed at celebrating sleep and a call to action on important related issues, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving.

World Sleep Day is organised by the World Sleep Society. It aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.

More older people are homeless

The number of homeless older people is rising, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

People aged between 65 and 74 without a home increased to 27 persons per 10,000 people, up from 25 per 10,000 in 2011, according to new data from the 2016 Census. 

The ABS’s Dr Paul Jelfs said the rate of homelessness in Australia had risen by 4.6 per cent over the Past five years to an estimated 116,000 on Census night, 9 August, 2016.


Is Labor's franked dividend removal plan fair?

The ALP’s proposed removal of refunds for dividend imputation credits has been widely criticised for its potentially devastating impact on low-income retirees.

Under the plan announced by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Tuesday, imputation credits would no longer be refundable. He has since promised a Labor Government would compensate up to 250,000 pensioners for every dollar they would lose.

Mr Shorten said wealthy retirees with Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) would be most affected by the change.

National Seniors has crunched some numbers for those who would be most adversely affected.

For example, one retiree uses her refund to pay her car registration each year, as it coincides with her car rego renewal. She is on the full pension (single person $23,250pa including supplements) and has about $40,000 in shares that her husband left her when he died that pay about $2000 in dividends, including the refund of franking credits. Her total income is about $25,325pa.

If the proposed ALP measure were to be introduced in its original form, she would lose approximately $600 a year. It may not sound like a lot, but it would amount to just under 2.5 per cent of her total income. That is enormous for a single person on a fixed pension struggling to making ends meet.

Many retirees on low and fixed incomes rely on dividends to supplement their income.

Do you think the ALP plan is an ill-considered imposition on the retirement incomes of those who can least afford it? Is it better not to axe their tax credit refunds in the first place, rather than compensate them later?


Dividend release changes would hurt many to catch a few

By National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke

The ALP needs to listen to older Australians and reconsider its policy, announced yesterday by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, to claw back $59 billion from dividend payments.

While the policy has been framed in traditional Labor language as a means of ‘taking from the rich to give to back to the poor’, in reality it will hurt elderly mums and dads around the nation.

ALP dividend changes need more consideration, says National Seniors

National Seniors Australia has warned proposed ALP changes that would end cash refunds to retirees claimed through share dividend imputation could backfire.
Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said today the plan, designed to claw back $59 billion over 10 years from wealthy retirees, could hurt many full and part aged pensioners who had been encouraged to diversify by including shares in their retirement portfolios.

What to do after an accident


By Auto Advantage

Being in a car accident is often a jarring experience, leaving us shaken and a little unsure of what to do. It is important to be prepared and aware of the steps that should be taken following an accident, regardless of how minor the collision may seem.

Make sure everyone is okay 

National Seniors joins call for immediate action on elder abuse

National Seniors has joined with other seniors and community legal groups to form a coalition to tackle elder abuse.

At the recent National Elder Abuse Conference, the group welcomed a National Plan announced by the Federal Government.

But the group said immediate funding was needed in the 2018-19 budgets of all governments across Australia to prevent and combat elder abuse.

In a conference statement, the group declared “there is no excuse not to act nationally now”.

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