LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I WAS highly insulted, and made to feel worthless by an article on the news recently, depicting aged pensioners as being a burden on society to the tune of $10 billion.
May I remind the reader that between pensioners and truckies, we keep Australia viable and rolling.
Most pensioners worked hard to save for a house, thus saving the government millions on public housing and rent subsidies.
Now these assets could be under threat by being used as a way of minimising an already very small income (48% of the average weekly wage), and there was even a mention of death taxes. (As if the government did anything towards acquiring or contributing to these assets). I think the latter will create a mass slaughter of politicians if this were to be reintroduced.
Most pensioners brought up their families without government help. Child endowment was so minimal, it was insufficient to pay the milk bill for the child for a week, and there was no child care, paid parental leave, baby bonus or family tax benefits.
Most pensioners now do volunteer work, keeping charities and such organisations a U3A working, sharing their talents and skills, many of which are no longer taught in schools, thereby benefiting our younger generations.
Many pensioners mind their grandchildren at least one day a week, allowing the parents to go, or go back to work, which brings benefits all round, including paying taxes to go towards pensions.
There was a pension fund once, paid for by the workers' taxes, but eventually it was swallowed up into general revenue. Now there is superannuation, but, firstly it is not guaranteed or backed by the government, allowing super funds to invest these moneys, and not always successfully.
It also goes towards their very generous salaries from enforced contributions, and not always benefiting the recipients when they retire, apart from not having the discounts available to an aged pensioner on a government benefit, unless they are also on a part pension.
Entitlement? Yes. We worked for what we now have, and a pension is our reward for taxes paid or the work of bringing up a family.
The day one politician opts to go back on an aged pension when they retire, and at 65+, not 55 with a more than generous government super, that man/woman will get my vote, regardless of their political persuasions.
Until then, get real. Come down off your ivory towers and join the real world. Then you will know how the rest of us have to live.