stop pension cuts - ACTU Australian Unions

Tell the Greens to stop Abbott's pension cuts

Earlier this week The Greens supported the Abbott Government's cuts to pensions.

We need to tell The Greens that the cuts will make life harder for working people when they retire.

In fact, this deal will see ordinary Australians worse off while wealthy self-funded retirees continue to receive generous tax benefits.

Analysis by respected research firm Rice Warner and superannuation experts Industry Super Australia shows those hit the hardest by the Greens – Abbott deal are middle to low income working people earning $75 000 or below.

That’s most of us.

To Build a Better Future, it’s essential that we have a fair system for retirement that includes proper pensions and superannuation to ensure working people have decent living standards in retirement. 

We can stop these cuts.

Contact your local Greens Senator and ask them to stand with us and vote against these vicious cuts to our pensions which will rob working people of their right to retire with dignity.

Contact your local Greens Senator


Senator Di Natale

Senator Rice

South Australia

Senator Hanson-Young

Senator Wright

Western Australia

Senator Ludlam

Senator Siewert


Senator Milne

Senator Whish-Wilson

New South Wales

Senator Rhiannon


Senator Waters


Showing 56 reactions

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  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 18:58:33 +1000
    Hi Chris. In her press release of 11 April 2014, Rachel Siewert stated: “The age pension was exempted from McClure review commissioned by Minister Kevin Andrews, implying there would be no change. Before the election, Tony Abbott said that there would be ‘no change to pensions’. Despite this, the Treasurer continues to cause concern across the community with his repeated hints of changes to the retirement age or eligibility criteria for the aged pension” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing said today."
    That’s only a year ago. What changed?

    And Michelle – sorry but I can’t control the ACTU’s site.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 18:52:52 +1000
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 18:52:21 +1000
    Why am I getting these bloody emails from reactions!! Cant even unfollow!! Making me really angry! I’ve said my piece about this whole blah with the government! Stop emailing me and stop blocking my right to unfollow!!!!!! Sick of the emails!
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 18:10:44 +1000
    This is a summary from the Greens – seems OK to me.
    “In 2007 John Howard decided to give the benefits of the
    boom to well-off older Australians.
    The Greens opposed it because it
    failed to direct support to the people who need it the most.
    Reversing this decision means that people with substantial
    assets will get smaller payments from the Government and
    those with fewer assets will get more support.
    For example – the change means that a couple with their
    own home will stop receiving the pension if they have more
    than $823,000 of assets on top of their home value. At the
    other end of the scale, those with fewer assets can hold
    an additional $50,000 in assets before their full pension is
    reduced – giving more support to those who need it most.” Chris Clarke
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 18:09:40 +1000
    Dear Senators Ludlam, Siewert et all

    I have the highest respect and admiration for many of your environmental and humanitarian policies, but I am deeply disturbed by the fact that the Greens appear to have rolled over as far as pension cuts are concerned. Many of us have worked hard all our lives to save a few dollars needed for a rainy day; once retired there may be sudden need to fall back on savings to look after house, car, grandkids, sudden illness, etc.. It would appear that those of us who have put a few savings away for such unexpected events are now penalised for doing so to the tune of close to 8% per year instead of 4% for every $1000 in assets in excess of the cut off point for full pension. So, a person who has an extra $100,000 in assets/savings will lose roughly $8,000 each year instead of $4,000: the reduction in pension will have doubled.

    And the freezing of the assets and income test is deplorable.

    Many of us have worked and paid taxes all our lives. And people on disability pensions etc. or most likely the most needy of them all. Yet, instead of going after the tax avoiders, this government is going after all types of pensioners including the age pensioners who have done the right thing all our lives. And the Greens are backing the government???

    What adds insult to injury is that Tony Abbott promised that pensions would not be touched. So the Greens are enabling Tony Abbott to breach another promise. I have no idea as to how the Greens can morally justify this course of action, but, quite frankly, I think you are morally WRONG and will need to re-examine your moral approach.

    Many of the Australian public (and not just us the pensioners) will have lost confidence both in you as a political party as well as you as individuals!!

    I respectfully respect that you re-consider and that you keep Tony Abbott to his promise not to touch the pensions!!!!
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 17:53:45 +1000
    Olive, I can see that the proposal by the Libs is to target all these things (targeting other types of pensioners and linking to the CPI) in part 2 of the budget papers but none of the information I can find says anything about the deal the Greens have agreed to that affects anything other than the age pension. If you can point me to the source on the “Human Services” website that includes what you say about disability, veterans, etc being included, I would be happy to look at it. Thanks. Pat Anonymous
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 16:54:38 +1000
    From Human Services site: “Who will be affected by this measure?
    This measure will impact recipients of Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Wife Pension, Widow B Pension and Bereavement Allowance and equivalent Veterans’ Affairs pension payments as well Parenting Payment Single, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Partner Allowance.”

    It’s not just age pensions. It’s all pensions. And the assets and income tests will be frozen for three years. Pensions will then be indexed to the CPI, rather than the current average male earnings.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 16:51:35 +1000
    Stop Abbotts pension cuts.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 16:51:33 +1000
    Stop Abbotts pension cuts.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 16:45:05 +1000
    That last comment was not the previous anonymous! I thought I put my name in – but it seems the default is anonymous. Cheers. Chris Clarke
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 16:42:24 +1000
    Did the ACTU protest against the ALP government when they cut 80,000 people, mainly women, off supporting parents benefit and forced them on to Newstart. This initiative however means increased pensions for those at the bottom – the assets test kicking in at a higher level of assets. But for a lower number of people who own their own house AND have more than 800,000 on top of that (couples) – it cuts out. Yes I would prefer increasing the pension for those at the bottom with no cuts for any pensioners, say by reducing defence spending, or stopping the Superannuation tax deductions for the wealthy – but within the income support arena – the redistribution towards those with low superannuation and low assets is fair. The analysis based on 2050 figures referred to by the ACTU is misleading as it assumes the threshold and the cut off that will apply in 2050 are the actual dollar figures agreed now. Both should be increased by then – even doubled over 35 years to take into account inflation. Ideally the ACTU would be working with both the ALP and the Greens to tackle the Superannuation tax deductions abused by the wealthy – but it seems the ACTU does not take an independent position on this issue? Cheers. Chris.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 16:25:27 +1000
    I take it you are aware that this also impacts on disabled and other pensions then? Get injured in a workplace accident, as my stepdaughter has been, and that lump sum payout she receives will mean that her pension will be reduced. Her injury and pain will be for life. And her carer will also be impacted by the assets and income test. Fair eyed?
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 15:40:30 +1000
    No, the fair-eyed monster has got hold of me. My taxes, your taxes, everyone’s taxes are supposed to pay for things (besides healthcare, education, roads, etc) like WELFARE for people who have nothing, like those on the pathetic Newstart, currently $516 per fortnight! or a half decent pension for the aged (little enough as it is), who have no superannuation nest egg, pensions for the disabled – also a lousy pension, I hear. All the money drained out by people who don’t need it impact these things.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 15:26:09 +1000
    I just don’t see how this effects anyone that will hurt them. It’s only people who already own a home and have $400k in assets. The backdating isn’t a good idea but I just don’t see how most pensioners won’t be better off with the new changes. It’s not my brothers and sisters being hurt by these changes but the already well off collecting benefits they don’t need. They can claim the pension after they have gone through some of their assets can’t they? Enough with the upper middle class welfare there is enough wealth inequality in this country as it is now.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 15:16:35 +1000
    Dear Mr Anonymous (what a great name for a keyboard warrior),I dare say you would be years younger than somebody like myself.So when you whinge about pensioners receiving a benefit from the taxes you pay,you forget that my taxes (being some 25 years older) contributed to your own Health Benefits,your Education and all the other services available through taxation from the day you were born,until you entered the workforce and started contributing yourself.The green-eyed monster is rearing its head,Anonymous
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 15:07:00 +1000
    I agree with those who have said the ones that a lot money per year should not be complaining and asking for hand outs! I agree. so maybe the greens are doing the right thing
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 15:03:23 +1000
    Feel so sorry for you people, so hard done by, so deserving of the tax I pay. Worked every day of my life and paid my fair share of taxes too. I had $90,000 in super, already drawn out $45,000 just in order to live, 10 years to retirement age, $45,000 left. Do I feel sorry for those with 10 times as much who want the handout that Howard should never have given in the first place in order to buy an election? Nah.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 15:03:13 +1000
    This is why I am no longer subscribing to the Greens, nor am I supporting them financially. They have no idea what just happened.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 14:58:25 +1000
    JH Christ. I feel so sorry for people who might be cut off some government benefits while receiving up $75,000 or so a year from superannuation. Why are the awful Greens helping those greedy pensioners who have up up to $4 in the bank to play with? So sickening, so wrong. In other words, in case my meaning is mistaken – WELFARE IS MEANT TO HELP THE NEEDY, not those who are rubbing along all right. YES, we need changes to superannuation to get those really rich bastards off the teat but if the middle class – yes, the middle class – who are currently receiving pension benefits – think they are hard done by, try living on what REAL pensioners live on, about $14,000 a year. Stop your whinging – you make me sick. – signed, Greens voter.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 13:40:48 +1000
    I have never said that people with that amount of assets should be on a full pension, and they are not now. A comparison with people under 30 is unreasonable in that these people have worked for 40+ years, have saved to feel that they can pay for the extra medical costs they are likely to have and are looking at 20+ years with no or little income. Above all, they have done everything according to the rules set for them and are now being told that the goalposts have been moved. This is the first time that a change in pensions has been back-dated so that those who retired up to 8 years ago are being penalised for something they couldn’t predict. Many of them (including me) took to the streets to object to the proposed cuts to Newstart for six months to young people under 30. It seems they can’t see that elderly people have been shafted with help from the Greens. The whole concept of unions is to stand with your brothers and sisters when they are being wronged, not just for self-interest.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 13:28:06 +1000
    Still seems to be complaining about people with over $375k on top of owning their own home not claiming the full pension (which they can still access if they go under the 400k afaik?). That is still better off than most these days and something most people under 30 wouldn’t even comprehend having the way things are going. How many of these people complaining complain about apparent benefit abuse by people on newstart? Sure there are much bigger issues to address but while this government is in power and with blob snorten backing them up we need to pass any good reforms that we can. Getting rid of this Howard upper middle class welfare is a good thing.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 13:11:19 +1000
    Have you read articles from experts disputing the government’s modelling? Did the Greens bother to research what they were supporting? These are valid questions as there is so much more to this than an assets test. This undermines the very concept of superannuation, which has provided the capital needed in an uncertain economic world.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 10:21:00 +1000
    This really is misleading point scoring shit, really disappointing.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-22 10:17:06 +1000
    Where are the facts? Apparently lower income pensioners will be worse off but it doesn’t explain anywhere why that is? I’m not going to feel sorry for someone who owns their own home and had over $400k in assets. Including the car and furniture who gives a shit? That is still better off than the majority of Australians. They can still claim the part pension if they go under anyway. Get your priorities in order, I really expected better from the ACTU.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-21 23:09:01 +1000
    I also made a few comments, and had the same experience. In the end I didn’t bother anymore and decided to delete my initial comment.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-21 22:14:34 +1000
    I received the email about this matter and was asked to communicate with the “Green” members of parliament to express my opposition to the move. Can someone out there please tell me how in the name of sanity I can communicate with these people? Communication is a two way system….they only want to and will only listen to people who say what they want to hear. Abbott must have promised something very dear to them to get an alliance on this matter. No second guessing what that might be…. So… All I can say is May God help Australia and its people.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-21 14:53:48 +1000
    People get carried away with figures. $800,000 in the bank? That amount is the supposed cut-off line for couples on the age pension. It however includes all your assets,such as a car,furniture,appliances etc. So take off a considerable amount from the actual cash and,if you retire at (so far) 67 years of age,you will have to live on this for the rest of your life,for a life expectancy of maybe another 20-25 years. Not exactly the ‘wealthy retirees’ as they are painted. If you want to condemn age pensioners to the status of second class citizens,living on the breadline,then you are on the right path. I am entitled to a reasonable lifestyle in my old age,not a throw-away old fogey as some people seem to suggest.
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-21 11:00:46 +1000
    To Anonymous. Don’t you think you should wait till the evidence is properly examined and weighed before becoming Bill’s own judge, jury and executioner?
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-21 09:51:12 +1000
    As our peak union body a better use of your time & funds might be to tell Bill Shorten not to sell Australian unionists up the spout with his backroom AWU deals with Theiss bosses in return for $134k, surely?
  • test actuonline
    commented 2015-06-21 09:22:33 +1000
    No Val, you have clearly not looked at the complex modelling associated with the taper rate. Nor have you commented on the intention to back-date this change, so that people who made their plans and retired in the past eight years (many of whom are locked into their retirement arrangements) will now be severely disadvantaged. 40% of pensioners will be worse off. That doesn’t mean 60% will be better off – it means the government will have $2.4 billion in savings from pensioners – not miners, property tycoons, American Express, Apple and other corporate tax avoiders – to spend on their socially and Irresponsible agenda.
    When the Greens lose support over this (and they will), we will also lose a party who were tasked by the electorate to maintain some balance in the Senate, particularly in regard to the environment. I have voted Green for some time now. I have supported Bob Brown and Christine Milne over three decades. I took to the streets about the 2014 Budget. I’m gutted. Tony Abbott is laughing all the way to his morally corrupt piggy bank.

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