This morning I have received about 30 copies in Facebook Messaging of the message below ranting against ‘the Age of Entitlement’ and the perks politicians get. I have a fair opinion on this but before I get to that….here is the message….skip reading it if you like me, have got it multiple times.
Hi there Here’s a message just sent to me …. see if people power in Australia can move our politicians. the Pension Assets Test to be implemented on 1 January 2017. So here’s fair warning to all politicians of any persuasion, this group of aged voters may be about to make the greatest impact on any Federal election in history, ignoring them may be the start of a changed political environment in this country. Change the Entitlements I absolutely agree, if a pension isn’t an entitlement, neither is theirs.
They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn’t sustainable. Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable! The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over: The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in Australia will have this message. This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.
Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:
1. Scrap political pensions. Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.
2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink. A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they’re out of office. Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians. Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.
3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue. This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.
4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.
5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people. i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.
6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.
7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16. The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them. Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves. Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work. If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time? THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!
So here is what I think:-
1) I total agree that the Age of Entitlement should be over. And if the pension is going to be Asset Tested then that is ok…but let’s make sure that the Assets Test is fair and keeps our elderly Australians above the poverty line. The Aged Pension should be generous to those who genuinely need it and not generous to those who don’t.
2) But if we are going to increase the means test for the Aged Pension…then let’s go across the board and perform a far reaching review into Australia’s Welfare system, like the Henry Tax Review into Australia’s Taxation System in 2009. I love the fact that we have one of the best welfare systems in the world, but in my opinion it is being exploited and seems to be designed to be a disincentive for people to get off welfare. So let’s make sure those that really need it, get it and get it generously – and this generosity could be financed by taking welfare off the people who don’t need it.
3) Ranting against politicians entitlements is counter productive. I do understand the sentiment. However there is an old adage that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Malcolm Turnbull is paid $522,000 pa…..Oh the outrage…I can hear the raucous mob beginning to gather. What if we paid our PM $3million and actually attracted some of the best business and leadership minds Australia has to offer. What if we set the financial bar a lot higher and then had minimum experience, academic qualification and here is where I will get in trouble, a minimum age and life experience, in order to apply to the Australian population for the job of representing their local area, Federally? What if instead of decreasing politicians entitlements we increased them…but expected better. Wouldn’t that be a better option than trying to make things so tight financially that we only attract bottom feeders.
4) Copy and Pasting doesn’t do a dam thing. If you really are fired up about this, make an appointment with your local member and sit down and have a meeting with him or her….Or even better join a political party and become part of the political process. It’s laughable to suggest….as the message does, that “THIS I HOW YOU FIX Parliament”….what by a viral message….? If this was true no Kangaroo would ever be punched again….Viral messages are simply that…they are viral….they come and infect your inbox for about 17 minutes and then you move on. I think this a great challenge for Australians. We copy and paste something and we think we have been politically active. Or we are outraged about a Roo being punched and we voice that outrage on Social Media….but won’t volunteer at the local WIRES branch or donate to the RSPCA. If you are stirred about something then do something about it that is more than a mouse click.
Mouse Clicks do not fix parliament and neither do Mouse Clicks change the world. People of Action change the world.
Anyway that’s what I think.
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