The LNP’s Demonization of Retirees

As with many older people across Australia, I’ve had enough of the sustained and deliberate attack on retired workers by this Federal LNP government. Self – funded retirees have been screwed over with superannuation changes and now pensioners are being vilified and demeaned as recalcitrant beggars.

I’m a month or so off 67 years, apart from one very brief period, I have never claimed anything off either the State or Federal governments, not even for failed investment, or business decisions and I’m still working, (an 84hr week), like many of my peers. I’ve just done a very quick rough calculation of my working life in Australia, since arriving in 1975; my total taxation payments are somewhere around $900,000.

What has been deliberately ‘forgotten’ in this campaign of demonization, is that the pension on retirement, was and is, a social contract – you worked all your life, as long as you were fit and able, payed your taxes and there would be a basic, but liveable weekly pension when you could no longer work.

Yes, there have been (and always will be), a very small percentage who have gamed the system and you could add to that moaning self – funded retired investors who made stupid greedy investment mistakes, expecting 30% returns etc, then cried poor and demanded governments helped them – that is, the rest of us taxpayers. Now we can add taxi industry investors, who are demanding similar compensation as the travelling public has a better option. Governments pander to these greedy, self-righteous whingers, but smash retired working people! If you’ve been scammed – go to court, if you’ve made a bad business decision, get a bloody job like the rest of us!

There is something decidedly evil in Morrison and his mob ‘educating’ younger voters to the LNP reality that retirees are a burden and takers. Oh yes, it’s clever, especially to a generation that’s very self – entitled and self – important, but it’s not factually correct. To younger generations, I’m shocked, saddened and bloody annoyed that education up to completion of your apprenticeship or first degree (University, not Mason!) is no longer free and you are burdened with education debt, it’s not what I worked for, or hoped I’d voted against. However what you’ve had so far, my peers and I worked bloody hard to provide. You were too young to understand, but the social contract has always been that the adults provide for the young and in turn, the young become adults and eventually provide for the old.

Canberra moaning about the burden of pensions is a nonsense, the reality is Australia has the most conservative and tightest pension scheme of any in the civilised world – one really can’t refer to the United States as civilised in terms of looking after its citizens. Most First World countries provide a pension based on working life earnings, rather than the very basic, continually means tested system Australian has. We are not headed for the brink of financial disaster with a pillaging horde of greedy baby boomers grasping every dollar from younger workers, you are being fed a right wing propaganda lie.

Certainly there is a developing issue with the inevitable increasing cost of health care, in terms of people living longer, however that is being compensated for by increasing the age of retirement, plus the fact that many people are working long past any official retirement age.

What we desperately need in Australia, is leadership, something we haven’t had at a federal level for some years. As a nation, somebody should have had the courage to have stood up and explained that what we needed and expected was going to cost x and therefore as a nation, we would need to contribute y in the form of taxation, other nations, notably in Europe, have long taken this approach.  We’ve also been led badly astray by both the LNP and Labor, in allowing business to flagrantly flout, bend and evade reasonable taxation. Corporate welfare has become big business in Australia, we’ve now reached a stage where one extremely wealthy, foreign – owned media organisation is waging war with Australia’s publicly owned national broadcaster, whilst at the same time accepting multi – million dollar handouts from the federal government. Worse, that same media organisation now has the temerity and hide to single out welfare recipients and pensioners as drains on our nation? The irony!

Apparently we have an opposition party – Labor, where are they in this vicious attack on retired people? What great fighting words have you or I heard from Labor politicians? Yep, as the old saying goes, ‘Three tenths of fuck all!’

Unlike Turnbull, Abetz, Morrison, Cash, Shorten, Plibersek, Di Natale and the rest of them – Liberal, Labor, Greens et al, I will not retire with an exorbitant salary, including free air travel etc. Like many of my Baby Boomer peers, I’ve had enough.

Some years ago, there was a Grey Party, it never really got anywhere, but I think the time is now right, for a similar party to be organised and run candidates at the next Federal election, I suspect it could even be crowd funded. If you’re 50+, whatever your political leaning, this government and by their telling silence, the Labor and Greens will, by propaganda and stealth legislation, do to retired people, what they’ve done to refugees.

I for one would put my hand up.

Greg Ross


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