Pensioners have gray hair. They are also entering a gray area, politically, socially and economically. Most people reaching pension age have never paid superannuation and others have only been paying it for a few years of their working lives. The amount saved by super is certainly not enough to live on. This group relies on the government to provide them with an income.
Calls are coming from all sides for an increase in the pension to a "livable" level. Basic costs like council rates, rents, electricity, gas, water and sewerage have gone through the roof in the last decade. There is no solid reason why this should be so. Electricity companies keep saying the old infrastructure has to be renewed. Surveys show they have actually over-spent, pushing the cost onto consumers.
Giving those who could afford solar power a massive discount for feeding electricity back into the grid is appalling political decision making. Pensioners could not afford solar. They are subsidizing the wealthy.
We are entering a tough period for older Australians. As time passes retiring workers will have full superannuation cover. What happens about those already on the government pension? When Paul Keating introduced compulsory superannuation it was with the intention of phasing out state funded pensions. Both sides of politics are pushing toward this. They are not planning to increase the pension by the needed $4,000 a year.
In the past the wandering tramp was common and this wasn't only during the depression. Nearly all of these were elderly. They could not afford to put a roof over their heads. Within a decade, such a social class will return. This time though they will join the homeless young who exist on unemployment benefit that it much lower than the pension.
Society by Ty Buchanan