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How many seniors are venture capitalists?

Every poll shows that the majority of senior citizens vote for the Coalition but it is hard to understand why.

As one of its first moves in November 2013, the Coalition government sacked the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing six months before they were to produce a report they had been working on for years to provide “a blueprint on all the legislative and policy and financial changes that need to be progressively made over the next 25 years to make sure we turn ageing into an asset rather than a liability.”

They then produced the budget from hell.

This is a reminder of the measures affecting seniors announced in the 2014 budget, some of which have been enacted, some are held up in the Senate, and some have been abandoned, but the intent is clear.

The indexation of the age pension will, from 2017, be linked to the consumer price index, rather than to average male wages. (now abandoned)

From 2017, asset and income test thresholds will also be frozen for three years.

Also from September 2017, the deeming thresholds for the income test will be reset to $30,000 for single pensioners and $50,000 for pensioner couples combined.

The Seniors Supplement will be abolished from July 1 2014

The Seniors Health Card will be harder to qualify for, with the untaxed superannuation of new applicants now counting toward the income test.

And the Commonwealth will dramatically cut its support for various state and territory based seniors’ concessions available to Pension or Seniors Card holders, including cheaper medicines under the PBS, discounts on rates, utility bills, motor vehicle registration charges and public transport fares.

The Dependent Spouse Tax Offset, which until now was available to people with dependent spouses of age 60 or older, will be discontinued.

The Mature Age Worker Tax Offset will also be abolished.

The Government has also abolished the Pensioner Education Supplement.

They will not proceed with the planned pilot of Supporting Senior Australians: Housing Help For Seniors, a program that was to encourage older Australians to downsize to smaller dwellings.

The Government will cease paying its current Aged Care Payroll Tax Supplement to aged care providers, and has almost halved its expenditure on the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

Pensioners will also be affected by higher fuel prices due to the return to indexing the fuel excise

The $50 billion cut from state funding for hospitals will lead to deaths according to the Premiers, and the proposed $7 GP co-payment and changes to the PBS would also have hit pensioners disproportionately.

The 2015 budget saw the limit at which someone can receive the part-pension dramatically reduced from $1.15 million for couples, to $823,000. This means 91,000 people will no longer receive a pension payment while another 235,000 people will receive less.

A Senate Committee into the benefits of the NBN was told that, if we could facilitate 5% of people remaining in their homes one more year before going into aged care, we would save about $60 billion and they made suggestions of how the NBN could assist with this. That potential has been lost with the decimation of this crucial nation-building infrastructure.

The government’s inadequate response to climate change, paltry contribution to the global effort to halt warming, and championing of fossil fuels, will see all of us suffer with consequences growing with every delay.

If we see a Coalition government returned at the next election, an increase in the GST is certain. As has been shown by all studies, this will disproportionately affect the poor, particularly pensioners, and those on fixed incomes. Any as yet unnamed compensation will be quickly eroded by the compounding effect of price rises over time.

If you are a venture capitalist, like our new Chair of Innovation Australia Bill Ferris, or our new head of the CSIRO Larry Marshall, or our new Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull, then it is indeed an exciting time to be Australian. Why anyone else, particularly seniors, would vote for the Turnbull government is beyond me.


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  1. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, certainly no disabled pensioner seniors are adventure capitalists, we are flat out surviving on the paltry amount we receive, let alonf investing, as is the case for so many lowly paid working people, shop assistants, clerks, console operators at service stations, gardeners etc, a huge majority of the Australian population.

  2. Patrise Dowling

    So why are the Coalition ahead in the polls? People feel that Malcolm will look after them?

  3. Kaye Lee

    The whipping up of fear about Muslims and the mistaken belief that the Coalition are better economic managers, about to be blown away with Morrison’s MYEFO by all accounts, abetted a section of the media who don’t find facts necessary and an overwhelming relief that Abbott has gone (kinda).

  4. mars08

    “Every poll shows that the majority of senior citizens vote for the Coalition but it is hard to understand why.”

    I suspect that they see the Coalition as a ‘safe’, stable and patriotic party in this scary, ever-changing world.

  5. mars08

    “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light.”…. attributed to Plato

  6. kerri

    Good article Kaye Lee.
    My dad is bedridden in a nursing home but still has all his marbles. He is in High care hence he is offered the option of not voting. No matter how hard I implore him he is too lazy to make his vote count!
    Mum is not much different.
    They both live in Kevin Andrews electorate where mum and her friends all agree Andrews is lousy and are baffled as to how Andrews holds the seat and subsequently feel their vote does not count.
    But every election when Kev sends out the how to vote, application for postal vote and return TO HIS OFFICE pre paid envelope they dutifully follow the instructions filling in their vote IN PENCIL and return it free to his office.
    Now why would I be suspicious?

  7. Kaye Lee

    What are the implications to research funding of having a venture capitalist in charge of the CSIRO? Will we only fund research into things that bring a direct financial return? Rather than a better society, making money is becoming an end goal within itself.

  8. Kaye Lee


    That practice should be stopped by the AEC. It is wide open to abuse.

  9. z2610

    on TV news yesterday,I heard that ” next election will be a referendum for raising GST to 15% and broaden it to fresh food ” , How many seniors are venture capitalists? I don’t know, but one thing is pretty sure is most of them have clear mind, a few dementia , they do concerning raising living cost.

  10. Coralie

    Excellent reading. Think that your venture capitalists are wealthy already and want to stay that way. They were brought up on capitalism and would not want to let go.

    Most people over 65 probably don’t even go on the internet and just believe what the papers say.

    The rise of Abbott proves that Australia isn’t aware of the politics that they are voting for.

    Fortunately I am surrounded by people who do know the politics of today and hope to fix it.

  11. Bacchus


    I’m pretty sure the actual ballot paper is returned to the AEC, not to the political party (after arranging postal votes for my elderly parents for the last couple of elections).

    The “evil” part of this practice is the harvesting of personal information by the parties before forwarding the postal vote application to the AEC.

    My understanding is that the AEC sends the ballot papers to the voter who returns them in a provided envelope directly to the AEC.

    I would recommend doing as I do and short-circuiting the political parties doing this by getting the forms yourself and returning them directly to the AEC:

  12. John Hermann

    “Why anyone else, particularly seniors, would vote for the Turnbull government is beyond me.”

    People do not vote rationally, and often vote against their own best interests. The reason is clear. The average citizen in the street is subjected to lies, distortions and misconceptions which are deliberately peddled by both the corporate controlled media and the state controlled media. Mass indoctrination is a well established technique for manipulating and controlling the opinions and beliefs of the masses in order to achieve specific political outcomes. The Nazis used it brilliantly. Its effectiveness is exemplified by what Goering said in the Nuremburg war trials: tell the people they are under attack, and they will willingly surrender all of their previous freedoms in exchange for the security and protection promised by the state.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I should have included the Coalition’s immediate scrapping of the Workforce Compact, a $1.2 billion fund to give pay rises to workers in the aged care sector which has a 40% staff turnover.

    Along with the scrapped pay rises for childcare workers, they were described as “unionism by stealth”. Funny how this dreaded ‘unionism’ gets workers better conditions which would provide customers with better service but is painted as some sort of satanic corruption to be avoided at all costs by those whose only concern is the shareholder’s profit.

  14. flohri1754

    That people vote (or don’t vote) against their own best interests is proven not only in Australia but blatantly in the U.S. Republican voters there are (in my view) driven by fear, fear, fear — to the extent that they aren’t driven by hate …. they also vote their whole lifetimes against what really are their fundamental interests.

  15. kerri

    Totally agree Kaye Lee but I fear the only way to stop it is to raise awareness and hooefully get rid of it by it being underutilised. The oldies are too daffy and trusting.

  16. Matters Not

    mars 08 Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (a brief summary without reference to the Theory of the Forms)

    Socrates describes a dark scene. A group of people have lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the light of day. These people are bound so that they cannot look to either side or behind them, but only straight ahead. Behind them is a fire, and behind the fire is a partial wall. On top of the wall are various statues, which are manipulated by another group of people, lying out of sight behind the partial wall. Because of the fire, the statues cast shadows across the wall that the prisoners are facing. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world. When they talk to one another about “men,” “women,” “trees,” or “horses,” they are referring to these shadows.

    A prisoner is freed from his bonds, and is forced to look at the fire and at the statues themselves. After an initial period of pain and confusion because of direct exposure of his eyes to the light of the fire, the prisoner realizes that what he sees now are things more real than the shadows he has always taken to be reality. He grasps how the fire and the statues together cause the shadows, which are copies of these more real things. He accepts the statues and fire as the most real things in the world. He has made contact with real things—the statues—but he is not aware that there are things of greater reality—a world beyond his cave.

    Next, this prisoner is dragged out of the cave into the world above. At first, he is so dazzled by the light up there that he can only look at shadows, then at reflections, then finally at the real objects—real trees, flowers, houses and so on. He sees that these are even more real than the statues were, and that those were only copies of these. .

    When the prisoner’s eyes have fully adjusted to the brightness, he lifts his sight toward the heavens and looks at the sun. He understands that the sun is the cause of everything he sees around him—the light, his capacity for sight, the existence of flowers, trees, and other objects.

    The goal of education is to drag every man as far out of the cave as possible.

    But we know that not all people want to leave the cave and we know that some who have left want to go back.

    More detail here, including a diagram.

  17. cartoonmick

    Yeah, why would seniors want to vote for the coalition.
    It’s not because they like the way they’re treated by the coalition.

    Maybe it’s because they possibly don’t fully understand the problems.
    Maybe they believe all the promises made prior to elections.
    Maybe they believe all the excuses given for not keeping those promises.

    To me, it’s a mystery. WHY would they vote that way?????

    Looking at all the changes listed above,,,,,, maybe pensioners should review their situation, and start praying in a manner depicted in this cartoon . . . .

    Editorial / Political


  18. Stephen

    As someone less than six months from turning 65 I could venture a few opinions, although I myself haven’t voted Liberal or labor since Hawke grabbed the leadership.

    Habit I know it’s pathetic but so many are used to voting one way and continue. Gets worse and harder to overcome as you age.
    Hope that it will mean better times at least for younger family members and improve Australia overall.
    Laziness, also sad and related to habit
    uninformed and voting for a name they at least recognize is simplest.
    Gullibility this time this politician is different because they say they are.
    Disinterest they believe they will not be affected and they will still be alright.
    People who invest time effort and hope in something become harder to convince otherwise as it means accepting you were wrong and wasted your effort.
    same in any belief system politics, religion, economics, racial superiority etc.
    The main stream media bombarding them non stop on how to vote.

    I’m sure they are many more and I see them settling into my own siblings.
    They are all general problems to be found in any age group but generally harden with age but they are some who avoid it.


  19. stephentardrew

    I am a senior and despise these horrible greed infested narcissistic corporate toadies. Wake up pensioners they want their pound of flesh from you meanwhile you sleep on in oblivious ignorance. The stats are showing that young people are much more progressive and that is where the left needs to focus.

    In my experience there is a lot of bitterness in the older generation which I really do not understand. Maybe it has something to do with insecurity and or the fear of death or that fact that the world is changing too quickly for them so they attach themselves to a delusional past where they have been convinced that conservatives are safe economic hands when they are not. Much here to blame on the media.

  20. diannaart

    The best thing for Australia will be that Abbott refuses to keep silent. Let him keep on reminding us what he stole from us and what Turnbull is NOT mending – I do believe more and more people are beginning to wake up.

  21. Glenn K

    strange thing about polls. They rely heavily on preference flows from the previous election. I think this is a huge flaw, and why Vic, Qld, and even the Canadian federal elections turned out so different from the polls.
    I am expecting the same to happen in our federal election this year. 🙂

  22. Robyn Hickey

    I am a senior. Still working although part time
    I have never voted liberal and never will.

  23. Faye Cox

    This Pensioner, who has, admittedly not, read all the posts simply wants to say this.
    I have never.never, ever voted for the Coalition in any way, shape or form.
    I live in a “blue” ribbon Liberal seat , Flinders, to be precise. No person I ever meet admits to voting for the incumbent, but then, as was said in our local newspapers last week “Pensioners vote can be bought for a plate of free sandwiches”
    I keep thinking that the Pensioners will die off. As we will.

  24. totaram

    Pensioners who read this blog would never vote for the coalition. But there are too few of us. That is the problem!

  25. RosemaryJ36

    I think we tend to over-generalise. I am a senior – 80 next month. I was introduced to computers in 1989 and have used one ever since. Born in England, I always voted, even though it was not compulsory. I have been in Australia just short of 45 years and think Gough Whitlam was the best Prime Minister – and Don Dunstan the best Premier – that Australia has ever had.
    I am still working on a casual basis but have fully retired friends who struggle with a mobile phone, let alone a smart phone!
    I think the key, as always, is education, from as young an age as possible and including secular ethics to encourage people to look at life through the eyes of others less fortunate.
    I was admitted as a solicitor at 72 and opened some people’s eyes to the fact that you are never too old to learn something new.
    I recommend AIM Network widely and hope that more and more people will read your articles and open their eyes!

  26. Wally

    The Liberal Party added business email addresses from the local shires trade and services directory to their mailing list and started bombarding us with SPAM. It took 3 attempts to be removed from the list, the third attempt was very direct and insulting but I should never have been on the mailing list in the first place.

  27. PC

    Except for our embattled ABC, for f@#k sake Möbius when will you wake up and realize that our ‘government’ is a subsidiary of corporate media.

  28. Mercurial

    kerri and Kaye Lee, my partner and I live in Turnbull’s electorate. In the 2007 election we had planned, before the election date was announced, to leave on what turned out to be election day for an overseas holiday.

    As Uncle Malcolm had kindly sent us a postal vote form with his campaign material, we decided to make use of that. We duly posted our votes, a couple of weeks before the election date, and well before postal votes closed.

    I didn’t notice that the address on the reply paid envelope wasn’t the Australian Electoral Commission. It was only three months later, when we received notification that our postal votes had been received late, and therefore weren’t counted, that we realised we’d probably been had. I suspect Mal’s office had opened the postal vote forms we sent, seen that we didn’t vote for him, and held onto them until it was too late for them to be accepted.

    Apparently the practice is widespread and legal. As you say, it should be stopped. It’s not only elderly people in care who fall for that ruse.

  29. PC


    Love and peace to RosemaryJ36. May you live for an eternity

  30. Mercurial

    Bacchus, can I ask did your parents vote for the candidate who sent to postal vote forms? If so, you may be strengthening my conspiracy theory.

  31. Mercurial

    I should add that nowhere did Turnbull’s postal vote invitation indicate the forms wouldn’t be sent to the AEC. The forms were authentic AEC postal vote forms. It was just the reply paid envelope that I think had the problem. The address (from memory) was somewhere in Waterloo, NSW. I can find no address for the AEC there, but it is certainly possible the LNP set up a post box there to receive postal vote forms.

    It should be an offence under the electoral act to send postal votes on behalf of another person anywhere other than directly to an AEC office. However this may not stop the practice; I chose to send my postal vote to that address in Waterloo, because Malcolm invited me to.

  32. Bacchus

    No Mercurial. I applied for the postal directly on the AEC website. The AEC then sent the ballot papers and a reply paid envelope to my parents. This was prompted by receiving one of the parties’ postal vote application forms in the mail while I was visiting.

    My understanding of how the parties use this is
    – the party sends a postal vote application form to voters from addresses gleaned from the electoral roll (legal).
    – you fill in the application and return it in the supplied reply paid envelope, which goes back to the party.
    – the party extracts your personal information into their own database.
    – the party forwards the application onto the AEC.
    – the AEC send the ballot papers to the voter along with a replied paid envelope (addressed to the AEC).
    – you vote and send it back to the AEC.

    The best way to beat the parties is to apply directly to the AEC. It’s actually easier as the forms can be filled in and submitted online.

  33. Mercurial

    Thanks Bacchus. Still seems odd to me that my postal vote took over four weeks to make it to the AEC, and was too late to be counted. I seem to remember putting Turnbull last.

  34. PopsieJ

    I am 80,and I am appalled at the lies and bullshit that are published by the MSM. I find it incredible that people still read and believe for example The Australian newspaper. The only thing I can say is get internet wise and read alternative viewpoints, it may be also be bullshit but at least it is a different view of events. Go to Russia Today or Russia Insiders, an e mail newspaper and you will think “their Syria ” is another planet.
    And as for the coalition the only thing they seem to have done is to is to cancel my seniors supplement and but ignored Big Business tax avoidance. Mind you Malcolm Talcum did work for Goldman Sacks

  35. Roswell

    Agree with what you say Popsie.

  36. Zathras

    The growing number of self-funded retirees may change the mix of supporters, especially if there is the threat of another GFC on the horizon.

    As each new charge is imposed or each safety net is stripped away, they are becoming more and more vulnerable to the economic whims of both parties. Any GST increase will effectively reduce their savings by the same amount, which could be a considerable amount of money.

    Just as the ALP can’t take the votes of union members for granted, the Coalition may have to consider the votes of the aging population the same way.

    They were exposed as hypocritical opportunists during the last couple of budgets and have lost the “stable reassurance” they have been using to sell themselves. All they have left is fear and that hand may have also been overplayed.

  37. Richard Kopf

    I am a self funded retiree and I certainly don’t vote for the Libs. I ask the same question of my senior friends as you do. They mostly vote for the conservatives. It seems that they are glued on, having been spoon fed by the Murdoch press from a tender age. I gave up sending them articles such as yours, as it seems to offend them. “Those lefty rags”!
    Look at the history of the Libs as well. Their support of wars, Vietnam in particular, the creation of fear among us, from Menzies’ “Reds under the beds, the yellow peril and now the Muslims. Look at their rejection of Australian Industry, such as building defence equipment here, and their destruction of the motor industry.
    By the way, reconsider your comment that “The Mature Age Worker Tax Offset will also be abolished.”, it happened in July, and pushed many of us into a new tax bracket.

  38. jim

    Oh and the LNp are better on crime aren’t they? bikies everywhere isn’t the crime rate going down ? The police are hopeless unless the Liberals are in charge makes sense doesn’t it.?

  39. diannaart

    Oh and the LNp are better on crime aren’t they?

    Well the LNP have always been better at corporate crime…. oh, I realise this is about mitigatingcrime, well they are very good at locking up small- time crims – got prisons full of ’em to prove it. ‘yay’

  40. Kaye Lee

    Their answer to crime is a flurry of announcements of CCTVs just before the election.

    See, See…TVs

  41. Wally


    This extract from the link you posted doesn’t surprise me.

    The Rudd Labor government tried to change the rules in 2010, proposing that forms had to be returned to the AEC directly and prohibiting written material (i.e. political advertising) being sent alongside the forms. The Coalition opposed those changes, and watered-down amendments were passed instead.

  42. Bacchus

    Yep Wally – I’m not surprised either.

    Perhaps we need to be a part of getting the word out on how to bypass the parties’ collection of personal data using postal vote application forms once the next election is called?

  43. Wally


    if everyone who receives a pre paid return envelope from the LNP sent it back empty the cost of postage for nil return might make them stop.

    I continually received unwanted mail from American Express so I sent back everything they posted to me in the pre paid envelope, the mail deliveries from American Express soon stopped.

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