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Federal Election 2016

Apr 27, 2014

Seat of the week: Wakefield

Seat of the week visits South Australia one last time to cover Wakefield on the northern fringe of Adelaide, held for Labor since 2007 by Nick Champion.

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Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Wakefield extends from outer northern Adelaide to rural territory as far as Clare 100 kilometres to the north, with overwhelming Labor strength around Elizabeth and Salisbury partly balanced by support for the Liberals in the Clare Valley. It has existed in name since South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, but its complexion changed dramatically when its southern neighbour Bonython was abolished when the state’s representation was reduced from 12 seats to 11 in 2004. Previously a conservative rural and outskirts seat encompassing the Murray Valley and Yorke Peninsula, it came to absorb the outer suburban industrial centre of Elizabeth while retaining the satellite town of Gawler, the Clare Valley wine-growing district, and the Gulf St Vincent coast from Two Wells north to Port Wakefield.

Prior to 2004, Wakefield was won by the major conservative party of the day at every election except 1938 and 1943, when it was won by Labor, and 1928, when it was won by the Country Party. The Liberal member from 1983 to 2004 was Neil Andrew, who spent the last six years of his parliamentary career serving as Speaker. Andrew at first considered challenging Patrick Secker for preselection in Barker after the 2004 redistribution turned Wakefield’s 14.7% margin into a notional Labor margin of 1.5%, but instead opted to retire. Wakefield was nonetheless retained for the Liberals at the ensuing election by David Fawcett, who picked up a 2.2% swing off a subdued Labor vote around Elizabeth to unseat Martyn Evans, who had held Bonython for Labor since 1994. Fawcett’s slender margin was demolished by a 7.3% swing in 2007, but he would return to parliament as a Senator after the 2010 election.

Wakefield has since been held for Labor by Nick Champion, a former state party president, Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association official and staffer for state Industrial Relations Minister Michael Wright. The SDA link identifies him with the potentate of the South Australian Right, outgoing Senator Don Farrell. He nonetheless went against Farrell by coming out in support of Kevin Rudd in the days before his unsuccessful February 2012 leadership challenge, resigning as caucus secretary to do so. As with Labor’s other South Australian newcomers from the 2007 election, Champion had no trouble retaining his seat at the 2010 election, a 5.4% swing boosting his margin to 12.0%. However, the seat has since returned to the marginal zone following a redistribution in which it traded an area around Salisbury for Lydoch and Williamstown east of Gawler, reducing the margin to 10.3%, and a 7.1% swing to the Liberals at the 2013 election, which has left it at 3.4%.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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2,933 thoughts on “Seat of the week: Wakefield

  1. guytaur

    @guardian: US intercepts Moscow’s calls to spies in Ukraine, Kerry says in leaked remarks http://t.co/6R1rt0JINH

  2. Sir Pajama Pudding of Lake Disappointment

    Some basic principles:

    1. PPL is a workplace entitlement, not welfare. Therefore:

    Every worker should have access to PPL.
    The employer should pay for it

    The last line is the problem, yes?
    Once it is a payment from Govt, it IS welfare.
    Therefore the eligibility criteria should be no different from other welfare. Completely different scenario if employer pays. But that isnt the case with Abbott’s PPL.

  3. mikehilliard

    [Onya Tibor!]

    Such accolade.

    Really, a progressive policy? I always thought inequality was regressive.

  4. victoria

    Watched Sky channel earlier. Janet Albrechtsen was on panel with Paul Murray. It dies indeed apoear tgat Abbott has burnt hus bridges with the party. His leadership is precarious

  5. guytaur


    Been in lots of movies. He was the human in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”

  6. victoria

    Apologies for the typos

  7. guytaur

    Kennett on kicking Abbott now. Starting with debt tax

  8. mikehilliard


    [Who is Bob Hoskins?]

    Actor who did some good films in his time, like Mona Lisa.

  9. zoidlord

    Even if it is a workplace entitlement, Hockey said the Age of Entitlement must end, isn’t this a conflict?

  10. DisplayName

    PPL. Deja vu. No new points made from anyone. Will sit this one out.

  11. Tom the first and best


    Retired workers can benefit from their home, with a reverse mortgage or downsizing or other such scheme, disability pensioners over retirement age should also have their family home included in the means-test.

  12. victoria


    Speaking of the diesel fuel rebate. Word is the mining industry have already said that if this is tampered with, it will be more costly to them than the mining tax, and they will fight the govt on this.

  13. confessions

    A lot of older people have only their own home as their only asset. They are cash poor yet perhaps asset rich.

    You want to include their home in the asset test for the pension? You are consigning them to further poverty.

    And really, who the hell wants to be 75 years old and renting FFS?

  14. liyana

    Tom, my mother is a pensioner and the thought of a reverse mortgage or anything that hints of debt puts her into a permanent state of panicked stress…..and of course effects her health…and she’s not alone – I just want her and others like her to be left in peace in their own home- and yes I know she would be OK with a reverse mortgage but try explaining that to her..

    An inheritance tax would be a preferable solution..I’m happy to pay that if necessary..

  15. Rossmore

    Is this a Jeff for Canberra pitch?

  16. Jackol

    Kennett is absolutely mad.

    Just abolish penalty rates! So easy!

  17. guytaur

    victoria got rid of Kennett just in time. He was going to abolish penalty rates

  18. mikehilliard

    After all the air given here on Abbotts new tax etc etc & the article in Crikey today who really believes its all more than a fishing trip.

    [Prime Minister Tony Abbott may imply journalists are making it up — as he did on 3AW yesterday —  but the sideshow is mostly planned. Through a series of drops, a few unavoidable leaks, a studied refusal to rule things in or out, until the press conferences doing exactly that as we near the second Tuesday in May, governments control and shape the narrative around their books.]

  19. Tom the first and best


    A lot of effort explaining the measure would need to be taken.

    Inheritance should also be subject to tax.

  20. mexicanbeemer

    Tom so in other words you are saying to the workers on moderate income guess what you workers there spending your lives working with the hope of leaving your children better off are working for nothing as after you have paid off the mortgage we will make you take out a reverse mortgage which will see the benefits go to the banks rather than the workers children.

  21. guytaur

    “@Quiet__Please: Is Jeff auditioning to replace HG Nelson?


  22. Bushfire Bill

    Kennett now making the case on Lateline that you can promise anything, break the promise immediately after an election, and not have to cop anything at all as electoral punishment.

    After three years of vilifying Labor for minor promises broken (they WERE minor, just trumped up as major), these bastards have the hide to say electoral promises, not just made, but repeated ad nauseam before and after election, backed up with further promises that the original promises will never be broken, are now disposable, aspirational, vapourware.

    F**k me dead, these people have hides thicker than Jesse the Elephant.

  23. AussieAchmed

    Raving about someone having a home that they live in being worth over a million dollars so their pension should be chopped.

    Yet some earning $100,000 a year in interest on their superannuation should pay less tax….to earn $100,000 on superannuation a person need between $1,5-2 million in their account

  24. mexicanbeemer

    Maybe the government should stop funding universities and make the students pay the full cost.

  25. guytaur

    “@swearyanthony: Look, with a Victorian election later this year, I think the Liberals need to get Kennett out and on TV more. Total vote winner.”

  26. zoidlord


    Good idea, perhaps we will get those Young Sydney Liberals off people’s backs too.

  27. mexicanbeemer


    Its actually a terrible idea but the point i am trying to make is government could go off the deep end and cut spending to only the bare basics which would have many adverse impacts.

    Although those Lib students should pay their way.

  28. mexicanbeemer


    People earning that level of investment income should be asked to move off the pension.

  29. liyana

    Tom you speak of pensioners as if they are cyphers or numbers and not people. Downsizing? Reverse mortgages? Many older people want to stay in their communities near their families and in places where they have access to good medical facilities. in Sydney this means staying in areas with houses worth around a million…because in Sydney almost every bloody house is worth around a million..

  30. Jackol

    Kennett now making the case on Lateline that you can promise anything, break the promise immediately after an election, and not have to cop anything at all as electoral punishment.

    Yeah Kennett wants politicians to act as if they made no promises before the election.

    Well, the politicians should stop making promises then.

    The point about the system we have of elections in this country is that the parties are supposed to give the voters information about what they are planning to do. If promises mean nothing, ever, then what are people voting on? The vibe?

    I understand Kennett’s frustration with the system. I think the system is broken too – politicians are scared of speaking plainly about their plans because of the over-the-top media/public feedback. But that’s the problem – politicians have to start being courageous enough to be honest up front. Promise what they’re willing to promise. Don’t promise what they’re not willing to deliver on.

    We shouldn’t stop holding parties to account for not honouring their promises. We should start being more tolerant and more open to what politicians say that may (in the current atmosphere) be risky for politicians.

  31. mexicanbeemer


    Agree we do put too much focus on election promises and should be more open to changing circumstances which do require changes in policies.

  32. Tom the first and best


    The reverse mortgage providers are not getting anything for free, they pay, then they get the home at the end.

    It is not the government`s job to make some people children better off than others, which is what inheritance subsidisation does. The government`s job it to make life better for everyone children, equally.

  33. Rossmore

    There were no cast iron commitments about not reducing the diesel fuel rebate. I reckon the LNP made so many promises about not doing things that anything they didn’t promise not to do is ipso facto now on the table.

    Reducing the diesel fuel rebate would infuriate the Nats, miners and farmers but once the decision was made they’d make do and the voting public wouldn’t be much bothered.

    Kennett was right about going hard early. That was the problem with the mining tax. A weak compromise at the end of the day.

  34. zoidlord


    Yes it was mearly a joke…. at Young Libs expense.

    In-regards to Bob Hoskins, best known for his roles in Super Mario Bros. and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

  35. Bushfire Bill

    [In-regards to Bob Hoskins, best known for his roles in Super Mario Bros. and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.]

    And of course The Long Good Friday as well as his chilling portrayal of Kruschev at Stalingrad, in Enemy At The Gates

  36. Fulvio Sammut

    So, a disabled, and now retired 61 year old, with a 55 year old wife, takes on a reverse mortgage over their $450000 family home (their only significant asset) for $120000.

    They use the money to pay off the balance of their existing mortgage, $75000, buy a $15000 car to see them through, give $20000 to their only son to help him with his deposit to buy his own home, and spend the rest of the money ($10000) together with a couple of thousand dollars of their meagre savings to renovate their dilapidated kitchen and bathroom (son helps, together with a couple of his tradie mates, with the labour).

    Sounds plausible? Good.

    Now the $120000 is all gone.

    At an interest rate of 9% pa (give or take) the debt doubles every 10 years approximately.

    Our disabled pensioner mate lives on another 25 years and then karks it, leaving his 80 year old wife still in excellent health, but in a dump of a house now worth land value only, no car, and a reverse mortgage over her head of $720000.

    She lives on another 5 years (Reverse mortgage debt now $935000) and needs hip and knee surgery, dentures, a pace maker and by the way, permanent care in a high care nursing facility for which a substantial up front payment is required.

    Son has by now pissed off with his third wife to somewhere in NZ.

    If it wasn’t for the reverse mortgage, from which she and her late partner benefited little, she could have sold her land for $700-900000 (at then market value) paid for her ongoing care and medicals, and have had a comfortable nest egg left in the bank for future emergencies and contingencies.

    As it is, she’s a pauper, having followed Tom’s excellent advice.

  37. mexicanbeemer


    Well on those those grounds it isn’t the taxpayers job to fund a select group of kids uni education.

  38. Tom the first and best


    Reverse mortgages allow people to stay in their own homes, without moving, and still derive an income from it.

    Downsizing is not for everyone and smaller housing (those that do not want to downsize can get a reverse mortgage or take lodgers or some other means of turning their home into income) is usually cheaper than larger housing (of the same standard) in the same area.

  39. Rossmore

    Whatever happens with the Budget, Abbott is very seriously diminished as PM. He looks weak, the narrative is all over the place. Its credibility as a no surprises Government that keeps its promises, shot to pieces. And the beauty of it, entirely self-inflicted.

  40. guytaur

    Another bad day for Abbott 🙂


  41. Tom the first and best


    Society benefits from having university educated people in it. If the government does not fund university education then the children of the rich get an even more disproportionate proportion of access to university.

  42. zoidlord
  43. briefly


    Since this would rely on pooled, compulsory, universal contributions, it would resemble other forms of social insurance, like unemployment or sickness benefits or Super Guarantee Contributions. It may be administered through workplaces, but would be a social insurance scheme – or employment-related welfare, for want of another term.

    However, the result if tying such support to employment status is to ensure that different women – and their children – receive markedly different financial benefits.

    This would particularly disadvantage lone mothers when compared to partnered mothers.

    The employment rates of mothers vary considerably with the age of their children and according to whether they are coupled or lone mothers. Mothers are least likely to be in employment when they are lone and when their youngest child is aged 0-4. Such mothers were only about 35% likely to be in employment in 2008. By contrast partnered mothers whose youngest child is aged 0-4 were slightly more than 50% likely to be in employment. Partnered mothers whose youngest child was aged 10-14 in 2008 were nearly 80% likely to be in employment.


    This excellent study also observes…

    [Levels of human capital are an important factor here, as mothers with higher levels of human capital, measured in terms of education or work experience, are more competitive in the labour market, and therefore able to find employment in jobs with better paid and/or working conditions. Lone mothers are at a disadvantage in this respect, given their relatively low levels of human capital (Harding et al., 2005). This is evidenced by the finding that employed lone mothers of young children are more likely to be employed in casual jobs and jobs of lower occupational status, and less likely to have access to family-friendly work arrangements than couple mothers (Baxter, Gray, Alexander, Strazdins, & Bittman, 2007).

    These findings indicate that lone mothers are likely to face disproportionately higher rates of movement out of employment. However, if turnover in these jobs is relatively high, we can perhaps also expect that mothers seeking lower status or casual jobs may be able to move into these jobs more easily than mothers seeking higher status, permanent positions, for which turnover is lower. Of particular importance is whether higher turnover in casual or low-paid jobs is driven by employees or by employers. It is plausible that mothers with lower levels of human capital may be at greater risk of being subject to employer-driven turnover, and therefore being less able to leave or take up employment at a time that matches their needs.]

  44. mexicanbeemer


    And with that you open a nice loophole as the old person will just transfer the house to the kids name, will only need to find about 5k for the conveyancing solicitor

  45. mexicanbeemer


    Society benefits from workers being able to pass their house onto their children.

  46. Thomas. Paine.

    The usefulness of a reverse mortgage depends on your age and how long you are gonna live.

    I guess if you needed to go into a retirement home or nursing home at some stage, and you needed to get yourself hands on some lump some cash, you could reverse mortgage, rent the property when you went into a nursing/retirement home ….

  47. Rossmore

    So we’ve had

    – leaks from within the highest levels of the LNP Gov,

    – threats of party room revolts,

    – senior elders of the party being vocal in their criticism (Kennet and Fraser),

    – u turns on Gonski and various other broken promises

    – corruption scandals in the NSW party that have tainted the fed LNP (Sinodinos)

    – goodies and baddies Foreign Policy

    – granted, no boats

    – and the LNP tanking in the polls

    One does wonder when the MSM will twig that sometimes their job is to join the dots

  48. mexicanbeemer


    Hence why it is important to consider the person’s circumstances before entering into a reverse mortgage.

  49. Tom the first and best


    That is not the kind of reverse mortgage I am talking about. I am talking about a reverse mortgage where the reverse mortgage provider pays the reverse mortgagee a regular payment and then gets the house when they die.

  50. zoidlord

    Looks like TheOz and the liberals attacking those who are living overseas:

    When I have proof (as have others) it actually costs less for these people move overseas.

    Example 1:


  51. Fulvio Sammut

    Thomas Paine, the last of you and your spouse vacating the property technically triggers an act of Default and the reverse mortgagee calls in the reverse mortgage and sells the property to recover its then debt.

    No possibility for the mortgagor to rent it out as a means of earning income.

  52. Tom the first and best



    People who inherit houses are generally better off than the rest of the population before they inherit them. Life expectancy is such these days that the rest of the population before they inherit the house.

  53. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    The social wage is not welfare. It includes welfare. Welfare to the social wage is as a pylon to a bridge. To interchange the two terms is a show of ignorance.

  54. Tom the first and best


    Depending on the terms of the reverse mortgage. It would be quite reasonable to regulate that all new reverse mortgages last until the recipients die.

  55. mexicanbeemer


    This conversation is centered around you wanting would be pensioner to take out a reverse mortgage rather than take a pension which transfers the benefit to the banks rather than to the workers children.

    Ít reduces the benefit to society just as reducing access to university does.

    The rich will still be able to get around it by simply transferring title to the children before the older person reaches pension age.

    It only costs 5k to fill out the paperwork.

  56. deblonay

    For those who missed him aa Premier or were to young to remember this was the old Jeff many of us hated so much
    My wife said it gave her the creeps…like a time machine taking us back to the 90ies

    But Abbott is in trouble…big trouble…Kennett by his attack proves it …and he represents those Liberals who are sick of waiting for Abbott’s atttack on everything.. But they forget he has a hostile Senate and it will get no better…and then there’s Palmer…and it’s not the 90ies
    ..and all that Middle class welfare that Howard did so well will trouble Abbott when he comes to chop it down(which is what Kennett wants)

    But I repeat,,,Kennet shows that Abbott is in the poo…and so soon… great times ..and Vintage Kennett who seemed almost possessed by some spirit ..so wild was he

  57. Fulvio Sammut

    Banks don’t work that way, Tom. they are not charities or welfare providers.

    On an actuarial basis they must make a profit or they won’t be in it.

  58. mexicanbeemer

    Heaven forbid we ever have a serious bank bust.

  59. mexicanbeemer

    Regarding Tone lets just hope these public attacks don’t allow him an excuse to go soft which all the media talking heads will celebrate as common sense prevailing.

  60. Bushfire Bill

    Love some of the rationalizations coming in tonight.

    Abbott makes it all seem so easy to “fix” everything… hundreds of policies ready to go, fully costed, adults about to take over, axe the tax, stop the boats, support health, education, care for the diasbled fully, “unity tickets” etc. etc.

    Then, when the shit hits the fan, his mates go into bat for him telling us how BAD it all turned out to be, how DIFFICULT the task ahead of us truly is, how “the national interest” demands that he ditch all his promises, it supercedes everything,… promises? What are promises? Just breaths of air, here today, gone tomorrow. As Abbott himself puts it, “That was then. This is now.”

    “It’s sometimes better to seek forgiveness than ask permission” is another one of his aphorisms, his little pearls of wisdom. So he invents the crazy, inverse eligibility PPL scheme. He brings back knighthoods. He dreams up levies. He tries to rob schools of what not only Gillard but HE himself promised them. Then he backflips.

    No poor sod know WHAT he’s doing. He’s had more policies than AMP. They are ditched, or reinforced, then ditched anyway, at his own whim.

    He’s running a rabble. TWO WEEKS before the Budget is due his big ace in the hole, the Deficit Levy, goes belly up. He’s now ditching his PPL scheme. He gets Mark Simkin to waffles about how Abbott is making sacrifices…. sacrifices only of pride, not of any substance whatsoever, if truth be told.

    He promised – there’s that word… “promised” – “No surprises. No excuses.” He’s been bloody-well making excuses, parsing his own words, playing games with the people who voted for him, since day bloody #1.

    He’s fouled his own, and his government’s nest with his maniacal promises, his hubris, his mistaken belief that Rupert Murdoch will save him every time and his outright lies.

    And no comes the “forgiveness”bit.

    He told us he wouldn’t seek it. There’d be no excuses. But he’s seeking it anyway. The man has no guts, no class and not a shred of decency or honesty left in him (and that’s if he ever had any).

    Any halfwit could have seen that he was a bullshit artist, right from the start. The punters were warned, but like mugs falling for a Nigerian scam, they convinced themselves that it was going to be the other poor, dumb bastard who got swindled by the slogans, the intimidation, the wrecking and the lies.

    Now we find his party rorted the system of political donations to get the money it needed to print those crappy brochures and make those false promises. The whole thing has been exposed as an empty shell of deceit, venality, cronyism and outright criminality.

    He – and his party who followed him – brought this precisely upon themselves. They deserve no credit or sympathy, no understanding or cutting of slack in their favour. Their biggest promise was that they would keep their promises, and they have delivered practically the opposite, making the excuses they said they would never make and springing the surprises they said they would never spring.

    It’s no good to talk about what’s good for the country when the people talking about it are a bunch of pimps and spivs, cynically using the people’s trust as their disposable plaything, then getting all noble and emotional, appealing to national pride and honour, when they are found out.

    THEY are the dishonourable ones. THEY took on the responsibility for running the country. And they’ve f**ked it, f**ked themselves and f**ked us all roundly and squarely.

    They asked for no sympathy by promising “no excuses”. So be it. Let them at least stick to THAT promise and take the consequences they tols us they would deserve if they broke it.

  61. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Reverse mortgaging the family home to pay for the aged pension is a way of asset-stripping a person before they die. It is a form of death tax once favoured by the socialists/left to break up the fortunes of the upper classes, imo. It is now being used to take the resources of the middle-class and make sure their kids have nothing to inherit.

    It is funny how socialist ideas end up in the policies of the

  62. Tom L

    Re asset tests and primary residences. As with any inheritance tax it would make sense to include any value in the primary residence exceeding (say) $800k in the asset test. Then someone who’s lucked into owning a million dollar house in a former working class area won’t be pinged too much (assuming they haven’t also ‘lucked’ into owning a couple of investments too), but Mr and Mrs Cottesloe who’ve arranged their finances so the bulk of their assets are in a $5 million home aren’t going to receive the pension.

    We’re looking at the extremes here; the idea is to treat both ends fairly and still have a sensible rule for the middle.

    As for tricky transfers to children, it would usually be pretty transparent and easily legislated around, and the prospect of trusting one’s children to do the right thing for the rest of one’s life would probably put a lot of people off the idea anyway.

  63. Fulvio Sammut

    Well, we almost did, Beemer, but a couple of guys called Rudd and Swan saved us.

  64. Tom the first and best


    The reverse mortgage provider pays for the home with the reverse mortgage, the children do not pay under pension exempting the family home from the means test. If the children, or anyone else, want to pay instead of a financial institution then I have no problem with that (there is a system like that in France).

    The greater rate of taxation of a non-owner-occupier home would significantly reduce the benefit of title transfer.

    The rich can be got at with inheritance and gift taxes.

  65. deblonay

    Bendigo Bank offers a different scheme I understand from a neighbour,in which you take a parcentage of the value of the ome…say 20% in cash and contract to pay the bank say 27% when you sell the house or it’s sold after death
    The residue is the owners or estates…no interest payments and as real estate rises generally it seems a better scheme tha the reverse mortages
    Called I think Home Sacings and =different from the reverse mortage schemes
    Has anyoine heard of it

  66. DisplayName

    briefly, from Tibor’s post
    [… If the government wishes to add to this scheme, such as an extra payment to low income earners, then it can do so, but the benefit should be means tested.]

    Regarding your point, a properly implement PPL (not Abbott’s) will not magically add more money to the pot for mothers enjoying greater employment. What it will do is force businesses to *factor in an additional human cost of employment along with, for example, mental and physical health.

    In other words it forces forward planning. Businesses must account for the possibility that their employees will have children – just as they must account for the possibility of sickness or fatigue – they cannot leave it up to random chance.

    *or, if you like, force them to value an additional aspect of human life. Assuming, of course, that we *do* value that aspect.

  67. zoidlord

    Tony Abbott has LIED!


    “Yearly expenditure on Australia’s pension payments to recipients of Australian income support payments living overseas amounts to $692 million (June 2012). At the same time, pensions from overseas being paid to Australian pensioners residing in Australia totalled $1,484 million (June 2012). This represents a significant inflow of funds into Australia, an increase in disposable income for pensioners and a saving for Australian taxpayers. This is shown in Figure 1.”

  68. Tom the first and best


    It is not charity or welfare. A reverse mortgage provider takes money it has for investing, gives a payment to the homeowners based on the value of their home and their life expectancy (on an actuarial basis so the risk is spread, like with insurance) and then gets and sells the home when the owners die. 100% business.

  69. Fulvio Sammut

    No shit, Sherlock!!

  70. mexicanbeemer


    There are easily ways of taxing the rich than trying to limit property transfer

    The more you try all you do is make it harder for the workers while the rich will continue to carry on.

    Changes to the treatment of investment income in the asset test will bring far better results.

    The government is not on struggle street and if it really was then there are a number of ways of correcting that, AA has identified something like 25-30 billion.

  71. Fulvio Sammut

    2902 referred to Zoidy’s disclosure that Abbott has lied.

  72. deblonay

    Kennett doesn’t believe in policies or promises

    He is a real neo-Lib-economnist…our only true-Thatcherite
    and showed it in office…and when he says people came to appreciate his work in office…he fails to mention that he was defeated in a major swing AGAINST THOSE POLICES ….WHEN PEOPLE REALLY GOT TERRIBLY PISSED OF AND REVOLTED

  73. Fulvio Sammut

    But Tom, if it’s done universally on a Bank-must-win-in-the-end basis, the amount the bank will pay periodically to each of it’s “superannuants” will be less than an income capable of adequately supporting them.

    Oh, never mind.

  74. briefly


    [The U.S. economy barely grew in the first quarter as harsh winter weather chilled investment and exports dropped. The expansion stalled even as consumer spending on services rose by the most in 14 years.

    Gross domestic product grew at a 0.1 percent annualized rate from January through March, compared with a 2.6 percent gain in the prior quarter, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington….

    Business investment dropped at a 2.8 percent annualized rate, the weakest print since the fourth quarter of 2009. Part of that reflected a smaller gain in inventories that cut 0.6 percentage point from growth.

    Exports declined 7.6 percent, exceeding the decrease in imports and pushing the trade gap up to $414.4 billion from $382.8 billion in the fourth quarter. Trade subtracted another 0.8 percentage point from GDP.

    Government expenditures also decreased, led by cuts in federal military outlays and by state and local agencies.]

  75. Jackol

    Tom L at 2895:
    Good post.

    We’re looking at the extremes here; the idea is to treat both ends fairly and still have a sensible rule for the middle.

    I absolutely agree.

  76. zoidlord


    I thought Mod Lib said it was all good in good old USA?

  77. Tom the first and best


    Taxing inheritance and gifts (of significant financial value) is one of the best ways of getting at the rich, along with wealth tax. Its biggest hole is tax havens (a reason why a world government is needed). It should also be part of income tax so that people on higher incomes who inherit pay more tax on the inheritance than those on low incomes who inherit.

  78. DisplayName

    Further to 2899.

    They will most likely to this, of course, by reflecting that value in the price of their products, and so force those additional considerations onto their customers. Which, assuming those customers voted in favour of formalising those values, is the desired effect. They should be happy to take into consideration those things they themselves voted for.

    Abbott’s PPL does this not at all, or poorly at best.

  79. Tom the first and best


    The more valuable the home, the more that the reverse mortgage will pay and the more the means test will cut the pension. It the reverse mortgage and the super are not enough there will be a part pension.

  80. mexicanbeemer


    People pay enough income tax, the only people that work for government are public servants, everyone else is not working for the government but themselves and their families and that includes those that do actually work for the government.

  81. mexicanbeemer

    Maybe Kids from well heeled suburbs should pay 100% of the cost of their university place.

  82. Fulvio Sammut

    Under your philosophy Tom it would be far simpler for a Government to sequestrate all private property and provide subsistence payments to all its citizens in equal measure.

    I believe the experiment has been tried before.

  83. Tom the first and best


    You are thinking about inheritance from the point of view of those providing the inheritance. That sort of attitude is favorable to the very rich because not taxing inheritance, which is a form of mainly unearned income for the inheritor, spread their wealth across the generations.

  84. Tom the first and best


    Wealth is individual not suburban. Means-tests should be individual, not by suburb.

  85. Tom the first and best


    I am talking about taxing inheritance, not banning it.

    I am not talking about requiring all incomes to be equal. If you work more, or more valuably, you should get paid more.

  86. mexicanbeemer


    I invite you to tell the average tradie or office worker that they work for the government.

    I wonder what their response will be.

    If you want to tax the rich then charge them 100% of their children’s university place.

    By doing that you are hitting the source of their employability hence the key to their high income potential

  87. mexicanbeemer

    Tom if it is okay to tax based on postcode then charging for university by postcode is surely fair enough as well.

  88. DisplayName

    Taxing people based on postcode sounds like a bad idea. What are the side effects? Ghettoisation?

  89. Tom the first and best


    Inheritance taxation is not “working for the Government”. With inheritance taxation, they still get the money, they just have to pay tax on it. Workers pay tax on the income they get from working, it is thus unreasonable to workers not to make inheritors pay tax on money they inherit.

    University education is not a service to the parent, but a service to the student. If the parent(s) or other wealthy relative or friend, charge gift tax.

  90. Tom the first and best


    Means-testing owner-occupier housing is not tax based on postcode, it is a means-test based on actual realisable asset value.

  91. DisplayName

    Ttfab, fair enough. I was just going off the post immediately prior to mine.

  92. mexicanbeemer


    Your reverse mortgage idea is aimed at pensioners yet you are not willing to have the same treatment for university places.

    The children of the rich pretty much always go to university, if you survey people in white collar jobs above 80k a year they pretty much all have at least one bachelor degree, some industries require a lower level qualification but even so most will have at least one bachelor.

    You are arguing that a pensioner should have their home included in the asset test which will discriminate against working class people who have seen their once working class suburb become expensive.

    So on one hand you are happy to limit the opportunities for working class families to pass their family home onto their children but allow rich kids to go to uni which leads to them enjoying higher incomes.

  93. mexicanbeemer

    Should have added go to university subsided by those that don’t go to university.

  94. Tom the first and best

    2925 & 2926

    Means-testing students against their own assets and income is an idea with merit as is applying a gift tax when someone else (like their parents or grandparents) pay. That will effect the rich.

  95. mexicanbeemer


    Nice but students can take out a loan and the rest is sent off to the government while its possible for a kid to be living with his/her rich parents and still receive heavily subsides university place which leads to them obtaining high paying job.

    While you will still be slugging the children of the working class who have benefited from years of hard work.

  96. Tom the first and best

    Parents do not have to be rich to let their children live with them, just not more than a bit poor. Gift tax should also be applied to parents who send their children to private schools. If the student takes out a loan, they have to pay it back. The wealthy get the advantage by the parents paying and thus not leaving them with the debt.

    Parents are children are separate people with separate identities and tax and means-test liabilities. You need to remember that.

  97. B.C.

    A university education offers social and economic benefits to society, as well as to the individual. In the vast majority of cases the subsidy an individual receives in obtaining a tertiary education will be paid back many times over in increased tax payments due to their higher post-graduation income. Then there are the other potential gains to society and the economy in having a better educated workforce.
    While it makes some sense for there to be some form of copayment (e.g. HECS), it should not be at such a level as to discourage tertiary education.

  98. mexicanbeemer


    There is no disputing that and that isn’t the issue, we have Tom wanting to include the family home in the pension asset test and recommends would be pensioners take out a reverse mortgage.

    Tom has the view that the rich should pay more tax, now this brings us to university, if we want to tax the rich then one of the easiest ways is too increase university fees for kids of rich people remembering as you point out the benefits that come from a degree.

    Of course i don’t agree with Tom in regards to placing the family home in the pension asset test as the pensioner as in my view learn the right to benefit from that property.

    Just as i think the first bachelor degree should be covered by the government for the reasons you mentioned.

    As i know Tom has previously been to uni i am trying to explain to Tom in a language that as a student he would understand as i don’t think Tom understands what it would do to a person to be told after working all their lives that they no longer could benefit from their hard work because the government viewed them as rich.

  99. Jackol

    mb –

    to be told after working all their lives that they no longer could benefit from their hard work because the government viewed them as rich.

    So why do we have an asset test at all? Some people ‘benefit from their hard work’ with the result that they have a big share investment portfolio, or large term deposits. But if they have these things and they exceed the asset test thresholds then ‘the government views them as rich’.

    Strangely that is ok for other assets, but not the family home, and you have never explained why that makes sense.

    Of course there are particular issues specific to the family home, but you’re not arguing those issues, you’re arguing this spurious “they worked hard all their lives” crapola.