As a long-term recipient on psychiatric grounds of the Australian Disability Support Pension, I have a direct pecuniary interest in seeing its plausible maintenance and increase. Nonetheless, it seems worth bearing in mind a few factors which could militate against excessive recourse to the begging-bowl at present.
All else being equal, in fairly stable countries times of relative economic declension tend to affect long-term pensioners less negatively (or even positively in some cases) than others in the community. Since our income is fixed, deflation in commodities, rent and consumer goods allows it to go further in such times.
While our continued spending may serve to some extent as a demand-sink for the economy, governments may find themselves constrained by reduced revenue from precipitately increasing individual pension payments to those whose position remains stable, especially since more volatile sectors such as Construction or Commodities tend to disproportionately be adversely affected by recessions.
Contrariwise, we would tend to be at greater need of assistance when the economy is booming. Incidentally, I’d say the same of responsible landlords since rental yields tend to decline disproportionately compared to other asset classes in such fecund times.
Thanks to various measures reported in this article, persons like me (I’m on the Disability Support Pension due to my apparently high-functioning Autistic-Spectrum Disorder) should find some alleviation in meeting certain expenses.
In my view, it was pretty nice of HMAG to announce that, and I also thank Kevin Rudd for his reported provisional approval reported therein.
Still, both sides should note that my vote is not for sale (on a tangential note, I suspect the “Hip Pocket Nerve” plays less in the electorate’s deliberations than many pronounce.) Besides the promotion of civic comity through supporting Australia’s Constitution and the role of the Crown within it (which at present is paramount in my political deliberations), the following considerations strike me as worthy of note in the Commonwealth sphere:-
- Defense/Foreign Relations. In this field, it is crucial to maintain the unity of the Western Alliance. As such, we should discourage ad hominem invective concerning the leadership of allied nations (statements to the effect of “I’m not against the X’an People, I just don’t like Mr X” should, in my view, be reserved for enemies when said by statesmen)
- Revenue. Rather than demanding ‘your’ money back (whether through tax-cuts or more spending on your favoured cause), why not spare a thought for the Consolidated Revenue Fund?
- Infrastructure. While there’s been a few encouraging noises on various projects in Parliament in the last year or two, so far we’ve heard relatively little on it in the Campaign. While it’s granted Road and Rail is mostly a State responsibility, surely someone in the Commonwealth Government or Opposition has something up their sleeves in this respect which would get the voters churning?