LONG have I and fellow ratepayers carped on regarding the low return we receive from the millions that pour through council coffers. Rates, service charges, etc plus the millions they receive via grants.
The most recent, the fire recovery for the fires that Bellingen missed. Plus the recent rate hike, from memory 20 per cent compounded over three years, mainly for reseals and new seals on gravel roads. So shocked we are to see council asking landowners with gravel road frontage to share the cost.
This is a double whammy for many from a conservative generation who worked hard, shunned self indulgence, and saved to be self funded in their twilight years and not rely on government support.
A generation where many relied on guaranteed income from term deposits in a major bank.
Today, with rates near zero, a couple will need $8 million in a term deposit to equal the aged pension, with rates predicted to go lower and remain there for years. That same couple with $1 million ineligible for the pension will earn only $5000.
So an adviser will say blow $600,000 - bigger house or upgrade, world holiday first class - and retain $400,000 to receive a pension worth all up $40,000 and still have a nest egg for extras. And you can borrow against that big house which increases in value tax free.
Unprecedented times, with dark clouds on the horizon in case printing machines break down.