Required; Photocopy of the front and back of your concession card.

My morning rituals include a walk to the letterbox, just in case something gets delivered inside. I have a notice stuck on its lid ‘no junk” but at times I feel like taking it off.  It is so rare that personal posts get delivered, even a catalogue on detergents would make a bit of a surprise. I suppose email has won out over personal letters. This morning though I was pleasantly surprised to get two letters. 

One was from the bank and the other from my local Shire Council who now wants proof that I am still the recipient of an old age pension.  Faithful followers of my blog know I have a quirky attitude to concessions including social benefits, especially pensions, sickness benefits, free medical services, education or anything that makes life more pleasurable and equitable for all.  Countries should at least strive for those benefits and raise enough revenue to pay for these.

Readers might also remember my pension card was torn in front of me at the Government  Office by a diligent but hard hearted bureaucrat whose eyes were reflecting a glee when she did that. I felt miffed at the time but did not show it. Anyway. with the letter in my pocket I drove to the Shire Council to tell them I was no longer a pensioner entitled to a pension because my wife had died and I was now ‘deemed’ to have enough income not to need a pension.  All our assets that were previously in two names, now were in one name.

It is no big deal, and all it means is that my rates that include water, garbage collection, nature strip grass cutting, Shire library, swimming pool and so much more now incurs the full charge and no pensioner discount. Fair enough. That’s how it is here in Australia. It seems The Netherlands too have become more frugal (mean) and they too had some kind of Robo debt scandal and now the whole government had no option but to resign.

This is an interesting graph relating to the situation in the US and not related to my pensioner concession card at all.

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34 Responses to “Required; Photocopy of the front and back of your concession card.”

  1. catterel Says:

    Like you, I have lived a relatively long time in our western society – and am still wondering how come we have a sense of justice and fairness telling us that things ought not to be like this. The world, life, is NOT fair – so why do we feel it should be? I am still very indignant that you have lost your pensioner status.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Catherine, democracy held so much hope. Individual and not communal aims would give just rewards for those that were willing to compete against each other and become winners.
      The graph below sure proves who became the winners.

      I happened to look up the word socialism ; “the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

      In the US right now tens of thousands of soldiers and police armed to the teeth are hopeful of preventing violence, yet, gun shops are openly with full approval doing a roaring trade arming those very people that are at the core of uprisings and violence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    That graph is an eye-opener.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yvonne Says:

    Tomorrow morning at this time, we can watch a human being installed as President of that strange country.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, you say: “This is an interesting graph relating to the situation in the US and not related to my pensioner concession card at all.”
    Well, wouldn’t the Australian Federal Government be in a similar kind of situation? I wonder, how many millionaires are in our Federal Government, and how many of them would be white males over 55?
    By the way, are you being assessed as a millionaire?
    I do agree, everyone that has worked in the country for years and paid their taxes should be entitled to a pension card in their old age!
    Even I, who have not worked in this country at all, but have lived here since age 24, and having being supported by my hard working husband throughout his working life in Australia, am ever since I have been of pension age entitled to an age pension! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I feel in Australia social benefits were never received with much enthusiasm and often seen as charity or dole-out, instead of a right that caring societies works towards.
      The graph below might well relate to our situation as well, Uta.

      There is always the underlying tone of barely concealed contempt whenever the Government deals with social issues. It is vote winner when unemployed are cast as dole bludgers and lazy.

      You use the word entitlement Uta. I think it is a right that everyone should have.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yvonne Says:

    I was wrong, it’ll be the day after tomorrow for the inauguration!

    What makes me grumpy about our pensions is the deeming rate for any assets we might have. I would love to get 3% these days. I feel sorry for those who must drain down their savings, unable to access even a tiny portion of the pension.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Yvonne.
    That deeming rate has been a contentious issue for decades. It allows the Government to cut pensions from those frugal oldies that might have some savings ferreted away.

    No institution or bank pays interest at the deeming rate. Yet , this mean Government uses that trick to jack-up the income of pensioners in order to cut their pension. They are then “deemed” to be above the amount that allows them a part pension.

    Of course there are lovely soup kitchens and I often I see yummy half eaten pizzas being discarded, even so… Is that what I have been so good for all my life?

    We were never on a full pension and from memory it was about $ 90 a fortnight but it gave one free car registration, concession on water and Council rates and 4 trips a year on a train somewhere.

    What makes it all good is that I have a lovely caring woman in my life now and that feels like being a millionaire.

    Liked by 2 people

    • auntyuta Says:

      If you end up marrying this lovely caring woman, do you then have a chance to get your pension benefit card back? But what happens to your and to her assets then? It might be interesting to find out!
      Maybe the pension card is not worth all that much after all. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Oh, ho, ho ho, hang on Uta. Hold the horses, stone the crows.

        I suppose it is a rhetorical assumption? I am talking about a close loving friendship. Let alone a devious plot to get a pension card.

        We just holding hands and whispering about sweet daisies and admiring buttercups.
        No assets or exchanging interest rates at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Loved your graphs, Gerard. They say it all: too many old white millionaire men in Congress. I might add too many old, white, millionaire, Republican men since they far outnumber their percentage of the population as well. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  8. auntyuta Says:

    Of course it was purely rhetorical, Gerard. I am sure, you’re alright. Just enjoy and wishing you all the best. Love, Uta 🙂

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, marrying is not on he cards, Uta. How are you going? You will find that blogging and keeping in touch is very helpful in the grieving process.
      All the best, Gerard

      Like

      • auntyuta Says:

        I can only say, Gerard, marrying is not on the cards for me either. I would not like to go through such a grieving process again. I promised myself that for the next few months I’ll spend a bit more time reading books! It is always gratifying when there are people that take an interest in what I am writing or thinking or feeling! Talking? I don’t know, sometimes I think I lose the ability to actually say something. Maybe I am still too much on my own all the time. I tell myself despite the Coronavirus I could make more of an effort to go out a bit more, but then I make excuses why I cannot do this, since it is difficult to make time for a good outing. I miss not being able to go effortless on some outings to meet people.
        I love to see Christa, 83, and her daughter Sylvia, 63. Both of them came to the funeral and I liked having them sitting next to me!
        Christa lost her husband two years ago after a long sickness. Her husband had been a long time friend of Peter’s. In the 1960s they were both laying sewerage pipes for Waterboard in Wollongong.
        I find it easy to talk to Sylvia and Christa. Sylvia keeps in touch with me per email. But we can’t see each other very often. The other day they rang me on the phone. Of course I liked talking to them, but it is not the same as visiting them. None of us has a car or a driver’s licence. These days it is not so good to depend on public transport.
        On my morning walks through the grass and onto the trees I sometimes see the neighbours in the distance, and it feels good when we greet each other. I walk with my rollator and usually rather slowly. I walk by myself. Nobody walks with me, not ever. But I tend to imagine some converstions in my head. And then I think I should write some of that down.
        Now look, Gerard, your simple question made me write down so much that it could go into a post. Never mind, I do thank you for your interest. Love, Uta 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Write as much as you feel like, Uta.
        A few months ago I felt it would be nice to have a friendship with someone from the opposite sex. Although ‘opposite’ sounds as if opposing is their aim. I did not seek friendship that opposes. Rather one that joins.
        Of the female sex might be better.’

        Anyway, I grasped the issue by the neck and joined dating sites. The first one turned out not very suitable, it was for ‘mature’ people, but the intro seemed a bit raunchy. After just two exchanges with a seemingly nice elderly woman of 73 years old, she asked me to meet her by saying ”Í like you already and am ready for you. Come over and Roger me.” I looked up the verb and it is slang for some army language to do with mission done all is ‘Roger’. There is also another explanation which is when a war rocket has been placed in the tube or a bullet in its chamber. All is ‘Roger’.

        I was duped by that site and there must be a lot of dodgy dating sites taking advantage of isolation, especially now with lock downs. The second site was much more suitable with normal language and an exhaustive questionnaire to fill in giving a fair profile of wat you want and common interests, hobbies, education level, languages and so forth.
        Each morning at wakening I would open my iPhone and be greeted by new introductions. It is amazing how many ladies like dancing. That cuts me out, I am good at walking but no dancing or jigging around the floor for me. Of course, you also put photos up and one can get a bit of an idea. I put in books, reading, gardening, walking and was honest about ”no” for sport for me, I could think nothing worse than watching a cricket or tennis match, no matter how nice the lady.

        I am just saying that it was one way of making contact, dear Uta and that’s how I met my present very nice female friend and we are not opposite sex at all.
        Your writing is your best tool and that’s something you can do anytime and from the comfort of your chair and in your home. And you are good at it.
        All the best,
        Gerard

        Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        You say, Gerard, that my writing is my best tool. You’re right I do like spending time doing it. But I don’t know, somehow I still have not reached the right sort of balance. I am always scared to be running out of time, which is silly, I know. I should be in charge of my time now. I think I have to learn to live without fear! I have a third wordpress site that not many people know. I just published a few thoughts there thinking about it how I could accomplish some novel writing. By the way, how is your second book going? This is my obscure site:
        https://auntyuta199172524.wordpress.com/2021/01/22/how-to-write-an-autobiographical-novel/

        Liked by 1 person

    • freefall852 Says:

      Uta…You read and commented on my story “Pearl” several years ago ( https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/pearl/ ) and I thought your comments there succinct and insightful..but yes, the fear of social slighting is what stops so many of us, including myself, from writing our deepest thoughts and feelings…I too have a partial completed “fiction” autobiography that has stalled at my coming of age period…and I am uncertain how to restart it now…or even if i want to anymore..

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        At this ripe old age of yours, Joe, it mighy become one of your best writings. Try it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • freefall852 Says:

        I cannot sympathise nor connect to what I would call my fellow countrymen..at least this new generation..any more…most of my writing is of an older era..of an older generation and I find this “New Australia” so caught up in materialism / consumerism that I don’t even WANT TO be part of it any more…and I confess that I would LOVE to be able to go and live out my last days in somewhere like Rome or another place in Europe…anywhere there just to escape the absolute boring and facile lifestyle that is nowadays being broadcast upon us like some tiresome Sci-fi future distopian world…but unfortunately it is here and now!…I can’t believe what this country has become.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. freefall852 Says:

    Gerard…On your “Roger” conundrum…while the exact dialect meaning is a mystery to me also, I DO remember a little ditty from my teen years about a lascivious English Aristocrat that took advantage of gentle ladies if he could…one : “Sir Roger of Kildare”….I cannot recall the whole thing, but there was a line where the youlg lady tells her mother she ..” . . . will go to the fair…I will go with Sir Roger..Sir Roger of Kildare. . . “

    Liked by 2 people

    • freefall852 Says:

      Y’see..what I’m thinking is that yourself being Dutch and myself being Italian, we may be missing that “knowledge of nuance” of English idiosyncracy that uses obscure slang and dialect to get their intention across..For instance, the expression : “To fiddle the books”…well…common sense tells us you can’t fiddle (violin) a book..but there you go…and..another common one ; “To jockey for position”..an equestrian term, surely, but commonly used in many applications..So perhaps the lady of your first aquaintance using the term “Come over and Roger me” was merely an innocent invitation to take her out..perhaps like the good Sir Roger of Kildare..to a fair..as in ; ” Come around kind Gerard and ‘Roger’ me in your automobile to a fair”…One can only surmise..

      Liked by 2 people

  10. gerard oosterman Says:

    According to the dictionary . Roger has three meanings.
    1 message; received and understood.
    2 an expression of agreement.
    3 slang for copulation
    For a 73 old to use that verb to entice a partner is a bit too direct and intimidating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • freefall852 Says:

      Yes, Gerard…it would be enough to “throw” one off balance…I’ve had such a thing happen to me too once…
      My own experience, Gerard, in the world of “raunchy women” is no less fraught with doubt and wonder…For instance..years back when I was courting a voluptuous Catholic lady whilst “resting” between spouses, she sprung a similar surprise upon myself that left me puzzled and searching for answers…
      You see..I have this very good leather belt that was given to me as a gift from my first wife..it is of light-tan, soft-buff leather..very malleable and flexible..it also has a twin strap at the insertion end where one strap goes under the buckle and the other through with the holes for the pin..with the buckle a not too big but a robust, brass affair that is quite ornate in it’s simple design..a good, solid belt that the lady had at odd times remarked upon admiringly.
      One day the lady in Q’ grabbed the belt in her fist just as I fastened it on and dragged me to herself in a commanding way and whispered vampishly in my ear..: “You could give me six of the best anytime..”….I looked at her with a mind clouded for the moment in doubt and confusion…just as you must have felt, Gerard, when you got that “Come and Roger me ” offer from your first lady-friend…But all of a sudden my mind flashed to that dried fruit and nut stand at the Central Market..Of course!: “Charlesworth Nuts” where I recalled they sold warm dry-roasted various numbered mixes of nuts…cashews, pecan, macadamias etc… and I said “Of course..you know..that’s a great idea and I’ll get some next time I pass the market on the way to work”…
      Well a week or so later I DID buy that “six of the best mix” and I went around to see the lady with my little bag of nuts…but when I arrived, she was just about to depart in a car with another man..she looked to me and said..”Sorry, luv..but you’re just a bit too slow..so now you miss out.”..and she threw me a kiss and departed….but hey…I got the better of her there and then, because I got stuck into that delicious, warm bag of “six of the best” and I didn’t leave any for her!…Ha!..She’s the one who missed out..

      Liked by 1 person

  11. rangewriter Says:

    Oh yeah. I’m all to familiar with your chart. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  12. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Just stopping by with some hugs for you! (((HUGS)))
    And some PATS and RUBS for Milo!
    Hope all is going well!
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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