Kermie's been pensioned off
SO, NOW it's official: I'm a fully-fledged, paid-up pensioner.
I was actually a pensioner as of March 21.
If I'd been born three months earlier, I'd have been a pensioner since September 21 last year.
I'm not complaining though. Rita has to wait another two years to earn the moniker.
Looks like my kids will have to be 70 before they get to "retire”.
That should leave them just about enough time to put their affairs in order and find a nice spot for their ashes to go before they kark it.
The reason it is now official is because the government finally decided to give me my pensioner's allowance, albeit three months late.
I rang them a couple of times to find out what was going on and they told me that, yes, they could see me in the queue and, no, there didn't appear to be anything wrong with my application but I'd just have to wait.
On the third contact with them, I tried a different tack and told them I'd lost a major filling (true) and couldn't afford to get it replaced (a bit of poetic licence here).
I also told them it was my chewing tooth and, without it, I wouldn't be able to eat and could likely starve to death.
I failed to mention that I'm on a diet, so eating per-se wasn't high on my agenda.
I also indicated I supposed being unable to eat wasn't of much consequence as, without my pension, I couldn't afford food anyway.
All of this had the desired result and the very nice and severely overworked lady from Centrelink said she could put me under the "hardship” banner.
This was on a Thursday and by the following Tuesday I was an officially paid up member of the Grumpy Old People's Pensioner Society.
I'm betting that our esteemed politicians (yes, I can hear you laughing) didn't have to wait three months for the pay rise they voted for themselves from July 1.
Indeed, the PM's pay rise alone is not much less than the annual amount they pay me. With all the crap that comes out of my mouth, I really should have gone into politics.
I'd have done well - apart from knowing half the country would have hated me.
Of course, I write for this publication and, contrary to some of my so-called mates out there who reckon I should pay Big Rigs for the privilege of doing so, they do actually pay me a moderate stipend.
Being basically an honest person who couldn't sleep for a week, thanks to the guilt after nicking a packet of PK chewing gum at age six, I was forthright in advising Centrelink, and hence the ATO, of said income.
This means my pension will be reduced.
The government has a way of making you feel like a bludger for receiving a pension.
It's done covertly, buried in their general propaganda.
Statements such as "times are tight” and "we can't afford to be a welfare state” don't do the ego much good.
But then, I remind myself they aren't actually doing us a favour at all, as they would try and have us believe.
All they are doing is giving us back a bit of the seven per cent of our wages that initially went into a pension fund for all Australians and then got moved into general revenue.
I don't know if it's true but a recent post on Book Face declared those monies go into a fund for public servants and politicians' retirement.
That'd be about right.
Sco-Mo said the other day that the government couldn't keep paying pensions forever.
Well Mr Morrison, here's a bit of news for you: it's not your money.
Like most Australians, I've worked hard, paid all my taxes and not been a burden on society.
So I'll accept my pension that I've worked for all my life and not feel guilty about getting it.
After all, it's bugger all to what the Scott Morrisons of this world will get the minute they retire.
Take care of you.