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BFCSA investigates fraud involving lenders, spruikers and financial planners worldwide.  Full Doc, Low Doc, No Doc loans, Lines of Credit and Buffer loans appear to be normal profit making financial products, however, these loans are set to implode within seven years.  For the past two decades, Ms Brailey, President of BFCSA (Inc), has been a tireless campaigner, championing the cause of older and low income people around the Globe who have fallen victim to banking and finance scams.  She has found that people of all ages are being targeted by Bankers offering faulty lending products. BFCSA warn that anyone who has signed up for one of these financial products, is in grave danger of losing their home.


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BFCSA: Minister for Insane Centrelink: Minister Stuart Roberts MP uses deeming rules to throw elderly Sterling Victims in the Trashcan

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How can the money be "deemed to be there" WHEN $255,000 has been stolen from this frightened TRAUMATISED lady in her sixties?   She needs sensible and compassionate assistance. 

I remember sending a short note to Amanda Vanstone in 1998 on the same subject. Vanstone fixed the problem in 24 hours

If you have not been properly briefed, on the STERLING COLLAPSE, then I suggest you call me Mr Roberts.  I can easily fill you in. 0401 642 344

 ASIC is to blame for this crisis.  We need you to FIX THIS.

We need an urgent remedy for 800 retiree victims who have been told ten days ago $36 million has been stolen. 

ASIC is condoning the LEASE for LIFE scandal affecting people in three states....



In effect Ms XXX has purchased a ‘lease for life’ of a private residential property that is not located in a retirement village. She said that she entered into this arrangement in the belief that it was an economical way in which to secure a life tenancy by means of an upfront payment in circumstances in which she could not afford to purchase a property and did not want to move into a retirement village. Ms XXX considers the property her principal place of residence and said the arrangement provides her with security of tenure. The tribunal noted that special conditions attached to the agreement provide that the term of the agreement ends on the earliest of the death of the resident or the date of lawful termination pursuant to the agreement of the Act (presumably the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (W.A.).

7. Provisions relating to whether a person is qualified for age pension and whether those pensions are payable to the person are contained in Part 2.2 of the Act. Section 43 of the Act sets out the basic qualification for age pension. Section 55 of the Act provides that a person’s age pension is worked out using Pension Rate Calculator A at the end of section 1064. Relevant to the calculation is whether a person is a homeowner or a non-homeowner.

8. Subsection 11(4) of the Act provides a definition of homeowner – it defines a “homeowner” as one who:

(i) has a right or interest in the person’s principal home; and

(ii) the person’s right or interest in the home gives the person reasonable security of tenure in the home.

9. Qualification for rent assistance requires (amongst other things) for a person to be in receipt of age pension, not an aged care resident, not an ineligible homeowner and pay fortnightly rent which is higher than the threshold amount.2 An ineligible homeowner is a person who meets the definition of a homeowner. The Guide notes that as a general rule rent assistance is not payable to a person who is a homeowner 3 There are exceptions to this

2 Sections 1070C and 1070D of the Act.


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general rule identified in the Act and none of the exemptions listed in the Act have application in this matter.4

10. The tribunal noted a number of authorities which have examined the question of whether a person meets the definition of a homeowner. The Federal Court has “…equated the concept of a “right or interest” in the home with any right or interest in land known to law whether deriving from a recognised estate in land or from a contractual arrangement with the owner of the land. Thus, the Court held that an applicant may..”5 include (amongst other things):

 a beneficiary under a unit or discretionary trust;

 a party with the benefit of an agreement for lease for three years or more;

 a tenant under a written tenancy agreement for a fixed term.

11. In this matter the tribunal is satisfied that Ms XXX has a right or interest in her principal home which gives her reasonable security of tenure. The arrangement she has entered into is not a typical residential tenancy arrangement, rather she has for an investment purchased a lease for life utilising the mechanism of a series of tenancy agreements which provide her with a fixed term of 40 years. Unlike a retirement village arrangement the dividends on her investment are applied as ‘rental’ payments.

12. The tribunal was satisfied that Ms XXXx meets the definition of a homeowner and as such she is not able to be paid rent assistance and her rate of age pension is to be calculated on this basis.

Issue 2 - Are financial investments made by Ms XXX to be treated as financial assets?

13. As noted the Act sets out that a person’s rate of age pension is dependent upon the application of an income and assets test. Whichever test results in the lowest rate is applied. In this matter the Department has assessed money Ms XXX has invested with Silver Link as an assessable asset and subject to deeming. As noted in the Guide:6

Deeming assumes that financial investments are earning a certain rate of income, regardless of the amount of income they are actually earning. If income support recipients earn more than these rates, the extra income is not assessed.

14. An "asset" means property or money (including property or money outside Australia) (section 11 of the Act). Property includes financial investments which include managed investments.

4 Section 13 of the Act.

5 SDEWR v Vanderpluym [2007] FCA 876; 161 FCR 388; 95 ALD 587; 9(3) SSR 14 as cited in the Social Security and Family Assistance Commentary Sutherland and Anforth at [11.10].

6 see also section 1078 of the Act

Page 4 of 4

15. It is not in dispute that Ms XXX invested $232,560 with Silver Link Securities. According to its proposal Silver Link has an investment strategy described as directed at high yielding investments covering a range of categories including, property, mortgage, managed investments and liquid investments.7

16. Ms XXX says that her ‘investment’ should not be assessed but should be exempt because that money has been used to secure her lease for life and the return on that investment is being used to pay her rent.

17. Section 1118 of the Act provides for specific categories of assets which are exempt from assessment. The tribunal reviewed those exemptions and was satisfied that the investment made by Ms XXX is not exempt.

18. There is also provision for exemption of financial investments 8 from the deeming provisions which removes that investment from the calculation of deemed income but does not alter the value of the investment under the asset test. The exemptions are determined by the Minister for Social Services upon application. There can also be deeming exceptions for unrealisable assets assessed under the asset hardship provision. This requires a person to make application under those provisions.9

19. On the presented evidence the tribunal was unable to find any basis to exempt the deeming provisions. Ms XXX submitted that the law is unfair and that she has been penalised ‘twice’ by the Department in treating her as a homeowner and also assessing the investment made with Silver Link as an assessable asset. The tribunal was sympathetic to Ms XXX position. As noted there is provision in the legislation for a person to seek a Ministerial Determination or to make application under the asset hardship provision.

20. On the basis of the presented evidence the tribunal concluded that the decision to assess the investment with Silver Link as financial assets is correct.

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Guest Friday, 07 August 2020