Brian Toohey


Brian TooheyBrian Toohey is a columnist and feature writer for The Australian Financial Review, and columnist for The West Australian and The Canberra Times.





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Re AFR 'Perspective' 30 Jul 2007

I wish I had time to sit down with a coffee and read your whole article, but it is school holidays and I have a house full of grandchildren.

I read the last para - re 'Costello's "three P's". Do you realise how many people look after their grandchildren so that parents can go out to work? So in fact, aren't they assisting in Productivity and Participation without any payment at all? They may not be having children, but they are sure assisting in that "P" as well, because after having raised their own families, some of them are busily raising a second. That being the case, and having worked very hard, without childcare and any of the benefits open to the "productive young" these days, I think we had better be quite sure that we are secure in our old age, because I don't see the benefits being available as we get old. Thank you John Howard, for allowing us old retirees to also say "Ain't Life Good". We've sure earned it! Oops better go, productivity calls!
Helen Bricknell | 04 July 2007

I listed to your comments regarding assistance to farmers because of the drought. Why did you not mention the massive assistance to the forestry industry by virtue of the forestry plantation taxation laws for MIS ? Isn't that sandbagging for that industry that is not available to any other business?
Alan Matfin | 24 October 2007

Re farm subsidies: I would add to what Alan Matfin has just said about forestry, and add the car industry, Kodak at one stage, and some of the tax benefits provided to some big corporations to have their head office in one state or another.
Butros Nehru | 26 October 2007

Brian Toohey On insight this morning said selfunded retires having a income of $150,000 were getting the handout from the government. Only those with commonwealth senior health card income limited to $80,000 per couple, which is most of us. are not getting getting the prescriptions & the handout. saving the government paying us a pension We have saved our money over the years not wasting it like a lot of age pensioners I know of, some who earned more wages than my husband & I, the difference being we looked after our money

janice sweeney | 30 November 2008

Brian you are quite incorrect in hand outs to retirees. It is only available to retirees if they hold a health card i.e income $80,000 or below - not $150,000 which we wish. happy 4 u 2 donate
R&J Myerscough | 05 December 2008

I am a centrelink employee and in these tough economical time centrelink should be monitored in regards to pensioners age/dsp/carer payment/ single payment payouts. One of our main concerns is that the government is throwing money at age pensioners just to get the votes for the next election. The australian public does not know but it should where the tax money goes.

Please have a look at the pensioner centrelink income & asset test. The primary residence (which is several million $ worth in Sydney) is not income & asset assessed. Please have a look at the cash and super pensioners can have - tax free & centrelink not income tested? The whole welfare system has to be reviewed. It is not just. You can look it up on the centrelink web-site. Thank you for supporting us, honest australian tax payers. PS: after tax free allowances we/centrelink staff earn less than our pensioner customers

wanda | 17 March 2009

Janice, What I said on Insight about so-called self-funded retires having a income of $150,000 and getting the $1400 hand-out is correct. The reasons is that, at this stage, tax-free super income does not count in the means test of this handout or for cheap drugs.

brian toohey | 30 March 2009

I am bewildered by your claim about the $1400 handout. I do not earn, I receive a pension of just over $51,000, am not on a senior's health card and did not receive the $1400 handout to pensioners.

To my knowledge only those self-funded retirees with Seniors' health card were eligible to receive the $1400. The Health card criteria was used to prevent retirees you speak of from receiving the handouts.

I find this article to be a broad, insensitive criticism of self-funded retirees. We are a generation who paid 19% interest on our homes during times of recession, who lived in 12 square homes and kept our cars, fridges, furnishings etc until they broke. Never in my life have we received cash for doing nothing, although we were always willing put in many hours of additional work for no pay, just to get the job done well. We always worked hard, paid big taxes and saved hard in our super funds with a view to being able to avoid being a drain on the government in retirement. Are you saying we were wrong to do that?

The tax concession on pensions for self funded retirees recognised that our generation will live longer than previous. Tax concessions on our supers, which are not huge sums anyway, simply enable us to make our super savings last longer.

Let us live in peace in retirement, Brian. Please do not make us the target of your own gain. It really is hard enough to deal with recent massive super losses due to the greed and high debt speculators, without also becoming targets because this tax initiative was implemented by the previous government.
J Bullock | 09 April 2009

Hi, are you the Brian Toohey that used to have a publication in Canberra some years back that was unceromoniously closed down? - details are sketchy to me - but I remember something along those lines - and I think, a magnifying glass on the cover somewhere? thanks if you can help, if not, sorry to bother you.
kind regards,
Jay ahhh. reason for interest - studying politics and the media -freedom of the press etc
Jay Devine | 24 July 2009

Thanks Brian for all your solid, intelligent and uncontaminated journalism. We could do with more like you. Good work here and on Insiders, and the Fin Review.
Angela Sands | 20 June 2012


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