Investing, Trading and Markets - Your money

Superannuation and house prices fuel widening generation gap report says

OLDER Australians are becoming more financially comfortable while younger generations stagnate, and proposed changes to superannuation rules are unlikely to close the widening generation gap.

New research from ME has found that the financial comfort levels of Baby Boomers and retirees has been rising for the past four years, largely thanks to growing house prices and superannuation balances.

However, Generation X and Y households have remained relatively static, says MEs Household Financial Comfort Report, released today.

Housing affordability issues are shutting the door on property ownership for many young Australians, and while superannuation rule changes are likely to be announced soon, many of the proposals being floated will hit younger savers rather than retirees.

The gap in financial comfort between older and younger Australians is widening the younger generations are going sideways while the older generations are seeing it improve, ME consulting economist Jeff Oughton said.

Superannuation ideas that dominated media attention last week included scrapping planned rises to compulsory super, and reducing some tax breaks that would affect millions of middle-income earners as well as wealthier workers.

Mr Oughton said richer Australians should be better able to manage any wind-bank of super tax breaks.

Industry Super Australia director of policy Zak May said the rising financial comfort of older Australians showed that superannuation was working, but there was broad recognition that current rules were poorly targeted, benefiting high-income people the most.

However, recent rule changes such as abolishing the low income super contribution from 2017, tightening age pension means testing and delaying the rise in compulsory super payments were hitting low and middle income earners, he said.

These policies all have winners and losers, and most of the losers are on lower to middle incomes and that tends to be women as well, Mr May said.

The changes and ideas coming from government raise concerns about the commitment to the superannuation system, and helping everyone have a decent retirement.

The ME report says households still rely largely on employer contributions to super and less than 20 per cent tip in extra money. It says retirees have average net wealth of $577,000 while couples with young children have $366,000.

Renters have low levels of financial comfort, reflecting difficulties buying a house. Both house prices and rents are growing faster than incomes, particularly in some of the major capital cities, it says.

Mr Oughton said intergenerational transfers through wills and estates would share the wealth of older Australians but they are very slow events, although a growing number of parents and grandparents were helping out financially earlier than before.

Some older people shake the younger peoples hands with a warm hand today rather than a cold hand later, he said.

Video shows scenes from the apocalypse with paris streets covered in rubbish as migrants camp out

SHOCKING footage has emerged revealing the trail of destruction left by migrants forced to live on the streets of Paris following a riot with police.

The video shot by a French filmmaker shows the aftermath of a raid on a camp with roads strewn with rubbish and make shift beds, The Sun reports.

Groups of African migrants are forced to live on the streets using pieces of cardboard as mattresses and with their worldly possessions carried in plastic bags.

The anonymous filmmaker wore a hidden camera as he recorded the scenes on Avenue de Flandre in the north of the French capital.

The clip titled Scenes from the apocalypse includes footage from earlier this year of the migrants clashing with police in riot gear as they throw debris at one another.

Cops were filmed using tear gas and protecting themselves with riot shields. The migrants were said to have been put on buses and taken to new accommodation.

The filmmakers blame the migrants many of whom Sudanese and Eritrean for ruining the iconic image of Paris, the Mail Online reports.

The Paris you know or remember from adverts or brochures no longer exists, the Facebook page Generation Europe wrote.

While no part of Paris looks like the romantic cliches in Hollywood movies, some districts now resemble post-apocalyptic scenes of a dystopian thriller.

If it werent for the somewhat working infrastructure, the scene might as well have been the setting of movie shooting or a slum in Mogadishu.

The streets are littered in garbage, the sidewalks are blocked with trash, junk and mattresses, thousands of African men claim the streets as their own they sleep and live in tents like homeless people.

The conditions are absolutely devastating. The police have given up trying to control these areas, the remaining French people avoid the areas at all cost, crime and rape is rampant, just recently mass brawls and riots made the news as fights broke out near the Stalingrad metro station.

If current trends continue, scenes like this might spread to areas frequented by tourists, forever changing the last romantic parts of Paris that match what most people have in mind when they think of the iconic city.

A British tourist was interviewed by police in Calais earlier this week after a hit and run in which a migrant died. The motorist who has not been named is said to have swerved to avoid a gang trying to stop traffic on the A16.

At the beginning of the month 10 riot policemen were injured after migrants and hard-left activists launched a violent protest against the closing of the Calais Jungle, it was revealed.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

Tempers were rising among refugees and migrants bottled up in a makeshift camp in France's port city of Calais, as French and British interior ministers met in Paris on Tuesday. Mark Kelly reports. Image: AP