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A FINANCIAL adviser has barely escaped with his life after being beaten and held hostage for four days … by a gang of old-age pensioners.                                           

American James Amburn was beaten until his ribs broke, burnt with cigarettes and hit with a Zimmer frame by the gang of five pensioners furious that he’d lost their £2 million ($4.1 million) savings.

Living in Germany, Mr Amburn was ambushed as he left a café and driven in the boot of an Audi to a house, where he was dumped in a cellar.

“I was jumped from the rear and struck,” he told UK tabloid The Sun.

“Then they bound me like a mummy with masking tape. It took them quite a while because they ran out of breath.”

In four days, the pensioners fed him just two bowls of soup, burned him with cigarettes and threatened to kill him “again and again”, angry that he had invested their money in a failed Florida property scheme.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

He escaped once but was recaptured and beaten until his ribs broke.

Mr Amburn was eventually rescued after convincing his captors to let him fax a Swiss bank in an attempt to get their money.

He left a note for police at the bottom of the fax and armed cops stormed the house in Bavaria on Saturday.

The “Furious Five” as they have been dubbed, face 15-year sentences for hostage-taking and torture.

Source  :  www.news.com.au  

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Sarah MacPherson, Melville

Sarah has a 19-year-old daughter living at home, and is in the process of starting up a technology-based business.                 single mother
 
What Sarah wanted:
Measures to help vulnerable in society, such as pensioners, carers and single parents;
. Increased taxes on cigarettes and alcopops;
. Stimulus packages for small startup companies;
. Maintenance of the First Homeowners Grant boost;
. Investment in education;
. Dumping of the GST charged on sanitary products.
 What she got:
. Increased pensions – by $32.49 for singles and $10.14 per couple.
. The pension age lifted to 67 between years 2017 and 2023.
. First Homeowners Grant boost to remain until September 2009, but to be halved after that.
. Opening up university places for additional 50,000 students over four years from next financial year.
. $437 million over four years to boost number of disadvantaged students at university.
. A 50 per cent small business tax break for eligible capital expenditure.
Her verdict:
“I suppose the first word that came to mind was ‘predictable’,” Sarah said.
 
“The rise in pension age means many of the battlers will have to battle a little longer.
 
“But if you look at the current global economy, they probably haven’t done too badly – they can’t please everybody”

www.watoday.com.au

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single motherSarah MacPherson has a 19-year-old daughter living at home.

“I think people should be realistic that we’re in unusual economic times and that the government might need to hand down an unusual budget to respond,” she said.

“I really hope the Government looks after the most vulnerable in society, the pensioners, the carers, single parents.

“I’m happy for them to increase taxes on cigarettes and alcopops, because the youngsters with the alcopops and cigarettes are just a horror, aren’t they?”

After a long period as a PAYE worker Sarah’s career is in transition as she looks to start up a technology-based business

She says that in the current economic climate, where people may be losing their jobs, the Government needs to provide
stimulus packages for small startup companies.

On the broader economy, Sarah says first homeowners are the only segment of the housing market keeping the “crucial” building industry afloat right now.

“I would look at them to continue the first home owners grant to stimulate the economy via house sales,” she says.

“I do have quite a few friends with kids older than (my daughter) and they’re all trying to get in before the end of June, because the Government has only promised the boosted grant until then.”

Sarah believes Treasurer Wayne Swan’s mooted investment in primary school infrastructure will provide economic stimulus in the short term, and benefit society in the long term.

She also says the GST charged on sanitary products should be dropped immediately.

“That’s an absolute necessity for women.”

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/budget

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Aged pensioners living in country towns across WA can begin applying for the State Governments $500 fuel card from tomorrow.

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls today launched fuel card scheme in Albany which will allow pensioners in country towns to use the credit on the card either to buy fuel or hire a taxi.

The fuel card, which is expected to cost taxpayers $80 million dollars over the next four years, is a National’s election promise under the Royalties for Regions scheme.

The first $500 card will be valid until June 30 next year and all eligible pensioners can apply for the card by filling in a form at regional post offices. Couples are eligible for one card between them.

Card holders must produce a pensioner concession card when buying fuel at any Motorpass affiliated petrol station or hiring a Cabcharge taxi.

Mr Grylls said the card would help with travel costs for country age pensioners who relied on cars or taxis’ because of limited public transport.

“Age pensioners in regional areas generally do not have access to extensive public transport and fuel is usually more expensive than in the metropolitan area. The fuel card will help country age pensioners meet the additional cost of travel using their own vehicles or taxis,” he said.

The fuel card would be available for regional residents who received an age pension from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Age pensioners did not have to own a car or have a driver’s licence to be eligible.

Any credit left on the card for the 2009-10 financial year would be will be forfeited. Fuel cards will be reissued automatically each July over the next four years.
Robert Taylor http://www.thewest.com.au

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