HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 10 DECEMBER 2020
The Liberals never liked superannuation. Tony Abbott called it ‘a con job’. Bronwyn Bishop said it was ‘designed to penalise business’. Paul Keating got universal superannuation going. John Howard broke his promise and froze it. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard raised it; Tony Abbott broke his promise and froze it.
Australians have seen this bad sequel of a movie before. After saying that low wages were a ‘deliberate design feature’ of their economic policies, and ignoring record low wage growth, the Liberals suddenly say that freezing super will boost wages. Yet their own retirement incomes review shows that a dollar less of super doesn't mean a dollar more of wages. And because returns compound, a dollar put into superannuation turns into two or three dollars at retirement.
It's the same with housing. The member for Banks once said that ‘there is no structural problem with housing affordability’. The member for Deakin derisively said; 'Want a house? Get a good job.' The member for Mackellar called social housing 'a socialist plot to increase inequality'.
Laughably, they're claiming that freezing super will increase home ownership, which is at a 60-year low. For a full-time worker on average earnings, 12 per cent super will mean over half a million dollars in retirement savings. Senator Bragg was right when he wrote in 2015:
... the contribution rate is not yet high enough to provide fully funded retirement incomes.
Enough with the super hypocrisy. You won't boost wages while attacking unions. You can't boost home ownership while neglecting property tax reform. They're just excuses to cover yet another broken Liberal promise.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.