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Stop the screeching and look in the mirror Michaelia

As Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash, who has been described as sounding like a “wharfie”, screeches her way through Senate Question Time demanding the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission to deal with the supposed ‘widespread lawlessness’ exposed by the Royal Commission into Trade Unions, there is a far more pervasive ‘lawlessness’ going on that she doesn’t want you to know about.

In October last year, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia released figures showing that an estimated $2.75 billion has been lost through the non-payment of compulsory super and is understood to have affected more than 650,000 Australians.

The average loss per person earning a gross annual wage of $80,000 is the equivalent of $4000 or nine months’ worth of super.

ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos said the industries that were among the worst offenders included construction, hospitality and taxi services

In 2013/14 Construction and Building Industry Super (CBus) helped recover almost $110 million in unpaid super for its members but estimates there could be a further $400 million that needs to be retrieved.

CBus chief executive officer David Atkin said the building industry continued to plagued by employers failing to pay their staff their super entitlements.

“In sectors of the construction and building industry the cash economy is rife, there is sham contracting, insolvencies and phoenix activity,’’ he said.

“The industry is also highly competitive and not paying superannuation entitlements can give some employers an unfair advantage when cash flow is tight.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the conflict revealed in the Royal Commission report is between the members and the union bosses who sold their members out by trading off the workers conditions for undisclosed payments.

The fact of the matter is that the shady dealings of employers far outweigh anything a few individuals in union management may or may not have done.

And then there is the government’s own attack on workers’ retirement savings.

Despite a pre-election promise that there would be “no adverse changes to superannuation”, it quickly became obvious that only applied to employers and to investors who use superannuation as a tax minimisation strategy. Workers were to face “adverse changes” that would cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

Not only was the low income co-contribution scrapped, under new laws, the Superannuation Guarantee will now not reach 12% until July 2025, 7 years later than the Labor government legislated for.

And it gets worse.

The government has been considering a proposal to freeze the SG at 9.5% indefinitely.

Figures published by Industry Super Australia (ISA) shows that keeping the super contribution rate at the current level, and abandoning increases to 12 per cent by 2025, would have serious financial implications over time for most workers, but especially for younger workers who still have most of their working lives ahead of them.

For example, a worker aged 25 earning $70,000 could expect to be almost $102,000 worse off at retirement age, while a 30-year-old on a $125,000 salary would have their super pot reduced by more than $135,000 by the end of their career. A 25-year-old earning $40,000 would be almost $60,000 down at a retirement age of 67, and a 40-year-old earning $60,000 would have around $33,000 less at retirement.

A typical female industry super fund member, earning at most 70 per cent of average full-time wages, could expect to lose $74,293 in retirement benefits in real terms over her entire working life under the proposals.

CEO David Whiteley said the proposed freeze would cut a person’s super balance at retirement by 20 per cent and reduce national super savings by more than $900 billion by 2055.

ISA modelling also shows the government would need to pay 6 per cent more in age pension outlays to make up for the shortfall in superannuation savings, which would increase pressure on taxpayers and the long term budget.

“Freezing the superannuation guarantee now will mean future generations will be paying for those retiring today.”

There are already mechanisms in place to prosecute the few union officials who have done the wrong thing. Why has there not been a similar outcry against the widespread rorting by employers? Why has the unions’ role in retrieving entitlements for their members not been recognised?

And who will hold to account the government whose attack on workers’ entitlements has been far more damaging than any alleged action by a union?

Stop the screeching Michaelia and look in the mirror.

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55 comments

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  1. DisablednDesperate

    I honestly don’t understand neo-con logic. They don’t want people on pensions but also don’t want people to have super?

    I lost what super I did have when they brought in insurance payments which ate mine up but when I tried to access the insurance because I was sick before the insurance kicked in I was not able to. It hadn’t been much but it’s all gone now with not one cent to me.

  2. gee

    i see one big flaw with superannuation. given the increasing eligibility age for the pension (to 70 years by 2025) and calls for access to super to match, if you are part of the large group of people who will never reach this age, increasing the rate from 9.5% to 12% means that this percentage of a persons income over their entire life is lost to them.

    So instead of paying of the mortgage sooner, or used for some benefit to the person who earned it, this amount will be locked up for the benefit of the funds and insurance companies (remember the massive life insurance scam “attached” to Super accounts?) and be of no use whatsoever to the individual except as an increased inheritance for someone else.

  3. Jagger

    DnD keep your chin up , hopefully there’s better days ahead. The Neo-cons don’t do logic, they’re too interested in power and greed.

  4. Kaye Lee

    gee,

    The superannuation guarantee paid by employers is never going to be given to you as wages. They are not taking the money out of your salary to pass it on…it is paid additional to your wage. Future wage negotiations have nothing to do with the SG.

    I am also not sure that the increase in pension age has passed the Senate? I will look further.

  5. Zathras

    One of the “joys” of being a self-funded retiree is that not only did I have to fund my own pension but was also taxed along the way so I could fund somebody else’s pension – yet end up with no concessions of my own.

    The Government wants to have it both ways – no Super to be paid for by employers and no pensions either, and have even moved the age entitlement goalposts further away.

    I guess they just want us all to work until we drop.

  6. Kaye Lee

    If you were born before July 1952, your Age Pension age is 65 years. If you were born on or after 1 July 1952, then your Age Pension age will be 65.5 years, 66 years, 66.5 years or 67 years.

    The first shift upwards in Age Pension age will occur in July 2017 when the Age Pension eligibility age increases to 65.5 years, and then in six-month increments every 2 years, until it reaches the age of 67 years from 1 July 2023.

    The Liberal government wants to increase the Age Pension age to 70 years but has gone quiet on this plan due to electoral backlash, and receiving no support for this further increase from the ALP opposition or the minority parties. Unless the Liberals withdraw this Age Pension age policy from their election platform, my understanding is that the Liberals still plan to increase the Age Pension age to 70. Unless the Liberals announce otherwise, and the Liberals win the 2016 election, and secure a clear majority, they intend to increase the Age pension age to 70 years. Based on Liberal documents, the Age Pension age increase from 67 years to 70 years would happen in six-month increments (and over 2-year periods) starting from July 2017, until it reaches the age of 70 years from 1 July 2035. If the Liberals were to be successful in the 2016 election, then it can be expected that those born after December 1965 will have an Age Pension age of 70 years, subject to legislation.

  7. Kaye Lee

    As for accessing super….

    You can access your super:

    when you turn 65 (even if you haven’t retired), or
    when you reach preservation age and retire, or
    under the transition to retirement rules, while continuing to work.

    Your preservation age depends on when you were born and is 55-60.

    The Liberals have also mooted increasing the preservation age to 70 but this hasn’t happened.

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If there has been $2.75 billion in unpaid compulsory super payments by employers then DUH! that needs to be gathered with the additional $2.75 billion in interest and fines applied for non-compliance.

    That makes $5.50 billion immediately for all those in the workforce, past and present, who have missed out on their entitlements.

    Meanwhile, the freezing on the superannuation guarantee must be reversed asap once this pathetic excuse for a govt is eliminated. This will ensure that continuing superannuation accounts for Aussie workers are fed at reasonable and sustainable rates for their retirements.

    With reference to screeching Michaelia Cash with the big hair and pointy talons, I wonder if she will ever be embarrassed by how she has conducted herself in public life?

  9. jimhaz

    For the headline my brain initially interpreted “Michaelia” as “Mirabella”. It must be that I find all female LNP MPs to be Sofie Mirabella-like, as people I’d want to run away from as soon as I met them.

    The problem I find with super for wage earners, is that it should be an all or nothing policy.

    One of the downsides of super it that it takes away the motivation for many people to take actions themselves to ensure a sufficient retirement income. With overpriced housing many will not have this asset come the time to retire. It is often home ownership that initially teaches many the discipline of saving, but if that is out of reach, as it is for low income workers, they will only end up with super.

    For me that means if there is going to be a compulsory nest egg, then the money put towards that nest egg must be enough to sustain a long retirement. 9% is not enough, particularly in light of the casualisation and increased contractualisation of employment of the workforce, and the massive level of promotion of consumption and use of debt.

    A government that cared about the population should have forced super funds to spend some small percentage of funds on building housing to lower the cost for all workers and retirees. Had this have happened then the current 9% would have a lot more value for those wage earners yet to retire.

    600 billion of the 1.4 trillion owed to OS banks is probably due to a lack of policies to regulate housing price inflation over the last 20-30 years. Assuming this debt is due over say 20 years, that equates to 30 billion per annum.

    This avoidable-by-policy $30b debt is the equivalent of Australia in total working 600,000,000 extra hours @ $50 per hour. So in treating the housing market as a “free market” with no price control regulation, or as an “investment opportunity” we Australians give 700% more overseas “AID” to people wealthy enough to loan money, than we do as a government to all others in the world.

  10. kerri

    Again impeccable research Kaye Lee!
    Cannot stand Michaelia Cash! She is a banshee!
    On Q&A Monday night Penny Wong should have dropped some food dye into her water so she could be “DRINKING FROM THE CHALICE OF BLOOD,!”

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith you should send your post as a memo to Chris Bowen?

  11. Stephanie

    since the point of this article is about superannuation why is the headline about screeching ?.what has a womans tone got to do with the points on superannuation?.I feel this is unnecessary.It conserns me that not one line of speach was mentioned ..its not what she says but how she says it .
    I do not happen to like this woman but the story has nothing to do with her tone so why is it a headline ? ..

  12. joannejasny

    Kaye Lee, 1. I was born before 1952 and my retirement age was 64yrs, my sister was born late 52 and her retirement is also 64yr. 2. When the superannuation scheme was commenced , it was deemed a “deferred pay increase”, to encourage saving for retirement. which is why so many employers offered salary packages which included super as part of their salary. Maybe some fact checking is required?

  13. Kaye Lee

    joanne,

    The information given re retirement age comes from this government site.

    https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Accessing-your-super/

    I am aware that the original 3% super was instead of a productivity increase wage rise. I do not think that subsequent increases have been achieved through a tradeoff but am happy to read up on it if I am incorrect. Fact checking is important to me so please provide info if you can find it. Thanks.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Stephanie,

    This article was about several things, one of which is the attack on unions which is being run by hyperbole rather than fact. The screeching, the perjorative language used, the misinformation, is all part of it. It is a calculated campaign to demonise unions.

    I have been just as critical of men shouting at each other in QT. I find her language and delivery unbefitting and her obfuscation calculated. This has nothing to do with gender. How she says things is important.

  15. silkworm

    Superannuation is a bad idea in itself, as it leads to retirement inequality, and raising the rate will lead to greater inequality still. Instead we should be aiming to create greater retirement equality through raising the minimum wage and raising the pension.

  16. win jeavons

    Stephanie ; women screech, men yell and both are deplorable in ‘ adult” politicians. Too much volume disguises lack of real content.

  17. Kaye Lee

    silkworm,

    I can’t agree that super is a bad idea. Changing some rules could help. Raising the SG to 12.5% won’t increase inequality as it is paid by employers to employees’ funds. I agree we should increase the pension but I think it would also be beneficial to scrap the rule which says you don’t have to pay super for anyone who earns less than $450 a month. Many people have several part time jobs and miss out because they are <450 for each job. It would also start young people off who are working part time during their education.

    We need to rein in the concessions for voluntary contributions, perhaps to 15% below your marginal rate rather than 15% flat which definitely disadvantages low income earners. We also need to look at perhaps taxing very high super retirement income but changes should be grandfathered to allow people to direct investments elsewhere.

  18. Richard Kopf

    My wife’s super was all gobbled up by insurance payments continuing after she left employment. We are now self funded retirees with no super but are constantly required to fund the government excesses as the see us as easy pickings.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Richard a few people have raised the issue of insurance payments. I must look into it further. And I agree that self-funded retirees are all being lumped in together and often criticised and targeted unfairly.

  20. Peter F

    The picture says a lot, doesn’t it.

  21. silkworm

    Superannuation is a substitute for higher wages, and since it is proportional to one’s wages, it favours those on higher wages, and therefore increases inequality. It is a substitute for increasing the minumum wage. It was originally brought in, by Keating IIRC, who argued that the government did not have enough money (a Neoliberal argument) to pay for the pension, but super favours those who have had higher wages, and thus favours some retiress over others. Whichever way you cut, superannuation remains bad for social equality, and on that principle alone I will continue to oppose it.

  22. Lee

    Whether it is superannuation or the individual being motivated enough to save their own money for their retirement, the wealthy will always have an advantage. Wage/salary increases are usually a percentage of one’s income, once again favouring those who earn more. Opposing superannuation on this issue is opposing saving for the future.

  23. Kaye Lee

    As I said earlier, as far as I know it was only the original 3% SG that was a tradeoff for higher wages. I find it hard to believe that, if we eliminated the SG, employers would automatically give a 10% wage rise to everyone.

    Of course some people earn higher wages and hence the SG contribution for them is higher. Are you suggesting that everyone should get the same wage regardless of how many years they had no income whilst gaining their qualifications and what debt they incurred in doing so and what responsibilities their employment entails?

    The more people who are not reliant on the age pension, the more the government will have at its disposal for those who need it. I too would like to see an increase in the minimum wage and in welfare payments but I cannot agree with you that compulsory retirement savings paid by the employer is a bad thing silkworm.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend,

    are you being selective with the facts? The closing of the first paragraph says, “…the Greens leader Richard Di Natale has floated the idea of one day forming government with the Liberal party, but says “it’s much more likely the opportunity rests with Labor”.

    Di Natale appears to me to be telling both major parties not to take the Greens allegiance for granted.

    If I were Labor, I would be forging that Alliance really quickly or they may be blindsided again by the LNP Degenerates.

  25. Lee

    Cornlegend, It’s an article about nothing. It’s not even a proposal. If, in the future, there is another party with a platform similar to the Greens, why should they not try to form a government with that party? Where is it mandated that only the conservatives can form a coalition?

  26. Lee

    Agreed Jennifer. If the ALP had any sense they would be trying to work with the Greens rather than bashing them at every opportunity. Whenever the Greens support the LNP on an issue the Labor voters are all up in arms but they are strangely quiet when the ALP does it. I happen to consider that opposing for the sake of opposing is childish. If they really are there for the good of the entire nation, they should be supporting issues based on the facts, not on which party introduces the bill.

  27. Kaye Lee

    I have to agree, that article was about nothing, just saying the Greens will look at policy, not who proposed it. I am more disappointed by today’s slanging match between Albo and Bandt about preferences.

  28. JeffJL

    To those who argue that superannuation means people have less motivation to save for their own retirement you argument would have more weight if prior to compulsory superannuation being introduced more people were saving for their retirement.

    There is no evidence that they did.

    Your argument fails the ‘sniff test’ (OK I forgot what John Lord calls it).

    @ Kaye. My recollection of the super is that during the Hawke/Keating years wage rises were traded off for the increase in superannuation. It is also regularly argued that the superannuation payments are not the employers paying but employees pay being put into superannuation. OK totally reference free and from the bias of my brain, but that is how I see the superannuation payments.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Everyone keeps saying super increases were trade offs but no-one will show me proof of same. The original 3% was. Will one of the several posters claiming subsequent increases were wage trade-offs show me proof of same?

  30. Lee

    Wasn’t it part of the original deal that super would increase over time?

  31. Kaye Lee

    Lee,

    I wrote a history of superannuation negotiations a couple of years ago.

    1985

    In 1985 then Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, said this:

    “That superannuation deal, which represents all that is rotten with industrial relations in Australia, shows the government and the trade union movement in Australia not only playing the employers of Australia for mugs but it is also playing the Arbitration Commission for mugs”.

    Howard was commenting on the deal between the government and the ACTU which saw the trade union movement forfeit a claim to 3% productivity improvement as wages to instead be paid in compulsory superannuation – endorsed by the Arbitration Commission and managed by superannuation funds with equal representation of the unions in the industry and the employers.

    The Coalition has steadfastly opposed every increase in compulsory superannuation since that time, whether it be from 3% to 6%, or the 6% to the current 9.25%. (9.5 now)

    1995

    In the 1995 budget, Ralph Willis unveiled a scheduled increase in compulsory super from 9% to 12% and eventually to 15%. It was to be one of the Keating government’s major legacy reforms.

    1996

    In its superannuation policy for the 1996 election, Super for all, the Coalition, which had hitherto been implacably opposed to Labor’s policies, promised it:

    •Will provide in full the funds earmarked in the 1995 — 96 Budget to match compulsory employee contributions according to the proposed schedule;

    •Will deliver this government contribution into superannuation or like savings;

    •Reserves the right to vary the mechanism for delivering this contribution so as to provide the most effective and equitable delivery of the funds.

    1997

    So why don’t we have 15% superannuation now? Because John Howard and Peter Costello nixed it in the 1996 budget barely six months after it released its policy, insisting it was too expensive. They didn’t “vary the mechanism” so much as halted it.

    The Superannuation saga

  32. JeffJL

    @Kaye. I cannot find anything past the original 3% either. My mind still says that the later superannuation increases were from wage trade offs. Please don’t contradict my memory with facts.

  33. Lee

    Thanks Kaye.

  34. Kutica

    Talking of the cash economy among tradespeople. There needs to be far greater regulation because this is where we taxpaying workers are really being ripped off by those who just pocket the cash and do not pay GST or tax on much of their earnings. In the past month I have employed a painter at what worked out (in actual hours worked) at $130 plus an hour – this was the reduced rate for cash. The plumber cost $950 to inspect the roof and clear gutters and drains on our one double-storey and two single-storey, average-sized units – 1.5 hours work. However, his boss had to come back when we indicated that much of the job had not actually been done. The electrician fitted new smoke alarms – one expensive that will not sound when anything is cooked on the stove and two standard alarms ($300 total), all wired into our electricity system. Cost reduced by $55 when we paid cash.

  35. cornlegend

    “Richard Di Natale floats idea of eventual Liberal-Greens coalition government”
    The fact that he would even consider going into a coalition with the scumbags is enough for me .
    Given his dirty little deed on the Senate to ensure Malcolm had the DD option, I would assume a Green/LNP coalition is a real option .
    That just keeps them last on my HTV

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If superannuation came into being as a trade off for incremental wage increases which Keating saw as a control mechanism for the economy, then with the power of 20/20 vision, I say Keating made the wrong decision.

    His brilliant mind didn’t factor in the vulnerability of such agreements when there is a change of government to a bunch of miserable, miserly bastards as Howard, Costello and almost every LNPee since have proven to be. (Hewson may be somewhat of an exception.)

    So, if modern Labor is holding Hawke and Keating as the great authorities on managing our society and the economy through this shortsighted neo-liberal logic, I suggest modern Labor become enlightened and adopt the bigger world views that Gough espoused, as do people who promote MMT and other progressive economic principles.

  37. Lee

    I have no idea how I’m going to vote in 10-20 years’ time. I’ll wait until I know what the important issues are and what each party’s policies are before I make up my mind.

  38. randalstella

    The Kill the Greens and Spill their Blood Coalition is back at it again, inevitably.
    How many Senate preference options below the line would suit them? 12 not enough? 69? 150? What would suit the backroom boys of Labor,the geniuses who gave us the career of Steve Fielding?
    They went a bit mute on that reform. But it was bound to be temporary.

    Putting the Greens last puts the environment and global warming and the refugee cruelty last. Such principle. No wonder they’re in politics.
    Fortunately I know a better Labor than that. I hope other people do. I would be very concerned if they did not.
    As the Greens leader said, they want the Liberals out of power,and have far more in common with the more progressive elements of Labor.
    That’s the Labor I want to encourage, one with a future.

  39. Backyard Bob

    Cornlegend,

    Given his dirty little deed on the Senate to ensure Malcolm had the DD option[…]

    What? Please explain.

  40. Bacchus

    If you don’t want to pay for life insurance through your super, surely you can cancel it? I know I did. This must be especially so for those who still have more than one super fund…

  41. Lee

    Completely agree, randalstella.

  42. cornlegend

    A deal between the Coalition and the Greens on Senate voting reforms has paved the way for a double dissolution election anytime from 1 July.
    As a result, the deal would give Malcolm Turnbull the option of a double dissolution from 1 July onwards with a new Senate voting system of optional preferential voting.

    If a double dissolution was held without the changes being put in place, the number of crossbench senators would likely increase but if, as expected, the changes are passed it will likely see the number of crossbenchers elected to the Senate reduced over time.

    The Abbott and Turnbull governments have struggled to pass legislation through the upper house in the face of opposition from the Greens, Labor and the eight Senate crossbenchers.

    The Guardian

  43. Kaye Lee

    It makes me somewhat confused that they have had a DD trigger for some time now but seem to want to bring on another with the ABCC so they can campaign on “union corruption”.

    Senate reform has not passed the Senate and the ABCC legislation debate has been delayed. So tell me again why we would have a DD which is supposed to be an emergency measure to break a deadlock that is stopping the government from governing.

  44. Backyard Bob

    Cornie,

    Really? You’re going to quote a media article as an explanation of something you said? The wording of that article is insulting. If you want to say the “deal” on senate voting made a DD option more palatable for the Government I might agree. But the option has always been there regardless.

  45. Wally

    “scrap the rule which says you don’t have to pay super for anyone who earns less than $450 a month”

    It is unbelievable the extent some employers will go to to keep a workers wage under $450 a month. A company my wife worked for would always forget to pay some extra entitlement every second month, in doing so they avoided making super contributions every second month.

    “as far as I know it was only the original 3% SG that was a tradeoff for higher wages”

    This was a productivity increase and I believe some of the other increases were the same. As far as I can determine productivity increases are not a wage increase as such, they are a bonus payment for increases in productivity from automation and computing. The change from a 40 hour week to the 38 hour week was based on productivity as well, I don’t believe people would have received any more money in their wages if the super contributions had not been awarded but the working week probably would have been reduced to 35 hours.

    “the issue of insurance payments”

    Industry super funds automatically stop deducting insurance fees when an account has not had funds added over a set period, this varies from fund to fund. General super funds will keep taking fees until they suck the account dry, that is why Bernie Fraser recommends people join an industry super fund.

    “under the transition to retirement rules, while continuing to work”

    I received advice recently that I could use my super to top up my income if I desired and I read somewhere that people are abusing this ruling. The scam is to salary sacrifice a chunk of your wage into super to save tax and then draw money tax free from super to top up your wage. I have not done any investigation but I was led to believe people could save approx. 30% tax on the portion of income taxed at the top rate.

  46. Max Gross (@Max_Gross)

    Seriously, where DO the LIEbrals find these nasty, petty, grotesque individuals? Is there some sort of bioengineering lab where vile creatures like Ms Cash are concocted in vats? And will someone please wipe the saliva from Tony Abbott’s chin!

  47. ' george hanson '

    This is the member of parliament who , as a senator and MINISTER FOR WOMEN ‘ and ‘EMPLOYMENT ” scored 375 [ -04 %] primary votes in the last election . RICKY MUIR scored [-5%]17000 primary votes .And she wants to close him down .She got her gig on the coat-tails of ross lightfoot when he resigned and handed it over to his girlfriend who was michaelia cash . Time to face the music ,babe!

  48. Terry2

    When superannuation was introduced to increase national savings and create a provision for retirement it was possible to put your money in a term deposit with the bank and get a return of around 8% to 10% a year ; you could invest money in the stock market with some assurance that astute investment and reasonable corporate performance could provide you with dividends and capital growth.

    Now we see banks moving towards negative interest rates around the world and our Reserve Bank anxious to join the herd; we could actually be paying the banks to hold our money rather than the other way around and that’s the way they want it !

    We see a global share market that has turned into a casino where High Frequency algorithmic trading by computers has all but excluded rational investment and small investors are seen only as prey and that’s the way they want it !

    It won’t be long before your annual superannuation statement becomes a bill – it may have already happened to some – and that’s the way they want it !

    That’s the way it is and that’s the way extreme capitalism works and that’s the way they want it !

  49. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Terry2,

    that’s interesting contextual information for when superannuation was introduced. Just shows how sunset clauses need to be built into important legislation that gives us an out to improve unforeseen consequences when market conditions change so dramatically as you show.

    If Keating could have foreseen that these conditions would change to the detriment of grassroots people, I doubt he would have given us superannuation.

  50. pappinbarafoxPappinbarra Fox

    Keating pledged before the 1993 election to provide tax cuts in two stages – the L-A-W tax cuts – that would equal the tax reductions offered by the Liberals under John Hewson’s Fightback policies. Keating also said this could be done under the existing tax regime. In an economy that was only just bottoming out during the worst recession in 60 years, this was a promise that could never be kept.

    Barely four months after defying expectations and being returned to office, Keating announced that only half the promised tax cuts would be paid. In its 1992 One Nation Policy, The Keating Government responded to Hewson’s Fightback! by promising to match the income tax proposals contained within Fightback!, but promising no GST. To demonstrate strength of intent, Keating promised two rounds of income tax cuts, legislating them and describing them as “L-A-W law”. However, the tax cut law was repealed following the election, with the government instead announcing the money would be put into superannuation. This was a tradeoff again for foregoing tax cuts akin to the earlier tradeoff by foregoing wage productivity increases.
    I do not believe any wage earner sees their super as payments by the employer.

  51. Kaye Lee

    On 2 April 1992 Treasurer John Dawkins introduced the Superannuation Guarantee Charge Bill. Under this legislation, employer contributions to superannuation would rise from four percentage points of ordinary-time earnings from 1 July 1992 to nine percentage points of ordinary-time earnings by July 2002. During this time, wages grew at an average rate of 2.5% pa. That doesn’t sound like a trade-off to me.

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