Morrison stands by super rise plan

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australians won’t miss out on a rise in the superannuation guarantee, despite coalition MPs agitating for the already-legislated plan to be axed.

Some Liberal and Nationals MPs are worried increasing the 9.5 per cent compulsory superannuation guarantee will make it harder for employers to keep staff and offer them pay rises.

The guarantee is due to increase to 10 per cent in 2021/22 and then rise by 0.5 per cent in each of the following four years, hitting 12 per cent in 2025/26.


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At least seven coalition MPs have spoken against the rise.

Asked about the pressure in his own ranks to change the policy, Mr Morrison told parliament his government would be sticking with it.

“There is no change to the government’s policy,” Mr Morrison said on Monday.

“But … given we are talking about the positions of parties on superannuation, does the Labor party stand by its more than $30 billion in higher superannuation taxes?”

Earlier, former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said he wanted any increase in what employers are paying to go straight into workers’ pockets.

“What we want, once more, is if there is a wage rise to go into the salary earner – the wage earner’s – pocket so they can spend it,” he told reporters in Canberra.

He’s also worried some employers will struggle to keep their staff as the guarantee goes up.

“Super does not just emanate from the ether. It comes from the employer,” he said.

“If the employer can’t make the payment, he’ll make it up by just putting people off.”

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government needed to make its position clear, as it prepared to launch a review into the superannuation system.

“We call on the Liberal party to get their hands off workers’ super, to do something about stagnant wages in this country,” Dr Chalmers said.

“The Liberal party never wants to see the fair distribution of company profits to workers, whether it be in their retirement incomes, whether it be via their wages.”

Industry Super Australia said any possible change in the policy should concern all Australians.

ISA analysis shows the average worker at the cusp of retirement is already nearly $100,000 worse off as a result of continued delays to increases in super since its establishment 25 years ago.

Further analysis shows that freezing the super guarantee at 9.5 per cent will see a 30-year-old earning $80,000 robbed of $90,000 in super by the time they reach retirement.

“Australians would be right to ask why these federal MPs think it’s OK to leave the super guarantee at just 9.5 per cent when they are beneficiaries of contributions of at least 15.4 per cent under the parliamentary super scheme,” ISA’s deputy chief executive Matthew Linden said.

“Winding back the super guarantee would leave Australians worse off at retirement and increase the burden on the age pension. It’s bad policy and the government should rule it out.”

© AAP 2019

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