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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2409

Senator LUNDY(6.14 p.m.) —Minister, I find it difficult to understand why you are trying to distinguish between this particular amendment and third line forcing given that this amendment effectively deals with the incentive that would arise to encourage employers with respect to third line forcing. It is essential that this issue be dealt with in the context of what is to come with the third line forcing amendment. To say that it is distinct from that is correct in that it can exist by virtue of the fact that we have not yet got to third line forcing.

I am sure that Hansard will show once we proceed through this issue that your support will not necessarily be forthcoming with respect to our amendments on third line forcing. I hope I am proven to be wrong. But for you to argue that the issue of what incentives exist for employers with respect to opening RSAs is totally divorced from third line forcing will have to be played out.

Minister, I have a specific question with respect to interest offset arrangements. Do you envisage that, if RSAs are proceeded with as described, an offset arrangement would be available to the employer or, in fact, the employee—the person who is in control of the retirement savings account—in the same way that the Commonwealth's mortgage interest saver account would apply? Do you see that sort of offset arrangement being available to employers if they, in fact, initiate the opening of the RSA, or do you believe—and I am interested in your point of view, Minister—whether or not that type of product, the Commonwealth's mortgage interest saver account, would be available to the employee if they have an RSA with a particular bank?