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Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Page: 9423

Mr RIPOLL (Oxley) (16:24): The retirees and pensioners of Australia will not forget this rotten Liberal government for what it is doing to their life savings and the national savings pool of this government, and Labor will make sure that they do not forget. But we will not be on our own, because it is the pensioners' organisations and the retirees' organisations, that represent millions of retirees, millions of Australians, that are out there making sure that their members do not forget either—and, believe me, their voices are loud, and they are people who vote with their conscience when it comes to decisions on their retirement savings and their pensions. And, oh boy, they won't forget this!

So we are not alone in thinking that this is a rotten Liberal government that has done the wrong thing by pensioners, has broken every single promise it made, and is doing the wrong thing by retirees. In fact, the Financial Services Council's media release today had this headline:

Super guarantee delay will mean $128 billion less in savings for working Australians

That is an awful lot of money. That is by 2025, due to the delay of the 12 per cent superannuation guarantee that Labor would have achieved—and this government could have achieved, if it had had vision; if it had had foresight and, dare I say it, if it had actually cared for retirees and pensioners.

None of the evidence would suggest that these people here—the government of the Liberal Party and the National Party—care because, if they did, they would actually understand that this is a positive move for the economy and a positive move for pensioners and retirees. This actually saves you money. It saves you money in the short term, the medium term and the long term.

What does John Brogden, CEO of the FSC, have to say about this? He says:

We are concerned it could exacerbate the nation’s low savings rate and that costs will be passed on to future generations.

So the CEO of the FSC says that the Liberal Party will be passing on the costs to future generations. Disgraceful—that is what I have to say! He also acknowledges in there that:

Australians are living longer and need to plan for their retirement with certainty.

Well, Labor agrees. It appears that the Liberal Party does not agree.

It also appears that the Liberal Party has not figured out that, this year alone, the government will save $6 billion in age pension costs because of the superannuation guarantee—because of our retirement savings pool. This would be a cost-benefit—a benefit to the country and to the economy and to the budget, if the Liberal Party would allow it; if it had vision; if it could see beyond its own ideology and beyond its nose. But it is too busy.

This is a Liberal Party too busy doing the exact opposite of everything it said it would do just before the election. Breaking every single promise would be about as close as it gets to consistency and certainty. That I am certain of—when they talk about certainty, what they mean is: 'We will break every single promise,' and the list is being ticked off very, very quickly.

This is a deal that they said would never be done: 'No deals; no uncertainty; no new taxes' and the list went on and on and on. But they are happy to deal with the Palmer United Party to see the low-income superannuation contribution for Australia's lowest-paid workers scrapped—full stop; gone. They are happy to do a dirty deal on that, as long as it suits their political agenda.

But who pays the price? Who is it that wears the cost? Two-and-a-half million of Australia's lowest-paid workers, the majority of whom are women and need the bigger support.

So the next time any of us hears the Liberal Party talking about how concerned they are about the ageing population, and saying: 'We've got to try and help women to get a little bit more money in the kitty for their retirement savings,' we will say: 'How disingenuous is that! You've got an opportunity. It is actually done for you. All the work is done. You've just got to let it sit and allow it to continue. Don't scrap it, don't delay it, don't make the bad decisions, and it's a done deal.' Yet they are doing the exact opposite.

If they came in here and could actually articulate just one good reason—just one, apart from doing a deal and saying, 'The business of government is dirty,' and, 'We don't have any choice,' and, 'We've got to save ourselves from the budget crisis,' and, 'We've got to call these things in'—

Mr Whiteley interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order, the member for Braddon!

Mr RIPOLL: I am happy to have an open debate with the Luddites on the other side when it comes to superannuation, because they are good at just yelling out abuse but they do not stop for a minute and think about the people it actually affects. Who are we talking about? We could start marching them in here, one at a time, and asking them, 'How does it affect you?' How does it affect the pensioners? I have got locked into my mind, really, really clearly the promises that were made— (Time expired)