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Democrats to test Latham on pollies' super.

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Senator John Cherry Australian Democrats Superannuation Spokesperson


18 December 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/899

Democrats to test Latham on pollies’ super

The Australian Democrats will test the resolve of Labor Leader Mark Latham’s interest in reforming the overly generous parliamentary superannuation scheme by introducing a Private Members Bill into the Senate early next year.

Democrats’ Superannuation spokesperson Senator John Cherry said the issue needed to be dealt with before the next Federal Election to save up to $40 million in accumulating entitlements.

“Every change made to the scheme to date takes effect after the following election. Delaying cutting back the subsidies until the next term of the parliament will cost taxpayers $40 million in extra entitlements,” Senator Cherry said.

“The Democrats have been calling for reform of the parliamentary superannuation scheme for a decade. We initiated a Senate Inquiry in 1997 which concluded that the scheme was overly generous, but Labor failed to take any reform plans to the 1998 or 2001 elections.

“We would be delighted to support comprehensive reform of the overgenerous scheme, but any reforms should take effect from the 2004 election and not be put off until 2007.

“That means getting the changes in place before the election and not after.

“I am currently finalising a Private Members Bill to bring the public subsidy to the super scheme more in line with community expectations.

“I hope that Labor will support having the bill debated and passed in both houses ahead of the next Federal Election. Actions always speak louder than words,” Senator Cherry concluded.

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