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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 612

Mr HOCKEY (2:59 PM) —My question is the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his statement on radio 4BC just 12 days before the last election, when he said:

There will be no change to the superannuation laws—one jot, one tittle.

That is unlike you! I also refer the Prime Minister to his interview with Neil Mitchell last Friday, where he admitted that what he meant by this was ‘no substantive changes’. How can the Prime Minister dismiss slashing over $4 billion from superannuation support and cutting the superannuation co-contribution scheme for low-income families as ‘finetuning’? Given this is a blatant broken promise, if the Prime Minister cannot keep his 2007 election commitments, how can he be trusted with his 2010 election commitments?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —On the question of superannuation, as the member for North Sydney would be aware, the changes which the government engineered were taken in order to ensure that we had a proper, balanced system for the future. Those opposite are ideologically opposed to it. We took a sober view in terms of the overall resources available to the budget and we engineered the changes that the honourable member has referred to. The key challenge for Australia for the future is to ensure that both our superannuation and our savings system are sustainable. Remember, one of the challenges of the ageing population is to ensure that that occurs. That goes to savings policies generally, pensions on the other hand and superannuation as well. That is why we have taken the actions that we have. Many of them have been unpopular. The government accepts that. But can I simply say, as a government which has a proud legacy in introducing superannuation to this country as a compulsory measure—opposed tooth and nail by those opposite, year after year, almost decade after decade—we are proud of our record on superannuation in the past and we intend to continue to support proper superannuation for Australians and retirees into the future.