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Labor continues 'no comment' on union push for wage rises and 12 per cent super.



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Wed, 5th March 2008 LABOR CONTINUES 'NO COMMENT' ON UNION PUSH FOR WAGE RISES AND 12 PER CENT SUPER

Michael Keenan MP Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Superannuation and Corporate Governance

Shadow Minister for Superannuation, Michael Keenan MP, said today that the Government must let employers know whether they will be hit with an increase in their payroll costs.

Mr Keenan said: ''The Government is not coming clean with employers, and that is because they are not prepared to buck their union masters, the ACTU, who are pushing for 12 per cent compulsory superannuation, which is payable by employers. Without question, an increase in compulsory super will lead to higher labour costs and put upward pressure on inflation.''

Time and again the Government has ducked the question.

In a press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister refused to dismiss the ACTU's push for an increase in the level of compulsory superannuation. Before the election, of course, Labor was continually quoted in the media as promising not to touch the current superannuation arrangements.

Today's release by the Minister for Superannuation Nick Sherry does nothing to clarify where the Government stands.

Mr Keenan said: ''The Government's continued failure to address the push for 12 per cent compulsory superannuation contributions is extraordinarily damaging to business confidence.

''Australians will be justifiably angry if this newly elected government is softening them up before it presents a major break from its election commitments on superannuation.''

The Minister's release was all the more remarkable for its failure to point out that this financial year's $1 billion boost to superannuation accounts, due to payments of the superannuation co-contribution, was a direct result of policies introduced by the Coalition Government.

It was the Coalition Government that:

• introduced the superannuation co-contribution • extended the superannuation co-contribution to include the self-employed • doubled the co-contribution paid into the superannuation accounts of those people who were eligible for a co-contribution in respect of the 2005-06 year.