Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Advantages of super deal available to all.

Download PDFDownload PDF


28 October 2003


Minor parties in the Senate are perpetuating mistruths in a bid to take the shine off the Government’s win for low-income earners, Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer Senator Helen Coonan said today.

“Claims the co-contribution and surcharge reduction measures discriminate against same-sex couples are untrue as both measures apply to an individual irrespective of gender or sexual preference.

“Further false claims about the unfair tax treatment of superannuation assets of same sex couples are designed to stir up unnecessary opposition to two fair, generous and non-discriminatory measures.

“The Government’s package is weighted in favour of low income earners 66:34 and is estimated to be worth $1.3 billion over four years.

“The surcharge reduction and co-contribution measures will apply to eligible superannuation contributions made from July 1, 2003.

“Low-income earners earning up to $40,000 will benefit from the co-contribution and workers earning less than $27,500 who make a contribution up to $1000 per annum will have it matched dollar for dollar by the Government.

“The superannuation surcharge, a disincentive for those who can and will save for their retirement, will also be reduced from 15 per cent to 12.5 per cent over three years.

“Labor calls these two measures ‘unfair’ and by insisting on unnecessary amendments effectively voted against all three Bills in the Senate - an act of political opportunism that could have cost an estimated 540,000 workers a Government funded superannuation co-contribution.

“And by raising the issue of same-sex couples Labor opportunistically baited the Australian Democrats to deny Australian workers the opportunity to make superannuation savings.

“The Democrats welshed on not only the deal they negotiated with the Government but on a promise they made ‘not to use low income earners or same sex couples in a cynical display of political point scoring’.

“They were saved from their own folly by the four Independents.”

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000