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Labor's Groundhog Day on super.

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15 March 2004


Labor has trotted out the same super policy for the fifth time, reinforcing the fact they are the party that’s light on detail but would be heavy on spending, Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Senator Helen Coonan said today.

“We’ve had Crean twice, Latham twice and Labor even let their Shadow spokesman on retirement incomes, Senator Nick Sherry, re-announce Labor’s old ideas on super in Canberra last week,” Senator Coonan said.

“But there is nothing new. This is Labor’s same old ideas peppered with a few broad sentiments but nothing concrete that will improve the retirement incomes of Australians.

“Opposition Leader Mark Latham told the masses again today that they would have to wait to see what any of Labor’s ideas would cost but with promises totalling more than $8 billion already, it’s time Labor came clean on where the money will come from.

“The Australian public understands that you can’t have it all. With ideas for super that could top $2 billion over the forward estimates Labor would have to cut essential services or raise taxes - which will it be Mr Latham?

“The Opposition Leader today called for bipartisanship from the Government on super. But just like his failure to support the push for more male teachers in schools, when it comes to the crunch the Labor leader backs away from bipartisanship on super.

“Greater choice and flexibility about where to put their money and when to retire will help connect Australians with their superannuation. The Government’s choice policy will inject much needed competition into the super system and put downward pressure on fees and charges as Australians will for the first time have choice about where to put their savings.

“Labor only last week caved on its opposition to the Government’s portability regulations to allow Australians to consolidate their super.

“And today Mr Latham acknowledged that the superannuation guarantee, combined with the improved aged pension, will make the average Australian’s financial independence in retirement more secure than at any other time in Australia’s history. This is a direct result of the improved aged pension after the Government’s tax reform that Labor opposed.

“Treasury analysis indicates the superannuation guarantee with the age pension, could produce replacement rates in excess of 60 per cent for Australians on median earnings working for 25, 30 or 40 years.

“I challenge Mr Latham to not only talk the talk but walk the walk when it comes to super and ensure the support of the Labor Senators when next we debate the Superannuation Safety Amendment Bill and Superannuation Choice.”