Former Prime Ministers Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd came together this week to criticise the Coalition for bowing to backbench pressure and considering scrapping the planned super guarantee increase, arguing that it would destroy the country’s superannuation system.
The two former Labor leaders held simultaneous press conferences on Monday afternoon, using the platform to unleash an attack on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Coalition in response to recent suggestions that they may backflip on the already legislated super guarantee boost, reports the SMH.
The superannuation guarantee (SG) means that Australians employers are required to contribute a minimum percentage of a worker’s earnings into an eligible super or retirement savings account. It is expected to increase from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent by 2025, rising steadily in 0.5 per cent increments from July 2021.
However Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hinted this week that the government is considering ditching the legislated rise, six weeks out from the government’s delayed budget, telling Sky News: “We’re considering the issue bearing in mind that we are in the middle of a crisis.”
Keating said scrapping the increase would be “cowardly” though and called out the government for “using the Covid health emergency” to destroy Australia’s superannuation system, which he established in 1992.
“Under the cowardly talk of the COVID crisis, they want to gyp ordinary people by 2.5 per cent of their income for the rest of their life,” he said. “There’s been no wages growth in eight years, so if they don’t get it in super, they won’t get it at all.
“This is grand theft Liberal Party style.”
Meanwhile, addressing the media at a separate location, Rudd told reporters he and Keating are “angry as hell”. “They say that if we go ahead with increasing the superannuation guarantee level … that that will somehow depress natural wages growth and the Australian economy,” Rudd said.
“Pigs might fly. That is the biggest bulls**t argument I have ever heard against going ahead with decent provision for people’s superannuation savings for the future. It has no statistical foundation, no logical foundation, no data to support it.”
He added: “Scotty, Joshy, think about it again
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