Government shouldn’t delay super and wage gap policies: ACTU

The ACTU has criticised the Government for delaying the announcement of policies aimed at the wage and superannuation gender gap until the second half of 2018, instead of including them in the recent Budget.

Before the 2018 Budget was released Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer announced that there would be a Women’s Economic Security Statement made in Spring 2018.

“This is entirely unacceptable,” said ACTU National Campaign Coordinator Kara Keys.

“The gender pay gap and the resulting gap in retirement savings leaves a huge number of women to retire in poverty. Action is needed now, not at a time which is politically convenient for a failing government.”

According to the ACTU the full-time gender pay gap is 15.3% across all industries, with this impacting women’s working lives and retirements.

Minister O’Dwyer has said the already legislated change to allow catch-up super contributions will help women in retirement. But Keys described the idea that women making additional voluntary super contributions would close the gender gap as “farcical”.

“Women deserve a government which sees the pay gap as a serious issue, not a political problem to be kicked down the road,” Keys said.

Industry Super Australia criticised the Government for raising over $1.6 billion from superannuation changes in the 2018 Budget, but not using these funds to address issues like unpaid super and the super gender gap.

The ACTU has been calling for superannuation to be paid on all forms of work, along with parental and domestic violence leave. It has also recommended paying Super Guarantee on all wages, not just Ordinary Time Earnings –  “which discriminates against women who more often rely on penalty rates to get by,” said the ACTU.

“None of these suggestions, or any other policy options, have been put forward by the Turnbull Government.”

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