The currently legislated increase to the Super Guarantee rate is under attack from an “unholy coalition”, says Labor Leader Anthony Albanese.
Albanese used his latest ‘vision statement’ speech to criticised groups opposed to increases in the Super Guarantee rate.
“At the moment we are witnessing an unholy coalition attacking the increase in the Superannuation Guarantee. They want to see super wound back or abolished,” Albanese said.
“The prescriptions of ACOSS and others play into the hands of the Liberal and National parties.”
A submission by ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service) to the Review of Retirement Income recommended the Super Guarantee rate remain at 9.5% – a recommendation likely to find support amongst Coalition MPs calling for a freeze to the scheduled increases. However, ACOSS also recommended winding back tax concessions on superannuation.
Albanese says Labor supports the legislated increase of the Super Guarantee rate so that it reaches 12% in 2025. This timetable was legislated under the Coalition, and the Labor part platform promises a faster, though unspecified, timetable.
“With economic growth and productivity you can have both higher super and higher wages. Having established the universal superannuation system we will not stand by and see it chipped away. We want to make it better.”
Albanese also raised the issue of the superannuation gender gap, though without suggesting policies.
“Women retire with just half the average super of men. Many have none at all. This imbalance must be addressed.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was asked if the Government remained committed to a 12% Super Guarantee rate, answering: “We said we haven’t any plans to change those legislated increases.”
The Treasurer has previously ruled out changes to the timetable for a 12% rate, but has more recently returned to the language of ‘no plans’. A number of Coalition backbenchers are agitating for a freeze to increases in the Super Guarantee rate. The Government has set up a Review of Retirement Incomes, which Labor fears will be used to justify changing the timetable of Super Guarantee rate increases.
More to come.