Tony Abbott is freezing superannuation guarantee increases. That's a broken promise that will leave people, particularly younger people, much worse off when they retire. Mr Abbott argues that the money will be in people's pockets, not locked away in super. Apart from being completely irresponsible, that argument is just not correct. For example, workers on enterprise agreements can't just make a claim for more pay, to make up for the lost super. I've moved a motion in the House to deal with this issue.
That this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) in the document ‘Our Plan’, the Liberals and Nationals promised Australians, prior to the election that: ‘We will deliver greater stability and certainty on superannuation—we won’t move the goalposts. … We will ensure that no more negative unexpected changes occur to the superannuation system so that those planning for their retirement can face the future with a higher degree of predictability’;
(b) the Government has subsequently revealed, in breach of that promise, that there will be a freeze on superannuation guarantee increases until at least July 2025;
(c) the Prime Minister has said of the changes that: ‘By delaying the increase in the superannuation guarantee levy we are keeping more money in workers’ pockets’;
(d) between 7 September 2013 and 2 September 2014, the Fair Work Commission received thousands of applications for approval of enterprise agreements; and
(e) enterprise agreements’ nominal expiry dates can be up to four years after the enterprise agreement is approved;
(2) recognises that:
(a) parties negotiate the terms of enterprise agreements, including terms providing for pay increases, having regard to, among other things, the superannuation guarantee rate;
(b) the parties who negotiated enterprise agreements for which applications for approval were made between 7 September 2013 and 2 September 2014 would have done so on the basis that the superannuation guarantee rate would increase during the life of the agreement;
(c) employees to whom such enterprise agreements apply are generally covered by ‘no further claims’ provisions, so they are not at liberty to negotiate for greater pay increases; and
(d) accordingly, any money that is not going into their superannuation fund will also not be going into their pockets, despite the Prime Minister’s claim; and
(3) accordingly, calls on the Government to:
(a) concede workers, whose enterprise agreements were negotiated between the election and 2 September 2014, have lost ‘money in their pocket’ because the negotiations were conducted on the basis there would be ‘no negative change to superannuation’; and
(b) enable those workers to renegotiate pay increases, to compensate for the unexpected freeze on superannuation.