RADIO NATIONAL WITH FRAN KELLY
17 MAY 2013
SUBJECT/S: Budget Reply
FRAN KELLY: Bill Shorten is the Superannuation Minister and he says the two year delay in the increase to compulsory superannuation guarantee levy to 12 per cent is quote a ‘retrograde step’ and he joins us now. Minister good morning.
BILL SHORTEN: Good Morning Fran.
FRAN KELLY: Tell us how you came up with this figure of $20,000 that this delay would cost?
BILL SHORTEN: Alright first of all, John Howard, when he got into power, promised to increase super to 15 per cent. When he got in he kept delaying and delaying it. Tony Abbott is now saying that he won’t raise super to 10 per cent over the life of his Government if he gets elected. That’s what I’m complaining about. Now, what does this practically mean, in real terms, for real punters?
It means that a 30 year old on average full-time weekly earnings, will have $20,000 less in their superannuation by the time they retire. We calculated that last night using Treasury numbers. This is crazy, leave aside for a moment Liberal or Labor or what you think about Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard, we know that in Australia the best thing we’ve got going for us in terms of savings is compulsory superannuation. It’s $1.5 trillion, under Labor’s policies it will grow to $6 trillion by 2035.
It’s a really good policy; it helps create deep and liquid capital markets and also means Australians don’t have to rely on the old age pension.
FRAN KELLY: Another way to look at and both sides are accusing the other not in the future honouring their pledges on super. If we can leave that aside and just accept both sides for what they are saying at the moment. If they do delay it, another way that voters might look at it is the delay as you’ll get that later, but right now instead you’ll get money in your hands because Tony Abbott will cut the carbon tax, but allow people to keep their carbon compo.
BILL SHORTEN: This guy is all things to all people. It’s the political equivalent of free beer tomorrow. The idea that we can hand money back to the carbon polluters, hand money back to the big mining magnates, yet you can keep some of the benefits that have been raised from it, it doesn’t add up. He is giving Paul money, he is giving Peter money. It just doesn’t add up.
FRAN KELLY: Are you saying that Tony Abbott won’t cut the carbon tax and also honour that pledge to keep the carbon compensation payments for people and the pension increases? Are you saying he won’t do that?
BILL SHORTEN: I’m saying he is still the same person that Peter Costello was concerned about, that he was a spend not save Minister, and that if he was to get elected that would happen again. But the superannuation decision is so backward looking. I mean we are the fourth largest, heading to the third largest, privately managed pension funds market in the world and this guy wants to put a break on it. I mean he said, during the budget speculation back in April that they wouldn’t make any detrimental changes.
Delaying superannuation – you cannot get any more detrimental than that. There is a choice at the next election, a very clear choice. On one hand you can have a stronger, smarter, fairer retirement income system or you can have cuts to the superannuation conditions which cut people’s retirement incomes prospectively, in the future to the bone.
FRAN KELLY: Well you accuse him of being all spend and not save. It’s exactly what the Coalition government accuses the Gillard Government of being all spending and no save and last night Tony Abbott pledged to bank all Labor’s spending cuts and tax increases. You would support that then I suppose given the budget emergency?
BILL SHORTEN: Well that’s his language about emergencies and what not. He is the master of the three word policy. What I know, I was listening to the Opposition person who was speaking beforehand, he was saying maybe depending on what happens with more numbers, maybe depending on what happens with other economic forecasts. These guys have more qualifications than university educated people. These guys qualify everything.
When you say we’re just the same Fran, I don’t buy that bill of goods. If you vote Labor at the election, superannuation will increase modestly and reasonably to improve people’s retirement incomes.
If you vote Labor at the next election, every kid at a school, every parent with a child at a school in my Moonee Valley and Brimbank electorates knows that, if there school has about 400 children about $280,000 extra per year.
I want my kids in working class suburbs to get the best chance in life. And I want there to be more teachers, I want there to be more electives and I want there to be more subjects. And as for cutting the school kids bonus, this guy says he can lower power prices, he’s like King Canute, he can turn back the tide if you believe this fellow. He can do anything, but it’s just not true.
FRAN KELLY: Bill Shorten thank you for joining us on News Breakfast.
BILL SHORTEN: Thanks. Bye