Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law
3 December 2007 - 8 June 2009
Opportunity for Hockey to Drop Reckless, Uncosted and
Anti-Job Super Policy
Senator Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, has called on the new Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey to take the opportunity to officially drop the Opposition's reckless, uncosted and anti-job new superannuation policy.
Malcolm Turnbull has announced that he would have the Australian Government pay an unspecified "portion" of the superannuation obligations of small business for "say two years", though this has not been clarified.
His Shadow Minister, Chris Pearce followed that with two policy-by-press-release announcements of the new uncosted Opposition position.
"With the appointment of new Shadow Treasury spokesman, the question is whether Mr Hockey will consider the interests of hard-working Australians and take the chance to dump this dangerous, uncosted and job-killing mess of a policy," said Minister Sherry.
Policy on the run
"This is policy on the run on a large scale. First they attacked the Government's stimulus plan for its scale, then they announced a single measure, which they didn't even bother to cost, that potentially exceeds the cost of the entire Nation Building and Jobs Plan."
"Regardless of where they eventually land, it's a reckless cost blow-out. At the full 9% paid, they will cost the budget $43 billion over the forward estimates (four years), and at just half that, we're still looking at $21.5 billion for one measure."
"Spooked by the costings, they've now flipped and flopped on their original policy, being totally unable to specify whether they want the full 9% to be paid, or something less. If it's less than the 9%, it's clear they don't know what they want it to be."
"And what a measure it is – an administrative nightmare that could take at least six months to flow to anyone, when what we need is decisive action that makes an impact right now," Minister Sherry said.
"This policy is also a danger to job creation. If you apply it to businesses with 20 or less staff, then you'd certainly think twice about hiring a few extra workers if you had only 18 or 19 employees."
"You'd have to weigh up whether you'd add the staff and lose the Government payment. I am sure many businesses would decide not to add the new workers – the last thing we need during these tough times", said Minister Sherry.
"What I also want to know is what Mr Turnbull's hidden agenda is? I am extremely concerned that this reckless policy is the next front in the Liberals' war on workers' rights to superannuation."
"The Liberals are showing their true colours here – and who better to continue the attack on workers rights than Joe Hockey, the champion of WorkChoices. They've never been happy with a worker's right to have compulsory superannuation paid for them."
"What would happen after the initial two or four years of this policy? Under a Liberal Government, either the budget blow-out would continue and the Government would stop the payments, or small business would not be asked to resume them."
"This would be a disaster for the retirement incomes of working Australians and must be seen for what it is," said Minister Sherry.
20 February, 2009