Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP has today criticised the Liberal National Government’s proposal to abolish compulsory superannuation for low income earners, arguing that it would result in thousands of local workers locked into poverty when they retire.
Today it was reported in the Bendigo Advertiser that "New Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has said low income households would benefit greatly if they were allowed to opt out of making compulsory super contributions."
Ms Chesters said that it was disturbing and disappointing that this Government is considering abandoning compulsory superannuation for some Australian workers.
"This would be an attack on the very foundations of superannuation; that workers defer a small proportion of their income to be retirement income.
"The claim that this move would allow a part-time worker earning $35,000 a year to take home an extra $63 a week is very misleading and disingenuous.
"If the Government was serious about low incomes earners they would back a wages increase. Instead the Government has tried to cut penalty rates that thousands of low income earners rely on to make ends meet.
"In the Government's own submission to the Fair Pay Review they effectively called for a "wages freeze".
"Compulsory superannuation is part of your income. Australian workers defer spending this income whilst they are working towards their retirement.
"It's vital that today's low income earners have enough super to retire on.
"It's widely acknowledged that many current retirees trying to survive on the age pension are forced to live in poverty.
"This is the wrong direction. I am deeply concerned that rather than consulting with industry and business about a fair pay increase they wantto force low paid workers to choose between paying their bills today or paying their bills when they retire."