Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law
9 June 2009 - 14 September 2010
The Coalition is a Risk to National Superannuation
The Leader of the Opposition is a risk to national superannuation and the savings pool that will play an important part in dealing with the challenges of an ageing population.
In his book, Battlelines, Tony Abbott questions the value of the Government encouraging Australians to save through their superannuation.
"At some point, saving money by keeping people off the pension while forgoing revenue to encourage them to make alternative provision becomes counter-productive." (p. 108)
He goes on:
"It could be simpler and fairer for the revenue forgone in superannuation concessions to be provided as a pension instead." (p. 108)
To argue that we should abolish superannuation tax concessions and use the money to pay for the abolition of the pension means test is plainly short-sighted.
As the proportion of working Australians to support an increasing number of older Australians decrease, the ageing population will increase demand for government services and push up health costs.
Australia's superannuation system makes us better placed than many countries to meet the challenges of an ageing population and is a vital pillar in generating sustainable retirement incomes.
The Rudd Government believes that superannuation is a vital mechanism for national savings.
Tony Abbott's comments threaten the bipartisan consensus that has emerged over recent decades in support of national savings through superannuation.
Does straight talking Tony stand by his comments or will he walk away from them in the interest of the nation's superannuation and addressing the challenges outlined in the recent Intergenerational Report?
18 February 2010