||Issue No. 303||21 April 2006|
Interview: Head On
Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
Industrial: Vital Signs
Economics: Taxing Times
Environment: It Ain’t Necessarily So
History: Melbourne’s Hours
Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
Review: Pollie Fiction
Poetry: The Cabal
The Locker Room
Lying Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them II
What Tax Cuts?
Belly Says It’s Time
A Word Of Warning Stop
Well That Clears That Up Then
Costello Plans Super Swindle
A federal government taskforce wants millions of low-income earning women denied superannuation in a bid to cut “red tape” for business.
The Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burdens on Business has called for the income threshold for employer superannuation contributions to be lifted from $450 a month to $800 a month.
The taskforce, operating under the auspices of the Productivity Commission, issued recommendation 5.49, buried on page 126 of the "Rethinking Regulation" Report, in January.
The move would shut over a million Australian workers, including over 14% of women, out of retirement savings.
"This makes a mockery of the Howard government's claim that it is good for working women," says Unions NSW assistant secretary Mark Lennon. "Now they face the double whammy of a bleak retirement after having their working conditions reduced under workchoices.
"On top of all that it is poor policy as it runs 180 degrees from the government's stated intention of increasing retirement savings."
Superannuation fund trustees have also warned the government against lifting the threshold.
"It is a backward step to push up the threshold," says vice president of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, Andrew Whiley. "Denying many low paid and casual workers from receiving any 9% superannuation guarantee at all, and a double blow for women workers given their lower levels of superannuation savings and higher concentrations in casual/part time employment.
"If a cave- in occurs in to that minority part of business that resents super, sees it as a tax, and wants removed for low paid casuals, the super savings of the worst off will go backwards."
Whiley said efficient systems were in place for over a decade to ensure that the low paid could receive superannuation. He expressed concern that the decision would aggravate community concerns aroused by the Work Choices legislation, especially regarding the erosion of minimum standards for wages and conditions.
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