||Issue No. 324||15 September 2006|
Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
Unions: Industrial Wasteland
International: Two Bob's Worth
Economics: National Interest
Environment: The Real Dinosaur
History: Only In Spain?
Review: Clerk Off
The West led the charge to increase the 9% minimum, with UnionsWA secretary Dave Robinson calling for an additional 6% in super contributions.
Under the UnionsWA plan, employers would kick in an extra 3%, with individual workers making up the shortfall, to bring total contributions to 15%.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry let the cat out of the bag when a secret briefing paper was leaked this week.
The corporate cheerleaders voiced fears that the sweetened deal for MPs might stir inspire a push for a new community standard of 15.4%.
The chamber opposes any increase in employer contributions, with ACCI's Peter Hendy claiming it would be an additional tax on business.
Hendy's claims earned a withering rebuke today from the architect of the 1992 superannuation guarantee charge, ex-Prime Minister Paul Keating.
In a letter to the Financial Review, Keating described the ACCI as "nothing more than a branch office of the Liberal Party" and former Reith staffer Hendy as a "propagandist", dismissing his claims as "exaggerated" and "untrue".
Earlier during the week, Keating reminded television audiences of his 1996 election promise to increase contributions to 15%, by increasing contributions by 3% with the Government matching the rise dollar for dollar through a 3% tax cut paid directly into retirement savings.
"At 15 per cent with an average earnings rate of six per cent, you join the workforce at 20 and you retire at 60, you'd go out on about average weekly earnings," he said.
"But at nine per cent, if you joined it at 20 and retired at 60 you'd probably go out on 45 per cent of average weekly earnings.
"If (The Coalition) had agreed to do as they said at the '96 election and honour the tax cuts that I had proposed to pay as super, we would be now heading to $2 trillion of superannuation assets. That's $2,000 billion for 20 million of us.
"As it is, we are heading for $1,000 billion but of course no thanks to them," he said.
"Now, what the Treasurer is doing now is saying, 'Look, you can actually invest a million, a million bucks before July 2007 - if you're in a good enough position to invest a million.
"But if you're an ordinary wage plug, a battler - if you're a battler, we won't even let you save 15 per cent.' In other words - and we've lost a decade of saving."
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