Graeme Kelly OAM USU General Secretary

Graeme Kelly OAM, General Secretary United Services Union: “It is easy for the Minister to be ‘ambivalent’ about super increases when she will be guaranteed a healthy parliamentary pension. Most Australians cannot count on a decent retirement. The government cannot deny this super increase again.”

During these extraordinary times it is important that our politicians step up to their responsibilities rather than remain “ambivalent”. However, believe it or not that is exactly the attitude taken by Senator Jane Hume, the Minister responsible for superannuation.

When we talk about super, no one should remain “ambivalent” because we are talking about the future security of working Australians. We know the financial implications of this pandemic will affect future generations, therefore it is more important than ever to ensure workers have decent superannuation. Now is not the time to be “ambivalent”.

In a huge slap in the face of working Australians and an unbelievable abdication of her responsibility as the Minister responsible for superannuation, Senator Jane Hume said yesterday that she was “ambivalent” about whether the Morrison Government delivered an increase to the super guarantee, which has already been legislated.

In the middle of the greatest recession in a century, the Minister is refusing to commit to a legislated commitment which would provide retirement security for millions of working people.

The increase has already been delayed by the Abbott Government and should have come into effect in 2015.

With the Morrison Government forcing working people to rip up to $42 billion from their super accounts through a poorly thought out scheme with no oversight, it is essential that the legislated super increase comes into effect so working Australians can start building super back up.

The impact of any further delay is real – for example, by retirement, a 30 year old cleaner would lose roughly $60,000 and a 30 year old nurse $121,000 if the Government cancels the legislated increase.

According to ACTU President Michele O’Neil it is already clear that the legacy of the Morrison Government will be retirement poverty for millions of Australian workers. “590,000 Australians have already completely emptied their accounts under the early withdrawal scheme.

Denying working people this increase would only deepen the looming retirement crisis,” said Ms O’Neil.

Senator Hume’s refusal to defend the retirement security of young Australians already facing the crushing economic burden of the pandemic shows how out of touch she is from the stark reality many young Australians are dealing with today and into the future.

Jane Hume must confirm that the Morrison Government will deliver the scheduled increase to all working Australians.