Monday, 13 August 2007
Judges’ Pensions Amendment Bill 2007
That is one which, I would say, is not necessarily as deserving as those relating to returned servicemen and those relating to Commonwealth public servants. It is in the context that we are dealing with defined benefits schemes that the totality of them and the arguments relating to that issue need to be addressed. Those matters are being considered by the government, but it is our view that it is inappropriate to single out members of the judiciary for special treatment in advance of the consideration of the members of other defined benefit schemes. Those matters will be the subject of consideration, but they will be the subject of consideration in the broader context to which the opposition pays no regard—that is, defined benefits schemes involve additional outlays if you introduce a new class of beneficiaries. That has quite significant impacts over the longer term. I notice that the opposition claims to be fiscally conservative these days. A fiscal conservative would want to know what the impact of a measure of this type might be, particularly in the context of the class of beneficiaries that are involved—that is, those who are beneficiaries of defined benefit schemes. In order that those matters can be dealt with in a considered way, the government will reject the amendment.
That the words proposed to be omitted (Ms Roxon’s amendment) stand part of the question.