Thursday, 25 July 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Cormann. Despite your assurances, Senator Paterson said on Monday:
I also think it's worthwhile for the government … to examine the wisdom of increasing the compulsory superannuation contribution from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent.
Yesterday, Senator Bragg, in his first speech, said:
I would change direction. Super should be made voluntary for Australians earning under $50,000.
… I would be inclined to make the whole scheme voluntary.
Does the minister agree with Senator Bragg?
The answer is no. I've told him that privately—and now publicly! Let me say, the two senators that you just referenced, what an amazing bunch of people they are. What great senators they are. Do you know what? Not only are they great senators for the states of New South Wales and Victoria; they're part of a great team. They're part of a team which is building a stronger economy, which is creating better opportunities for Australians to get ahead.
They're part of a team of people that were elected by the Australian people to again form a government. Do you know why that is? Because people across Australia understood that it was our team that would help build a stronger economy. It would be our team that would help create more jobs. It will be our team that will help ensure that Australians can be safe and secure. They understood and they rejected the politics of envy pursued by the Labor Party. They rejected the high-taxing, antibusiness, sneering-at-the-top-end-of-town agenda, which Australians understood would have made our economy weaker, would have made our country weaker and would have left every Australian worse off.
I'm very proud of every single member of our team here in the Senate. Let me tell you, they all make a fantastic contribution in their respective states and as part of our team here in this chamber. All of us are entitled to our individual views, but we act as a team and we act in the public interest, consistent with the commitments we made to the Australian people before the last election.
Minister, how can Australians trust this government when it comes to protecting their retirement incomes when an ever growing number of government members are undermining your assurances that their super guarantee increases will proceed as outlined in law?
Honourable senators interjecting—
The answer to the question is that the Australian people have made a decision on who they trust with their retirement savings. They decided that they could trust us and that they couldn't trust the Labor Party. That is because the Labor Party went to the election with a promise to take $30 billion out of their superannuation savings, and that is even before we talk about the retiree tax, the housing tax and the higher taxes on income. Let me tell you, the Australian people know precisely who they can trust with their retirement savings, and they certainly also know that they can't trust the Labor Party.