The ACTU has reaffirmed its public statements about the Ansett ticket levy after Federal Transport Minister John Anderson today labelled them “lies”.

ACTU Secretary Greg Combet stood by his comments that the Government was collecting proceeds from the ticket tax proceeds, which were intended to go to former Ansett workers who have not been paid their full employee entitlements.

Mr Combet said the ACTUs comments were correct having regard to the following facts:

  • the Government established the SEESA scheme and the ticket levy for the purpose of ensuring that Ansett employees received as a minimum their annual leave, long service leave, eight weeks redundancy pay, unpaid wages and notice pay;
  • the Government loaned the Ansett Administrators approximately $328 million for the purpose of meeting the early payment of these entitlements (a decision repeatedly and publicly welcomed by the ACTU);
  • the loan is to be repaid as a priority in the Administration. All indications from the Administrators reports to the creditors are that the loan is likely to be repaid in full;
  • the ticket levy has so far yielded in excess of $130 million, which has been retained by the Government.
  • “In the most likely circumstances where the loan is repaid in full from the Ansett Administration, it is clear that none of the revenue from the ticket levy will be paid to former Ansett employees,” Mr Combet said.

    “It is not accurate for the Government to portray the loan to the Ansett Administrators as a transfer of proceeds from the ticket levy. If this is the case, Mr Anderson should specify what proceeds of the levy will be paid to former Ansett employees still awaiting their entitlements.”

    Mr Combet said he would seek legal advice on Mr Andersons comments.