The administrators’ report to be presented to the third Ansett Creditors Meeting today confirms that the Federal Government’s $10 air ticket levy is not being used to fund outstanding employee entitlements, the ACTU said.
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet called on Prime Minister John Howard to order that the $110 million so far collected through the levy be paid to former Ansett employees in accordance with the legislation establishing the tax.
Mr Combet said that the Government’s insistence on recouping all monies advanced to the Ansett administration is the main obstacle to further payments to former airline employees, who are still owed $370 million in unpaid entitlements.
“Further payments are needed urgently because most former Ansett employees have not found new jobs on equivalent incomes and are struggling financially,” Mr Combet said.
“The Government is tying the hands of company administrators by forcing them to repay all funds advanced through the Special Employee Entitlement Scheme for Ansett (SEESA).
“The Government should stop trying to double-dip by reclaiming funds from the Ansett administration and instead use the ticket levy to pay for employee entitlements,” Mr Combet said.
The Government’s Air Passenger Ticket Levy Collection Act passed last year says: “The purpose of the levy is to meet the cost of payments by the Commonwealth under the Special Employee Entitlements Scheme for Ansett group employees.”
Former Ansett employees are still owed an average of 34 weeks pay each in outstanding entitlements because of the eight-week cap on payments under the SEESA scheme.
The Creditors Meeting is to be held at 11am AEST today at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, 2 Clarendon St, Southbank, Melbourne.