Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has today revealed the Liberals’ true colours with plans to deny millions of workers a lift in superannuation, jeopardise paid parental leave, and bring back WorkChoices.
The list of Coalition savings released today would spell disaster for working families, said ACTU President Sharan Burrow.
She said that by opposing the Resources Super Profits Tax, the Coalition was siding with big business at the expense of working Australians.
It would mean the scrapping of important infrastructure investment and prevent all Australians from sharing the benefits of the country’s natural resources.
Working Australians and their families would miss out on a lift in universal superannuation to 12% and no longer get tax benefits for those on low-incomes or with savings accounts.
The axing of funding for the implementation of the paid parental leave scheme showed that the Coalition was not genuine about supporting paid leave for working mothers, Ms Burrow said.
“The Liberals are not fair dinkum about paid parental leave,” Ms Burrow said.
“How can they be when they are prepared to axe the entire budget allocated for implementation and compliance with the Government’s scheme which is due to start next year?
“This funding is necessary to ensure that employers and employees know their rights, gain their entitlements and meet their responsibilities. Without it, the scheme is at risk of failing.
“Tony Abbott is all over the place about whether he will support the Government’s scheme in the Senate. He says one thing one day, and another the next.
“But from today’s document, we know that he and Joe Hockey are not committed to helping working parents.”
Ms Burrow said the Coalition’s blanket opposition to the RSPT was about protecting the profits of mining companies at the expense of better retirement savings for all Australians.
“The Coalition’s list of savings confirms that Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey will deny working Australians a more comfortable retirement by preventing a lift in superannuation,” she said.
“All working Australians deserve to live with dignity in retirement, and the lift in the Superannuation Guarantee from 9% to 12% is essential to achieve this goal.
Ms Burrow said Mr Hockey also confirmed the Liberals’ plans to reintroduce the worst elements of WorkChoices by winding back protections from unfair dismissal and reintroducing individual contracts.
“Like Tony Abbott and Eric Abetz, Mr Hockey uses words like ‘flexibility’ to hide the Coalition’s true intentions which are to give employers the power to sack workers unfairly and dictate pay and conditions,” Ms Burrow said.