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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Superannuation Tuesday, 15 March 2016 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Morrison, Scott, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:16): My question is to the Treasurer. The average Australian family contributes around $20,000 a year to superannuation. A large percentage of Australians will be dead before they are eligible to use the money. Will the government allow Australians the right to access part of their super to buy a home or to support their family in difficult times? What is the point of slaving for 50 years to never enjoy the benefits of your own hard work? Mr MORRISON (Cook—Treasurer) (14:16): I thank the member for his question, and I am sure he is equally concerned about those who are at the Queensland Nickel plant, where he has had some involvement in recent times, and I am sure he must be very concerned about their entitlements and their future. I know that our member for Herbert is very concerned about those Queensland Nickel workers, and I want to commend the member for Herbert for his outstanding work on their behalf. And I commend those on this side of the House, particularly the Minister for Employment, who has committed some $2½ million to support the transition for those workers who will be affected by that plant with which the member for Fairfax has had some involvement. But the member asked me about issues with superannuation, and this government has been engaged in a process of ensuring that we have a retirement income system that is fit for purpose for the 21st century. In last year’s budget we changed arrangements around the pension to make sure it was fit for purpose and to ensure that those who were on a pension, who had low assets, would actually get more support and that those who were in a better position to support themselves, who had higher assets, would no longer become dependent on a part pension. When the Prime Minister took up office, he really put the second phase of the retirement incomes review on that agenda, and the government has been working through the issues around superannuation. The Assistant Treasurer last week outlined, in response to the Murray review, that our superannuation system has to be fit for the purpose of ensuring as much as possible that people are not dependent on a pension or a part pension, and how you frame your changes to superannuation about that purpose. Those opposite have a plan to tax superannuation for no other reason than to raise revenue to chase higher levels of spending. That is their plan on superannuation—just to tax it. There is no plan in there to make superannuation better; there is no plan in there to make superannuation more flexible or to offer more choice. In fact, those opposite oppose choice in superannuation. Those opposite oppose someone in their own employment choosing their own fund into which their superannuation will go. Those opposite oppose the idea of having better governance of superannuation funds. This side of the House is focused on delivering superannuation changes that are fairer, that are more flexible, that offer more choice. That is what the government is working on, and we will continue to do that up to the budget, and we will make those announcements at the appropriate time. But the incentives that are provided in the superannuation that is there is to ensure that those Australians who are at risk of being on a welfare payment, on a pension or on a part pension, in their retirement can avoid being in that position, and that is what the government’s measures will be designed to do. 162 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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