News Parliament

MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE - SUPERANNUATION

Mr GEE (Calare) (16:09): Those opposite really do have a hide. They really do have a hide bringing to this place this fraudulent proposition, which is critical of the government, and dressing it up as a matter of public importance. The opposition talks of fairness of the retirement income system, but what jaw-dropping hypocrisy—

Mr Christensen: Hear, hear!

Mr GEE: Yes. As the member for Dawson knows, it is jaw-dropping hypocrisy, especially when you consider the raid that those opposite are perpetrating on the retirement savings of ordinary Australians. They are coming like thieves in the night. Make no mistake about it, they are coming for the money of hardworking Australian retirees, about 900,000 of them.

On the weekend I went to the Eugowra Show. On the way to the Eugowra Show I passed a place called the Escort Rock, which in 1862 was the scene of Australia's biggest gold heist, perpetrated by Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall. It still is Australia's greatest gold heist, but that heist has nothing on the heist that those opposite are about to perpetrate on Australia's retirees. They're planning to snatch $56 billion from Australia's hardworking retirees. It's a stick-up job on 900,000 Australians who have saved in good faith, served their country, paid their taxes and are entitled to retire on the incomes that they've planned for. It's not going down very well for them. The retirees are not happy.

For example, John Kalkman, who is a former vice-president of the Australian Investors Association—most of whose members are self-funded retirees—said, in The Australian Financial Review, that seniors of modest means would suffer if Labor's changes came to pass, not the rich. Then The Australian Financial Review goes on:

"This policy treats some retirees very unfairly it creates perverse incentives for some to give up their self-reliance in retirement and allow the taxpayer to take responsibility for their income, healthcare and age care," he said.

Mr Christensen interjecting

Mr GEE: It is shameful. John goes on to say:

They are offended at the misrepresentation with the sneering suggestion that all self-funded retirees are multimillionaires who are using a tax rort at the expense of hard-working Australians.

It is a sneering suggestion. If you look at the figures though, John, I think you're right. Check out the figures, because who is going to be hit by the $56 billion tax heist? Low-income earners. More than half a million Australians on taxable incomes of less than $18,200. Yes, just over 40 per cent of individuals impacted are 65 years old or older, so big hits there. It overwhelmingly hits low- and middle-income earners. Eighty-five per cent of the individuals impacted are on taxable incomes of less than $37,000—

Mr Christensen: That would be mainly women—

Mr GEE: Yes. And 96 per cent of the individuals impacted are on taxable incomes below $87,000. Around 40 per cent of all self-managed superfund member accounts will lose their tax refunds—

Mr Christensen: Why do they hate grandmas so much?

Mr GEE: Here's the kicker, member for Dawson: Labor's retiree tax grab will hit around 30 per cent more women than men. This is what they're doing. What arrant hypocrisy of those opposite! They come to this chamber with platitudes about fairness of retirement income systems for women on the one hand, yet they grab their retirement savings on the other. It's absolutely disgraceful. You're not about helping women in retirement; you're all about taking their hard-earned money.

In contrast to the hypocritical opposition, those robbers of Australian retirees, we are helping women and men save for their retirement by giving them jobs. We've got more women working than ever before. We've got more women working full-time than ever before. Employment overall is at a record high of over 12.5 million people. We have the runs on the board, as opposed to the hypocrisy and the bushranger-like behaviour—I'm looking at you, member for Paterson—of those opposite, which is absolutely disgraceful.