When society’s biggest rent-seekers and parasites are in rare and furious agreement, ordinary working men and women should be profoundly sceptical. The plan to lift the Superannuation Guarantee from 9 to 12 per cent is vigorously endorsed by government, financial institutions and trade unions alike, yet sadly is receiving little scrutiny.
Nothing is stopping workers from putting an extra 3 per cent of their wages in super right now.
Indeed, workers’ mistaken belief that the burden of compulsory super falls on their employers, or even government, rather than themselves through a 9 per cent cut in take-home pay is allowing an extremely unfair, inefficient and ultimately ineffective policy become reality. The argument Australia ‘needs’ to increase superannuation to plug a ‘savings gap’ and ‘take the pressure’ off the Age Pension is a bogus platitude.
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The Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, spoke at the National Press Club, Canberra, on Monday – the topic, The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia.
In a supporting essay Mr Swan wrote: “We’ve always prided ourselves on being a nation that’s more equal than most – a place where, if you work hard, you can create a better life for yourself and your family.”
Members and retirees of the Australian Defence Force champion this principle. The trouble is the veterans have had with successive governments is that they’ve not been fair regarding the indexation of their superannuation.
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The reader response to The Punch article, 12 January 2012, “Why have we abandoned our troops?” highlighted a deep misunderstanding of the central tenet of the article, and, more worryingly, a flawed knowledge of the actual conditions of service applicable in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Some of the more ill-informed myths about what entitlements our military men and women received were:
• Tax free salaries – No (but there are some concessions when deployed to war zones).
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“The willingness of future generations to serve in our military will be directly dependent upon how we have treated those who have served in the past.” George Washington.
So the politicians have seen fit to grant themselves another pay rise. No, sorry, the Federal Remuneration Tribunal has granted them a pay rise and they have accepted its ruling. Changing the legislation to say no is apparently not an option.
What many may not realise is that politician pay rises benefit not just current politicians, but all qualifying pre-2004 retired politicians. If those retired politicians are survived by their spouse this pay rise also goes to them.
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