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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hands off our superannuation

Before he was sacked from Cabinet last week over a failed leadership spill, former Minister Simon Crean was a member of the government's inner circle, so he should have a few clues about what they are up to. This week he put the cat among the pigeons by hinting that Julia Gillard intends to raid worker's superannuation to achieve a budget surplus.

The Opposition says our great-grandchildren will be paying off the huge debt that the Gillard government has amassed over two terms, with the costly Gonski school funding scheme and the National Disability Insurance Scheme the latest  promised policy commitments.

Then there's the cost of housing asylum seekers who keep arriving in leaky boats and the mind boggles when we think how much they must be costing.  The word is out that Australia is the land of milk and honey with plenty of benefits and free health care and the government is obliged to pay for every aspect of the daily life of an asylum seeker processed on shore, including their cigarettes. It's ironic really when you think about it, Labor managed to pull off a mammoth victory over the mighty tobacco industry by bringing in plain paper packaging for cigarettes, yet hand over money to asylum seekers to buy them.

Because of Labor's failed border protection policy decisions, it didn't take long for the Detention Centres across the country to fill up, so Ms Gillard turned to the public for help, compensating families to house an asylum seeker in a spare bedroom. 

When there still wasn't enough room, they moved them into the community and also University campuses.  We had no idea until a Sri Lankan asylum seeker was charged with indecently assaulting a young woman sleeping in student accommodation at Macquarie University in Sydney. Police first thought it was an asylum seeker living in student accommodation at the university, but he wasn't staying there, just visiting a friend and actually lived in a unit in Parramatta. The university said that Campus Living, part of the Transfield Group, provides services for asylum seekers, which includes temporary accommodation under a 2012 agreement with the Red Cross's Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme.

The mere mention of the possibility that the government could fiddle with our super sends chills down everyone's spine.  The PM has refused to rule out tax increases on super, saying only she wants a sustainable long-term superannuation system.  If there was ever a good reason to stop paying into your super and putting it somewhere else, this is it.

Tony Abbott was quick to jump in and said "I want to assure the hard-working people of Australia that their superannuation will be safe under a Coalition government.  We will make no unexpected adverse changes to superannuation in our first term."