Mr HOGAN (Page) (16:12): There is one really clear thing that I think the opposition need to understand: if they are talking about the savings for people’s retirement, this money comes from—and it has been acknowledged by the Leader of the Opposition, no less—the wages of the workers who pay it. The designers of this scheme back in the eighties—I forget which union leader was running the country with the Labor Prime Minister at the time; I think it was Bill Kelty—said that the superannuation levy was negotiated and wage increases were forgone to build that levy.
When we talk about this money and this superannuation levy, this isn’t a mean government not giving them the money; this is simply the government making a decision that these people will keep that money as wages for longer than they would for retirement. Let’s understand that before we start.
Then we have all these confected and made-up figures. I love it when the Labor Party start talking about figures, because, with budget estimates and everything else they talk about, you cannot trust or believe anything. They will make up some 25- or 35-year old and how much it is going to cost for their retirement. That may or may not be true. Are they assuming what that person would have done with the money if they had kept it as wages?
Let’s assume this 25- or 35-year-old, instead of the increased levy going to their superannuation, paid off their mortgage quicker. What would that mean? Would it mean more money for their retirement, because they have not had to pay more in mortgage costs? These rubbery figures that they always come up with need very much to be examined.
We talk about undermining savings. Some of my colleagues have talked about that already. But, if we want to talk about undermining savings, we need to look at the behaviour of six years of Labor governments. How did they undermine savings? Let us look at a few examples. The carbon tax helped! We are talking about superannuation? A lot of the superannuation of these people is invested in public companies. The carbon tax helped them: increased costs, less cash-flow, more non-competitiveness! Live export bans—that helped their savings! That helped the savings of everyone whose superannuation was invested in agribusinesses! The mining tax helped the savings of everyone’s superannuation! As mining companies continue to become more non-competitive, the red tape that that side loves helped everybody’s savings as well!
But what do we want to do? We are about people’s savings. We are about building jobs; it is pretty hard to have a superannuation scheme when you do not have a job. We are about increasing job competition, and we are about abolishing red tape. We want the $1.8 trillion that is invested in superannuation to not have the costs of a mining tax. We want to encourage exporters. A lot of our savings, a lot of our superannuation, is invested in companies that want to export. What do we do? We do free trade agreements with countries like Korea and Japan—also with countries like China in the next few months. We want our public companies and investors in Australia to do well. That will increase the savings of our people as well.
They say with confected outrage that we are ‘haters of superannuation’. But do you know what we did when we were in government last time? We built the Future Fund. That’s right. ‘What is the future fund?’ The Future Fund was a $50 billion superannuation fund for public servants. It has grown to be $100 billion. Do we ‘hate superannuation’? We built the biggest sovereign fund that this country has ever had and one of the biggest, if not the biggest, single superannuation fund this country has.
This side of politics did that. When did we do that? How did that how did we do that? Again, let’s go into figures and numbers. We paid back $96 billion of debt; we ran good public savings surpluses; and we put that into superannuation. That is our history. We believe in people’s savings. Everything we do here is to increase the economy of Australia and our superannuation. (Time expired)