Abbott's new super tax to hit retail and hospitality workers hardest

23 April 2013

New figures released by local MP’s Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today have revealed that 45,000 workers in the Illawarra will be slugged by Tony Abbott’s plan to reimpose a 15 per cent superannuation tax on low income and part-time workers.

The figures released today also reveal that shop assistants, waiters, bartenders and cleaners will be hardest hit.

Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird MP stated that an average of 57 percent of all food preparation assistants and 53 percent of all checkout operators would also be worse off under Abbott’s plan.

“Tony Abbotts Super tax is an attack on the retirement savings of 45,000 people in the Illawarra who earn under $37,000 a year – the majority of which are women” Sharon Bird said.

“The retirement savings of some of the poorest people in the Illawarra are at risk under an Abbott Government. These figures show about a third of hospitality and childcare workers, and about a quarter of electricians in our community will be worse off” Ms Bird said.

The suburb of Wollongong will be the hardest hit under Abbott’s plan, with 5,295 local residents set to be slugged under this new tax. Also among the worst off in the region will be Dapto, Albion Park, Corrimal and Bellambi.

“Ever since Labor introduced it over 20 years ago, we have been the champions of superannuation for the benefit of all Australians” Throsby MP Stephen Jones said.

“The Federal Labor Government is focused on ensuring our policies see that hard working Australians have enough money to retire on, particularly those earning low-incomes or working part time.

“In contrast, Tony Abbott plans to rip away up to $500 from those Australians that need it most, including those doing it tough in the Illawarra” Mr Jones said.

The Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) delivers up to $500 into the superannuation accounts of 3.6 million Australians earning up to $37,000 a year.

According to the latest figures, 2.2 million or 60 per cent of those low income earners are women.

“Women are already retiring with less super for a number of reasons, including a continued disparity in pay compared to men, as well as many taking time out of the workforce to have children” Ms Bird said.

“This unfair Liberal policy will mean more than 15,400 women in the Illawarra will have less super when they retire.

“I’d rather see $4 billion go into the super accounts of local retail and hospitality workers or cleaners and receptionists than into Tony Abbott’s pocket” Sharon Bird said.

The Opposition Leader has promised to take up to $500 from 218,850 retail workers, 145,999 checkout operators and 93,495 kitchen hands across the country. (Full list attached below).

“Here in the Illawarra, the high percentage of retail, construction and administration workers means locals in these industries will be some of the hardest hit.” Mr Jones said.

“The Liberals have opposed super on every level – from its introduction to any increase ever proposed or delivered. This newest attack by Tony Abbott highlights the fact that Labor is the only Party willing to stick up for superannuation” Mr Jones said.

The Labor Government will begin to increase the universal superannuation contribution from 9 to 12 percent from 1 July 2013.