22 May | '2023

I move a motion relating to superannuation tax on the terms in which it appears in the notice paper.

Well Labor have never met a tax they didn’t like. In fact, in 12 months the Albanese government has riddled two budgets full of new taxes and broken promises. The last election we warned Australians—we warned them—that when Labor run out of money, what they do? They come after yours. That’s what they do. Their attempts to raid your superannuation is just one of the many ways that the Labor government are trying to take more of what you earn.

When Labor announced their superannuation policy, they intentionally misled Australians, claiming it would affect only older and wealthy Australians. They tried to turn the policy into class warfare, as they do time and time again, pitting young Australians against older Australians—always dividing, never uniting. They’re asserting that those older Australians, many of whom have spent their entire working lives paying taxes to support this country, can spare a little more because they are so well off. What they fail to tell you, potentially, is that while they were raiding the super of older Australians they also had their grubby hands in the super of 2,000,000 young Aussies under the age of 25. Modelling released to the coalition under freedom of information on the government’s controversial superannuation tax confirmed the changes will apply to young Australians earning average wages over their lifetimes. I hope young Australians are listening to this.

According to Treasury’s own analysis, a 20-year-old, who earns an average wage throughout their life will have a superannuation balance higher than $3,000,000 in their early 60s, seeing the tax on their super double by the time they retire. That means a 20-year-old today—and I’ve got them in my household—earning an average salary will be caught up in the net of Labor’s doubling of superannuation taxes.

It’s shocking, that’s right, member for Bruce. What’s worse is that Treasury confirmed that this was a deliberate design feature of the tax increase.

I’ll take that interjection: the member for Bruce just said ‘It’s shocking,’ and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

For the first time, young Australians will face higher taxes on their super than the generation before them. This tax hike will affect young Australians under 25, including tradies, executive assistants, teachers, nurses, police officers, accountants, journalists, public servants, physios and many other professions. And what for? So Labor can pay for their pet projects, rollout more dodgy programs like school halls and pink batts. Not only did Labor lie to you about not touching your super but they also lied about it affecting only older and wealthy Australians. They’re going after older and wealthy Australians—I hope they’re listening to this today too—and then they tried to hide it from you. For a bunch that claim to be all about transparency, they spin lies and they break promises like a dodgy second-hand car dealer—or worse, I don’t mind second-hand cars.

Young Australians are doing it as tough as everyone else right now—even more so in some areas. As the shadow minister for youth, I speak with young people regularly—all the time. What I hear time and again is that many are struggling, financially and also mentally. Rents continue to rise, and with house prices soaring, many of them fear they will never live the Australian dream of owning their own home, and they should be able to realise that dream. Suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for young Australians. Last year, 402 young Australians lost their lives to suicide—402 too many. Mental health is a huge issue, and with many young Australians trying to overcome challenges of the past few years with COVID, it’s becoming harder and harder to access mental health services and, for many, with the cost of living rising, it’s simply unaffordable. Yet this most recent budget delivered nothing for young Australians.

The latest ABS data shows youth unemployment is climbing back up again and it’s now sitting at 8.2 per cent. It’s a shame. A lesson for those young Australians who may not remember a time under a Labor government, is that when Labor run out of money, they come up to yours. When Labor claimed they wouldn’t touch your super, they lied. Young Australians deserve to know why they always pay more under Labor governments.

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