Super will be central in election: Labor

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers believes superannuation will be a central issue for debate in the upcoming federal election, warning there will be further attacks on the industry if the coalition is re-elected.

He also used an address to an ACTU virtual super trustees forum to attack the government for creating uncertainty around tackling the impact of climate change, which has impacted investment.

"The answer to every question, every challenge presented to this government in the economy, has been to blame and attack and diminish super," Dr Chalmers said.

"This is partly out of envy at Labor's creation, partly because it's a partnership model bringing workers, unions and business together, but mostly out of blind, ideological recklessness."

He said the government froze agreed increases to the super guarantee when it first came to power, while during Australia's first recession in 30 years in 2020 it bled $36 billion from super balances through an early access scheme.

"That's why this next election is about super. It's a referendum on whether super should be central, or sidelined. Built up or torn down," Dr Chalmers said.

"If the coalition is re-elected, there'll be more attacks on super, more attacks on wages, more attacks on Medicare; more attacks on living standards, and more attacks on the working families of middle Australia."

He said eight years of coalition policy uncertainty in tackling climate change has been a handbrake on super investment in cleaner and cheaper energy.

"Funds cannot invest with confidence when a government cycles through 22 different plans in eight years - the last one little more than a pamphlet," Dr Chalmers said.

"Policy uncertainty pushes up the price of finance. That pushes up the price of new projects and technology. It slows the transition. It also means super funds are increasingly needing to look offshore."

As such, he says there is a desperate need for policy stability, and clear and ambitious targets, which create certainty for super investments to follow.

Economic modelling for the Investor Group in Climate Change has shown that Australia would create $63 billion in fresh investment opportunities over the next five years by strengthening climate targets and policies in line with reaching net zero emissions by mid-century.

Stronger 2030 policies could also unlock $131 billion investment in clean industries and new jobs by the end of the decade.

"The biggest impediment to tens of billions of dollars of investment in cleaner and cheaper energy is a prime minister who can't get his head around the opportunities here and whose heart isn't in it," Dr Chalmers said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting