Super increases an important move for the future


Bill Shorten - Demographic Change, Economic Opportunities and Future Prosperity

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, used CEDA's state of the nation to outline the importance of raising mandatory super to increase domestic savings and increase availability of capital.

Mr Shorten outlined key transformative forces impacting on public policy which included

  • The rise of Asia;
  • The rise of the information pipeline and how the ability to access information quickly has been a fundamental game changer; and
  • Our ageing population and the need for a sustainable economy.

Highlighting that Labor was proposing to increase mandatory superannuation from 9 to 12 per cent, Mr Shorten said while some say mandatory super is a tax on business that would have a negative impact, during the last increases between 1993 and 2001, unemployment dropped and business profits as a share of GDP increased.

"This year is the third year of baby boomers retiring and I think there is increasing interest in retirement and superannuation policies," he said.

While this creates huge public policy challenges, Mr Shorten said increasing mandatory superannuation would help increase domestic savings for retirement and provide capital for investment in Australia, potentially decreasing our reliance on international investment capital.

Mr Shorten used his speech to also highlight that while the Gillard Government was committed to getting back to surplus, debt levels in Australia were relatively low.

"Net debt is scheduled to peak at 7.2 per cent …if you look at interest payments they are .4 per cent of GDP, can you imagine any business in the nation let alone any household running on those debt levels?," he said.

"We are doing the best in the OCD just about."

Mr Shorten said while there were threats, such as the high Australian dollar, Australians should be positive about the future and the current Prime Minister has a keen eye on the horizon.

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