Subjects: Superannuation, TikTok
PETER STEFANOVIC: Joining us live now the Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews. Karen, good to see you. Let’s start off with super the topic of the moment, the government will not index it. Should it be included in the legislation even though Peter Dutton has already said that you’ll wind it back and you won’t support it?
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, they shouldn’t be changing anything to do with superannuation. So that would be my first comment. And quite frankly, as we’ve all heard, they went to the election saying that they had no intentions of making any changes to superannuation, now they’re indicating that it’s ‘not really’ a change so effectively, they’re now lying about lying to the Australian people. So I think it’s just outrageous what they’re doing. Now, given that there are no caps being proposed, then as time goes on, more people will be caught by the $3 million limit that is likely to be imposed. But I think that this is a very badly thought through policy, it has upset a considerable number of people, and many people who are not even close to that $3 million cap are now concerned about putting more savings into superannuation. So the Labor government has done a fantastic job at undermining consumer confidence in superannuation.
PETER STEFANOVIC: Okay, so just back on indexing, though, should that be included and the government has ruled it out? But should it be included in the legislation?
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, clearly, if you’re going to put a cap in place, you should be putting in place mechanisms so that that cap is indexed. But I go back to my earlier point, Pete, very strongly, that there is no way that this legislation should be being introduced. And I think that Peter Dutton has made the right call to say that we will repeal it if we were elected in 2025.
PETER STEFANOVIC: Okay, you just referred to this, these legitimate concerns, and they are legitimate about more and more younger people exceeding that cap. As more time progresses. The Grattan Institute has got some figures, though, it says that 10% won’t exceed that cap until way off in 2052. So should that just be left to future governments, which is what Tanya Plibersek just hinted at a short time ago.
KAREN ANDREWS: No, and that’s the current government abrogating its responsibilities. Now, they clearly just sat around while they were in opposition doing very little other than plotting how they were going to be elected to government. They’re there now. And they’re making one mistake after another and superannuation is an appalling error. This, quite frankly, is Albanese’s Julia Gillard moment where she said there won’t be a Carbon Tax under any government that she leads. So this is elbows, and Julia Gillard moment.
PETER STEFANOVIC: I mean, look, just a bystander here, but I don’t think there’s any way you can dress this up, other than a being a broken promise. But can you win the next election by supporting the top end of town and being such a small percentage who would get caught up in this?
KAREN ANDREWS: Look, it’s very easy for Labor to try and run that argument. But I think the Australian people are smarter than that. And they know that what’s being done, quite frankly, really is the start of some pretty significant changes that are going to hit their hit pocket pretty hard. Now, at the moment, people are really struggling when they’re buying groceries, when they’re getting fuel, when they’re paying their electricity bills. And now that just had another hit because they’ve had the government of the day, the Labor government, decide that they’ve now got too much money in superannuation, well, they might have too much superannuation. And they’re going to make sure that people don’t have the opportunity to accumulate what they believe they will need for their own retirement. And let’s be clear that superannuation is all about making people self-fund their retirement. So it’s to make sure that they are able to live a reasonably comfortable life in their retirement. And what the government is doing is undermining people’s dignity.
PETER STEFANOVIC: Senior members of the government have been out and about this morning defending the relationship between the treasurer and the Prime Minister, you as convinced that there’s no rift?
KAREN ANDREWS: Look, I think there’s a few things going on there. I mean, you’ve now got a Prime Minister who’s clearly under pressure, scrambling around his hand to defend his Cybersecurity Minister and take over parts of that portfolio, he’s now out there pretty much contradicting what his Treasurer had had done. He’s trying to show leadership but he’s failing quite dismally at that at the moment. Time will tell how serious that that rift is. But I think we also should say that Jim Chalmers put the cap on what Labor is actually contemplating and quite frankly probably said what he said yesterday morning, because he didn’t have the authority to say anything else, because he’s aware of what’s being contemplated and what’s being discussed.
PETER STEFANOVIC: Just you just brought up cyber there. And just before we go, I should get your thoughts on this. The US is moving to ban TikTok from government issued devices. Is it your view that that the same should be done here? I did have James Paterson on the programme last hour. He’s made this argument for a while now to the Home Affairs Minister, but it hasn’t been done. Do you believe that that there should be bans on that here?
KAREN ANDREWS: Yes, absolutely. And the question that has to be answered is Why is it taking so long for the Cyber Minister to act? She’s been in the job for quite some time. Now. She’s had the opportunity to get yourself up to speed. She actually needs to take a little bit of control over the cybersecurity issues that are affecting Australians. There is no need for her to spend forever trying to figure out whether or not these arrangements are in place now overseas should be in place in Australia.
PETER STEFANOVIC: Karen Andrews, thanks for your time. We’ll talk to you soon coming up.