The Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, spoke at the National Press Club in Canberra today, attacking the Morrison government over its handling of aged care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Albanese criticised the government over its handling of aged care deaths in Victoria during the coronavirus crisis. He deplored the government’s hostile attitude to superannuation, especially for young people.
Albanese’s appearance came during a parliamentary sitting week in which some members contributed via video link.
Watch Albanese’s Address to the National Press Club (59m):
Listen to Albanese’s Address to the National Press Club (59m):
Official transcript of speech to the National Press Club by Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese.
The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has delivered the Turnbull government’s second Budget, forecasting a return to surplus in four years, abandoning stalled budget cuts, guaranteeing Medicare and the PBS, incresing the Medicare levy and imposing a new levy on the commercial banks.
The Budget also includes provisions for first home buyers to salary sacrifice into their superannuation. It includes a crackdown on welfare recipients.
The Budget marks a break with the Abbott years. It abandons the “zombie” cuts stalled in the Senate whilst increasing spending in traditional Labor areas. Morrison said it was a “reset”.
Following today’s vote in the Senate to repeal the mining tax, the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the government has delivered on another of its election commitments.
Hockey, speaking at a joint press conference with the Finance Minister, Senator Mathias Cormann, said the government had secured the best possible deal it could in the national interest. He attacked the Labor Party for dealing itself out of negotiations. The Palmer United Party was only relevant, Hockey said, because the ALP would not negotiate.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the coalition will not support increases to the superannuation levy but nor will it repeal them in government.
The Gillard government is proposing to increase the compulsory superannuation levy from 9% to 12% over eight years.
Speaking to the Financial Services Council today, Abbott said his party’s instinct “is to provide incentives, not to coerce people. Nevertheless, once these things are there we don’t add to them but we don’t roll them back and that is the approach that we will take to the current legislation. We aren’t going to support it in the Parliament but if it goes through we will not try to rescind it. We do accept that it is very important that people have adequate retirement incomes, particularly with an ageing population.”
Listen to Tony Abbott’s speech (18m)
Listen to Tony Abbott’s media doorstop (3m)
Transcript of Tony Abbott’s speech to the Financial Services Council.
Well, Craig, thank you so much. John, thank you very much for the invitation to be here. It is good to be amongst so many people who are so important to the retirement savings of our nation. It’s great to have the Shadow Minister for Seniors, Bronwyn Bishop here. It’s also good to have my colleague from Bradfield, Paul Fletcher here.
I really do want to say at the outset just how important you are to all of us. As John pointed out earlier this morning, you have $1.8 trillion of our money in your hands and that’s a heavy responsibility. We want our nest egg to grow and it will grow because of the intelligent decisions that you make. So, you are very important to our people, very important to our country and it gives me great confidence to be here today and to see how obviously enthusiastic you are about the work you do and how extraordinarily conscientious you are about the work you do.
Kevin Rudd, has said the international financial situation is “really bad, let’s not mince words about it”.
But the Prime Minister emphasised the soundness of the Australian banking system, referring to a report from the World Economic Forum. He said: “Australia is ranked fourth out of 134 and to put that into context the UK ranks at number 44, the United States number 40 and Germany at number 39.”
Rudd said that the financial crisis would have a direct impact on superannuation funds.