Economy

Andrew will never support superannuation reform that is retrospective. Any such changes however should at least be accompanied by grandfathering provisions for individuals approaching retirement, including for changes to caps on contributions.

Andrew favours reform that is focussed on ensuring that everyone has sufficient income in retirement. It shouldn’t matter how and when contributions are made up until a reasonable cap is reached. So he does not support the current government’s proposal for a $500,000 lifetime cap on non-concessional contributions.

Andrew supports Ken Henry’s recommendation in the Australia’s Future Tax System report to abolish the current tax arrangements on superannuation contributions and replace them with a flat-rate tax offset of 15 per cent to be deducted from the individual’s marginal tax rate. This would remove the distinction between concessional and non-concessional contributions and make tax treatment of superannuation fairer and more progressive while providing the government with higher revenue.

Andrew also support the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset that exempts those earning up to $37,000 from paying tax on their super and he welcomes its re-introduction in the 2016-2017 Budget.

Gender pay gaps remain a persistent feature in the Australian workforce with the national gender pay gap hovering between 15 and 19 per cent for the past two decades.

We need to ensure that female-dominated sectors such as education, health care and social assistance are properly valued. These sectors are predominantly funded by government which should be leading by example. These roles are essential to our society and they should be recognised as such.

Individual organisations, including government, should be encouraged to analyse their own employment base and uncover pay equity issues. Action should be taken at all levels of the organisation to amend discrepancies.

We should also encourage a culture of workplace flexibility for everyone. For instance workplace policies that support career progression for people working part-time, and a culture that tackles negative perceptions around men working flexibly, will help women into more senior roles and men to play a more equal role at home.

Parental leave needs to be significantly improved to bring Australia into line with Scandinavian countries where by law the government covers 52 weeks of pay that is divided between parents to encourage shared parenting.

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