PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Superannuation theft; Tony Abbott’s carbon emission targets.
STEPHEN JONES, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Well, three million workers are losing five billion dollars in stolen superannuation each and every year. The Government knows about it. They say they have zero tolerance, but they're doing zero about it. The ATO sees it as a low-order priority, which means workers are losing out and the employers who are doing the right thing are disadvantaged by the employers that are doing the wrong thing. The ATO needs to lift it’s game. Five billion dollars a year, that's $50 billion dollars over the last decade. The Prime Minister doesn't care because he takes home more superannuation every year than the average Australian woman retires on. It's time for the Government to stop its phony superannuation wars and focus on the real issues. The biggest area of wage theft is superannuation theft, $5bn, $50 billion over the decade. The Government's got to pull its finger out and start looking after Australian workers who are having their retirement savings ripped off by unscrupulous employers. Happy to take your questions.
JOURNALIST: Big emitters such as India have rejected calls to make a target of net zero. Doesn't it show that Australia has found a sensible position on net zero considering one of the world's biggest emitters won't commit to the same target we have?
JONES: Well this underscores the point that Australia really needs to be in the front row and showing leadership on this. It's very difficult for us to be lecturing other nations about what they should be doing if we are being seen as the nation that has to be dragged to into doing the right thing and being the last ones doing the right thing. We can't seriously be lecturing other nations if we are doing the right things at home. And when we go to Glasgow, all the nations will be looking at Australia, will be saying we'll hang on a moment. You’ve still got Tony Abbott's 2030 targets. How on earth can you be lecturing us about what we should be doing? Everyone's banked 2050, frankly. Everyone's banked 2050. It's what we do over the next decade that matters. Because if we don't take action over the next decade, we're essentially saying to our grandkids, you deal with it.
JOURNALIST: We aren’t the last ones, though, to commit to net zero. India has announced that they are not going to commit to that target.
JONES: Look, I'm focused on what we're doing here in Australia. India needs to come on board, there's no doubt about it. But our voice is muted in that conversation if India knows and every other nation knows that we really aren't serious about our commitments and that we’re dragging our feet on our midterm commitments.