Thus says the headline on the rear page of the Australian Financial Review this morning under the Chanticleer column (Michael Smith). A similar uncritical view can be found in Glenda Korporaal’s article in today’s Australian.
Thus is the quality of journalism today – that it would automatically state the view of a superannuation lobby group as ‘busting myths’.
Actually ASFA’s job is to perpetuate myths.
Martin Fahy, the chief executive of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, hates to contemplate the doomsday scenario for the $2.3 trillion super industry.
The scenario goes something like this: a populist politician gets elected sometime in the 2020s on the back of a promise to end the super guarantee levy. This simplistic, backwards policy option hands ever Australian an instant cash bonus each week equal to 9.5 per cent of their pay, less tax.
It would mark the destruction of former prime minister Paul Keating’s vision for a privatised savings system that progressively makes an increasing number of Australians self sufficient in retirement while lowering the dependency on the aged [sic] pension. …
“We need to get to 12 per cent …”
Whenever one hears from the super lobby it is to have the super guarantee increased from 9.5 per cent.
Let’s get real. Compulsory super has failed. It has not reduced the dependency on the age pension (Smith can’t even get that right). Compulsory super has increased the budget deficit, with the various subsidies provided to super at all levels of income. It has not increased national saving.
All compulsory super has done is to line the pockets of industry practitioners, unions, and the lobby. The Australian taxpayer, and the average Australian has paid for this with excessive fees with the lazy default super money flowing into their coffers each week.
Compulsory super has failed its primary objectives and should be scrapped. Far from being the doomsday scenario, the scrapping of compulsory super is the correct policy option – we have given it over 25 years to prove itself and it has failed on every count.
We should not wait until the 2020s to abolish compulsory super – it should be done immediately. It is a paternalistic policy that has harmed Australia. Let Australians workers make their own decisions about consumption, savings and investment.
And let’s hope that journalists might actually think and argue rather than uncritically sprouting the words of some lobby group.
However I’m afraid both are unlikely. The super lobby is so powerful that they have captured the body politic. It was a brilliant design by Paul Keating – a guaranteed source of funding for the union movement who in turn props up the Labor Party.
And most Australian journalists have given up on critical thinking.
So I can only dream of that ‘doomsday’ scenario – a day when politicians act in the public interest and sincerely investigate the net benefits of compulsory super.