Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News AM Agenda – Wednesday, 3 September 2014







SUBJECT/S: Iraq; Superannuation

KIERAN GILBERT: With me on the program now I have the Labor frontbencher, Jason Clare. I’ll start, as I did with Senator Cormann there, with your reaction to this latest execution in Iraq.

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: This is more evidence of this evil barbaric regime. We shouldn’t be surprised but you’re absolutely right, you have to be shocked at the barbarism of this organisation. It’s a deliberate strategy by them to create an us and them mentality and their recruitment drive to try and build support in their part of Northern Iraq and we have no alternative but to do whatever we can to protect the people that they are trying to exterminate in that area.

GILBERT: You’ve got the local communities but now another journalist that they’ve apparently got in their custody that they say will be next if the airstrikes continue.

CLARE: I think they’ve got a number of journalists in captivity and have for some time. Our thoughts are with the family of Steven and our thoughts must also be with the families of all of those other journalists who are being held captive at the moment in fear of death. This is an extraordinary situation and the actions of the Government so far are absolutely right and that’s why they have our support.

GILBERT: In that context, what is the best case scenario in your view as you look at that conflict zone, they’ve made huge gains across Northern Iraq, air strikes won’t be enough will they?

CLARE: We have a responsibility to do what we can to protect the people that are in Northern Iraq that this organisation is trying to exterminate. That requires us to provide support to the Peshmerga, the people that are on the ground fighting this evil organisation. That’s what these air based deliveries of weapons are all about, it’s been asked for by the Obama administration with the support of the Iraqi Government and that’s why I think the actions the Government has taken are correct.

GILBERT: Ok I want to move now to domestic politics and the repeal of the Mining Tax yesterday. Labor says that it’s a broken promise but the Government points out that even Bill Shorten back in 2012 when he was a Minister said that superannuation is absorbed as part of a person’s pay rise, so that individuals won’t necessarily be worse off because they’ll have more take home pay.

CLARE: First off, don’t let them off the hook. This is a broken promise. Tony Abbott promised on 14 occasions that there would be no adverse impact on people’s superannuation.

GILBERT: They are saying there is no adverse impact because people will have more take home pay.

CLARE: Have a look at the statistics in The Australian newspaper today. What it says is someone who is 40 that earns $70,000 a year will retire with $19,000 less. Or somebody who is 30 years old today on $100,000 will retire with almost $40,000 less. Now that’s an adverse impact.

This is not the only broken promise, as Ed Husic said this morning, they’ve broken their promise on health, on education, on pensions, on taxes, now on superannuation. This is a pattern of behaviour from a Prime Minister that lied to the people of Australia before the election and is now breaking promises almost by the day here in Parliament House.

There are almost nine million Australians who will wake up this morning and be awfully angry that this Government has decided to cut their superannuation.

GILBERT: Treasurer Hockey says if people are angry they should blame Labor because Labor didn’t negotiate, that you weren’t constructive when it came to what was one of the big ticket promises of the them Opposition, the Coalition in opposition, their big campaign focus was on repealing the carbon and the mining taxes. Labor was not constructive the Government says, so you should cop the blame.

CLARE: Kieran in 2004 John Howard got control of the Senate and made a big mistake. With the control of the Senate he overreached and introduced Work Choices, the people of Australia didn’t like that and threw him out. I think this Prime Minister working with Clive Palmer has overreached again. This is a big mistake, nine million Australians are worse off because of a deal with a billionaire. Nine million Australians are going to be worse off. They are going to retire with less superannuation and they are going to be awfully angry about it. There’s now a big divide in this Parliament –

GILBERT: Just to clarify though, does Labor think the super increase comes from a person’s pay rise or not? If they’ve got more take home pay they are not really worse of are they?

CLARE: In all cases it depends on the negotiations between the employer and the employee, but we had this debate in the early 90’s, most Australians get it, superannuation is essential for their retirement. The Liberal Party have never agreed. They tried to stop this in the 90’s just like they voted against Medicare and now in the Parliament they are trying to chip away at Medicare with a tax to go to the doctor and they are stoping an increase in superannuation.

This will only be resolved in an election. If people want more superannuation and they want to protect Medicare they will vote Labor at the next election. If they want to pay a tax to go to the doctor, if they want to double the cost of university degrees, or cut the pension or cut superannuation then they will vote Liberal.

GILBERT: Jason Clare thanks for your time.

CLARE: Thank you.